HeritageQuest Online has recently released its first major content update since 2015. The new dataset is called “Newspapers.com Obituary Index, 1800s-current.” Newspapers.com is an Ancestry.com product that includes millions of scanned, keyword searchable newspapers for select U.S. and foreign locations. Luckily for Central and Western New Yorkers there are numerous early local newspapers in the database, including: Black Rock, Buffalo, Depew, Dunkirk, Hamburg, Lancaster, Olean, Rochester, Springville, and Syracuse. To view additional locations covered, and the specific dates available for each newspaper, see the Newspapers.com Browse web page. The obituary database in HeritageQuest provides citations to obituaries and death notices found these newspapers.
Searching the database is simple. Researchers can input keywords such as the deceased’s name, close family member names, a date range, city/town of residence, and general keywords. It is only necessary to fill-in one field to search. Results returned will include some of the details found in the obituaries such as age of the deceased; family members; dates of death and burial; and place of birth, death, burial and residence. Use some caution when searching the database. Because the index was computer generated, and there may be errors in the data provided and some obituaries may be missed. Even so, this is a powerful new record set that will help users further their research.
HeritageQuest Online is a genealogy database that is available at every Buffalo & Erie County Library location and from home with a valid Buffalo & Erie County Public Library card. In addition to the new obituary index feature, HeritageQuest includes U.S. Federal Census records 1790-1940, over 25,000 full-text family and local histories, numerous city directories for all over the United States, Freedman’s Bank Records, Revolutionary War pension files and other content. Access to HeritageQuest is available through the Library’s database web page.