January 8, 2005

Louisiana Library Connection

If you hold a valid library card to (nearly) any parish library in the state of Louisiana, you have access to some of the best free on-line genealogical resources available. I understand that this service is available throughout the United States, and your state library is probably a sponsor. Ask your local librarian, or contact your state library for more information.

By visiting the above link you will be taken to a generic library webpage where you select your library from a drop down list. On the next page you will be expected to enter a valid library card number. If successful, you will finally reach the "goodies" page.

I won't list all of the resources available, but here are some of the better choices:

~ Ancestry.com - Ancestry World Tree. This site has the following instructions:

This link is only used for updating the Ancestry World Tree records tied to your library. The subscription-only features of Ancestry.com are not available from home; you must come into the library to use them.

~ News Bank - Full text backfiles of 7 Louisiana and 10 national newspapers.

Louisiana Newspapers: Times Picayune, 1989 - current; Baton Rouge Advocate, 1986 - current; Lafayette Daily Advertiser, 1999 - current; Monroe News Star, 1999 - current; Shreveport Times, 1999 - current; Alexandria Daily Town Talk, 1999 - current; Opelousas Daily World, 1999 - current; Lake Charles American Press, (when negotiated)

Other newspapers are available, and all are good sources for obituaries.

~ Heritage Quest On-Line - Search Census records, Books, PERSI, and selected Revolutionary War pension and bounty land warrants.

Not all census years, and not all states have been completed, but the interface is better than Ancestry.com (my opinion), and image download in PDF or TIFF format is very easy. If you can't find the person you are looking for on Ancestry, check Heritage Quest. I've found many families there that have not been properly indexed at Ancestry.

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