Thursday, March 19, 2015

Update on HeritageQuest Revolutionary Pension/Bounty-Land Collection Update

We thought we had heard that the US Revolutionary Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files were changing from the digitized images of the selected microfilming of the files to the complete microfilming of the files but it did not seem to be the case when we looked at the collection during our March Let's Talk...Genealogy meeting. That darn header card "Selected" was still there directly after each file's summary cover which resembles an index card.

Looks can be deceiving ... it is true this collection is now the complete pension/bounty-land file.

Taking a closer look at the images that make up a "file" and reading the descriptive pamphlet to the microfilm series reminded us how the images actually appear on the actual microfilms. (It's been a long time since we looked at one of these files on the actual microfilm.) 

When the actual pension/bounty-land files were microfilmed long ago, they were imaged in a certain way. First the file cover which resembles an index card was filmed; then a header card with "Selected" was filmed followed by certain pages chosen from that file; then a header card with "Nonselected" was filmed followed by the remaining pages in that file. Files with lesser amount of pages were not treated in this manner.  So when HeritageQuest first digitized the microfilm it decided to just do this first part of each file, the selected pages. Now with the update the second part of the file, the nonselected pages, has been added making the files complete.

These are the same pages in the Revolutionary Pension/Bounty-Land collection over at Fold3, but they were digitized differently. Fold3 decided to scan the pages as grayscale images while HeritageQuest did black and white images of the microfilm. The collection at Fold3 does not have digital images of the Selected/Nonselected header cards that appear on the film. (We think this is because those header cards are not in the actual files at the archives.) 

So if you can't read something on a page in one collection, look at it in the collection of the other site. One helpful thing Fold3 does, that HeritageQuest does not do, is provide a total count of pages in each pension/bounty-land file. Just remember the total page count of each file at HeritageQuest is two more than the total page count at Fold3 because of those two header cards.

What we said about the search index for the HeritageQuest collection is true. It is still just an index of the soldiers/pensioners (widows too if they got one) who have a file. In contrast, the index at Fold3 is an every name index which allows you to find people mentioned in the files of others. 

See you soon at Mt. Clemens Public Library!

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