Godfrey’s Disappearing Trio

By Diane Haddad Premium

Middletown, Conn.-based Godfrey Memorial Library <>, known for its bargain-basement online access to a range of genealogical databases, is no longer offering its members HeritageQuest Online, ProQuest Historical Newspapers or Find USA.

HeritageQuest Online’s databases of census records, local and family histories, and other genealogical information are available only through subscribing libraries. In the past, Godfrey’s $35 access to that data was a major draw for members (called “Godfrey Scholars”), but an increasing number of genealogists have found they can search HeritageQuest Online free from their home computers by logging onto a public or state library Web site.

The Godfrey Library initially planned to let Godfrey Scholars who joined prior to Dec. 31, 2005, access HeritageQuest until their subscriptions ended. But at press time, library director Richard Black said ProQuest was writing up a new contract — possibly including a prohibitive price increase — for the balance of 2006.

In February, InfoUSA <>, provider of the FindUSA service genealogists used to locate living relatives, shut down that database altogether due to privacy concerns.

Potential Godfrey Scholars needn’t worry they’ve missed the boat on membership benefits, Black says. “We will be using the funds that have become available as a result of losing [HeritageQuest Online] to add new and exciting sites.” Two are American National Biography Online and the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography Online, which have a total of 68,000 biographies of people from around the world.

From the June 2006 issue of Family Tree Magazine.