Come in, sit down and find your family roots

Come in, sit down and find your family roots

For $40 a year for individuals and $45 a year for families, clients can purchase a year’s worth of access to a number of databases to research their families in downtown Sumner at the Heritage Quest Research Library.

The library also offers a day-use fee of $15.

Tucked into a building located at 1007 Main St. are volumes of information and volunteers ready to help anyone searching for information about their ancestry.

While other companies charge for searches into ancestry by offering one database, Heritage clients have access to a number of databases and are welcome to visit the library as often as they choose.

Heritage Quest Research Library is a non-profit organization run 100 percent by volunteers. It’s open six days a week–Monday through Saturday 10 a.m to 4 pm, and Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

In July, it served 160 folks, with 91 percent coming from outside Sumner, according to Carolyn Pasquier, library collections manager.

Upon entering, clients are greeted by walls lined with books and periodicals and access to a local obituary database, microfiche, CDs, maps and online databases. The book collection is comprised of over 15,000 books on a multitude of topics.

New clients fill out a beginner’s packet and a chart and include information that they currently know. They are given instructions about jogging their memory to help get the process started. If they have DNA results, the volunteers help them analyze them.

“This is a roadmap for me,” said Pasquier.

With over 50 volunteers serving on a rotating schedule, help is at the client’s fingertips when they return with their information to continue their search.

Pasquier, who started with Heritage in 1994 when it was located in Orting, runs the show and works closely with the tightly knit volunteer base. She has a passion for genealogy.

“I’ve been at this for 25 years and I love this place. When you start doing genealogy, you become the family historian and the family comes to you with their stories,” she said.

Heritage Quest provides computers for clients’ use, or they can bring their own laptops or tablets and access information through the in-house WiFi connection. A classroom provides space for seminars on genealogy, how to do newspaper researches, maps and land records.

Folks delving into their family history are looking for their own personal identity, said Pasquier.

“Another reason is to get to know your ancestors, and most people do it to find something to leave their family. I found out my great-great grandfather was the first person to bring a watermelon seed to Idaho. I can’t prove it, but it is a family story,” she said.

Heritage Quest will hold its Autumn Quest 2019 at the Emerald Queen Conference Center in Fife on Oct. 12, with internationally known Dave Obee speaking about researching old newspapers.

More information from Heritage Quest at 253-863-1806 and

Joan Cronk, who wrote this article, is a freelance writer from Puyallup.