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  • How To Evaluate Conflicts At OneGreatFamily

    Information To Read Before You Evaluate Conflicts in Your OneGreatFamily Tree

    "I have three different birth dates for my grandfather. He told me when he was born; I have a delayed birth certificate; and a baptismal record for him. Each has a different birth year-now what?"

    Conflicting sources are a continual problem when doing genealogical research. How do you know which one is accurate? Sometimes an error is so blatant that you can immediately determine which is the more accurate document. But often it is not that cut and dried. When we do find conflicting information, we should evaluate the sources by using a scientific approach.

    Each document should be evaluated on the following criteria:

    1. Is the document an original or a copy?

    An original is the first copy of any document. A photocopy of the original is usually considered an original. Each time a document is hand copied the chance of error is greater. Be especially aware of compiled indexes. Historically these were hand-created, and often error prone.

    2. Is the information primary evidence or secondary evidence?

    Primary evidence is the testimony (oral or written) given by an eyewitness or recorded by mechanical device present at the event. Secondary evidence is information that is either not the result of personal observation or is collected significantly after the fact. A vital record, such as a birth certificate, would usually be considered a primary source. The parent giving you information about their children would usually be a primary source. There are always exceptions that you need to consider. Is the parent elderly and is his/her memory questionable? In this case they might need to be considered a secondary source. Other examples of secondary sources are tombstones and census records.

    3. Does the document contain direct or circumstantial evidence of the information you are seeking?

    Direct evidence is information that directly answers a question. Circumstantial evidence gives a logical inference from which an answer might be derived. For example, if you are looking for the birth date of your ancestor, Ohso Elusive - and you find a church baptismal record that says he was born on January 12, 1876, the document directly answers your question. Ohso was born on Jan. 12, 1876. If, on the other hand, you find a death certificate that says Ohso Elusive died March 15, 1948 at the age of 72, you have a document that gives you direct evidence of his death date but circumstantial evidence of his birth date

    Naturally, the ideal document would be an original record from a primary source with direct evidence, but genealogists usually are not that lucky. After evaluating each of the conflicting documents using the scientific approach, the document that comes closest to the ideal is probably your most accurate. Of course we could still have erroneous information, so if and when you locate additional records, you should always compare it to your current information and evaluate the information once more.

    Using a scientific approach to our research gives us the greatest chance of accuracy, which should be the goal of every genealogist.

    OneGreatFamily makes it easy to find differences between your information and that entered by others. The system marks differences in information as conflicts. You can turn on or off the identification of conflicts in the Genealogy Browser by toggling the appropriate button in the tool bar: The first () shows conflicts in information, like perhaps a difference in a birth place or a death date. The second () shows conflicts in relationships, like perhaps not showing a 2nd wife or listing an additional child. When trying to decide between the alternatives, you can now apply these principles of documentation quality in deciding which you believe to be correct.

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  • Is Your OneGreatFamily Tree Growing?

    Two Ways To Increase Your Success At OneGreatFamily

    OneGreatFamily is a remarkable service that continues to help people identify tens of thousands of previously unknown ancestors each week. Nearly 205,000 individuals in the OneGreatFamily database were merged together within the last week, and nearly 140,000 were identified as potential merges (or hints). What does this mean?

    This means OneGreatFamily is growing and the information included at OneGreatFamily is becoming more accurate. This activity also means that people whose genealogies are included as part of OneGreatFamily are seeing their family trees continue to grow.

    How can you make sure you are one of the people who benefits from this amazing growth and collaboration? We'd like to suggest two ways:

    1. Submit your entire known family tree!

    The more information you provide to OneGreatFamily, the greater the chance of tying into other ancestral lines. OneGreatFamily allows people to enter information directly into Genealogy BrowserT, enter information through Family Dashboard, or to submit a GEDCOM file to start or expand their family tree. With each additional generation you enter of your own family tree, you are increasing your ability to know if another member of OneGreatFamily is already working on your family tree. Identifying ONE common ancestor can result in finding a whole new ancestral line.

    Many people have been able find new matching data and meet distant relatives after entering only a few generations of their family trees . . . or even just a few ancestors; however, others with "less common" ancestors may need to supply OneGreatFamily with more information to get started. You are guaranteed further success over time as OneGreatFamily continues to enjoy phenomenal growth.

    2. See your family tree to the end of each line

    Genealogy BrowserT only shows the first seven generations of your family tree as its default setting; however, you may actually have more than seven generations of data available at OneGreatFamily.

    You can identify whether or not you are seeing your entire family tree by recognizing "end of line" individuals. An "end of line" individual is someone in the OneGreatFamily family tree with no known ancestors. You can find them quickly because they are in red boxes as shown in the example below.

    If you see a line in your family tree that doesn't end with an individual in a red box, you are not seeing your entire family tree. The following instructions will help you change the preference for how many generations can be viewed in Genealogy Browser. You can then expand the Starfield View (pedigree) to see your entire family tree at OneGreatFamily.

    Number of Generations Display on the Toolbar

    You will notice this drop down menu in the toolbar section at the top of Genealogy Browser. This convenient menu lets you quickly and easily set the number of generations to be displayed in the Starfield area.

    Many users have never changed this setting and so have never actually seen their entire family tree on OneGreatFamily. If you have never changed this setting, we strongly encourage you to play around with it. You can select a value off the drop down menu or just enter a value into the box. If you are on a high-speed internet connection, we would suggest you try starting with at least 50 generations. Dial-up users might want to start with 20 generations.

    Remember, the higher the number, the longer it may take to load your pedigree. Still, you could be surprised to see how far back your family tree goes, and it will be worth the wait!

    Family DashboardT End of Line Widget

    Another way to view your "End of Line" ancestors is on Family Dashboard with the "End of Line" widget:

    This widget shows you a list of 3 random people from your family tree that have neither parent listed in OneGreatFamily. These people can be excellent choices for focusing further research into your family tree.

    If you click on the "more" button on the widget, a window will pop up with the Details Page that lists all ancestors in your family tree that are the end of their line in OneGreatFamily. This Details Page allows you to sort by Surname, First Name, Birth Date, Birth Place, Death Date, or Death Place. You can click a button to view an ancestor in Genealogy Browser, see how they are related to you with use of the relationship calculator, or view the migration calculator.

    By looking at your end of line ancestors, you can see where to begin to work on extending the reach of your genealogy.

    You can view any and all information you have contributed to OneGreatFamily without subscribing; however, the ability to view details on individuals who have been added to your tree through the OneGreatFamily service is reserved for subscribers only.

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  • Genealogy Browser Takes Forever To Load

    Some people have noticed that it takes a long time for their family tree to load. Usually it is because Genealogy Browser is trying to retrieve a large number of generations. To make your tree come up faster we suggest changing how many generations you have selected to view in the Starfield.

    Above the Starfield view towards the left you will see a number that has a drop down arrow next to it. It is located to the left of the yellow question mark. Click on the down arrow and select fewer generations.

    If you would like to see more generations but do not want to wait for it to load, we recommend that you choose an individual further back in the line you wish to view as an anchor.

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  • How to Include More Than One Spouse for an Individual

    Do you have people in your family who have been married more than once? If so, you will want to make sure that you record all of their marriages, especially if they have children from each marriage. You will want to do this to make sure the children are recorded under the correct marriage. To add an additional spouse you will first want to go to Genealogy BrowserT. Here is how to get there:

    Go to and login with your username and password. Next, select the Family Dashboard tab. On the Family Dashboard page you will see a picture of a family. Adjacent to them are 2 gray boxes, the second one says Advanced Tree Editor. Click on Advanced Tree Editor. This will launch Genealogy Browser.

    Once Genealogy Browser has launched, make sure the person you want to add an additional spouse for is in the individual box. You will see the first spouse in the spouse box. Click the down arrow next to the spouse and click on "select here to add a spouse."

    You will then be able to add the spouse and the marriage information. When the correct parents are in the selected individual and spouse boxes, you may then add their children.

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  • How To Delete An Anchor

    Anchors are a great way to easily organize and navigate through your family tree. Anchors allow you to quickly get to an ancestor that you frequently work on in Genealogy Browser. If for some reason you would no longer like to have someone as an anchor, follow these simple steps to make that change:

    In the top left corner of your genealogy browser, click on the button that says: "Anchors." It is located in-between the "View" and "Help" button. Then click on "Organize Anchors," and a new box will appear. Towards the bottom will be a list of all your anchors. Highlight the person you wish to delete as an anchor, and then press the "Delete" button right next to it. You will then be notified that this will delete the individual as an anchor, click "Ok." Then click on the "Ok" button at the bottom of the box, and you have now deleted an anchor.

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