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  • A Time To Be Thankful

    As Thanksgiving approaches, we are all counting our blessings, especially in the field of genealogy. Technological advances have made genealogy work faster and easier than it has ever been before. It's great to be a twenty-first century genealogist. In honor of the season, here are a few things to be grateful for:

    • Digitization of records. From Ancestry to GoogleBooks, more and more genealogical sources are being scanned and even indexed to be viewed online.

    • Digital photography. You can take a photo of a gravestone and post it on your blog or e-mail the .jpg to your cousins and they'll receive it in only a few seconds. High-resolution cameras mean that you can also photograph documents and share high-quality copies with family members. If you want to, you can even stand right at your microfilm reader and take a photo of an image instead of carrying your microfilm over to the copy machine. 

    • Social networking. Even if Facebook isn't your thing, there are sites like, FamilyLink, and where you can have family discussion boards, swap photos, share genealogical information, and even keep track of birthdays. 

    • Free online tutorials. Who needs to take a genealogy class when there are so many great, professional resources out there to help you learn the tricks of the trade? From to, you can find all the instruction you need online.

    •  Online storage. Who hasn't experienced the agony of a computer crash or the panic of losing one's flash drive? OneGreatFamily stores all your genealogy information so you will never lose your family tree data.

    It's an exciting time to be doing genealogy. As technology marches forward, the work gets easier, more convenient, and more fun.

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  • Mayflower Ancestors

    There were one hundred and two passengers who arrived at Plymouth on the Mayflower in 1620. Many of those passengers were religious pilgrims from the Leiden congregation; some came for financial gain and to acquire land; and about twenty were sailors manning the ship. About half of those people died during the first winter at Plymouth Colony. Today, tens of millions of Americans claim these original pilgrims as their ancestors. Those who can document their claims are eligible for membership in groups like the Mayflower Society.

    The Mayflower Society, or the General Society of Mayflower Descendants, was founded in 1897 by pilgrim descendants. It is the oldest and the most prominent Mayflower genealogical group. Both religious and non-religious Mayflower immigrants are considered "pilgrims" by the society, and their descendants are eligible for membership. For membership requirements, go to:

    Since the pilgrims were a well-known immigrant group, many people today try to fraudulently claim Mayflower descendancy. Beware of websites and published books that don't have documented sources; you don't want to corrupt your family tree by accepting someone else's fake claims as fact. But if you want to find out whether or not your ancestor's Mayflower claims are true, there are reliable sources that you can search.

    One good resource is Plymouth Massachusetts History and Genealogy, which has published online a list of all Mayflower pilgrims at: You can click on each individual to view his or her spouse, children, birth information, death information, biography, and ancestry.

    Another good website is the Plymouth Colony Archive Project at This archive has fully searchable texts for the early years of Plymouth Colony, including journals, court records, probate inventories, and wills. On the archive project's site, you can search by the name of the ancestor you're looking for.

    Don't forget the New England Historic Genealogical Society at Founded in 1845, the society is the oldest and most respected group of its kind in the United States. And, not surprisingly, its collection for Mayflower passengers is almost unrivaled. All these resources can help you learn more about your connection to these brave early colonists.

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  • Share More Than A Turkey Dinner With Your Family

    For most of us, the word "family" brings to mind holidays, reunions, summer vacations and visits to Grandma and Grandpa. But for many of us, that word - family - takes us no further. Few of us have memories of great-grandparents and we may not even recognize the names of ancestors before that. That our experience with our families is limited to only those we've met and known in person is unfortunate - and unnecessary.

    Our families, even those members who lived generations before us, are the stuff we are made of. They are our roots, our beginnings and they influence our lives in ways we may not even understand.

    This year your family celebration could mean so much more by working together on a gift for future generations: your family tree.

    We would like to help you give your loved ones the precious gift of learning more about themselves by finding out more about their family history. Over Thanksgiving dinner invite your friends and family to join you at OneGreatFamily. 

    At OneGreatFamily we have strong feelings about the joy and family unity that can come from working together on your family tree. Invite your family and friends to join you as well at OneGreatFamily to get excited about their genealogy.

    Members of OneGreatFamily already know the benefits of collaborating with other genealogists from all over the globe in locating their ancestors and merging their own family tree with the world's first true global family tree - found at 

    Now you can share your experience with all your family members. Tell your family to visit OneGreatFamily and see what we can do for their family tree. 

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