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  • How To "Clean Up" Hints And Merge Data

    Hints are possible matches between your family tree and the family tree submitted by another OneGreatFamily user. By resolving Hints, you have the potential to add new generations to your genealogy

    Overview - Here's how it works: OneGreatFamily is constantly performing searches within the OneGreatFamily tree looking to match the ancestors you have entered with the ancestors entered by others. When a potential match is found, a Hint icon () will appear next to or on the name of the individual in your pedigree (Starfield). One of your key efforts within OneGreatFamily is resolving these Hints.

    First step - Make sure Hints are turned on: To use this valuable tool, start by selecting the "View Hints" icon () on your Genealogy Browser Toolbar. This will display a Gen-bulb () icon on every individual in your pedigree (Starfield) that has a possible match.

    Second step-Open the Edit Individual window: Select an individual with the Gen-bulb
    () icon in your pedigree (Starfield). That will load their information into the handprint on the left side of the screen and a Gen-bulb should now be showing next to his or her name in the box labeled "Selected Individual" in the upper left hand corner. Click on this individual's box once to bring up the "Details For:" dialog. Next, click the Hints () button on the right hand side of the box to view the possible match. You are presented with another window similar to the "Details For:" screen, showing the data from the possible match alongside the data for your individual.

    Third step - Deciding if these two people are one and the same: Now you need to decide if these two people are one and the same. Before you decide, be sure to check each of the tabs across the top of the window. You may need to check other records or talk with other family members. Once you have decided, you can proceed.

    Fourth Step - To Merge or not to Merge, that is the question:
    Understand that merging a person with your person doesn't destroy your data or overwrite it. The differences in data will be preserved and will be shown as Conflicts. Information about Conflicts can be found in the newsletter archive section or in the help section of the OneGreatFamily Genealogy Browser. At this point, you have four choices:

    1) Merge the two people by clicking on the button labeled "<< Merge".

    2) Decide not to merge the two people by clicking on the button labeled "Clear".

    3) Postpone making a decision by clicking the button labeled "Close".

    4) Choose to collaborate with the other OneGreatFamily user by clicking the "Collaborate" button. We'll talk more about collaboration in a future newsletter.

    The Power is in your hands: One of the great strengths of OneGreatFamily lies in its ability to allow multiple people to agree that their ancestor is the same person without agreeing to all the details of his or her vital records. Hints are the means to identifying those opportunities and resolving them.

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  • OneGreatFamily Video Tutorials On The 'Get Started' Page

    If you are new to OneGreatFamily or if you want to increase your knowledge of the many unique features of OneGreatFamily, you can visit the "Get Started" tab when you login. 

    At the bottom of the page you will see a section with over 30 video tutorials that explain how OneGreatFamily works! Here is a capture of the page and you can see the enormous video section at the bottom of the page:

    Some videos explain how OneGreatFamily is unique. Other videos are tutorials that walk you through how to use a feature in Genealogy Browser.

    OneGreatFamily is a very unique and revolutionary genealogy service. No other website today does for you what OneGreatFamily does. Some members and guests of OneGreatFamily sometimes have a hard time understanding all that OneGreatFamily has to offer. This is the reason why we created a series of videos that quickly highlight and explain how to use OneGreatFamily.

    We encourage you to use these videos so you can better understand all that OneGreatFamily has to offer to you.

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  • Genealogy Clues You Can Find On An Ancestor's Headstone

    Researching your family history can take on a variety of different appearances. Many professional genealogists consider themselves more like detectives than researchers, where the clues can come from a variety of different locations. Today, we'd like to look at a rather unusual location for finding valuable genealogical information about an ancestor, their headstone.

    You see, headstones and grave markers often list much more than just a name, birth date, and death date. Some headstones list the names of family members. Some quote favorite verses of the Bible. Some list the place an ancestor was born or the church she belonged to. Visiting an ancestor's grave is like searching for buried treasure (but please, no actual digging), you never know what new information you'll find listed on a tombstone.

    It's not difficult to find out which cemetery someone was buried in. If you know where your ancestor was living near the time of his death, you will most likely find him in that town's cemetery. If your ancestor was not buried in the town that he died in, he was probably moved to be buried near his spouse or another family member who preceded him in death. Many cemeteries have been indexed by volunteers, and the indexes are searchable online. Every cemetery also keeps their "sexton's records" that list who is buried in a cemetery and the specific plot in which they are buried. These records, along with a map of the cemetery, are available at the cemetery office (if it is a large cemetery) or in the local county office (if it is a small cemetery).

    Sexton's records are lists of who is buried where; they are not extractions of everything that is engraved on a tombstone. To read what is written on an ancestors' tombstone, you'll have to go to the actual grave. Just remember that just because a headstone engraving is "written in stone" doesn't mean that it's infallible. Headstones, like any other record, can contain errors, so compare the headstone with the information that you already have and evaluate it carefully.

    It's also a good idea to pay attention to the graves around your ancestor's, since families were and still are often buried together. You may find new information about other ancestors, and you may even find new family members that you never knew about. If a child died at a young age at a time when birth records were not made, she may not show up in any records except her tombstone.

    When you go to the cemetery, wear clothes that can get dirty so that you can kneel on the ground and get a close look at the tombstones. Sometimes grass grows over flat headstones or headstones that have fallen down, so bring a small trowel to remove the grass and dirt. Bring gloves to wear in case the grave site is overgrown with weeds.

    Always make a record of any headstone that you find so that you'll have it for future reference. The best way to do this is to take a digital photo. Hint: when taking a digital photo, a mirror can come in handy to reflect sunlight onto the stone and to create shadows to make the words more visible. But never use shaving cream or chalk on a tombstone to make the lettering easier to see as this can cause irreparable damage the tombstone. If you choose to make a rubbing, be very careful not to scratch or wear away the stone. Don't take a rubbing of a sandstone monument or a headstone that looks worn or weathered; it is important to preserve headstones for others who will come to see them in the future. Once you have a photo or a rubbing of a headstone, record the new information that you found, and make copies for interested family members. With any luck, you may get a new companion for your next cemetery excursion!

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