OneGreatFamily Blog

  • Online Tutorial Videos Explain How OneGreatFamily Works

    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 why we created a series of videos that quickly highlight and explain how to use OneGreatFamily. These videos are ALWAYS available for you to view. You can find them by visiting the "More" tab at the top (see the image below).

    The videos and tutorials available to you are:

    • A Single, Shared Family Tree
    • Input or Import Your Family Tree
    • Our System Searches for Connections
    • Explore and Discover Family Heritage
    • Genealogy Browser Overview
    • Using the Handprint View

    View these videos and tutorials by visiting the More About OneGreatFamily Page:

    We know that these 6 videos will be helpful in learning how to use OneGreatFamily and you will see the benefit being a member of OneGreatFamily will have on your family tree.

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  • OneGreatFamily will be at RootsTech 2013!

    Are you ready for North America's largest Family History & Technology Conference? Here at we're excited to be participating in the 3rd annual RootsTech conference with an exhibit booth in the main exhibit hall. If you are making your way to Salt Lake City this week, please come by the booth (#613) in the Exhibit Hall. If you're in town, please stop by to chat. We'd love to hear from you.

    To celebrate the conference, we're excited to announce a contest for all attendees regardless of whether you have a subscription or not. The grand prize is a complimentary Jump Start Package, which includes up to 4 full hours of Genealogical Research on the line of your choice along with a full year subscription (a $299 value)! The full details of our promotion can be found at

    We look forward to seeing you there!

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  • Famous Ancestor: James Madison

    February 24th marked exactly 210 years since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on the landmark case Marbury v. Madison. Madison had been serving as Secretary of State under Thomas Jefferson. During his lifetime, Madison also served as a representative in the First U.S. Congress, served as president for two terms, and was instrumental in drafting and ratifying the Constitution, including the Bill of Rights.

    In his political theory, James Madison emphasized the importance of having checks and balances, and his three-branch system became the foundation of the Constitution. Once it was drafted, he teamed up with John Jay and Alexander Hamilton to write the Federalist Papers, published in 1787 and 1788 to rally public support for the new government system.

    Initially Madison was not in support of a bill of rights; he did not feel that it was necessary to include in the Constitution. But when it became clear that many states would not ratify the document without a bill of rights, Madison changed his mind. He proposed twelve amendments to the Constitution, ten of which were approved and became the Bill of Rights. He is sometimes called the "Father of the Constitution" for his role in drafting and ratifying it. He served as U.S. president for two terms, from 1809 to 1817.

    You can also see whether or not you are related to James Madison by going to the Relationship Calculator on the Family Dashboard Page when you login to OneGreatFamily.

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  • Happy Saint Patrick's Day from OneGreatFamily

    Saint Patrick's Day, now celebrated in Ireland, the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia, and New Zealand, is an unusual blend of Christian and pagan customs, and a celebration of the venerated Catholic saint and missionary, Patrick.

    Patrick was born in Wales in 385. When he was sixteen, he was taken from his home and sold into servitude in Ireland, where he spent six years working as a shepherd. During this time, he became a devout Christian. Upon escaping from slavery, he went to Gaul, where he studied Christian doctrine for fifteen years and was eventually ordained to the Catholic priesthood. He subsequently returned to Ireland as a missionary.

    Contrary to popular belief, Patrick did not introduce Christianity to Ireland. There were already Christians living in Ireland, but they were a very small minority, with most of the indigenous Irish population following Celtic-pagan beliefs. Having already lived among the common Irish people for six years, Patrick was ideally suited to bring Christianity to Ireland on a large scale.

    In his missionary efforts, Patrick used his knowledge of Irish culture and pagan belief to explain Christianity in terms that the people would understand. The shamrock, for instance, was already an important symbol to the people, signifying spring and rebirth. Patrick employed the shamrock to represent the Trinity: three separate pieces all part of a whole. Patrick's newly-won converts adopted the shamrock as the symbol of their Christianity and wore it on their clothes; later this transformed into the custom of wearing green to celebrate Saint Patrick's Day.

    Another prevalent Celtic symbol was fire. The Celts used bonfires to honor their gods, so Patrick adopted this custom into the Catholic celebration of Easter, and early Irish Christians celebrated the holy day with fires and revelry. Because the Irish pagans also worshiped the sun, he superimposed an orb over the cross to create a new icon of the Irish Catholic faith. This emblem is now recognized as the Celtic cross.

    One common myth about Patrick is that he drove all the snakes out of Ireland. Actually, there were never very many snakes in Ireland to begin with. This legend comes from an incident that is purely symbolic: Patrick stood on a hilltop (which now bears his name), held up his wooden staff, and "banished the snakes" from Ireland. The "banishing of the snakes" represented the eradication of pagan doctrines from Ireland. Within two centuries, Patrick's vision had been realized, and Christianity had triumphed.

    Patrick died near present-day Dublin on 17 March 461. He was canonized by the Church, and the day commemorating his death is now a holy day of religious observation for Catholics in Ireland. Today Saint Patrick's day has become a secular holiday as well, and a celebration of all things Irish. Superstitions of leprechauns stem from Celtic beliefs in fairies, small magical people given over to mischief and trickery. Another Irish idiosyncrasy that has become well-known is that of the Blarney Stone. The ritual of kissing the stone, hoping to tap into its magical qualities and receive the gift of eloquent speech, has been performed by millions of people. This kind of pagan practice is hardly new; special stones and landmarks existed all over the ancient world, everywhere from the fertility rock at Giza to the oracle at Delphi to the spring of youth and vitality in Tuscany. It was through this kind of hybridism that Christian missionary efforts among the Celtic people were so successful, and through the Christianization of Ireland that Saint Patrick's legacy lives on.

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  • Family Information Box: Merge Identical Children

    When several people upload information on the same family line, sometimes, duplicates are created that can't be automatically merged. This is usually due to there being different information submitted. To merge duplicates you will need to launch Genealogy BrowserT. In order to merge duplicate children for a family you will need to open the family information box in Genealogy Browser. You'll do this by clicking on the tab labeled "<<Family Info>>" directly under the selected individual in the HandprintT (on the left hand side of the screen).

    When you do a window will open with the family you have chosen.

    By clicking on the names you want to merge you will be able to select them. The selected names are highlighted in blue. You will then click the merge button on the right.

    When you click merge, two new windows will appear. Each will contain information on the individual you have selected to merge. After carefully comparing the information and verifying they are the same individual, click the "Merge" button in the right hand box.

    After clicking "Merge" a new window will appear and ask you to verify that you want to complete the merge. To complete the merge click "yes." This will combine the names, as well as the information you have selected, into one record. The merged individual's OGFN will become the OGFN of the individual into which it is merged (the one on the left). The information in the OneGreatFamily database will then updated. Relationships may have changed that may affect this Starfield; you will be asked if you would like to refresh the Starfield. When you click "ok" the new changes will take effect.

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