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 OneGreatFamily Update - June 13, 2003

In This Issue:
The Beauty of OneGreatFamily

New at OneGreatFamily: Upgrade
  OneGreatFamily Improves Performance
Tip: Fixing Errors - The Beauty of OneGreatFamily
  How go about fixing errors I find in OneGreatFamily?
Technical Support: More on Merging
  To merge or not to merge? . . . That is the question!
Success: Making OneGreatFamily Beautiful
  More on the beauty of OneGreatFamily
One Great Genealogy Site Award
  Our Family Tree (
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Last Week at OneGreatFamily . . .

Site Activity Summary

  • 101,176 new individual merges!
  • 32,255 new individual hints!
  • 36,067 new family merges!
  • 8,672 new family hints!
  • 159 average individual merges per group
  • 46 average individual hints per group
  • 37 average family merges per group
  • 4 average family hints per group

    If you didn't receive a GenMail telling you about new merges in your family tree, your tree wasn't affected by this activity. You may want to add new individuals or information to your family tree to improve the likelihood of matches and merges taking place.
    OneGreatFamily wants to hear from you. Please send us your success stories and your recommendations for new features.

    Submit your story
    Send us your wish list

    If you had a website, what would be its main purpose?

    To tell people about myself
    To communicate with family and friends
    To publish my family history
    To share my hobbies and interests with others
    To sell products or services
    None of the above

  •  New at OneGreatFamily: Upgrade

    OneGreatFamily Improves Performance

    This year continues as a hallmark year for OneGreatFamily. We have moved our site to a new hosting facility and have provided another upgrade to our system to provide you with even better performance.

    Some of our customers noticed that the OneGreatFamily site was temporarily unavailable Wednesday and Thursday mornings (actually what most consider the wee hours of the night) to make these upgrades to our system. The upgrades were scheduled and went as planned.

    As always, we considered our customers when making these upgrades and were more than happy to "work all night" to ensure the site was up and available during the busier hours of the day.

    This was the first time in nearly two years that we had to temporarily suspend services to perform a systems upgrade. We will continue to ensure our growth and improvements provide few interruptions to you, our loyal customers.

    Subscribe to OneGreatFamily to support our continued growth
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     Tip: Fixing Errors - The Beauty of OneGreatFamily

    How go about fixing errors I find in OneGreatFamily?

    Response provided by Jim Ericson, VP Marketing

    OneGreatFamily often receives requests from site visitors to fix the errors they find within the OneGreatFamily database. While we love accommodating such requests, we feel that many people don't fully understand "the beauty of OneGreatFamily."

    Please let me take a moment of your time to provide this "beauty" some expression. OneGreatFamily is a single, shared family tree and database, which means that everyone has access to the same informaiton. It also means that everyone in the world is collaborating on the same family tree.

    The collaborative nature of OneGreatFamily has two major implications when it comes to fixing errors:
    1. When you fix an error in one place within OneGreatFamily, everyone else benefits from your effort
    2. Fixing errors in OneGreatFamily doesn't affect how other people view their family tree
    With these two facts in mind, you can more fully understand the beauty of OneGreatFamily. You can also gain comfort and confidence as you find and correct errors that have been perpetuated within OneGreatFamily. Your corrections will then be available to everyone else within OneGreatFamily. You can also let others know more specifically about the corrections you make by using the collaboration feature within OneGreatFamily.

    Someone recently found an error in OneGreatFamily that showed an ancestor who lived in the 1500s had been given a father who lived in the 1700s. Of course, this was an error. They submitted the error to us to correct, not understanding perhaps that they could have easily made the correction themselves.

    They could have simply deleted the incorrect information from their view of OneGreatFamily. In this case, that would mean deleting the father and mother of the individual in question. This would not affect the displayed information for the person who originally submitted the data. Rather, it would create a conflict for that person to now accept or reject. Upon seeing the correction, the conflict would likely be resolved quite quickly.

    Upon making the correction, the person who made the correction could also contact the other groups who were linked to the erroneous information to explain to them why the correction was made.

    By someone taking the time to fix an error in one place, everyone else who is interested in that piece of information can now see the correction. This demonstrates how the quality of the information found at OneGreatFamily improves with each passing day. This is part of the beauty of OneGreatFamily as a genealogy service.

    Visit to collaborate on the human family tree
    Subscribe to OneGreatFamily to gain full access to OneGreatFamily

     Technical Support: More on Merging

    To merge or not to merge? - That is the question!

    by Ryan Long - Technical Support

    Have you ever noticed all of those light bulbs in your Starfield? Do you know what they mean? A light bulb next to an individual signifies that OneGreatFamily has found another record very similar to this one. This is what we call a "hint." When you open the individual's record and click on the light bulb, you will see two records next to each other.

    How do you really know if these two records should be merged? The first things you should look at are the names. Even with all of the work going on in genealogy today, the exact spellings of many names are still disputed. Sometimes the same individual can be identified by multiple names or various name spellings; conversely, many times more than one person can have the same, even within the same location at a given time. Also, be sure to notice if they have a Jr., Sr., or some other title or suffix associated with the name. This is especially important when researching families where names are passed through the generations.

    Dates are also very important. You don't want to accidentally merge a father and son because they share the same name. If there are wide date discrepancies for a record, you don't want to add to the problem.

    Look at the birth, death, and other events to see where and when these events took place. You may be able to figure out if two records should be merged by identifying where each individual was born or died. Minor discrepencies here, especially when the individual's family migrated or where dates have been estimated, should not stop you from merging the records. Differences will still be maintained as conflicts.

    Family relations are one of the most important indicators as to whether two records correspond to the same individual. If the two records have the same parents, spouses, siblings, and children, it is likely that they are the same individual. With regard to siblings and children, you should be aware that many researchers are not interested in "collateral lines" and may not always include the siblings of their direct-line ancestors. A researcher may not have had time to include all of the siblings or children; however, if the two records are for the same individual, they should still be merged. Be sure to check into the families when in the process of merging records to avoid mistakes.

    Don't hesitate to ask the original submitter about the information. OneGreatFamily is designed to allow members to communicate and work together to build their family trees. Using the "Collaborate" feature saves you time and effort. Click the "Collaborate" button for a list of the owners of the conflicting record. Ask them what they can tell you about the individual.

    We hope these guidelines are useful as you consider whether or not to merge records in OneGreatFamily.

    Send your technical support question to our team
    Visit OneGreatFamily and expand your family tree today!

     Success: Making OneGreatFamily Beautiful

    More on the beauty of OneGreatFamily

    Do you want to have more success with OneGreatFamily and help others find success as well? Get started today by "Making OneGreatFamily beautiful."

    You can help "make OneGreatFamily beautiful" by cleaning up the hints and conflicts in your family tree. Each time you resolve a conflict or accept a valid hint, you are tying OneGreatFamily together. This means you are helping to reduce duplication within the family tree and providing more points for collaboration.

    Similar to ideals communicated by the popular slogans from the 1970s that encouraged us to "Pitch In" and to "Help Keep America Beautiful" (which was actually used by a company selling pantyhose), your efforts to improve the quality of data at OneGreatFamily have an impact on others.

    OneGreatFamily is a collaborative family tree and requires the efforts of its hundreds of thousands of members to coordinate efforts, add data, and resolve conflicts.

    When you help "clean" OneGreatFamily, you are helping the entire community by providing growth to family trees and additional data for verification. You can also resolve conflicts and make corrections with confidence, knowing that your efforts will only help the efforts of others.

    The power of collaboration is a big part of the "beauty of OneGreatFamily," but OneGreatFamily needs your help to "make OneGreatFamily beautiful."

    Submit your success story
    Join OneGreatFamily and resolve hints and conflicts in your entire family tree!

     One Great Genealogy Site Award:

    Our Family Tree

    Are you related to anyone by the surname of Mikesell, Wherry, Lilly, Frick or Goodrum? If so, this is the site for you . . . and not a moment too soon. Our Family Tree is a site dedicated researching the ancestors and bringing together the descendants of these families. Family reunions are also taking place on June 28 for these two extended clans. While it may be too late to get your family's information included in the program, it's never too late to get involved in the family history research and create relationships with the extended family . . . at the reunion or even online.

    Visit Our Family Tree today.
    See past award recipients
    Recommend the next One Great Genealogy Site award recipient

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