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 OneGreatFamily Update - November 21, 2003

In This Issue:
Getting Through your Genealogy Brick Walls


New at OneGreatFamily:
  Give a Gift Subscription to OneGreatFamily this Year!
Q&A: Getting Through your Genealogy Brick Walls
  In what ways does OneGreatFamily help me get through my genealogy brick walls?
Technical Support: Merging Individuals and Resloving Conflicts
  How can OneGreatFamily help me merge individuals and resolve conflicts?
One Great Genealogy Site Award
  Ancestors Professional Genealogists
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Last Week at OneGreatFamily . . .

Site Activity Summary

  • 133,420 new individual merges!
  • 38,773 new individual hints!
  • 49,292 new family merges!
  • 11,340 new family hints!
  • 146 average individual merges per group
  • 26 average individual hints per group
  • 46 average family merges per group
  • 3 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

    Who has done, or is doing most of the genealogy work for your family?

    Grandparent
    Mother
    Father
    Sibling
    Child
    Yourself



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     Q&A: Getting Through your Genealogy Brick Walls

    In what ways does OneGreatFamily help me get through my genealogy brick walls?

    by Chelsea Beattie - Marketing Manager

    OneGreatFamily is a service that was created to help genealogists get through their "brick walls" and move forward with the help of others from around the world. With OneGreatFamily you are able to see others who are researching your family lines, perform live collaboration with others, match and merge information, and verify and expand your family tree.

    Do you ever wonder if others are also researching and working on your family tree? OneGreatFamily can help you answer this question and can let you know if others are available to collaborate on your family tree. Using Genealogy BrowserTM, you can select an ancestor on whom you would like to collaborate. You can then click on the "collaborate" button to find groups that have the same individual in their family tree. You can view the user's name and email address, so you can send them a message. Even if you do not want to communicate through email, you can still collaborate by adding names to your tree. By doing this you can provide hints and merges for others.

    You can feel comfortable letting OneGreatFamily match and merge people together in your family tree because OneGreatFamily uses all available information to determine if the two individuals are actual matches with certainty before they are merged together. Matching and merging takes place automatically in the OneGreatFamily database to remove duplication and allow for more collaboration.

    OneGreatFamily differs from other genealogy services by allowing each individual to collaborate with others while maintaining their own, personalized view of their family tree. When a conflict arises between the information you have submitted and that supplied by another person, you can choose to accept or reject the conflicting information. Working with others will help you verify and expand your family tree.

    OneGreatFamily is always looking for ways to help you break through your genealogy "brick walls." Feel free to send us any suggestions on how we can help you move forward with your genealogy work.

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     Technical Support: Merging Individuals and Resolving Conflicts

    How can OneGreatFamily help me merge individuals and resolve conflicts?

    by Ryan Long-Technical Support

    OneGreatFamily is the first truly collaborative genealogy service that allows everyone in the world to work on a common family tree. Overcoming the challenges of letting people work on the same family tree hasn't been easy. First, we had to ensure that people would always be able to retain "their own" view of their family tree. This means that OneGreatFamily respects the opinions and information provided by each person using OneGreatFamily and preserves each unique perspective. Where conflicts or disputed evidence occurs in OneGreatFamily, each person maintains his or her right to see the information believed to be "right" or "most accurate."

    Where other software applications require an immediate choice to be made when merging two individuals together as to which version of information to keep, OneGreatFamily allows users to merge individuals and still preserve all of the information from both trees that have been merged.

    The rule for merging two people together in OneGreatFamily is quite simple (but can actually require collaboration or additional research): "Feel comfortable merging together any two individuals in OneGreatFamily who you are confident are actually the same person." The question then becomes, "How confident?"

    OneGreatFamily can help with your confidence level. When you click on a hint lightbulb, you will see a tab at the top that shows OneGreatFamily's confidence level that the two records are duplicates. Hints only occur if there is a high probability of duplication. You can look at parents, spouses, children, siblings, and event information to become more confident in your decision to either merge the records or to reject the hint.

    Here are two good examples:

    Example 1: Two individuals in OneGreatFamily have the same name, parents and birth information. They also have identical spouses by name. On closer examination, however, you see that the version in your tree includes three children and the other version includes only one child. The child included in the other version is also included in your list of children.

    This is a case where you can safely merge the two individuals. OneGreatFamily did not automatically merge them because they had different information for the children; however, the chance that they are actually two different people is remote.

    Merging these two people will create a conflict, but that's OK. You will continue to see three children from your perspective, and the person who submitted the other version of the family tree will now "inherit" two additional children. Merging the two lines together may provide both of you additional names and information for your known family trees.

    That's part of the power of OneGreatFamily. You can collaborate with the person who submitted the other version of the family tree. In this case, there is a good chance the other researcher has only focused on a direct line and has chosen not to research other siblings. Merging the common ancestor can provide one or both of you with exciting new leads and information to verify and "make your own."

    Example 2: Two men in OneGreatFamily have the same parents and birth information, but their wives and children don't look the same. Upon closer inspection, the two men have one wife in common, but one of the men has a second wife listed. You look further and recognize most of the children also have the same information. The common wife also has the same birth information and names for parents.

    In this case, you can also safely merge the two men and the wife who is listed as the spouse in both cases; however, be careful NOT to merge the second wife who was listed for one of the men with the first. Merging the two duplicate men does not mean you agree that he had two wives or that you necessarily agree with the information included in the other family tree. It simply means there is enough information available to identify both individuals as the same person.

    Merging these people will also create conflicts. You will have conflicts on the children as well as on the spouses. You will want to merge both instances of the common wife, since you have verified that the information has been duplicated and merge together any duplicate children. Take care NOT to merge the two wives together, since they are not the same person and come from different families.

    You can feel comfortable merging people together who are obviously the same, even if all of the detailed information doesn't match perfectly. Use your common sense to only merge together people who are in fact duplicates of each other. Looking at available notes and sources can be another tool to identify when two people are duplicates.

    You will always be prompted to resolve conflicts that occur as a result of merging people together. Don't feel that you need to accept the information that has been supplied by others as your own. You will want to refer to notes and sources to inform any decisions you make. You can also contact the other researcher to learn more about the information they have supplied. Differences in opinion or evidence are natural in genealogy. Resolving all conflicts, although it may sound like a noble goal, is not necessary to succeed with OneGreatFamily.

    OneGreatFamily will continue to automatically provide hints and merges; however, your participation and the participation of others is vital in the effort to create a "common family tree" for all of humanity.


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     One Great Genealogy Site Award

    Ancestors Professional Genealogists

    Ancestors Professional Genealogists is a site that is based out of the UK and has been working since 1992 helping over 3000 people trace their family history. They help reduce the amount of time and money needed for researching your genealogy.

    Visit www.ancestors.co.uk today
    See past award recipients
    Recommend the next One Great Genealogy Site award recipient


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