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 OneGreatFamily Update - July 22, 2004



Last Week at OneGreatFamily . . .

Site Activity Summary

·  68,327 new individual merges!

·  25,745 new individual hints!

·  23,991 new family merges!

·  6,956 new family hints!

·  73 average individual merges per group

·  23 average individual hints per group

·  21 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.

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 New at OneGreatFamily: A Change in Group Management and Logging in

Learn how to join, create, or invite others to your group

OneGreatFamily has just made it easier to get started! You no longer need to create a group before using the Genealogy Browser. Additionally, if you are a member of only one group, you can now launch the Genealogy Browser without selecting your group.

Even though you can now launch the Genealogy Browser without going through the process of creating a group, you can still invite others to view OneGreatFamily from your perspective. Every user of OneGreatFamily needs to be part of at least one group to be able to organize and control the data they input and manipulate. The process of creating a group is now done for you automatically, so you can invite others to view and work on your family tree at any time.

Your user account is unique to you, identifies you and allows you to login to OneGreatFamily. However, when viewing and editing data, you may want to share your view of the data with multiple people, such as family members or potential relatives (possibly to verify relationships). You may also want to allow them to make changes and updates to that data. Inviting others to the same group allows multiple users to see OneGreatFamily from the same perspective and work with the same view of data. The changes that group members make become instantly visible to all of the other members of the group.

OneGreatFamily still gives you the option to join another group, invite people to your group, or create a new group; however, we have made groups less prominent to reduce confusion and improve your experience with OneGreatFamily.

How do I invite others to see my family tree?
To invite others to your group, you must first login to OneGreatFamily. Once logged in, you will be taken to the Group Chooser screen. At the bottom you'll find a link to "Invite Others." This link will take you to the Invite Others - Group page. Once on the Invite Others - Group page, you will select the group to which you'd like to invite others. Make sure your name and email are correct, and then enter the names and emails of those you'd like to invite to join your group. We already have a pre-made invitation you can use, or you can personalize it. Remember that in order for someone to join your group they must also be a member of OneGreatFamily. If they are not a member, they can signup from the OneGreatFamily home page.

How do you join a group?
In order to join a group, you must first receive an invitation from someone belonging to the group. The invitation will include the group name and password. Once you have the group name and password, login to OneGreatFamily. From the Group Chooser page, simply click on the "Join Group" link under the Manage Groups menu. You can then type in the group name and password that were included in your invitation. Then click the "next" button to join the group.

If you join or are a member of multiple groups, you will be given the opportunity to launch the Genealogy Browser as a member of any of the groups you have joined each time you log in.

If you are the administrator of a group, you may change the password and/or remove members from the group. If you are not the administrator, you may only remove yourself from the group.

How do you create a group?
If you ever have a need to create a new group, that can still be done; however, creating a new group is only helpful if you have more than one version of your family tree that have not merged. Managing multiple groups containing the same individuals is not recommended. From the Group Chooser page, Simply click on the link to "Join Group" under the Manage Groups menu. You can then type in the name and password for the new group you wish to create and click the "next" button. You will then be prompted to confirm that you wish to create a new group by entering your password again. Try to provide a meaningful name for any new group you create, so others will know what the group is about when they receive an invitation to view your family tree.

You no longer need to physically create a group to use OneGreatFamily! Login and launch the genealogy browser today to see the progress made on your family tree!

Visit our Frequently Asked Questions for more information on groups
Go to our home page to start searching for your ancestors
Subscribe to OneGreatFamily to gain unlimited access to this remarkable service

 Q&A: Avoiding Genealogy Fraud

How can I identify and avoid fraud while doing genealogy online?

You should be aware of at least three forms of fraud while you research your family tree online. This article will help you avoid falling prey to phony websites, malicious scams, and fraudulent genealogical information.

Phony Websites

Greed has motivated some people to "capitalize" on the desire of genealogists who possess the drive and passion to find their ancestors. Just last year genealogy and technology expert Dick Eastman helped expose Elias Abodeely of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, as one such scam artist. Through a number of "genealogy websites," most notably GenSeekers, Abodeely allegedly bilked genealogists by getting them to subscribe to a site that simply linked to other websites. Read Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter to learn more about this case of fraud.

Beware of websites that charge fees to access links or pieces of information that are freely available elsewhere on the Internet. These sites often make people pay twice to access the record they are looking for. A fooled consumer may pay the fraudulent website and then pay separate subscription fees to the legitimate websites that provide the real value.

The best way to avoid such frauds is to make sure you know what you are paying for and can try the website before you are billed for the service. Another way to protect yourself is to ask fellow researchers if they have used the site and what their experience has been. You may also want to look for a means of contacting the site's owner or administrator. Fraudulent websites seldom provide any means of contact.

The rise of fraudulent websites is one reason OneGreatFamily allows new guests to take advantage of a 7-day free trial. Registered guests who have taken time to become familiar with OneGreatFamily understand what they are paying for when they decide to subscribe to the service.

Malicious Scams

While phony websites are one form of genealogy scam, some scams are even more malicious. Ebay and other online services have recently warned customers against submitting personal information, such as account logins, billing information, and social security numbers, though email forms. Some crooks can get people to provide all the information they need for financial gain through an official-looking email message.

Always make sure you are on a company's official website before making a transaction or providing login information. Never provide information, such as billing information or a social security number, without a clear understanding of why the information is required and how the information will be used. Also, take the time to read and understand the terms and conditions of any offer you receive.

Other malicious scams are designed to get access to your bank account. The perpetrator of such a scam will often say they have money they want to deposit into your account. The reason for the deposit may be an inheritance check or a transfer from a foreign account where the person claims to be in distress or a "political prisoner." They will ask for your bank account information to make their deposits; however, instead of depositing funds, they empty the account.

Fraudulent Genealogy Information

The first two forms of fraud are malicious and motivated by greed. The perpetuation of fraudulent genealogy information, on the other hand, is typically more benign. The root of this fraud, however, typically stems from the same greed.

Much of the false genealogical information that has been published is also the result of greed. Several incidents of this sort of fraud have been documented as being done by hired researchers who wanted to embellish the research they were providing. Other false information has been perpetuated by researchers who have tried to "prove" relationships with little supporting evidence. In many cases, when a well-meaning researcher is given a choice between two possible alternatives, the more convenient or glamorous alternative is chosen without first looking for more evidence.

Several of these genealogies were "created" by Gustave Anjou, who repeatedly ensured his clients had genealogies that included several high-profile ancestors.

Unfortunately, much of this "research" has found its way into the databases of sincere researchers who were happy to quickly claim these high-profile (albeit false) ancestors as their own.

This information has also made its way online. In most cases, this information has been shared and promulgated unknowingly. The only way to identify and correct the result of this fraud is by carefully examining and documenting each piece of evidence.

Even in cases where sources are given, you may need to consult with the original source to verify that information is correct.

OneGreatFamily can help. OneGreatFamily lets you see alternatives for information in your family tree and collaborate with people who can help identify false information that may have crept into your tree. You can also share your discoveries and documentation with others to correct false information they may have unwittingly accepted from another source.

Subscribe to OneGreatFamily, a trusted genealogy service
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 Success at OneGreatFamily

The following story shows how OneGreatFamily can provide new clues and possible ancestors for subscribers:

"I submitted my family tree nearly three years ago to OneGreatFamily. I had about 1,300 in my file at that point. I just logged into OneGreatFamily last week and saw that I now have 41,350 in my family tree. My family tree now has 224 generations, and I have received several collaboration requests from cousins.

I have learned how to see my entire family tree at once by changing my user preferences. Although it takes some time to pull up the entire family tree, it sure is fun to see everything as one big family tree. I haven't had much time to verify everything in OneGreatFamily, but I'm grateful for the overwhelming amount of information. Even if I'm only able to verify 10% of the information, you have saved me hundreds of hours of research.

OneGreatFamily has also helped me identify how I am related to several famous individuals. I don't think I would have been able to track these relationships if OneGreatFamily hadn't helped tie all of this information together.

I was so excited to see OneGreatFamily work that I've shared my experience with several people who are sure to become members as well."

Submit your success story
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