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 OneGreatFamily Update - October 15, 2004

In This Issue:

Family History Month: Clean Up Your Family Tree
  Have more success and help others by cleaning up your family tree.
Technical Support: How to Clean Up Hints and Merge Data
  What are "Hints" and how do they help me merge data?
Q&A: When Should I Accept a Hint or Conflict?
  Examples of when you should or should not merge data
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Last Week at OneGreatFamily

Site Activity Summary

  • 195,291 new individual merges!
  • 56,652 new individual hints!
  • 66,046 new family merges!
  • 20,610 new family hints!
  • 122 average individual merges per group
  • 35 average individual hints per group
  • 40 average family merges per group
  • 5 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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    OneGreatFamily wants to hear from you. Please send us your success stories and your recommendations for new features.

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  •  Family History Month: Clean Up Your Family Tree!

    Have more success and help others by cleaning up your family tree.

    In honor of Family History Month, we are asking everyone to clean up their family tree. Not only will this help your success at OneGreatFamily but it will help others find success as well.

    How do you clean up your family tree?

    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.

    Your efforts to improve the quality of data at OneGreatFamily will have an impact on others. OneGreatFamily is a collaborative family tree and works best when its hundred of thousands of users 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 OneGreatFamily experience, but OneGreatFamily needs your help to "make OneGreatFamily beautiful."

    Subscribe to OneGreatFamily in October in honor of Family History Month
    Login to OneGreatFamily to clean up your family tree in celebration of Family History Month.
     Technical Support: How Clean Up Hints and Merge Data

    What are "Hints" and how do they help me grow my family tree?

    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 family information 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 “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 in the dialog 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 in the same: Now you need to decide if these two people are one in 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. We’ll talk more about Conflicts in another Newsletter.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.

    Subscribe to OneGreatFamily and check your Hints today!
    Visit OneGreatFamily to view Hints in your Family Tree.
     Q&A: When Should I Accept a Hint or Conflict?

    Examples of when you should or should not merge data

    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.

    Subscribe to OneGreatFamily to find all your ancestors.
    Visit OneGreatFamily and expand your family tree today!
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