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 OneGreatFamily Guest Update - December 31, 2004

In This Issue:

Happy New Year from OneGreatFamily

  Happy New Year from the employees at OneGreatFamily!
Q&A: What is the handprint concept and how does it benefit me?

  What is the handprint concept and how does it benefit me?
One Great Genealogy Site Award
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Last Week at OneGreatFamily

Site Activity Summary
  • 262,766 new individual merges!
  • 85,761 new individual hints!
  • 87,653 new family merges!
  • 46,130 new family hints!

    Activity Per Group
  • 142 average individual merges
  • 35 average individual hints
  • 40 average family merges
  • 8
  • average family hints

    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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  • Happy New Year from OneGreatFamily

    Happy New Year from the employees at OneGreatFamily!

    Now is the time to make your plans and set your goals for 2005. Remember to include learning more about your own family history as one of your New Year's resolutions. We at OneGreatFamily are optimistic that, in light of the growing body of information being made available on the Internet, 2005 will be the best year yet for uncovering more knowledge about your family tree.

    We are also making our plans and setting our goals for 2005. The survey results have been invaluable in helping us understand your perspective on what we do well and where we can improve. Again, thank you for taking the time to fill out the survey, especially during the busy holiday season. We are now developing enhancements to our service as well as some new product offerings to better meet your needs. 2005 will be a very exciting year for OneGreatFamily, and we believe you will be pleasantly surprised as we roll out new features.

    One last word...we hope that you will include in your plans for 2005 a generous contribution of aid to the hundreds of thousands of victims of the earthquake and tsunami in Southeast Asia. Much help is truly needed on the other side of the world right now and this is the time to let them know that we really are one great global family.

    Thank you, and Happy New Year!

    Q&A: What is the handprint concept and how does it benefit me?

    What is the handprint concept and how does it benefit me?

    Most run-of-the-mill genealogy websites are built around the principal called "search and sift"-first you search on the name of an ancestor, then you sift through the thousands or tens of thousands of results you get back. "Search and sift" is great if you just like busy work and it may even let you feel like you are in control, but it won't make you very productive.

    Consider one example. One popular genealogy website touts that it offers over 2,000,000,000 names. If you begin a search for an ancestor with a common name, like John Smith, you will get back roughly 6,727,860 pieces of data. Even if you could review 5 of those a second, that would still take you more than a MONTH just to scan through them.

    Experienced genealogists have learned that this is not a manageable way to work, so they have had to become more sophisticated in their searching. Perhaps on the first search they don't include a birth date, but if the results are too numerous they might include a birth year on the second search. If still too numerous, they might then use the month and day on the third search. The same game can also be played with death dates, middle initials, and so on. They search and search, until they whittle the list down to a manageable number of records to sift through.

    But what if your John Smith's birth date (or any other piece of information) was inaccurately recorded? The whittling down process might cut out the very record you are so desperately seeking on that ancestor.

    OneGreatFamily takes a very different approach to genealogy than the worn out "search and sift". Instead of searching primarily on names, dates and places to identify ancestors, OneGreatFamily focuses on family relationships to better identify an ancestor as a unique individual.

    To follow-through on our example, perhaps John Smith is married to Mary Williams, another name that by itself will produce millions of search results. Still, when you search for the husband and wife combination, the results narrow significantly. And if they had a son named John Smith, that family unit becomes significantly more unique. Add in a father to John Smith named Peter Smith and a mother named Susan Anderson (both also common names on their own) you have now narrowed the results to a manageable number.

    This principal is what we at OneGreatFamily call the "handprint." Just like a fingerprint, the handprint is a way to uniquely identify people.

    Imagine it this way: Hold your hand out flat. Let the palm of your hand represent you, then let your fingers represent your father, mother, siblings, children, and spouse. A handprint is often confused with a family group sheet, but it is different. A family group sheet represents a single nuclear family. The handprint reaches far beyond nuclear families, which is where the real power of relationships helps to uniquely identify individuals. Those relationships provide the best information or evidence to uniquely identify you among the billions of other people who have lived on the earth.

    You are able to view handprints through our Genealogy Browser. Selecting any individual in OneGreatFamily gives you access to that individual's unique handprint. You can see the relationships that identify who that person is. The handprint view lets you also see details for the individual you have selected or for that individual's family.

    Clicking on the selected individual opens the individual details, which lets you edit the record and view additional information, such as biographies, photos, notes, and sources. The handprint view also includes buttons to view family information. By clicking on the "Family Info" button, you can elect to see the family in which the individual is a child or the family in which the individual is a parent (if he had offspring). The family view provides marriage/divorce information and access to additional information that applies to the entire family.

    Another big difference between OneGreatFamily and other genealogy websites is this - While ordinary websites might be willing to maintain a search for a few of your ancestors that you have specifically identified, OneGreatFamily will search continually on your entire family tree without you having to do anything. Just give us what you know and we'll start searching - and we won't stop.

    OneGreatFamily uses the handprint and other available information to constantly search for ALL of your ancestors. The handprint is useful when finding matches in the OneGreatFamily database and showing you where more information is available on your family tree.

    While OneGreatFamily searches for matches for everyone who has submitted their family trees to OneGreatFamily, only subscribers gain unlimited access to the new relationships and information that results from the matching and merging process.

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