OneGreatFamily Subscriber Newsletter
February 12, 2005

Is Someone Famous in Your Family Tree?

In This Issue:

Is someone famous in your family tree?

Are you a descendant of a notable character in history? Many families tell stories of a famous ancestor - a king or explorer, an actor or rogue - and a surprising number of these family legends turn out to be true. So how can you find out about your own ancestral celebrities?

The first step in finding out if you're the descendant of a famous person is to find the relevant genealogy. For many historical figures, a great deal of family history research has been done already. If your own family tree leads back to one of these individuals, then verifying the story can be simple.

If the famous ancestor's family tree is not well documented, you can do the research yourself to establish the line of descent. Such work will be simpler if you have access to a research library or collections of private papers, or if you have the help of a known descendant.

If your family tree doesn't seem to link up, but you still believe you are a descendant, you may have other ways to discover if the claim is true. Family papers and documents may tell the story of an illicit relationship - one not formally acknowledged by the official records, but factual nonetheless. Some claims of being a descendant can be verified or disproved by DNA analysis, but that requires the cooperation of the acknowledged family.

The simplest way to discover your famous ancestors is to share the research done by other descendants.
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Q&A: Know your Genealogy Terms!

How can knowing genealogy terms add value to my family tree?

Knowing your genealogy terms is an essential step when interpreting documents. You can add value to your genealogy by correctly placing and recording your genealogy data. Knowing genealogy terms can help to link persons to the right generation, parents, spouse or children. Understanding the language can help to break down your "brick walls."

Many of us might be wasting time looking for important documents or information about our family simply because we don't know how to interpret the information we have already found. Below is a list of common genealogy terms used. There are many other resources you can look to when interpreting documents, such as dictionaries and genealogical reference books.

Abstract: Summary of essential facts in a document or record.
Ahnentafel: List of ancestors in numerical order
Ancestor: person from whom you are descended in a direct line
Ascendant: Ancestor
Biography: The history of a person's life
Burial record: A formal account normally kept by a church of burials that occurred in their congregation.
Census record: A government sponsored enumeration of the population in a particular area; contains names of household members, their ages, citizenship status, and ethnic background etc.
Collateral ancestor: Descended from the same ancestral stock but not in the direct line
Collateral families: families with whom your ancestors intermarried and moved.
Descendant: A person who is an offspring, however remote, of a certain ancestor or family
Emigration: The process of leaving one's home country to live in another country
Family group report: A form which contains dates and places of birth, marriage and death about family members - a husband, a wife, and their children.
GEDCOM: file format supported by most genealogy database programs for the exchange of genealogy information between different programs and computers
Genealogy: an account of the history of an individual's ancestors or the descendants of a family
Lineage: Direct descent from an ancestor
Maternal: Related through one's mother.
Paternal ancestors: Ancestors of one's father
Pedigree chart: report showing an individual along with parents, grandparents, great grandparents, etc. for a specified number of generations.
Primary source: Record created at the time of, or shortly after, an event by someone with personal knowledge of the facts, or the testimony of a person involved in the event
Secondary source: Material copied or compiled from other sources or written at a later date from memory
Surname: last name
Vital records: Records of birth, death, marriage, divorce
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Success at OneGreatFamily

Thanks OneGreatFamily!

I have been a member since May of 2003. I entered a new ancestor on August 6. I checked my tree…the next day. It had grown from this 1 new ancestor (which was generation # 17 and a total of 126 ancestors) to generation 118 and 1443 ancestors!!!

I am so boggled, I don't know where to start! Just looking at all the names, the unbelievable antiquity, the history, and the famous people -- it is incredible and so exciting. I never dreamed it would work like this. I thought I may get lucky and get back to maybe 1000AD.

Thank you so much for your wonderful program and site. It has brought so much pleasure to my family and myself. Much more researching to go on other family lines! Happy researching!

Kind Regards,


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One Great Genealogy Site Award is an online library of data and links to aid in your genealogical research. Data includes millions of records from city directories, hundreds of thousands of gravemarker photographs, tens of thousands of obits, and much more.
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