OneGreatFamily Subscriber Newsletter
February 25, 2005

OneGreatFamily System Upgrade

In This Issue:


Please Note: OneGreatFamily System Upgrade Tuesday Night

Major Database Upgrade Required to Stay Ahead of Subscriber Growth

OneGreatFamily is constantly trying to improve your experience with our services. Because of the tremendous growth we have been experiencing recently, we will be performing a major upgrade to our database starting Tuesday, March 1st from 11:00 pm until 8:00 am (MST) the following morning (Wednesday, March 2nd). During this period, the OneGreatFamily website will be unavailable.

As you know, the OneGreatFamily system is constantly comparing your genealogy data with all the data we have received from others. The technology to do this quickly and accurately is extremely sophisticated and we continually employ state-of-the-art hardware and software to bring you the best possible service.

The growth we are experiencing will benefit you, our subscribers, by providing even more information that might tie into your family tree.

If you have any suggestions on how we can make your genealogy experience more enjoyable at OneGreatFamily, please let us know! And please watch for other improvements in the near future.
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Q&A: Conflicting Sources in Genealogy

How to Evaluate Genealogy Documents

Contributed by Lisa South, Certified Genealogist

“I have three different birth dates for my grandfather. He told me when he was born; I have a delayed birth certificate; and a baptismal record for him. Each has a different birth year—now what?”

Conflicting sources are a continual problem when doing genealogical research. How do you know which one is accurate? Sometimes an error is so blatant that you can immediately determine which is the more accurate document. But often it is not that cut and dried. When we do find conflicting information, we should evaluate the sources by using a scientific approach.

Each document should be evaluated on the following criteria:

1. Is the document an original or a copy?

An original is the first copy of any document. A photocopy of the original is usually considered an original. Each time a document is hand copied the chance of error is greater. Be especially aware of compiled indexes. Historically these where hand-created, and often error prone.

2. Is the information primary evidence or secondary evidence?

Primary evidence is the testimony (oral or written) given by an eyewitness or recorded by mechanical device present at the event. Secondary evidence is information that is either not the result of personal observation or is collected significantly after the fact. A vital record, such as a birth certificate, would usually be considered a primary source. The parent giving you information about their children would usually be a primary source. There are always exceptions that you need to consider. Is the parent elderly and is his/her memory questionable? In this case they might need to be considered a secondary source. Other examples of secondary sources are tombstones and census records.

3. Does the document contain direct or circumstantial evidence of the information you are seeking?

Direct evidence is information that directly answers a question. Circumstantial evidence gives a logical inference from which an answer might be derived. For example, if you are looking for the birth date of your ancestor, Ohso Elusive - and you find a church baptismal record that says he was born on January 12, 1876, the document directly answers your question. Ohso was born on Jan. 12, 1876. If, on the other hand, you find a death certificate that says Ohso Elusive died March 15, 1948 at the age of 72, you have a document that gives you direct evidence of his death date but circumstantial evidence of his birth date

Naturally, the ideal document would be an original record from a primary source with direct evidence, but genealogists usually are not that lucky. After evaluating each of the conflicting documents using the scientific approach, the document that comes closest to the ideal is probably your most accurate. Of course we could still have erroneous information, so if and when you locate additional records, you should always compare it to your current information and evaluate the information once more.

Using a scientific approach to our research gives us the greatest chance of accuracy, which should be the goal of every genealogist.

OneGreatFamily makes it easy to find differences between your information and that entered by others. The system marks differences in information as conflicts. You can turn on or off the identification of conflicts in the Genealogy Browser by toggling the appropriate button in the tool bar: The first () shows conflicts in information, like perhaps a difference in a birth place or a death date. The second () shows conflicts in relationships, like perhaps not showing a 2nd wife or listing an additional child. When trying to decide between the alternatives, you can now apply these principals of documentation quality in deciding which you believe to be correct.
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Success at OneGreatFamily

The Greatest Thing to Happen for My Genealogy

We are pleased with the high praise OneGreatFamily continues to receive from our customers. OneGreatFamily provides success for new and experienced genealogists alike.

"This is the greatest thing that has happened for my genealogical research."

--Dr. John W. Burr

Have you had a success using OneGreatFamily you'd like to share? Send it to us today!

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One Great Genealogy Site Award

Directory of Royal Genealogical Data

The Directory of Royal Genealogical Data is a database containing the genealogy of almost every ruling house in the western world. The database includes more than 30,000 individuals from the earliest times to the present You can select indexes of the data that are ordered alphabetically, chronologically, by ruling house, by title or by another search string you specify. When you locate individuals you can then follow links to their most immediate family members, such as parents, spouse or children. You can also follow links that lead to further data about a person. The additional information, such as a picture or sound recording, may reside within the database or be found on other websites.
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Get FREE Time on

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Current subscribers can earn additional free time by referring others to OneGreatFamily needs your help in growing the largest single family tree in the world. You can get free subscription time on OneGreatFamily by referring others to this unique service. When anyone you refer to OneGreatFamily subscribes to our service and enters your username, you get an additional free month.

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