OneGreatFamily Guest Newsletter
March 29, 2005

Over 100 Million Names Submitted to OneGreatFamily

In This Issue:

Growth from the branches down to our roots!

Find ALL Your Ancestors

Now there are even more reasons for you to join OneGreatFamily--over 100 MILLION reasons!

That's right! To date, over 100 million names have been submitted to OneGreatFamily—and we continue to grow! Every day genealogists and family history enthusiasts everywhere are submitting names and dates to our shared family tree. No wonder OneGreatFamily is THE largest single unified global family tree available online!

Most importantly, as you know, OneGreatFamily is all about collaboration. When ANYONE works on OneGreatFamily, they are also working on your tree and when you work on your tree you are collaborating with others. Think of it! There are over 600,000 people behind those 100,000,000 names – and all of them are people you can reach out to as you work on your family tree with OneGreatFamily.

Isn’t it time you planted your family tree at OneGreatFamily, and joined the hundreds of thousands who are working together to create our one single global family tree?

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Genealogical Survey: Original Phase

Finding Your Ancestors

by Lisa South, Certified Genealogist

Last week we discussed the importance of surveying what research has already been done before beginning your own research. Today we carry on the discussion of how to proceed once you have completed your survey phase.

Ah, now we can put on our Deerstalker hats, pick up our pipes and say, “The game’s afoot!” All genealogists love to do the survey phase because of the ease of doing it and the great rewards that come fairly fast. For example, OneGreatFamily may contain thousands of your ancestors already researched by other genealogists, just waiting for your discovery. However the detective inside of me thrills as I try to put piece by tiny piece together to find the prize - new information about an ancestor.

The sources to search in our original research phase are too numerous to give a comprehensive list. A few of these, for example, are: vital records, church, military, courthouse, and immigration. Each of these will be discussed individually in future newsletters. In this newsletter we’ll focus on the research procedure itself.

1. Set a genealogical goal. Too many beginning genealogists set a goal to find out everything about their families, but even setting a goal to find out everything about one particular family is too broad. A genealogical goal should be very specific, e.g. to find out Madison Almon’s birth date.

2. Decide which record would most likely have this information, e.g. Madison was born before birth records were recorded in the state of his birth but died after death certificates were kept. Death certificates usually list the birth date.

2. Decide which record would most likely have this information, e.g. Madison was born before birth records were recorded in the state of his birth but died after death certificates were kept. Death certificates usually list the birth date.

3. Find out where the record is being stored (on microfilm at a library, in a county court house, at the National Archives, etc.). In Madison’s case it would be Alabama Vital Records, State Department of Public Health.

4. Obtain a copy of the record or extract pertinent information.

5. Evaluate the information. (see OGF archives newsletter on Evaluation of Evidence)

6. Publish the results. To publish the results means different things to different genealogists. For some, it is publishing a book or putting the information online; for others it means recording it in his or her own records.

Once these six steps have been accomplished, the research procedure is completed. Begin again by setting another genealogical goal and continuing through the six steps.
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Q&A: How do I keep track of my sources?

Adding Documentation to OneGreatFamily

To add documentation to an ancestor's record, simply open an Individual Record in the Genealogy Browser. On the left side you will see buttons for the different types of documentation features:

Citations: Citations are references to the specific evidence that you have found on an individual during your research. Citations are very important for establishing the credibility of information, but they can also help others in their research. The information you save in the citations becomes part of OneGreatFamily and is available to others to help with the collaborative effort.

Citations are stored with each specific individual's information. When you click the citation button, you are presented with the citation window containing listings for Individual Sources, Birth Sources, Death Sources, Christening Sources, and Burial Sources. These five categories help to group citations for quick access. Be sure you name your citations with a title that is explanatory and easy to understand at a glance.

Biography: Open the Biography window by selecting the Biography icon. This section allows you to insert files of three different formats: text (txt), rich text format (rtf), or hyper-text markup language (html). By allowing these different file types, biographies on individuals can be simple or stylized. You are also not limited to just one file; you can make as many files as you would like to include.

Notes: The Notes section is where you store those extra bits of information that don't seem to fit anywhere else, but are important enough to keep. When editing an individual's information, click on the notes button on the right, represented here in the spot shadow. The notes window will display, and you can add information as needed.

Research Log: Research notes can be extremely helpful to you and others working on the same areas of genealogy. While doing your research, leave yourself memos on recent information you have found, where you have left off, or anything that will help in the process. These memos will be helpful for you, others in your family group, and any others in OneGreatFamily that are trying to further the collaborative effort on research for that person.
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One Great Genealogy Site Award is a free genealogy biography database with biographies for your genealogy research. The site also offers links to other online biography sites to help you find your ancestors and surnames. The links directory includes thousands of online biography sites. You will find links to sites with collections that contain numerous biographies in each collection. You will also find links to individual biographies as well. You can search for your ancestors by entering a name or location, or you can see a list of all genealogy biographies in the database. The free genealogy database of biographies is growing rapidly, so check it out today!
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