OneGreatFamily Guest Newsletter
June 23, 2005

When Will Your Tree Grow at OneGreatFamily?

In This Issue:

When will Your Tree Grow at OneGreatFamily?

Tips for Expanding Your Family Tree at OneGreatFamily

Between one and three million names are submitted to OneGreatFamily each month, making it the fastest-growing collaborative family tree available online. This database growth benefits everyone who has common ancestry. In many cases, the new names help fill gaps in family trees or provide clues to new genealogy discoveries. In other cases, these names provide additional evidence or support for information that is already part of OneGreatFamily. In any instance where merging and matching takes place within OneGreatFamily, those who share common ancestors have new opportunities to collaborate on their genealogies.

Even with all of these new names pouring in, some members haven't seen additions to their family tree. If you are among these individuals, we have a few recommendations:

Be patient - With nearly 500,000 unique visitors each month, someone is likely to submit information on your family tree in the near future. You may not see any growth in your family tree for some time, but then you may see a flurry of activity that affects your family tree.

Be proactive - Find other websites that include your ancestral names and invite those site visitors to participate on OneGreatFamily. Continue to research your family tree to try to take it back to the next generation. With each generation, the probability of being able to find common ancestors in OneGreatFamily increases significantly. For example, recently one user submitted 6 names to OneGreatFamily. After receiving no additions to his family tree, he decided to find and add one more person one generation back. After adding that one person, OneGreatFamily quickly found and added over 55,000 ancestors to his family tree.

Be watchful - Pay attention to your GenMail notifications, merge indicators (!), and New Stars Messages. We send GenMail email messages each week to let people know if their family trees are growing. If you are not receiving these messages, you may need to update your email address or preferences. You should also continue to visit OneGreatFamily to update your family tree and see if there are any signs of activity on your family tree.

Be careful - Verify the information you have entered into OneGreatFamily is as complete and accurate as possible. This will help other members of OneGreatFamily who may be looking for your family line to know when they have found it. You are likely not the only person trying to find connections to your ancestral lines in OneGreatFamily, so you will want to be as helpful as possible with the information you provide.

As OneGreatFamily continues to grow, we are committed to the success of each of our members in furthering genealogy research and connecting to work that has already been completed in OneGreatFamily.

Lisa Lights the Way

Probate Records

by Lisa South, Certified Genealogist

One of my favorite genealogy cartoons shows a lawyer reading a will to a group of people. He reads “being of sound mindey windey….” Actually, genealogically, that could be a good thing!! Probate records are all the records created in the disposition of someone’s estate. If a will is contested because the person was not of sound “mindey windey” many interesting records will be created!

If a person does not leave a will, he or she is said to have died intestate. Will or no will, if the deceased had real or personal property of any value at the time of death, records will have been created when the estate was disposed of.

Many probate records have been microfilmed and are available through Family History Centers or on the internet. If you are searching in person, probates are usually at the county courthouse. Ask to see the probate docket (or index). When you find your ancestor’s name, you will usually find a packet number. Locate the packet with the corresponding number. Inside the packet, the documents created by the administration of your ancestor’s estate will be found – and sometimes it’s quite a find! Probates are what I call “family” documents because they often deal with a whole family unit (in most other public records you will just find facts about an individual or perhaps an individual and his or her parents or spouse.)

If a will is left (be aware that the will is sometimes filed separately from the probate packet), spouse and children are often named. If a person died intestate, children and spouse may have come forward with proof of their relationship to the deceased.

Usually probates are wonderful records rich with genealogical information but they can be a little frustrating if your ancestor was a person of few words and said something like, “to my beloved wife and children I leave….” This was the case with one of my ancestors but he didn’t get the last word. Knowing he left quite a bit of land in his estate and that the wife and children inherited it, I went into the land records and there were his wife and children - all listed by name!

Back to top

Take the First Step Towards Success at OneGreatFamily

Want to see success at OneGreatFamily? Submit Your Family Tree

Several people have asked us how they can be most successful using OneGreatFamily. The answer is actually quite simple: start by submitting everything you know about your family tree to OneGreatFamily.

The more information you supply to OneGreatFamily, the better chance OneGreatFamily has of finding matches and helping your family tree grow.

You don't need to subscribe to be able to submit your tree. You can submit your family tree and update your research using the OneGreatFamily online software for free. After getting started, you will need a subscription to view new growth identified by OneGreatFamily or to resolve hints and conflicts.

OneGreatFamily provides two ways to get started on your family tree. You can either 1) start from scratch by entering your name and the names of your ancestors or 2) submit a GEDCOM file to OneGreatFamily (if you are already using a family tree software package).

After your family tree is started, OneGreatFamily will continue to look for possible matches on ALL of your ancestors ALL the time You will also be able to contact other members of OneGreatFamily to collaborate on common research.

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

One Great Genealogy Site Award is FREE genealogy database of scanned and transcribed documents containing ancestor's names for your genealogy research. While these are not official genealogy records or genealogy records that prove relationship, they are documents that provide insight into the everyday lives of your ancestors to enhance your genealogy research.
Back to top

Get FREE Time on

Want some FREE time?

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.

Back to top

This newsletter is provided as a FREE service to the members of
You can view past editions of this newsletter by visiting our Newsletter Archive.
If you would like to receive a plain text version of this letter or unsubscribe to our newsletter service, you may do so by accessing our newsletter preferences page at

Managing Editor: Heather Matthews
Contributors: Heather Matthews, Lisa South and Rob Armstrong
Editor: Tracy Armstrong

Last Week at OneGreatFamily

216,105 people were added into the OneGreatFamily tree.

447,207 new connections between family trees were found by our automated search system.

Having Success?

OneGreatFamily wants to hear from you. Please send us your success stories and your recommendations for new features.

Submit your story
Send us your wish list
Copyright © 1999-2005    Link to Us | Site Index | Affiliate Program | About Us | Privacy Policy