OneGreatFamily Subscriber Newsletter
July 14, 2005

Enjoy Your Summer: Let OneGreatFamily Find Your Ancestors

In This Issue:

Enjoy the Summer: Let OneGreatFamily Find Your Ancestors

While Your Relaxing This Summer, OneGreatFamily is Working Hard on Your Family Tree

Many of you are spending your free time this summer relaxing and enjoying the nice weather. As much as you enjoy genealogy, on those beautiful summer days who wants to be stuck indoors on a computer? OneGreatFamily can help you out! While you are having fun in the sun OneGreatFamily is matching and merging the data you have entered and adding new ancestors to your family tree. Your genealogy is being done for you!

We do this in three ways:

1. OneGreatFamily does all the searching for you, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year. Our search system is constantly comparing your entire family tree against any existing or newly entered data. Think of all the time you save by not having to enter each name of interest into a search engine, then adjusting the search criteria to try to get to a manageable number of results.

2. OneGreatFamily focuses your attention on both obvious and probable matches. Instead of forcing you to wade through mountains of useless records, OneGreatFamily automatically discards the obvious mismatches. In the case of clear matches, our system automatically accepts them and marks them for your review by putting a yellow exclamation mark beside them on your individual family tree! The probable matches are separately identified and highlighted for you with a "lightbulb" icon. The system calls these "hints."

3. OneGreatFamily allows you to leverage the efforts of thousands of other genealogy enthusiasts. Many individuals spend needless hours, days and weeks searching for names that others have already found, documented and recorded into the OneGreatFamily tree. When you use OneGreatFamily you will be provided those names without any work by you! The only step that you need to take is to get started by submitting all the information you already have. Then check back in every once in a while to see what we've found. Many users see their family trees grow faster than they ever expected!

If you have already submitted your family tree, sit back and log in at OneGreatFamily to see if new ancestors have been added to your family tree. The power of OneGreatFamily lies in that the fact that the OneGreatFamily Tree isn't just another collection of family trees, but instead is a single, unified global family tree that everyone is working on.

Lisa Lights the Way

Orphanage Records

by Lisa South, Certified Genealogist

Orphanage records have been kept for at least 200 years. Orphanages were operated by civil authorities, religious groups and priority benefactors.

Unfortunately, the records they kept vary in type and are often hard to locate.

In early America, local courts elected or appointed someone to deal with the orphans. If property was involved, the court would appoint guardians. The orphan might have been bound out to learn a trade. These records would be at the county court house. Some are indexed under orphans, apprentices or paupers.

Orphanages maintained by the government kept better records than church or private agencies. These records should be available if the orphanage is still operating. If the orphanage does not still exist, state archives, county court houses and historical libraries should be consulted.

If the orphanage was run by a church, you should check with that church to try and locate records.

Some orphan records have been copied and can be searched at your nearest Family History Center of the LDS church on microfilm or microfiche.

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To merge or not to merge? - That is the question

When should you merge two individuals together?

Have you ever noticed all of those light bulbs in your Starfield? Do you know what they mean? A light bulb next to an individual signifies that OneGreatFamily has found another record very similar to this one. This is what we call a "hint." When you open the individual's record and click on the light bulb, you will see two records next to each other.

How do you really know if these two records should be merged? The first things you should look at are the names. Even with all of the work going on in genealogy today, the exact spellings of many names are still disputed. Sometimes the same individual can be identified by multiple names or various name spellings; conversely, many times more than one person can have the same, even within the same location at a given time. Also, be sure to notice if they have a Jr., Sr., or some other title or suffix associated with the name. This is especially important when researching families where names are passed through the generations.

Dates are also very important. You don't want to accidentally merge a father and son because they share the same name. If there are wide date discrepancies for a record, you don't want to add to the problem.

Look at the birth, death, and other events to see where and when these events took place. You may be able to figure out if two records should be merged by identifying where each individual was born or died. Minor discrepancies here, especially when the individual's family migrated or where dates have been estimated, should not stop you from merging the records. Differences will still be maintained as conflicts.

Family relations are one of the most important indicators as to whether two records correspond to the same individual. If the two records have the same parents, spouses, siblings, and children, it is likely that they are the same individual. With regard to siblings and children, you should be aware that many researchers are not interested in "collateral lines" and may not always include the siblings of their direct-line ancestors. A researcher may not have had time to include all of the siblings or children; however, if the two records are for the same individual, they should still be merged. Be sure to check into the families when in the process of merging records to avoid mistakes.

Don't hesitate to ask the original submitter about the information. OneGreatFamily is designed to allow members to communicate and work together to build their family trees. Using the "Collaborate" feature saves you time and effort. Click the "Collaborate" button for a list of the owners of the conflicting record. Ask them what they can tell you about the individual.

We hope these guidelines are useful as you consider whether or not to merge records in OneGreatFamily.

One Great Genealogy Site Award Newspaper Abstracts' goal is to become your complete resource for family history research using newspapers. Our site continues to grow with an average of over 350 new items added each month and currently contains over 17430 abstracts and extracts from historical newspapers. These articles range in size from a single entry to an entire newspaper issue, all provided by site visitors and made available to you free of charge. This database continues to grow with the daily submission of news items by site visitors like you.
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Managing Editor: Heather Matthews
Contributors: Heather Matthews, Lisa South and Rob Armstrong
Editor: Tracy Armstrong

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148,504 new connections between family trees were found by our automated search system.

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