OneGreatFamily Guest Newsletter
August 5, 2005

Take the First Steps Towards Success at OneGreatFamily

In This Issue:

Take the First Steps Towards Success at OneGreatFamily

Submit Your Family Tree at OneGreatFamily

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.

The value of OneGreatFamily can be shown in the following success story we received:

Thanks One Great Family for introducing me and my family to our first genealogy search program. We are all excited about the possibilities. We have been looking for missing family members and our roots for years. Now, hopefully, we can meet our past and know from whence we came...for African Americans it has been a tough thing to We welcome all your support in our journey.

Thank You,

Will Matthews Sr.

Have you had a success using OneGreatFamily? We would love to hear from you. Please submit to us your success stories so we can share them with other OneGreatFamily members.

OneGreatFamily Learning Center: Last names

Helpful Tips on Last Names

Last names are the key to genealogical research. Over time, they can be spelled in different ways, surrendered at marriage, and sometimes changed for other reasons. So if you want to find your family's history, you need to learn to search effectively for your family last names. The first thing to remember is that in times gone by, people worried less about consistent spelling; William Shakespeare, for example, spelled his name half a dozen different ways. So don't be surprised if you discover that a simple name like "Hardy" was spelled "Hardie," "Hardee," "Hardey," and "Haredy" by different relatives, sometimes in the same immediate family.

Names translated from other languages into English can be even more confusing. "Longacre" and "Longenecker" are variant names for the same family.

When researching family names, the best tactic is to look for similar consonants; the vowels often tend to shift and change. That is the principle of the Soundex searching system, which can help you discover ancestors you might otherwise have missed.

One useful strategy is to keep a list of last names you are looking for. You can list whole lines or specific individuals you're searching for. When you're talking with other genealogy researchers, ask them about your family names. Look them up in various indexes to historical documents. When you keep your eyes open for a family last name, you may be surprised at the treasures you find.

You're not alone in searching for your last names. At, you may find other researchers who have discovered important branches of your family tree. A single new link can help you discover thousands of ancestors and entire new lines. Home of the original online family tree, can help you find your family's place in the world. A single new link can help you discover thousands of ancestors and entire new lines.

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Lisa Lights the Way

The Evolution of Language

by Lisa South, Certified Genealogist

I was watching an old western. The homesteaders were in their cabin. A line of Indians was quietly sitting on their horses along the ridge. I sat aghast as the older homesteader turned to his younger brother and said, “Waste one of them!” The younger brother put his gun through the window and shot a bullet into the air to try and frighten the Indians away! The older brother meant, "Waste one of the bullets!!!!" I had a good laugh when I realized that I had interpreted the word "waste" in a modern "Dirty Harry" sort of context, but that's not how the word was used back in the days of the Wild West - or even when that old western was made.

Our language has and continues to evolve and this can cause some confusion as we try to evaluate early records, for example:

The term “my now wife” is one that appears in some probate records and is often misunderstood. A researcher may assume from this term that there was a previous marriage when in reality it is a term to limit the inheritance rights of a future marriage in case the “now wife” should die before the husband’s will is probated and he remarries.

Sometimes we find the terms “goodman” and “goodwife” (often shortened to goody) in older records. These terms just indicate the head of a household or the mistress of a household.

The title Colonel was often used by old southern planters and usually meant nothing as far as military service or rank, however it adds an additional means of identification and that is helpful.

Among the very early colonists, Mr. & Mrs. were used only by the upper classes. Mrs. was not a term identifying a woman as married but rather as a woman of “gentle” birth.

Prior to 1750 the term “cousin” was given to almost anyone who was related outside of the immediate family. It was often used when in reality the person was a niece or nephew.

These are just a few examples. The important thing to realize is that the evolution of our language can impact our genealogical research and the earlier the records, the more we should study what those changes were.

One Great Genealogy Site Award

USF Africana Heritage Project

Based at the University of South Florida, this volunteer project aims to preserve and publish online records documenting the names and lives of slaves, freed persons and their descendants. The project taps library holdings, academic archives, plantation journals, public records, Freedman's Bureau files, early church records, oral histories, family Bibles and more.
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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.

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

Last Week at OneGreatFamily

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65,052 new connections between family trees were found by our automated search system.

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