OneGreatFamily Guest Newsletter
September 22, 2005

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In This Issue:

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Sign Up Today and Get 3 Months Free

As a guest of OneGreatFamily we are offering a special limited time promotion. Buy an annual subscription and you will get an additional 3 months added to your subscription for free. You get 15 months for the price of 12.

This offer is available only to guests and those who have previously visited our site. The promotion will be available only until September 26th.

To take advantage of this offer you must login with your guest account information and then choose the option to upgrade your account.

  • If you know your user name and password, please click here.
  • If you don't remember your user name and password, please click here.

The most valuable feature that you will experience as a subscriber is that your family tree will be compared with the family trees submitted by others. Where exact matches are found, the data will be merged. Merges in OneGreatFamily create opportunities for people to collaborate on their genealogies, identify new ancestors, and discover conflicting information.

As explained in past newsletters, OneGreatFamily's ability to preserve each person's view of the family tree is something that makes OneGreatFamily unique. As a subscriber you will then be able to view the names and information of ancestors who have been added to your family tree through accepted hints and automated merges.

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Improvements to the OneGreatFamily Genealogy Browser

New Name and Place Standardization, Starfield Status Bar

For the past several weeks our development team has been working hard to improve the Genealogy Browser. We appreciate all the OneGreatFamily members who have brought to our attention some of the improvements that needed to be made. We feel it is very important to constantly be upgrading our product and services to our members so you can have success with finding your ancestors at OneGreatFamily.

Here are 2 enhancements there were recently developed and implemented to our site:
  • Improved Starfield Status Bar - When you are loading your Starfield you will notice that the status bar now will show you the progress of the upload by generation. This will provide you with an indication as to how long it will take to load the Starfield. Obviously the more generations you would like to view the longer it will take.

  • New Name and Place Standardization - We have added a name standardization edit box where you can input all the information you have about first and last names and places and then it will piece it all together. When you open the "Details For" box of an individual you will notice a pencil icon next to the last name and places fields. Click this icon to bring up the name edit box. We also modified the fields so the Genealogy Browser will recognize all your data. For example, the "first name" field can now take: Title, First Name, Middle Name(s), "Nickname"

We'll be letting you know of the more Genealogy Browser changes over the next couple of months.

  • Subscribe to OneGreatFamily to take advantage of our amazing service today!
  • Login to OneGreatFamily to view see the improvements to the Genealogy Browser

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  • Q&A: How do I start my family tree at OneGreatFamily?

    Starting Your Family Tree is Easy

    There are three main ways that you can get started entering information into OneGreatFamily.

    1. Submitting what research you have already done as a GEDCOM file

    You can upload a GEDCOM containing your ancestral information. A GEDCOM is a file that stores genealogical information in a particular format, which allows researchers to share and work together on their information. We not only allow you to add your GEDCOM to the collection of others that have been submitted, but once yours has been added, it will begin to connect with others as family links are found! This allows you to save time by uploading the information that you have collected and entered using a different program and not have to start from scratch.

    You can upload your GEDCOM into OneGreatFamily by selecting “Import GEDCOM File to View” from the File menu in the Genealogy Browser or by selecting the second option on the "Organize Family Trees" box that appears each time you launch the Genealogy Browser after logging in.

    2. Entering your family tree directly into OneGreatFamily

    If you are new to OneGreatFamily, you may not realize that you have access to a complete family tree program for free! It is called the Genealogy Browser, and you can get access to it simply by logging in to your OneGreatFamily account. On the “My Account” page, click on the link labeled “View or Edit my Family Tree”. This will start you on the process of downloading the Genealogy Browser. From there you can begin to create records for yourself, your parents, children and siblings, as well as your extended relatives. As soon as you enter the information for a person, OneGreatFamily begins to search your information against what others have entered to find matches.

    3. Starting with what someone else has submitted

    Because new names are constantly being added to OneGreatFamily, many members find that others have already submitted some of their ancestors. This allows members to pick up where others have left off. Do a search of our database and see which of your ancestors have already been added. If you have additional information to add, just type it right in as if you were the original submitter. The information is automatically updated! It's that easy!

    To start your family tree by using an ancestor already added to OneGreatFamily, choose the third options on the "Organize Family Trees" box. Enter the ancestor's OGFN (OneGreatFamily Number) in the field. (Each person added to OneGreatFamily is given a number. On all of our search results it will list your ancestor's OGFN)

    All of these techniques allow members to add information to their trees, and together, they are working to create the largest single family tree available. No matter which method you choose to upload your information, OneGreatFamily offers technology that can match and merge it with the information that has been submitted by others.

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    Lisa Lights the Way

    Civil and Criminal Court Records

    by Lisa South, Certified Genealogist

    I jokingly tell my students that as genealogists we hope our ancestors were
    famous or infamous and while this certainly makes them easier to find, most
    of our ancestors who were neither famous nor infamous will still show up in
    court records. In a twenty year period, a person shows up in court records
    an average of three times. However these records are often overlooked
    because searching them can be a slow process. Not all of them have been
    indexed and it requires reading through the minutes to discover if your
    ancestor is mentioned.

    There are several levels of courts in the United States: Federal, State and
    County. As researchers, your main interest will be State and County

    A few things to remember about these records:

    • From 1700-1840 Civil and Criminal records were combined.
    • When checking court records, check the defendant, plaintiff and criminal
      records. Don't shy away from early criminal records. In times past, many
      things were considered criminal - such as missing church and gossiping.
    • The Family History Library of the LDS Church has most court records on
      microfilm available for interlibrary loan at any one of the branch
    • Criminal records have two classifications - misdemeanors and felonies.
    • Civil can include torts (a wrongful act for which damages may be sought),
      contract, and real property cases.

    You need to learn about the court system in your county or state of
    interest. If the records are indexed, lucky you!! If they are not indexed,
    it will require more time and patience to search. Sometimes all you will
    find is that our ancestor served on a jury etc., but other times you will be
    well rewarded for your search!

    One Great Genealogy Site Award is a search tool to help you locate free genealogy databases and transcriptions on the web. You can search by location (country, state, province, county, etc.) or type of record (census, passenger list, marriage, etc.).
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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

    192,261 people were added into the OneGreatFamily tree.

    452,239 new connections between family trees were found by our automated search system.

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