OneGreatFamily Guest Newsletter

February 2, 2006

Enjoy Exploring Your Family Tree at OneGreatFamily


In This Issue:

See How OneGreatFamily Works:
Enjoy Exploring Your Family Tree at OneGreatFamily

Watch the next video: Sit Back and Enjoy What OneGreatFamily Will Do For Your Family Tree.

Once you have added all the information you have about your ancestors, sit back and enjoy OneGreatFamily. OneGreatFamily provides you with powerful software for viewing, organizing, and saving your family tree.

As your family tree continues to grow, you can easily see what you have accomplished and where OneGreatFamily has helped. Here are just a couple of ways OneGreatFamily Genealogy is unique:

  • Allows you see your entire family tree at one time.
  • You can zoom in to see more detail and zoom out to get a view of your family tree.
  • Your family tree will continue to grow over time because people like you, from over 170 countries, submit new names, pictures, biographies, and video clips every day.

This week we are spotlighting the video that shows you all these unique features.

Click on the link to view the demo that will show you Genealogy Browser™ at OneGreatFamily:

We hope that you find the new videos helpful in using OneGreatFamily. Hopefully, you will see the benefit that being a OneGreatFamily member will have on your family tree.

Back to top

Six important differences between OneGreatFamily and other online family tree collections

OneGreatFamily is truly a powerful genealogy service that provides unique benefits to those who use it.

OneGreatFamily is unique from all other genealogical services available today. Other online family tree collections are just collections of trees. Each user works on his or her individual tree, manually searching all the other trees in the collection to try to find ancestors. Some services actually try to go a step further by finding and cross linking all the other trees that contain a common ancestor. This makes it easier for you to manually compare the trees that have that ancestor in them.

In the end, you are left with the enormous task of reviewing all your ancestors individually in all the other trees. You must then decide which ancestors to bring into your individual family tree and which ones to leave out.

However, OneGreatFamily is very different from all other genealogy services. Here is what makes OneGreatFamily unique:

1. OneGreatFamily automatically merges two family trees together into one when it finds the exact same person in both. You can then zoom-in and see the information added. The separate work of several submitters is often chained together creating a massive family tree. Users who tie into the core of our family tree through a match often gain hundreds, thousands, or tens of thousands of ancestors.

2. OneGreatFamily identifies and eliminates all duplicated data within our family tree automatically through our exclusive technology. This saves you a lot of time, while also making it easier to research your family tree by condensing hundreds or thousands of duplicates down to a single record.

3. OneGreatFamily searches 24-hours a day for you, comparing every person you’ve added against everybody else in the tree to see if they are the same person. Whether you add 5, 500 or 5,000 names, including all names uploaded in a GEDCOM, OneGreatFamily will do all the search work for you. This saves you the time and effort of conducting these searches manually. OneGreatFamily often finds information for people or family lines you aren’t even researching right now.

4. OneGreatFamily searches for your ancestors, utilizing our patent-pending Genealogy Handprint™ technology. We have discovered that, just as a fingerprint is a unique identifier for a person, a genealogy "handprint", as we call it, is also a unique genealogical identifier. This special handprint is made up of a person and their immediate family connections. Handprint matching is far more accurate than manual searching on just names, dates, and places. It also makes it more likely you will find additional ancestors.

5. OneGreatFamily preserves everybody's unique view of our universal family tree. When there are differences of opinion, OneGreatFamily maintains all those differences, and allowing each person to see each version and choose the one he or she determines to be correct for their personal family tree. Your data is safe with us. Nobody can change your view of the tree without your consent, but everyone can see your version, collaborate with you to find out why you think your version is right, and accept your view if they choose to.

6. OneGreatFamily automatically identifies those places in your family tree where other people have information different from yours and helps you zoom in and resolve those differences quickly and easily. Collaboration is built right into the system to help resolve differences. Genealogy is less effective when done in isolation. At OneGreatFamily, you are always working in a collaborative environment. You can easily see, collaborate with, and gain the benefit of the work of others.

Back to top

Lisa Lights the Way

Galvanized Yankees

by Lisa South, Certified Genealogist

"We have to be ashamed of Great Grandpa Almon." These intriguing words were the only information a distant cousin would give me about our common ancestor. My curiosity was piqued and my search led me into a part of America's history that was completely new to me.

Madison Almon was a young man living in the South during the Civil War, so a search for military records was one of my early searches. Sure enough, young Madison enlisted in the confederate army and fought bravely until he was captured at Missionary Ridge and sent to Rock Island Prison.

The next page in his military records was a surprise-Madison signed allegiance to the U.S. Army. Ah, the reason for our "shame"! Great Grandpa Almon had fought for both sides! Additional research taught me that this was not an isolated case. Over 7,000 confederate soldiers joined the U.S. army. They were called "galvanized Yankees" because they were Yankee blue on the top, but if you scratched the surface you found Confederate gray.

Madison and the rest of these confederates were prisoners of war. Conditions were terrible, so when given an opportunity to get out of those places of disease and death, 7,000 of those prisoners accepted the offer to join the U.S. Army and go out west to protect forts, stage coaches, etc.

The South made the same offer to Union soldiers, except the only place they could send these soldiers was into battle against their own people. Usually, at the first battle, these soldiers would "surrender", so this experiment was a failure. The galvanized Yankees, however, served so well that when the war was over, they asked for permission to re-enlist.

Permission was denied. Some of these soldiers made their way home to be considered traitors by most, but a great many that did not leave a wife behind chose to stay out West and begin a new life.

Finding out that your ancestor was galvanized can open a whole new set of records. I would never have considered searching the U.S. pension records for Madison if I hadn't learned about Galvanized Soldiers. His pension record turned out to be full of valuable genealogical information!

Unlike my cousin, I am not ashamed of Great Grandpa Almon. I don't remember who said it, but someone once said the Galvanized Yankees were the first fruits of a reunited nation. That's how I like to think of Grandpa Almon.

Back to top

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 genealogical records, or even records that prove relationships, they are documents that provide insight into the everyday lives of your ancestors to enhance your genealogical research.

  • Visit and find documents about your ancestors.
  • See past award recipients
  • Recommend a Site Award recipient

    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.
    To 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

    503,307 people were added into the OneGreatFamily tree.

    412,549 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

    Need Help?

    Getting Started at OneGreatFamily

    Matching and Merging

    Export and Import Gedcoms

    Collaborate With Others

    Search for Ancestors at OneGreatFamily

    Forget Your Password