Subscribe Now  
 Start Free Trial  

OneGreatFamily Guest Newsletter

March 16, 2006

Invite Others to See Your Family Tree at OneGreatFamily

In This Issue:

Share Your Success With Family and Friends at OneGreatFamily

Invite Friends and Family to See Your Family Tree at OneGreatFamily

With OneGreatFamily, EVERYONE benefits from new discoveries or corrections that are made to your family tree. OneGreatFamily has made it possible to share your family tree with your friends and family even if they are not a member of OneGreatFamily.

Many of our subscribers wish for their friends or family members to have the opportunity to view their family tree they have created by using OneGreatFamily, but are confronted with the dilemma that many of their family and friends are neither guests nor subscribers. OneGreatFamily has created two different ways you can share your family tree. You can email family and friends a link to view your family tree or you can send them information on how to join your group. 

Email a Link to Your Family Tree

If you want someone else to view the progress of your family tree, but you don't want them to be able to change information or become an actual member of your group, you can email them a link to your family tree.

To email a link to your family tree, refer to the following instructions:

  1. Log into OneGreatFamily. This will take you to the My Account page.          
  2. Click on the link, "Send a friend your family tree." This link is found under your group information.
  3. Fill in the form with the anchor you wish to email; Then, fill in the recipient’s name and email address.
  4. Submit the form to send the link.

After sending your invitation, you may want to call or send an additional email to explain more about OneGreatFamily and your reasons for using the site.

Invite Others to Your Group

When you invite others to join your group, you allow each member to see your family tree from their own perspective. This means that each group member can see their own individual efforts to the family tree. It also means that each member has the ability to accept hints and conflicts on behalf of the entire group. Working within a group is an excellent idea for any small circle of people who are sharing the same genealogy records. Group work is ideal for family organizations who want to assign different family members to work on different parts of the family tree.

When you began your experience at OneGreatFamily, you chose a username and password for yourself. You also chose a unique group name and password for any group you create. The group name and password can be shared with other members of OneGreatFamily, so they can view and work on OneGreatFamily from your perspective as well.

To invite others to participate in your OneGreatFamily group, please refer to the following instructions:

  1. Log into OneGreatFamily. This will take you to the My Account page.
  2. Click on the link, "Invite others to your group." This link is found on the right-hand side of the page under Manage Groups.
  3. Choose which group you want to invite people to join. (This is especially important if you are a member of multiple groups.)
  4. Fill in the form with as many people as you wish to invite to your group. You can send your invitation to as many as 10 people at a time.
  5. Edit the message in the form below. The message will automatically insert your information, the name of the recipient, the name of your group, and your group's name and password.
  6. Submit the form to send the invitation.

You may also want to include your personal username in either message you send. If any of the individuals you invite choose to become subscribers, you will get a free month added to your subscription as our way of saying “thanks” for spreading the word about our great service. Those you invite only need to enter your username in the space provided when signing up for their own subscriptions.

This is a great way to get those around you involved in genealogy work. We hope you are enjoying OneGreatFamily and that you will want to share your experience with others.
Back to top

OneGreatFamily Tip: Have more success by standardizing places

Standardizing places may result in more ancestors being added to your family tree.

In September, we made improvements to OneGreatFamily Genealogy Browser™ that increased the amount of automatic place standardization performed by OneGreatFamily. However, the system is not foolproof yet, and so automatic place standardization in some circumstances won't occur.

This can really hinder your efforts at OneGreatFamily because non-standardized place names may cause individuals to not match, blocking an automated merge that could bring more leads to your attention.

For example, I was researching an ancestor of mine when I found that my father had abbreviated some places when he entered the data, causing them not to match.  For example, he listed my great-, great-, great-, great-grandmother as being born in Hull, Ykshire,, England.  In doing some research, I have confirmed that this was actually Hull, Yorkshire,, England.

There are several reasons why Genealogy Browser may not be able to automatically standardize a place.  Keep these in mind when you are entering or editing your family tree information:

  • Don’t use abbreviations in the place of city names.  For example, use Salt Lake City instead of "SLC", use New York instead of NY or NYC and use Baltimore instead of Balt.
  • CA can be interpreted as either Canada or California and DE can either be Denmark or Delaware.  So please, even if you are sure you are using a standardized abbreviation, please spell it out.
  • There will always be 4 elements separated by 3 commas in every place name, as shown here: city, county, state, and country.  Genealogy Browser will automatically try to break down each location appropriately.  You should double-check that it does it correctly.
  • Don't write in the actual street address in the place box. You can put addresses or buildings in the notes section.
  • If you don’t know, leave it blank.  Often people will put ??? or unknown or unk. You should avoid doing this because the site will search for matches to fill blanks for you.
  • Make sure and always put the country. It may be obivious to you and others which country it is, but not to the OneGreatFamily system. The more information the better when entering information.
We have a tool to help if you have any questions on whether you’re entering the place correctly. To the right of the birth, death, and other places, you'll see a pencil icon (see the image at the right). Click on that icon and Genealogy Browser will show you how it breaks down the current entry into city, county, state, and country. Look in there to make sure your places look correct so you can have your records standardized with the rest of OneGreatFamily’s records.
By cleaning up your place names, your will increase the likelihood of OneGreatFamily finding additional ancestor leads for you, which means you could see more ancestors added to your family tree.
Back to top

Lisa Lights the Way

Fraudulent Genealogies

by Lisa South, Certified Genealogist

The following article was written in the May 19, 2005 OneGreatFamily newsletter. Since Lisa is no longer writing for us, we are featuring some of our favorite articles written by her.

There are many reasons that people create fraudulent genealogies:

1. Family members that are trying to hide something or trying to impress someone by making the family history a little more impressive. These stories are then innocently passed down by future generations of family members.

2. Amateur genealogists who have limited genealogical or historical skills and accept others' work without any additional research. Sometimes an amateur is anxious to connect to someone "important" and forces a connection that really is not there.

3. Professional genealogists who are not thorough enough with their research or are not up-to-date "genealogically".

4. A professional crook who's trying to perpetrate a scam. One of the best known in the genealogical world is Gustave Anjou. He lived from 1863-1942 and contaminated as many as 2000 lines. Some of the others that have been identified are Charles H. Browning, Orra E. Monnette, C.A. Hoppin, Frederick A. Virkus, Horatio Gates Somerby and there are others.

How can you protect ourselves against fraud? First, you need to make sure that you do not add to the problem. Your research should be thorough and well sourced. Use others' work as a guide, but check the information in the original sources whenever you are able and find out as much as possible about the author/submitter and his/her genealogical background and research methods.

Back to top

One Great Genealogy Site Award

Do you have Dutch ancestors? is an excellent resource for anyone whose ancestral lines trace back to Holland. The site has many databases, products, and tools for learning about your Dutch Ancestry. The site features databases of christenings, and court and notary records for South Holland. The site also includes a records timeline and a document of common Dutch first names

  • Visit
  • 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

    740,467 people were added into the OneGreatFamily tree.

    798,575 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