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OneGreatFamily Guest Newsletter

March 24, 2006

See What's New at OneGreatFamily This Week

In This Issue:

All OneGreatFamily pages will transition to the new design this week.

OneGreatFamily members loved the new site design. Now all pages will change to reflect the new look.

At the beginning of this year, we launched an experimental new look to our website.  Initially, the new look was reflected on only two pages; the site visitor home page and the Learn More page. We also added three new pages: the Success Stories page, the How We’re Different page and the Tools Page. 

Then, we asked you, our members, what you thought of the improvements.  The result was overwhelming positive feedback, so we decided to adopt this new look across the entire site.  This week we are launching the next phase of this effort.

Starting today, almost every page on the website will transition to the new look.  In many cases, the functionality will remain the same, but the page will sport the new look, which is much cleaner and provides better navigation.

In a few cases, the page will change.  These changes are intended to improve your ability to quickly do what you need to.  For example, the My Account page has been completely revamped, and now is much easier to use:

Now you can see all your account information at a glance.  This is the page where you can update your contact or credit card information.  It is also where you can change your email preferences.

Please feel free to send us any feedback on the new look or the changed pages at (or just click here) with your thoughts on our efforts. What did you like? What did you dislike? What is still unclear? How can we make it even clearer?

Beyond this phase, we have many more enhancements coming down the line that will make utilizing OneGreatFamily even easier.
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OneGreatFamily Tip: Use the other resources at OneGreatFamily to help you find your ancestors

What resources does OneGreatFamily offer to help me keep organized and further my research?

Many OneGreatFamily guests have specific research needs that go beyond the resources currently available within OneGreatFamily Genealogy Browser™. When you visit the Genealogy Tool's Page at OneGreatFamily, you will find links to some of the most valuable genealogical resources around. Here is a list of those resources:

  1. Surname Index: Browse our surname index pages to find the name you're looking for.

  2. Weekly Genealogy Newsletter from OneGreatFamily: You can view past editions of the weekly newsletter by visiting the Newsletter Archive.

  3. OneGreatFamily's "Genealogy Learning Center" is a great resource to help you find tips, articles, and advice relating to the following topics:
    • Genealogy - Getting Started
    • Family Tree Research
    • Genealogy Documents
    • Last Name Origins
    • Family Connections Today

  4. The "Genealogy Resources" page at OneGreatFamily offers the following:
    • Sites about ethnicity and religion, genealogy education, genealogical tours and travel, and family history libraries
    • Links to past "One Great Genealogy Site" Award winners
    • List of Preferred OneGreatFamily Affiliates

  5. Invite Others to OneGreatFamily: Invite others to join you in searching for their genealogy on 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.

  6. Printable Genealogy Forms: Many of us like to have tangible records in addition to records on our computer. Our printable Pedigree Chart and Family Group Sheet are now available for those who prefer to handwrite their genealogy, or desire to see their genealogy work in a tangible form. Each sheet allows you to enter specific, useful information. These forms now make it easier for you to keep organized. You can find the forms by visiting: In Genealogy Browser, there is also an option to print your entire pedigree chart.

If you would like to become part of our resource index, send us an e-mail with the site you would like us to include. We are always open to any suggestions on how we can help make your research process easier and help keep you more organized. Please send your suggestions to!

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Lisa Lights the Way

Abstract verses Extract

by Lisa South, Certified Genealogist

The following article was written in the December 2, 2005 OneGreatFamily newsletter. Since Lisa is no longer writing for us, we are featuring some of our favorite articles written by her.

One of my ancestors, William Keeling, had 4,000,000 deeds recorded in the Courthouse - OK, that's a lie, but the number was staggering. Like all genealogists, I prefer an original copy of any document, but sometimes that is not reasonable or possible; the number of pages of a document may be so voluminous that making a copy is cost prohibitive and/or would make keeping the records too cumbersome. When you decide not to make a photocopy of the original you are faced with the decision of whether to abstract the records or to extract them. Here are a few guidelines that might help.

To extract means to copy something word for word, although it may be just a section of larger records. Most records should be extracted. Examples of these are vital records, church records, tax lists, and immigration records.

To abstract means to make an abridgment or summary by copying down only the essential information from a document. The original records may be many pages, but the important data is so scattered throughout the document that an abstraction would be best. Some of the records that may fall into this category are land, pension, and court records.

When you abstract a record, get all the important facts. If you are not sure if something is important or not, include it. Keep everything in first person; it helps avoid misinterpretation if you are consistent throughout. If you are careful and precise in your abstraction, you can feel confident about your information without all the expense and volume that would be required to make a photocopy of that document.

Every abstract and extract should include a complete reference to its source. Many forms are available online or at genealogical supply stores to help make abstraction or extraction easier. I'm sure most of you have used a census extraction form, but there are also forms for land records, cemetery records, etc. I love the census extraction forms, but prefer to
make my own for everything else, because I know the way I like those records abstracted - so if you don't find a form you like, make your own!

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One Great Genealogy Site Award

Ancestral and Family Tree Quilts

Ancestral and Family Tree Quilts: Proudly display your family's history with our exquisite, hand-stitched genealogy quilts and wall hangings.

Don't keep your family names in a book . . . show off all of your hard work. Bring your ancestral charts to life!
Family Tree Quilts

  • Visit Ancestral and Family Tree Quilts
  • See past award recipients
  • Recommend a Site Award recipient

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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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    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

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