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OneGreatFamily Guest Newsletter

May 11, 2006

Want Ancestors Added to Your Family Tree?

In This Issue:

See How Many Ancestors Will Automatically Be Added to Your Family Tree at OneGreatFamily

Want ancestors to automatically be added to your family tree?

One of the major benefits to members of OneGreatFamily is that their family tree is compared to all other family trees in OneGreatFamily. When our system find the same ancestors (a match), we merge those family trees together. This can result in new ancestors being added to your family tree.

The next question we usually receive from members of OneGreatFamily is how they can distinguish between the ancestors they added themselves, and the ancestors added because of OneGreatFamily's unique matching and merging system.

There are four different ways OneGreatFamily alerts you when new ancestors have been added to your family tree. When new individuals are added to your family tree the following indicators will occur:

1. New individuals in your Starfield™ are in dark gray boxes

In your Starfield, you will notice there are 3 different colored boxes; light gray, dark gray, and red. Any individuals who are added to your family tree by OneGreatFamily will appear in a dark gray box. Here is a diagram that shows you what each color indicates in the Starfield. The description is written in red:

2. Seeing a message while in Genealogy Browser™, indicating that "new ancestors " have been added to your family tree

When you work on your family tree in OneGreatFamily, you will notice that a box will appear indicating you have new ancestors. You will also see this box appear if you hit the refresh button on the toolbar. Here is what the indicator looks like:

3. Seeing merge indicators in your family tree.

When two duplicate (or very similar) records are found, they are automatically merged . A yellow exclamation mark in the Starfield indicates a merged record. You can tell which ancestors have been merged with other OneGreatFamily members by clicking the merge indicator button in the toolbar (as seen above). You will then see in the Starfield your merged ancestors. This will allow you to see other members of OneGreatFamily that have the same ancestors in their family tree.  You can then collaborate with them if you wish. Here is an image that shows the merge indicators circled in black as they appear in the Starfield:

4. Genmail

GenMail is a free service provided by OneGreatFamily to let you know the results of our ongoing efforts to grow your personal family tree. Each week, OneGreatFamily members receive an email that tells them how many merges occurred and the number of potential matches.

If you have not seen any new ancestors being added to your family tree, you may need to enter more information to your family tree. You may be able to get that additional information by talking to other family members or going through old family documents or photographs. Adding information to your family tree provides more potential links within the OneGreatFamily database.

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Success at OneGreatFamily

Finding Family I Never Knew I Had

I started my search just a couple of months, and I was finally able to untangle my mother's side of our family history. I found ancestors she didn't know she had. In three hours, I traced my brother-in-law's line back to the beginning of the 19th century and told him things he never knew. I have had several links established back to the mid 15th century. In such a short space of time, I have discovered the family I never knew I had.

Thanks to OneGreatFamily for all the information you have provided to me and my family.


Steve Gant
OneGreatFamily Member

Have you had success using OneGreatFamily? We would love to hear about it. Please email us and we will feature your success in our weekly newsletter.

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Lisa Lights the Way

Calendar Change


by Lisa South, Certified Genealogist

The following article was written in the May 5, 2005 OneGreatFamily newsletter. Since Lisa is no longer writing for us, we are featuring some of our favorite articles written by her.

I felt so smart!! They had just asked the $1,000,000 question on a popular game show and I knew the answer (believe me, it was a first!) The reason I knew the answer is because it was about the calendar change and, as a genealogist, I had learned the importance of understanding how this change affected historical records.

During the time of Julius Caesar, the calendar was very inaccurate, and he set about to improve it. He did a great job, but there was still a small error - each year, the calendar was over 11 minutes off. It doesn't sound too important, but after 128 years it was a full day off! By the time Pope Gregory XIII decided a change had to be made, the calendar was 10 days behind the actual time. In 1582, the Pope declared that the Catholic world would begin using his new calendar, the Gregorian calendar. The Gregorian calendar is almost perfect, but to bring the world up to the right starting time, the Pope declared that the calendar would "skip" the next 10 days and that October 4, 1582 would be followed by October 15, 1582. New Year's day was also changed from March 25th to January 1st.

Not everyone was ready to accept the new calendar. There were even rioters who insisted that the 10 days be given back to them. Not all countries were ready to make this change. When doing your research, find out what year the country you are researching changed over to the Gregorian calendar.

Great Britain did not accept it until 1751. By that Time, the Julian Calendar was 11 days off and so Parliament declared that September 2, 1752 would be followed by September 14, 1752. At the time, the American Colonies were part of Britain and so this is the year that the calendar change began impacting American records.

Eleven days and a change in the beginning of the New Year; is that really such a big deal? It can be! If you are searching church baptismal records and you see a record listing John, son of Henry Fear born the 5th of April 1730, and another record that lists Anne, daughter of Henry Fear born the 20th of March 1730, you might conclude that these could not be siblings because they were born just a few weeks apart. With a knowledge of the calendar change, the evaluation would be quite different. John was born the 5th of April and Anne was born eleven months later on the 20th of March - just before the New Year 1731 would begin (your need to remember that the year did not change in January back then).

In Quaker records, the month was usually represented with numbers. Prior to the calendar change, it is important to remember that the date the 3 of the seventh month 1723 would mean the 3rd of September, not July.

Often, you will see a date written Jan 12, 1757/8. This is called double dating and is a result of the calendar change. Beginning genealogists sometimes record this as "either 1757 or 1758", but actually the date is very precise. This person was born Jan 12, 1757 if using the Julian (or O.S., Old Style ) calendar, but Jan 12, 1758 if you are reckoning by the Gregorian (or N.S., New Style) calendar.

You will find double dating in the months January, February and March (the ones affected by the change in the New Year). Occasionally, you will find one in the other months, but that is from someone doing it out of habit (the way we write the wrong year the first few months of a New Year). There were efforts to change the calendar before it actually happened, and some began double dating before the actual date of the calendar change.

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One Great Genealogy Site Award

If you're a passionate genealogist, chances are that you've visited a cemetery or two. is of tremendous value to genealogists because it's a website devoted to publishing cemetery records and materials. It boasts a database of 4,056,102 burial records and tombstone inscriptions for 8,905 cemeteries worldwide. These vast resources are compiled from government agencies or submitted by site visitors, and can help to locate burial grounds all over the globe. If you need help tracing your family history, or just want to learn something about cemeteries in general, we highly recommend

  • Visit
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  • Recommend a Site Award recipient

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

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