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OneGreatFamily Subscriber Newsletter

July 27, 2006

What Makes OneGreatFamily So Unique?

In This Issue:

What Makes OneGreatFamily So Unique?

3 Concepts That Explain How OneGreatFamily Is Different From Other Genealogy Services

There are some key differences between OneGreatFamily and other genealogy services that you need to understand to take full advantage of what we have to offer. Though OneGreatFamily is not a new service, it is quite revolutionary to the genealogy community. We have come up with 3 main principles that explain what exactly makes us so unique and how our cutting-edge, yet simple, approach to genealogy can greatly help you in building your family tree.

Concept 1 - OneGreatFamily is a Single Family Tree

OneGreatFamily is a single, global family tree which everyone helps to build. It's not just a collection of individual trees that people work on alone. This means that when ANYONE works on OneGreatFamily, they are also working on your tree, and when you work on your tree, you are collaborating with others to explore their family trees.

As OneGreatFamily members add to the global family tree, the system searches to see if any of the names submitted could be your ancestors. Even if we find some of your ancestors today, we may find more in a week, a month, or a year. Just think; while you're concentrating on a maternal line, OneGreatFamily may identify a breakthrough on your paternal side! Your next step forward could come when you are sleeping, making dinner, or enjoying an evening out with friends, all thanks to the efforts of tens of thousands of OneGreatFamily members.

Concept 2 - OneGreatFamily Searches and Sifts For You

OneGreatFamily automatically does all the "search and sift" work for you. Let's face it, most traditional genealogy websites are based on "search and sift", where you initiate a search and then have to start sifting through the tens of thousands of matches you get back. Obviously, most of these possible matches will be wrong and a few may clearly be right. The rest have to be sorted and checked.

OneGreatFamily does all this tedious work for you. We automatically search all the people you enter against every person entered in the OneGreatFamily database. Then, we sift the results automatically and divide them into 3 categories:

  1. Obvious non-matches. These are automatically ignored and you aren't bothered with them.

  2. Obvious matches. These are automatically merged by the system. Sometimes the obvious matches show minor discrepancies in the information. An automatic merge never destroys data. Any differences in information are saved and are tagged as "conflicts" in the new single record.

  3. Possible matches. These are referred to as "Hints". Instead of endlessly sifting through obviously incorrect search results, OneGreatFamily focuses your attention and effort on likely matches.

Concept 3 - OneGreatFamily Handles Different Opinions

OneGreatFamily easily handles differences of opinion. Sometimes genealogists disagree. Perhaps there is documentation supporting multiple dates for the same event or even regarding parentage.

Because of its collaborative foundation, OneGreatFamily is built to handle these situations. These discrepancies are called "conflicts". OneGreatFamily will never force you to accept someone else's information, nor someone else to accept yours.

There are two primary types of conflicts: informational and relational. Informational conflicts occur when a fact is in dispute, perhaps a birth date or a marriage location. Relational conflicts occur when a family relationship is in question. In resolving both types of conflicts, you will be presented with your information and the conflicting information. You will then be given a choice to 1) accept the alternate information presented, 2) clear the conflict, which means you are satisfied with your information and no longer want to consider any alternative information, or 3) cancel for now, which will allow you to postpone making a choice until you can find more information.

Dive into OneGreatFamily and see what we can do for your family tree.

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OneGreatFamily Tip : Password and Username Assistance

How Do I Recover My Login Information?

When you first subscribed or signed up as a guest, it was required that you enter an username and password. Once this was completed, we sent you a welcome email with your registration information, which included your password and user name. If you are not a frequent user of OneGreatFamily, it's possible that you have forgotten your username or password.

Check your old email to see if you still have our welcome letter containing your registration information. If not, we can send your username and password to you again. If you have forgotten your username or password, use the Remind Me! feature. All we need is your username or email address. If the information you submit matches the information associated with your OneGreatFamily account, an email will be sent to you with your login information.

If you have changed your email address since you created your OneGreatFamily account or do not receive your login information by email within a few minutes (when using the "Remind Me!" feature above), you may contact OneGreatFamily Customer Service by filling out the Contact Form. OneGreatFamily Customer Support will ask you a few questions to verify you are the owner of the account, and then supply you with your login information.

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Genealogy Tip : How To Date Old Family Photographs

Basic Techniques Of Dating Pictures

Great-Grandma's family collection of antique pictures can be a treasure trove for you, the genealogy researcher, especially if you can establish when an antique picture was taken.

Dating a photograph can help you identify the subject(s) (in early photography the subjects were referred to as sitters) and can provide additional information as you piece together your family tree.

There are some basic techniques to begin the process of dating an antique picture.
  • What is the print made of? Is the image printed on metal, glass, card stock, or paper? Daguerreotype (early tintypes) and ambrotypes (printed on glass) were often mounted in double wooden frames that opened like a book. These were the most common types of early photographs and date back to around 1839. By 1870, almost all antique pictures were printed on heavy paper or card stock. The heavier stock was much more common in early photographs; by the 1930s even studio portraits were printed on thin paper.

  • Is the antique picture printed in black and white or color? Some images were being hand-tinted as early as the 1850s. Although color still photography was introduced in 1906, it was an expensive process that only professionals could afford to use. Color antique pictures did not become common for home use until the late 1950's and early 1960's.

  • How are the people in the photograph posed? Very early antique pictures showed people in rigid poses and usually without smiles, partly because exposure times could be as long as twenty seconds. Many portrait photographers even used braces to help sitters stay in position during the process. Candid pictures and then snapshots became more common in the 1920s.

  • How are the sitters dressed? The straight tunic dresses and bobbed hair of the 1920's are easy to distinguish from the cinched waists and luxuriant chignons of the late 1890's.

  • What other objects are visible in the antique picture? A Model T car is absolute proof that the picture was not taken before 1908. Furniture, toys, brands names, logos - all these things can provide clues, and thus, invaluable assistance in identifying previously unidentified photographs.

Additional information on dating family antique pictures is available from this list of links.

Tracing a family resemblance through the generations with antique pictures can give you a warm sense of connection to your family's past.

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One Great Genealogy Site Award provides links to several interesting databases and genealogy utilities, including a beginner's tutorial and a county locator. Some of the databases are Bible Records, Cemetery Records, Census Records, Military Records, Native American Records, and More! You can also download Free Genealogy Charts and see genealogy data organized by US State. Visit to find information to add to your Family Tree.

  • Visit
  • See Past Award Recipients.
  • 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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