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OneGreatFamily Guest Newsletter

August 17, 2006

OneGreatFamily Is The World's Largest Family Tree

In This Issue:

How Is OneGreatFamily Different From Other Online Genealogy Services?

OneGreatFamily Is One Single, Unified, Global Family Tree

OneGreatFamily is unique from all other genealogical services available today.

Most online genealogy services 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 with that ancestor in them.

In the end, you are still left with the enormous task of reviewing all the ancestors in all these other trees, and deciding one by one which ancestors to bring into your individual family tree, and which ones to leave out.

Contrast this to OneGreatFamily, where everyone is working on one single, unified, global family tree. Members have the ability to collaborate with others from around the world who are also viewing OneGreatFamily's single, unified, global family tree from their own unique perspectives.

If two members look at the same person in OneGreatFamily they may see things quite differently depending on what each member has verified and accepted. OneGreatFamily preserves all discrepancies and variations in its one single, global family tree.

For example, one member may only accept three children listed for an ancestor while another member has found and accepted five children for that same ancestor. OneGreatFamily lets each member view the information the way they prefer, yet at the same time each member can look at the other's accepted view. Even if one member deletes information others have accepted, that information remains for anyone who has accepted it.

However, OneGreatFamily is more than just one single, unified, global family tree! OneGreatFamily employs unique software that does the work of matching and merging family trees for you. This practically eliminates the enormous task of deciding one by one which ancestors to bring into your individual family tree.

If a user adds a family unit that is already in the one single, unified, global family tree, OneGreatFamily's software will first detect that this is redundant information. Next it will automatically merge this new information into the existing information, preserving this member's view of the information as entered. The member will automatically gain access to all the other information that is already in the one single, unified, global family tree related to this family unit, which could literally be tens of thousands of ancestors. Finally, for all other members any differences in information provided by this member will automatically be flagged for their review at their convenience.

It is this process that leads to customer experiences like this one: "I entered a new ancestor on August 6. I checked my tree the next day. It had grown from this 1 new ancestor (which was generation # 17 and a total of 126 ancestors) to generation 118 and 1443 ancestors!!!"

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

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OneGreatFamily Tip: Two Ways To Guarantee Success At OneGreatFamily

Ways To Guarantee Success At OneGreatFamily

OneGreatFamily is a remarkable service that continues to help people identify tens of thousands of previously unknown ancestors each week. Are you experiencing this success? Nearly 120,000 individuals in the OneGreatFamily database were merged together within the last week, and nearly 34,000 were identified as potential duplicates. What does this mean?

When merges take place or new hints appear, it means OneGreatFamily is growing and the information included at OneGreatFamily is becoming more accurate. This activity also means that people whose genealogies are included as part of OneGreatFamily are seeing their family trees continue to grow.

How can you make sure you are one of the people who benefits from this amazing growth and collaboration? We'd like to suggest two ways:

  1. Submit Your Entire Known Family Tree!

    The more information you provide to OneGreatFamily, the greater your chance of tying into other ancestral lines at OneGreatFamily. OneGreatFamily allows people to enter information directly into the Genealogy Browser or to submit a GEDCOM file to start their family tree. With each additional generation you enter of your own family tree, you are increasing your ability to know if another member of OneGreatFamily is already working on your family tree. Identifying ONE common ancestor can result in adding THOUSANDS of additional ancestors to your family tree!

    Many people have been able to find new matching data and meet distant relatives after entering only a few generations of their family trees . . . or even just a few ancestors; however, others with "less common" ancestors may need to supply OneGreatFamily with more information to get started. As OneGreatFamily continues to grow and grow, you are more and more likely to find further success.

  2. See Your Family Tree To The End Of Each Line

    OneGreatFamily only shows the first seven generations of your family tree as its default setting; however, you may actually have more than seven generations of data available at OneGreatFamily.

    You can identify whether or not you are seeing your entire family tree by recognizing "end of line" individuals. An "end of line" individual is someone in the OneGreatFamily family tree with no known ancestors. You can find them quickly because they are in red boxes as shown in the example below.

    If you see a line in your family tree that doesn't end with an individual in a red box, you are not seeing your entire family tree. It's easy to change the preference for how many generations can be viewed in Genealogy Browser™. You can then expand the Starfield View (pedigree) to see your entire family tree at OneGreatFamily.

    You will notice a drop down menu in the toolbar section at the top of Genealogy Browser. This lets you quickly and easily set the number of generations to be displayed in the Starfield area.

    Many users have never changed this setting and so have never actually seen everything that OneGreatFamily has found for them. If you have never changed this setting, we strongly encourage you to play around with it, now that it is right there on the toolbar. You can select a value off the drop down menu or just enter a value into the box. If you are on a high-speed internet connection, we would suggest you try starting with at least 50 generations. Dial-up users might want to start with 20 generations.

    Remember, the higher the number, the longer it will take to load your pedigree. Still, you could be surprised to see how much OneGreatFamily has added to your family tree, and it will be worth the wait!

    You can view any and all information you have contributed to OneGreatFamily without subscribing; however, the ability to view details on individuals who have been added to your tree through the OneGreatFamily service is reserved for subscribers only.
Thank you for supporting this monumental effort in genealogy. OneGreatFamily continues to grow in value with each passing day, increasing your chances of finding new ancestors and discovering new information about your family tree.
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Lisa Lights The Way

How Do I Find Church Records?

by Lisa South, Certified Genealogist

The following article was written in the March 11, 2005 OneGreatFamily newsletter. Since Lisa is no longer writing for us, we are featuring some of our favorite articles written by her.

Before you begin searching for your ancestors in church records, you have to determine with which church those ancestors were affiliated. Often, this information is passed down through the family. An obituary, family bible, or artifact often will give you your clue. If you do not know which church(es) your ancestors attended, or if there were no churches of their denomination close to where they lived, you should conduct a "spiral" map search.

Through land records, locate where your ancestor lived. Search the history of that area (many county histories will mention the churches that were established in that county), find which churches were there at that time, and locate the churches and your ancestor's property on your map. Starting from your ancestor's home, draw a spiral out. Search the records of the closest church and continue until you have found the records of your ancestors or have established that they are not on any of the church records.

Once you locate the church your ancestors attended, determine if that Church's records have been published. Many are online and many can be searched at your local LDS Family History Library. If the records have not been published, find out if the old records are still in the custody of that church. If not, question the minister; he might know if the records have been collected to a central repository. Find out if local libraries or historical societies have collected church records. If the church is not extant, the chamber of commerce or older people in the community may know where the records are being stored.

Remember, church records are made to fill the needs of the church, not the needs of the genealogist, so some church records give very little genealogical information while others are a veritable gold mine.

Tracking down Church records can take a lot of money (in the form of long distance phone calls, trips, etc.) and time. Before you make that investment, you'll definitely want to check OneGreatFamily to see if the work has already been done by other genealogy enthusiasts, and which sources they may have already identified.

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One Great Genealogy Site Award


Lineages Web Site is a major genealogy reference library and resource center built and maintained by professional genealogists who understand the needs of beginning researchers and experienced family historians. Explore our website to learn about us, genealogy, our local and international services, and search some databases. You can also browse our store, post a query, and ask questions.

  • Visit
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  • 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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    Managing Editor: Heather Matthews
    Contributors: Heather Matthews, Lisa South and Rob Armstrong
    Editor: Brenda Eyring

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