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OneGreatFamily Guest Newsletter

February 1, 2007

OneGreatFamily Is One Of A Kind

In This Issue:

OneGreatFamily Is One Of A Kind

Six Differences Between OneGreatFamily And Other Online Family Tree Collections

OneGreatFamily is unique from all other genealogical services available today. Other online family tree collections 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 that have that ancestor in them.

In the end, you are left with the enormous task of reviewing all your ancestors individually in all the other trees. You must then decide which ancestors to bring into your individual family tree and which ones to leave out.

However, OneGreatFamily is very different from all other genealogy services. Here is what makes OneGreatFamily unique:

1. OneGreatFamily automatically merges two family trees together into one when it finds the exact same person in both. You can then zoom-in and see the information added. The separate work of several submitters is often chained together creating a massive family tree. Users who tie into the core of our family tree through a match often gain hundreds, thousands, or tens of thousands of ancestors.

2. OneGreatFamily identifies and eliminates all duplicated data within our family tree automatically through our exclusive technology. This saves you a lot of time, while also making it easier to research your family tree by condensing hundreds or thousands of duplicates down to a single record.

3. OneGreatFamily searches 24-hours a day for you, comparing every person you’ve added against everybody else in the tree to see if they are the same person. Whether you add 5, 500 or 5,000 names, including all names uploaded in a GEDCOM, OneGreatFamily will do all the search work for you. This saves you the time and effort of conducting these searches manually. OneGreatFamily often finds information for people or family lines you aren’t even researching right now.

4. OneGreatFamily searches for your ancestors, utilizing our patent-pending Genealogy Handprint™ technology. We have discovered that, just as a fingerprint is a unique identifier for a person, a genealogy "handprint", as we call it, is also a unique genealogical identifier. This special handprint is made up of a person and their immediate family connections. Handprint matching is far more accurate than manual searching on just names, dates, and places. It also makes it more likely you will find additional ancestors.

5. OneGreatFamily preserves everybody's unique view of our universal family tree. When there are differences of opinion, OneGreatFamily maintains all those differences, and allowing each person to see each version and choose the one he or she determines to be correct for their personal family tree. Your data is safe with us. Nobody can change your view of the tree without your consent, but everyone can see your version, collaborate with you to find out why you think your version is right, and accept your view if they choose to.

6. OneGreatFamily automatically identifies those places in your family tree where other people have information different from yours and helps you zoom in and resolve those differences quickly and easily. Collaboration is built right into the system to help resolve differences. Genealogy is less effective when done in isolation. At OneGreatFamily, you are always working in a collaborative environment. You can easily see, collaborate with, and gain the benefit of the work of others.

Genealogy Tip: Involve All Members of Your Family In Your Genealogy Research

Get Your Family Excited About Their Ancestors

Doing ancestor research together as a family is a great way to involve everybody in a shared hobby. Ancestor research draws on the family knowledge and stories of the older generation, while younger family members can contribute useful computer and Internet skills to the ancestor research project.

Doing ancestor research together is a great way to schedule family time. Here are some ways that ancestor research can bring your family together:

  1. Ancestor research starts at home. Even small children can ask Grandma and Grandpa for stories about their families, though they may need your help recording information. "What was it like when you were my age?" can elicit some memorable answers.
  2. Make visits to local libraries, museums, and archives. Family adventures are an exciting way to pursue your ancestor research. Take family members of all ages to visit a local history museum so older relatives can explain the common objects of yesteryear to younger folk.
  3. When you know a little more about your family tree, plan vacations around ancestor research. Compile a list of houses, cemeteries, and places of historical interest connected with your family history. A trip to Ellis Island has much more meaning and interest when you know the names and stories of some of your family members.
Whether you're an expert at ancestor research or just starting out, offers the chance to add entire branches to your family tree. You may find a lost ancestor or an entire forest of new connections. Share the fruits of your ancestor research with other members of your family. Our families, even those members who lived generations before us, are the stuff we are made of. They are our roots, our beginnings, and they influence our lives in ways we may not even understand.
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"Making Genealogy Magic"

World War II Records

by Mandy Mathews, Family Historian

As your research through military records continues, you will find as the wars become more recent, the harder the records are to access. This is mainly due to the U.S. Privacy Act. If you know your ancestor served in the military, then as a direct descendant, you will be able to request copies of their military service records from the national archives.

World War II records are not as readily accessible as the previous wars we have discussed. There are more and more records becoming available for WWII. You can find the following records on

  • U.S. Army Enlistment Records, 1938 – 1946 (This collection contains information on approximately 8.3 million men and women who enlisted in the U.S. Army during World War II. Information collected includes: name of enlistee, army serial number, residence (county and state), place of enlistment, enlistment date, grade, army branch, component, term of enlistment, birthplace, year of birth, race and citizenship, height and weight, education, and marital status..)
  • WWII Prisoners of War Records, 1941 – 1946 (These records include information on about 140,000 U.S. officers and soldiers, as well as U.S. and some Allied civilians who were prisoners of war during World War II, specifically 7 Dec 1941-19 Nov 1946).

Similar to other war and military records, there are several independent databases and indexes compiled on state and city levels. When you begin searching for information on your ancestors, remember to look at all different levels of record keeping, city, state, and national.

The U.S. National Archives are an excellent source for any military record search; just remember there is a fee for all records obtained from this website. Another excellent resource for military records of any kind is the LDS Family History Library.  You can access their library catalog at Perform a search for the place your ancestor is from. The records are organized by locality.

When researching more recent wars, it is important to keep looking for information because more and more records become available daily. There are also new websites and databases popping up on the internet each day. If you run into a dead end, don’t give up hope. Giving it time and searching again a few weeks or months later can prove very fruitful.

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One Great Genealogy Site Award is an online archive of genealogy records and scanned images of historical documents from a wide variety of sources; such as newspaper obituaries, city directories, census records, ship lists, school yearbooks, military records, and more. In all there are more than 6 million genealogy records from over 1,500 sources online. And all records are FREE!

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    Managing Editor: Heather Matthews
    Contributors: Heather Matthews, Mandy Mathews and Rob Armstrong
    Editor: Eric Hoffman

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