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OneGreatFamily Guest Newsletter

March 8, 2007

Tips for Expanding Your Family Tree at OneGreatFamily

In This Issue:

Tips for Expanding Your Family Tree at OneGreatFamily

I have submitted all my ancestors to OneGreatFamily, but no new ancestors have been added to my family tree. When will my family grow at OneGreatFamily?

Between one and three million names are submitted to OneGreatFamily each month, making it the fastest-growing and ONLY collaborative family tree available online. This database growth benefits everyone who shares common ancestry. In many cases, the new names help fill gaps in family trees or provide clues to new genealogy discoveries. In other cases, these names provide additional evidence or support for information that is already part of OneGreatFamily. In any instance where merging and matching takes place within OneGreatFamily, those who share common ancestors have new opportunities to collaborate on their genealogies.

Even with all of these new names pouring in, some members haven't seen additions to their family tree. If you are among these individuals, we have a few recommendations:

Be patient - With nearly 500,000 unique visitors each month, someone is likely to submit information on your family tree in the near future. You may not see any growth in your family tree for some time, but then you may see a flurry of activity that affects your family tree.

Be proactive - Find other websites that include your ancestral names and invite those site visitors to participate on OneGreatFamily. Continue to research your family tree to try to take it back to the next generation. With each generation, the probability of being able to find common ancestors in OneGreatFamily increases significantly. For example, recently one user submitted 6 names to OneGreatFamily. After receiving no additions to his family tree, he decided to find and add one more person one generation back. After adding that one person, OneGreatFamily quickly found and added over 55,000 ancestors to his family tree.

Be watchful - Pay attention to your GenMail™ notifications, merge indicators , and New Members Added popup boxes. We send GenMail email messages each week to let people know if their family tree is growing. If you are not receiving these messages, there are several steps you can take to be sure GenMail messages are getting through.   First, on the My Account tab, make sure your email address is current and that you have said Yes to Receive GenMails in the Email Preferences box.  Second, in your email program (ex. Outlook, Outlook Express, Gmail, Yahoo, etc.) be sure is on your Safe Sender Domain list and is on your Safe Sender List; otherwise it is possible that GenMails are going into your Junk folder. You should also continue to visit OneGreatFamily to update your family tree and see if there are any signs of activity on your family tree.

Be careful - Verify the information you have entered into OneGreatFamily is as complete and accurate as possible. This will help other members of OneGreatFamily who may be looking for your family line to know when they have found it. You are likely not the only person trying to find connections to your ancestral lines in OneGreatFamily, so you will want to be as helpful as possible with the information you provide.

As OneGreatFamily continues to grow, we are committed to the success of each of our members in furthering genealogy research and connecting to work that has already been completed in OneGreatFamily.

OneGreatFamily Tip: What Is The Handprint Concept And How Does It Benefit My Family Tree?

The Handprint Concept at OneGreatFamily

Most genealogy sites today let you search large record collections to try to find details about your ancestors. This technique focuses primarily on names, dates and places to identify ancestors. Names, Dates and Places are valuable, but they have limitations. How many Benjamin Johnsons might have been born in Arlington, Virginia on July 5th, 1921? Focusing on family relationships is far more effective in identifying an ancestor as a unique individual. In our example, you would feel much more confident that you had found your ancestor if the mother’s and father’s names matched in addition to the ancestor’s name, date and place.

OneGreatFamily takes a very different approach to genealogy by factoring in all the direct relationships of an ancestor in addition to names, dates and places when searching.

We call this unique way of searching the genealogy handprint. Like a fingerprint, it is a way to uniquely identify an individual based on relationships rather than patterns made by the ridges of your skin.

The genealogy handprint can be visualized by thinking of an ancestor standing in the palm of your hand, with your fingers outstretched. Then visualize each of that ancestor’s family members standing on the fingers. On one finger stands the person’s father, on another is his mother, on another is his spouse, on another stands the ancestor’s children and on the last stands his siblings. Those relationships taken together, then coupled with dates and places will uniquely identify an individual far better and more accurately than just names, dates, and places.

You are able to view any ancestor’s handprint in Genealogy Browser™. Selecting any name in the Starfield makes that person the current individual. OneGreatFamily then displays that individual's unique handprint, allowing you to see the relationships that identify who that person is. The handprint view also lets you see details for the selected individual and for that individual's family.

Clicking on the selected individual opens those details, and allows you to edit the record and view additional information, such as biographies, photos, notes, and sources. By clicking the button that says "Family Info" you can view the details of the selected individual's immediate family. You can see the family in which that person was a child or the family in which the individual was a parent (if there were offspring). The family view provides marriage/divorce information and access to additional information that applies to the entire family.

OneGreatFamily’s unique handprint technology is also useful when finding matches in the OneGreatFamily database and showing you where more information is available on your family tree. While OneGreatFamily searches for matches with everyone who has submitted their family trees to OneGreatFamily, only subscribers gain unlimited access to the new relationships and the information that results from the matching and merging process.

To learn more about OneGreatFamily's Handprint Concept you can watch the following tutorial:

#1 - Screen resolutions of 800x600 (file size of 1.8MB):

#2 - Screen resolutions of 1024x762 or greater (file size of 1.1MB):

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Success at OneGreatFamily: Beyond My Wildest Dreams

Beyond My Wildest Dreams

We enjoy hearing about the success our members have in building their family trees at OneGreatFamily. We appreciate Logan for sharing his success with us.

Dear OneGreatFamily,

I am excited with the results that I received within the first 2 days of my trial period. One of my lines was extended by your OneGreatFamily Tree from the mid 1500's to the early 1300's. I am amazed by the power of your system and how fast it is in merging my tree into the OneGreatFamily Tree and noting any discrepancies and other possible mergers. It even fully merged the three separate GEDCOM files that I submitted at the same time when I first signed up.

Your unique and very dynamic full tree in the right side of your browser window is way beyond anything that I have seen before. I cannot say how many times that I have gotten lost in a tree using other software technologies. Now I can know exactly where I am at all times. Then to think how quickly I can locate and change to any other part of my tree is just beyond my wildest dreams.


Logan Wright

You can view more success stories by visiting:

If you have had success using OneGreatFamily, please let us know. We would love to hear from you. Please contact us either by visit our Contact Page or by emailing Thank You.

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One Great Genealogy Site Award is intended to help those people with Native Hawaiian Ancestry of pure or part aboriginal blood learn more about their 'Ohana (family). However, this website could also be helpful to anyone with Hawaiian ties. They offer resources such as land records, information on naming practices, immigrant ship lists, Hawaiian history, and newspaper obituaries. They also offer Message Boards where you can share what you know of your genealogy in hopes of finding connections with others and closing gaps in your own genealogy.

  • Visit today
  • See Past Award Recipients
  • Recommend A Site Award Recipient

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

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