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OneGreatFamily Guest Newsletter

May 17, 2007

OneGreatFamily's Refer-a-Friend Program

In This Issue:

OneGreatFamily's Refer-a-Friend Program

Refer a Family Member or Friend to OneGreatFamily And Get Free Time

You can receive one FREE month for every subscriber you refer to OneGreatFamily!

Doing genealogy without cooperating with your family is like being the only player in a team sport. Genealogy was meant to be a team effort. Now you can use the most advanced “team” tools for doing genealogy AND be rewarded for it!

OneGreatFamily Rewards is our way to say "Thank You" for something you are already doing…sharing!


 When you refer family or friends to OneGreatFamily, simply tell them to enter YOUR username (created at sign-up) into the “Rewards Program” field when they subscribe.

  After they subscribe, you will receive an email to confirm your free month.

  Check your account to see your new expiration date. After you login, click on “My Account ” to view your account. One of the boxes provides you with your Subscription Information. You will see below the space that will inform you whether or not you have received credit for a referral.

Send an invitation to your friends and family NOW using:
Invite Others in Bulk! (You can send up to 10 emails at once)

Frequently Asked Questions about OneGreatFamily Rewards:

1.Is there a limit to how many FREE months I can receive?
No! Your number of months is unlimited!

2. Do I get a free month if I refer someone who signs up as a Guest or provides an email address only?
No. The person you refer must be a paying subscriber, even if it’s only for one month.

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OneGreatFamily Tip: Definitions All OneGreatFamily Members Should Know

Merges, Hints, Groups, Handprint and Genmail at OneGreatFamily

We believe the following terms should be well known by all OneGreatFamily members so you can fully understand how OneGreatFamily works:

Merges occur when our patent-pending Handprint™ matching system is certain that two people are the same. OneGreatFamily automatically merges the two together, preserving any differences in the combined record. This fuses the two trees together, which may add more ancestors to your family tree.

Hints occur when our patent-pending Handprint matching system identifies two people who might be a match, but lacks enough information to be certain. Perhaps a number of dates or places are different, or the number of children don't match. Hints are identified in the Starfield by a light bulb icon. Although hints can often be easily resolved, accuracy is important to us at OneGreatFamily, and we will never merge two people unless we are certain.

A Group is simply a snapshot of the OneGreatFamily tree. All users in one group see the tree the same, where users in different groups can see the tree differently. You are automatically assigned to your own group when you sign up for OneGreatFamily, but you can create or join as many other groups as you wish. You might have a separate group with your brother and one with a family organization, in addition to your own private group. Each group could show a different birthday for your great-, great-grandfather.

The Handprint matching system goes far beyond the searching systems used on other websites. It compares the names, dates, and locations for the individual as well as for his father, mother, spouse, siblings, and children. This means a single Handprint comparison typically involves over 45 unique assessments. From these assessments, using a proprietary scoring algorithm, the system calculates a confidence level to determine if it considers two people a match. In one test we recently ran, our system was a lot less likely to mistakenly merge two people than experienced genealogists.

GenMail is the name of OneGreatFamily's e-mail notification system. The OneGreatFamily automated searching system runs around the clock, checking every person entered against every person already in the OneGreatFamily family tree for matches. Each week you are sent an email that has all the results of OneGreatFamily's automated matching and merging system. This feature is only available to OneGreatFamily subscribers.

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Genealogy Tip: Avoiding Genealogy Fraud

What is the OneGreatFamily Affiliate Program?

You should be aware of at least three forms of fraud while you research your family tree online. This article will help you avoid falling prey to phony websites, malicious scams, and fraudulent genealogical information.

Phony Websites

Greed has motivated some people to "capitalize" on the desire of genealogists who possess the drive and passion to find their ancestors. Genealogy and technology expert Dick Eastman helped expose Elias Abodeely of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, as one such scam artist. Through a number of "genealogy websites," most notably GenSeekers, Abodeely allegedly bilked genealogists by getting them to subscribe to a site that simply linked to other websites.

Beware of websites that charge fees to access links or pieces of information that are freely available elsewhere on the Internet. These sites often make people pay twice to access the record they are looking for. A fooled consumer may pay the fraudulent website and then pay separate subscription fees to the legitimate websites that provide the real value.

The best way to avoid such frauds is to make sure you know what you are paying for and can try the website before you are billed for the service. Another way to protect yourself is to ask fellow researchers if they have used the site and what their experience has been. You may also want to look for a means of contacting the site's owner or administrator. Fraudulent websites seldom provide any means of contact.

The rise of fraudulent websites is one reason OneGreatFamily allows new guests to take advantage of a 7-day free trial. Registered guests who have taken time to become familiar with OneGreatFamily understand what they are paying for when they decide to subscribe to the service.

Malicious Scams

While phony websites are one form of genealogy scam, some scams are even more malicious. EBay and other online services have recently warned customers against submitting personal information, such as account logins, billing information, and social security numbers, though email forms. Some crooks can get people to provide all the information they need for financial gain through an official-looking email message.

Always make sure you are on a company's official website before making a transaction or providing login information. Never provide information, such as billing information or a social security number, without a clear understanding of why the information is required and how the information will be used. Also, take the time to read and understand the terms and conditions of any offer you receive.

Other malicious scams are designed to get access to your bank account. The perpetrator of such a scam will often say they have money they want to deposit into your account. The reason for the deposit may be an inheritance check or a transfer from a foreign account where the person claims to be in distress or a "political prisoner." They will ask for your bank account information to make their deposits; however, instead of depositing funds, they empty the account.

Fraudulent Genealogy Information

The first two forms of fraud are malicious and motivated by greed. The perpetuation of fraudulent genealogy information, on the other hand, is typically more benign. The root of this fraud, however, typically stems from the same greed.

Much of the false genealogical information that has been published is also the result of greed. Several incidents of this sort of fraud have been documented as being done by hired researchers who wanted to embellish the research they were providing. Other false information has been perpetuated by researchers who have tried to "prove" relationships with little supporting evidence. In many cases, when a well-meaning researcher is given a choice between two possible alternatives, the more convenient or glamorous alternative is chosen without first looking for more evidence.

Several of these genealogies were "created" by Gustave Anjou, who repeatedly ensured his clients had genealogies that included several high-profile ancestors.

Unfortunately, much of this "research" has found its way into the databases of sincere researchers who were happy to quickly claim these high-profile (albeit false) ancestors as their own.

This information has also made its way online. In most cases, this information has been shared and promulgated unknowingly. The only way to identify and correct the result of this fraud is by carefully examining and documenting each piece of evidence.

Even in cases where sources are given, you may need to consult with the original source to verify that information is correct.

OneGreatFamily can help. OneGreatFamily lets you see alternatives for information in your family tree and lets you collaborate with people who can help identify false information that may have crept into your tree. You can also share your discoveries and documentation with others to correct false information they may have unwittingly accepted from another source.

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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
  • See Past Award Recipients
  • 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 and Rob Armstrong
    Editor: Eric Hoffman

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