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OneGreatFamily Guest Newsletter

August 2, 2007

Where Can I Find More Genealogy Information To Add To My OneGreatFamily Tree?

In This Issue:

Where Can I Find More Genealogy Information To Add To My OneGreatFamily Tree?

Adding More Information To Your Family Tree Will Increase Your Success At OneGreatFamily

We want to share some ideas about where you can find additional information about your family tree to enter into OneGreatFamily. If you’ve entered everything you know but haven’t had any merges, hints, or conflicts, you have two options. You can choose to wait while others do their work and see if they tie into yours or you can take matters into your own hands by doing a little more outside research, entering the information into OneGreatFamily, and seeing if you can tie into someone else’s work.

There are six circles of genealogy information available to you to assist you in finding out more about your family tree.

The Six Circles of Genealogy Information

Notice that the six circles in the diagram only partially overlap. Each will contain information that can be found in other circles, but each also often has some information not found in other circles. For this reason, the most complete genealogy reach involves examining all six of the circles.

Notice also that three of the six circles are shown in shades of green and three are shown in shades of blue. There are two general categories of people who get involved in researching their genealogy; those who only want to focus on the blue circles (information gatherers) and those who want to explore the information available in all the circles (researchers).

The Information Gatherers like interacting with family members, recalling old family stories, discovering more about their families, and preserving this information for future generations. They enjoy finding out more about their family trees, but aren't interested in searching through microfilm or tens of thousands of computer generated leads to find the information.

The Researchers love the thrill of the hunt. They relish searching for that piece of information about an ancestor and love the thrill that comes with tracking down a lead no one else has been able to find. Researchers enjoy crafting searches and sifting through the results, looking for that long lost ancestor.

The Genealogy Community consists of thousands of people in both groups, and OneGreatFamily is a great tool for all. Information Gatherers record and document valuable information often unavailable elsewhere and make it available to Researchers. Researchers find information not available to Information Gatherers to augment their knowledge. Everyone benefits from OneGreatFamily because everyone works on the same single global human family tree.

Each Circle of Knowledge Is Described Here In More Detail:

1. Your Own Knowledge

People usually know a lot more about their family tree than they realize because they have separate memories of many people. For example, you may have a clear memory of the family members that attended a family function from your youth - a wedding, a confirmation, or a bar mitzvah. You may also remember stories told by your parents or grandparents about their parents, brothers, sisters, and other relatives. All these memories serve to get you started in recording your family tree. You may also want to write them down and preserve them in OneGreatFamily for future generations.

2. Knowledgeable Relatives

Every family seems to have one relative that is really into genealogy. This person might even have hand-written genealogy records. Give that person a phone call. Ask about family stories and the family members who were participants. You'll have an enjoyable conversation and glean a lot of information about your family tree. Next, turn to your oldest living relatives, perhaps a grandparent or a great-uncle. Pick up the phone or hop in the car. Most elderly people enjoy talking about their memories and reliving "the good old days." You might even consider using audio or video tape to record the conversation. What a treasure for future generations!

3. Family Documents

People are often surprised to realize how much information they have around their homes. Books of remembrance, memory boxes, and old trunks are often full of certificates, licenses, newspaper articles, and even simple birthday cards that can shed light on your family tree. Once you find these documents, it's a good idea to consider scanning them electronically. Often these documents are one-of-a-kind, so getting them digitized now may be their last chance at preservation.

Many People Are Happy With Just Doing This Much. They have gathered quite a bit of family information and have recorded it. They don't enjoy the idea of doing research, which inevitably involves hunting down data collections and then sifting through results; however, if those green circles call to you, read on.

4. Free Internet Websites

The Internet is full of web sites offering free genealogy information. Often, this information is made available online by State or local governments, local genealogical or historical societies, or genealogy enthusiasts. Available information can run the gamut; from tombstone transcriptions to indices of marriage records to war casualty lists. Search engines like Google or Yahoo can be effective tools for tracking down information on your family members. Three extremely useful websites are,, and

5. Paid Internet Websites

Like free Internet websites, these usually offer indices or transcribed records, sometimes even displaying an image of the original record. These are usually run by commercial, for-profit organizations that have paid to have records transcribed. Often, you can search the collection for free, but accessing the actual data will require signing up for a free trial or paying outright for access. Most operate on an annual subscription basis and can run hundreds of dollars.

6. Public Document Repositories

This circle encompasses everything from Courthouses to Libraries to Archives (National and State). A few of these organizations have put some of their material online, but the vast majority of their records are available on either microfilm or paper format. Some accept written, mailed requests for information; others require you to appear in person to research and copy records. Examples include County Courthouses, the Social Security Administration, and the National Archives.

Remember, one of the great strengths of OneGreatFamily is that you always have the choice to wait and see if others tie into your material or to do a little more research, enter any new information into OneGreatFamily, and see if you can tie into someone else’s work.

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OneGreatFamily Tip: Will My Personal Firewall Software Prevent Genealogy Browser From Launching?

Are You Receiving Error Message 12029 When You Try And Launch Genealogy Browser?

Some personal firewall software will prevent Genealogy Browser from accessing the Internet. If you are receiving error 12029 when you try to launch Genealogy Browser, this is most likely the cause. In order to run Genealogy Browser, you must allow it permission through any personal firewall software that you are running.

For Norton Internet Security users:

Please follow the steps below in order to allow Genealogy Browser access to the Internet:

1. Open Norton Internet Security and click on Personal Firewall.
2. Click on Configure. (If you are running NIS 2003, skip this step.)
3. Click on the Programs tab.
4. Change the policy for any programs labeled OneGreatFamily Genealogy Browser or Z.EXE to "Permit All."
5. Click on OK.

For McAfee Security Center users:

If you are using McAfee Security Center, please follow these steps in order to allow Genealogy Browser access to the Internet.

1. Open McAfee Security Center and click on Personal Firewall. (If you are not sure how to open McAfee, double click on the red or black box with the white M in it, located near the clock in your system tray.)
2. Under "I want to..." click on "view the firewall summary."
3. In the new window that appears, under Internet Applications, change the permissions settings to "Allow full access" for any programs labeled OneGreatFamily® Genealogy Browser or Z.EXE.

For Windows Firewall users:

If you are using Windows Firewall, please follow the steps below in order to allow Genealogy Browser access to the Internet:

1. Open Windows Firewall (On your Start Menu, select Control Panel; open the Security section and then Windows Firewall.)
2. Click on the Exceptions tab.
3. Click on Add Program.
4. Click on Browse, and then in the "Look In" field, navigate to the Local disk C: (your C drive.)
5. Open the Program Files and then OGF folder in the C drive.
6. Click on the Z file and then Open.
7. Click on Ok on both the "Add a Program" and "Windows Firewall" boxes.

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The Social Security Death Index

By Kimberly Brown, Family Historian

Some of the best records available to family history researchers werenít even created for genealogy purposes. The Social Security Death Index, commonly referred to as the SSDI, is a great tool for finding family members who died within the last fifty years. The index lists every individual whose death was reported to the Social Security Administration. Whenever a death was reported in order to stop Social Security benefits, or a death was reported by a surviving family member in order to claim benefits, the record appears in the SSDI.

The Social Security Act was signed by President Roosevelt in 1935, so all of the individuals listed in the index died after 1935, and most died after about 1960. Because the information in the SSDI is so recent, it is an excellent resource for locating recently deceased relatives who are usually difficult to find because of privacy laws.

The Social Security Death Index is available on and on other family history websites. You can search for family members by first name, last name, birth date, and death date. The SSDI lists the name that each individual used to apply for his or her social security number, so unlike many genealogical records, the SSDI lists women under their married names. Donít forget to search alternate first names as well. If your relative went by a middle name or nickname during his lifetime, then he could be listed under that name in the index.

If your family memberís death was reported to the Social Security Administration, then youíll find the death index record listing his or her birth date, death date, last place of residence, and social security number. Once you know where your relative was living when he or she died, you can search that locality for death and burial records. If you know when he or she was born, that can help you search for his or her birth records and parents. Even better, once you have the social security number of any deceased family member, you can see his or her Social Security application, the document that he or she had to fill out in order to apply for Social Security. For a fee, you can write to the Social Security Administration and obtain a copy of this application, known as form SS-5, filled out in your family memberís own handwriting. You can send the social security number and payment to:

Social Security Administration
OEO FOIA Workgroup
300 N. Green Street
P.O. Box 33022
Baltimore, Maryland 21290-3022

For more information, go to Social Security Online at The application lists the applicantís motherís name, fatherís name, gender, race, and current place of residence, all important facts for tracing your family membersí history. The form also has each applicantís signature on itóan interesting find for any genealogy researcher. The Social Security Death Index is a valuable tool for anyone who wants to learn more about their not-so-distant twentieth century ancestors.

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One Great Genealogy Site Award

USF Africana Heritage Project

The mission of the USF Africana Heritage Project is to rediscover precious records that document the names and lives of former slaves, freed persons and their descendants, and share those records on this free Internet site.

Based at the University of South Florida, this volunteer project aims to preserve and publish online records, documenting the names and lives of slaves, freed persons, and their descendants. The project taps library holdings, academic archives, plantation journals, public records, Freedman's Bureau files, early church records, oral histories, family Bibles and more.

  • Visit
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    Managing Editor: Heather Matthews
    Contributors: Heather Matthews, Rob Armstrong and Kimberly Brown
    Editor: Eric Hoffman

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