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OneGreatFamily Guest Newsletter

September 6, 2007

Welcome To Your Family Tree Dashboard

In This Issue:

Welcome To Your Family Tree Dashboard

How to Move, Add, Minimize and Hide Widgets

If you have not yet seen the new Family Dashboard™ we encourage you to do so by visiting: You must login before you will see Family Dashboard.

Your Family Tree Dashboard contains a set of information boxes, called Widgets, each of which focuses on some specific aspect of your family tree. Examples include a Surname Widget that shows you all the surnames in your family tree, and a Migration Calculator Widget that shows on a map the birthplaces of a single line of your ancestry. No other system in the world will allow you to mine your family tree for information like these Widgets.

Your Family Tree Dashboard is powerful because you can customize it as you wish:

  • Move Widgets around simply by clicking and dragging them. Position the mouse over the title of a Widget and it will turn into a directional arrow (Move the widget when this icon appears.). Then, click and drag the Widget wherever you would like it. Notice the page automatically repositions the other Widgets. Put the Widgets you like the most at the top of the page.

  • Minimize Widgets by clicking on the triangle (Minimize the widget by pressing the triangle icon.) in the title bar. Click on the triangle again to restore the widget.

  • Hide Widgets from your Family Dashboard simply by clicking on the X (Close the widget by pressing the X icon.) in the Widget's title bar. The Widget isn't deleted. Instead, it is moved into your Side Panel where you can bring it back later if you change your mind.

  • Add more Widgets to your Dashboard. This is a two step process.

    First, click the link Get more information located on the left side of the page just above the first row of Widgets. This will open the Side Panel to the left that contains all the widgets not currently on your Family Tree Dashboard. The Widgets in the side panel are minimized down to their titles by default. You can also expand each Widget to see what it does right in the Side Panel.

    Second, click and drag Widgets from the Side Panel onto your Family Tree Dashboard wherever you like.

The Widgets on your Family Tree Dashboard are designed to be fun and informational. Most of the Widgets allow you to see even more information by clicking on provided links, shown as underlined text.

Also, check back with us regularly because we intend to add many more Widgets over time.

Can I change who the Family Tree Dashboard is about?

You can easily change the person the Family Tree Dashboard is about. Click on the link "Change who this information is about" and you will see a list of all the anchors you have created in Genealogy Browser. Anchors are like "favorites" or "bookmarks". Just as a favorite allows you to quickly return to a specific webpage on the Internet, an anchor allows you to jump quickly to a specific person in your family tree.

You can easily add new names to the list of anchors by adding new anchors in Genealogy Browser.  Just open Genealogy Browser, make the person you want to be an anchor into the selected individual, and then click on the Anchors menu and pick the Add Individual to Anchors menu choice.

We would love to hear what you think. Please email our marketing department and tell us your thoughts on the new Family Dashboard. Or you can register on our blog and then post comments there.

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OneGreatFamily Appreciates All Your Efforts To Create The World's Largest Family Tree

Guests And Subscribers Have Made OneGreatFamily The Active, Growing, And Dynamic Service It Is Today

The last couple of months the OneGreatFamily Tree has seen some amazing growth. Our members are really benefiting from all the collaborative activity and using the many resources and tools we offer to expand their family trees. We appreciate all the contributing information that so many of you have shared that have helped others have success in finding their ancestors.

OneGreatFamily has become known as a great tool for doing genealogical research. The system works 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 52 weeks a year to search and then sift your entire family tree against the family trees of all the other OneGreatFamily Members. The system does this work in order to save you from performing endless searches resulting in thousands of obvious non-matches.

However, all this technology and all our efforts would be of little value without your support and participation. It is the hundreds of thousands of family history enthusiasts contributing their personal research that keeps the OneGreatFamily engine running. These guests and subscribers have made OneGreatFamily the active, growing, and dynamic service it is today.

Furthermore, unlike other services, EVERYONE benefits from new discoveries or corrections that are made to our human family tree. We have an active community working on a common global pedigree. New information is available at OneGreatFamily every day to help you in your research. Many users have found that, even with no recent activity, all of a sudden they may benefit from a file just uploaded that day by a new member half way around the world.

Your participation has made OneGreatFamily the best framework for genealogy content. Thank you.

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Ancestors Who Immigrated

By Kimberly Brown, Family Historian

No matter who your ancestors were, you’re bound to run into ancestors who migrated from one country to another. Fortunately for the family historian, there are all kinds of records documenting an ancestor’s immigration, from his initial application to emigrate from his native country to his naturalization in his new home. Immigration records contain information such as an ancestor's age, physical description, occupation, and age. They may also list the names and addresses of the relatives, if any, that your ancestors were joining.

An ancestor usually couldn’t emigrate from his mother country without a permit and, in some cases, a passport. You can find your ancestor’s application for emigration in his native country, usually in government archives or in the port city where he embarked on his voyage. Ships also kept records of every passenger on board, and you can usually find these records in the destination port city.

If you know what country your ancestor came from but you don't know the city or region, you can start by searching the major port cities in that country. If you don't know what port city they landed in, you can do the same thing. For ancestors who immigrated to the United States, start by searching New York City records. More immigrants came through New York than any other American port city! Other major American ports were Philadelphia, Boston, Baltimore, New Orleans, and San Francisco.

How should you start looking for immigration records? Look in the census. Census records often list an individual's place of birth, parents' places of birth, immigration year, and citizenship status. Starting in 1850, the census listed the birthplace of every individual, and from 1870 onward the birthplaces of every individual's parents were also listed. Starting in 1900 the census gave each individual's immigration year, and starting in 1910 it told whether each individual was naturalized or not. The 1920 census also gives detailed information about the native languages of each individual and their parents.

Using the information from the census, you can get a basic idea of where to start searching for immigration records. Pay attention in particular to whether or not an ancestor was naturalized. If he was, you can find his naturalization record.

There are many easy-to-use resources available for finding immigration records. The U.S. National Records Archives at has 1820 to 1982 records sorted by port of arrival. The records are not available online, but they are on microfilm and an extensive list of the records available is on the site. Another great resource is, which has New York City port records available to search for free. The Immigrant Ancestors Project at is also a free, searchable database of port records from European countries. Whether you look starboard or portside, your immigrant ancestors won't be hard to find. Land ho!

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One Great Genealogy Site Award

Immigrant Ancestors Project

The Immigrant Ancestors Project, sponsored by the Center for Family History and Genealogy at Brigham Young University, uses emigration registers to locate information about the birthplaces of immigrants in their native countries, which is not found in the port registers and naturalization documents in the destination countries. Volunteers working with scholars and researchers at Brigham Young University are creating a database of millions of immigrants based on these emigration registers.

Visit the Immigrant Ancestors Project to search for your ancestors or volunteer to help with the project.

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    Contributors: Heather Matthews, Rob Armstrong and Kimberly Brown
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