OneGreatFamily Guest Newsletter
May 13, 2005

What does the growth at OneGreatFamily mean to you?

In This Issue:

What does the growth at OneGreatFamily mean to you?

OneGreatFamily to Accelerate Growth, Provide More Value

OneGreatFamily continues to have an increasingly large impact on the lives of genealogists. Genealogists and casual family researchers would find little value in OneGreatFamily if the service were not growing in terms of names, members, and subscribers. OneGreatFamily is now looking at opportunities to push its growth rate even faster.

What does growth mean to you?

The growth of OneGreatFamily means that more people than ever are working on YOUR ancestral lines. The growth in data and membership will lead to new opportunities for collaboration and to have your family tree grow through the automated matching and merging process. Some people think their families are somehow orphaned from the human family and that nobody else has an interest in their genealogy. Although these notions are common, they are rarely true. The real challenge is taking a family line back far enough to find a point where it ties in to the research of others. As OneGreatFamily continues to grow, the likelihood of someone researching more recent generations of your family tree increases.

Growth in subscription revenue leads to new functionality that will help you find ALL of your ancestors. OneGreatFamily is working on tools and features that will help you find your ancestors more easily. Current development is focused on standards for names, dates, and places, which will further reduce duplication within OneGreatFamily and make finding your ancestors easier than ever. OneGreatFamily is also working on ways to further improve the speed and performance of its service and ways to simplify the Genealogy Browser for those who are new to OneGreatFamily.

What challenges are created by growth?

Although everyone benefits from the growth of OneGreatFamily, this growth brings with it certain challenges as well. As OneGreatFamily extends its reach, more people who are new to genealogy will begin using the service. OneGreatFamily is committed to supporting each of its members, which means the customer support and technical support resources must also increase. Training people on how to use OneGreatFamily is a challenge that OneGreatFamily is currently trying to address. Growth also means the technology supporting OneGreatFamily must also be scaled to meet the needs of a growing number of records and members.

Fortunately, OneGreatFamily has a growing number of subscribers who are helping to fund the growth of this extraordinary service. The more OneGreatFamily grows, the more success its members will have in finding their ancestors and connecting their family lines with the rest of the human family tree.

Back to top

Lisa Lights the Way

Recording Dates from Gravestones

by Lisa South, Certified Genealogist

My husband and I have trekked many graveyards locating and recording information found on tombstones. We've done it at night with flashlights. We've done it with babes in arms and we've done it at the risk of having to buy out all the Chigger-rid the local stores had in stock - and it's always been worth it!

Many graveyards have been canvassed and the information has been put on the internet. This is a real boon to genealogists; yet, if at all possible, it is still better if you can actually go to the cemetery yourself. When someone else copies the information from a tombstone, there is always the possibility of error. Also the way the tombstones are laid out is often a clue to family relationships. When you copy information from cemetery headstones, you should always also include a simple map or description indicating the physical placement of the graves. Another good reason to visit the cemetery yourself is that it gives you the opportunity to copy information from the tombstones close to the one you've been looking for, especially if it appears to be a family plot. This information can give you clues about family relationships which you may have been missing.

You can extract the information from a gravestone, but of course that makes the document less valuable because it is a copy. Photographs of the tombstone are considered an original of the source (for information about evaluating a source see "How to Evaluate Genealogy Documents" in OGF archives). You should never put anything on the stone that could damage it, nor should you try to dig out the letters to make them clearer. Before taking the picture you can wash it off with water and if necessary brush gently with a soft brush. Many sites will suggest that you put shaving cream on the tombstone and scrap it off with a soft scraper before taking a picture. Although this does make the stone much easier to read, shaving creams contain chemicals that will damage the stone. Even if you wipe or rinse off the cream, harmful residue may still remain.

Some people like to make grave rubbings of the tombstone. There are many places where grave rubbings are illegal and you could receive a stiff fine, so be sure to make inquiries. A good grade of paper large enough to cover the tombstone, 100% cotton rag drafting vellum, or butcher paper all work well. You can rub with a lumber crayon from a lumber yard, brass rubbing wax or even a large 1st grader's crayon.

The first step in tombstone rubbing is to brush the stone. Using a soft bristle brush, gently brush away anything that would interfere with the rubbing. Do not scrub! Place paper over tombstone, having two people is the easiest - one to hold the paper in place and one to make the rubbing. You can also make one large rubberband out of regular rubber bands (the way you did when you were a kid) and hold the paper on the tombstone with the "giant" rubber band. Rub carefully so that you do not tear the paper or damage the tombstone. After completing the rubbing and removing it from the stone, you can spray the paper with a spray fixative to prevent it from blurring.

ALWAYS treat the grave with respect and completely clean up the area before leaving.

Back to top

Technical Support: Printing Reports from OneGreatFamily

How do I print out my family tree using OneGreatFamily?

Genealogists have always craved and appreciated ways to share their research with others. Printing has often filled that need. Printing is also a great way to backup and record your genealogy. For many of us, our progress isn't realized until we have successfully printed hard copies of records, pedigrees, pictures, and other genealogical data. Sharing and reviewing printed documents has always been one of the best parts of genealogy. We hope this information will help you when exploring all of the printing options offered with OneGreatFamily.

Printing at OneGreatFamily:

To print your Pedigree (Starfield), follow these steps:

1. Move the Zoom Toolbar until the Starfield has reached your desired size to be printed.

Note: For more advanced Starfield size options including Font Size and Magnify, select User Preferences from the File menu. Click on the Settings tab, and change the Computer Expertise Level from Beginner to Advanced. Font and Magnify Toolbars will appear next to the Zoom Toolbar.

2. To view the actual size of the print, select "Print Preview" from the File menu. This will show you how big your print will actually be. If you are not satisfied with the size, adjust the Zoom again.

3. When you are satisfied with the size of your Starfield pedigree, select "Print" from the File menu.

4. A popup box will appear. Select "Pedigree Wall Chart (as shown in the Starfield View)". You will also see that you have the option to print a Family Record Form and a Pedigree 5 Generation Chart (more about this in next week's newsletter).

5. Next you will choose which printer you want to use, the number of copies you want printed, and the layout of the print. Once all the criteria meet your specifications, click the Print button.

One Great Genealogy Site Award

Ancestral and Family Tree Quilts

Ancestral and Family Tree Quilts: Proudly display your family's history with our exquisite, hand-stitched, genealogy quilts and wallhangings. Don't keep your family names in a book... show off all of your hard work. Bring your ancestral charts to life!
Back to top

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.

Back to top

This newsletter is provided as a FREE service to the members of
You can view past editions of this newsletter by visiting our Newsletter Archive.
If you would like to receive a plain text version of this letter or unsubscribe to our newsletter service, you may do so by accessing our newsletter preferences page at

Last Week at OneGreatFamily

428,262 people were added into the OneGreatFamily tree.

252,690 new connections between family trees were found by our automated search system.

Having Success?

OneGreatFamily wants to hear from you. Please send us your success stories and your recommendations for new features.

Submit your story
Send us your wish list
Copyright © 1999-2005    Link to Us | Site Index | Affiliate Program | About Us | Privacy Policy