OneGreatFamily Subscriber Newsletter
December 2, 2005

Create a Presentation Your Family Will Remember Forever

In This Issue:

OneGreatFamily wants to share "Telling Stories" with our members

Create a Presentation Your Family Will Remember Forever

At OneGreatFamily we believe it is very important to preserve not only the stories of the past, but also the stories of those that are alive today. We have found a great product that will help you record and share a lifetime of memories that will be shared with your posterity for years to come.

Telling Stories Deluxe software makes it easy for anyone to create a multimedia ‘biography’ of themselves or a loved one—complete with photos, music, videos and more!

We have arranged with the creators of Telling Stories Deluxe to offer our members a special deal on their software. Order Telling Stories Deluxe now for only $39 and SAVE OVER $10 off the regular price. This exclusive offer for OneGreatFamily members will expire at midnight on December 4, 2005.

Show your friends and family how much they mean to you with a one-of-a-kind tribute featuring their most memorable sights, sounds and events.

*Remember to use this Promotion Code: OGF1

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Genealogy Tip: Documenting Your Family Tree

Why should your document the information about your ancestors?

When many people think about documenting their research, they assume they are primarily helping others. In fact, the experience of many long time family history enthusiasts shows that the primary beneficiary is...themselves!

Are you confident that you will remember 5 years from now that it was your aunt who told you your great-grandmother had a half-brother named Harold? Is there any chance you will forget either that the birth date of your great grandfather was estimated from information on a muster roll, or where you can find it again? The spirit of documentation is encapsulated in the wise old saying, "I have a great memory as long as I write things down".

Furthermore, it is true that getting the names, dates and locations of your ancestors is the first, most important part of genealogy work. But those things only provide a sketch, the merest outline of who those people were, how they lived their lives and what was important to them as individuals. Documentation captures the details that color in the outline and breathe life into a dry list of facts. For example, noting that a birth location was discovered from a ship manifest opens the door to studying more about the specific ship and what life aboard was like.

OneGreatFamily allows you to preserve a complete record of your ancestors, encompassing facts like names, places and dates as well as add to that record as more details become available to you. You can also add enriching elements, like photographs, videos, sound clips and scans of documents. Most importantly, OneGreatFamily also allows you to document all of your information.

Many of us haven't taken the time to document the lives of our ancestors.
OneGreatFamily not only makes such efforts simple, but it will be preserved for future generations as well as instantly being available to other members of our OneGreatFamily.

Next week's newsletter will tell you how you can add documentation in OneGreatFamily's Genealogy Browser.

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Lisa Lights the Way

Abstract verses Extract

by Lisa South, Certified Genealogist

One of my ancestors, William Keeling, had 4,000,000 deeds recorded in the CourtHouse - OK, that's a lie - but the number was staggering. Like all genealogists, I prefer an original copy of any document, but sometimes that is not reasonable or possible; the number of pages of a document may be so voluminous that making a copy is cost prohibitive and/or would make keeping the records too cumbersome. When you decide not to make a photocopy of the original you are faced with the decision of whether to abstract the records or to extract them. Here are a few guidelines that might help.

To extract means to copy something word for word, although it may be just a section of larger records. Most records should be extracted. Examples of these are vital records, church records, tax lists, and immigration records.

To abstract means to make an abridgment or summery by copying down only the essential information from a document. The original records may be many pages, but the important data is so scattered throughout the document that an abstraction would be best. Some of the records that may fall into this category are land, pension, and court records.

When you abstract a record get all the important facts. If you are not sure if something is important or not-include it. Keep everything in first person; it helps avoid misinterpretation if you are consistent throughout.
If you are careful and precise in your abstraction, you can feel confident about your information without all the expense and volume that would be required to make a photocopy of that document.

Every abstract and extract should include a complete reference to its source. Many forms are available on-line or at genealogical supply stores to help make abstraction or extraction easier. I'm sure most of you have used a census extraction form, but there are also forms for land records,
cemetery records etc. I love the census extraction forms, but prefer to
make my own for everything else, because I know the way I like those records abstracted - so if you don't find a form you like, make your own!

One Great Genealogy Site Award

Genealogy Today

Over 970,000 names are available at Genealogy Today. They continue to add thousands of names every week to both our free and paid databases, which can be searched through our site search. What's great about the (paid) subscription databases, is that you can search the indexes for free, and all of the listings clearly cite the source down to the page number.

They also have a free service called Surname Tracker that allows you to register your surnames and our system will send you an email when we find any information on them. To signup, just do a search, or visit

  • Visit
  • See past award recipients
  • Recommend a Site Award recipient

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    Managing Editor: Heather Matthews
    Contributors: Heather Matthews, Lisa South and Rob Armstrong
    Editor: Tracy Armstrong

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