Some genealogy websites have modest ambitions—post a few Civil War muster rolls, trace the Brown family, share forgotten family Bibles. Then there’s OneGreatFamily. This site’s stated goal is to link the family trees of everyone in the world into “one huge, shared database.” More than just a collection of pedigree files, this uber-family tree describes itself as “a cooperative effort between you and the rest of the world.” OneGreatFamily has filed three patents on its technology for connecting family trees and collaborating between far-flung researchers. Here’s your guide to getting in on that group genealogy action.
But then you might want to go get a cup of coffee (or several), or just plan on coming back to the site the next day. Unlike simple pedigree-posting sites, OneGreatFamily doesn’t stop with uploading your family file. You’ll see a pop-up window charting the progress of integrating your genealogy into that of, well, the rest of the world: First the site looks for matches, then merges your data with everybody else’s data that match; it also flags conflicts between your data and others’ with the same ancestors. With a big file, the process can take hours. Your tree doesn’t change, though—the system keeps track of data you entered, and preserves versions of your tree with and without merges. You’ll get to decide whether to accept someone else’s data into your original version.
Kicking into high gear
Gaining browser power
Giving a hand
That Starfield view occupies the right side of Genealogy Browser, with each person in your tree represented by a box or an oval (at the end of a line). Using the zoom bar in the upper right corner and the generations drop-down in the toolbar, you can view nearly 200 generations—while still seeing any individual’s details by hovering over his box or oval. Each ancestor in the Starfield is color-coded:
- White boxes indicate ancestors for whom you provided or edited data; you “own” these people, and no one else can change them.
- Gray boxes denote people from others’ family trees who have been merged into yours. If you edit the person’s data, the box becomes white.
- Red boxes represent people whose parentage has yet to be researched. You can zoom in on these to see where there’s work to be done.
- Teal boxes indicate kin who appear multiple times because of multiple relationships, such as cousins marrying. Mouse over these to view lines to their other places in the tree.
Taking a hint
To review Relationship Conflicts, select one of the spouses involved and click the Family Info button (two people icons) with a lightning bolt. Click the Relationship Conflict icon and review each tab in the resulting box.
Owner: OneGreatFamily, 743 W. 1200 N, Suite 100, Springville, UT 84663, (800) 489-0932
Subscriptions: $79.95 a year, $29.95 a quarter or $14.95 a month; discounts may be available. 7-day free trial.
2001 OneGreatFamily officially launches
2003 OneGreatFamily surpasses 50 million ancestors submitted; adds the ability to see research leads within GenealogyBrowser, with others’ research in gray boxes
2006 OneGreatFamily exceeds 100 million ancestors
2007 The Family Dashboard feature is added
2008 OneGreatFamily launches the Relatively Me Facebook application
2009 Site improves merging process and handling of data conflicts
2010 OneGreatFamily surpasses 200 million ancestor submissions
From the November 2010 issue of Family Tree Magazine.
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