OneGreatFamily Blog

  • Famous Ancestor Of The Week: Elvis Presley

    Elvis Presley

    The "king of rock and roll" was born 8 January 1935 to Vernon Elvis and Gladys Love Presley in Tupelo, Lee, Mississippi. He had an identical twin brother who was delivered stillborn; he was an only child. At age ten he received his first guitar and began playing it. When he was thirteen, his family moved to Memphis. Always very poor, his family lived in an African American neighborhood in Memphis. Exposure to African American rhythm and blues would greatly influence his musical style.

    In 1954 he began his career with Sun Records in Memphis; the following year his contract was sold to RCA Victor. His first single hit with them, "Heartbreak Hotel," was a number one hit. The prolific musical career of Elvis Presley had begun.

    You can see whether or not you are related to Elvis Presley by going to the Relationship Calculator on the Family Dashboard Page when you login to OneGreatFamily.

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  • Customer Service Corner: The Relationship Calculator Widget

    How exciting would it be to find out if you were related to someone famous like Albert Einstein or Walt Disney? Using the Relationship Calculator widget on the Family Dashboard can help you find out! If you have not customized your dashboard widgets, the Relationship Calculator will be the second box down in the first column, and looks like this:

    The top part has your name and the bottom part allows you to scroll through many noteworthy people and find the one you wish to see your relationship to. Once you have found someone you would like to try, simply press the "Show Relationship" button at the bottom of the widget.

    Please be patient while the new screen loads, as it can take a few moments before the relationship can be calculated to see if there even is a relationship. Once the relationship shows, you can have fun seeing how closely related you are to a famous person. Be sure to check out other important people on the dashboard as well!

    As always, we are happy to help if you have additional questions, so don't hesitate to call 1-877-643-8733 or email if you need assistance.

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  • Genealogy: Advanced Google Search Special Features

    The following article is a sample from Barry J. Ewell's book "Family Treasures: 15 Lessons, Tips, and Tricks for Discovering your Family History." He is the founder, an online educational website for genealogy and family history.

    Within the advanced search option in genealogy websites, you will be presented with unique features that will help provide greater control in your search. The following are some of the options you might see:

    +/- Years. This feature allows you to control the time frame in years to search for an ancestor. For example, you have entered "John Jones" and you know that he died approximately in 1861. You can enter 1861 and then check the +/-years box in increments of 1, 2, 5, or 10 year spreads (the exact increments will vary between sites). If you choose 10 years, the search engine would look for "John Jones" from 1851 to 1871.

    Exact Matches Only. You will usually find this feature as a check box. By checking this box, you will only be presented with results that match your criteria exactly.

    Location. Some website search engines allow you to narrow your search within location options such as in FamilySearch .org. The location option allows you to focus on a region and narrow in depending upon your knowledge. For example, start with the geographical region, narrow to country, and narrow to state, county, and city.

    Soundex Search. It is rare to find a surname spelled the same way as we go back in historical records. Soundex becomes a good tool to search for names that sound like the one you are seeking. For example, by entering Smith and using the soundex option, you would receive results that included Smithe, Smyth, and Smythe.

    Wildcard search using the asterisk and the question mark. Many website search engines have incorporated the use of the asterisk (*) and the question mark (?) for queries. These wildcards are effective when you are searching for names with alternate spellings.

    Asterisk (*). Usually represents 0 to 6 characters. For example, john* could return "John," "Johnson," "Johnsen," "Johnathon," or "Johns."

    Anytime you use the asterisk, you must have at least three letters as part of your query. For example: Correct: Joh* Incorrect: Jo*

    Searches on are different; this site considers an asterisk (*) to be a wildcard character, so cem- eter* yields cemetery and cemeteries.

    For genealogy searches, the asterisk (*) is one way to search for a name that has a middle name or initial. An example of one query using the asterisk is Ora * Jones. This search sting returns pages containing Ora Jones separated by one or more words: Ora W. Jones Ora W Jones Ora William Jones Ora; Murphy, Jones Ora Lee Jones Ora G. Jones

    It will not return results for Ora Jones with no middle name or initial.

    To search for web pages containing his name with a middle name or initial and his name with no middle name or initial, use this query: "Ora * Jones" OR "Ora Jones"

    Question mark (?). Represents looking for alternate spellings where one letter may make the difference. For example, a search for sm?th could return "Smith," "Smyth,", "Smoth," and "Smath."

    Your query cannot start with a question mark. For example:

    Correct: Sm?th Incorrect: ?Smith

    Read more great genealogy tips in Barry Ewell's book "Family Treasures: 15 Lessons, Tips, and Tricks for Discovering your Family History.

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  • Famous Ancestor Of The Week: Donald Trump

    Donald Trump

    Donald Trump was born in 1946 to parents Fred Trump and Mary MacLeod, the fourth of five children. Mary had immigrated from Scotland before marrying Fred; Fred was the son of two German immigrants. Donald Trump pursued higher education at Fordham University; after two years there, he transferred to the Wharton School in the University of Pennsylvania, graduating with a BS in economics in 1968. After graduation, he went to work for his father's lucrative real estate company, the Trump Organization. Though his high-risk investments led to bankruptcy in the 1909s, Donald Trump is now one of America's wealthiest businessmen, with a net worth of approximately two billion dollars.

    You can see whether or not you are related to Donald Trump by going to the Relationship Calculator on the Family Dashboard Page when you login to OneGreatFamily.

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  • There's No Other Genealogy Program Like OneGreatFamily

    How is OneGreatFamily Different From Other Genealogy Websites?

    OneGreatFamily is a cooperative effort between you and the rest of the world. It is an online genealogical service which allows everyone to combine their knowledge and data to build one huge, shared database.

    OneGreatFamily is more than a simple collection of different family trees. Using breakthrough technology, OneGreatFamily is actually linking all of the family trees together into one great family.

    What This Means To You:

    With the world working together on one family tree, each individual is able to leverage the effort and research of all OneGreatFamily users rather than wasting time duplicating research that others have already done.

    How It Works:

    After you enter what you already know about your ancestors, we begin searching for more of your ancestors. Once our search process starts, it never stops.

    A genealogist can only search for information about one ancestor at a time. The OneGreatFamily automated search engine continually looks for additional information and relatives for every one of your ancestors at the same time.

    As OneGreatFamily members add new individuals, our search process checks to see if any of them are your ancestors. Even if we find some of your ancestors today, we may find more in a week, a month, or a year.

    Once we find new information about your ancestors, we notify you by email and when you login to OneGreatFamily. You can see the new information about your ancestors in your family tree.

    As we continue to search for your ancestors, you can review the ancestors we added, add new ancestors yourself, and collaborate with others who are looking for your ancestors too. OneGreatFamily offers a unique genealogy experience that will help you enjoy the journey and the results.

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