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Featured Article – Genealogy’s Most Popular Disbeliefs Author:
3. News from One Great Family - Check this item for news of a
Months Featured Article:
Account for your Lifetime - Time in My Pocket by Michael
1. Our welcome
It's the fourth anniversary of your
favourite newsletter, the first issue being October 2006. What is pleasing
for me is that very few subscribers leave, which I hope means that most of
you enjoy this monthly page. Don't forget this is YOUR newsletter and if you
have a story to tell/share - whether it's just a couple of lines or a whole
page, then send it in. Here's the
contact details. We'd love to hear from you.
Talking of anniversaries,
Carol and I have just celebrated our Silver! at Frankie and Benny's of all
places (New York style Italian restaurant). We had a brilliant evening with
my Mother; and the rest of the family...we took up almost half the
Another great article by Bob Brooke this month and a great
discount for Family History Month from 'OneGreatFamily'
See you next time
2. Genealogy’s Most Popular Disbeliefs.
Author: Bob Brooke
If you're just starting out on
your quest for your ancestors, you may get sidetracked by some of the
disbeliefs about it. Don't believe everything you hear.
Some people will tell you that genealogy is easy. Hearing this, you
come to believe that all the records out there are perfect. All you have
to do is find the ones that apply to your family and record the
information. Right? Well, it isn't quite that simple. If it were, there
wouldn't be any need for genealogy libraries and societies.
You may also hear the opposite–genealogy is extremely difficult and
time consuming. This can be true for certain people. Those who've been
adopted, for instance, often have a difficult time tracing anyone they're
related to until they discover who were their birth parents. People living
in locations ravaged by war or political unrest may find that most, if not
all, records have been destroyed. During the Cultural Revolution in China,
Mao Se Tung ordered all the genealogical records in towns and villages
destroyed as a way of making a break with the past. Some residents had the
foresight to bury their records for safekeeping. Some, like indigenous
people in Brazil, had no written records until the 1840s, thus no way to
trace their families. However, most people, including yourself, most
likely have some sort of family records to sift through. And let's face
it, if genealogy were that hard, you wouldn't be reading this column.
Many people believe that if they collect as much information as they
can for everyone with the same last name, they'll eventually find what
they need to connect members of their family. While this may work for
those who have a unique surname, it doesn't for those with a common last
name like Smith–the most common name in the United States. You can, of
course, collect names from a particular time period and locality where you
know your ancestors lived, but anything else is a waste of time.
Another disbelief is that you only need to record the information you
need. While you should certainly do that, you also need to make note of
where you did your searches, even if you got nothing from them. Chances
are very good that you'll end up searching those same sources again unless
you make a note of them.
Are there legends about past relatives floating around your family? Too
many beginning genealogists rely too heavily on the information contained
in these family legends. Most of the time they've been passed down from
generation to generation. And since it's usually an older relative who
becomes the caretaker of the legend, it seems likely that it's true
because most people respect the elder members of their families. You need
to prove if a legend is, in fact, true. Generally, these legends have
their origins in fact, but over time have become twisted towards making
the person or persons involved and your family appear better than they
really are, thus leading you in the wrong direction.
Some beginners also believe that if they begin with a distant ancestor
with the same last name, especially if that person if famous, then work
forward to the present that they'll be able to tie that person to their
family. This, too, is usually a waste a time. Follow the logic of
genealogy by beginning with what you know and working backwards.
One of the biggest misconceptions is that all records are correct.
Nothing can be father from the truth. Many compiled records have lots of
mistakes in them, especially if someone transcribed them from old
handwriting. It's important to always research original records or copies
of them whenever you can.
Since the arrival of the Internet and genealogy software, too many
beginning genealogists believe that they can do all their research online.
After all, aren't everyone's records somewhere in cyberspace? Remember the
thrill of finding your first ancestor through a Web site? The majority of
beginners believe that if they search long enough that they'll eventually
find all their ancestors. But the biggest problem you'll have is proving
it. Unless you can track down the actual records and create your own paper
trail, you cannot be sure that whoever posted the information online did a
thorough job of researching it.
Even if some or all of these disbeliefs have led you astray, don't give
up. With diligence and hard work, you'll eventually find the information
you need to grow your family tree.
About Bob Brooke
Everyday Genealogy is a monthly column that delves into the historical
side of genealogy, focusing on family history, long-lost occupations,
historical misconceptions, and profiles of top genealogical libraries, as
well as offering tips on how beginning genealogists can use history to their
How is OneGreatFamily Different From Other Genealogy
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
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
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
for your Lifetime - Time in My Pocketby Michael R. Boyter
"My mind races back, franticly. A feeling of
defeated comes over me, as I try to retrace where all the money went! What
follows is a sunken feeling, often accompanied by a big bought of
depression. How could I let so much of it get away from me? I sit and wonder
where it all has gone.
Consider now the years in your lifetime and compare them
to the money in the above story. Can you see any comparisons?
It an awful feeling when you cannot account completely for
all the years you've lived. Where have all the years gone?"
I really hope you enjoyed
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