Geni is Joining the MyHeritage Family!

Posted November 28, 2012 by Amanda | 99 Comments

We’re happy to announce some exciting news for our community: Geni is joining the MyHeritage family! Geni will continue as a separate product, focused on collaborative genealogy, but with some great new resources and features we’ll be rolling out to users in the coming months.

Geni launched in 2007 with a big idea: working together with other people is a better way to discover your family history. Over the last five years our amazing community of users has worked together to build the World Family Tree, connecting over 65 million relatives, and to create a rich collection of family history data – and we’re just getting started!

Geni.com CEO, Noah Tutak (L) celebrating with MyHeritage CEO, Gilad Japhet (R)

Here are a few of the great changes we’re making right away:

  • No more tree limits – all users can now add unlimited profiles for free! Discovering relationships to historical figures and merging duplicates in your tree are also now free to help you grow your family tree faster.
  • We’re increasing privacy – all profiles of your living relatives will now be private.
  • Free family tree chart downloads – All users can now download a high quality chart of their family tree to their computer at no charge. These are great for sending to relatives or for printing at home as beautiful tree posters.
  • No more ads – by providing an ad-free environment, everyone will have cleaner and friendlier experience on Geni.

Over the coming months, you’ll see more exciting features added to Geni. For example, we will be adding MyHeritage’s Smart Matching technology which will automatically search over 1 billion MyHeritage profiles to help you add new branches to your tree and discover new relatives.

And with MyHeritage’s new Record Matching technology, profiles in your family tree will be automatically compared to over 4 billion historical records, including birth, marriage, death, census and newspapers. It’ll be as if you have your own personal genealogist doing the work for you!

The Geni team raises a toast with Yuval Ben-Galim and Gilad

We admire MyHeritage’s passion for genealogy and their vision to enable people around the world to use the power of the Internet to discover and share their legacy. We truly believe this change will be a great benefit to not only Geni members, but the entire genealogical community.

The Geni Team

For more information, please review the FAQ about this announcement.

Post written by Amanda

Amanda is the Social Media Coordinator at Geni. If you need any assistance, she will be happy to help!

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  • turnkit

    Great job folks! A good merger choice. Sounds like a win-win-win, for Geni, MyHeritage, and all the users.

    • geniblog

      Thanks! We are all very excited!

    • rosemary

      OR NOR SO MUCH!!!
      WE ALL GET SCREWED AGAIN BY GENI!!!!

  • Glendon Solsberry

    Do any of these new features by chance include an android/iphone app for entering data?! This would be *awesome*.

    • geniblog

      It’s on the roadmap so stay tuned!

      • Glendon Solsberry

        The faster the better! I’d love to beta test when you get to that point! Just email me.

  • Aolf

    what will happen to the lifetime membership that we have at Geni?

    • geniblog

      We are working on an exciting offer for our lifetime subscribers and expect to have more details to announce next week.

      • Aolf

        so, that means, we will have to pay again, right? So what happened to the “life-time”?

        • mike

          genstorygirl & aolf- “so what happened to the lifetime” i would also like to know why our lifetime subscription is no longer lifetime…

          • jpv

            exciting offer probably means bad news

          • geniblog

            We’re excited about Geni joining the MyHeritage family and we want our users to be happy about this too. I think you will be pleasantly surprised by the offer we will be sending out.

          • blazius

            Well, I just got the message that my lifetime membership has been downgraded to a 5-year one. I also got a 5 year MyHeritage subscription.

            Geni.com, you won’t get a single dollar from me in the future, and instead of giving away memberships to my family members this Yule I will look for another gift.. You are no longer a company to be trusted.

          • fred

            SHAME ON YOU GENI! I paid for LIFETIME and don’t want MyHeritage!

          • viqueira

            Lifetime for 5 year. Thats a scam.

          • geniblog

            We’re sorry to hear you’re unhappy with the changes to lifetime. The MyHeritage data subscriptions and historical records is one of the things we are really excited about here at Geni. Getting records for our users has been one of our biggest challenges and we’re happy to know that in the coming weeks we’ll have matches to historical records. While we no longer offer lifetime subscriptions, we’re hopping that our users would be just as happy with a data subscription. That being said, if you are not satisfied then please email us at subscriptions@geni.com so we can work with you towards a satisfactory solution.

          • genstorygirl

            Guess what?! I’m a Lifetime member and I didn’t even receive the “offer” email. My father purchased me a Lifetime membership last year because he knew how much I enjoyed genealogy and I couldn’t afford to pay monthly let alone yearly. Sadly, my father passed away this year. I know he would be upset that you are doing this to me. Shame on Geni!

          • geniblog

            I’m sorry to hear about your father’s passing. Please contact us directly at subscriptions@geni.com and we’ll be happy to work with you to find a satisfactory solution.

          • genstorygirl

            I emailed you 3 days ago and still have not gotten a reply! :(

          • geniblog

            I understand you are in direct contact with our Manager of Customer Care. Please keep in mind that our office is closed over the weekend.

          • howard

            HAHAHA!! Screwed YA AGAIN!

          • Ernie

            HAHAHA GOTCHA!!!

        • bert

          HAHAHA!!! GOTCHA!!!!

      • genstorygirl

        Offer??? My father purchased a lifetime subscription for me last summer and it was not cheap! I sure hope that lifetime continues to mean lifetime at Geni. I cannot afford to pay for anything!

        • ethel

          HAHAHA!!! GOTCHA

  • http://twitter.com/keinsei G. K.

    when we will be able to add and merge profil “for free” ?? hours/days/months ? :D

  • genigeorge

    TUNA!!!!!

    • http://www.facebook.com/bassguy Grant Brünner

      !!

  • Gustavo Ferrero

    Will my GEDCOM be included in the MyHeritage data ?

    • geniblog

      No, your Geni account will remain separate.

  • Don

    Are there any remaining benefits to having a Pro account?

    • geniblog

      Pro features include tree matches, enhanced search, upload unlimited media and premium support.

  • Jason Glover

    Well well, this is good news. Frankly, when Geni introduced limits that was about when I stopped using it. Maybe I will get back into it now its free again …

    Good move.

  • Freeloader

    So I left Geni over a year ago, when they suddenly removed basic features from some of their most dedicated users. Stayed subscribed to the RSS just for this announcement. Knew this was coming.

    • Freeloader

      Spoke too soon. Clicking through to search results is apparently still a “Pro” feature. Ah, well. Wake me up again when you guys mean it.

  • gal

    Do one of the new features will include the option to download the tree to the MyHeritage software?

  • Kyle

    Make Tree Merges free please!!!

    • geniblog

      Hi Kyle, merges are now free. Please note tree matches are still a Pro feature.

      • Kyle

        Yeah, I meant tree matches

        • LilMoby

          Me too. I want to be able to connect my tree with others. And I do wish it were free. I added a bunch of (very) great grandparents recently and I realize they must be on many peoples’ trees.

      • ericlklein

        When do you expect this to really go live?

        Tried to merge trees and still getting the “Free trial of GeniPro” page several times since getting the email from Noah.

  • nepenou

    Any plans for a merge of Geni database to MyHeritage one?

    • geniblog

      The two websites will remain separate. Over time (it may take a few years), we may build a bridge between them to allow users who wish to have a tree on both MyHeritage and Geni to enjoy the best of both worlds, and have changes made in their tree on one site reflected automatically in the other.

  • genealogy-nut

    will our profiles we have marked public remain public even tho they have no data in them and can appear to be living this was done with intent of passing on my genealogical data to others for free and to find missing distant cousins and those I worked with 10-20 years ago if they are still living and interested in genealogy

    • geniblog

      The living profiles will be made private, but you will still have the option to switch them back to public.

  • http://edward.de.leau.net cogmios

    I predicted this more then 1.5 years ago : http://edward.de.leau.net/geni-merges-with-myheritage-wow-20121128.html – pretty cool :)

  • Eagleman

    Is there a time line when all the indivdual changes will take place….

  • http://www.facebook.com/Nickvet419 Nicholas J Vetrovec

    Awesome, I was deferentially a complainer when my 1000+ adds, 300 family invites hit a brick wall with the restrictions placed on free users. One thing I recommended was to charge for research tools (documents, image uploads, tree matches), but let us build our trees for free. Let us add and invite as many relatives we can, and in turn some of them might just subscribe to the pro features. Thank you myheritage/geni for now making this possible. I can now get back in the game of adding profiles, collaborating, and sharing my tree with family without hitting that brick wall.

  • Mariano López Astrada

    El curador Luis Enrique Echeverrya Dominguez, fusiono un perfil duplicado de Antonia Díaz de Quiñones Arredondo, y se me desaparecio el Arbol de los Arias de cabrera.

    Solo llegaba a ver a Juan Arias de Cabrera.

    Me comunique con el, y le comente lo que pasó.

    No se como lo arreglo, pero lo arreglo enseguida, y puedo ver otra vez mi arbol completo.

  • user

    Is there a benefit to being a Pro member? Feel a bit like we were sold up the river… my account is supposed to renew on Dec 3. I dislike not knowing what I’m paying for….

    • geniblog

      Yes, there is still great benefit to being a Pro member! With Pro, you have access to tools that will help you grow your family tree faster. Tree matches are still a Pro feature. And as we add MyHeritage’s Smart Matching technology, they will only get better. Smart Matching will also automatically search over 1 billion MyHeritage profiles to help you discover new relatives even faster. Additional Pro features include enhanced search, unlimited data uploads and premium customer support. Over the next few months, we will continue to add more features to Geni and we will keep you apprised about new benefits and capabilities.

  • AllynT

    So if one still does not have a paid membership how do they see other profiles so they know if it is someone to collabarate with?

  • http://www.facebook.com/sandra.daws Sandra Daws

    Will you bring back up-loading of Gedcom files?? I still haven’t added in all the relatives from my Brothers Keeper family history program…

  • http://www.facebook.com/anita.phipps1 Anita Phipps

    Have they figured out how to add an adopted child yet?

    • geniblog

      We can’t show adopted children in the tree yet, but it’s something we may look into in the future.

  • http://www.facebook.com/gertjan.deruiter.75 Gertjan de Ruiter

    Sounds good and hope the familytrees of both will be merged soon and tree matches will be free. I’ll stop completing my tree for now.

  • http://www.facebook.com/gertjan.deruiter.75 Gertjan de Ruiter

    Sounds good. I hope familytrees of both will be merged soon and tree matches will be free! I´ll stop completing my familytree for now.

    • geniblog

      Hi Gertjan, your accounts on Geni and MyHeritage will remain separate. Overtime, we will be looking for ways to create more value for users of both sites. We may build a bridge between the sites so that updates made in their tree on one site will automatically update in the other.

      • http://www.facebook.com/gertjan.deruiter.75 Gertjan de Ruiter

        Thats a shame for I don’t have an account on MyHeritage but a free one on Geni. A far relative of mine has a MH account and we’d like to merge both trees. For me it would be great to be able to copy his tree to Geni because he’s done a great job in research and it will take lots of time to make it all over again. I’m in favour of that bridge!!!

  • Robe

    How do I take advantage of the MyHeritage app? Do I have to make a whole other account and then merge my info from there or do you plan to exchange account databases in the near future?

    • geniblog

      Geni and MyHeritage will remain separate, but we plan on creating more value for users of both sites. Overtime, we may consider building a bridge between the sites for users who wish to have a tree on both.

  • ruz

    I don’t understand the search feature for free users–it is pretty much useless, just a gimmick. Any profile–regardless deceased (with a black slash on its photo, I’m guessing), public or private–always links me to the “Upgrade to Geni Pro” page. Can’t even contact them.

    • geniblog

      Search is a paid feature. You may wish to upgrade to a free trial of Plus or Pro.

      • AllynT

        I thought that was “enhanced search”

  • jocelyn

    If the merge with My Heritage means more free access why am i not allowed to access and merge profiles.. they ask me to purchase a GENI Pro membership..

  • Paul–HarristonON,Canada

    How can I merge a profile if I can’ t view the other tree for free—it doesn’t make sense

  • Margo

    So if merges are free, but checking on matches is NOT free, how does that work?

  • blazius

    And now I received that my lifetime subscription (which was about one year old) has been retracted and exchanged for a 5-year subscription. Geni.com, you are criminals.

    • Eckart

      OK geni.com – I read here that the sites remain separate. So why is a paid lifetime subscription to geni.com no longer available? And as I understand behavior in merging companies, you have to be aware what customers you get. And if there are clients with a lifetime subscription you are not allowed to change it. Or pay them out. So what about a complete refund of my lifetime subscription? I don’t want a 5 years change! May be a nice opportunity for some american lawyers?

      • geniblog

        Please email us at subscriptions@geni.com so we can work with you towards a satisfactory solution.

        • Gerin Jacob

          Even I am a lifetime pro member. And I received a similar email saying that it is converted to 5-year membership along with a free gift. I don’t think the free gift of 5yr My Heritage data subscription you are offering will be of any help to me, because My Heritage hardly has any data of my ancestors(Indian citizens) that will excite me.

          More over, finding matches and comparing profiles to merge was my area of interest. Changing the membership term to 5-yr is not acceptable. As you suggested I have sent the email to subscriptions@geni.com and waiting for the reply. But the only satisfactory solution is to give me back the lifetime membership and I don’t want any data from My Heritage and in future if I feel I need, then charge me separately. Say you provide an option to upgrade Geni Pro to Pro+ or something.

          For now I want my Geni Pro Lifetime membership back. You can’t take back something which I have already paid for.

          • Pranav

            That’s exactly it. MyHeritage was what I used before Geni but it doesn’t have any data on Indian ancestry. All of my far relatives are using Geni.

  • Herschel

    Herschel Darrow: I was going to up grade to pro but see what geni is doing to the life time members. I think its is a Sham Sorry bt if i was alife time member i would se
    avigdortal@yahoo.com

  • KEN EKLAND_Geni subscriber

    Guess this means that after changing Genis lifetime memberships to a 5 year limit (breaking an aggreement with the customer), Geni will slowly die in that period of time and leave the field open to MH. – Smart guys earning big money with their black soul, perhaps too smart?

  • Bård Sundsfjord

    I had a lifetime subscription that was made a 5 years pro subscription, but some days ago when I was going to work on my tree, I got the message that my subscription has run out and that I have to uppgrade my subscription!!! PLEASE HELP ME!!!!

    • geniblog

      Hi, please email subscriptions@geni.com and we’ll be happy to assist you.

      • Bård Sundsfjord

        Hi, I did get assistance, and everything is ok now!!:-)

  • Maureen May

    this is great news – does this mean I can import Geni Trees into my MyHeritage site.

    • geniblog

      Hi Maureen, both websites will remain separate. Over time, we will be looking to create more value between the two sites, including building a bridge between Geni and MyHeritage. I believe Geni tree matches will appear in MyHeritage SuperSearch results.

  • Bob S

    I just started committing my genealogy information to the computer to get organized. It was a good winter project. I randomly picked MyHeritage to start with because it offered the free software download. Then, poking around for research, I found Geni, and that enabled me to get some good searches done that I couldn’t (for the free basic membership, anyway!) with MH. Imagine my surprise when I found out today you are “merging”! Since I was a novice using BOTH services, I think you might find my comments worthwhile.
    I stopped using MyHeritage and continued with Geni when my quota of ancestors was reached with MH (they have an annoying way of reminding you of being almost out of room!) I really liked MH software aside from the quota, so I hope I can use it on Geni. I also like the MH homepage much better. For instance, I liked being able to “tell my story” on the opening webpage. Geni’s opening page is pretty austere! On the other hand, I liked the way you add pictures with the face recognition on Geni. The only thing I didn’t like about Geni is the way a merge pretty much crapped up my tree. I mean, I know the philosophy and all, but I wanted to keep things pretty streamlined since I was just beginning. Unless I limit to “direct ancestors,” it’s like fighting my way through scrub brush in a forest.
    As long as you’re merging companies, I hope you will include some portability of one service to the other. I imagine it is only a matter of time before you find some way of offering your service under one platform that combines the best of both services. With that in mind, a few suggestions:
    1. Give me a way to update the MyHeritage software so I can use it with Geni.
    2. The one thing I really missed on Geni was the marriage date that MH has; it helps narrow down searches; the information is usually available when you find a new ancestor, and it’s just nice to have. For that matter, so are some of the other data features of MH: like Source documentation and Notes.
    3. I’ve seen enough complaints about your Merge feature to be leery of that; figure out a better way of turning it off and on besides “Direct Ancestors.” And probably an “undo” as a last resort when the merges muck things up (that’s why there are divorces in real life!)
    4. Navigation: I like the open sidebar on the left with the MH software where I can plug in a name, then double click on it in the list, and get there. Geni has that pop up on the bottom which I kind of understand, but overall, not as easy to use in finding an ancestor and updating. On the other hand, I feel more comfortable adding ancestors on your site, and MUCH more comfortable if I attach the wrong person to the wrong relative (which I did several times with MH and had a devil of a time undoing!)
    Hope you’ll find these comments useful to improve your product. My only question now is, how long should I continue to maintain a presence on BOTH SITES?

  • http://www.sean-feeney.com SeanFromIT

    Good to hear the company continues to have some solid financial footing! I’ll go pro whenever you bring back monthly subscriptions!

  • jean-marie cordonnier

    Bon c’est bien beau tout ça et j’ai sans doute manqué un épisode. Je suis très heureux d’apprendre que je peux avoir accès à des “milliards d’enregistrements” (sic) mais quand je tente de le faire avec mes fameux “tree matches” (il faut dire que vous avez le sens de la formule en Amérique), on me demande 5€ par mois. La belle affaire ! Je vous donne déjà 40 ou 50 € par an, notamment pour ne pas émarger chez vos pilleurs de patrimoine que sont les Mormons et vous m’annoncez, la bouche en coeur que vous êtes émus et très contents de marcher maintenant dans leur pas. Ce serait drôle, disons amusant, si dans les dits “matches” je ne trouvais pas ce me semble des infos, que j’ai personnellement été chercher dans des documents que peu de gens outre atlantique peuvent lire dans le texte (d’où les innombrables erreurs qui parsèment vos données : c’est quoi par exemple cette habitude consternante de donner à une femme le nom de son mari, comme si elle n’avait pas le droit d’en épouser plusieurs en divorçant des premiers et comme si son lignage était moins important que celui de son mec !)

    Je veux bien aider, et je ne rechigne pas à la tâche. Mais qu’on fasse des tunes avec mon boulot, c’est “niet” comme dirait le camarade Kroutchov.

    J’attends vos explications.

    JM. Cordonnier

  • jamalogist

    One side of my family is using MyHeritage. The other is using Geni. Now, they are merged, I am getting suggestions to confirm my profile on Geni and my profile on MyHeritage, and check off whether they are the same profile. What happens if I do that? Will it merge the two trees? I dont want to impact the two respective trees, they each have their “owner” and let them do it. I don’t want two trees to become one, then my family fight over who owns it, or whether they did or didn’t want the extra people in their tree, etc. Has anyone experienced what actually happens if you confirm the profile match?

    • geniblog

      Hi, confirming matches with MyHeritage trees does not cause a merge as the trees are separate. Confirming a Smart Match simply adds a link on the Geni profile to the matching tree.

  • brettalton

    Why does Geni still use Flash? It’s embarrassing.

  • fishhook

    Please change “got no credit card” on your site to sign up for your service. I plan on becoming a member because I like the site.

  • Disappointed Costumer

    Geni people: Why don’t you have a “contact us” or “support” link? Maybe now it is time to add it? Your software has bugs that cannot be solved without programmer’s intervention. There is no explicit way to contact and ask for solution –in my case – it led to stop using you.
    Maybe now it is time to boost up your reliability and reputation and do something about it??

  • Vivienne Bibby

    Dear Amanda, I created a large Geni family
    tree over quite some years. I have had trouble trying to access it even
    though my email address is the same. Could you give me some guidance about
    being able to access my pages please .Most glad if you can help me as I
    have been discouraged and disappointed at not being able to print it out .. Vivienne Bibby viviennebibby@gmail.com

    • geniblog

      Hi Vivienne,

      Please email subscriptions@geni.com and our customer service team will be happy to assist you in retrieving your account.

  • geniblog

    Hi Zelia, you should have received an email from us regarding your lifetime subscription. Geni lifetime subscriptions have been discontinued and replaced with a new 5-year subscription, plus a free MyHeritage Data subscription worth $600. You may use your data subscription to access our newest Record Matches and Smart Matches feature. To read more about your new Matches, please see our blog announcement http://www.geni.com/blog/introducing-record-matches-and-smart-matches-for-your-family-tree-379952.html