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Printing a Geni family tree using Tree Seek.

Started by Randy Stebbing on Wednesday, March 21, 2012


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3/21/2012 at 3:37 PM

This has been mentioned a handful of times but since the question keeps coming up, here is one free alternatives to creating your family tree that you can then pay to have printed at your local copy store. This uses the data on to make your tree.

TreeSeek is a 3rd party company that has written a program that allows you to make cool looking charts based on your familytree data. You'll end up with a .pdf file that you can then print at your local print store on a large format printer. Even before you head to the copy store you'll be able to look at the file on your own computer prior to going to the expense of printing it out.

Using treeSeek is a two step process, first you create a tree, and then you create a chart based on that tree.

Go to their website and click on the "Start Now!" button. On the next screen click on the "Login" button underneath the "Geni" logo. You'll need to provide treeseek your username and password and authorize it to proceed.

Generating a tree for yourself or for a different member of your immediate family is easy.

1) Click on the green + “Create Tree” button.
2) Next pick the name of the close family member that you want to be at the root of the chart. And then have it generate the tree. TreeSeek should automatically offer to make a “tree” and you get to choose which of whether it uses one of your siblings, children, parents, yourself or your spouse as the root person. Once you select the “root” person click on the button for it to generate the tree data. Warning this takes about 5 minutes of crunching without much feedback that the web page is actually doing anything. When you are done you don’t actually have a chart or diagram yet but you will have a datafile that treeseek can turn into a chart.

It’s much more complicated to make a tree datafile for anyone outside your immediate family but it can be done. I’d suggest you have geni opein in one window and treeseek in a second window. To generate a tree for anyone outside your immediate family you’ll need their geni profile-id #. This is NOT the same as the number used in the web address for a profile. Instead you’ll need to look at the raw html code for a profile and search for the profile’s id number. Here is how to go about finding the secret profile-id number. While viewing the profile right click in your browser and choose “view source”, next search for the text “graph_node_id=profile”. Notice that to the right of the word profile will be a geni profile id #. This is the number you’ll need for

For example look at the raw html for Abraham Lincoln’s geni profile Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of the USA

In your browser right click, choose “view source” and while viewing the raw html search for the “graph_node_id=profile”. You should find a line that looks like the following: <a href="/revisions/history_lb?graph_node_id=profile-2143883&amp;tab=about_me"

With the above example the text you would fill in for treeseek would be “profile-2143883” which can be used to generate a treedata file for Abraham Lincoln. Remember it takes about 5 minutes for the data to be generated.

Once your tree data file is created then you can use it to make a chart. The charts look pretty amazing. The choices are 9 or 4 generation fan charts, 4, 9 or 10 generation pedigree charts, or a name cloud. Now just save the .pdf file, print out an 8.5x11 version of it at home or take the file to a print shop and get a poster size printing done.

3/23/2012 at 11:45 AM

TreeSeek has a bug using non-standard character sets. I've reported this as a bug and hopefully they can get it fixed very soon.

Private User
3/23/2012 at 11:27 PM

Randy, thanks for writing this up. You've done a great job.

Here is the simplest method I know of to get the profile id:
1. Go the Profile page of the person you want at the beginning of your tree.
2. Examine the "History" link for the Profile ID. The "History" link is located towards the center of the page. It will look something like this: "profile-3782612".

Private User
5/29/2013 at 5:02 AM

Hi Randy, your description was very helpful and I have generated quite a few very good charts for documentation. Three weeks ago I was able to generate charts with 9 and 10 generations. Since one week ago this is not possible any more. The system will show a maximum of 4 generations.
Unfortunately I cannot attach the samples here.
I have contacted TreeSeek and got a response from Matt Misbach <>. He would try to fix it. He also got the samples.
However, since TreeSeek connects to the information from geni and since this information is cut of after 4 generations this might be a combined geni/treeseek problem (somebody might have changed a counter somewhere ?).
Would you please try if you got the same problem. Do you get 9/10 or only 4 generations?

Private User
5/29/2013 at 5:17 AM

Randy, in the actual geni system I find the node_number 1693836 for Charlemagne. Please see below. TreeSeek cut off with less than 10 people in Charlemagnes tree.

G.PageProfile = {
id : "6000000002457013227",
node_number : "1693836",
name : "Charlemagne",
mugshotID : "6000000010053651231"

5/29/2013 at 7:40 AM

Private User , for Charlemagne I'm actually getting worse results that what you just reported. I get just him and his mother and father (1 generation) on both the various pedigree and fan type choices for chart type.

5/29/2013 at 7:51 AM

Private User

Mat, when I put myself in as the start person for the tree and choose a 10 generation fan chart It populates the fan chart completely with data for 6 generations plus two names only in the 7th generation but leaves the rest of generations 7-9 empty and I do know that there exists data on geni for profiles in generations 7-9 that is not being populated on the chart.

Private User
5/29/2013 at 8:21 AM

Yes, In fixing another bug, I created this one. I need to look into it.

Private User
6/9/2013 at 10:10 AM

Matt Misbach

Mat, what has happened? It is still not working.

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