If You Make a Mistake in Your Family Tree

Posted January 20, 2007 by David Sacks | 47 Comments

Per your requests, we’ve made it easier to remove people from your family tree. This happens just like always: just click the little "x" symbol in the top right corner of the person you’d like to remove. However, since we’ve expanded the rules that determine who can be removed, you’ll be asked to confirm this action. Removals cannot be undone, so be sure you really want to remove the person in question!

Because building a family tree is a collaborative process, there are some cases where you will not be able to remove a person:

  1. That person has joined Geni and "claimed" their profile
  2. That person has already been invited to join
  3. That person has other relatives attached to him or her, who would otherwise be disconnected from the tree.

That third situation can be handled by first deleting the attached relatives, which will then make your target person removable.

Remember that you do not have to remove a person to make a correction to his or her information or location. You can click "edit info" to display a dialog that allows you to change things like the person’s name or gender. By selecting an alternate set of parents on that same dialog, you can also change a person’s location in your family tree.

UPDATE: A number of users have reported that they cannot delete some people in their trees who, according to the rules above, should be deletable. We have identified the problem and are working to fix this issue. Also, we are working to make people deletable even if they have been invited to the tree. Finally, we are working to let users delete any email address. So please standby — you will be able to fix your trees soon! 

Post written by David Sacks

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  • Anthony Floyd

    Good news! However, even nodes that seem to satisfy the rules still cannot be deleted. Will this be a feature that is gradually rolled out?

  • Ben

    I still have a spouse named “Add Spouse” that I cannot delete. It has no email, never been invited and no choldren. But there’s no “x” to click.
    Grat work though and great support.

  • Bryan Harley

    I’ve noticed that as our family tree grows larger (200+) things have been slowing down considerably, sometimes hanging altogether. Is this going to be improved in the future?
    When I view smaller branch it pops up quick. So maybe when I’m viewing my whole tree…give me an option of collapsing certain branches? Or like in the LIST view, I can view Blood Relatives, Ancestors only. If this option was available in the TREE view that would be awesome!

  • Susheela

    A suggestion for #3 — There should be the ability to ‘disconnect’ from tree, but maybe it needs to be confirmed by the other party?
    Great job so far :D

  • Brian

    Is there a way to delete an email address once it is added?

  • Randy Rowles

    What about if you add someone and they already have a profile under a different e-mail, but they accidently “claim” the bad e-mail address? Is there a way for users to “unclaim” a profile?

  • Geert

    After entering quite some info, I am no longer able to see my tree view! (iBook G4, Firefox with Flash 9 plugin)

  • Bob

    There still seems to be a problem when deleting persons: I have mistakenly entered grand-grand-grand-parents whereas I should only have entered grand-grand-parents. Unfortunately I cannot delete the oldest generation, because there is no X. Their relatives wouldnt be disconnected from the tree, if I deleted them – so I had to make a workaround and name the grand-grand-grand-parents “to delete1″ and “to delete2″, which doesnt look very nice.
    Thanx for your help and keep on the good work!

  • david

    yes delete option does not appear when it should in many cases.

  • Paul Horne

    But even a claimed profile needs to be able to be deleted, or at least delete itself, if the information is incorrect. I have a niece with the wrong parents — she’s already claimed her profile, but neither one of us can fix it. This is a pretty serious flaw at this stage of development, because the ability to delete a profile and start it over would solve a lot of problems you’re struggling to implement now.
    To prevent abuse of the system, you could turn deletions into “requests for deletion” if the profile has already been claimed, so the user would receive an email that says “your profile has been marked for deletion by user XXX. Your profile will be automatically deleted in 24 hours unless you click HERE.” That kind of thing.

  • http://www.inter-weavers.com Robin Wills

    In addition to the three rules, can you only delete if you were the one that entered the data in the first place? That might explain why I can’t delete one person entered in error.

  • Bob

    Message to Robin Wills: your suggested explanation is not true – I entered everybody in my tree so far and am also not able to delete some of them (as described above in many cases).
    It would really be great if this feature gets fixed: I interviewed my relatives and some make errors will reporting because they dont cleary remember so I need to delete mistakes they made which unfortunately is not always possible.

  • Zahi Stephens

    Deletion is far too difficult. If I want to delete someone and disconnect their entire tree, I should be allowed to do this. If I want to delete *all* my data, there should be a simple button to do this. I wanted to remove my data just now, and was unable to — I had to go through each person and delete all their details. I feel trapped and exploited.

  • Jason

    Having an issue as well where now that I have entered in multiple family members, I cannot view my tree anymore. Everything is viewable (profile etc..) just not the tree view.
    In tree view, it labels me as undefined and has 0 people.
    I’ve tried viewing in Firefox 2 and IE 7 / Flash Player 9 on both. Not that this should matter because it actually WAS working.

  • http://www.geocities.com/pesmes2002/ ancey jean

    I am building a second family tree. I am alone to buid it. It is impossible to delete some people, without link as wife or children.
    Why please.

  • barca

    Its impossible to delete some members. I have two partners for 1 person, one partner(current spouse) have”x” for deleting and second partner (ex- spouse) have not “x”. This second persone has no children and no parents added. Three cases for impossible deleting are irrelevant in my case. Please help me. Person I want to delete has name “delete error”.

  • Samuel E. Meredith

    My profile shows I am 70% complete, however it give no other screens to add information?

  • http://christian.web42.com/ Christian

    Do you have an infrastructure for translating the interface in-place? If so, I’d volunteer to translate the interface to German.

  • Eric MARTY

    7 hours ago, I tried to add the current spouse of one of my cousin, already divorced from his first wife. With surprise, this current spouse appeared 3 times in my tree. I tried without success to eliminate separetly 2 of the current spouse, even after changing names, first names and marriage status.
    How can’I eliminate these 2 unexisting invented persons from my tree?

  • Elizabeth Swift

    Any news about when this bug will be fixed? I have about 4 people that should be deleteable but are not and I really would like to delete these records.
    Thanks for everything. It is so easy to use.

  • Peter

    It is hard to imagine but there are people who do not want their names in Geni. They asked me to remove them and their relatives, but even the last in a line (no other relatives) has no cross in the upper right corner so cannot be removed. Another one has a cross upper right and when clicking, geni asks for a confirmation, but the person will not disappear.
    Please provide a quick solution for this problem!!

  • Marius

    I think it’s the most common problem now. Not me but my cousin made a small mistake. somehow I forced that “x” to appear, but even then I could not delete that person.
    But in any case – Geni is great!!! Thanx guys!!!

  • Quin Barrett

    It would be very nice if the basic tree would have certain data always shown in the “tree View”. For example, date of birth-death. Date of Marriage. Complete name , even if it is long.

  • Jim Carlson

    I have entered the correct birth dates and birth order for siblings but they are out of order in the tree. Can they be re-positioned in the tree?

  • Eddy

    Is there any way to print the tree?

  • Cynthia

    Great site! My relatives are over the moon from Vancouver down to Sydney. Two questions -
    1. How do I link first cousins who are married ?
    2. I tried deleting an empty “Add person” link but can’t seem to do that. If I started the tree shouldn’t I be able to go in and edit all the branches ?

  • Robert

    I would like to suggest future site features:
    * allow to select the type of school for each school entry: the american school carreer is does not apply in this way in other countries. It would be great if the type of school could be selected (i.e. someone moves during elementary school time from one town to another)
    * allow some kind of localization: the name of school types, units of measures (for instance inches and feets) etc. are different from one country to another. This should be selecteable.
    * allow labels and emails in different languages: using geni and receiving invitations in ENnglish for older releatives does not encourage them to provide additional information to the family tree even if the are quite used to use computers and internet. It would be great if one could choose the language in which the family tree is shown and in which language invitations are sent out.
    Thanks and this is a great site!

  • Harburger

    I added to Geni a first cousin one removed, Max Kalm, who has recently changed his email address to Max Kalm [maxkalm1@gmail.com] He asked me to change it on his profile as he will be shutting don his old June email account and fears he will lose Geni update notices and contact with people who communicate with him via Geni. I have tried to change the email address for him and even entered a comment to that effect but cannot find a way to comply with his request to change his email address on geni What can I do or how do I do it or will you do it for us?nnJordan Harburger, Gaithersburg MD

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  • Jane Mauritzen

    now: 17/11/2012, i have a problem deleting a > no name < profile, any news ??

  • cecilia

    hej i have big problems with deleting persons is there any new?????

    • geniblog

      Hi, please see our FAQ on how to delete someone from your tree http://help.geni.com/entries/469469-How-do-I-delete-someone-from-my-tree-

      • cecilia

        Hej again i have been reading the link you been sending ceveral times and i still cant delete

        • geniblog

          Has the person already claimed their profile? If yes, then only that person can delete their account.

          What profile are you trying to remove?

          • cecilia

            No cause the person doesent live anymore , but no

          • geniblog

            We just sent you an email so we can further assist you.

  • Jon

    How can I change an email address of a person I manage? They changed their email several years ago, so they don’t receive any news from Geni

    • geniblog

      Hi Jon, if your relative has already claimed their account, they will need to contact us directly at subscriptions@geni.com . We will then be able to assist them in updating the email address for their account.

  • Sergey

    Help, please! I accidentally joined two people in one person. Now he has two fathers and two mothers. But I can not remove a person, because he “has joined geni.com” and “Choosing would split the tree”. But in fact, people do not even know about this site and i agree to splitting.
    How can I split a loop and remove the person. On the “Conflict of trees” shows all the parents, but the “Delete” button is inactive.

  • Lynda Allen

    Any updates on repairing this problem?

    • geniblog

      Hi Lynda, this blog post was created in 2007. Much of the site has changed since then. Can you let us know what issue you are currently experiencing?

  • Jane

    I still can’t remove the person I want to be removed from my family tree. Because of the profile owner who does not allow anyone else to edit the profile (e.g., cancel emerge). What to do? I am talking about my boyfriend that once I put as my partner there but now I’d like to remove him from my family tree (I mean, I do not want his name in my family tree until (IF) we get married), thus I’d like to do without it showing we “broke up” or are “separate” from now on that is not true. Any advice/options? Thanks..

    • geniblog

      Can you post the link to the profile you would like to remove?

  • L.B.

    My ex boyfriend is still active in my family tree and I need him gone. He is married, has a daughter and a beautiful family, it’s incredibly embarassing that I can’t “unrelate” to that person. Geni doesn’t exist with that purpose I believe, but I’m about to delete my whole family tree because I can’t fix this mistake. Please help. I already deleted his relatives that I was the one managing, he is the only lose one over there. PLEASE HELP! Here is the profile h

    • geniblog

      Hi, we’ve removed the relationship from your tree.