Geni Turns 10: Celebrate With A Chance to Win A Pro Subscription

Posted January 17, 2017 by Amanda | 50 Comments

When Geni first launched in January 2007, we had one very ambition goal: to create a family tree of the whole world!

We invited users to build their family trees and invite their relatives to join them. What began as several smaller family trees naturally led to merging overlapping families, connecting these separate trees into one big tree. Now, thanks to the collaborative efforts of millions of genealogists and family historians, Geni’s World Family Tree has grown to over 112 million profiles!

Win 1year Pro

Geni’s World Family Tree connects individuals all over the world into a single family tree. Once you have connected, you can discover how you’re related to millions of other users as well as celebrities and historical figures that are also connected to the tree. Geni has helped many people connect with distant cousins and discover branches of their family that they had never known before.

Over the years, we have remained committed to building the single, most comprehensive family tree of the entire world. We’ve introduced many new features to further improve the quality of the World Family Tree, including the introduction of MyHeritage’s Record Matches and Smart Matches, which automatically provides matches to historical records and family trees, and most recently, adding DNA integration to the World Family Tree, so you can verify relationships with DNA and discover new cousins with DNA matches.

One of our greatest assets in the World Family Tree are our devoted team of nearly 200 volunteer curators. First introduced in August 2010, curators have been instrumental in ensuring the integrity of the World Family Tree while also helping other users by answering questions. They have spent countless hours merging duplicate profiles and creating Master Profiles to make the World Family Tree cleaner and more accurate than any other online collaborative family tree. By eliminating duplicates, all of the best information for an individual can be found in one place. So when you search for Charlemagne on Geni, you’ll find only one master profile versus the hundreds that you may find elsewhere.

In celebration of our 10 year anniversary, we’re giving away a free 1-year subscription of Geni Pro to one lucky winner.

With Geni Pro you will have access to advanced tools to help grow your family, including:

  • Tree Matches – achieve faster tree growth with instant Tree Matches to connect with new relatives
  • Enhanced search – get full access to Geni’s search engine
  • Priority support – communicate directly with our expert support staff
  • Unlimited data – upload unlimited photos, videos and documents

How to enter

To enter, send us your best answer to this question:

What first sparked your interest in genealogy?

Post your answer in the comments below, on Facebook or Twitter or email us at community@geni.com. Please note only one entry per person. The winner will be randomly chosen from valid entries.

Enter by January 31, 2017 for your chance to win!

Update: This competition is closed. See the winner here.

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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  • Tim (Kinney) Word

    When my mother passed, I found information about my biological father and started building a tree so I can pass to my children their ancestry heritage knowledge.

  • Rachel Spektor Shilton

    Since I lost my dad at early age, I rely want to know more about him and his family that perish in the Holocaust.

  • Laurel

    Plain and simple my dad sparked my interest in genealogy….. before he passed away he started his side of my family tree . I have carried that torch on by filling my mom side of the family tree through written records from a family member that was in my mom’s possession from 1980 and then of all things prayer cards and funeral notices helped me round out her side of the family tree really well

  • Sharon Vik

    I’ve been interested in knowing who I am and where I come from for as long as I can remember, as I have some interesting stories in my family. But I didn’t become “hard core” interested until I was in my 30′s. I am addicted! <3

  • Judi Molla

    I was the “bonus baby”; my closest sibling in age is almost 7 years older, the furthest, 14 years older. My father passed away when I was nine and my mother returned to the workforce after raising the four of us for 22 years. I was almost always in the company of adults, but back in my day, rarely included in conversations. I’ve found so many surprising branches and lines back to some of the most interesting people, including the fact that I’m Hillary Clinton’s 17th cousin 4 times removed….not exactly getting an invitation for dinner, :) . but that’s just so cool. Our family lineage goes back to William Wallace and my all time favorite Eadnoth the Staller, among others. So many questions, so many interesting people. So much more to discover!

  • http://www.tostieproductions.com kevintostado

    I first got interested in genealogy when I saw an old family tree posted on the inside of my grandmother’s front closet. It traced her Irish lineage back to the 1600s in Ireland.

  • Dominque Blackheart

    my dad telling me we were related to Sir Francis Drake somehow and fact that no one else in my family wanted to do the research it seemed.. So, it got me curious as to how we were related to an guy some consider pirate/traitor and such and to who all else we could be related to and what all we could have in our blood :Irish/German/Dutch/and so on.. Found out some interesting things and found family too through your site and research..

  • Dianne Rabchak

    Having heard my Mother’s family history repeated by relatives many times, I was so curious because my father had no history and only knew of a sister and brother. That pointed me toward collecting all our family history and finding my father’s family (which I did complete with another family in Norway) Meeting all the new additions to our family was another facet of the discoveries.This started while in my twenties and has continued for 40 years.

  • Nawal Nabulsi Hampton

    I am interested in showing the WORLD how we’re ALL connected! My purpose for starting my family tree was mainly for my children; they, too, now can see how spread out our branches are! :)

  • Jerrold Landau

    As I began to get older, I was beginning to lose touch with the large group of my parents cousins and their children — and I realized that as families get older and new generations are added, it becomes geometrically more difficult to keep in touch with everybody. In an effort to preserve some sort of unity, I began to craft family trees for all 4 branches of my family. What started out as an effort to keep track of my second cousins ended up helping me find my third cousins and go farther afield.

  • Trond Oskars

    I did not know much about my family beyond great grand parents, when i was 14 my father died and the oldest member of my family was my mother. I felt disconected with my fathers side so much so that I changed my suname to my fathers given name. To figure out who I was I needed to research my geneology. Thanks to kind distant cousins i now have traced several of my great grand parents back to the Viking era.

  • Anneke Willems

    My father is/was Jewish, lost many family members in the war. My surname is d’Ancona, when I checked out Geni, i was very impressed, I already received a lot of info via Geni. I find it so ineresting to find out about family members,were we come from etc. Thank you so much for all the info i already received via Geni. Happy greetings from Australia

  • Vishal Bihani

    Eagerness to gain Origin and communicate loved ones.

  • Tina Hangman Skufca

    It’s amazing to me to find out who my ancestors were. Who I’m related to, where we all came from and how many quirks have survived the ages.

  • Ann-Kristin Breivoll

    When I recognized I had a bunch of relatives in the USA I did not know about beacause they found me on Geni, and that my family comes from not only Europe, but Asia also…To be able to follow it back to Muhammad, to Jewish roots and some of the Viking kings was a surprice… We all seem to be a mixture of all ethnic groups ..Thanks to Geni I now know the thrue fact…we are all one race…humans.

  • Diane Buchanan

    Wanting to know who my biological father was.Mom gave me a possible name.Not knowing is like a piece of puzzle missing.Something missing in my life;feeling incomplete.Also wanting to know family history;who they were,where from,etc.thanks

  • Frode Evensen

    My fathers brother (from Norway) somehow ended up being part of a maiden voyage flight from Pakistan to London, which crashed in Cairo (Egypt). After both my grandparents and my parents had searched for answers for more than 45 years, we finally have puzzled together the pieces and know what happened. This sparked the interest to find out more about all my ancestors.

  • Bengt R Kiil

    An very old photo that have been in the family for a long time, but no-one knows who’s in the picture :)

  • Davor Gregorc

    Becoming older your interest for the past grows, there is only one step to start the search of your family tree ;)

  • Ken Jørgen

    I wanted to find out who my biological grandfather was

  • jeradc

    Great Grandmothers. :)

    One side talked about being related to soldiers in the civil war, one mentioned college scholarships, and another said we were related to signers for the Declaration of Independence. So, I decided to research it for myself to see what was true, and what was not.

  • Jean Davis

    Finding a great grandfather’s carved spoon from Valley Forge in ‘empty’ box that I planned to use for jewelry. (In spite of interest of both grandmothers and an aunt.)

  • Renee Steinig

    In the 1970s, my first cousin in Israel, Asher Joseph, researched his mother’s (and my father’s) family — the descendants of Moses & Beckchen Stern of Meerholz, Germany, and Levi & Karoline Isenburger of Melbach, Assenheim, and Friedberg, Germany. When Asher presented me with a small booklet entitled “Family Tree for the Children of Joseph & David,” I was fascinated and decided that I should create a similar genealogy for my mother’s family. Naively, I expected that effort to take a few months. I’m still at it!

  • Carmilla5

    A hand written family tree of my dad’s side given to me by his mother. I still have it & with such amazing names & people who back then I had no clue about (this was the mid 80s) though the tree was written much before this. I still smile when I see this now with a much more extended family tree thanks to the Internet!

  • Max Heffler

    Trouble in my first marriage – Jewish Family Services suggested creating family trees and the addiction started,,,

  • napobo3

    My kids started to ask questions while doing their My Roots homework in the 6th grade.

  • Linda L. Emery

    I wanted to find out more about my father’s family as he had left Idaho years before & never looked back. What we new of his family was very limited.

  • Raphaël Pinson

    My grand-father had started very basic research, and I wanted to investigate my mom’s family, which looked very interesting (coming from various countries).

  • Kyria

    A college history assignment for extra credit. I wrote to some older relatives for help and got more than I expected; loads of information and the beginning of an addiction.

  • Sara Hyman

    learning after the last of my maternal grandfather’s siblings died that they entered the country in Seatlle and wanting to learn more about the history. Haven’t had success in that direction, but found lots of cousins.

  • Matt

    Probably my father’s grandfather’s memoir Listen My Children: A Grandfather’s Legacy, chronicling his life from age 6 to age 26 (1903-1923) beginning as a child in the Ukraine and immigrating to the US at age 15, and settling and working in Newark, NJ, and later raising a family on the farm in Mountainside, NJ. He wrote it in his 70s, with editing from my grandmother, a former journalist. Also, learning that my maternal grandparents were distant cousins inspired me to determine the connection (they were introduced by a mutual aunt, “Tanta Yulishka”, and have 1 great-grandfather in common, making them half-second cousins).

  • Liliana Zapert

    Old letters which I found after the death of my grandmother .
    I found my grandmother’s sister and now I have a big family :)
    This is the best thing on the World ! My family tree
    Thanks GENI

  • lonesail

    I remember my dad drawing a family tree by hand when I was a kid, so this was always in a back of my mind. Then we went through the immigration to US, and his work was lost. So when my own 13 year old son started asking me about our family, it just clicked and I started calling up all the relatives I could find… turned out that I had a lot more of them then I could possibly have imagined and in a matter of months my tree grew from literally just a handful of people to 1200… and I’m not even done yet. It has been an amazing journey.

  • Randee King

    I became intrigued with genealogy after coming across a family tree that my great grandfather put together for his 50th wedding anniversary in 1937.

  • Karen Harrison

    When I was 10 years old and working on a Girl Scout badge, it required that I make a small family tree. My Grandmother of Norwegian descent offered to help me and told me wonderful stories of her ancestors. Her pride in her ancestry was very apparent and I was hooked!! I started doing genealogy in earnest when I had my first child at age 23 and I still love it today at age 70!!

  • Starliteprism

    The first spark and motivating factor in my interest in genealogy was to figure out who my paternal Grandfather was as well as his family. Through the use of DNA testing, Geni was instrumental and worked hand in hand with my findings. Without stumbling upon a relative that I was connected to by DNA, seeing the mutual connection on a Geni tree, I wouldn’t have discovered who my grandfather was, on the 15th July 2016.
    And to be the one to tell my Dad that I confirmed who his father was and his family, it truly did make my heart feel full. Thank you for that. <3

  • Evelyn N.

    creating a family history for my children and grandchildren.
    A cousin did an extensive genealogy family chart on my maternal grandmother’s side. I wanted to do the same for my father’s and husband’s side of the family.

  • annulla

    Meeting distant cousins when I was young, speaking to them and trying to puzzle out exactly how we were related, sparked an interest in genealogy that has lasted a lifetime.

  • paulmg

    Frankly, it was the ease of Geni that got it started. Great idea and execution.

  • Chuck Bury

    When I was very young my dad had gotten one of those “Family Crest” searches done with a history of the family name and supposed connection to Richard de Bury in the 13th century.

  • EricaLynnFL

    I was given a binder of research from a relative and I loved putting the piecies into my own tree

  • Diane Freeman

    My father took me to the Freeman Cemetery about 25 years ago and I saw all these stones with my surname on them, people that I know nothing about. I was especially interested in a group with someone I presumed to be the father next to 5 small stones for children that died at an early age, but no stone for their mother. I was hooked.

  • http://jigar-mehta.blogspot.com jigarme

    I wanted to build a collaborative family tree so I can know people who are related to me, so started exploring various products and loved Geni

  • Heidi Goulet

    Went through some of my fathers research and found out his ancestors had changed their name when then landed in an area in the Netherlands. Seemed very interesting to me.

  • Craig Eagle

    I was at a family reunion and there was a family tree that fascinated me

  • Hilde Tindlund

    Old family photos sparked my interest for genealogy.

  • Harri Paavolainen

    My mother sent me a whole folder of old documents from her great-uncle, who had done extensive research on his side of the family, compiled and presented at a family gathering in Helsinki, Finland in 1952. She was hoping I would like to help her put together a website to present the material, a project that is still in progress.

    Tucked into the folder was a small hand-drawn family tree drawn by my father shortly after my birth, with my own name in the bottom box, and my mother’s note: “you’ve got some blue blood a few generations back!”

    Googling some of the names led me to Geni, and I was delighted to find trees for both of my parents, and to be able to merge them into my own. It’s been fascinating to follow the branches back through the centuries to ancient kings and mythical figures. My mother had no idea how right she was!

  • Heather Cunningham

    My interest in geneology first sparked when I saw my great grandparents certificate from Ellis Island.

  • Beverly E Bowers

    Googling my paternal grandmother (born in 1913) I never knew…and found that she is related to Walter Palmer of Stonington Connecticut (one of the 4 founders)
    It took off from there!!

  • Candicec C. Tibbs-Brockett

    My grandmother and her siblings migrated to the North in the late 1930′s. They lost contact with their family members remaining in the South and were almost heartbroken. I made a promise at age 13 to find and reunite them with their family. I started at the National Archives in Washington, and through census reports and military records were able to find their names. I began writing family churches, consulting area phone books and courthouses. In 1997, I had the first family homecoming there in the South, which reunited my grandmother with her family. This homecoming resulted in 309 adults and 148 children that I had found as a result of the research. As a result, 20 years later…I’m still researching and uniting family members.