New Feature: Merge Center

Posted August 19, 2010 by Geni | 4 Comments

The ultimate goal of Geni is to create a single, accurate family tree that connects all of our users. A family tree is only accurate when there is a single profile for each person on the tree. When more than one user adds a common relative to the tree, we let them merge the profiles together to create a single profile for that relative.

Today we’re announcing a number of enhancements designed to make it easier to find and merge duplicate profiles in the tree.

Merge Center

The Merge Center, which you’ll find under your More menu, replaces your tree matches list, your merge issues list, and merge requests. There are four tabs:


  • Tree Matches – Duplicate profiles that we have found by applying our tree match technology across our entire database of 90 million profiles. Review the matches to add new branches to your tree.
  • Profile Merges – Duplicate profiles found by other users. View the pending merge to verify that they are the same and complete the merge.
  • Tree Conflicts – Profiles that have potential duplicates in their immediate family, such as multiple sets of parents. View the tree to resolve these duplicates.
  • Data Conflicts – These profiles have been merged and have more than one set of data that conflicts. View the profile to resolve the conflicts.

By default your merge center includes your close relatives and profiles you manage. You can include profiles managed by your collaborators if you’d like. Once you have approved a merge on a profile managed by a collaborator, it will disappear from your profile merges list.

You may notice an increase in your number of merge issues. There are a few reasons for this:

  • All profiles you manage are now included. Previously the list only included profiles where you were the primary manager.
  • Each pair of profiles in a pending merge is now listed separately. This means that if there are two profiles waiting to be merged into a profile you manage, you’ll see two separate merge issues.
  • All requested merges are now included in your merge issues list, including requests from lists of tree matches.

In essence, the number of merges hasn’t really changed, they are just all in one place now so you can resolve them more quickly. We expect that, over time, the number of merge issues will decrease dramatically as a result.

Requesting Merges

The merging process has also been streamlined. You no longer need to choose a recipient when requesting a merge. Now you simply approve (or undo) the merge and we take care of the rest.

What happens when you approve a merge? If you have permission on both profiles, the merge is completed immediately. Otherwise, a couple of things happen:

  • A merge notification email is sent to the profile’s managers. Note: Each user will receive, at most, one merge notification per day.
  • The profile is added to the profile merge list of all of the profile’s managers (and, optionally, their collaborators) so they can review and approve the merge.

Suggested Collaborators

If you’re requesting merges on multiple profiles managed by the same user, you may want to invite that user to be a collaborator. Send collaboration requests to these users from your list of Suggested Collaborators, found on your Collaborators page. If a user accepts your collaboration request, you will be able to complete merges on their public profiles without their assistance.

We hope that these enhancements make it easier to merge duplicate profiles and improve the quality of the tree. Go ahead and try the new Merge Center now and let us know what you think.

Visit your Merge Center now.


  • Shelley Mactyre

    I’m really not liking this feature so far. I get the utility, and I do like seeing all of the various merge issues. But without more sophisticated ways to sort the profiles, it is frustrating to navigate.

  • Waldir

    What about the merges that have been approved prior to this change? I have dozens of merges in my lists I can do nothing about because they are now dependent on other people to approve them.
    Can you retroactively apply that “Once you have approved a merge on a profile managed by a collaborator, it will disappear from your profile merges list” thing? It’d be really useful (especially since I can’t re-approve them myself to apply this effect? Or does that (shudder) apply only to profile merges tab, not to the tree matches one?

  • Jerry

    It is fine to offer to merge family trees. However, in each case I am a member of two family trees that I do not own. Therefore, suggesting that I sign up for a financial commitment to participate in the merge of family tress makes no sense. Interesting revenue model though. Imho the offer to pay an additional fee to add to the tree should be offered to the owners of the trees rather than subsidiary members who may have joined for many reasons other than being truly interested in generating a mega family tree. In other words, your revenue model is flawed, imho.

  • Claudine

    Not a great idea. I invited a new family member to start uploading her side of our extended family and now I cannot even merge with her tree. Stupid idea.