Today’s Release: Enhancements to Family Group

Posted March 27, 2012 by Amanda | 44 Comments

Today we released some minor changes to Family Group and a few bug fixes. Take a look at our full release notes below:


Your Family Group now only consists of Geni users. What this means is:

  • Your Family List will only show people who have joined Geni
  • Your Calendar will only show relatives who have joined Geni and your living close relatives
Other enhancements:
  • You can now see your family’s birthdays and anniversaries for the entire year in your Calendar. Simply click “Show Full Year”
  • Added validation to dates


  • Fixed a bug on users’ Recent Activity that prevented users from going past the first page
  • Fixed data conflicts on locked fields. When a merge is made into a Master Profile, data from locked fields will be used as the correct value.

To read our past release notes, go to our Announcements section in our Help Center.

UPDATE (March 28): We released some changes that should address your concerns:

  • Added “Family Tree” to the list views, this will be the new default list
  • Added “Family Tree” to profile stats, this will replace Family Members

The “Family Tree” list includes all the profiles that were listed before under the Family Group list. This essentially returns the functionality that was lost in this release.

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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  • Hatte Blejer

    I do not like this change.  I used the List view to go through all my relatives back to 4th grat grandparents, and it was quite useful.  Furthermore, distant family who are Geni members show up whereas my deceased husband, father, step-father, mother-in-law, father-in-law, and dear grandparents do not.  I was quite upset when the Family Group came up.  You do not understand what Family Group meant to your users. Please re-consider.  I learned about this because a number of other users wrote me email complaining that their family group had suddenly shrunk.  

    • geniblog

      Hi Hatte,

      We’re working on addressing the list views. Thanks for your patience.

  • David

    I agree with everything Hatte wrote.

    How exactly is this an “enhancement”?

  • David

    You could always filter the list on claimed status anyway, so you could always get this list of only those who had joined Geni anyway.  This isn’t an enhancement.  It’s a loss of ability to list close relatives with choice of whether you only include Geni users or not.

    • Muammar Ishak

      Hmm.. I sense of danger again with Geni.. loosing an ability to do this.. and what will probably comes next..

  • Thys Du Plessis

    Agree. That is not an enhancement. It is trying to force even the dead to join up. Living and dead are becoming hostages of the “Join” saga. Please, poll a vote and undo the specific change.

  • Dan Cornett

    It seems to me this is a poorly thought out way of implementing a better way to manage email scope (e.g.: for birthdays & anniversaries).  One ought to be able to define the scope of “family group for email notifications and calendars” separately from the scope for searches & lists (which should be the “Maximum Family Group”).

  • Dan Cornett

    Furthermore, this change (or something else related to this release, anyway) seems to have broken the “Records” linkages to Find-A-Grave and Ancestry (only the Archives lookup seems to be working).

  • Dan Cornett

    Early reports are this also is affecting other things related to “relationships”.

  • Dan Cornett

    PLEASE roll this back!  It affects MANY searches in lists!  To add this “new” feature should be done as an additional option in search lists of something like “Active Family Group” (vs. Maximum Family Group, which is the previous generic “Family Group”).

    There does not even seem to be a work-around for this “new” definition in the search lists.

    PLEASE UNDO (until it can be done correctly).

    This is the kind of thing that needs “beta” testing — not just unannounced changes!!

  • David

    Dan – the “additional option” was always there – simply filter the family list on claimed status.  It doesn’t require any new feature to be defined.  It already exists.  But now filtering family on claimed status is irrelevant – because it has already been filtered for you – whether you like it or not.

  • Brenjen

    OK, well, I don’t understand why the change to Family Group only being people who have joined Geni was made. They should have been put in another category because now to me it means that I don’t have any Family Members if they haven’t joined Geni. Huh? Aren’t my 1st, 2nd, 3rd cousins etc. my Family Members?
    Maybe a distinction should be made between Family Member and Family Group.
    I agree, Dan H Cornett, this is defnitely a poor change!This comment has also been posted in

  • Eldon Clark

    The family group changes is not an enhancement. It is a reduction in the services that I have paid for.
    The Find A Grave link was a convenience, I will now have to do the searches myself so I don’t see why or how this is an enhancement.

    • geniblog

      Hi Eldon, 

      We’re working on addressing the concerns about the list views. As for the Find-a-Grave record matches, we’re currently making some slight adjustments to the way this feature works. They should be back up shortly.

  • Fay Baldwin

    This change “sucks!”

    I went from 724 relatives to 18….

    I can find out Geni users by going to relationship anyway….and this number UNDERSTATES that area…

    I want to know how many of my OWN immediate relatives I have located….NOT what presently is indicated…

  • Pam

    Please UNDO this. It is not an enhancement at all.

    The Family Group list is one of those affected. My daughter no longer exists on the list, and she is very much alive. Other people with whom I have no relation whatsoever have been included.It seems crazy!
    It also seems that the link to Find-a-Grave is unlinked. 

  • Pete Rohel

    1) this is a Wrong Change – could you please change it Back ?
    2) it makes No sense – to us Users – l use it - to Change accidently created Private status - to Public (or reverse) - and etc.
    3) what does the Family Group - have to do – with Claimed profiles (people who joined Geni) – perhaps You Geni – need to come-up with a New category – for this (Your) New usage
    3) why not Focus on what We (the Users) Need – like: prefix, date (bef, aft, range), Path (blood & closest), Un-merge, Public (if dead or 99+yrs old) - and other Long Awaited Genealogy functions - previously requested by Many instead ?

  • Odd roger krutvik

    This is not good, please change back !!!

  • Kalishoek

    What was the reasoning behind this enhancement ?

  • Fay Baldwin

    This ENHANCEMENT needs enhancing…..why can’t I enter marriage date to a profile…

    I say “Advance to the Rear”…..

    • geniblog

      Hi Fay,

      Can you send in a ticket explaining the bug when entering in a marriage date?

  • geniblog

    We’re working on addressing the issues with the release. I’ll have an update soon.

  • Christopherempey777

    This was not a good thing for any of us “Tree Builders”, the backbone of Geni.
    This “enhancement” shows that I have only 16 family members.
    I want to convey my unhappiness about this matter as well.
    I truly hope the company reverses this particular venture, as this was NOT an enhancement, but rather a large dissapointment.

  • Fay Baldwin

    I want my Mommy……!!!!

    • Maria Edmonds-Zediker

      My mommy is dead but I want my husband! My daughter! My grandchildren!

  • Fay Baldwin

    Entering, in relationships, the marriage date of 9/27/1851……response ‘in red’ says:
    Invalid date.

    • geniblog

      Thanks, Fay. We’re working on a fix.

  • Salmegal28

    Ohhhh!  no, no, no!  This is NOt a good move!!!  Don’t do this, please!  Change it back, please!

  • Maria Edmonds-Zediker

    What a disaster this newest change is! I’m down to 44 family members. Of these 44 only TWO are within my max family group. My daughter is not there. Two brothers and a sister are not there. Three grandchildren are not there. My late mother and father are not there. My grandparents are not there. My aunts and uncles are not there. For crying out loud, even my husband has been removed as my family! 

    Very distant relatives whom I have never met are there because I accepted “family group” requests. This is not an enhancement. It might be a marketing ploy, but it wont’ be successful if you anger as many of the membership as I think you will, no one will recommend that family members sign up for Geni. I am hearing that members are so totally shocked that they want to delete their trees. I WANT MY REAL FAMILY BACK. I want everyone who would be in my “max family group” to be displayed in my “family group” list.

    • geniblog

      Hi Maria,

      We’re working on addressing these concerns right now. Thanks for your patience.

  • Ken

    You can only set members of your Family Group to Private. Now that the Family Group contains living members only, all deceased profiles must be Public.

    I haven’t tested this, but note that the documentation has been changed to say this is so.

    Not sure why everyone is complaining – most now have got what they wanted.

    • David

      Ken I am not sure that is true. shows private profiles out to You
      Your Great-Great-Great-Grandparents & Closer irrespective of living status

    • geniblog

      Hi Ken,

      We didn’t make any changes to privacy with this release. Your max Family Group (third great grandparents/fourth cousins and closer) are still private by default. 

      Essentially, we only removed unclaimed profiles from the Family Group list. We heard everyone’s feedback and we’re working on addressing the issues for the list views. We’re going to bring back the option to see the list of all profiles in your max Family Group.

      • Ken

        That means there are now two definitions of Family Group.

      • David

        geniblog – you always could remove unclaimed profiles from the Family Group list by filtering on claimed, so what was the point of this release “enhancement”?

  • geniblog

    Hi everyone. We just released some changes that should address your concerns:
    * Added “Family Tree” to the list views, this will be the new default list 
    * Added “Family Tree” to profile stats, this will replace Family Members
    The “Family Tree” list includes all the profiles that were listed before under the Family Group list. This essentially returns the functionality that was lost in yesterday’s release.

  • Maria Edmonds-Zediker

    Thanks, Geni Staff, for listening to us. I am so happy to hear that the list of our family members is being restored. 

  • Niclas Carlenius

    I had a family group of 2,345 before the change. My new family group (only claimed profiles) is 459 – that is OK. Now that the Family Tree count has been introduced, my Family Tree is 2,608. This is a lot more than my old family group of 2,345. Why is that? Does the Family Tree count have a wider definition/inclusion of in-laws? For example I see my wife’s first cousin’s partner’s sister’s husband in my Family Tree count – isn’t that a step too far? Or was it like that in the old family group? If so, why has the count increased (with no additions being made to my tree)?

    Which group will be used for Family News on the home page and birthday/anniversary e-mails? I still see unclaimed profiles here today.

    I also see the old Tree count has been re-named “Blood Relatives + Partners” in list view. It is a bit confusing with terminology changes, but I guess we will learn and get used to it.

    • Lucia Pilla

      My husband has about 500 plus now. 

  • Niclas Carlenius

    The Recently Modified list is now based on the new smaller Family Group of claimed profiles. I do not like this. I often check this list to see there are no incorrect changes. Now I won’t see if anyone changed the profiles of my (deceased) grandparents in this list. I know I can sort the Family Tree list by Last modified, but it doesn’t make any sense to have a Last modified list containing only claimed profiles.

  • Martwypies

     Oh my Good…next “enhancements”. Facebook group “Former (or dissatisfied) users” will be bigger and bigger. Now calendar is useless for me. I don’t see one of the most interesting things in my (sorry – your company) tree. No more aunts aniversaries, no more old uncle birthdays… Sorry but I see that your site change worse and worse. What next? Add 1 profile = pay 1 $, calendar free trail, premium group photos, vip documents? Please change your politics because in 2007-2010 I was your huge fan (translator, I wrote in many pages that your site was the best, better than myheritage etc…) and now I became haters.     

  • Dirk Botes

    I have tried to try out the FREE TRAIL for teh next version which allows more than 100 persons. When cliking on the Free Trail it does not allows me and refer me to my Credit Card details which is not correct.

    How do I download your free trail?

    • Greg

      To get started with your free trial, you may do the following: 
      1.  Visit
      2.  Choose the membership plan that best fits your needs (Plus or Pro) 
      3.  Choose a subscription length to maintain uninterrupted access if you decide to keep your premium membership after your 14 day free trial period
      4.  Enter your preferred billing information and click on the “Start Free Trial” button.  

      Submitting this form gives you instant access to premium features for the next 14 days for free (no extra software downloads are required).  You will not be charged during your free trial period, and can cancel at any time. 

      If you have any questions about Geni premium accounts, you may also visit Geni’s help section at: 

  • alfa52

    Well this was an odd experience. My family Group from  now “only consists of Geni users”. So one of my brothers and his wife and children and my younger sister and two of her childre, my nices, have dissappeard.

    I must agree that this is not an enhancement from my, or my familys or my relatives or distant friends and collaborators on Geni. It’s acctually the opposite.

    Well business is business and of course Geni must surrvive to. I have paid for one year more and if no more enhancements that IS enhancemnets there is no reason for me to keep on with Geni. There are other programs that serves about the same idea and they are probarbly sufficent for mine and my relatives needs.

    My children are in the age when time is a scare thing. They have jobs and children and just have the time to check what happens in “my” world. They are interested and may catch up when their children give the more time.

    I have not checked what has happened to all my relatives on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean ( e.g. 102 year old blind Pearl, my mothers seccond cousin ).  I have connected  the younger generations from Geni to on Facebook. Shall I tell them to forget about Geni and The World Family Tree? Probarbly I don’t need to, sonce they are quick to realize what’s working or not. They can always contact me and consult about the peronal family tree I have, but have not put up any where else but partly on Geni.

    But, for sure, Geni HQ have to think about customer or member care.There is a problem to reqruite new members of course, but maybe it would be good to check who are the possible new members? Geni lost very many when differing between Basic and Pro. To make it worse to Pro’s will not encourgage me to tell people (as I did this week) that “it’s a lot better to be a Pro”. 

    This pseudoenhancement is more destroying than make it more sure and safe. It makes Geni seem not trustable. Sorry to say.