GUESStimated dates, the Geni way and other suggestions

Started by Alex Moes © on Thursday, October 25, 2012


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Showing 1-30 of 33 posts
10/25/2012 at 8:21 PM

There is currently a feature request that Geni allows more options when an exact date for an event is not known:

At the moment Geni's software will attempt to estimate a date of birth based on nearby profiles in the tree but the range of dates can be so wide as to be practically useless.

10/25/2012 at 8:30 PM

In the Collaboration Pool thread i posted:

"When i started on Geni a very wise curator taught me to estimate parent's date of birth based on date of birth of eldest child minus 30 years.
It gives a far more accurate guess/estimate than Geni's calculation.
Use the "circa" check next to a date for your aunts and uncles, you may not know their actual births but surely can "guess" to within a ten year range.

Totally off topic for this thread :)"

To follow my own advice i've deleted that post and subsequent posts from that thread to avoid spamming everyone that is following the Collaboration Pool.

10/25/2012 at 8:48 PM

Thank you for starting a separate topic. You might as to "tag" those from the other thread so they get a notification and know to follow this discussion.

Private User
10/25/2012 at 8:51 PM

Well, Alex , I don't get Geni and their censuring things. If something insulting or nasty was said , I can understand deleting convesations. But when a valid remark and complain is made they want ya out of there. The five year rule that both you and I would be acceptable , I think should be implimented.

Private User
10/25/2012 at 8:54 PM

I started one a week ago and since no one jumped on ,I decided to comment on the other discussion,

Private User
10/25/2012 at 8:55 PM

Should we go back a delete ourselves?

Private User
10/25/2012 at 9:06 PM

Geni, please do consider the Before/After option. For my two cents worth, I think that a Before/After option is far superior to an estimated range - and definitely don't reduce them. Before/After enables real dates confirmed in research data (eg" I know from his marriage announcement that he was the 2nd son, but I don't have his birthdate, however I do have it for an older or a younger brother...) to be applied. Personally, I don't have a taste for a "bucket chemistry" method of research, which guesstimated dates really is. The existing ranges, large as they are, help to reduce matches from vastly different generations, hopefully without excluding real matches for dates outside the "norm". Gosh, the amount of times I have been surprised to find unexpected arrangements - an old spinster marries a widower in her 60's - or a girl has a child at 12 in Wiltshire, UK, to the 28 year old man who would then marry my auntie back in the early 1800's - just two off the top of my head. Human lifespans and breeding patterns are not predictable enough to preclude the unusual. Just look around at the world today. Ramajit Raghav (aged 96), the oldest recorded father of a first child (2010) just had his second son with his 52 year old wife (see: Have a look at Charlie Chaplin's life. Another article tells us how 70 year old Rajo Devi Lohan gave birth to her first child, described in an article at includes the previous record holder for a Dad too, who had his 21st child at 90 to his 4th wife. My brother went to school on the Central Coast NSW with a boy who's father was 78 when he was born, and was then in his 80's. The boys half-brother was a grandfather. The reality of humanity doesn't always fit in a box, so why try and put it there. My vote is for generously wide date ranges combined with the Before/After option.

10/25/2012 at 9:10 PM


I don't think anyone at Geni disagrees!

However my understanding is this is easier asked for than implemented, alas.

The estimated range showing is a new smaller tool that is very helpful in trying to cope with the unfortunately quite a few profiles entered without dates at all.

What would you recommend as a best practice for those of us entering data and building our trees using the existing technology?

10/25/2012 at 9:10 PM

The problem with starting random conversations about different topics in a discussion thread is that everyone who was previously interested in and following the original discussion gets interrupted.
I feel for you though, most of my discussions disappear with never a response either :)

Private User
10/25/2012 at 11:21 PM

Zvonimir Rogoz, died age 100, fathered one of his
Children at the age of 96
He was also famous as the first man appearing nude in the movie

My guesses are often so close - it is surprising how well it works if you take all info you have in consideration

Private User
10/26/2012 at 6:54 AM
Private User
10/26/2012 at 7:40 AM

At least some people ate interested in this one and are talking!

Private User
10/26/2012 at 10:17 AM

Just an idea - and it's a little left-field, but could we use the events in timeline? If Geni was to add some programming that detected events with a standard wording that would trigger clues, you could use the words "Born After" "Died Before" or various other standard phrases for the Event Title, then the relevant date could be placed in the event date. Could the system be programmed to recognise and use such events and dates to modify the range?

10/26/2012 at 10:47 AM

It's a good idea. I'm going to try manually creating the events "born before" and "died after" in my profiles as it comes up. Thanks!

In the medieval tree and the merge environment of similar names, the Geni enhancement and range has already proven immensely useful to me. I dont need a more refined range to affirm or reject a match, and it is helping with matches.

Private User
10/26/2012 at 5:05 PM

That sounds good.

Private User
10/27/2012 at 5:53 AM

Trying to fill in dates on as many as I can.Then my problrm will be solved. Hopefully someone in Geni can come up with and implement a good solution for this problem.Heck I wish they add a spell check on Geni. I would love since. Since mine won't work on this new laptop.

Private User
1/26/2016 at 9:55 PM

Finally moving comments over here from previous thread, so can delete there:

Judy - Uncle's Mother born 1887 - so age 9 in 1896 - so probably had not given birth to anyone before then; Uncle's parents married in 1910; in 1948 he had been in WW2 - so was born before 1948.

So yes, he was born sometime between 1896 and 1948. Geni is correct. (In point of fact, you are able to narrow it down a good bit further than that!)

Geni has put in an algorithm to do a very broad estimate of birth date when none entered - thus helping folks avoid matching someone living in 1600's to someone living in 1800's, etc. (and helping Geni's matching algorithm to avoid suggesting such). I would think it would be good if they would give us the chance to enter (or modify) the range - but in point of fact the range you have quoted is - given info you provide - correct.

This Discussion includes links to a number of useful Feature Requests. The one being discussed above is actually addressed in the very first one in the first comment.

1/27/2016 at 2:49 AM

Slow day at the office Lois?

Private User
1/27/2016 at 4:40 AM

Lois why are you commenting on this today Jan 2016 , when I wrote it back

Private User
1/27/2016 at 4:41 AM

back in 2012. rest og comment from last one.

1/27/2016 at 8:16 AM

Actually this topic is on my mind so I'm glad to see the discussion pop up again.

In family statistics, which I do not use, apparently "before" dates are showing that the person was born (say) between (infinity, or -6124, which is I think the earliest date in the system).

Is this a bug?

This is relevant because my practice, when there is a known baptism, is to enter the birth date as "before that date" -- Alex and I discussed this a bit recently.

So I can eliminate the faulty statistic by changing the "before" to "between.". But this is a huge effort (a lot of profiles involved) and also makes me a bit uncomfortable genealogically. In Colonial America the spread between "date of birth" & "date of baptism" could be years due to frontier life & lack of ministers. ...

1/27/2016 at 8:18 AM

Carole (Erickson) Pomeroy,Vol. Curator you were on a message discussion also where this came up. Is this only in the family statistics that "birth before this date" shows as -6124?

I don't use statistics so I have not seen that Geni represented these "Before" dates as going back to this impossibly earlier date. It seems that either using a between date or leaving the date blank could possibly be a better solution. Possibly Geni could tweak the "Before" dating to only go back a shorter period of years? Say 2 or 3 yrs. or so?

1/27/2016 at 2:23 PM

I started a bug report here

Rather than change genealogist choices, i think Geni can tweak to a shorter period of years, yes.

1/29/2016 at 9:39 AM

... And the display bug has been fixed!

Awesome. My statistics page is now useful:

Thank you, Geni.

Private User
1/29/2016 at 10:26 AM

I think we still have a bug there, - but I forgot to report it.

For me January in the Birth Month statistics is unnatural big, and I suspect that all birth dates without month specified is counted on January instead of ignored, - a classical beginner error for a programmer...

Private User
1/29/2016 at 10:41 AM

On Timeline, they do not say Circa or Before (think same for After - have not used "Between" so do not know how those appear) - just display the date as if it is exact - both when viewing full Timeline and when viewing a specific Timeline Event - have been "tricked" by that on several occassions.

1/29/2016 at 5:45 PM

Yes I agree Lois, very annoying. I think that Between shows the first date only with no indication that there is another date.

This is not the same as if you give the event a start and finish date, which do both show up. However, if you dont know exactly when an event started or finished and set both dates as between the time line only shows the two earliest options.

Private User
1/29/2016 at 5:54 PM

Can anyone provide a link to a request to fix how Timeline and Timeline Events handle (any or all) the above issues?

It would be really, really nice if it/they were fixed - and I think it should not require a lot of programming. So do not understand why it is still the way it is.

1/29/2016 at 6:09 PM

Help link - suggest a new idea opens a bug report. Be sure & include a sample link, if you don't do that, Geni programmers don't "see" what you mean.

Showing 1-30 of 33 posts

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