Getting to be a mismash

Started by Private User on Thursday, February 14, 2013
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Private User
2/14/2013 at 4:54 PM


Projects are simply folders where people toss profiles. Our is getting big, but is it useful ?

There have been profiles added recently where there is no differentiation between ancestor, descendant and DAR member. That makes for a confused bucket. As a computer professional, I know that if this continues no one will ever come back and clean up this project and it will become dead - insteat of useful and vibrant.

Can we agree, now, that this is for ancestors only, or find some what to distinguish between the three catagories I identifed above ?

For profiles without other photos I use one graphic for the ancestor and another for the descendents - I do not add members at all because I don't see the value.

I would prefer this group to be ancestors ONLY. Then it would have specific value. Can we take a vote ?

2/14/2013 at 5:24 PM

It's easy to set up "related" projects, too - and to rename the projects.

I am most aware of "ancestors" and "drop them in as I run across them.". I put in a link to the DAR database with the ancestor number so people can research descendants.

What about something like:

DAR (ancestors)
DAR (descendants)
DAR (members) *

* remember that living profiles are collaborators and can only be invited. And recent generation members (such as grandmothers) would need to be set to public to be in a project.

Thanks Annelise, it's a great question. I love this project and think it's such a wonderful service.

2/14/2013 at 8:27 PM

I haven't been part of the project for very long, but was surprised when I noticed, starting about a month ago, so many descendants and members being added in addition to Patriots. It was already a huge project and now it has become quite unwieldy. I would definitely vote to split the three groups into separate projects.

Private User
2/14/2013 at 8:59 PM

Regarding living DAR members. It seems that if you are a member, then you should meet your fellow members through the DAR itself. The value of this project is to help people find out if they are DAR eligible.

The value of having a "descendent" tree is so one can put in something interesting in a profile - especially if there is nothing else of interest. It give someone a family story to tell.

2/15/2013 at 7:42 AM

I noticed the same thing as Kelly....Very awkward now, and I like what Erica has suggested. I am really not interested in the Decendants, or even the Members. My interest in the project is to find my Ancestors who were Patriots or wives of Patriots.

2/15/2013 at 9:06 AM

Since I was the person guilty of adding the descendants that was DAR member. I think that dividing the group into sub groups such as:
DAR (ancestors)
DAR (descendants)
would be good.

My reason for adding the profiles was when I first started researching my husband's family, there was very little known. It would have helped to have known some of the information.

2/15/2013 at 9:16 AM

It would be great to bring some organization to the 4100 profiles that have been added to the DAR project. The Patriots are assigned a number in DAR. There are about 300,000 of those if I remember right. There are about 500,000 Daughters whose lineage papers are public. They also are assigned a number. The profiles can be sorted by number and / or alphabetized.

2/15/2013 at 9:26 AM

I don't think an apology is in order. I love what you did & wish to follow your example. The profiles you added to the DAR project have done no damage to anything. You did what was suggested in the instructions from the beginning. I think the terms like awkward, unwieldy & mismash are negative & discouraging and inappropriate.

2/15/2013 at 9:31 AM

My expectation of the projects was that you could go to the project and find out something. The projects seem to just be big tubs. The profiles are in the order of when they were put in. I am highly disappointed in that. I think the geni technicians should make them usable for us. Whoever had the vision for all these projects should also have a vision to make them more than a bucket.

2/15/2013 at 9:43 AM

I'm sorry for my choice of words, Faustine and Alice. It sounds like the real problem is with Geni's structure -- or lack of -- for projects. Having a resource for descendants and members definitely is useful, but it would help if there was some way to distinguish between them.

2/15/2013 at 9:45 AM

Thanks Kelly, geni is a place where we invest countless hours putting a puzzle together. We invest a lot of energy and I love the collaboration.

2/15/2013 at 12:18 PM

Oooooooh I would love automatic indexing!

I think Geni will get there and beyond the "bucket.".

My thought, by the way, on members was something I ran into with a Mayflower descendant. "I know my great grandmother was a member of her state society for ....".

And it occurred to me this would be an interesting way to find out more about someone whose "recorded facts" might be skimpy.

That's one of my visions for projects, by the way - and where the "bucket" is OK.

My farming great great father, through "project membership," shows as a -

Oregon Pioneer
Underground railroad
Civil War veteran


- and if we do a "descendant" project, his wife could be in it!

2/15/2013 at 12:28 PM

I have no experience working w/ the geni help desk & have no idea what the possibilities are. Erica would you be willing to run these ideas for the "buckets" by the other Curators or someone who could make a difference?

2/15/2013 at 12:55 PM

Sure, I can find out what project enhancements are on the roadmap for the future.

I can tell you that actually a great deal of project enhancements "have" been delivered in the last year - much of it "behind the scenes," such as adding the image repository and tweaking the permissions structure.

What's needed now essentially is "reporting.". We have the (sub) data base, now we need to put it to work for us. And I have an idea for that - maybe not a permanent solution, but something useful. Let me check into it.

Meanwhile - I think we're agreeing to set up a NEW (related) project:

DAR descendants?

2/15/2013 at 1:12 PM

I cannot see a purpose for anything other than a place for DAR members (public which would be grandparents or greatgrandparents of us) and then the DAR Patriots. Whether that is one project or 2 would not matter to me. If you have a project for every descendant of the American Revolution, you are including about 75% of American citizens. Just a guess.

Also to make things a little more complicated, the American Revolutionary War & DAR projects have about 80% overlapping. If the American Revolutionary War Project could include those men & women who not only fought but supported the war financially or legally (in court or by signing declarations, etc), then it would be possible to combine those 2. Also, obviously any Patriot who did not have a female descendant on down the line could not be including in the DAR system. I hope I am making sense. There is not a perfect matchup, but a great overlap.

2/15/2013 at 1:25 PM

One day we should have SAR, CAR, pension received, land grant received, battles in, militia membership, rank achieved, etc. Etc. Projects. Lots of ways to slice and dice the data.

What I find useful in projects is TWO approaches:

1) the "bucket"
2) the "targeted"

For the targeted, you work from a short list and go find the profile (or create it). Then you can index within the overview, and it's "static.". (once it's done, it's for reference only, really). Here's an example:

This project to me is "dynamic" (never really over) so needs more technology tools.

Private User
2/15/2013 at 1:32 PM

I agree with Faustine regarding the American Revolutionary War Project. I didn't quite understand why we had two projects that had such overlap. With regard to descendents, I expect you're talking about the daughters and not all descendents - correct? I think a DAR descendants project that included all descendants extremely difficult and not sure what the point would be. You know your a descendant if your ancestor is in the other project.

2/15/2013 at 1:50 PM

A few reasons come to mind for the different projects and I'm OK with overlap.

1) I have ancestors in the Revolution but not (currently) in the DAR database
2) there are ancestors who are in the DAR database for patriotic service, including civil service, but did not serve in any battles, receive a pension, etc. So they would not meet the project criteria for the American Revolutionary War project.
3) battle sub projects, for example, make more sense attached to American Rev. war. But lineage society membership makes more sense attached to DAR.

2/15/2013 at 4:23 PM

I would be vERY happy if the names in the above "sub-projects" could be alphabeticized...(is that a word?) so that they were more searchable. right now it is about like looking through the Titanic project profiles to see if you can find a familiar name...WOW!

2/15/2013 at 4:28 PM

Right - alphabetizing (or any other means of sorting) is "indexing," and there is not a "search within" the project ability in place. Hoping one day that Geni will have that available.

This is a reason for small, targeted projects that can be manually indexed in the "overview" (that's what I did with the Lincoln Film project).

Private User
2/15/2013 at 4:31 PM

The specific value of the DAR is that they require documentation for every generation. That makes their information valuable ... and they fix errors if they find them.

I see this project as a tool for people to see if they qualify for DAR. Whether they join or not, it is fun to know that at least you are entitled to apply. For others, it is an excellent source.

If we can tighten the requirement of this project so the actual link to the DAR record must be included in the "About" section, then I volunteer to go through all the current profiles and check.

But is there an easy way to shift "descendants" and "members" to a new project ?

2/15/2013 at 5:25 PM

Private User,

You should check them all to make sure that they are all actual DAR members.

2/15/2013 at 5:26 PM

Is there a project for Sons of the American Revolution?

2/15/2013 at 5:46 PM

No, there is not. It would be great to start one. The data however (a collection of SAR membership applications) is, I believe, subscription only on

2/15/2013 at 5:51 PM

I just took a quick look; it wouldn't be hard for me to move over non Ancestors to a new project if someone else would like to start the project (and if we agree to this). The vast majority of profiles are ancestors and easily visible as such.

Private User
2/15/2013 at 7:58 PM

300,000 ancestors ! Let's think through this project for a minute.

What is is for ? The project name will show up on the profile, well and good.

But is that all ? I think we have concluded that you can't really find any information by just going to this profile abd trawling through the pages.

Private User
2/15/2013 at 7:59 PM

I add a DAR graphic to the profile to alert people looking at their tree - but that is unrelated to the DAR project.

Private User
2/16/2013 at 5:30 AM

I might be able to help with the indexing. I already have a list of all the profiles in that project and I could probably do something to allow searching, ordering, etc. I'd just need to understand better what type of list / report you're looking for.

Here is the site that I've been working on, which will tell you if you're a descendent of a current DAR profile (along with other projects).

2/16/2013 at 11:22 AM

I would find useful a report, run on demand, to isolate by gender (so I can add female Patriots to Early American Heroines project).

And I believe Dea Lowry was looking for an alphabetical by last name sort.

2/16/2013 at 11:31 AM

"What is this project for?"

Ah, philosophy & scope!

I'll just explain why I enjoy this project.

When I started building my tree, based on surname of course, I did not think I had any American Revolutionary War ancestors. Neither did anyone in my immediate family - our "first guy" was born about 1762 in England so probably was too young, and we don't know when he emigrated.

Well, now - according to Jeff's application, which is totally awesome - I have perhaps a dozen (more?) The paper trail is probably not (yet) solid enough for DAR / SAR membership in my generation but this is mind blowing enough.

So I think of the next person building their tree on Geni, and the process of discovery, and proof. Whatever I can do to facilitate that awe I will do.

It's a lot more than a logo. And the idea of getting all 300,000 DAR patriots on Geni one day - hey, why not. The servers can handle it.

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