Please stop merging with people not yet in the 'Big Tree'!

Started by Private User on Saturday, January 30, 2010


Profiles Mentioned:

  • <private> Waggoner
    Geni member
  • <private> Di Costanzo Lorencez
    Geni member
Showing 1-30 of 72 posts
Private User
1/30/2010 at 12:44 PM

Greetings all...

How difficult is it to take 2 seconds to check if people are in the 'Big Tree' BEFORE you complete a merge?

I'm really getting tired of having to deal with assholes like this:

Please people... take sometime explain to people what they're getting into. This will save us all time, energy and frustration.

This is a form letter I send to anyone and everyone who contacts me with a merge, collaboration, or other request, feel free to use it (AND PLEASE DO!!):

Greetings _____________...

I could not help but notice that you are not yet connected to Geni's Big Tree.

Before I can accept your collaboration request... I have to be sure you are aware of the consequences of this action.

If your tree is merged with mine... you will be plunged into the 'Big Tree'.

This action is irreversible.

Once in the 'Big Tree'... you lose full control of your tree. On every profile you merge, you become a co-editor of that profile... but it's no longer 'yours'. Everyone who has merged into that profile before has equal rights to modify said profile.

Don't get me wrong... the big tree does have it's advantages... namely the literal torrent of information, but it's up to you to decide if the loss of control is worth the data you gain access to.

Let me know.

Jason P Herbert

P.S.- This is a form letter I send to everyone. On geni, collaboration is a tool that fosters the merging process. If you don't wish to be part of the Big Tree... I would not recommend collaborating with anyone.

1/30/2010 at 1:15 PM

@Dear Jason,
Thank you for the message. I have no knowledge of a "big tree and therefore need you to cut me a little slack, please.
I would love to be able to research ever proposed merge. Unfortunately, I don't have the GOLD standing. I did my work before this item was created and because of my ignorance I make mistakes. Therefore, the 2000 plus ancestors I have posted will have to be varified by someone else.
I also don't like the idea of sharing, or losing control of my entries. All I can say is that I would appreciate any help you can give me to make things right.
I would also like to know how I can avoid the "Big Tree".

Your help is appreciated. Also, I'd like to know how we are related. I assume there is a connection somewhere or you wouldn't be contacting me.
Family love.
Lillian (Koop) Pollock

I have contributed all of my information and ye

Private User
1/30/2010 at 1:35 PM

i wonder who that is @ topaz. i have no idea of hijacking ant tree. i cant figure out how to post to reply to apologize to this person. maybe he can tell me where he comes into the tree and i will see what i can do about fixing that area of te tree for him. jason would you please tell me how to contact this person or have him get into contact with me. we might be able to work this out and fix it., but i dont know who he is or where he joins our tree.

Private User
1/30/2010 at 1:58 PM

ok i figured out how to get into the forum,and have sent him a message. but i am wondering where in the world he is getting 5 different branches of my tree to converge. the people he mentioned in his post are about as far apart as the can be and still be on the same planet.. i will see what i can do to fix this.

and lillian, i would sugest that the only way to stay out of the big tree is to not merge with anybody. but the whole point of te geni tree was to connect, but not everybody is here for that. i understand there is a way to have a private tree, but i dont know how to do that. ( sorry)

1/30/2010 at 1:59 PM

Me either, I don't go looking for new people to merge in, got enough things to do ... just trying to clean stuff up in my own areas of interest. I never got a note from Topaz ...

1/30/2010 at 2:07 PM

Lillian ... I've seen you already merged in direct ancestors of mine, so it might be a bit late to escape the big tree, I'll keep an eye out to see how deep your merges have got you. With that said, the big tree isn't so bad, it shows far more connections than you would end up seeing on your own. The real problems are with pre-1600 folks, especially royals, etc, and of course celebrity types, any president, actors, etc.

Being in the big tree is like being pregnant, either you are or you aren't, I've run into a few people who absolutely didn't want to be in and they don't merge with anyone and they set their privacy settings so that people can't see their stuff.

Problems started when people could upload 10,000s of profiles all at once, many many profiles duplicates were created. This has been stopped and the tree is getting under control. With time things will get sorted out and errors fixed, this will require patience, but it's not insurmountable.

Private User
1/30/2010 at 2:10 PM

neither did i. i will ask antonie and see . wow i am sorry that anyone is getting accussed of anything. we all make mistakes, but didnt high jack anyones tree. i am corresponding with eveyone that i know of in antonies tree ( which is the area of the tree where this has to be coming from) and no one has had anything bad to say about it to me. we'll see if he replies to me personally and get this straightened out. the person is probably frustrated today ( and so many merges are frustrating) but i have not run across this person that i know of ..even while merging. gene and june haven't really been on that side of the tree i dont knwo where that is coming from ( which is why this is confusing)

Private User
1/30/2010 at 2:11 PM

Indeed, would love to know what possible connection we have with Jason Herbert, and why he would have graced us with his infinite wisdom.
And poor topaz, indeed. We all should try to reach out to topaz and see if we can make things right. (Who is he?)
Meanwhile, maybe Jason can post a useful link to a help section on how to research every possible merge in two seconds.
Until then, he could at least introduce himself politely, and keep the name-calling out of the discussions.

Private User
1/30/2010 at 2:12 PM

Lillian Pollock (Koop) Unfortunately, you are already connected to the big tree. There's no way out now.

It looks like you joined the tree at the request of Julie Knauss, who was, in turn, invited by another... so it's possible that your tree was already connected to the 'Big Tree' before you joined Geni.

As for getting this message... I did not contact you directly... I posted this in a Public Discussion which goes out to everyone I collaborate with.

Jason P Herbert

1/30/2010 at 2:19 PM

Rick ...

Jason's been around for a long time, these "discussions" show up for all those that collaborate together, appears you are in the "club" so you can see them. I recognize you from the Merrill tree ...

Jason is frustrated as many of us are, essentially, the people that are in the big tree on purpose want to be and want to clean things up, but there's the people that got into the big tree and didn't want to be ... both groups are extremely annoyed at the situation with no good solution for anyone.

The reality of Geni is that is orientated for collaboration, if someone wants their own private tree, then don't merge with anyone or go to some other site that offers private trees.

No-ones wrong for being angry/frustrated/etc., but the situation just is what it is.

Private User
1/30/2010 at 2:21 PM

Private User You are in my collaborators group... which means we completed a merge together at some point. If I remember correctly... you are a relative of Robert Lockwood... which influenced my decision to accept a merge request from you.
Also, you are my 22nd cousin twice removed (according to geni).

As for researching the merge... just click on the requester's name... if it says "This is the Public Profile of _________" DO NOT MERGE. If it says "You are connected to ___________" ... this means they are already connected to the big tree and are (likely) safe to merge.

As for the 'name calling'... that was directed at people like topaz who seem to be of the opinion that genealogical research belongs to them alone... and not to whom it rightfully belongs (ie., the World).

Jason P Herbert

Private User
1/30/2010 at 2:21 PM

jason connects to many people on here. he's a good guy ^U^ , again it gets frustrating ...when people "attack" many people who have now knowledge of anything even happening it can cause anyone's ire to raise..even the calmest person. i didn't even go into the forum, so would never had known this person had a problem if jason hadnt brought it to my attention. lets just see if we can fix this. i have enough disgruntled family members that i see everyday, dont need to create any in cyber space. ^U^

Private User
1/30/2010 at 2:22 PM

@Gene Daniell Well said.

Jason P Herbert

Private User
1/30/2010 at 2:28 PM

My bad. Sorry. Just not used to folks calling other folks assholes.
Thanks for the re-introductions.
Good advice.
(and i did find that 22nd cousin2x link).
So, again my apologies for even making a comment.

1/30/2010 at 2:28 PM

All of this just reinforces what I posted in the Geni Forum in December: Geni doesn't adquately warn people when they sign up and before they start creating their own trees.

Click here:

Dave K.

1/30/2010 at 2:33 PM

My interpretation of the purpose of Geni is to connect, and learn about family history. The exisence of the "big tree" appears to me to have been the ultimate goal of geni in the first place, and, when I was originally introduced to this site, a common 'big tree' seemed to me to be the ultimate goal. I'm actually a bit stunned that some people have attempted to use the site to create private trees. I believe Geni is the wrong place to set up a private tree. "Tree Matches" and other tools report to other Geni users that your private tree exists and every time a user (especially Pro users) access the tree, Geni asks you if you want to merge with that (private) tree.

Geni is better served being a place to share trees and combine with others. If you want to set up a private tree, you should use another site instead, such as or

Private User
1/30/2010 at 2:41 PM

yup that was my interpretation too. and a good suggestion. wonder if the there is a way for geni to set up a "private" sector of the tree. but then boy would that ever be a hassle is they wanted to merge into the big tree.

1/30/2010 at 2:54 PM

What BIG TREE?? This is the first I have heard of this. If this a a project that people shouldn't have access, then write the code so people can't. If they are using information that I put up, do I have acces to this BIG TREE?? I hope so, since I have a very HUGE group posted here. This was supposed to be fun, a tool to use to allow family member as others to post, look at and add to. This is getting to sound like a big deal, and the last man/woman standing get to be the keeper of the BIG TREE. I thought the guy upstairs (or whom ever you pray to ) was that holder?? This sound like someone is going to make commercialized file out of this.

1/30/2010 at 3:03 PM

Not to worry, Richard. No one can steal your access to the tree. What happens is that, as you add collaborators, they become co-managers (with you) of the profiles that they merge with yours. The object is to get everyone's individual trees merged into one "Big Tree", with everyone sharing access.

1/30/2010 at 3:16 PM

I under stand that, but the first time some one tell me to check if people are in the 'Big Tree before merging that will be the last time. I enjoy sharing and working with people on this, and I PAY FOR THIS AS WELL, so if you don't want me to merge, stop all the collaboration

Private User
1/30/2010 at 3:20 PM

In general: You never publish anything on Internet if you want to keep it private.

People wanting private tree should keep it on their own PC.

Anyhow: Geni is a great tool to collaborate in finding connections and relatives you might use years to find by your own.

If you are willing to follow that line, collaborating, take discussions whenever you disagree and so on you will find thousands of seeking people like you who just want to collaborate in building a common shared tree.

There have been situations where I was 110% sure that I was correct where collaborators have come up with sources I did not even knew existed, and they have connected relatives and lines I probably never would have found on my own.

1/30/2010 at 3:42 PM

So True, and as an FYI to the posting, I was on the other day, and saw a file there that had the tag lines if you save a file from here. I looked at it, and it came form here, so keep that in mind as well.

Private User
1/30/2010 at 3:48 PM

I guess I am firmly in the camp of those who believe in the Big Tree. In fact, I would say the merging, expanding, showing how we are all related is the primary point of Geni. There are other programs and other sites for simply storing and sharing one's own family tree. That is not the purpose of this site.

I am relatively new to Geni, and there are still things about it that I don't understand and features that clearly need to be improved. Merging can be confusing and extremely frustrating, especially if the person you attempt to merge with is inactive or unreachable. But those merges that I have completed, and which have indeed brought me into the Big Tree, are very exciting. I know I am already collaborating with several of you in this discussion, and I value your collaboration with me highly! Together, we know much more about family history than any one of us alone.

1/30/2010 at 4:02 PM

Richard ... Sadly your surprise at the big tree isn't new, David said it right that people don't realize what they are getting into and Geni needs to accept responsibility for that. There should be a big warning page the first time a person makes there first merge, although you could have a close family member (cousin, child, parent) who has access to merge your profiles do it for you.

Actually to more merged the tree becomes the more everybody has ownership, not less. It is suppose to be a fun thing and the GEDCOM files were the sand in the gears, now that they are severely curtailed, things should get more fun again.

Private User
1/30/2010 at 5:46 PM

"I under stand that, but the first time some one tell me to check if people are in the 'Big Tree before merging that will be the last time. I enjoy sharing and working with people on this, and I PAY FOR THIS AS WELL, so if you don't want me to merge, stop all the collaboration"

@Richard Arthur Neary I'm not trying to stop you from collaborating with others or merging with others. I'm trying to stop people from adding those who DO NOT WISH TO BE PART of this 'Big Tree', that's all.

I love the 'Big Tree'. I love every aspect of shared research, but it makes me sick to see entire branches closed off with managers who have vanished, selfishly locking away the information added.

All I'm asking if for you to take a second or two to see if the person is in the big tree, before you merge... and if they're not... tell them what they''re in for.


You and I both chose to merge... but others (like topaz in the thread I linked to) do not. I am simply asking that we try not to bring in more of these types (topaz types).

Is this so wrong?

Jason P Herbert

Private User
1/30/2010 at 6:21 PM

well the thing about topaz that is puzzling me is that he has to be collaborating with all 5 of us..doesnt he? for all of us to merge his profiles or change anything? i mean they can't just be collaborating with me...right? or am i misunderstanding how collaboration works? also we share ALL our profiles, so if he didnt like the way we have the main profile he/she can always change it. ( i dont remember this being a stone tablet-even then even the ancient Egyptians figured out how to erase ) so it has to be somebody that had invited or accepted an invite. of course when trees are joined there is going to be merging.... so i dont understand the high jacking part.

1/30/2010 at 8:18 PM

I also enjoy and like being able to merge and share with people as well. I just don't like the Me and I attitude of some people here, who think they own this. No one owns this, and once you post and merge we all share this. I had one person email me a few months ago, after I piked up bunch of people here that someone had left, and the file was a mess. Well this BOZO sent me an email saying my file was all wrong, and I shouldn't be doing this, your information is all wrong. Who the heck is this guy, and what right did he have to say that, none. I have since blocked him, and I wont merge with him. I have seen and heard other people saying how some people here send messages like they own this, sorry WE ALL SHARE THIS . Ok enough said!!

<private> Waggoner
1/30/2010 at 10:53 PM

I really enjoy being able to merge and share and all. there is a lot to learn about just how we are all related. what I do not like is when I find someone Using foul language on a message board whether public or private. To some like my Mother that demonstrates a lack of vocablary skills.. . . Hmm I think I know what Bozo your talking about Richard. . . Actually told me the date my grandfather died was wrong and I was at the funeral, I blocked them too.

Private User
1/30/2010 at 11:08 PM

lol, sorry but thats funny, you were at the funeral...i realize that the funeral wasnt funny but, i hope you know what i mean. now he cant rephrase the "foul" language but he has apologized for the word, and everything else is very well written. ^U^ and definitely gets his point across..
i didnt realize there were folks out there that didnt know about the big tree, and am very surprised and the things people get upset about. so lets quit squeezing the toothpaste in the middle and move on to toteing that barge and lifting that bale (merging and perging-tho i really do only delete MY entries and no one elses without permission)

<private> Waggoner
1/30/2010 at 11:17 PM

I thought that noticing the big tree was simply common sense. . . I really like the Big tree. . . . How else would I of found out Jesus Christ was my 42nd Great Uncle. . . Got to love those Royal trees.

Showing 1-30 of 72 posts

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