I'm currently adding genealogy work that my grandmother, Elizabeth Garrett Hodge (EGH) did to Geni, and am using the ID numbers she assigned to people to keep track of them while I work on this. I've appended these ID number to individual's display names for the time being, but eventually plan to remove them. - Chelsea
The main problem with any numbering-scheme is that it is relative to a specific person, and in a shared tree like Geni it is just annoying because the number will be wrong for all others that that specific person. The profile you link to have as much as 303 direct ancestors, where for 302 of them the number will be wrong, and there is as much as 4938 people in his family group.
It is not meant as a criticism of your way of keeping track of building the tree, but as a hint that it affects a lot of people and should as you say only be temporary.
If you are interested in ahnentafel numbering of someones ancestors there already exist and will come more products that let you create reports of your Geni tree.
Ahh yes, Ahnentafel numbering must be the numbering scheme she used!
I am aware that all of the numbers are just in relation to my grandmother, and so are relatively useless (and annoying!) for everyone else! As soon as a work through all the research that she did I will remove these numbers, I promise!
I would very much like for there to be a feature in Geni that would allow users to look at the Ahnentafel number of an individual in relation to another individual. Or alternatively (or in addition!) perhaps individual users could have "personal" display names for people (that way I could append these numbers to people's display names, but not have them show up for other users).
Thanks for the info!
You can add a request for automatically showing your direct ancestors Ahnentafel numbers in the feature request section: http://help.geni.com/forums/337266-feature-requests
The number scheme was great when I was working with genealogy on paper because by just multiplying with 2 you could look up the parents and so on. Today you just click on links and Geni tells you something more useful: your (or whatever you have as focus profile) relationship like 4th great grandfather.
There is also other factors which make it difficult to use Ahnentafel numbers: pedigree collapse and the size of the tree you get on Geni. Your 18th great grandfather is probably that through multiple paths and also your 17th and 19th grandfather and so on.
Remember Geni's slogan: We are all related.
Mathematically you have 1.125.899.906.842.624 (1125899,91 billions) 48th great grandparents and with "just" 5 billions people on earth today it is impossible so it is time to learn about: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pedigree_collapse
The use of the word "tree" when describing a persons ancestor line is very misleading when you look at population growth through history.
If you chop down the tree and put it upside-down you get a better picture. At the bottom you have millions of leafs and the further up you go you get thicker and thicker stems showing that the further back you get the more common ancestors you have and everything is interconnected with wines describing the fact of remote relatives get children together.
Have a nice day!
In addition to what Bjørn said, you might want to be aware that a lot of collaborators will strip those numbers from profiles as soon as they see them. If you're expecting them to stay in place until you remove them, I hope you'll consider backing them up somewhere, because I can almost guarantee you people will start taking them out of profiles quickly.
Like Bjørn, I say this not to pick on you at all but to instead give you some advance warning. Good luck with all of your work -- and thank you for preserving your grandmother's!