Connecting to the Big Tree
Last updated 24 May 2016
The goal of Geni is to create a single, accurate family tree that connects all members, with no duplicates.
However, there are Geni users who are not aware that they are part of the Big tree - or not part of the Big Tree. Nor do they know "how to" connect to the "Big Tree". Geni.com calls it the World Family Tree; see this page for World Family Tree Facts on Geni.
This project was set up to help do so. Feel free to start a discussion if this page doesn't answer your questions.
How to know if you are in the Big Tree
Check your own Home page and the Statistics box you see on the right hand side with the numbers of relatives you have.
The top line there reads:
"You are connected to XXX people on Geni"
If this number is in the tens of millions, then you are connected. The connection is not necessarily through your direct ancestors, but can be through various in-laws ... being connected through marriages to other trees that connect to ... - etc.
The number of connected profiles changes constantly. This number is as 20 Feb 2015.
- You are connected to 88,001,700 people on Geni. About privacy.
How to know if another person is connected
If you are already in the Big Tree, you can visit any person's profile, and check the line at the top of their profile. If it says "You are connected to XXX" (with the option of finding out the actual connection through the function button, "how are you related?"), then you are both in the same tree; that is, the big tree.
If instead this field says "This is the Public profile for XXX" with no mention of connections, the profile and his/her tree is not part of the Big Tree.
Build your tree from yourself
- By default, unless invited to join an existing tree already connected to the Big Tree, your tree is not connected. It is standalone or isolated.
- Add your mother and your father. Enter data fields as completely as possible: names, dates, locations.
- Add their parents, again completing all the fields.
- By the fourth generation from yourself, there is a chance a Geni member has already entered nodes (profiles) reflecting the same person.
- How will you know this? One way is the blue tree match.
Match to your tree
There are three types of Matches on Geni. Blue tree matches are profiles that appear in other Geni trees, both standalone trees and the single Big Tree.
Geni Help: What are the three types of Matches?
The blue match does not detect whether the tree is connected or not. Members need to determine that by inspecting in "profile view" as shown above.
Geni members are notified when Geni detects a match, and also when a merge is requested.
- Geni Help: How can I view my notifications?
Geni was designed to help users work with each other on building a shared family tree (the Big Tree). They created this feature to enable all Geni users the opportunity to work with others who are not in their Family Group.
So to connect a standalone tree to the World Tree, members must either have collaboration permissions, or family group permissions if the profiles fall in the privacy zone.
Use “Request to Collaborate” under the 'Actions' button at the top of the profile page to send a request to the profile manager.
- Geni Help: Who is included in my Family Group?
- Geni Help: What is a Request to Collaborate?
- Geni Help: Who are Collaborators?
- Geni Wiki: Collaborators
- Discussion: Collaboration Pool
Members connect to the Big Tree when a profile in their standalone tree is merged with a profile in the Big Tree.
- If a merge involves a profile in a standalone tree, the merge will be pending until it is approved by a manager or collaborator in the other tree.
- Both collaborators and Family Group members can approve a merge for a standalone tree.
- One way to identify standalone trees is that when you try to merge two profiles, you get a message:
These profiles are in different trees. Caution: Merging these profiles will merge their trees and could require merging other duplicate profiles.
- Geni Help: How to merge your tree
- Geni Help: What is the difference between approving a match vs. requesting a merge?
- Ask for help with a merge
In other words, there are two steps to connecting a standalone tree to the Big Tree:
- Send / accept a collaboration request
- Send / accept a merge request
Once accepted, a message appears on your Geni home page:
"Congratulations! You are now connected to (xxx million) others on Geni!"
And you hear a little cheer.
"Collaboration" is needed only once to join the standalone tree to the Big Tree.
Matching and merging can be an ongoing activity, as we all work to fill in the gaps of the World Family Tree, and represent everyone.