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User Tutorial - Locked Relationships


Locked Relationships

Understanding "Locked Relationships"

The purpose of this project is to help users understand the use of a Geni curator's ability to Lock the Relationships of a Master Profile.

Because this is a tutorial project please do not link profiles to it. Translations are welcome.

If you have any specific questions, comments or suggestions about the guidelines below, please contact either Erica Howton or June Barnes who are Volunteer Curators. Do not hesitate to ask questions about anything that is not clear, or draw attention to things that may have been missed!

Alternatively raise a discussion to embrace wider participation and input.

TIP When communicating with other users please include the link address (URL/www) to the profile you are referring to. This is found at the top left of the computer screen. The following is the link address to the Merge Centre project - it changes for every page you are viewing.

// Address location


Getting Involved

Feel free to follow, request to collaborate


The following user tutorial projects cover other useful topics :


See also


Overview of Locked Relationships

Curators (and only curators) may lock (and unlock) relationships on Master Profiles (MPs) and may do so for several reasons:

1. The family of the MP involved is complete and accurate and no other family should be added.

2. Parents are “known to be unknown,” but there are speculated unproven connections. On Geni, we want to direct those speculations to discussions and projects, not to links in the World Family Tree.

3. To avoid the addition of family members reflected in online trees that perpetuate relationship errors.

4. Many people are connected to the same profile and a merge would result in a long run of follow up merges - it is preferable not to have to do this. This is also covered in M5 of the Merge Guide project.

5. Profiles are easily confused or confabulated, despite warning messages.

// Relationships

The figure above (Locked Relationships) illustration helps to explain what the effect of locking relationships has. The purple person represents the MP profile with locked relationships. The red people are those direct relatives whose profiles are affected by the locked relationships of the MP. THEIR relationships are restricted for tree building (i.e. no relationships can be added to the profile except by a curator), but are not restricted when merging. Essentially parents, wives and children of the primary profile are affected when relationships are locked. Careful: if you can add kids to the unlocked parents, then you are adding a sibling to the locked MP. Black represents those profiles not affected by the relationship lock.

When merging into a Master Profile with locked relationships, the tree connections of the non-Master profile are disconnected. This is the desired result, as it protects the integrity of the existing tree relationships instead of potentially introducing errors.

Except for the medieval tree (before 1500), if you can complete the merge, please do so. The “discarded” tree portion should re-match for a separate merge opportunity. If you cannot complete the merge, request it; the request routes to the managers and curators merge centres for their action.

The merge comparison window offers you the option to view a side-by-side descendant or ancestor report for additional information. It is worth doing this to see if there are branches not yet added to Geni to explore. If these are not protected by the relationships lock you can link to the new branch from the chart of the duplicate tree to review the matches. If a duplicate is not flagged there, then copy the URL of the duplicate and open the corresponding profile in the original descendants comparison list.

Hint: open up matching “discarded but good relationship” spouses in another window for the next profile-by-profile action.

Examining new relationships, (especially of immediate relatives which ARE protected by the relationships lock), in the duplicate profile, (which would be discarded when a locked relationship profile is merged with another), may reveal sourced information which would improve the Geni tree. In this case contact the curator of the original profile suggesting that they be examined with the view to be added or revised.

Merging MPs with locked Relationships

Merging locked relationship profiles - example

A duplicate tree has been created of the tree that tops off with the couple, William Osborn and his wife Friedeswide. The new tree offers parents without evidence. The MPs are relationship locked; a lock icon shows in tree view.


Images are linked to full size images - click to open

1. Match detected

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2. View the couple in side by side windows.

// to original

3. Note relationships. Parents (profile on the right) will be discarded in the merge.

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4. Completed merges may be viewed from the “Revisions” tab by anyone. Only curators can execute “undo.”

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5. The existing MP second spouse relationship will be retained (profile on the left). The proposed parents will be discarded (profile on the right).

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6. Side by side view of the couple being merged; visual check of relationships. Note the warning banners in red: “Caution: Relationships are locked on the master profile. Merging into this profile will automatically disconnect the immediate family.” Data discrepancies will reflect in “data conflicts” and should be reconciled, based on source information, after merge.

// Friedeswiede 6

7. Lock icons in “Relationships” tab (curator view).

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8. Completed merges should result in views similar to the original views.

// (1st & last)

9. Research into discarded parents have revealed a sibling, who is added using the curator right to add a profile to the tree. Before merging into the duplicate profile that is linked to spouse and child, the MP is unlocked; it is relocked after merge.

// Family 1

10. Tree view now shows a mix of locked and not locked profiles, reflecting current research.

// tree view

Questions? Project enhancements? Start a project discussion: link.