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User Tutorial - Merging: Case Studies and Examples.

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Case Studies and Examples

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The following are examples showing the merging process and problems that arise from start to conclusion. The aim is to cover as many scenarios as possible. Other examples will follow.


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Please note that profiles used in the screen-shot illustrations have no significance and are merely used to illustrate scenarios - they have no relevance to the tutorials. The illustrations will not always match your own - this depends on how you have set your Name Preferences, and what your choices are when viewing the tree.

Occasionally I use a "vertical tree layout" in order to cover more ground.
How much of what is explained you can carry out depends on whether you have a Geni Basic or Pro subscription.

// 1 (TC1) involving Wing; Batchelder; Bray
// TC1:1.// The following example arose when resolving a tree conflict in the Wing/Batchelor tree. The merge involved Rev. John Wing (1584-1629) and his wife Deborah Wing Batchelder. (Figure W1.).

Looking at her profile page, (Figure TC1:2.), showed that she was a Master Profile and that her profile had over 100 managers. Contact with the curator of the profile sanctioned working on the tree.
// TC1:2.

Clicking on the tree conflict yellow triangle on Rev. John's node in tree view opening the "stack window" (Figure TC1:3.). This showed that amongst other duplicates there were two profiles for Deborah.

// TC1:3.

The duplicates were dragged and dropped onto each other in order to merge them. Tip By holding the cursor over the profile of Mathew Wing, the father, you can see more of his details. (FigureTC1:4.). This can be useful when deciding which profiles to merge.

// TC1:4.

Proceeding with the merge opens a comparison windows for all duplicates initiated showing details of the profiles being merged side by side. ( Figures TC1:5 and TC1:6.). The differences were not significant for TC1:5 and so I completed that merge, but W6, the merge of Deborah Wing Batchelder raised some questions which I wanted to clear up.

// TC1:6.

I returned to the stack which reflected the merge of Rev. John Wing, but showed the two profiles for Deborah. (Figure TC1:7)

// TC1:7.

I decided that in order to be 100% sure of what to do next it would be best to look at her tree. Returning to the tree I opened up the "Resolve duplicates" under "more" on her node, opening up a stack tray for her family, (Figure TC1:8.), revealing that there were 3 wives on Geni for her father Rev. Stephen. I looked more closely at his details and merged his wives.

// TC1:8.

This took me to a new list of merges to be looked at - (Figure TC1:9) - to work through. As there merge seemed to be going further afield into new names I decided to look at the tree view before commencing. (Figure TC1:11.}}

// TC1:9.

As you proceed through such a "rolling merge" you will see a green banner drawing your attention to tree and data conflicts. (Figures TC1:10 and TC1:10a). When you choose to address these is up to you. I find it useful to resolve the data conflicts periodically as the merge progresses to avoid having too many to deal with at one sitting. When so many managers are involved a message to them drawing attention to the merge and the ensuing data conflicts requesting assistance in resolving them could be productive.

// TC1:10.
// TC1:10a.

// TC1:11.

// TC1:12.// The first thing I noticed was that there was a duplicate profile for Stephen Wing. I used 1. Drag and Drop as explained at Merge Guide to process this merge. I was asked to select the relationship - see (Figure TC1:12.), which I did, and carried the merge through, there being no complications. The tree now looked like Figure W13., showing a pending Yellow triangle tree conflict which was processed with no complications.

// TC1:13.

Further associated merges were processed with no complications, but that involving Sir Richard Bray is worth working through with illustrations. See the stack tray for John Bray the younger, Sir Richard's son, (Figure TC1:14.).

// TC1:14.

There appeared to be no problem here until trying to assign the parents. (See top section of Figure TC1:15). To find a solution I returned to the tree view and opened pop up information windows for the profiles involved. See Figure TC1:16 beneath. For the purpose of this exercise those information panels have been incorporated in Figure TC1:15.

// TC1:15.

// TC1:16.

The panels show that John Bray the younger was born c. 1460. Joan Troughton was born c. 1455, making it unlikely that she was the mother. The choice seemed to be Margaret Sandys, but to make sure I returned to Sir Richard's profile and looked at the relationships page. (Figure TC1:17.). This showed that he married Margaret Sandys in 1458 and Joan Troughton in 1474.

// TC1:17.

Returning to the starting point of the merge (Deborah Batcheldor) I cleared Data Conflicts and then looked at nearby Merge issues, in particular the Tree Conflicts. I opened that for Nathaniel Wing Junior which show a number of Yellow triangles on the tree including one on his node. (Figure TC1:18) shows his "stack tray" where I have highlighted his node in green. Figure TC1:19 shows the information panel on from his node in tree view, and Figure TC1:20 that of his mother Oseah in the stack. This case was very similar to that of John Bray above and was resolved in much the same way.

// TC1:18.

// TC1:19.
// TC1:20.

By looking at the information for Sara as well (Figure TC1:21.) and the marriages of Stephen (Figure TC1:22.) I could see that Nathaniel's mother was Oseah Dillingham, confirmed by the notes on Stephen's profile.

// TC1:21.

// TC1:22.

Figure TC1:23 showed further merges needing attention.

// TC1:23.

One of the merges listed in Figure TC1:23 above was that of Nathaniel Wing, Jr. which took quite a bit of working through. Looking at the stack tray (Figure TC1:24.), (Nathaniel highlighted in green), you see that there are two potential mothers with similar names but different dates.

// TC1:24.

Details of the information for the tw women didn't solve any problems, so as before I looked at the relationships of Ebenezer. See Figures TC1:25, TC1:26 and TC1:27.

// TC1:25.// TC1:26.

// TC1:27.

With no dates to go by included in the Relationships for Ebenezer (Figure TC1:27.), it was clear that more digging was needed to be sure that the two women were the same despite the difference in dates.

// TC1:28.

I stacked the tray (Figure TC1:28), and carrying out the merges that were correct. Closer inspection showed that the two women had different parents; one was the daughter pf Peter and Elizabeth; the other of William and Elizabeth. (Figure TC1:29.). I rejected merging the two Elizabeths after seeing the comparison, knowing that once I had carried out further investigation they could be merged if necessary.

// TC1:29.

It took a lot of searching to find a solution to the problem. The women were most probably the same, but with errors in one or the other. Eventually a conclusion was reached. I established that the name of the one father (William) was incorrect, that he was in fact Peter and although a lot of sorting was involved, (there was another tree for Elizabeth that needed drawing in as well), the tree was tidied up satisfactorily.


// 2 (TC2) - Marthinus Schuster

From the Merge Centre (Matches) I looked at the profile of Marthinus Schuster, SV/PROG. (TC2:1.)


The match was also reflected in the matches block on his profile page. (TC2:2.)


Looking at the Tree View showed that there were at least 3 potential duplicates in his immediate tree. (TC2:3).


The magnifying glasses alongside a blue circle signify that the profile in question has potential Tree matches. (TC2:3a and TC2:3b).


Clicking "compare" from the profile page or the blue box from the Merge Centre opens a summary of the match (TC2:4), which suggested that the profiles were indeed a match.


I selected "Compare profiles" so that I could have a better look. This took me to a a side by side comparison of the two profiles, (TC2:5.), where more details are available to help you decide. The profiles would seem to be a good match BUT both profiles are Master Profiles, (I have drawn attention to this with red exclamation marks), which cannot be merged. The option to merge them is not available. The solution is to contact one or other of the curators asking for the MP status to be removed, explaining why and including the link address to the comparison page, or asking them to process the merge.


Once the MP status has been removed from one of the profiles, (TC2:6.), the option to merge is available and the merge can proceed.


When you select "Yes merge these profiles you see from the window displayed that "These profiles have been merged successfully. Merge nearby duplicates or resolve conflicting data." (TC2:7.).


1. Clicking "resolve conflicting data" opens a summary of the conflicting data on the profile of Marthinus Schuster. (TC2:8.).


2. Clicking Merge Nearby duplicates opens a stacking tray, (TC2:9.), where you can identify any duplicates and merge them.


The way I process this scenario is to open both windows in new tabs (holding down cmd when clicking the links), resolving the data conflicts first and then returning to the stacking tray after I have finished.

Returning to the stacking tray I identified the duplicates and merged them by clicking on one duplicate and dropping it onto the other, (TC2:9a), and merged the duplicates. This action showed presented a comparison window for the duplicates one after the other - the next opening once the profiles had either been merged or rejected. When all had been merged the revised stacking tray is shown (F9b), and you are invited to assign parents if you don't see any duplicates.


As there was no parent conflict, (only one set of parents). Geni presents you with a list of 3 other people in the vicinity that can be resolved. (TC2:10.).

Process these merges in the same way until there are no more merges to be done and you are told that the Merge was successful. (TC2:11.).


It is now time to return to the profile page for Marthinus Schuster.

// TC2:8b.

At the top right hand corner of the profile page find the Actions" menu.

Click "Actions" to open the menu - revealing options available to you - see Figure TC2:8a.

If there are any unresolved data conflicts they will show up in Resolve Conflicting Data. This will not be visible if there are none, and as those were already done after the profile was merged we are now more interested in the option View Nearby Merge Issues. Selecting this will take you to a menu similar you your own merge centre but specifically for the profile you are viewing. (TC2:12.).


There are 302 nearby data conflicts for Marthinus Schuster. Re-arrange the list by sorting the "updated on" column so that the most recent issue are at the top of the list. There are 9 recent conflicts, not all as a result of this merge. (TC2:12.). Selecting "view profile" for each of these opens the conflicting data for that profile. Tip Open each in a new tab by holding down the cmd button when you click the link. This means that you can easily return to the list you are working from once you have finished each conflict in order to select the next.

The merge of Marthinus Schuster's profile is now complete and all data and tree conflicts resolved.

// 3 (TC3) - Rev. Jonathan Chataway

There was requested merge for Rev. Jonathan Chataway which I addressed. Looking at the tree view (Figure TC3:1) I could see that there were a number of requested merges waiting (blue crosses and the lower left corner of the nodes), as well as duplicates, (blue bubble top left corner), and the tree conflict (yellow triangle). TC3:1
When there are a lot of merges that need attention in very close proximity Geni will request that you approve or decline the requested merges before resolving the duplicates, listing them as in Figure TC3:2.

// TC3:2

You have the option to "skip to merging duplicates" or "VIEW SELECTED MERGES" (they are all selected by default). "Viewing selected merges" opens up the first merge request on the list. Figure TC3:2.

// TC3:3

In this window you can see in the green banner at the top that a user thinks that the profiles are the same. Review the information and go ahead if you agree with them. Just because someone has requested a merge doesn't always mean that it is correct! You need to be vigilant and if you are unsure contact the user and other managers involved to make sure.

Working through all the merges listed in fact resolved the duplicates and as a result there was no stacking tray to deal with. When they were done I was returned to the tree view which looked a lot tidier! Figure TC3:4.


// 4 (TC4) Petronella Pretorius

Sometimes on the face of things a match may seem to be perfect, but if you look deeper you will find that there are differences which make you look twice before merging. It is worth digging because often such matches turn out to be good, and in the process of exploring/researching you uncover some errors on the tree that need attention. The following match was thrown up as a Smart Match. The comparisons show a lot of things that are exact matches, but some that just don't seem right. (Figure TC4:1).

// TC4:1

The presence of a "Half sister of ..." needed investigation. Something was amiss!

Looking at the tree view of the left hand profile, Petronella Maria Meintjies, - (I am calling her A) - we see that she was the daughter of Willem Adriaan Meintjies (son of Adriaan Willem and Susannah Jacoba Wilhelmina Abrams) and his 1st wife Maria Dorothea Labuschagne (1864-1902). Figure TC4:2.. Married to Hendrik Johannes Pretorius (1886-1958).

// TC4:2 A

The right hand profile, Petronella Maria Meintjies, - B, is the daughter of Willem Adriaan Meintjies (1865-1915), (son of Johannes Petrus Meintjies and Martha Elizabeth Labushagne) and his wife Maria Dorothea Labuschagne (no dates)). Married to Hendrik Johannes Pretorius (no dates). Figure TC4:3.

// TC4:3 B

Both A and B have a husband Hendrik Jacobus Pretorius. Although the things appear to be the same we do have the fact that the parents of Willem Adriaan Meintjies, the father, are different and suggest that either the profiles are not a match or there is an error in the tree.

Fortunately documents available have been added to the profileshelp to put things straight.

A. Petronella Maria Meintjies. Her Death Notice (DN) (Fig TC4:4), (attached to her profile) is unusual in that it adds a lot of information. We see that she was born on 17 March 1887, the child of Adriaan Willem Meintjes, (who died in 1914), and Maria Dorothea Meintjies (born Labuschagne) who died in 1901. Her husband is given as Hendrik Johannes Pretorius - died 15 Jan 1958.. They were married in Kroonstad on 8 May 1905. her date of death is 14th April 1965. The names of her parents and that of her husband match the tree view in TC4:2.

// TC4:4

Hendrik Jacobus Pretorius - his DN (Figure TC4:5), reveals that he was the son of Sybrand Gerhardus Pretorius (deceased) and Elizabeth Maria Pretorius (born Smit). He was married to Petronella Maria Pretorius (born Meintjies) and died 15th Jan 1958.

// TC4:5

When we compare the children listed in these two DNs we see that there is no doubt that they are husband and wife. TC4:4a shows the children listed for Petronella Maria Meintjies, and TC4:5a lists those on the DN for Hendrik Jacobus Pretorius

// TC4:4a
// TC4:5a

In the light if the above it looks as if this match is indeed good but that there are problems. The parents of Willem Adriaan Meintjies named in this DN are established from his DN. (Figure TC4:6). The following image is linked to the full size image which you can read more clearly. It is in Afrikaans but it establishes that -

  1. He was married to firstly Maria Dorothea Labuschagne
  2. Was married secondly to Elizabetha Jacomima van Deventer on 20th May 1903 at Kroonstad.
  3. His father was Adriaan Willem Meintjies (dec)
  4. His mother was Susanna Jacoba Wilhelmina Meyntjies born Meyntjies There were two children of his first marriage -
  • Petronella Maria Meyntjies, married to Hendrik Johannes Pretorius
  • Jan Frederick Meyntjies

There were 4 children of the 2nd marriage, with one not yet born.

  • Adriaan William born 21 Feb 1905
  • Dorothea Petronella born 11 Dec 1907
  • Machiel born 12 Jan 1910
  • Petrus Jacobus Willem born 21 Apr 1912.

// TC4:6

The parents of Willem Adriaan Meintjies are incorrectly shown in Petronella B's tree TC4:2. Otherwise all is the same and the merge should go ahead. I removed the link to Johannes Petrus Meintjies and Martha Elizabeth Labushagne as his parents - making a note to look at that family to make sure that they now don't have a missing son of the same name), and re-arranged the children in B's tree in line with his DN (figure TC4:6).

Follow up regarding the parents of Willem Adriaan Meintjies. In B he had been linked as a son of his brother, Johannes Petrus Meintjies, and his sister-in-law Martha Elizabeth Labushagne.

The merged trees are illustrated in Figure TC4:7. Data conflicts were cleared and the relationship panel refreshed. Her profile after the merge is shown in Figure TC4:8.

// TC4:7

// TC4:8