Thursday, February 19, 2015

Connecting to A.J. Jacobs on - Post 1

A reader asked me in email "I want to connect to A.J. Jacobs and the Global Family tree.  How do I do this using"

Since I already have a Geni Pro account, I can do this easily.  

But someone new to will have to signup for an account (a Basic Free account? a Pro account?).  Information about Geni accounts can be found here.

I found a page that offers a Geni Pro free account for 14 days

I can sign up for a 14-day free trial Pro subscription, but I have to enter my credit card information which will bill me $119.40 for a year subscription if I don't cancel it before the 14 days is over.  According to a help page on Geni, a Pro subscription permits Tree Matches and Enhanced Search, with Unlimited Media and Premium Support.  That also includes access to the Geni World Tree and finding relationships to other users and historic profiles.

Note that does not permit uploading of a GEDCOM file to populate your family information, so the user has to enter the information in fields one person at a time.  

I decided to start a new account with a different email address just to see what would happen. Without signing up for the Pro subscription, I entered information about myself, my parents and one set of grandparents to see what would happen.  Here is the small tree that I started as "Ronald" Seaver:

Not long after entering this data, I started getting Matches (the blue ovals) on each profile.  When I ran my mouse over the oval, the colored Match icons showed up - I had 0 Tree Matches (grey), 5 Record Matches (orange) and 12 Smart Matches (green).

Since I am using a Basic account here, I cannot get Tree Matches which can populate the Geni tree in earlier generations.  If I had a Pro account (or the 14-day free trial), there should be Tree Matches for the tree persons above that would find my other tree profiles on and connect my "brother" Ronald to the Geni World Tree. 

Of course, another person (my reader) would have to add their ancestral families to until their ancestors get a Tree Match to add ancestors from the Geni World Tree to that particular ancestor.  If someone else has added, say, their four grandparents, to the Geni World Tree, they should be able to show them easily by accepting four Tree Matches.  But there's a high probability that a person's grandparents are not yet in the Geni World tree. 

A dedicated researcher could probably add 5-7 generations of their ancestral families back in time and would probably connect to some Tree Matches in the 14 days of a Pro trial membership.  I should note that many of the "cousin relationships" to A.J. Jacobs are through siblings of A.J.'s ancestors and the user's ancestors, so adding the siblings of ancestors is a significant help to determining relationships.

With a populated tree using ancestral family data entry and Tree Matches, then the user can determine their relationship to A.J. Jacobs, or Queen Elizabeth, or Benjamin Franklin, or U.S. Presidents, or even Randy Seaver, Dick Eastman, James Tanner and DearMYRTLE (as long as they have added their ancestors to the Geni World Tree).

So, the bottom line is that, in order to determine a relationship with A.J. Jacobs or someone else, the user needs a Pro Account and to enter enough ancestral information to connect to profiles already in the World Family Tree.  

If I have misunderstood the accounts or the data entry process above, I hope that a Geni staffer will correct me.

Copyright (c) 2015, Randall J. Seaver


Randy said...

Correcting my post. I actually did it on WikiTree.

Erica H. said...

Hi Randy,

Apparently it's free for users in standalone trees to see matches that will get them into the big tree and request those merges. They still need to be approved by someone in the big tree.

Geni should hit 88 million connected profiles within a couple of days.

Enno Borgsteede said...

When you upload a GEDCOM to My Heritage, it will give you 'Record Matches' with Geni and WikiTree. You can't confirm those with a free account, but when you look at the matches, you will probably get enough details to decide whether it is worth effort to create some ancestral line on Geni, and let others help you to make the connections.