Friday, April 17, 2015

How Good Are Tree Matches?

Like many users, I occasionally get an email notice about Geni Tree Matches.  There are always five for some reason.

As most researchers know, the Geni World Tree is an online collaborative family tree system, where every person should have one profile, not a system with many separate trees.  The prospective matches occur because one or more researchers add a duplicate profile to the system.  By accepting correct matches, one or both researchers involved may acquire more information about the ancestors and/or descendants of the matching profile. permits matches to be rejected, or ignored.

The email I received today said:

The first match is always (I think) a "Featured Match:"
 In this case, this Match was the same person, although I have more information about him in my part of the tree than the other researcher does.  So I clicked on the blue "View this Match" button and saw a comparison of the two profiles:

Since they were the same person, I clicked on the blue "Yes, request to merge" button.

The second match on my list was a son of Daniel Thevou above, so I requested to merge him also.

The third match on my list was this one:

Note that the profile for the right-hand prospective match person has no dates, the mother doesn't match, the spouse has a different maiden name, and the names of the children don't include my Joanna Wilson.

When I viewed this match, I clicked on the "No, remove match" button.

The fourth match on my list was this one:

Again, the right-hand profile has no dates or places, different parents, no siblings, a different spouse, and a different child.   It's another "No, remove match."

The fifth match on the list was this one:

In this case, the profile for the right-hand person may be the same person as the left-hand profile.  The names of the spouse and the one child (on the right-hand profile) are in the left-hand profile, but there no dates or places.  I decided to click on the "I'll decide later" link.

In summary, these 5 Geni Tree Matches were:

*  2 were the same person.
*  2 were not the same person.
*  1 might be the same person.

This has been pretty typical of my experience with the Tree Matches that they suggest to me.

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copyright (c) 2015, Randall J. Seaver


Fax said...

Where are the sources? I'm extremely frustrated with all these systems. I just received a similar "You've got matches" from MyHeritage -- virtually identical to Geni's system. But there are no sources shown and no indication of whether sources exist, even if I go to the matching tree. It's usually a huge waste of time to evaluate these matches with little return on my investment of time and energy.

bgwiehle said...

I wonder what the owner of the other profile sees after you merge the profiles. I assume they also got notified that there is a match - is there a difference depending on who merges first?

The profiles you merged had less information - when the other profile has additional or (minor) conflicting information is your person's profile changed?

In the promo screen it says that an average of 100 more people are added by merges - what happens when some of the new profiles attached to a merged person are not correctly attached?