Thursday, December 27, 2018

Using SmartCopy Chrome Extension to Add Families to the Geni World Tree

I wrote Adding Family Data to the World Family Tree yesterday, bemoaning the limited ability to add family members efficiently to my Geni profiles.  I even suggested they should create an API to make it a lot easier to do it easily and accurately.

1)  Keith Riggle immediately commented:

"Randy, I agree that It would be good if Geni "played nice" with other apps and websites. There is a tool for copying genealogical data into Geni called SmartCopy. It supports the following sites:
  • MyHeritage Data (SuperSearch, Smart Matches, Record Matches).
  • MyHeritage Genealogies
  • Billion Graves (via Smart Matches)
  • Find A Grave
  • WikiTree Genealogies
  • WeRelate Genealogies
  • RootsWeb WorldConnect Genealogies
  • Ancestry Genealogies
  • FamilyTreeMaker Genealogies
  • Genealogies & Records
  • Geneanet Genealogies
  • The Next Generation (TNG) Genealogies
"You must join the project at in order to use it. Then you can use a Chrome or Opera extension or Firefox add-on."

I was amazed that I had missed this SmartCopy feature over the past three years - and now I'm embarrassed about it.  I do recall now that Kitty Cooper mentioned it some time ago.

2.  The top of the SmartCopy page at Geni looks like this:

So last night I downloaded the SmartCopy Chrome extension by clicking the "Chrome Extension" link on the screen above.  I read everything on the page, and watched the Randy Schoenberg video:

The next step was to go on and request permission to use the SmartCopy extension at  It took several minutes for a curator to grant me access.

And I was off and running.

3)  I decided to use my MyHeritage Tree as the source for information to add into my Geni profiles.  It was recently updated, and I knew the data in that tree was as good as I have (it's the same as my RootsMagic family tree data and my Ancestry Member Tree data).

Over about two hours, I was able to add all of the family members for all of Linda's ancestors back through her second great-grandparents.  You have to do it one person (say, a husband and then a wife) at a time, and you have to make sure you don't add spouses, children or siblings already in Geni.  Note that the families of siblings (spouses and children) need to be added from the sibling profile pages.

4)  But I want to show my readers how easy this is to do.  I can't use one of the profiles I input yesterday, but I can use the parent of one of the profiles I added in the 2nd great-grandparents.  Torgeir Olsen (1753-1827) is Linda's 3rd great-grandparent.

Here is Torgeir Olsen's (1753-1827) profile on, which has a spouse and children's names, but not parents or siblings: 

The MyHeritage profile for Torgeir Olsen is shown below, and has parents names and siblings names along with the spouse and children's names:

5)  Now to use the SmartCopy extension.  The "secret sauce" is to obtain the Geni ID for the target profile - the 19-digit identifying number (Geni ID) for Torgeir Olsen on Geni - it is "6000000085060156483."  I copied this using Ctrl-C from the URL for the profile into my clipboard.

On the MyHeritage profile page, I clicked on the SmartCopy extension icon in the upper right-hand corner of the screen on the address line - it's the small blue icon (the blue right-arrow) shown in the first screen above.

When I clicked on it, the SmartCopy extension opened on my screen, and I added the "Geni ID or URL" to the second field (the 6000000085060156483 number) using Ctrl-V from the clipboard.

The next step was to click on the "Set Destination" button on the extension, and wait until it completed its' work.  It sometimes takes awhile (maybe 10 to 20 seconds) to complete, depending on how many persons are in the family (birth and death data, partners, spouses, siblings, and children).

When it completes, the extension provides a list of birth and death data, parents, siblings, partners and children (two screens below):

The user can click on the boxes of information that they want to add to the Geni profile.  On the screen above, I chose to add the parents and siblings to Geni, but not the birth and death data, or the spouse and children (because I already added them).  Males are color coded blue and females pink.  The system tells me how many spouses there are and how many children of each gender there are.  If one or more spouses or children are not in the Geni profile for some reason, then they should be clicked individually (you may need to refer back to the Geni profile).

There is a blue "Submit" button at the top of the SmartCopy extension (and one at the bottom of the list above too), and I clicked that to make SmartCopy add the selected information to the Geni profile (and to the World Tree).  After a short period of time (sometimes 30 seconds or more depending on the number of persons to be added), the extension showed me:

The Extension said that "Geni Tree Updated" and told me to "review for duplicates and merge when available."  I've had several cases in the process to date where Geni had a suggested Merge, so I did that before updating the profile.

6)  Note that the MyHeritage profile has not been modified.  Only the Geni profile of Torgeir Olsen has been modified, plus new profiles were added on Geni for the persons added in the process.  In the example above, the parents and siblings of Torgeir Olsen were added.

Here is Torgeir Olsen's revised profile - you can see that the parents and siblings have been added to the profile:

7)  Needless to say, using the SmartCopy Chrome extension is a lot easier than adding the family profiles for a person one-by-one by typing them in.  As always, GIGO, the data from the source profile (e.g., on MyHeritage in the example) needs to be as complete as possible.  Any errors in the source profile will be added to the Geni profile.

Unfortunately, it appears that only vital events and relationships are transferred to the Geni profile - no marriage data, other events (e.g., baptism, burial, occupation, census, probate, etc.), sources, notes, etc. were not transferred to the Geni profiles although they were in the MyHeritage profiles.

I have a lot more to do using this SmartCopy Chrome extension - namely adding earlier generations of families and also adding spouses and children for the siblings of the ancestors.

8)  I recall that Gilad Japhet of MyHeritage announced the "Theory of Family Relativity" (TOFR - a BIG TREE) at RootsTech 2018 in Salt Lake City (within the  Perspectives on Combining Genealogy and Genetics presentation, FREE on Family Tree Webinars), claiming that MyHeritage would create the biggest online family tree ever to help find DNA Matches.  I wondered how they were going to do it, but was not quick enough to ask Gilad at RootsTech.

My guess - and it's only a guess at this point - is that there is a legion of volunteers, and perhaps employees, using SmartCopy to add persons to the TOFR BIG TREE from MyHeritage trees, Ancestry trees, the Geni tree, FamilySearch genealogies, etc.  If SmartCopy can be used to add profiles to Geni, then a similar version of it can be used to add profiles to the TOFR BIG TREE.

If so, I hope that they are using my latest MyHeritage tree - 
Randy Seaver Genealogy Research - October 2018 Tree
 but it is already a bit out of date.


Disclosure:  I have a complimentary subscription to both and MyHeritage, and have accepted meals and entertainment favors from them, but that does not affect my objectivity or opinions about their services.

Copyright (c) 2018, Randall J. Seaver

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dritchhart said...


Very helpful article. I don't use Geni much anymore; but am in the process of getting approved to us SmartCopy with my Chrome browser. Sounds like you had a nice Christmas. All the best. . . . Del

William said...

Thank you for the heads up, Keith Riggle. This kind of tool, I believe, is a foretaste of the future.