Family Tree DNA Partners with Geni.com

geni logo  family tree dna logo

I received the following press release earlier today from Family Tree DNA.

Family Tree DNA is pleased to announce a partnership with Geni, a division of MyHeritage and home of the collaborative World Family Tree. This optional new feature offers seamless integration of both platforms, greatly enhancing the accuracy of Geni’s World Family Tree and providing new insights for millions of users interested in discovering more about their family histories.

Family Tree DNA has the world’s most comprehensive DNA testing and databases. Along with the company’s advanced suite of DNA tests, the new integration with Geni provides users of both platforms the ability to help confirm genetic relationships and discover previously unknown relatives. The integration of data is authenticated and secure, allowing simple transfer of DNA results from Family Tree DNA to Geni, should users opt to do so.

This added cross-functional feature is available to users who have tested their DNA with Family Tree DNA and have a profile with Geni, but can also be utilized by anyone who registers with both platforms. To that end, the optional and error-free integration of DNA conveniently validates connections and relationships within one’s family tree. Marker data of Y-DNA and mtDNA tests is transferred—there is no manual entry of DNA information, thereby preventing human error.

Geni and its team of curators have merged publicly available Y-DNA and mitochondrial DNA data into the World Family Tree, making it the most DNA-rich collaborative family tree to date. Access to all DNA features on Geni is free and user privacy is strictly maintained. No DNA raw data or marker information is displayed, and additional settings allow users to control all aspects of the way their DNA information is handled.

Users interested in DNA testing—or those who prefer more comprehensive tests— can purchase DNA tests on Geni’s DNA Testing page powered by Family Tree DNA. For users with DNA results from previous testing, Family Tree DNA’s one-click process makes it fast and easy to transfer DNA results into their Geni profile. With the integration of both platforms, Geni’s World Family Tree enables users to establish and visualize a more precise family tree along with new connections and DNA matches.

“This partnership and integration greatly increases the value of DNA for genealogy,” said Family Tree DNA founder and CEO, Bennett Greenspan. “It’s great to work with Geni and its parent company MyHeritage. DNA and family trees complement each other and come together perfectly on the World Family Tree.”

Mike Stangel, General Manager of Geni, said: “Adding DNA to the World Family Tree increases its accuracy and strengthens its position as the de facto resource that shows how everyone is related to everyone else. We are very happy to take our partnership with Family Tree DNA to the next level.”

Information on linking Geni accounts to Family Tree DNA and uploading DNA results to Geni is available here: http://www.geni.com/dna-tests/faq.

Taking a look at the Geni FAQ page, we find the following information:

What are the new DNA Integration features (released July 2016)?

We’re excited to announce that you can now import your DNA test results from Family Tree DNA to Geni, as well as upload your raw autosomal data for further processing. Geni will use your Y-DNA, Mitochondrial DNA and Autosomal DNA test results to confirm existing relationships in your family tree as well as discover new relatives. Specifically, Geni will:

  • Propagate Y-DNA results along the paternal lines to infer which other relatives should have matching DNA. If matching DNA is found, the line between the test-takers can be considered confirmed.
  • Propagate Mitochondrial DNA results along the maternal lines to infer which other relatives should have matching DNA. If matching DNA is found, the line between the test-takers can be considered confirmed.
  • Use Autosomal DNA matching to confirm close relationships
  • Guide you on what DNA tests to take to confirm relationships in your family tree
  • Show DNA conflicts that indicate where the tree may have mistakes, and provide guidance on other living people who can be tested to resolve the conflict
  • List other Geni users whose DNA matches your own, which enables you to compare trees to determine how you are related
  • Organize profiles into haplogroup projects

These features sound wonderful, especially relative to finding candidates for Y and mtDNA testing, but there is one piece of missing information in the FAQ.

Does Geni Sell Our DNA?

While Geni states that they don’t display your DNA results, only “matches and haplogroups,” and that your DNA information is private and secure, what they don’t say is if they will be selling or sharing your autosomal DNA results to third parties.

For additional questions, you’re directed from their FAQ page to their help page, but to submit a request form from the help page, one must login to Geni. Geni might want to rethink this policy, especially relative to DNA.  Furthermore, the link at the bottom of the DNA Tests page does the same thing.

Geni DNA tests

You can’t examine the fine print if you can’t find the fine print.

I do have a Geni account, so I signed on to view the DNA Terms of Service.

Here’s a quote from part of the Terms of Service document.

By submitting DNA Results to the Website, you grant Geni a royalty-free, world-wide license to use your DNA Results, and any DNA Results you submit for any person from whom you obtained legal authorization as described in this Agreement, and to use, host, sublicense and distribute the resulting analysis to the extent and in the form or context we deem appropriate on or through any media or medium and with any technology or devices now known or hereafter developed or discovered. You hereby release the Company from any and all claims, liens, demands, actions or suits in connection with the DNA Results, including, without limitation, errors, omissions, claims for defamation, invasion of privacy, right of publicity, emotional distress or economic loss. This Agreement continues even if you stop using the Website or DNA Services.

And this:

By transferring any DNA Results to the Website, you hereby grant, and you represent and warrant that you have the right to grant, to Geni the right to receive, use, modify, publicly display, reproduce, distribute, and create derivative works of such DNA Results solely on and through the DNA Services for commercial and non-commercial purposes and the Company’s (and its successors’ and affiliates’) business, including without limitation for promoting and redistributing part or all of the DNA Services (and derivative works thereof) in any media formats and through any media channels.

I was concerned about the above verbiage, but then, by clicking on the Privacy Policy link on the DNA Terms of Use page, we find the following:

Geni privacy policy

This very specifically says they will NOT share our DNA without informed consent and not without an opt-in.  Let’s see what opt-in means at Geni.

Opt-In

For me, the answer to whether I will participate, or not, is in large part based on whether or not my DNA will be sold or “shared” with third parties without my specific permission.  I have several Y and mtDNA lines that I need to find test candidates for, or even better yet, would like to know if that line has already tested.  This feature isn’t offered by any other vendor today, and might be very, very beneficial if enough people participate! So, much like Pavlov’s dogs, I’m salivating.

It appears, based on Geni’s Privacy Policy, that Geni will not share our information with third parties if we don’t specifically authorize that sharing when we upload our results.  That’s good news and exactly what I wanted to hear.  But what does that really mean?

Other vendors depend on less than straightforward authorizations and click-throughs that say you’ve read and understand a policy and in that document are buried statements that your anonymized DNA will be shared and there is nothing you can do about it.

The Geni blog provides a lot more information about how the new interface will work, including an interesting projects feature.

Furthermore, based on this screen shot from their blog, it appears that indeed, their research opt-in truly is an opt-in and unless you do opt-in, you’re opted out.

Geni opt in

As far as I’m concerned, this is exactly how opting in should work.  Hurray for Geni!!!

At this point, I don’t see any reason to NOT participate – and the lure of finding individuals that have already Y and mtDNA tested on a specific line is very exciting.

I hear it now, brick walls are gonna fall!!!

132 thoughts on “Family Tree DNA Partners with Geni.com

  1. Roberta – thanks very much I was patiently waiting for you to “Bless” this new opportunity to possibly put a chink in my Brick Walls. Now I will proceed CAREFULLY!!!!

  2. “I have several Y and mtDNA lines that I need to find test candidates for, or even better yet, would like to know if that line has already tested. This feature isn’t offered by any other vendor today, and might be very, very beneficial if enough people participate! ”

    I read this several times and still don’t know what you are saying.

    Victor

    On Thu, Jun 30, 2016 at 9:28 PM, DNAeXplained – Genetic Genealogy wrote:

    > robertajestes posted: ” I received the following press release earlier > today from Family Tree DNA. Family Tree DNA is pleased to announce a > partnership with Geni, a division of MyHeritage and home of the > collaborative World Family Tree. This optional new feature offers se” >

    • For example, I want to know the haplogroup of one of my female ancestors. In order to find someone to potentially DNA test today, I would have to run each of her daughters lines to current, try to find those people and convince them to test.

      As I understand the new Geni interface, if someone has tested, they (Geni) will propagate the DNA up the tree – so if one of my ancestors descendants has already tested, I would never know today, but with the Geni interface, I will know not only that they have tested, but the haplogroup as well if I elect to allow propagated DNA information.

  3. I’m confused about the Geni-MyHeritage relationship here. They are partners and share all data; both are introducing DNA matching. Will there be duplication? When MyHeritage imported Geni and WikiTree trees, I had three copies of every record in my tree. It was a nightmare. I certainly don’t want to compound the problem with duplicate DNA matches.

    Suggestions?

    • I don’t have the answer to that. I know that at least initially, MyHeritage is not involving trees, just doing autosomal DNA matching. They aren’t doing anything with Y or mtDNA matching either. Beyond that, I don’t know how they will or won’t play together. I don’t use both of them today, so I don’t know how that works without DNA involved. Of those 2 I only use MyHeritage.

    • Geni and MyHeritage are part of the same corporate family, but they are run somewhat separately. Geni’s goal is one, single, definitive World Family Tree with no duplication. MyHeritage allows users to build separate trees, so there are often many duplicates. On Geni, if you also subscribe to MyHeritage, you can take advantage of SmartMatches showing matching (duplicate) trees on MyHeritage. But on Geni there should always be just one profile per person.

  4. Buyer/User Beware! I have experience with the licensing of intellectual property and I would like to warn you that the Terms and Conditions legally supercede the Privacy Policy. In fact, rights to derivative works in the future can easily make any privacy policy moot. This is a legal contract with a company that is free to change any policy for any reason without explanation. The assignment of legal rights in this case gives Geni the power to do whatever it wishes with your DNA data, even cause material damages, without legal recourse for any individual who uses its site. Of course if gross negligence occurs one is likely to see a class-action lawsuit but that is after the damages have already occurred. I would not recommend trusting this arrangement.

      • yes – and they are persistent to any content you contribute (even if you close your account later)

    • They are the same terms and conditions as My Heritage who is the parent company of Geni they purchased them some time ago.

      • Not surprised – that really just means that they consider Geni.com content to be the same as any My Heritage content. The fact that they do not federate the sites, that is make Geni.com more protective of DNA content is actually a very big red flag.

    • Walter, this is a misleading and irresponsible post. Everyone who chooses to opt in to the dna program can take advantage of what Geni does with the data and can find matches to other people who do the same thing. We all give a little bit, and we all get in return. That’s how Geni works. We each build out branches of the big World Family Tree and take advantage of the work of others. There is nothing in the entire program that would allow Geni to commit “gross negligence” or “cause material damages” to anyone! And no class actions can be brought because Geni’s terms of service contain an arbitration clause. See AT&T Mobility LLC v. Concepcion (2011) 131 S.Ct. 1740. It is too easy to spread needless paranoia and fear when new things come along. But this dna integration with Geni promises to be a great boon to everyone who loves genealogy and family history research.

      • I’m sorry, in what way is my post ‘misleading’ or ‘irresponsible’? The terms and conditions are the same for My Heritage and Geni.com – that legal framework makes them the same, and they maintain a perpetual license to use your contributed content (intellectual property) in any way they wish, whether or not you close your account later. This license includes any personal DNA data you contribute. Gross negligence is defined by the legal system after the fact – not by a companies business practices. In this sense any entity can be guilty of gross negligence whether it was intended or not. Arbitration simply refers to any disagreement one may have with the consented terms and conditions of the use of their contributed intellectual property – which simply is another legal roadblock to privacy protections (especially personal DNA data) that may emerge later as a law. You may well be a cheerleader or employee of Geni.com but these terms and conditions could not be more one-sided, despite the marketing messaging about ‘protecting’ your individual privacy. If one consents to these then you have a lifelong partner in your private DNA data – one which is not required to follow your instructions about how that data is used into the future.

      • Walter, I am not an employee of Geni, just a volunteer curator. But I am also an experienced attorney. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E._Randol_Schoenberg I don’t see any possibility of any damages (physical or economic) being caused to a user by Geni under the agreement. Therefore, it it simply not possible for Geni to commit “gross negligence” when a user decides to upload his or her dna information. The arbitration clause does not prevent enforcement of any privacy rights, but as I said, in correcting your earlier post, it does prevent class action shakedowns. New things often scare people, and you are fear-mongering. No one is forcing you to use Geni or to upload your dna, but please stop making yourself important by pretending you are in a position to “protect” people from dangers that do not exist.

      • Even attorneys can be biased Ashley – and the two of you have easily identified yourselves that way. I apologize if I appeared to be rendering legal advice to anyone involved. Comparing intellectual property rights and arguing before the Supreme Court is false logic. I’m certain the average user does not understand the implications of assigning their intellectual property rights under these terms and conditions. It is not a disservice to point this out, no matter how noble the purpose.

      • What makes you think dna is “intellectual property”? Copyrights, for example, require authorship and originality as essential elements. You are not the “author” of your dna, and while the various genetic codes might be unique, they are not “original.” As for patents, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously in 2013 that human genes are not patentable. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/14/us/supreme-court-rules-human-genes-may-not-be-patented.html?_r=0 So I am again not sure what you are talking about.

      • I am now closing this particular part of the thread. Thank you for your input. I may try Geni in the next few days and stick my toes in the water so to speak.

  5. There is an issue with doing the transfer from FTDNA i transferred 4 at Data’s from FTDA that all went to the one Geni profile creating a huge mess however no such problem doing the same from the geni end, does Geni know that there are lots of people that control the DNA files of dozens of people they need to make an adjustment for this.

      • Yes i have no issues with Geni they have been a very helpful company from day 1 and i was certain they had crossed all there T’s and dotted there i’s before proceeding, cannot say the same for their parent company though.

      • Had this reply from a Geni member as he had the same issue but was able to resolve it – Leigh,

        Ran into this issue myself. I had to go into each FTDNA account I managed and disconnect from Geni.

        Next when reconnecting, before clicking on the DNA tab of the profile you want to attach, log out of FTDNA. This way you are relogging into the correct FTDNA account on each attempt to link. This method worked for me after the first attempt failed and caused Geni to think I was my own half-sibling.

        Hasn’t worked for me though.

    • Yes, it can be tricky logging in and out of ftdna so you upload the correct data for each person. But it does work. And it is easy to remove the data and start over if you make a mistake.

      • Hi Randols
        May I ask you about some problem I have with Geni?
        I opened an account.
        Every time I try to look at other persons trees I am directed to a webpage that offers me a free trial and I have to lave my credit card number.
        Since I do not want anything else than the free geni I am very annoyed now because they make it impossible to used geni .I am directed to this web page that wants my credit card number no matter what I do.
        I do not know what to do I guess their use of cookies controls me 100%.
        What can I do?

      • Nauma, Search is a pro feature on Geni, so you will hit the paywall if you try to find someone that way. But for public profiles, you can easily get around it by using a Google search — just add +site:geni.com to your Google search.

  6. Warning on My Heritage and Geni if you are a member of one you also have to be a member of the other in order to do any matching even though both are owned by the one company, most Geni members are refusing to do that i suggest that with DNA the issue will be similar and My Heritage will continue to get a bad name for itself.

    • That is true only of Record Matches and Smart Matches, which are premium features. Tree Matches (duplicate profiles) can be merged by free members. And there’s no matching of any kind that you need to do once you upload your DNA; Geni simply adds your info to the tree and gives you a regularly-updated list of your matches.

      I connected my father’s FTDNA account to his (free) Geni account last night and have already been in touch with family I had no idea existed. It’s a great feature.

      • My question is, is it like FamilySearch.org, that merges all of your family members into one large tree, mistakes and all? The public member trees on Ancestry and the group sheets on FamilySearch.org are all ridin’ with huge mistakes and linking to the wrong people?

      • Yes, Geni does not accept Gedcoms. I believe they did some years ago. Now they require you to add one person at a time — that great One World Tree concept again….

      • I believe, if you sign up for premium access, they will propagate it for you if you have a tree at MyHeritage, which may or may not come from 23andMe. Double groan. What a convoluted web we weave.

      • Same problem with My Hertage unless you become a paid up member, when my membership lapsed i tried to delete my tree but am unable to do so without purchasing a membership so thinking well i am stuck with it i decided to update the My Heritage tree as i have added 100’s of new profiles and once again walked straight into the money issue this is the kind of problem that will see the My Heritage site fail unless management wakes up to itself on the bright side they did apparently want to merge the two but cannot as Geni is a massive world tree and My Heritage a tiny branch.

    • Yeah and thus Geni is an utterly useless tree service.
      Re-enter 5000+ leaves?! LOL

      And it’s a bunch of bull that it means that all the trees are much more likely to be correct because I see some giant (and small) horribly wrong trees on Geni near my ancestors and some seemingly entirely or nearly so correct trees on MyHeritage near my ancestors.

      • Also, since they don’t allow for GEDCOM so many people don’t bother there or abandon old and incorrect trees. Their goal of a giant tree becomes laughable. MyHeritage has a 70,000 person giant tree from my region and Geni has none beyond a few thousand (and the Geni ones seem to have more errors by far).

      • As has been mentioned in other comments here, there is a third-party app that you can use to add GEDCOMs to Geni. It’s called SmartCopy, and if you visit Geni’s projects area and post on the SmartCopy discussion board, someone will be happy to help you use it.

  7. Roberta, Thank your for your post. I unfortunately, did not have a very positive reaction to the news of FTDNA collaborating with GENI. While I think that potential of connecting DNA to a global family tree like GENI is fantastic, I am more than a little wary. A few years back GENI administrators merged my tree to other trees without my consent and there is no known proof that the proposed connection is correct (just a bunch of undocumented family trees). I sent emails to the administrators asking for them to undo the merge, explaining my rational. They did not even have the courtesy to reply. So the thought of entrusting this company with my DNA or asking others to do so makes me very uncomfortable.

    I also wonder about the agreement between FTDNA and GENI and the agreement between My Heritage and 23andMe will impact this situation. I’m very curious to see what happens next…..

    • I have personally never had any such issues with the Curators on Geni they have always acted promptly and courteously to all requests i have made if i have asked for a merge to be reversed and provided the explanation as to why they have investigated the information and reversed the process with an explanation to both myself and the other tree owner, i have been a member of Geni for 6 years and while i am disappointed gedcoms cannot be uploaded to the site i find it the easiest to use of all 8 sites that i have duplicate trees on the great pity is that we have to duplicate our trees but that is business i guess, for my money this new concept is the best thing to happen since i started my family tree 32 years ago and i hope it is adopted by other sites and that the parent company My Heritage finally acknowledges the superiority of Geni and merges all My Heritage trees to Geni rather than continuing down the dark path of attempting to have clients pay twice for the same thing.

      • Leigh, I believe MyHeritage is much bigger than Geni. It has merged all Geni’s and Wikitree’s trees into its database, and its search facility is far better than Ancestry’s. Its greatest membership is European, and it has a huge database of records that are not found anywhere else. It’s also expensive, but it does allow Gedcom import.

    • I have my doubts with those “One-World-Trees” as well. How many undocumented NPEs go unnoticed, thus messing up the whole tree?

    • Lisa, I’m sincerely sorry that you had an unpleasant experience. As Leigh said, most users are really happy with the work that those of us who are volunteer curators do, but there can sometimes be miscommunication or other challenges that unfortunately lead to disappointment. I’m glad that I saw your comment so we can fix this!

      If you’d like, send me a message on Geni — click my name on this comment to head to my profile — and I will try to address your issue. Even if you ultimately choose to not return to Geni (though I hope you do!), we can at least correct the information and prevent others from repeating the error in their own trees.

    • Thank Lisa, you saved me writing the same. I tried Geni at the suggestion of a friends years ago and found that my data was being “improved” by other people without my permission, with the attempt to create one single tree for the world. I dropped them quickly and he followed shortly thereafter after he realized what was happening.
      As far as MyHeritage, it is even worse. It changes people’s names! It automatically gives the married woman the surname of her spouse – an Anglo-Saxon custom. Since most of my tree consists of people who retain their names, I quickly dismissed them. I much prefer Geneanet where the option of aliases is easily incorporated. Ancestry for tree management is also better in that respect.

      • Geni is set up for a personal preference display of names, including show birth surnames only. In addition there is a name translation module to add a name in another language.

      • You are entitled to your opinion. I agree that all trees should be published and public and people should work together. I have just chosen the Geneanet over the Geni club… And for the one tree for everyone, nosorigines.qc.ca where common stuff is posted. It brings me back 12 generations to the early 1600’s for most lines.
        For matching DNA – well, Gedmatch gets my vote at the moment.

      • Re: For matching DNA – well, Gedmatch gets my vote at the moment.

        GEDmatch gets my vote too, their analytic tools are top notch. But they do not have a tree. So if you contact someone through a GEDmatch, further analysis (at least for me) often fails to progress because of not being able to see each others trees.

      • You can again upload a GEDcom to GEDmatch.com. And you can search in the GEDcom files based on your DNA matches. For a while this feature was disabled. But no longer!

      • THANKS!!! Lisa. I did not know about this feature as it did not exist when I joined and I tend to always do the same things on GEDmatch. We should all put our Gedcoms there and make a big donation…
        However, I find that many of my matches have problems when their ancestor crossed the Canada-US border as “Canada” is often the only info they have about the birthplace. I often help them with that barrier, and with some translations from French. Also, there are many adoptees amongst my genocousins. So human contact has its place.

        PS I have decided to use the word “genocousin” instead of matches or cousins, for all these distant relatives I share DNA with. Somehow cousins to many of us implies a close relationship and matches sounds very artificial. I start my emails with a “Dear genocousin”, in the hope of a better response rate…

      • I think we’re going to have to wait and see how the Geni dna tool develops because it may present opportunities for discovery that are unavailable on other platforms. Here’s an example. Let’s say you have a branch of your tree that traces back to a certain ancestral town, and the trees for the people from that town are well filled out and interconnected. You may come up with a dna match with someone who has no direct blood relationship on the tree, but when you use the Geni relationship finder, you may discover that the person is a cousin of a cousin and that your families both lived in that town. This relationship path might help you identify a likely location for the match. It gives you a clue which direction to look for finding the common ancestor. Without the interconnected World Family Tree, you may ever have found that clue.

      • Interesting, but is that worth 120$ per year? My question to all volunteer curators – where is the money going if you are all working for free and the data is acquired from customers?
        If I pay a similar amount to Ancestry, I at least have access to a load of primary sources databases. Also, you can get matches of matches at DNA.land.
        PS since I have written here, someone at GENi wrote to tell me they had found my Lesage family – but I cannot link unless I pay. They did not say how come I could not find it when I searched. Plus that is only half – my mother’s side does not seem to be there. I searched for my grandfather, great uncles and cousins of my mother – no one is there.

      • @randols – “I’m always surprised when I find good genealogists who are not working on Geni.com‘s World Family Tree”

        You are when you realize it means taking hours beyond hours to enter hundreds or thousand of entries from scratch and that every time you update a tree elsewhere you then have to go and add all those dozens or hundreds of new leaves.

        No GEDCOM uploads. What in the world do you honestly expect?

        Also their website is bugged and fails on 4k monitors if you try to use Firefox. And now I see that with Firefox defaulting to force Flash off every single time you log on to Geni, just in general, with Firefox you have to go manually toggle Flash on, and reload the page.

        ” If you don’t understand what it means to program Mugwumps in BASIC on a Commodore Pet, you probably haven’t used computers as long as I have.”

        What about BASIC on a CBM PET, Action! and a touch of 6502 assembler on an Atari 800 and C and 68000 assembler on an Amiga (and coding pre-emptive multi-tasking programs as far back as 1986)? 😉

        ” If GEDCOM imports were allowed, it would be a nightmare, because everyone would be importing huge trees duplicating what is already there.”

        Don’t be so sure.

        Also I see the same exact people on multiple different trees on Geni anyway, even just from the tiny bit of looking I’ve done, so it hasn’t stopped duplication anyway.

        And truly making it all one giant tricky brings up all sorts of tricky issues.

        It tends to be pretty easy to redo and fix any mistakes on personal trees but can become complicated on these giant single world trees.

        “Anyway, the good news is that pretty much everything you have on your GEDCOM is already on Geni. What I mean by that is that with few exceptions you cannot find a large family tree with more than a few hundred profiles that is not already mostly on the World Family Tree.”

        Hah! Maybe if you have long Colonial ancestry or heavy ancestry in the U.K. are happen to fall within a few large projects such as your own, otherwise don’t be so sure. My few thousand leaf tree is just about entirely missing from Geni entirely (the parts that exist at all are way down some far, far side branch) and I know the same goes for many others. I’m not even sure if any of the names would even attach to the giant 1 million person tree.

        Also a few names I see one very large tree there that I might be able to attach to appears to have tons beyond tons of the research wrong. I wouldn’t even begin to know how to attach my tree there it’s so all over the place in such a crazy tangle I don’t know where one would even begin.

        Also another issue is what form to use for names. For instance some people use native language plus modern alphabet and other use the old form spelling plus the way records more often appeared in the old church books, if all you do is add to a world tree you might get stuck with a convention that makes your own research more difficult. etc. etc. etc.

        Personally I prefer the data entry and look of MyHeritage too (although I hate that once you hit 5000 they no longer tell you how each leaf relates to you).

      • Thanks for the thoughtful reply. You might also enjoy this blog. http://schoenblog.com/?p=471

        To answer your comments:

        1. Yes, it takes time to re-enter the data. With about 105 million connected profiles on the World Family Tree, most large trees are already on Geni, so huge data entry is no longer required, but I’d be happy to see a large tree that is completely missing. If you want help moving your data over, just ask a curator for help. https://www.geni.com/projects/Geni-Curators/9960 We have ways of getting it done. “A few thousand leaf tree” is a small task for us. Ordinarily, it’s hard to add more then a few dozen without getting a match. Trust me, no matter how big you think your tree is, it is woefully incomplete. It has to be. There are over 1 million profiles within just 10 steps of some of the historic figures we have tested. You just cannot make a complete tree by yourself.

        2. Gedcom uploads would cause a disaster, as they quickly did when FamilySearch tried more recently to make a collaborative tree. When Geni stopped the uploads, there were something like 600 different Charlemagnes on Geni. Now there should be just one (the curators in that area have a constant battle to keep the tree clean.)

        3. You’ve been using computers for decades. If you have a problem with Firefox (which I will let them know about) then try Google Chrome. That works well for me.

        4. In a collaborative tree there will always be duplicates. Geni averages over 1 million merges per year. If you find a few, just merge them and move on.

        5. There will always be mistakes. Everyone has mistakes in their trees. The key is finding them and fixing them. It is great that you found some mistakes on Geni, because that means we can get those corrected. This type of correcting is what makes Geni superior to any other platform.

        6. Geni allows each profile to have multiple languages, so you can use all the different spellings and alphabets you want.

        Geni is the place for serious genealogists. I use all of the platforms for research, most of them every day, but I only build the tree on Geni because it’s the best for tree building. Is it perfect? No. Could things be improved? For sure. But if there were a better place to build the tree, I’d be there. There isn’t, so I use Geni. You should too.

  8. IIRC

    my heritage is free in cost fees inside 250 names

    Myheritage is the only tree site that has found matches for me ( which i confirmed with registry records )

    wikitree and ancestry is a waste of time for me …………..I refuse to use them again
    Ancestry keeps asking me for money

    • I have 8000 + on my tree and My Heritage doesn’t have an issue with stealing my information for their clients but doesn’t return the favor even though i am a fully paid up Pro member of Geni they still want me to pay another $300 a year to access my own tree on their site as far as i am concerned they are close to being criminals, if i can and when i can i will delete all my profiles from My Heritage and Geni and set up another account on Ancestry as i am sick to death of their crap.

      • No one has to pay to access or build a tree on Geni, so you must be talking about another site. http://help.geni.com/entries/471431-Is-Geni-free- Pro users get certain added features. MyHeritage is run separately, although the companies are part of the same corporate family, and so you need to pay if you want MyHeritage features like SmartMatches and RecordMatches. But everyone can use Geni for free.

  9. Roberta,

    Thank you for your post. Unfortunately, I did not have a positive reaction to today’s news. While I think that the potential of connecting DNA to a worldwide tree has tremendous potential, I have had some negative experiences with GENI. A few years ago my tree was merged with other trees without my approval or input. There are no sources on GENI to indicate that this merge is correct, only a bunch of trees indicating the same relationship. When I requested the merge to be undone giving my reasons that the merge was incorrect, among others that a grandson cannot be born before his grandmother – I received no reply.

    I am very hesitant to give this company access to my DNA or any other family member’s DNA. I also am curious as how the relationship of FTDNA and GENI and the relationship between MyHeritage and 23andMe will impact one another.

    While I was writing the above, my Uncle’s DNA has already been transferred to GENI. Not sure why, I didn’t think any of my families accounts were sent up to do this automatically. Guess I have some more work to do or undo…..

      • I did not cause the merge to happen, was not even a part of the decision. There were a large number off merges that occurred overnight one night 5 years ago. No one at Geni responded to my inquiries until Ashley responded to my post here today. One individual was so upset, he deleted the merged tree(s) containing his work off of the Geni website. I could totally understand his frustration. I could also understand Geni’s response to his actions.

  10. I’m glad that you have had a positive experience with GENI. I am a month short of 7 years of having an account there. The tree was merged 5 years ago. I was so upset with no response over the tree response, I almost completely stopped using the site. With that merge, some of the people that I had manager/editor privileges I have since lost, including my uncle whose DNA that was just uploaded. So now I have even more work to do…

    • Okay, I have an update – unbeknownst to me my uncle transferred his DNA from FTDNA to Geni. It was his choice to do so, which is fine. It will be interesting to see what I can learn from this.

  11. Confess I’m a bit wary about this, although I have connected three kits to their profiles, myself, a maternal aunt and my ever obliging paternal 2nd cousin dna guineapig.
    Online trees, collaborative or otherwise are so prone to errors, even my own, but that aside, I’m already being shown “matches”
    1 yDNA for the paternal guinea pig, which I thought was odd given he hasn’t any at 37 markers at all other than his own 2nd cousin, and only 2 very distant ones with a different surname at 67.
    Turned out to be a “match” consisting of a 13 marker comparison where the name was hidden but included what looked to be a terminal SNP, without the haplogroup!
    I wonder if the haplogroup shown will automatically update as FTDNA changes their tree?
    at R-S691 on FTDNA we know from BigY that it is really R-S7361 a bit further down to present day

    Looking at my aunt’s three atDNA “matches” they all show as predicted 2nd cousin 2x removed where the segment sizes range from 7 to 12.
    They do have a nice table showing the ranges of sizes to relationships.
    BUT I severely doubt that the people shown are 2C2R to my aunt.
    Last time I looked there were only 2 matches, so this is growing FAST.

    My own matches show up the paternal guinea pig cousin and a known (distant) dna match from ancestry and FTDNA who was also obviously quick off the mark.
    Geni: 2nd Cousin Twice Removed Overlap: 29 cM Longest segment: 9 cM
    Ancestry: Predicted relationship: Distant Cousins Possible range: 5th – 8th cousins Confidence: Moderate (9.7cM 1 seg)
    FTDNA 9.56cM 5th to remote

    Like you Roberta, I’d love for some haplogroups to miraculously appear for as yet untested line, but at the moment I’m uneasy and preferring the slightly fuzzier WikiTree DNA links and easy ability to correct relationships – and committed to free.

    (Apologies if this ends up multiple posts, my connection kept dropping)

  12. Even with this feature Geni, MyHeritage, …. are bad for genealogy in that one cannot use the DNA evidence to permanently correct and sever incorrect relationships. The systems cross-pollinate bad references! I am unable to sever the 47 incorrect references to my immigrant’s father since I do not own the profile. The real owner is dead. DNA results are not going to correct that issues present in the trees until editorial rights are adjusted to allow for connections to be severed by others.

      • Wayne if the tree is no longer being used or the owner has passed on you can request to take over the tree, have a conversation with a curator.

  13. Roberta–
    Well, another big groan without even finishing my first cup of coffee. I think you’d mentioned issues recently about MyHeritage on the ISOGG FB page. At the time, it struck a responsive cord with me. My issue(s) with MyHeritage are variously an “unpleasant ambush” by telling me I didn’t pay to use “their data” and so my resources would be very limited on the site (as well as my wallet). with over 5k names in my database, the freebie option isn’t viable. So I reluctantly paid a year’s subscription. That leads to a second issue, and that is maintaining/administering two sites with duplicate data. That has increasingly become a deal breaker. Now, I have yet a third site (Geni) which has the cringingly green “pro version” which leads to yet another outlay of capital that I plan to use for deep clade testing. There are the issues of sharing, and by some accounts manipulation of data, false or true, by others.

    Then comes the legal angle as pointed out by Walter Little earlier– terms and conditions trump privacy. So, the “feel good” privacy language is rather hollow.

    I guess what I’m getting at here is the “bother to worth ratio” numbers just don’t prove this new “exciting” merge of two organizations and their inherent flaws to be interesting. Its so many people (in databases) and so little time.

    • Larry, I really agree with your “bother to worth” commentary – aside from everything else. It seems there are so many sites climbing on the bandwagon now with bits and pieces of a solution that you would work all day, every day, and all you would get done is maintain sites.

      • In the last five years, I have used most sites for research, but only Geni for the tree. I have found that a collaborative tree constantly being worked on and improved gives the most detail, accuracy … and breaks down the most brick walls. We can’t become experts in everything! So seeing that my more distant relatives do their part maximizes my own time.

  14. I had a terrible experience with Geni and I would advise extreme caution. In order to access the site, they ask that you enter yourself and two ancestors. They don’t tell you that even living individuals are made public. When I tried to remove my mother’s name it wasn’t allowed. It took me 45 minutes to figure out the only way to do that was to delete the account. I’m thankful I didn’t enter my mother’s date of birth. After this experience, I don’t trust them.

    • Living individuals are actually not public on Geni — and cannot be public — unless 1) the person is a Geni user and makes their account public by adjusting their settings, or 2) it’s a notable person (like a celebrity) and a curator makes them a Master Profile. Only deceased are public by default, and even then, you have the option when inputting profiles to mark them as private.

      I’m curious what made you think the profile for your mother was public? Maybe there’s something about the display that can be made clearer?

  15. Uploaded my DNA today. 4 Y-Matches and 1 Autosomal Match. The Y-Matches were not Mitchells, so that seems a bit odd since I shouldn’t connect to them otherwise, right? And, definitely a Mitchell, and traced/confirmed through Y-DNA on FtDNA. The autosomal match was a 2nd Cousin 2 x Removed which means my descent would be my 3 x Great Grandparents and his descent should be his 1 x Great Grandparents . . . or something to that effect. The only issue I see with that match is . . . the person I match with is in Norway, as are all his ancestors. Not sure how it’s possible that he and I are matching as Second Cousins Twice Removed. This might just be a quirk of the transfer.

  16. Okay, I was excited to try this as I have one distant match to my mtDNA test. I used the FTDNA connector, and I had NO opportunity to opt out of the company’s use of my dna. It simply uploaded my results after I accepted the terms/privacy agreement with no further dialogue and started showing matches to other members. I promptly deleted my results and the only thing I could find is that you may opt out if you upload your raw results. I don’t know, I’d like to try this out, but I really don’t want to participate in their research programs. Anyone else do this, have any insight as to If I may have missed the opt out check box?

  17. GENI states that they jump started their DNA matching by taking information from Ysearch and mitosearch, both owned by Genealogy by Genetics, Ltd. (dba Family Tree DNA). I looked on GENI and indeed they took not only my DNA information, but my complete GEDCOM file. Yes, I made the GEDCOM public, but I think there is a difference between looking at it online and giving the file to another company (or am I to believe that GENI employees manually read and entered my GEDCOM, and I assume all GEDCOM files, on Ysearch into GENI?).

    The disclaimer on Ysearch is very simple:
    In uploading your personal information to the YSearch.org website, you recognize and acknowledge as follows:
    that you are solely responsible for making the decision to upload your personal information to the YSearch.org website;
    that once uploaded such information becomes part of a public database and is accessible by all persons accessing such site, who may use such information in comparison with information from other entries;
    that YSearch.org and/or Family Tree DNA will have neither liability nor obligation of any nature whatsoever in connection with the publishing of any such information by you or to the public

    There is nothing about selling or sharing the information with another company, but that is what has been done. Before doing so Genealogy by Genetics, Ltd. should have contacted all those that submitted DNA information and GEDCOMs and informed them that the information was being sold to another company and allow them time to delete the information if they wanted to.

    Sean Pickett

    • Sean – where did you see the information about jumpstarting the process with Ysearch and mitosearch? Also, are your Gedcom files on Y or mitosearch or only at FTDNA?

    • Here’s another curiosity. Several days ago, I saw one member of the ISOGG FB group conveying a conversation with an FTDNA employee with the latter saying that no maintenance is performed on YSearch.org any more by FTDNA/Genealogy by Genetics. If the YSearch is run on autopilot I suggest we’ve all got big problems!

  18. I share concerns expressed here about the process of conflating family trees at Geni, but also agree that the volunteer curators try hard and are very helpful. I think the task of dealing with many grievously flawed trees that get posted there must be virtually overwhelming, and I admire their efforts immensely. There is an enormous amount genealogical junk out there at every repository of user-compiled trees I have visited, and I suspect that at Geni it accumulates almost as fast as the curators can find and correct/remove it. But at least, unlike at Ancestry, for example, they do try hard to provide a form of peer review of the data posted there. To compound their problem, it seemed to me during my brief encounter with Geni that its computer took garbage-input and delighted in generating even worse garbage-output, like the following relationship it claimed to have found for me (names removed to protect the innocent):

    “… is your 15th cousin once removed’s wife’s first cousin 13 times removed’s wife’s second cousin 8 times removed’s husband’s third cousin once removed’s husband’s 10th cousin’s husband’s 7th cousin 6 times removed’s husband’s 7th cousin four times removed’s husband’s 25th cousin twice removed’s wife’s aunt’s husband’s brother’s wife’s first cousin’s wife’s daughter’s husband’s sister’s husband’s great aunt’s husband’s nephew’s ex-wife’s first cousin’s wife’s sister’s husband’s second cousin’s ex-wife’s grandfather’s wife’s great nephew’s wife’s first cousin’s wife’s half sister’s husband’s brother’s wife’s first cousin twice removed’s wife’s great niece’s husband’s first cousin’s husband’s first cousin twice removed’s husband’s third great aunt’s husband’s nephew’s wife’s sister’s husband’s wife’s grandfather’s wife’s first cousin’s husband’s second great uncle’s wife’s husband’s grandfather’s wife’s second great uncle’s wife’s third great niece’s husband’s great nephew’s wife’s niece’s husband’s brother’s wife’s father’s wife’s brother’s wife’s great granddaughter’s husband’s great niece’s husband’s uncle’s wife’s first cousin twice removed’s wife’s sister’s husband’s 6th great uncle’s wife’s second great niece’s husband’s first cousin 15 times removed’s partner’s 19th great granddaughter’s husband’s second cousin 6 times removed’s wife’s third cousin once removed’s husband’s fourth cousin once removed’s husband’s 8th cousin twice removed’s wife’s 17th cousin 6 times removed’s wife’s third cousin 16 times removed’s husband’s third cousin 24 times removed.” (I swear that is a verbatim quote!)

    It will be interesting to see what a computer that can produce that sort of junk will do when it gets its chips on DNA data.

    • That’s a massive relationship path! Did you try refreshing the path to see if a shorter one could be found? (Just click on the circle made of two arrows at the end to refresh the relationship.)

  19. After reading all these comments and noodling around Geni on my own this morning, I decided to close my Geni account for now; but I will be monitoring your blog, Roberta, to see whether you are still satisfied with it after a few months.

      • The reason there are no GEDCOM uploads anymore is because the tree is already so massive that a majority of your tree, if not most or all of it, is likely to already be on there. GEDCOM uploads were just duplicating the same records over and over. Most people only have to enter a relatively small number of profiles before connecting into the World Family Tree.

        Even though Geni itself doesn’t officially offer GEDCOM uploads, there is a third-party tool that can be used to easily copy over profiles. It’s called SmartCopy, and if you join Geni, you can look up the project dedicated to it and ask for help using it. Problem solved. 🙂

      • This is regarding Ashley’s comment. I tried an embryo account on GENI this morning and did a search for my grandfather born 1883. The choices were appalling. The best one that at least had the correct dates said it listed five children – there were eight. Not a bad start? The only thing is, because my uncle was a prominent public figure, that tree is posted everywhere all over the web. I should pay to find bad matches where I can get it for free on nosorigines.qc.ca or on Geneanet.org?
        I like Geneanet because it allows to either upload a GEDCOM or go one by one. I like the fact that it is a not-for-profit organization with multiple languages interface and can be used for free. There is no DNA yet, but it is a matter of time I am sure.

      • Roberta – if you have a public tree on a variety of supported platforms, it is easy to copy it over until it meets the already existing world family tree. I know for a fact there is already a well tended branch of your extended tree on geni. It is of course better for you to enter the private zone profiles (your immediate family) yourself by hand, which should take a computer savvy person like yourself an hour or so. And we’re available to assist, just email through geni profile.

  20. From what I recall, all companies, MyHeritage, Geni, Ancestry etc send the information given to them to familysearch ( willing or unwilling ), who hold all ( most ) registry records worldwide. Most of your “relatives” come from here via the companies noted above.
    Familysearch have an agreement to gather information from church records.
    https://familysearch.org/
    What the companies above are trying to do is supply a DNA match to match these registry records. Of course registry records are the nearest to accuracy for one’s records.

    The issue with ancestry and wiktree versus Geni and myheritage is that ancestry and wiktree will never let you amend your erred records and so sit on their systems as permanent errors.

  21. Anyone been to Family Search lately? They have recently made some changes to their world tree and while their setup may not be perfect, at least you can modify the tree to reflect information found in source documentation. And it is free!

  22. Tried to add my YDNA and atDNA to Genie last night starting within Genie. Forgot to exit FT before completing the data transfer to Genie. Today I received a message: Propagated Mitochondrial DNA
    These profiles are presumed to share the Mitochondrial DNA test results from Jay Ingalls.

    Photo_silhouette_f_thumb2
    Celia Irene Crain

    This is indicating that they have added mtDNA data for my mother. She never had that test, and neither did I. Can not find any way to see what they added for either one of us. Menus are not updated to allow access to DNA data as far as I can tell.

    Also indicates 8 people in my data, only added 3.

    • You can remove the dna connection if you make a mistake. Just go to the profile’s dna tab and under the list of the results, click “You may remove these Family Tree DNA test results from Geni.”

  23. I was able to easily transfer my FTDNA results to geni, but I don’t see a thing about opting out (or opting in) to the DNA research project. Any suggestions as to where to locate it?

      • I uploaded from the geni.com side. While I was able to go to my profile and update privacy settings around how much personal info I wanted to share with matches, I wasn’t able to find anything around the DNA research issue. The good news, my matches showed up immediately. This could be a good tool, but the lack of GEDCOM upload ability will slow adoption.

      • From your own profile page on Geni, find the new dna tab and it should be clear there how to upload the data.

      • I posted from the geni.com side. Prowled around the site a bit, and the Help section. The privacy settings — as to how much personal info to show to matches — were easy to find and adjust.

    • I initiated the transfer from FTDNA and had the same problem. There is never a prompt to opt in or out as shown in Roberta’s post. I spent an hour poking through the privacy settings and DNA tab under my profile on Geni and could find nothing about the research project and consent. I then deleted my results, but of course if I “opted in” without knowing it when I originally uploaded, there’s nothing I can do about it now.

  24. I have given in to the Dark Side. I am going semi-public with a tree on Geni. Since someone who I shared my Ancestry tree with decided to pull many people out and put them in his public tree (which was originally private), and now someone else has used that public tree to add all of my research to Geni, I might as well…

      • Elizabeth, the best way to prevent mistakes from being repeated is to cite the profile and then ask a curator (like me) to review it and lock the fields. You can always go to http://www.geni.com/discussions and ask for a profile to be field-locked, but feel free to also message me directly for help (click my name on this comment).

        Whenever people tell me they left Geni because they got frustrated with people changing info on profiles, I ask them if they cited everything and asked for it to be locked. The answer is always no. When people use the curators, they have a much better time!

      • I have determined that it’s not going to hurt to have my DNA results in Geni in case a magical match shows up and wants to contact me.

        With respect to the Geni profiles and its attempt to do a World Family Tree, it’s no different from any other company that has tried the same thing. Errors propagate. Sources don’t exist. Duplicates do. It’s difficult to correct errors. And frankly, it is not what I want to be spending my lifelong genealogy time doing.

        So, yes to the DNA import. Nope, nope, nope to the rest of Geni.

    • After I moaned and groaned here, randols hooked me back to my tree at Geni, at least on my father’s side. Then I spent a few hours correcting mistakes. Another curator who had contacted me previously, proudly announced that he was my 24th cousin, showing me how (up to the 15th century and down). My reply was :”great, I wonder how much DNA we have in common” and asked him what is his haplogroup.
      His answer: “what is a haplogroup ?”
      A steep learning curve awaits…
      The kings have made an alliance, but it will be a while before the troops follow. In the meantime, I will keep my DNA results to myself.

      On a different note, the addiction piece has been shared and I have also fallen for the shaky leaves crowd, apparently 2 millions strong and clearly winning the marketing war. As once has been said about hamburgers, they may not have the best, but they have the best selling… And since they already have a copy of my tree, curiosity (or is it addiction?) got the best of me – I just need to see how it works.

      • Geni has more than 200 curators, most of whom are not native English speakers and a handful of whom speak very little English. “Haplogroup” isn’t a word I’d expect most ESL speakers to be familiar with. If you’re as distant as 24th cousins right now, my guess is that that’s your problem.

        We have some curators who are deeply involved in the genetic genealogy world, publishing and/or presenting on topics on a regular basis. So while not everyone has a great interest in the topic, you might be pleasantly surprised as you keep working at it.

        If I can help you with anything as you’re getting settled, feel free to let me know. Once you have profiles sourced, I can review them and lock fields for you to prevent errors from being repeated in the future. You can click my name on this comment to get to my Geni profile.

        Sincerely,

        Ashley
        Geni Curator
        U4c1 🙂

  25. I spent around 8 hours trying out Geni, but ultimately cancelled my “Pro” subscription and deleted my Geni account. I should have considered the bother-to-benefit ratio before even starting.

    First, I had to make contact with the World Tree…on the ancestry line I tried, the contact point was a sixth great-grandfather (not just three or four generations of typing, as someone implied in a comment). Look! Contact with 135,000,000 or so tree entries! I’m 36th grandson of Fulke IV, Crusader King of Jerusalem! Woo! I also tried several other ancestry lines which never made any contact with the Tree, even when taken back back to the 16th Century.

    The DNA upload went easily; a dozen matches duly appeared, all listed as “Second Cousin Once Removed” for DNA matches of typically 8-15 cM. After a while, two of these matched up through the tree, one as a 10th cousin, another an 18th cousin with MCRA way back when. Very twisty relationship paths, as an earlier commentator illustrated. Odds that these cousins had more recent and more relevant matches… very high.

    I went “Pro” and started collecting some “tree matches” on my profiles so far. Quickly found massive errors and duplications. Found I needed further special permission to add my relatives via the Chrome app, although even that approach would have involved absurd effort what with 3000 people in my tree and all.

    On reflection, all I really want to get from my chronic genealogy addiction is a peek behind one 19th century brick wall while preserving what I have. I don’t see how Geni helps me. I also don’t see how I can help Geni, at least without throwing quality to the winds.

    • I now must add that I have found out that when I deleted my Geni account, Geni did not delete the profiles I’d added; I can search and find them still there under “new” management. I am changing my review above from slightly negative (i.e., Geni is not my thing) to hostile. Very, very hostile.

      • hlavery I had exactly the same thing happen on My Heritage and also Ancestry and Wiki so nothing new there, go ahead try it for yourself, I think it’s standard across most if not all online companies.

  26. The Geni curators – hundreds of them, and no full public name list available – are superusers who can see all profiles, also private, and have nearly unlimited rights to e.g. change, delete and create profiles (also private) and take them under their own full control. This has lead to some quite nasty cases.

    https://wiki.geni.com/index.php/Curators_–_and_how_YOU_can_help

    As far as know Geniu gas not yet given any limitations or advice to their curators how to handle profiles with DNA. FTDNA has not yet explained the role and super rights of Geni curators in their customer pages fr us FTDNA customers.

    Hopefully bnoth Geni and FTDNA will immediately handle this and share proper & adequate information and e.g. publish upodated guidelines for curators, publicly, to guarantee full privacy.

    • Hundreds of them hey, Hardly! you seem to have a beef that perhaps is best sorted with Geni rather than on a public blog, have you attempted to become a Geni Curator as I have, if you have then perhaps you might understand what a rigorous process you must go through and you have knowledge of the curators that watch over the curators and how closely they are watched, as a curator your respect for the privacy and the rights of the individual is absolutely paramount, those who are involved in the question and answer blog on Geni as I am see everyday how much effort is put in by the curators both in answering the questions and in placating sometimes temperamental individuals who often could resolve their issues just by reading the faq, but hey it’s a lazy world out there, I personally have the utmost respect for the work that the curators do and am often amazed at the respect given to those who really need a slap across the back of the head for being impatient, impertinent and abusive, just my opinion!

    • Here is my evaluation after honestly trying:

      The more I look at this, the more I would say: “Why bother?”
      Unless you were already a customer at Geni or are willing to pay them to import your data, your results for most matches will be “no path found”. Since most people interested in genealogy at FT-DNA already have a tree there, you end up going back to them on that site. So why transfer?

      I found a genocousin with whom I corresponded. He also decided to give it a try. The Geni system identified us as second cousins twice removed, but no ancestor path. He is not any of the 41 people with the same name in the Geni database, and frankly no Gedcom transfer, no way.

      So my advice to Geni – if you don’t allow Gedcoms with DNA imports, your adventure will be short-lived.

      • Suzanne, I am not sure I understand this comment. There’s a dna feature on Geni that works best if you have your whole tree well connected on Geni. To do that might require some work (made a bit easier if you pay for Pro and use SmartCopy). Your response is. I won’t do the work (or pay to make it easier). Fine. But that doesn’t make the feature bad. I presume you paid to have a dna test. And you did the work to enter your tree on a different platform. So you aren’t against either of those, in principle. You just don’t want to do it again. Understandable, but then that really is your choice, not to take advantage of a newer, possibly better, way to do genealogy and dna, because you don’t want to spend the time (or money to make it easier). You might still use 8-track cassettes and BetaMax too, for the same reasons. So, your comment is not really a critique, but just a statement of your personal decision not to take advantage of new, better technology.

      • You understood my comment perfectly well. I did not say anywhere that the product was bad, but was mostly of interest to Geni customers who had loaded their tree before the no Gedcom upload rule. My problem is that, even if I decided to either pay or spend hours re-doing what I spent hours doing elsewhere, most of my matches are not likely to want to follow suit, hence the limited usefulness of Geni for DNA matching and finding the MRCA.

        I do not appreciate your personal attack regarding my level of technology awareness, but I think that most readers will take them for what they are…

      • Suzanne Lesage,

        I agree the inability to use a gedcom file to add our data is a very good reason for not adding all my ancestry data to Geni. I think I recall adding it once when they did accept gedcom files, and asked them to remove it after trying it for a while. Suggested matches were almost all useless, people were changing my data, etc.

        Tried the manual entry, very user unfriendly. Maybe they will improve it some day.

        Jay

  27. Ok – took the plunge. First added my mtDNA results. No matches. Then added my son to the tree since he is the one tested at FT-DNA. Loaded from FT-DNA and got SEVEN matches, for none of which the path could be found… So much for the universal tree…
    The other problem is they seem to have assigned his DNA to me in spite of the fact that I loaded from his profile and his family name is clearly different than mine and he has a different account at FT-DNA. Learned in the process that they will also take 23andMe and Anscestry data.
    What did you say Roberta? It’s not soup yet?

  28. I’m uncomfortable with Geni at the moment. This is a company with a history of complaints: https://www.sitejabber.com/reviews/www.geni.com

    For myself, I’m going to wait before recommending this company to anyone.

    I’m concerned about data mining, including mining personal information and the use of that information.

    I don’t know why FTDNA chose to go with this company. I would imagine they are feeling pressure to offer trees to their customers. Ancestry has cornered quite a bit of the market because they have the ready-made trees.

  29. Pingback: 2016 Genetic Genealogy Retrospective | DNAeXplained – Genetic Genealogy

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s