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Soon Geni will introduce the concept of Trees and Forest to Geni. This page will help you understand why these concepts are necessary. I have copied the original forest article and replaced "Tree" with "Branch" and "Forest" with "Tree".


For sake of example, let's say your name is John Smith and are married to Jane Smith. Although we use the term 'Branch' to refer to the visual branch feature, John Smith's Branch has a very specific meaning.

John Smith's Branch is all of your blood relatives and all of their partners. Each person on Geni has their own branch. For example, your children's branch is different than yours because it includes Jane Smith's parents and other blood relatives.


Your Tree is:

Infinite Tree

Your Infinite Tree is every branch connected to your Tree. Alternately, your Infinite Tree is every node on Geni with a path on the branch to your node.

Tree Page

A new Tree page will list each of the branches in your Tree. This page will tell you the name of each branch (which is the partner that connects the branch to your branch or Jane's Branch), who the branch is connected by marriage to (always your or Jane's blood relative), size of the branch, and give you some actions links:

Other Pages

We have added a 'Select Branch:' menu to many pages on Geni. This allows you to focus your action on one branch for more accurate and focused behavior. Here are some of the places you will see this control.


The User Stats profile module will now display the number of 'People in Blood Branch' rather than 'People in My Tree' and will display the number of 'Branches in Tree'.


You can now view your various Lists for any of the branches in your Tree. For example, you can see who has recently joined your brother-in-law's branch, or who has been recently added to your spouse's branch.


You can view the Index of Last Names for a specific branch. This will help you quickly find the last names you are looking for on this page.


In addition to viewing a map of Your Family & Friends, you will be able to see the Map of all of the people in any of the branches in your Tree.

Branch Awards

  • Each branch in your Tree will have its own Branch Awards page.
  • Awards for a branch will be given to the top people in that branch.
  • Awards will be based on those user's activity, regardless of where that activity took place.
  • Branch Creator award for each branch is given to the claimed person whose profile was created earliest, or the earliest created profile in that branch if there are no claimed nodes.

For example

  • You have uploaded 20 photos of people in your branch and 50 photos of people in Joe's branch
  • Martha who is in your branch uploaded 30 photos in your branch
  • Joe has uploaded 30 photos of people in his branch.

The Branch Awards would be:

Your Branch

  1. You (70 photos)
  2. Martha (30 photos)

Joe's Branch

  1. Joe (30 photos)


Finally, you can also export a GEDCOM file of any of the branches in your Tree, and search for a name within a specific branch.


The Tree also gives you an additional layer of privacy for your profile and the profiles you have added. Here are the new privacy rules for the Tree:

  • Your Infinite Tree (see the definition above) will remain completely navigable without restriction
  • Nodes are either private or viewable
    • Private nodes:
      • Display First Initial and Last Name only
      • Include 'View Branch', 'Invite to Family', 'Invite to Friends' and 'Send Message' actions (as applicable)
      • Do not link to the associated profile
      • Include a visual indication for easy identification (grey node instead of pink of blue)
    • Viewable nodes follow the same rules as all current Branch nodes
  • By default, the following nodes will be viewable, regardless of where they appear in the infinite tree:
    • Nodes within your Tree
    • Nodes of the deceased
    • Nodes of your Family group and Friends
    • Unclaimed nodes you have added
  • By default, when viewed by users outside your Tree:
    • Your node is private
    • Living nodes you add are private
    • Deceased nodes you add are viewable
  • New setting will enable you to choose the following for your node, living nodes you have added, and deceased nodes you have added:
    • Who can add relatives to them in the Branch?
    • Who can view their profiles from the Branch? (private or viewable)

We believe that these new privacy enhancements will preserve the Infinitely Navigable Tree, while preserving each user's control over their own privacy.

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