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For terms not listed on this page please see the Glossary category.


All Connected Users 
Anyone who is connected to you via your Forest.
Anyone (with regards to profile privacy)
Are those who can find you through the search feature or via your Tree. Anyone is Anyone.
Address bar
(see also link & URL). The address box, location bar, or URL bar is the text box used to enter a website's address in a browser.
Also known as, alias.
Alert or Alert box
A message that appears on the screen to tell you usually that something went wrong.
Program in which you do your work.


Balloon Help 
When enabled, help balloons appear when you place your cursor over any button that can be clicked on the tree, and display information about what clicking the button will accomplish. They can be toggled by clicking on the 'speech bubble' icon on the bottom right of the tree.
a web site or software that's still a work in progress. A beta site is available to the public so people can use it, provide feedback and help identify problems along with suggesting additional features.
a node on the Tree which is not connected to a Blood Relative.
a problem or conflict in the programming that effects some portion of the website or inhibits proper usage of features.
A program can run and perform tasks in the background while another program is being used in the foreground.
Birth Marriage Death.
Also called a weblog, is a discussion or information web page that presents short articles in reverse chronological order, newest first.
Person writing the blog.
(see also web browser). A program with a graphical user interface (GUI) used to navigate the World Wide Web (www).
A node on the tree that is not connected to a blood relative.
problem or conflict in the programming (affects portions of the site).


Claimed User 
a user who has claimed their node/profile on Geni.
a user empowered, by Geni, to help clean-up and maintain the shared Historical tree. See Curators
is used to demonstrate multiple relationships for the same person. For Instance, John was Mary's first cousin and husband. You will see a small green circle within the lower left-hand corner of their node to reflect this. You may click on it to view the other relationship.
18th Century etc.
Cache or Caching
Stores recently used information (a page or image you have recently seen) so that it can be accessed quickly at a later time, thereby improves computer performance.
Claimed user
A user who has claimed their profile/node on Geni.
A small piece of information/file stored on your computer.


Display Name 
This is used on the Family Tree within your node. If a no Display Name has been set, the default will be the First and Surnames only. It is also used within any Family News updates on your Home page. It is NOT used for the tagging and search features on the site (the name used is the one depicted on the Profile page).
Date of birth.
Date of death.
Died of wounds.
Dots per inch, a gauge of visual clarity on the screen or printed page.


Drop down menu
A menu that drops down from an existing field with pre selected options'
DVP: De Villiers Pama numbering system, common on the South African tree.


Embedded text link
Most simple form of hyperlink


Is the same thing as your Family Group
Family Group 
Your Family group consists of the relatives that you want to stay in touch with. This is the group that you will share news, photo albums, and birthdays with. This group also falls under 'Our Family' or the group which is included within your Managed Profiles settings.
Maximum Family Group 
Your default Family Group including in-laws connected through ex's
Family’s Family 
All the people who share a family member with you. This includes all relatives through your 6th great grandfather or your 4th cousins', 4th cousins.
Family Member 
Anyone within your Family Group
Family Tree Name 
This is the name which appears on the top of your Geni account and also the name used for your Family Newsletters. This name makes up your surname and your spouse's surname (or maiden name, where applicable).
a space provided for entry of information. Information might be typed in, cut/pasted, or chosen from a menu.
Flip Node 
The person's 'box' in the tree. It shows a photo, a name, an edit-info button and a view-tree button. You can enter a person's -email on the node to invite them. However, per the Tree Layout Preference, you must "flip" the node to find any action links (i.e. 'remove', 'add sibling or spouse', etc.).
Focus Node 
This is the 'Tree Owner' of the currently viewed tree.
Collection of your in-law trees. Alternately, your tree, your spouses tree, and all tree directly connected to those trees.
An invitation-only group of people who can view your Profile, but not your Tree
FAQ  :Frequent;y Asked Questions.
Family Group Record Archives.
Family History Center.


Space provided for entry of information (pasted, chosen from a menu).
Family Tree Builder.
FTM  :Family Tree Maker.


Genealogy Bank.
Gregorian Calendar.
Abbreviation of Genealogy Data Communication (exportable from Geni to other programs that accept GEDCOM files).
Genealogy Editor  
Application that enables you to load, edit and save a genealogical database.
An organisation bridging Genealogy and Technology.
Image file that and compressed to reduce transfer time.
Gigabyte - 1024 megabytes
Grandfather (etc).
Great grandfather (etc)
Grave record


Help Messages 
Little boxes in the tree view that give you tips about basic tree usage. Enabled on your first login to Geni, and can be turned back on by clicking on the 'speech bubble' icon on the bottom right of the tree.
Hyper Text Mark-up Language.


(Hyper Text Transfer Protocol) Used to communicate between web servers and users who access their information. When a web browses talks to a web server they use a language known as "http".
(or "link") a graphic or piece of text in an internet document that connects you to another file or object. Shows as aq single word or group of words usually underlined and clearly shown as blue in color.
This is text with hyperlinks.


Infinite Tree 
No longer in use on the site. This is now under ‘connected to you’
In-law Trees 
Trees connected to you (or your Tree) by marriage
Invited User 
A person on the family tree who has been invited by an active member through e-mail. Every tree member except the originator was an invited user at some point. People who are deceased at the time of addition to a tree and those under 13 cannot be invited users.
A graphic symbol for an application, file, folder or Geni project.
In-Law trees ;Trees connected to you (or your tree) by marriage
JPEG or JPG Common file format for digital photos and other digital graphics.


words or a symbol that contain information that when clicked on will redirect the user to a new page or open a new window.
Little Green Tree 
When viewing the tree, certain parts of it are not shown. For example, in-laws, or very distant cousins. When Geni does this, the user who's relatives have been hidden has a little green icon with the number of hidden profiles on it. When clicked, the icon has the same functionality as the 'view tree' button: view the tree of the person in question. Use the navigation bar at the top of the tree to return to your own tree.
Latter Day Saints (Mormons).


a specific list of choices that may be entered into a field. For example, the field for entering the month of a year is limited to the choices on the drop-down list of month names.
Master Profile
Maximum Family Group  
Your default family group, including in-laws connected through ex's.
Missing in action.


The person's 'box' in the tree. It shows a photo, a name, an edit-info button and a view-tree button. You can enter a person's -email on the node to invite them.


Our Family 
The union of the people in your family group and the people in the managed profile’s family group.
Our Family’s Family 
The union of the people in your family’s family group and the people in the managed profile’s family’s family group.
Our Tree 
The union of the people in your tree and the people in the managed profile’s tree


a single response by any participant in the thread of a forum.
is just public
Personal Ancestral File.
Pop-up Menu  
A menu that does not appear at the top of a screen in the menu bar (may pop up or down)'


Relationship Definitions
  • Half sibling – two nodes with exactly one parent node in common.
  • In-Law - a person related through marriage but not by blood ancestors.
  • Stepchild – node which has your current spouse, but not you, as a parent.
  • Stepparent – node which is current spouse of one of your parent nodes, but is not your parent.
can be a disconnected Family Group member or may also be those who navigate to a profile via your tree (i.e. merged trees with those outside your forest) See also Relatives
RSS Feed 
"Really Simple Syndication" newsfeed is another way of viewing web pages. It's a fast, easy way to news from many different sites by consolidation of the news.
To cause an updated version of a web page to appear on the computer screen / to cause the computer memory again in order to show any new information. PC - press F 5; Mac - command + R.


This is a term that replaces repetitious titles. For example, the father of your Great Grandfather might be called your Great Great Grandfather elsewhere, but for Geni, the reference is Second Great Grandfather. This allows also for Third and Fourth to be used in a similar way, cutting down on very long titles for relationships.
a way of adjusting certain preferences. It is a bar with a handle portion that can be slid from side to side or up and down. A slider provides a graduated set of choices, usually used for viewing options like the zoom on the tree view or the number of generations to view on the tree.
Stub Profile 
Every person in the tree gets his or her own profile page. A profile page that is empty, or nearly empty, is called a stub profile. If you know any information about this person, you are encouraged to fill it in.
Son of the American Revolution.
Special Interest Group.
Social Security Death Index (USA).
Stub profile  
Every person on the tree gets their own profile page. A profile page that is empty or is nearly empty is called a "stub" profile.


Can refer to either
  • Photo Tagging, in which people are identified in photos (The "Profile ID trick" described can also be used to identify someone when sending messages, see People tagger).
  • Discussions - Creating links to specific people / profiles in the discussion. This is done by writing an @ and starting to type the person's name. A pop-up box should appear enabling you to select them. This will insert their Profile-ID within double square brackets into the text. As the list of people shown, is limited, or can be problematic to use (when you have many people with identical/similar names), you can manually insert their Profile-ID within those brackets, to achieve the same effect. Like this: [[5098603059080070794]] Additionally you can tag a person by starting the discussion from that person's profile, under the Discussions tab. Tagging does NOT work in Discussion subject lines.
One portion of a forum usually dedicated to a specific idea, issue, or set of information. It is like a category for discussion where all of the posts from people involved in the discussion can be viewed in relation to each other.
Tree Awards (aka Family Tree Awards) 
This is a list of the Tree Creator as well as the top ten contributors from the entire tree in each of the following areas: Profile Adders, Profile Inviters, and Photo Uploaders. Any active member of the tree is eligible to earn a place on these lists.
  • The visible tree is what you see in tree view which is a subset of your family tree due to pruning.
  • The tree is your entire family tree


any participant in the Geni website who is not functioning as a member of the Geni team (non-employee member).
To send a file from one computer to another through a network.
Address of a specific web site or file on the internet. (Uniform Resource Locator). (see link). For example: "What is google's URL?" "Easy!"


Vital Record.


Who do you think you are. (the TV series)
Web browser  
When you look at web pages you are using a "web browser" eg. Internet Explorer, Firefox etc.
World Family Tree (Geni).
Glossary of Geni Terms Project

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