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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.

Beta - 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.

Blood Relative - Anyone you share a common ancestor with.

Claimed User - a user who has claimed their node/profile on Geni.

Edit Card - a quick way of editing some profile information without leaving the tree view.

Focus Node - This is the 'Tree Owner' of the currently viewed tree.

Geni - A relatively new Web 2.0 Genealogy site.

GEDCOM - A common format for storing family trees offline.

Geni Legend

GeniTeam - A Geni employee

Hand Print - The immediate family description block that appears atop the profile page and on some of the list views (e.g., "Son of John and Mary, Brother of William").

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.

Invited User -

Little Green Tree - When viewing the tree, certain parts of it are not shown. For example, inlaws, 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.

My Family - This is the subset of people in your tree whose birthdays and anniversaries appear in your Calendar, whose locations appear on your Map, and whose Recent Albums you see under the Photos tab. Initially, we have defined this group as your third cousins and closer, plus their current partners, and your own partner’s first cousins and closer, plus their current partners. Coming soon, we will let you define your My Family group.

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.

Profile - See also Claimed Profile, Claimed User, Stub Profile, Unclaimed Profile...

Profile - A page containing detailed information about the user. The person's description, photos, contact details, work and school information (and more) are displayed on the profile.

Relationship Definitions:

  • Half sibling – two nodes with exactly one parent node in common.
  • 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.

Relationship Pathway - How is a person related to you? For example, John Smith (your father) → Linda Smith (his mother) → James Jones (his father) → Ronald Jones (his brother) → Tina Jones (his wife).

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.


  • The 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
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