The first change you may notice is the reduction in the number of people in your User Stats and Tree count. This is entirely due to changes in terminology. We used to display the total number of people you were connected to on Geni, now we display the number of people in your Tree (your blood relatives and all of their partners). All of the profiles and people that we used to include in your ‘Tree’ count are still right where they were. You can continue to navigate to them through your tree as you always have.
For sake of example, let's say your name is John Smith and are married to Jane Smith. Although we use the term 'Tree' to refer to the visual family tree feature, John Smith's Tree has a very specific meaning.
John Smith's Tree is all of your blood relatives and all of their partners (this includes ex-spouses). Each person on Geni has their own Tree. For example, your children's Tree is different than yours because it includes Jane Smith's parents and other blood relatives.
Your Forest is:
- John Smith's Tree
- Jane Smith's Tree
- The Tree of each of your blood relative's partners
- The Tree of each of Jane's blood relative's partners
A new Forest page will list each of the Trees in your Forest. This page will tell you the name of each Tree (which is the partner that connects the tree to your tree or Jane's tree), who the tree is connected by marriage to (always your or Jane's blood relative), size of the tree, and give you some actions links:
We have added a 'Select Tree:' menu to many pages on Geni. This allows you to focus your action on one Tree 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 Tree' rather than 'People in My Tree' and will display the number of 'Trees in Forest'.
You can now view your various Lists for any of the Trees in your Forest. For example, you can see who has recently joined your brother-in-law's tree, or who has been recently added to your spouse's tree.
You can view the Index of Last Names for a specific tree. 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 Trees in your Forest.
- Each Tree in your Forest will have its own Tree Awards page.
- Awards for a Tree will be given to the top people in that Tree.
- Awards will be based on those user's activity, regardless of where that activity took place.
- Tree Creator award for each Tree is given to the claimed person whose profile was created earliest, or the earliest created profile in that tree if there are no claimed nodes.
- You have uploaded 20 photos of people in your tree and 50 photos of people in the Joe Tree
- Martha who is in your tree uploaded 30 photos in your tree
- Joe has uploaded 30 photos of people in his tree.
The Tree Awards would be:
- You (70 photos)
- Martha (30 photos)
- Joe (30 photos)
Finally, you can also export a GEDCOM file of any of the Trees in your Forest, and search for a name within a specific Tree.
The Forest also gives you an additional layer of privacy for your profile and the profiles you have added. These new privacy options are opt-in. We encourage you to use the 'Who can view my profile from the tree?' setting to control the node privacy for your node and the nodes you manage.
Here are the new privacy rules for the Forest:
- You can still navigate outside your Forest without restriction
- Nodes are either private or viewable
- Private nodes:
- Display First Initial and Last Name only
- Include 'View Tree', '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 tree nodes
- Private nodes:
- By default, the following nodes will be viewable, regardless of where they appear:
- Nodes within your Forest
- Nodes of the deceased
- Nodes of your Family group and Friends
- Unclaimed nodes you have added
- By default, when viewed by users outside your Forest:
- 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 tree?
- Who can view their profiles from the tree? (private or viewable)
We believe that these new privacy enhancements will preserve the ability to navigate your extended forest without limitation, while preserving each user's control over their own privacy.
Additional New Features
Here are some immediate features we have implemented simultaneous to the release of Forests:
Previously you could only add someone to your Family group if there was a connection through the Tree. Now you can add any user to this privacy group. This means that, even before merging, you can add someone in another, completely disconnected tree to your Family group. Not only does this enable you to share more profile details, photos, etc., this also allows you to view and navigate each other’s trees. This is a great solution when trying to find the connection to a distant relative.
Previously, only users already connected to your Tree could view and navigate your tree. The shared tree feature has been a great way to share your tree with others, but that tree is limited in size and functionality. Now you can enable Family (even disconnected family as noted above), Friends, and even ‘Anyone’ to view your tree. Note that when they view your tree, they follow the Forest privacy rules, so many of the nodes will be private to them.