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May I view your tree? NO.

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ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date


Patricia Report 11 Jan 2013 17:18

OK I am another person who doesn't understand changing things to make them worse! My career is built around change, but it has to bring improvement. All genealogy sites, including Ancestry and LDS Family Search have made changes that make it more difficult to do an educated intelligent search with known criteria. They have sort of "dumbed it down."
But Genes Reunited seems to have done something different. I have a large tree, resulting from years of work. I post it on Genes to make contacts, and I used to receive very interesting messages from people who may be related or may require some assistance. I enjoyed that. Now, I don't even open messages from Genes Reunited anymore - and will be cancelling my subscription. Every single message says "May I view your tree." No 'Hello" . No info on who they are or why they may connect with my tree. I always wonder if they are genealogists using my research for free to make money. If nothing else it just sounds RUDE. They never give access to their tree and if you ask, they say theirs is on paper somewhere OR it is for a friend!
Goodbye Genes Reunited.


AnninGlos Report 11 Jan 2013 17:23

I think this is because people are using the auto generated messages instead of writing their own. In my opinion these should not be available, if people are too lazy to write a message then it is not worth replying.

Rambling Rose

Rambling Rose Report 11 Jan 2013 17:26

Mine IS on paper :-) many people who come new to genealogy are older, they may also be new to computers, hence they may think the GR standard message is the 'appropriate' or at least the 'official' one to send.


AnninGlos Report 11 Jan 2013 17:52

That's why I think it should not be there Rose. :-)

Rambling Rose

Rambling Rose Report 11 Jan 2013 18:24

I agree Ann :-)


JackBunion Report 11 Jan 2013 18:33

My tree is on Genes and has full details of myself and all my family.

Have nothing whatsoever to hide, and very happy to share my research. But I would hate to think of some irresponsible toe-rag getting hold of those sort of details without letting me see their tree first ;-)


RolloTheRed Report 11 Jan 2013 18:49

I rather prefer the Ay approach to this problem. You may have your tree as any of public, private, very private (not in search index). Public automatically excludes living records. Now when somebody wishes to share Ay suggests that "they ask nicely" without offering any pro forma. When and if you do share you can choose whether or not to include living relatives on a case by case basis.


Patricia Report 11 Jan 2013 18:51

Sorry if I sound crabby. I love genealogy and have many friends and distant relations who I am in touch with on a regular basis - people I met through genealogy. Ironically my family tree of 30,000 individuals is on another site, open and free for anyone to view. But that site does not charge a subscription fee. Why would I pay GR the few dollars per year, just to have people say "May I see your tree?" I have often responded & find these same people do not seem interested in an exchange of information or family discussion. Ancestry provides me with great access to records. LDS family search, can be forgiven anything, because all their wonderful transcriptions were the initial source of much of my tree - all free I might add. But Genes Reunited was a site I subscribed to for the interaction. And it is no longer serving that purpose.


Kay???? Report 11 Jan 2013 18:51

Some people dont realise that they can wipe out that automated message of--May I view your tree.---------and write their own resons for contact,,,,,,,,,****the messsge fault is down to GR and not the person*** so a denial could be losing some tree ties.?*.......GR couldnt even add a Please to it,,,,,,,,!

Budgie Rustler

Budgie Rustler Report 11 Jan 2013 19:15


The "please" is added at the beginning now. :-)
But myself ,I would still prefer a personal message, rather than an automated one. ;-)


Kay???? Report 11 Jan 2013 20:24

Hi Budgie ,,,,,,So they have and its not as blunt as OP put,,,,

Dear Ma Brown

Please may I.........

thats quite acceptable.


Elizabeth2469049 Report 11 Jan 2013 21:05

I don't think you should ask for access to a tree without giving a reason - not go into all your family history but to say something like " my 2xgreat aunt of the same name and date of birth is the daughter of X and Y, lived in - say - Dorchester. If you think she could be identical with the one in your tree I should like to know more".

And if I am offering information I don't automatically tick the access box - but give the same sort of details and say "if you think they are identical do get in touch".

This should reassure your contact that you are a genuine researcher and not a name-collector.


LadyScozz Report 11 Jan 2013 23:07

I've been in touch with Estelle about this "Request". This is her response:

As for the permission to view tree message, we have had a look at this and it seems that members are seeing that when searching trees and sending an initial message. This isn't right, they should just see the general message box where they add their own text. We are going to be correcting this.


Bobtanian Report 12 Jan 2013 12:45

when I have asked for info, its usually on the lines of...........Please..
"did your " xyz " marry so- so on such a date and have x amount of children.......and give maybe a name or two.........
and if the response is positive I might offer more, and then open my tree


Kay???? Report 12 Jan 2013 13:12

Seasoned users of GR will expand why the contact..........but anyone new may belive that message is how its done on they arent at fault for the box standard cold call GR put there.......


DazedConfused Report 12 Jan 2013 13:17

Maybe it is time for Genes to change this request to:

I am researching ..(name DOB and place of birth to be inserted)..... and have noticed you have a person with the same name in your tree. Can you let me have more details such as parents names etc, / or something similar whereby poster can supply a bit more info.

Maybe then we would all be more likely to help others. It is such a shame that Genes encourages people to use this impolite/non informative form for connecting with other members.

Thank goodness I no longer have a tree on here, removed mine about a year ago, long before the 'wonderful' amendments.


Sue Report 12 Jan 2013 13:52

I feel there should not be an automated request box at all. A personal message, giving details of poss. connections, hello and thank you would be preferable.
Also, i have found, and i know others have also, that half the people contacted dont reply anyway.
When i first started on here, i had two or three messages every day.
I think GR should put something up about encouraging people to reply and interact, as after all thats what Genes Reunited is about.
Seems to have moved away from what the original purpose was.


JackBunion Report 12 Jan 2013 14:01

I used to reply to everybody who wrote. Even the hot matches of mutual John Smiths born in 1797. If they didn't put any detail or did not open tree (rare) I would write and ask them if they would mind telling me why they wanted me to open tree.

Yet I got an email (think it was 2011) from Genes telling me I should reply if anyone wanted to match with me. I did ask them why they had sent it and I think it was a general letter to all members.

Well, I don't bother now if someone writes with no info and a closed tree. Just wait till they come on boards and ask us all why no one replies to their requests. :-(


InspectorGreenPen Report 12 Jan 2013 14:22

Whilst I don't necessarily agree with these pre-formatted messages I don't see it as a huge issue. All you have to do is to ask for more information - there is actually a PF message for this very purpose...! although I prefer to use my own wording.

It has also been mentioned on Suggestions that GR are considering changes so members are no longer automatically presented with the may I view message when making searches. "As for the permission to view tree message, we have had a look at this and it seems that members are seeing that when searching trees and sending an initial message. This isn't right, they should just see the general message box where they add their own text. We are going to be correcting this."

As far as letting other members see my tree I have no problem with that and indeed since I became a member ten years ago several hundred members have been given the privilege. However it is on my terms. There has to be a proven connection and I need to feel comfortable with the other person before I will consider it.

Carol 430181

Carol 430181 Report 12 Jan 2013 15:52

I used to open my tree and had no problem till an individual who was related to my OH very distantly put all of it on various web sites, at the time my children were on my tree and consequently they are now on the web. I did politely ask him to remove but he just ignored me.

Last month I was asked to open my tree regarding another individual that I have a tentative connection with. I checked out all names on here and they appear to not have a tree so think it is a bit one sided.

I will always answer a question on an individual but afraid I no longer open my tree, especially when I see terrible mistakes on Ancestry I do not wish my family to be miss-represented .