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Non replies to tree enquiries

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ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date


chrissiex Report 26 Nov 2011 16:07

I think Flick is mostly here to exercise her sleuthing skills and help other people with their searches :-D

you can still search trees for your names and contact other people who have them even without a tree on here, I have often contacted people about names I have not bothered to put in my own tree, siblings of my ancestors and such, my tree here has always just been my own bare branches

at least if you don't fill up your tree with 1000s of names you aren't likely to get 100s of messages and end up being one of those people who don't reply to them ... :-)

and yes Sylvia's refinement of Inspector Green Pen's proposal sounds very simple and workable ... and why not just do it ??


Valerie Report 24 Nov 2011 14:26

i agree with sylvia, that seems a very good suggestion and not a whiff of Big Brother.

and flick, not being funny, if your tree isnt on genesreunited how would anyone know to contact you, you wouldnt come up on any tree searches.

it is very frustrating when there is no response to a request/message, thinking that someone "out there" may have information that is of use and you may have info that they could find useful


Annette Report 23 Nov 2011 22:15

After a 2 year break from Genes looking after a family member I would have been mortified to sign back in and find that my membership had been cancelled and my tree had disappeared after all the work I had done. I am now on Genes everyday not necessarily adding to my tree as I am researching relatives in Ireland. If I post a message I will wait for a reply as I appreciate that the kind people who are helping me do not have to do it and at times without them I would have been completely stuck.

I have been a member for a number of years now but I certainly still need the help and appreciate the time that other members give to my request especially as they do it by choice and not because they are paid to do it!


wisechild Report 23 Nov 2011 15:49

That annoys me too Jax.
Sometimes in the recent member activity, someone will have added something within the last 24 hours, but Ancestry still shows last signed in over 6 moths ago on their profile.
I often find things of interest, but don´t contact the tree owner for that very reason.


jax Report 23 Nov 2011 15:12

As we know Ancestry does say when you last logged in i.e today. last week ect this is what it says for my account

Member since 13 Oct 2004
Last signed in Over 6 months ago
Profile updated Over 6 months ago

Very strange as I actually use the site every day plus I have to sign in as my computer will not save passwords. So would this mean someone may not contact me as I have not used the site for a while?



JerryH Report 23 Nov 2011 07:11

Thanks Sylvia
I was not suggesting to stop anyone from sending messages and I too have a paid Standard Membership.
I had not realised that a Free Member CAN reply to messages they receive. I have never been in that position.
My suggestion was directed as a possible mechanism to guage whether a reply to a sent message was likely but clearly I see that would not work


SylviaInCanada Report 23 Nov 2011 06:17


the vast majority of members on GR are Free members

You probably don't realise that this site originally started with only free members. There was also 1 General thread where people could ask questions, but wihtin months it became a general chat thread.

so sometime in 2003 or early 2004, the paid subscription was introduced .......... at first there was only one level, now called Standard. I joined in April 2004, as a paid subscriber, for the grand price of £7.00 or £7.50 a year.

BUT they retained the free membership .......... and in fact, if a paid subscriber does not renew, he/she is just dropped down to the free category.

A free member can build a tree, read the boards but not post, be contacted by paying members, and can reply to a paid member, but cannot iniate contact with other members.

This is all that many people want.

so, no, you cannot stop a non-paying member from replying to a message sent to them

................... because, in fact, it is more than likely that the member you are trying to contact is a Free member, not a paying one.



JerryH Report 23 Nov 2011 06:03

What about Sunscription Status.
People can't reply if they havn't got a current subscription . . . or is this touching on Big Brother too?


SylviaInCanada Report 23 Nov 2011 04:33


That would be fne ....... except I see no need to show WHAT the last activity was.

That smells a little too much of Big Brother tracking me

it merely needs to say

Last Activity:-
21 Nov 2011 20:34



InspectorGreenPen Report 22 Nov 2011 10:33

I have suggested a workable solution before, but here goes again.

All GR needs to do is to show the last action that a member has made on the site. We know they keep a record of this as it can be seen for members in your contacts list.

The action could be anything at all, it does not need to be a log-in nor a tree update. It could be a pm sent, a message posting or a record lookup. etc etc

So for Sylvia, it would say, for example

Last Activity:-
21 Nov 2011 20:34
Community board posting


Flick Report 21 Nov 2011 23:27

I don't have a tree on GR, but I use the site daily............when I'm at home.........and I don't log out


SylviaInCanada Report 21 Nov 2011 20:34


That idea has been suggested before

but there are many problems

For example .................. that would show that MY tree has been dormant for longer than a year, yet I am active on the site almost every day.

I just never go into my tree ...................... my main tree is on another site and my computer. It must be at least 4 years since I actually made any changes to my tree.

I know of people who check GR about once a year or once every 2 years.

Similarly with various suggestions that have been re some way to tell when a person last logged on .................

I never log out unless forced to (eg, when my computer has been to the computer hospital, or GR has done something strange), so my last actual log in might be more than 6 months ago ............. yet, as I said, I am on here almost every day.



Flick Report 21 Nov 2011 13:31

Ian James obviously doesn't think that the rules of courtesy apply to him

"Do as I say......not as I do" would seem to be his motto


Valerie Report 21 Nov 2011 13:27

perhaps a way could be found of informing us before we try to contact someone that their tree has been dormant for say - a year - so then we know that the chances of a reply are slim


SylviaInCanada Report 21 Nov 2011 04:23



jax Report 21 Nov 2011 04:07

It would also be nice if people acknowledged their threads :-)


SylviaInCanada Report 21 Nov 2011 03:48

Like SueMaid, I would be mortified if my membership was cancelled for not replying

In fact, I have to say that I currently have one pm that is waiting for me to asnwer it ...... ti has been waiting for a week. The reason being, that I have absolutely no idea how to answer!

It is not to do with my tree, nor my family, but has presented me with a quandary.

There are lots more reasons why messages may be unanswered

but it all goes back to the same thing ............. no-one is forced to answer a pm, and no-one has the right to demand a reply, nor to demand punishment for people who do not reply.



SueMaid Report 20 Nov 2011 11:43

My cousin passed away in May this year. He was a member on here and his membership is still active and will be until the end of the year - I assume his tree will stay. He would come up if you searched a surname that is common to our family but if you sent him a message he wouldn't answer....obviously. So that is at least one reason why you may not get an answer.

I have recently been overseas travelling for 9 weeks - another good reason.

I have another good reason but for the sake of my family's privacy I won't discuss that on here.

I would be mortified if my membership was cancelled because I failed to reply to a message - would I then have to contact GR and explain myself?


chrissiex Report 19 Nov 2011 23:35

well the 20th time I saw this raised on the boards I thought about it and the whole thing seemed pretty obvious to me

people get notices of private messages they receive at this site, by an email sent to them from the website

has any of us changed our email address in the last five years ? I have changed mine three times in that period

if we got a new email address did we run to every website we have ever registered at ... including genesreunited ... and put our new email address in our account information ?

I sure did not I know that

so I do not imagine that every casual user of this website, people who put family trees on here one day but do not use the site on any regular basis, updates their email address here when they get a new one

so unless they come to the website to use it they do not know they have messages here

or they could have died

the way to tell whether someone has even -read- your message is to look in your 'sent messages' folder and if the little envelope beside the message you sent is still purple then it was never read

if it was read but you got no reply there is no harm in gently asking whether the person has had a chance to consider your message, I did that once after a year and the person apologised for forgetting to reply and now we are in touch about our shared family

just don't do as Penpal says and send one of those abrupt 'please let me see your tree' messages, always explain your connection and say hello, not just that you want the person's tree information :-)

and ..................... be sure to keep your email address up to date here

or do what I started doing, get an online email address like hotmail or gmail and use it for websites like this .... and remember to check it for messages !

and Ian James ..................... maybe somebody you sent a message to just plain does not want to reply to you, so your idea of cancelling their membership is a little out of order, nobody has to reply to any message you send them just because you send it


Iris Report 19 Nov 2011 01:32

I thought I was the only one with this problem of people not answering my emails, but obviously it is a BIG problem