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The British Newspaper Archive

British Newspaper Archive

Read about historical events at the time they were happening. Perhaps you'll discover your ancestor in their local newspaper?

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ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date


Cynthia Report 27 Apr 2012 08:24


This discussion WOULD have been happening with or without your input.

As you can tell, many long time helpers on this board are very disgruntled by this 'new' feature which GR have introduced.

Unfortunately, not everyone who sees an old thread has the sense the check the date and send a PM as you have done.'s crackers. I have been helping folk who are posting on threads from when Adam was a lad.... :-(

It's certainly increasing my messaging - just like the old Search Names board did....

....... but, I've had a lot of very nice messages back from folk telling me that they hadn't realised about the date and that they would be taking the advice offered by myself and others.

Cx :-D

ps. for those of you not on FB, this topic was aired by a member earlier this week. The response from GR was.....

We will definitely have a look at this section to see how we can improve a member's experience. One thing we did see though was that even though a post was old, some did still contain really useful information.

:-S :-S :-S Methinks they are not fully understanding how these boards work :-S :-S :-S


Genes Advisor Report 27 Apr 2012 13:14

Hi everyone,

Thank you for all of your feedback regarding this new Genes Community feature. It seems it has sparked quite a heated debate!

The idea of this new feature is to draw attention to the amazing resource that is the Genes Community. By highlighting these discussions on the homepage, we are bringing the community to the attention of new members who might never have been aware of this part of the site before.

This is just phase 1 of our release and we have plans to improve many of the aspects of the community feature. These include changing the name focused on. At the moment the feature chooses the name and details of the root relation in your tree and feeds back discussions found on the boards. This feature will soon be capable of picking names from your tree at random, or picking the last person you edited or added, so the information you see will change often.

Also, we will be re-instating the email that notifies people that their thread has been replied to, so that people who posted years ago will be notified via email that there is new activity on their thread which should combat the need to send a PM.

As for the term 'Discussion' - We chose to use this term because we cannot assume that all users will know what a 'post' or 'thread' is. Those of you posting on the suggestions board are all familiar with these terms because you use chat boards. Those who are completely new to the concept of chat boards will not necessarily know what a 'post' or 'thread' is.

I hope this goes some way to answering your questions. Please know that we do take your suggestions on board. I'm sure this will spark further debate and I look forward to reading the responses

Katie :-)


Reggie Report 27 Apr 2012 13:27

As you don't appear to give help on the boards, Scozzie, you can't have the insight that the rest of us have into the problems caused by this.


GlitterBaby Report 27 Apr 2012 13:31

Just shows how rubbish this facility actually is !!

"At the moment the feature chooses the name and details of the root relation in your tree and feeds back discussions found on the boards. "

What exactly is the root relation?

Having already stated that I have only person with the surname of Hacker in my tree on this site so surely they are not the root relation?

Has this been worked out on birth year ? Or is it the name the family tree opens on ?

"This is just phase 1 of our release and we have plans to improve many of the aspects of the community feature."

Surely the problems with this site, too numerous to mention, should be dealt with first


Reggie Report 27 Apr 2012 13:35

It would be more helpful if you rectified all the faults with the site, and did something about its appalling slowness

These new 'features' are only clogging up the system, and, has been illustrated in this thread, causing unnecessary frustration, and wasting members' time.


Jonesey Report 27 Apr 2012 13:48

I am sorry Katie but rather than allaying any fears your statement of what is likely to happen in the future fills me with dread.

You say, "At the moment the feature chooses the name and details of the root relation in your tree and feeds back discussions found on the boards. This feature will soon be capable of picking names from your tree at random, or picking the last person you edited or added, so the information you see will change often."

If that happens then it is likely that even more obscure “Discussions” be presented to GR members who will be utterly confused by them.

Alternatives already exist on the GR website (When they work, that is) for members to seek out earlier posts that might apply to them or their ancestors. Why further clutter what GR has already admitted is a site that is already unable to cope, with duplicated or unnecessary new features?

You further state that you cannot assume that your new members know what a Post or a Thread is. I would agree with that because as far as I am aware GR has never made any attempt to educate its members, new or old, as to what features the site offers and how to use them. When I acquire anything new whether it be a car, a phone, a toaster or even a board game they come with instructions telling me how to use or play them. Perhaps GR might learn from that.

I remain firmly unconvinced.


Nyx Report 27 Apr 2012 13:57

With a small tree such as I have on here I can see that the 'discussions' facilty might work Fishlock/Chiswick...because those details are very precise... but what about all the trees with hundreds of different surnames and locations? Smith in London who may only be related by marriage anyway.


jax Report 27 Apr 2012 14:29

It does not mention discussions about any name in my tree at the moment only the place where quite a few of us were born.

I know there are only 10 posts about my maiden name but would not want to be told about the Taylors or Smiths.

I would have thought most people would know what a "post" was?


Cynthia Report 27 Apr 2012 14:36

Hello Katie and thank you for your response.

However, I am in agreement with the other experienced users of the boards - please drop this feature and improve the workings of the site

You state that the 'discussions' facility is a new feature.

Actually, it's very similar to the old Surname search board and we had the same problems of new folk responding to old threads then.

If you want to draw attention to the amazing help found on here, then why not make it more of a feature on the Home Page - eg.


The Home Page is very cluttered with too much info which doesn't help, but something 'snappy' should attract attention.

As for the root relation aspect - it simply isn't realistic. The system is simply dragging up any old thread which contains that name in it.

One of the names in my tree is WEST....I had a look and am getting all the threads which mention West Derby, West Bromich, British West Indies, travelling West , going West etc.... - ludicrous.

The point about re-instating the email which notifies people of replies on you mean the Watched Threads feature?

As far as I am aware, there has never been a feature giving us the option as to whether we want an email alert or not.

I am all for that, as long as we can turn it off! Those of us who use the boards constantly won't need or want to be notified every time someones responds on one of the threads we use daily. It would certainly help new folk though.

As for those who posted years ago, they will only receive a notification if they have told you of any change of email address won't they?

Many of those old threads are dead in the water simply because life moves on. Addresses change, people leave the site, get married or, sadly, die.

The word discussion is extremely misleading. You can't call an old message with one post on it a discussion!

Katie....sorry to harp on, but this topic is very close to my heart. I am the member who is fairly useless at lookups but likes to help by pm'ing new folk about replies on their threads and giving them some guidance. I've been doing this for several years now. Bringing back the equivalent of the old Surname search has increased the number of messages I send out. :-(



Jonesey Report 27 Apr 2012 14:58


So GR pointed you in the direction of the 1,000+ WEST "Discussions" as well.

At first I could not understand how I got that as there is nobody with the surname West in my family tree. I now realise that "WEST" is part (Not the whole) of the name of the place that I was born so I'm sure that amongst those 1,000+ WEST "Discussions" I am bound to find one that mentions the town that I was born in. Not quite sure how that is going to assist me tracing my ancestry or add to my family tree however. ;-)


JoyDean Report 27 Apr 2012 15:20

Not a heated debate at all, Katie.

The Genes Reunited site should fix the error issues first without playing around with something that is a waste of time.

The instability of the site should be resolved sooner rather than later.


Cynthia Report 27 Apr 2012 18:03

Oh Jonesey...I'm SO disappointed :-(

I thought, for a moment, that we were going to be related. ;-)


SylviaInCanada Report 27 Apr 2012 19:10

Katie, and the GR Staff .................

I agree with what everyone is saying ...............

A. Please fix all the problems with the site BEFORE adding any new ones.

B. Please reconsider the "Discussions" feature ........... it is useless as it is, and members are far better served by using the Search Trees or Search features.

For example ................. I have "more than 1,000 discussions" on the name of the town where I was born ............. I've checked some of them.

The so-called "discussions" include at least one surname, and many (probably the majority) are merely the address given on a CENSUS or bmd record.

I really, really do not need to be told ANYTHING on here about the town where I grew up!

C. My subscription is due in June ..................... I will not be renewing unless this site improves ....................

.......... I want to be able to open My Threads in timely fashion ................ I can currently only do this by going to the South Africa site. Otherwise, I get either the ERROR message, or it takes a minimum of 40-50 seconds to open.

.......... I want to be able to open my Sent Messages, and then be able to open the messages themselves ......... I have been unable to do that since last August

.......... I want to be able to open more than one message in sequence, whether in my Inbox or Sent .......................... I have been unable to do that since last August

.......... I want to be able to post a message on a thread without getting the ERROR message ......................... I have been unable to do about 90-95% of the time for months

........... I want the tree to be usable for all those members who do want access.

............ I want to get proper replies from GR in response to emails re problems ....... not the standard form reply of "we are working on this".

............ I want to see evidence that you ARE working on the problems ......... not on some fancy "update" that only you guys seem to appreciate.


Please, please sort out the problems BEFORE adding anything else.

Many long-time members have left this site in the last year because they could no longer take all the stress of trying to make it function.

They have moved to other, better sites .................. principally FREE ones that offer what GR used to offer. That is, superior Community Boards with member helpers who give excellent help and advice.

Does this not concern you??

GR used to occupy a unique position in genealogy sites ............ there were no records, but it was an excellent site with a well-regarded tree building programme, and the Community Boards and helpers.

There has been a gradual erosion of the efficiency of GR since the addition of records. Presumably this was an attempt to compete with other sites such as FMP and, possibly, ancestry. GR is now in the same stable as FMP ................ so what is the point of competing???

Why not admit defeat, and go back to what you used to do so well?



Island Report 27 Apr 2012 19:48

I have more than 1000 discussions about England :-S So that should narrow things down a bit :-0


SylviaInCanada Report 27 Apr 2012 20:03

:-D :-D :-D :-D


Reggie Report 27 Apr 2012 23:17

493 'discussions' about the town I name as my birthplace on my GR tree.

They are postings of census entries - how can that qualify as a discussion'?

Do the people at GR have a dictionary to which they could refer, to find out what the word actually means?

GR should be directing people to 'search trees' - that would make much more sense, and would save the 'helping' members from having to give that advice repeatedly


Reggie Report 27 Apr 2012 23:23


You say you 'look forward to reading the responses'

Is there a hope in h*** that, having read them, you'll take any notice of the views of the people who MAKE THIS SITE WHAT IT IS


GlitterBaby Report 27 Apr 2012 23:39

Certainly not holding my breath waiting for the GR Team to read anything on this board and take any notice of the views of the members.


LadyScozz Report 28 Apr 2012 04:26

PLEASE FIX the system before adding new "features". In particular that really annoying Error Message.

The HOME PAGE is cluttered with things we don't need. Well, I don't need them. Some things are doubled-up (we don't need the quick search on the right side of the page, clicking on "search trees" is a better option). I don't understand why a photograph of Buckingham Palace is shown in reference to the Queen Mother when she was... what........ three? She wouldn't have lived there when she was three! (I don't need those bits of information either.)

I take it the "root person" on my tree would be myself. Your "system" wouldn't work for me, because I don't have my name on the GR tree - I'm listed as "Private"... so will I get messages about the Private family?

I have the surname "Morning" on my tree - so will I get sent links to all the messages with "Good morning" "it's a lovely morning", etc?

I'm thinking of other names and places on my tree - "not known", "unknown", "no idea" etc etc

The mind boggles


LadyScozz Report 28 Apr 2012 08:06

I don't help on the boards (yet?), because I'm new to the boards; I haven't had the spare time until recently to even look at the boards.

BUT...... I have over 2,900 contacts on GR.

I have helped MANY of them, either by messages on GR or by email.

There are many people who don't look at the boards.

Small point - my previous post - "told off" - please note that it was in quotation marks. Whatever term I used would have been objected to in a future post......... as this one will be.

What should I have put?

I was reprimanded........... I was told I was a naughty girl........... I was rapped over the knuckles.......... it was recommended I go stand in the quiet corner and not come out for a week................I wasn't quite told to shut up, but it came close.

I do realise lots of new postings on an old thread will make looking for NEW posts on "looking for ancestors" frustrating........... so PLEASE don't tell me again.

Just to keep things tidy, I have removed my reply to Alex on the OLD post.