Top tip - using the Genes Reunited community

Welcome to the Genes Reunited community boards!

  • The Genes Reunited community is made up of millions of people with similar interests. Discover your family history and make life long friends along the way.
  • You will find a close knit but welcoming group of keen genealogists all prepared to offer advice and help to new members.
  • And it's not all serious business. The boards are often a place to relax and be entertained by all kinds of subjects.
  • The Genes community will go out of their way to help you, so don’t be shy about asking for help.

Quick Search

Single word search

Electoral Rolls

Looking for living relatives?

Search our UK Electoral Rolls (2002-2013) and find your living relatives today.

Search Electoral Rolls

New electoral roll records


  • New posts
  • No new posts
  • Thread closed
  • Stickied, new posts
  • Stickied, no new posts

'Discussion' messages on Home Page

Page 3 + 1 of 7

  1. «
  2. 1
  3. 2
  4. 3
  5. 4
  6. 5
  7. 6
  8. 7
  9. »
ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date


Cynthia Report 28 Apr 2012 08:14

I glanced through Google re GR and found this and wondered if anyone else had seen it?

Our new site for Genes Reunited is designed to make family history easier and more accessible for people of all ages with contextual tips now placed around the site as well as video footage and photography to help people picture the lives of their ancestors. Members can also upload their own images and footage to the wider Genes Reunited community, recording and sharing their family story as it develops.

The underlying challenge of the project was to broaden the appeal of the site to a wider audience while still making existing users feel like they were in the same place. Genes Reunited has a large, established audience who we needed to be careful not to confuse or alienate.

Client quote
Martine Parnell, Head of Genes Reunited, says: “Over the last year looking into family history has become a pastime for people of all ages and all backgrounds. Genes Reunited has over 650 million names on it and for beginners it can be hard to find the best way to get started. The new site is designed to make it fun and easy to find people who can help expand your family tree and to access records that can tell you more about your roots.”

Genes Reunited is the UK’s biggest genealogy site, with over 9 million registered members – one in four of the UK’s adult online population. Its archives include over 650 million individual names, with a new one added every second.

Genes Reunited, UX, Web design-1911




RolloTheRed Report 28 Apr 2012 09:15

Airlock are a top drawer London advertising agency. They are based in the West End (London) whereas the GRU team are currently based in the East End which I guess says something.

They were responsible for creating the site after itv took over. The original GR was extremely basic... The code has now been brought in house and so in a sense Airlock is history, though the "team" are still heavily reliant on the Airlock code.

As to IGP mantra that the old (Airtlock) code base could not be maintained etc etc and that the "new" code would bring in a brave new world of wonderful features, speed and no bugs you can judge for yourself.

My count: print [ broken ] , photos [ broken ], messaging [ screwed up ], sign on [ 40 seconds cos of all the junk on the home page, iffy ], maps [ missing from new view ] , usability [ pants on new version ], threads [ screwed up ], search [ useless ], smart phone app [ no chance ] , something funny happened on the way to the circus with my tree [ all too true with new view ] members gone away to the dark zone [ yr guess is as good as mine ]

Apart from looking like something out of a Delphi contractors bad dream from the noughties [ very old fashioned ] the "new" view simply does not work. Instead of accepting this and doing a reboot the "team" are just plodding on adding bit of new view to the old eg photos so that is now broke too. You could not make it up.

Those that the gods wish to destroy they first send mad.


LadyScozz Report 28 Apr 2012 11:00

Is there another Genes Reunited? I want to use it, it sounds MUCH better :-D

650 million names...... and a new one added every second...... wooohoo, I might get a hot match this year.

" who we needed to be careful not to confuse or alienate "

I'm not confused, I don't feel alienated. I'm FED UP!

FED UP with Error Messages, things getting lost, the new tree not working, being constantly told (but that has recently stopped) it's my computer, cookies, the moons of Uranus. whatever..... AND I'M FED UP WITH THE RESPONSES FROM GR THAT ARE NOT ANSWERS!!!!!!!!

It's starting to sound like ads for washing powder.......... NEW and IMPROVED ZING ZING.............. If it's NEW, how can it be improved?


KenSE Report 28 Apr 2012 11:20

Since Brightsolid paid £25 million for Friends Reunited (including GR) and the whole lot is now estimated to be worth £5,2 million, I don't expect there is much cash around for improvements.


InspectorGreenPen Report 28 Apr 2012 11:47

Correction, please - NOT My 'mantra' at all.

I was simply repeating the comment that GR made on this very board as for their reason why they thought it necessary to re-write the tree software. :-S


LadyScozz Report 28 Apr 2012 11:49

but there's enough cash to mess with things that were working fine


Cynthia Report 28 Apr 2012 16:32

I think I must clarify this situation a little.....

Scozzie was not "told off", "reprimanded" or "recommended to go stand in the quiet corner and not come out for a week" and certainly wasn't 'quite told to shut up, but it came close' - she was simply given advice.

When I was doing my 'rounds', I noticed that Scozzie had posted on an old thread.

This is the link:

Unfortunately, Scozzie has now deleted her comments so I look as though I am talking to myself. :-D

Scozzie found it strange that I would look to see in the Search Trees box to see if she had any other likely contacts on here and advised me that she had 58 people with the same name in her tree.

I was flabbergasted until she then enlightened me that they were not all on her tree on here. She asked me if I thought she was fibbing and also that she hadn't asked for my help.

Reader.......make of that what you will.

Out of interest with the numbers game, I have over 12,000 contacts on here. 11,000 of those are people whom I have helped. :-D


Joy Kentish Maid

Joy Kentish Maid Report 28 Apr 2012 17:37

Yes, Cynthia. I believe that Martine Parnell left a couple of years ago:


RolloTheRed Report 28 Apr 2012 18:48

They haven't re-written the software. All they are doing is rehashing the javascript which calls Airlock Flash routines. Also known as a hodge podge or in modern Geek a mash-up. Beware Geeks bearing updates.

Quite apart from the obvious bugs and connection hassles they do not seem to have the faintest idea how to make money out of the site other than by squeezing the membership directly (subs, GOLD subs, credits etc) and Google Analytics ad tracking.

Shame, especially as they appear to have only a dozen staff, one or two running member support (stop larfing), a couple of javascript writers ( saving up for a book on html5 ), nil designers and the rest flogging the product to advertisers to display ads which the members promptly vanish with AdBlock. From the point of view of site value the fact that there is no content to link back into (and thus leverage advertising) is a major problem.

It is nearly May. For whatever reason I got an early look at GRU2 and made a post called "a new tree for Christmas" which got a yawn on these boards. The actual launch of course had everybody jumping up and down like live beans. I then posted that it would take at least 3 months to get the new look properly sorted. For my pains I got a real attack of the vapourised rr posts and was threatened with extermination ... Well here we are going into month 5 2012 and although the signing/connection problems have abated the actual software is arguably even worse whether the boards or the tree are yr own special interest. The very sharp drop in posts on all of the boards does not seem to have been made up by a booming Facebook community...

How many (any) people have visited the new FRU site, even if only to see what they have done to it (move along there, nothing to see, only a dotcom corpse) ... ?

Oh dear.



SylviaInCanada Report 28 Apr 2012 21:36

Been to see FriendsReunited new site ............................ oh dear indeed!

I wonder if that is what airlock was planning for GR :-0

did it then get transferred over to FR??????


LindaB Report 29 Apr 2012 02:51

Oh dear I feel the situation has become a little out of hand and extremely unfair and somewhat personal upon Scozzie.

Catch 22 really...where as some members feel the "discussions" for want of a better word to be unhelpful and frustrating...maybe of help to others.

I have old threads which have turned up on "discussions" especially one and here I am still awaiting for possible replies...forever hopeful :-D



LadyScozz Report 29 Apr 2012 06:01

Thankyou Linda, I appreciate your comments.

I was starting to feel like a naughty child.

Yes, I did remove my posts from the ONE old thread I added to. Not much point in leaving them there, they were no use to anyone.

Yes, I was given advice....... but.......... asking if I had searched for names etc etc..... it was getting a bit much.

At the risk of attracting more attention..... I still think it was a bit bizarre to check on my number of Robert B's. I said I had that number on my tree. I did not specify WHICH tree. That makes me wrong I suppose :-(

and I have to add............ at NO stage did I think (as has been posted) that this WAS ALL ABOUT ME! And.......if a posting has my name on the top, I assume it is addressed to me. What should I do? Ignore it?


LadyScozz Report 29 Apr 2012 06:06

one comment addressed to me:

So .......... the best bet is for YOU to stop posting on here, and let US all get on with our suggestions for improving the site ..........


Cynthia Report 29 Apr 2012 07:54

Oh dear, is there no end to this? :-(

Thatnkfully, that was not one of the comments I made. I simply don't speak to people in that way.

Reading all the comments about this touchy subject, it becomes plain that the most disgruntled members are those who have great experience in using these boards to help others.

I don't want this to become a personal issue when all I was trying to do was give help and advice - not in a bizarre way, but in the usual way for these boards.



LadyScozz Report 29 Apr 2012 10:10

OK - I replied to an OLD post, BEFORE I noticed the date on it. Immediately afterwards I sent a message to the OP (Alex).

On the thread I said I knew something about one of the people "Alex" had asked about.

I said she had married one of my distant cousins, and I had three children for them.

I posted this message to try to help Alex.

At no time did I say I was looking for information or advice. I said I had information for Alex.

The distant cousin - ONE of my 58 Robert Beveridges (on MY tree, NOT the GR tree). I know the names of his siblings, and the spouses of all but one of them. I know the names of his parents, and his grandparents, who are my great-great-great-grandparents.

I kept saying that I had not asked for help, but that appeared to be ungrateful, I kept getting told that was what people did on the boards. I know there are some very obliging people who give great help on the boards, but I was not looking for anyone, simply letting a poster know that I had information.

I thought I was helping Alex. Funny about that.

I got the impression that whatever I tried to say, nobody wanted to know.l Just keep on at me for what I did by mistake.

As I said earlier, I have removed my posts from the one begun by Alex. What I posted there would not be much use to Alex if he returned to the board. If anyone else removes posts it's nothing to do with me.

The comment addressed to me which I posted above is one of many. If a new member reads these posts they will not be impressed with the "helpers". It's put me off ever asking for help or posting messages on any help threads.

In future if I want to help someone I will do it in private.

I have only posted ONCE on these boards looking for help.

The response I got?....... You posted on the wrong board.

I feel like I've been hit in the stomach. I thought these boards were friendly.

That's my explanation. Make what you will of it.

What sort of responses will I get to THIS? :-(


Cynthia Report 29 Apr 2012 15:35

The response you will get from me Scozzie, is an apology for any upset I have caused you.

I simply tried, in good faith, to help you in exactly the same way I help others who are not used to the boards.

The thing that keeps me going are the many messages I receive from people who are grateful for my help.

I hope this is an end to the matter as far as I am concerned.

Meanwhile, I will go and help those who posted yesterday.



LadyScozz Report 29 Apr 2012 23:54

Thankyou Cynthia.

I had to give that long explanation - because I couldn't understand why I kept getting told "this is what we DO", or make anyone else understand that I was trying to help someone else, I was not looking for anyone or seeking help.

As for the poster who told me to stop........ that was downright rude. We are ALL members of GR, no-one has more "rights" than anyone else.

I will continue to post on the boards, but now I'm wary of what discussions to participate in. Some (thankfully very few) posters give the impression of being ..... how do I put this? a club?



InspectorGreenPen Report 30 Apr 2012 07:13

Two questions:-

1. Other than, perhaps, directing them towards GR's T's and C's or Guidelines for message posting, what right does any member have to tell another member how they should or should not use use the message boards?

2. Where does it mention in the guidelines that members must not post on an 'old' thread, assuming of course 'old' can be properly defined?

Joy Kentish Maid

Joy Kentish Maid Report 30 Apr 2012 08:05

"2. Where does it mention in the guidelines that members must not post on an 'old' thread, assuming of course 'old' can be properly defined?"

- not seen in the guidelines. However, it would seem pointless to post in an old thread that offers look ups when the original poster has left the site.

Joy Kentish Maid

Joy Kentish Maid Report 30 Apr 2012 08:18

I agree that 'Discussion' messages on Home Page and "Post of the day" are unnecessary.