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'Request to View Your Tree' messages?

ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date


Martin Report 28 Jun 2013 15:12

Over the last week I have had three of four 'Request to View Your Tree' messages but none have had any other information. If someone cannot be bothered telling me what part of my tree they are interested in then they are very unlikely to get a reply. It is not unknown to get one of these messages from someone who has not made their own tree available for me to view but even if they do then how am I supposed to know which part to look at.

I have suggested in the past that GenesReunited either remove the box to tick to send these messages or put some advice to newscomers to type some additional information.

I rarely update the tree on GenesReunited because I do it from a GEDCOM and I need to manually go through and remove full dates, full addresses etc which takes a lot of time so I prefer to extract a report from my main family tree program and send that but I need to know what part to select.




jax Report 28 Jun 2013 15:39

This message" request to view your tree " is what any member would see if they click on "find out more" next to the tree owners name

I started a thread about this last October when it first came about. Estelle said on another thread back in Feb the message will be removed

I told someone the other day it is not a good idea to ask to view peoples trees before having any other contact

She replied "I thought that was the only way to contact them"


Martin Report 28 Jun 2013 16:01

I always delete it and write a message when I contact someone.

I think it has been brought up numerous times with GenesReunited over the years, it was just that I seemed to have a series of these messages over a relatively short time.

I presume it is people new to family history who think it is what you do.

It needs removing and replacing with something telling people to write a message telling why they are interested in the person they are enquiring about and to give some information about their own family tree that will support this. It can be arranged so the message disappears when they start typing in the box.



jax Report 28 Jun 2013 16:06

That message has only been there since about last October...before that it was blank and there was a blank title box to add a name of an ancestor

I agree if I wanted to contact someone I would delete it....but many are new members that do not know how to delete the message.


joanne Report 29 Jun 2013 09:59

i have just joined this site(3 days ago),in hopeful anticipation of being able to discover more about my family,...its taking me a while to navigate myself around it..!

im pretty sure that i am on the right track,so when ive found a person that i could be linked to,i have followed instuctions,and requested to look at their tree,allowing access to mine (although i may have missed this off on the first couple through error)........

now,i find that by following the instructions,im being rude (believe me,that is not my nature!)....i was not informed that i was able to compose my own message....

fortunately,i have had 2 responses,one kind lady informing me that there is no link,but offering me advice,and one who asked for further info....but other than that,nothing.... im not surprised now after reading that i can compose my own message and im being sending the format provided :-(......

it should be made clear for newcomers that you can compose a message yourself.....i now feel that all my hard work was a waste of time... :-(

i apologise to anyone if ive requested without further info....

this need looking at....a.s.a.p.....!

jo x


Martin Report 29 Jun 2013 11:49

If you have a big tree then you can receive a lot of automated messages like those. A personal message is much more likely to get results. I am just as interested in making contacts but a bland 'can I see your tree' message does not tell you anything about what the person is interested in. If they are asking about someone in the main line of my tree then I am very interested and want to know more.

I have given lots of help to people in the past, often even though they did not actually have a connection with me and just a a similar name.

Several people have suggested to GenesReunited that they should make it clear to people that they should personalise their request and perhaps remove the automated one.

There is a lot of help available out there, I have had lots over the years, but it needs more than just clicking a button to send a message.

Tell the person
1. Who you are interested in.
2. Why you are interested in them.

I always put my EMail address on the messages as it is a lot easier to communicate by real EMail as I can run off a report or chart from my family tree program and send to them. I had someone last year who I had some information to send but I never managed to get an EMail address even though I asked a number of times.


joanne Report 29 Jun 2013 12:04

hiya martin......thankyou for the reply........

.....ive learnt my lesson early on!.....just wished id have known i could personalize my request for looking at someones tree!.....

...would it be classed as mythering if i requested again,only this time with an explanation? :-S....i really think i may have a few links,and dont want to let it all go to waste......

learning a little more about this site now,people seem really helpful,going to see how i get on,and may ask for help on the find ancestors page,some people are geniuses and gather up info straight be here forever!

take care,
jo x


DazedConfused Report 29 Jun 2013 12:16

In all honesty, why would you just ask to view someones tree without providing some info in the first place.

When I did have a tree on here, even as a newbie I would always provide some info otherwise why would someone want to open up their tree to me and vice versa.

Sadly, now many on here and other sites will no longer open there tree up for others to view, but only provide the information they have on the person the query is about. Scrumping of trees wholesale has happened to many of us.


joanne Report 29 Jun 2013 12:44

because i did not know there was a way of writing my own message .........i followed the steps it was telling me


Martin Report 29 Jun 2013 13:29

It obviously depends on the person but I now many in family history like to help others, particularly 'newbies' and most people are particularly glad to make contact with someone who is related in some way as there is always the hope they might have some crucial piece of information. This is what I would probably send if enquiring about someone in that part of the tree as well as short explanation.

Also there is no harm in asking!

I keep my main copy of my tree in LEGACY because it gives me much more flexibility than any of the online trees. I can run off a quick tree like this (below) in seconds which gives much more information that I would probably come up with I typed a summary. There are a range of programs available and most can be run unregistered (i.e. free) with a reduced range of options, information canbe transferred between different tree programs and exported to GR in GEDCOM format.


Descendants of Benjamin POUNDER
Trimmed down


joanne Report 29 Jun 2013 14:18

martin......thank you so much for your advice......i know its going to take a lot of getting used to,and will take some time,but with the information i already have im sure i can delve deeper......fortunately, my mum has quite a bit of info.........



Martin Report 29 Jun 2013 16:48

Cheshire is good for records ChechireBMD was (I think) the first local BMD site.

Chechire Tithe Maps are some of the best online maps.

It is always worth trying local message boards and mailing lists, the more local the better - I think there might be one for Warrington.



jax Report 29 Jun 2013 17:12


If the messages you have sent still have an envelope next to them, they have not read the message

You may also find many messages will go un answered as the tree owner may have changed their email address and no longer has any interest in doing a tree..or may have even died....there is no way of checking whether the account is still active.

You can sort of roughly tell when they became a member by their membership number we are upto 13 million now in 2013 my membership number is 7 million from 2007


joanne Report 29 Jun 2013 17:35

i will have a good look at the links that you suggest martin,theres so much for me to take in!......

jax.....thanks for the info on the envelopes....ill go to them now and delete any that have not been myself a little whilst i can!....13 some searching..... :-0

many thanks...

jo x


Effie Report 30 Jun 2013 00:10

Hi Martin - I have just read what you had mentioned about the people who ask for permission to view your tree without saying who they want to see names, birthplace, year of birth and so on. I fully agree with your comments as I too have had the same problems about five times recently but I always reply and say that I would not give out my permission to view the tree if I do not know who they are looking for, names, year of birth,etc.and they usually reply to me saying who they are looking for but only if I am satisfied that this is correct and honest then I may let them view my tree.Good for you to speak up as I myself think it is wrong of GR to say just ask for the view of the tree without any mention of who this person is looking for. One has to be very careful for security reasons.



SylviaInCanada Report 1 Jul 2013 00:03

I NEVER let anyone view my tree

If someone makes contact with me, and we establish there is good reason to think we are connected ................ I extract only the relevant part of my tree, and send that to them.

too many name thieves around to hand over willy nilly all the research I have done :-D


SylviaInCanada Report 26 Jul 2013 20:59



Martin Report 26 Jul 2013 22:03

That's good, they really need something to tell people to just write a brief note saying who they are interested in and why. Might seem obvious but no harm in prompting them.



InspectorGreenPen Report 27 Jul 2013 18:27

GR did actually agree to change this several months ago as a result of lobbying from members.


jax Report 27 Jul 2013 18:37

Seeing as it was said it should not have been there in the first place by Estelle....then yes they were right to say they would remove it

Not everyone who posts on the boards are doing their tree....they maybe looking for a friend or living relative so asking a complete stranger to see their tree, rather than asking if they know the where abouts of the said person , is not really the right way to go about it?