Jonesin’ for Geni Pro

Geni Logo Cropped

I’ve been using Geni for a little over 2 years. I gave it a try after seeing it demonstrated at the SCGS Jamboree, thinking that I wasn’t going to like it or stick to it, but could at least say I tried it. After all, I’d already tried, and my family wasn’t interested in participating AT ALL.

Well, Geni has been a big(ger) hit with the family. Most are mildly interested, but some are VERY interested. Many just use it to send birthday or anniversary greetings, which is fine. Not everybody cares about genealogy; I get that. But whatever their reason, many have joined and continue to come back (unlike, which was basically just ME talking to myself).

Not to toot my own horn here, but I’ve personally added 8,724 profiles. Sure, it’s not the biggest family tree on Geni, but I think I did a pretty good job, considering…

Anyway, I’ve received several invitations to either merge profiles of ancestors (which I’ve done) or to join others’ family groups (which I haven’t done because I can’t see how we’re related). Apparently, certain information is only available to Geni Pro users, particularly information such as how you’re related to people who ask you to join their family group.

Plus, Geni Pro members have the option of asking others to “collaborate” with them, which I guess means to share information. Or share ancestors? I’m not exactly certain.

And isn’t genealogy all about the collaboration? I’m just sayin’.

So my questions for you Geni members out there are:

  • Have you actually shelled out the approximately $60 to become a Geni Pro member?
  • Do you feel it was a worthwhile expense (especially considering the many other databases on which we genealogists can spend our money)? Will you re-up when the time comes?
  • Have you found any previously unknown (to you) information by collaborating with others or finding “hot matches?”
  • When you contacted others to collaborate, were they responsive? Or did they ignore you?

I’ll admit that I’m tempted (I hate clicking on things that promise me information, only to have it tell me no). But I’d like to know what you experts out there think, first.

Copyright © by Elizabeth O’Neal

Elizabeth is a genealogy and family history researcher, writer, and consultant. Adores good grammar and spelling, and believes the Oxford Comma is just misunderstood. Thrives on large quantities of coffee. One daughter, two rescued hounds, and a plethora of missing ancestors keep her on her toes.


  1. Geni is a hit with my family, too. i have not tried Geni Pro. I would love a free peek, but I’m not giving my credit card # to do so. Maybe I’ll cave at some point, but not now. FREE means no credit card to me.

  2. I’ve had a wonderful response and had cousins connect that haven’t been in contact for years.

  3. Well done! Our experiences with our sites are very similar. I recently migrated our 1.0 site hoping that the new format might get members more interested, but most of them haven’t even bothered to log in. Oh well.

    I’ve asked several Geni Pro members if they thought the cost worth the upgrade. Only 2 have answered, and they both said, “yes.” I have no budget for genealogy expenses, but would love to be able to see those “similar profiles.” I have a suspicion that none would pan out, but still…

    Did you do the GEDCOM upload then? If yes, did you complete your profile merges? Do you think it’s worth the time?


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