Wednesday, April 02, 2008


geni No, not as in "I Dream of...". Geni is a web site that allows you to create your family tree online.

Well, that's too simple.

Geni is a social networking site that allows you to create your family tree online, inviting family members along the way to help fill in the blanks. You can upload pictures, have your own forums, etc. In short, Geni is what I've been looking for over the last five years.

I come from a small family, just having one sibling. But my Grandma (on mom's side) had twelve kids. And I have an aunt that had that many. So there is no way I could keep track of all of the kids and marriages and grandkids and divorces. Now I don't have to. I can invite in Cousin Danny and he can take care of filling in the sections of the family tree that he is aware of. And he can invite relatives in. And so on.

I'm hooked. I'm hoping this thing helps me get a family reunion together. Back when Grandma was alive, we would at least get together every couple of years for her birthday. Since she died we haven't all gotten together at all. Granted, that may say more about family dynamics than it does anything else, but that's another story. I'm just tired of only seeing relatives only at funerals and wakes.

Built with Ajax, the tree is rendered in 'real time', and you can associate pictures with people in the tree. Adding a relative is as simple as clicking on the arrow geni_logo for the direction in which they are related: up, down, or sidewise. Very simple and extremely intuitive. I have yet to find a relative I could not define. For instance, it handles the whole 'married once - had one kid married again had some more' issue with ease. And you can even define 'partners' and 'ex-partners' for when the whole "kid" thing happened without the cumbersome marriage part.

For anyone trying to get their family tree together, I wholeheartedly recommend Geni.

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