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Review of ""

published 02/08/2009 | werewolf
Member since : 13/10/2001
Reviews : 114
Members who trust : 32
About me :
My dad and I (115) - 1985 doing a Women's Fun Run.
Pro ability to contact other researchers
Cons expensive if adding more than 1 tree, information can be copied
very helpful

"Genius for genes"

Genes is a website originally set up by the Friends Reunited people and is for those people who are tracing their family trees. is free to join - but if you want to email other researcher it is £9.95 per year (this can be paid as Single Membership or as Continuous Membership) and is a pay per view site for other items such as census.

You can add your family tree on here too, and there are some records to search as well as other people's trees, which you may not be able to access without paying the above fee.

Single Membership is where you pay a one off fee - best to start off with to see if you find the site of use, but then I transferred to Continuous Membership which means I get a message to remind me that the fee will be taken off my Credit Card or Debit Card (I believe you can use either).

I have found that if you don't enter a place of birth for your family tree members that you can get a lot of emails requesting access to your tree or further information that are not connected to "your" family. For example, my surname is Mason which can be a "common" or "popular" surname throughout the British Isles and beyond. However for more unusual surnames this isn't usually a problem.

I suggest that if you know the Date of Birth (DOB) and Place of Birth (POB) of a person that you enter it and if you are unsure of the POB and/or DOB you enter a year and county to try and avoid too many requests.

I have also been a victim of the "name collectors" where I gave someone access to my tree as they'd given me information about a particular member and they then added all my tree (related or otherwise) to their tree.

I too was guilty of this when I first started though - I had a person contact me who had the same 3xgreat grandparent. We corresponded through the website and via post & email and he provided me with his tree. I merged the whole lot with mine and now I get emails about people who are not my direct relatives and I have to refer the queries onto him. I recommend that you only add the information to your tree when you have verified it from at least one other source (census, electoral roll, etc) and preferably two.

This website is great for getting in touch with members of your own family who live some distance away who are tracing the same people and for getting back in touch with people who your family has lost touch with. I have got in touch with my mother's cousins and my father's cousin's children.

Be wary when people ask for access to your tree without providing some proof that they are connected to your person, but I find that most people are genuinely interested in assisting fellow family historians.

I have not access the census and other records via this site as you have to pay extra for credits and I already have access via so would possibly be paying twice for the same information.

As I set up three links to my family names, I pay for 3 subscriptions and the "HOT MATCHES" facilities often tells me they have found a possible match only for it to be one of my other trees! However, the hot match system is very useful as it tells you how many possible matches that person has to your tree - so if it is only one person it is less likely to be connected to your family tree than one which has 10 matches to your tree's names. You can choose to ignore matches which you can see are definitely not connected to your tree or email a person for more details direct from the hot match page.

Any replies are sent to your email account and a copy is on the messages pages. The email just states "you've received a message regarding Lucy Mason 1910" (i.e. name of individual and their year of birth, which is useful if you have more than one person with the same name).

I have found this website to be of great use in connecting with other people who are researching the same names and in some cases eliminating possibilities from your own research.

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Comments on this review

  • paulpry118 published 10/08/2009
    I use this site occassionally but I tend to do most of my tree research on, although I have had a few people contact me through this site
  • Ruby.xo published 02/08/2009
    my mums doing her family tree at the moment, we've found some interesting things out that we never knew, I think she is using some CD rom to get her information from, she can't find everything from that, I might recommend this site on to her. Thanks, this is a really helpful review and well written xx
  • DixieChick10 published 02/08/2009
    Never really wanted to use this, it sounds good though, but it does look like it can be open to abuse. Brill review. Kirsty xx
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Research Services

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