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Looking Back at 2021 on Geni

As the year comes to a close, we’re looking back at 2021 on Geni. We’re proud of the many new enhancements to Sources introduced to Geni and along the way, hit a new milestone in the World Family Tree. Although we are still in the midst of the pandemic, we are grateful that we were still able to connect with the genealogical community through virtual conferences throughout the year.

Here’s a look back at our highlights from this past year.

Virtual Photo Gifts

We started off 2021 with a fun addition to our virtual gifts – your own photos! Whether you are celebrating a birthday, anniversary or sending a virtual gift “just because,” everyone can now add custom images to make these gifts even more personal.

Sources, Sources, Sources!

2021 was the year of sources on Geni. Sources are incredibly important to ensuring the quality and accuracy of the World Family Tree. Throughout the year, we made several improvements and enhancements to make sourcing profiles better than ever. The Geni community was also hard at work adding over 17 million source citations in 2021!

We began our year of improvements by making sources even more powerful, easier to understand, and more helpful to your tree building. We not only improved how to add basic profile fact citations, but we also introduced the ability to cite immediate family relationships. Along with these changes, we also added the ability to add new profiles straight from the sources interface if a document provides evidence for immediate family not yet on the tree.

We updated the look of the Sources tab to clearly show what profile facts are supported by each document. You may now also edit or delete each fact cited in the document individually. The “View Facts” sub-tab also got a new look, which clearly groups a profile’s sources by which fact they support.

Source citations for MyHeritage Record Matches and Smart Matches also received a big update. Geni now extracts the data from confirmed Record Matches and Smart Matches into the source cited values. If the match includes the names of immediate family members, those names are automatically matches against what’s already in the tree. Unmatched names can be resolved with the click of a button, helping you to better source your profiles or quickly add missing immediate family members to the tree.

New improvements to sources on mobile devices made it even easier to document your ancestry on the go. If you’re visiting your local archives, courthouse, or library, you can use your mobile device to take a photo of any historical documents you have found and upload the images to your relatives’ profiles directly in the tree view.

All of these changes led up to our next step on our road to improving sources on Geni – Source Conflicts! When a profile has information that differs from the source citation values provided, we will send an alert for you to review the discrepancy and if needed, update the profile. By flagging these discrepancies, we can quickly detect if there are any issues in the tree that should be addressed. Source Conflicts has been a great tool to help improve the accuracy of the World Family Tree.

160 Million Profiles and Counting…

At the end of September, Geni’s World Family Tree hit a new milestone with over 160 million profiles connected! This achievement couldn’t have been done without the collaboration of our dedicated community of over 14 million users and the hard work of over 200 volunteer curators from all around the world. Our amazing team of curators have dedicated hours of their time to not only maintaining the integrity of the World Family Tree, but also helping out countless members with genealogical and technical questions.

Virtual Genealogy Conferences

With the pandemic still ongoing, we participated in many virtual genealogy conferences throughout the year. This provided an opportunity to participate in conferences we normally would not be able to attend in person. RootsTech kicked off the year with a completely free virtual conference, giving people all around the world the opportunity to learn and enjoy the wonders of RootsTech from the comfort of their own homes. From there we also had virtual booths at the New England Regional Genealogy Conference, International German Genealogy Conference, IAJGS 2021, and the TxSGS Family History Conference. We are looking forward to 2022, which will bring a mix of virtual and in-person conferences.

The One Where They’re Related

In celebration of the much anticipated Friends reunion, we found out how the cast of the hit television show were related in the World Family Tree. Courtney Cox and Matthew Perry were revealed to be 11th cousins once removed! The news hit the press thanks to the work of the MyHeritage research team. We also found how they were related to their other Friends co-stars as well as other key supporting players.

We also celebrated Independence Day by taking a look at how the signers of the Declaration of Independence were related to each other and other notable historical figures of the era.


We had fun giving away a free 1-year subscription of Geni Pro to a couple of lucky winners. Coyal M. Gorman shared the story of how her grandmother, Coyal Maxey, instilled the importance of family. While Līga Saleme shared the story of her grandfather, who survived through World War II, was sent to Sibera, and finally returned to his country after several years.

It’s been a big year on Geni and we can’t wait to see what’s in store in 2022!

We wish you a very happy and healthy New Year!

The post Looking Back at 2021 on Geni first appeared on The Geni Blog.


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