New Genealogy Toy? Geni

I’m a bit of a genealogy buff–albeit an amateur one. I’ve drawn family trees for years and spent a couple of memorable summers with mother and sister, scuttling about in dreadful humidity to various courthouses seeking record information. I do not, as yet, have a personal subscription to Ancestry.com–though with all the things they’ve been adding recently, I’m chomping at the bit to get into a public library again and make use of it as much as possible.

I saw a news story about Geni.com the other day, I would attribute it if I could remember where it was. The idea of a new–free–genealogy site sounded interesting so I moused over.

Similar to LibraryThing‘s set up page–you just enter your name and you’re off. Within about ten minutes I had my direct branch set up going back through great-great grandparents with as many names as I could remember. Super, I have a tree. (Pop quiz: what was your great-great grandmother’s maiden name?)

Geni is set up as a social network. I fill out my part and then email my family and they fill out their parts etc etc etc etc and so it is supposed to grow that way. I chose only to email my sister but went back today to see that she’d filled in the aunts, uncles, my first cousins and a few of their children. All of that seems interesting EXCEPT—

I can’t figure out what else I can do with it? I’d like to print out the tree and take a look at it–and there isn’t an option to do so. That doesn’t seem very helpful. It’s also hard to get a good idea of the scope-one has to zoom out on the tree and it becomes unreadable.

So, it’s interesting, I like it but I’d like more features. Hopefully more will come.

Check it out and let me know what you think.