Monday, 20 April 2015

The Genealogist

Very disappointing experience with The Genealogist (@thegenealogist) so far.

I have in the recent past used Ancestry and still have a current subscription with Find My Past. Both of which I have used without any problems.

I enjoyed the talk given by The Genealogist at Who Do You Think You Are? Live in Brum on Friday so I decided to take a risk and sign up to their offer of a Diamond subscription for £98.95.

The first worrying sign was having to complete a piece of paper and write down my credit card details.  All this so called fancy technology and yet they can't even process a payment at the NEC?  Then I was told I would get a temporary password (not sure why) on Monday!!!! - four days later so I wouldn't even be able to use the site until then. When I asked why I was told it was because that would be when they are back in the office.  Oh, dear I thought.  How small is this company and are they going to be able to deliver on the promises made in the presentation?

I eagerly waited for today.  Just after 1 pm (whilst out) I received the promised email with the temporary password.  I've just tried to log on and get - Sorry, please check your email and password.

So I look for the contact us details - Lines open Monday to Friday 9-5

It's now just after 6 pm. This is not how to run a business in this day and age.

Update - I decided to take a risk and click the forgotten password link.  The gentleman who did the presentation apparently built the website so I figured if my email address has been registered by their office then technically it should be able to reset my password.  It appears to have worked.

Or maybe it hasn't - looks like I was registered on this site before as my subscription details shows this rather than the Diamond subscription I have apparently purchased.
BMD Records 1837-2005Expired10th December 200510 December 200610th December 2006
Update 2 - I have just read the emails again and have figured out what went wrong.  They have registered my email with the first letter as an i instead of as an l.  I had just assumed that since I received the emails from them the email address was correct.   A paper system works then...

Update 3 - and now apparently I am MALE!!!! Not impressed!.

Update 4 - see comments from Mark @ The Genealogist.

Update 5 - clickable versions of the links provided by Mark in his comments below.

We have a research guide for TreeView available at

We also have some general tutorial videos on using the site here:

Issue Resolved - I feel so relieved. I may have had a few teething problems but knowing that someone at The Genealogist is looking out for mentions and taking the time to respond out of office hours and actually fix the problem is really refreshing and re-assuring.  Thank you Mark.

Happy Hunting...


  1. Hi Joynealogy,

    Glad you enjoyed my talk and sorry you're having trouble logging in. The email address to use will be the one we sent your temporary password to. We use a temporary password as it's more secure. We use paper forms as it's more secure than using the wifi at the event. The gender option on your account is only used when someone orders DNA. It just defaults to male (I'll get that fixed tomorrow).

    Best regards,

    Mark Bayley

  2. Hello Mark

    Sorry I've only just seen your comments. I really appreciate you taking the time and trouble to respond out of office hours.

    I appreciate what you're saying about insecure WiFi and the same could be said if your customers are signing up at home using insecure WiFi or hotspots. A lot of big business is done at the NEC and I've certainly had larger payments processed there. There must be a way of doing it securely. In addition, the risk would only exist at the point of the transaction whereas with paper the risk continues as long as the piece of paper survives (or the credit card is cancelled). Paper records could be kept for 7 years or worse yet get scanned into a computer system which then increases the risk if the computer security is ever breached.

    Having a couple of iPads/Tablets available at the show to use to sign people up seems safer to me. People get immediate access (something expected in this day and age) and the onus would be on the customer to enter the details correctly; with the system checking the consistency of the email details entered.

    We are very lucky that I have a very, very old email and that anything could have been entered before the @ and it would still reach me. Had I used a newer email address then there is the risk that my details would have been accessible by whoever received the email and I would not have been aware.

    I am very impressed with smart search. However, I seem to be getting in a muddle with adding details to the family tree. I have had to delete it twice and the associated records as when I add records it adds it as duplicate parents etc if that makes any sense. It doesn't add duplicate people to the people list but when you look at the family tree view you have duplicates of the people entered so I must be accepting the records in the wrong order or something and I can't seem to find any way to remove them without deleting and starting again. Do you have any tutorials to explain how to add records correctly and how to correct errors, please?

    I am hoping to use The Genealogist to start my family history research from scratch again and get an accurate confirmed family tree as I like the fact that the details in the tree belong to me and I can control the privacy levels.

    Mark, thank you for taking the time to find my post and respond so quickly. It is very appreciated.

  3. Glad you like the SmartSearch :)

    We have a research guide for TreeView available at

    We also have some general tutorial videos on using the site here:

    To help you out with your tree, could you email or call us, as I'd need to take a look at your account