Family Tree

I working with an historian who is building an Omeka site that will be an archive of nineteenth-century Black New Yorkers. One of the things we would like to be able to do with the data is to have a family-tree that would be linked to images and relevant objects in the archive. Is this something that anyone has tried and how did you go about it?

Hmm, that is a tough one--and not just for Omeka. I haven't seen this done, Seth, outside of proprietary programs like Family Tree Maker or on Ancestry.

Are these relationships already available in a spreadsheet or db?

I can think of ways to organize the data within Omeka that organizes families using collections (you can nest collections now with Collection Tree plugin) or tags, or even exhibits. This could create hierarchies but not replicate the visual of a family tree.

Outside of that, there might be another program that will generate a tree w/in a site that you could embed in a Simple Page. Then you'd have to modify the code to link directly to the Omeka items.

Interestingly, a week or so ago someone asked on Twitter whether Omeka could support some standard (forgot what it is) for ancestry info.

I guess my first question, picking up from Sheila, is what form the info is in currently, and what form it will be displayed in? That is, do the relationships need to be stored in the database, with a full model of the relationships so users can navigate through them, or just show the tree info itself next to relevant images and objects?

Either way, you'd probably be looking at writing a plugin of some sort, unless it is as simple as displaying an image of the family tree, in which case it might just be attaching the files to items and theming it accordingly.

I wonder if you might like to review one of my client's sites where we have integrated Wordpress, Omeka and PAF (from the Church of the Latter Day Saints). It works really well.

The site looks great, and well done making Omeka and WordPress play nicely together!

If you haven't already done so, it might make a great addition to our list of Omeka sites

Also, given the great work you've done to combine WP and Omeka, if you have any tips to share, adding to our Recipes pages might help others learn from your experience and work.


Thank you Patrick, And I anticipated your first by adding Anne's site earlier tonight.

The drawback with providing a recipe though is putting together a foolproof walkthrough procedure. Then again, I did it so it can't be that hard. I'll just write everything I have done backwards and reverse it :-)

Many thanks. And fool-proof, schmool-proof. There will always be unanticipated quirks when implementing and tweaking someone else's work. To me, the important thing is getting the work out there to help others do awesome things. We'll all address the quirks as we go along!

If one can't do the integration example done by wikitservices, Sheila Brennan mentioned embedding a family tree in a simple page (probably in an Item page using a custom Item Type element in HTML mode, too) -- this can be done using WikiTree's embeddable widgets:

I use WikiTree to embed family trees into my family history blog.

Your data would reside on two different sites, your Omeka site and your WikiTree site. But speaking as a genealogist, I could see using Omeka (esp. with Related Items plugin) to share my sourced research, written in narrative form. I would always want my family history "in progress" research (often crowdsourced leads)to reside in something like WikiTree or Ancestry World Trees so that I could collaborate with other research and crowdsource their findings.

If one were to attempt to use ONLY Omeka to document and share family history research, they'd orphan themselves from ever being able to play ball with other genealogy sites and apps, since Omeka doesn't support gedcom.

Thanks for the suggestions everyone. The possibility of using WikiTree looks like a potential way forward, and will discuss it with the person whose project it is. The solution is very similar to the one we're using to put an old map linked to Omeka items. We're using MapLib to upload and put pins on the map and then embed it using the iFrames link, so the idea of doing something similar with the family tree is potentially a good one.