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Help Wanted: Genealogy WordPress Blogs

I will be starting a new WordPress blog soon dedicated to my family genealogy. I will be writing extensively in a new series about the step-by-step process of starting this new blog to help you all learn about what goes on behind the scenes in developing a specialized blog.

And what is so special about a genealogy blog? Well, that’s what I’m asking you!

If you have a WordPress blog dealing with family history and genealogy, I want to talk to you! Better yet, I want you to talk to me.

There are a lot of issues to confront with a specialized blog like the one I’m working on for genealogy. The family tree, for example, can be generated from most genealogy software programs, but blending them into a WordPress blog takes some work. There is also the issue of including current information while protecting the privacy of living relatives. This is just the challenges I face as I think about them. I’m sure you’ve run into more.

So, here is your chance to be a part of helping me, which will eventually help others. If you have a WordPress blog dealing with genealogy, tell me how you did it. Share with me, and others, your tips, advice, the challenges you overcame, how you overcame them, and what we should know to help make creating our family history blog.

UPDATE: Genealogy Blog Building Series Begins

I’ve started my series on building a blog, specifically aimed at creating a genealogy blog from the thought process to the end result. I’m still seeking help and input on what information and articles you would like to see about building a blog, especially a genealogy blog, so leave a comment below if you would like to help.

Genealogy Blog: Building a Blog Series


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Copyright Lorelle VanFossen

70 Comments

  1. Posted April 11, 2006 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    You know, I thought it was only me, but am I right saying that after you use WordPress as a publishing platform, it’s really hard to swtich to some other platforms?
    Even I, who can handcode a simple website, would much rather use WordPress more than anything, now that I’m used to it.

    On another note, may I ask which genealogy software you are planning to use? This sounds like a very interesting idea.

  2. Posted April 11, 2006 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    I’ve been using The Master Genealogist Gold for years, but I’m also familiar and have worked with the other genealogy programs. The output of their “web” family tree and pages are things I’m testing now to see how I can blend these in with WordPress. That’s just part of the challenge. Okay, the frustrating part. ;-)

    And yes, WordPress spoils. :-)

  3. Posted April 11, 2006 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

    Hi Lorelle
    I have just started blogging and one of my hobbies is Family history. The only thing I have done on my blog so far is to offer a few links to good FH websites. I would like to do more but can agree with the problems you outline. There are a few FH blogs out there but can’t remember whether they have actual family trees on them. I think that the most important issue you mention is not putting data on the blog of living people without their permission. If I find out any more info, I will pass it on.
    Regards
    George

  4. Posted April 11, 2006 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

    I too recently started Blogging with WPMU. I think of mine as a MyFamilyGenealogy rather than a GenealogyInGeneral blog. And then, therein lays a TAG issue. I the newbie, thought to use Category Genealogy, and subCategory of Tomside and LizSide. I doubt that’s a final solution…

    Anyway, this all caught my attention, I, being new to WP and having a recent Gene. entry about it. See trmurphy.wordpress.com entrys on genealogy.. MAYBE I’ll get my first comment.. ;)

    Another suggestion/request is for comments on getting the “Shy” family members to participate in bloggin. My experience is: I was lucky to get a few emails back (let alone a blog comment) when sending out a “New Blog Announcement” to a list of 30 relatives.

  5. Posted April 12, 2006 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    Trmpurphy, I know you are using WordPress.com, but if you were using the full version of WordPress, you could add a feature that would email alerts of any new posts to subscribers encouraging them to visit. That would keep people informed on updates and new information and maybe get a little more activity going.

    I am looking at my reasons behind wanting to do this, and while I think it is important for “my family” to have access to that information, most of them don’t care. I realized my reasons for doing this aren’t for them but for the “whoever is out there looking for their relatives” folks. Interaction on the Internet helped me solve a 25 year mystery in our family tree and each year I find more and more information, stories, and connections through the Internet. I want to do this for them, not my short-sighted family. Though they will benefit.

    As for the categories, I have also been thinking about that, and sub-categories under “Family History” or “Family Genealogy” or something like that, is the best way to group related elements together, don’t you think? There is so much to think about with a genealogy blog. I didn’t realize how much, so this will be fascinating.

    So far, I think I’m only scratching the surface of what to consider, so your help is definitely appreciated.

  6. Posted April 12, 2006 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    Has anyone used Retrospect-GDS in their WordPress blog and want to share how to do it? The author of this PHP software program has, and promises to share the how-to but hasn’t. I’ve asked, but in the meantime, have you had success with this? It’s brilliant and may solve a lot of my problems about including the family tree inside the WordPress blog.

    Or what about phpGedView? Had any luck incorporating this genealogy program into your WordPress blog? What about other wikis and forums and genealogy programs? Tell me about including them in your WordPress program to help your genealogy blog.

  7. Posted April 13, 2006 at 11:42 pm | Permalink

    Hi Lorelle,

    I started a genblog using WordPress a few months ago. I’m still feeling my way around how to go about it so I don’t have much to offer as far as info or how-to right now, but if you want to see what I HAVE done, here’s the link:

    http://www.paulabecker.com/genblog/

    I’m technically-challenged in many respects regarding the computer so my learning curve is steep (Including using gen software). I don’t believe there are that many personal geblogs so I think it’s a fairly new arena for the subject. So I’d like to know how to go about it too.

    Glad you brought up the topic! Thanks for that.

  8. Posted April 14, 2006 at 12:07 am | Permalink

    Paula, thanks for the kind words and I’m really looking forward to this myself.

    Can you tell me what some of the challenges you faced as you put yours together? That will help me problem-solve this topic better and be more helpful. Thanks!

  9. Posted May 2, 2006 at 10:42 am | Permalink

    I too, would be interested in integrating family tree information into my blog. I looked at those php programs you listed in comment #6. They would be nice, but I would like to integrate them into the blog. I wonder if something like this would be to involved to port over to a plug-in. Would be nice. Keep us posted…

  10. Posted May 31, 2006 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

    Lorelle, I approached this whole concept from a totally different direction, but it may give some food for thought. I have a locality-specific site for Chester County, PA, built using the Xoops content management system. The site includes a plug-in for WordPress, so my blog is actually incorporated into the site itself, rather than trying to build a site into a blog. Fo rmy actual family history files, I’m using The Next Generation, an online system written in PHP. The actual site containing those files is wrapped into my main site, though it’s not a huge part of the site for most visitors as they’re more likely to be interested in the other records I have on the site. Using the content system to keep everything under one umbrella has worked very well for me.

    -Mary

  11. Posted May 31, 2006 at 8:30 pm | Permalink

    Mary, that’s a lot of stuff. I’ll take a look and I’m sure I will have a ton of questions of how you incorporated all of this together. My question now is WHY?

    Why did you need to incorporate The Next Generation into the site? What benefit does it give you? And how do you control searching the site with the different systems? By using an external search system?

    I’ll have a lot of questions, so give me a day or so (I’m on the road traveling) and I’ll take a look at your site. Thank you!

  12. Posted June 1, 2006 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    Google brought me through here, so I thought I’d throw my two cents in. You have a lovely blog. I’d kept a personal blog for years, but just a couple of months ago hung all of that up to start a nothing-but-genealogy WordPress blog. You can find it at http://www.yourbrotherkings.com.

    While I want to share my work and findings, I also want to attract a broader readership than people who are working on the same surnames I am, so I’ve been trying to throw in regional and local history stuff, reviews of resources, and other errata. As to my own family history stuff, I think I have yet to attempt to directly import a family group sheet, or anything like that, to my blog. I’ll paste bits in and edit for flow. At this point I am keeping it entirely non-commercial, but I am finding that lots of genealogy blogs are sporting ads.

    Have a look if you are interested.

  13. Posted June 18, 2006 at 11:49 pm | Permalink

    Lorelle,
    I’m excited to see that you’re starting a genealogy blog. I’ve learned a ton about blogging in general and WordPress in particular from visiting this site. I too have a big passion for genealogy, and since I began blogging with WordPress earlier this year I’ve had a notion to eventually do what you appear to be planning, i.e., doing a second blog about my genealogy stuff, hopefully one integrated with my ancestral database itself.

    Oh! Oh! Oh! Important tip: in case you (or any other genealogically-inclined person reading this) aren’t already aware of it, I strongly recommend bookmarking Dick Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter. The guy is, like, the Thomas Edison of genealogy tech. He started it as an email newsletter more than ten years ago, and now that he’s converted it to blog form he still has every issue in his archives.

    The genealogical software app that has impressed me the most is TNG, and if I were to start my genealogy blog tomorrow I would certainly use it to publish and maintain my own database. I guess The Master Geneaolgist is still the gold standard in terms of software for maintaining genealogy data locally, and it is a powerful piece of software. In fact, it’s so professional-grade and tricked out that I’m intimidated by the learning curve it would present for me as a new user, and I’m pretty tech-savvy. Plus, as far as I know its web-publishing capability is still for generating HTML pages. TNG has leapfrogged ahead of the pack by storing and publishing genealogy data with SQL and PHP. I guess PHPGedView does this too, but I find the database pages it generates frustrating to navigate.

  14. Posted July 10, 2006 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

    Hi Lorelle – Help wanted indeed, what a good topic! I started a family genblog recently and it certainly has been a challenge.

    I’ve used the plugin ‘Opt-In Front Page’ to restrict posts on the front page to only one category. This is the default category and its posts are supposed to be general chatty current ones. On the sidebar is a menu which lists the other categories and all the historical stuff should be posted under these.

    The motivation behind this is that I’ve seen to many sites with everything on the front page and then there are a jumble of categories. It becomes confusing and meaningless to the casual reader – never mind the aunts and uncles you’re trying to persuade to join in and blog.

    With a category dedicated to one historical family member, I’m hoping that the posts will accumulate and over time tell more of a story about that person.

    That’s as far as I’ve got with the WordPress side of things – I’m partially satisfied it’s working, but still looking to refine it … hence a Google and your post.

    A difficulty I didn’t see coming, was getting the family to use the blog! One intrepid 82 year old cousin is blogging and has been a mine of information … but he has his own unique style of posting …

    A bridge I haven’t crossed yet is to find a really useful genealogy program. I’m using the free version of Legacy at the moment, which is fair to good; nonetheless the family tree on the site was created out of good old Excel.

    Thanks for raising this topic :) Regards, Richard

  15. Posted July 20, 2006 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

    Lorelle,

    I ran across this thread while searching for a way to integrate my WordPress family site and my TNG family database. Right now they are connected by link only. I *did*, however, find a site that seems to have achieved at least partial integration:

    http://www.gregoryology.com/genealogy/index.php

    I am waiting to hear back from the webmaster, but in the meantime I will snoop into the code to see if something reveals itself. I’ll let you know what I find….

    Glenn Dixon

    http://thedixons.net

    http://thedixons.net/clan

  16. Posted July 20, 2006 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

    If I had only waited a few minutes……………..

    OK, according to Terry he has simply copied code from the Header.php and Footer.php files from WordPress into the TopMenu and Footer pages in TNG. So he is using the look and feel of WordPress as a type of TNG template. At least this makes the site appear somewhat seamless.

    True integration would allow both TNG and WordPress to share user registration info……..

  17. Posted July 20, 2006 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for the information. That kind of integration is very easy. The issue I have is not with sharing user registration info, but sharing the same database and issues of conflict there. Anything with that?

    I’m hoping to start work on this next week. So any tips would be appreciated.

  18. Posted August 8, 2006 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

    Hi Lorelle

    A friend of mine pointed me in the direction of this Blog thinking that I might be interested. They were absolutely right! I run quite a number of Genealogy Sites including http://www.amateur-genealogist.com and http://www.catholic-genealogy.com. I also have my own “The Genealogist Blog” at http://pkblogging.com/blog1. I am also in the process of setting up a site for my own Family Tree and considering detailing my genealogy research within an associated blog – not quite sure yet how I want that to work so it’s sitting on the “to be done” bit of my task list!

    However, what led my friend to point me in this direction is that I have just launched The Genealogy MySpace Alternative (http://www.genmates.com) where we are encouraging the members to develop their won Genealogy Blogs. Blogging is something that I know more and more genealogists want to do and part of what we are doing at GenMates is encouraging people to try out their blogging skills.

    Do let me know if there is anything I can help with.

    Take care

    Paul

  19. Posted August 22, 2006 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    Hello,

    I’m also using wordpress for my personal website but it’s not quite a “genealogie blog”, the part that you might be interested in is the integration that I started creating between WordPress and PhpGedView.

    I saw that you were intrested in the tool and since I have been using it for a while I thought I would share my experience with it.

    Overall it’s an excellent tool to have your data in. The latest version is simply nice and really great to navigate. I would say the only “bad” thing is that there is a learning curve that some member of my family still haven’t got over :).

    The result is that I do most of the editing in the Tree but in the end it’s not so bad, it keep a slightly better control over what’s change.

    Anyway. If you’re instrested, stay tunned on my site for update. I created a small hack for now to integrate the two and I made a quick update (which I need to annnounce on the site as well)

    Hope this become usefull!
    See you
    Eric-

  20. Posted August 22, 2006 at 9:35 am | Permalink

    Eric: Thanks for the info and I’ll look forward to your reports. This is one of the next major projects for me to undertake and write about. Your information will help. Thanks!

  21. Eric
    Posted August 22, 2006 at 10:32 am | Permalink

    Ho and this may be stupid … I forgot to give you a link to my site, all information regarding the progress on the tree integration with wordpress will be here:

    http://perso.mine.nu/?cat=12&language=en

  22. Posted August 28, 2006 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

    Hello Lorelle (and any others interested).

    I have finally created my first wordpress plugin that allows to integrate phpGedView into WordPress. It’s not feature complete of course (version 0.4) but it’s functional and doesn’t require anymore manual editing.

    Simply activate the plugin set 3 parameters and you’re good to go. The one thing missing so far is the user tab;e matching between the 2 products and it relies on the fact that the username are identical.

    So if it’s the case for you (same usernames in wordpress & phpgedView), you can start using it while I continue developpement.

    It’s right here: http://perso.mine.nu/?p=80&language=en

    Enjoy !
    Eric-

  23. Lorenzo
    Posted September 20, 2006 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

    If you are looking for tips why not look at these examples:

    http://www.genesreunited.com

    http://www.ancestry.com

    http://www.ancestryaid.co.uk

    Or am I getting the wrong nd of the stick here?

  24. Posted September 20, 2006 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

    Those are larger commercial sites for researching genealogy. The help wanted was from those who have personal family history and genealogy blogs. Those who have built their own blogs for showcasing and sharing their family history research.

  25. Posted October 21, 2006 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

    A new version of the wordpress plugin for integrating phpgedview, now with user management capabilities :-)

    Find it here

    Enjoy !

  26. Posted November 14, 2006 at 2:31 am | Permalink

    This is the site I’ve been looking for. Currently I’m using Joomla and let’s just say it’s a pain to keep everything together. I would love to switch to full WordPress using the PHPGedview plugin. Now I’m looking for either a replacement for my Simple Machines Forum or a way to bridge WordPress and SMF together so users only have to have one login.

    I’m bookmarking this site. Looks like there’s lots I can learn. In the meantime, here’s what I’ve got so far with a stripped down version of WordPress with PHPGedview using Joomla: http://www.doddemagen.com

  27. Posted November 19, 2006 at 1:12 am | Permalink

    I have recently started searching the net for solutions on WordPress and genealogy, and it’s sad to say that I can’t find much of anything. Hence why I started Genealogist. I’m designing a WordPress plugin that will make creating a genealogy page using WordPress a piece of cake. I’m fairly new to php/MySQL programming, so it may take some time for any public releases. Hopefully this project turns out to be pretty successful and you can all relax knowing there’s an easy solution. :)

    You can check out the project at http://familyhistory.bchynds.com

  28. Posted October 2, 2007 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    I’m currently working on a Family Web Gallery. At the moment it includes TNG genealogy for the genealogy and Gallery2 for pictures and a very simple amaeturish home page. I’ve opted to convert the home page to WordPress and I have the gallery integrated and working fine. TNG is another matter.

    There are several people who’ve done an integration but I haven’t found a single line of code posted or even a basic “how to” written. I also noticed that the gregoryology page that seemed to be ok, isn’t. I suspect the biggest issue is synching users correctly. Especially if you have Gallery2 users as well.

    It would be optimal to have wordpress take over the validation of TNG users, mapping them to existing wordpress user ranks. Then the original site would remain the same and user synchronization is a non issue.

    I’m thinking the best way to do this in wordpress is to create a simple TNG plugin that would:

    a) check for login user rank and assume TNG status for wordpress users of similar type. It’s really only about editing and viewing living people anyway.

    b) Write a set of TNG insertion tags to display tng functions in a wordpress page like inserting a gallery image; [tng:search] or [tng:menu] etc embedded in a normally written wordpress page or even a post article. Then let ME decide how to insert and use the TNG stuff as blocks. Then I can write a simple text widget with links to the pages and links inside the pages to keep it all straight.

    That way I can take an hour and write custom TNG pages, rearrange them to my liking and the only issue I have to deal with that’s really custom is artwork and photos, which I can upload and get from the gallery. Hell, you could even add a simple tag insertion popup like WPG2..:)

    This would be a solution that could easily be used to keep pictures in gallery2 and histories in TNG using the current structure and it wouldn’t impact future development of TNG, WordPress or Gallery2.

    See the WPG2 plugin for a basic idea…notably how one inserts an image for an example.
    -Tom

  29. Posted October 2, 2007 at 10:44 pm | Permalink

    Sounds fascinating, but I didn’t find a link to the Plugin in your comment. I assume you’ve written it. I’d love to check it out. Thank you! This would be so helpful to so many.

  30. Posted January 1, 2008 at 12:05 am | Permalink

    Hi Lorelle,

    I recently posted a new GEDCOM for a branch of the family, and that got me thinking what other practical uses might be made of my WP site, for genealogy. So I Googled ‘gedcom + wordpress’, and found your Series.

    Genealogy software & Internet-sharing has made such a dramatic difference for so many folks … yet there is plenty that the software, and newer webware does not resolve for us.

    Case in point; you mention the minimal response of most immediate family-members. I can relate! There is a certain amount of conversational or passing interest, but very little real engagement.

    The GEDCOM format, while a laudable practical solution, is simplistic – and it readily shows. I use the LDS Personal Ancestry File (and several others), and see discussion that LDS (leaders in the field) are at a quandary how to go forward. They have updated PAF almost not all, for years. There is some talk of abandoning PAF, of going to a web-based solution, but afaik it’s just navel-lint.

    I also worked with grape-breeders in particular, and other horticulturalists and gigantic plant-material database operators. I perked up when I saw them using genealogy software to generate heredity-trees for pedigrees … but it turned out to be very kludgy, mostly nothing more than a handy way to get a pretty picture.

    But plants have much more flexible parent-child relationships than mammals, and I did try my hand at representing this, in GEDCOM. Not successfully, of course, but an eye-opener.

    The LifeLines program gives a high degree of freedom to manipulate the GEDCOM records & fields, but I get nervous wondering how ‘creative’ permutations would interact with anything or anyone else.

    phpGedView is of course made to be web-based, and it has strong developers. One of the top Projects on SourceForge, and with it’s own website too. I see in passing a Drupal integration. Their people would no doubt be keen to assist, but it would be the WP user who would still have to make it happen. Usually, I expect, folks just use a link to ‘jump’ to the independently-run script.

    It is well-established that it takes a special sort to carry the genealogy-torch, and the good news is that despite limitations and problems, the game will go on.

    GEDCOM might be compared to the bicycle. An incredibly apt and felicitous creation that has enable & provided much to many … but at the same time is still only a bicycle.

    Ted

  31. Posted January 1, 2008 at 8:31 am | Permalink

    No, I haven’t written anything as of yet. My “family” is not as interested in history or having a family web site as I am. Since they seldom visit the site I haveI’ve been ignoring it.

    I’m not much of a php programmer but I can probably figure it out. I messed up in my last message. We could use a WordPress plugin, not a TNG plugin. I could probably get an initial version (using a wp to tng user map) that would log you in and out of TNG without too much trouble. I’ll see what I can find for a template to modify. TNG is a great package and one of the few that maintains a real database (MySql) and produces dynamic pages. The price is right at less than $40. I could use a bit of encouragement and a few other sites to look at for “guidance”, plus a bit of encouragement.

  32. Posted January 1, 2008 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    @ Thomas R Bailey:

    Few families are interested in their genealogy, but all it takes is one to cater to the distant and yet unfound cousins who are trying to connect the dots within their family, and you are one of the dots. A family history site is a lonely one until you start connecting those dots, too.

    I’ve got to get back to this issue myself. I’ve been on the road traveling and speaking about blogging a lot this year, so thanks for the encouragement to get back to business on my own family history blog.

  33. Posted January 1, 2008 at 11:02 am | Permalink

    @ Ted Clayton:

    I’m really hoping this year will be the year that we break the constraints that bewilder genealogy bloggers from working with web-sound tools.

    As for pushing the constraints of GEDCOM, I think it needs pushing and shoving, but it also needs universality. As programs grow and improve, we have to be able to import and export data consistently within a larger vocabulary for GEDCOM. I do hope they expand it, and that there are more programs to help us bring our families to the web much easier.

  34. bmar137
    Posted July 10, 2008 at 11:01 pm | Permalink

    Hi,

    I am currently working on a family website and have been trying to find a Genealogy plugin that allows you to create a bracket like template/Family Tree or platform. Is there one available?

    Thanks!

  35. Posted July 11, 2008 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

    @ bmar137:

    I have not found a good program or Plugin to handle family trees. I’m still looking. Let me know if you find one.

    The problem is not WordPress, but the genealogy programs that produce complex and overcoded HTML to create static pages for the family tree. This code can be cleaned up manually and placed in a static WordPress Page, but the cleaning process can be very painful and time consuming. If genealogy programs would export WordPress friendly family trees, combined with a WordPress Plugin, the world would be a better place, wouldn’t it? :D

  36. agafi
    Posted October 6, 2008 at 6:34 am | Permalink

    Did you manage to have a family tree using wordpress?

  37. Posted October 6, 2008 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

    @ agafi:

    I have a genealogy blog and have manually recreated family trees within a WordPress post and Page, but I haven’t yet been successful at integrating any family tree programs into WordPress. Some have, but I am still looking for articles on the subject.

  38. agafi
    Posted October 7, 2008 at 2:06 am | Permalink

    Do you have a link to your genealogy blog?

  39. James
    Posted February 8, 2009 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    Do you have any thoughts on this new attempt at WordPress-TNG integration?

    http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/tng-wordpress-plugin/

    • Posted February 8, 2009 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

      Thanks for pointing me to that Plugin. I’ve contacted the author and we’ll see what I learn. You are the best! Thanks!

  40. James
    Posted February 8, 2009 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

    Please do report back with your thoughts. I’ve only been researching this issue for a few weeks and I was lucky enough to find your blog at the beginning of my research. It helped me spot a lot of issues up front that I would not have thought of on my own. Then, in continuing to dig on this, I just found the new WP plug-in yesterday. It looks promising to me but I don’t really know enough to judge it — I am anxiously awaiting your critique!

    • Posted February 8, 2009 at 11:24 pm | Permalink

      I’m hoping that this is the answer to many of our dreams. The others I’ve been working with have hit some big snags in the process, so maybe this person has figured it out. I hope so! So I anxiously await my own critique as well. :D

  41. nimwit
    Posted March 3, 2009 at 10:38 am | Permalink

    Thanks for the info.

    Are there any plugins out there that have templates or features to help you create a family tree in WordPress?

    Nimwit.

    • Posted March 3, 2009 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

      There is one in the works that I’ll be writing about soon. Stay tuned.

  42. Posted March 26, 2009 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

    Can’t wait! I use Family Historian 3 (due to become v4 RSN), which I used to export as a web site. AT which point, some family members pointed out some errors, and asked to be able to update the records (which they couldn’t, the GEDCOM file is on my laptop).

    So I looked at phpGedView and the WordPress plugin, but that just doesn’t work for me (phpGedView, I mean, it’s all over the shop).

    Now, I like a challenge… and if WordPress can be made into a Contacts Manager, a photo library, a mini-Facebook/Twitter, then it should be capable of becoming a family tree web site! It’s all in the templates, after all… and if I could work out how to link relatives together sensibly, using GEDCOM, then I’d be up and running.

    Gary

  43. Okoth
    Posted April 5, 2009 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

    Lorelle, I can’t wait to start with my own family website. How is the progress going on with the genealogy plugin? Shall I start using ‘The Next Generation of Genealogy Sitebuilding’ software or is your plugin almost ready and is it better to wait for it?

    • Posted April 6, 2009 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

      I don’t have a WordPress Plugin for genealogy blogs. I’ve asked the genealogy and WordPress communities to come up with some. There are some great ones in the works. I’ll report on them here soon. Thanks.

  44. Okoth
    Posted June 4, 2009 at 3:04 am | Permalink

    Hi Lorelle,

    I am still tuned, but when is soon?

  45. Posted June 10, 2009 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for asking. Are you looking to hire me?

  46. Posted August 9, 2009 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

    I have been doing a genealogy blog for about a year now. Mine is very informal with a lot of pictures and memories from my heart. I also posted what newspaper articles and old documents I could find. I’ve been trying to get info and ideas from other bloggers. I tried to get into genealogy software but I work too much and don’t have the time to focus on it so I’m doing something a little less informal as time permits. I was amazed at the things I found out about my family by doing simple online searches. I tried several blogging platforms but WordPress is the best. Your blog looks really nice I’ll keep reading in hopes of finding more useful information to help me. Thanks Wendy

  47. Colin @ GRPA
    Posted August 18, 2009 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    Hi Lorelle

    In answer to your post 6 regarding integrating Retrospect with WP, there are instructions for integration – but only for WP pre 2.0.

    I can vouch for Retrospect GDS (and dearly wish it could be integrated with a more recent version of WP – my hacking will not be good enough to try though!). I have just taken down my tree whilst I move servers/domain but will be very willing to answer questions :)

    I will have a good look through the progress here though – Keith at Infused.org has not developed Retrospect for a while now (great pity) so I may be forced to change at some time.

    Colin

  48. ancestralpaths
    Posted August 21, 2009 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

    Hi Lorelle,

    I found your site by accident and am really impressed with your ideas. I am a newbie on WP and at keeping a blog. My blog is basically a way for me to house different aspects of my family research. My photos on listed on Flickr and I am just started using that. So far so good.

    I have been doing research for 30+ years with 80% of it online since 1995. My database is listed on Rootsweb and also at Tribal Pages. I use RootsMagic software although I have used Legacy and FamilyTree Maker too. All are decent programs but I prefer the reports that RootsMagic provides over the others.

    I really like the ease of use of Tribal Pages for my database. It’s free and I provide a link to it on my blog under My Sites.

    Link to Tribal Pages database: http://ancestralpaths.tribalpages.com/?userid=ancestralpaths&x=13&y=7

    Link to WP blog: http://ancestralpaths.wordpress.com/

    My blog is a work in progress and is growing slowly. I hope to use it a way of keeping tabs on things I want to do and research.

    Good luck with your endeavor. I will check back again and see how yours is doing.

    Janice

  49. dixonspain
    Posted September 8, 2009 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

    Hi, Yep, been wrestling with this one awhile now and decided to use pages as the main family member display using the conventional hierarchy. I’ve adapted a theme called tworrder, and put the pages family-tree as the homepage. I *think* it works well. I started it for one family (http://dixon-spain.com) and then found that I needed separate installations for different branches (which I am just about to start) so I set up an installation of WPMU on http://ourillustriousfamily.com. Folks are welcome to try it out and let me know what they think.

    The problem I am wrestling with at the moment is the GEDCOM issue (a) how to import (b) how to export and (c) how to display. The display issue is probably sorted by custom fields, and I can do that, but it isn’t exactly user-friendly.

    Anyway, I’d be interested in feedback, and pointers to any work on the WordPress / Gedcom line being done at the moment.

    • Posted September 8, 2009 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

      Good luck with your genealogy blog. This is the only WordPress Plugin I know of currently that might help, but you’ll need to talk to the author to get more information: TNG WordPress Plugin.

  50. leere68
    Posted October 1, 2009 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    I am using Family Tree Maker 2009 to keep track of all of my genealogical research and WordPress to display some (at least for now) of that research. For the time being, I’m exporting outline reports to rtf files and then using the Word paste function in WordPress to create my family branch pages. Its not perfect, but it’s working for the moment. I have not found any plugins that do things how I want them to do it yet.

    Please check out my page and I would love to hear any advice.

    Thanks,
    Bob

  51. Posted December 3, 2009 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

    Hi Lorelle, I have just published an initial version of a new wordpress family tree plugin. It is still just an early version but I am adding functions regularly so am hoping to add GEDCOM and enhanced graphical views of the family tree in the not too distant future… the plugin is on the wordpress.org site or at http://www.esscotti.com/wp-family-tree-plugin/

    I would love to get feedback and suggestions for future enhancements so please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

    Contributors are also welcome… :-)

    Regards,
    Arvind

  52. Posted January 18, 2010 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

    Hi Lorelle

    If you are still interested in the WordPress genealogy thing… I have a fairly large site running at: http://many-roads.com Probably the weakest link is the TNG plugin which seems to have zero security under 2.8 of WP and barely works under 2.9.1 except in so far as sharing usernames and passwords (very useful feature and the only one I use).

    Mark

  53. John Smith
    Posted April 8, 2010 at 11:33 pm | Permalink

    Hi Lorelle,

    On April 6, 2009 you wrote that you are going to report about some plugins soon. I am still a bit confused with the word ‘soon’. Therefore, I looked it up:

    SOON

    –adverb,-er, -est.
    1.
    within a short period after this or that time, event, etc.: We shall know soon after he calls.
    2.
    before long; in the near future; at an early date: Let’s leave soon.
    3.
    promptly or quickly: He came as soon as he could.
    4.
    readily or willingly: I would as soon walk as ride.
    5.
    early in a period of time; before the time specified is much advanced: soon at night; soon in the evening.
    6.
    Obsolete. immediately; at once; forthwith.
    —Idioms
    7.
    sooner or later, eventually: Sooner or later his luck will run out.
    8.
    would sooner, to prefer to: I would sooner not go to their party. Compare rather (def. 8).

    —Can be confused: currently, immediately, momentarily, now, presently, soon (see synonym note at immediately; see usage note at presently).

    :D I think they also have to add to “-Can be confused” (maybe) after a year :D

    By the way, if I hire you, would you make me a Genealogy plugin for WordPress?

    You are the best!

    • Posted May 7, 2010 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

      @john smith: Cute, but other than the ones listed within these articles, there have been few Plugins that will work consistently. And I don’t write Plugins, so can’t help you there. Been asking for help on this for a very long time, which is longer than any definition of “soon” you can come up with.

  54. Colin @ GRPA
    Posted April 9, 2010 at 7:27 am | Permalink

    Since everybody made initial suggestions on what programs could be adapted to suit WP, another contender has arrived on the block.

    Gerrit Veldman has been developing a nice modern themable standalone PHP5/MySQL GEDCOM reader/display solution. No port to WP as yet, but it is well supported and no doubt could be sidetracked if people had the interest and aptitude.

    http://www.familytreephp.com

  55. Gary Taylor
    Posted April 9, 2010 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

    That is *so* annoying!

    On and off over the past year (mostly ‘off’), I’ve been trying to create a WordPress install that does what familytreephp does out of the box. On the plus side, I’ve learned a lot about custom taxonomies, custon post types and the like, and met a few interesting plugins along the way.

    My issue with most of these packages is with uploading/storing media, which isn’t a native GEDCOM trait. It is to WordPress though, and marrying that, the ability to write posts/pages quickly yet access data from an external file still seems like the Holy Grail for me.

    Gary

  56. Posted June 4, 2010 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

    Hi John

    I am no Lorelle but I have listed many of the plugins I use on my genealogy site…. the article stream is not done more will follow. But the first articles are here:

    http://many-roads.com/2010/05/30/created-with-free-software/

    http://many-roads.com/2010/06/02/created-with-free-software-2/

    http://many-roads.com/2010/06/03/created-with-free-software-3/

    I hope these are useful….

    …mark

  57. Posted December 12, 2010 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

    Well, I finally got round to making a site that is almost a beta in terms of functionality. Needs a bit more data, but do feel free to have a look at it. I did an announcement on WordPress.org at Taylor Demorias Family Tree discussion.

    Gary

  58. Colin @ GRPA
    Posted December 17, 2010 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

    Superb effort Mark!

    Is this read from a Ged file? Or is that the next stage?

    Hang on… I’ll contact you via your site to get the gory details!

    Colin

    • Posted December 17, 2010 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

      The Theme does not read from the GEDCOM file. I’m talking to Mark about publishing a detailed step-by-step how to very soon. It’s wonderful, but not the complete solution so many are looking for. The entries must be added manually, though I’m working on an import strategy. Stay tuned.

  59. Posted December 18, 2010 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

    Hi all,

    Here’s a quick demo site of one of the approaches I use to create the WordPress-based family tree.
    …mark

  60. Posted January 5, 2011 at 11:39 am | Permalink

    Just found this post which is very useful, as I’ve been wondering how to do exactly what you are talking about here. I set up a free WordPress.com blog back in July 2008 initially just to keep notes on what I could find out for free about my family history.

    It then became something that my close family followed, and has subsequently become a lighthouse for distant cousins searching similar families. I was sent over 40,000 records on GEDCOM file by one cousin and so ended up getting the iFamily for Leopard family tree software. It runs on my Mac and only cost 30 bucks, and would have made me more disciplined about my research, but it lacked a very important feature … and that’s some way of integrating a family tree from a GEDCOM file on my blog.

    Obviously, I’d need to set-up a .org WordPress blog as a next step in order to be able to use plug-ins, but if anyone does create a plug-in then please let me know because I’m on the look-out for one.

  61. Posted January 5, 2011 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    You may look here, for examples:
    Many Roads Genealogy
    Eirenicon Family Tree
    Deyo Family Branch
    They are done with and standard output from gedcom to html convertors or direct html from the genealogy tools like GRAMPS.

    atb
    …mark

  62. Eliz
    Posted October 11, 2014 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    Thank you so much for taking the time to write these posts. Very helpful. I also have just started a blog about genealogy. Thanks again.


11 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. [...] I mentioned a while ago that I was looking for tips and help on developing a genealogy blog with WordPress, and I found a few helpful souls (still looking for more). I will be writing extensively about developing and creating a genealogy blog. While genealogy and your family roots may not interest you, the process of developing this kind of blog model probably will. [...]

  2. [...] A bit ago I announced I was starting a series of articles about building a new WordPress blog from scratch. Here it begins. [...]

  3. [...] Comment on Help Wanted: Genealogy WordPress Blogs by Ted Clayton By Ted Clayton I recently posted a new GEDCOM for a branch of the family, and that got me thinking what other practical uses might be made of my WP site, for genealogy. So I Googled ‘gedcom + wordpress’, and found your Series. … Comments for Lorelle on WordPress – http://lorelle.wordpress.com [...]

  4. [...] For anyone looking for information about adding genealogical data to a blog, its worth taking a look at her family and genealogical blog and she has also posted regarding looking for other people interested in the genealogy although its some time ago now. http://www.cameraontheroad.com/family/category/family-news/ http://lorelle.wordpress.com/2006/04/10/help-wanted-genealogy-wordpress-blogs/ [...]

  5. [...] Get the entire post from here. [...]

  6. [...] Genealogy WordPress Blogs by Lorelle [...]

  7. [...] friendly plugin. This looks encouraging for die-hard genealogists, but unfortunately that is it. Lorelle on WordPress asked for help in 2006 and got some encouraging comments, but there doesn’t seem to be any [...]

  8. [...] friendly plugin. This looks encouraging for die-hard genealogists, but unfortunately that is it. Lorelle on WordPress asked for help in 2006 and got some encouraging comments, but there doesn’t seem to be any [...]

  9. [...] first, Lorelle on WordPress, was the breakthrough first stop. She basically asked for helpful ideas about how to go about [...]

  10. [...] Another article I just discovered that will be of interest: Help Wanted: Genealogy WordPress Blogs [...]

  11. […] Help Wanted: Genealogy WordPress Blogs […]

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