Creating my family tree with WordPress

It’s now been a two Christmases since I was first inspired to create my family tree. How time does fly! I started it because my friend Frank was working on one and my first attempt was in Powerpoint but it was a hassle and did not allow me to add “metadata” and link between people the way webpages do.

My next and current attempt is using a free WordPress.com site and, I hope you understand, I will not be sharing the link. However, I will try to outline the way I created it:

  • I used the Twenty Ten theme with two widgets on the right sidebar: Pages module (showing all), followed below by Recent Posts module (showing 100, more than enough).
  • The features of Twenty Ten that drew me included drop-down categories from the horizontal menu bar, a clean theme, and pretty banner.
  • My two top level pages are grandfathers as far back as I could go, and they are the “parent pages” of their children’s pages and so forth.
  • Spouses each have a post–I don’t like the different style of permalinks the spouses get, particularly when the date forms part of the path, but who really cares but myself as long as the links work?
  • Spouse Posts are assigned to categories that indicate which generation they belong to relative to me (at Level 0).
  • Thus the levels between me and my maternal grandfather have the following pages: maternal grandfather page, my mother’s page, my page, and any children I may have each have pages. Thus NPY would get a post (assigned Level 0 category) if we were to become married or something. My maternal grandmother has a post (at Level -2). My father has his own page because he appears on the paternal tree there.
  • The information included on a person’s page: an acronym based on the first letter of Chinese name (if known) or English name, Chinese name in characters, Mandarin and Cantonese pronunciations of name, English name, date and place of birth, link back to parents, link to spouse, link to child(ren), relevant notes–see sample page I made for Angelina Jolie for the format I used

Things are not perfect but I hope to have set things up for easy portability in the future should I change platforms or domain, whatever. These are some ideas that are cooking for later development:

  • Installing the Sinosplice Pinyin tool tips plugin that shows the pronunciation when you hover over the Chinese characters
  • Adding photograph images of the people in the family tree including date of photograph
  • Change spouses to pages but restrict them from showing up on the horizontal navigation bar

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