WordPress angst

Even though I’ve been blogging twice a week, lately I’ve been not really feeling into it when it comes to the family tree. I don’t know what it is but I may have just gotten myself overwhelmed, because I still work full-time remotely, or gotten what we call “shelter fatigue”, or just the doldrums from the shelter fatigue. But the other day I did widen the circle of where I go and went browsing in the bookstore, of course in my protective gear.  I think what I miss most is the entertainment part — movies with our daughter, and eating in restaurants. But I am seeing my family soon, yay, very much looking forward to it!

In the meantime, I’ve been thinking about how I can include the family tree for everyone to see on my blog — you know, that big unwieldy thing I have with over 1,900 individuals in it in my Legacy family software program? I was reading about how to share it and decided to dip my toe in and was able to download all of the data from Legacy into what is called a GEDCOM file. GEDCOM is an acronym for Genealogical Data Communication and is a data structure created by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints for storing and exchanging genealogical information so that different computer programs can use it. It basically looks something like this, not very pretty:

Now what do I do with this GEDCOM file? I decided to upload it to Ancestry since I have a membership. I still have a lot of work to do but have added a ton of photos and sources so it looks like an actual family tree now. The most fun part is since I have submitted DNA, it matches “perceived” common ancestors to me and anyone who matches my DNA and has also uploaded a family tree:

When I click on “common ancestor”, it then brings me to who the common ancestors are between my DNA match and myself:

And then clicking on the “view relationship” link shows the whole connection with the DNA match through something called Thrulines:

I wanted to show with pics from my actual account, but that would break the privacy between my DNA match and myself, but what it shows is exactly the breakdown of the link between my cousins and myself, super cool!!

The majority of the matches on my list (all who are second, third, fourth fifth-eighth cousins) are Schoons and Schoudels, then quite a bit of Basses, some Dekkers, some Oomses, some Winarskis, a couple of Slagbooms, a couple of Van Mijnens, about four Verkruissens, one Kros, and one from the Conner side, a Dorwart cousin.

So then I thought, what if I could take that, or part of that tree on Ancestry, and figure out a way to show it on my blog?  Well you will see why I titled my blog “WordPress Angst” — because I have learned a whole lot more about it since I roped myself into using it as a hosting program for my blog five months ago. If I wanted to, I could show the tree on the blog, but that would mean upgrading to another plan – for just $200 more dollars. Which I’m not doing as I find it ridiculously expensive and I don’t need all of the other things it offers in the upgraded plan. And of course for $200 more, I could download specific family tree plugins that would allow me to include it and present it in a very pretty way. Which I’m still not doing.  And of course, WordPress does not allow anyone to create their own plugins, so I cannot create plugin code from scratch and include it. Sneaky smart WordPress!!  So today we’re doing this the old fashioned way, taking a crummy photo with my phone to show you what it looks like:

There may be a way to embed a link into the blog with WikiTree or something else, so I will be looking into that.

The reason I chose Ancestry is because of the presentation, and how user friendly it is. It gives me hints from its database of sources that it believes matches your family member and then you can review and include the source or ignore it, and of course I can add photos. It is a lot easier than I thought it would be!  I may eventually also invite people to view the tree, but want to see if I can figure out another way.

Thanks for reading!


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