[thelist] Genealogy database schema

Mike Migurski mike at saturn5.com
Thu Jan 2 18:24:01 CST 2003

>Yup, I can do this, but then what? How do I query this into a logical
>tree format? How do I make additions that may not necessarily be in
>chronological order, especially if dob and/or dod are not available?

I don't know about the details of Access, but I doubt you'll be able to
get anything like a hierarchical tree structure out of a database query.

I assume you will be using some kind of middleware, such as ASP or PHP,
right? It seems like what you really want is to build up an abtract
grammar of complex queries.  For example, you can start with simple
requests that can map directly to single queries, like get_parents or
get_children, and then build up from there: get_siblings, get_spouses,
get_lineage, get_descendents, etc. You can add corresponding put_*
functions to insert people into the database, if you want.

This is complicated by the fact that your geneology is probably incomplete
to begin with: there is no single root node, people marry and re-marry,
new members enter the family by adoption, not to mention the inevitable
political issues ("we don't about uncle jeb in THIS HOUSE") so it's not
really a straightforward hierarchical structure like a website

I like the gencom/mormon approach that someone else referred to in this
thread, but it's definitely overkill for a single-family geneology.
Besides, I the one page that would serve to provide a clean introductory
overview of the project is a little on the terse side:

michal migurski- contact info and pgp key:

                "Freedom! Horrible, horrible freedom!"

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