I've a need to set up a website for a bunch of cousins who (maybe) share a common ancestry but who all definitely descend from people with the same surname in the same small village around 1800 and want to pool efforts to research and display our ancestry. The website will be privately hosted with PHP and mySQL support.
There are a number of options for hosting a lineage-linked tree (Gramps, TNG) but neither of them seem well suited to showcasing the juicy stories (hellfire Baptist preachers, builders from one family who built houses for another in a town far from home, drunkards who regularly sent their daughters down to the pub of a pennyworth for beer or who avoided dying in a colliery disaster because they were drinking in the pub that day and rolled home long after their wife believed they were dead, wide boys who joined the army to avoid the police and ended up in India for 5 years, policeman who were dismissed the service for visiting a house of ill-repute...)
For clarity, these stories would be compiled using a variety of sources, rarely just oral testimony or family tradition. So for example, we have building deeds and census records and wills and probate records in a large town and census records and BMDs from a small village that demonstrate that one individual who set up as a builder in an industrial town far from home then built several houses for other migrants who arrived from the same home village. (And then left all his wealth to his sons, much to the disgust of his daughters). Or newspaper stories, letters to newspapers, census records, BMDs and references in diaries and journals (of non-relatives) that support an interesting narrative about the life and times of a Baptist preacher in late 18th/early 19th century Wales. The bare bones will be in the lineage-linked trees, but we want to publish more polished narratives that bring the trees to life. and set the people in their geographical and historical context.
What options can I consider to host myself that will allow:
- Collaborative maintenance of (sourced) family trees
- Publication and linking of stories about the individuals in the tree
- Information about the history and geography of the 'original village' and the 'destination industrial town'
I've reviewed Publishing family tree online? and Creating and improving family tree online with help from relatives? but none of the answers address the 'story' or 'place' aspect.
Implementing and supporting the website can be a fairly technical activity, but updating the 'stories', 'place information' and 'lineage information' needs to be easy for non-technical people.