Genealogy with Tropy and Obsidian - does it make sense to use something with Obsidian at all?

Hey all. Forum newbie here.

I’ve been doing genealogy research for my family for a good 10 years now, including a lot of digitalization of files that were previously paper. I have so many photographs or PDFs of paper sources, and I’ve been trying to find the Perfect Solution to store and work with the data for the long term. I recently learned about Tropy, which allows you to tag and attach notes to files - but does it do anything that Obsidian can’t? I’m not sure. I can create a Markdown note that links to (and displays) the original PDF or image, and use YAML frontmatter to create tons and tons of metadata. Then I can do direct wikilinking inside of the notes, which isn’t possible in Tropy. I’m just trying to organize information like who is in a family photo and transcriptions and translations of the text in a letter. Plus source data, of course.

Can anyone think of things involved in genealogy that I’d want to record about this that I wouldn’t be able to do in Obsidian? I can build a family tree structure elsewhere, but I’m now moving towards focusing on stories rather than relations, so it wouldn’t be difficult to use flowcharts from a plugin to map things out.

I’m rambling a bit, but definitely would love to hear thoughts/experiences with this stuff.

Don’t have any experience with Tropy, but a few years ago I was looking into genealogy for my family and got thrown off track with the sheer amount of genealogy methodologies, proprietary formats, and the amount of cultural biases baked into most of them (ie. personal names in a lot of the world do not follow the “Firstname Middlename Lastname” format of the United States). Of course then I got thoroughly sidetracked comparing GEDCOM with microformats, then into network mapping and GraphML, then into citations and citation formats and Zotero, then into anthropology and kinship terms …

All that is to say, I think you’re on the right track with Obsidian. It allows far more flexibility, you can form your own rules for the information you want to include. For relations, I think the built-in linking and the graph view would be an easy place to start. For metadata, the YAML header is a clean way to start.

For source material, I think that would be a matter of how rigorous you want to be. Easiest is just storing scans and PDFs alongside the stories and people. If, on the other hand, you want to be more thorough in your research, then pull the scans and PDFs into Zotero and fill out all the source references there then pull the citations into your notes in Obsidian (Mariana Montes: Obsidian and Zotero).

ie. You have access to a whole spectrum from just Obsidian all the way up to Obsidian+Zotero+Pandoc+GitHub …

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