Mapping the Noble Pedigrees of World Civilisations

For the last weeks I was working on an online family tree project. It all started when I was making my own family tree. It is a fun but an annoying job because it is hard to find any sources. So after I finihed my own tree, I wanted to go start something bigger. I have seen European royal families geneology data in digital formats before. But I never found anything like it for the eastern Rulers. So I started to dig in that.

One Tree to Rule Them All

This captivating project encompasses the family trees of all nobles who have left their mark on world history, spanning from the Ottoman Empire to the Byzantine Empire, from the Abbasid Caliphate to the noble and aristocratic dynasties of Europe. Delve into this rich and engaging resource to uncover the fascinating connections and stories that have shaped our world. 

After spending a few days... I realised all the kings,sultans,khans, whatever you name them are all a big family. And they all marry strategicly to gain more influence. The project has 2 challenges. 

royalmapper interactive family tree

1) Designing a Web UI to show the family trees. 

I started with the idea that since this is another hobby project of mine, I can pick a suitable charting library to do the job. After a few days of search I realised this is harder than I thought. The charting libraries are bad at visualizing a family tree since they may have different types of nodes and they needed a specialized way of positioning. Then I started to search for some family-tree component. There was surprisingly very few of those projects. The best one was balkan family tree. But it was not enaugh because it was designed for a normal family. But those royal guys had up to 40 wifes and with thousands of family members they werent visualised in a nice way in regular libraries. I needed to store more information on the chart.

So I started to design my own family tree UI library. Which was hard, very hard. but the next step would be much harder.

2) Getting the Data

I could harvest this data from somewhere but as I said, all the historic data of Ottoman sultans are available in some wikipedia articles. Soma are available in wikidata but far from complete.  My first instinct is to give this easy but time consuming job to omeone else and collect the results. But I quiclkly realized this was some kind of a hard puzzle. Anyone could create records based on the birth and death dates of historic people on the articles. But things get complicated after you insert a few hundred people. The royals may have different names in different sources. Once you insert a duplicate record and add anchestors or descandents to that record, It is very hard to merge them to the correct records. 

At First, I did this part. Manually. At the release of this website I have recorded like 2500 people. That makes this website the best source for eastern kings from the start.

But I realized It would be too time consuming for my hobby project so I focused on what I do best, writing some scripts to scrap the web and build a family tree, then translate what I could using cloud translators and ChatGPT

Several months has passed and finally feel like a human again after a long programming process both server side and client side. 

I think I have built the best genealogy resource on the internet. Here is the final result.


You can browse thousands of anchestry results of famous people and quickly realize that their families are not very far from each other. 

Try it and see it for yourself

Royalmapper Interactive Family Tree

Tell me what you think

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