Biographical basics and family

Profile description and usage

Description & Use case

This profile provides classes and properties that describe essential aspects of a person's life (see here how to add a Person), like gender, birth, death, origine, current residence, general localisation and marriage.

Find here the profile description on OntoME.

Main classes of this profile

Main classes & propertiesUse cases

--> indicate the gender of a person

--> indicate birth information of a person

--> indicate death information of a person

--> indicate the origin of a person

--> indicate a precise whereabouts of a person at a given moment

--> indicate the residence/domicile of a person

--> indicate partnerships (marriages) and link children to it (sons and daughters)

--> use this class to indicate asserted existence of a person at a given moment in time.

Most common use cases

Add Gender to a person

Adding "types of gender"

To add types of gender (male, female...), it is best to add the entities "male" and "female" already existing in the toolbox and used by other projects. For this, click on "add gender" and "add & open" an existing gender entity on the right side:

Remember that you can change the appellation of a gender (men, H, M; women, F, W), as long as the meaning of the entity does not change.

Add Birth

The birth of a person concerns both a date (time-span) and a place (Geographical Place or Construction). You can also give information about kinship via the union of the parents using the field "stemmed from".

Be careful: twins, triplets etc. are brought into life by the same Birth event.

Add Death

The death of a person concerns both a date (time-span), and either the place where the death took place (Geographical Place) or the building where a person died (Construction).

Give information on the origin of a person

If you want to add information on the origin of a person, you can follow these steps:

  • Open a person card.

  • Select "has its origins in".

Social location of an actor: current domicile/residency

Use the class 'social location of an actor' to enter information on the residency/domicile of a person (including its address):

  • Open entity card of a person.

  • Click on add 'has social quality'.

  • If several options exist, select "social location of an actor"

Localisation: detail the whereabouts of a person

Use the class localisation to provide the asserted whereabouts of a person at a given time in history.


Otto Franz was in Berlin in 1896.


The class relationship/union is used to give information on marriages or other forms of unions of two persons (concubinage etc., open relationship or even a one-night stand).

Hint: Family structures are defined via relationship/union of the parents. The Birth of persons is linked to the union of their parents.

Relationship/Union associates two (always two) Persons participating in a union with the field had partner. However, you can also add the information of only one partner if the other is unknown.

For each relationship/union, you can indicate a date (time-span) and a place (Geographical Place or Construction). You can also link in the birth of children that originated from this union with the field "brought into life". Note that the same relationship/union should be used to refer to all births of children of the same partners.

Important: to create unions, it is best to open the entity module on the left and chose "add union". This allows to add two partners to the union.

You can further define the types of union you deal with (marriage etc.) using the controlled vocabulary functions.

Asserted existence: Physical Thing Life

In the case where the existence of a person is asserted, but the dates of birth and death are not known, you can use the class 'physical thing life'. This allows you to indicate an asserted mention of a person in documentary archives or other sources.

You can use the definition field to clearly identify what type of mention it is. Furthermore, if wished, you can link the created entity with the source object in question.

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