Find My Ancestor Blog

Mac Genealogy – Software Reviews

The following post continues the series Mac Genealogy. This series will help you learn of different applications, tricks, and lots of other great things that will help you with your genealogy research. As Macs become more and more popular, more genealogists are moving to Mac. This blog series will also help for those who are thinking of switching to Mac, but aren't quite sure - yet! If you haven't been following the series so far, be sure to catch up on previous posts.

I have never personally used MacFamilyTree so I couldn't give a fair review of the software. So, I have gone around and found other people's reviews of the software and am giving links to share so you can get their opinion and review on it.

Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter

Top 10 Reviews
GenSoft Reviews
To learn more about MacFamilyTree and to try it for free, visit their website.


Just like MacFamilyTree I have never used iFamily so I am giving links below to others reviews if iFamily.

Top 10 Reviews

GenSoft Reviews


Reunion for Mac - This is the database software I use to keep track of all my family history.

When I first started using Reunion, it took a while to get used to. Before I got my Mac I used PAF on my PC. I had used that software for a couple years so going from the one to the other was quite different. Most of the time on a Mac you navigate your way from person to person in a tree like style where you could see a few generations at a time on the screen. Well in Reunion you still have the tree style view, but you can only see a few people in your tree at the same time; at least from the default view. You can show a pedigree chart view like in PAF. I will explain how to do that later.
This is what the default view screen looks like.

One of the greatest features I like about Reunion is the ability to use outside applications for exporting, viewing, editing, etc. You can export reports as a generic text file or you can export it into applications such as Apple Pages, Microsoft Word, Adobe Acrobat, etc. It makes it very convenient to export the data from your tree and customize each page with graphics, images, etc.
You can set the default export application from the preferences menu.

Some reports can be exported into other applications, while some are just created from the program itself.  Charts that Reunion can create include Pedigree Chart, Fan Chart, Descendant Chart, Relative Chart, Timeline Chart, Person Sheet, Family Group Sheet, and event Blank Forms. Reports that Reunion can create include Family History Report, Register Report, Ahnentafel Report, Tiny Tafel Report, and the Descendant Report.

You can create a slideshow of all the photos, documents, and records in your database with a few simple clicks.

Reunion can export the data from your family tree as an HTML webpage that you can either upload to the internet to share with your family or to just burn that data onto a cd that can also be shared with your family.

At this time Reunion is not FamilySearch Certified, which means that the software cannot talk back and forth with the new.familysearch database. I contacted them probably a year or so ago and I received and email back saying they are "working on it". Who knows when Reunion will actually be FamilySearch Certified or if they are even working on it at all. I would think that with them being the most popular genealogy softwares for Mac they would step it up a bit and get the ball rolling like all the other software companies out there.

I also asked them about a new version of Reunion coming out with new features since their last major update to their software was back in March of 2007. A lot of other genealogy software companies have come out with a new release to their software in that amount of time. I think it is time for a new release of Reunion.

Reunion does have an iPhone app where you can view your family database from your iPhone, iPod Touch, and your iPad. A future article reviewing that branch of their software will be in a later post in the Mobile Monday Series on this blog.

For those of you who prefer to view you family file in a pedigree chart type way like in PAF, simply click on the Overview button  and then a little window will pop-up showing 5 generations including the person who you selected the overview to start with.

I find this overview screen to be very helpful when I am wanting to look further back in the generations rather than the default home screen which just shows grandparents, parents, and children.

The Ages feature is also one of my favorite things in Reunion. Have you ever wondered how old your ancestor was when a particular event happened in their lives? Instead of getting out the calculator to subtract years, months, and days, simply click on the Ages button up by the Overview button and see exactly how old they were when a particular event or fact happened. It will even tell you what day of the week it was on.

Reunion has SO many more features I could spend an entire blog series just talking about all the individual things you can do with it. Even though I have not used any of the other genealogy database apps for the Mac, I find Reunion to be a great application with many great features. Of course there are always features that could be improved upon and added. It fits most of my needs and I recommend it to anyone who does genealogy and owns a Mac.

To try a demo of Reunion, visit their website.

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