Ancestry / genealogy platform recommendations

Any recommendations for ancestry software or platforms which are long term and could be picked up and used by dependents?

I am aware of and its local versions but I am thinking of something which does not require a subscription and would be as ‘future proof’ as possible. I suppose that I am asking if there is something which is akin to a basic text file which would be much more future proof yet easily understandable by dependent in the future.

I am mainly thinking of family tree type records rather than the research side of this. Thanks all.

I’m sure you know the only truly future-proof solution is a text editor, but that aside, I’ve helped my Mum for many years trying to deal with the Ancestry software, which included multiple changes of ownership that I’ve lost track of.

But just recently, she heard about an alternative and once we got it up and running we both like it a lot. It’s called Reunion.

Mum has been doing what I would call traditional genealogy research for decades and she’s really taken to it — she’s in her 80s — and I’ve found it more capable than the Ancestry ones she’s used for years.

It doesn’t integrate with all the modern web stuff, but if you keep your research separate from your recording it’s great.

And in terms of text files, there is the standard GEDCOM format. Most applications will be able to export and import.


I’m not a serious genealogist by any means, but I did some work with Mac Family Tree recently and quite liked it. It can import/export the GEDCOM format @zkarj mentioned.

I also was impressed by its integration with FamilySearch (I believe it works with too) and it has some neat charts.


I’ve been using Genealogy software since MS-DOS was the cutting-edge operating system. And I think I’ve used them all.

Personally, I don’t care for Mac Family Tree. I mean, who needs a 3-D pedigree chart? But, it is quite popular.

I regularly use Reunion. It’s stable and has good support and a good user forum. You can store your Reunion data in Dropbox (only) and access/update it on multiple computers and via their iOS/iPadOS app (an additional $10).

Another nice application, especially for world genealogy, is Heredis. The tech support is good, but their forum is poor and less active than others. You can save your data in Heredis Online and access/update it with their free iOS/iPadOS/Android apps.

All of these packages support GEDCOM for import/export. And all 3 offer fully-functional demo versions that limit the number of people in the database.


I second the suggestion of Reunion. I’ve been using it to collect ancestry stuff for years.

And then also as a backup export your files into GEDCOM format.


I too use Mac Family Tree. It does the job.


Thanks all for the recommendations. I will check out both Reunion and MacFamilyTree.

I had not heard of the standard GEDCOM format and it is probably the sort of thing I was thinking of when I mentioned ‘text files’. Good that most applications will be able to export and import.

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I’ve used Heredis, together with other family members. We haven’t used it for research, but rather for logging and visualising the info we have. It seems good to me, although I haven’t explored the most recent versions, although I have purchased them.