Recommended genealogy software?

At some point I’d like to take over my father-in-law’s electronic genealogy files. He’s been a Family Tree Maker user for years.

Any recommendations for the Mac OS?

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Reunion. Worth the price. RootsMagic less cost but still good.


I second the recommendation for Reunion if you want a primarily desktop based approach. The Reunion iOS apps have not been updated for iOS 11 or 12. They also require an external sync service like Dropbox. I have had some issues with syncing between multiple devices in the past. However, the Mac client is excellent.

Family Tree Maker is a decent option if you want to maintain a copy of your tree easily on It is difficult to keep two versions of your tree in sync, one in Reunion and the other online at Ancestry.

Gramps is cross platform and open source. It has received generally good reviews, but I have never personally used it more than an initial trial.

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I have been using MacFamilyTree. I started with the demo and bought it on sale. I haven’t compared it to other similar apps. They do have an iOS app that is current. You can use their sync service or another cloud service such as iCloud.


I have been using Reunion for several years and find it to be a powerful solution. I don’t try to do any syncing across systems, I just use it on my MAC, so I don’t have any info about how well that works.

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Reunion is my choice because it’s very powerful. I only use the Mac version because of the DropBox sync to iOS.

I seem to recall that there is a way to import files Perhaps GED? that Family Tree Maker can make but have never tested or looked into it.

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GEDCOM is the standard text file format that was developed to allow genealogical data to be imported and exported. I call it a standard, but really it is just a semi-agreed upon specification that each software vendor adds their own twist to. So sometimes not everything exports/imports into another application successfully.

The latest specification, 5.5, was released over twenty years ago, but no single updated, i.e. modern, version has been agreed upon as its replacement.

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Because it hasn’t been mentioned, there is another app HEREDIS. I think the company is based in France. They do an update every year, so the current version is Heredis 2019. The last version I owned was 2017.

Having said that, I now use and much prefer Reunion.

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I still have my research on a disc from 1994 in GEDCOM format. No idea how to get the data off now. There are some really good videos on youtube where they discuss software and resources. Ancestry puts out a good one that discusses the relative merits of different programs.

Reunion, MacFamiliyTree and many other programs can import GEDCOM. Or trouble reading the disc?

@SteveB I use Mac Family Tree primarily for the charting. I use RootsMagic 7 via the Codeweavers install for my research entry. I am currently awaiting the cross-platform arrival of RootsMagic 8 sometime in the near future.


Ok I’ll bite, why not use I’m thinking through a workflow to also save images and sources I find there into its own DEVONThink Database as a backup.

Access is expensive and the data isn’t always still available later. So I want local copies of everything once I pay for and get the info.

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The only thing I’ve used is, but I didn’t like the price to really use it (subscription) relative to value (why keep paying once I’ve scratched that itch).