Our next door neighbor, a new Mac user (switched from Windows) wanted something easy and free.
What she got was easy, free, and actually pleasant to use. A genealogy app is the way to go when it comes to tracking family history. It’s a family tree, and contains all the family member details, but without the tree.
Free Gene Tracking, Family Tree Building
When you think about it, tracking members of your family tree is a logical, if not strange, activity. We all want to know where we came from.
Origins are important. Gramps is the Mac app that’s both free and simple to use to build your own family tree.
The basics are there. List details of every family member as far back as you can find records.
Then, Gramps will display and connect the relationships (sons, daughters, marriage). Then, family members are combined into groups.
What I liked about Gramps was the ease of use in putting in information, and the lists. There are lists for everything. Lists of everyone. Lists of events. Lists of geography. Lists of information repositories (where you got information about family members). Lists of photos, videos, and more.
Gramps is another one of those dinosaur apps that runs on everything. Mac, Windows, Linux. The features list is impressive if the interface is not.
Gramps is also a project, so a community helps to develop the open source app. This isn’t a case of you-get-what-you-pay-for. Free is nice, but Gramps isn’t complex or difficult to use.
Data entry is straightforward with simple to understand fields and drop down menu selections. Lists are generated in real time. Clicking on an item brings up all the details.
What’s the problem? Other than the odd not-quite-Mac-like user interface, not much.
Each recorded entry has a place for notes. Videos and photos can be inserted into entries and events. The family tree graphic can become large and complicated on a small screen, but the treasure is in the details for each family member.
I would like to see some kind of growing narrative which starts with the oldest family member and describes what happened all the way to the present. The people, family, and events lists seem rather pedestrian, utilitarian.