How many ways can you build a family tree to track the branches of your relatives? There are half a dozen decent Mac apps that do the job, plus there are online sites that help you find the branches in your family tree. For a price.
Apps or online, tracking down your relatives is a time consuming, tedious, but totally interesting endeavor. For a price. For Mac users who want a do-it-yourself approach to building the family tree and tracking down the branches and leaves, this is the app to use.
What Price Family?
Hey, family is family, right? What’s a few bucks to find out where you came from? Is it worth a dinner out to know your great grandfather was a swindler? Is it worth knowing that your great, great grandfather changed the family name because his black-sheep brother was a crook and ruined the family name?
Of course it is. After all, you can’t test drive your family history to see if they’re heroes or villains, right? You can test drive most Mac ancestry and genealogy apps to see if they work for you. That’s how God intended Mac apps to work, right?
Would you pay for an ancestry app sight unseen? A few years ago I tried out a bunch of Mac Apps To Track Family Genes. I settled on MacFamilyTree. Easy to digest features. Attractive, usable interface.
The problem was me and my family. Finding information on both sides of the tree was a struggle so I used Ancestry.com to help. For awhile. It’s an ongoing price but it helped me get started and fill in a few blanks for MacFamilyTree.
What you get with the Mac app is what you want. A place to collect the family branch details, and a place to view your progress over time.
The app uses Apple’s Core Data, a database built in to OS X which it claims can handle a 10,000 person family tree. I haven’t tested it that far into the past. The tree is completely interactive so you can add relatives and see the tree expand accordingly.
It’s not limited to relatives, though. Even close family friends, including godparents, witnesses, births and deaths of others can be entered to make it more dynamic and complete because families sometimes get extended.
One of the unsung features here is the option to sync your family tree between your Mac and the MobileFamilyTree app for iPhone and iPad. Add something on your Mac’s family tree and it shows up on the iPhone version. Add something to the iPhone version while you’re traveling and find out more about your family, and it shows up on the Mac back home.
There’s even integration into FamilySearch, an Ancestry.com-like online place to download genealogical data or even upload your information to share with others online. It’s free.
You can also share a family history by exporting a tree or sections of the tree to a website, or share as a PDF file, a video, and more.
Any caveats? Not really because there’s a try-before-you-buy option and the app is available on the Mac App Store so updates are easily and seamless but I had an issue with how to include a step-child into the tree because children are assigned to a family and not to a person. I haven’t figured out how to fix that easily.