Seeking Family Tree app suggestions

Anyone have recommendations for a (relatively simple) Family Tree app?

There’s quite a few out there, and was hoping someone had already done the heavy lifting of finding one that works well.

I want something relatively simple (linkages, DOB, photo), bust also not wanting to start with one and then have to change to another. Ideally MacOS and iOS, or at least MacOS and can export a human readable and nicely formatted PDF (for iOS viewing and sharing).

Looking at going back around 5 generations/early 1900s, but quite specific (only a couple down people or so).


I have used an app named Reunion for maybe 12 years on te Mac. There are also iPhone and iPad apps. It works well, is quite capable and I have found it to be well supported.

I would prefer it used iCloud rather than Dropbox for cloud services. I also would like to see more flexibility in the way images can be included in reports

1 Like

Gonna jump in here as looking for this too. My mum asked about it the other day.

If I had a smidge more free time, I’d build her one in PHP so the extended family can see/access it too, but alas, I don’t have that much free time. :pensive:

I have had a look at GeneWeb, though don’t currently have the time…

My father in law keeps telling me to get into genealogy, cos he can then provide me with a GEDCOM file for my wife’s / his side of “our” family.

I would very much like to do this… mostly so I can help show my kids “where they fit”… but like several others, I’ve never found the time!

I did try out an app YEARS ago… but it had a terrible interface and didn’t produce very good looking trees… though I gather it can get pretty complicated when trying to show multiple generational connections.

In the end, I just recently made an Excel sheet that shows 3 tiers: our kids, alongside their cousins, with my wife and I, and our siblings above that, and then our parents / their grandparents above that, all with pics of everyone. Helped especially our youngest who is 6 to “see” the family…

But yeah - a proper app would be good. :slight_smile:

I used to use the Ancestry app. Don’t anymore because it didn’t work as well as the website, I thought. My Heritage was the opposite. The app worked well but the website not so much. Or maybe just different. In the end I dropped all the apps because none seemed to be quite right. And, of course, the further back you go, the wider the tree gets and it cannot be fitted all on one page. Anyway, I don’t bother with it anymore, its an exercise in frustration when you get back past the 1100s.

Crikey! I thought my dad’s aunt… cousin… someone-or-other was doing well tracking all of my family since they arrived in Australia since 1855…! 1100?! That’s impressive…

That was including all the British/Scottish/Irish connections… alas I have removed a lot of the information which I thought was a bit dodgy. Ancestry lets you copy from other people’s trees, and if those are wrong, it sends you off in mad directions.

Ahh I’ve wondered about the data I’ve found online, and how accurate it may be. Or not.

I don’t really have a burning desire to go really far back, but as I have my dad’s history since arriving in Australia already catalogued in a published book circa 1987, I’d love to have my mum’s side at least back to a similar era.

How are you searching? I know people get antsy about using Ancestry and similar, but I have found it really helpful, and, as an adoptee, also found some new family. If your family is only Australian, ancestry will cost less than if you want to get at English, Scottish, Irish, NZ records, or if you need them worldwide. However its is the most expensive of all the options I have looked at…still worth it. One of my cousins has followed every clue and added thousands to her tree, I cannot be bothered going far sideways, you get led down the garden path. The ancestry app (free, pulls its data from the website, as does My Heritage) is fairly good…they both are. I loved getting into the UK Dictionary of National Biography. Fascinating stuff…and thats where I got back to the 1100s.

Independent apps are all very well, but all are limited. You can import a gedcom file into Ancestry and MyHeritage

I agree . Ancestry is an amazing resource. It hosts so much data. I only pay for access for a month or two every now and then, focusing my efforts to make full use of it in those periods. It minimises the cost.

However, I do not build my tree in Ancestry as they would then own it. I use an independent macOS/IOS/iPadOS app ( the one I use is named Reunion, but you could use others) to store all my data, including images, and to build and analyse the tree. Every now and then, I upload my tree to Ancestry via a gedcom file to assist in research within Ancestry.

Given I own all the data, I can then also upload my tree to other sites that may offer access to data that Ancestry does not host.

If my tree was only stored in Ancestry, I would run the risk that at any time they may decide that even my own tree is to be locked behind their paywall. They may also limit the ability to export my tree, or only allow export in restricted formats.

I am not sure whether they allow exports now. Even if they do allow exports, I don’t believe that a gedcom export includes images.

If they owned it, they would make it difficult to delete a tree. And they don’t. That said, its a real PITA fi you want to restore the tree later because you have to re-upload all those photos.

I did move my tree to an independent on my iPad, and then wish I had not. Its just easier to do a month at a time once in a while, to fill the blanks.

Thats how they lock you in and effectively own your research. However, it is more due to the limitations of exporting photos and other images. So much work is required to export the GEDCOM file and then to relink all the photos that most don’t bother.

I haven’t signed up to Ancestry or other sites for two main reason:

  1. Primarily privacy
  2. Needing to hand over payment details even to access the free trial
    (Which also means I am not able to consider if i would like to use it, and potentially pay for it)

I (increasingly) do not like giving private data to any company, especially those invested in making money off that data…

They do lock you in, but I don’t mind, in the sense that to get at the information on my birth family, (via the DNA service,) I really had no other choice. For example, I have lived my life as an only child and have now discovered two brothers (father’s side), and that I have aboriginal heritage on my mother’s side. She never had more children, dammit, so finding out about the rest of the family has been a bit touch and go.

Yeah but you can pull out before the free trial is over (which is what I did, initially) and build the basics of your tree for nothing. Come back later if you want to, or delete if you don’t want to use it. It wasn’t until I did my DNA that I started finding useful information.