Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Family Tree Software Choices for Mac Genealogists

I'll admit it. I'm biased. I am a big Apple/Mac/iOS fanboy. I worked for Apple for 6 1/2 years, and I truly do love their products. That being said, the first pieces of software that I want to mention are all Apple related. I will eventually get to apps made for iOS, but for now these are strictly computer-based, Mac applications. The three applications are Family Tree Maker 2 for Mac, Reunion, and Mac Family Tree. At some point in time I have used all three of these applications. I currently use Family Tree Maker 2, mainly because of its syncing abilities with

Family Tree Maker 2 for Mac
Family Tree Maker finally came to the Mac and it made quite a splash. I was very excited to finally have this product available natively on the Mac. I had used the Windows version for years running under Parallels on my Mac. The big feature of version 2 is TreeSync. TreeSync's main purpose is to make sure you have the same data everywhere, whether you are on your desktop, iPad, or iPhone. If you make a change in one place it is updated everywhere.

The other little feature I like of version 2 is its use of full screen mode in Lion. It allows you to take advantage of every inch of the screen, making it an even better experience using the software.

Family Tree Maker 2 is available for purchase on for $55.99, a 20% savings off the regular retail price. You can have it shipped to you, or it is available for immediate download.
Reunion 9 for Macintosh
I haven't used Reunion in a long time, but when I did I felt that it was a really solid, well designed application for the Mac OS. It has received many awards and positive reviews throughout the years, with regular updates keeping it fresh and current. Some of my favorite features are the reporting and the web publishing options. Reunion will generate all of the HTML for you, creating a standalone site that you can upload to your web hosting provider. iPhone/iPod touch and iPad versions are available, at additional cost, so you can bring your family tree with you wherever you go.

Reunion 9 for Macintosh is available for purchase or download for $99 at

Mac Family Tree
This is the software that I have used the least. I must say, though, that the 3D rendering of the family tree is amazing. There is nothing else like it available in any other software package. I found it to be not as user friendly as Family Tree Maker or Reunion, but it was still pretty easy to get started once you play around with it a bit. Overall, it is a great piece of software for documenting your family tree. 

Mac Family Tree is available for purchase or download for $59.99 at 

All three software applications are great choices for managing your family tree. Again, my preference is Family Tree Maker, mainly because of the TreeSync feature. 



  1. I love my Mac, but I don't love the Mac software for managing a family tree. I've been using RootsMagic with CrossOver. It allows many Windows programs to run natively on a Mac without requiring a copy of Windows. The RootsMagic folks tell me that a Mac version of RootsMagic is in development, but they couldn't give me a projected beta date. I can't wait!

    1. You're not the first person to tell me they run Windows on their Mac for family tree software. It always seems that Mac software apps are lagging behind their Windows counterparts. What other Mac software do you use in your role as a genealogist?