Best genealogy software apps for the Mac?

Yes, I have used that. Practically speaking it is important to clean up your Places so that they follow a consistent structure. That leads to a sheaf of other benefits for manipulating the data in other places.

My mother published two genealogies, each spanning several centuries, using Reunion.

Perhaps it would be helpful to visit each product’s support forum. Reunion’s is called ReunionTalk.

I am a Reunion user. I have also found useful: supply some data for a known ancestor and get information on parents, siblings, and children.

I have been using Reunion for years and have no complaints. I particularly like the user forum, ReunionTalk, a friendly and polite source of help. The makers, Lester Pro, keep tabs on the forum and hop in when help when needed. They can be a little intolerant of criticism though.

MY wife and now myself have used Reunion for years. She was avid genealogist for 30 years and always swore by not at Reunion.

I also agree about I was clued into it by a monument maker. After 70+ years of wondering I found out which ancestor gave me my name. Exceedingly thankful.

I’m a member of Naples MacFriends User Group (NMUG) and their weekly meetings are usually worthwhile. I stumbled on this genealogy presentation and thought of you:

The presenter talks about software alternatives somewhat but spends most of his time covering many Internet resources for genealogists.

Perhaps you’ll find it useful, perhaps not, depending on how tightly focused you are on a search for software to catalog relations.

Thanks, Nello. I’m a fairly recent member of NMUG also, and someone brought this to my attention earlier.

Thanks again!!!


I used ReUnion and MacFamily Tree in parallel for a while. In the end I settled on ReUnion mainly because I couldn’t get on with MacFamily Tree graphic design.

Obviously the MacFamily Tree style appeals to some people but I always much preferred the design of ReUnion.

MacFamily Tree has an optional web hosting service which Reunion doesn’t. ReUnion will generate websites but then you have to host them some other way.

I have been using Reunion for years and have been quite happy with it, with 1551 people now in the database. I have found both FamilySearch and FindAGrave useful for research, but FamilySearch is being frequently updated, so the results can change between visits, and efforts to integrate data can be difficult.
For example, FamilySearch has records of both my father’s brief short marriage and his second one, but clicking on the family tree link for the first marriage shows the second marriage; just a few months ago only the first marriage was linked. (I did not make the change.)
It’s still my first source because it’s free and I’m familiar with it, but be careful and use it to check sources.

I’ve been using Family Tree Maker for many years. I don’t spend much time using it anymore but like to keep the data around & occasionally update it.
Becoming dissatisfied w/MacKiev. The most recent version is from 2019, everytime they add a new “feature” - not talking about app updates - there’s a significant charge for the new feature. I recently received an offer for a cloud backup but if you have more than 1 tree (I have 2; 1 for my mother’s family & 1 for my father’s) not only do you have to pay per tree for the cloud backup, each tree has to have a separate email address! I’m not starting another email account just to have cloud backups for each tree.
I’ve searched TidBits Talk & saw genealogy apps were discussed earlier this year; seems as if MacFamilyTree & Reunion were the 2 favorites. Just wanted to see if there was any new input about either of them or if there were other suggestions.
Thanks very much for any thoughts on this.

I use MacFamily Tree for Mac and iOS , but others here swear by Reunion. I used that in the past and there was no reason that I switched, since they both seem to be a delight to use. But if you are undecided, I would export your data from your current system into a GEDCOM file so it will be able to be imported into any program in the future. You do not want your old program to not be able to be used with a system update and lose your data.

Thanks, Ray. I still have Family Tree Maker up and running and have it backed up as well. Appreciate the reminder to export the tree(s) to GEDCOM files now just in case there are any issues before I switch to Reunion or MacFamilyTree.

@sf.ross I moved this into a thread from earlier this year that covers the same ground—read from the top for more.

Thank you, Adam. I’d seen that discussion & mentioned it in my question; was just looking to see if there were any additional thoughts on the issue since that time.

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I bought Family Tree Maker and Renuion based on feedback from this forum and Naples Mac User Group. I don’t use them as much as I thought. I used for most of the research that I did. And, I also used MyHeritage, LivingDNA, and 23andMe for DNA matches. I was trying to find out more about my grandmother who we found out about 2-3 years ago. And, I was trying to find out who my grandfather was. I found out who is family is, but not sure exactly who he is. I was able to create a tree and put in about 40-50 DNA matches to find his family. My mother was adopted, and she passed away over 50 years ago, not knowing anything about her biological family.

I find that Reunion is a little more clumsy. But, I don’t use either software programs as much as I thought that I might. And, I’m not doing much searching on Ancestry at this time.

Thank you, Rick. I’ve done a lot of the searching on my own, using Ancestry, Family Search, and JewishGen, as well as other sites. My use of Family Tree Maker is mostly to have a place on my Mac to store & review all the info.
I’ve found over the last few years that Family Tree Maker just isn’t as user-friendly as it used to be & has a lot more “rules” than it used to have, even for inputting and storing the data. It’s also very slow at updating the software & new features have a cost, even w/o a software update.
I will likely do minimal research in the future but would like to keep my options open & my data available on my Mac in some format.

You are very welcome, Sheri.

I really haven’t explored the features on FTM or Reunion very much. I do use FTM to keep the most recent GEDCOM file, of one tree, that I download from Ancestry just so I have that updated data on my Mac. I haven’t tried to sync FTM with Ancestry.

I use the “FTM Connect” iPhone app very occasionally. I thought that I might need it for a recent out-of-state family reunion. But, I didn’t.

And, I really haven’t used Reunion that much.

Ancestry is excellent at finding potentially relevant documents, provided that they have been digitized into its enormous database. But it takes a lot of self-discipline to make the best use of such information and not get led astray by similarities. But its capabilities for helping you learn about relationships is quite limited.

Reunion, on the other hand, has an amazing wealth of tools for analyzing and reporting on relationships. And their customer service is absolutely superb.

Personally, I work with Ancestry and Reunion simultaneously to keep them in sync and to extract the maximum amount of information available from relevant documents. That gives me the best of both worlds.

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Just my own opinion, based on my own experiences. I bought Reunion 9 back when I first started dabbling in family history but I haven’t used it in years. I think that the time for desktop apps as the repository for family trees is past.

One of the issues I find is that records are in so many different places on different websites. And in my case DNA is what is really unravelling my brickwalls. The tools to find, track and analyze DNA associations with records are web based.

My general strategy is I have an Ancestry tree and a MyHeritage tree. I always, always, always download the source documents as they don’t exist in all collections. I download regular GEDcoms as backups.

I like the idea of TreeSync with Family Tree Maker, but I think that MacKiev may be having trouble keeping up with Ancestry web feature changes.

Just the opinion of one person with about 30000 people in his tree and over 20,000 DNA matches to ponder.

Has anyone used the MyHeritage Family Tree Builder app?

I just found out about it. I don’t use as much as I have used But, I have DNA matches on both. So, I will probably use MyHeritage more as I have time. I also have DNA matches on Their DNA match “Family Tree” was the best resource for finding my unknown grandfathers family. I used that info on 23 and info that I gathered from other matches on Ancestry with the fairly new Apple program “Freeform” to make a chart that led to his family.