MacFamilyTree 5.7.4 Released

Synium Software has released a new version of the Mac OS X genealogy application MacFamilyTree, version 5.7.4. Nothing new has been added, but if you are using the iPhone/iPod Touch of MacFamilyTree (MobileFamilyTree 2), this is definitely an upgrade you’ll want to grab as it fixes several sync problems people … Read more

Family Tree Maker for Mac – It’s Back

Family Tree Maker - Mac Update: FTM 2010 for Mac has been replaced by Family Tree Maker for Mac 2. has officially announced today that they are bringing Family Tree Maker 2010 to Mac OS X. Yes, Family Tree Maker is going to once again grace Apple’s Macintosh lineup, only this time the OS is Unix-based and Family Tree Maker is not being published by Broderbund. It’s been over a decade since a version of Family Tree Maker built specifically for the Mac has graced our hard drives. I would like to pretend shock and surprise, but I was tipped off to this prior to today. I will admit I was only slightly skeptical, due to’s Tree-to-Go software for the iPhone/iPad. All that can be said for now is that it will be available later this year and it’ll be built on the functionality of Family Tree Maker 2010.

That’s not to say that Mac users weren’t using the Windows version of Family Tree Maker 2010 – VMware Fusion, Parallels Desktop, and VirtualBox all provided the means for us to run Microsoft Windows and whatever genealogy software for Windows on our Macs that we saw fit. Many of us chose to go with native Mac OS X genealogy software for very good reasons, although some just couldn’t quite make the transition and held on to their Windows genealogy software.

It’s not too surprising when you think about it – Macs have been steadily increasing market share, and the iPhone and iPad have both taken off. With the iPhone app ( Tree-to-Go Entry at, it would have been really odd to push out an iPhone/iPad app and ignore the Mac OS X market.

Just to take you a on a little trip down memory lane, this is the Family Tree Maker Deluxe Edition II for Macintosh Press Release from 1997, that was posted on around four and a half years ago.

There’s got to be a couple of main areas that Family Tree Maker 2010 has covered, right from the start. Otherwise, there won’t be any reason for people to switch.
1) Straight-up 100% migration of the PC version of Family Tree Maker 2010 to the Mac version. This is not really an option – if you have somebody running FTM in Parallels Desktop or VMware Fusion and you offer them a Mac version of FTM but don’t offer an easy way to migrate, they’ll have no reason to leave a Windows virtual machine for Mac OS X.
2) At least 90-95% of the functionality of the Windows version, or again, FTM users won’t switch. There are obviously things that will be different because of the OS differences.
3) Things that many Mac users take for granted such as iPhoto integration. Having been a veteran of many ports of software from Windows to Mac, some companies chose to ignore the benefits of Macs in order to keep porting streamlined. It would be very foolish to just slap a Mac-looking interface on it and push it out the door.

As for my personal opinion?
The more, the merrier. Competition is always good, especially for those of us end-users. I know plenty of people who got used to certain Windows applications that were held back from moving to Mac OS X. Some chose to use work-arounds, either going through a migration process, or holding on to their Windows genealogy software using VMware Fusion or Parallels Desktop. Should FTM for Mac OS X offer an easy migration path, you’ll see plenty of FTM users making the switch. I think has to do the things I outlined above for it to be considered a success. Even though this is technically the first release of FTM for Mac OS X, they have the resources to make a strong showing out of the gate. We might even see people migrating data from their non-FTM genealogy software to the Windows version of FTM and then down to the Mac OS X version. Strange things happen when you have a lot of data to migrate and very limited migration paths.

What about other Mac genealogy software developers?
The Mac genealogy software market is incredibly mature and very competitive at this point. It’s probably more mature and competitive than it was back in the 1990s when Family Tree Maker was still being produced by Broderbund for Apple Macintosh computers (during the Mac OS/”Classic” days). Is Family Tree Maker for Mac going to be the proverbial 800 pound gorilla? (Wikipedia) I actually don’t think so. When the move to Intel CPUs was made several years ago, with VMware Fusion and Parallels Desktop, it allowed a lot of Windows users to migrate over to Macs, and even keep that Windows software they needed to keep. Over time many of those people eventually moved to Reunion, GEDitCOM II, MacFamilyTree, etc. This is certainly going to help people new to Macs, but I think that people who have 100% switched to Macs, including their genealogy software, are not going to be running to Family Tree Maker for Mac in droves. Several of the current genealogy software developers for Mac are on top of their game and know what their customers and fans want and have been working for years to stay up with the evolution of the Mac platform. If Family Tree Maker wants to get those people on the FTM bandwagon, they’ll have to do quite a bit from the start. Family Tree Maker certainly benefits from integration. There is no doubt about that – many users of existing Mac genealogy software are also subscribers.

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GEDitCOM II 1.4 Build 1

GEDitCOM II, a Mac OS X genealogy program (requires OS X 10.4) has just received a massive upgrade. It’s now at version 1.4, Build 1 (Version 1.3 came out in January of this year) and there are quite a few major changes and additions that were made. I’m looking forward to checking it out.

It now allows for thumbnail creation for multimedia objects. It also has a new format that allows you to display your genealogy data with a look similar to Wikipedia. There are a lot of other changes and improvments, but a major one is that GEDitCOM II is now a free data reader for GEDCOM files.

Release Notes/Changes:
* GEDitCOM II is now free to use as a GEDCOM file reader. Thus, you can send your data to a relative with a Mac and then can download and use GEDitCOM II to view the genealogy data. * * You still need a registered copy to save changes or export data.
* GEDitCOM II will now create thumbnails for all multimedia objects with images. This change allows you to work much faster with files having many multimedia objects, particularly if the multimedia files contain large images. It also adds an option for the file to travel with the thumbnails and thus be able to display at least a small image even if the original multimedia files are not available.
* For non-image multimedia objects, GEDitCOM II will try to display the icon for the multimedia file type. It should work for most standard types of files.
* You can control click any editing field to have new options such as starting a Google search on that text.
* You can control click any date field to do date calculations such as converting calendars, finding day of the week, or finding age of individual on that day.
* The Find/Replace panel now works in any editing field.

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MacGenealogy.Org – Site Update Part 2

Update: the first thing I’m doing is getting the Mac Genealogy Software listing in shape. From there I’ll be updating everything else. Not quite two weeks ago, I mentioned would be offline for a short time while I did some work on it. As you can see, the work … Read more

Review of Reunion 9 at

Grant Brünner at has put together a review of Reunion 9 as part of his “Genealogy on your Mac” series. He took a look at the user experience / user interface and talked a bit about it. He also took a look at syncing up your Reunion 9 genealogy … Read more

MacFamilyTree 5.7.3

A few days ago (approximately the 9th), Synium Software released an update to MacFamilyTree 5.7. Version 5.7.3 adds text of sources to the web export feature, but is otherwise comprised of fixes and improvements. MacFamilyTree is a commercial genealogy application and is available for $49 for new users and $25 … Read more