FAQ – Personal Ancestral File for Mac (MacPAF)

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This article/FAQ is about Personal Ancestral File for Mac, the genealogy application from FamilySearch.

I used Personal Ancestral File for Windows, what about Mac OS X?
There is no updated version of Personal Ancestral File for Mac OS X. Development stopped with a version that only runs on Mac OS 9 and earlier.

I used Personal Ancestral File for Macintosh (PAF for Mac) and I want to keep using it
First off, if you are on an PowerPC Mac with an older version of Mac OS X (maybe 10.4?), you may have the Mac OS “Classic” environment available that would allow you to keep running PAF for Mac. If you have bought a Mac in the last few years, then you won’t be able to run the “Classic” environment. I would recommend you look at other Mac Genealogy Software because you would be missing out on a lot of interesting and exciting features that newer Mac genealogy applications are able to take advantage of. If you need to keep using PAF for Macintosh and you are on an Intel-based Mac, read below.

What about alternatives if I need help with events specific to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS)?
See the LDS / TempleReady Mac Genealogy Software list.

I still want to use PAF for Mac and I’m on a newer (Intel) Mac
If you need to use it for some reason, there is an application/virtual machine software called SheepShaver (Wikipedia) that allows you to run old Mac OS applications that run on Mac OS 7.5.2 through 9.0.4. You will need a ROM from an older Mac to enable this software. I will expand on the steps necessary in the future.

What about MacPAF?
It’s no longer in development as far as I know.

Okay, so what’s the closest equivalent to PAF for Mac OS X?
Probably Personal Ancestral Writer (PAW2U).

This page last updated: 19 February 2015