MacFamilyTree – Alzeimers Cure?

MacFamilyTree IconSome time ago my uncle developed Alzeimers Disease and as a result suffers from extreme memory loss. As any good family does, we all got together and discussed options on how best to deal with the situation at hand.  During one of these discussions my uncle revealed his own fear of forgetting the important people around him.  It was this fear that prompted me to compile a family tree, something that could be used time and time again to explain to him who a person was when the time came.

I’m a software developer, so seeking out software to fulfill the task seemed the best way to go about this problem.  Sure enough I found my answer in MacFamilyTree from Synium Software. This software went above and beyond my needs.  The amount of information you can store in addition to the standard family relationships is just amazing.  Combine this with a slick interface and OS X integration and you’ve got yourself the best genealogy application around.

The MacFamilyTree Interface

Adding people and information is as simple as starting with the Family Assistant.  You add a person of reference (MacFamilyTree recommends adding yourself), then simply start adding family members from there. You can share your family tree in a variety of ways including .Mac, or even DVD. MacFamilyTree has is fully GEDCOM-Compatible offering transparent sharing of your family data. Additional features include reporting, charts, and in the new 5.1 release, a very pretty interface. In addition to storing information about a person, media such as images, movies, documents, URLs and music can also be added.  This came in handy when talking about my Aunt Clare, as she was a musician (I was able to store songs with her information).

There are other some other genealogy apps for the Mac including Family and iFamily, however, none had the feature set and ease of use that MacFamilyTree provides. MacFamilyTree may not have cured my uncle’s Alzeimers, but it certainly helps prevent an old man’s heart from breaking!  In my book, it’s great software worth a look. One thing to note, after installing the application for the first time, I attempted to launch the application via Quicksilver only to find it didn’t exist.  I then went into my Applications folder and found the item to be there. It gets indexed by Quicksilver as MacStammBaum, probably something to do with the package contents, but this is a little out of my scope.  Please post comments if you know how to fix this. MacFamilyTree is available from Synium Software for $49.


74 Responses to “MacFamilyTree – Alzeimers Cure?”

  1. MySchizoBuddy on March 9th, 2008 6:17 am

    I prefer, which is a genealogy webapp. Best part is its collaborative feature. I can invite family members so that can also expand the tree. I have limitted info regarding my ancestors, So collaborative editting is god send.
    Plus with gedcom export you can import it into MacFamilyTree as well

  2. Dave Lyon on March 9th, 2008 7:52 am

    MacFamilyTree has definitely come along way. I still have and prefer Reunion 9, a very mature piece of Mac OS X software. But if I didn’t it would be a decision between these two. Aside from anything MacFamilyTree can or can’t do- the pace of development on their end makes Reunion’s rare updates a little annoying. If you like MacFamilyTree and there’s one thing you’re really missing- buy the app, suggest it to the developer, and wait. I suspect sooner or later their frequent updates will include what you need.

    The one thing I wish genealogy desktop software had is a way to take advantage of web-based collaborative apps as another comment mentioned while still using the desktop app. I don’t know how many or even if any web apps have apis that would allow this, but that would be a feature I would love- update your desktop software sync to the web app, other family members can sync your changes down, etc.

  3. Joe on March 9th, 2008 10:47 am

    The worst thing for me about MacFamilyTree is its utter lack of documentation. MFT comes with a quick start guide and a tutorial and that’s about it. There is no built in Help or manual.

    I tried to switch from Heredis (a very capable and mature app but I question the developers commitment to the Mac) but after a GEDCOM import some of my data wasn’t formated correctly. The problem came when I tried to find out the correct format. As there is no built in Help, I turned to the user forum. This was the deal breaker for me. The user forum they have now is an absolute joke.

    The developer is very responsive and promised that they were working on a soon-to-be-released manual. I think MFT will be where I end up after leaving Heredis but for now I think I’ll stay put.

  4. Guillermo Rauch on March 9th, 2008 11:48 am

    That application looks terrific!
    Sorry to hear your uncle has got that terrible disease. Wish you all the best

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    Doing a family tree yourself can also fend off fading brain cells. I think that's why so many post-menopausal women start researching their own family trees :-)

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