Some 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.
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, MacFamilyTree.com 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.