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MacUser, January 1996

Reunion: The Rolls Royce of Roots Research

Excerpt from the review by Carolyn Bickford

Despairing of finding a genealogy program with an intuitive interface, I was pleasantly surprised by Reunion, from Leister Productions (717-697-1378) ... it's both easy to use and capable and it produces great charts.

Its interface features well-designed displays, easy navigation, and clear choices of action. The main window shows you three generations at once: grandparents, parents, and children, with up to eight fields for events in parents' lives such as the parents' birth dates and education. To navigate between generations, you either select the Overview menu option or just double-click on the grandparents or children. Adding subsequent or previous marriages (or unmarried parents) is as easy as selecting Add Spouse from the menu bar. You can then look at a parent's other partners, by bringing up a pop-up list of their names from a heart icon above each parent's name. The fields are modifiable, so you can change, say, the christening date to the immigration date or religion to political affiliation. You can even use color codes to identify a child as, for instance, a twin, a child of unmarried parents, or adopted. And it's easy to create records for mystery relatives and then link them into the family tree once you've uncovered their relationship.

Reunion includes plenty of niceties in the areas of notes, addresses, and pictures. It has three modifiable fields for notes for each person, so you can keep track of your sources separately from anecdotes. ...it lets you keep addresses, which you can export to a contact manager, for family members. Reunion lets you link pictures to family members and also lets you look at the linked pictures separately --- which you might want to do if you're scanning documents and linking them to the program.

Reunion also creates the most beautiful charts of any of the programs. You can create descendant and pedigree charts for any member of your family. You can also create a wide variety of reports, from a Personal report (which shows everything you've noted for one member of your family) to an Ahnentafel report (which lists family members by generation).

My favorite feature, however, was Reunion's ability to provide the correct names for various blood relationships, which comes in handy when you're trying to puzzle out whether cousin George is your second cousin or your first cousin once removed. The other programs can create descendant charts from which you can extrapolate your relationships, but if a program can do it for me, so much the better...