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International Internet Genealogical Society Newsletter

A Program for Mac Users

Review by Penny Bonnar, August 1998


Genealogists are nothing if not the world's most dedicated recordkeepers. Notebooks, file cabinets, piles of documents stacked on desks---no family historian's home is complete without them. The advent of the desktop computer in the 1980s didn't replace those genealogical tools. The genealogist merely moved the piles of documents off the desktop (or dining room table) to make room for technology.

The world of desktop computers is largely broken down into two classes--PCs and Macintoshes. Perhaps the most highly rated and popular genealogy software for the Macintosh is Reunion, created by Frank Leister of Leister Productions, Inc.

Unlike much of the genealogy software on the market, Reunion was not adapted from a PC program to fit a Mac. Rather, it was created for the Mac and its user-friendly interface is immediately recognizable by any Mac user.

Reunion 5.06 is the latest release of the program which comes with a comprehensive manual and accessible tech support through its associated web page and its daily digest mailing list which provides answers not only from other Reunion users, but from Reunion tech support.

Reunion 5 comes packaged on one floppy disk and requires just four megabytes of RAM. You must be running at least System 7.1 and the program requires QuickTime 2.5 or newer.

Family information is displayed on the screen in a familiar family group sheet format called "Family Cards." Each family card contains a person and spouse for whom birth, death, occupation, religion, notes and other information is displayed. Buttons below the parent information represent the children belonging to the family group. Buttons above each spouse represent their parents. A simple click on a person button takes you to that person's family group card. Couples and unmarried people alike have family cards which can be printed out.

Reunion works with most popular word processing programs to generate several different types of reports from Family History Reports to Tiny Tafels.

SuperChart is a separate application which comes bundled with Reunion. Easy to use and working in conjunction with the data entered into Reunion, SuperChart automatically draws graphic charts. Tree charts, timelines, pedigree charts and relative charts are all possible. Like Reunion, many of the features are customizable.

Reunion allows users to import photos, sounds and even movies to link to families. Reunion 5 also is "Internet-ready" and creating reports and family cards for your web page requires little more than a click. The program also supports the import and export of Gedcom files as well as text files.

An easy-to-read manual takes new users step-by-step through the programs many features. Technical support is very good...

Leister Productions also developed Reunion for PC's. However, the company sold its PC version to Sierra On-Line which released it as Generations Deluxe 4.2.

© 1997, 1998 IIGS™

IIGS is a trademark of the International Internet Genealogical Society