Monday, November 12

Men And Women

I've been using a program called Reunion 9 to build and maintain a Simanoff-Shirley family tree. It's a fairly powerful program, but it's essentially a big database. You plug in names and dates and, when you've got enough information, it will generate humdrum charts and trees.

Reunion does what it's supposed to do, but I wish it did two things differently. First, I wish there were some kind of graphical interface -- that is, instead of entering information on forms and tables, you could add data and move things around directly on the family trees themselves. Second, I wish the family trees didn't look so ordinary.

Over the weekend, I learned about a new genealogy program for the Mac called, surprise surprise, MacFamilyTree. It does exactly what I want Reunion to do. Families are represented directly on the screen, and you can click on a person to add a spouse, children or parents. To me, this is much more intuitive than entering all of this information on a table and then generating a family tree to ensure that in fact all of the family relationships are correct.

Here's a look at my parents and siblings:

MacFamilyTree (resized)

And here's a look at my parents, Lee and Michon, and Ryland:

MacFamilyTree screen grab 2

I was pretty happy toying around with the demo version of MacFamilyTree. In fact, I was considering migrating from Reunion, until I saw how MacFamilyTree classified Britt and me:

MacFamilyTree (resized)

That's right. MacFamilyTree won't actually recognize same-sex couples. It dresses up the female member of the couple as a man when it displays the pair on screen. (What a drag!) I contacted someone at the company that makes MacFamilyTree, and he said that right now there's no way around this.

Reunion doesn't list Britt or me as a woman. It might not be the splashier program, but I think I'll stick with it. It's the program that recognizes that we're both men and we're a couple.

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