In this post, we will cover the best apps for family tree.

Researching and building your family tree is becoming more and more popular. Amazingly, in the English speaking world alone, there are 11.2 million people who have started discovering their family tree!

 

Coming up in this post:

 

What is a family tree?

So what exactly is a family tree? A family tree is the record of a person’s lineage, including life stories, health, education, occupation, and residencies. The term family tree is generally used interchangeably with genealogy, but there is an official difference between these two terms.

The Society of Genealogists determine the differences as follows:

“Genealogy: Establishment of a Pedigree by extracting evidence, from valid sources, of how one generation is connected to the next. (In essence, this means the discipline of the construction of a valid family tree)”


“Family History:
A biographical study of a genealogically proven family and of the community and country in which they lived. (In essence, this means the writing of a biography of a series of related ancestors of common genealogy. Family History incorporates Genealogy)”

 

For the simplicity of this blog post, we will use the term Family Tree as a general term to refer to both family history and genealogy.

 

Importance of researching your family tree

Researching our ancestral lines help us discover who we came from, which in itself opens up a whole can of questions.

From inheritance to health, discovering our past links can bring a wealth of information. Many of us have very different reasons for researching our family trees, each one is as important as the last. Find out more about the reasons people research their family trees in our blog post, Genealogy in the UK.

Tracing your family tree

As we covered in our post, Genealogy in the UK, we highlighted the many different ways to organise and trace your family tree.

Below is a copy of that text, to help you decide on how best to record your family tree:

“There are many ways to record and organise your genealogy research, we will outline the different types below.

Family Pedigree Chart

  • Ascending
  • Descending
  • The estate
  • The agnatic
  • Cognitive
  • Genetic Genealogy
  • Psychogenealogy

A Pedigree Chart is a common form of documenting your line of ancestry. The word pedigree derives from the Latin words, ‘Pedi’ meaning ‘foot’ and ‘grus’ meaning ‘crane’. A ‘crane’s foot’ with the lines and split lines, is used to resemble perfectly the succession of decent through the generations.

The Ascending genealogy is searching the direct ancestors of an individual (normally beginning with you). This can also be referred to as ‘backward’ genealogy.

The Descending genealogy is looking for the descendants of an individual. This is also referred to as ‘forward’ genealogy. This can be from an important figure in history.

The Estate genealogy (also called Probert genealogy), is where professional genealogists trace beneficiaries for unclaimed estates left from the deceased with no wills.

The Agnatic genealogy is focused only on the male side of the ancestry history.

The Cognitive genealogy is a search for the ascendants or descendants of an individual with a different name.

Genetic Genealogy is the science of studying the genetic chromosomes, genes, and DNA of someone’s ancestry. It is used to research the genetic origins of an individual. Also, it can be used for further genealogy study, by linking people with unknown relatives (such as cousins etc) who can combine genealogy research. Scientists classify groups of humans with similar genetic genealogy into ‘haplogroups’. – Groups of people from a common ancestor.

Psychogenealogy is the study of psychoanalysis and genealogy combined. Scientists in this field have looked at the inheritance of behaviours, traumas and neuroses through a multitude of parents, believed this can go as far back as seven generations. This term was founded by psychiatrist and psychoanalyst Carl Jung, who believed that our connections to our ancestors can live in our unconscious minds. Which can bring both positive (humour, enthusiasm and creativity) and negative traits (debts, sadness and relationship problems) with us in our lives. Researchers say psychogenealogy can help individuals recognise and control the influence of the family ancestry.”

 

The new age of technology

A huge driver of the growing interest in family tree research is down to the emergence of new technologies.

Today, it is not only faster and more accessible than ever to begin researching your ancestry, but it is easier too thanks to many computer programs and software. Virtual family trees are a much easier way to update information, copy, and share with family members as your research expands.

The internet

Researching genealogy is the second most visited category of websites on the internet.

The internet has transformed the way we research our family history by making genealogical data available online. For more information on how you can find the best genealogy databases online see a past post of ours here.

Accessibility

The internet has made it so much more accessible to get your hands on genealogy records. With genealogy databases being available online, you no longer need to go exclusively to libraries to search through documents to find what you’re looking for. You don’t even have to leave your home! This ease of use has skyrocketed people’s interest in searching for their family tree. Making it the second-largest hobby in America.

It’s made researching your family tree more convenient and much cheaper.

Meet with relative’s and contacting family members

With dedicated genealogy research organisations and social media groups, getting in touch with previously unknown family members is so much easier than ever before. With just a few clicks of your mouse, you can meet up with extended family and share your family tree research.

Share family tree research with others

You can find out information about your distant ancestors through other genealogists. There are places where you can share your family tree research, and others can add to this or just use it for their own family tree research.

Websites such as Ancestry allow you to share and copy family trees. But do be careful when using someone else’s family tree. Check that they have the right documentation to back up lines and connections. You don’t want to build on someone’s mistakes. It would waste a LOT of your valuable time.

Easy access to DNA genetic testing

Getting your genealogy DNA tested is now easier than ever with the internet. With a few simple clicks you can order a test right off the internet and find out about your ethnicity, genetic medical background, and to find relatives through DNA linking. You can find out more about genealogy DNA testing here.

 

Using GEDCOM files to transfer data/ research

If you are using multiple sources and websites to build and research your family tree, then you’ll want to use something called a GEDCOM file.

GEDCOM (Genealogical Data Communications) is a universally accepted file format that is widely used for building and sharing family tree files. A multitude of family tree building sites will use GEDCOM compatible formats.

If you don’t use a GEDCOM file to build your tree you’ll likely find that when trying to download your family tree from an online website or export it from a computer program that you’ll lose connection to your records.

 

Mobile Phones/ Tablets

As lucky as we are to have the internet to help with our family tree research, it gets even easier with the use of smartphones and tablets. Right in our pockets, we have personal computers, that we can take with us anywhere and anytime. This makes building and researching your family tree easier than ever!

Benefits of using family tree apps

Storing media 

Family tree research has evolved to including all types of media, giving us a fuller picture of who we are and who our ancestors were (if we can find the relevant images). From photos, video and even voice recordings, we can build on our family trees with rich content, informing our future families about how we speak, look and behave.

Organising / Building a family tree

With the use of specialised family tree apps, we can make changes and update our family tree anytime, anywhere. So if we are at the local library and stumble across some vital information, it can be added and updated to our family tree right there and then.

Access to resources

Mobile apps now have access to databases and with the ability to share records with other genealogists.

Conducting interviews/ gathering research

There are many family tree researching apps that give you different and wonderful ways to record interviews with people. With voice recordings or video, you can conduct in-depth interviews that give us so much more than a pen and paper can. You have a direct example of that person’s accent, body language and mannerisms that otherwise would be lost. This makes it especially interesting when future generations can see a likeness in their own personality.

What apps you may need for family tree building:

Storing Media Apps

As we briefly touched upon, family tree building is now including all sorts of media to make the documentation more interesting and rich.

Cemetery Apps

These apps are great for capturing headstone information on ancestors and having a direct location of where to visit for family members to see.

Researching Apps

Researching apps can give you access to online databases including census reports, marriage certificates and so on.

Digitising Apps

Digitising apps are used to make sure you take only the highest quality photos of your media. You can follow the screen guidelines to ensure a perfect photocopy of images rather than a low-quality snap of images or documentation.

Education Apps

These are used to find out new perspectives, great advice, and step-by-step procedures on how to research your family tree. Great for beginners or advanced genealogists as there is a wealth of information that can be learned.

Family Tree Building Apps

The standard family tree app you would expect. These apps allow you to easily build your family trees, add to them and make changes.

 

Now you have an idea on what to expect from family tree apps, let’s take a look at the best apps for a family tree.

The best apps for family tree

Ancestry mobile AppAncestry

Ancestry is an all-in-one family tree app that lets you do a combination of things. From building your family tree to researching genealogical records.

Compatibility:

iPhone, iPad, Android

Price:

Free

Features:

  • Family tree builder
  • Add media and stories
  • Explore the family history and family records
  • Add historical records to your tree
  • You can subscribe for unlimited downloads for family members, or pay £1.49 a document for non-subscribers.
  • Subscribe to Family Tree Maker made by Ancestry to sync all data between online and desktop records.

 

Find a GraveFind a Grave (By Ancestry.com)

Find a Grave is an app made my Ancestry. Designed to help you search for family graves worldwide. With a database of over 180 million graves in half a million cemeteries, making it easier to find relatives.

Compatibility:

iPhone, iPad, Android

Price:

Free

Features:

  • Create memorials for loved ones with words and images
  • Add photos
  • Search for cemeteries near you
  • See photo requests to upload photos for others
  • Request headstone photos
  • Add GPS
  • Locate family graves
  • Share discoveries on social media
  • Save your favourite memorials (celebrities, family, war heroes etc)

 

FamilyTree AppFamilySearch Mobile Tree

FamilySearch has designed a mobile app that not only allows you to build your family tree, but you can add stories and documents to individual family members. It also has a world map feature to see where all your ancestors come from.

Compatibility:

iPhone, iPad, Android, Chromebook, Kindle or Amazon Fire Tablet

Price:

Features:

Benefits:

  • Attach photos, stories, and documents to your family tree
  • Capture important moments as they happen for future generations
  • Share your discoveries on social media
  • See your ancestors on a world map
  • Discover relatives near me
  • Search records and documentation

 

MyHeritage App MyHeritage

The MyHeritage app is to be used with other family members in mind. You can share family trees, who are able to add and edit information.

Compatibility:

iPhone, iPad, Android

Price:

Free for the basic plan

Features:

  • Create your family tree
  • Add photos, names, facts
  • Research billions of global historical records
  • Store on a private online cloud that can be synced across devices
  • Invite family members to add to your family tree
  • View and compare other trees
  • Share photos
  • Order DNA kit and share results

 

HeredisHeredis

Heredis is another mobile family tree builder app. It looks clean and simple to use, plus works with GEDCOM files for easy sharing across the software.

Compatibility:

iPhone, iPad, Android

Price:

Free

Features:

  • Build family tree, add and edit information
  • Send and share and print your tree using GEDCOM file
  • Add notes or photos to tree
  • On iOS devices, you can automatically calculate birth dates from birth certificates using Gregorian, Julian, Republican and Hebrew calendars

 

 

Genealogical trees of familiesGenealogical trees of families

This app looks a little dated but does the job. With just a minimal fee of £2.49, you get a range of features to help build and assist in your family tree research.

Compatibility:

iPhone, iPad, Android

Price:

£2.49

Features:

  • Family tree builder
  • Add biography on family members
  • Add photo and video
  • Stores photocopies of documentation
  • Stores DNA data on family members
  • Works with GEDCOM and ZIP files

Quick Family TreeQuick Family Tree

Quick Family Tree allows you to build your tree, add family members to your account who can also edit and add to the tree. You can even make multiple trees within the app if you wanted to keep lines separate.

Compatibility:

iPhone, iPad, Android

Price:

Free

Features:

  • Family Tree builder without creating an account
  • Add family members
  • Make multiple family trees

 

FindMyPast Findmypast

Findmypast has an attractive looking app that allows you to simply build your tree. Its best feature is the profile building for individual ancestors, where you can add their personal life story, photos and documentation of who they were (or who they are if still living!)

Compatibility:

iPhone, iPad, Android

Price:

Free

Features:

  • Family tree builder
  • Research potential record matches
  • Add photos
  • Create profiles for ancestors

 

KinsmapKinsmap

Kinsmap has a very different and unique layout and design to all the other apps. You can view your family tree in a fan chart, which then can be viewed next to an interactive map. Allowing you to see where your ancestors migrated from overtime.

Compatibility:

Android

Price:

Free

Features:

  • Displays an interactive map of your ancestors, revealing migrations over time
  • Presents family tree in fan chart format
  • Available in 8 different languages
  • Import your family trees from other sources using GEDOM files

 

Ancestry Academy

Ancestry Academy is an educational genealogy app that allows you to build on your family tree researching knowledge. From beginner to experienced, you have access to expert knowledge through a series of video tutorials.

Compatibility:

iPhone, iPad, Android

Price:

Free

Features:

  • Ancestry education app
  • Collection of free video tutorials with research tips from expert instructors

 

Photoscan by Google Photos

With all the documentation, newspaper clippings and photos you’ll come across you want to ensure the copies you have are perfect. No longer with you have blurred images, uneven borders or cropped out images. Photoscan provides an all-in-one easy to use camera guide that also stores all images as a backup in Google Photos.

Compatibility:

iPhone, iPad, Android

Price:

Free

Features:

  • Scans photos in seconds
  • Glare-free
  • Automatically cropped and rotated
  • Perspective correction for straight and accurate scans
  • Backed up in Google Photos

 

Reliving AppReliving

Reliving is a forward-looking family tree app. Focusing on capturing current life stories of you and your family. It has many features that build an extensive and rich family tree, such as media files, interview features, family tree builder and a sharing feature for other family members to add to it. The goal for Reliving is to get the younger generation interested in family tree building for an ongoing interest in family tree research.

Compatibility:

iPhone, iPad, Android

Price:

Freemium model – Free platform with premium features!

Reliving Pro costs £3.99 /month or £39.99 /year

The app is in the process of a phased launch, so it is only available in a closed community until mid-October 2019.

You can register through app.reliving.co.uk/register.

 

Features:

  • Add photos, video
  • Record life stories
  • Voice interviews
  • Build a family tree
  • Create memories and stories to add to your life story
  • Invite family members to join your family time capsule
  • Share your memories with family members
  • Record a daily personal diary
  • Track goals and tasks for goal setting

 

How to get started on researching your family tree:

If you need some help on how to begin researching your family tree, then check out our post here. We provide a thorough guide on how to get started and which are the best types of family tree charts to use.

 

More about us!

Reliving

We have created an app that can not only enable you to create your own family tree, but you can use it as a foundation to build your life story to be passed onto future generations.

We are a forward-looking family tree app. That means instead of tracing your heritage backward, we focus on building a life story around you and adding to it through your future families.

 

How we help document and record genealogical research?

We provide an easy to use platform that neatly compiles all of your data and documentation on your family tree in an organised manner. Through using the family tree builder, you can add photos, documentation, video and voice recordings to family members. Creating a personal profile for each member.

All media files are stored on a secure and private memory platform that only you can access through the Reliving database.

Reliving interview featureInterview Feature

We have a unique interview feature that allows you to capture living family member’s life stories. You’ll have a record of their accent, body language, and mannerisms that will be stored alongside their profile forever.

Stuck for what to ask? Don’t worry, we provide a specific family tree interview questions list that you can edit and add to.

 

Media capture & storage

The media files are a fantastic way to make capturing life stories fun and interesting. Capturing and storing profiles and life stories with a range of media is an exciting way to encourage future generations to preserve their own memories and add to the forward-looking family tree builder.

 

 

Find out more

If you would like to find out more about how you can begin researching and recording your family tree get in contact with us here.

Save your legacy and record memories with Reliving today.