MacFamilyTree 8 is Now Available

If you are a Macintosh user, you will want to read this! I saw a preview of MacFamilyTree 8 a few weeks ago when it was still being developed and I was very impressed. Version 8 has now been released and is available to everyone. It is a major update and contains a lot of new features. In my opinion, MacFamilyTree has the most “Mac-like” graphical user interface of any genealogy program I have ever seen on any operating system. It uses the Mac’s graphics capabilities better than any other genealogy program. It also is super easy to navigate up and down your family tree, in and out all the various branches, and to quickly identify relationships. It also is very good at finding “problems” with your data.


Version 8 now has been released and is available to everyone in the Macintosh App Store for $29.99 US. Please note that is a 50% discount for everyone and will be available until July, 17th – no matter if you own a previous version or not. The price will increase after July 17, probably to the normal price of $59.99 US. You can also download and use a free demo of version 8 to use for a while to see whether or not this is the genealogy program for you. I suggest you try it.

A matching MobileFamilyTree 8 for iOS app is also now available.

MacFamilyTree is available in 14 languages. It requires Mac OS X 10.10 Yosemite or higher. For the sync between different devices an iCloud account is required.

I now have MacFamilyTree Version 8 installed on my iMac and am learning about all the many features available. You can find a number of screen shots of MacFamilyTree in operation at For more information, look at:

Here is the long, long list of the new features in version 8, as listed on the MacFamilyTree web site:

New Interactive Tree

  • Much improved layout
  • Beautiful new look
  • Navigate, add and enter persons faster than ever
  • Better FamilySearch integration
  • Force Touch supported
  • Completely configureable
  • Display up to 8 generations of ancestors and descendants at once, including brothers & sisters
  • Full keyboard control for browsing the Interactive Tree

Completely new user interface

  • Much better usage of screen space
  • Configureable functions layout
  • Hide functions you do not use often
  • Quick keyboard navigation
  • Global back and forward history similar to a web browser
  • New database management window

Smart Filters

  • See only relevant entries from your database you’re currently focusing on
  • Create and save complex search filters (all living women in Texas)
  • Available for Persons, Families, Sources, Places and ToDos
  • Also available for most reports to create specialized reports from a subset of persons from your tree

Powerful new Sidebar Lists

  • Completely redesigned Person, Family, Place, Source and ToDo sidebar lists
  • Much improved search options
  • Configureable grouping/sectioning options (for example by birth place, last name, creation date and so on)
  • Sorting options greatly enhanced
  • Available in the Edit, Views and Reports sections

Custom Event & Fact types

  • Create your own Person Events, Facts or Family Events, and record any kind of information
  • All reports and views adapted to display custom events and fact types
  • Hide event and fact types you do not use often
  • Easily import data from other genealogy apps
  • More default event and fact types added
  • Improved management of event icons

Improved edit mode

  • Adjustable font size for all edit sections
  • Improved keyboard navigation
  • Improved event, fact and source lists
  • Optionally larger sizes for parents, partners and children above and below the edit view
  • Better readability
  • Better performance

Change Log

  • All changes in your database are recorded for further reference
  • Keep track of when you worked on which records
  • See all change log entries for a specific person or family directly in the edit sections

Much improved performance

  • All parts of MacFamilyTree & MobileFamilyTree heavily optimized
  • Improved memory usage

GEDCOM support

  • Much improved compatibility with other apps
  • Better handling of custom GEDCOM tags from other genealogy apps
  • Improved importing performance
  • Detailed error reporting
  • Improved and configureable character encoding detection

Navigation Timeline

  • Quickly see and select persons related to the person you are currently editing
  • See when events happened in a person’s lifetime
  • Available in all edit functions

Plausibility testing

  • Checks for many different kinds of data integrity problems like „buried before death“
  • Available for the Interactive Tree or when editing persons or families

Improved places management

  • Map added to check if the selected place is the correct one
  • Improved automatic batch coordinate lookup
  • Rewritten places merge including automatic merge suggestions

Improved FamilySearch integration

  • Auto-Login option added
  • Improved performance when matching and downloading persons
  • Support for more event types


  • Unknown gender option added
  • Charts & Reports options revamped for better numerical input
  • More sorting & grouping options for the Person List report
  • Name Distribution can now be displayed for first name
  • Labels can now be displayed in all charts
  • New Events & Facts statistic chart added
  • New search sites added to the Web Research feature
  • Performance of the Media Gallery improved
  • Improved import from Apple’s Photos app
  • Person List Report option added to separate name components into different columns
  • New user manual

The following video illustrates many of the features in MacFamilyTree version 8:


How would you compare this with the new-and-hopefully-improved FTM 3+ for the Mac, to which I am still waiting to be able to upgrade (hear me, MacKeiv?).


    —> How would you compare this with the new-and-hopefully-improved FTM 3+ for the Mac

    MacFamilyTree has a much, much better user interface. The two programs are very different from each other.


Does it have an Android companion app for us mixed platform users?


I have Family Tree Maker 3. Will I be able to import the information from FTM 3 to MacFamilyTree program easily. I understand Ancestry will no longer be supporting FTM 3. How about importing information from familysearch?


Oops – didn’t notice that it requires Yosemite or newer. Too bad, now I have to wait for either Apple to fix their OS problems so I can upgrade beyond Mavericks, or for MacKiev to release the new FTM 3 so that owners of the old FTM 3 can upgrade.


    Mavericks was terrible and people avoided it. Yosemite is great. El Cap less so since apple worsened mission control and disk utility.


How would you compare Reunion to MacFamily Tree?


    —> How would you compare Reunion to MacFamily Tree?

    Two very, very different programs. Comparing them is an “apples versus oranges” challenge.

    Reunion has been around for many years. It is a mature product with all sorts of features that genealogists demand. It features a rather old-fashioned interface that will appeal to many of us who have been using computers for years. Reunion has thousands of users who love the program.

    MacFamilyTree is newer and has a much more modern “look and feel.” It is graphics-oriented. It is visually striking, unlike any other genealogy product on the market today. It is difficult to describe the capability to zoom in and out of your family tree or the ability to move out onto one branch of the family and back again simply by clicking-and-dragging with the mouse. I like that interface although I suspect some traditionalists will prefer the older, keyboard-oriented interfaces of other programs. Watch the video at for some idea of its use.

    Both programs have an extensive variety of printed reports, charts, and can even generate books. Both programs have matching apps for iPhone and iPad users.

    The other big difference is price: Reunion has a price of $99 while MacFamilyTree has an introductory price of $29.99 and that price will increase to the normal price of $59.99 on July 17.


I’m used to Ancestry and FTM, but agree that they have shortcomings. I wonder if I would have to use Ancestry for their user network and its genealogical databases or not?
1. Does MacFamilyTree sync with like FTM does, without requiring export / import of a GEDCOM file?
2. I suppose MacFT and Ancestry networks are completely separate. I’m afraid I would have manually keep Ancestry and MacFT synced. Any advice?


    —> Does MacFamilyTree sync with like FTM does…

    No. The only program available today that syncs with Ancestry is Family Tree Maker. In addition, RootsMagic has announced that it will add that capability within a few months. I do not know of any other programs that will do so.

    —> I suppose MacFT and Ancestry networks are completely separate. I’m afraid I would have manually keep Ancestry and MacFT synced. Any advice?

    The new owners of Family Tree Maker have announced they will continue to support automatic synching with


Thank you. That means I’ll have to stick with Ancestry/FTM and would only use MacFamilyTree occasionally for its extra features.


I use the Notes function of Reunion to capture all data, research and transcriptions. Does MFT8 support extensive note taking? Also I have had trouble importing Roots Magic Ged.coms into Reunion. Does MFT8 support that kind of import?


    —> Does MFT8 support extensive note taking?

    Yes. You will notice the announcement states, “Create your own Person Events, Facts or Family Events, and record any kind of information.” That is equivalent to many different kinds of notes.

    —> Does MFT8 support that kind of import?

    I believe the answer is “Yes.” I don’t have a RootsMagic GEDCOM handy to use for testing but I did notice that the major changes in version 8 of MacFamilyTree include:

    Much improved [GEDCOM] compatibility with other apps
    Better handling of custom GEDCOM tags from other genealogy apps
    Improved importing performance
    Detailed error reporting
    Improved and configureable character encoding detection


After viewing the video you posted about today I decided to upgrade to El Capitan so I could give MFT8 a try. It was able to ingest my 1500 person FTM3-produced GED file with only a few errors found, but when I got to the end it suddenly died. When I restarted, I got the OS X “this app quit unexpectedly” notice, but when I clicked to restart MFT8 came right up and seems, at least so far, to be OK. I’ve linked up to FamilySearch and the program is slowly walking through my family tree looking for matches (about 40% matches so far).


Update. Had to delete the first family tree (my mistake, not MFT8), and when I loaded the second FTM3 GED file it loaded fine without the unexpected MFT8 crash. One issue I’ve run into is what appears to be a problem importing place information from the GED PLAC tag. For example, I have several place entries in the GED file for Montgomery County, North Carolina, most of which also include “USA” or “United States” in the PLAC entry. However, MFT8 shows this place as located in country North Carolina rather than in state North Carolina in country USA. This may require a lot of manual tweaking, either of the GED file prior to import or in FTM8 after import. Anyone else dealing with this issue?

I do like the look-and-feel of this product, and I plan to put some effort in to make it work. I wish the developer (Synium) had a user blog, but they don’t.


I upgraded both MacFamily Tree and Mobile Tree yesterday. I have used the program for over 5 years and have been very pleased. Being divorced I chose it originally on your recommendation as it is individual-based not family-based like many others. However, I am disappointed that I have the same issue as in the past which is Gedcom transfer.

I use My Heritage for my family website so I uploaded a Gedcom from MFT to set it up just this past fall. Everything transferred well with the exception of “middle name” which the two companies don’t agree on the format (requiring manually to add a middle name as part of first/given name). I now use My Heritage as my primary program with great success using auto transfer of records, etc.. to the tree; however, when I download the MH gedcom to MFT, to keep it current, the female married name no longer transfers to MFT despite the fact that MFT was the original program and format. Frustrating!

I would also prefer if MH would make their mobile app like MFT, a complete program that syncs via the cloud so you can work offline.


I bought MFT 7 only about one month ago (at the full price, of course). If I now want to upgrade to MFT 8, I need to shell out another $30. Meaning that I’m paying three times as much for the program as I would if I just bought it today. To put it as gently as I can… that stinks!


Updating my comment submitted earlier about the upgrade to MFT8 after only one month. I sent an (very professional) email to Synium asking if I really had to pay to upgrade so soon after purchasing it. I received a very fast reply from them with a code to download the upgrade for free.

Thank you Synium for this great customer service!

Liked by 1 person

I have used MacFamilyTree for over 10 years and always been very satisfied. I have had nothing but trouble with version 8. Over 40 people were dropped from my database with the upgrade. After two weeks of back and forth with the developer, they sent me my database with all the people in version 8. But now it appears that most of the attached media did not migrate. I will continue to use version 7 until I am satisfied that the bugs are worked out.


I have just started in genealogy and purchased MFT 8. I’m searching for a message board or forum for help with MFT 8m any ideas?


My MFT is showing up on my tree list. How did that happen?


Ivo Manuel Gomes de Castro October 2, 2016 at 6:30 pm

how you compare with the new heredis? tks


    —> how you compare with the new heredis

    Any comparison would be difficult. The two programs are very, very different from each other. Both Heredis and MacFamilyTree have free demo versions you can download and try for a while. I think downloading the demo versions will produce a better comparison than anything I could ever write.


I just switched, this week, from reunion to mft because of the ease of publishing online with password protection. The website in reunion was way beyond my pay grade–I’m a volunteer! Anyway, I’m getting the hang of it but there are a few things hanging me up. I, too, need a forum to get help. I’ve been helped by writing them but that takes so long. I found this link by searching for a forum.


I did not see a data box for townships when entering place names. How does MF8 handle that?


I have a plan to create a beautiful family tree and then to present it to my grandmother. She will be more than happy to see it. I’m going to use this software.


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