Family Tree Apps – Powerhouses for On-the-Go Genealogy

Family Tree Apps - Doing mobile genealogy

Unless you always do genealogy at your desktop or laptop, it’s probable that you’ve gotten into the world of mobile apps. With family tree apps, it’s easy to take your entire genealogy file with you, or even search for gravesites while on the road.

Here are the five apps that get the most use on my iPad. (All family tree apps are free and available for iOS and Android).

​My Favorite Family Tree Apps

Ancestry.com Family Tree Apps

You’ll find multiple ways to use Ancestry’s mobile app. Along the bottom of the screen you’ll find choices for going to hints, your trees, your DNA, and settings adjustments. If you’re on the Hints screen, you can see hints by either the Best or the Latest; or if you tap the icon with the three sliders, you can filter searches by record type and surname. (Click image to enlarge)

Ancestry family tree apps

The Tree page will give you the same view of your tree as you have on the Ancestry.com website. If you select the DNA option (bottom of the screen) you’ll be able to see your ethnicity estimates, DNA matches, DNA Circles, and New Ancestor Discoveries.

The Settings icon let’s you select a tree, connect your Facebook account, and view hints and comments.

I tend to use the app in the evenings, scrolling through the hints. This gives me a chance to immediately delete hints that are obvious non-matches to my family tree.

​Although I’m not going to review it in this article about family tree apps, I will write another time about Ancestry’s We’re Related app.

FindaGrave Family Tree App

The FindaGrave family tree app acts much like the website. When you first open the app (and log in) you’ll have the chance of searching by Memorial or Cemetery. The search screen is straightforward; just type the location or the name into the search box. The app, by default, will search for cemeteries close to your GPS location, based on your phone settings.

​If you like cemetery geneaogy, sign-up for pre-notification of my Master Cemetery Photography Course

After typing a few letters into the search box, the app will automatically start showing you matches based on what you’ve typed, even if it’s only a few letters. If you’re using the app in the field, you can snap a photo, add GPS and share to social media. (Click to enlarge image)

FindaGrave Family Tree App

If you don’t live anywhere near a cemetery of interest, you can also use the app to request a photo of a family tombstone.

RootsTech Family Tree App

RootsTech is the annual genealogy and technology conference, held in Salt Lake City, Utah. If you plan on attending RootsTech, you can use the app to set your schedule, read about speakers, exhibitors, and view the notes you’ve taken within the app.

If you’re not attending RootsTech, you can still get tremendous value from their family tree apps because you can download the handouts for the presentations, just as if you were in the room. (Click to enlarge image)

RootsTech Family Tree App

You’ll find downloads by tapping the downloads icon (right column), or by tapping on the presentations individually. The download link to resources (if any) are at the bottom of the presentation description.

RootsMagic Family Tree App

If you use the RootsMagic software program, you can sync all of your genealogy information with the mobile app. And, at some point in 2017, you’ll be able to sync with your Ancestry.com trees. (Click image to enlarge)

RootsMagic family tree app

Once you enlarge this image, you’ll see that you can search by surname, or look (alphabetically) through all your surnames. Once you find the selected individual, you can view them by pedigree chart, family group sheet (shown in the image), descendant chart, or as an individual. The pink arrow in the image points to the available views. Tape Views at the bottom of the screen to bring up the Views menu.

I love having access to all of my notes in a mobile format. You have no idea how often, when I’m out with family members, that I’m asked about an individual who lived 100 years ago. If I can’t remember anything about them, I just launch the app and pull up their information.

Be sure to tap the Tools icon at the bottom of the page. One of the nifty tools is a relationship calculator. Here, I can quickly calculate how one person is related to another. You’ll also find a date calculator and a calendar.

If you use RootsMagic software, get this app. You’ll love it.

Billion Graves Family Tree App

The Billion Graves app gives you the opportunity to be a genealogy volunteer by photographing, uploading, and transcribing headstones. As we genealogists tend to love to wander through cemeteries, it’s a perfect match! (Click to enlarge image)

Billion Graves family tree app

You’ll need to log in to your account (or create a free one) to begin. Then, you’ll have the options of taking a photo, record, cemeteries, dashboard and photos. To get started, begin snapping photos. Once you’ve finished, you can upload them by cemetery. Be sure to read the help file (found Dashboard > Settings) for a help file and tutorial.

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