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Reunion 10 Offers Better Genealogical Overviews, Web Search

Genealogy buffs, take note! Leister Productions has released Reunion 10, a significant upgrade of their venerable genealogy tool, with a focus on improving navigation of complex family trees. Most obviously, the Family Card, the initial view showing the source individual, their parents, spouse, spouse’s parents, and all children, has been replaced with the far more customizable Family View. Along with numerous display options, every person’s card can now contain a picture as well as any event or fact you care to display.

Also notable is the new Tree View, which replaces the former Overview and offers a scrollable tree (either in hour-glass or pedigree format) allowing you to explore the family tree in a more fluid manner.

A new right sidebar — populated by clicking items in the left sidebar — provides different lists including people, sources, multimedia, relatives (people sorted by their relationship to a specified individual), ages, places, treetops (the oldest known ancestors on every branch of the tree), and more. You can hide this sidebar to provide more screen real estate to the information-heavy Family and Tree views. The sidebar also serves as a source for dropping places into place fields in appropriate views, and you can drop people
into Relatives, Treetops, and Ages sidebars to show the associated data.

Reunion 10 also sports several new reports and charts, including a report that lets you see the makeup of an individual’s family on a particular date, an obituary report, and a chart showing the relationship between two specific individuals. Plus, non-blood relatives can now be shown in a relationship report or chart (for example, someone who is the daughter of the spouse of your second cousin). Other new and improved reports include an events report that shows a list of events for people in the family and a multimedia usage report that helps you identify where files are linked.

Although these new display and reporting features are welcome, they’re aimed at providing a better overview of data that’s already in Reunion. Instead, my favorite new feature is the built-in Web search that enables me to perform a quick search for a given person on a number of key genealogical Web sites, either one at a time or a set of favorites at all once. In just a few minutes of playing around, I found the death certificate and the names of the parents of my great-great-grandfather.

There are many other smaller improvements along with videos explaining Reunion’s top ten new features, which join an already long list of genealogical goodies for those who aren’t yet familiar with Reunion’s capabilities.

Reunion also offers companion iPhone and iPad apps ($14.99 each) that work with both versions 9.0c and 10. New copies of Reunion 10 are available directly from Leister Productions for $99; upgrades from earlier versions cost $49.95.

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