Playing with Ages in Reunion 10

I haven’t had a lot of time to play around with the Reunion 10, the family-tree software I use on my Mac, but one thing I have enjoyed is the Ages feature. I don’t know if this was available on Reunion 9, but if it was, it wasn’t as accessible.

Here’s how it works: Click on a couple in the Family View and on Ages in the left sidebar and in the right sidebar you’ll see exactly how old they were at the various that are entered in their event database. (You can toggle between the two members of the couple.)

For me, this brings these people back to life. I see, for example, that my maternal grandmother, Susie Brown, was 22 years, 9 months and 4 days old when she married my grandfather. And that she was between 25 and 33 when she moved from Missouri to Washington state. (I know that trip occurred in 1936, so she was actually 28 or 28.) I’d always known that my mother was 3 years old when that migration occurred, but I’d never thought about it from my grandmother’s perspective.

Perhaps since I always remembered my grandmother as an old person, I never bothered to think about what it must have been like for her, as a young woman, to move to a strange (perhaps exotic) part of the country. I haven’t really thought about what the over-the-road trip (this was before airplanes were commonly used) with two small children must have been like.

Of course, this makes me wish I’d quizzed her and my mother more when I was growing up. It’s not too late to ask my mother, but she’ll have no memory of the actual move. But she can share family lore.

Simply playing around with the Ages feature on one relative has sparked a whole line of inquiry. I can’t wait to see what it sparks as I use it more.

Excited to use Reunion 10

I use Reunion software on my Mac and today upgraded to version 10. I usually am pretty cautious about updating software that I’m happy with, but one look at the video outlining the new features and I was in. (And that was before I learned I could get the upgrade at no cost, since I’d bought Reunion 9 in 2012.)

I’d had no complaints with Reunion 9. When I started doing genealogy research 10 years ago, I hand wrote everything. But when I got serious about it again this year, I knew I needed software and I decided on Reunion, which is native for the Mac. So I had nothing to compare it to, but I was very pleased.

But Reunion 10 is even more exciting. They’ve added many easy-to-use reporting and charting features. They’ve also expanded what you can see on one screen and increased the ease of navigation.

As I’ve mentioned in a post about my research plan, my strategy is to use Reunion to document my family history research and to add nothing to it that has not been verified and properly sourced. At first that felt like kind of a drag…Reunion felt like a necessary evil. As I add data to it and watch my family tree grown, fully confident that the information contained in it is solid, Reunion is feeling more like a friend. And now that I have Reunion 10 to play with, it’s become an even more interesting friend. (Like going home from college with a friend and discovering she has a cute brother!)

Click below to see the video that outlines the improvements to Reunion 10. If you haven’t already updated, you might consider it!

The Top Ten New Features in Reunion 10 (video)