FamHx: A FileMaker Genealogy System


I am trying to get a sense of whether there'd be interest in (and a market for) a FileMaker based genealogy database. This is a solution I wrote for my own use, and as I've gradually tweaked and refined it, it's become decently usable and useful. Meanwhile, I've heard many times about the shortage of Mac genealogy applications to choose from, so I decided it would be worthwhile to see if there's any interest on the part of other folks. This would be made available as a runtime application (i.e., you do NOT NEED TO OWN FILEMAKER in order to use it).

It is very conducive to easy export of any found set to generic programs such as Excel, it can (somewhat slowly) read from or export out to industry-standard GEDCOM format...

FamHx records exported to GEDCOM and opened in a standard GEDCOM viewer


...and it can also export in "narrative" format to MS Word or plain text. This feature was originally developed for my father, who writes family history books and needed the info from some GEDCOM files converted to a form easily read and copied from a word processing environment:

Being FileMaker-based it would run on Windows or MacOS machines, and could be used simultaneously by nearly 1000 family members concurrently, all entering and editing data. (For a small multi-user environment each family member wouldneed FileMaker Pro on their Windows PC or Mac; for a large multi-user environment, it would be necessary to host the database with FileMaker Server)


It also supports "grafting": for example a GEDCOM file borrowed from the Jones family could be used by the Smith family wherein John Smith's great great grandfather married a Jones, by importing the Jones GEDCOM into an empty clone of the FileMaker db and then selecting which records are to be grafted into the main Smith database; the selected individuals in Jones are imported, retaining their connections to each other.

It displays (and/or prints out to Adobe PDF which in turn can be printed on paper of the user's preferred size) an extended ancestral chart going back 8 generations (*all* lines from father's father's father's father's father's father's father's father to mother's mother's mother's mother's mother's mother's mother's mother), from the selected individual, on 13 pages that assemble as a giant funnel)

...also an "hourglass" showing, for a selected individual, that person's spouse, children (current limitation 18 children) with the children's (first) spouse and their children, plus the individual's parents and grandparents and the individual's spouse's parents and grandparents. The hourglass allows one to pick which of several spouses of the selected individual to display (along with that spouse's parents and grandparents) but does not as of yet allow for similar selection options for the spouses of children (I may add that option later).

It has a "determine relationship" function which lets you input any two individuals and investigates and returns the information that Person B is Person A's father's mother's mother's father's wife's father's son's daughter's daugher's son, and then lists the individuals who form that chain including their ID number in the databse, birthdate, deathdate, spouse(s), children, parents.


Data entry screen is fairly straightforward, based on an individual; the workflow is designed around entering one's oldest ancestor first and then adding spouse and children. Adding spouses, children, and siblings is a quick and easy button-driven automated process. However, all relationships such as spouses and parents can also be selected manually from filterable dropdown value list.

Multiple windows to the same screen can be opened so that one can enter a newly found great-grandparent in one window and have the child of that person in the other to connect them once added, or to compare info on multiple individuals by having them both open simultaneously.

Email me if you'd be interested in beta testing this product.