A large portion of genealogy work requires an internet connection and genealogy software. But genealogists of any skill level could complete plenty of work away from a desk. Gravesites, libraries and county offices hold a treasure trove of ancestral information. When you're on the go, it's likely you'll have a cellphone with you. We've gathered an unranked list of useful apps for genealogists to put their phones to work. Some of our top-ranked genealogy programs for Mac also have mobile apps associated with the software. These apps sync with the software on your Mac so you can continue to chart and add new information as you learn.
Platform: iOS 7.0 or Android 4.0
The app from the famous genealogy search engine Ancestry.com is similar to the website. From this free app, you can research your family history from you iOS or Android device. If your family tree is always growing and evolving, this app is great for keeping the ever-changing database intact and consistent. When you find new family members, you can add them to your tree on your mobile device, upload photos and swap stories. The mobile app syncs with the genealogy software and website, so you can work with the same tree across platforms as long as you have internet access.
Platform: iOS 5.1 or Android 2.3
Apps are a great way to connect with people who have common interests. Like other famous mapping apps such as Geocaching, BillionGraves is an interactive app for genealogists around the world. The goal of BillionGraves is to create digital maps of every cemetery near you. To participate, collect photos and map out your entire local cemetery or just portions of it. Others can see what you've mapped and use your work as research. In turn, you can access the locations and information for graves other people have mapped. Within this app, you can collect photos of headstones around you and upload the photos. The more people who map gravesites, the more easily future genealogists can find the ancestors they're looking for.
Platform: iOS 5.0 and up
Genealogists by nature are bookworms. They have to be to slog through mountains of research. For your digital book and document collection, the app Book Crawler is a helpful tool for research and organizing. Book Crawler is a great tool to gather information about sources such as author, publication and publish dates that may be hard to find. Within this app, you can log, search and organize publications. The built-in ISBN scan can record barcodes of any books you may be interested in at a bookstore or library. Book Crawler can access your local library's database to check the availability of books you want to check out. But at its soul, this app can help you view and organize your collection. Not all of your documents have to stay within the app if you prefer other platforms like social networks, Dropbox or your eReader.
Platform: iOS 7 or Android 2.3 and up
From the popular genealogy search engine, the FamilySearch app gives you access to millions of records. You can access narratives, images and recordings of your ancestors. You can build your own records and share them through this genealogy site. FamilySearch is especially useful for family history related to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. If you prefer to use FamilySearch, this app is a good choice to unify your research and materials.
Platform: iOS 6.1 and up
GedView is a viewing tool, but that's not all it can do. GedView carries your family tree on your phone, tablet or any other iOS-enabled device. We recommend using this app as a reference when conducting research in the field. Within GedView, you can take photos or video to add to your family tree. With your work, you can create slideshows and work with PDFs, Microsoft Word documents, Excel sheets and MP3s. Storing multiple family trees are no issue for GedView, making it a handy tool for professional genealogists or family historians who may work with more than one family.
Platform: iOS 7.0 or Android 2.6 and up
On the Web, MyHeritage is a genealogy search engine. On an iOS or Android device, MyHeritage doubles as a portable family tree editor. You can still use MyHeritage's extensive search engine to find records and articles about your family. With the help of your phone's camera, you can add photos or videos to your family records, edit profiles and relationships, and search through records on the MyHeritage website. When you've made changes, you can sync with MyHeritage account to keep your tree consistent online and on the go.
Platform: iOS 4.3, Android 2.1 or Windows 7 devices
Obituaries are an important resource for genealogists because they contain some of the most important basic facts about an individual. Obituary is an app that accesses over 100 daily obituaries from cities across the U.S. From Ann Arbor to Arizona, you can monitor recently deceased and old obit records for your genealogy work. The independent developers who designed this app frequently update the software. If you cannot find a local paper on the list of publications, there is customer support available.
Platform: iOS 6.0 or Android 2.3 and up
Shoebox is a photo manager app that links to your genealogy records. It scans images and documents so you can tag, edit and date photos. You can also map locations and upload images directly to your Ancestry.com family tree. If you have an Ancestry.com account and complete most of your work on the website, this is a helpful app to have.
Platform: iOS 5.1 or Android 2.2 and up
TreeView is mobile genealogy software and a family tree builder. Within this app, you can create pedigree, hourglass and ancestor charts, add notes and details. With a subscription, you can view records on TheGenealogist's website even without an internet connection.