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Familiar is my attempt at a genealogy site builder web app that is simple and powerful.

There are systems out there that work extremely well (like but are not FOSS, and there are FOSS alternatives (like webtrees) that are very clunky and difficult to use and customize. For my personal use, I used to use a heavily-customized install of Mediawiki+Semantic Mediawiki, but hopefully this will replace that.


If you already have a Heroku account you can click this to get up and running:


Requirements (non-Docker)

If you want to run your own instance of Familiar, you must be familiar with Ruby on Rails web applications. This is the stack I used for development:

  • Ruby & Bundler (~>2.3.3) (installing with rbenv is highly recommended)
  • foreman or forego for Procfile-based launch (technically optional, but highly recommended)
  • PostgreSQL (required to leverage search capabilities)

If this is your first time running familiar, you need to configure the environment variables:


And the database:

rake db:create db:migrate

Get all that (and the database) configured, and a simple

foreman start

should be enough to start 'er up.

Docker Requirements

Running on docker is (ideally) as simple on first launch as

docker-compose build
docker-compose run web rake db:create db:migrate
docker-compose run web ./
docker-compose up

If this isn't the first launch, then

docker-compose up

Then you should be able to see your instance at http://localhost:5000/


Upcoming features:

  • JSON data import/export
  • Export GEDCOM and GRAMPS XML
  • Intelligent linking within notes and tags

Completed features:

  • Gramps importer
  • Facebook login and comments
  • Image uploading
  • "Story"/wiki-style note editor (markdown is supported too!)
  • Tagging system for images and notes
  • Full-text search (good enough)

More will be added when I think of them!


If you have an idea for a feature or suggestion, feel free submit a pull request or send me an email!