Accessing Ancestral Files on Android Portable Devices

From FamilySearch Wiki
Revision as of 22:42, 25 February 2013 by Brissonbankscv (talk | contribs) (added links)

Jump to: navigation, search

Android Portable Devices

According to Wikipedia, "Android is an Linux-based operating system designed primarily for touchscreen mobile devices...developed by Android, Inc., and backed by Google..", the whole article on these devices is here. It is worth noting that Windows based programs do not work on an Android as it is a different operating system. There are many applications available for the Android which are accessible through their app store Google Play. If one goes there and types in 'Genealogy' or 'Family History' you will find a selection of applications to aid you with displaying your genealogical data files on your device.

When choosing an application one needs to know if an internet connection is needed to use it and/or will your genealogical data reside on your device.

Creating Genealogy Viewer-ability

Instructions for when 'no' Wi-Fi is available

Most genealogical programs have the ability to create a web site from the genealogical information already entered; it is this program function that allows one to view their files on their portable devices. Follow these simple steps:

1) Create your web site pages, most have a default function that saves it to your own computer first before uploading all the files to a web site.

2) Attach your device, a tablet or a smart phone to your computer with the USB cable that came with your device. This will treat the device as an extra drive.

3) Transfer your created web site 'folder' to your device. This will include all the files within that folder associated with all the web pages.

4) Disconnect the device from the computer once that is done.

5) Download the application "Openhtml" to your portable device. This allows you to view your web pages.

6) Locate the transferred folder through the file manager used by your device.

There are number of applications for both device types that handle files, one is usually already pre-loaded onto the device.

7) Using that particular file manager locate the transferred folder, click it to open the folder and look for the 'index.html' file within that folder, clicking it to open that file. The clicking to open should open a menu box that will ask you which file to open the index.html file with, choose "Openhtml" from the list and it will open up your database in the web page format. *** Note that just using a regular browser has not worked up to this point which is the reason for using "Openhtml".

Instructions for Using an Application that works without Wi-Fi access 

Another method is done by creating a Gedcom and using a third party application to view your files. 

  • According to their website, "GedStar Pro is an Android application that also allows you to view all of your genealogy data in detail on your Android Smartphone or tablet. 
  • A companion Windows program is used to extract and convert the data that is stored in a genealogy program on your PC.
  • The resulting file is then transferred to your device for easy and convenient viewing. The app runs on any Google-approved device that uses Android version 2 through the latest version 4 (Jelly Bean)."

This program is easy to use, following these easy steps one can be up and running quickly.

1) Download the program to your PC and run it

2) Create a Gedcom file from your Genealogical program

3) Convert the Gedcom file to a Gedstar file

4) Copy your file to a Dropbox type service

5) Download the GedStar Pro application to your device

6) Either download or already have a Dropbox application on your device

7) Open up the program and locate the file in the dropbox

Once that is complete you have access to your genealogical file. A researcher will find the variety of screen shots to view their data most beneficial. There is a fee to keep this program. The actual Android application is 100% free, however, the PC conversion program needs to be purchased after a 28 day trial period or it will stop working and one will not be able to update the data as you continue your research. The cost is $ 9.95.

Additional Applications

  • allows one to interact with their family tree already on You can download your tree and it stays resident on your tablet and/or you can add and view records, photos, etc.
  • GeneDroid intergrates with one's genealogical data on This application would require an internet connection to use.
  • World Family Tree also integrates with as above.
  • MyHeritage integrates with one's database located on and requires an internet connection.
  • Families works with your Legacy Family Tree allowing files to transfer from your PC to the Android device.
  • Family Bee uses a Gedcom to view your family tree, it allows you to annotate your tree with on-site notes, photos, and documents
  • ezGED Viewer uses a Gedcom to view your family tree