LifeLines stork logo
LifeLines, second generation genealogy software
original author
Tom Wetmore
LINES-L discussion list established 1992 by Cliff Manis, now owned by Marc Nozell
FAQ for LINES-L by Marc Nozell
The official manual is now included in the distributions. Nonetheless, here are some snapshots:
3.0.2 Français RTF tgz or zip
3.0.5 (2000/03) online (3 formats)
3.0.7 (HTML only) (2001/11) (c/o Jens Arvidsson): online or tgz or zip
3.0.7 chm (Microsoft help file) (2001/11) (c/o David Johnson): zip
3.0.39 Manuals
emacs lines-mode.el by Marc Nozell
emacs gedcom.el by Stephen A. Wood
vim syntax highlighting by Patrick Texier
Updated report scripts are now included with the Lifelines kit.
Previous official repository at Genealogy Anonymous FTP Site by Stephen A. Wood the same via Web interface
the same in one .tar.gz file
copy of individual reports at Dan Hirschberg's site
copy of .tar.gz file at Dan Hirschberg's site
all reports posted on LINES-L by Vincent P. Broman
genealogical charts in PostScript by John S. Quarterman
LifeLines report programs by Robert Simms [ BROKEN ]
  previous versions
3.0.1 and 3.0.2 original Tom Wetmore's sources plus binaries for Solaris, Linux and MS-DOS at Genealogy Anonymous FTP Site by Stephen A. Wood
the same via Web interface
old repository at no longer works
Copy of Tom Wetmore's 3.0.2 docs: online or tgz
3.0.2 MS-DOS port by Dan Hirschberg
3.0.5 Windows95/NT port by Paul McBride
- description of changes
3.0.7 Windows Console version by Perry Rapp
GenWeb site by Scott McGee
WW-Person by Herbert Stoyan
theoretical article on WW-Person by Herbert Stoyan
GenServ home page by Cliff Manis
Dan Hirschberg
Denis Roegel
Petter Reinholdtsen
Franck Barbenoire

Quick Links

Github: Code | Issues | Reports
Documentation: FAQ | Manual | Man Pages

Key Info

  • Lifelines was written by Tom Wetmore circa 1991-1994 and he has now placed it under an MIT-style license. Tom no longer works on lifelines, but does occasionally participate on the LINES-L mailing list. His original website was but is no longer valid. Historians can visit the wayback machine if they desire to see it.
  • The long running mailing list for Lifelines is To subscribe, send a message to and put in the body of the message
    The list archives are at
  • Information is stored in a GEDCOM format. If you don't know what that is, you may have a little difficulty getting started. I'd recommend that you export a GEDCOM file from your existing genealogy software pagage and import it into lifelines. If you don't have one handy, grab a GEDCOM from one of the genealogy sites. I recommend
  • IMHO, the real power of lifelines is its scripting ability. There are a number of lifelines reports (aka scripts) that generate all manner of output -- Ahnentafels, ancestor/descendant reports, groff formatted ancestor reports, beautiful LaTeX books of all ancestors, PostScript fans of ancestors, vital records of all individuals in a format suitable for importing to palm pilot databases (specifically DB which is also hosted here on sourceforge). All the reports are included in the kit.
  • Internationalization and localization: Native language support has been added for a number of languages, including Danish, French, German, and Swedish beginning with the 3.0.29 release.
  • As an open source project, full source is available. The files may be browsed directly on the web (via the Github links at the top of the page).


For a complete list of planned work items, please refer to the task list, but here is a short list.
  • Work on an X-based GUI (volunteer to help!)
  • Better documentation with translation (volunteer to help!)
  • Improving access to sources, events, etc (underway)
  • UI and DB APIs for extensibility

O/S specific notes


Brief Installation notes.