Genealogy can help us make our complete family tree and in some cases, help us find relatives who are in other places and whom we do not know. To do this, the best we can do is use one of the several family tree software that we can find on the market at the moment.
The problem is that the large number of alternatives that we can find can make choosing the right one even more difficult. That is why to help you we have made a list in which we make some good recommendations.
Best Family Tree Software Programs
Here are 5 great family tree software options that you can use.
1. Family Tree Maker
Family Tree Maker or FTM, has been around for decades and is the best known and most widely used genealogy software. It has a lot of power and is good at almost everything.
Pros and cons
Family Tree Maker is one of the family tree software that provides all the features you would expect from a genealogy software, and most of them it does very well.
The latest version of Family Tree Maker added a unique feature called FamilySync , which allows you to automatically sync up to three family trees. This is perfect if you have relatives who are working on the same tree as you. Any information you enter is added to their trees and vice versa.
They have also added the ability to color code your ancestors with up to eight different colors each. This can be used to help you keep track of the status of your research, easily see which children a first or second wife had, or any other use you can think of.
Family Tree Maker also includes a lightweight built-in image editor so you can make simple changes to enhance photos connected to your family tree.
The software easily connects to the Ancestry and FamilySearch websites , allowing you to download records directly into your tree.
It also provides detailed suggestions on places to look for more records when you’re connected to the Internet.
FTM is one of the few software that now allows you to include same-sex marriages in your family tree.
On the downside, while Family Tree Maker 2017 offers an improved set of charts and reports, the charts are still not as extensive as Legacy 9. Also, the company that produced Family Tree Maker changed in 2016.
The new company, Mackiev, has made a number of changes and improvements with their 2017 release, but don’t count on them to provide much support for older versions.
Family Tree Maker also tends to be the most expensive genealogy software out there, but for many people, it’s well worth it.
FTM is available for Windows (7.0 or later) and Mac (10.9 or later).
Because it’s been around for so long and is used by so many people, Family Tree Maker has a lot of online support in the form of tips, step-by-step instructions and tutorials, and even how-to videos.
Their website includes a free digital companion guide to get you started using all of the software features.
While all of this support is great in most cases, keep in mind that Family Tree Maker has changed a lot over the years, so some of that support may be outdated.
Still, there are so many users that you can always find a forum to ask questions and get answers from experts quickly.
For years, Family Tree Maker has allowed you to connect with Ancestry to upload your family tree and directly download records from Ancestry to your tree.
With the latest version, FTM now includes that capability for FamilySearch.com as well . That means you can easily connect and share with the two largest genealogy sites in existence with billions of available online records.
2. Legacy 9
Legacy 9, also known as Legacy Family Tree 9, is another one of the full-featured family tree software that many consider to be the best on the market today. It has a lot going for it, and just a couple of weak areas.
Pros and cons
Legacy 9 offers everything you’ve come to expect from family tree software, plus a host of cool extras that are new to the latest edition.
One powerful tool is the Compare Two People tool , which allows you to examine two people side by side. This is especially useful if you have two records with the same name, but you’re not sure if they’re the same person.
The side-by-side display allows you to easily see them instead of having to keep moving back and forth.
Legacy 9 has the most extensive (and in most cases the most attractive) set of charts of any other family tree software. This gives you all sorts of options for printing your results. The latest version even includes a new X-DNA table to track your genetic heritage.
In addition to printed reports, Legacy 9 has built-in support for turning your family tree into a web page automatically. It also has a built-in web browser so you can visit online sites without having to switch between windows.
The software includes color coding for easy organization of your ancestors, such as tracking children from multiple marriages, and up to nine labels that can be used however you like.
Legacy 9 even includes a secure online backup for your family trees, so you never have to worry about losing your database.
On the downside, Legacy 9 doesn’t support same-sex marriage yet, though that’s supposed to happen.
Legacy’s website is less flashy than most family tree software and a little more difficult to navigate at times, but it still includes a help center, forums, and more.
Legacy 9 is only designed for Windows , although its website includes instructions on how to get it to work on a Mac using an emulator.
The Legacy website offers a variety of training software and videos , and an extensive help center that includes user forums, troubleshooting tips, and even a tip box for you to tell them what features you’d like to see added. .
Legacy 9 is specifically designed to work with a variety of useful (and free) websites, including FamilySearch, FindMyPast, GenealogyBank, MyHeritage, and Find A Grave .
You can search these sites for your ancestors automatically and give you clues as to where to find more information.
3.- Family Historian
Family Historian is one of the lesser known family tree software out there, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less useful when it comes to recording your findings.
Pros and cons
Family Historian’s greatest strength is its ease of use . If you are looking for a software that you can use immediately from day one, this is it. You can get started right away without having to read a lot of manuals or watch a bunch of tutorials.
Entering information into Family Historian is simple and intuitive . The main screen includes an ancestry table and a separate details box for a selected individual, allowing you to enter information without losing sight of the big picture.
Family Historian includes a “smart trees” option that allows you to expand or collapse different parts of your tree as needed. That means you can focus on one small section at a time without your other branches cluttering up the screen.
The software also offers tools to view two family trees side by side so you can compare them before deciding if you want to merge them.
Family Historian includes a dynamic mapping tool that not only allows you to see where your ancestors were, but also allows you to color code them, zoom in and out, view all events that occurred in a particular location, and more.
Family Historian 6 also offers powerful tools for sharing your family tree with others in print or electronically. It includes about twice as many graphics as Family Tree Maker, though not as many as Legacy 9, and they’re not nearly as artistic.
The lack of background makes Family Historian’s charts look a bit boring compared to other family tree software.
Unfortunately, Family Historian 6 does not offer any support for DNA results at this time.
Family Historian 6 runs on Windows (Vista, 7, 8 and 10).
The Family Historian website includes quick start guides and tutorials , but it has a more limited online community compared to other products, especially Family Tree Maker.
On the other hand, because it is produced by a British company, the Family Historian community could be particularly useful for those researching family roots in the UK.
The software links directly to the MyHeritage and Findmypast websites, allowing you to easily locate information about your ancestors and download it directly into your family tree.
However, unlike the other family tree software on our list, it doesn’t include direct links to Ancestry or FamilySearch .
4. Family Tree Heritage 9
Rounding out our selection of the best family tree software, Family Tree Heritage 9 lacks many of the amenities that the other software have. Still, it covers all the basics with flying colors and has some great features of its own.
Pros and cons
Family Tree Heritage allows you to connect to Ancestry, FamilySearch, and RootsWeb , giving you instant access to billions of records online. Even better, it can also help you add other sites, something most software don’t allow. This can be of great help when searching for information in other countries of the world.
Like our other family tree software options, Family Tree Heritage offers web tips to make the most of your online connections.
Family Tree Heritage has powerful tools to make merging two family trees easy , saving you hours of cross-checking and identifying duplicate records.
The software makes it easy to add news sources and a ditto tool that allows you to quickly connect one source to many people. This can be a huge time saver.
One of the best features of Family Tree Heritage is the way it processes massive changes to your family tree in one go . If you find a mistake, like a misspelled city name, you only need to correct it in one place and the software can update it elsewhere instantly.
Other features include a research timeline that organizes what you know (and don’t) about an ancestor chronologically, color coding to help organize family branches both on your computer and in print, and the ability to add up to three tags personalized to each ancestor so that you can group them as you wish.
Family Tree Heritage is heterogeneous when it comes to producing charts and reports. It’s great for producing quick, easy-to-read reports , but it has a more limited selection of charts with generally uninteresting backgrounds. So if you want fancy graphs, it’s not that cool, but if you want to see your data in a report format, it’s probably the best.
On the downside, Family Tree Heritage is the only one of our five family tree software picks that doesn’t include an in-app browser . That means you have to switch between software if you want to search for information online in most cases. However, it does support direct searching of Ancestry and FamilySearch databases from within the software.
Family Tree Heritage 9 does not include a mapping feature, so you cannot visually trace your ancestors. It is also not compatible with same-sex marriages.
Family Tree Heritage 9 is only available for Windows .
Family Tree Heritage 9 has some online tutorials , but overall it offers much less than the other family tree software on our list. It has a very limited online community.
The software allows direct downloads of Ancestry and FamilySearch records . It can often be configured to work with other websites as well. However, it does not allow you to directly modify your family tree in Ancestry, only through manual uploads.
Finding the best among the many family tree software that we can find can be very complicated if we do not know its characteristics and advantages. The good news is that with this list that we have prepared, you can learn about four excellent software and why one of them may be your best option.
The above content published at Collaborative Research Group is for informational purposes only and has been developed by referring to reliable sources and recommendations from experts. We do not have any contact with official entities nor do we intend to replace the information that they emit.