Genealogy is increasingly becoming a popular hobby and there is a large selection of family tree building software that you can choose from. Whether online or with a CD-ROM, family tree software is a useful tool that publishes, navigates, and organizes facts and data about a family’s ancestry.
At its most basic, family tree software can help organize information about your progenitors, create ancestry books and reports, and share findings online. You may need to interview the oldest living family member in order to get the right information to enter into the family tree software.
The best family tree software is social, speedy, and has plenty of storage capacity to hold data and records about a family. It should have enough space to add generational names, images, attach files, and hold any other relevant information.
It should be easy to use with a more attractive interface. Though there are many online genealogy services, downloadable software is a better option. In this article, we will discuss the best free and paid family tree software.
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Best Free and Paid Family Tree Software
Before choosing a good heritage tool, you might need to know some of the basic features that it offers. Below, we will answer such questions as :
- How to choose a good family tree software?
- Can you add ADN data in it?
- Does it have access to FamilySearch database?
- Can you add media in your family tree?
- Does it create a map of your family history events?
- Can you use a free family tree software?
- Will you find online support?
|Rating(1 to 5)||Free/Paid||FamilySearch access||Add DNA||Ad Media||Family History Map||Support(online materials)|
|Legacy Family Tree||5||Paid(has trial)||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Family Historian 6||4.5||Paid(has trial)||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|My Heritage Family Tree Builder||4.5||Free||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Ancestral Quest||4.5||Paid(has trial)||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||Yes|
Editor’s choice: Family Tree Heritage Platinum 8
Family Tree Heritage Platinum 8 is a great software for creating your genealogy using. This tool is known for it’s organizing and sourcing possibilities and tools that you can use. You can easily make changes for one person and all other related events/persons will have the data changed as well.
This software has access to RootsWeb.com and Ancestry.com in order to satisfy your searches. A great feature is that you can add sites that you know so you could create your own database inside your Family Tree Heritage edition.
The program does not focus on how a family tree looks: it is a tool for operating with data about your family rather than a software for designing gift cards. However, it is one of the best tools that you can technically use to build your genealogy and we strongly suggest you give it a try.
Legacy Family Tree
Legacy Family Tree helps you create informative reports and appealing charts that helps you visualize your ancestry and share your findings online. Legacy can link directly to popular genealogy sites like Ancestry.com and FamilySearch. It comes with a built-in browser that allows you to research your online family directory and import your findings to your family tree.
Legacy gives you a wealth of options to display your findings and you can choose from any of the 20 report templates provided. And if you prefer to display your findings in charts, you can choose from the 25 different charts available.
In addition to reports and charts, Legacy allows you create a full web page for your family history. This comes in handy especially if you want to share with your family or intend to start a genealogy blog. The interface is smooth and uncluttered.
Legacy uses color coding to define complex marriages and relationships. It also has inbuilt tools that check for duplicate entries. In addition to all the identification documents, Legacy also allows you to add media as sources. Legacy Family Tree is considered one of the best and affordable genealogy tree software.
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Gramps is another feature-rich family tree software that runs on Windows, Mac OS, and Linux. Gramps allows you to easily navigate or filter by name, ancestry, relationship, family, notes, media, repositories, sources, places, or events. The tool is extremely detailed and every entry gives more than you need.
For instance, in the ‘Place’ window, you will find entries for street, latitude, city, church, parish etc. and you can add internet links to each place. Dates are based on different calendars including Islamic and Gregorian. For the dates, you have to specify if they are accurate or estimated.
Gramps generate very detailed reports that can either be printed on individual reports or put together like a jigsaw puzzle. You can copy paste the citations and attach sources to family, people, multimedia, and events.
One unique thing about Gramps is that it supports all form of relationships and marriages, whether adoptive or same sex. Same sex marriages are supported and each party is labeled as ‘spouse’. It even has a place for ‘cloned individuals’ where one person can be labeled as both the father and mother.
Family Historian 6
If simplicity in a family tree is one of your greatest concerns, then Family Historian 6 is your best option. This software allows you to input details about a person’s entire life in just some few clicks. The program is not limited in features. It comes with full web-enabled features, paperless charting, search window, an in-app browser, and other essential tools to map all family events.
The web hints tool connects you directly to MyHeritage, but can also connect you to other popular genealogy sites like Ancestry.com and FamilySearch.
Family Historian opens different dialogue boxes for different types of individual information like children, marriage etc. Since the data is spread out in long vertical fields, it becomes very easy to modify and add more details related to an individual. As you enter people’s places and locations, Family Historian plots these places on a world map. This way you can see how your family has spread out over the years.
The software also allows you to attach images of important events in the life of an individual such as wedding etc. You can also use the software to print reports and display charts.
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MyHeritage Family Tree Builder
MyHeritage Family Tree Builder features one of the best ancestry view navigation tools. The hour glass view can expand the angle of view from descendants view to one person view to an entire generation view at once.
The software can merge relatives from other people’s family trees on the MyHeritage.com website. It has a high level of accuracy and automatically checks for duplicate entries in the family tree.
When entering dates, a pop-up calendar appears that supports French and Hebrew Revolution calendars. Reports and charts can be used to display the family tree. Reports can be converted to PDF, RTF, or saved as HTML.
The software also allows you to upload directly to MyHeritage.com but not to any other website. The software also supports different types of marriages and gender need not be specified. You can even enter marital status as ‘engaged’ or ‘other’ in the case of complicated relationships.
For genealogists with large databases, Ancestral Quest is the best family tree software. This software is loaded with a dozen of search types and relationship calculators making it the ideal tool for searching people in large databases. Like other top family tree software, Ancestral Quest can easily connect to the popular genealogy sites like WorldVitalRecords, FamilySearch, and Ancestry.com. The software also comes with an in-apps browser that you can use to bookmark your favorite sites.
Ancestral Quest comes with a unique and useful tool called ditto. In the case of polygamous marriages or any other kind of relationship that links many siblings to one individual, the ditto tool connects them together. This way you can easily locate your half sister or brother.
The interface is clean and uncluttered, and you can customize the look of your charts with different colors, to differentiate family lines. Though the problem spotter is not perfect, Ancestral Quest remains as one of the best family tree software due to the extensive search features.
The best family tree programs provide more than genealogical databases. They also double as good research tools. They have features that sync with online tree makes while connecting you to popular genealogy websites. Though all of the programs discussed above offer very competitive features, Legacy Family 8 is our choice which also happens to be the most popular family tree software. It’s also seamlessly links and explains complex relationships like adoptions, divorce, and remarriages that cause other programs to struggle.