Ancestral Quest 15

Ancestral Quest 15 Review!

If you want a genealogy software program that is both powerful and easy to use then this one is for you. In this Ancestral Quest 15 review, I will show you what you can expect from this program.

Ancestral Quest 15

* Affiliate Disclaimer *

I will also outline the new features and improvements that have been added to the latest version of this program.

So, what are you waiting for?

Please read on!

Ancestral Quest 15 Rating and Details

RatingRating Stars - 3(3/5)
Normal Price (Windows)$29.95 (Download) or $34.95 (CD ROM)
Normal Price (Windows upgrade)$19.95 (Download) or $24.95 (CD ROM)
Normal Price (Mac)$38.95 (Download)
Normal Price (Mac upgrade)$24.95 (Download)
PlatformCD ROM and Download
CompatibleWindows and Mac
FeaturesCharts, Reports, Maps, TreeTips, NetFam Collaboration, Memories Manager
ConnectsFamilySearch (FREE) and Ancestry (PAID)
Help & SupportFAQs, Video Tutorials, Newsgroup, Phone, and Email
BUY HERE   ==>
Ancestral Quest Store

Today’s genealogy programs are packed full of features, all of them trying to outdo each other.

As you can imagine there is plenty to cover with any software. And so for that reason, I will try my best to give you an overall view of what you can expect from Ancestral Quest.

Discussed in this post:

Please check out my Best Genealogy Software Programs where I review the best software on the market today.

And then after that why not head over to Top Ten Reviews where there is a Top 10 Best Genealogy Software of 2018 guide.

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What You Can Expect!

Create A Family Tree With Ease!

Ancestral Quest 15 will allow you to view your family tree in 4 different ways, which are Family View (shown below), Pedigree View, Name List View, and Individual View.

Ancestral Quest Create Family Tree

Besides these four views, there are Individual Edit Screens where you can enter and edit all the vital information associated with your ancestor.

I must admit here that the interface may seem a bit basic. But if you are wanting a program that performs then Ancestral Quest is for you.

The simplified interface certainly makes it easy for you to navigate around your family tree and edit what you need to.

Research Your Family Tree on the Internet!

Besides entering what you already know about your ancestors you can also do your research online from within the program. This can be done in many ways.

3 ways to search for your ancestors online:

  1. TreeTips – This feature will be discussed in the following section.
  2. Internet Searches – First select the ancestor that you are interested in. Then with a few clicks, you can then search many online search engines. These include,, and Ancestry. From this feature, you can also add your favorite search engines.
  3. Direct Links – With this feature you can let Ancestral Quest perform Ancestry searches behind the scenes. You can choose what you want to see. However, you will need to have an Ancestry subscription for this feature to work.

    Ancestral Quest Internet Search

Organize Your Family History Research!

Organizing your research is simple with the Research Manager and Log. Ancestral Quest allows you to create To-Do lists so you know what further research that you need to carry out.

You can also organize your tasks by either location or type, or anything that you desire for that matter.

Review Your Family Tree!

From time to time, you will want to review your family tree. You will want to know what information that you currently have and what further information that you need to collect.

Reviewing your information can be done by:

  • Printing reports.
  • Review lists of citations that you have added.
  • Able to sort lists of information.
  • Able to view and edit multiple files side-by-side
  • View an Individual Summary screen for an ancestor on one screen.

Create Reports and Charts!

With any basic genealogy software program, you will want to view your family tree and the information that you have entered either in reports or charts.

This can easily be done by the Reports and Charts feature as shown below.

Ancestral Quest Reports and Charts

OK, maybe it’s not quite that easy to start with but once you get your head around the basic Ancestral Quest interface and this feature you will soon be able to create a variety of different reports and charts.

I won’t go into all the various reports and charts that you can expect from this program.

Hopefully, you can see for yourself from the above screenshot. But I will give you a sample of the benefits of this program.

Some benefits of the Reports and Charts feature:

  • Ancestry/Descendant Wall charts that have photos or not, (depends on your preference).
  • Fan charts up to 13 generations.
  • List of addresses that can be used for family reunions.
  • Most reports can be printed as a PDF or text file.
  • Print reports in a different language

Share Your Family History Research!

Part of genealogy research is being able to work on your family tree with other people. These people will most likely consist of other family members, but they could also be your friend or someone from a genealogical society who is helping you.

Ancestral Quest Share

One way that you can share your research is by printing out reports, (as I have mentioned above). But there are other ways.

6 ways to share your research:

  1. Print reports and charts.
  2. Create web pages (shown above).
  3. Create PDFs and text files.
  4. Export your family tree as a GEDCOM file.
  5. Add media items into your GEDCOM file.
  6. Include a source record when you are importing data, (useful when people are checking your sources).

Work With Others!

Ancestral Quest also allows you to work with others on your family tree by using just one single master file of your information. This can be performed by anyone anywhere in the world.

This can be performed by using the unique NetFam Collaboration feature. To do this you will need to place your family tree file on Ancestral Quest’s central server.

Once the file has been uploaded you just inform the people that will be helping you research your family tree.

Any new work that you perform on the tree will be seen by the others the next time that they log on, and vice versa.

The great advantage of this feature is that it eliminates the need for you to create a GEDCOM file.

But this does come at a price, $29.95 per year.

2 New Features Added!

1. TreeTips

Many of the other genealogy software programs have a leaf or hint feature. It was only a matter of time when Ancestral Quest would incorporate this feature into their program.

Their version of it is called TreeTips.

Ancestral Quest 15 Treetips

So, what does this feature do?

Well, simply this feature will show you potential records that ‘may‘ contain your ancestors. Ancestral Quest will connect with 3 of the largest genealogy search websites, and they are MyHeritage, FamilySearch, and FindMyPast.

Connecting to these sites will mean that you will have a collection of over 10 billion records at your disposal.

You can see from the above screenshot that there are tips for each of the names in this family tree. And these tips mostly come from MyHeritage, followed by FindMyPast.

By hovering your mouse over the icons representing these sites you will show many records are available. And by clicking on them you will be able to see the actual records.

2. Memories Manager

The Memories Manager feature is a way for you to share your photos, documents, and stories with other members of your family. This is done by uploading this media to the FamilySearch website.

Not only can you upload your research to this site using this feature but you can download it as well.

6 Enhanced Features Added!

1. Family View Child List Enhancements

The Family View that features in Ancestral Quest has been improved upon with this version at the request of its users.

These users wanted to see clearly from the list of children whether that child had a record or not, or a spouse.

Ancestral Quest Child list

You can see to the left of each child a different triangle symbol that reflects these conditions.

A filled triangle means that there is no associated record, while a dot above the triangle means that there is a spouse for that child.

The ‘<‘ that you can see for the 4th child means that you followed the family tree from their parents to get to this child.

2. Pedigree View Enhancements

The Pedigree View has also seen improvements. With this latest version of Ancestral Quest, you can extend the view to include 7 generations, (albeit if you have a large monitor).

Or you may only want to view 3 generations at a time but on a larger scale.

Ancestral Quest Pedigree View

You can easily adjust this scale using the controller at the top left of the view.

3. Merge Individuals Tool

The developers have yet again listened to their users with the improvement of the Merge Individuals tool. Originally merging data from two files was performed using an over/under the display.

With the request of its users you can now also perform this action side-by-side, so you can see what information is within both files.

Ancestral Quest Merge Individuals

FamilySearch Enhancements!

The following 3 enhancements all relate to Ancestral Quest’s connection with FamilySearch.

Not only have you seen the advantage of the introduced TreeTips and Memory Manager tools but the following enhancements will also help you greatly as well.

4. Append To Names

With this improvement, you can now display an individual’s RIN (Record ID Number) and the FS PID (FamilySearch ID) after their name.

5. Import Family Lines

This feature allows you to import family lines to a person within your tree up to 8 generations. Previous versions allowed you only up to 3.

6. View Ordinances When Linking With Family Search

With this enhanced feature, you can choose to Show LDS Ordinances. By doing this you will be able to better assess whether the selected record that you have found on FamilySearch matches your local record.

Pros & Cons


✔   Connects to FamilySearch (FREE) and Ancestry (PAID)
✔   Straightforward and easy to use
✔   Excellent supported help in the form of online video tutorials
✔   FAQs, online discussion groups, in-program help section, and telephone support
✔   Can research online within the program
✔   Can easily connect and share research with others


❌   Basic interface design

Do I Recommend Ancestral Quest?

If it’s a no-nonsense genealogy software program that you want then Ancestral Quest certainly delivers. Yes, it may not look fancy but at the end of the day what do you want?

You want a program that you can easily navigate around where you can enter your ancestors and their details. And that is one very important aspect of such a program.

It is also a great tool for any genealogist who wants to organize their vast family tree consisting of thousands. The powerful search function makes it easy for you to locate an ancestor that you are after.

I like how this software has been true to the original. It has not tried to outdo itself by prettying it up.

Instead, the developers have concentrated on what matters. And they have been listening to their users and giving them what they want with each new version of the software.

Also, loyal users of the program, they are rewarded with a discounted price on the latest version. So, that’s something that I like about this product.

One other thing that I like about Ancestral Quest is that you can purchase either a Windows or a Mac version. This is not something that you commonly see with the other genealogy software programs that are on the market today.

Do I recommend Ancestral Quest?

Yes, I do recommend Ancestral Quest 15. It’s simple, easy to use and that is what you want from a genealogy software program.

If you decide to buy this software program then please come back and let me know what you think of it. I would love to hear how it is working for you.

Start Your Family History Adventure Today!

Most comprehensive and easy-to-use genealogy software!

Ancestral Quest 15

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Thank You and Please Leave A Comment

I hope you enjoyed this post giving you my Ancestral Quest 15 review. If you have any questions or comments then please leave a comment below.

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20 thoughts on “Ancestral Quest 15 Review!”

  1. Hi Owain,
    An awesome summary of AQ15 and great comments from other people. I came upon this a while after you wrote your article, however this review is still very relevant now and for latest update version 16.
    I have been using several different programs to find one I really like. Ease of use, data entry, full featured reporting and ability to share information with family is important, but for me the game breaker has been the ease of flexible and accurate source and citation entry for whatever record or document we find.
    So many programs fall short in this respect but I am starting to like what I see in V16 AQ (basic).
    People are asking how to download to their computers files they purchase on Generally a Gedcom download does not achieve this. The easiest way is to use FTM 1919 or RootsMagic 7 (or 8). Both will let you completely download every detail you have on an online tree before a subscription expires. If cost is a factor then using RootsMagic free version will achieve what people want for just the effort of an hour of their time.

  2. Hi Owain

    My computer died a couple of months ago and my files are all sitting as AQZ and AQ Book files. I am pretty sure that the software I had was this one but it had a different name, I would have purchased it in about 2013. The layout looks the same as your screen shots above. Are you able to advise if I download AQ15 that my data will hook up to AQ15?

    Thanks in advance

    1. Hi Jeanette, I’ve just check and I see that Ancestral Quest does support AQZ files. I’m not too sure about the AQ Book but I would say that probably it would, seeing as AQ is probably short for Ancestral Quest.

      Anyway try the free version of the software and see how you go. If it does work then you can buy the full version and thus benefit from all the features of the program.

      Good luck and please let me know how you get on.


  3. Hi Owain,

    Thank you so much for all of your help. It will be hard to save everything. Uuuugggghhhh! I will do it though.

    I did a total for FTM with everything including tax and it came to $123.40. Yikes! I will probably go that way, but I may have to put it off for 2 months.

    This is something I have wanted to do for years. I really wish I could do this longer than one year. Life has also gotten in the way in the beginning of the subscription because I had a bad case of the flu in January when the subscription started and then my father passed away. I am trying though.

    I did subscribe to your website so I hope I can ask you a question from time to time via that format. I will let you know how it goes. Thank you!


    1. You’re very welcome Kim. Always glad to help a fellow family historian.

      Sorry to hear the passing away of your father. I am glad to hear that you are continuing to research your ancestry.

      I haven’t done any research on my family tree for a while. What with creating this site and having a young family my life is really busy.

      Look forward to hearing from you in the future.

      I wish you all the best in life and for your research.

  4. Hi Owain,

    I am still a bit confused. Yes, I have one tree on Ancestry, but I do have a woman on Ancestry who is helping me with the Italian document translation from the area my family was from. She has documents that go way back.

    I am also connected with another woman through Ancestry, and she is taking a DNA test to see if we are related. She was the one who told me about saving every foreign document outside of the USA. She said that I would lose all of those documents when my gift subscription is up next January.

    Obviously, I didn’t know about saving all of those documents in the beginning when I started this process on my computer. I just added them to the gallery section on my tree from Ancestry, and I was really hoping that the Gedcom that I upload to the Ancestral Quest program will transfer over those foreign documents, i.e. birth certificates, death certificates, and marriage certificates in Italian, as well.

    I was also hoping to put the program onto both my desktop and laptop. I have to vary my positions because of my back injury, so some of the time, I may be lying down on my laptop, and other times I will be on the desktop.

    I have to vary things a bit because of my neck and lower back injuries. That’s why I want it on both computers because I will be going back and forth.

    So, I am assuming that I can only put this Ancestral Quest program onto one Windows computer and not both. Am I correct? I know with Family Tree Maker that you have to buy an extra Family Pack Upgrade. Does that exist with Ancestral Quest?

    I am going back and forth between Family Tree Maker and Ancestral Quest at this time as far as purchase is concerned. Which one do you suggest?

    I am really hoping that I don’t have to save each and every document to the new software. That will take quite some time. Thank you for all of your help.

    I’m sorry that I only know a little bit about all of this.


    1. Hi Kim,

      Sorry I see what you’re saying now. I’ve done some checking and I found out that you can use Ancestral Quest on multiple Windows computers. So once you have installed it on one computer then you can install it onto your laptop using the registration key that you’re given.

      Unfortunately you will need to save those files manually. That’s the way it works with with gedcom files. They will save the fact some that you have entered but not the supporting documents, certificates and everything else. I didn’t know this when I first started tracing my family tree. But luckily I am finicky with these things and saved everything.

      Personally I would go with FTM, only because I have used it myself and have found it pretty easy to use. Ancestral Quest though is easy to use but the design of the interface is somewhat dated. So you may not like the appeal of it either.

      However, FTM is much more expensive as to use on more than one computer would cost you $90. With Ancestral Quest it is a third of that price at $30.

      Let me know how you get on Kim.

      All the best,

  5. Hi Owain,
    I have a couple of questions for you. I am building my tree on so Gedcom is completely foreign to me. If I go with this program, can I place it on both my Windows desktop computer and my Windows laptop?

    I switch back and forth between the two due to back issues.

    Also, will the Gedcom file (when I figure out how to do it) transfer over all of the important documents from my Italian search into the tree. I was told that I would have to save each one separately. I have world explorer for a year. I’m hoping for longer but that may not occur. I don’t want to lose those documents.
    Thank you,

    1. Thank you Kim for your query.

      Ancestral Quest can be placed on Windows whether it is a desktop or a laptop. So that’s fine for you.

      Are you saying that you have one unique tree that is on Ancestry and is on your desktop and laptop? If so then saving one copy will be enough. If they are all different then you will need to save each version. I’m assuming though that they are all the same.

      I think that it would be best though to save the tree as a GEDCOM and upload to your new program. Then check everything is there before your Ancestry account expires.

      Check out this guide on how to download your tree from Ancestry. Hopefully that guide will help you with that.

      All the best and please let me know how you go.

  6. Hi, thanks for providing all this information. I do have a couple of questions:
    1. If I use Ancestral Quest on a Mac, can I later load my files to a PC? An ancillary question is can a person change to a different genealogy program from any of the five you review and enter their data automatically?
    2. If I connect to FamilySearch or Ancestry, will they access my data for their own use?

    1. Hi Joe,

      Thank you for your comment and queries.

      1. You can load your data later from a Mac to a PC if you wish. You will though need to buy the Windows version of the software though. To be able to switch between Mac and Windows, or a different genealogy program you will first need to create a GEDCOM. This is easily done with any of the programs. You just need to export the GEDCOM file which will contain all the information that you have entered about your family tree and then import it to wherever you want to use it.

      2. These websites will use your information but only to provide you with a better service. I have checked and I do not see anywhere where they will use your data for your own use.

      Hope this answers your questions.

      Thank you,

  7. Owain,
    Good article with a lot of information. With genealogy being a big industry these days, it’s nice to know that there is a good and relatively inexpensive program out there that works. I will definitely recommend this to my friends and family who do this research all the time.
    Thanks again

    1. Thank you David for your warm words and recommending Ancestral Quest to your family and friends. This program will suit people who have traced their family history and have thousands of ancestors to store.

      All the best David.

  8. This sounds like something I would purchase for my father. Back in the 80’s he paid quite a hefty sum to a company who delivered a book that was pretty, but only went back a few generations. I never was really impressed with it.
    This, however, would be right up his ally. I agree the “graphics” of it, are nothing to scream about, but it’s the info and the depth of the information is all that’s really important.

    1. Hi Jay,

      Thanks for your comment. I feel that nowadays genealogy research has become more and more easier and cheaper as well. And many of us CAN DO this research by ourselves.

      We do though need help to know where to look, how to look and what are the tools that we can use. And this is where The Genealogy Guide steps in.

      Yes the graphics aren’t all that great, but at the end of the day it’s what the program can do that matters. And it’s very intuitive to use as well, which is what we need from a genealogy software program. We don’t want to be referring to the manual every few minutes when trying to research our family tree.

      All the best with your father’s research.

  9. Hello Owain. Great review. I have been trying to construct my family tree for years now. It very difficult but with this tool I believe things will be easy.
    This will also be very beneficial to family future generations.
    I can’t wait to buy this.

    1. Hi there,

      Glad that you like the review. Ancestral Quest 15 can help your family tree, particularly if you have many ancestors, siblings, etc.

      And yes what you research can be passed down to future generations. I a man so proud of what I have researched and recorded. And I can pass it down to my daughters.

  10. Thanks Owain for all this information. I am really inspired by my family tree and have been asked by my father many times about this. So I will turn him onto this site later on today so that he can check out Ancestral Quest. I am sure he will get this.

    Thank you so much.

    1. My pleasure Dennis, I am glad to be of help. If your father has done a lot of research into your family history then this program will surely be for him. All the best.

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