Best Genealogy Software Programs

Best Genealogy Software Programs – Your Top 5

There are several choices for you when selecting software to create and build your family tree. But what are the best genealogy software programs that you can purchase?

Best Genealogy Software Programs

* Affiliate Disclaimer *

Do you know which one to buy?

Just which family tree program is right for you?

Top 5 Best Genealogy Software Programs To Buy!

Here I will give an overview of the 5 best genealogy programs that you can buy today.

Legacy Family Tree          Family Historian 6        Family Tree Maker 2017

RootsMagic 7          Family Tree Heritage 9

Full genealogy software reviews can be found after each product that I review here.

Comparing The Competition!

These programs in my opinion the best on the market today. Each of them has certain qualities and features that make them stand out on their own.

So, have a look at what they offer and whether they are right for you!

Legacy 9Family Historian 6Family Tree Maker 2017RootsMagic 7Family Tree Heritage 9
RatingRating Stars - 5Rating Stars - 4Rating Stars - 4Rating Stars - 3Rating Stars - 3
PlatformDisc and DownloadDiscDownloadDisc and DownloadDisc and Download
CompatibleWindowsWindowsWindows and MacWindows and MacWindows and Mac
ConnectsFamilySearch, Find A Grave, FindMyPast, GenealogyBank, MyHeritageFindMyPast, MyHeritageFamilySearch, AncestryFamilySearch, Ancestry, FindMyPast, MyHeritageFamilySearch, Ancestry
Bottom Line
Best All-Round SoftwareEasy To UseMost PopularOffers A LotBest For Printing

Bonus Program Review:

Ancestral Quest 15
The best for storing large family trees!
Ancestral Quest 15

Please note!

All of these genealogy programs can be used on a Windows computer, (exception Family Tree Heritage 9 and Ancestral Quest 15 which can both work on both Windows and Mac).

These family tree programs are available to purchase from either the US or UK. Please check from the sellers that I have included if you can purchase your choice of program from outside of these countries.

When you have finished reading these family tree software reviews you may want to head over to Top Ten Reviews where there is a Top 10 Best Genealogy Software of 2018 guide.

Just thought that I would put that out there for you!

Want FREE!

Not quite ready to spend a fortune on tracing your family tree?

No worries, you can check out my 6 Best Free Genealogy Software Downloads guide.

Please be aware though that free does mean that you will get limited features and so you may want to consider buying a proper genealogy program with full capabilities at some point.

Express Your Thoughts Below

Express Your Thoughts Below!

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What To Expect From A Genealogy Software Program?

Before I show you my top pick of the best genealogy programs that you can buy today I first want to discuss what you should be looking for in a program.

What To Expect From A Genealogy Software Program

Or, rather what should come standard with a genealogy software program.

Genealogy Software Program Requirements:

Build A Family Tree

Pretty obvious that you want a program to do this, but you do want a program where you can easily create a tree and add your relatives and all of their details.

You want to add their name, important dates, locations, any notes, etc.

Add Media

Genealogy software programs these days allow you to add multimedia to members of your family tree.

These can include pictures, videos, and even sound clips or your relatives.

Add Your DNA Results

As DNA genealogy testing has become increasingly popular these days it is only right that you have somewhere to store your results.

This information can also be stored in your program.

Produce Charts

A program should be able to produce relationships charts based on the family tree that you have created.

You can expect hourglass, pedigree, and fan charts to name but a few.

Produce Reports

Reports are a great way to easily see information about your family tree.

You can expect family, descendant, and a genealogy report at least from these programs.

Map Your Ancestors

The best programs should allow you to see the migration of your ancestors.

They should as well show you where they were born, married, and died, and also other important events.

Create Books, CDs, and a Website

Not only can you produce charts and reports but there are other ways that you can showcase your family tree.

Most programs these days will allow you to create a book that you can print out and share with your family.

Creating CDs and a website should also be an option.

Import & Export

If you have already created a tree elsewhere then you should be able to upload it into your new software program.

Alternatively, you will also be able to export your tree so that you can then pass it on to other family members

Doing so means that you can work together on your genealogy.

Getting Tips

The best thing about using a program is that you can get tips or hints for building your tree further.

This is possible as they can be connected to popular genealogy search websites such as Ancestry, FindMyPast, and FamilySearch.

Be advised though that to access this additional information you will need a subscription to these sites.

Getting Support

You should also get basic support such as help files, telephone, and email support.

You can also get access to video tutorials and maybe forums on the respective company’s website.

1. Legacy 9 – Best Genealogy Program Available Today!

Regarded as the best family tree software on the market today. Legacy 9 has got this title because of the many features it contains.

Legacy Family Tree

This software offers a lot of different chart types to the user, which is the most compared to any other program that is available.

As well as charts you can also display your results in the form of a webpage. There are other cool tools and features which you can see in the table below.

Legacy 9 Family Tree Rating and Details

RatingRating Stars - 5(5/5)
Normal PriceBundles vary from $34.95 to $99.95
Discounted Price (upgrade from Legacy 8)Bundles vary from $26.95 to $89.95
PlatformPC Disc and Download
FeaturesCharts, Reports, Maps, Hashtags, Color Coding, and more!
ConnectsFamilySearch / Find A Grave (FREE)
FindMyPast / GenealogyBank / MyHeritage (PAID)
Help & SupportFAQs, User Groups, Email
Full ReviewWhat’s New With Legacy 9?
Previous VersionLegacy 8 Full Review (read more what Legacy can do)
Bottom LineAll Round Software!
BUY HERE   ==>
Legacy Family Tree Store

What Does Legacy 9 Offer You?

Legacy 9 can link you to popular genealogy sites such as FamilySearch and Ancestry to further help with your research.

Credit:   Legacy Family Tree

It also has an embedded browser so that you can find information and import it into your tree easily.

So, you don’t have to switch between computer programs and lose your concentration.

Color coding system makes your tree simple to follow!

Legacy 9 makes adding multiple marriages easy to follow as you can color code different spouses and descendants.

Errors are flagged with red warning symbols so that you can clearly spot any mistakes that may have been entered.

This program allows you to add comprehensive information when citing any record. Any family historian needs to record where they found information regarding their ancestor.

By adding all relevant information then you will be able to know where to return to your ancestor’s record if you need to.

Drawbacks To This Program?

Unfortunately, even the best program does have its drawbacks. One disadvantage is that does not support same-sex marriages. There is however a planned update to rectify this.

One earlier drawback with the previous version, Legacy 8, was that there were no web hints available to you.

I am pleased to announce now with this latest version of the Legacy Family Tree software that they are now available.

Legacy 9 Is Still The Best Software Program!

Despite this minor flaw Legacy 9 is still a great investment to help you research your family history. If you want to make a start and find out about your ancestry then check out the Legacy Family Tree Store.

Read more what about Legacy 9 by checking out my What’s New With Legacy 9? post.

Here you will see what has been improved on and what has been added to the best genealogy software program that you can buy today.

Many Reasons Why Legacy 9 Is Far Superior!

There are too many reasons for me to list and describe here. But I will point out a few reasons why you should consider Legacy 9 as your genealogy software program.

Top 5 reasons:

  1. Customize the interface – If you are not completely satisfied with the layout of the program then no worries. You can customize it however you feel.
  2. Huge capacity – Add as many people to your family tree as you like. And also information about your ancestors. You are not limited to size with this program.
  3. Powerful and intelligent merging – If you have more than one file of information then you can easily merge all of this into one file. Ancestral Quest makes it very easy to see the differences between the files.
  4. Powerful searching capabilities – With any program you want to find your ancestor and their information effortlessly. This is easily done with the search function of the program. This is performed by a simple fill-in-the-blanks form or by using a powerful detailed search.
  5. QuickFill fields – This is one of the best features of the program in my opinion. When you are entering information the program will automatically fill in the remainder of the information. This will allow you to then to go onto the next ancestor to add to the tree.

Check Out My 20 Reasons Why You Should Buy Legacy!

Legacy 9 Family Tree Software Bundles Explained!

When you click through to the Legacy Family Tree Store you will be presented with a choice of 6 different bundles that you can choose from.

The prices listed in brackets are discounted prices if you are upgrading from Legacy 8.

The first three bundles offer you Legacy 9 as a download and CD together with:

  • Printed and PDF manual, 272-page guidebook, and webinar membership – $99.95   ($89.95)
  • Printed and PDF manual, and a 272-page guidebook – $54.95   ($46.95)
  • Printed and PDF manual – $39.95   ($31.95)

Legacy 9 Family Tree Software Bundle


The second three bundles offer you Legacy 9 as just a download plus:

  • Printed and PDF manual, 272-page guidebook, and webinar membership – $79.95   ($71.95)
  • Printed and PDF manual, and a 272-page guidebook – $49.95   ($41.95)
  • Printed and PDF manual – $34.95   ($26.95)

Legacy 9 Family Tree Software Bundle


✔   13 new and enhanced features with Legacy 9!
✔   Red warning symbols to highlight errors
✔   Connects to FamilySearch/Find A Grave (FREE); FindMyPast/GenealogyBank/MyHeritage (PAID)
✔   Sync trees to web
✔   Web hints now available!
✔   25 different charts and 20 reports
✔   Print books and wall charts


❌   Same-sex relationship not possible
❌   No email or telephone support, (but does have online resources, printed material, video tutorials and FAQs)

My Verdict

There is a reason why Legacy is the leader when it comes to helping you create and build your family tree. It is because this software gives you exactly what you want and need for your genealogy research.

The user interface is lackluster I must admit but when it comes to a program do you want something that actually works for you or just looks pretty?

Plus it does offer many exciting new features such as connecting to the FindAGrave site, backing up your tree online, creating a cause of death and X-DNA charts, and more.

I am very excited to put Legacy 9 at the very top of my list of best genealogy programs!

Best All Round Software!

Setting a new standard in genealogy software!

Legacy Family Tree - Legacy 9

Buy Legacy Now!Check Out My Legacy Review!

2. Family Historian 6 – Easiest Genealogy Program To Use!

Although coming in second this program is by far the easiest to use that is available to you.Family Historian 6

Don’t you want software that you can use straight away and not have to worry about how to use it?

Well, adding your ancestry information with this software package will be very quick for you.

Family Historian 6 Rating and Details

RatingRating Stars - 4(4/5)
Normal PricePlease refer to Amazon for price
PlatformPC Disc and Download
FeaturesCharts, Reports, Maps, Books, Booklets, CDs, DVDs, Websites
ConnectsFindMyPast / MyHeritage (PAID)
Help & SupportFAQs, Guides, User Groups, Video Tutorials, Email
BookGetting the Most from Family Historian 6
Full ReviewFull Family Historian 6 Review!
Bottom LineReally Easy To Use!
BUY HERE   ==>
www.Amazon.comAlso available for Amazon Prime customers!

What Can You Get From Family Historian 6?

Family Historian 6 offers nearly twice as many chart options as Family Tree Maker. It does though give you fewer charts than the number one rival Legacy.

Credit:   Family Historian

This program is primarily useful if you wish to do online publishing.

So, if you want to share your family’s history with the online world then Family Historian 6 is for you.

Enter and view information very easily with this program!

The main screen of this program shows a pedigree chart showing your ancestors. The details of a selected member of your family will be displayed to the right of this chart.

Entering personal data is very easy for you to perform.

As with other available choices you can view your ancestors’ origins on a world map. Images can also be uploaded to the map.

For me seeing a map of where your ancestors lived, worked, and moved just gives me an appreciation of their lives and the struggles that they face to find work.

Different media types can be uploaded and attached for each person in your family. Any source material added can also be rated on its quality.

All of the sources for an individual can be viewed in one area of the program.

Create Books, Booklets and More!

Creating charts and reports is a common feature with any genealogy software program today. But you may want to do more than that.

Family Historian 6 will allow you to create books, booklets, websites, CDs, and DVDs as well. All of these great gifts that you can then share with your family, or maybe your friends if you wish.

Drawbacks of Family Historian 6?

Despite Family Historian 6 having twice as many charts as the popular Family Tree Maker program there are no background templates installed.

This therefore will make your charts look quite dull.

Another disadvantage with this program is the inability to enter any DNA results that you may have. As DNA research is beginning to become an important avenue of discovering your ancestry I feel that an update will be added for this.

There are unfortunately no video tutorials provided to to help you use this program. But if you do get stuck there are online resources and FAQs that are available to you.


Family Historian 6 will run on any of the recent Windows OS except for Windows Vista. Despite this, I feel that any genealogist would be happy to buy this genealogy software program.


✔   Connects to FindMyPast/MyHeritage (PAID)
✔   Sync trees to web
✔   Get web hints
✔   Quick and easy input of your ancestor’s details
✔   Same sex relationships
✔   19 different charts
✔   Great for publishing your family history online


❌   Visually unappealing charts
❌   Unable to input DNA results

My Verdict

This program does not offer stunning charts to print out your family tree. So, if you want to make some special gifts for your relatives then this software is not for you.

Connecting to genealogy sites such as FamilySearch and FindMyPast is a must these days as they both help you to extend your knowledge of your ancestors and help build your tree.

Getting web hints from these sites is also a bonus.

If you want something easy to use then I highly recommend Family Historian 6.

Award-Wining Genealogy Program!

Really Easy To Use!

Family Historian 6

Buy Now!Check Out My Family Historian Review

3. Family Tree Maker 2017 – Most Popular and Well Known Program Today!

By far the most popular and well known genealogy software program available to digitally create your family tree.

Family Tree Maker 2017

Some of the advantages it offers over Legacy is the ability to create same-sex marriages and provide web hints to help with your research.

Even though it is my second preference Family Tree Maker is still regarded as a top genealogy software to use by many genealogists.

Family Tree Maker 2017 Rating and Details

RatingRating Stars - 4(4/5)
CompatibleWindows and Mac
FeaturesCharts, Reports, Maps, FamilySync
ConnectsFamilySearch (FREE) and Ancestry (PAID)
Help & SupportFAQs, Online Chat, Email
Full ReviewFull Family Tree Maker 2017 Review!
Previous VersionFull Family Tree Maker Deluxe Review!
Bottom LineMost Popular Today!
BUY HERE   ==>

What Can You Expect From Family Tree Maker?

The hints featured in Family Tree Maker show up when you are connected to the Internet. These hints can help you further with discovering your roots.

You will be able to connect with two of the biggest genealogy search websites – Ancestry and FamilySearch.

Credit: FreeTutorials

So, you can build your family tree quickly with the Family Tree Maker program.

Entering Family Information Is Easy!

Most of the information that you will enter will be through the program’s People tab. By using this tab you can easily enter your family’s details such as birth, marriage and death.

From this tab you will also clearly see your ancestors in a pedigree form. The children of a selected ancestor will be listed in a table below the pedigree chart.

The task of entering individual information is very intuitive and easy to do. You will also be able to add media content such as videos, stories, and images for each member of your family.

Color Code Your Family Tree!

The latest version now allows you to color-code each family member. You maybe wondering what is the point of that? Does it serve any purpose?

Well, it does!

By selecting one or more colors for an ancestor you can effectively set an attribute to that person.

For example, if you add a dark blue to several ancestors then that may signify that they served in the military.

It’s just another cool visual representation of your family that makes finding what you’re looking for easier.

View A Map of Your Ancestors Migration!

I really like to see the path that my ancestors took as they went from their homeland to a new world. If you are like me then you are probably keen to see what path that they took.

Their route may have been subjected to a number of conditions, such as the topography of the area or the likelihood of work.

Whatever factors affected their decision you can see their path of migration with an embedded aerial or satellite map in the program.

Synching Your Tree

You can take your family tree and your genealogy research with you on the go thanks to FamilySync. You are not tied to your computer at home.

If say for example you do some research at your parents’ house then you can sync your tree. That means that you will also see any latest additions to your tree on your computer at home.

The Sync Weather Report will allow you to view any errors that may occur when syncing your tree. If there is a major problem then a red box will appear or if there is some caution then there will be an orange box.

But if everything is OK with the process then you will see a green box.

What Are The Negatives?

Despite being a great program to help you with your family history research Family Tree Maker does give you significantly less charts than its’ main rival Legacy.

But the easy and intuitive feel of the program does more than make up for this.

With this family history software program you can connect to FamilySearch. This is the world’s largest genealogy search website where you can access millions of records for free.

This program also connects to Ancestry. However, to access any records on that site you will need to have a paid subscription.

Whether you want to call that a negative for Family Tree Maker or not. I just thought that you may like to know that.


✔   Stunning user interface that makes it easy to use
✔   Connects to FamilySearch (FREE) and Ancestry (PAID)
✔   Sync trees to web
✔   Get web hints
✔   Same-sex relationships


❌   No connection to other genealogy search sites

My Verdict

The reason that Family Tree Maker is the most well-known genealogy program today is because of its’ past association with Ancestry. And that is why, in my opinion, it is so popular.

But with saying that I have personally used this program and have found it easy to use.

So, being an intuitive, simple, and easy program definitely contributes to it being one of the more popular choices amongst genealogists.

If you want a program that is easy to use and does offer you appealing reports and charts then this program is for you.

Most Popular Genealogy Software Program!

Discover your ancestry today!

Family Tree Maker 2017

Buy Now!Check Out My Family Tree Maker Review

4. RootsMagic 7 – This Genealogy Software Program Offers You A Lot!

By using this software you are able to link with the top genealogy sites FamilySearch and Ancestry. And a helpful lightbulb icon will help you make connections with your family’s past. RootsMagic 7

With RootsMagic 7 you can also print out various kinds of family reports from what you have discovered.

RootsMagic 7 Rating and Details

RatingRating Stars - 3(3/5)
Normal PricePlease refer to Amazon for price
PlatformPC Disc
FeaturesCharts, Reports, Maps, CDs, Websites, Export Tree
ConnectsFamilySearch (FREE) and Ancestry / FindMyPast / MyHeritage (PAID)
Help & SupportUser Group, Webinars, Video Tutorials, How To Guides, Forums, Phone and Email
Full ReviewFull RootsMagic7 Review!
Bottom LineOffers A Lot!
BUY HERE   ==>
www.Amazon.comAlso available for Amazon Prime customers!

What Can RootsMagic 7 Give You?

To start RootsMagic 7 does offer you significantly less choice of charts for you to chose from. Despite this, you do get a wide range of reports that you can use to display your family’s ancestry.

With RootsMagic 7 you get the most reports out of all the top five programs.

Finding your ancestors’ records is clear and simple with the aid of the in-app browser. Within the program there is a lightbulb icon that will be next to your ancestor’s.

Credit:   RootsMagic

This lightbulb will clearly show you if there are any online matches.

Working with more than one database is also available!

One clear advantage with this program is the ability to open more than one database at a time.

When working on different family groups if there is a relationship between the two then you can drag and drop people between the two.

RootsMagic 7 will also keep track of these changes. So, that’s helpful!

There is nothing worse than dissecting the difference between two trees that you may have. RootsMagic makes this job easy for you.

With this program there is also a diverse number of relationships that are also supported.

So, if there is a same-sex marriage within the family then you can add this as well.

You can add all sorts of information for each member of your family. The media that you can add includes photos, sound clips, videos, and more.

What Are Negatives There With RootsMagic 7?

One of the benefits of RootsMagic 7 is that you can connect with the top genealogy software sites. However, you will not be able to sync your tree to the web.

You will also not be able to import any online information that you may find. So, whatever you do come across you will manually have to add this to your family tree.

Another drawback is that this software is not the easiest program to use due to the outdated interface and the misleading tabs that feature on the toolbar.

Although support is provided by online resources, printed material, and video tutorials there is, unfortunately, no FAQ support available to you.


Despite these drawbacks, RootsMagic 7 is still a popular choice among family historians to buy.


✔   Connects to FamilySearch (FREE) and Ancestry/FindMyPast/MyHeritage (PAID)
✔   List same sex marriages
✔   Similar web hint feature called lightbulb
✔   Can open more than one family tree so you can easily compare them
✔   Organize large volumes of data


❌ fewer charts but more reports
❌   Cannot sync trees to the web
❌   Outdated interface
❌   Misleading tabs
❌   No FAQs to help you

My Verdict

I like how RootsMagic can connect to FamilySearch and Ancestry. However, because you cannot sync your tree to the web, this will mean that any new information that you do find you will have to enter manually into this program.

One thing that is going for RootsMagic is the ability for you to open more than one family tree file. Keeping track of the changes between these two files is very easy to use.

Why would you want to have two trees?

Well, you may have received a tree from a family member. So, you may want to compare the two to see any differences before you add the information to your tree.

If you want a program that will help you to organize your large family tree then RootsMagic is for you. For that reason, I highly recommend this software.

Offers A Lot To You!

This is award-winning genealogy software!

RootsMagic 7

Buy Now!Check Out My RootsMagic Review

5. Family Tree Heritage 9 – Best To Print Out Your Records!

The last of the top five programs for the genealogist is Family Tree Heritage 9. With this package you can connect to the top genealogy sites such as FamilySearch, Ancestry and RootsWeb. Family Tree Heritage 9

Although coming in last this is still one of the best genealogy software programs on the market today.

Family Tree Heritage 9 Rating and Details

RatingRating Stars - 3(3/5)
Normal Price (Windows)Please refer to Amazon for price
Normal Price (Mac)Please refer to Amazon for price
PlatformPC Disc and Download
CompatibleWindows and Mac
FeaturesCharts, Reports, Maps, Color Coding
ConnectsFamilySearch (FREE) and Ancestry (PAID)
Help & SupportTutorials, Address, Phone, Email
Full ReviewFull Family Tree Heritage 9 Review!
Bottom LineBest For Printing!
BUY HERE (US)   ==> (Windows) – (Mac)
BUY HERE (UK)   ==> (Windows) – (Mac)

What Can You Expect From Family Tree Heritage 9?

The great thing about Family Tree Heritage 9 is that you can easily add any genealogy site to this program.

Credit:   Family Tree Heritage

If you do use a site other than what is listed then you will still be able to use it within the program.

As with the other top five programs a web hints feature though is included with this package to aid you with finding new information.

Correcting Mistakes and Merging trees Is Easy!

Adjusting errors in your tree in bulk is one of the advantages of this package. If you do find any anomalies then you can simply replace the details and any other occurrences will be altered as well.

This will save you time sifting through your entire tree.

Another benefit of this program is the ability to merge two trees. This is easily done with Family Tree Heritage 9.

Citing sources to any new information is also easily achieved with this program.

A ditto tool is provided that will enable you to attach numerous people to the same source. So this can save you a lot of time when you are citing your records.

Disadvantages With Family Tree Heritage 9?

Although Family Tree Heritage 9 is a great program for the researcher there are undoubtedly some drawbacks with this choice.

For one, you will not be able to sync your tree to the web to enter any found information.

If you do find any interesting details concerning your ancestors you will manually have to enter them. This is not a big problem as this will give you a chance to ascertain whether the found information is correct.

It’s still great for printing out records!

There is also no in-app browser is provided so a separate window is needed when searching online. This can lead to confusion when you switch between the two programs.

Although you could split your screen into two to compensate for this. Or if you do have two screens then this will rectify this problem.

The number of available charts and reports is limited with this choice. And the lack of background templates makes charts rather dull.

But if you just want a program that simply prints out your research then Family Tree Heritage 9 is for you.

Relationships such as same-sex marriages are not supported and there is no mapping ability is featured. So, you will not be able to plot your ancestors’ trail.

Amazon US – Windows & Mac:


Amazon UK – Windows & Mac:




✔   Connects to FamilySearch (FREE) and Ancestry (PAID)
✔   Add other genealogy sites if you wish
✔   Easily replace many occurrences of new information, such as a place name


❌   No online searching capability within the program<
❌   No same-sex relationships
❌   Doesn’t sync to web
❌   No web hints

My Verdict

Family Tree Heritage will offer you what you want from a basic genealogy software program. But there is room for improvement with this option.

It is a great tool for you though if you want to organize your family tree. And it is excellent for citing your references. Merging trees is also a seem-less process with this program.

If you want a program that will give you stunning reports and charts to share with family and friends then Heritage is the one for you.

Best To Print Out Your Records!

Build your family tree and share your story!

Family Tree Heritage 9

Buy Now!Check Out My Family Tree Heritage Review

Ancestral Quest 15 – Best For Storing Large Family Trees!

When it comes to adding ancestors to your family tree you want the process to be both quick and easy.
Ancestral Quest 15So, if you have already done a ton of research and you don’t want to be wasting your time and getting frustrated with the program then Ancestral Quest 15 is the one for you.

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
Full ReviewFull Ancestral Quest 15 Review!
BUY HERE   ==>
Ancestral Quest Store

What Do You Get From Ancestral Quest 15?

Ancestral Quest 15 allows you to enter your family tree easily as I have just mentioned. You can view your tree in 4 different ways. You can choose from Family View, Pedigree View, Name List View, or Individual View.

Credit:   Ancestral Quest

Whatever your preference there will be a view for you.

Enter your family tree with ease. No matter how large it is!

The interface is a bit basic I must admit. But for me, that is not a problem. At the end of the day, you want a program that is both intuitive to use and is easy for you to add information and to find it.

Do you want to waste your time figuring out how to use the software?

Do you want to be checking the help files every so often?

Of course not! You want to be working on your genealogy research. And this is what Ancestral Quest allows you to do.

Organizing your family tree is also simple!

As you have a large family tree to work with you want to be able to organize your research. This is done possible with the Research Manager and Log feature of the program.

This can show you what information you need to research next.

The manager will also help you to group your tasks by either location or type, or anything else for that matter.

Sharing your research is simple too!

If you have got a large family tree then chances are that you are working on your ancestry with other family members.

If so then Ancestral Quest is the program for you as it allows you to share information effortlessly!

This is accomplished with the NetFam Collaboration feature. You will however need to subscribe to this feature, but it is a worthwhile extra to consider.

Even more new and improved features with the latest version!

With every incarnation of this program, the developers add new and improved features. They listen to their users and give them what they want.

There is not enough room here to describe all of these latest features. Instead why not check out my full Ancestral Quest 15 Review and see for yourself why this is such a powerful program.

Drawbacks to Ancestral Quest 15?

To me the only real drawback of this software program is the lack of a stunning interface. But in hindsight as I have discussed before, what do you really want from a program?

Do you want something that is fancy-looking but can be tricky to understand? Or, do you want something that will allow you to effortlessly add your ancestors and their information?

And that is why Ancestral Quest has been developing this software for more than 20 years!


✔   Connects to FamilySearch (FREE) and Ancestry (PAID)
✔   Straightforward and easy to use
✔   Excellent supported help in the form of online video tutorials
✔   Also FAQ section, 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

My Verdict

If you want a program that will make your genealogy research a whole lot easier to perform then Ancestral Quest 15 is for you.

Ideally, it is suited to the family historian who has amassed a large family tree over the years.

But the beginner can also take something from this program as well. The simple design does make it easier for the newcomer to add their ancestors effortlessly.

So it can be a great program for any level of experience. That is why I highly recommend this software for anyone wanting to researching their family tree.

Start Your Family History Adventure Today!

Most comprehensive and easy-to-use genealogy software!

Ancestral Quest 15

Buy Now!Check Out My Ancestral Quest Review

My Final Thoughts

So, there you have it, my pick of the best genealogy programs that you can choose to buy to create and build your family tree. Whichever program you do decide to buy I’m sure you will be more than happy with it.

Don’t stress too much though which program that you do go for. They all have the same basic features and will ultimately do what you want. And that is to create and build your family tree.

Don’t worry if you do feel though that your chosen program isn’t right for you. You can easily export your family tree and load it into a new genealogy program.

My Recommendation!

My personal recommendation is Legacy 9. It does everything that you would expect from such a program and more!

You can read What’s New With Legacy 9? to find out what cool features you can expect from the best genealogy program.

My main reason for this choice is because that it connects to many genealogy search sites that can help you with your family history research.

Connecting with FamilySearch and FindMyPast has helped me with my research. And it can with yours too!

But at the end of the day, it is your choice. So, all the best on your decision and I wish you all the best with creating your family tree and your genealogy research.

What do you think?

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

Thank You and Please Leave A Comment

I hope you enjoyed reading this review about the best genealogy software programs available to the family historian. If you have any questions or comments then please leave a comment below.

Please share with family and friends if you think this post will help others by using the social media buttons below.

Article Name
5 Best Genealogy Software Programs
These are the 5 best genealogy software programs available to buy today. Check what they have to offer, their pros and cons, and where you can buy them.
Publisher Name
The Genealogy Guide
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95 thoughts on “Best Genealogy Software Programs – Your Top 5”

  1. Hi! Regarding Family Tree Maker, I have used this software since 2006, upgraded to 2008, in 2008, and worked without problems until upgrading in 2017, the relationship logic is flawed, and records incorrect relationships, also only selects a child’s relationship to the home person from one parent, It does not understand that both parents can be related to the home person, and gives a relationship that is incorrect 50% of the time, and anyone with Medieval Ancestors will soon discover that these Families all intermarried to hold onto money, and land, and are all related. As to the colour coding, I don’t recommend using this to highlight relationships, because as you add to the Tree, relationships change, but the colour does not, so you have to spend time manually changing the colours to reflect the new relationship, I just spent 26 solid hours changing 500 years of relatives colours, what needs to happen is a colour should be designated to a relationship, so that as the relationship changes as the Tree grows the colour matches, but this would require more than one colour coding tool. Re the main relationship flaw, recording Great Grand Parents as Uncles/ Aunts, and cousins of various degrees, and anyone reading this don’t shout collapsed pedigree, there is no such thing, and there is no one on this planet that has a Binary Tree, it just the can’t go far enough back, and the ” Collapsed Pedigree” is actually the norm. As to the problems stated Family Tree maker have been aware of these problems since I reported them on the release of the 2017 upgrade, but the problem existed before that, as an, experiment I bought a 2012 copy, loaded my Tree and had all the same flaws, so it allegedly looks like an Ancestry created flaw Family Tree Maker have told me that they are rewriting the software relationship logic, and I have the Email to prove it, three years and still counting

  2. I have been using geneaalogical database software for 30 years, starting with My Brother’s Keeper and working through several more. The one I have been using for many years now is Roots Magic, and frankly I am getting bored with it. I imported gedcoms into Legacy and FTM and was dismayed that not all the info I had in RM was imported so I gave up on those two.

    When I write books, I use WordPerfect which is far better than MS Word because it has a Reveal Codes feature which makes editing so much easier. RM allows you to save in WORD and WordPerfect and then you can edit it in that application.

    1. Thank you for sharing Karen. I use MS Word to write up my family story. I’ve used this writing tool because I can add pictures, tables and chartsto my book. And the other reason is that I’ve used MS Word for many years.

      I haven’t heard of WordPerfect so I will have to check it out.

      1. WordPerfect is a Corel application and is used most commonly by law firms.

        I just purchased FTM to try it out once again, and it looks better than it did a few years ago. I have not yet tried saving it to either Word or WordPerfect for further editing; this is a very important feature for me.

      2. I save my FTM charts, then use Photoshop to crop them and then insert into my Word document. I just write out my family’s story myself, rather than let FTM create a book.

        Please let me know how you get on.

  3. Hi, I am seriously considering the Legacy 9 option. I have heard that this software has a connection with the Mormon Church and when you connect online, they download your information and they do some sort of baptism and give you a record number as though all your family is member of Mormon church. Can you tell me if this is all true!?

  4. I have purchase and used all of the above since my retirement in 2010. To me it all comes down to what you want out of a family tree, if you want a few generations and a nice chart then Legacy 9 is a good choice but if you want get serious with your data and including source citations the latter can be a minefield then I would choose RootsMagic or Legacy they make it easy for you to enter data and the all important source citations are also easy to enter. If you are going to use Ancestry as an online search tool for your Family Tree data and want to make getting data easy, and if except Ancestry’s source citations it will take all the work out of you writing them out, then I would choose Family Tree Maker 17 or above, it will download all info to your Family Tree data to your laptop direct and you can keep a copy on Ancestry itself the software is expensive though compared to most other family Tree software

    1. Apologies for the late reply to your useful feedback regarding programs.

      Yes it does depend on what you want out of a program. For me when I started my genealogy research I used Family Tree Maker. It was the first program that I was made aware of and I liked it, so I’ve never needed to use another program.

  5. Oh, another question. My short-term goal is to make a photo family tree, with passport-size photos of the ancestors and relatives that I have, and blank squares where I don’t. I have a surprising number, back several generations. I’d like to be able to print it nicely to give to relatives.Which Mac-compatible software do you think would be best for this?

    And by the way, thank you so much for such a clear and informative and helpful article. Surprisingly rare on the internet.

    1. I’m not a Mac person, but I would think some photo editing software would do this for you.

      I like the idea of passport photos for ancestors. It reminds me of another idea I came across where someone created collectable cards with fun facts of their ancestors.

  6. i wanted to thank you for including information on which programs allowed same sex relationships, but then you didn’t for the final one.

    I really appreciate your final remarks “Don’t stress too much though which program that you do go for. They all have the same basic features and will ultimately do what you want. And that is to create and build your family tree.

    Don’t worry if you do feel though that your chosen program isn’t right for you. You can easily export your family tree and load it into a new genealogy program” i suspect that other genealogists who are used to digging deep and double/triple checking informations may need those remnders, as I do!”
    I suspect that other amateur genealogists, used to digging deep and double/triple checking everythng may need that suggestion, as do I!

    1. Sorry Kate,

      I’ve only now seen that you have left a comment.

      Yes, all programs will ultimately help you to create a family tree. But extra features may tempt people to one program over another. Other factors do include the interface design and usability.

  7. Hi,
    I have a question for you. I have been working on my family tree since 1995 and consequently I have over 53, 000 people in my tree. I started with Broderbund Family Tree Maker, which I upgraded periodically. My favorite version was version 11, but when that was no longer supported, I switched to Version 16. At one point, I updated to a later version and hated it so much that I switched back. Unfortunately, I reached a point where I had so much data that it just stopped working. So last year I bought the newest version, but I really hate it and it has taken a lot of the pleasure of genealogy research away. Can you recommend a 6? program that is as close as possible to FTM Version 16? Thank you.
    Gail McTamaney

  8. I have researched my family on Ancestry uk and downloaded the gedcom file. What in your opinion is the best viewer to replicate the appearance of the Ancestry file? I have finished researching so it is only a reader programme I need.

    1. Hi Peter, thank you for your query. I would have to say Family Tree Maker. As it was originally developed by Ancestry this one will closely resemble what you want.

  9. Paul G Wichtendahl

    Thank you for a very pleasant and well organized article. It encourages me to ask you for your recommendation. I will go against type and try to be brief.
    First perspective: I have been researching my family for 40 years. I have used two applications, Family Tree Maker and some other thing that is no longer in business. I have a Windows95 virtual machine that I keep alive SOLELY to run my version of FTM.
    Here is what I am looking for something that I can use to produce a book and something I can use to produce nice sharable charts. I am willing to have two applications if the need means I am best served with two. I have all the information (except stories and pictures) loaded into Ancestry. Between my wife’s and my pedigree charts it has somewhere north of 3,000 people. I spent a winter month a couple of years ago laying out a combined pedigree chart in Vision and it was 23′ x7′. I don’t want to do that again. However, I would love to be able to produce it again on demand in a calendar (17×22) format which my office supply store will print.
    I wouldn’t mind doing a descendant tree for my paternal family. Our last name is unique and I believe I have tracked down 98%+ of the people in the world with the name and can show how we are related. Suggestions? I am open to anything except “give up”

    1. My sincere apologies for only getting back to you now. I was not notified that I had a new comment to reply to you.

      You seem to be in a similar situation like I was when I first wrote my family history book. I was not satisfied with the ‘books’ that these genealogy programs churn out with all my key facts.

      I wanted a book where I could write lots of stories and charts, (and so in time included maps, pictures, other stuff too.

      For that reason I decided to write my book using Microsoft Word, only because I was familiar with using this program. But I also had to use Photoshop so that I could trim the charts that FTM creates and stick them in my book.

      Please check out my post where I go into detail and show snippets of my book.

      I hope this helps and please get back to me if you need to.

      All the best,

      1. Owain,
        You should take a look at some new software released a few days ago – Got it from my facebook page in an ad

        It only works with users but includes individual charts and stuff, also includes all photos and historical documents, Doesn’t let you write your own stories or anything it seems but when I contacted them to ask if this was possible they said they are looking at that for the next update. All the person said was they are reviewing how to convert ancestry story’s in your file so those can be included in the book also.

        I tried it yesterday myself using their limited trial version, was pretty good i thought, sure needs some minor fixes but downloaded my trees automatically without a hitch which took a few hours and then it created a 300+page book in about 10 mins from my research. I have the same issue as you said, have been looking for this type of things for years but nothing available till now it seems. Anyhow was reading your post thought you might like to know

      2. That seems very interesting Bill. Will have to take a look, but for me this has come 10 years too late.

        Still I would like to see how it all looks in a book.

  10. I need to work on my family tree without connecting to the internet. Is there any program I can buy that I can use without having to register on the internet?

    1. Hi Diane,

      You can use any of the programs listed here. You only to register if you want to get notified about new updates for the program, or if you want to connect with a genealogy search site.

  11. Thank you for your excelent article indeed the best I found on internet.
    There are two features that are extremely important to me and a few questions.
    Feature 1 : To have a software that doesnt require internet after installed.
    Feature 2: That I can hastag a photo with multiple members of a familly and that when I am in someone’s record it will show me all the pictures where this person has been identified.
    From these programs you present wich ones have the above features?
    When we buy a program is it forever or do we have to buy a license each year to keep working?
    Can I import a PAF 5 database without problems?
    Can I also hashtag pictures with the names of the places?
    Best regards.

    1. Hi Paulo,

      Thank you for liking this article.

      From what I have researched Family Historian 6 Allows you to tag people.

      All of the programs here don’t require the Internet to use them after being installed. Personally I use Family Tree Maker, but I don’t connect to Ancestry to use hints. I prefer to keep my tree on my home computer.

      You can keep using any of these programs. It is entirely up to you if you purchase an updated version of a program. Personally I use Family Tree Maker 2012. I am happy with this program and don’t wish to upgrade.

      You can import a PAF 5 database with Family Historian.

      I am not sure if you can hashtag places though. It would be best to contact them.

      I hope that I have answered all of your queries. Please let me know how you get on.


  12. I am very interested in Family Tree Maker. I am using Roots right now and can not get it to accept records from my old computer to the new one I got when my old computer crashed.
    I have a back-up & a Ged-com, so I don’t understand the problem it is giving me.
    I used PAF previous to Roots & loved using it. I just couldn’t get any upgrades.
    My question is: Does Family Tree Maker have places to add LDS temple information?
    Thank You for the wonderful reviews. Appreciate the ease at which you have made the comparisons.

    1. Hi LaRene,

      Thank you for the compliment. I am glad that you like the reviews.

      I am sorry to hear about your problem with Roots and Gedcom. I have always used Family Tree Maker as I first started using it when tracing my heritage, and have never looked back.

      To answer your question you could add information from LDS to each person using the Notes feature. But I don’t think you would want to do that as information won’t be so apparent.

      Instead you can use the Custom Facts feature. This following link will help:

      Family Tree Maker: Custom Facts

      For more help you can use the following link to get help directly from Mackiev who produce and support FTM:

      Mackiev FTM Support

      I hope that I have answered your query. Please let me know how you get on.

      Kind regards,

    2. Very interesting and detailed reviews of the various programmes. I have copied my husband’s family tree from his father’s handwritten family tree onto Ancestry. It is very detailed and goes back a long way. My brother has researched our family tree. We are both on I am interested in linking the two trees and another for my mother in law which has been developed by a relation in Canada. I don’t want to merge them. I would like to link to them. Ie put a link to them at a suitable point in my tree. Then we could link to other trees as we progress. However Ancestry doesn’t allow for this. Is there any programme that would help link trees instead of duplicating them?

      1. Hi Sue,

        Thanks for the query. I have been researching a while and see that Legacy do offer the option to link two people.

        But this works if the people are in the same file. I have contacted them to find out if you can use this feature to link between trees.

        I’ll update you here what their response is.

      2. Hello again Sue,

        Unfortunately Legacy does not allow for this. I thought that this would be the case 🙁

        It looks like with every genealogy software program you have to merge the files, you cannot simply link one person to another in a separate file.

        If you do plan to end up merging your files then I would suggest you backup your trees first.

        Sorry I cannot help you on this occasion.


  13. Am researching a back up for my ancestry tree. Since I have a Mac, that eliminates Legacy and Family Historian 6 right off the bat, correct? If so, that helps by narrowing my search!

    1. That’s right. Family Tree Maker, Roots Magic, or Family Tree Heritage would be right for it. Just check out the review here and see which one you prefer.

      Good luck.

  14. I have been trying to ascertain the best genealogy programme for my personal use and was close to deciding to give Legacy 9 a go. But I am not sure if it is actually the best for my particular needs.

    I am less interested in building a tree (though of course that is an important part of it) and more interested in organising material – notes, certificates and especially stories and photographs – that I want to present in a printed book at some stage.

    So I am wondering if Family Historian would be better or does Legacy 9 have such capabilities?

    My other keen interest is in presenting the family tree in an attractive chart at the beginning of the book and using exerpts in chapters associated with particular individuals. Another comparison website suggested that Heredis has the best charting ability.

    In addition, I want to be sure that on a chart I can display families with multiple mothers/stepmothers especially when one dies and the man marries again (and visa versa).

    I am on Family Search and they make me prioritise who is displayed when I really want to be able to show both. I live in Australia but the bulk of my family comes from the UK. Any advice you have would be appreciated.

    Thanks in advance, Stephanie

    1. Hi Stephanie,

      Thanks for dropping by with your query. In my opinion Family Historian 6 is the better option for you in this case.

      It is a very easy program for you to add information, pictures, notes and whatever, and then turn them into a book.

      As far as I can see you can add more than two parents with this program.

      I haven’t reviewed Heredis yet but have quickly checked out the charts. From what I have seen I don’t think this is possible. I could be wrong, but I am not overly impressed with the presentation of these charts compared to what Family Historian 6 offers.

      I used Microsoft Word for my family history book. I couldn’t find a suitable program for my needs. I used Family Tree Maker to create and save charts and then inserted them into Word. I then used Word to insert photos, maps, and tables of information at the back in an appendix.

      That may not be suitable for you but thought I would suggest it as that is an option for you, (if you do have Word that is).

      All the best and please let me know how you get on.

      1. Thanks for your input. I do a lot of work in Word and was wondering if a genealogy program would actually assist in presentation. But it sounds like what you did was use the program (Family Tree Maker) to create charts etc and then insert into Word. In which case I’m not really sure why Family Historian is any better than that process.

        So now I’m thinking that I really want something that produces good and attractive charts with comprehensive trees (covering multiple marriages for example) and will help me organise all my material linking things together.

        At present I have lots of directories in Windows and various documents I have constructed including a giant one with a page for each family member. It is starting to get rather unwieldy as I have to remember where I put things!

        Given what I have just said do you still think Family Historian is the go? I quite liked that Legacy says it can create a web page which I thought might be useful for sharing. And the free trial sounds has appeal as well.

      2. Hi Stephanie,

        My approach to my family history book was quite unique. I wanted to include my family stories, (this is what first got me interested in my ancestry), but also photos, maps, and other pieces of information.

        I also wanted to present my book more like a thesis. I wanted to number each branch of my family, and ancestor so that I could easily find each of them in my book whenever I wanted to.

        I was thoroughly happy with Family Tree Maker with creating my tree and producing various charts. So I decided to keep using it and just save the charts so that I could put them into my book.

        Please by all means try out the free version of Legacy family Tree first. See if it’s right for you and whether you like it or not.

        Family Historian does create professional books, booklets, websites and even CDs that you can share that way.

        So yeah just try Legacy and take it from there. If it’s not right for you then maybe give Historian a go.

        Hope this helps Stephanie 🙂


  15. I am ready to take the dive back into working on my family tree. I have used Family Tree Maker since the 90’s but haven’t actually worked on it in 12 years. Needless to say I have an ancient version. If I understand everything I either need to upgrade to 2017 or find a different program. FTM 2017 will allow me to keep all of my work even though it is a very old version. I have read of some stories where everything got “messed up” . Everything will transfer correctly ? Pictures? Notes? Will I be warned if there are errors or conflicts? I have several “trees” I worked on. One is rather extensive and would not like to recheck or be on constant guard of every detail of it. Very nervous about the change!!

    1. Hi Angie,

      Thank you for your query.

      I have personally used FTM and have upgraded the program a few times without any problems. Having said that I have heard of issues where stuff is messed up, mainly relationships.

      Unfortunately I am not aware of any warning messages that you can see, so as far as I know you will need to inspect your tree after upgrading to make sure everything’s ok.

      If you still have the older version of FTM you can make a backup of the program and then import it into FTM 2017.

      The following link shows how to do that from an old version to FTM 2014:

      Moving files from earlier version of FTM

      The instructions shows that you can retain your old copy. This will help if you do experience any problems.

      Here are instructions to do the same with FTM 2017, but with this version I don’t see that you can retain your previous version. I’m sure it’s there but the instructions don’t show it.

      I am still using FTM 2014, mainly because I didn’t like how charts were displayed in 2017 compared to 2014. So I stuck with the old version.

      I’m sorry that I couldn’t be of more assurance, but hope that I have helped regardless.

      Please let me know how you go.

      All the best with this process and your research,

  16. It totally infuriates me about Family Tree Maker. I have purchased and used it for about 20 years now….always upgraded but when I wanted to. Now, my older program will no longer work with This really makes me mad. I even cancelled my subscription to Ancestry. Now that I have calmed down, I am rethinking; however, I was told that the new Family Tree Maker makes you upload your tree to ancestry in order for the features to work. Meaning, ancestry hints, downloading information such as jpegs of census etc, and family connections. Is this true?

    1. With Family Tree Maker 2017 you don’t need to upload your tree to Ancestry in order to view records and get hints.

      Hope this helps.

  17. I have a huge family and as I get older, they are all dividing up and going their separate ways. It is sad to see, because now I have only one grandparent and each grandparent I have lost left their whole lineage with them with nothing much left. I this was something available thirty years ago! I used the Family Tree, but it’s been hard putting the pieces of my family puzzle together. Get these programs quick…soon it will be too late and much will be lost!

    1. Yep I fully agree Bruce. You need to get those family stories and useful information from your grandparent before it is too late. It’s sad but I never did. I only have my father who has fortunately shared with many stories and has helped me a great deal with our family history.

  18. Hi Owain,
    Thanks for all the work you have done. I am currently looking at buying a computer based program and have extracted info out of most of the sites under a trial version. eg Ancestry, Myheritage etc
    Qu – if I buy one of the computer based programs like Legacy Family does it link to my trail account and allow me to download my already entered info? Can I then stop trialling the monthly subscription based sites? Can I share the trees across the web with family?
    Sorry for all the questions.
    Thanks again

    1. Hi Pierre,

      Thank you for your comment and your questions. I will try to answer them as best I can.

      I can’t see anywhere with these programs that you cannot link them to a free trial account. So I would say that it should work. I’m sorry if that’s an affirmative answer.

      You can share with your family if you create a GEDCOM file from the program. You can then send this file to your family. It does then depend then if your family has a genealogy program to open it.

      Or you could create charts and reports and save them as jpg files and then send them that way.

      Let me know how you get on.

      Kind regards,

  19. Jaran Gaarder Heggen

    You forgot to mention that Legacy 9 is still not UNICODE/UTF-8 compatible… and because of that an outdated software product… sadly

    1. Thank you Jaran for bringing this up. It is true that Legacy does only support Western European fonts which includes English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Dutch, and the Scandinavian languages.

      And as such it does not yet support Eastern European fonts, like Polish, Asian fonts, Hebrew, or any other non-Western European fonts. So I do apologise if you feel that this software is outdated to you.

      There is however a work around to this issue which you can find on the Legacy Family Tree Support page.

      I hope that this is of help to you and others.

  20. I have used a number of different products over the years based upon reviews only to have watched them disappear. When searching for a new product, two issues are important but seldom covered.
    1. Handling exact and possible duplicates when merging multiple data files received from relatives.
    2. Importing files directly from other software programs without first exporting to GEDCOM and importing. This can occur when replacing your own software or when importing data from a relative who is contributing information.

    I currently have the latest version of Family Tree Maker and am not impressed with their current handling of merging. Maybe this will change with the new ownership. How does your top two picks address these issues?

    1. Hi Rodger, thank you for contacting me about these genealogy software issues. My top two picks are Legacy and Family Tree Maker. For the moment though I would suggest that you check out . My review does so you what you can expect from Legacy 8. However, the latest version Legacy 9 is out now.

      Anyway to answer your questions any duplications or errors that do occur with merging will come up with red flags. So it’s quite easy to spot any mistakes when this does happen.

      And importing should be quite easy with Legacy. You shouldn’t need to export and then import.

      All the best,

  21. Hi Owain,

    Thank you for this detailed reply. I think that I will do as you do and keep my tree to myself and family and add in information manually.

    One other question that has nothing to do with apps but with general research: I have been using FamilySearch and it’s good to a point. And I haven’t signed up to yet. I was wondering, as they both are American sites, how better is on European data (and data in general) ? That should be my last question!



    1. My pleasure Anne-Marie. Please feel free to make a comment or use the Contact Me form whenever you wish to do so.

      As they are American sites there data on European records will be sparse. If you do have ancestors in the U.K. though you could go to Ancestry UK. Family Search has also helped me immensely with my U.K. Ancestors.

      Hope this information helps.

  22. Hi,
    I was wondering about privacy on these apps. If I use one that I download from the website, will my info remain private? Or is it connected to a database which then uses your data? Not sure how it all works really but would like some clarification.

    Also, can you print from the other programmes like Legacy or just from Family Tree Heritage?


    1. Hi Anne-Marie,

      Thank you for your comment. If you decide to use any of these programs to build your tree then your data will be private. However, if you decide to upload your tree to any of the genealogy search websites, such as Ancestry, then you will be giving up your right to ‘your’ data.

      If you are concerned about your privacy then you could do what I do. Use any of these programs and also use a site such as Ancestry, but don’t upload your tree. Sure Ancestry maybe able to see what your searching but they won’t be able to create a tree from your search results. It’s a bit of a pain to do this, but do whatever you are comfortable with. You could though try FamilySearch where you will have access to FREE records.

      You can print out your trees, charts, reports, etc from any of these programs. It’s just that Family Tree Heritage offers you the most when it comes to printing your research.

      I wish you all the best with your genealogy research Anne-Marie and I hope that I have answered your questions.

  23. I have Legacy 8.0 and so far I really like it and the features….. there are a few drawbacks to it, mainly when I upload media/photos to a person from my hard drive, they tend to come over severly distorted, fuzzy, whatever you want to call it, definitely not as clear as the orginal I have on my computer. 🙁 I have a few other gripes about it, but that is my main concern! 🙁

    I was hoping there would be a place within Legacy where I could store photos that I use over and over, like cemetery / church photos and just attach them to people straight from Legacy. If there is a way to do that, I have not found it.

    1. I am glad that you really like Legacy 8. It is a shame though that you got a problem with uploading pictures. Could you try putting them to your computer first and then to the program. I don’t know if that would help but it’s worth a go.

      If the problem still persists you could contact Legacy here.

      As for adding photos that can use over and over there is the Media Gatherer tool. You can read about it here, as well as other new features that you can find in Legacy 8.

  24. I worked on my tree for years started back when I had to go the libraries and search by microfiche and then onto Family Tree Maker but havent worked on the tree for about 6 years and have a new computer now. Im trying to decide if I want to get the latest of FTM or try Legacy. Do you know if both can get along on one computer or would it cause file errors? I like the hints with FTM but the many chart options sound good with Legacy.

    1. I don’t see why you couldn’t have both programs running on your computer. At one time I had two versions of FTM running on mine. Although it’s still the same company I must admit it still worked and so I don’t see it being a problem here.

      Hints are exceptional with FTM. Not only have I found records but also have compared my tree against other members family trees on Ancestry.

      There is plenty of choice with Legacy, and that’s why I like that one too. But I do only use a handful of charts to be honest, so FTM has always been my choice.

      1. Thank you for all the helpful information. I decided to get FTM just downloaded it and think I will work with it for awhile again but most likely out of curiousity will get Legacy to try it later. Sticking with the familiar is good for now. Unfortunatly right after I got 2014 version I noticed the newer 2017 version is coming out on March 31, hopefully wont cost a lot to upgrade. Great article, Thanks again.

      2. I am glad that I could help you. Choosing the right genealogy software program is important. You want something that you are comfortable with. Also, sticking with what you know is a good idea. I did try an update to FTM 2014, but I reverted back to it because I didn’t like how charts were presented in the newer versions. At the end of the day it’s what you like and are comfortable with.

  25. I used Generations Deluxe Edition Sierrra Home software when I started to do my family history & had over 2,000 names, then my computer crashed & I lost every thing.
    I do still have all my records on hard copy so not all is lost.
    I would like to re enter all my records to a programme.
    I loved that programme, is it still available?
    If not what software would you say was similar if any?
    Any help would be appreciated

    1. Hi Doreen, that is a terrible shame that your computer crashed. I have found Generations software on Amazon. You can check it out by clicking here.

      Alternatively you could try Legacy Family Tree. Check out the review and see if it is for you. They do offer a trial version. Just follow the link in my review of the software.

      Hope that helps Doreen,

  26. Hi Owain
    This is definitely an eye opener for me! I never knew there existed geneology softwares and I’d indeed be curious to find out a few of my ancestors using your reviewed softwares- but what country’s databases do they feature? That would help to know if my quest is valid- 🙂 Thanks, and remember to smile to yourself and at someone today!

    1. These ones cover USA and also UK. I will have to review genealogy software programs for other countries.

      Thanks and I hope this is of use to you

  27. Wow, I did not expect that there are software like these. I really have limited knowledge as to the roots of our family. I only knew the immediate family of my parents and grandparents and that’s it. I have never even attended reunion ever. This helps a lot so that we could connect more to our family.

    1. It is quite interesting to know further back than your grandparents. Those times must have been so very different to what they are like now. I hope that you do take the journey and discover your ancestry. It is a very enjoyable adventure

  28. Thank you for introducing me to all these five best genealogy software, you are resourceful and I think they are cool! Since Legacy 8 is your best recommendation, I will take a look at it. Especially like the color code idea, i like using colors to differentiate things, they make it so much easier and organized. Funny thing that same sex marriages are not in the setting probably the software only recognizes a male and a female to be a spouse.

    1. Having different colors sure do make things easier. As with the same sex marriages this will be fixed in a lter update. It is the best option for your genealogy research so if you do decide to get it then all the best with your family history.

      1. Sure thing, will consider that since it deserves your five stars! Thank you for the great recommendation! All the best to you too 🙂

  29. I liked this page alot. My wife is into genealogy. She will find this kind of information very helpful. The graphics were good, particularly the top picture. It fit the content. I also like that you wrote about advantages and drawbacks for each reviewed program. Your ranking was a good idea. There is lots of information on your page, but it was well organized and easy to follow. I really liked this page.

    1. I’m glad that you like the page. Please refer your wife to the site. There is plenty more useful information on here. Also I am adding new content all the time

  30. Hello Qwain, i am curious,Is the Q in your name silent?
    I have commented on your content before, this is a great guide for persons interested in genealogy. One of my nieces who was born in Canada and who i have never met is putting together a family Tree. This is important for us because we have close adult family members that have never met and our family travels. we live all over the world and recently i received an email asking for information. we also carry foreign last names -French, Dutch,German African, Polish among them. It can be dangerous if you don’t know who your family are.Thanks for sharing

    1. My name is Owain not Qwain. It’s the Welsh equivalent of Owen. Most people call me that even though saying Owain is quite easily “O-Wine’.

      It’s really interesting when we have connections all over the world. I too have cousins in Canada, from my mother’s side. And they have helped me build up my mother’s family tree. As information can be freely and easily exchanged these days we can reach out all over the world. And it is great when we do so as it can even help us build our genealogy research

  31. A nice job with your reviews, clean and very readable. I find genealogy interesting, and all I know is that we are from England, but I never really went through with my interest. Which one of these programs will be good for beginners?
    I also thought about getting the ancestor blood test done too. Any suggestions on that?

    1. I personally use Family Tree Maker. I have found it a very easy program to use and have amassed quite a large family tree using this program. Family Historian 6 is also a great program for creating your family tree.

      You may have success with DNA testing where they take a sample of your saliva. You then wait for results to be sent back to you. I am planning on writing a post regarding this in the near future. Stay tuned

  32. Interesting. I have seen the ads about getting the DNA testing done. I have been toying with the idea. Due to a rugged life as a child and no longer really being in touch with many of my family members I know very little about my family history. I think you may have spurred me into action. Thank you for the nudge!

    1. You’re quite welcome. Please keep this site as a reference. I am adding new content all the time and I have plenty more interesting topics that I will be covering

  33. Bohemian Collective

    Very interesting! I had no idea there were programs you could use to trace your genealogy and history – I’ll be sure to look into these five!

    I like the idea that Legacy can link to major genealogy sites and work in a ‘community’ fashion rather than leaving you in the daunting path of doing much of your own research – great post!

    1. These programs can not only help you build your tree where you enter names, dates, etc, but also allows you make further progress through genealogy sites. Each of these programs will do just that. They will show hints where there maybe a record that you haven’t discovered yet waiting for you

  34. Really nice review Owain. I love the way your compared the programs in one review. I understand that the prices may vary but I too would have liked to have maybe an average cost of each program.

    I have never looked into my genealogy but my twin sister did and she said it was very interesting. I believe that she was using Ancestry.

    Not being familiar with any of these programs, I wonder what is the difference between the software in this review with Ancestry? You said that they can be integrated. How do they differ?

    1. Thank you for liking my review of the top 5 genealogy software programs. Due to a few requests I will add prices so people can compare between the program’s further.

      The software programs integrate with Ancestry in pretty much the same way. Although Family Tree Maker is synonymous with Ancestry

  35. Thanks for this review. I think you gave a good review of each product. I was just a little disappointed you didn’t put the price of each in your post (so that I didn’t have to go over to Amazon to compare.

    I’m curious, which do you use? And how did you get interested in this?

    1. Thank you for liking the review. And I’m sorry I didn’t put the prices up. I just didn’t want to scare you. Only joking. I would’ve done but as you may know Amazon always changes their prices so often and I would have to fix it up all the time. I was more concerned with giving my top 5 and explaining all that they have to offer.

      I use Family Tree Maker. It was the first genealogy program that I heard of. It’s real simple to use and I like creating charts so that I can put it into my family history book.

      I started this hobby mainly because of my father. He would tell me countless stories of our ancestors. I didn’t want all of that history to be lost. So I wrote them up. But I soon discovers that I needed to create charts so people could see how my ancestors related to me. And that’s how I came across Family Tree Maker

  36. This is really great information! We had a family reunion last summer and there was SO MUCH family history that was made available. I don’t think anyone has thought of using software to log everything.

    1. It is certainly a wise decision to make. With so much information in your family all that can be put into the program. Your family members could decide to work on separate branches and bring it altogether. That is the beauty of using genealogy software, the sharing of information and incorporating it into your tree.

      Also, if you and your family members decide to purchase a genealogy program then all your family memories will be remembered. Over time stories and memories can get forgotten and that would be a shame.

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