The 5 Best Family Tree Software Programs of 2023
If you're looking to start tracing your family history, finding the right family tree software program is an essential first step. With so many different options available, it can be overwhelming to know where to start. To find the right program for you, it's important to consider your specific needs, such as the size of your family, the level of detail you want to include, and your budget. Once you have a clear understanding of what you're looking for, you can begin exploring the different software programs available.
Decide What You Need in a Family Tree Software Program
Before you can choose a family tree software program, it's important to decide what you need in a program. Some programs are designed for beginners and offer simple, user-friendly interfaces, while others are more advanced and offer a wider range of features. You'll also want to consider the size of your family and the amount of information you want to include in your family tree. Finally, you'll need to decide on a budget for your software program, as some programs are free, while others require a one-time or recurring payment.
Compare the Top Family Tree Software Programs
Once you have a good understanding of your needs, it's time to compare the top family tree software programs. Some of the most popular options include Ancestry, FamilySearch, MyHeritage, Legacy Family Tree, and RootsMagic. Each of these programs offers a unique set of features and benefits, so it's important to do your research and compare them to find the right fit for you. I have provided my perspective on these products.
Ancestry is one of the most popular family tree software programs available. It has a large database of records and allows you to easily connect with other users who may have information about your family. Ancestry also has a user-friendly interface and offers both free and paid subscription options. The desktop version is the better option as it connects to your Ancestry trees but allows you to have access to your records. My experience has been that when you upload records to Ancestry and let your membership lapse you are not able to access the actual records and either have to go and relocate them for your personal files.
MyHeritage is a great option for those looking for a family tree software program that also offers DNA testing as does Ancestry. It has a large database of records and allows you to easily upload and share photos, documents, and other media. MyHeritage also has a user-friendly interface and offers both free and paid subscription options. This software also provides access to a variety of other tools to help you manage your family tree.
Legacy Family Tree
Legacy Family Tree is a powerful family tree software program that is popular among professional genealogists. It offers a wide range of features, including advanced search capabilities, customizable charts and reports, and integration with popular genealogy websites. Legacy Family Tree also offers a free version, as well as a paid deluxe version with additional features. I have personally not used this platform but have heard from others it is a great tool.
FamilySearch is a free family tree software program run by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It has a large database of records from around the world, including censuses, vital records, and more. FamilySearch also offers a collaborative family tree feature, allowing multiple users to contribute and edit information. This is a great place to start with no requirements to have a paid subscription or fee for records. I use FamilySearch as my "Go To" search platform and can connect it to my desktop Family Tree Maker Program.
RootsMagic is a comprehensive family tree software program that offers a wide range of features, including advanced search capabilities, customizable charts and reports, and integration with popular genealogy websites. It also has a user-friendly interface and offers both free and paid subscription options. RootsMagic also offers a mobile app for on-the-go research. Personally, I have not accessed this product for my own research however have heard from many that say this is also a great platform.
When comparing these family tree software programs, it's important to consider factors such as ease of use, features, compatibility with your operating system, and cost. Some programs offer more customization options, while others are more user-friendly. Ultimately, the best family tree software program for you will depend on your individual needs and preferences.
Choose the Best Family Tree Software Program for Your Family
After researching and comparing the different family tree software programs, you'll need to choose the best one for your family. This decision will depend on your specific needs, budget, and personal preferences. It's important to take the time to carefully consider each option and choose the one that will best meet your needs and help you achieve your goals.
Once you've chosen a family tree software program, it's time to get started building your family tree. You can begin by entering basic information about yourself and your immediate family members, and then work your way back through your family history. As you add more information, you can begin to fill in the details and uncover new information about your ancestors. Building a family tree can be a rewarding and enlightening experience, and with the right software program, it's easier than ever before.
Get Started Building Your Family Tree!
Article by Carol Walsh
Carol Walsh is the CEO of Creative Roots, a professional genealogy company. She has a passion for preserving family history and storytelling. Carol's research methodology centers around fact-finding and publishing in a format that readers can use to preserve the stories. Her ultimate goal is to help families connect with their past and each other.