Genealogy Software

Best family tree programs

Today there was a post on the Family History Daily blog – Looking for a New Family Tree Program? A Detailed Guide to the Top 6 Choices.

Their top 6 choices were:

  • FamilySearch Family Tree
  • My Heritage
  • WikiTree
  • RootsMagic
  • Ancestry
  • FamilyTreeMaker

I don’t agree in their list of the top 6 choices.

My top 5 choices are:

Legacy is my favourite desktop program.  My reasons that I prefer Legacy can be found in my post: Why I prefer to use Legacy Family Tree.  I also use RootsMagic because it has some features that Legacy doesn’t have.  In particular, the new TreeShare, so I can now sync my RootsMagic tree with my Ancestry public member tree, and the Ancestry hints.

I prefer TNG as my online program.  I can update my tree using either a gedcom from Legacy, or directly in TNG.  TNG uses Google Maps, and provides a range of reports and charts, and the ability to produce PDF files.  Users can sign up for a user account, and there are a number of options on what information they can access, and whether they can update the tree, or whether they can submit changes for me to update.  I can also update the CSS files, so I can change the look of the site.

I use Ancestry public member trees, so that more people can have access to my tree. I have one main tree, with the same information that is on my website, and in my Legacy Family Tree, and I have started another tree on one branch of my family, that I am using TreeShare to keep synchronised  in RootsMagic.  I recently started this tree so that I could attach Ancestry sources to it, after reading about Ancestry not indexing “Other Sources” on Randy Seaver’s Genea-Musings blog: See Ancestry Member Trees, Indexing Rules, Cousin Bait, Source Citations and Me and RootsMagic TreeShare, Ancestry Member Trees, and Source Citations.

Out of Family History Daily’s top 6 choices, I use 3, and I use 2 other programs (Legacy and TNG) that don’t appear on their list.  Of their three other top choices:

  • WikiTree I haven’t used this site, so I can’t comment on it
  • FamilyTreeMaker. I haven’t use the current version, but I have used it in the past, and found I prefer Legacy and RootsMagic.
  • My Heritage.  I did use My Heritage a couple of years ago, but a family tree is only free on My Heritage if it is reasonably small – I have over 10000 people in my tree, and the last time I used the site it cost a little over $200 AU to have the tree on My Heritage (it would have cost even more to access their records).  It is free to have a tree at Ancestry, no matter what the size, so I prefer to use Ancestry.


  Background of featured image is a photo from Unsplash – Photo by unsplash-logoveeterzy