Free Genealogy Software
11/21/2016
When it comes to free genealogy software, are you aware of all the programs at your fingertips? Each of the family tree software below is available for free, free trial or free demo, and we've rated and reviewed some of the best for both Mac and Windows. Take your time and find out what best fits your family research.

Ancestral Quest 12

Price: Free demo; Full program, $29.95
Manufacturer: Incline Software
Platform: Windows
Biggest draws: Compatible with Personal Ancestral File (PAF) and expands on PAF's capabilities; fields to record DNA test results; many reporting options, including pedigree charts with sources and notes; PDF output; research logs
Drawbacks: Poor family view, add-on needed for a wide selection of graphical charts
Read our review | Free demo version 

Branches Family Tree

Price: 30-day free trial; Standard, $14.95
Platform: Windows
Biggest draws: Google Earth-style interface, ease of use
Drawbacks: no wall chars, imprecise GEDCOM file creation
Read our reviewFree demo version

Brother's Keeper 6.2

Price: Free demo; $45 with manual, $20 upgrade
Platform: Windows
Biggest draws: charts and reports, to-do lists
Drawbacks: navigation, no HTML descendant report
Read our review | Free demo version 

Family Historian 3.1

Price: Free demo; Standard, $69.99
Platform: Windows
Biggest draws: navigation by graphical family tree, automated source citations, customizable charts
Drawbacks: price, no letter-size pedigree charts, awkward steps for documenting sources and creating Web reports

Family Tree Builder 7.0 

Price: Basic, free; Premium (up to 2,500 names, 1-year subscription to a Premium Family Site, all-in-one charts, smart matches merging, unlimited maps), $75 per year
Manufacturer: MyHeritage
Biggest draws: Currently under review
Drawbacks: Currently under review
Try it online

Family Tree Builder 6.0

Price: Basic (unlimited offline family file plus up to 250-person, 250MB online tree), free; Premium (up to 2,500-person, 500MB online tree), $75 per year; Premium Plus (unlimited tree size and storage), $119.40 per year
Manufacturer: MyHeritage
Biggest draws: ease of use, photo management, charts, online tree publishing, support for 36 languages
Drawbacks: reports, source documentation
Read our review | Try it online

Genbox Family History 3

Price: 30-day free trial; Standard, $29.95
Platform: Windows
Biggest draws: Wide selection of printed reports, including excellent narrative reports for creating a book with a place-name index; many options for publishing your family history online; ease of use
Drawbacks: Overwhelming array of graphical chart options could benefit from some streamlining
Read our review | Free 30-day trial 

Heredis Mac X.2

Price: Free trial; $69 download
Platform: Mac
Biggest draws: Nifty graphics, 3-D family tree
Drawbacks: Slow GEDCOM importing

Legacy Family Tree Deluxe 7.0

Price: Free standard version, $29.95 download, $39.95 on CD with printed manual, $21.95 upgrade from version 6
Manufacturer: Millennia Corp.
Biggest draws: Ease of use, research guidance, charts and reports
Drawbacks: Pedigree view doesn’t show exact dates and places
Read our review | Free Standard Version

MacFamilyTree 5.1

Price: Free trial; Standard, $49
Platform: Mac
Biggest draws: Easy setup, attractive interface, fast GEDCOM imports
Drawbacks: No family group sheet

Reunion 10

Price: Free demo; Standard, $99 or $54.95 upgrade
Platform: Mac
Biggest draws: improved interface; intuitive ease of use, navigation and data entry; extensive and contextual help files; drop-and-drag multimedia, places and sources; souped-up web publishing; full iOS integration
Drawbacks: new web searching isn’t integrated into program itself, relying on your browser; some features are hard to find; no PDF output
Read our review | Free demo

RootsMagic 4

Price: Free trial, $29.95, $19.95 upgrade
Manufacturer: RootsMagic, Inc.
Biggest draws: Ease of use, documenting sources, charts and reports
Drawbacks: Nothing major
Read our review | Free trial

The Master Genealogist Gold 7

Price: 30-day free trial; $59 download, $69.95 on CD
Platform: Windows
Biggest draws: Unlimited flexibility and customization; unique power-user features
Drawbacks: Steep learning curve
Free 30-day trial

Personal Ancestral File 5.2

Price: free download, $8.25 on CD with PAF Companion
Platform: Windows
Biggest draws: Ease of use, excellent help files, price, foreign language versions, well-designed print and Web reports, good graphical charts with PAF Companion
Drawbacks: Reports don't include alternate personal names; FamilySearch is no longer upgrading PAF 

RootsMagic 6

Price: Free trial, $29.95, $19.95 upgrade
Manufacturer: RootsMagic, Inc., (800) 766-8762
Biggest draws: Ease of use, data entry, documenting sources, reports
Drawbacks: Nothing major
Read our reviewFree trial

RootsMagic 4

Price: Free trial, $29.95, $19.95 upgrade
Manufacturer: RootsMagic, Inc.
Biggest draws: Ease of use, documenting sources, charts and reports
Drawbacks: Nothing major
Read our reviewFree trial
 
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