Genealogy Software for Windows
5/21/2015
Learn about the most popular genealogy software for Windows and PC, including price, manufacturer, pros and cons, as well as reviews and links to download.
Price: $29.95
Manufacturer: Incline Software
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
Price: $14.95
Manufacturer: Sherwood Electronics Laboratories
Biggest draws: Google Earth-style interface, ease of use
Drawbacks: no wall chars, imprecise GEDCOM file creation
Price: $45 with manual, $20 upgrade
Manufacturer: John Steed
Biggest draws: charts and reports, to-do lists
Drawbacks: navigation, no HTML descendant report
Price: $69.99
Manufacturer: Calico Pie (UK)
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
Price: $39.99; includes two-week subscription to Ancestry.com US Deluxe collection. You can install two copies of the program on computers within the same household.
Manufacturer: Ancestry.com, (800) 262-3787
Biggest draws: Wall charts, searching Ancestry.com, synchronizing online and offline family trees
Drawbacks: GEDCOM file sharing, documenting sources, book publishing
Price: $19.95
Manufacturer: Individual Software
Biggest draws: Easy to use, good family group sheets and pedigree charts, PAF compatibility, toll-free help number
Drawbacks: It's essentially an old version of Ancestral Quest
Price: $29.95
Manufacturer: Thoughtful Creations
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
Price: $10.99
Manufacturer: Individual Software
Biggest draws: Easy navigation, outstanding printed reports, toll-free help number, comes bundled with Progeny Software's Charting Companion
Drawbacks: Essentially an old version of Ancestral Quest
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
 
Price: Free standard version, $29.95 download, $39.95 on CD with printed manual, $21.95 upgrade from version 7
Manufacturer: Millennia Corp.
Biggest draws: Ease of use, charts and reports, searching in your file
Drawbacks: Unintuitive icons for reusing sources
 
Price: $59 download, $69.95 on CD
Manufacturer: Wholly Genes Software
Biggest draws: Unlimited flexibility and customization; unique power-user features
Drawbacks: Steep learning curve
Free 30-day trial
Price: The Prestige Edition, which includes CD publishing and unlimited individuals, costs $99.95. The Classic Edition (which limits you to a 2,046-person file) is $59.95
Manufacturer: Alsyd Multimedia
Biggest draws: This Windows program features a wide variety of printed reports, flexibility in publishing your family history online and an innovative way to share your family history
Drawbacks: Despite nice graphic reports and the nifty CD-ROM publishing feature, this version of Parentèle doesn't quite stack up against the other popular programs.
Price: free download, $8.25 on CD with PAF Companion
Manufacturer: FamilySearch
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 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
 

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
 
Price: Free trial, $29.95, $19.95 upgrade
ManufacturerRootsMagic, (800) 766-8762
Biggest draws: ease of use, data entry, documenting sources, reports, publishing your tree online
Drawbacks: nothing major
 
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