2002 Genealogy Software Roundup

2002 Genealogy Software Roundup

Here's a look at your main software options, including the current versions of familiar programs and a few newcomers.

As software makers race to keep up with constantly changing computer technology, family historians are seeing new choices for computerizing their family trees. Genealogy programs aren’t just bundles of CD-ROMs in slick packages anymore — now you can pick from Internet-based programs, free downloads, PDA-compatible products and software that comes on a single super-capacity disc. Here’s a look at your main software options, including the current versions of familiar programs and a few newcomers:

Ancestral Quest 3.0, Incline Software, (800) 825-8864, <www.ancquest.com>. Standard edition $44.95, CD Suite $54.95. Requires Windows 3.1 or higher, 2MB RAM, 4MB hard disk space. This strong all-around program is easy to use and excels at navigation and source handling. It’s also compatible with Personal Ancestral File (PAF), below.

Brother’s Keeper 6.0, John Steed, e-mail 75774.650@compuserve.com, <www.bkwin.com>. $45. Requires Windows 95 or higher and 8MB RAM. Brother’s Keeper produces a variety of attractive charts and reports. It’s shareware, so you can test it before you buy.

Family Trees Quick & Easy 4.0, Individual Software, (800) 822-3522 or (925) 734-6767, <www.individualsoftware.com>. $19.95. Requires Windows 95 or higher, 16MB RAM, 6MB hard disk space. This program, which replaced Family Ties, packs many of the same easy-to-use features in a cheaper package. Like Ancestral Quest, it’s PAF-compatible.

Family Origins 10.0, Genealogy.com, (800) 327-2317, <www.formalsoft.com>. $29.99. Requires Windows 95 or higher, 8MB RAM, 8MB hard disk space (full install, 40 MB). The best program for Web publishing, Family Origins also boasts powerful searching capabilities, attractive charts and reports and does an excellent job of handling multiple files at once. For more on version 10.0, see the February 2002 Family Tree Magazine.

Family Tree Maker 9.0, Genealogy.com, (800) 548-1806, <www.familytreemaker.com>. Program alone $29.99, Plus package $49.99, Deluxe package $69.99, Premier package $99.99. Requires Pentium 90 MHz, Windows 95 or higher, 16MB RAM, 100MB hard disk space. This best-selling software has excellent charting and graphing capabilities. Instead of the CD-ROMs bundled with previous versions, FTM now comes with access to online data collections, such as historical books, the 1850 and 1900 censuses or immigration records. For more on version 9.0, see the February 2002 Family Tree Magazine.

GEDitCOM 3.0, RSAC Software, (801) 942-7768, e-mail support@geditcom.com, <www.geditcom.com>. $49.99. Requires Power PC or newer, OS 8.1 and Carbon Library. GEDitCOM is a customizable GEDCOM-based shareware program for Macintosh. Rather than “translating” the GEDCOM files you share or download, GEDitCOM reads them directly, so you don’t have to worry about losing data. Version 3.0 is compatible with Mac OS X. Reviewed in the December 2001 Family Tree Magazine.

GeneWeb, GeneaNet, <geneanet.org/geneweb.php3>. Requires Windows, Unix or Mac OS X. Free. A full-featured Web-based software program, GeneWeb can also be downloaded for offline use.

Generations Deluxe DVD-ROM, Sierra On-Line, (800) 757-7707, <sierrahome.com>. $49.95. Requires Pentium 100MHz, Windows 95 or higher, 16MB RAM, 100MB hard disk space, DVD-ROM drive. The first family tree program to go on DVD, Generations Deluxe DVD-ROM is the last edition of this popular software to be produced by Sierra, which recently pulled out of the genealogy market. This version retains Generations’ core software, 3-D charting and a few data collections, but lacks other goodies from previous versions, such as the 1800 census and photo and recipe programs. Reviewed in the December 2001 Family Tree Magazine.

Kith & Kin Pro 1.1, SpanSoft, e-mail sup-port@spansoft.org, <www.spansoft.org>. $59. Requires Windows 95 or higher. Like Brother’s Keeper, Kith & Kin Pro is a shareware program that you can download from the Internet and test before buying. Add TreeDraw 2.0, a graphics utility for producing high-quality genealogy charts. $75 for both.

Legacy Family Tree 3.0, Millennia Corp., (800) 753-3453, <www.legacyfamilytree.com>. Standard edition free, Deluxe edition $19.95 to download or $24.95 on CD-ROM. Requires Windows 95 or higher, 16MB RAM, 35MB hard disk space. One of the easiest programs to use, Legacy is also ideal for coordinating findings with other researchers, boasting an excellent match/merge feature.

The Master Genealogist 4.0, Wholly Genes, (877) 864-3264, <www.whollygenes.com>. Silver edition $59, Gold edition $99. Requires Windows 3.1 or higher, 16MB RAM, 48MB hard disk space. Sometimes called “the genealogy software that does everything,” TMG shines at recording data and evidence, organizing research and creating narrative reports and custom wall charts.

Parentele 3.1, Alsyd Multimedia, (909) 624-2594, <us.parentele.com>. Classic Edition $59.95, Prestige Edition $99.95. Requires Pentium 100 MHz, Windows 95 or higher, 16MB RAM, 30MB hard disk space. The English-language version of this popular French program brings US genealogists flexible multimedia options, including free Web space and a CD-ROM publishing feature (Prestige Edition). Reviewed in the August 2001 Family Tree Magazine.

Personal Ancestral File 5.0, Salt Lake Distribution Center, (800) 537-5950 or (801) 240-3800, <www.familysearch.org>. Free download or $5 CD-ROM. Requires Windows 95 or higher, 16 to 32MB RAM, 20MB hard disk space. By far the easiest genealogy software, PAF does all the basics well. It’s ideal for beginning genealogists. And for roving researchers, this newest version lets you download your family tree to your Palm-operating handheld computer. (A Mac version is available for $10.)

Reunion 7.0, Leister Productions, (717) 697-1378, info@leisterpro.com, <www.leisterpro.com>. $99. Requires System 7.6 or higher, PowerPC or newer, 8MB RAM, 12MB hard disk space. The sole full-featured Mac-only commercial program, Reunion supports pictures, sound, video and Web publishing. Reviewed in the December 2000 Family Tree Magazine.
From the Winter 2002 issue of Family Tree Magazine 

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