BestConsumerReviews is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we earn a small affiliate commission at no additional cost to you. Learn more

Best Family Tree Software

Family Tree Software Reviews

Family Tree Software Reviews

The Internet has made it easier than ever to connect with people all over the world. That link to family and friends in the present has caused many people to start wondering about the links to their past. Fortunately, the process of building a family tree and tracing one’s genealogy has become easier than ever thanks to a number of software programs available for free or for purchase. These programs make the process simple and allow you to enter your family name(s) and any information you have and build a customized family tree viewable in a variety of formats. Choosing the right family tree software depends on your individual needs and your intended purpose, whether you want to make poster-sized trees, create a family history book, or make a family website with images and video.

Most Popular Family Tree Software

Nova Development US

5/5 Product Rating

With Family Tree Maker for Mac, you’re not just getting an intuitive family tree-maker, but also 6 months free membership to, where you can find additional photos, data, and documents to enhance your genealogy tree. The Mac version of Family Tree Maker allows you to use your Mac’s built-in camera to directly import photos of individual family members, plus users of OS X Lion can opt to make the Family Tree Maker interface fill the entire screen. Use the blended family view feature to see combined families, including step and adopted relatives, and see the relationship between individuals with icons next to each name. The software’s TreeSync feature allows you to sync your created family trees from your desktop to your Macbook, iPhone, or iPad and automatically update each so your tree is up to date.

  • Included 6-month access to and over 5 billion U.S. historical records and photos
  • Interactive maps allow you to create ancestor immigration maps or pinpoint locations of important events
  • Included Companion Guide and Family History Toolkit DVD to take you through the entire record tracing/tree-making process
  • Green leaf icons and pop-up hints show you when records have been matched to a relative or ancestor

Best Overall Family Tree Software

Nova Development US

4.9/5 Product Rating

Family Tree Maker Platinum is the ultimate suite of genealogy-tracing and family tree-making software. An easy to use interface with FTM’s TreeSync mode allows you to create customizable family trees in a variety of formats and share them across your devices, all with foolproof step-by-step instructions. The Platinum series of FTM makes the tree-making process as easy and versatile as possible, allowing you to add charts, tables, photos, and videos to enhance your project. You can also view interactive timelines and maps to trace your family genealogy throughout history. In addition to the traditional FTD programs, the Platinum version includes Family History Toolkit, a series of 6 historical reference books compiled on DVD, along with photo-retouching software, 6-months access to, and a bonus gift disc to give to a friend or relative.

  • Improved reports display allows you to view/share your tree by family name, location, migration path, birthdays, and more
  • Full suite of software with classic FTD, Family History Toolkit, photo-retouching software, and 6-month free membership to
  • Improved Smart Stories feature updates automatically with each edit, includes improved page designs and templates
  • Bonus FTD disc for gifting to family/friends

Best Budget Family Tree Software

Family Historian 6

4.7/5 Product Rating

Try a free version of Family Historian 6 before purchasing to find out why Family Historian 6 is considered one of the best genealogy programs on the market. The Family Historian 6 interface offers six different main views and a sidebar to make navigating the screen easier, done using the mouse or arrow keys. You can click an individual person’s name to bring up their data, or open multiple databases and compare information side-by-side. The program’s innovative editing function allow you to submit a virtually unlimited amount of data for each family member; even if it isn’t in the Family Historian 6 registry, you can make your own fact types. The Family Historian 6 Explorer is arguably the software’s most important tool and the feature that makes the program operate more efficiently than the competition. Search the system by family name, genetic lineage, and other distinguishing factors, found and edited with the click of the mouse.

  • Intuitive source list allows you to add, edit, delete, and print source information – SourceWizard helps you correctly cite your sources regardless of experience
  • Family Historian 6 Publisher lets you organize charts, reports, and documents into a book form complete with table of contents and full index
  • Create full color ancestry, descendent, and hourglass wall charts with customized text, pictures, graphics, and backgrounds
  • Publish your family trees online, make Sharable CDs, and map your family history

Family Tree Software Buying Guide

Family Tree Software Reviews

When it comes to buying family tree software, many questions come to the mind. You may wonder which the best software is to buy. There are many genealogy programs out there that can perform the essential functions of organizing and recording family history.

Why You Need Genealogy Software

There are multiple benefits to having genealogy software.
First, it helps you record data of your past and present family members. It enables you to keep track of your growing family and also allows you to know how you are connected.
Secondly, genealogy software gives you control of the information, unlike an online family tree where someone can change the information. Lastly, family tree software is faster because it doesn’t rely on the Internet. It also has enhanced research capabilities and various ways to look at a person.

How To Choose Family Tree Software

There are different types of family tree software. It is easy to become confused when it comes to selecting the best software. There are factors that you must consider before making the final decision. Here are the things you should consider when buying family tree software.

1. The Type of Computer

Family tree programs are designed for a specific kind of computer. Some are compatible with PCs, while others are only compatible with Macs. The worst thing that can happen to you is buying genealogy software only to find that it’s not compatible with your computer. Therefore, you should get a program that is compatible with your computer.

2. Compatibility

Sometimes, you may want a program that is compatible with your mobile device. Note that some programs are not compatible with mobile devices. Ensure that you get one that can be operated on a mobile phone before you purchase it.

Family Tree Software

3. Graphical Representation

Ensure that the software displays a complete graphical representation of your family tree. It should show the descendants and ancestors at once. The family tree should display real-life scenarios and all the spouses if they are more than one. It should also distinguish between biological and adoptive parents, half-siblings and step-siblings from true siblings and also show twins and triplets.

The family tree program should also have a graphical pedigree to help you identify common mistakes. A family tree with a graphical representation is better than one that lists the names alphabetically. You can easily copy or print a graphical tree.

4. Custom Data Fields

Your software should be able to store additional information for your needs. For example, you may want to trace a particular genetic disorder in your family. The software should be able to store data about the disease, laboratory results, and diagnosis. You will always want to add more information to the database. Custom data fields boost flexibility. Ensure that the custom data fields are highly customizable and accessible.

5. Ease of Use

The software should be easy to navigate and use. You should be able to add data without difficulties. Information should be easily accessible. The program should also display statistics and reports with a few clicks. Complicated software is hard to customize. Ensure that beginners can use the software.

Family Tree Software 1

6. Ability to Compile Statistics

Statistics are crucial because they help you identify any mistakes in the family tree. Statistics will help you detect errors in the date of birth and date of death. They also make the family tree interesting since they show the person who has been married most times, the person who had more children, and the number of adopted children.

7. Reviews

You can’t just buy any family tree that you find without doing some research. You should check what other people say about the software. Do online searches on genealogy software reviews. It will help you make an informed decision.

8. Features

Ensure that you know what each program provides before purchasing one. You should know what you want to do with your family tree and then choose software that supports that. For example, if you want a program with an excellent charting capability, then look for one that works well for that. Ensure that you know what you want.

9. Price

Family tree programs are not expensive. Some programs give out free trials that let you know how the software works. You can then upgrade if you like how it works. Note that you will pay for the update. It’s up to you to make the decision.


You won’t have problems choosing family tree software once you know what you want. Ensure that the software is easy to navigate and suits your needs. Also, remember that you must learn how to use the genealogy software if you are new to it.

Back to Top