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    New England Historic Genealogical Society
    101 Newbury Street
    Boston, MA 02116

    Genealogy Software Comparisons

    When you are first beginning to research your family tree, it seems easy enough to remember who you are researching and what you have accomplished. However, quickly you discover that you have a number of individuals and are beginning to compile a list of research tasks that you need to accomplish. Before you get too many names and records, you will want to consider acquiring a genealogy software package. The alphabetically-arranged chart below gives a highlight of features to consider and costs of different programs. You may want to start with one of the free programs for your system (or see if the program you are interested in has a “trial” version) before committing money to a specific program. When you are just beginning you may not yet know how you feel about the different entry screen interfaces or if you want to have multiple source citations or be able to create a Web page. Using one of the free, or trial, versions of software allows you to learn what you like and don’t like about the software you think you may be interested in purchasing.

    We have created the below comparison chart to make it easier to choose the best software for your needs. Questions? Contact us at

    Program Operating System Entry Screen
    Access to Online Sites Source Citation Templates Research Log Ability Create a Web Page Portable Options/Synchronization Special Notes
    Ancestral Quest
    Cost: Free (Basics); $29.95 (Ancestral Quest 14)
    Windows Tabs (Pedigree, Family, Name, List, Individual, Timeline) FamilySearch, Ancestry ($), World Vital Records ($) multiple To Do Items, Research Log Yes FamViewer (iOS - $9.99), GedView (iOS - $3.99), Family Bee (Android - $10.00), GedStar Pro (Android - $9.95) Putting the famiy on a phone or tablet is done using a GEDCOM file and is not done directly through the Ancestral Quest program
    Family Tree Builder
    Cost: Free (Basic), 60.00€ (includes Premium Membership)
    Windows Pedigree View MyHeritage (Free/$) single To Do Tasks No MyHeritage (iOS, Android - Free) Tree displayed on the App is through the Web site
    Family Tree Maker
    Cost: $39.99 (Windows); $69.99 (Mac)
    All-in-One (adjustable) Ancestry ($) single To-Do List (individuals No Ancestry App (iOS, Android - Free) Ancestry App accesses your tree via
    Cost: $39.90 (Windows); $59.99 (Mac)
    Offers a Trial Version in both format
    All-in-One (smaller windows for different items) None multiple To Do Yes Heredis App (iOS, Android - Free) Program can synch across PC-Mac Apps. Can link witnesses and other non-family related individuals via events.
    Legacy Family Tree
    Cost: Free (Standard); $29.95 (Deluxe)
    Windows Tabs (Home, Family, Pedigree, Descendant, Chronology, Index, Research Guidance) FamilySearch, Ancestry ($) multiple To Do List (Individual, General) Yes Families (iOS, Android - $15.00), Pocket Genealogist (Windows Mobile - $20/$35) The Research Guidance feature suggests resources, extremely helpful for beginners

    Cost: $59.99
    Mac All-in-One (adjustable) FamilySearch multiple To Do Items, Research Log Yes MobileFamilyTree (iOS - $14.99) MobileFamilyTree is a completely stand-alone program that can be synched via Apple's iCloud or Dropbox if also using the desktop version of the software.
    Cost: $99.00
    Offers a Demo Mode Version
    Mac All-in-One (adjustable) None multiple Logs (General - not attached to individuals) Yes Reunion (iOS - $14.99) Synching warns you if you have changes on device when synching from computer
    Cost: Free (RootsMagic Essentials)/$29.95
    Offers a Trial Version
    Tabs (Pedigree, Family, Descendants, People, WebSearch, Timeline) FamilySearch, Ancestry ($), Fold3 ($) multiple To Do (Person, Family), Research Log (Person, Family, Event, Place) Yes RootsMagic to Go (included w/ Program), RootsMagic App (iOS - free) RootsMagic App is just a reader
    The Master Genealogist
    Cost: begins at $59.00
    Offers a 30-day Free Trial Version
    Windows All-in-One (adjustable) None multiple To Do Lists Yes Pocket Genealogist (Windows Mobile - $20/$35), GedStar Pro (Android - $9.95) Allows researchers to link non-family individuals through events

    $ indicates a subscription Web site

    Family Tree Maker

    Example of an All-in-One interface
    Family Tree Maker Screenshot

    RootsMagic 5

    Example of a Tabbed interface
    RootsMagic screenshot

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Boston, Massachusetts 02116, USA

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