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helmikuu 22, 2007, 10:08pm

What software do you use / have you used?
What was good / bad about the software?

I have used Family Tree Maker for years. I like the layout, the charts, and the visual-oriented aspects. It's great for starting out -- very intuitive -- but I don't think it handles sources and notes very well.

I recently downloaded trial versions of Master Genealogist, RootsMagic, and Legacy Family Tree. Still checking them out. RM and LFT have a nice visual interface. MG appears to be designed for computer information systems managers -- not intuitive and the interface has a very utilitarian data-entry look.

helmikuu 23, 2007, 1:02am

I use FTM. It is pretty intuitive, and improvements over the years have added some of the features I wanted. I've found ways to trick it into doing most of the things I want to do. :-)

What version are you using? I'm still using 11. Didn't like the looks of the newer entry pages; they seemed cluttered.

I tried The Master Genealogist one time. It probably is the best software, but I decided that the learning curve is way too steep for me. Maybe if I'd started out with it. . . .
Programmers who do genealogy must love it. You can do anything you could want to do with it --- if you can figure out how. :-)

3Shoeless Ensimmäinen viesti
helmikuu 23, 2007, 10:05am

I've used Family Tree Maker since its inception. I too like the improvements they have made over the years but wonder now if the need for a new, yearly, version is worth the investment.

4DebbieHalley Ensimmäinen viesti
helmikuu 23, 2007, 10:46pm

I have used Legacy for about 3 years. There is a free version you can download. You can upgrade to the full version (it is worth it). You can attach videos, PDF files, create multiple descendant charts and it even has a built-in web browser. I love it. I have been doing genealogy since about 1979. I started my daughter's father's line and have traced her gggg grandfather back to the Revolutionary War. Genealogy sure is addictive. Nice to see this group.

helmikuu 23, 2007, 11:45pm

2&3> Actually, I'm using a rather ancient version of FTM, so it may now do what I'd like it to do. I've been using the same version for about 6-8 years.

I wish FTM had demos (if you've seen one, let me know) -- I'd check out a newer version before I made a decision. I just tried RootsMagic, which I'm really happy with (so far). Legacy seemed good, too, but a little more focused on LDS research (it seemed so in the hour or so I poked around). No one in my family tree is/was LDS, so that's kind of extraneous for me. Debbie, if you think differently, let me know. I'm always up for taking another peek.

I think you could probably take an entire 3-credit college class on Master Genealogist! I'm taking enough classes as it is...and looking at 5 years before I get to take any "for fun" classes.

helmikuu 24, 2007, 4:26am

I can't remember how long FTM 11 has been out. It lets you open 2 files at once, and copy individuals or groups from one to the other. That was something I really wanted.

Anyone here who has upgraded to newer versions? How do you like the changes?

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 24, 2007, 7:41am

I've used The Master Genealogist for several years and am fairly happy with it even though I've never mastered all the ins and outs. I'm probably locked in now as it would be a pain to transfer all the data.

helmikuu 24, 2007, 8:23am

I have been using Brother's Keeper up to now. Since about 40 percent of my family tree ends up in Schleswig and Denmark, virtually all anglo/american software and most of the german software is ...not very useful, once you get to the 1700s. They can't handle patronyms (Petersen, Jensen, Hansen, name changes in every generation) or farm names (a westphalian custom of attaching the farm name or replacing the family name with the farm name). At the moment, I am looking at GENprofi, which explicitly mentions the handling of patronyms in the description. Printing and display is not my priority at the moment, I rather have a good way of handling notes and attachments and to do GEDCOM exports for display at

helmikuu 24, 2007, 8:48am


I'd be interested in hearing how GENprofi (that's one I hadn't heard of) handles the patronyms. Where I know it, I tack on the surname that they ended up with in modern times. Farm names, huh? I wonder if any of mine were farm names. Westphalia is in the mix.

Another thing that gives me trouble is having a dozen or more variants for surnames. And in some cases, variants are used by different branches of their descendants.

helmikuu 28, 2007, 12:45pm

Question about recording sources:

When I'm entering a bunch of people (say a newly-found branch of the family), I find it pure drudgery to record the source, with page number, for each fact.

How do you record sources? Do you give a source for the person's name? Do you list the source for each fact, even if all facts come from the same source? (Examples: Family bible, biography, book on the family history.) Which software makes it easiest?

helmikuu 28, 2007, 1:10pm

I'm a devoted The Master Genealogist user.

I can't stand FTM -- which seems aimed at people interested in ony the last 100 years or so who want to print pretty calendars for relatives. If it has changed recently, that's good -- but the versions I used {8 or 9 was the last one, if memory serves} had no easy way to record alternatives on names/birthdates/places/etc., which are quite common once you get back past the last century. Overall, my impression was that I would have needed to fit my data to FTM's generic format, instead of being able to tweak the program to deal with data the way I want. I also didn't like how FTM itself seemed to take over my computer's system; even after removing it, I still sometimes find bits that it tries to format as FTM. And, as someone else mentioned, the sourcing parts were much less than helpful.

Haven't looked at much else in the last few years, as TMG more than satisfies what I need.

Other useful features: I really like the flags that can be used to sort people and accent entries -- so I've flagged by religion/church membership, paternal vs. maternal relatives, and all sorts of other such distinctions, so that I can easily print a list of people affiliated with a particular church group if that is what archives I'm headed to.

I didn't find TMG hard to use at all -- I started using the basic features all programs share and added to those as I needed to. Plus, my feeling was that (when I did need to spend a few minutes learning something) that -- compared to the overall time I spend on genealogy -- it isn't that much..... and why not do it well? ;-)

Another reason I like TMG is that it makes sourcing easy. You create a general source for the overall work, then add details for each citation. So for more distant collateral lines, I may not do much more than the page number but for direct lines I can add much more if I want. Also, when adding a new person, you can choose a source for all the data at once, if it is all from the same source. So when adding a spouse for a sibling of someone I'm interested in, I can add b/m/d sources in one series of clicks if the data is all from the same source.

There's a TMG support list at Rootsweb that is amazingly good, as well.

The other program that I use is Personal Ancestral File -- the price is right (free download!), it's fairly flexible, and it produces nice charts/reports.

helmikuu 28, 2007, 2:29pm

Sigh. I'm envious. I got a copy of TMG after I had thousands of people, going back 12 or more generations, entered in FTM. I didn't want to transfer all of that, with my work-arounds, so tried starting from scratch. I wanted to do some of the things you mention, but found I was spending way too much time trying to learn how to write "sentences" or whatever to accomplish it. I joined TMG lists, asked for help. . . . I guess it was a case of old dog & new tricks. What you could do was wonderful, but I found doing it far too complicated. I'm having enough trouble picking up --- and remembering!--- some of the tricks to use italics, post links, etc. on LT.

FTM does now let you enter alternatives in the "facts" list. You click one as preferred to show on the main page, and an "a" shows up to indicate that there are alternates. (Reminded me --- just went in and changed all of my added facts for "Name Variant" 1 through 12, to "Name.") I've never printed any pretty calendars. :-) No trees, either --- I'd need a helluva big piece of paper. :-) I do custom reports once in a while, to share info.

I really wanted a way to keep track of witnesses to baptisms --- to see where the same person or couple showed up. Anyone found a way to do that in FTM? (I added a "fact" for the witnesses.")

helmikuu 28, 2007, 2:39pm

I haven't done it, but TMG does do native format imports....but I don't know how much clean-up those require. I understand abouu not wanting to change at this point, as I certainly wouldn't, with 10,000 or so people entered. But I wanted to recommend TMG to those who haven't invested lots of time yet, Since FTM is the easiest to find at your local big box store that I wanted to speak up for the one that is hard to outgrow ;-)

The witnesses are another reason I like TMG; it's built into the program ;-) and the people are linked to the event, which makes it easy to see connections........I have several people in my database whose only clues to their existence I've found is as witnesses to several life events of various ancestors.

Gld to hear that FTM now allows alternates in dates & such; when I tried the program, it got really cranky about uncertain data and possible multiple values, which I have lots of in my colonial data. In TMG, the variants are all on-screen, which I like as out of sight tends to equal out of mind....... ;-)


helmikuu 28, 2007, 3:02pm

I have both TMG and Family Historian.

I tend to use Family Historian more as I find it easier to enter data, but TMG has some useful reporting features, so I occasionally re-import my data to it for this purpose.

helmikuu 28, 2007, 7:34pm

I am a devotee of Family Origins, which is now defunct due to Parsons Technology selling it, but it is still my favorite. I also have PAF as a back up file. I have been doing genealogy for the last 40 years so have scads of surnames. Slowing down now as my eyes aren't as good.

maaliskuu 6, 2007, 7:51pm

I use FTM, and have always used it. I have never tried anything else, so I don't know if there is anything better. And I do print out those cute calendars. I have 8 Aunts and Uncles in there 70s and 80s, and every Christmas I give them a new calendar with all of the descendants of their parents, (my Grandparents).
They love it! They immediately sit down and try to find any mistakes I have made, missed any new births, or deaths. The can look at the calendars each month and see who is having a birthday, and how old they are going to be. It is a cheap gift, and it makes them also gets them talking about the old times!

17Joanfkaysen Ensimmäinen viesti
maaliskuu 7, 2007, 4:52pm

I have used FTM since the very beginning and noted Version 16 has a way to copy and paste sources. Its a big help when you have 13 names to add to the source. Makes things a lot faster. They have done more with sources such as viewing usage etc. In earlier versions it enables one to make a pdf. Speaking of pdf, my family gave me the standard version for my birthday last year and it is so great to organize your documents under each couple or family. I really like it.

18cantthinkofaname Ensimmäinen viesti
Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 15, 2007, 1:33pm

I've stuck with FTM on the basis that it's the least likely to leave me high and dry! But there are two things I'd like to be able to do:

- draw a Descendant Tree from two or more different ancestors;

- create a 'route map' showing the relationship between any two members in a database (like a journey planner from A to B).

Has anybody come across any software that will do either of these?

maaliskuu 15, 2007, 2:50pm


I don't have those answers. Just wanted to say that I love your user name! :-) It's the one I should have on most sites, since I can never think of anything memorable.

maaliskuu 15, 2007, 7:04pm

Very interesting about the different software programs. I used to have FTM, so old of a version that it wouldn't work on my new computer so I resorted to paper trail. I kinda like being able to take it with me to do research. And flip through the pages easily to find what I'm looking for. Its very workable for me right now. Of course, I really don't have much information yet so that's why its manageable. I'm looking into software now for when I make the move.

21derzigeunerbaron Ensimmäinen viesti
maaliskuu 15, 2007, 9:22pm

I have used Ancestral Quest by Incline Software for a number of years. It has just undergone a substantial upgrade to Version 12, build 6. I worked in the relatively small Beta group and could see the changes as they occurred. Incline is unusually dedicated to its user group, and has a Yahoo forum that is active daily by users and Incline personnel. The program is simply wonderful. It does everything I require for a 20,000 plus name database. I haven't used other programs and thus can't offer comparative comments, but I can't imagine a program that would satisfy my style better.

maaliskuu 18, 2007, 12:04pm

I have always used FTM. I installed it on my laptop, too, so I can take it with me when I research. After 25 years of typing 5 days a week for work, my handwriting is no longer legible, even to me.

Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 31, 2007, 8:00am

I use RootsMagic (great software) now. It evolved out of FamilyOrigins which was my previous software of choice. RootsMagic interfaces with so many other beneficial products, it's amazing. I started out with Brothers Keeper years ago (I liked it but ran into source limitations), moved to FTM (hated it and still do - too many limitations to list), tried The Master Genealogist (found it complex, slow and antiquated) and ended up with FamilyOrigins (loved it). Along side RootsMagic, I use FamilyAtlas (great product. Lets you plot your RootsMagic places around the globe and exports to Google Maps, also have Map My Family Tree which I don't like), GenSmarts (very useful analysis tool) and Clooz (more for file organization). For my website, I use TNG, The Next Generation, (great software) mainly for its ease of maintenance. I could actually use it as a genealogy maintenance program, but I prefer to have my genealogy data on my home computer. I think I covered everything. Oh, wait, also Genelines (useful charting tool), World Place Advisor (replaced by Map My Family Tree which ruined it) and Timeline Maker (I haven't found a use for it) from Progeny Software.

huhtikuu 6, 2007, 7:59pm

I use The Master Genealogist (TMG). I switched from Personal Ancestral File (PAF) because I found that PAF dropped data from the Notes when the database became too large. Of course I transferred all the data from PAF before reading the instructions. That caused a few problems.
For genealogy I do for others I use Personal Ancestral File. Its free, easy to use and ususally the databases aren't large enough to cause problems. I give the database and image files and they download the application.
I've tried FTM, PAF, Generations, TMG and others I can't remember the names of. TMG is my favorite by far.

helmikuu 15, 2008, 12:18pm

Amen to all you said about TMG. I started with Roots and moved to TMG ages ago. I have loved the program's flexibility. It was easy as a beginner to enter data and then as i became more proficient or knowledgeable, I was able to use more and more of the features. I have used it in conjunction with a couple of peripheral programs--TMG Utility and Second Site. The feature I love the most in the latest edition is the ability to add notes for sources to remind me what goes in various citation details.

I tried PAF, Brother's Keeper, Legacy, and FTM along the way, and always came back to TMG. At this point I can't think of ever changing.

26normanbr Ensimmäinen viesti
helmikuu 16, 2008, 4:50pm

The following was copied from Wholly Gene's recent newsletter:

=== NEW BOOK: A Primer for The Master Genealogist ===

We've alluded previously to an upcoming book by Terry Reigel and now we can finally give you the details! Following is an exciting press release from ReigelRidge Press about what is sure to be a very popular book!

Getting Started with The Master Genealogist is Now Easier than Ever New Book by Terry Reigel is Available

Boone, North Carolina --­ 8 February 2008 --­ ReigelRidge Press is proud to announce availability of a new book by Terry Reigel, "A Primer for The Master Genealogist." As the title implies, the book is intended to help new users quickly become comfortable with what is called the most comprehensive family history software available. The book provides the reader a foundation for working with The Master Genealogist (TMG), and is designed to help users understand just how they can best make use of its capabilities. Some more advanced features are introduced because many users move to TMG to take advantage of these features.

"As I have exchanged notes with new users of TMG in online forums, and talked with them in person at genealogy conferences, I have observed that many new users would appreciate some assistance in becoming comfortable with a program that is more capable, but also more complex, than their previous genealogy programs," said the author. "This guide is intended to fill that meet that need."

The book introduces the reader to TMG with the following topics:

- TMG's basic concepts
- Getting your initial data into TMG
- Finding your way around TMG
- Establishing personal standards for data entry
- Adding or editing people, events, and sources
- Creating Reports and Charts

For readers ready to explore more advanced features it continues with more advanced topics:

- Customizing the program's Screens
- Customizing Events and Sources
- Using Witnesses and Roles
- Understanding Projects and Data Sets

"This is a great introduction for new users!" says John Cardinal, author of Second Site, TMG Utility, and other companion programs for TMG. "Terry explains complicated topics in terms a beginner can understand, and he explains the concepts as well as the specific steps to make fast, effective use of TMG. Even experienced users will learn from this book, particularly in the chapters about more advanced topics. Terry's TMG Tips web site is a great resource for TMG users, and now Terry has expanded that with 'A Primer for The Master Genealogist'."

"'A Primer for The Master Genealogist' is a 'must have' for the new user. With its easy to read format and multiple illustrations even those seemingly complex features and tasks are easy to understand," said Mark A. Cunningham, a TMG user for two months. "I wish I had had a copy of this book when I first started using The Master Genealogist."

The book is currently available from Wholly Genes Software in Columbia, Maryland, at and from Gould Genealogy in Modbury, Australia, at The suggested retail price is $19.95 in the U.S. and AU$29.95, including GS Tax, in Australia. More information is available at

About the Author: The author is well known as an expert user of TMG and a frequent contributor to the on-line TMG user support forums. He is the author of Terry's TMG Tips, a website with over 75 articles, many also available in German. He has written several articles about TMG for newsletters published by user groups and two chapters in the sell-out book "Getting the Most Out of The Master Genealogist." He is not affiliated with Wholly Genes Software.

The Master Genealogist and TMG are trademarks of Wholly Genes Software.

maaliskuu 1, 2008, 1:47pm

I use Legacy and really like it. It seems easier and more intuitive than other programs I looked at. Plus it got an excellent review on Top Ten Reviews --

maaliskuu 3, 2008, 6:33pm

Hi, I have used Family Tree Maker since its beginning also. Every time a new version comes out. I can't wait to order it. Can never wait for a good deal to be offered. I too am wondering about the worth of the investment? I have FTM 2008 now, but I'm not so sure that I like the changes. So I am hanging on to FTM 2006 version 16 for now just in case. I love the book building techniques in this version, much better than the new version.

huhtikuu 8, 2008, 11:10am

I recently upgraded from FTM V4 to FTM V16. Although I only used FTM V4 a little bit FTM V16 was a great improvement and I got a good deal since a newer version is out. Also part of the package included a 1 year subscription to

joulukuu 27, 2008, 2:24am

I have TMG, Rootsmagic, and GenoPro installed on my laptop, plus FTM on my desktop. Have Legacy as well.

I definitely prefer TMG to any of the others. Though I do love the graphical interface of GenoPro, plus the addition of other genogram elements. The flexibility of TMG for creating source citations, and the ability to link witnesses to events are two of the biggest selling points for me. I am a devoted proponent of cluster genealogy, and TMG seems to be the best suited for my needs.

I also like the research suggestions of GenSmarts, and I use TNG (The Next Generation) for my website.

Shameless plug time: The Family History Research Toolkit (by me, pub. by Genealogical Publishing) is a collection of PDF genealogy forms that you can fill out and save as PDF files. The basics are there, plus forms that I created to help me manage client research. Obviously I use this software.

joulukuu 28, 2008, 7:00am

I have used Brother's Keeper, FTM, and Family Origins v10 for my research and GenSmarts I have tried and plan to buy if I ever finish school. Family Origins is by far my favorite but I am working on a project where it is not doing everything I need. When I saw references to cluster genealogy and witnesses I thought I might ask for recommendations.

I am researching two events, labor strikes where National Guard troops were sent in, at the same steel mill in 1873 and 1921. I am collecting lots of names, strikers, union bosses, company executives, government people, troops, church men, newspaper people, and local citizens and need a better way to keep them organized. FO lets me keep the genealogical data and work history but it is not that easy to (or I haven't learned how) to separate people by their roles. Currently I am using a contact manager database and and event database for Windows Access but I think there must be a better way. Any suggestions?

tammikuu 2, 2009, 10:46am

I started in the mid-90s with FTM but, being a librarian and perfectionist, wanted a program with the most detail in entry, reporting and sourcing (personality fault there). So I soon transferred to TMG and have stuck with it through each new edition. We have a love/hate relationship, but I'm way too invested in its features now to change again. I recently spent a year "reading" all the entries, cleaning up sourcing and removing extraneous people in preparation for a web page (see below), and I ain't going through that again.

I know people say TMG is useful for beginners as well as advanced users, but IMHO family historians who don't expect to ever want to explore the advanced features will find a long and difficult learning curve just for simple reports, trees and calendars. Not that it can't be used that way with minimal data entry, but its overall presence may be daunting for someone looking for simple. My main concern is that once I'm "gone" and someone else in the family decides to continue our genealogy they may decide TMG is too difficult to figure out and all my work will be for naught but self-entertainment. I know I can make family histories, etc. to share my research, but in the long run my hope is that the database itself will be maintained and expanded on. I hope I haven't ruined my chances by choosing this most detail-oriented of programs.

Still, TMG has very powerful features for finding, connecting, and organizing people, places and events, and it works almost seamlessly with Second Site, a web program designed to take TMG info and make a web site. (You can see mine at

tammikuu 6, 2009, 3:22pm


That is a great web site. I checked, we don't even share any of my major surnames, Crawford, Idlett, Young. You have a Frezier, which is close to my Frazee but in the wrong part of the world.

I have looked at TMG and considered getting it for my own family history project but if it would work for my historical research I might be able to convince my better half to spend the money.

I know the program can handle huge numbers of people and that it will let me do all the documentation I would need but I am not sure how it works with events. Part of the problem is I don't fully know what I would have to sort for after I did my research. I am looking into two labor strikes in Newport Kentucky where the National Guard was sent in to break the strike. I know the program will let me assign occupations for the individuals but can I search for all the union men at a particular event or all the people at two particular events? All the sources related to one event? Can you even enter non-genealogical events such as meetings and when letters were sent or received?

I apologize for asking so much, I started doing a little brainstorming there. Classes start next week so this project will be on the back burner soon. Again your site is great.

tammikuu 6, 2009, 10:55pm


TMG will let you do all of those things easily. You can enter as many events as you wish for any person, and then an unlimited number of what they call witnesses, meaning people connected to the event in whatever way, and each of them can be identified by their role (e.g., attendee, official, maid-of-honor, child, executor, minister, whatever.....). It can all be defined by the user. You can choose to have the "witnesses" show those events on their own page (or not), and define how the sentences in their reports or webpage entries show that information.

You can also have various flags assigned to types of events or attributes in which you have special interest (e.g., living, ancestral interest, participation in the Civil War, attendance at conference, member of association, or anything else). I have categories for "related by" (proven direct ancestor, probable direct ancestor, colleteral lines, related by marriage, adopted, etc.); family (in my case, my mother's or father's side or unknown; ancestral interest (yes or no); web entry edited (yes, no, do later, done but too contradictory to be included, not applicable because not related AFAIK); and the following yes or no choices, some of which are automatically included in the program: living, military, sex, multiple birth, adopted, descendant. If you look at the custom layouts shown at, you can see some of the other flags people have chosen.

The reports are very powerful for finding lists of all sorts of variables.

There is a showcase of the users' website styles at

Anymore questions let me know.

tammikuu 6, 2009, 10:59pm

Hi again TLC,

I meant to thank you for the comments you made about my webpage. There's so much more information to be entered it makes me cringe. I have a whole bedroom full of boxes of documentation and photographs which still need to added.....


tammikuu 7, 2009, 6:03pm

Just took a look at your website. Its fantastic!! You've done an awesome job!!


tammikuu 7, 2009, 11:40pm

Hi Michelle,

Thanks very much! It's been 12 years in the making so far....


joulukuu 22, 2009, 12:54am

I use TMG also. One thing I like about the program is that I can use as few or as many of the features as I want. If I want to add a person or an event and I don't have the exact source information handy, I can just add a note to myself in the memo field and go back and add source detail later. I like the reporting capabilities, and I especially like the fact that I can specify sibling birth order even though I don't have birth dates.

My biggest challenge is that I also use Ancestry to find census records and family members, and at some point I need to download info from Ancestry and use it to update TMG. I've been putting it off for some time now.

joulukuu 22, 2009, 3:51pm

I just got the 2010 version of FTM. I love it!! You can view various screens at the same time and there's a better system for sources and notes. I've just played with it for a little bit, but am really enjoying it. I hope to really work on it next month.

joulukuu 22, 2009, 7:51pm

I've been using TMG about ten years. I started with FTM many years ago, but switched because it didn't have the reporting and source features and general flexibility that I was looking for in a software program. At the time I switched, my file was about 2,000 people. The TMG import from FTM was virtually flawless. My current file is for about 6,000 people.

I also like another software program, GenSmarts, with imports the latest TMG file and analyzes it, then makes suggestions for research.

huhtikuu 18, 2010, 5:32am

I use FTM 16 but now it won't let me upload any additons to my tree without I pay a fairly hefty fee. Not worth it for half a dozen names and corrections.

Maybe if I can trace the three missing branches of my tree I might come to the party.

maaliskuu 19, 2011, 9:28pm

I started with Roots then went to Ultimate Family Tree and then The Master Genealogist. I bought the 3 tutorial videos that Bob Velke put out and sat with the TV going and my computer as I learned to enter things. TMG does have a more difficult learning curve, but you can do as much or little as you wish, which I like. Our genealogy society - - has a TMG users group that meets once a month. Check the Wholly Genes website to see if there are any in your area. They're a great help. We also have our own TMG-PAZ site on rootsweb for questions, as the main site is so busy. Terry Reigel's book is a great help and well worth the money. I took mine to a copy store and had it drilled and wired so I can open it flat. I've also tried FTM and I don't like the idea of having to buy a new update every year. TMG's updates are free unless a complete new version is coming out. Then it's cheaper if you already have the program.

huhtikuu 5, 2011, 9:51am

#12 I was an FTM user for years and switched to RootsMagic. Sourcing is easy, sentences can be customized easily, and yes, you can add witnesses to ANY fact ("share this fact"). Plus revisions and updates come out every few months to clean up stuff--new versions only come along every few years. The developers have put FREE webinars on their website ( that you download and watch to get a feel for the softwarem, as well as a free trial version.

For me TMG involved way more time than I wanted to spend learning how to use it--I'd rather spend that time doing genealogy. I find RootsMagic more intuitive, with a lot of the same flexibility.

huhtikuu 21, 2011, 10:34pm

I have FTM but several years ago got Legacy and find it gives me reports FTM doesn't have and is better organization. To transfer data from FTM was a nightmare so did it the hard way one person at a time (20,00 people) and had less mistakes. I really like the Legacy software but still use FTM for demonstration purpose in the classes that I teach.

tammikuu 1, 2013, 8:46pm

I got an Ipad this year and have been looking for apps that will make it useful. Ancestry is the only one that I have found that makes it possible to add data but the data goes to their website and I am not totally comfortable with that. Roots Magic makes one that displays your data but it does not seem to be editable. Are there any others out there that I don't know about?

tammikuu 1, 2013, 9:30pm

On the iPhone (3GS and 4S) I use the software called Reunion which works with the Mac software by Leicester. Of course, if you only have a Windows computer, this won't help much. The iPhone software is mainly useful for browsing but some editing can be done. You'll have to give some thought about how to move data in each direction. Some systems are optimized for one direction (e.g. Mac -> iPhone).

Ancestry should allow you to make the catalog private but I'm not sure about that. I use it as a research tool mainly.


tammikuu 1, 2013, 10:11pm

I am finding that FTM2012 updates itself so hopefully there will be no need to keep on buying the upgrades. It is now connected to and uploads any new material automatically to the web.

One thing I dislike is that keeps on trying to connect me to others who have people with the same names on their trees and I really prefer to keep my tree exclusive so I don't allow anyone else to add to it.

However, on the positive side it connected me to a half-third cousin and between us we researched and located our common family. Try finding a specific Edward Davies in Wales and you will understand the difficulty we had. :)

tammikuu 4, 2013, 10:49pm

I am a RootsMagic user. I've considered moving my data file to DropBox so that the iPhone app updates automatically. I think the iPad app works the same way. It's not editable in the app, but it is usable if you are on the road.

I am not aware of any genealogy software that is editable via iPad except for the web based ones. I know that RootsMagic is working on a Mac version of their software, but it requires different programming language so it has to be completely rewritten.

I think Reunion has an iPad version, but if your main computer is a PC, you may have problems with that option.

You might read back a few months in Randy Seaver's blog to see if he has any suggestions. It is He frequently reviews software and web-based programs.

tammikuu 5, 2013, 1:17am

>45 TLCrawford:, 48
Yes, Leister does have a Reunion version for the iPad.

However, it is designed to work in tandem with Reunion on your Mac desktop; the idea is that you take your iPad when you do research, then update the files on your desktop. If your desktop is a PC, you are out of luck.

I've used Reunion for many years, and like it very much.

>18 cantthinkofaname: - Reunion will calculate the blood relationship between two individuals in the database, though it does not calculate relationships by marriage.

tammikuu 7, 2013, 8:55am

If I were just getting started I would go for Reunion, it seems to do everything I would need on both the desktop and the iPad. It takes advantage of the best features of the the iPad, its portability, connectivity, and its great display. Judging from feedback and from looking at the demo Reunion is by far the best choice at this time.

Unfortunately I made basic choices years ago. I have PC hardware and quite a bit of data in several The Master Genealogist files. I might eventually invest in an Apple machine and software but for now I can't see myself making that investment. $40 for RootsMagic and their Personal Historian is doable but not if all I gain is a way to view my trees on the iPad.

Last night I sat with TMG running on my laptop and the Ancestry app on the iPad moving information from one to the other. Ancestry managed to produce information for me that has eluded me for years and I was impressed enough to let my better half know that I would appreciate a membership for my birthday.

tammikuu 9, 2013, 10:30pm

Quite understandable, TLC; I'm not sure I would make such a jump myself, but I've had Macs since the beginning, and always used PCs at work, so am comfortable on either platform.

heinäkuu 3, 2014, 6:35pm

TMG has a steep learning curve, but is great for keeping sources clear. I've ben using it happily for years but it suddenly stopped exporting my maternal line on its GED>

tammikuu 25, 2015, 11:07am

@auntmarge I am thinking it might behoove you to find a nearby relative who is interested in your work on your family who you could take "under your wing" and mentor him/her in genealogical techniques AND how to use TMG the way you have come to be an expert user. If you can find such a person, I'm sure your database and work will continue on.

tammikuu 26, 2015, 1:57pm

However, in the last six months or so I have heard that TMG is folding its shop.

I have not been as active as I was in the past but I am looking at RootsMagic. It is a descendent of Family Origins, an old favorite of mine and it seems to have most of the functions of TMG.

Muokkaaja: tammikuu 27, 2015, 12:57am

I've been using RootsMagic since 2009 and am fairly satisfied with it. It is very easy & intuitive to use, and easy to set up sources, add pictures, fix database problems, etc. It also has a nice tie-in with FamilySearch. They have a very strong "search" feature to find problems within the database. Their strongest feature is the free webinars that show you how to make the most of the software--there are dozens of them, and they are very helpful. Plus the owner/software engineer (Bruce) closely monitors the RootsMagic Mailing List, so if someone has trouble with the software, he's the guy who often times answers the questions. He's very responsive to users' needs.

I'm less satisfied with the reporting functions, but I understand there are other software options for reporting. My only other small gripe is that they come out with a new version every couple of years that you have to buy because they stop supporting the old version. But it's fairly inexpensive to upgrade (currently $19.95 to upgrade). You can download a simplified free version (to check it out) at

huhtikuu 15, 2015, 12:47pm

I'm shopping for a new computer which will most likely end up being an Apple MacBook Pro and need advice on the best genealogy software to get for it. I've previously used Family Tree Maker on my old Windows 95 and on a newer iMac I had Reunion 8. I actually think I liked Family Tree maker better, but don't know what's current. I've got most info on, but also need to know which one will be the easiest to migrate to a new machine. Thanks for any advice.

huhtikuu 19, 2015, 12:01pm

The version of Reunion I have is 9.0b. I upgraded to that so I could use the iOS apps for the iPhone and iPad. I have not tried to migrate to/from Ancestry so I can't provide information on that. I use Ancestry extensively for my own family and authors and artists I research. However, I don't store a tree on it.

I thought that FTM was no longer available for the Mac. It certainly has not been on my radar.


huhtikuu 19, 2015, 2:09pm

Thank you!

huhtikuu 20, 2015, 7:50pm

>57 Keeline: FTM is available for Mac. It has been for several years.