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Which Genealogy Software Poll

Here are the results of our 22nd Unlock the Past poll - What genealogy software do you use? 239 people voted casting a total of 347 votes. As well as presenting an overall summary of the results the graph displays the percentages of voters using each of the programs listed in the poll.

The range of programs available for Windows users is quite diverse though three are clearly more popular with those responding to this poll - Family Tree Maker, The Master Genealogist and Legacy Family Tree (all available from multiple suppliers in Australia which gives them a clear advantage over the others). Interestingly, there are a significant number of Family Tree Maker users who prefer to continue using older versions of the software rather than upgrade to the more recent ones (from 2008 onwards) - about 12.5% of the voters report that they still use versions before 2008.

Options for Mac users are more restricted (just iFamily, Mac Family Tree and Reunion) - Reunion is the runaway winner scoring 90% of the votes of Mac users.

Detailed information on 12 Windows programs (click on the link to see which ones) and the three Macintosh programs is available in the book published by Unlock the Past - Which Genealogy Program.

 The table below presents the results for this poll and the one we ran in March 2010 to allow comparison:

Program Votes Percent Voters (March result)
Ancestral Quest  4  1.67 (0.88)
Branches  0  0
Brothers Keeper  5  1.44 (7.08)
Ezitree  0  0 (1.33)
Family Historian  14  5.86 (5.31)
Family Tree Maker (all versions)  92  38.49 (36.28) 
FTM v 1-11  10  4.18
FTM v 12-16  20  8.37
FTM 2008-2010  62  25.94
Genbox Family History  2  0.84 (0.88)
Generations Family Tree  2  0.84 (1.77)
GenP  0  0
Hereditree  1  0.42 (1.77)
iFamily for Tiger/Leopard  0  0 (0.88)
Legacy (all versions)  63  26.36 (21.68) 
Legacy Standard  6  2.51
Legacy Deluxe or Platinum  57  23.85
MacFamily Tree  1  0.42 (0.00)
Personal Ancestral File  16  6.69 (6.64)
Relatively Yours  5  2.09 (0.88)
Reunion for Macintosh  9  3.77 (7.52)
RootsMagic  13  5.44 (5.31)
The Master Genealogist  63  26.36 (23.89)
Spreadsheet or Wordprocessor  14  5.86 (3.98)
Don't use any  3  1.26 (1.33)
Other  40  16.74 (7.08)


Other options mentioned (some relate to online trees which was to be the focus of a later poll):

  • Ancestry Family Tree 9.0.5 (2003 MyFamily.com) free software - one day I may buy Branches, Legacy or Family Tree Maker
  • Ancestry.com
  • Custodian
  • Found to suit my needs (Legacy Deluxe or Platinum)
  • Genbox pros: detailed sourcing, charts, flexibility, helpful mailing list. Cons: dated look, waiting for new version (v4 coming soon, hopefully).
  • GenoPro, GenSmarts
  • Gramps
  • Have tried most of those listed but use Reunion as the prime program and Legacy on Windows
  • Have used FTM for the past 15 years - love the latest version but still waiting for it to offer the same features as the older versions eg print your own books, move/resize photos in background of charts
  • I have Family Tree Maker 2008 but still prefer to use PAF
  • I like this one and won't be upgrading at the moment (FTM 12-16)
  • LDS Familysearch paf
  • Main Program is The Master Genealogist (uses a variety of Windows software)
  • MS Publisher
  • My heritage
  • MyHeritage
  • new.familysearch
  • PAF (also use RootsMagic and Legacy Deluxe of Platinum)
  • phpgedview
  • Pocket Genealogist
  • Reunion is the first major program for the Mac
  • The Next Generation (2 voters)
  • TNG (8 voters)
  • TNG - The Next Generation of Genealogy Software
  • TNG (The Next Generation of Genealogy Software)
  • TNG The Next Generation Site Builder
  • Tribal pages; Genes Reunited
  • Tribal pages; genes reunited; ancestry. Will be purchasing family historian very soon
  • Tribalpages
  • Ultimate Family Tree
  • Very flexible, professional program (TMG)
  • www.ancestry.com

Where the voters came from

  • Australia - 207
  • New Zealand - 7
  • Singapore - 1
  • Spain - 1
  • United Kingdom - 5
  • United States - 10
  • Unknown - 8


Family Tree Wall Art Question

Hi everyone,

I can see that the survey conducted is for onlie family tree's. I am interested in developing a uniquie wall art family tree
t to display your family heritage, with contemporty colour, printing techniques and beautiful embelishmets.

Who is interested? I can not find any on the market that are of a high quality, I don't want an A4 print out, after so much effort and research
put into all the family tree research, seems like a waste to only get an A4 sheet to display.
What does everyone do with the digital family tree? Do you dislay it?

What are everyone's thoughts? 

Hi There,I personally find

Hi There,

I personally find Blogs very helpful. People with experience and willing to share are a huge Blessing! 

Cheers Angelina0506


As a beginner I find whatever information I can receive from anyone who has experienced different software or anything to do with Family History very helpful as I dont know which one is best to buy and having a limited income it is so important that i buy the one that is most helpful and useful. So thankyou to alll those who have contributed their ime and words of wisdom.


Angelina Brelih

genealogy software trials

I have put several genealogy software apps. to the test. My favourite eventually became, and is still, MyHeritage site builder. My least favourite was ancestry.com. Both apps have their good and bad points, but price won 1st prize. With view-updates of my own name for my own site cropping up many, many times came last.  Many thanks for the polls, keep them coming. Cheers

Web based family tree products

As Rosemary has mentioned we do plan to run a poll on use of web based family tree products. The difficulty we have is getting up a list of those most likely. It will certainly include products like TNG, Genes Reunited, MyHeritage and many more. Please tell us by reply here (or email) the web products you think we should include – not just those you might use. I note that MyHeritage claims to have 50 million members worldwide and over half a million in Australia. I do not have figures ready to hand for other sites, but should include the top 10 or 15 at least in our poll – if we can identify these. Can you help us out here?

re online family tree builders - Tribalpages.com

Hi, I began using Genes Reunited when i started as i find it far easier to work things out with a diagramatic tree rather than names and lists. GR also enabled me to find potential people to follow up, and is either free to search or cheap if want to be able to communicate with other researchers, so this is what i have kept going - It sends hotmatches periodically which you can followup on or discard. This is helpful, and its excellent for beginnning researchers for an economical cost, though costs to buy credits if you want them. I have FTM and Legacy, and really like using TribalPages as my main site now for my diagramitic representation and photos, and i can choose who has access with both which is important to me. It's still growing. I prefer sites with more UK and Ireland and Australia content, and found Ancestry way too overwhelming with information overload. Thanks for allowing me to have a say. Cheers, Barb

Software Poll

We well recognise too that those who bother to vote at all are more likely to be the keener genealogists - and therefore more likely to use the more upmarket programs. So we do not pretend these polls are really representative of the overall genie community. We may do a blog with a table of program sales by Gould Genealogy & History. This will be more indicative of the relativities of programs in use – at least those sold by Gould. But it will still not pick up the effect of a small number of programs that are sold widely by retail stores and some genealogy societies. Programs like Family Historian and RootsMagic will feature more in Gould sales. Both are great products and in fact deserve wide market share.

We had wondered whether we will continue to run the polls, so if at least one person finds them fun we have some reason to continue. But we would welcome some new poll ideas.

Software Poll

Thanks for your comments - it's good that you enjoy the polls. There probably isn't much that can be done to stop specific groups posting encouragement to respond to the polls and we are aware that the results can be distorted.

TNG wasn't omitted because we didn't think it worth including but because we thought it really fell better under web based programs rather than desktop packages. It will certainly be included when a later poll is run for online software - it looks like there is a lot of interest in TNG judging by the number who indicated that they use it in this poll.

Software Poll

Was pleased to see that TNG that was left off your list got 13 mentions: 

  • The Next Generation (2 voters)
  • TNG (8 voters)
  • TNG - The Next Generation of Genealogy Software
  • TNG (The Next Generation of Genealogy Software)
  • TNG The Next Generation Site Builder

I find these polls very useful but was most disappointed when a message was posted to one of the software user group lists exhorting users  to vote for that piece of software.  This probably had an effect on your results as that product had a very healthy result in your poll.

I don't know what you can do to prevent instances like this that are likely to mar the validity of your results.


Thanks for the efforts with your polls - they are fun.