Family Tree Software

Record Your Family Tree on Your Computer  A dedicated Family Tree Program or Genealogy Software Package is probably the best method to record and present your Family Tree and research - especially if you are a regular PC user.

There are a number of dedicated software packages available - some are free.  It may be worthwhile investing in a better package: researching your family tree can become a long term hobby quite easily.  If the software you start with is not good enough, you may find you need to put in a lot of effort later to repeat your research and record your findings in a better tool.

What does Family Tree Software do?  Family Tree Packages are dedicated relational databases - systems of organising electronic records.  Records are stored for all the information you have about each member of your family.  These records are then linked to other Records in your database to record the family relationships: marriages, parents/children, etc.  Some family tree packages will provide various views of the information in your family tree, some will allow you to include and present additional material - such as photographs, video clips or audio recordings.

What to look for in Genealogy Programs?  Look for Genealogy Packages that:

  • Allow you to include photographs, videos and audio recordings - even if you have none at present, you may acquire some later and want to include them.

  • Import and export GEDCOM files.  GEDCOM stands for GEnealogical Data COMmunication.  A GEDCOM file is a standard format file that will let you share information with family trees held on other databases.

  • Provide a variety of Presentation and Report formats - many of these have specific Genealogic terms - but all are different ways of presenting your information to tell "the story" or present your family history.

Some packages are provided with additional information such as historical maps, website links, guidance manuals and databases of information about different names appearing in historical records.  The more data provided, the more likely it is that you will find something of specific use to you.  However, don't expect to find information that helps you build up your tree - if you're lucky, you may find a reference to an historic record in which an ancestor's name is mentioned, you'd still need to access the record itself to obtain anything useful.  However, there is much information available online.


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