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What is the best Genealogy software on the market? Research Family tree?

Question by peace chandelier: What is the best Genealogy software on the market? Research Family tree?
Hello, I need a last min Christmas gift and I just found out my mom really wants to start researching our family tree. I dont want to mess around with something that is a waste of her time and my money. Can someone that has alot of experience with this give me your opinion on what is on the market that is user friendly but good quality software to put on her computer to help her get started and assist her to completion? Thanks!

Best answer:

Answer by Ted Pack
“Best” depends on her skill level and machine. I got 65,000 hits in Google for “Genealogy Software comparisons”

I like ConsumerSearch, Inc. A service from, a part of The New York Times Company.
Their page

Says Roots Magic 3 ($ 30) and Legacy 7 ($ 35) are tied for first, unless she is a professional or has a Mac. She can get PAF for free from the Mormons. You can get Family Tree Maker plus a year’s subscription to in one bundle, I believe, but can’t find the offer.

I have used Roots Magic and its predecessor, FOW, for 10 years. I once had it, FTM and PAF all at once. I liked RM the best. I have never tried Legacy.

You didn’t say how much you wanted to spend. For $ 169 or so you could buy her a year’s subscription to If she was serious and most of her lines were in the USA after 1850, she’d love it. If it is just a whim, then it would be like buying a boxed set of all the Oscar winning movies on DVD for someone who didn’t like movies.

On a side note, both FTM and RM come on a CD if you want, but most people pay via credit card and download. I don’t think PAF comes on a CD; downloading is the only option I have ever heard of. I suspect Legacy has CD and download options. You’d do better to put a promise to pay for it (and a second promise, to show her how to download, if necessary) on a nice card than to try to find any of the products on CD in a software store, or pay FedEx overnight rates.

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