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Lots of genealogy software to choose from

I recently found this great site that lists practically every program available to use in recording your family history. It's called Louis Kessler's Genealogy Software Links and was just recently updated on 5/15/05.

Louis Kessler lists the top 4 genealogy programs available in his opinion and they are:

1. The Master Genealogist
2. RootsMagic
3. Reunion
4. Lifelines

The Master Genealogist is said to be the most powerful program out there for Windows. It costs $59.00 to download the gold version, and $79.95 if you would rather have it mailed to you with a printed manual. The Silver version with less features is $34.00 to download and $39.95 to have it shipped to you on a CD-rom.

RootsMagic is said to be the easiest and best-loved program, so I downloaded a trial version. The trial allows you to input 50 names and test out the software. I tried it and I don't think it's easier to use than Personal Ancestral File (PAF), which is my current program. Adding marriage information and LDS ordinances seem much more complicated in RootsMagic. Plus it does cost $29.95 to order the full version.

Reunion is supposedly the best program to use for a Macintosh computer. It is the most expensive program I've found so far though, costing $99.00 to order. Louis Kessler's website says that PAF offers a program for a Macintosh computer, so perhaps that is the cheaper way to go.

Lifelines is also a free program like PAF and it may be the most powerful one available. But it is made for Unix users and many people don't use Unix. My husband does use it, so hopefully I can do some research on it.

Kessler's site than lists the 3 most popular genealogy programs, which are:

1. Family Tree Maker
2. Brother's Keeper
3. Personal Ancestral File

Family Tree Maker seems to be the most popular program used and only costs $19.95. In looking at their website, it says that their program will search Ancestry.com to find your ancestors for you and then you can merge them into your file. Knowing the wealth of information that Ancestry.com has, I think I might try this program out.

Brother's Keeper is the most respected software and has been around for a long time. It costs $45 to order the product and also has a free sample.

PAF is the program I use and is downloaded free from FamilySearch.org. If you are LDS, this is the program to use since all temple records and cards get transmitted through this program. I also think it is very user friendly.

Louis Kessler's site
lists over a hundred other programs available, so please check it out for more information. Most of these programs do have free trial versions, so you can test them out and find one that works best for you.


Thanks for the nice writeup about my Genealogical Software Links page. I first put it up in 1997 and I update it whenever I get any new information. I verify links every month or two. It currently gets about 120 hits a day - Over 218,000 hits since I put it up.

All the best!

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