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12 Best Family Tree Software & Tools for 2024

Written by: Krystle Wong

Jan 12, 2024

12 Best Family Tree Software & Tools

Are you on a quest to unveil your family’s history and roots? Perhaps you’ve heard stories passed down through generations, seen faded photographs of ancestors long gone or simply feel the pull of curiosity about the lives and legacies that have shaped your existence. 

Whether you’re seeking to connect with distant relatives, preserve family stories for future generations or simply satisfy your curiosity about your ancestral roots, what better way to start than by creating a family tree?

From comprehensive research platforms to creative tree-building applications and creative family tree templates, this article will guide you through the 12 best family tree software and tools that promise to make your journey of discovery in the world of genealogy both exciting and enriching. Let’s get started! 


Click to jump ahead:

12 Best family tree software & tools to document your family history

Uncovering the branches of your family tree and tracing your lineage is a journey that can be both enlightening and deeply rewarding. 

In today’s digital age, genealogy enthusiasts are armed with an array of genealogy software programs and tools that simplify the process of documenting and preserving their family history. Here are 12 best family tree software and tools to embark on your journey of discovery: 

1. Venngage


Venngage might not be your typical genealogy tool, but it makes a good alternative to family tree makers as it offers a creative edge with its data visualization capabilities. 

While renowned primarily as a visualization tool, it boasts customizable family tree templates and a user-friendly drag-and-drop design interface. This versatility allows you to present your family history in engaging visual formats, even though it isn’t genealogy-focused.

Interactive infographics

Venngage specializes in creating visually stunning, interactive infographics. Browse our gallery of infographic templates that can help you design family trees that are not only informative but also visually appealing.

Customizable templates

Tailor your family tree’s design to match your unique style and preferences. Venngage offers a wide range of customizable templates, fonts, colors and icons, allowing you to create a family tree that tells your family’s story in your way.

You can also utilize Venngage’s selection of genogram templates as a structured visual framework to represent complex family relationships, including emotional dynamics and health histories. 

Check out these genogram examples that you can use to create a more comprehensive and detailed representation of your family’s history, fostering a deeper understanding of their lineage and connections.

3 Generation Genogram

User-friendly drag-and-drop editor

Venngage’s drag-and-drop editor simplifies the process of creating a family tree by allowing users to effortlessly arrange and connect family members and information. With intuitive design elements, users can easily add names, photos and details to their family tree templates, creating a visually engaging and organized representation of their genealogical history. 

Real-time collaboration tools

Venngage facilitates collaboration with family members, enabling multiple contributors to work on the family tree together. This collaborative approach can help gather diverse perspectives and uncover hidden family history details.


Free Plan: Create your first 5 designs for free.

Premium: $19 per month/user or $10 per month/user when billed annually. 

Business: $49 per month/user or $24 per month/user when billed annually. 

Enterprise: Starting at $499 per month for 10+ seats (billed annually)


2. Ancestry.com


Known for its extensive historical records database, encompassing census data, immigration records and military documents, Ancestry.com is a formidable choice for genealogists. 

Its integration with AncestryDNA allows you to delve into your genetic heritage and potentially connect with relatives through DNA matching. Moreover, Ancestry.com encourages collaborative tree building, enabling multiple family members to contribute. 

While it boasts a vast research database and a user-friendly interface, it operates on a subscription-based model and requires an internet connection for full access. It also stands out for its compatibility with various genealogy software tools, including RootsMagic, Family Tree Maker, Legacy Family Tree, MyHeritage Family Tree Builder, Gramps and Heredis.

Features: Extensive historical records, DNA testing integration, collaborative tree building.

Pros: Vast research database, user-friendly interface, DNA matching.

Cons: Subscription-based, limited offline access.


U.S Discovery: $24.99/month or $21.99/month for 6 months

World Explorer: $39.99/month or $32.99/month for 6 months

All Access: $59.99/month or $49.99/month for 6 months

3. MyHeritage


MyHeritage offers a global records database along with Smart Matching technology, facilitating connections with relatives. The platform’s DNA testing feature allows you to delve deeper into your genetic origins.

Powered by robust matching algorithms, MyHeritage connects users with family members worldwide, appealing to an international user base. While many features are available for free, some advanced functionalities require a subscription, which may limit certain capabilities.

Features: Global records database, Smart Matching technology, DNA testing.

Pros: Powerful matching algorithms, international user base, comprehensive DNA features.

Cons: Some features require a subscription, limited free access.


Basic Free: Build a family tree with up to 250 people 

Premium: Build a family tree with up to 2500 people for $79/year ($49 for the first year) 

Premium Plus: Unlimited family tree size for $129/year ($89 for the first year) 

Data: Access to all historical records and build a family tree with up to 250 people for $129/year ($89 for the first year) 

Complete: Gain access to the ultimate package for $189/year ($119 for the first year) 

4. FamilySearch


FamilySearch is the world’s largest free genealogy database, inviting users from around the globe to collaborate on building family trees. Its greatest strength lies in its accessibility, as it is open to all users at no cost. 

With an extensive collection of records and collaborative tools, it’s an excellent choice for those who value free access to genealogical information. However, users should be mindful of limited privacy controls and occasional data quality issues.

Features: Largest free genealogy database, collaborative tree building.

Pros: Free and open to all, extensive records collection, collaborative tools.

Cons: Limited privacy controls, occasional data quality issues.


FamilySearch is a free family tree maker.

5. WikiTree


WikiTree is a game-changer in genealogy collaboration. It focuses on creating a shared, global family tree where users collectively build and maintain a vast interconnected genealogical database. 

The best part? It’s entirely free, fostering a vibrant global community of genealogists who contribute to this extensive family tree. 

Yet, it comes with some trade-offs. Privacy controls can be somewhat limited, requiring careful data-sharing considerations. Additionally, as a user-contributed database, data accuracy can vary, making verification essential for research when building your online family trees.

Features: Collaborative family tree, free access, global community.

Pros: Shared collaborative database, free to use, worldwide user base.

Cons: Limited privacy controls, user-contributed data.


WikiTree is free for the user and financed via advertisements displayed to unregistered users.

6. Tribal Pages

Tribal Pages

TribalPages excels in online tree hosting, providing a platform where users can effortlessly create and share their family trees on the web. 

The online family tree software simplifies the incorporation of photos, documents and multimedia elements into your family history. Collaboration is at the core of TribalPages, offering tools that encourage collective research efforts among family members and fellow genealogists. 

However, it primarily operates online, which may not cater to those who prefer offline genealogy work. Additionally, certain advanced features may require a subscription, impacting accessibility.

Features: Online tree hosting, media uploads, collaboration tools.

Pros: Easy website builder, accessible from anywhere, collaborative tree building.

Cons: Limited to online use, some features require a subscription.


Free Plan: Limited to 50 number of photos

Premium: $3.00 per month, billed annually 

Deluxe: $4.00 per month, billed annually 

Mobile app: Download TribalPages’ companion app for free and invite family members to view or participate in your family tree.

7. RootsMagic


RootsMagic stands out for its user-friendly tree software, online database integration and multimedia support, making it an excellent choice for those who want to enhance the storytelling aspect of their family history. 

RootsMagic offers a wide array of reporting options, including pedigree charts, family group sheets and customizable reports, enabling users to visualize and share their family history in various formats. 

As one of the best family tree programs, they place a strong emphasis on proper source documentation, helping users maintain a high level of accuracy in their research. RootsMagic acknowledges the need for accessibility in modern genealogy research and provides a free viewer app for both iOS and Android, in addition to desktop software. 

Additionally, while it offers a free version, its full capabilities are unlocked in the paid version, which may not be suitable for those on a tight budget. Collaboration features are somewhat limited compared to other genealogy programs.

Features: User-friendly tree software, online database integration, multimedia support.

Pros: User-friendly, imports from other software, frequent updates.

Cons: Lacks some advanced features, limited mobile support.


Free version: Gain access to all features that are essential to getting started.

Paid version: Starts at $39.95 with add-on options available. 

Software compatibility

Windows: Windows 7 SP1, 8, 10 or 11

Mac: macOS Sierra (10.12), High Sierra (10.13), Mojave (10.14), Catalina (10.15), Big Sur (11), Monterey (12) or Ventura (13)

8. Gramps


Gramps distinguishes itself as open-source genealogy software, providing users with a highly customizable database that can adapt to the specifics of their research. 

The inclusion of a relationship calculator simplifies the exploration of intricate family connections to help you build a family tree online with ease. 

The family tree building program is particularly appealing due to its free and open-source nature, ensuring accessibility to all genealogy enthusiasts. However, its robust capabilities come with a steeper learning curve and a less intuitive interface compared to some commercial alternatives.

Features: Open-source genealogy software, customizable database, relationship calculator.

Pros: Free and open-source, highly customizable, active community.

Cons: Steeper learning curve, less user-friendly interface.


Gramps is a free software project and community.

Software compatibility

Gramps is primarily developed for Linux BSD and UNIX-like operating systems, but it is also available for Microsoft Windows and Apple macOS.

9. Heredis


Heredis takes pride in its cross-platform compatibility, allowing users to seamlessly access their family tree data across various devices. 

It offers an array of reports and charts for visually presenting genealogy data and provides collaboration tools to facilitate teamwork. Multi-device synchronization is a standout feature, enhancing accessibility. 

Heredis also caters to users seeking an intuitive experience. However, while it offers many features for free, some advanced functionalities require paid options, potentially limiting access to certain capabilities.

Features: Cross-platform compatibility, reports and charts, collaboration tools.

Pros: Multi-device sync, user-friendly, various export options.

Cons: Some advanced features are paid, limited free version.


Heredis 2024 for Mac: $69.99

Heredis 2023 for Mac & Windows: $84.99

Mobile App: $9.99 (available on Android & iOS)

Software compatibility

The software is compatible with Windows 10 to Windows 11 and Mac OS Big Sur (11), Monterey (12), Ventura (13).

10. Reunion for Mac

Reunion for Mac

Exclusively designed for Mac users, Reunion for Mac delivers a native and optimized experience. It excels in multimedia support, enabling the integration of photos, documents and other media seamlessly into your family tree. 

Customizable charts further enhance the visual representation of your genealogy data. It’s a perfect choice for those deeply entrenched in the Mac ecosystem. However, this exclusivity to Mac users means individuals on other operating systems may need to explore other genealogy software programs.

Additionally, Reunion for Mac does not offer a mobile app, which could be a consideration for those who prefer genealogy research on the go.

Features: Mac-specific tree software, multimedia support, customizable charts.

Pros: Native Mac experience, excellent multimedia handling, comprehensive charts.

Cons: Limited to Mac users, no mobile app.


Reunion 13 for Macintosh: $99.00

Software compatibility

Reunion 13 requires MacOS version 10.9 or newer.

11. Family Historian

Family Historian

Family Historian stands out with its interactive timelines, robust multimedia support and web research tools that facilitate comprehensive genealogy investigations. 

The software offers visual and interactive features to enrich the research experience, making it particularly appealing to those who appreciate dynamic representations of their family history. 

The family history software also maintains a user-friendly interface, ensuring accessibility for all levels of genealogists. However, it’s Windows-exclusive, potentially leaving Mac users without access and lacks a mobile app which could limit on-the-go research.

Features: Timelines, multimedia support, web research tools.

Pros: Visual and interactive features, robust research, user-friendly.

Cons: Windows-only software, no mobile app.


Family Historian 7: $64.95

Software compatibility

Family Historian 7 runs on Windows 11, 10 and 8.

12. Legacy Family Tree

Legacy Family Tree

Legacy Family Tree takes a comprehensive approach to tree management, offering research guidance and robust multimedia support. It stands out for its organization tools, simplifying the process of efficiently managing your family tree data. 

Strong customer support ensures users have assistance when needed, while the user-friendly interface caters to genealogists of all levels. 

Nevertheless, it’s primarily designed for Windows users, potentially excluding those on different operating systems. New users might encounter a learning curve when exploring its extensive features.

Features: Comprehensive tree management, research guidance, multimedia support.

Pros: Excellent organization tools, strong customer support, user-friendly.

Cons: Windows-only software, learning curve for beginners.


Standard Edition: Free

Legacy 9.0 Deluxe Download Bundle: $79.95 (software for PC via download, PDF manual and webinar membership)

Families Mobile App for Legacy: Download to view and edit your Legacy Family Tree files wherever you are, available on both Android and iOS devices. 

Software compatibility

Legacy is available for Windows only. 

How can family tree software help with genealogy research?

Family tree software isn’t just a techy tool; it’s your trusty sidekick for genealogy adventures. Here’s how using family tree builder software can supercharge your research in a more user-friendly way:

Organization and documentation

Think of family tree software as your tidy workspace. It helps you jot down and organize all those juicy family details—names, dates, relationships and tales. No more digging through stacks of papers!

Visual representation

Family tree software transforms the raw data into visual family trees, making it easier to comprehend and analyze relationships among family members across generations. Visual representations help you spot gaps in your research and identify where further investigation is needed.

Large Family Tree

Research guidance

Many family tree software tools offer research guidance features. They analyze your existing data and suggest potential matches from their databases or provide hints based on common genealogy research practices. These prompts can save you time and help you discover new leads or records you might have missed otherwise.

Data integration

Family tree software simplifies the process of gathering historical records and documents related to your ancestors. This integration streamlines your research, ensures accuracy and expands your access to valuable historical data.


Collaboration is made effortless as many family tree software tools enable you to work collaboratively with fellow researchers or family members. Multiple users can contribute to and refine the family tree, pooling knowledge and resources for a comprehensive family history.

Whether your family members are scattered across the globe or just in different parts of the same city, Venngage’s seamless collaboration tools make it easy for everyone to contribute without the need for physical meetings. This remote accessibility is especially valuable for connecting with distant relatives.

Venngage Real-Time Collaboration Tools

Reports and charts

Family tree software equips you with the capability to generate a wide array of reports and charts. These visual representations, such as pedigree charts and ancestor reports, facilitate a deeper comprehension of familial connections and history.

DNA integration

In the age of genetic genealogy, many family tree software tools seamlessly incorporate DNA testing results. This integration empowers you to uncover genetic connections with relatives and weave the intricate tapestry of your ancestral lineage.

Backup and data preservation

Family tree software typically includes built-in backup and data preservation features. These features automatically save your research data and ensure it remains secure. By regularly backing up your work, you can prevent data loss due to technical issues, computer crashes or accidental deletions. 

How do I choose the right family tree software?

Selecting the ideal family tree software is pivotal in your genealogy journey. To choose the best genealogy software for your needs, keep these essential factors in mind:

1. Research needs and goals

Begin by assessing your research needs and goals. Determine the scope of your genealogy project, the type of information you want to gather and whether you’re focusing on specific regions or time periods. This will help you identify software that aligns with your objectives.

2. Ease of use

User-friendliness is essential when choosing a family tree maker, especially if you’re a beginner. Look for software with an intuitive interface and straightforward navigation. This ensures that you spend more time researching your family’s history and less time grappling with complex software.

3. Compatibility and platforms

Ensure the software you choose is compatible with your computer’s operating system (Windows, macOS, Linux, etc.). Additionally, consider whether it offers mobile apps or web-based access, allowing you to work on your family tree from various devices, such as smartphones and tablets.

4. Features and tools

Different family tree software packages offer various features and tools. Assess whether the software provides the professional capabilities you require, such as the ability to attach multimedia files, add source citations or collaborate with others on your research. Some advanced software may even offer DNA analysis integration.

5. Cost and pricing structure

Understand the software’s pricing structure. Some family tree software is free or offers limited free versions, while others require one-time purchases or subscription fees. Consider your budget and the long-term cost of maintaining your family tree with the software.

6. Reviews and recommendations

Research genealogy software reviews, recommendations and ratings for the top choices you’re considering. Reading about the experiences of other professional genealogists can provide valuable insights into the software’s strengths and weaknesses to help build your own tree.

7. Support and updates

Check if the software offers customer support, user forums or online tutorials. Also, consider how frequently the software is updated. Regular updates can indicate that the developers are actively improving and maintaining the software.

Family tree software v.s. traditional paper-based genealogy

Traditional paper-based genealogy

Traditional paper-based genealogy

For generations, genealogists and writers relied on physical records, documents and hand-written family trees to piece together a family history. 

The allure of sitting in dusty archives, flipping through old family bibles and visiting local libraries created a romantic and tangible connection to our ancestors. Here are some of the pros and cons of traditional paper-based genealogy:

Tangible and personal

Pros: Handwriting your family tree can have a personal touch and feel more connected to your ancestors. It’s a tangible record that can be passed down through generations.

Cons: Prone to physical wear and tear, making preservation a significant concern.

Low-tech and cost-effective

Pros: Traditional paper-based genealogy doesn’t require access to technology or ongoing software subscriptions, making it cost-effective in the long run.

Cons: Organizing and updating paper records can be time-consuming and may lead to data errors.

Privacy and security

Pros: Paper records are not vulnerable to cyberattacks or data breaches, ensuring greater privacy and security.

Cons: Vulnerable to physical theft, loss or damage.

Artistic expression

Pros: Creating hand-drawn family trees or scrapbooks allows for artistic expression and customization.

Cons: May require artistic skills and can be time-intensive.

Limited access to online resources

Pros: Encourages independent research skills and may result in a more thorough investigation of primary sources.

Cons: May require more time and effort to access and cross-reference historical records.

Family tree software

Family tree software

In recent years, the digital age has revolutionized the field of genealogy with the introduction of family tree software. These programs offer numerous benefits that have changed the way we approach and record our family history:

Efficiency and organization

Pros: Family tree software offers efficient data entry, organization and storage of genealogical information. It’s easy to search for and update records, reducing the risk of errors.

Cons: Requires access to a computer or mobile device and may have a learning curve if you’re not tech-savvy.

Collaboration and sharing

Pros: Many family tree software tools enable collaboration with other researchers and family members, making it easier to work on the family tree together and share findings.

Cons: Collaboration may require others to use the same software and privacy settings should be carefully managed.

Access to online resources

Pros: Family tree software often integrates with online databases and historical records, streamlining research and access to valuable resources.

Cons: Some features may require a subscription or additional costs.

Data visualization

Pros: Family tree software generates visual representations of your family tree, such as charts and reports, which can aid in understanding relationships and identifying information gaps. Tree diagrams aside, here are 10 types of data visualizations that can help tell your story in a more compelling and engaging way.

Cons: Visualizations may not match the personal touch of hand-drawn family trees.

Data preservation

Pros: Digital records are less susceptible to physical damage or loss due to factors like fire or natural disasters.

Cons: Data loss can still occur due to technological issues or if you don’t regularly back up your digital family tree.

Finding the Right Balance

While family tree software offers undeniable advantages, traditional paper-based genealogy remains a cherished and valid approach to genealogical research. Many genealogists find that combining both methods provides the best of both worlds. Here’s how:

Digitization of paper records: You can scan and digitize your paper records, preserving them for future generations while benefiting from the advantages of digital organization.

Offline and online research: Use family tree software to collaborate online and access digitized archives, but don’t forsake the charm of visiting local historical societies and libraries for offline research.

Storytelling: Embrace both approaches to create a holistic family narrative. Share anecdotes and stories from your paper research alongside multimedia elements in your digital family tree.

For more data visualization tools, check out this guide on the 8 best free data visualization tools for non-analysts.

Best family tree software FAQs

Are there free family tree software available?

Yes, there are free family tree software options available, such as Gramps, FamilySearch and MyHeritage’s free plan.

Can I import/export data from one family tree software to another?

Many family tree software programs support data import/export features, making it relatively easy to transfer your family tree data between different software platforms.

Can I share my family tree with others using family tree software?

Most family tree software allows you to share your family tree with others, often via email invitations or by generating a shareable link, enabling collaborative research.

Do I need genealogy experience to use family tree software?

No, you don’t need genealogy experience to use family tree software. Many programs are designed to be user-friendly and offer helpful tutorials or guides for beginners.

Can I research historical records and documents using family tree software?

Yes, family tree software often provides tools to research historical records and documents, either by linking to online databases or by providing built-in search features.

Can I collaborate with family members using family tree software?

Yes, you can collaborate with family members using family tree software, typically by inviting them to view or edit your family tree, enabling shared research.

How do I choose between specialized genealogy software and general-purpose family tree software?

Choosing between a specialized genealogy program and general-purpose family tree software depends on your specific needs. Specialized software may offer more advanced genealogy features, while general-purpose software focuses on family tree creation and organization.

What genealogy software is best for advanced users and researchers?

Advanced users and researchers may prefer software like Legacy Family Tree, RootsMagic or Family Tree Maker, which offer comprehensive tools for in-depth genealogical research.

Which genealogy software offers DNA integration and testing features?

Family tree software like Ancestry.com and MyHeritage often offer DNA integration and testing features, allowing you to link DNA results with your family tree.

Is it safe to store sensitive family information in genealogy software?

It’s generally safe to store sensitive family information in genealogy software, but it’s wise to use secure passwords and consider the privacy settings of any online family tree platform.

Is a large genealogy database important when choosing a family tree builder?

A large genealogy database can be valuable for finding connections and historical records, but it’s not the sole factor to consider when choosing family tree software.

Is there family tree software that syncs with online genealogy websites?

Yes, many family tree software programs offer synchronization with online genealogy websites like Ancestry.com, MyHeritage and FamilySearch, allowing you to keep your family tree up to date across platforms.

A recap of the top family tree software picks

As we conclude the exploration of the 12 best family tree software and tools, I hope you’ve decided on the best family tree maker for your genealogical journey. In a world where the past and present converge, these tools have opened doors to the rich tapestry of your family’s history.

Remember that genealogy is more than just names and dates; it’s about uncovering the lives, experiences and connections that have shaped your family’s legacy. Whether you’re delving into the mysteries of your heritage, connecting with long-lost relatives or simply cherishing the bonds that tie your family together, these software and tools are here to assist you.

As you continue your exploration into the past, embrace the thrill of discovery, the joy of connection and the satisfaction of preserving your family’s history for generations to come. So, keep exploring, keep documenting and keep celebrating the remarkable story that is your family’s history.

About Krystle Wong

Everyday writer and a weekend baker, Krystle is a content marketer and brand strategist with experience in media, tech and SaaS.