Other Database Managers

by Gerhard Ruf (gruf@byu.edu)

Copyright 2005

updated 10 January 2005




            The overwhelming majority of genealogy database program have the features required to effectively record, analyze and share your work. When deciding which program to use, you should look at the additional features a program offers to determine which one best fits what you want to accomplish.

Family Tree Maker (FTM)

            Family Tree Maker is estimated to have 60% market penetration. The latest version has implemented some unique features. It has been idealized for finding and importing data from Ancestry.com.

A. Program Sources

            1) On the Internet at http://familytreemaker.com

                        a) purchase for $29.95

                        b) take the tour

                        c) download a Starter Edition from the Family Trees tab.

            2) In retail stores

                        a) three versions (Standard, Deluxe, Collector’s Edition)

                        b) include various data CDs

                        c) include access to selected Ancestry.com subscriptions

B. Unique features added in FTM 2005

            1) Pedigree View handles up to 7 generations

            2) Web search to Ancestry.com

                        a) uses an integrated Internet Explorer like browser

                        b) must have Int Explorer 6 installed on PC

            3) Web merge process

            4) Bookmarks and History

            5) Automated notification for program updates

            6) Easier GEDCOM import

C. Unique features added in FTM 11

            1) Backup to CD

            2) Export books to PDF

            3) Add individual and marriage notes to books

            4) Copy and paste individuals between files

            5) View two files at once

            6) Export to spreadsheet and database programs (CSV)

D. Other features

            1) Upload your database, including pictures to a public web site

            2) Picture editing

            3) Multi-media support (pictures, sound, video clips)

The Master Genealogist (TMG)

            The Master Genealogist has often been called “the Cadillac” of genealogy programs. It has always had features that do not exist in other programs. It provides a guiding light for the future of genealogy database programs.


A. Program Sources (Current Version is 6.00.000)

            1) On the Internet at http://whollygenes.com/

                        a) download (34.6 MB) - 30-day trial

                        a) Gold: $59, on CD - $79.95

                        b) Silver: $34, on CD - $39.95

                        c) There is also a UK edition

                        d) Download (8 MB) and view the Guided Tour

            2) In retail stores

B. The Gold edition has additional features

            1) unique report formats

                        a) descendancy charts in other directions

                        b) ancestor wall charts in any direction

                        c) fan charts

                        d) output in 50+ word processor formats

            2) publication tools

                        a) web page creation

                        b) indexes and table of contents

                        c) endnotes and bibliography in output to screen and printer

                        d) integrated images into some reports

            3) 400+ page printed users guide

C. A few unique features

            1) reads data files directly from multiple programs

                        a) PAF, FTM, Legacy, Family Origins, Family Gathering, Generations, Roots IV & V,

                                    Ultimate Family Tree, and Visual Roots

            2) customize the templates in the way data is presented

            3) multiple event fields for the same event (when data sources differ)

            4) multi-media support including multimedia slide shows

Online Family Tree (OFT)

            While Online Family Tree is NOT a program that runs on your PC and requires you to be online to use, it provides some unique features that may be just what you need. It can be used as a single database, allowing multiple researcher to edit the file concurrently. It is available for use without payment of a fee.

A. Program Access

            1) On the Internet at http://www.ancestry.com/trees

                        a) You must have a least a guest account to use this feature

            2) Uses your default browser for the viewing and editing interface

            3) The database resides on servers at Ancestry.com with no public access

B. Major features

            1) Create a tree - use notes for source citations

            2) Upload or download a GEDCOM file

            3) Automatically add the database to or delete it from Ancestry World Tree

            4) Invite others (individually) to see the tree you are creating.

            5) Invite others, whom you trust, to edit the tree.

Evaluating Multiple Genealogy Database Programs

            Check out the following link for a contemporary listing evaluating the top 10 genealogy database managers (Legacy, Family Tree Maker, Ancestral Quest, Personal Ancestral File, RootsMagic, Family Historian, DoroTree, The Master Genealogist, Cumberland Family Tree, and Win-Family):



            While you may do your primary editing with one genealogy database managers, you may want to occasionally import your data into another program to take advantage of its unique output features.