What genealogy site and software to use?

Among the online services and many free and commercial software available, it is necessary to make a choice. It depends on the level of involvement that you want to put in a genealogical research.
Hobbyists will want to use a comprehensive software for storing thousands of profiles, establishing relationships between them, generate a tree, provide comprehensive reports and statistics.

What can you expect from a genealogy software?

It must record the profiles of the parents or any other person, and help establish a relationship between them. To do this, it should be connected to a database to find ancestors.
It graphically displays the pedigree of a person and can print sheets of the profiles or data in lists. Statistics can be produced on all profiles and their relationships.
This can also be supplemented with location data to locate individuals, with images of these places.
Some software can even move online with auto-generated pages.

Online Services

These are research tools or sites of interest which you can participate.

Family Search

No registration, it allows a search on the name that you can then refine. This website is made by the Mormon church that gives itself the task to include the entire population of the earth, with all the dead.
You can download the Personal Ancestral File database in GEDCOM format to install on another software.


Allows you to search and build your own family tree online. Provides access to archives. Community with discussion forum.

Web Trees

Collaborative software, submitting your site that will complete a universal database.
The demonstration shows the impressive number of functions available to the software, especially with the many options for displaying graphics. The classic pedigree does not seem satisfactory, however.


Facebook genealogy, contains 90 million profiles, it can also connect to Facebook.
You build your family tree online through the possible links to existing profiles in the database. These can be found automatically.


Free software built in PHP and running on a website. It enables collaboration. Displays nice graphs. It offers a search on 630 million names.
It is connected to a community of websites on which you can include your own.

Desktop software

All software using the GEDCOM format can exchange data, but some having more fields than the format has, some of these data may be lost during a migration.


Complete open source software running on Linux, Windows, Mac. Saves the profiles and relationships, generates graphs and reports.
Provides a probability value for relations.
It can transmit the database to PHPGedView for posting on a website. Some data may be lost in GEDCOM export.


The classic version is limited to 2500 free profiles, which is enough for the casual user. Enthusiasts will opt for the pro version which does not impose any limit. Trade and publication on the Web possible.
It is a complete and scalable software providing tools to take advantage of the database profile that is was formed.


An interface for this software rather rustic looks like an old word processor. May be sufficient for occasional use.

Brother's Keeper

Shareware. Offers advanced editing features.
Presents a family tree with pictures of identities or tree form, and summary reports. The editor is rather rustic (like Windows 98) but complete.
No HTML export.

Legacy Family Tree

The standard edition is free. GEDCOM compatible.

More information