Grow your family tree with Family Tree Builder

Get started in the fun hobby of genealogy with this easy yet powerful freeware.

Genealogy comprises one of the largest categories of Internet resources, and it's a popular pastime with millions of people around the world, and more every day. MyHeritage's Family Tree Builder is a free genealogical tool that makes it super-easy to get started mapping out your family history using a variety of resources. It includes many up-to-date features, such as Face Recognition Technology for identifying ancestors in old photographs and the ability to publish your family tree online so others can compare their research to yours. It can import GEDCOM data, too.

We've seen many genealogy tools, but Family Tree Builder is one of the most complete freeware tools we've seen. The program's setup wizard requires registering for the free online database and publishing services, but it's quick and unobtrusive, and much of the information is optional. A Greetings message, Quick Start Wizard, and other assistance made getting started with Family Tree Builder a cinch, and we had no trouble accessing our new account, though we opted not to publish our test account online at MyHeritage's site. Family Tree Builder is centered on Projects, each of which can have a primary and secondary language. Its Immersive 3D Trees give it an up-to-date look and feel. Like many such tools, it uses wizards for adding family members and other data. We barely scratched the surface of this free tool's capabilities, but there's also a premium version that offers more features for users who outgrow it, including improved map support and advanced searches. We recommend starting with the freeware to see how you like Family Tree Builder, since you can save and export your data for use in other programs. We agree with Family Tree Builder's publisher that many users will like their tools.

Part of the fun of genealogy is the way your research and contacts tend to multiply, such as when you find a distant cousin who has researched your family from another starting point. It can bring families closer even as it makes them much, much bigger. With Family Tree Builder, small acorns can grow into mighty oaks more quickly than you'd think.

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