Review: Create family and ancestor trees with My Family Tree

Create family trees with the greatest of ease with this freeware.

My Family Tree's attractive user interface and drag-and-drop capability make it easy to create and update your personal family tree. You can attach photos, videos, sound clips, and more to individual records, including your own narratives. It has a full range of genealogical tools, such as relationship calculators, timelines, statistics, and even genetic data, and can also import GEDCOM data. The latest release, v3.0.5, adds support for KMZ files in reports and generally-improved performance. My Family Tree is freeware with separate downloads for 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows XP to 8. We tried the 64-bit version in Windows 7.

My Family Tree's installer offered to import GEDCOM data and other options. We clicked "Start a New Family Tree," opening a nice two-panel interface with up-to-date graphics (plus Themes) and a wizard-like process that quickly walked us through each step: name, gender, date, birthplace, and so on. The birth date field uses a scrolling selector that tried to enter the current date as we typed; but most fields let us type in data, directly. An image icon told us to drag and drop our portrait, but we tried several times with no success -- nor could we attach photos or other files to our record. Acting on a hunch, we saved our file and then reopened it, and then we could drag images and other files into our record. That's a bit clunky, but again, most of My Family Tree is easy to use. The next step was to enter the parental units, starting with Father. Each new entry appears as a branch on our growing family tree in the left panel. Creating ancestor trees is similar.

My Family Tree has tons more to explore, like Reports, or a Tools menu with photo capture, sound recorder, character map, and other extras. We've seen free genealogy tools with as many features and extras as My Family Tree, but few as easy to use. If you're thinking about recording your family history, My Family Tree is a good place to start.

CNET Top 5
Companies Apple could buy with their billions
Apple's sitting on a massive pile of cash. Here are five interesting ways they could spend it.
Play Video
 

Member Comments