Family Tree Builder - Free download and software reviews - CNET Download.com

Family Tree Builder

CNET Editors' review

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.

Publisher's Description

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All User Reviews
  • All versions:

    3.3 stars

    out of 97 votes

    • 5 star: 23
    • 4 star: 31
    • 3 star: 16
    • 2 star: 6
    • 1 star: 21
  • Current version:

    4.4 stars

    out of 5 votes

    • 5 star: 3
    • 4 star: 1
    • 3 star: 1
    • 2 star: 0
    • 1 star: 0
  • My rating:

    0 stars

    Write review

Results 1-5 of 5

  • 5.0 stars

    "Easy to use, share, add family, create a family history"

    March 17, 2014  |   By RABLABSAB

    Version: Family Tree Builder 7.0.0.7121

    Pros

    I am 73 and not particularly computer savy. I started my family tree in 2010, work on it daily and I receive new information on family members daily via My Heritage Family Site. You can follow the instructions provided and do everything you want to your family tree. My family is delighted when I send them invitations after I've made several additions.

    No matter what problems I've encountered, because of my lack of computer knowledge, I can go to support@myheritage.com or send a message for help from the family site. I receive a response almost immediately and my problem is always taken care of via steps to follow. The support people are very friendly and very eager to help - sometimes I contact them with 2 or 3 issues at a time because I can't figure out what to do and they come back with an answer which solves any question I may have. Support is the most important thing to me and My Heritage offers this and more.

    Cons

    None that I can say.

    Summary

    The best product in ease of use. Terrific technical support from people who know what they are doing. Membership fee is very reasonable for what you receive. Smart Matching is a tremendous help in adding data to family members in a tree. I am, overall, extremely pleased with My Heritage products.

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  • 5.0 stars

    "The BEST software for genealogy!"

    February 24, 2014  |   By claverx

    Version: Family Tree Builder 7.0.0.7121

    Pros

    Free download - Very easy to install and use - complete with tools to create a genealogy tree - many view and export tree - detailed profile for each family member with extra elements such as photos, maps and important facts and dates in their personal life - easy backup data - tool for create and sincronize a web family site - app for smartphone

    Cons

    at the moment NONE

    Summary



    Updated on Feb 24, 2014

    Use this software for several years and I find it really well. I uploaded about a hundred people in my family and I moved up to the fifth generation. Thanks to research into the databases of the web, I found out that my great-grandfather had emigrated to the United States and I found several documents: the passenger list of the ship, Census records, burial data, etc.etc.
    I am very happy to use it and recommend it to everyone!

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  • 5.0 stars

    "Great Software"

    February 2, 2014  |   By Louzan

    Version: Family Tree Builder 7.0.0.7121

    Pros

    The project is easy to use and the basic version is great for 250 family members. I have been a member for years and currently use Premium Plus as I am tracking 5 different family trees. I encountered a problem last week and the support team was EXCELLENT. Best online support I have received in years.

    Cons

    If you have a large family tree greater than 250 you may not want to pay for the upgraded version.

    Summary

    Use it,pay for the upgrade. More than worth the money.

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  • 3.0 stars

    "Promises much delivers less"

    November 12, 2013  |   By Scotskiwi

    Version: Family Tree Builder 7.0.0.7121

    Pros

    Good interface and reasonably intuitive.

    Cons

    Limits entries to 250 persons and nags you for subscription sign up. many features disabled in free version which is clearly offered as a hook package. Terms and Conditions of use are unbelievable....you cannot complain or ay negative things about the software.......control freaks.

    Summary

    There are better and more customer friendly packages available that don't limit your tree size to gouge dollars out of you.

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  • 4.0 stars

    "This is a VERY GOOD basic free genealogy program"

    October 19, 2013  |   By chefamily2013

    Version: Family Tree Builder 7.0.0.7121

    Pros

    Very easy to use. I really like the report generated, and you can use ANY database to find your info since you need to input the info for each person. I really like the notes section, alternative name section, and the fact that you can easily detach family member and reattach them if need be.

    Cons

    I have a few minor complaints, but the are more to do with personal tastes, not with any short comings of the program. It is free and I don't complain too much about free software unless it is absolutely horrible. I have an ancestry.com subscription, but I prefer this program over theirs.

    Summary

    This program does not "Tell you your not related to your mother" as one person stated, it only knows what you put into it. If your alive, then any good researcher knows that you do not display information for living people anyway.
    Nor does the database magically know ANY of your genealogy. That is up to you to research. Genealogy is more than a collection of names and dates. Many online family trees are full of errors, mostly because people keep copying bad info over & over, if you cannot or wish to actually dedicate the time and effort to research each and every person you plan to include in your tree, do the rest of the real family researchers a favor and "just don't do it".
    Google books, openlibrary.org, & archives.org are full of free verified books and information. If you can't be bothered with verifying and correcting errors you find, then you really need to find another hobby.
    You do not have to use their search engine, in fact I never use any of the info from the search engine associated with the company. You don't have to be a pro to understand that. No, this program will not "give you a virus" either. If you are concerned, download it directly from the developer. This is free, it does not work miracles. I really like the reports the program generates, which can be viewed in any pdf viewer.

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Results 1-5 of 5

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