Best software to build your genealogy

When most people hear the words ‘family tree’, they envision a great old tree with many branches and a family member’s photo conveniently placed on each of them. While the term mostly refers to the way individual families branch out, many find it helpful to construct an actual tree on their way to knowing their roots (heh).

To help you visualize even better, there are many examples of genealogy software out there – these programs aren’t just nice to look at, but also make your historical research a whole lot easier. Without further ado, here’s some nice and inexpensive software that will have you feeling even more thrilled about your new hobby.

Genealogy software Ancestry will deliver the goods, but it’ll also drill a hole in your pocket: the monthly plans start from $20 all the way to $45 for overseas research. Thus, this software is best used when you’re sure you won’t slack and will instead dedicate at least a couple of hours a day to work on your family history. Aside from several extensive record bases, Ancestry also boasts the option of allowing you to work on your family tree with relatives across the globe (provided they have an internet connection, that is).

Mocavo: Want to ease your research without burdening your wallet? Mocavo is what all free software should be about: full-featured and not obsessed with making you purchase a premium plan. If you’re a genealogy beginner feeling intimidated by the amount of data you’ll have to scour through, Mocavo will provide a simple-yet-effective interface as well as integration with various important resources such as the U.S. Census. Not to mention, the premium plans cost between $7-9 and offer a free trial, so you might find yourself going pro just for the heck of it, especially since some genealogy software costs several times more while offering decidedly less.

Legacy Family Tree: Legacy ranks among the most popular genealogy suites out there and its latest iteration is full of features. The fact that the latest version has 8.0 in its name proves that the software has been around for a while – unfortunately, its interface hasn’t done the best job of keeping up with the competition, at times looking as dated as the info you’ll be collecting. Still, if you can look past outside appearance, you’ll be treated to a nice genealogy helper that has an extensive research guide and access to all manners of archives. You can choose between the free and premium versions, the former being stripped of some decent features – if you’re serious about research, there’s no reason not to fork over $30 to get access to all the goods.

Brother’s Keeper: A witty name hides a serious piece of software that caters primarily to pros, semi-pros or the truly serious hobbyist. Colorful visuals and a slick interface are replaced with tools that serious researchers need to organize and publish some downright obscure info. Since the software itself doesn’t work with any known archives that you’ll have to get your data from, expect to do a whole lot more manual work than you would using similar software. On the other hand, die-hard researchers won’t shy away from additional labor and there’s also the great customer support to help you with your work. Costing $45, it’s not the cheapest genealogy software, but it serves its purpose well.