Monday, June 22, 2009

YFT Poll on Genealogy Software

Hello All -

The British family history magazine, "Your Family Tree," has in their latest issue (June 2008) the results from their poll regarding genealogy software. Here are the results:

The poll questions is: What is your family history software of choice?


46% - Family Tree Maker
28% - Family Historian
14% - Other
7% - Legacy
5% - Roots Magic

I am not really surprised by the results of the survey. Family Tree Maker has always been the top dog in software for family history. I am a bit surprised by the low results for Legacy and Roots Magic. One of the reasons could be that in the UK FTM and Family Historian are more widely available to the public (shops always stock FTM and FH). Legacy and Roots Magic are not as well known in the UK, but they are advertised in the UK genealogy magazines. Also, Family Tree Maker has been around much longer than the others, so it has a well established niche in the market. Family Historian does well in UK because it is a British program, and is widely available in this country. It is also a good program to work with too. Version 4 is just become available, and has lots of new and improved features. I must admit that I have not worked with Family Historian myself, but I do not doubt its popularity and quality.

I would like to see the results of this poll question in the US, and in other countries such as Canada, Australia, New Zealand, etc. I wouldn't doubt that FTM would still be top of the list in these countries too.

I use Legacy and Roots Magic myself, and in my opinion they will become more popular, and will give FTM a run for its money in the future. The quality of these two programs is fantastic, and are excellent in publishing books and reports. They also have great add on programs that you can buy that are tailor made for Legacy and RM, such as Family Atlas, Genelines, Gensmarts, etc. Also, they have good websites for users and program news - Legacy has one of the best in this department. They really try hard to get their customers to learn the ins and outs of their program by producing cd tutorials and books. I mentioned previously that they just published on their website an online seminar of how to work with Legacy. I think if people give a try to Legacy or Roots Magic they will really like them.

However, as I have mentioned before on this topic, pick the program that is right for you and what you want out of it - publishing books, webpage creation, etc.

Let's see how things go next year if the same poll is taken - I think it might be a bit more spread out between the main contenders - FTM, FH, RM, and Legacy. Legacy and Roots Magic might just take a bit more share of the pie.

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