Thursday, January 2, 2014

GenSoftReviews Announces the Top Genealogy Software Awards for 2013

Louis Kessler sent this notice yesterday via email:

===================================, is where users go to rate and review their genealogy software. The site lists more than the 700 programs, and users have contributed over 1,900 ratings and reviews.


January 1, 2014
The 5th annual Users Choice Awards have been determined at the GenSoftReviews website.
29 programs were eligible having a minimum of 10 reviews and at least one review in 2013. Of those, 17 programs achieved a user-assigned average score of at least 4.00 out of 5, and were awarded a GenSoftReview Top Genealogy Software award for 2013.

The Winners include:
  • 9 Windows programs: Ancestral Quest, Ahnenblatt, Personal Ancestral File, Brother's Keeper, Clooz, Family Historian, Family Tree Builder, RootsMagic, and Genbox Family History,
  • 3 Mac programs: iFamily for Leopard, Heredis for Mac, and Reunion
  • 1 Unix program: Gramps
  • 3 Online programs: Famberry, The Next Generation, and Family Echo
  • 1 Handheld program: Heredis for iOS
The top program for 2013 was Ancestral Quest with an almost perfect user rating of 4.98 out of 5 based on 18 reviews. A new online program, Famberry, received many positive reviews late in the year to finish second with a 4.94 rating. Ahnenblatt, a program from Germany, continued receiving excellent ratings during 2013 and was 3rd with 4.91.

New to the list of winners for 2013 were Family Tree Builder who received much better ratings from their users during 2013, and the Unix version of Gramps, which was rated much higher once it was separated on GenSoftReviews from its Mac and Windows versions.

Programs that dropped off the list from 2012 include Legacy Family Tree and Family Tree Maker (Up to Version 18) who had poorer reviews that averaged less than 4.00 in 2013, and also XY Family Tree, My Great Big Family, and GenSmarts, who did not have a single review in 2013 and therefore did not qualify.

GenSoftReviews uses a time-weighted average score. The weight of every user rating goes down 50% every year, so newer opinions will be better reflected in the average score.

Congratulations go to all the 2013 winners. Their users speak highly of their programs. 

GenSoftReviews hopes all genealogy software developers will use the feedback they receive from these reviews to improve their programs for their users.

For more information and a complete listing of current and past winners, see the Users Choice Awards page.


About Louis Kessler

Louis Kessler has been a genealogist and a programmer for over 35 years. He developed and maintains the GenSoftReviews site. He is also the author of his own genealogy program known as Behold that can be found at


Like all such compilations, the results can be skewed by individuals with an agenda.  In a perfect world, each program would have dozens of reviews by unbiased evaluators and users.  It's not a perfect world.  That said, the ratings that Louis provides can be very helpful to researchers looking for their first genealogy software program or looking to change their program.

I appreciate Louis's website and his efforts to provide information about genealogy software programs to users all over the world.

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Copyright (c) 2014, Randall J. Seaver

1 comment:

Thomas said...

Don't forget the Geneawards!