Monday, January 4, 2010

Genealogy Software Reviews - and Awards

I received this email yesterday from Louis Kessler, who owns the web site and is creating a new genealogy software program called Behold. Louis passed this information along about his web site and the User Choice Awards for genealogy software:


Winnipeg, Manitoba -- January 2, 2010 -- GenSoftReviews is a website that allows users of genealogy software to rate and review the programs they've used or tried. This allows others who are looking for programs to better compare and select software that will help them.The site is located at:

After just over a year of operation, 509 reviews have been submitted to GenSoftReviews. These include reviews of genealogy software for Windows, Mac, Unix, handheld and online programs. Many of these are full-featured programs to enter all your genealogy data, while some are GEDCOM utilities, website builders and other programs useful for genealogy.

The site collects ratings in five categories: Whether you enjoy using it, if you use it often, if it has easy input, useful output, and an overall rating. Then you can write a short review and list the program's biggest pro and biggest con.

Based on user ratings, all the programs with a user rating of 4 or more out of 5 and at least 10 reviews are being awarded a GenSoftReviews Users Choice Award.

The 2009 winners, ordered by highest rating are: RootsMagic, Legacy, The Next Generation, Brother's Keeper, Personal Ancestral File, Reunion, Family Tree Builder and GRAMPS. Complete results can be found at:

"The Genealogy community has really been making great use of the GenSoftReviews site. It's a great place to check out what others think of the program you're interested in before you buy" says Louis Kessler who developed and maintains the site. The Genealogy Software Review site is free to use and does not require registration.

###About Louis Kessler: Louis Kessler has been a genealogist and programmer for over 30 years. He has published newspaper articles on genealogy, given presentations on genealogy, and is Past President of a regional Heritage Center. He is the developer of the genealogy program known as Behold that can be found at

Contact Information -- Louis Kessler, 111 Wallingford Cres., Winnipeg, MB, Canada R3P 1L5; phone: (204) 488-2858; homep:; email:


Hmmm. Where is Family Tree Maker? There are many negative comments on the site about FTM since 2008. Are these negative comments warranted, or are they a backlash against Family Tree Maker (and because they modified the popular Family Tree Maker (up to Version 16)?

Also, I noted that there are very few (two?) reviews of RootsMagic since Version 4 was released early in 2009.

Thank you to Louis for the information, and I am glad to pass it along to my readers. Please go read the reviews from users at, and make some comments of your own if the spirit moves you.


Tamura Jones said...

here is Family Tree Maker?
When I looked at the GenSoftReviews Ranking in October, New Family Tree Maker was just above Clooz, the lowest rated application.
Family Tree Maker Classic was below TMG and just above Geni.

Linda McCauley said...

Where is Family Tree Maker? - possibly many people have learned, like I did, that there's better genealogy software out there. FTM was my 1st genealogy software. It was the most visible one around in 2001 when I started and I thought it was great. I upgraded everytime but still spent lots of time wishing for features that just weren't there. 2 years ago I found Legacy and I no longer have to wish for those features.