Monday, August 5, 2013

Top Ten Genealogy Software Reviews for 2013

The Top Ten Reviews website has released an updated list of genealogy software, and ranked them 1 to 10 based on their evaluation criteria.  The listing is at

The Top Ten genealogy software programs, according to this site, are:

*  Family Tree Maker 2012
*  Legacy Family Tree 7.5
*  RootsMagic 4
*  Ancestral Quest 14
*  Family Historian 4
*  The Master Genealogist 7
*  DoroTree 2.1
*  GenBox Family History 3.7.1
*  WinFamily 2009
*  FamTree 4.43

I can see that the latest versions of several software programs were not evaluated - earlier versions were.  For instance, RootsMagic 4 (from 2011?) was evaluated, but RootsMagic released Version 6 back in November 2012.  Therefore, the comparison rankings for RootsMagic, and other programs with later versions, probably suffer as a result.

The evaluations of each software program evaluated are in the table below (3 screens):

If you click on the link for one of the programs, you can see additional information - here is the Family Tree Maker 2012 review page:

There are five tabs on the page above (and on all of the reviews), including:

*  Review
*  Specifications
*  Images
*  Side-by-Side Comparison
*  Learning Center

Here is the Family Tree Maker 2012 Specification page:

There are links for discounted prices on the software at the top of the home page - the discounts are in the 10% to 20% range of the retail price.

I believe that all of the software programs evaluated are for Windows computers - no Mac or Linux programs were evaluated.

This would be a much better review list and comparison if they had evaluated the latest version of the genealogy software programs.

On the other hand, it's a good way to compare different programs to common criteria.

There are other genealogy software comparisons available that come along once in awhile, and I try to link to them when I find them.

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver


Anonymous said...

The Top Ten Reviews site is a joke. They base their reviews on who pays the highest affiliate commission.

Don't believe me? Look around at the top three products and click on the "Buy" links. They all take you to the Herman Street store which is the same ownership as Top Ten

Family Tree Maker, being the most expensive software, and therefore making Herman Street the most money, gets the highest ranking.

Software that is not sold by Herman Street is all relegated to #4 or lower.

Look at their other Top Ten Review sites and you'll see similar patterns. The highest-ranked products are those that are the most expensive and are 1) sold through Herman Street's store or 2) have a generous affiliate-link program.

As you mentioned, the fact that this is the 2013 list and they are not even reviewing current versions of programs tells you that this is not a serious software review site.

A better source would be Genealogy or Come to think of it, the user reviews are a pretty good way to read what actual users think of their software.

Anonymous said...

I think your comment is a little naive. All the other sites you listed also have affiliate links or are selling the products they review.

I realize most review sites sell the products they review, so I pay more attention to the accuracy of those reviews.

That being said I agree their reviews could be updated to reflect the newest versions. I also disagree with a few of their points.

Anonymous said...

The first comment was far from naive. The difference between Top Ten Reviews and the other links isn't that Top Ten Reviews profits off of links and the others don't.

The difference is that Top Ten Reviews writes their own reviews and ranks the products based on which will maximize their profits. The other sites allow users- who do not directly profit from the reviews- to rate the software.

With such glaring bias, Top Ten Reviews cannot be trusted to give readers accurate information.

TopTenReviews said...

I am happy to report that we DO NOT have a pay-for-inclusion model at TopTenREVIEWS. We research the best companies and compare their services to arrive at our ranking. Our recommendations are based on our research and experience with the companies and products. Once we have released our reviews and lineup on TopTenREVIEWS, our sister site Herman Street, reaches out to the product manufacturers to request the opportunity to carry them on their site. Any of the manufacturers may also purchase advertising on our site but all of this happens after the editorial staff has made their recommendation. For an in-depth look at our process feel free to visit our our Review Methodology page at

Anonymous said...

Thank you, anonymous 1!
I agree, trust customer reviews rather.

Anonymous said...

I think TopTenReviews commment is a veiled tempt to justify their ratings. They are so biased and everyone knows it. To compare old versions tells you they are not doing real reviews. I don't care what they say in their policy. They are lairs because the facts don't add up.

RootsMagic doesn't have an affiliate program. I've asked and they say to refer people to your own Amazon link where you can get paid that way. No wonder they rated them #3, but used version 4 for the comparison.

Anonymous said...

Randy, TopTen DOES review Mac genie software, they just do it separately from the Win reviews. See Again, FTM comes out on top, but Reunion comes in at #2. Since I'm currently using (and tired of) Reunion, I was surprised at the lineup. Claire K.

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

What about all the other programmes out there? Such as Family Historian, Ancestral Quest, Heredis, Brothers Keeper, Gramps, MAC Family Tree, The Master Genealogist to name but some. Family Historian, for instance came out top in a survey by another review site last year.

Surely the best advice is to try all of them, as they have limited free trials and see which the user prefers.

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