Monday, January 2, 2017

GenSoftReviews Announces its Users Choice Awards for 2016

I received this yesterday from Louis Kessler:


GenSoftReviews Announces its Users Choice Awards for 2016 is the site users go to rate and review their genealogy software and to find out about other genealogy software to try. The site lists 980 programs, and users have contributed over 4,300 ratings and reviews.


January 1, 2017

The 8th annual Users Choice Awards have been announced at the GenSoftReviews website based on 750 reviews submitted by users during 2016.

44 programs were eligible having a minimum of 10 reviews and at least one review in 2016. Of those, 27 programs achieved a user-assigned average score of at least 4.00 out of 5, and each win a 2016 GenSoftReviews Top Rated Genealogy Software award.

The Winners include:

  • 17 Windows programs: Family Book Creator, GenSmarts, Aldfaer, Ahnenblatt, Brother’s Keeper, Family Historian, Ancestral Quest, Personal Ancestral File, Ages!, Clooz, RootsMagic, Generations, Relatively Yours, Family Tree Builder, Family Tree Maker (up to Version 16), Heredis for PC, and The Master Genealogist
  • 2 Mac programs: iFamily for Mac, and Reunion
  • 3 programs built for Windows, Mac and Unix:  Evidentia, Familienbande, and GenealogyJ
  • 5 Online programs: Famberry, Genealogie Online, The Next Generation, webtrees, and MyHeritage
  • 0 Handheld programs.

The top program for 2016 was Family Book Creator, by Stefan Harms, a plugin for Family Tree Maker that lets you create a family book from your Family Tree Maker database. Family Book Creator received a perfect rating of 5.00 out of 5 based on 16 user reviews. Second was Evidentia, a source-centric genealogy tool by Ed Thompson, that ended the year with a weighted user rating of 4.97 out of 5 based on 13 reviews. Third was GenSmarts, a program by Underwood Innovations to help you do your genealogical research. GenSmarts scored 4.97 out of 5 on 15 reviews.

Eight programs won their first Users Choice Award: Family Book Creator, Aldfaer, Ages!, Generations, Relatively Yours, Heredis for PC, GenealogyJ, and The Master Genealogist.  

Two former winners returned to the winner’s circle this year: GenSmarts and iFamilyforMac, who did not have a review and were not eligible in 2015.

Programs that dropped off the list from 2015 include Ultimate Family Tree and Heredis for iOS, that slipped just under the 4.00 criteria, and Heredis for Mac that did not receive a review in 2016.

Six programs have won a Users Choice Award all 8 years since the award was established in 2009. They are The Next Generation, Brother’s Keeper, Personal Ancestral File, RootsMagic, Reunion, and Family Tree Builder.

Five programs that are no longer supported were still liked enough by their users to win a 2016 award: Personal Ancestral File, Generations, Relatively Yours, Family Tree Maker (up to Version 16) and The Master Genealogist. For three of these, Generations, Relatively Yours, and The Master Genealogist, this is their first Users Choice Award.

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

Congratulations go to all the 2016 winners. They are producing a product that their users like. GenSoftReviews hopes all genealogy software developers will use the feedback these reviews provide to improve their programs for their users.

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


About Louis Kessler

Louis Kessler has been a genealogist and a programmer for over 40 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


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