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Family Tree Legends

About.com Rating 4 Star Rating


The Bottom Line

Friendly icons and easy-to-understand explanations make Family Tree Legends easy to use for even the most novice researcher. It has most of the features you would expect in a well-rounded genealogy software program, but where it really shines is in its tight Internet integration, making it easy to backup your database, look for and download matches from other family trees, and publish your family tree online with just a few clicks.
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  • Intuitive, graphically pleasing interface makes entering data easy
  • SmartMatching technology finds matches in other databases
  • Real-time Internet backup & publishing capabilities
  • 30-day no questions asked guarantee


  • No trial version available
  • Can only open one database at a time / no side-by-side comparison or drag and drop
  • Online support can sometimes be slow
  • Not available for the Mac OS


  • Import and export in GEDCOM 5.5 format, plus direct import from Family Tree Maker.
  • All standard reports are available, and can be created using the numbering system of your choice.
  • Unlimited facts for each individual can have notes, sources and scrapbook items attached.
  • Sources can be added for people, events and facts, with fields for recording repository and date.
  • Charts, including fan and bowtie, can be customized with your choice of fonts, colors and frames.
  • The scrapbook allows you to attach digital photos and scanned records to people, facts and sources.
  • Real-time Internet backup automatically backs up your data on secure servers (can be disabled).
  • SmartMatch compares the names in your file with the GenCircles database and lists possible matches.
  • Web facts allow you to click on a date or place and easily bring up relevant facts, maps, etc.
  • A "learn" button offers a number of introductory genealogy articles from Family Tree Magazine.

Guide Review - Family Tree Legends

Family Tree Legends (FTL) has a lot of features hiding behind its colorful, easy-to-use interface. It's a program at first glance that's geared to beginners, with cute graphics, easy data entry, helpful tutorials, intuitive navigation, and real-time internet backup and publishing. There is, however, also plenty for the serious family historian to appreciate, including extremely customizable reports and charts, and the ability to handle unlimited facts and notes, complete with source citations. Internet publishing is easy if you wish to create your own home page at GenCircles.com. You can also save reports in HTML format for uploading to your own personal Web site - a nice feature! Book publishing features are available, but fairly average.

On the downside, FTL won't automatically catch many common data entry errors - i.e. it won't warn you if you enter a child born before his parents, or a wife by her married name instead of her maiden name. There are reports for helping locate potential duplicate individuals and data errors, but I found them a bit awkward and unhelpful. The source citation options, while impressive, also can't be customized as easily as in some other programs. Overall, if you like to share and exchange genealogy research online, then the easy Internet backup, publishing, and SmartMatch capabilities of Family Tree Legends really stand out from the pack. If you don't plan to use those features, however, then you may want to consider another program.

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