Personal Ancestral File (PAF) is Discontinued

June 20, 2013  - by 

Beginning July 15, 2013, PAF will be retired and will no longer be available for download or support. PAF users should consider alternative products to meet their ongoing personal genealogy management needs.

For full details and for information on alternative products, please visit

A great new opportunity

PAF began in 1984, has had over 3.2 million copies distributed, and has fulfilled a great purpose for the world. At the same time that we give a big “Thank You!” and “Goodbye” to PAF, we are excited to embrace what the future holds!

For the last several years, FamilySearch has focused on building relationships with partner organizations to deliver better overall services to the market.  This has facilitated better patron experiences with FamilySearch and the partner products.  FamilySearch recently introduced the Family Tree to all users in multiple languages.  Family Tree provides the capability for patrons to manage and share their family history information online at  Each of our partners’ products support connectivity with the Family Tree.  FamilySearch is committed to strong partner relationships that enable more quality, choices, collaboration, and availability of records.  We encourage our patrons to use the products provided by these partners.

FamilySearch has worked hard to offer upgrades to all PAF users through partners that have produced significantly better alternatives to PAF.  Please visit for details, and get started with your upgrade today!

Guidelines for patrons

When working with ward members, please encourage them to visit, and help them get started in migrating to one of the recommended products.  It is appropriate and encouraged to host events or train patrons on how to migrate to the various products, discuss the advantages, and allow them to make their own choices.  When using church buildings and resources for these activities, please remember not to solicit sales or exclusively promote only a specific product to patrons, because we must maintain a neutral position while providing informative guidance to them. Also, third parties must abide by these guidelines if their employees or representatives are invited to participate in the activities in person or by phone or web conference.

Significant investment has been made to bring FamilySearch-certified products developed by partners to our patrons, and your help in moving patrons forward on a journey inclusive of our full offering of third-party solutions, within appropriate bounds, is much appreciated. For the full story, see the main FamilySearch blog.

David Pugmire

David Pugmire is a Product Marketing Manager at FamilySearch. David has an extensive technical and business background, and has created two start-ups in the family history industry. Prior jobs and roles include Product Manager of Visual Studio, Silverlight, Expression Studio, and he has worked on other flagship products at Microsoft, such as Windows.

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  1. I would like to upgrade and keep all my PAF information but, downloading and ‘hoping’ all will be well is not where I am coming from. It is, for me, a ‘take my word for it’ and hope I don’t have to start all over, then it is too late and to bad.

  2. I have PAF data file (but no program) circa 2010. How can I get this PAF file converted to GED format for use w/ current MAC-friendly programs?

    1. I understand that PAF data can be transferred to the Legacy program, which can then be viewed with even notes or other data attached to the person.

    2. Do google searches for PAF to Mac – or/and also – PAF user forums and message boards, Personal Ancestral File, PAF User Groups, etc. Here is an interesting article although I still use Windows.
      I used to work on an Apple/Mac Graphics computers when doing commercial art(past-tense) and that is what the company used. I still use PAF and will always keep a PC computer to run it since it is still the best Family Tree software ever made – PAF BEST POINTS: no bloat, no backdoors to your computer like *all* the new familytree software.

  3. Looking for a copy/download of PAF 5 and PAF Companion that doesn’t require the UNLOCK code. Also seeking
    advice on what software to migrate to, as I bring up my Windows 10, where I understand PAF will not run.

          1. I Don’t need help with anything. I thought I was communicating with someone asking for help. Is that you Alison? I included my email address because I don’t communicate with individuals on open email blogs. Only on private one on one email accounts Since my email address was removed from the blog I’m guessing Alison you represent Family Search.

    1. How can I put my PAF on to Windows 10? I don’t want to lose anything on my PAF. I’ve worked on it forever. I did start in 1989 but I have changed computers a couple times since.I have 30,000 names on it. I’m so afraid I will lose all my work. My technician is going to split my connection so I can still use my PAF and also use the Windows 10. How much room do I have on the PAF? It can’t go forever. AS you can tell I’m not computer smart.
      I would like to be able to share information without copying and scanning in order to send a chart to anyone. I don’t know what I would do if I lost everything.
      Thanks for your help.

  4. how do I download a paf extension into Legacy – have downloaded program but cannot seem to import my history into it

  5. HI I am just getting to Windows 10 and converting my PAF to one of the recommended programmes. I have tried Legacy, RootsMagic7 and Ancstral Quest. They do not seem to import any ofl my notes (which is where most of the “good” information is.). Any suggestions on what I can do? Thanks.

  6. can I retrieve my old paf file
    I have transferred to ancestral quest my a lot of ionfo was not included. Thankyou Peter

  7. i wish to have a copy of PAF files compiled by Mildred Cholesy who worked at the temple for many years I am her niece …so that is Mildreds PAF file .. how can I find a copy.. my name is Jennifer Schubert.. Mildred’s maiden name

  8. PAF 5 Is it possible to restore deleted Individuals, having inadvertently deleted Individuals 1 & 2 & their marriage

  9. I need an unlock code for PAF Companion. It was not transferred with my program when I loaded my new computer (Windows 10 operating system. I do not want to “upgrade.”

  10. i am anxiouse to retrieve a copy of PAF.2 I used it for more than 20 years and about 5000 entries while in Az my pc was attacked by a viscious virus killiied my pc now ive just started to replace it Need help @83 memory is a prblem Can you help?

    1. Hi Jerome! Thank you for your question. PAF has been discontinued as is no longer available. However, Ancestral Quest is the program from which PAF was created and it is available. Please check out information about Ancestral Quest here. The Ancestral Quest software will be able to import any PAF file you currently have.