Genealogy Management Software at Family History Centers

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Select vendors allow free use of products through local family history centers.

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH─FamilySearch announced that many popular desktop genealogy products in addition to PAF (Personal Ancestral File 5.2) can now be used for free in its family history centers in North America. Patrons who already own or use any of the products to manage their personal family histories at home will be able to conveniently update personal files through flash drives while working at the research centers.

FamilySearch’s family history centers are frequented by millions of genealogy enthusiasts. Patrons use the centers’ computers, Internet, and microfilm readers to do genealogy research. “Once you start moving beyond your parents and grandparents in your personal research, I cannot imagine keeping track of your family tree and research efforts completely by hand or in paper files anymore,” said Paul Nauta, manager of Public Affairs for FamilySearch. “Great software programs are available that make it easy to build, organize, manage, share, and view your family history,” Nauta added.

The challenge is deciding which software programs might be best for the user’s needs. Personal Ancestral File 5.2 (PAF), FamilySearch's own genealogy management software, is no longer available at Patrons who would like a program with additional features, such as the ability to exchange data with FamilySearch Family Tree, may wish to purchase a commercial program for home use. The ability to sample software applications in centers can help patons decide which application best fits their needs and preferences. Many family history centers also offer classes on some of the commercial programs.

Beginning July 15, 2013, PAF will be retired and will no longer be available for download or support. For full details and for information on alternative products, please visit

FamilySearch is working with software developers to make relevant desktop applications available for free for use in family history centers. Some of the products are genealogy management software, while others provide advanced tools for editing and searching personal or online databases, or expanded options for printing or viewing family tree data.

family history center patrons that use any of the featured products at home will now have the convenience of using the same product in their local family history center. Following are the new products available for use in centers:

Genealogy Management Software

Windows Genealogy Software

Mac Genealogy Software

Family History Software Utilities

  • PAF Companion 5.2 (Progeny Software). Add-on utility that prints a variety of quality charts and reports in different formats.
  • Family Atlas (Roots Magic). Creates and publishes custom maps directly from personal genealogy data.
  • Genelines (Progeny Software). Depicts an ancestor's life in the context of time by bringing together elements of time, history, and family relationships on visual time line charts.
  • Map My Family Tree (Progeny Software). Automatically “geocodes” a family tree from any popular genealogy file format and illustrates where ancestors were born, were married, and died on a navigable geographic map. It also prints customized maps.

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