MyHeritage Family Tree Builder is free genealogy software developed by one of the top genealogy search services on the web. Because of their origins, Family Tree Builder and MyHeritage have some close knit features. Both the website and the software can create professional-grade family charts, family trees, gather sources and conduct online research. While you can use MyHeritage's features on the go, Family Tree Builder is a great way to establish a sturdy base of operations in your home as a storage house for your genealogy work.
Because it was designed by a MyHeritage, Family Tree Builder maintains a close relationship with its parent site. If you're an experienced MyHeritage user with a significant store of information on the website, this program will benefit you most. By using your online login information, you can synchronize your online family tree with the software. In addition to keeping your online and software trees in sync, Family Tree Builder matches your data to the data on MyHeritage and provides hints when the software finds a match online. Any citations or sources you find on MyHeritage also import to Family Tree Builder.
This program works even if you only have a free membership to MyHeritage, but the more you put into the website, the higher quality the results from the software will be. If you have a premium account, you have access to more features, like all-in-one charts.
Family Tree Builder is the only genealogy program we encountered with face tagging for family pictures. This feature is similar to face tagging on social media sites like Facebook. This tool allows you to create a repository of generations of faces. You can view all of the images with a person in common to spot family resemblances. Most importantly, this feature keeps your photos organized. It also helps that the program uploads photos lightning fast.
Face tagging isn't the end of FTB's photo capabilities. In addition, you can link images with people, facts, family or family facts and create a virtual cemetery for gravestone and marker images. You can even add text for the reverse side of a photo when you find notes on the backs hard copy images.
When adding a new person to your database in FTB, the text fields ask for standard information like birth and death places and dates. You can also add info about occupation, religion, nationality and a physical description for any medical conditions. DNA test results from 12 different labs also find their place in a person's profile. You can opt for tests from popular services like Ancestry.com to record DNA markers and biological origin.
Family Tree Builder's charting and reporting features are easy to use and generate publications with the information you've already entered into the software. The program does have lagging issues when you work on a large family tree that requires lots of scrolling to navigate. However, the templates and backgrounds provided within this software look modern and clean, making the slight inconvenience of lag worth the trouble. In addition to customizable looks, you can translate family charts into over 40 different languages.
Among the creations you can make within Family Tree Builder are standard charts such as ancestor, descendant, fan and hourglass charts. Regardless of the type of chart you make, this program gives you the same customization power throughout.
Once you generate a chart, you can arrange the nodes and customize the look of the frames and pictures for each person with simple drag-and-drop actions. There are several node frames to choose from and you can customize their look down to the spacing, font and background. The look of the chart isn't all you can adjust. If you want to create a chart focusing on a specific aspect of your family like occupation, education or military service, Family Tree Builder allows you to customize the data fields shown in your chart. Once you create a chart you're proud of, you can order a professional printing as an heirloom or gift to your family.
In addition to charts, you can create reports using the information you plug into Family Tree Builder. Reports span a range of different publications. For example, you can make informational documents like ancestor or descendant reports that relay information on how the generations process from a root individual. Other reports act as narratives to tell you a story about a specific ancestor, descendants and their close family. Similarly, the family statistics features show metrics to reveal patterns in your family history that may not be immediately obvious, such as gender, relationship status and common names.
Citation & Organization
Like all the best genealogy software, Family Tree Builder can create to-do task list attached to specific individuals, sources or families. To keep track of the research you need to do, you can add priority levels, location, status and add any new people who may be involved with the task. These to-dos attach to individuals in your database to keep them organized.
Whether added online or within the software, all of your sources populate in the same place. The source repository keeps anything you list as a source in an easy-to-find area in the View tab. Here, you can see which relatives are linked to which source. You can also edit citations and sources directly from this section.
The more web-enabled capabilities you find within a genealogy program, the easier research, organization and sharing your family history becomes. MyHeritage's Family Tree Builder connects to the most popular genealogy searches, DNA testing facilities and online sources. Its charting capabilities put you in touch with professional printers to create keepsakes for generations to come. While this software is free, premium subscriptions to MyHeritage score you extra features like additional charts and web services.