PROS / You can create a highly detailed profile for each person to form a narrative of your family.
CONS / You have to link relationships manually to ensure all of the people in your database are connected.
VERDICT / This program is tricky to navigate, but data entry features like custom categories make it easy to tailor your database to your preferences.
WinFamily is genealogy software that records highly detailed profiles for each individual or your entire family. Once you enter information about various names, addresses, events, facts, or personal attributes like occupation or religion, these in-depth reports give you a closer look at family patterns that may otherwise be easy to miss. However, WinFamily falls short of the top spots because it has few web-enabled features.
Unlike with other programs, there are no web search options, in-app browsers or web hints available in this software. Of course, you can still use a browser of your choice to look through genealogy sites, but you can't import the information you find into this family tree software directly. You have to cite them in the program as you come across them.
The closest WinFamily gets to web capabilities is webpage creation. You can customize the look of your page with different layouts and designs. The editor allows you to arrange individuals before publishing, and content about your ancestors is all customizable and editable. Webpages are a great way to break into genealogy blogging or share your ancestry with younger family members. To share your database with other genealogists, you can export and import GEDCOM files.
When it comes to recording special events, WinFamily falls short with religious occasions. Most ancestry software has preprogrammed options for events like LDS ordinances and bar mitzvahs. While you can add these into WinFamily as you need, it's odd to see these built-in options missing.
As you enter data, adding and connecting people may be confusing. This is because there are several ways to add new individuals, but they may not connect the way you want them to in the program. During our attempts, the pedigrees we initially entered into WinFamily resulted in a large database of unlinked individuals. To show connections, you have to link individuals manually. This can be confusing and tedious if you have a large family tree to work with. It also increases the chances of false reporting or accidentally linking the wrong individuals. Bad reporting distorts other relationships in the tree.
This family genealogy software gives you a variety of options for printouts and publishing. Whether you want a profile on a single ancestor or a spread of the entire family tree, you can create descendant and ancestor charts, family images, addresses, a person-to-place index and a fixed book listing.
The relationship calculator lets you see how all the members in your lineage relate to each other. This feature calculates how many generations separate individuals and how directly related they are. The statistics feature creates informational graphs that detail things such as average age, birth or death month, number of children, and even average childbearing age.
WinFamily looks like it's between stages in the current version. Some dialogue boxes and custom fields look clean and modern, while others appear to be straight out of the year 2000. This may explain why navigation and creating connections between ancestors is so hard.
WinFamily has plenty of in-depth data fields to fill out details about your ancestors, but connecting them together takes practice in this software. It does give you a lot of useful customization abilities, however.