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There are many FREE Family Tree programs available some will reside on your computer, some can be self-hosted online.  Hosted Family Trees generally require an annual subscription with the exception of FamilySearch & Wikitree

Webtrees is web based online collaborative genealogy program.  Self-hosted, it is full featured, open source software and totally FREE!

Gramps is a FREE software project and community.  The genealogy program is both intuitive for hobbyists and feature-complete for professional genealogists. It is a community project, created, developed and governed by genealogists.

Gramps Genealogy Software

Gramps Genealogy Software

I speak only of the software I know and use myself.  I have no affiliation to either.  Both Gramps & Webtrees each fulfill my needs and the criteria I seek when choosing software

  •  active maintenance / regular updates
  •  strong support and documentation
  • works from standard GEDCOM files
  • feature full and intuitive
  • several levels of privacy
  • ability to add unlimited sources & media
  • reporting, chart creation and printing ability
  • compatible with every  major desktop application

Personally, I like to retain full control of all my information.

I use Webtrees to record my family tree online thus enabling access to interested family members, wherever in the world they may live.  I back-up my GEDCOM to Gramps on my computer where I can see all the sources, relationships etc. and I can filter, add notes, create ‘ToDo’ lists etc.  I also backup my GEDCOM to at least two other separate locations.

Other FREE means of recording the family tree are on FamilySearch & WikiTree – there are drawbacks to each of these, check them out and decide for yourself

Ahnelblatt  is a FREE genealogy program. Although I’m not madly enthused by it’s layout – it’s not a bad little program. It supports the all important GEDCOM file and has a portable version for a USB if desired.

ZoomPast is a FREE novelty online program but not suited for serious research

There are many other companies that will host your family tree, they require an annual subscription and provide access to their databases.

Each persons technically ability is different as are their needs, whatever program you choose will depend on both.  Best advise is do your research, read reviews, check features and technical requirements, ask opinions and then make your own decision based on your own needs.

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