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Friday, 01 July 2011 17:15

Family Tree Maker

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Version: 2011
Pros: Many easy-to-use features that any family historian will be comfortable tracking.
Cons: Some users will miss the option of a 3D family tree. although Family Tree Maker 2011 have added great new features; we recommend this easy-to-use software for everyone.

Family Tree Maker 2011 Review 

gold-awd-2011Much of what we can report about Family Tree Maker 2011 also could be said about a handful of the top products. They are effective and have all of the features you will need to organize a family history heirloom that generations will enjoy.

They will help you organize pictures, and music and all your treasured memories in one place. Family Tree Maker 2011 sets itself apart in one noticeable way – it is incredibly easy to use.

This product earned TopTenREVIEWS Gold Award when we were able to just sit down and started using it. That was not our experience with any other genealogy software products.

Feature Set: 4 star genealogy review

Family Tree Maker 2011 genealogy software is a program designed to assist those of any age in doing family research. The workspace is easy to navigate and provides the user with a wide variety of tools to create a detailed family tree. The majority of the work in this genealogy software will be done on the People Workspace.

From this screen you can do three things: customize an individual’s profile, view a list of all the names currently entered and view the family tree chart. When shared facts are in play, the genealogy software will link the information with all of the individuals who are associated with it, such as viewing both spouses in a marriage.

To aid the user in entering correct information, Family Tree Maker genealogy software has an automated system that will alert you of any duplicate records or unlikely dates. Designers of this genealogy software thought of some great ways to make the data entry process easy, including an automatic relationship display and a way to link single source citations to multiple facts.

By registering to, the user will be able to do family research online. This opens up many opportunities to find sources throughout the world. However, there is no guarantee that the information will match the family member exactly. To prevent this problem from occurring, a rating scale from one to five has been installed to give the source credibility. A green leaf icon will appear on the name of people that have more information available through the genealogical sources online. When you find facts about your family members through the web, you can simply click and drag the information onto the workspace and it will automatically link as a source.

As your family tree becomes larger, you may want to use the Places Workspace. This allows you to review all of the locations that are linked to your family members. A simple click on the location will reveal all the facts associated with that site such as marriages, deaths or births. The map is powered by Microsoft Bing. It may be viewed in three different ways; road map, satellite photograph (Bird’s Eye), or a combination of the two.

New 2011 Features:

  • Customisable timelines
  • Smart Stories
  • New and improved charts
  • Refined reports
  • Media management tools
  • More Ancestry integration
  • Better performance
  • Numbering


Bonus Features:

  • It’s easy to view all of the family members associated with a specific place, and Family Tree maker allows you to easily consolidate all of the spelling variations for each location.
  • Customized narratives update automatically when you change an individual’s information.
  • Significant world events may be added to an individual’s timelines that will help you get a glimpse of what may have shaped their lives. To ease this process; wars, natural disasters, and monumental events are organized by year listing the individual’s age at the time of occurrence.
  • Merging data will be easier for you by using the Web clipper to retrieve online information concerning your family members.
  • To help you get a feel for what the locations really look like, there is a 3D option that allows you to see the height of buildings and other surrounding objects. This will help you feel like you are really there, but will save you the price of a plane ticket.


Ease of Use: 4 stars genealogy reviews

With help boxes at every step, Family Tree Maker 2011 genealogy software has a layout and design that will aid any person through their genealogy research no matter how much experience they may or may not have. The way this program makes it possible for you to view and organize all tree media in one place and all tree sources and citations in one place also adds to ease of use.

Already have a family tree set up with another type of genealogy software? No problem. You can import it into Family Tree Maker 2011. The People Workspace is a unique feature that is not found with other genealogy software that allows you to have a combined view of the family and pedigree. Even beginning genealogists will find themselves very comfortable in using Family Tree Maker.

Reporting & Publishing:4 star genealogy review

There are a wide variety of charts and reports to choose from when printing from this genealogy software. Here are some of the charts to choose from:

  • Pedigree
  • Descendant
  • Relationship

To create a personalized chart, there are a variety of backgrounds to choose from. For example you may choose a mountain meadow scene, an image of old-town England or you can use your own photo. A picture of your family member may be placed next to their name. That will help create a meaningful display of your ancestors. Within minutes, you will have an artistic family chart that will be enjoyable for folks of all ages.

Reports can be created for people, relationships, places, media and sources. You may also publish books. Doing so will require that you visit Ancestry Press, the online publishing site.

Help/Documentation:4 star genealogy review

By visiting, you will have access to a number of tutorials that can walk you through all of the latest genealogy software features. You will receive a full length DVD with your software. Built-in prompts will aid you along your path as you create your family history. Online, you can search through the knowledge base for helpful hints of any subject and if that doesn’t help you, there is customer service contact information provided.


Family Tree Maker 2011 is wonderfully-designed genealogy software with a database that will inspire any genealogist. The cost is not in the software, but in the membership to Whether you are just beginning or have plenty of experience, you will find this genealogy software far superior to the other programs. It is fast and easy. Its unique design will get you well on your way to a better understanding of your heritage, and you will find that there are no limits when it comes to ancestry, especially when you are working with Family Tree Maker 2011 genealogy software.

System Requirements 

  • Microsoft Windows 7/ XP/ Vista
  • 1 GHz Intel Pentium III (or equivalent) 460 MB for installation (recommended)
  • 500 MHz Intel Pentium II (or equivalent)
  • 500 MB (for installation)
  • 1024x768 resolution monitor (recommended)
  • 800x600 resolution monitor
  • 512 MB of RAM (recommended)
  • 256 MB of RAM
  • 1 GB of RAM (Memory)
  • 32X CD/CD-R is (recommended)
  • 2X CD-ROM drive (for installation only)


  • Mac OSX 10.5 or later
  • Intel-based Mac
  • 2X CD-ROM (required for installation)
  • All online features require Internet access

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Last modified on Tuesday, 12 July 2011 13:59

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