Some people eat, sleep and chew gum, I do genealogy and write...

Thursday, March 5, 2009

RootsMagic 4 -- Initial impressions of the program

I have been involved in computers since 1969. I started using genealogy software on an Apple II computer. I have been using PAF since its inception in every version on both Mac and PC. I currently use Legacy and have used RootsMagic 3 and Ancestral Quest 11 (upgraded to 12.1) for some time in a variety of circumstances. I also have, and use, MacFamilyTree (also on my iPhone), MyBlood, and a variety of other programs. I also used The Master Genealogist for a while. All of these programs have their strong and weak points and I am constantly looking for upgrades and something better and more efficient.

I have purchased and/or reviewed almost every possible genealogy program I can find. After reviewing the features of some programs, I must admit, I did not spend the money to purchase them.

Recently, I because I teach New FamilySearch at the Mesa Regional Family History Center, I have been using and teaching FamilyInsight from Ohana Software and have recently gone through all of the tutorials for Ancestral Quest. I taught my first class on Ancestral Quest this last week. I wrote a post about some of my impressions of Ancestral Quest recently.

I say all this to show that I have some perspective in genealogy software.

RootsMagic comes highly recommended. My impressions of version 3 were positive and would always include RootsMagic as one of the programs I would recommend. I have taken the opportunity to sit down with the representatives of the program at more than one computer conference and go through all of the features and ask all of my questions. Yes, I am one of those bothersome people that keep coming back to the booth with more questions.

Because of my extensive experience with New FamilySearch (not all of which has been positive) I have been extremely anxious to work with the licensed third party synchronization products to see if they could overcome some of the limitations of working directly with New FamilySearch. I have also been working with the Family Tree version of New FamilySearch. I am one of those people the New FamilySearch team calls a legacy or pioneer user, I have literally tens of thousands of people in my family lines on New FamilySearch.

Today, I got the first notice that the Public Beta of RootsMagic 4 was available. I had no trouble downloading the program to my computer and entering the software key received by e-mail. I began immediately to import a RootsMagic 3 file I use for testing new software.

OK, now I have run out of time right now, but I will come back to this review either later today or tomorrow.


  1. James, you might want to check out our FamilySearch tutorials at:

    - Bruce

  2. Check out Tamura Jones's first look at the preview: