Family Tree Maker 2019 Review 2024

Users are spoiled for choice when it comes to genealogy software, as there are a plethora of different options available for purchase on the market.

Unfortunately, this can sometimes also make it difficult to choose one that will be able to suit your needs appropriately. In this review, we will specifically be focusing on Family Tree Maker 2019.

We will cover topics such as the price, pros and cons, frequently asked questions, and the features of the software in question.

Family Tree Maker is one of the most well-known genealogy software around, and for a good reason, as it is often lauded as being an extremely well-rounded choice due to it being around for so long at this point.

Who Is Family Tree Maker?

Family Tree Maker is genealogy software that has a rather extensive history, as the company has changed hands quite a few times over the years since its inception.

Family Tree Maker was originally developed and created by Kenneth Hess from Banner Blue Software all the way back in 1989. It was then purchased by a company called Broderbund Software before changing hands again when The Learning Company and then Mattel purchased it.

Ancestry eventually ended up with the company and noted that it would be discontinuing Family Tree Maker in 2015; however, this caused many users to protest the decision, which led to Software Mackiev, the company that originally adapted the software for Mac, to take control of the company.

Software Mackiev has now been in charge of development since 2016. Since then, it has acted as a replacement for the TreeSync feature that Ancestry used to make use of.

Family Tree Maker 2019 Features

Standard features

Family Tree Maker 2019 is loaded with a host of useful features that should make creating family trees much more intuitive than it has ever been.

Family Tree Maker has a rich color-coding system that many users praise, as it allows users to color-code the home person's ancestors and even the descendants of these ancestors. This makes everything much easier to track and follow when you are documenting your family history.

Family Tree Maker also features a photo editing software called Photo Darkroom, which can restore faded photographs to make them look the same as the day that they were printed. This will make pictures of your older family members far easier to recognize.

Family Tree Maker does not only let you include family photos in your family tree, as you can also add historical records, audio, and video files, which can make your normal family tree come to life.

The rich color-coding system also works with the software's family tree charts that, include bowtie charts, fan charts, pedigree charts, and more. Users will also be able to create reports that will give them a glimpse of their family story. Colorful family tree charts will also make it easier to distinguish one chart from another.

Another feature of Family Tree Maker 2019 is that users will be able to select specialized filter views that can show one individual's ancestors, children, and spouses together.

One of the software's most interesting features is that users can access interactive maps that they can use to plot and view locations significant to their ancestors' lives, allowing them to track their family migration paths.

Features new to Family Tree Maker 2019

Some of the features that are new to Family Tree Maker 2019 include a new profile picture cropping tool that uses smart technology to detect the faces of your relatives.

This feature then zooms in on the person's face just close enough so that it crops a perfect square, which will make it so that each picture will be able to fit perfectly into your family history timelines.

Another new addition is the Turn Back Time option, which allows you to keep track of the last thousand changes you have made. This means that if you have made a mistake at almost any point, you will easily be able to identify it and then rectify it.

TreeVault Cloud Services gives users the ability to access their family's history from their smartphones. While you will not be able to edit your family tree from your smartphone, you will be able to see changes you make on your computer in real-time.

This feature means that users will never have to worry about their family tree's ever being lost, as they will be saved in a cloud that can be accessed from nearly any device at any time.

One of the most interesting new features is the AlbumWalk Media Player, which can create interactive talking photos if you input audio recordings into Family Tree Maker 2019.

The most important change that Family Tree Maker 2019 received is the fact that users can get hints linked to over six billion FamilySearch historical records, which will make it far easier to find relatives.

Is Family Tree Maker Easy To Use?

Family Tree Maker 2019 is not known for being particularly easy to use, but Software Mackiev has given users multiple helpful support options that should help them use the software to its full potential.

Companion guide

The Family Tree Maker 2019 companion guide can be purchased in book form, or users will be able to download the free digital PDF guide.

This companion guide gives users all of the information that they might need, and it will also help users to unlock the full potential of the software by showing them how to use every feature available.

Support center

Software Mackiev has implemented a live chat service that users can make use of if they have any problems with the service or are unable to find help in the frequently asked questions section.

This means that help will only be just a few clicks away, so users will never be stuck for all that long.

Frequently Asked Questions

Family Tree Maker 2019 also has a list of frequently asked questions, so if you have a common problem that many other users face, you will be able to find an answer that should be able to help you.

How To Purchase Family Tree maker 2019?

If you want to purchase Family Tree Maker 2019, you can access the Software Mackiev store from the website. Once you have purchased the software from the website, you can then download the software and access it immediately once the link has been emailed to you.

Alternatively, you can also order a DVD or a flash drive that will have the software on it if you prefer more old-school means.

How much does Family Tree Maker 2019 cost?

If you want to download Family Tree Maker 2019 from the Software Mackiev website, it will cost you $79.95; however, if you want the DVD, it will cost you $89.95.

The most expensive option is if you decide to order the flash drive with Family Tree Maker 2019 loaded onto it, as it costs $99.95.

Can I Incorporate DNA Testing Into The Software?

Thankfully, Family Tree Maker 2019 can be synchronized with Ancestry in only a single click, so if you wish to incorporate DNA testing into your family tree, you will be able to do so extremely easily.

You will merely need to order a kit from Ancestry, send off a saliva sample, and it will be processed within 6-8 weeks. Once your results are ready, you will be able to access them online and then easily incorporate this information into your family tree.

Ancestry uses autosomal DNA testing, which can match you with distant relatives, so long as they have also sent in a sample and are part of the database themselves. Your results should also provide you with ethnicity information and information relating to your ancestor groups.

The Pros And Cons Of Family Tree Maker 2019?


  • Color coding - The rich color-coding system allows users to help keep track of certain aspects of their family trees. It will easily allow users to distinguish between which children were from a first or second wife but can also be used for any other reason that users see fit.
  • FamilySync - FamilySync is one of the best features of Family Tree Maker 2019, as it can synchronize up to three family trees, which means if more than one person is working on a family tree, any changes that are made will sync up to the tree that other users see as well.
  • Built-in image editor - Photo Darkroom can make old, faded family photos look as though they were printed yesterday, so you will be able to see your relatives when making your family tree easily.
  • Compatibility - Family Tree Maker 2019 is compatible with Ancestry and FamilySearch, so users will be able to download records from these websites directly into their family trees.


  • Limited charts and reports - When compared to the competitors, Family Tree Maker 2019 does not have as extensive reports and charts.
  • Expensive - Family Tree Maker 2019 is one of the more expensive genealogy software options out there, as the competitors offer more competitive prices while offering similar features.

When And How Will I Receive My Results?

If you choose to use Ancestry to take a DNA test, then you should receive your DNA results within 6-8 weeks, although it could take slightly longer if there is a high volume of samples that need to be processed.

You will then be able to access your results on the Ancestry website. Once you receive these results, you will be able to input them into Family Tree Maker 2019 with only a single click in the software.

Will Family Tree Maker 2019 Keep My Information Private?

Ancestry takes privacy very seriously, so you can rest assured knowing that your DNA sample, results, and personal data will not be misused in any way. Your DNA test results and DNA sample will also be stored without your name or other identifying information.

Your name and other identification information will also not be shared with any third parties unless you give them explicit consent.

None of the information that you input into Family Tree Maker 2019 will be shared with anyone else unless you personally decide to share it. Your family tree will be entirely personal to you and will not be on public record.

How Does Family Tree Maker 2019 Compare To The Competition

Family Tree Maker is one of the oldest genealogy software around, as it has existed in some form since 1989; however, the competition has definitely caught up to some extent.

Family Historian 7

Family Historian 7 is renowned as one of the easiest genealogy programs to use and is great for beginners. Users will be able to start making their family trees without much hassle at all.

Entering information into the software is extremely easy and intuitive, as you can easily enter information into the details box of a single individual without your whole family tree being zoomed in on.

It also makes use of smart trees so that you can collapse and expand different parts of your tree easily so that your screen won't be cluttered with details of the relatives that you are not focusing on.

Family Historian 7 does not allow users to change the backgrounds of their family trees, while Family Tree Maker 2019 does.


RootsMagic is the genealogy software most commonly used by professional genealogists due to its impressive list of features. RootsMagic allows users to have multiple databases open at the same time, which can make working on a family tree much easier.

Another interesting feature that the software has is called RootsMagic To-Go, which allows users to download a copy of the program onto a flash drive so that they can use it on any other computer. If you end up doing research at a library, this can be extremely helpful.

However, RootsMagic's interface is rather complex, making it difficult for beginners to use. While Family Tree Maker 2019 is not known for being particularly user-friendly, it will likely be much easier for a beginner to use than RootsMagic.

Family Tree Maker 2019: Frequently Asked Questions

How much does Family Tree Maker 2019 cost?

The price of Family Tree Maker 2019 will vary depending on a few factors. If you choose to download the software directly from the internet and have not used any previous versions of the software, then it will cost you $79.95.

If you are upgrading from a previous version of Family Tree Maker 2019, it will cost you $59.95. Purchasing the software on a DVD will cost you $89.95 while purchasing the software on a flash drive will cost you $99.95.

Has Family Tree Maker been discontinued?

While Ancestry noted that Family Tree Maker would be discontinued back in 2015, many users fought to keep the service alive.

This is what eventually led Ancestry to get Software Mackiev to handle the service, and, thankfully, today, the service is alive and well.

Previous versions of the service that were developed before Software Mackiev may, however, no longer be supported, depending on the version you use.

Can I put Family Tree Maker 2019 on more than one computer?

Family Tree Maker 2019 allows users to install the software on up to three computers if they purchase the family pack.

However, users will be allowed to have the software on more than one computer if they are the only user of a desktop and a laptop.

If you only buy a single copy of the software, you will, unfortunately, be unable to share it with any of your family members. You will, however, be able to share your family tree with as many people as you want, but they will not be able to edit it.

The Bottom Line

Family Tree Maker is possibly the oldest genealogy software on the market. While it is slightly more expensive than some of its competitors, many users note that the price difference is worth it.

Family Tree Maker 2019 is also compatible with Ancestry, so you'll easily be able to incorporate DNA results into your family tree if you eventually decide to take a DNA test.

Neil Edwards

Neil Edwards

Genealogist and family-tree research specialist

Neil was born in Shropshire, England surrounded by centuries of living history. His interest in the past has been a lifelong passion leading to undergraduate degrees in both Economic History & Geography and History & Politics.

This interest in history quickly translated to family history when he moved to the U.S. in 2010. It was here that he began working on his own family tree as well as that of his American wife. That research allowed him to gain a wealth of experience working with both U.S. and European genealogical documents and studying their best uses in researching family history.

Following 9 years of honing his genealogical research skills, Neil was proud to have earned a certificate in Genealogical Research from Boston University in late 2019. Neil also took part in the research process for a Duke University study into the families of 19th Century UK Members of Parliament.

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