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After having highly rated older versions of Family Historian, we were excited to get stuck into the newly released version 6 which boasts a whole range of new features. The 30 day free trial is where we started which was perfect as, unlike most other products in this category, users get unlimited access to all features.
Family Historian 6 certainly does feel different. Beginners will love the fully drag and drop user interface which makes Family Historian one of the easiest to use products in this category. We also appreciated the individual summary sheets which can be pulled up with the click of a button.
However, once we actually got down to the nitty gritty of our research, we began to realise that most of the updates to Family Historian are rather superficial in nature. There are few radically new features, as the makers, Calcio Pie, have opted instead to simply tweak existing features.
This does mean that what Family Historian 6 does offer works seamlessly. Their data input and media manager tools are, for example, some of the best in the category. However, users will notice that many of the most advanced genealogy research tools are noticeably absent.
We were also a little disappointed to find that Family Historian 6 does not come with any specific genealogy website integration. Rather, they provide a web browser which allows access to all genealogy websites yet most of these you will have to pay for. This represents an additional cost to a piece of software which is already on the expensive side. This said, Family Historian users will get 30% off at MyHeritage.com which does go towards ameliorating this problem. It must also be noted that Mac users will have to look elsewhere as Family Historian only works on Windows PCs.
Finally, US users will find Family Historian too “UK centric” for their needs and we would recommend they look elsewhere. This does mean, however, that this is one of the only UK-focused genealogy programmes out there, something British researchers may really appreciate.
Overall, if it’s usability over snazzy features that you’re looking for and you don’t mind paying a little more, we do recommend you check out the Family Historian free trial. However, before making any purchase decision we urge readers to check out some of the products in our Top10 which offer more advanced alternatives at a lower price.
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