Vyger Irish Genealogy

Our search to further our Eggleton, Surgeoner, Smiley & Gracey
ancestry in Ireland and around the world building new
family relationships in sharing what we have learnt.




Rootsmagic Genealogy Software

Rootsmagic genealogy software is the evolution of Family Origins and the brainchild of programmer Bruce Buzbee, aka The Rootsmagician. I made the move to Family Origins back around 1997 after trying various genealogy software options and I have remained faithful to the product up to version 6.

Release dates
RootsMagic version 1.0 - released 04 Feb 2003
RootsMagic version 2.0 - released 24 May 2004
RootsMagic version 3.0 - released 08 Sep 2005
RootsMagic version 4.0 - released 25 Mar 2009 (4 years)
RootsMagic version 5.0 - released 28 Nov 2011 (2 years)
RootsMagic version 6.0 - released 19 Nov 2012
Rootsmagic version 7.0 - released 26 Nov 2014 (2 years)

Yesterday, 26th November 2014, saw the long anticipated release of Rootsmagic 7, the latest software offering to the world of computer genealogy research. Early indications on the Rootsmagic Forum seem to suggest few problems and a generally well accepted product. Personally after two years of development I find the offering a little weak on new features and it would seem few improvement to the existing core features have taken place. Every product needs new development to stay ahead of the competition but I believe there was a lot of scope to enhance existing features like Media, Place and Duplicate Merge management into world class utilities.

That leaves the vast majority of the improvment suggestions listed both here and on the Rootsmagic 6 forum still very applicable. As a very active forum member I do not recall the new features featuring on the wish list so these enhancements ideas must have come from feedback at roadshows. It may well be that these long awaited improvements had little value in a new version release and will possibly become a reality through Rootsmagics free update service. Hopefully this post is not premature as I am currently only going on the press release and eagerly look forward to the upcoming webinar next week.

Unlike many genealogy software packages Rootsmagic has a very active forum for discussion, issues and wish list items for future upgrades. The main driving force behind Rootsmagic, Bruce Buzbee, is also active on this forum and frequently interacts with users regarding wishes and problems.

If you are new to genealogy and trying to make a software choice I would strongly advise making your choice carefully as switching programs can be a pain and you might lose information. Not all programs store additional information in the same way and it is not easy for users to switch platforms so your own research and choose carefully.

I have tried most of the offerings available and still do from time to time but Rootsmagic still remains my overall software of choice for ease of use and feature set. That being said Family Tree Maker does surpass Rootsmagic in terms of Place Management and I did hope that gap would be closed with the release of Rootsmagic 7 but sadly that does not appear to be the case.

Rootsmagic have been busy producing Webinars which show in a training type environment exactly how to get thge best out of each feature. So watch the experts use Rootsmagic as it should be at the Rootsmagic Software Webinars. These are valuable resources for visually seeing various Rootsmagic features being used as they are intended so should make a choice easier.

Rootsmagic have also brought Apple and Android apps to their users for free. These are extremely useful if out on a field trip or simply to show the family tree to some relatives. If that is not enough I believe Rootsmagic is the only genealogy program to offer what is called Rootsmagic to Go or RMtoGO for short. With this feature you can have the program and your family tree loaded on a USB pen or Flash drive in your pocket and wherever there is a PC with a USB slot you can run it. I find this particularly useful in the office during my break times and also when I go down the library where laptop use is not permitted.

Remember Rootsmagic is only one of many programs out there and also remember it is my software of choice so I may have a slight bias. However I am not paid to promote it and if something better comes out you should know that I will be off to whatever does the job best. Having said that every other piece of genealogy software over numerous years has fallen short of matching Rootsmagic in my opinion so if you want to try it download Rootsmagic Essentials here.