Monday, April 17, 2017

Why You Should Be Using the Free "Family Tree Analyzer"

A few years ago I began dabbling in Visual Basic programming because I had an idea for a genealogy program. I created a simple program called Census Taker to analyze your tree and produce a list of every person likely to be found in the 1940 census.

It was very helpful to me, but it worked only on computers running one or two versions of Windows. After trying to enhance the program, I became discouraged with the limitations and abandoned the project.

Last year I studied the Java programming language because its programs can run on anything. I began rewriting my program and had some success.

But time after time I would run into problems I could not resolve. We all have differences in the way we store our family tree information, so I had to account for all sorts of variations in a GEDCOM file.

Once again I became frustrated and abandoned the project.

While thinking about this project recently I found something new (to me) in a Google search. It is a free program called Family Tree Analyzer that does everything I intended my program to do and a million times more at lightning speed. Goodbye, my fledgling programming career. Note: This program runs on Windows only for now.

Hats off to the creator of Family Tree Analyzer, Alexander Bisset.

Family Tree Analyzer analyzed my 19,285-person tree without blinking. It provides a detailed table of each individual's facts in a flawless format that looks eerily like what I was struggling to do with my program.

The "Individuals" table helps you see what you're missing and plan your research accordingly.

It found every possible data error in my file. It found potential duplicate people which I was able to export to a spreadsheet so I can look into fixing them.

One small piece of what it does is like my Census Taker, but of course far better.

The "Treetops" button shows you the eldest person (or people) in your tree with a given surname. I entered Iamarino and found that the people at the very top of two branches with that name were born in 1640 and 1710.

The Locations, Occupations and Sources tabs show how many people are associated with a particular source, place or job. I'll use it to find any typos or instances where I may want to change to more consistent wording.

I've barely scratched the surface, but I strongly recommend you try this program. Family Tree Analyzer can provide you with all kinds of analysis to help you really fortify your family tree and make it bulletproof.


  1. Thanks for a great tip. Worth a look.

  2. Well worth a look - I could spend hours looking at the various reports.

  3. I cannot download F.T.A into my Windows 10. Can you tell me how to do this? I have so much family history and being in my 80's this would help me greatly.

    1. Are you able to download it from here: ... That link works for me today.

  4. The only official version is at - the findmysoft softcom and similar sites are adware/malware sites never use them.

    The current version is v6.0.3.0 which can be installed from

    It should work just fine on windows 10, you may have to tick a box to say you allow the software to install but other than that it should just work.

    I have setup a Facebook page at for anyone having questions about the app.

    Alexander Bisset
    Author FTAnalyzer

    1. Thank you, Alexander! I'm so happy to have found you on Twitter. I promise to update my handful of articles about Family Tree Analyzer with the new URL. And I'm still jealous that your program blows the doors off the concept I was toying around with in Java.

  5. Any chance of having it work on my iMAC?

    1. Brenda, it doesn't look that way. The program relies on Microsoft .Net technology.

  6. A message popped up with a big red exclamation mark stating that downloading the program could damage my computer and did I want to continue. I got a bit worried, and backed out of it. What are the chances of damaging my computer, and what kind of damage are they talking about?

  7. That’s a standard disclaimer message. If you have any concerns, I’d suggest you contact Family Tree Analyzer on their Facebook page.


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