Somebody once told us that if a given person worked out his or her family tree going back for 23 generations, it would have somewhere in the region of four million people in it. In other words, there's not a minute to waste if you want to research your lineage – and Family Tree Legends could be just the place to start.

If you're familiar with the history of your ancestors or already have a family tree that you've created, then making a digital version is straightforward with this program. Installation is a doddle and the interface is easy to understand, using large fonts that will be legible no matter how bad your eyesight is.

However, if you don't have the first idea of when Grandad was born or when he married Grandma, the program doesn't provide you with any resources. If you splash out an extra fiver, though, you'll get a book with advice on finding out about your ancestors.

Family Tree Legends takes you well beyond the basics. There's space for adding all the material you have related to certain individuals, whether scanned photographs or parish or court records. You can even add audio recordings and video footage to make the archive a true multimedia experience for all of the family.

Once you've created your family tree, it's a refreshingly simple matter to share it with relatives and friends - you can print the document out, burn it to disc or email it.

Family Tree Legends Starter Edition: Specs

  • 166MHz Pentium or Athlon processor
  • Windows 98/Me/2000/XP
  • 32MB RAM
  • 30MB hard disk space
  • 800x600 graphics resolution
  • internet connection for optional software updates
  • 166MHz Pentium or Athlon processor
  • Windows 98/Me/2000/XP
  • 32MB RAM
  • 30MB hard disk space
  • 800x600 graphics resolution
  • internet connection for optional software updates

OUR VERDICT

The beauty of Family Tree Legends is its simplicity – anyone could use it, regardless of their computer skills. An accompanying book is available, but we'd have liked a bit more information about researching family trees on the program itself.

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