Vyger Irish Genealogy

Our search to further our Eggleton, Surgeoner, Smiley & Gracey
ancestry in Ireland and around the world building new
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Rootsmagic Genealogy Software

Rootsmagic genealogy software is the evolution of Family Origins (Formalsoft) and the brainchild of programmer Bruce Buzbee. I personally moved to Family Origins back in 1999 after trying various genealogy software options and I have stuck with the product up to version 4 but unfortunately will not be migrating to version 5 at this time.

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 2.0 - released 24 May 2004
     RootsMagic version 3.0 - released 08 Sep 2005
     RootsMagic version 4.0 - released 25 Mar 2009
     RootsMagic Essentials - released 18 Nov 2009
     RootsMagic version 5.0 - released 28 Nov 2011

Well coming right up to date and Rootsmagic version 5 was released on 28th November 2011 the best part of three years after the release of version 4. New versions were known for appearing almost yearly like most software offerings but due to the problems which followed version 4 due to the complete re-write that time period was considerably longer. Users would love to believe that we are back on the development track of yearly version updates but is that a reasonable and attainable goal for a company such as Rootsmagic?.

So why do I feel version 5 worthy of upgrade from version 4. Well mainly the new version release has resolved and matured many of those new features that appeared in version 4. Click this link to see the many New and Improved features in Rootsmagic version 5.


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 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 advise making your choice carefully as all programs are not completely compatible with each other in the way they store additional information. I have tried most of the offerings available and still do from time to time but Rootsmagic still remains my software of choice for ease of use and feature set. See theRootsmagic Blog regarding the new features in RM4 and see Bruce on the short video from YouTube below.  

On November 18 2009 Rootsmagic launched Rootsmagic Essentials which is a detuned version of the award winning Rootsmagic software for those new to genealogy allowing them to dip their toes in the water of computer genealogy and start compiling their family histories without any expense.

“RootsMagic Essentials” Brings Free Tools for Family History
"SPRINGVILLE, Utah. — November 18, 2009 — RootsMagic, Inc. announced the immediate availability of RootsMagic Essentials, free desktop genealogy software based on their award-winning RootsMagic 4 system.  RootsMagic Essentials contains many core features found in its namesake that allow the public to easily start tracing their family trees."

Free and Available Now
RootsMagic Essentials is available now for free at
 http://www.rootsmagic.com.  Users of other genealogy software products will find it easy to experiment with RootsMagic Essentials using their own data.  RootsMagic Essentials can directly import data from PAF, Family Tree Maker (through 2006), Family Origins, and Legacy Family Tree.  It can also read and write data using the popular GEDCOM format. 

And below a further video released by Rootsmagic from Mike Booth.

To View an Introductory video on Rootsmagic Version 4 click here

I hope you have found these pages helpful and that they may have helped you make an informed decision regarding what software you choose to compile your valuable genealogy research. Also remember to search YouTube and Google for other reviews and opinions on the subject.

Happy hunting