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I am searching for a genealogy software to gain an overview of my family.

Required features

  • Offline software for Windows or self-hosted website
  • Graphical display of the family tree
  • Display the names of various degrees of relationships
  • The possibility to insert personal information (name, name at birth, profession, picture etc.)

Optional features

  • German terminology for the degrees of relationships would be very helpful
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Gramps is a free/libre genealogy software, available cross-platform (I’m using it on GNU/Linux, so can’t tell if the Windows version may have some quirks). It’s a desktop client and works, of course, offline.

I’m using it as a layman (without any genealogy experience), and found it very easy to use.

It can import/export data in various formats (CSV, XML, GEDCOM, …).

For every person you add, you can enter various details: name(s), birth date, free notes, attachments/gallery, events (like weddings), etc. You can even add custom attributes (name-value pairs).

Starting from a specific person, you can display his/her ancestry in a graphical tree (screenshot from the official website):

Gramps interface (Pedigree screen): showing ancestors of the active person in a graphical tree

About the display of relationship degrees

For each person (in the Relationships view) it lists parents ("Vater", "Mutter"), siblings ("Geschwister"), spouse ("Ehepartner"), and children ("Kinder"). You can click on any on these listed names to see these mentioned relationships of the respective person.

In the graphical ancestry tree, it doesn’t list the degree names (you would have to count the generations yourself).

In the Tools menu, there is a tool ("Verwandtschaftsrechner") that lists all existing persons. Clicking on a person, it shows the relationship degree name (in relation to the active person), like: son ("Sohn"), uncle ("Onkel"), niece ("Nichte"), half uncle ("Halbonkel"), grandfather ("Großvater"), great-grandfather ("Urgroßvater"), and even half-great aunt ("Halbgroßtante") etc.
If there is no relationship between the active person and a selected person, it says "x and y are not related" ("x und y sind nicht verwandt.").

  • I second this – have been using it all the time when setting up our family tree :) Interesting you're placing all those German terms in your explanation: intended, or accident? ;) – Izzy Aug 25 '14 at 20:08
  • @Izzy: Because of OP’s optional requirement: "German terminology for the degrees of relationships would be very helpful". – unor Aug 25 '14 at 20:39
  • Oh – must have missed that part somehow. Thanks for pointing out! I was just suprised by the terms, being a "German native" ;) – Izzy Aug 25 '14 at 23:35
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    Excellent, that's the software I was looking for! It works well on Windows, I had no problems so far. Thank you very much. – ComFreek Aug 26 '14 at 10:14
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    @ComFreek: Glad it helped. For questions about it, our sister site Genealogy & Family History has a gramps tag. – unor Aug 28 '14 at 11:47
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Family Tree Maker - can be easily used to research, record, organize, and share my family history. It brings your family history to life with photos, historical records and interactive maps.

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For completeness I'm adding here GenealogyJ, even if it seems the project has been abandoned (last update dates back to 2010). It's free and runs on Windows. You can use it to display your genealogical tree and permits insertion of personal information.

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