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Free family tree software - Features

Easy Data Entry

Alfred (Tosh) Jones aged 4XYFT builds by adding parents, siblings and children in a logical way. You can also enter unlimited spouses, other associations and unrelated people. XYFT recognises half-siblings and marks them as such.

Multiple Families

XYFT can handle any number of families. If you're researching several families simultaneously it's easy to switch between them. Each family has its own folder and is self-contained. You can search for words and UUIDs across all families. From XYFT v10.2 you can compare two families on the same page to see if the focal person from children to grandparents is matched for UUID and text. Colours and words indicate level of agreement.
families compared

Same sex marriages

XYFT assumes that marriages are usually between male and female, but it does not insist on this. It is easy to show a marriage between two of the same sex and indeed, there is no need to show the gender at all - there is an option to use a sex = "U" (unclassified) and marriage can be MF, MM, FF, MU, FU, UU.


A citation is the entire textual reference to the source. Read Evidence Explained for reasons why you need citations. You can add any citations you wish and link them to their sources. Citations are the essence of a believable family tree; without them, or if they're unproven, your family tree should not be shared, nor should you accept anyone else's contribution.

Genealogy Sources on your PC

XYFT handles photographs, scanned documents, video files, sound clips and office documents - in fact anything on your PC can be indexed to your family tree.

Genealogy Sources on the Internet

XYFT can connect to external web pages. As these can change it's best to capture information from them and use it locally. You will still need to verify the accuracy of such sources though.


navigate a family by kinship diagramYou can navigate each family tree in many different ways: by parent, sibling or child; by spouse or associate; by ancestor, child or grandchild or by distant cousins and great aunts and uncles. The picture on the right shows a kinship diagram where we see second cousins 2x removed and it is possible to navigate to any of these.


You can search by ID; by UUID; by name or part of name; by date; by places; by notes; by similar sounding names; by sources. Searches can be limited to one family or all the families you are tracing. This means you can have several lines of research all with different family names and your search could be across all of them.

Alternative Names

XYFT gives you a way to search by alternative names for people and places. Alternative names are entirely in your control. XYFT uses alternative Given Names, alternative Family Names and alternative Place Names. For alternative Given Names you could set Freddy, Ferdinand, Ferdy to be equivalent so that a search for Fred would find all of these. For Family Names you could set Thompson, Tomson and Thomson or Weissman and White to be equivalent and a search for any of these will find all. For Place Names you could set Leningrad and St Petersburg to be equivalent, or London/Chelsea/Acton, or New York/Bronx/New Amsterdam or Mumbai/Bombay or Berlin/Kitchener etc. It's your data - YOU set the rules. This is a powerful feature.

International character set

XYFT showing international charactersXYFT will display all characters as entered in any language. In the snip you can see Greek, Indian, Arabic and Norwegian. Note also that Sam does not have a sex color.

Project Notes and To-Do List

XYFT supports project notes and a to-do list. These can be kept in any format you choose and are easily accessible.

Import and Export XYXchange

XYXchange files are zipped family folders that can be sent by email or even placed on your website. XYXchange files contain everything from your family folder on your PC - data, images, documents, media and links. Using XYXchange files is also a great way to back up your work.

Import and Export GEDCOM

GEDCOM files can be imported to get you started. This is especially useful if you have already created some data using another family tree program. XYFT isn't constrained by the many tags used by GEDCOM. Instead, apart from the essential fields to contain names and connections, it uses free-form, searchable text to give maximum flexibility. Just use the GEDCOM import feature. If you want to convert your GEDCOM to HTML or just see your GEDCOM file on a website, you can do it here. Files can also be exported to GEDCOM format. All the information in your family file, except Private Notes, can be exported as a single .ged file for use with other GEDCOM compatible programs. Just one caveat, all GEDCOM programs are different and importing from and exporting to a .ged file will always leave some information to be fixed manually. This applies to most of the programs that promise GEDCOM compatibility and also to XYFT (which does not make that promise). You can read more about the woes of GEDCOM here.

XYFT compared to GEDCOM

XYFT is Evidence Based rather than Believed Reality. In XYFT children have a single father and a single mother, even if they are not married. In XYFT a marriage is between two people and is separate from any connection with children. In GEDCOM a child must be connected to a family, even if the family does not contain the actual parents, and this leads to very wrong associations when children of a second marriage become connected to grandparents of the children of the first marriage. XYFT can import your GEDCOM files and go beyond the restrictions of GEDCOM based programs. XYFT uses a data structure that avoids inconsistent links. See details of data structure.

Export as CSV

Exporting your data in CSV format allows you to inspect it as a spreadsheet, Excel for example. This allows you to sort the various columns and inspect each entry; check for duplicates; check for mistakes, etc.

Output Templates

There are many templates included with XYFT that let you output your family files as Ancestry Charts, Family Lists and Family Pages. Trees can be printed on any size paper, from A5 (210 x 148 mm 8.3 x 5.8 in) to A0 (1189 x 841 mm 46.8 x 33.1 in) plus non-standard sizes. You can show up to 6 generations before and after a focal person.

Below is a family tree with 5 generations of children and 5 generations of ancestors printed on A1 size paper.
XYFT showing 5 generations of children and 5 generations of ancestors printed on A1 size paper

And this is a close-up. The background image is a picture of a tree in mist. You can use your own background image if you wish.
XYFT showing close up of A1 print


There are several levels of privacy. Privacy applies to information that is intended for output - obviously you can see all details but you may want to hide some things from your audience: Private Notes allows you to keep notes about a person but not display them in outputs; Hide or Show - if hidden, a person will be removed from all output. This option also hides all others who depend on the hidden person. The effect is the same as if the person has never existed; If you're displaying a family tree on the xyfamilytree.com website you can obscure names and dates in various ways; If you have a web folder it can be protected with a password so that only those who know the password can view your family.

Display on the Internet

Display saved pages on your own website

You can save pages on your PC as copies of what you are viewing. Fixed pages like these can be uploaded to your own space, for example: medici.html and uk-royal.html.

Display dynamic pages at xyfamilytree.com

If you wish, you can export your XYFT files to a web folder on the xyfamilytree.com website. For example: Medici and UK Royal Family. Privacy can be guaranteed according to the settings you apply (See Privacy). If you want to include pictures and sound on your webpages these can be uploaded and used too. You can even include your webpages in your own blog. See below.

Display dynamic pages on your own website or blog

Note, this a live inclusion showing the very latest about your family tree.

Using an iFrame you can include your family tree in your website or blog if it's been uploaded to the xyfamilytree.com website. Here's an example that includes photographs and sound clips. Click on the Lorenzo's speech and hear for yourself.

USB Memory Stick

Because XYFT does not bind itself into your PC it will work quite happily from a USB Memory Stick; ideal for backing up your data, working in a library or sending your family trees to relatives. You can take your USB stick to family gatherings or send it to relatives - it'll work immediately on any other modern PC.

XYFT on Apple, iPad and Android

XYFT is designed to run on a PC and store all its data on a PC. If you want to use any other device you will still need to install XYFT on a PC first but most other devices can control your PC using RDP (Remote Desktop Protocol) so you may be able to use your iPad or Tablet to run XYFT on that PC.