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Ask-the-Pros – Question and Answer – Replacing PAF


What software should I use now that PAF is no longer supported by FamilySearch?


There are several programs available. Celebrating My Family Tree and Me (My Family Tree) is the software we use and recommend. We do own the software and use it in our family history research classes. My Family Tree is Share Certified by FamilySearch, and powered by award winning Ancestral Quest. Our programmer, Gaylon Findlay, was the designer for PAF. You don’t have to move your PAF files on your computer. Simply load My Family Tree software and seamlessly open your files and keep right on working.

My Family Tree has met the rigorous standards set by FamilySearch to be certified for Tree Share, Sources, Discussions, Change History, and LDS Support.¬†Additionally, My Family Tree’s Notes sync with Family Tree and this is unique to software powered by Ancestral Quest. No other software does this.

Celebrating My Family Tree has several unique or enhanced features not available in other software packages. Here are a few to consider:

  • “Collaboration” feature allows you work together with family or other researchers online with a single master file.
  • Timeline feature displays historical and genealogical events that may have affected your ancestors life. You can easily control what events you see on the timeline as well as add/delete/edit.
  • Individual Summary view shows everything about a person on one screen.
  • Name List can be sorted on any field and up to three sorts at one time.
  • Advanced Filter-Focus has the most flexible search capability available.
  • Search several commercial/non-profit websites in ways that are extremely useful.
  • Create your own searches to other sites using your browser so it does not tie up your My Family Tree program window when using it for research purposes, this allows you to have side-by-side results.
  • Pedigree View does background searches on both FamilySearch and with links to the results.
  • Color coding goes a step beyond what the others do, in addition to coding directs ancestors, it also includes collateral relatives as well.
  • Print a report in another language, My Family Tree has several translations and you can select one just for report printing or you can choose it for the whole program.
  • PAF users can work directly with their PAF files without converting and continue to use PAF if you want to.
  • Custom IDs allow you to create Ahnentafel numbers, Henry numbers or the Dollarhide numbering systems. While not many researchers use these anymore the capability is here.
  • Compare database feature allows you to compare two databases to see the difference and merge if wanted.
  • Detailed change log records all change details allowing you to go back and see what you have done.
  • LDS users can update Temple Ordinances with a single action.

Additional tips on using this software are included in our Celebrating Family History Digital Magazine.

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