From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Original author(s)Bruce Buzbee
Developer(s)RootsMagic, Inc. (Originally: FormalSoft Inc)[1][2]
Initial releaseFebruary 4, 2003; 20 years ago (2003-02-04)
Stable release
9.0.0 / February 27, 2023; 15 days ago (2023-02-27)[3]
Operating systemWindows, Mac OS, Android, iOS
TypeGenealogy software
LicenseFreeware and Retail

RootsMagic is a genealogy software program designed and written by RootsMagic, Inc, a United States software design and development company founded by Bruce Buzbee in 1987.[4] Bruce originally wrote the program Family Origins.[5][6][7]


RootsMagic is a genealogy program that assists family historians in tracking, organizing, printing, and sharing family history.[8][9]

  • The software was originally developed as Windows-only, but is now available in Mac OS X.
  • It is designed as a single-file database
  • It is set up to import or export data from or to the website.
  • It allows backup to a hard drive, flash drive, or DropBox.
  • It has four navigation views:
    • Standard pedigree view, with five or six generations visible;
    • Family view (allows to look at the family unit, and navigate back and forth between generations;
    • Descendants view (two to seven generations);
    • People list view (display a customizable set of facts for the people in database);
    • Couple list view (display a list of couples in database)
  • "Drag and Drop" feature to allow copying individuals, families, and entire extended families from one database to another.
  • It has a function to create user website files, and maintains its own free website ( for customers to publish their own genealogies.
  • In 2022 there were three versions of RootsMagic V8 sold in the UK - Basic (£29.95), Standard (£39.95) and Platinum (£49.95)[10] while the U.S. version sold by RootsMagic, Inc cost $39.95 for new users and $29.95 for registered users of previous versions.


Retail Version
  • RootsMagic version 1.0 was released 2003-02-04[11][12]
  • RootsMagic version 2.0 was released 2004-05-24[1][12]
  • RootsMagic version 3.0 was released 2005-09-08[11][12]
  • RootsMagic version 4.0 was released 2009-03-25[1][12]
  • RootsMagic version 5.0 was released 2011-11-28[9][13]
  • RootsMagic version 6.0 was released 2012-11-19[13][14]
  • RootsMagic version 7.0 was released 2014-11-25[15]
  • RootsMagic version 8.0 was released 2021-09-30[16]
  • RootsMagic version 9.0 was released 2023-02-27[17]
Free Version
  • RootsMagic Essentials was released 2009-11-18[1][12]
  • RootsMagic Essentials was updated with the version 5 release 2011-11-28[9]
  • RootsMagic Essentials was updated with the version 6 release 2012-11-19[14]
  • RootsMagic Essentials was updated with the version 7 release 2014-11-25[15]
  • RootsMagic Essentials 8 was released 2021-09-30[16]
  • RootsMagic Essentials 9 was released 2023-02-27[18]

File Format[edit]

RootsMagic 4-8 database design uses SQLite 3 as its database engine so the .rmgc and .rmtree database files it creates are readable using third party SQLite management and development tools.[19]


RootsMagic was designed to run on the Windows and Mac platform, however some users run RootsMagic on Linux machines using Wine.[20][21]

MacOS 10.12 and above is supported by a native version as of RootsMagic 8.[22]


  1. ^ a b c d 2009-11-20 RootsMagic Essentials, Modern Software Experience
  2. ^ Family Origins Newsletter, This will probably be the last issue of the Family Origins newsletter (I hear a lot of you saying “I thought you stopped writing it a long time ago <g>). As many of you know, we (FormalSoft) have been working on a new genealogy program called RootsMagic which we released in February 2002. Many of you have been using Family Origins since we first licensed it to Parsons Technology over 12 years ago. You have gone through all the company changes with us (Parsons, Intuit, Broderbund, The Learning Co., Mattel, ...As of January 2003, has discontinued our Family Origins program, ....
  3. ^ "RootsMagic Blog - It's here! Presenting RootsMagic 9".
  4. ^ Bruce Buzbee, President, RootsMagic, Inc. (Privately Held; Computer Software industry), June 1987 — Present, LinkedIn
  5. ^ Bruce Buzbee, For over 18 years Bruce has been writing genealogy software, having originally written the popular Family Origins program., Logan Utah Regional Family History Center
  6. ^ Family Origins, As you may know, created Family Origins in collaboration with a third party developer. We regret to announce that the third party has chosen to discontinue development of the software. Because of this decision, will be unable to continue support of Family Origins products as of June 30, 2003.,
  7. ^ Unofficial FAQ for Family Origins, Reference manual
  8. ^ Bruce Buzbee: Making Family History Fun and Easy, By Maurine Proctor, October 11, 2010, Meridian Magazine
  9. ^ a b c RootsMagic 5, New Software Released 28 Nov 2011
  10. ^ "RootsMagic UK Family History Software". RootsMagic, S&N Genealogy Supplies. 2019. Retrieved 2019-11-27.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  11. ^ a b RootsMagic, RootsMagic 4, Modern Software Experience
  12. ^ a b c d e RootsMagic News, RootsMagic News
  13. ^ a b RootsMagic Blog, RootsMagic Blog
  14. ^ a b RootsMagic 6, New Software Released 19 Nov 2012
  15. ^ a b RootsMagic 7, New Software Released 25 Nov 2014
  16. ^ a b RootsMagic 8, It’s here! Presenting RootsMagic 8
  17. ^ RootsMagic 9, It’s here! RootsMagic 9
  18. ^ Cite error: The named reference rm0 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  19. ^ SQLite Tools for RootsMagic
  20. ^ RootsMagic, Wine AppDB entry
  21. ^ Wineskin, Wineskin Tutorial
  22. ^ [1], RootsMagic 8

External links[edit]