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Original author(s) Bruce Buzbee
Developer(s) RootsMagic, Inc. (Originally: FormalSoft Inc)[1][2]
Initial release February 4, 2003; 14 years ago (2003-02-04)
Stable release / 14 December 2016; 6 months ago (2016-12-14)[3]
Operating system Windows, Mac OS, Android, iOS
Type Genealogy software
License Freeware 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]

  • Timeline View – put a person’s life in context with events from their own life and from the lives of family members.
  • CountyCheck – confirm and correct the existence of a county, state, or country on any given date from a multi-national database. It can even show you online maps of county boundaries for that date.
  • Research Manager – avoid “reinventing the wheel” by keeping track of research goals, sources, and results that you have collected on a person, family, or place
  • “On This Day” List – bring your family history to life and view family events along with famous births, deaths, and historical events for any given day of the year.
  • Media Tagging – tag your media with people, families, sources, or places. For example, tag an image of a census record with the people, families, and places mentioned in the record as well as the census’ source citation.


Retail Version
  • RootsMagic version 1.0 was released 2003-02-04[10][11]
  • RootsMagic version 2.0 was released 2004-05-24[1][11]
  • RootsMagic version 3.0 was released 2005-09-08[10][11]
  • RootsMagic version 4.0 was released 2009-03-25[1][11]
  • RootsMagic version 5.0 was released 2011-11-28[9][12]
  • RootsMagic version 6.0 was released 2012-11-19[12][13]
  • RootsMagic version 7.0 was released 2014-11-25[14]
Free Version
  • RootsMagic Essentials was released 2009-11-18[1][11]
  • 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[13]
  • RootsMagic Essentials was updated with the version 7 release 2014-11-25[14]

File Format[edit]

RootsMagic 4 database design uses SQLite 3 as its database engine so the .rmgc database files it creates are readable using third party SQLite management and development tools.[15]


RootsMagic was designed to run on the Windows platform, however some users run RootsMagic on Mac and Linux machines using Wine[16][17]


  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. ^
  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. ^ a b RootsMagic, RootsMagic 4, Modern Software Experience
  11. ^ a b c d e RootsMagic News, RootsMagic News
  12. ^ a b RootsMagic Blog, RootsMagic Blog
  13. ^ a b RootsMagic 6, New Software Released 19 Nov 2012
  14. ^ a b RootsMagic 7, New Software Released 25 Nov 2014
  15. ^ SQLite Tools for RootsMagic 4!
  16. ^ RootsMagic, Wine AppDB entry
  17. ^ Wineskin, Wineskin Tutorial

External links[edit]