Announcing RootsTrust, a Genealogy Program for Windows, Macintosh and Linux

This sounds interesting. A new genealogy program works on all the popular desktop and laptop operating systems. It even will operate directly from a flash drive, not requiring installation on a hard drive. I suspect hard drive installation will result in faster operation, however.

The following announcement was written by the folks at Atavus, Inc.:

On October 31, 2014 Atavus, Inc. officially released rootstrust, an advanced genealogy program that runs on Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. It is one of the few genealogy programs that is portable across all three operating systems.

Atavus calls its product a genealogical data management system (GDMS), which is a computer program designed to manage relationships between people, and relationships between people and places as well as historical and administrative relationships between places and other places. A GDMS also allows users to import and export data, generate family tree charts and other textual reports, link document and multimedia image files as well as websites to the objects it manages: Persons, Families, Events, Places, Sources and Repositories (libraries, archives museums and private collections).

Atavus, Inc., based in Sterling, VA, was founded in February 2013 to commercialize rootstrust. The founder, Brooke Nelson, is a veteran software developer and genealogist. Nelson began developing rootstrust for his own use in 1999 to address unmet needs in the market for commercially available genealogy software. His vision was to create a system that provided Unicode support, event sharing, the ability to define relationships between persons that are not relatives, and the facility to link places that are historically related to one another such as New York and New Amsterdam. Most importantly, he wanted to be able to move the program and / or the database and the document and multimedia image files that are linked to the database without permanently breaking the linkages.

Interested persons should visit to view a detailed feature list that includes links to 19 instructional videos. A free beta test version of rootstrust can be downloaded from the website. The beta version will also soon be available for purchase on a specially formatted, super fast 32GB USB 3.0 flash drive. You will be able to install or directly execute rootstrust from the flash drive on virtually any computer running Windows, Mac OS X or Linux.

rootstrust may be found at



Program looks very promising. Like the idea of on a flash drive and that it works across platforms. My question is Does it use EE templates (Evidence Explained) by Elisabeth Shown Mills for the source citations? I checked the web site but it does not address this issue. Have you tried it yet?
Thank you


Downloaded the Windows version. Got partway through importing a GEDCOM file, then froze.


Very very slow to import a GEDCOM file. Also, does not support accented characters from GEDCOM files created by Legacy, Roots Magic and Brother’s Keeper.


I found it not at all intuitive and difficult to use. As many programs as I’ve tried I still prefer PAF. It’s simple, intuitive and just works. It runs just fine in Kubuntu using Wine. It works fine in Windows 7 and I can share the database across all my computers with Dropbox.


I easily downloaded the software and (based on the warnings from the last two comments) I loaded a small GEDCOM file (50 people.) I’m a long time, very satisfied Roots Magic user but was interested in trying software that made it easier to 1.) link files and 2.) add sources but was still easy to navigate.
1.) Linking Files: You can link both folders and files to individuals. By linking a specific folder, I didn’t have to browse to the folder when I wanted to link a document. In fact, if your folders are well organized, you may not feel the need to go beyond linking the folder. Documents & images can only be added one at a time.
2.) Adding Sources: Adding sources in Roots Magic is a challenge at best. It was much easier (more intuitive) using rootsTrust. There’s a simple form for adding a new source (e.g. 1930 US Census). Once it’s in the database, you can link it to an individual’s census entry and at that time add more specific information like ED and page.
Bugs: I had a few Java/SQL errors (especially with the tree view) and occasionally the program simply closed itself. Place names didn’t import well. In most instances the state (e.g. Louisiana) became the country.
Of course this is a beta version and not quite ready for prime time, but I felt it’s worth keeping an eye on. I’ll also send my comments directly to Atavus.


I couldn’t find a link to the beta version.


They are not accepting beta testers, but a version is still on the site that one can download. I could not get it to run on a Mac and there is no tech support except for official beta testers.


Application looks promising, feature wise. This is an early beta however, with a number of bugs and a somewhat clunky UI. Reporting and charting are still weak but I expect it to improve in future betas.

Had to install Apple’s 2014-001 Java SE 6 to get the application to launch.


Finally got it downloaded. The download page wasn’t there before when I visited the site. I had no problem with downloading and going through the Windows version.


So I was able to walk through the software but can’t even import the smallest of my family trees, containing 58 people. The software froze during the import procedure. It does look like an interesting software once they get the bugs fixed.


looks good, but froze in the middle of importing a gedcom file, so??????


It has lots of potential but currently needs work. I could not find any tool or feature for merging two people, for example. Also, it needs to have source data entered by default when any new information is added, as TMG does.


Leave a Reply

Name and email address are required. Your email address will not be published.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

You may use these HTML tags and attributes:

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <pre> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong> 

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: