Friday, June 21, 2013

PAF is Dead

After several rumors and sputters in recent years, FamilySearch has made an official announcement. PAF is dead.

The announcement was made in several venues. One came as a small item buried in a newsletter to family history consultants:

imagePersonal Ancestral File (PAF) is Discontinued

Beginning July 15, 2013, PAF will be retired and will no longer be available for download or support. For more details on this PAF announcement, click here.

A more lengthy announcement was posted to the FamilySearch blog.

“For the last several years, FamilySearch has focused on building relationships with partner organizations to deliver better overall services to the market,” wrote David Pugmire. “The past several years have seen Ancestral Quest, Legacy Family Tree, and RootsMagic introduced as significantly better alternatives to PAF.” Each of these products support two-way synchronization with FamilySearch Family Tree. I assume products like’s Family Tree Maker were not listed because they lack this synchronization. (Compatible products are listed at

Yesterday, 20 June 2013, RootsMagic announced that it is “Share+” (notice the “+”) certified to work with Family Tree. This makes RootsMagic 6 the first product to support desktop access to some of the collaborative features of Family Tree. These include discussions, sources, watch and change history.

For more information about the discontinuation of PAF, see


  1. What will be the future of the gedcom format? Gedcom is (or used to be) the standard that software companies used so we could communicate with others who had different software. Without a certifiable standard, software will create their own (they aren't able agree well). Cousin Bob and I won't be able to share our data via files anymore.

  2. havent used it in years, but its what i started on in my computer research. in fact, the file i use now, was started on PAF 3 back in the early 90s on a 386 machine and eventually exported to Family Tree Maker. i still have the 5" floppies around somewhere.

    i still prefer that format for printing pedigree charts where it drops off the detailed information on the 5 generation chart.


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