When I heard that Ancestry.com would no longer sell Family Tree Maker after 31 December 2015 (yes, this Thursday), I went right out and got a copy. Mind you, I don’t have to pay the $69.99 to download the product, but let me tell you why you may wish to consider buying a copy for yourself.
If you keep your genealogy in an Ancestry Member Tree and you plan on keeping it there, you should rush out and buy Family Tree Maker while you can. If you keep your genealogy in an Ancestry Member Tree and you plan on abandoning Ancestry’s trees because of the recent changes, you should rush out and buy Family Tree Maker while you can. Why?
I had bunches of valuable, digital photos on ofoto.com, a photo storage website. When my external harddrive failed, I lost my local copies. I knew of no way to get the photos back from ofoto. When ofoto sold out to Kodak, Kodak implemented a policy of deleting your photos if you didn’t continuously purchase stuff. That I didn’t know about this policy until after they deleted my photos is tragic.
There was a day when the MyFamily.com website was so important to Ancestry, they changed their name to MyFamily.com. It was inconceivable that MyFamily.com wouldn’t live in inperpetuity. There was discussion, I imagine, about shutting down Ancestry.com, but not MyFamily.com. When they shut down MyFamily.com, many people lost lots of important stuff.
So whether you are planning on getting off or staying on, it is important that you have a local copy of your tree and all the source documents. And you can’t do the source documents by downloading a GEDCOM. If you have attached records from Ancestry.com and records and photos uploaded by other users, then it may well be worth $69.99 to download your sources to your local computer. Can you imagine manually downloading all those census images for each family in your tree? That alone overwhelms me.
So if you have an Ancestry Member Tree, you should strongly consider buying Family Tree Maker. But do it no later than Thursday.
If you decide to buy Family Tree Maker, don’t bother going to the FamilyTreeMaker.com website. Ancestry seems to have removed all the purchase links from that website. Instead, go to http://www.ancestry.com/cs/apps/products. Or use the links provided on Ancestry.com: Click “Extras” on the navigation bar, then “Family Tree Maker Software.”
Now, I’m back to my vacation. Happy News Years, everyone.