Monday, December 28, 2015

Why Buy Family Tree Maker While You Can?

Family Tree Maker sells flatline this week.I’m interupting my vacation again for a post that can’t wait.

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.

26 comments:

  1. Sorry, I'd rather not reward them with a sale after they totally disregard the wishes of their clients.

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  2. Check out eBay. I bought mine there a year or so ago. Factory sealed. Works just fine. $22

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    1. I just did this, too, last week. Loaded properly onto my computer and was able to sync with Ancestry. Also, no extra "trash" in the form of boxes and cardboard.

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  3. But what about those of us who have had the former family trees already- not that I needed a new one. The problem is that they kept changing it, making things obsolete, and had no dedication to those customers that had made commitments to them in the past, ( I won't go into the abandonment of their DNA support ) Ancestry may or may not ever regain my trust.

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  4. I like your new picture! Not terribly handsome, but nice face.

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  5. I bought this software last year. I never could get it to work properly with Windows 8.1.

    What I saw of the software, I didn't like. Good riddance to a big waste of money. The best was PAF (Personal Ancestral File) formerly downloadable for free from Family search.

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  6. Does it matter if you download it or run out and buy the discs? Is the price the same? Are you able to download everything with either version?

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  7. I bought FTM several years ago for the sole purpose of storing locally everything that I have on Ancestry that is not yet in my "real" genealogy software (Legacy, love it!). Unless you have absolute faith that Ancestry will never take your data away from you by discontinuing, becoming too expensive, or otherwise (and why would you trust them?), this is the best way to ensure that you can always access the records you have saved. The secret is to attach as many documents as possible to you FTM/Ancestry tree before the ability to synch goes away. In my case (as it is test/trial data and not all really vetted)save anything that COULD belong and sort it out later.

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  8. I have used Family Tree Maker since the 1990s and would have continued doing so if Ancestry had not made their recent decision to stop selling and supporting the program. I have just switched to Legacy and am going through some "growing pains." I am very glad of two things: 1. I never uploaded my 34,000 + person database to Ancestry, largely because I didn't want them to have the capability of "stealing" all of my hard work; 2. I took down the information from my free Family Tree Maker website when the decision was made about a year ago to stop supporting those websites. I trust FamilySearch more than Ancestry and will be sharing my information with them instead. Meantime I have been sharing information in invitation-only Facebook family groups which I created after I removed the information from my Family Tree Maker website.

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  9. I made the comment on another blog right after the announcement. FTM has a 90 return policy. If you only have your trees on Ancestry.com, buy it, download everything from the website, create your trees locally. Buy Legacy which will import your entire FTM file, attachments and all,(or any other program that will do that) get that set up, then return FTM and get a refund.

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  10. Too late. GEDCOM is the only way you can import 'skeleton' data to your FTM software. Sync now fails... sync no more!

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    1. The syncing capabilities do continue to work, and will apparently work until at least the end of 2016. I've been syncing all day as a matter of fact. What is no longer available is the ability to buy FTM software that gives you the sync function.

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  11. Can I share my ancestry.com tree with someone who HAS FTM (Since it is too late to follow this sage advice) and then from there move it to Legacy or another software that will transfer all the attachments?

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    1. I doubt it, but I haven't tried it myself. Anyone out there have any experience trying this? Reader "T" suggested checking out eBay as a last resort for buying a copy of FTM.

      ---tai

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    2. Just sharing will not work. The only way to do so is to have the friend log on to your account and then download the tree.

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  12. I have used FTM for a while now without hassle. any suggestions on something else to get as a program , my tree is about 23000 plus photos, docs and maps.

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  13. Different subject - a post at LDS.org stated:

    Through partnerships with other major online genealogy sites, patrons can now use a single click to search ancestry.com, findmypast.com, and myheritage.com for the person they are viewing in FamilySearch’s Family Tree.

    When did this happen?

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    1. There are really two things being talked about here. Partnerships between FamilySearch and these three companies have existed for many months allowing members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to get free subscriptions to most of the content of these websites.

      What has occurred in recent weeks is the addition of icons on the person pages of Family Tree. Where once there was a link to search FamilySearch.org historical record collections, there now appears logos for FamilySearch and the other three organizations. Clicking a logo opens a new window or tab for the respective website and performs a search for the current Family Tree person. The search is a basic one by name, birth date, and birth place. No subscription is required to click the logo or to see a list of matches, but you will need a subscription to see details of a result.


      ---The Ancestry Insider

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  14. Is Green Run right? Can you no longer sync your ancestry tree to FTM?? So I shouldn't bother tracking down a copy of FTM from EBAY? Is there ANY software that downloads all the photos and sources from your tree? I have a huge tree.
    maureen

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  15. I have been using FTM and Ancestry for a number of years. I always sync FTM with Ancestry after doing any significant work on Ancestry. I like to work on Ancestry better than on FTM. Reading here (your article and the comments), one thing that immediately comes to mind is will Ancestry continue to maintain and have the export process to FTM if they no longer sell/support FTM?

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    Replies
    1. They have said they will support synching FTM with Ancestry through the remainder of the year.

      ---tai

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  16. I have several trees on Ancestry but after reaching 'brick walls ' on all trees for various reasons I stopped my membership. Recently I've wanted to buy a computer version to be able to preserve my tree info and in searching FTM to buy I read its being stopped.
    In view of this, do I buy FTM and download my existing Ancestry trees? Also is this possible as my membership has lapsed or would i need to renew and then do it? Its considerable expense but I've got 2496 people in one tree alone and don't want to lose the info or try to copy it out by hand! Advise would be great, thank you.

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  17. I had all of my data on Ancestry.com and downloaded it to floppy disk back in 2001 and 2002 using Family Tree Maker. just kinda put it away for 15 years. decided it was time to update new births, deaths, etc. I bought a external USB floppy drive. It wont read the GEDCOM on the floppy disks. I have a new computer since I worked this program. so I dug, out and installed, my version 8.0 of Family tree Maker dated 2000, still will not read the floppy disk. If I order the 2014.1 version will it open my floppy disk with all my information on them. I joined Ancestry.com thinking the info would still be on there, but it is not, after spending $149. I do like their new set up and have found info on several ancestors that I have not been able to find in the past., but I do not want to type all this information over again, to pass on to the next generation.

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    1. Bea,

      Contact The Software MacKiev Company. They may be able to help you.

      --- TAI

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