Monday, June 20, 2016

Monday Mailbox: Replacing Family Tree Maker

The Ancestry Insider's Monday MailboxDear Ancestry Insider,

My Wife is FAR from happy with what has happened and is continuing to happen with a Program she is TOTALLY dependent on for her "obsession" with Genealogy!! After almost 50 yrs "on the Job" so to speak she is worried!-its the only thing keeping her sane!( remember she has ME to contend with!!)

As with the changes with Family Tree Maker i.e. being discontinued by Ancestry at the end of this year with no apparent advice as to locate a alternative program a she is not been able to find someone to help her? plus the Ladies in the local Library that she gives Classes to will be mortified and may well "storm the Ancestry.com Offices"!!

Signed,
John

Dear John,

All is not lost regarding Family Tree Maker. It is not being discontinued entirely. Ancestry has sold it and your wife can continue to keep it as her tree manager. See "Family Tree Maker to Live On" on my blog. See http://www.mackiev.com/ftm/index.html for more information from MacKiev.

Signed,
---The Ancestry Insider

13 comments:

  1. Family Tree Maker is not being discontinued at all, but for those who would like to explore alternatives, I have covered a dozen alternatives at http://genealogytools.com/replacing-family-tree-maker-part-2-how-to-get-your-tree-out-of-ftm/.

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    1. And you have done a fantastic job. I love your series.

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  2. I realize that FTM is not being discontinued. What I didn't realize was the price of the new software. I have a family member who is getting back into her genealogy search and she wanted to update her software. One computer..... $69 vs Rootsmagic $29/Legacy $29 etc. Since she currently is only on Ancestry I've encouraged her to use a software program in addition - I'm going to suggest that she look at the other programs. That price hike is ridiculous. (one person's opinion)

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    1. If your family member had a copy of FTM previously then there is an upgrade price -

      From the MacKiev site -
      "I own an older version of Family Tree Maker. Can I get a discount on an upgrade?
      Yes! If you already have FTM 2012 or Mac 2 or earlier, you can get an upgrade to the new versions for just $29.95 (vs. regular price $69.95). To receive our upgrade offer, make sure you have signed up for our mailing list."

      See link - http://www.mackiev.com/familytreemaker/ftm3/already_have.html

      Larry
      2016JN21 10:25 Sydney Australia

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  3. After trying to get my tree downloaded no less than 5 time through FTM 2014 and it constantly running into trouble with the download which took about 8 hours (I have a large tree a bit over 10,000 ppl) and when it finally succeeded in downloading MOST it died before loading the last 11 documents.

    After reading reviews on the program, which rated it as 2 out of 5, and after trying to use it, which totally confused me, I was waiting for ancestry to announce a different program they had said they were also going to team up with.

    I have not heard a word about the other program and forget by now which one it was.

    Does anyone have any info about that? I really do not trust FTM anymore--and found trying to D/L the program time after time and always running into glitches i really don't want to use it.

    I DO want a program that I can D/L from ancestry that will bvbring my gazillion documents with it though.

    Thanks to anyone who has info on the alternative program they said they were also going to go with. FTM scares me so much I am still running Windows 7 so I can at leaast D/L GEDCOMS to my "old faithful" 2005? version BUT it does not D/L photo's, stories etc. and I am sure I am going to have to convert to Windows 10 soon and I won't be able to run the old FTM once I do that.

    Thank you

    Joyce

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    1. Your downloading was more a problem with Ancestry's servers than the program. There was quite a firestorm of comments elsewhere about it.
      Our FTM UG has quite a bit of success in running the current (and some older) FTM on Win 10. The future is bright for FTM given it now has owners that REALLY want to make it successful.

      Larry
      2016JN21 10:30 Sydney Australia

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  4. Right now Roots Magic will import your FTM trees directly from FTM files, which means you don't have to create gedcoms and lose documents. They are supposed to be adding syncing to trees on the Ancestry.com website by the end of the year I believe. I'm still evaluating the free version, but I think it's the direction I'm moving to. I don't trust a company that (up to this point) has been a MAC developing company exclusively, to be able to handle software for so many different versions of Windows.

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    1. MacKiev has experience with Windows products. I'm certainly glad FTM is owned by a company that wants the software to success than one (Ancestry) that saw it as a sideline business.
      Larry
      2016JN21 10:30 Sydney Australia

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  5. Christa Cowan from Ancestry.com spoke in Las Vegas yesterday, June 19th, and she said Roots Magic would be fully functional to sync with Ancestry in December, but I don't remember if she gave the exact day.

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  6. Thank you--I did find that Rootsmagic is not quite ready with this and they did not give a time frame on the site I found BUT it did say that if you upload the current version, 7 if I recall, that the upgrade will be free once it is ready.

    Maria can you tell me what doing free version entails? what is it bringing over--just Vitals stats, census etc etc as a normal GEDCOM would do?

    Not sure that that will help me as the part I did not like with FTM (aside from the fact that I could never get it to load right) was that I found it confusing...with the free are you seeing enough to know if it wil be easier to use?

    I found FTM pretty mind boggling BUT I did like the various reports.

    Thanks for your input

    Joyce

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    1. FTM has long had a great help and online tutorials. As you may have read my earlier posts, they now have an owner that treats it as a mainstream product instead of a sideline like Ancestry did.
      Larry
      2016JN21 10:35 Sydney Australia

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  7. You can get a factory sealed 2014 copy on ebay for $20-22 most any day of the week. That's where I got mine.

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  8. As I often teach beginners courses in Genealogy, I have always had several different (PC) software programs on my computer, and use them regularly so that I'm able to speak with a bit of familiarity about at least those ones.
    Legacy, RootsMagic, FamilyHistorian, Heredis, and an old version of FamilyTreeMaker (2008) from before some nerds tried to make it more 'interesting' and ended up making it so un-intuitive and unnecessarily complicated. Sigh.
    I've never considered the Ancestry sync a selling point at all... I prefer to search within Ancestry on my bare bones cousin-bait tree, then save any documents, maps, histories, etc. to my computer desktop. At that point I analyze the document(s), write the citation thinking carefully about where the database came from and whether I'm seeing an original document. Finally - finally - I carefully input the document information for one person at a time, thinking all the time about what I've found, how that impacts the individual people in my tree, and come up with more questions for future research. Syncing can easily bypass all that rich research time with new documents/events on individuals.
    I notice the feedback here has been fairly "ain't it wonderful' for FTM - but remember that "form follows function", and every program will present you with images of your pedigree, family grouping, allow you to input data on dates/places/events, and have ways to 'report' information to you. One should truly try out several version of software, and see what makes most sense to YOU. We are indeed unique individuals.

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