The Master Genealogist to be Discontinued

Sad news! The following announcement was made today by Bob Velke, the owner of Wholly Genes, Inc.:

I am sad to report that the decision has been made to discontinue The Master Genealogist (“TMG”).

While thousands of TMG users appreciate the program’s many powerful features that are unmatched in other software, the market for those advanced features has proved to be insufficient to support the infrastructure that is necessary to support it and continue development. A variety of my own health issues have also contributed to this decision as I have fewer opportunities to focus on the things that would be necessary to develop and market the program.

There is every reason to believe that TMG will continue to work for existing users for the foreseeable future but official support will end at the end of 2014, although we may release some more bug fixes (but no new features) before that. In the interest of those who may want to communicate their data to family members or upgrade to the latest release, we will continue to sell the full product and updates through September with the understanding that product development has been discontinued.

After the end of the year, I expect to maintain the support forum which would be available for user-to-user support. Other online support forums, including the TMG-L mailing list, are also available to users.

For 25 years, TMG has repeatedly pushed the boundaries of genealogical software and promoted the highest principles of scholarship in record-keeping and reporting. It has encouraged users to expect more from their family tree software, especially in the area of source citations, and the industry has responded by setting new and higher standards in its suite of “standard features.” To lesser degrees, programs have begun to emulate some of TMG’s other innovative features, including its powerful filtering/searching functions, flags, customizable screen layouts, shared events (i.e., witnesses), and narrative output options.

As genealogical data has become more sophisticated, researchers have been increasingly confronted with the many limitations of GEDCOM in transferring that data. For more than two decades, our GenBridge technology has demonstrated that much more complete and accurate transfers can be achieved through direct imports. Other family tree programs have implemented the GenBridge technology or developed similar direct-import strategies, resulting in the preservation of precious data for countless researchers.

I am proud of the leadership role that TMG has played in the evolution of genealogical software and I encourage TMG users to continue to press developers to raise their standards and implement features that allow researchers to do the same.

In the interest of preserving users’ data, I have released a document that details TMG’s internal file structure and I will make GenBridge available for free to developers who wish to produce a direct import from TMG insofar as their programs support the same features.

It goes without saying that this has been a painful decision and is a significant milestone for me. TMG has been a major part of my life for more than 25 years and it is not easy to let it go. I recognize too and regret the degree to which it may leave researchers uneasy about the future of their data and the prospects for their research tools. I am taking a necessary step back from the genealogical community but with the hope that my contribution to it has left researchers better equipped to accomplish their research goals.

Bob Velke
Owner
Wholly Genes, Inc.

55 Comments

This is not a surprise but it still comes as a shock to me as a longtime user. TMG has always been far ahead of its closest competitors, particularly when it comes to recording sources and the ability to create one’s own custom features. It’s sad but true that it’s hard to compete with mediocrity.

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I was just about to start computerizing my family tree into TMG when I read today’s issue about the program being discontinued. What do you recommend these days as the best two or three genie programs that would match TMG? Thanks.

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Although I have just moved my main database from TMG, this is indeed a sad day, I used TMG happily and productively for many years as I felt it was so much more report flexible than any other program. As Bob Velke says, others are catching up. The old FoxPro platform is creaking at the edges and so I suspect TMG is in need of a rewrite on a new platform.

Having believed in data portability I was “lucky” in my move from TMG as I had always designed my own data structure to be almost fully GEDCOM exportable/ shareable. After much research, for me, it came down to 3 serious contenders; RootsMagic, Legacy and Family Historian. In the end I choose Family Historian, partly, but not only because of its GEDCOM compatibility, but for those who are keen on Witnesses etc (as opposed to using the shared Source detail available with GEDCOM) they may prefer one of the other 2. I see many hours of conversion ahead! My main advice would be to experiment with your new database program and design your structure, then amend what you can in the old program before exporting.

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‘Tis indeed a sad day for all of us TMG users. There is no other program with the features of TMG and even though it will continue to run for many years, we must eventually look to migrating to another program. This also impacts Second Site, a great companion program for producing web sites which uses the data directly from TMG.

I wish Bob Velke the best for his health issues and for his and his teams future – they have given us a great genealogy program which admirably fitted the requirements for us UFT refugees.

I wonder if we can use a Mac emulator on our PC and run Reunion for Mac? :-)

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    I applaud your interest in using Reunion, which has been my genealogy program of choice since I started research in 1997. But I’m afraid there is no such thing as a Mac emulator. There are a few Windows emulators for the Mac, but not the other way around.

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I wonder is this leaves others as stunned as we are. We are deeply invested in TMG and Second Site it’s companion program for website publishing. Invested with literally thousands of hours of data entry based on the structure and capabilities of both products. While it is true that both should continue to work so long as Windows 7 or Windows 8 is around what happens with the next release of windows. Additionally with TMG departing the scene we wonder about Second Site including it’s hosting service we have come to love. At our age it isn’t even conceivable to imagine starting over and even then to what program or sets of programs. How in the world can we move over 5000 sources and more than 5000 individuals worth of data, photographs, and painfully constructed narratives from TMG to another program. GEDCOM isn’t a reliable way for sure. A very disappointing and disturbing day in the lives of at least two genealogists. I pray that another company will reach out to purchase and maintain TMG but I doubt that is a likely possibility.

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    Yesterday’s announcement about TMG will have no direct effect on Second Site (SS), at least for the next several years. I will continue developing and supporting SS. In the long-term, I may extend SS to support GEDCOM input. Even so, I will not do that at the expense of TMG. I plan to continue to use TMG for many years and I will need SS for my personal projects. Meanwhile, I have a loyal user base and I expect that to be true for quite some time. There will be no changes to Family History Hosting, my web hosting service that you have “come to love”. :)

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    John – thanks for the assurance about Second site. We have no plans to bail out of either in the immediate future. However, the handwriting is on the wall on TMG unless someone buys and maintains it – it is only a matter of time before a new window version or even an update comes along that will cause TMG to fail or loose some of its functionality. That might be years or it could be 1Jan 2015 when TMG is no longer maintained. The frightening part is that the first indicator of failure and loss of access to all our work as it stands in TMG could be when it stops working after a windows update. I realize that is always a risk but right now it would get corrected in short order. However when it does happen, and it evenutentually will with the end of support on TMG, the process of migration to another program will be much harder if not impossible depending on the nature of the failure. I wish Bob and his super team all the best but remain heartbroken over the loss of a tremendous Genealogy resource as well as concerned about what to do in the long term. I’ve left a long trail of software and hardware over the years that stopped working with a windows update when the company either no longer existed or chose not to update drivers or other necessary changes driven by the windows update. Staying with an unsupported TMG in the long term is simply not an option. Hopefully as the shock wears off folks smarter than me will find a long term solution or my prayer will be answered – someone will buy TMG and continue its legacy.

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    TC Cottrell, you said everything that I would say. I am glad to hear that John plans to continue Second Site for now, and he knows a million times more than I do, but I also have had that awful sinking feeling when you discover that a program is no longer compatible with an operating system update. As you say, after that happens, the migration process is reactive rather than proactive, and possibly very problematic. I will be looking forward to Dick’s article with his thoughts on paths forward. The website integration is very important to me.

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Although I don’t use it myself, I am sad to see the demise of The Master Genealogist. It’s another step on the road that leads to only online trees, where we will no longer be able to maintain definitive databases distinct from illustrative websites.

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Well this does not surprise me as I have seen Wholly Genes slowly pulling away from the users and the program over the last few years. Many of us were a bit disappointed with the v9 release and what could have been vs what was actually produced. I have been a TMG user for well over two decades having transitioned from Roots CPM to Roots III/IV then Ultimate Family Tree (UFT) when they absorbed Roots. When UFT went out of business took the special offer that Bob Velke made to UFT users to transition to his TMG program. I love the program and it is the most versatile of any on the marketplace. But that versatility has a price in complexity and ease to use. That has always been the one major issue with many not using it, the learning curve. I do wish Bob Velke well and good health in his future endeavors and hope that maybe someone (hello Legacy) will use that Genbridge technology to provide us with a better transfer of data (right now it would be a huge nightmare, I’ve tried). So until something comes along I will continue to use my favorite program TMG v9 which is still the best of the best and has no other equal.

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Very sorry to learn that this wonderful tool will no longer be developed. Paired with Second Site, it is really invaluable. Best wishes to Bob for good health, and hoping an angel will swoop in to continue development.

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Maybe Wholly Genes could donate the source code to the open source community. It would be a great open source project.

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    Yes. If it can’t be sold, send it to open source. Linux users are currently stuck with an old version of Gramps. I’ve trial-tested all the major Windows-based competitors over the years, and TMG still remains the most powerful of all the contenders.

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    I’m hoping for Open Source, too. Bob hasn’t had the resources to modernize the technology stack or support Linux and Mac. While TMG’s database TECHNOLOGY has been unfortunate, the database SCHEMA is what sold me on it.

    I have written a few personal applications to access the data directly, however, for the most part TMG does what I need it to do for the time being. Back in the 90’s the slow, clunky, non-standard, 80’s-style (did I say SLOOOOOWW?) User Interface used to really irritate me. Sadly, the current technology stack does not take advantage of modern advances and remains stuck in the look and performance of the 80’s. Back in the day I wrote a utility to perform data entry in then-current tech so that I didn’t have to wait for TMG. In practice, however, I have returned to using TMG and simply enduring its quaint approach.

    Moving to current tech using Open Source would be some kind of wonderful. Otherwise, too bad. When the time comes, I’ll do what I do in one of the practices of my day-job: ETLV. Extract-Transform-Load-Validate.

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Nothing matches TMG. Like almost all other users, I wil continue to use it and see no reason to move to what can only be an inferior product. I can’t imagine losing the features and flexibility it provides. I’ve used many of the others, and they pale by comparison. Besides, what would I ever do without my beloved Second Site?! The user support forums, by the way, are full of eager and willing experts who can always be counted on if questions arise in using various features. Even the naysayers almost always find that their so-called problems with TMG (or SS) stem from user error or problems with their own computer systems or other programs. GIGO, as we always say.

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    Doris, I just wish it were that easy. I would like nothing better than to continue with TMG but the sad fact is that with every new version of Windows our ability to use TMG might come to a screeching halt. And even if it were to work in some fashion (compatibility mode etc.), there is no guarantee that it would work reliably or with full functionality. Drivers become outdated for older versions of hardware, protocols change… Personally I see no way around finding another solution if I want to be able to still access my data in say 10+ years.

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Peg Buckman (Joan) July 30, 2014 at 12:50 pm

This is so sad. I hate to see it go and am so sorry that Bob is having health problems. I’d better update mine right now so I’ll have v9. My own health problems have slowed me down also but anxious to get caught up. THanks.
Peg Buckman,

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I’m not a user of TMG, but this points to an extremely important consideration in choosing any software that does something that is important to you–what’s the long run viability of the product. A technically outstanding product is of no long run use if it dies. I lost my home inventory some years ago when the product disappeared and had to start over. Financial strength and the depth and breadth of the support team may not be easy to judge, but they are very important.

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    That’s true, Carl, but many TMG users selected the program decades ago (almost 20 years ago in my case) and TMG has already outlasted most of the other products that were available to us at the time we made our choice.

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I have been keeping my 5 year old Windows Vista laptop alive in order to continue to use TMG. My primary computer is now a MacBook Pro. This may be the push that gets me to invest in a Mac genealogy program. I look forward to Dick’s future review and hope he includes Mac programs.

Hopefully there will be a program out there that allows the use of custom “flags” because I use them extensively to keep track of what I have updated, what needs to be reviewed, what has been exported to WeRelate.org, and custom subsets of data such as Civil War and WWI veterans.

My best wishes and prayers go out to Bob and his team. They have provided superior support services over the years and I want them to know that I appreciate it. It does’t seen possible that it has been nearly 8 years since we joined their 2006 genealogy cruise. Awesome!

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Very sorry to hear this. I have used TMG for years and found it to be the best and most flexible genealogy database available and Bob Velke’s long-time commitment to the product both unique and admirable. Although I will continue to use my copy of TMG for as long as possible, I am also looking forward to hearing Dick’s analysis of the other programs that are expected to continue to be available with full support. Of special interest to me will be any plans the competitors are making to enable complete and accurate importation of TMG data.

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I was very disappointed and saddened to see the newsletter yesterday. I have made great use of the capabilities of TMG and SS. Glad to see John Cardinal will continue working on SS.
I too hope someone will purchase TMG but I know it really needs a full rewrite.
I already use virtualized environments for some of my computing. Maybe my genealogy work will have to live on in a virtual environment frozen at its current capabilities.

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This is why we need an updated standard other than GEDCOM to transfer genealogical data between programs. I am still hopeful that something is developed by FHISO (Family History Information Standards Organisation). The same thing that happened with The Master Genealogist can happen with any genealogy program. Users spend hours inputting information into their programs and should be able to transfer that information without loss into another program if necessary. GEDCOM does not do this. The first company that offers a program able to do this will be the one that ultimately survives long term if no genealogical standards are developed.

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    James Gordon Orrell July 30, 2014 at 4:27 pm

    well said, I was thinking the same myself, that is why when I chose a new product I did tests on portability of data, alas GEDCOM is still the most usable, you have to make sure you structure your data such that it that can be exported via GEDCOM. That is not as difficult as you might think as GEDCOM 5.5 is still very powerful, e.g. you can use shared Sources+text instead of Witnesses. Where I think it fails is for new things like GPS and the PLACe/ ADDRess statements are very vague.

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When I received the email late last night that TMG was going to be discontinued I was shocked. As a long-time TMG user I have invested countless hours, weeks and months into entering my family data into TMG. Some of the features I use and rely on the most are features only available in TMG. Honestly – I cannot even wrap my mind around this just yet.

I went ahead and bought Legacy 8 now (as an update to an earlier version that I had briefly played around with several years ago) but I can already tell that it is in no way going to measure up to TMG. I am actually quite distraught over this and just wish that some provisions had been made to keep this program alive instead of discontinuing it somewhat unceremoniously in but a few months. This is the second time this has happened to me. The first time it was Ultimate Family Tree, which then caused me to migrate my data to TMG. Some 3,000/4,000 added individuals later I am now back to square 1. Can’t say I am thrilled.

Very much looking forward to Dick’s article on an alternative to TMG. Thank you in advance for that, Dick. I’m sure lots of people are just as eagerly awaiting it as I am.

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    IreneP, you wrote, “I am actually quite distraught over this and just wish that some provisions had been made to keep this program alive instead of discontinuing it somewhat unceremoniously in but a few months.” What provisions would you recommend?

    Wholly Genes is going to support the product until the end of the year–5 full months from now–and may release fixes during that time. That is a very reasonable way to discontinue a product whose market is too small to support its continued existence. Yes, many TMG users have a lot invested in their genealogy projects and they want TMG to be available forever. Unfortunately, that’s not realistic. However, TMG will continue to run for a very long time. UFT is still running, for example, and it would not surprise me if TMG v9 continues to run for 10 years or more.

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    James Gordon Orrell July 30, 2014 at 5:04 pm

    Depending on which features of TMG you used you might be in for a lot of keying and copy/paste. Having just made the move from TMG myself I strongly suggest that before you start any migration you study and use the trial versions of at least the 4 main alternatives (LG, RM, FH, FTM) as they all offer different features, portability, strong user groups, plugins, ease of use etc. Some excel at reports and diagrams, some at data entry and lookups, some a good solid database, some at sources. Some at Bells and Whistles and GPS. If you use mostly generated online/ interactive output, printed reports matter little, you would need a good database with good output options for your web type application.

    And of course, we are all looking forward to Dick’s article on an alternative to TMG, but I would hope it was a more general review, not just as a full featured TMG replacement as not all TMG users (inc myself) use all the TMG features, for instance I mostly liked the powerful reporting options of TMG for my simple database structure.

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    Thank you, James, you are making some very good points.

    Having gone through an earlier migration from UFT to TMG some 14 years ago, I am aware that this will be tedious to say the least. For me sources and data entry are the most important features. And having to do this now for a second time, it is also important to me to go with a company that will be around for the foreseeable future and which will provide regular updates to keep up with technical developments. I believe that regardless of which software one decides on (in my case Legacy v8 which now does include expanded source writing capabilities), it will always be a major rework project.

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I have been a satisfied user of TMG for nearly 20 years and plan to continue using it for several more years. If anyone is interested in my reasons, I have posted “Why I will continue to use a discontinued TMG” on the Wholly Genes forum here:

http://www.whollygenes.com/forums201/index.php?/topic/15802-why-i-will-continue-to-use-a-discontinued-tmg/

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I am so very disappointed TMG is ending. I recently moved to a MAC & found no MAC genealogy software programs even close to TMG’s capabilities. I then purchased a Windows laptop just to continue using TMG. I look forward to reviews of the best Windows-based genealogy software programs.

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I expect to keep using TMG forever. I have used it for about 20 years, it still does what I want, and I can’t image why I would need to change. I have never needed tech support, so I am not too distressed about this news (though sad for Bob, of course).

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    I certainly agree with you, Judy. Now that I’m being forced to give up my Windows XP operating system, I will buy a new computer, upgrade to Windows 8, upgrade my TMG and carry on. I can’t see ahead any further than that but it seems to me that, as long as a computer exists that can run Windows 8, I should be able to stay with TMG.

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Although I’m not a TMG user, I too was shocked to learn its days are numbered. I have been using Legacy for years (and I’ve tried a few other programs), but something about TMG kept me thinking of switching to it. I don’t know if I would have used many of TMG’s impressive features, but having been an avid genealogist for almost forty years I wanted to get the best, most professional software. I was at the point where, having just switched to the MAC, I had loaded Parallels and Windows so I could run TMG. In fact, I’m half way through Terry Reigel’s A Primer for the Master Genealogist and was about to take the plunge! I guess it wasn’t meant to be. Now, I have to decide whether to switch entirely to a Mac genealogy program (Heredis 2014 or Reunion seem to be the leading contenders) or continue with a Windows base program that will fill the void left by TMG. I too am looking forward to Dick’s review. While I don’t know Bob and haven’t had any contact with him, the very personal comments many of you have made about him speak volumes about the man and his contribution to the genealogy world and our passion for recording the results of our research efforts. Thank you Bob and all the best.

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I really Like Legacy Family Tree Deluxe Addition

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Kudos and many thanks to Bob Velke for his many years of service to the
genealogical community, including TMG. I had two two versions of the program 4.0 (DOS) and 5 (Windows). I followed Bob’s movements for years starting when he gave a demo of his DOS program at an NGS
Conference in the States in Florida in the 1980’s. Ironically I was prepared to buy his 9.03 version and having not seen his recent announcement to discontinue TMG in 2015 if I could find the WordPerfect import feature still intact to help me publish a book that has been 40 years in the making but need TMG’s desktop publishing features to produce a finished genealogy with charts, photos, and an every-name index plus the Modified Henry notation system. I have 5 old Windows 2000 Pro desktops in the house but don’t use anymore except for hopes to use TMG to publish the genealogy. I need a return phone call from the TMG support staff and if TMG still works on my old hardware and a Windows or Linux version of WP, I’ll be happy to get TMG and we (TMG and me) can do our Swan Songs together.

Warmm regards and the best of health and fortune to you,

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Reunion for Mac Rocks!

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With renewed talk about GEDCOM, I wonder what the status is of updating the GEDCOM standard so that it is more useful in transferring data from program to program. Is there a new standard coming out soon? Is there an “unofficial” update that some programs use? It might make for an interesting topic in the near future.

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Linda mentioned:
” I recently moved to a MAC & found no MAC genealogy software programs even close to TMG’s capabilities.”

Check the Wholly Genes Forum for instructions, Linda. Many users have installed Parallels and a Windows OS on their MAC and are using it that way very successfully.

Michael Duffy mused:
” Now, I have to decide whether to switch entirely to a Mac genealogy program … or continue with a Windows base program that will fill the void left by TMG.”

Why not continue to use your existing TMG under Parallels? I would suspect that you could run that way for at least ten years.

I believe it is very premature to consider leaving TMG. I expect the publishers of existing genealogy programs will see the thousands of existing TMG users as a potential market. But I anticipate it will take at least several months if not a few years until these vendors adapt their programs sufficiently to attract TMG users. Why not wait until then?

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    I have a Mac and use VMWare Fusion to run TMG. The nice thing about VMWare Fusion (I’m not familiar with Parallels) is it operates within the Mac so I can go back and forth from TMG to my Mac. Some Windows simulator programs require that you run the machine either as a Mac or as a Windows machine. It was relatively easy to install, and only took a bit more to figure it out. The hardest part was getting the TMG files stored on my Mac (rather than in the virtual Windows machine) so that they are backed up when I back up my Mac. I confess I don’t know anymore how I did it, but it seems to work fine.

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I want to extend best wishes to Bob Velke and prayers for his health issues. I hope that making this break will give him the time to focus on what’s most important in his life. I also want to send my heartfelt thanks to Bob and his very knowledgeable team for their many years of providing an excellent program and constantly working to provide features that no other genealogy software program was providing. I’ve been a loyal user since I upgraded from Brothers Keeper more than 20 years ago, and will not move to another program until I’m forced to. I know that time will come, but I don’t expect it anytime soon so I’m not in panic mode. I look forward to reading Dick’s review of what’s out there now, but I intend to wait for programs to step up their efforts and vie for our business.

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So sad. I’ve been using TMG for 15 years. As a librarian, I can say it’s been absolutely superb and the very rare occasion I’ve needed support, I’ve gotten a personal email within 24 hours. Thank you so much from all of us out here to somebody who provided a very high quality service and a lot of joy to us out here for many years.

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I echo all the above sentiments for TMG and Bob Velke. I have loved TMG since 1995 when I received Version 1.2. I plan to continue to use it for as long as I can. Thank you, Bob, your family and staff for all those wonderful years. I wish you the best.

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Christine Crawford-Oppenheimer August 1, 2014 at 12:18 pm

I use TMG, and like some others who have posted here, I hope to use it for as long as possible. However, at this point I haven’t upgraded to v. 9 yet. Would it be best for me to do that in order to extend possible usability of the program? I have no problem with keeping my current Windows 7 laptop forever in order to be able to keep using TMG–both my husband and I have a collection of older computers in order to use various programs.

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Christine asked: Would it be best for me to upgrade?
Even if current users choose not to upgrade, in my opinion they should at least purchase the very latest version while they still can. That way they would have the option of upgrading later.

Since the latest versions were specifically upgraded to work on the latest Windows operating systems, those versions are likely to be able to run the longest, which may be the biggest incentive. For example the Version 7 report writer will not work on the latest Windows operating systems. Further the latest versions have both bug fixes and new features which you may find valuable.
So, yes, I would suggest upgrading.

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I’ve been looking at other genealogy programs this week. NONE of them comes close to producing narrative reports, as well as TMG. I have been working on publishing 4 books, one for each grandparent, using the Journal Report for ancestors in TMG. It is wonderful and enables me to include all of the information I have collected. I use a MAC now and was very disappointed to find that REUNION, best of the MAC products, won’t do that — their version of an ancestor report is basically an ahnentafel report! My old Windows machine still works, so I’m going to be busily generating all of the reports and exporting them as text files and also install Parallels to run TMG on my MAC (at least until something better than what is available now turns up.)

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Very sorry to hear about Bob’s health issues. Best wishes for a full recovery.

I’ve been using TMG for about 20 years, occasionally checking out other programs’ capabilities. Never found another program that matched TMG’s combination of source recording, publishing power, and charting capabilities. Second Site filled the online publishing gap.

I can’t say that I am surprised by the announcement, however. TMG is built on the abandoned Foxpro platform, and has a dated interface. I have been waiting (since TMG version 5 or 6) for either an announcement that TMG is being ported to a different platform, or that it is being discontinued.

I’d like to put in my vote for open-source continuation!
Very interested in hearing what Dick has to say about alternatives (and data porting).

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This reminds me of when programs written for Win 95 and Win 98 were stranded when Win XP came out. I think that the main lesson from this software evolution is that users should keep every installation disk from every upgrade. Quite often, the final upgrade preceding discontinuance will continue to be usable, at lease for a while. But if the user throws away the most recent disks they can find themselves SOL. So long as the user has the most recent set of installation disks they would have several years to find a replacement.

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I am not sure how many TMG users are aware of Family Historian. I see it has at least one mention in an earlier reply to this issue of TMG being discontinued. When version 5 of Family Historian was released in 2012 it had built-in, a direct conversion for TMG data that avoided the need to use gedcom thus eliminating the possibility of errors creeping in. I am aware of several TMG users that have since converted and have been very pleased with the compatibility of the replacement program. You don’t need to spend any money to try out Family Historian as there is a 30 day trial download at the following webpage at My History in the UK: http://www.my-history.co.uk/acatalog/Family_Historian.html
The authors of the Family Historian program are obviously well aware of the functionality of TMG and I am sure they would listen very carefully to any requests for modification from TMG users in the event that they had overlooked any conversion issues. I have been using Family Historian (FH) for 10 years but I have also supported TMG users here in the UK. I reached a conclusion some time ago that FH is a much easier program to learn than TMG but at the same time has more functions and certainly handles images in a better way. The program has a very active user forum where you will also find a wish list of enhancements requested by users.
However don’t take my word for it have a look at the program for yourselves and see what you make of it. As you may gather I am somewhat biased as a long term user of Family Historian. It can be bought as a download or via Amazon and other specialist retailers of genealogy software.

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    Thanks for this information. The biggest sticking point for me is that TMG does such excellent Journal (invidiual back to all ancestors) report. I can’t tell from the web site if Family History does this well, but I’ll try a trial version.

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    But it doesn’t work with Second Site, and there’s nothing else out there like it.

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I am in the same boat (though a lot smaller!) as John Cardinal and have the same position for my GedStar Pro Android product. The Windows conversion program will continue to import directly from TMG, including the latest 9.03 version. This is always the best bet for a complete TMG import, but the program also does support GEDCOM (as well as directly import from Legacy Family Tree).

Down the road, I’m more in the same boat with Bob Velke, as any major change in Windows that renders my program inoperable could require more programming effort than I am capable of or willing to do at my advancing age!

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It’s like learning of an old friend passing. I actually switched over to Legacy 7 (now ver.8) several years back. It may lack some of the advanced features of TMG but I found it was a much more advanced program than I gave credit for as I learned more and more of the features. Also, in many small ways it seemed to have overcome some of the everyday limitations or complexity of TMG. However, all along I’ve continued to also maintain my TMG database (using TMG 7 Gold), always with the thought of returning. Wishing Bob the best with his health problems…currently I am in the same boat. As others have said, it would be nice to see another company buy and maintain TMG or else have it released into the open source community. It’s too good a program to just fade into the sunset.

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