The recent announcement by Ancestry of the “retirement” of Family Tree Maker (see http://goo.gl/BCk2qO for details) has turned out to be a great gift for other genealogy software producers. Thousands of disappointed genealogists are now looking for alternative products. Several companies have announced “special offers” for Family Tree Maker users who wish to switch to a Windows or Macintosh program that will remain supported for some time. I will suggest that a new announcement this morning from MyHeritage should be seriously considered by any Family Tree Maker user.
Disclaimer: MyHeritage is the exclusive sponsor of this newsletter so I could be accused of bias. In fact, anyone who accuses me of bias is correct! To be blunt, I probably am biased. Even so, I do think this is an excellent offer and I will invite readers who do not share my biases to read the announcement and decide for themselves.
MyHeritage has announced a two-pronged offer: both Family Tree Builder software and an unlimited size Family Site for FREE. Of course, Family Tree Builder software for both Windows and Macintosh has always been free. (See my Free Genealogy Software article at https://blog.eogn.com/2015/12/10/free-genealogy-software for details.) The real gem in this announcement is the offer of a FREE family web site of unlimited size on MyHeritage.com.
Both Family Tree Builder and Family Tree Maker will keep “mirrors” of your data in your Windows or Macintosh system and in the MyHeritage web site. Both products will allow access from handheld tablet computers and “smartphones.” Several genealogy programs will copy data to web sites but only two of them that I know of support true two-way synchronization: Family Tree Builder from MyHeritage and the soon-to-be defunct Family Tree Maker from Ancestry. You can enter new data or make updates to existing data either on either the web site or in the desktop or handheld products, then synchronize (automatically update) the same changes to the other devices. If you have previously synchronized your genealogy data from your computer to Ancestry.com, you will be pleased to know that you can do the same with MyHeritage.com.
Both Family Tree Builder and Family Tree Maker will allow for private web sites visible only to the uploader and invited guests or for public web sites visible to everyone in the world. The user remains in control of his or her own data.
Until today, family web sites on the MyHeritage.com web site were free for databases of up to 250 people. Larger databases required payment, however. Today’s announcement for users of Family Tree Maker changes that.
Daniel Horowitz, the Genealogy and Translation Manager at MyHeritage, sent an email to me this morning to tell me of the new announcement, He wrote:
“At MyHeritage, we believe there is still a place in the world for genealogy software, and there is value in the ability to work offline, and enjoy more powerful functionality that many websites cannot offer. We also believe that people should be able to discover and preserve their family history on whatever platform they are comfortable with. That’s why we are constantly innovating new technologies and enhancing our website, mobile apps and our Family Tree Builder genealogy software.
“We are delighted to offer FTM users who move to MyHeritage, and who choose to sync their family tree with their MyHeritage family site, unlimited tree size capacity on their online family site, which is normally limited to 250 individuals on a free account.”
OK, so I am biased. However, I will suggest you check out the details below (copied from the MyHeritage Blog) and then decide for yourself.
The following was written by the folks at MyHeritage:
FTM Users: Join MyHeritage and get Family Tree Builder with an Unlimited Size Family Site for Free
As you may have heard, Ancestry® has recently announced that it will no longer sell its Family Tree Maker® (FTM) software as of the end of this month, with further plans to discontinue support for the program.
At MyHeritage, we believe there is still a place in the world for genealogy software, and there is value in the ability to work offline, and enjoy more powerful functionality that many websites cannot offer. We also believe that people should be able to discover and preserve their family history on whatever platform they are comfortable with. That’s why we are constantly innovating new technologies and enhancing our website, mobile apps and our Family Tree Builder genealogy software.
MyHeritage Family Tree Builder
So for all disappointed FTM users looking for alternative genealogy software, look no further! MyHeritage Family Tree Builder is the ideal tool to continue growing your family tree, and open new frontiers of research. You’ll enjoy its innovative technologies and easy-to-use features.
Family Tree Builder is FREE and you can use it to build a tree of up to 100,000 individuals on your computer. This is not an imposed size limit, but rather a technical limitation, but if you have a larger tree, you can use our new version that’s in beta.
Family Tree Builder is also available for Mac through the Family Tree Builder Mac Extension.
Former FTM users: after installing Family Tree Builder, we recommend that you sync your family tree with your MyHeritage family site. You’ll get many benefits such as enhanced Smart Matches and Record Matches, ability to view and edit your tree using our free mobile apps, robust online backup of your tree data, and more. If you choose to sync, we will be happy to gift you with unlimited tree size capacity on your online family site, which is normally limited to 250 individuals on a free account. Simply email our support team at firstname.lastname@example.org to ask for this free upgrade. Feel free to email us if you have any questions regarding the transfer of your data to Family Tree Builder.
To proceed, export your current family tree from FTM or Ancestry® into a GEDCOM file, download and install Family Tree Builder using the links above, import your GEDCOM into Family Tree Builder, and let the good times roll.
For assistance on how to export your current tree as a GEDCOM file from another genealogy software or website, read our quick step by step guide.
Family Tree Builder 7.0 features full tree syncing, Smart Matches and Record Matches, photo tools, charts, maps, consistency checks and much more.
In early 2016, we will release Family Tree Builder 8.0, which we have been developing for the past two years. Some of our power users are currently testing it in beta, and are enthusiastic about the new version’s improvements. We’ve invested significant resources to rewrite the program’s internals in order to support very large family trees (up to 500,000 individuals), with faster performance.