A Special Offer for Family Tree Maker Users: MyHeritage is Offering the Family Tree Builder Genealogy Program for Windows and Macintosh PLUS an Unlimited Size Family Site for FREE

ftbThe 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.

ftb_download_page_02Both 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.

ftb-timelineBoth 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.

ftb

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.

Download Family Tree Builder now

Family Tree Builder is also available for Mac through the Family Tree Builder Mac Extension.

Download 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 upgrade@myheritage.com 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.

You can learn more about the features of Family Tree Builder 7.0 or watch the video below:

84 Comments

Well, I don’t have a blog and am not supported in any way by MyHeritage. That said, I concur – this is an offer very much worth looking into. As of last year they’re the providers of family tree management for 23andme, and the deal they’re offering to Ancestry people is vastly better as far as free tree size is concerned. 23andme folk only got the 250 size.

I don’t know if they intend to get into the business of doing any kind of DNA matching along with their “Smart Search” functionality, but I’ve asked the question, and we’ll see what the support rep comes back with.

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While the Ancestry.com online cloud and the Ancestry FTM “Family Tree Maker” with the automatic TreeSync function has been seen by users as the combination that gave Ancestry the distinctive advantage and perceived unique solution compared to the alternatives and other offers, the Ancestry management team apparently has NOT understood their most devoted customers and how they work – nor has the Ancestry management team understood that that had in fact had a distinctive AND strategic “core competence” from a business point of view that was a competitive advantage for the long term, indeed a strategic advantage in the industry that distinguished them and kept them held high in esteem with not only their users, but serious genealogists and the wider community and industry.

While MyHeritage has had this Sync functionality combining online and offline, it has not been as widely known among Ancestry.com and FTM users because they were more or less satisfied and not even looking elsewhere for other possibilities – they were rather satisfied and devoted customers.

In a stroke the Ancestry management team with the discontinuance of the FTM and Tree Sync function has breached the trust of their most serious and dedicated customers, completely alienated them, irreparably damaging the Ancestry brand promise.

The industry landscape has just changed.

Indeed MyHeritage with the desktop software, Sync function, portability to mobile devices, and the large set of trees online in the “cloud” combines the features that many and varied types of users value, and other companies are not yet able to provide. An enviable position be to be in and well positioned to capitalize on Ancestry management’s blunder and apparent narrow vision and disregard for its most serious and devoted users.

The main practical shortcoming is that MyHeritage requires the import of a GEDCOM – which solves 80% of the problem of Ancestry FTM users, but (if I understand it correctly and am not mistaken), does not import FTM format files directly (e.g. as RootsMagic apparently can), including the media and some other things unique to FTM (not sure how well things remain linked up without extra work to ensure media or citations are properly linked, etc – perhaps others with experience can chime in).

What a killer offer and opportunity for both MyHeritage and former or now disenchanted Ancestry customers if MyHeritage could import FTM format directly! Hopefully some thought is being given to this.

From a business perspective, interesting to watch two management teams compete with each other (along with the other well known players) across this changing industry landscape, and who better understands customers and who has the better vision of the future. MyHeritage is positioned to “create the future” – at least in the genealogy community, or the part that Ancestry looks to be either abandoning or deliberately inattentive to (or perhaps merely demonstrating for all to see the Ancestry management team’s lack of understanding and “core incompetence”) – perhaps much broader areas across the industry landscape.

While Ancestry’s management team announcement is a bitter disappointment to researchers, family historians, librarian or genealogy groups, and others, it is to be hoped that others are able to quickly fill the void being created and continue to offer re-assuring features and functionality of BOTH online-cloud AND offline software and data. Despite the rush and now push get get everything into the cloud in a new world of mobility (tablets, phones, devices, etc) at the expense of the non-mobile users still using a keyboard and mouse, it seems to me that the company that can integrate and maintain user access to BOTH will be the winner in the long term. And perhaps even in the short term!

Many are interested in both the larger story here playing out, but also how it impacts them personally, and what the options are. Certainly looking forward to more posts on these topics and any discussion that helps bring things to light.

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    Hi Kenneth,
    According to a comparison that Dick posted yesterday, My Heritage Family Tree Builder will import FTM files prior to version 2914. I tried it by exporting my 2014 file into a 2010 file, yet when I tried to import it into FTB, it only transferred 380 out of 1800. I have FTM 2009 & 2012 that I think I’m going to reload I’ll use the 2012 to open the 2010 file and then close. If it that works, I’ll try importing the file written by FTM 2012, If that doesn’t work, I’ll give the 2009 a try. I did import the FTM GEDCOM but, as expected, most of my notes were lost.
    https://blog.eogn.com/2015/12/10/free-genealogy-software/

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    Paul. I maintain a separate family website using The Next Generation product that I export to from FTM. FTM 2014 will not work, but if I am export the FTM 2014 ged to FTM 2012 and then export the FTM 2012 ged to TNG, with the help of a TNG utility I can make it work. Translated = Ancestry has never been interested in helping ease the transfer of MY data from their cloud to a separate product that is a legitimate use that they do not provide (a family-based standalone website). As is typicall with gedcom, I also have to manually transfer the new media files from FTM 2012 to TNG. I am very interested in the My Heritage offer, but the initial change will not be pleasant (e.g. copying over medial files and likely re-entering manually comments and notes, etc.). Thank you to Dick Eastman for his insight on this matter…

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    I agree. I’ll hold out a while until someone will import the ftm file format.
    I’m ready to cancel my ancestry.com membership and move.
    I’ll use my library’s Ancestry subscription when I want to look at their records.

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    So far, after repeated trys to begin using Myheritagefamilytreebuilder 8.0 i keep coming up with Vimeo, a pay-for program, that seems to be attached to the My Heritage 8.0. Am I somehow hitting the wrong button, or is this truly a fee based requirement necessary to use the new My Heritage program?

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    —> So far, after repeated trys to begin using Myheritagefamilytreebuilder 8.0 i keep coming up with Vimeo, a pay-for program

    You have something wrong in your computer. Try it from a different computer. I bet you will get different results.

    Family Tree Builder is a 100% free program available from MyHeritage. There is no charge.

    If you want to use the option to sync with MyHeritage.com and if you have a large genealogy database, you may have to eventually pay for a MyHeritage.com subscription. However, there is never a charge for Family Tree Builder and there is no requirement to ever sync with MyHeritage.com. Thousands of people use Family Tree Builder without syncing and they never pay a dime for anything.

    Also, Family Tree Builder and MyHeritage are not associated in any way with Vimeo, a different company.

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    Yesterday my computer crashed when I was using FTM. I have more than 20 years of info saved on FTM and cannot access anything. I brought my computer to be serviced and the tech ran all the tests and told me nothing is wrong… no virus or any other issue. I hooked it back up and everything worked fine except FTM… program crashed – I tried to export it to Legacy but Legacy crashed. I scanned FTM with my antivirus and it was clean. (Thank God I backed it up with Carbonite) Is the program inaccessible now?
    … or is the problem with my computer only?

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Storing all your data (including notes, document, images, etc) in FTB+MyHeritage.com is no different than using FTM+Ancestry.com: vendor lock-in which holds your information and untold thousands of hours of labor hostage to their whim.

Store your data in a program that uses a format that will be accessible in 5, 10, 15, 50 years from now. Gramps and Legacy Family Tree are two programs I know of which do so. There may be more. (GEDCOM doesn’t count, since too many programs & web sites don’t export everything into ged files, and also it doesn’t store media.)

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    “GEDCOM … doesn’t store media.”
    Wrong. I have media linked to my GEDCOM.

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    brucefuimus – not all genealogy programs use the most up to date version of the gedcom software so some programs are not capable of linking to the media files.

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    —> vendor lock-in which holds your information and untold thousands of hours of labor hostage to their whim

    Can you tell me why you think your data is held “hostage?” I am very familiar with both MyHeritage and Family Tree Builder and have never heard anyone claim that the data is held hostage. If it is your data, you can download your own data at any time so that you always have a copy of the latest version. You can also delete your data at any time from MyHeritage.com’s web servers. See http://helpcenter.myheritage.com/Account-and-Subscriptions/My-Account/33436370/How-do-I-delete-my-family-site-on-MyHeritage.htm for details.

    MyHeritage has a very strong policy concerning ownership of the data uploaded to the site. MyHeritage claims to own the software, the web site, and things like that, the same as all other web sites. However, MyHeritage also claims that data any uploaded by a user ALWAYS belongs to that user, not to MyHeritage. The user is always free to add, modify, download, or delete the user-contributed information at any time. That doesn’t sound like a hostage situation to me.

    MyHeritage also will not sell your data on CDs or any other media. It will only publish your data online and then only if you explicitly give permission for that by making your information public. If you keep your information private, nobody else can see it unless you give permission to view it.

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Dick, I trust your input on this and I am seriously considering taking them up on their offer. Is there a time frame as to when this offer expires, as I really don’t have time to deal with it with the holidays upon us. Thank you so much for explaining all of this (and of course for your excellent newsletter). Have a wonderful holiday & I wish you all the best in 2016!!

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    —-> Is there a time frame as to when this offer expires

    None that I know of. I think that is normal for most companies who offer “special incentives.” They typically keep the offer available for as long as there is customer interest.

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It should be noted that the LDS Family Search application has an online software that can be accessed from any computer as well as a mobile app for offline viewing.

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    But isn’t that only to VIEW their database or to look at their WIKI-TREE? I don’t even care if it downloads persons or facts or sources from the WIKI-TREE, as I don’t research via trees at all, wiki or not – even though they can be a starting point for research. In other words, does LDS have personal trees for a person to upload and maintain? I don’t think so. Please correct me if I am wrong.

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Marilyn Kay Maynard December 12, 2015 at 9:28 am

I think I have the “best of both worlds” by using both Ancestry and MyHeritage. I will not miss Family Tree Maker which I paid a fee to own, but when I want to work offline I have access to Family Tree Builder which does not cost extra. There are features of each of them which I like and those which I like less, but when I was seriously looking for another option MyHeritage offered me the opportunity for free to try another alternative. You may decide to switch from Ancestry, or you might do as I have done and use both. You may end up with two online trees, but to me that is just another way to have a backup while connecting with other family members who have chosen to use MyHeritage rather than Ancestry or vice versa. I’m sure with both companies changes will occur–some good while others are not so good–but the end objective with either of these, or any other company, is to offer you a product from which they will make money and will help you to achieve your goal of building a family tree.

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    Marilyn- In a perfect world, I would love to have all of the major cloud-based sites kept current with my family research results. Unfortunately, I do not have the time required to accomplish such a feat. The cloud-based sites have no interest in releasing API information that would allow for seamless transfer of data between different vendors (e.g. Ancestry and MyHeritage). And so, we are left with utilizing Gedcom transfer (along with the shortcomings inherent in that process) and/or entering the data separately into each site. Rightly or wrongly, I will settle on one vendor. I have been with Ancestry.com, largely because of the benefits of FTM providing a syncable desktop link. That benefit appears to be going away, and contrary to what they say, I do not expect Ancestry.com to allow an outside software vendor to have the full access necessary to develop a substitute product for FTM.

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A new update? but the question has to be asked, HAVE they bought the “rights” to FTM and will they in the future update this last version and even add new features to it??

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    Scott – Myheritage has nothing to do with ancestry.com or FTM. They have had their own product along with their own software – Family Tree Builder – for some years now. They are totally independent of ancestry.com and Family Tree Maker, and since they have their own products, they will I’m sure update those according to need.

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It would be nice if they would make the same offer to TMG users. Do you think there’s a chance, Dick?

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    I rarely predict the actions of others. But I doubt if there is any reason to extend that offer. TMG had a small number of customers although most of them we very loyal and enthusiastic about the product. In my opinion, the reasons for not extending the offer include: (1.) the small number of TMG customers, (2.) the TMG shutdown happened some time ago and most TMG users probably have already made plans to migrate elsewhere.

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    What would prevent a former TMG user from taking advantage of this offer? Is some proof required of having been an FTM customer?

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    The answer to my own question is that there’s nothing that would prevent a former TMG user from taking advantage of this offer – I just did it. Of course, as others have pointed out, one would still need a paid subscription to MyHeritage in order to take advantage of certain features, like increased storage, the ability to confirm and reject Smart Matches, and priority support.

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I downloaded Family Tree Builder for my Mac earlier. Things went well until I tried to use it when I got the:
” ‘Family Tree Builder.app’ can’t be opened because the identity of the developer cannot be confirmed” warning.

Suggestions?

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    That is a common warning from the Macintosh OS X operating system. The following is an answer from the Apple tech Support page at https://support.apple.com/kb/PH14369?locale=en_US

    In the Finder, locate the app you want to open.
    Don’t use Launchpad to do this. Launchpad doesn’t allow you to access the shortcut menu.

    Press the Control key (and hold it down), then click the app icon.
    Choose Open from the shortcut menu.
    Click Open.
    The app is saved as an exception to your security settings, and you will be able to open it in the future by double-clicking it, just like any registered app.

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Can you tell me how a MacavoGold membership relates to BillionGraves and Findmypast. Over the past year I received word they had merged and were providing free access to all (at least that is what I thought it said). Do I access all three through one site. Are the three connected or not? My recent attempt to use Findmypast was far from free. With this forced “off-line change in software programs” that has become mandatory now that reliability of any tech support by FTM will be a reality, I am attempting to clean up and access my strongest options for further research. I hate change (as many of us do when we truly don’t comprehend the bigger technical picture).
My MocavoGold, AncestryWorld, and Findagrave and Dick Eastman Blogs and Newsletters were a match that met all of my needs (except for adequate English translations of Swedish Arkivdigital.com items). I was blissfully happy. Now the FTM debacle has thrown me completely off course. Until I get past this overwhelmed period, I can’t seem to move forward but need to make a decision prior to my 01-01 renewals on all. Can you help me sort through just these items mentioned with your greater knowledge and thoughts that come to mind. I need to get past the insecure feeling that I am on my own. I will appreciate any input.

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    Billion Graves was not merged with anyone else. It is still an independent company. It does have partnerships with several other organizations, however, including FindMyPast, FamilySearch, MyHeritage, Tributes.com, and probably some others I cannot remember right now.

    Mocavo was acquired by FindMyPast about a year and a half ago. I wrote about that at https://blog.eogn.com/2014/06/23/findmypast-buys-mocavo/

    —>Do I access all three through one site.

    No. They are operated as three separate services, even though two of them are owned by the same company. Each one has its own, separate web site

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A couple of years ago at Roots Tech there was a company displaying a software that would sync family trees across different programs and web applications. It may have been in the testing stage. Does anyone remember the name of the company or if the product was ever marketed?

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Will MyHeritage tree builder work with Windows XP?

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Mary Dresser Taffet December 12, 2015 at 3:08 pm

I use FTM as my primary database, but as I have tested at 23andme, I now have a non-interactive tree at MyHeritage.com. I took one of the offers for a reduced subscription fee that included both unlimited family sites and the data subscription since then. I’d sure love to be able to try out this new offer, but don’t know that it would work with my existing tree and existing subscription.

So far I haven’t been very impressed with the MyHeritage data subscription that I currently have because I haven’t yet found a way to truly examine the records mentioned as possible matches. For example, when it suggests a newspaper article from NewspaperArchive, you really can’t see enough of the text to truly know what you’re looking at. Whenever it suggests an article, I then go directly to NewspaperArchive.com in order to be able to actually read the article in question.

And the Smart Matches don’t do me much good, because they are only to trees that other people have built, without a way to look at the other tree in general without merging the person in question.

Maybe I’m missing something, but for those reasons, MyHeritage as a data provider doesn’t even come close to what Ancestry provides to me now.

I’m also not thrilled about how a newly imported tree displays with default settings. I can’t stand looking at the names of married women as showing the married surname with (born maiden surname) in parentheses. I managed to find the setting to correct that, but I’m guessing most people don’t even bother trying to change it, as most other trees display this way, which looks so incredibly odd to me.

If I were to try this offer, I doubt it would be my primary means of maintaining data for the above reasons.

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    My biggest gripe with MyHeritage is that it keeps giving hints to my material or my trees on other sites. I cant shut that down.

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I use an older version of FTM for my family names and wonder if I can still input some family into my FTM without having to attach to one of the companies mentioned? I don’t belong to any of them right now and really don’t want to, just want to be able to have access to my family tree. Is this possible?
Bonniie

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    Likewise, I also use an older version of FTM (2011 in my case) and do not connect it with any websites. FTM will continue to operate by itself just fine for probably several years. The issue is that operating system and/or hardware upgrades may eventually affect the programs operation. In almost all cases, this will not be a problem until you get a new computer.

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    Bonnie Tice – Yes, you can continue to use FTM independently on your own computer. There won’t be anymore software updates, and eventually if there are changes to your operating system, it may cease working. For the time being you should be fine, but you may want to start looking for a different program to use, in case FTM ceases to function at some point in the future.

    If you read this newsletter from a couple of days ago, Dick reviewed some programs that are free.

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    —> I use an older version of FTM for my family names and wonder if I can still input some family into my FTM without having to attach to one of the companies mentioned?

    Yes.

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Dick
The essence of my family history is in hundreds of photos and copies of original documents, as well as data. Will all this transfer seamlessly from my FTM software to the My Heritage Family Tree Builder software, which you are promoting as a good deal?

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    —> Will all this transfer seamlessly from my FTM software to the My Heritage Family Tree Builder software

    Probably not. It also will not transfer properly to any other web site or genealogy program. The problem is in GEDCOM specifications, written years before the addition of photographs and other images to genealogy programs became common. GEDCOM is very old fashioned. To be blunt, I hate GEDCOM. However, there is nothing else available in common use.

    There have been several better methods of transferring genealogy data that have been invented in later years. GenBridge was one that worked well but there were others as well. The problem is that none of them ever became popular. Both the originating service or program AND the receiving service or program must support a standard before it can be used. The only standard in common use is GEDCOM, complete with all its weaknesses and drawbacks.

    Family Tree Maker only supports GEDCOM export. The same is true for most other genealogy products.

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Dick
Thanks for your informative reply. Accordingly, I think it best that I wait a while to see if in a few months somebody comes up with a better solution. Certainly, a lot of computer wizards will be working on this in the coming weeks, including those at My Heritage/ Family Tree Builder. Look before you leap?

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reunion for mac and the companion ipad/iphone app apparently also sync data both ways and either end can be used for new input.

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I downloaded the software from MyHeritage and uploaded my GEDCOM to it. Is there any place to put notes or biographies, sources? I don’t see anything. Do you get this ability if you upgrade? Also, there is no explanation on how to get this free site they are offering.
If I “synch” my tree in their software to a site on MyHeritage, it seems like it will just give me one of those 250 people free sites. Nothing about this offering is anywhere on their site. I have sent an e-mail requesting information on how to do this; but, so far have only gotten a canned answer back saying they will contact me later. Hurry up and wait, I guess….

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    —> Also, there is no explanation on how to get this free site they are offering.

    You need to follow the instructions in the announcement. You have to send an email message to MyHeritage’s customer support department to have them enable the unlimited option in your account.

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    I sent an email asking for the unlimited option, as an FTM user. I attached a proof of purchase of FTM. All I received back, after an acknowledgement message, was a formulaic reply on the benefits of synching, with a pretty screenshot of the button to press. If this is an example of their internal communication/customer relations, they have much to learn. Disappointed.

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For those wondering about older versions of FTM, I have used FTM 2005 (yes, that’s the correct year – not a typo) with 3 different computers and 2 operating systems upgrades. Have not had one single problem with using FTM 2005. I don’t need — or want — all the newest bells & whistles that all these online sites now offer.

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Dick, I have FTM linked to Ancestry.com and I also have FTB with an old version of my 2 gedcoms in it, and I have an old free online tree on MyHeritage. MyHeritage says:
“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 — to ask for this free upgrade.”
My Question 1 – If I do this, will my supporting documents from Ancestry be linked? If not, is there a way to do that?
My Question 2 – If I do this, will it break my current link to Ancestry or can they both stay linked and sync’d until FTM dies?
My Question 3 – If I import my newest versions of my two gedcoms to FTB, what happens to the old versions of the same two gedcoms I already have in FTB?
Nate

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    —> If I do this, will my supporting documents from Ancestry be linked? If not, is there a way to do that?

    I assume you are going to use GEDCOM to move the information from Family Tree Maker to Family Tree Builder. If so, the documents probably will not be moved. That is a limitation in GEDCOM.

    —> If I do this, will it break my current link to Ancestry or can they both stay linked and sync’d until FTM dies?

    I am not an expert on Family Tee Maker. I suspect someone else can answer that question better than I can. Can someone else jump in here?

    —> If I import my newest versions of my two gedcoms to FTB, what happens to the old versions of the same two gedcoms I already have in FTB?

    Your data will be merged. That is, if you have two records of a person, such as one in the old GEDCOM and one in the new GEDCOM, that person’s data from two records will be combined into one. You probably should read the information at http://helpcenter.myheritage.com/Family-Tree-Builder/Family-Tree/634030922501491842/How-do-I-merge-two-family-trees.htm first before importing anything new.

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    NateS, in reply to FTM GEDCOM and Tree Sync, as I understand it and have done it:

    1) If you have an online Tree up in the Ancestry cloud, you can always download a copy of the tree extracted as a GEDCOM – but the GEDCOM will NOT include the photos, documents, record images, and media files.

    2) The only way right now to get the media automatically is to make sure your current version of FTM has recently “synced” using TreeSync. Then all of the media is in your offline FTM file on your computer (note: a few things do not come down during TreeSync, for example, online comments, military pages, DNA results, any photo tags done online)

    3) You will be able to Sync your tree for one more year, until the last day of 2016. But NOT after that – Ancestry will NOT sync after that, according to their announcement. But you can still use FTM after that, but without the Sync function. The Ancestry Product VP explained that beginning the first day of 2017, users will have to download each photo, document, record image or other media one by one, by hand from the website. Once downloaded, everyone will have to save it in folders themselves and manually attach each record image or item of media to a person in their offline FTM tree (or other geneaology program one chooses to use).

    4) Ancestry will ensure that Sync and FTM works for one more year, offering update patches if needed to fix any bugs or keep up with Microsoft operating system upgrades, etc. But not after the end of 2016 – support will stop on the first day in 2017, as will the Sync function. Then everyone will be able to continue to use their FTM (except for the Sync function) for as long as it remains functional in the face of computer operating system upgrades – but of course now all aspects of convenience and time saving are gone, and one has to manually make all changes to their tree (if doing research and attaching records) – eventually some Windows operating system upgrade will not be compatible, and some feature in FTM will not work properly. This will continue over time until an upgrade more or less makes FTM unusable. Or if your computer dies (even during 2016), you may not be able to re-install your FTM on a new computer. Could be months or FTM might run ok for years – no one can predict what will break it.

    5) Whatever is in your FTM file can be exported as a copy either as a GEDCOM (with some but not all of the information) or as an .FTM file (which has all the info). Would be a fine thing if someone could write a utilily that would read the .FTM file and import everything to the new genealogy program one chooses to use, including photos, records, documents and notes, etc. This may be problematic because Ancestry may not make public all the data format and structures, and companies may not have an incentive to spend money for the effort. In the feedback on the Ancestry blog to the management, Ancestry FTM users have asked the management to either make their interface open source so computer programmers could create a free utility, or allow the alternative software vendors access to be able to import directly. One can only remain skeptical that Ancestry will give its competitors access, especially the user generated media – but they did say they are looking into it and talking to potential vendors who would do this, thus not leaving everyone high and dry, and everyone should “stay tuned”. But no one at this point has any confidence in what Ancestry says – they have breached the bond of trust with their most dedicated customer users, and observing their behaviour in a dozen other similar situations of companies and products they have bought then abruptly shut down, one can’t count on any good solution emerging that might turn a major disaster for longtime genealogists and dedicated family historians with hundreds upon hundreds of hours invested into a mere heavy burden and time-consuming duplicate efforts.

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In the ancestry software we could only sync to one computer making it a choice between desktop and laptop. Will My Heritage allow more than one computer to sync?

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No one has talked about the subscription fee at MyHeritage. Yes, you can have a free tree, but you can’t do anything with smart matches or interact with other tree owners without a subscription. I haven’t used the site enough to know about access to the site’s search functions.

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I just downloaded the basic FTM and imported the GED from ancestry. It said it transported the photos but upon opening the software the photos were not there. I also noted it only sync about 25% of my files I have placed on My Heritage site. Will I see all photos and sync if I upgrade to the premium??

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    Make sure you completely follow the instructions in the announcement, especially the part that says, “Simply email our support team at upgrade@myheritage.com 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.”

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What about existing myHeritage Premium Plus users? I currently pay them for unlimited people & photos on my tree (NOT to be confused with a Data Subscription). No one is addressing this.

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Still seems there is no way to access Ancestry’s data from the other programs. Would be nice if someone would develop something but I can not imagine Ancestry cooperating in that effort. Looks like once again the desktop users “get thrown under the bus.” Microsoft did it to us when Windows 8 was developed and now Ancestry is about to do it again. As others have said we desktop users are likely their most dedicated customer base.

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    Legacy family Tree has full access to ancestry I switched to it years ago from FTM because ftm got to expensive and many genealogy societies use legacy and support it now,

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Legacy Family tree is better the FTM in my opinion and many genealogy societies use it.
as for myheritage I used to have a website there but it got to expensive also heard they are not longer supporting some of the features of myheritage

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No response to earlier query re: current paying MyHeritage subscribers? Am I missing something here. Should I go buy FTM now create a gedcom and then ask for my free “upgrade”? I don’t understand why I’m paying?

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    —> Should I go buy FTM now create a gedcom and then ask for my free “upgrade”?

    No. If you are using Ancestry.com’s online family trees, you can download a GEDCOM file at any time without purchasing any more software. Detailed instructions are given at http://help.ancestry.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/472/~/uploading-and-downloading-gedcom-files-on-ancestry

    Once you have your GEDCOM file, you can use it to add data to any other genealogy program or to any genealogy site that accepts GEDCOM files.

    You also might want to read my GEDCOM Explained article at https://blog.eogn.com/2014/05/24/gedcom-explained/

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    Pat, I started with the Basic at MyHeritage, tried it out until got to that limit and then went to the Premium …. both I like and they helped me add greatly thru the Smart Matches to my immediate one county family here in VA… I have a huge database on the rest of my America Surname family, which is much too large to import to MyHeritage…. too much typing as IT is not in the Gedcom form….. the only thing I “dislike” abt. their site is that they have not and will not? apparently develop and make available a Pedigree Tree form for their customers…. and that would be the major REASON as to why I would not put, even if it was, a Gedcom file on their site… The horz. “thing” they now have and customers use, would be and IS, just too much of a burden to use if one has thousands, and thousands of names!!!!

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I’m afraid you misunderstand my comment. I do use Ancestry.com – for research only. I use Roots Magic for my family tree so that I have a hard drive copy which only I can control (fort this reason, I do not sync anything with MyH). I also subscribe to MyHeritage.com – for both research and for maintaining a public on-line tree. My question is simply is MyHeritage offering FTM owners free access, indefinitely, to all that I am paying for on MyHeritage’s website? If so, why should I continue to pay them anything? I just think that MyHeritage should clarify it’s offer so that it’s long-time subscribers don’t feel abused and so that Ancestry/FTM owners don’t misunderstand what they’re being offered.

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    I’m not MyHeritage, but it looked to me like the offer was for an /unlimited/ size tree for a limited trial period, then you need to pay for hosting, like you are doing now. Their ordinary offer is for a /limited/ size tree for a limited trial period. My sister did this a week or so before the FTM announcement, and I /think/ that they just gave her the unlimited tree offer without asking, I’m not sure. But it is still for a short period of time.

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How do you compare Heritagemakers with Legacy?

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    I have never heard of heritagemakers

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    —> How do you compare Heritagemakers with Legacy?

    I am not familiar with the term “Heritagemakers.” I am guessing you might be talking about MyHeritage. If so, the programs/services are very different from each other.

    MyHeritage.com is a web site but the company also offers apps for Android and for Apple iOS (iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch), as well as a free-standing genealogy program for Windows and Macintosh called Family Tree Builder.

    Legacy Family Tree is a free-standing genealogy program for Windows. There is no Macintosh version and there is no web-based service available with Legacy Family Tree.

    Family Tree Builder for Windows and for macintosh is available in one version: FREE. Legacy Family Tree is available in two versions: FREE and the $29.95 Deluxe Version (on sale right now for $19.95).

    Both Family Tree Builder and Legacy Family Tree are very good programs, in my opinion, but have a very different “look and feel” from each other.

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    There is more to legacy then what you wrote, the basic version is free, the deluxe is $29.95 for online download with out manuals or a program disk, if you want manuals and program disk it is 39.95, it for those experienced in ftm or any of the other genealogy programs the tutorials that come with the 29.95 should be enough.
    I am a former ftm user now using legacy and a past officer of the Clark County Washington Genealogy Society and many of use Legacy and we have a support group for Legacy.

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>Kenneth Powell.
Thank you for your very detailed response, information and instructions. I intend to print it out and study it carefully. I had no idea this process was going to be this complex, but I appreciate knowing it in time. Prior to seeing your response, I downloaded my 2 current gedcoms from Ancestry.com and imported them into FTB, but if I understand you correctly, I would get more complete results if I instead do an update sync between Ancestry and FTM and then export an .FTM file from FTM but then what do I do with the .FTM file? Can I import the .FTM file into FTB and then upload/sync it to MyHeritage? I’m not sure that I get the last part so as to include my photos and pdf.s etc. so as to replicate what I now have in Ancestry.com.
Best wishes, Nate

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Roots Magic offers an import of all data and media files from FTM from 2006. If My Heritage only offers GEDCOM, will that mean I will have to manually attach all my media or is there an alternative?

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It appears that you need to pay and become a premium member before you can sync Family Tree Builder with My Heritage. Is this correct.

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    That is NOT correct if you have 250 people or fewer in your database OR if you have thousands of individuals in your family tree and have taken advantage of the recent free offer for UNLIMITED tree size capacity.

    MyHeritage.com has three levels of service: FREE, Premium, and Premium Plus. The free service allows you to sync up to 250 people in your database at no charge. If you have more people than 250 people in your database, you will then need to pay for either the Premium or Premium Plus service. Of course, that limitation applies ONLY to anyone who does not take advantage of the FREE offer for an Unlimited Size Family Site as described in the announcement at https://blog.eogn.com/2015/12/11/a-special-offer-for-family-tree-maker-users-myheritage-is-offering-the-family-tree-builder-genealogy-program-for-windows-and-macintosh-plus-an-unlimited-size-family-site-for-free/

    As stated in the announcement, “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 upgrade@myheritage.com to ask for this free upgrade.”

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    I took advantage of the FTM program, and I thought it was free for the premium member if we took advantage of the program and to be able to sync. I guess not only able to add more than 250 for free. Sorry I misunderstood the program.

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    Wrong! The new offer allows for FREE unlimited size family trees. As stated in the announcement: “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 upgrade@myheritage.com to ask for this free upgrade.”

    I don’t know if this applies to you or not but one of the things I have learned in the past few days is that some people think the upgrade to unlimited number of people is automatic without asking for it. They try to transfer their data and then receive an error message simply because they never sent an email asking for the free upgrade.

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    This is just what I did. Received an email from my heritage saying it was done and I uploaded my gedcom file. I have 8000 plus individuals in my tree but it will not sync. I have no idea what I am doing wrong
    Thank you

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    Contact MyHeritage Customer Service. I bet they can figure it out better than anyone else can.

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    OK, I am still a bit confused. How is this different from the 50% off offer they are making? A few days ago, I started getting a bunch of emails about MyHeritage offering 50% off their paid package as a response to the Ancestry thing. What is the exact difference in what you get access to there as opposed to what you get with this offer?

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I have used Wikitree for many, many years now, pretty much since they started the site. And yes they do offer the DNA I love that it is free to use with no limits. I love it’s customizable privacy settings for any person I add. I love the interaction you can have with other users – the help they give is amazing. I love the fact that they have mentors that you can contact for help or advice. I exported my ged file and tried to upload it to the new free offer above. It did NOT copy over the photos from my file and then I kept getting the sales pitch offers – upgrade to sync the matches it finds, get premium for more options. Free should be free, not sales pitches. For all of Ancestry’s faults, one thing I do say in it’s favor is that here in every library in Maine(not sure about other states), the full database of the Ancetry.com site is available FREE in the library via Proquest. You can bring your own computer/laptop to the library, research and save all info you find right to your own computer. There is NO charge for that. I don’t know of any other company that offers that service. So I think I will stick with my Wikitree.com and it’s amazing amount of options and Ancestry.com from the library.

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I just posted this question to MyHeritage Support:
“I sync’d Family Tree Maker with Ancestry to get my photos and pdf.s included, then I exported an .ftmb file from FTM to include those extras.
Now how do I get that file, including those extras, into MyHeritage and Family Tree Builder/Mac?
Thank you.
I will report back when/what they reply.
Nate S

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Dick, I had in fact already done the GEDCOM download from Ancestry/upload to MyHeritage step, but I understood
Kenneth Powell to say above at December 12, 2015 at 11:16 pm that: “1)… but the GEDCOM will NOT include the photos, documents, record images, and media files. …2) The only way right now to get the media automatically is to make sure your current version of FTM has recently “synced” using TreeSync. Then all of the media is in your offline FTM file on your computer (note: a few things do not come down during TreeSync, for example, online comments, military pages, DNA results, any photo tags done online)…5) Whatever is in your FTM file can be exported as a copy either as a GEDCOM (with some but not all of the information) or as an .FTM file (which has all the info). Would be a fine thing if someone could write a utilily that would read the .FTM file and import everything to the new genealogy program one chooses to use, including photos, records, documents and notes, etc.…”

Hence, my hopeful inquiry to MyHeritage Support as to whether they may have come up with a method to include the “photos, records, documents and notes, etc.” which Kenneth Powell said would be omitted.

(Although I have found that 14 pdf.s which I had previously uploaded to my Ancestry.com tree did automatically upload to MyHeritage inside the gedcom with nothing special done on my part.)

Nate

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Well, I have sorta made the leap by taking advantage of myHeritage’s offer by buying a Premium Plus Membership for half price for the first year, enabling me to act on their many smart matches, which has taken me a few hours, but I think I am going to hedge my bet by renewing my Ancestry.com membership for at least another six months, because I am having a bit of trouble adjusting to a number of differences, e.g. the rather cartoonish pink and pastel blue interface vs the professional look I am used to in Anc.; the fact that every time I try to slide the tree around with my cursor it instead seems to go into extreme zoom mode; the fact that search fields do not autofill after selecting or typing the person’s name and instead each search field has to be filled individually, e.g. birth and death dates and localities, etc. which slows me down a lot; the fact that adding new details and/or persons from newly found data seems less intuitive etc.; the fact that I have not yet found a way to perfectly merge two different versions of the same gedcom updated on different dates, due to the cautions and caveats express at the Help Center, etc. Maybe there are options to change the look and feel and mouse functions lurking somewhere in the website and/or in a manual, and certainly it is up to me to take the time to learn more. But otherwise, I will have to weigh the additionally promised algorithms and record resources of MyHeritage against the look and functionality I like of Ancestry. And I may have to duplicate my expense for at least several months or more to arrive at a comfort level in my decision.
Best wishes to all for a Happy & Healthy New Year,
Nate

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After some e-mail exchanges for clarification, my gedcom exports from FTM have been successfully migrated to Family Tree Builder and sync’d with the offered unlimited family tree space on MyHeritage’s website. So, full marks to MyHeritage so far. As Nate commented, there will be a learning curve. However, I think it will be worthwhile, being really, really unwilling to relinquish the facility of a desktop program synchronised with a mobile tree in a cloud. In the first instance, I shall be interested to see how many e-mails I receive from MyHeritage. I won’t take out a subscription just yet, no matter how tempting those “matches” look. I note that MyHeritage anticipates an upgrade to FTB next year; also their partnerships with other software companies, including Family Historian, which is a significant player in the UK. But, of course, if actively researching for records, one probably still needs the subscription to Ancestry. Sigh.

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I looked into Family Tree Builder as a replacement for FTM.
I like the program a lot, and if I was starting a tree from scratch I might well use it, but doing a Gedcom from FTM to Family Tree Builder was *horrific*. Although my media remain linked to individuals, ALL the media links to source citations were lost. I can’t even see that Family Tree Builder allows media linked to citations at all, which is mad – I want the scan of a census page attached to the citation itself, not individually and repetitively attached to every fact that citation references. ALL my ‘residence’ facts were lost and appeared piecemeal in the ‘Contacts’ fields, but mostly just disappeared. Other bits and pieces seem to have gone missing too, so I’m afraid I just don’t trust FTB as a destination for a Gedcom import. Shame.

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    I suggest you contact Family Tree Builder (MyHeritage) Customer Support for advice. I suspect they can resolve those questions. I know they have been swamped since their announcement of a free replacement for Family Tree Maker so they may not answer immediately. However, they do have a good reputation for supporting customers so I expect they will answer within a few days.

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After using Ancestry.com for years and proceeding at my own pace, I have purchased and am trying out myHeritage but am frankly swamped and overwhelmed by the constant barrage of “Smart Match” emails.

They have caused me so much confusion that I can’t even keep up with how I am related to all these people. At first, I spent hours trying to read and check the minute detail they present in support of each so-called smart match but now I find there are not enough hours in the day frankly to do that, and so I have been relying on their claims of a smart match, and thus my family tree has been ballooning on myHeritage to the extent that I am considering not renewing myHeritage and just going back to Ancestry.com which allows me to proceed at my own pace and set my own priorities.

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