Family Tree Maker to be Continued and With More Options Than Ever Before

The above headline should be published in a very large font. Ancestry, Inc., the publisher of Family Tree Maker genealogy software, today announced that the program will not be “retired” after all. Instead, Ancestry, Inc. has sold the program to another company that plans to maintain it and develop it further. In addition, Ancestry, Inc. also plans to connect Ancestry with the RootsMagic software by the end of 2016. This should be a delightful announcement for the many users of RootsMagic.

The following was written by Kendall Hulet of Ancestry, Inc.:

New Family Tree Maker Options

FamilyTreeMakerLogoSince our Family Tree Maker announcement last December, we have continued to actively explore ways to develop and support Family Tree Maker and ensure you have choices to preserve your work in ways that matter to you.

Today, I am pleased to announce two options for desktop software that will work with Ancestry.

Software MacKiev

Software MacKiev, with whom we have a long-standing relationship, is acquiring the Family Tree Maker software line as publisher for both Mac and Windows versions. Software MacKiev has been the developer of Family Tree Maker for Mac for more than six years and is thrilled at the opportunity to publish future versions of Family Tree Maker for Mac and Windows.

This new agreement means you will receive software updates and new versions from Software MacKiev, and have the ability to purchase new versions of Family Tree Maker from Software MacKiev as they are released. You will have continued access to Ancestry Hints, Ancestry searches, and be able to save your tree on Ancestry with Family Tree Maker moving forward.

RootsMagic

We have made an agreement with RootsMagic, a leading genealogy desktop software program publisher, to connect Ancestry with the RootsMagic software by the end of 2016. With this new relationship, RootsMagic can serve as your desktop family tree software, while having access to Ancestry hints, Ancestry searches, and the ability to save your tree on Ancestry.

We have heard your concerns and are working to provide the solutions you requested. These new agreements will make it possible to preserve your work on Ancestry and Family Tree Maker and enable future features and benefits to help you discover your family history. Be assured that Ancestry, in cooperation with Software MacKiev and RootsMagic, will continue to support you as you discover your family history.

We ask for your patience as we work diligently through all the details to make these solutions available. Be sure to check back on our blog as we share more information about Family Tree Maker in the next few months.

For more information on Software MacKiev and RootsMagic, click below:

● Software MacKiev: http://www.mackiev.com/

● RootsMagic: http://www.rootsmagic.com/

66 Comments

“First you say you do, and then you don’t.
And then you say you will, and then you won’t.
You’re undecided now, so what are you gonna do?”

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    Isabel Morse Maresh February 2, 2016 at 7:45 pm

    Will my many, many years of Family Tree Maker be safe. I’d be heart-sick if I thought that I’d lose my work.
    God bless, Isabel Morse Maresh, Maine, USA

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    Isabel, your many years of work are only as safe as your backups — multiple backups in multiple places! We should all consider this little scare as a warning.

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    Would never place a family tree on Ancestry. To access it you will have to pay for it the rest of your life. Copying other trees should not be allowed. Numerous tree have been posted illegally due to copyright violations. They never put their true source. So many of the trees have errors on their line & include guess work.Put your work on your own computer & find the proof yourself. Quoting another tree amounts to having no source.

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    EXACTLY! Been saying that for years but people STILL think that because it is in a book or because it is posted online it has to be true. We’ve been fighting this issue with a SUGGESTION that was printed in a book in the early 1900’s – they SAID they had no documentation, but people have taken it as gospel because he was a prominent and well educated individual, but it just is NOT so. If YOU don’t have the paperwork and THEY don’t have the paperwork, then, as you say, you have no documentation. Sources should be required – even if it is just saying this is what Aunt Sally said; at least then I’d KNOW what I was dealing with!

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So maybe all us “squeaky wheels” made a denty?

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David Gardiner-Hill February 2, 2016 at 5:35 pm

But does this mean that Treesync will continue???

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so you are “going” to honor those people who want family tree maker to continue. how about all of us who want the option to have a clean family group sheet without all the clutter of other family members birth, death marriage etc.

Liked by 1 person

    I removed the Historical Insights and Family Events on Ancestry ( go to the show button on top of Fact page – click on show – click on them to remove them from your page.) I have no history insights nor any siblings birth and deaths on other family members pages.

    Liked by 1 person

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!
I see no reason to change my mind and recommit to Ancestry, they may change their mind again next week. I have over 20 years research in my FTM programme and it will be moving somewhere safer soon.

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Good I hope that it works.
I assume that there will be adequate support?

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Seriously???? Give Me A Break !*!*!*! What a bunch of greedy SOB’s and we’re supposed to believe this Ancestry???? I’m so done with Ance$try, Family Tree Maker and BTW Roots Magic too.

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Very good news! We all owe a debt of gratitude to those who took the time to protest in writing, despite the fact that some of us, like myself, thought it would be futile.

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Time will tell!

Liked by 1 person

PLEASE remember that some people use LINUX

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    Another Linux user here.

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    I’m a Linux user too. I’ve tried Gramps a couple of times, but I find it frustrating because I can’t update my tree when I import a GEDCOM from Ancestry; Gramps wants to create new people, not update existing people (or maybe I’m using it incorrectly). Yes, I know I can merge records, but that’s a bit of a pain for hundreds/thousands of records.

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    I have been a Linux user for years and I love it. I wish that the makers of genealogy software would make it more conducive to using with Linux on PC’s. I don’t think RootsMagic will run on Linux without a lot of fixes. I’m not going there. I had enough trouble with FTM on Windows and all of the glitches. I stopped using it.

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Great to see RootsMagic giving us even more functionality — a great program just keeps getting better. After FTM’s sudden near-demise, people might think twice about staying with FTM now.

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Who knew! I had a feeling in someway RootsMagic was connected but at least I only paid $20 for the software and book. It imported every tree but one.

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I’m a happy RootsMagic user, and have a few qualms about Ancestry buying it. Of course I will appreciate what I assume will be the ability to search in Ancestry and have the results automatically appear in RootsMagic. Now I search as a guest in someone else’s Ancestry account, and have to hand copy the results into RootsMagic. I like having notes in RootsMagic, where I can do my surmising about results I’m not yet sure of, without anybody else having access to them. I also really really like the price of RootsMagic. I suspect we’ll have to pay Ancestry prices fairly soon. That I won’t like! And I agree that Ancestry’s reputation for consistency isn’t the best at the moment.

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    Ancestry.com is not buying RootsMagic. In fact, Ancestry.com is getting out of the desktop/laptop software business and is selling or maybe giving that business to RootsMagic and to a Macintosh software development company called Software MacKiev.

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    Frances Denoncourt March 26, 2016 at 3:00 pm

    I am a Mac user of FTM 3 and it is nowhere near as good as the PC version I had for so many years. I am not happy that: “Software MacKiev has been the developer of Family Tree Maker for Mac for more than six years”

    Another reason to jump ship.

    Still not sure about Ancestry subscription. Very pricey and it’s up pretty soon.

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You can always use Geni. Who knows when they will decide to drop RootsMagic? I understand if they want to get away from the program but I like the idea that I get hints then connect with ancestry. I hope this is all for naught.

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This is the time for users to speak up. It sounds like they are listening now. Ancestry’s being sold again, so another potential glitch coming up.l

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MacKiev? Kiev??? Seriously, how many Russian genealogists have you all run into?

Liked by 1 person

    Kiev is in Ukraine, not Russia.

    Liked by 1 person

    MacKiev’s name triggered an alert with me also…their website has absolutely no information about their company. Who are these people, and BTW, why should we believe anything Ancestry says in their “announcements”? I say, “Proceed with caution”; I’m not jumping on Ancestry’s bandwagon until this gets sorted out.

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Sounds like a good decision.

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I have been using Roots Magic for many years so interesting to see how this new link works out.

Liked by 1 person

Nope. I am in the process of transferring to Roots Magic. I decided to go with RM after FTM said they were done with us. Don’t trust them anymore even if new company bought them. I am sticking with RM. I like RM has ability to use Evidence ESM for documentation.

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Well after moving to legacy 2 months ago, very hapoy as i have more control and software that doesnt keep crashing, i now realise ftm was all glitter with no substance

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Despite the “scare” of Ancestry no longer supporting FTM, I decided to stay with the program, unsupported by the “hints” or not. I find the hints more unreliable and undocumented than not, if not outright wrong, so dropping access to the hints was not a problem for me. All of hard work needs to be backed up and not just synced to Ancestry.
As Dick Eastman says LOCKSS, lots of copies keeps stuff safe!

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    Steve,
    I agree with you. I’ll be turning off the RM interface to Ancestry as soon as it’s put into the product. Most of the trees I’ve found on Ancestry are half fiction and half undocumented which makes them almost as reliable as fairy tales, but a lot less entertaining.

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I’m so glad this decision was made. Thank you

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Dick,
Do you or anyone else have information regarding if Rootsmagic will finally make good their “promise to have available by (2015–yes, that’s right) a ***NATIVE*** MAC Version?

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I am thrilled! FTM is the only genealogy program I’ve ever used, and in spite of a few glitches now and then, it has performed admirably for me. I love having access to millions of census & court records etc. on Ancestry and then incorporate them right into my tree, with sources. I also sync several trees on Ancestry and have met a number of cousins through my trees. I enjoy being able to share my finds with others and Ancestry & tree sync has allowed me to do this.

I don’t understand the Ancestry haters as it has been a huge benefit to me over the years. Just a couple of days ago, I found my great-grandfather’s will in the actual record book from Arkansas, and found out that my grandmother was one of the executors of his estate (which I never knew).

Waiting anxiously to hear more details of this wonderful news!

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Very happy to hear this. I was frustrated with “Family Tree Maker” but really just wanted something more functional, not total abandonment. Ancestry should have done this from the beginning. Don’t know what they were thinking.

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Since Ancestry’s announcement, I’ve been doing a lot of cleanup in FTM. I’ve used FTM for 20+ years, but only synced with Ancestry for about 2 years. I’m amazed at the amount of “junk” I now have in FTM; media files that don’t add any new info, but I synced them because I could; ridiculously named media files, that would be a nightmare for someone else to figure out, sources that are whatever Ancestry wants to name them, odd situations of unknown spouses or “ghost people” that appear because of something odd with sync. I accept that this is my fault for not always checking carefully before I synced. But in the end, I wonder if sync added anything to my research or just made me stupid. I’m more at the end of my research, cleaning things up, looking for obscure people & facts, so sync is not as important for me as someone just starting out and collecting lots of media and info.

I’m re-training myself to work more in FTM and depending less on Ancestry. I would be happy if someone bought FTM and kept it alive. I’m still using FTM v16 for some reports, so I know FTM2014 should be OK for a while, but no matter what happens, I won’t let myself become so dependent on Ancestry. They have less and less to offer a serious genealogist, and all their craziness with “new” Ancestry and their announcement re FTM in Dec. has made me reconsider their value.

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Bet they’re not going to support my FTM Version 16 that I and many other FTM users are still working with. Or was until I discovered RootsMagic and made the switch a year ago when Ancestry dropped their support of that version. Sure glad I never updated to the newer versions and wasted money on all the subsequent updates.

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I am very happy with the announcement; I spent the last week ” testing” RootsMagic, Family Historian, and Legacy. It was very frustrating and seemed to be a huge learning curve on all of them, but I liked RM the best. However, I didn’t like how each of them handled Media & Sources and it made me realize how much I like FTM and that the problems I had with it were trivial. I’m anxious to see what develops in the next few months.

Liked by 1 person

Gee, do you think Ancestry saw a lot FTM users going to My.Heritage.com? Money talks.

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has anyone used myheritage

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    Yes. I have a free tree on their site and the software on my computer. I am using at least 5 different programs while I look for a replacement for ancestry soft ware. I’ve sort of moved FamilyHistorian6 closer to the top. It all depends on what you want/need in your software. I really need to see as many generations as possible because of the naming patterns all my families used. I have to be sure I have the right William or Mary.

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I intend to keep away from Ancestry.com, as much as possible. Yes, I’ll occasionally need to pay, to get access to a specific database, or to heavily focus on mining their resources for one month. Never again will I pay long term, and I’ll send as few of my dollars as possible in their direction.

To me, the problem isn’t one specific thing. It is that they use their sway in the genealogy market in a poor way. Long term, experienced researchers should not have to clamour and quit to be heard. A good company–even through changing of owners–would always, always consider the perspective of those people. Ancestry does not.

I was told this a few years ago, when I began with them, by many experienced people. I did not listen. I wish now that I had.

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When will we ever be able to export WITH our pictures and documents that WE uploaded to Ancestry whenever we back up our tree at multiple locations. To me this is the biggest issue. I’ve contributed many hundreds of documents to my trees on Ancestry it would be nice to be able to at least export those documents with and export.

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Just went on to the website for Software MacKiev and added my name for updates about FTM. I had been dreading trying to move info to a new software. Hopefully the new people will have everything ready to go and those of us who want to continue with FTM will get good support from the new owners.

Liked by 1 person

    Anita,
    Don’t dread a move to new software, do what I did.

    When I moved to RM several years ago, I printed a list of all of my individuals and examined each one in detail
    Were all of my facts sourced?
    Were the source citations in the proper format?
    Did I have citations in my free-form notes attached to each individual?
    Were my place names properly recorded?
    How many of my places were duplicates because of the way I entered them and could be combined?
    Were surnames properly recorded or spelled correctly?
    Who were the orphan individuals that weren’t connected to anyone?
    What information does RM allow me to put in that my old software didn’t (plenty of stuff on the sources)?
    And, most importantly, as I re-read the original documents I founds tons of new information and clues that I overlooked originally, but now recognize as important.

    It took me close to 2 years to complete this process, because I did it as I continued researching. But, it was worth it. My database is now fully documented, close to error free, and I have a much better understanding of the individuals and families in my database. I would do this again. I would suggest that everyone moving to new software do this.

    Liked by 2 people

This move is a late move to placate the countless subscribers who have built Ancestry. The original decision should have included ways that would allow subscribers to continue as before in a reasonable way should they wish.

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I smiled when I saw this announcement the day before RootsTech started. At least the poor customer-facing folks at Ancestry’s booth are now armed with some constructive talking points to appease those who were so annoyed by the December announcement. I suspect the negotiations were in progress even prior to the December announcement. It gave Ancestry the benefit of gauging customer reaction and how urgently an alternative solution was required, sort of like when a government department intentionally leaks a new policy under consideration to see if it will fly with the public. I bet the midnight oil was burning to get the deal done before RootsTech started.

Still, its a good outcome for everyone, I think.

Liked by 1 person

Glad to see his news,however as I never put my tree on Ancestry and always kept my documentation on my computer,not as links ,but as saved documents, I have no incentive to continue with Ancestry. I am changing to roots majic. As soon as a replacement for the documentation available is found I plan to go elsewhere. Wonder how much Ancestry was paid to do the on again off again Familytreemaker bit.

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Although not in a panic about the loss of FTM, I was using it as an incentive to look at options and how I’ve been working on my Genealogy all these years. (45+), especially since FTM was invented. So, after a few attempts at entering information as a mini-Do-Over project using Legacy 8, I am very happy Family Tree Maker will continue. If I’d started with Legacy I’d probably like it better than FTM, but I found it MUCH harder to enter basic information, and new people, and especially to link info and sources to the people I’d entered. I’m usually pretty quick to learn and use new software, so this was troubling. There are some excellent features in Legacy 8 that I’ve watched Geoff Rasmussen demonstrate via video tutorials, that make it look quite robust, but so far I was not liking it much.

I was about to start importing GED files instead of the very frustrating one-by-one Do-Over, but then heard about the return, (not-really-ending), of FTM and am relieved. Maybe after I see what the new FTM will look like, I may try to use Legacy 8 again or also, for the reports and other features I like. I hear of people using both, but that sounds quite daunting to maintain and enter information twice.

I do wish Ancestry and FTM hadn’t done this in the way they did, by claiming to go away and putting so many users into a panic. I’m pretty sure they could have found a buyer for the product before saying it was going away, but perhaps this was their way to jack up the price to the buyer by showing so many people upset by the loss? I wonder how many loyal users they lost in the process? Oh well – in any case, this is good news for me and I’m sure many others.

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In wonder, with Ancestry’s current track record, if RootsMagic is wise to align themselves with Ancestry. It LOOKS like a sweet deal; just hope RootsMagic doesn’t wind up another one of Ancestry’s “conquests” which then disappears or gets frozen like GenForum.

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I wish ACOM had waited until the contracts were signed with RM and the MacKiev folks to drop this info about the FTM discontinuance. Silly me, I assumed they were serious and spent several days evaluating products and selecting Legacy as my new software. I went ahead and purchased it since I felt it would be a permanent change; I realize now how stupid that was on so many levels. Doubt that the money grubbers at ACOM will refund my purchase; I certainly will not ask Legacy for a refund our contract was in good faith. I am just so annoyed with ACOM and after this year and my learning Legacy and getting my files transferred and set up I will not be renewing my ancestry.com subscription.

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MacKiev has said on their website that they have fixed some bugs in Family Tree Maker. I’d like to bring to your attention my bizarre experience and hope that whatever this bug is will be fixed. On January 2 2016, my family files disappeared!! FTM software was still in the desktop computer, but my files could not be found! No way could I/would I have deleted them. Nevertheless I looked in the “recycle bin” . They weren’t there. I took the computer to my tech support. They combed the hard drive and found no sign of the two family files that were missing. They also found no malware, trojans, viruses or equipment failures, Additionally, as far as I know, no other files or folders were missing from my computer. The techs concluded that the software had wiped out my files. I contacted Ancestry who could not have been more uninterested or less unhelpful. I plan to purchase the MacKiev product and load my backed up files from a thumb drive. But I have to say, I am now uncomfortable with the FTM product.

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I just wish these products were a bit more user friendly– I remember loving the interface of Family Tree Maker 10– 2014 I cannot stand– it is a pain in the ((ahem)) so I switched to Legacy which is better in some aspects but they BOTH make entering sources a pain in the ((ahem))
As for the person who said they were afraid they were going to lose all their ftm work if this deal went south–do you understand what a gedcom is–so you can import and export from one set of software to a different one?

As for posting online– I had one huge file I wish I HAD left posted online. I took it down because people used it to publish books saying THEY did the work…
then I lost all my work in a tragic situation and do you think any of them gave me it back? …

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About 20 yrs ago I entered family data into Family Tree Maker. When late husband got new computer he did not load Family Tree Maker because could find CD. He passed away and I’m trying to get back into my genealogy. How can I access these records?

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    The latest version of Family Tree Maker can import data files from:

    Family Tree Maker 2009-2012
    Family Tree Maker 2014

    Family Tree Maker cannot import older files, even if they were created by an old version of Family Tree Maker.

    However, RootsMagic can directly import:

    Family Tree Maker 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2014 for Windows (*.ftm, *.ftmb)
    Family Tree Maker 3 for Mac (*.ftm, *.ftmb)
    Family Tree Maker 2010 and 2012 for Mac (*.ftmm, *.ftmd)
    Classic Family Tree Maker Files (*.ftw)

    If your data files are from an even older version of Family Tree Maker, I do not know of any method of reading those files with a modern genealogy program.

    Liked by 1 person

What kind of computer did you have before? Do you still have that computer?

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Ok, so if I Re-Load my FTM 2012 I can Import all my Files Including those that were on updated on/through Ancestry.com? Correct?

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    —> Ok, so if I Re-Load my FTM 2012 I can Import all my Files Including those that were on updated on/through Ancestry.com?

    I am not familiar with the specifications of Family Tree Maker 2012 (I don’t use the program). Therefore, I cannot offer advice. I am hoping someone with experience with the program can jump in here and offer expert advice.

    Like

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