Software MacKiev introduces FamilySync™ for Family Tree Maker Software

If you use Family Tree Maker software, you need to be aware of the following announcement written by Ancestry.com and Software MacKiev:

Last year, we announced the purchase of Family Tree Maker desktop software by Software MacKiev and because we wanted to make the transition to a new owner as smooth as possible, we committed at least a year of customer and product support. The goal has always been to maintain the capability to share your family tree data between files on your computer with your personal Ancestry online trees. We’ve been hard at work co-developing a new Ancestry gateway with Software MacKiev to use in their Family Tree Maker 2017, which will be available soon. We believe Software MacKiev continues to deliver the best value to users of Family Tree Maker with their focus and expertise in software solutions.

What you should know:

  • TreeSync will be replaced by Software MacKiev’s FamilySync™. In the new FamilySync, Ancestry’s search, merge, and Ancestry hints will all work as they do now for users who sync with their Ancestry trees and you can also look forward to more exciting new improvements.
  • FamilySync will be available only in Software MacKiev’s Family Tree Maker 2017 edition, which will be released on March 31, 2017.

The upgrade is free for all users who purchased a copy of a MacKiev Family Tree Maker edition since March 1, 2016. Those with previous Ancestry editions, or who got a free copy of Family Tree Maker 2014.1 or Mac 3.1, are eligible for discounted upgrades. The pre-order upgrade is $29.95 for those who sign up for Software MacKiev’s mailing list before March 29 and the upgrade will continue to be a discounted price ($39.95) for a limited time after March 29.

  • Between Wednesday, March 29 and Friday, March 31, there will be a short period where syncing functionality may be interrupted as Software MacKiev rolls out their new syncing technology.
  • As of March 29, 2017, Ancestry will no longer be supporting TreeSync, given the introduction of Software MacKiev’s FamilySync™. Software MacKiev will continue to handle all related customer questions for Family Tree Maker. Visit Software MacKiev’s Family Tree Maker Support Center at support.familytreemaker.com if you have questions.

For additional information, news and discounted upgrade offers for Family Tree Maker, visit www.familytreemaker.com.

36 Comments

I have updated and been using support email back and forth, still an issue with rainbow spinning wheel or soccer ball spinning spinning, very frustrating. Have Mac.

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I posted this info on the Ancestry.com message board for FTM and got a reply that it might be a hoax because there’s nothing on the MacKiev website about it. I also did not receive any notification from MacKiev about this, and I’m on their email list. Can anyone confirm this information?

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    —> Can anyone confirm this information?

    The announcement was written by Ancestry.com. I received it directly from Ancestry’s PR manager.

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    After I signed up for news letter, this is what I received.

    From: Family Tree Maker [mailto:familytreemaker@mackiev.com]
    Sent: Thursday, March 23, 2017 4:16 PM
    To: xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
    Subject: FAMILY TREE MAKER News – Thanks for Signing Up

    Greetings!
    Thanks for signing up for the Family Tree Maker mailing list!
    After six years as the developer of all the Mac editions of Family Tree Maker, we are so glad that Ancestry chose us to pick up where they left off as the publishers of this wonderful old brand. A new era for Family Tree Maker has begun, and we’re looking forward to keeping you up to date.

    Jack Minsky
    President
    Software MacKiev
    ***
    FAMILY TREE MAKER®
    Topics of Interest (see below)
    • Pre-ordering a copy of FTM 2017
    • Getting Technical Support
    • Facebook User Groups
    • Getting a Replacement Copy
    • Family Tree Maker Home Page Links

    PRE-ORDERING A COPY OF FTM 2017
    What you get depends on what you have already purchased.
    Already Bought MacKiev Edition
    If you have PURCHASED a copy of MacKiev FTM (2014.1 or Mac 3.1, not just a $10 backup disc or $14 USB drive) and are signed up for the FTM mailing list (you are, you have just done that), you’ll get an invitation to pick up a FREE download copy of FTM 2017 when it is released near the end of March.
    Bought Ancestry Edition or Older
    If you have NOT purchased a copy of MacKiev edition yet (FTM 2014.1 or Mac 3.1), either because you got your copy for free or because you just have not purchased a MacKiev edition yet, and you own a previous FTM edition, click here for a pre-order offer for a download copy of FTM 2017 for $29.95 (vs. $79.95 regular price) — since you are on the mailing list. After that, there will be an upgrade offer for $39.95 once the new edition is released.
    Newcomer to Family Tree Maker
    If you have NOT purchased FTM yet (any edition), click here for a pre-order offer for a copy of FTM 2017 for $79.95.
    ***
    GETTING TECHNICAL SUPPORT
    Software MacKiev is now supporting all versions of Family Tree Maker for both Mac and Windows, though Ancestry will continue to assist us behind the scenes through the end of 2017 and beyond.
    Where to Get Technical Support
    Companion Guide. The first stop for learning how to use features of Family Tree Maker is the Companion Guide which contains step by step instructions for everything you might want to do. You can open the guide from the Help menu while running Family Tree Maker.
    Knowledge Base. We have hundreds of helpful articles posted on our support site on a variety of topics that will be of interest to all users, and can help solve problems. To get to the knowledge base, just go to support.familytreemaker.com.
    Support Requests. If you don’t find what you need in the Knowledge Base articles (at support.familytreemaker.com) just click the link for “additional support” at the bottom of the page and you will see the Technical Support request form. Getting answers by email can take a few days though, and longer when we release a new product or a free update. If your question is urgent, or you have a quick question, consider dropping by for a Live Chat instead (see below).
    Live Chat. When you file a Support Request (see above) between the hours of 5am and 6pm EST (7 days a week), you will have an option to have a live chat with an experienced support agent. This can be very helpful for urgent issues, quick questions, and any problems you think might be easier to solve with a conversation than an email exchange. For a chart of live chat hours in your area, click here.
    Replacement Copies. We have set up an online Replacement Center which is always open. The Center provides free replacements for those with FTM 2014 or Mac 3 and later, and discounted upgrade replacements for older editions. If you are a registered user and find yourself needing a fresh copy, then have a look at “Getting a Replacement Copy” below. Note that the Replacement Center has the latest shipping version and does not include the changes provided by the updater. So you would still need to update after replacing your lost copy.
    ***
    FACEBOOK USER GROUP
    In addition to our own official Facebook page, there is an excellent unofficial but very active Facebook group with more than 6.000 members which you might want to consider joining. There are many there who are very generous in sharing their time and wisdom on how they use Family Tree Maker and to share tricks and tips with new users and old hands alike.
    Guidelines for participation. Keep in mind that this is an unofficial group of users and all of those offering help are volunteers who are not part of our company. Here are three guidelines to follow to keep within the group’s charter:
    1. PLEASE READ THE PINNED POST at the top of the group’s main window before posting. You will find many questions answered there so you don’t repeat something someone has already asked.
    2. Be respectful to those offering help. That includes ALWAYS checking for an answer in our Knowledge Base first (see above) so you don’t take up member time looking up those same links for you.
    3. Do not go to this group to “vent”. Instead, come see us in a Live Chat if something is upsetting you. We’re happy to listen and do our best to help everyone who is having a bad day.
    The main group is called “Family Tree Maker® Users”. There is also a smaller specialized Mac User Group. They are both closed groups but all FTM users may apply.
    ***

    GETTING A REPLACEMENT COPY
    For any users needing a replacement for FTM 2014 or Mac 3, we have set up a completely automated online Replacement Center. Whether you’ve had a hard drive crash, are moving to a new computer, or just need to reinstall FTM but your activation code doesn’t work anymore, you can use the Replacement Center 24 hours a day to get a fresh copy. Here’s how:
    Getting a Replacement Download
    1. Go to support.familytreemaker.com.
    2. Click “for additional assistance” at the bottom of the page.
    3. Click the Replacement Center tile.
    The Replacement Center checks that you have a copy of FTM 2014 or Mac 3 registered with Ancestry and then provides you with a free fresh link by email.
    You will also notice that the replacement copy installer doesn’t ask you for an activation code. That’s because we don’t use them. Why? Well, we don’t like them ourselves, so we decided a long time ago we weren’t going to torment our customers with them. Instead, we use this old-fashioned thing called the honor system. It’s been working pretty well for us for more than two decades now, so don’t expect us to be changing that any time soon.
    ***

    FAMILY TREE MAKER – HOME PAGE LINKS
    Almost everything you will need to know can be found on our Family Tree Maker home page.
    Home Page: http://www.familytreemaker.com.
    Links on the home page include:
    • FAQ – Find answers to the most frequently asked questions.
    • Feedback – Let us know what we’re doing right and what to improve.
    • Report a Bug – Tell us what you think needs to be fixed.
    • Suggest a Feature – What you would like to see in our next edition?
    • Beta Tester Signup – To help us test upcoming editions, sign up here.
    • Gift Collection – Perfect gifts for the family historian.
    Any Questions?
    If you have questions for us, please first read our FAQ as we’ve tried to answer the most common ones there. If you don’t find the answer you are looking for, please send your question through our Feedback Form which you’ll find on our FTM Home Page (see above). Thanks!
    ***
    © 2017 The Software MacKiev Company. Family Tree Maker is a registered trademark of The Software MacKiev Company. Ancestry.com and TreeSync are registered trademarks of Ancestry.com Operations, Inc.
    ***
    To be removed from future Family Tree Maker emails, just reply to this email with ‘unsubscribe’ in the subject line.
    Software MacKiev: P.O. Box 130410, Boston, MA 02113–0008, USA

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Thanks. I finally found the entry on MacKiev’s website. Not the most intuitive site I’ve ever run into.

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Jim –
I appear to be in the same boat you were.
Where on their website did you find the $29.95 pre-order upgrade?
Thanks.

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Ancestry walked away from FTM, so RootsMagic advertised a partnership with Ancestry and after several miscues, is still promising a sync with Ancestry in mid-April 2017. In the meantime, MacKiev bought FTM and is going live with a synth at the end of this week. Interesting to see how this plays out….

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Great! I decided to go to RootsMagic, which was supposed to have syncing done by now. I bought their program. It’s not done. So now I’ll have to buy the FTM upgrade if I want to keep syncing going. Otherwise I loose the most updated versions of my trees and media for RootsMagic. Sigh….

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I don’t know if anyone else has experienced this, but I am a mac user with an older OS of 10.6.8. The upgrade that Mackiev has offered, 3.1 wil not work on my computer. It needs a higher OS. I have contacted Mackiev and they said they would send the free upgrade for the 3 program, which they did, but it was still the 3.1. I was under the impression that it was something other than the 3.1 that would actually work on an older OS. So unless I purchase a newer computer, I am still unable to sync my FTM with ancestry. Apparently for some of us ancestry didn’t wait until now to stop syncing FTM. I haven’t been able to sync my tree since last June. No offer of explanation from ancestry on that. One day I tired to sync my tree and it wouldn’t work. I’m very disappointed with this whole thing. The main reason I purchased FTM was so I could syn everything. Now I either look for a new software program( not Mackiev) or manually input the information.

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    I recently upgraded the latest FTM to a free Mackiev upgrade. It went seamlessly and is working great. The software works the same and the sync is faster than it was. I suppose I will have to by the new upgrade to continue, but wanted to share that in my personal experience, I have had no problems with Mackiev.

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    Jane,
    You may not have to purchase a newer computer. First find out from MacKiev what the minimum OS X system requirements are to run their software. Then check to see whether your computer can handle the newer version required. For instance, there’s a Wikipedia article here that will tell you what the requirements are for a Mac to be updated to system 10.10: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OS_X_Yosemite
    You can purchase the newer OS software on eBay. The one caution is that upgrading to a newer OS may cause incompatibilities with some of the other older software on your Mac.

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    David,
    Thanks for the information. I had planned to upgrade my mac, however the OS that Mackiev uses is 10.8 or higher, mine is 10.6.8. The other problem as you mentioned would be possible incompatibilities with the old software. I would probably need to add more memory as well to cover the requirements in Mackiev. So I guess those of us with older systems will not be able to take advantage of any syncing program offered unless it will work on an older OS. I will check out the Wikipedia article. Thanks again.

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I order the free MacKiev program months ago, to try it out. I’m on their mailing list. I have not convert all my FTM files to the new MacKiev program, still experiments. MacKiev sent a message regarding upgrades and ordering the software. I ordered the software ($29cdn) and it came in an interesting wooden box and inside was a thumb drive which was imbedded inside of a wooden holder. This was an interesting approach since the software is all about trees.
Paul Caverly

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    FTM 2017 – FREE if you’ve bought a MacKiev edition. If you PAID for MacKiev FTM 2014.1 or Mac 3.1 the upgrade is free.
    Q: I bought one of those wooden FTM flash drives. Can I convert that to FTM 2017 somehow?
    A: Yes. Just order the FTM 2017 download and you will be able to swap the new installer for the old one on the USB drive (or keep them both if you like, there’s plenty of room). We will have a support article with step by step instructions on how to do that when FTM 2017 is released.

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Well, I certainly hope FTM 2014.1 works better than it has been. My trrees won’t sync and keep crashing. The only reason I stayed with FTM instead of going to RM right away was because FTM said they had their sync up and going. And, their 24/7 tech support isn’t. You send in an email and wait and wait and wait.

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    Jane,
    You can use Software MacKiev’s email support for non-urgent questions and issues. You can also find information and hours of support for Software MacKiev’s Live Chat support at support.mackiev.com, just Search for “Live Chat”.

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Buried in the site is a link to pre-order the software upgrade (for previous users) in the U.S. at a discount now without signing up for the e-mail list. There are also links for other countries.

And click on Mailing List at the top of the FTM page to sign up for their e-mail list. Not really easy to find this stuff on their site.

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I migrated to a new Win computer and couldn’t find my copy of FTM 2014 so I was able to download the MacKiev version 2014.1 for free (not the upcoming March 31st version) and it worked fine. There is one caution, which was not made apparent in any of the lit or FAQ. MacKiev uses a completely different named directory/folder structure while keeping the original FTM folder intact. Their Win directory is named Software MacKiev and if explored in Win it looks like the old FTM folder structure. But Major Caution is required. If you are synching to Ancestry, DO NOT use any of the tree files in the older FTM directory!! I did this by accident (because they didn’t tell me) and broke my sync on Ancestry. Their cust service people helped get everything fixed via chat but it took awhile.

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Can anybody speak to whether the Mac 2017 software is indeed (finally) feature-compatible with the Windows version, and if they used a Mac look+feel or the (very inefficient use of screen real estate) PCish look+feel ?

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Release has been delayed until Tuesday, April 4.

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Now April 4 No FTM 2017. Also unable to access DNA matches for 2 weeks. Unable to reach anyone at Ancestry biut universal support number. The only thing Ancestry offers is a service and I can’t get any.

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Apparently Mackiev only allows communication via email but they have a poor record of responding. I ordered the to be released 2017 well over a week ago expecting delivery by mail on April 3 but now everything is delayed. If not received within the next 10 days there will be no one to receive the copy. Further, the 2014.1 version will no longer work with Ancestry so users are frozen out of their usage to sync. I do not understand the Mackiev customer relations policy and their lack of support. This does not bode well for its future.

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I pre-ordered the download version, never received anything saying it was ready to download, and can;t find where on your site (which is NOT user friendly at all) to download 2017. I was supposed too bea Beta tester today, but couldn’t because I don;t have 2017. Now every time I try to sync my FTM and Ancestry it tells me I need to upgrade to 2017. Gladly, by where the hell is it?

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    I am confused. Is FTM 2017 real or is it just a myth? I have the upgraded version of FTM 2014,1 and am (supposedly) a recipient of the FTM newsletter. Yet I have not received any notification of FTM 2017’s availability despite the fact that I have learned (through other means) that it was released on March 31st or so. Apparently it has since I am no longer able to sync with Ancestry and when I try to do so a little window pops up advising me that I must upgrade to FTM 2017 if I want to sync. I am unable to find a site which provides access to FTM 2017 and am unaware if I am entitled to a free upgrade or if I am required to purchase an upgrade. My 2014.1 is registered with MacKiev yet I am unable to download the recent “free” upgrade for that version without ordering a bunch of stuff from MacKiev which I do not want.
    Herb Miller

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    —> Is FTM 2017 real or is it just a myth?

    It is real. It was delayed for a few days longer than expected because of a “show stopper” bug with online synching with Ancestry.com. It should be rolling out to customers soon. All the details may be found at: https://support.mackiev.com

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    You are not alone. MacKiev apparently screwed up big-time. Their 2017 version was suppose to be up and running before the Ancestry lock-out on March 29. It was not and the old sync no longer works. I ordered the USB version of 2017 and so far nothing in the mail nor any email from MacKiev on what’s going on. And as everyone knows, they have NO customer relations phone number only emails that go unanswered.

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Not understanding what part of “release and rollout is delayed – we are working sync capacity issues” that people are not understanding. Seemed pretty clear to me that we’re talking a ‘weeks’ delay guesstimate. I received email from MacKiev FWIW.
Their current status page is https://support.mackiev.com/498640-RELEASE-OF-FTM-2017 so please read it before complaining about not knowing.

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I had FTM 2014. Mackiev said they had an upgrade to 2014.1 which I downloaded and also paid for a CD copy. Shortly after that, I got an email that they would be releasing the 2017 version and I could pre order. Since I didn’t pay about $30 for the previous upgrade, I had to pay $29.95 for the program to be released April 1. (wish I had known this and I wouldn’t have waisted my money on the hard copy.) This was shortly after April 1 that I paid for it. I wait and wait and wait and finally get an email that they are only releasing a BETA test to the first 25,000 who reply. I read this email hours after it was sent and I was not accepted in the first 25,000 TESTERS!! How much longer before I get what I paid for? All this time I have not been able to sync the newest tree I’ve created for my sister-in-law or the other three family trees of mine. I feel like this was a bit of false advertising that it would be “released near the end of March”.
Jean Gillmore
April 26, 2017 and still waiting

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    from their FAQ – “There will be additional TEST DRIVE rounds after the one if we have not had a general release by then. Most of those who do not make it into the first TEST DRIVE will be notified that they were chosen as an Alternate and placed automatically in the next TEST DRIVE round list.”

    Please try to have a little patience and a little perspective. The world is not going to end. Really.

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    Under the law, if they billed your credit card and do not send the product within 30 days, they are required to refund your payment.

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I bought and downloaded the upgrade from FTM 2005 to 2014 in October last year and then received the DVD. I registered with Mackiev and receive their e-mails. On trying to upgrade to 2017 as offered I am told they have no record of me, even thought I receive the e-mails which is supposed to be proof. I have sent a couple of e-mails asking for help and received no reply. I cannot find any way of talking to anyone, no phone number and cannot get into Chat Help. What can I do?

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    Welcome to the club. They do not communicate and have yet to produce or ship the product as promised – 1 month late. Yet they have charged credit cards for the new product.

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    Sorry to hear that Henry. It makes you wonder about the Company we are dealing with and whether we should go further with them. I wanted to keep the connection with Ancestry. I can’t believe there is no way of talking to these people.

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I did the same I want my money back

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I was notified that my FTM 2014 would receive a free upgrade so that I could continue to sync the work on my laptop with that on Ancestry.com. What is going on? How is it that Ancestry can walk away from a product they sold me; the functionality just disappeared. And trying to communicate with Mackiev is as easy as swallowing an entire watermelon. I finally managed to reach someone and was told I would receive an email that would have a link to upgrade my FTM 2014 to maintain synchronization between my FTM software and my trees on Ancestry. Where is it? This is a breach of contract. Ancestry did a similar thing with DNA testing several years back when I was notified they would no longer support the DNA functions I paid for; I was told I could manually key in the markers to FTDNA. This is really outrageous. Now Ancestry is offering a new DNA product that sounds very interesting and very good, but why would I buy anything from them again which they apparently can just drop whenever they like. I don’t recall reading anything that said this could happen with either the DNA option from about 7 years ago nor that I would lose the ability to work meaningfully with Family Tree Maker. I’m sure they sold FTM up to the day before the announcement they had sold this component. Also, in the past, I upgraded to newer versions of FTM when the list of improvements allowed me to decide I would like an upgrade, but in the meantime the older version of FTM still performed the functions it was marketed to provide. What the hell is going on?

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