3 Things to Consider with the End of Family Tree Maker

3 Things to Remember with the End of Family Tree MakerAncestry recently announced that it would retire its Family Tree Maker genealogy software. They will cease sale of it 31 December 2015. However, they have pledged to support the program and its functionality (including TreeSync) through 1 January 2017. Not surprisingly, this news has been met with strong reactions. Here are 3 things you need to remember concerning the end of Family Tree Maker.

[Note: I do some contract writing and video production for Ancestry. However, I am not being compensated for expressing my views on this subject. These opinions are my own and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Ancestry. Also, I don’t have any further information about the future of FTM or anything else Ancestry does.]

1. You Can Use Ancestry Without Family Tree Maker

Thousands of people every day use the databases on Ancestry without using Family Tree Maker. Their trees on their computer do not automatically sync with a tree they have on Ancestry.com, but they still do research.

People also put trees on Ancestry without using FTM. (You can do this using something called a GEDCOM file that your software program can export or you can create one manually.)

It isn’t an “all or nothing” situation.

2. Family Tree Maker Will Still Work on Your Desktop

Ancestry is supporting Family Tree Maker “at least through January 1, 2017,” per the announcement. In addition, as long as your computer’s operating system will allow it, it will keep running on your computer after that. (It just won’t sync your online tree or do other things that interface directly with Ancestry.)

3. Lots of Copies Keep Stuff Safe

Lots of Copies Keep Stuff Safe — the LOCKSS Principle — means just what it says. Having multiple copies raising the chance that at least one copy will survive. As I’ve advocated before, don’t put all of your genealogy eggs in one basket — real or virtual.

No matter what software you use or what cloud-based solution you have, don’t let that be your only copy of your tree. Make copies and have them in multiple locations. (Making a backup copy of something on your computer is great, but don’t have your computer and your backups all in the same place. What happens if your house gets broken into and all of your equipment is stolen? Or if a disaster destroys your house? If all of your backups are in the same place as your computer, you’ve still lost everything. Don’t let that happen to you.)

Software Recommendations

What genealogy software program do I recommend? The one that works for you. Seriously, just because your friend uses XYZ program doesn’t mean it’s the right program for you. If you try to force yourself to use a program that isn’t a good fit for your needs, you’re going to end up frustrated. Nobody needs that.

Whenever you’re in the market for new software, see if there is a trial version. Download it and put the program through its paces. See if it has the functionality you need and if it’s easy to use. If it is, that’s the right program for you.

As the saying goes:

Keep Calm and Genealogy On

3 Things to Consider with the End of Family Tree Maker

Posted: December 9, 2015.

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  • So will it be possible to download your tree from Ancestry without Family Tree Maker? If so, how is that done?

    • Yes, you can download your tree from Ancestry without Family Tree Maker. First, go into the tree you want to download and get in the ancestor chsrt/pedigree chart view.

      Click on “Tree Pages” near the top of the page, then click on “Tree Settings.”

      You’ll get a new page. On the right-hand side of the page is a section “Manage Your Tree.” Click the button to “Export Tree” to download a GEDCOM.

      • I did the download as you suggested. People should know that the sources, notes, comments, photos, and documents attached to Ancestry did not download. What I have is a bare bones pedigree that, without its sources, is mythology rather than family history.

        • I just did a GEDCOM download and imported it into RootsMagic. The sources came through.

          Media, such as photos and documents, did not, but that’s a function of GEDCOM; it doesn’t embed media within the file.

          • You can download the GEDCOM file and save it wherever you want. You could save it to your computer and then burn it onto a CD, if you’d like.

      • I run into this problem frequently, I refresh my computer every 6 months and backup my data. However, with FTM 2014 they put a key in there and I need to contact them every now and then to reset the key as the software says I have too many installs. What happens after 1 Jan 2017 will the program become freeware or will they send out a patch to remove the key restriction?

    • There is now a company that is going to take over the updates and improvements on Family Tree Maker, and it will continue to be available. My only concern is that I recently upgraded to office 2016 and have the software for Windows 10. I’ve heard a rumor that the FTM will not function with Windows 10. Can you let me know the situation on that?

      • I updated to windows 10 last year and have had no problems with FTM or syncing with ancestry. Don’t know what the problems have been for others but I have seen none since updating to windows 10.

  • My concern and ponderings are this . . . If, as ancestry indicates on their blog announcement, that more and more people are moving away from software programs to the cloud and apps, why then do I even want to consider another software program?

    Someone mentioned that perhaps the next iteration of genealogy / ancestry technology will be to move to a more SaaS (Software as a Service) approach much like Microsoft has done with its Office Suite. Perhaps ancestry (dot) com is taking a look at this type of approach with FTM? I hope so.

    • I think there are any number of directions the field could go. In my opinion, it will shake out to a combination of these: more apps for smartphones and tablets, SaaS, and web-based/browser-based solutions. Each of these has their pros and cons. It will be up to consumers to find the solutions that are right for them — much like we should be doing today.

      • If ancestry was heading the same way has microsoft why the drop ftm, since remember even with a subscription to microsoft you download the program to you computer and can still use it while not connected.

        • I find it interesting that they are selling updates when they are ending the software. Makes me wonder what is next? Mine is too filled with everything conceivable related to my genealogy that I would never be able to transfer the whole thing into another software and printing it would be a monumental undertaking as it would be thousands of pages, with pictures, documents, and the reference pages alone would stack up to close to a ream of paper.

          • i absolutely agree with you. I have been working on genealogy for many years and have been a subscriber to FTM for as long as I can remember. I recently moved to Roots Magic but unsuccessful in getting the photos and documents to transfer. I CANNOT BELIEVE that someone won’t buy FTM maker. I think it is a far superior program and I am totally bummed out…Sandy Golove

          • FTM will continue to be supported and enhanced – it has been taken over by Software MacKiev (they made the FTM Mac version) and they have great plans for it!!! It may or may not sync with Ancestry – that seems to be up in the air but makes no difference to me as I plan to drop Ancestry.com anyway – the more I read about them during all of this and the more seriously I get into true genealogy the more I dislike them.

        • I think its more they are moving that way and don’t want to deal with the software part anymore. I recently got a new laptop and the latest FTM. I couldn’t get it to work on my laptop. Tech support was worthless. They would write me back a week later and give me the same info they had previously. I ended up buying Legacy and using it on the laptop. As far as I know they never fixed the flaw with it and many others had the same problem. I will also always have it on my computer also. There are some things I put on my computer that I don’t put on my web tree. For example, I recently found out that a great aunt had a husband that was a womanizer and left her for another woman. She was left to take care of the farm and small children. When she discovered the hired hand taking corn and confronted him, he shot and killed her. Out of respect for the family of that man, I didn’t put it on my web tree but have it on my computer tree. That is the kind of stuff that brings history alive and want to keep it but use discretion.

    • Well, I’m not moving to the cloud and away from software programs. I almost lost most of my information by “syncing” my FTM file to my ancestry tree only to find that anything that wasn’t on ancestry wasn’t in my FTM file anymore. Fortunately I had a complete backup that had been done by the Geek Squad when I got my new laptop. That taught me not to depend on anything but what I have right here.

      I haven’t been happy with recent changes, including tree display, searching, and the complicated way DNA matches are now reported. I’m not in a circle and have no desire to be. What was fun and useful to begin with has turned into a chore which yields few results.

      Speaking of results, I seem to have pretty much found the limits of what ancestry can reveal about the ancestors I’m most interested in.

      I’ve spent a fortune on ancestry.com over the years, being a World Deluxe Member, always upgrading my FTM to the latest version, buying Official Guides and the late-lamented Ancestry magazine, not to mention my Ancestry DNA. No more. I’m taking my World Deluxe Membership off the autorenewal scheduled for January 24, and looking for a different way to use online genealogy to fill out my own file (which by the way I’ll be printing out – anathema maybe to the people ancestry wants to please, but secure as I need it to be).

      • Forgot to say a heartfelt thanks to Amy for posting this information – it’s not easy to find on ancestry.com to say the least!

  • All good points, Amy. Sounds like there will be new skills for everyone to learn. I’m just thankful there is such a thing as gedcom. When I first started using genealogy software many moons ago there was no way to move info from one software to another. I ended up losing everything I had in that first software and had to start over. Not a good time.

  • My problem with ancestry.com just totally dropping Family Tree Maker is that ancestry.com does not provide a suitable mean to print reports for other family members. Besides being able to work offline with Family Tree Maker when necessary, I also used it for some good ancestry reports that ancestry.com just doesn’t have. If they do, they sure don’t make them visable.

    • I suspect — and I could be wrong — that we will see increased functionality in the online trees in terms of reporting or that Ancestry will come out with another product to handle that. (Of course, there are other genealogy software programs that are available and FTM will continue to work even after Ancestry stops selling it.)

    • I agree here that making a report has been one of the most important aspects of FTM. I do work for extended family who have no means to join or do a tree, and can visualize family connections once desc are printed out. No other way would I have been able to bring together many branches of my lines without having them in print as a dozen pages were often needed. I will keep FTM going and update it as I can using both Ancestry to glean some new info.
      Some of us also don’t and won’t use smart phones lap tops etc. Some in theis world are emf senstive and can screen hard drives but not the new media hand helds or lap tops and we need to maintain land line media as long as possible.

  • As Doris points out, gedcoms are not a panacea for the loss of the synch feature between a well built online Ancestry tree and a FTM backup or working-file tree on your desktop. THAT is the loss here, and hopefully the clamor will either lead to a re-think from Ancestry (doubtful) or the adoption of that feature from someone like RootsMagic (IF Ancestry cooperates which is also doubtful).

    This is a bad move by Ancestry . . . the questions are “How bad?” and “How long will the backlash last?”. From my point of view the answers should be “BAD!” and “For a considerable time.”

  • Well, I don’t like the new interface on Ancestry. I only have my tree on Ancestry because of the sync with FTM. I’ll not spend another dime on Ancestry. I’m getting old and will just use what I can find on Family Search.

    • My current subscription to Ancestry is due to expire on the 26th of this month. I have already cancelled my subscription after receiving the email to say they aren’t continuing with FTM, as I, like you don’t like the new lay out of Ancestry and FTM was what was making it bearable for me. I used to like using the software you could download free from Family Search before Ancestry got it’s hands on that site and I reluctantly changed to FTM because of the take over.

      • There certainly are a lot of changes going on. Just to clarify something — Ancestry did not buy out FamilySearch’s old PAF program nor does Ancestry own FamilySearch.

      • went into Ancestry a couple times, it is the Mormon Page. Don’t like that I should upload the trees of my husband, but have to pay for getting their information. I rather send my info to people who are interested in some of my husbands branches. Or mine since I am from Germany. The Mormons know how to make money but there is not much return for paying for info, only use Ancestry at the library

        • Just a point to clarify — Ancestry isn’t run by the Mormons; FamilySearch is. (FamilySearch is free to use.)

  • Oh no FTM it has been my friend for many many years I have lots of trees on the programme. How are we meant to publish our trees?
    I also type addresses in the residence field when you produce a report and send it all over the world your extended family can see the address where their ancestors lived. Note since Ancestry added a patch when you add a census record it swallows up and discards the previous census which were listed you need to change discard to alternate it is a real problem you may lose all your census and types addresses without realising it.
    I spoke to 10 different people at Ancestry as they were not aware of the problem I lost a lot of work.
    We need FTM it is a great programme and the sync is especially useful.

  • When I bought the newest version of Family Tree Maker, I was shocked. The fields were shrunk to almost invisible and a lot of crap was added on. For about one year I grieved for old FTM. I finally decided that enough was enough. I started looking for a replacement and tried 3 different programs. I finally settled on Ancestral Quest 14. However, as mentioned before, none of the media prints transferred with a Gedcom. Also, for some stupid reason, many of the sources were replaced with some obscure Canadian genealogy reference. I am just totally frustrated with genealogy software since we are at the mercy of companies that make their programs obsolete. Every time I enter a new person and reference materials I wonder when the program I am using is going to declare itself obsolete too. In my opinion, Ancestry.com is the culprit because they want everybody to put their records on the Ancestry web site. Then Ancestry can charge an arm and a leg to see it. A win-win for Ancestry and a lose-lose for the researcher. I am now using Wiki-Tree, but I suspect Ancestry will buy them out and send everybody back to the dark ages again. Genealogy is nothing but grief!!

    • use Legacy 8, when it was still Millenium, switched to FTM, then back to Legacy, I have over 66 thousand names in my data base, and it is wonderful. Unfortunately if you make a gedcom, none of your media files will transfer over, someone will find a workable solution, the always do.

    • Syncing a feature, certainly, but not being able to sync with your online tree doesn’t prevent you from still doing research or adding to your tree (either online or your desktop).

      • But, very soon, you will end up with two trees. One on Ancestry and one on your computer. I take my laptop with me when I research. I can and do all the work on the spot. Asking the questions, taking the pictures, writing up the notes, making a follow-up to-do list, it all goes on FTM wherever I am. When I get back home again, I sync.
        Why should I do that twice? The tree on my computer will be up-to-date and the one on Ancestry will wither and die.
        I bought FTM because of the syncing. For me it is not an accidental bonus – it is the programme.
        It is like buying a car and the manufacturer tells you that the gearbox is to be disabled – “But you can still run your car – you just have to push it everywhere!”
        What Ancestry is doing is indefensible, so please stop defending it.

        • I wasn’t defending. Just pointing out that for organizing genealogical data, it still works. It’s the publishing/syncing function that will stop working after 1 January 2017. Yes, that is a huge deal for people like yourself who rely on automatic syncing to keep the online tree and the desktop tree the same. For those who don’t have an online tree, the functionality essentially won’t change.

          • The functionality will change for me because I have tens of thousands of media files attached to RTM with no way to transfer them to new software except one at a time, manually. This sucks!

          • I think that some programs, such as RootsMagic, will also transfer the media files so that you don’t have to reattach them.

          • The syncing to me is very important so I don’t have to enter information twice which increases the chances of errors. However everyone need to remember also that there will no more software updates and that will surly cause problems down the road as operating systems are upgraded and eventually FTM will no longer function on new operating systems. I think Ancestry is doing a huge disservice to it’s customers and I like many others am researching new software as well as a new site, knowing that I probably won’t get the info as quickly as with ancestry, but at least I won’t feel betrayed since I won’t be paying $300/year for the service.

          • Syncing is a wonderful feature, to be sure! Since I published this post, Ancestry announced, “We are exploring possible relationships with other desktop software solutions that would make it possible for their products to integrate with Ancestry.” http://blogs.ancestry.com/ancestry/2015/12/09/more-information-on-family-tree-maker-desktop-software/

            One thing to keep in mind is that the “$300/year for the service” is for access to the records. You can have a online tree (including syncing with Family Tree Maker) with a free “guest registration.”

          • I am going with Broderbund they are the original makers of Family Tree Maker. They now have a similar product which links to familysearch.org (i believe) this should make the transition easier for me.

  • I have been using FTM for years, beginning with the first edition and currently have all the upgrades except the most recent. I was going to purchase that and then was told that it was being discontinued. That makes the “sale” price ridiculous because why would I pay $50 to upgrade something that is ending in a few short weeks? I have thousands of people in my software, my cousins and children have copies of my trees and the disks for the software are in the safe should anything happen to my computer. I even put a new copy of my file on dropbox regularly to make sure everything is in the file that is hanging out there in the ozone layer. I have scanned in old photographs, documents, have hundreds of resources, and cannot even begin to imagine moving all of that anywhere. When I first began putting my genealogy research into the computer via FTM I had file cabinets full of research and now most of that is in my software. I am beyond upset by this news. While I have never needed them to provide support, I am still upset that should I need support it will not be there. I have spent much money with Ancestry,com over the years and hate that they keep buying out all of the “free” sites and making a monopoly of all research data other than the local archives. I suspect that they are about to lose me forever with this move.

  • I was a long time TMG user and was shocked when it went out. I have looked at several-Roots Magic, Heredis and Legacy. Legacy won’t accept same sex couple, Heredis won’t let you change sentence structure. I don’t like to way reports are printed in Roots Magic. They look like first grader drawings. I guess I will continue using TMG. I have lost count how many programs have gone the wayside since I got a computer and started using computer genealogy programs. This was the mid 90’s. If I can go back to the old paper copy so if something happens I will still have the information. I still have two typewriters. Right now everything is on Ancestry. I have been paying them since 2002. Oh well.

    • I totally understand – I have not used them consistently, because of the cost, but I have used FTM consistently for years – mid-1990’s. Scary.

    • If you like RootsMagic other than the charting you might want to check out Charting Companion, it might give you the tools you need.

  • I already work on my tree in Ancestry.com and only used FTM to sync, run reports and error check. The stupid thing I didn’t do was save my media in a systemized way outside of those two places. So that’s my goal for 2016 — go through my entire tree and save over 10,000+ pieces of media. Ugh!

  • This is just wrong. I started using FTM from the beginning. I have purchased every upgrade. I have put everything I have on FTM and sync it to ancestry.com. What a wonderful process. I also run FTM at the same time I use ancestry in 2 different windows. It makes it so easy to research on ancestry and go look at FTM to see if the research fits. I really hope the ground swell is enough to keep FTM and ancestry.com working together . FTM really does not need any other upgrades, just allow all us users the ability to sync our files. I do not intend to enter data twice. So my online tree may never get upgraded. I will just use my last copy of FTM and keep my information to myself and not on line.
    Looks like everything is always about money and the bottom line. I am very disappointed! !!

    • Hi Bob

      You have hit the nail on the head – I have had FTM and bought the upgrades over the past 8+ years one of my trees has over 5,000 people on it. FTM in its present form would do quite well. We need the sync button to remain. What about all the people who cannot afford a subscription they go to the local library and use Ancestry they can then sync it when they get back home.
      I saw that none of the Board Members of Ancestry are genealogists.
      ALSO today’s upgrade about merge option was brought about by me informing them when they introduced the new patch All the previous census records disappeared when entering a new census. Thy did not know about the problem after speaking to about 10 people removing my trees re-loading my trees spoke to a manager they discovered that automatically the discard button was filled which removed all previous census records – I was dealing with a family with 10 children at the time I had typed and copy and pasted all the addresses in for at least 4 census years this was all lost you need to use the ALTERNATE button for each person – today this looks like it may have been rectified.
      Louise, London

  • I feel betrayed! All these years I, in good faith, purchased all the upgrades to FTM, expecting it to always be supported and upgraded, at least that was the promise implied. I thought you were all about family history, but I guess I was just naive. I also live in a rural area and do not always have access to the internet. The ability to work in house, then sync to ancestry when the internet becomes available is critical. I have thousands of names, information fully sourced, and hundreds of photos currently synced with my online tree. I have others that I work on in a library or historical society on FTM. I don’t want to enter information online while I am still working on it and sorting out the information! You are now taking a logical, easy to use system and making it hard. Since entering information twice, including sources, photos, etc.is a detractor, I may just not use the online family tree anymore. I can only hope you change your mind and keep the ability to sync our now obsolete FTM to the ancestry.com public tree. You led us on all these years, and have pulled the rug out from under us. I am not only disappointed, I am angry! I have also “sold” friends and family on the idea of purchasing FTM, now I feel guilty for having participated in your “scam”.

  • Time for someone to write am export program for the desktop version. and I for one will make my own web page (local) to hold my own tree(s).

  • First you drop the Y and Mt DNA and I had to take it elsewhere for a price. Now, your getting rid of the FTM program after I just bought an updated version in June. I really can’t trust your judgement any more. Can I get a refund on my program? Now I have to recreate all my files with images. I’m reducing my subscription from the most expensive to the least for now and possibly will stop using you and go to Family Search. Lame decision what’s going on in your corporate heads (rhetorical question)?

  • You said in point 1: “People also put trees on Ancestry without using FTM. (You can do this using something called a GEDCOM file that your software program can export or you can create one manually.)”

    There is a significant omission in that statement: At http://trees.ancestry.com/pt/UploadFile.aspx, it states “Maximum file size is 75MB.” I haven’t been able to generate a GEDCOM of my entire file that small for years, even without attached sources. Only syncing allowed larger databases to be uploaded.

  • I don’t like where this is all going either but they don’t care how we feel. I totally hate their new timeline which we will be forced to use December 15th, 2015. I’ve already cancelled my expensive paid subscription and gone for the free LDS subscription because of their business direction.

    I don’t think it is a wise move for them but I don’t own the company and they only care about themselves and not their customers.

    • Family search is free but you are collaborating with thousands of other people who can make changes on your tree. You need to have a base like ancestry to make sure that no one but you make those changes.

  • Wow, seems like Ancestry’s actions will cause a mass exit from its website. It will lose money from it’s actions and lost insight. First, buying out FTM, not making many changes major changes, but the sync factor. Then making the recent change to it’s website. Not factual or user friendly. No to not support FTM desktop software. I am shaking my head. What was Ancestry thinking? Are they intentionally trying to drive away customers?
    And to add insult to injury today, I went online to answer an email on Ancestry today from a user, and it tried to upload a virus. Luckily, I have virus software that stopped that.

  • This is somewhat of a side trip off of the main subject here, but I am hoping someone can give me some guidance.

    I have more than four decades of detailed research in FTM version 8. My new (at the time) computer would not run version 8, so I purchased version 10 for my new computer. (I have never installed it). I was told that I could transfer each of my FTM trees from version 8 to version 10, but that I would first have to compress each file within version 8. Since my old computer had become infected with spyware that took over my ability to log onto the Internet, I was unable to compress the version 8 files.

    Is there any hope for me to be able to get my old files off of my old computer and move them into version 10???

    Any advise or suggestions would be greatly appreciated!!!

  • It’s worth noting that if you do have had FTM synched with Ancestry.com now, the media files are saved on your computer so you don’t have to download each one. You can see them in the User directory where your FTM tree files are kept. These can be copied to other devices for backups etc. They can also be imported into other programs eg Legacy have instructions for doing that.

    • This is not always true. I have “merged” data to my FTM and although the media (image) was suppose to download, only the links did in some cases, or only a blank image in others. I’ve resorted to doing the merge & if the image doesn’t show up, I save a copy to my computer. If a blank image is seen, I delete it. The problem in both cases is the image is not linked to the citations/souses; therefore, I copy and paste the index data shown on Ancestry to the saved image’s description.
      The “cloud” is unreliable (& at times unavailable) to me, so a FULL database on my computer is important to me; the ability to sync it to someone else’s server (“cloud”) is not one’s only options to having emergency backup. I do several back ups monthly and have one or more stored at alternate locations to ensure their survivability – FTM’s death notice however, was unexpected.

  • In your point number 2, you state that “as long as your computer’s operating system will allow it” your computer will still be able to run FTM. There is a danger in that statement. At the same time as Ancestry is pulling the rug out from under us, Microsoft is apparently trying to force people to upgrade (their word, not mine) to Windows 10. I tried the upgrade and found that one of the programs that wouldn’t run on Win 10 was FTM 2010, Ver. 19. Fortunately I was able to switch back to Windows 7 to fix the problem.
    I don’t know if this is an issue with other versions of FTM but the bottom line is, if you want to keep using it at least for the next year, don’t upgrade to Windows 10.

    • I have FTM 2014 and Windows 10 and have no problems. I too am very upset with Ancestry for dropping ftm and am looking at other options. It might be a little more work and I will probably have to backup my work on another cloud service but at $300/yr for ancestry and not being able to continue sync with ftm in order to use it offline, don’t think that just the dna info is worth the money. Good luck in your research.

      • You may have found this out by now, since your post that I’m replying to is a month old — but I didn’t see anything on point. Fact is — FTM works perfectly (well, as perfectly as any large program) on Windows 10. I upgraded soon after W10 came out and have had not one issue — of that kind — with FTM. I love W10.

  • Hello! After about 6 years of paying monthly for A.com with only occasional use when time away from ‘the real world’ permitted I just found out that I will have the winter months this year to work on my genealogy and several other interests. I thought I was all set with my A.com subscription and the latest of the latest versions of FTM that I recently purchased, along with reference books etc. Now this!!!! I have worked very little with the FTM but noticed that it also allows you to search in FamilyTree.org (I think) – does it sync in the same way as it does with A.com? Can I just use the FTM and FamilyTree.org and drop the A.com? I don’t have many photos uploaded to these programs yet so that isn’t an issue but what about all the ‘copies’ of documents that I have attached from A.com – do you also get them in these other research programs? Any help will be greatly appreciated by a newbie trying to get rolling on the right track from the beginning!!! I can’t see spending the time available to me on a program that will be gone next year!?

  • i think I am going to be sick. I don’t have the faintest idea what all this means except I am screwed. That’s what I get for not staying on top of technology and relying on someone else.

    • You’re not screwed. Family Tree Maker will run (including sync) at least through 2016. Even after that, it will still run on your desktop computer. Now would be a good time to start learning about backups and downloading images from Ancestry, if you haven’t been doing that already.

  • Just ordered FTM today. Paid $6.95 extra for a two year download capability, so in my eyes that is 12-15-2017. Sure hope so.

  • Well I have been a member since of FTM since 2001. I started with PAF and upgraded to PAF 2.2 in started along with PAF 2.2. I decided to go solo with FTM. Since I started with PAF I was instructed to save all my paper files which included Sources, of which I did, in 4 inch binders.
    A geek advised me to invest in a back-up drive and I did, which was a saving grace.
    I love FTM with it ability to synch your trees with Ancestry.com. and have spent many dollars through out the years along with DNA test and have recommended FTM to my friends. I am heart sick regarding the changes Dec 15 2017, and will
    make a decision to go back to PAF.
    I also downloaded Microsoft 10 and it messed up my entire system, I was lucky to be able to go back to Win 7 and will stay with Win 7 for my desktop.
    I hope Ancestry.com and FTM can come up with some agreement for its customers.

  • I am so happy I never spent money for FTM – my old PAF still works just fine for me. I too like Win 7 – have no intention of changing that, either. Call me old fashioned/out dated but they both work for me.

    • Can you import from FTM to Family-Tree Heritage. I didn’t see that you could. We it import everything including source, media and pictures. Thanks

  • All three statements are true; however, I ONLY access Ancestry through FTM (Ancestry’s most useful tool) and have NO plans of accessing it without it or a similar software.
    I’d also like to add for all those who are blinder wearing Westerners, NOT all places have reliable power and/or internet. UPSs solve the power problems, but if all your information is “in the cloud” you’re stuck. I live part of the year in the Philippines and rely heavily on having a FULL working “sync’d” database ON my computer.
    I see no reason for renewing my subscription to a database that KILLED my interface to it.

  • I’m stunned to put it mildly, it is now Dec 28 and this is the first time Ive heard about this. Why hasn’t FTM notified all of its Users about their plans to discontinue FTM? I feel betrayed by FTM and I feel I have let many friends down who I have recommended they use FTM. To coin an old phrase ‘may their Chickens turn into Roosters and kick their dunny down’.

  • I don’t understand why they would purchase a leading product like FTM and then dispose of it. Why not sell it back to the original makers or someone else if they no longer want to fool with it? Then finding a new program wouldn’t be an issue. The program would find a new owner, once again.

  • This link seems to show how to transfer media with GEDCOM format to Rootsmagic…. It shows versions 2012 and 2014, but they say you can call them for help and they’ll show you how to attach media to a GEDCOM to import to Rootsmagic.

    I never invested in FTM, and wish I had it just so I could transfer my trees with all the attached media to Rootsmagic….unfortunately, $70 for one use makes me croak, but maybe it will be worth the time that I would be transferring those media files instead.

    Discount for FTM users
    :To make the transition as painless as possible, we’ve set-up a special website at http://www.FTMUpgrade.com that includes training videos, testimonials, and more. And for a limited time, we are offering Family Tree Maker users the full-version of RootsMagic for the amazing low price of only $20. We will also include the printed book, “Getting the Most out of RootsMagic” absolutely free (a $14.95 value). You must visit http://www.FTMUpgrade.com to receive the discount.

  • I am devastated by the death of FTM, but can see no advantage in transferring my data to either Legacy or Roots Magic (seemingly the two “next best”). I intended to upload my info to Ancestry.com just as soon as I finish entering all the info I have into the program, and I will probably still do this just so it will be available somewhere other than my own records (although in view of what they have just done, I have little confidence that Ancestry will even continue to make our genealogies accessible). When it became possible to include copies of citations and photos of ancestors, I decided to continue with only factual entries simply because, at 95, I will be lucky to finish getting the data I have collected entered, much less anything else. As you say, FTM will still work for a year or two. For now, even though there are still many entries to make, I will print out Anentafel and Descendant reports for each of my children and grandchildren so all my work will not just vanish when I do.

  • I’m afraid that whatever software workers chooses to migrate to will then be viewed by Ancestry as “hey, we should get a piece of that” only for them to buy it up to abandon a few years later. I’m thoroughly disgusted by Ancestry.

    • I also am fed up with Ancestry. They have gobbled up all of the sites that used to be free so now it is impossible to do online research if you are not a paying customer. I can’t afford it. And now if it is really true that Windows 10 will not support it, I guess I will not download the new software I just purchased for my online studies. What a pain in the butt this whole thing has become. I do not plan to switch my file.

  • Did you see the announcement earlier this week? 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. – See more at: http://blogs.ancestry.com/ancestry/2016/02/02/good-news-for-users-of-family-tree-maker/#sthash.VmdrVNfc.dpuf

  • How stupid can they be to retire FTM. It is much easier to start and keep adding to your family trees using FTM instead of Ancestry.com. Who decided this and who is the new owner of Ancestry.

    • Family Tree Maker lives!!!! The originator is continuing and improving on it – especially the Mac version!!! Software McKeiv I think it is – Google it!

      • Yes you are correct. Just been to WDYTYR in Birmingham there was a small stand MacKiev spoke to them and they have just launched the PC version of FTM which will sync with Ancestry you can buy it through My History whose stand was opposite they had just received the discs. Very last minute. I have the business card of the Director for Business Development and rest assured I will be emailing him with my gripes. Received email Thursday evening when I had got home from Ancestry about FTM being available at the show a bit too late!!!

  • Somewhat off topic, but I just received a flash drive from an uncle containing a massive amount of files and trees that link to my family, the majority of which I had never seen before. The only issue is that they’re in Roots Magic format. Does anyone know how to make them FTM compatible so that I can merge them?

    • You could download a free trial of Roots Magic and export a GEDCOM. (I think the trial version allows that.) Then import the GEDCOM into FTM.

  • Apparently not many on here, including you, Amy, have used FTM and Ancestry like I have. I can tell you here and now that this is an unmitigated disaster. I do most of my research on Ancestry, because it is just more fluid; but now, instead of being able to “flick some switches” and have all my database modifications
    and additions automatically transferred (including thousands of photographs), we are now going back to the Stone Age – any media I add to my Ancestry tree will now have to be manually downloaded, labeled, and filed, and anything textual that is added or modified will have to be done by hand -regardless of WHAT I am using.
    I just found this article by accident, because I was checking into what the limit was for FTM files. Mine is over 2 gigabytes at this point. I centralized all my personal relational research (including in-laws) to avoid duplication – and now I can just about count on quadruple the effort regardless of how I proceed.

    • I apologize for replying to my own comment here, but I don’t think I explained things fully. Take, for example, what happens when I annex a U.S. Census to a person in my tree on Ancestry. Ancestry allows me to pick and choose which family members will ALSO have this information (residence, for instance) appended to their profile. It allows one to choose better information, more desirable date formats, etc. by just choosing them. THEN, it automatically creates a digital image of the Census page in question.
      When this is then synched with FTM, every miserable detail and route is automatically sifted into my personal copy (FTM) of the tree.
      As I’m sure you are fully aware, NOW I have to MANUALLY obtain this image and place it within each desired profile, not to mention the duplication of accurately identifying the sources, manually placing each of them within each profile, and MANUALLY typing new information into whatever I am using.
      Forget what I said about quadruple the effort – make that more like 10 to 100 times the effort.

    • Oh, I see I’m a little behind. I see McKiev is allegedly coming up with some sort of substitute for synching. Nice. We’ll see.

  • Does anyone have a copy of FTM version 11 that was released in 2003 that they would want to sell? I have used this version for many years and now my disk has come up missing.

  • Are you concerned about losing information? As you can see from most of the past few years comments, there are so many gotcha’s with computer files, Not only user software, but computer operating systems, computer hardware, etc. At 79 I’m am still trying to keep extensive family tree data up to date and available for generations. I have come to the realization that there is no silver bullet. While digital form data is the most efficient in the short term, paper documentation HARDCOPIES are a necessity for one-of- a-kind data that you want to survive your hardware, software, and yourself. I am about to do hardcopy documentation, In the plan, hardcopies will be made and given to several younger people in several branches of the family tree. It will also be necessary to document the list of when and to whom the copies were given, so that future generations may have a source to search for their own heritage. Paper is not forever either! Language is not forever! Safe storage areas are not forever!
    When Voyager 1 and 2 were sent to the outer planets in the 1970’s our smartest minds knew that eventually they would leave the Solar System, which they are now just barely out of the Sun’s detection, but only a small fraction of the distance to the nearest neighboring star. NASA went to great effort to record some sounds and messages on what? Would you believe a phonograph record (analog) made out of solid gold? If it were to be retrieved today accidentally by an advanced Earth population, less than 40 or 50 years old, they would have no clue as to what it was and that it contained an informative message from the sender. No doubt, they would consider to be some religious object to be used in a ritual like discus or frisbee tossing.

  • I have FTM 2012 and it has never managed to completely sync even with Windows 7. I am now told that I have to update to FTM 2014. However, I find it better sometimes just keeping them separate now that I have all the people in both and working on Ancestry. I have kept records for all the people on file as well in case the system went down. However rejoining this year I noticed some of my photos missing in the new layout and some of my work from the last 10 years missing. So not having to sort through checking all the people again and with over 2,000 that takes a bit of doing. Why Ancestry hasn’t got a better method God only knows. Once you put it in it should stay not disappear. I will back it up. However I will print off the important bits as well as you can’t trust these packages at all. Hope this reply is useful.

  • I started my genealogy trek in 1967. I have used FTM since the earliest version published through FTM 2012 Platinum. I just received an email from ‘Family Tree Heritage Platinum 15’ offering 50% off…searching to see if this was from FTM, I found this blog. I am amazed I was not notified by FTM nor Ancestry regarding the death and burial of FTM being Ancestry. I periodically subscribed to Ancestry. I won’t do that again.

    My most recent subscription was less than a year ago. I receive promo email ads daily from Ancestry….but not once was I notified of the END of FTM. So, for the past two years when I have synced my tree in FTM, has the synced data just fallen into a black hole???

    I am using FTM on my laptop with all notes intact. Now what do I do? Do I purchase FAMILY TREE HERITAGE PLATINUM 15 ?? …or just grab my stack of deceased FTM disks along with my latest back up cds…. and curl up in the corner with my trembling thumb in my mouth???

    Shame on ANCESTRY.COM

  • had a FTM 2012. when I got windows 10 it would not work so i am wanting some version where I can use the information I have can continue to work with aand extend. Please let me know if you an answer.

  • I have an old Family Tree Maker file (2001) on floppy that probably contains family information. I have never owned FTM and I wonder if the current version is backward compatible. Please advise, how to get this information. Thanks.

  • If everyone puts their information to an online program, they now have access to your family information and they can make a profit by selling subscriptions. One of the reasons I never gave them my family tree.

    • I’m a little confused. Do you meant that they (and I’m presuming you mean Ancestry) is forcing you to have a subscription to have your tree there? You can have a tree on Ancestry without having a subscription.