Attention genealogists, re: Family Tree Maker

Ancestry has just announced that they are no longer going to produce this software and will stop support for it in 2017, which means you will no longer be able to sync your tree with the online tree. I’m sure that Ancestry will still expect you to keep your online tree up to date so they can continue to sell expensive subscriptions. Of course, to do that, you’ll likely have to be a member yourself. Fuck that. If you want to join the growing chorus of outrage at this unilateral fucking of researchers, you can make your feelings known on their website.

I know there are those who don’t like FTM or Ancestry, but this isn’t a thread about whose is best.

Well, that sucks.

Until this minute, I was kicking myself for choosing MyHeritage over Ancestry to build my tree, as Ancestry has far greater researching resources (but when I started, worse tree builder software - maybe 10 years ago?).

I assume they just want you to do everything online.


Not at all well received…

Yes, I received the ridiculous email.

I understand there is third party software that will build a family tree but will it search records? And will any of the software available merge existing records of FTM?

To me, it is totally confusing.

That’s unfortunate. I wonder if there is a replacement in the works?

I prefer to just do it myself on paper in Word and Excel files, with lots of jpegs and PDFs. Old school, I know, but I own it all.

Really? Wonder why that is? They’ve been producing it for years. That’s like the third one that’s not going to be supported from the last few years.

A short while ago, I purchased the 2016 version because I switched to Apple. It won’t let me download my own tree from the site. What the ever-loving fuck?

For those looking for a replacement desktop program, I highly recommend RootsMagic. I’ve been using genealogy software for about 25 years, and it’s the best of what’s left.

Brother’s Keeper is still my preferred genealogy software. I’ll miss the ability to search Ancestry directly from the genealogy software, but unless used judiciously that feature made it too easy to import other people’s mistakes so it’s not the end of the world.

I didn’t use tree sync because when it was introduced you couldn’t stop it uploading all the media attached. Terrible feature. I had birth certificates attached to living individuals that I certainly didn’t want to share with the world.

Anyway, I just maintained my private tree and my Ancestry tree as separate databases to control what information was uploaded, and so this announcement makes little difference to me. If FTM is broken by a future Windows update, it’s not really a problem as I use it as a secondary database.

The biggest loss will be the ability to click on the leaf next to an ancestor’s name in FTM and have it bring up all the Ancestry links that may be applicable to that person, including obits, census docs, birth certs, you-name-it.

This might explain the uptick in the number of emails I’ve received recently for my freeware FileMaker-based app “Family Historian”.

Yes, definitely, although as I mentioned above it can be all too easy to import other people’s mistakes if you don’t use it with care.