Family Tree Maker

About the programs that keep your data - including GEDCOM, Family Tree Maker, others.

Family Tree Maker

Postby bimjim » Fri Mar 07, 2008 12:31 am

I'm still using FTM version 4 for Windows... never saw a reason to update or change. It is quite flexible and will store images as well as lots of data about each person.
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Re: Family Tree Maker

Postby bajandon » Sun Sep 26, 2010 3:42 am

Jim,

Like you I have been a longtime Family Tree Maker user. First, it should be noted that Family Tree Maker has gone through a number of ownership changes over the years. Most recently, the program was purchased by Ancestry.com.

Now, before I go any further, I would like to state that there are a number of excellent, free genealogy programs and free genealogy Web sites available. However, I do happen to be an Ancestry.com subscriber. I’m not trying to endorse their service, but what they have done to integrate their two products is phenomenal.

In 2009, Family Tree Maker was significantly redesigned. Last year I upgraded to Version 2010. In reference to your comment, Version 2010 has a number of improvements that I believe makes upgrading to the latest version worthwhile, especially if you are an Ancesty.com user.

You can read all the marketing hype about the new program features on their Web site. Their marketing folks are relentless. However, it's the integration with Ancestry.com that makes upgrading to the latest version of Family Tree Maker most worthwhile. The program uses some sort of algorithm to go through your family tree and search the Ancestry.com database. It works very well. When the software finds something, it puts an icon next to the person’s name in your tree, letting you know that potential new information has been found. If you like what was found, a few clicks imports the new data into your tree, complete with source citation. The program has helped me expand my tree by finding information on people that I wasn’t even focusing on.

By the way, installing the new program does not override the old version or its data. The new version of the program gets installed in its own directory. Import the records from the old version to the new and you are up and running.

You may want to consider upgrading to the latest version. Version 2011 is on the way!

Don
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Re: Family Tree Maker

Postby bimjim » Sun Sep 26, 2010 12:45 pm

My point of view has been - and always will be - that if something (ANYthing) works for you, then there is no reason to pay money to upgrade or change it unless there is a very good reason to do so. I no longer trust advertising or advertisers, for the simple reason that the ads themselves have become so blindingly stupid or grossly insulting to the target market's intelligence.

There are too many companies out there who make money solely out of frightening their users to upgrade or making it part of the "culture" - Microsoft is the best/worst example of the latter, where they rake in Billions of dollars/pounds because the bleeding-edge "businessmen" just HAVE to have the latest version. Of everything. Well, they don't have to pay for it because it's a corporate expense, but it means that their customers (individuals or small businesses) - who can't afford the never-ending upgrades - can't read or open the files these businesses send out.

If FTM has a new version which integrates with Ancestry I say that's great. But Ancestry.com/.ca/.co.uk/etc./etc./etc./etc. is now becoming a global greedy corporation buying up many internet genealogy resources and now charging fees even for resources that are still free elsewhere or used to be free. FreeBMD is one very good example of a site where info is free but Ancestry charges a fee for access to the same data.

Thank you for your information, though... it is clear that you are very happy with both FTM and with what Ancestry has helped you with. Personally, I have not had great success with Ancestry - of any flavour - I have had great success with genesreunited.co.uk, and you may want to try them - I have found it an excellent place to compare trees with others at an extremely reasonable price. That site helped me grow my database from about 2,300 to over 20,000 by finding other relatives and merging their family trees with mine.
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