Ancestry TreeSync Ends, MacKiev’s FamilySync Takes its Place

There is big news today from Software MacKiev concerning Ancestry’s TreeSync® feature, a tool many researchers count on to sync their Ancestry family tree with their offline software.

MacKiev has announced that as of March 29th at midnight (mountain time) Ancestry’s TreeSync feature will go offline forever. According to MacKiev it will be replaced by March 31st with their new sync solution FamilySync. But there is a big catch – the new FamilySync will only work with Family Tree Maker 2017, an entirely new version of FTM that MacKiev is releasing on the same day.

That means that anyone who has an older version of Family Tree Maker will no longer be able to take advantage of the syncing feature at all. This feature was a major component of FTM 2012 and 2014, as well as recent Mac versions. It is the reason many people purchased it.

From Software MacKiev’s FAQs section concerning the change:

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  • FamilySync will be available only in Software MacKiev’s Family Tree Maker 2017 edition, which is planned for release on March 31, 2017.  No other FTM edition will sync with Ancestry trees.
  • Ancestry’s search, merge, and Ancestry hints will all work as they do now in FTM 2017 for users who sync with their Ancestry trees. After March 29th these functions will no longer work in any other FTM edition.

Family Tree Maker has experienced a wild ride over the last 15 months after it was first announced that Ancestry would retire the program. Shortly afterwards Software MacKiev, who had previously created the Mac version only, took over and promised updates to FTM for everyone. They delivered on their promise, and in Jan of this year they announced that you could now get a free update of Family Tree Maker if you owned FTM 2014 or Mac version 3.

Now MacKiev is telling us that we will need to purchase Family Tree Maker 2017 if we want to continue to take advantage of this core sync feature.

Some people will get a free copy of 2017 on March 31st – but only those who actually purchased the program from MacKiev (and not Ancestry) or people who paid for the 2014.1 or Mac 3.1 upgrade. It seems that if you simply took advantage of the free update from 2014 or 3 to 2014.1 or 3.1 that was offered in Jan 2017 you do not qualify to get FTM 2017 for free. They make this very clear on their website.

We further clarified this via live chat with a MacKiev representative Linda. She verified that those who recently upgraded for free to 2104.1 or 3.1 do not qualify for a no-cost upgrade to FTM 2017.

By itself, buying a CD, DVD, USB drive or a Family Pack Upgrade does not qualify you for a free upgrade to FTM 2017. Only a purchase of the FTM application itself (download installer) qualifies. Since you have used free update to install FTM 2014.1 on your computer, you can not get FTM 2017 for free. However, for just one week, we are offering a pre-order price of $29.95, just until the launch on March 31st. After that it will be $39.95 for upgrades for a limited time.

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So, if you want to keep using the syncing feature with Ancestry you will need to get a copy of Family Tree Maker 2017. If you purchased your copy of FTM through Software MacKiev or paid for an upgrade to their newest version, you will get a copy for free.

If you purchased 2014 or 3 (or an older version) through Ancestry (back when they owned it) and updated to the new MacKiev version for free you will need to pay for a copy of 2017 if you want to take advantage of FamilySync. This is also true if you never updated. MacKiev is providing 2017 for $39.95 (or $29.95 as a preorder price until March 31st) for those that own previous versions. If you have never owned a copy of FTM before, the price will be $79.95. You can view their site for more information on how to order.

This will certainly be very disappointing for many users and we are sorry to hear that MacKiev is not going to add FamilySync to 2014.1 and 3.1. So many people paid full price for this program when Ancestry owned it and have gotten very little use out of it given the many technical issues it has experienced. Although we certainly appreciate that MacKiev updated it for free, losing TreeSync makes the program nearly useless for many who host their tree on Ancestry.

Still, we understand that they have to support themselves and $30-$40 is better than $80 for the new version, and we are excited to see how 2017 looks and works.

They have provided a verification center to check if you qualify for a free copy of 2017. You will be asked what registered version you have on your computer. If you select 2014.1 or 3.1 they will attempt to verify your purchase and provide solutions if they cannot do so.

For those who will not be getting the new version (2017) be aware that you will no longer be able to sync your tree after midnight (MT) on March 29th. We encourage you to take the time to sync now and download all of your records while you still can. Read about why this is so important here, and how to do it.

For questions about these changes you can contact Software MacKiev here.

Alternatives to Family Tree Maker:

Free: MyHeritage offers a downloadable family tree program that some of you might like to try. You can download it for free here. It also syncs with their own online tree, but not with Ancestry. This works nicely when paired with a MyHeritage record subscription to allow you access to record discoveries. You can get a free trial of their record collections here.

Paid: RootsMagic 7 is a program many people like. They have stated that they will sync with Ancestry records in the future, although that is not the case now, and their price is very reasonable. Find it here.

Please note that we are beginning our Unofficial Ancestry Crash Course on March 31st. This course includes numerous tips and tricks to help you make the most of and locate more records. We will also go over, in detail, these new changes to Family Tree Maker. You can join the course by registering here. We’d love to have you.

By Melanie Mayo, Family History Daily Editor

29 thoughts on “Ancestry TreeSync Ends, MacKiev’s FamilySync Takes its Place”

  1. I am totally confused. I have been using Ancestry for years and loved it. Today, I can not use Ancestry at all on my computer. I called Ancestry today and the lady I talked to said there was not more Ancestry. She told me to contact Mackiev Ancestry on the internet to purchase the info I loved so much. I have been trying all day to reach someone to help me. I can not seem to locate anyone to help. I have typed Mackievancestry, AncestryMackiev, and many other ways of typing the letters. NOTHING WORKS.

  2. I am confused! I have 2009.
    I want to update and continue to use with its’ FTM.
    Where do I start and what will work and what must be newly purchased? I am confused as to how MacKeiv will relate to my tree.
    Please advise. I would like to SAVE MONEY, too, and an upgrade for $29 vs. $39 is appealing. What is the later $79???

    7/15/17 is the deadline for action on this, I understand. Please advise me.

  3. 4/18/17 Tech support says they do not have any info for a new release.

    They offered a refund.

    I am awaiting Roots Magic to release their new version that will sync with

  4. Does anyone know if they are giving refunds? The estimated day for release is the end of the week

    Roots Magic says their new version with a tree sync will be at the end of April

    FTM charged me March 21st.

  5. I was offered the “free” upgrade to FTM 2014 but after verification and download it “couldn’t find the software on my machine”! (Funny, I can. It’s in programme files) I was invited to buy a disc (or luxury wooden memory stick (!!?) containing what I already owned to re load FTM 2014. I declined. Just as well as I found out later that I’d need to buy FTM 2017 if I wanted to continue syncing with Ancestry. Of course in order not to pay full price I had to buy it very quickly…. and, as has been stated, the launch date keeps getting put back. The software that charges my credit card works very well however.
    I’d thought that the days of software being sold before it had been properly tested were over but obviously not. I’d agree that they need to get it working before launch but that should have been sorted before cut off dates. It may work well, if we ever get it, but judging by experience so far I’m not optimistic.

  6. I am not sure if the 2017 version will ever be released. They charge the credit card and keeping changing the release date

  7. No problem, I got the email, I’ve pre-ordered the new version – which has been rewritten so it is more up to date with the latest and future versions of Windows, and upgraded to the interim version with the download last night, ran the program and it’s fine. Software Kiev is not Ancestry, Ancestry has discontinued FTM and the tree sync, they are both dead. Software Kiev has created an alternative sync and the software to support it which by agreement allows FTM to continue working seamlessly for the user and to sync with Ancestry if you want it to. The FTM version on my computer is far more important to me than an online tree, which is a great convenience but not my working tree. So the options are to upgrade FTM or to buy an alternative program. I did both. FTM is my preference and Family Historian does some things differently.

  8. Mary Elaine Worline

    Last week I received e-mail from FTM telling me of a reduced price for the new FTM 2017 version @ $29.95. I tried to order it with DVD and download (2nd option) @39.95, but when I got to the check out page, the page told me “there is nothing in your basket” and I was prevented from going any farther. I could not order it. I want to take advantage of the reduced price before 3/31/17 when it expires, so please help me with that.
    I have purchased 2014 version of FTM. Does that make me eligible for a free upgrade?
    I would also like a companion guide book with the new order. Thank you.

  9. Thanks very helpful. My last version of FTM was 2005! I’ve just pre-ordered and got the current version for £29.95. Well impressed.

  10. This ought to reduce the cash flow of both Ancestry AND Mackiev!!!!! Just another fine reason I dumped Ancestry a while back!!!!

  11. Will this new Verizon offer free access to as previous family tree maker products have done?

  12. I have not upgraded since 2009. Can I still upgrade to 2017. If so I want to prevent order.

  13. Stephen Peterson

    When this changes, will we lose all access to the images and media we already have synced?

  14. Please advise me what is available to me. I was notified that I have a free sync. How much can I get FTM (new version) for? Would like to make the purchase asap after Monday the 27th, Thanks!

  15. Don’t be too harsh on MacKiev — they need to have a viable business model if they are going to continue to provide and support this great software; don’t begrudge paying money for good service.

  16. We found this in their FAQs section, it seems to confirm that anyone with an old FTM version qualifies for the discounted rate. We have also contacted MacKiev for clarification and will update when we receive a response.

    “Q. I own an older version of Family Tree Maker. Can I get a discount on an upgrade?

    A. Yes! You can currently pre-order an upgrade to FTM 2017 for $29.95. For more information, make sure you are on the FTM Mailing List which you can sign up for at”

  17. Judie,

    This is a good question. Their email and website seem to imply that if you have purchased any edition of FTM you qualify for the reduced price, but we did not specifically verify this and they may only be referring to more recent versions . Please contact MacKiev at to find out if you qualify. We will also attempt to verify this information with MacKiev.

  18. Hi Judy,

    To find out how to get 2014.1 please take a look at this article on the subject:

    For 2017 upgrades, it is my understanding that MacKiev will send this information via email to current owners that qualify on March 31st. You can review their FAQs in the support center for further clarification: Look for the link to “further assistance” at the bottom of the page if you do not find your answer in the FAQs area. This will allow you to send them a question or conduct a live chat.

    Good luck!

  19. Hello
    I have Mackiev 2014 and would like to upgrade free. I have tried but not able to do so., Can you please advise

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