Ancestry Will Retire Family Tree Maker Software This Month

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Ancestry Will Retire Family Tree Maker Software This Month

Ancestry has released the surprising announcement today that they are discontinuing their popular Family Tree Maker software.

…we’ve taken a hard look at the declining desktop software market and the impact this has on being able to continue to provide product enhancements and support that our users need. With that, we’ve made the decision to stop selling Family Tree Maker as of December 31, 2015.

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According to the blog post, they will continue to offer support to current customers until Jan 2017.

One of the major selling points for the software in past years has been the availability of Ancestry TreeSync ™, a service that allows users to sync their online Ancestry tree with Family Tree Maker, which is a much more robust program than its online counterpart.

The TreeSync™ feature also allowed for the only easy way to download and back up many Ancestry record sources at one time — something we discussed in the recent article Stop ‘Saving’ Records to Your Ancestry Tree Until You Read This.


Because the online Ancestry tree does not allow access to paid sources added to an individual once a subscription ends, we are left wondering how this change will influence family historians who have counted on Family Tree Maker for continued access to their records.

Many customers are, not surprisingly, quite upset with this announcement. You can read the blog post and all of the feedback here.

Image: headquarters in Provo, Utah

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  • Robet Sear
    March 27, 2016 at 2:52 am

    I don not see why people are so worried the company that designed the software are taking it over and continuing the program so I cannot see a problem. Also as they are independent hopefully they will improve it by adding links to other genealogy sites such as Family search and others.
    I will personally wait and see what happens and at worse all it will mean is no more upgrades and software will continue to work. Windows done same thing but XP still works.

  • N S Iles
    March 22, 2016 at 6:37 am

    i cannot believe Ancestry are contemplating this move ,it is totally unacceptable for a company to do this ,i shall have to print out all my existing software entries. This a typical move by an American company to hold us to Hostage when they do not get their way by not uploading our precious Family trees to them

  • Chuck Reasor
    March 8, 2016 at 4:14 pm

    Really a sad announcement and just shows you what happens when Companies are allowed to buy up all the competition can do. I’ve used the program from their start and have thousands of entries. I have refused to sync as I don’t trust the security of most of the big companies. Maybe that’s why they are dumping it as people are not syncing. It feels like they are “mooning” us and laughing about it. I too hope people dump any program associated with the Corp and hope it put’s them out of business. Hope we can find some enterprising young computer designers out there that can come with a similar program that we can do the switch. I also wish there was someway all of us could “MOON” Ancestry at the same time and say bye, bye.

  • Tom Crago
    January 25, 2016 at 8:51 pm

    I’ve been thinking I need to write up what I’ve learned so far, and Ancestry pulling the plug on Family TreeMaker has convinced me I only have until Jan of 2017 to get that done. I’m not sure I will continue building trees after that. I’ll not trust my family tree to the online Ancestry software. I believe they have an agenda that has little to do with helping private family research. I think they would like everything to be public, and used for their narrow Mormon religious purposes. That’s not my agenda, however.

    I am very unhappy researcher!

  • Marie
    January 24, 2016 at 4:14 am

    Neither am I BC and we are not alone. I have never connected my trees to Ancestry via the “Sync” feature. I never trusted it. I did, however, enter one line manually (not an easy task) hoping someone could help me find more information on my maternal grandmother. That itself was not successful. Only one person responded with the completely wrong information which hopefully I managed to clear up. My main concern now is the transfer of the Media which includes ALL the photos and vital record documents I’ve attached to each individual. Will Legacy or any other program be able to do this? I have these files “media” in various document folders per family on my computer which are connected to FTM via their media feature. From what I have been reading it is my understanding that the GEDCOM feature does not transfer media from FTM without a great deal of file maintenance first. Is this only for the “synced” files or for any FTM program synced or not?

    I have a Mac and am using FTMM3. Have always used FTM since I started 17 yrs ago on a PC then to MAC. Always loved both of them and recommended the program to everyone. VERY, VERY disappointed. Unfortunately I will have to continue paying for Ancestry as all my family history is from Canada and would like to continue having access to those records.

    Another VERY unhappy, faithful customer

    • January 31, 2016 at 4:42 pm

      I am teaching a FTM class In Oklahoma City and have started putting together a handout for transferring data and media from FTM to Legacy and Roots Magic. I will probably have it in final form in about a week. It will be posted at my website. I prefer RM over Legacy at this point (see my website) but it is very hard to get the media from FTM to go into Roots Magic and have all of the files in RM link to the Media. I was able to do it, and I have some point by point instructions coming out with the handout.. The website is “”. Dont know if this site can post website info or not.

  • Adna Wells
    January 13, 2016 at 7:08 pm

    First download the free Legacy software. You can up date it to the Deluxe version later if you want.
    How to convert FTM to a GEDCOM file. GEDCOM files are compatable with many family tree software.

    To make a GEDCOM file open your family file in FTM (that is in your computer).
    In Main menu select File>Export File>Entire File. You get a “save as type” pop up menu
    Select GEDCOM, click OK and the GEDCOM version will go to your desktop.

    When you have installed your new family tree maker program on your computer, drag the file to the new programs desktop “icon” and deposit it there. Now open the new program and learn the new program.
    It worked for me.

    Another Genealogist

  • Concetta
    January 8, 2016 at 4:23 am

    Thank you or you last min notice. At least i was one step ahead of you guys. Never trusted anything that stayed on line. I bought a back up drive and my stuff is all backrd up and safe. I also made a hard copy and filed it the old fashion way . in a filing cabinet.
    Im sorry all you others dont think the same way. All these on line software sights have a flaw.they stop when you really need them!

  • Faye Massey
    December 31, 2015 at 12:06 pm

    please advise if there will be a new program to replace FTM ?

  • Gary Walters
    December 16, 2015 at 6:43 pm

    Welcome to, “Getting Screwed By the Big Guys”. Now you will no longer have access to your data of family files, and someone will hack it and hold you hostage for $$$.

  • Kimberly Coleman
    December 13, 2015 at 7:09 pm

    I am not believing that FTM will discontinue. I have worked too hard to get information on my family history, I have tons of documents saved to my computer though I have not loaded my tree to Ancestry. If I end up switching to a different program, you will be loosing a valuable customer. I have worked day and night for 4 years to not have the program discontinued.

  • Cathy Larkins
    December 13, 2015 at 4:35 pm

    WOW, I have been with Ancestry from the very beginning paying for subscription. I have also had family tree maker from day one. What is that 20 years or so. ALL that work. And now I will loose all those documents I have saved to Ancestry if I do not continue my subscription. I am pretty sad by this. I think once we have pd for this subscription those documents should be ours, plus all the ones I uploaded that were mine to start with.

    I am sorely disappointed by in the last two years. Gobbling up all these FREE web sites and then making them part of ancestry and they are no longer free.

    So I guess I need to be looking for new place for all my work of 20+ years

  • Evelyn MacKenzie
    December 13, 2015 at 2:46 pm

    hi,Ive been with you 15 yrs,,and you are now telling us ,in a month,your,retiring tree,,you had all year planning this and tell us now,maybe we should all retire you spending ,dollor,s for information we will not get..what happens with our trees,on line.mean no moreinformation is added ,,you arenot very clear on your report. what happens with all the photo,s printed.? ever since when you were bought out,,changes where made , liked the old version better ,was trying to get use to the new,,and who are you passing along to our information..I guess this will be my last year.. well good luck ,, your,s Evelyn MacKenzie

  • Janice Webre
    December 12, 2015 at 10:25 pm

    I left Family Tree Maker several years ago and switched to Legacy Family Tree Genealogy Software ( I absolutely love this program….and the standard version is FREE!. If you decided to upgrade to the deluxe version it is a very economical cost…about $30, I think. I would advise anyone looking for a new program to check it out. Support is amazing, and I truly love it. I recommend it to all of my clients, and friends. I hope, since they are discontinuing FTM, that Ancestry does not mind that I have posted this information here.

    • Janice Webre
      December 12, 2015 at 10:27 pm

      I meant to add that I also believe you can import all of your information from FTM over into Legacy.

    • Jane Strickland
      December 13, 2015 at 11:19 am

      You said the standard version is free?? Does the FTM info insert into this Legacy program;; just like the older version of FTM insert its-self into the updated version. I choose FTM in the beginning because the ease-many charts and easy to fill-in and family members already with FTM. Glad to see this post on LegacyFTG software. Thanks and feel free to email about the situation

    • Anniekat
      December 15, 2015 at 9:33 am

      Thanks for the information and website of Legacy Family Tree.

    • Alicemae Abbott
      December 20, 2015 at 8:34 am

      I am concerned that I could lose all my genealogy saved in Family Tree Maker. Will I be able to access the program at all after the program is cancelled. How can I preserve 25 years of research before this happens? You mention Legacy. Where would I be able to acquire this program

  • Mary A Bryan
    December 12, 2015 at 1:24 pm

    Well that puts us all in a bind, just when we are making progress. I have a least made hard copies-paper trail. I have worked too hard to loose it. Not all of us are computer wizzes either and don’t use smart phones.

  • Elsie Sikes
    December 12, 2015 at 6:21 am

    Bet you haven’t had any positive comments

  • Elsie Sikes
    December 12, 2015 at 6:19 am

    I’m not happy with this decision as while I am getting older and will of necessity not be doing as much research in the future, a person in my family who might want to have the work I have done won’t have an easy access to see my work. As with many efforts to improve things, it seems to me that is not always best.

  • Trudy Rand
    December 12, 2015 at 5:42 am

    I have used FTM since 2000, making 15 years on building my multiple family sections. Now, I don’t need to hear that I am losing everything, or that FTM is going to slowly disappear. What I do need to hear is “What is the best site to switch to?” “How to switch to it, without losing any of my information?” and, most important of all “How much is it going to cost me?”

  • Elizabeth stiles
    December 11, 2015 at 6:46 pm

    What is replacing Family Tree Maker? How do I transfer my Ancestry Tree on to it, why make an announcement if you don’t tell us solution. I am very unhappy the way this is being handled! Please reply with explanation.

  • Lisa
    December 10, 2015 at 11:27 am

    This is unbelievable! FTM is the best part of Ancestry. Can’t imagine why they want to get rid of it. There will be a mass migration away from Ancestry. You can count on it. Maybe when their bottom line is a stake, they will rethink their horrible decision. Goodbye Ancestry. Goodbye FTM.

  • Rebecca Pate
    December 10, 2015 at 7:12 am

    I am upset at the discontinuation of FTM. What program will be going to? Will we be able to sync our trees like we have been able to with FTM? Will we be able to share our trees like we have been with FTM? How much work will we have to do to make this transition?

  • Shirley Sutliff Petersen
    December 9, 2015 at 8:45 pm

    Is there another program we will be able to use?

  • JBS
    December 9, 2015 at 8:36 pm

    In your response to Sharon what program will be supported/ I’m with BC this is a lot of time and work entering info and now its gone. Not happy at all. Several of my family member have FTM so we can share info. what program is as in depth as FTM offering easy and intensive interacting pages and additional pages for notes HELP

  • Millie Brown
    December 9, 2015 at 12:24 pm

    Will all of my information be saved or lost? I don’t have it transferred to Family Tree Maker.

    • December 9, 2015 at 1:14 pm

      Nothing in your online family tree on Ancestry should be affected by this change. If you are currently using Family Tree Maker software on your computer you will stop receiving support and updates for it after the end of 2016. Syncing and some other features will no longer be supported by Ancestry at that time and may cease to function altogether. The Family Tree Maker program itself should continue to function for awhile, but over time, without updates, it will become unusable. Please visit the link in the article for more details from Ancestry. We will add any updates as we hear them.

  • Sharon
    December 9, 2015 at 9:38 am

    no no…What does this mean? Will I lose the information I already have in FTM11?

    • December 9, 2015 at 1:20 pm

      I would not think that your information would be at risk for loss, Sharon, since FTM will continue to function after Jan 17. No new updates, bug fixes, or support will be offered after that time, but the program will not cease to operate. You may want to consider switching to a program, however, that will be supported and updated moving forward.

      • Rita Burchett
        December 10, 2015 at 6:07 am

        How can a program like FTM get a “bug” if one isn’t syncing it with something online? In other words, does a program all of a sudden get a bug when it isn’t connected to the internet? If it does, this is horrible news!
        I have invested 15 years using this program. Don’t suggest that we go to another program because it will also become obsolete at some point.

  • BC
    December 9, 2015 at 7:04 am

    This is totally unacceptable! After spending hours upon hours entering my information, spending a lot of money purchasing the program and upgrades….now they are discontinuing it? I am not a happy customer right now….

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