Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Panic over: Family Tree Maker lives

Ancestry (www.ancestry.com) announced on December 9th that it was to discontinue the highly popular Family Tree Maker software (see http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2015/12/rip-family-tree-maker.html). Three days later, in response to Ancestry's own comments responding to how users were taking the news, I stated the following in a subsequent blog post (http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2015/12/more-on-ancestrys-planned-cull-of.html):

I've read a lot of comments online from the genealogical commentariat suggesting that this was inevitable, and that this is the way the world is moving, but I've never really been a big fan of self-fulfilling prophecies i.e. it was always going to happen, so it's going to happen. I've seen the Terminator films enough times to know that the future is not set, there is no fate but that which we make, etc...! Ancestry believes it is in its interest to kill off the programme, but Ancestry is nothing without its subscribers. I'd be inclined to watch this space for a bit - there seems to be a lot of genuine anger out there. Is it really so necessary to alienate a huge chunk of that subscriber base on something that seems actually to be so unnecessary? One to watch...

Cue the latest news announcement from Ancestry (via http://blogs.ancestry.com/ancestry/2016/02/02/good-news-for-users-of-family-tree-maker/):

Since our Family Tree Maker announcement last December, we have continued to actively explore ways to develop and support Family Tree Maker and ensure you have choices to preserve your work in ways that matter to you.

Today, I am pleased to announce two options for desktop software that will work with Ancestry.

Software MacKiev
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.

This new agreement means you will receive software updates and new versions from Software MacKiev, and have the ability to purchase new versions of Family Tree Maker from Software MacKiev as they are released. You will have continued access to Ancestry Hints, Ancestry searches, and be able to save your tree on Ancestry with Family Tree Maker moving forward.

We have made an agreement with RootsMagic, a leading genealogy desktop software program publisher, to connect Ancestry with the RootsMagic software by the end of 2016. With this new relationship, RootsMagic can serve as your desktop family tree software, while having access to Ancestry hints, Ancestry searches, and the ability to save your tree on Ancestry.

These new agreements will make it possible to preserve your work on Ancestry and Family Tree Maker, and enable future features and benefits to help you discover your family history. Be assured that Ancestry, in cooperation with Software MacKiev and RootsMagic, will continue to support you as you discover your family history.

We ask for your patience as we work diligently through all the details to make these solutions available. Be sure to check back here on our blog as we share more information about Family Tree Maker in the next few months.

For more information on Software MacKiev and RootsMagic, click below:

Software MacKiev: http://www.mackiev.com/
RootsMagic: http://www.rootsmagic.com/

So there we have it. Family Tree Maker lives. Panic over!


For details on my genealogy guide books, including my recently released Discover Irish Land Records and Down and Out in Scotland: Researching Ancestral Crisis, please visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html. My Pinterest account is at https://www.pinterest.com/chrismpaton/.


  1. Hi Chris, since it wasn't mentioned by Ancestry... do you think either of these companies will offer to synch online trees with desktop software? This was the best feature of FTM, in my opinion. Thanks! Andrea

  2. Yes, I think they both will - for FTM the press release states: "You will have continued access to Ancestry Hints, Ancestry searches, and be able to save your tree on Ancestry with Family Tree Maker moving forward", with similar wording for RootsMagic.

  3. Both Software MacKiev and RootsMagic say on their websites say that syncing with Ancestry trees will be implemented.