Confusion: Family Tree Maker, Family Tree DNA and Ancestry.com

ftdna ftm

I wish very much that the names of Family Tree DNA and Family Tree Maker weren’t so similar, because it has created a lot of confusion over the years and that confusion has intensified this past week with Ancestry.com’s announcement that they are discontinuing support of their genealogy software package, Family Tree Maker.

Let’s clear up that confusion right now.

  • Family Tree Maker is a genealogy software package to track your genealogy information and it is owned by Ancestry.com.
  • Ancestry.com also offers a DNA testing product called AncestryDNA that tests your autosomal DNA and provides you with a list of DNA matches.
  • Ancestry.com’s DNA product offering, AncestryDNA, and their genealogy software program, Family Tree Maker, are in no way connected to each other. They don’t share any functionality and their only commonality is that Ancestry owns them both.
  • Family Tree DNA is a DNA testing company that does NOT provide genealogy software and DOES provide an extensive array of DNA testing products and tools, such as autosomal DNA through their Family Finder product, similar to the AncestryDNA product. Family Tree DNA also provides additional DNA testing such as Y and Mitochondrial DNA, which Ancestry.com does not offer. Family Tree DNA’s only products are DNA tests.
  • There is no connection whatsoever between Family Tree DNA and Family Tree Maker.
  • There is no connection whatsoever between Family Tree DNA and Ancestry.com.

Ancestry Retires Family Tree Maker Software

On December 5, 2015, Ancestry.com announced that it would no longer be selling their genealogy program, Family Tree Maker and will be retiring the product.  You can read their announcement here.

This has absolutely NOTHING to do with Ancestry’s DNA testing product, AncestryDNA and nothing whatsoever to do with Family Tree DNA, an entirely different company.

  1. If you are an AncestryDNA customer, you are entirely unaffected by this announcement.
  2. If you are a Family Tree DNA customer, you are entirely unaffected by this announcement.
  3. If you are a Family Tree Maker genealogy software user, you’ll be needing to find a new genealogy program in the next year or so.  Ancestry will be supporting the current Family Tree Maker software through January 1, 2017 and it will likely continue to function after that, at least until you purchase a new computer or update your operating system software – but you’ll be on your own at that point.  I would not recommend using the software beyond when Ancestry terminates support.  So, you have time – a full year.  There is no reason to panic.

Selecting New Genealogy Software

You can easily convert to a new genealogy package by exporting a GEDCOM file from Family Tree Maker into your new software package of choice.

There has been a lot of online discussion about the pros and cons of various software packages for both the PC and MAC platforms since Ancestry’s announcement.

Judy Russell covered the topic here and Shannon Christmas covered it here.

Here’s a wiki page of genealogy software programs, but I found it a bit overwhelming.  Here’s another review site by feature.

On the ISOGG Facebook group, we’ve been discussing this very topic as well.  To distill this conversation for you, I would suggest considering either Legacy or RootsMagic software if you are a PC user and either Rootsmagic or Reunion if you are a MAC user.

My understanding is that all of these programs support Y and mitochondrial DNA information in some fashion, although I’m sure exactly how varies by program.  Personally, I just record the haplogroup as a “second middle name” so I can see the haplogroup lineage on pedigree charts. So while DNA support is important, there are multiple ways to achieve this and I don’t think it’s a make-it or break-it criteria when choosing your new software.  My biggest concern is that all of my images and notes transfer, regardless of size/length.

The good news is that most of the genealogy software packages are taking advantage of Ancestry’s retirement of Family Tree Maker with sales to entice you and even step by step instructions and videos of how to convert and use their software.

So, take a deep breath.  Family Tree DNA is totally unaffected by this.  DNA results at either company are entirely unaffected by this.  And if you are a Family Tree Maker user, you have plenty of time to evaluate alternatives and make your decision.

64 thoughts on “Confusion: Family Tree Maker, Family Tree DNA and Ancestry.com

  1. Thank you. We Mac users are holding back trying to see which software will work best for our computers. We will miss being able to sync.

  2. I’ve been using Legacy for many years and I’ve been very happy with it. It is user friendly and it has many useful functions. It generates nice reports.

    I used FTM as well but I never updated it beyond 2006. I wonder about some genealogy CDs. From what I recall, some of them only work in the context of the program. I have a Virginia genealogy CD that only works with the program. So I wonder if these CDs will become useless, hopefully not…

  3. This is adding to confusion … you stated “Family Tree DNA is a DNA software testing company”
    Didn’t you mean to say Family Tree DNA is a DNA testing company?

  4. Thanks for this summary, Roberta. As a long-time FTM user, I (mostly) love the interface and functionality, and I’m very displeased that the corporate Ancestry is giving up on the software. From the comments I’ve seen, I’m not alone.

    I would like to clarify a point, though, without getting too technical for people. When Ancestry says they are not supporting FTM after 1 Jan 2017 (well, they actually said they WILL support it AT LEAST until 1 Jan 2017), that does not mean the software will cease to function on 2 Jan, or the first time you buy a new OS or computer. What I expect, first, is that Ancestry will turn off the tree sync feature. Beyond that, they are only saying that they will not do the work to migrate features which are deprecated in new operating systems. That is, operating systems get updated over time. Old functionality is turned off, or replaced by new functions. These are not decisions made lightly by Microsoft, Apple, and other OS makers, as they know it will cause everyone who has written software for their computers to change the software, but it does happen. Sometimes, the decision is made for security reasons (look at Adobe’s Flash, for example). At other times, functionality is extended, and some “grace period” is given before the old functional end points are turned off, but it eventually occurs.

    The upshot is that on 2 Jan 2017, it’s likely that your FTM software will continue to function as it does today, with the possible exception that Tree Sync will be disabled – and I’m not certain about that; I don’t think that call has been officially made. Otherwise, there’s a very good chance that everything else will still be functional a decade (or even two decades) from now.

    However, if you don’t have a copy of the software, you also won’t be able to re-install it if you lose a hard drive or otherwise munge the install. That is the biggest reason to look for new software. At the bare minimum, regularly backup your FTM files to GEDCOM so that you’ll be ready to go when you must do so.

    • Given that you will have to eventually move to a new platform, it’s much better to do it in a planned manner while the vendor is still supporting the product in case there are problems. After that, no matter what happens, if you have not generated a GEDCOM file and cannot for whatever reason, you’re sunk. So I never encourage people to run on unsupported software if they have anything on that software that is valuable to them.

  5. Forgive my ignorance here but this news has been confusing me for a while. Is the Family Tree Maker software the same as the online genealogy tree you build when you log into Ancestry.com? That wasn’t a program that I installed but is part of the website – so is this announcement saying that this part of the website will be retired or phased out? And does that mean that Ancestry will only do the DNA testing and not family trees? Please help me understand lol

    • Their trees will remain on their site. The Family Tree Maker software which was only on your computer used to be able to sync with your tree on their website and upload information to your own tree on the website. That will no longer work, and they will no longer be selling the software for your PC. If all you use is their online tree on the Ancestry.com website, that should continue to work as it always has.

    • This is another point commonly confused, and Ancestry’s marketers — until the announcement about discontinuing Family Tree Maker desktop software — did want the tree owners and FTM users to consider that the two Ancestry products were somehow the same.

      The FTM software is quite a different program from the Trees hosted on Ancestry.com. It’s just that Ancestry put a lot of effort into making the last 2 versions of FTM compatible enough with the hosted Trees to synchronize data between the Trees and FTM2012/2014.

      This was not an altogether successful effort. FTM is a memory hog and has real file-size limitations as well as many other glitches.

      These problems are not shared by the hosted-Tree program. The Tree program is not installed on your computer or other device — it is only designed with the intention that you can view trees and make changes in your own tree via your own computing device.

      The Tree program is also intended to be designed to enable **data ~from~ your Tree** to be exported as a GEDCOM file to your computing device, so that your device’s Genealogy Program can import the file. Your home Genealogy Program could be FTM, but there are dozens of other Genealogy Programs that folks use. Some people use 2 or 3 or more Genealogy Programs because each has its own reporting, sorting and chart-making features. But none of that is built into the Ancestry Trees, as it was never intended that the Trees function as a full-featured Genealogy Program.

  6. I use Family Tree Maker, Ancestry.com trees and Ancestry DNA as a coordinated suite of tools. I work primarily on the desktop FTM, then sync the desktop tree to the online version of the tree and the online version is in turn linked to my Ancestry DNA tests. The new DNA matches then are useful to confirm and extend branches (down as well as up) on the paper trail trees (which I work through step by step and pull in census etc to confirm), working again with my desktop Family Tree Maker software, and starting the cycle anew. The synced desktop and online versions of my trees also serve as backups of each other. It is not likely that both will be lost at once.

    I view “my genealogy” as belonging to all descendants and ancestors connected and not mine alone, so I have no problem having it online. Hopefully others understand (and I state in my profile) that where the references are thin or missing, the information should be independently confirmed. Polite corrections are met with joy.

    Loss of the ability to sync my Family Tree Maker desktop tree with the online tree that is linked to the DNA accounts interrupts this workflow. No, it’s not the end of the world. Yes I can and will find another desktop genealogy software to work with, but unless that software has the ability to sync with Ancestry online trees, this amazingly productive workflow is interrupted.

    I’m disappointed and annoyed, not panicked.

      • My frustration in large point is being new to this and in an effort to do it correct I went with Ancestry.com membership , ancestry FTM , disc for FTM and book for FTM …. 100% of my FTM products purchased less than two weeks ago, I have not even received the book or disc. I feel like I was abused , feel like I was sold a lottery scratch off after all the prizes were claimed. Felt disrespected

  7. Thank you for this review, Roberta. I have been using Family Tree Maker (and Ancestry.com) for at least 5 years now. I am going to take my time making a decision on new software to replace it with because I want to see how others fare in their experiences. I figure I have 2016 to choose and try something and still change my mind if I need to. In the meantime I have put it on the back burner for now because this month is a busy time for family things.

    I will be following your blog and many others to see how things progress. I have bought and tried both Legacy and Rootsmagic in the past but never put in the time and energy to totally change over. So I would be starting again from a GEDCOM. I just wonder how well all the notes transfer, as well as the attached media and especially the personally created data elements. This will require some work!

    • There reason I bought RootsMagic when PAF was obsoleted was because people with large data bases and lots of notes said it converted without a hitch. I still haven’t converted, but I will be shortly.

  8. For the most part I agree with Sherry. I made the decision to use FTM along with Ancestry’s online trees last year, now I know that was a bad decision. I too believe that my ancestor’s information should be shared, but now that we won’t be able to sync our trees (next year), we won’t have the ability to easily keep a copy for ourselves. So I will not maintain my family tree on Ancestry after FTM will no longer sync and that will be Ancestry’s loss. I think having the great network of family trees is one of their great selling points.

    Yes, you can (or at least now you can) download a gedcom from your Ancestry online tree, but it won’t carry the source files with it and I’m unwilling to have Ancestry hold my source documents hostage. I no loner have any trust that Ancestry will do what is best for their customers (not that I had total trust before).

    I’ll most likely go back to using Reunion (MAC), but it will require me to reenter all of my source documents, which will be a lot of work. I’ve done lots of work developing my family tree over the past year, so I am now very disenchanted with Ancestry to say the very least.

    No, FTM doesn’t affect your AncestryDNA in the sense of the testing itself, but it will limit the usability as we know it now if there are even less family trees populated on Ancestry going forward. I’ve already noticed that many more seem to have been made private in the past week. And, again having the largest network of online family tress was one of the big attractions to me to test with AncestryDNA. We all know that their tools are lacking.

    I realize that the technology world changes (I’m a graphic/web designer) and for the most part, I embrace change, but I think (along with many others) that this was a very bad move by Ancestry and a slap in the face to their customers who want to sync their trees. I can’t image that any serious genealogist would want to solely place their family tree on Ancestry and I’m unwilling to double my work, so after I can’t sync on Ancestry, my tree there will remain unchanged there.

    I’m not panicking either and I know how to implement my options, but Ancestry is going in the wrong direction. I believe it’s a controlling device (and greed), they think that people will place their online trees on their website and then will have to continue their subscriptions in order to use/update them. I’m not willing to have them hold my source material hostage. They are also making it much more difficult for people who don’t want their source materials held hostage to use their information, we will now need to manually enter it into our databases. I’ll just do that, but they are taking another good selling point away.

    Before this move by Ancestry, I was just budgeting the expense of their subscription into my budget. I no longer feel the necessity to keep a subscription with a company that has so little regard for their customers. I realize they have a lot of great sources but now it will be harder to use those sources.

    • I agree. I started with an online tree at Ancestry, then saw the value with having more control, and purchased Family Tree Maker. If I can’t upload from FTM, I don’t know how much info I’ll update manually on Ancestry – I’ll probably add new people, but not documentation and details.

      I wasn’t into DNA genealogy until recently, but this sounds a bit like Ancestry’s decision to cut out YDNA & MtDNA, and (I understand) stop storing the data. I haven’t used AncestryDNA yet, but I’m considering augmenting my FTDNA test to increase the size of the pool I’m swimming in, but this makes me wonder whether the company is really interested in serving the customer.

      But perhaps the cash flow isn’t what it used to be and they have to do something?

    • If you had used any genuine genealogy software, like Personal Ancestral File, Legacy, or Rootsmagic, or any of the others, you would simply export a GEDCOM file, and your notes and your sources would all be there. What you are saying is yet another example of the complete worthlessness of Family Tree Maker.

      What I suspect you did was physically add your sources to your database instead of entering your source information as sources and the information contained into your notes. Family Tree Maker encouraged people to do such a thing.

  9. Roberta, in your opinion, what is the likelihood that in the future, Ancestry will open up all of the Private tree and make them Public?

    • Practically zero. People who have opted to do that specifically don’t want the data public. They have it there to share with a select few, or close relatives, or something.

      Mind, I couldn’t agree with such a decision less, but that’s the rationale. People like that wouldn’t have data online if other people could actually make use of it.

      Ancestry gives them that option. The world is chalk full of people like that, and they pay Ancestry a substantial share of its profit margin.

  10. I’ve used FTM for many years and many versions, but NEVER synced with an Ancestry tree. I have a tree on Ancestry to attach to my DNA, but I’ve put it there with a gedcom from FTM.

    I am currently using FTM 2012 and it works fine … I’m sure Legacy and RootsMagic work fine, as well. My concern is in the transition. Will my thousands of photos, sources and notes transfer and end up where they belong?

    Thanks, Roberta!

    • No, Roberta, the thousands of photos, documents and whatever you have will NOT transfer, because, as surely you noticed with Family Tree Maker bogging down your computer, Family Tree Maker is the ONLY software that has ever directly stored your photos and documents instead of storing links to them.

      Now, if you entered sources in source fields, and notes in note fields, those SHOULD transfer to another program. When you export your GEDCOM, you check the boxes to include notes and include sources, and make sure you include notes on living people and private notes, if you have any.

      Now, the GOOD news is that all your files that are bound up within Family Tree Maker are stored SOME PLACE, probably on your hard drive, and you can locate the folders and copy them to other folders outside of Family Tree Maker. Mind, you do have to know how to find and copy files and folders on your computer, and Family Tree Maker users aren’t the sharpest twigs on the tree.

      It’s very tragic, but you all did it to yourselves, and I’ve not a drop of sympathy for you.

  11. The panic part is partly because many users have put hundreds of hours into adding media and details to their genealogies and none of that part will transfer.
    At this time, i see no solution to that problem.

    • If people are currently using FTM they are certainly able to transfer all their media and details into their FTM program, but they had better do that right now, before the synch feature goes away.

      If they are not using FTM, and have chosen to store all their media and other details at ancestry only, nothing will change for them. The online tree and all their data will still be there.

      Why anyone would choose to store their data online at ancestry is beyond me, but that’s another story.

      • Some choose to store their data online because it is easier to navigate than incorporating FTM. Some people are not as tech savvy.

  12. I’ve read where people said that RootsMagic will transfer your media, but their mac version isn’t native yet, they have some workaround I believe so not what I want to use. I looked on Reunion’s website and they say have you have transfer your media manually. If you’re on a PC, you might want to research RootsMagic further for that purpose. I don’t know personally, just a couple of posts that I read said their transfer worked well with all media included and I believe notes.

  13. I am in the process of moving all my direct line ancestors to WikiTree. I have to go into my original files, pull out my original research and re-enter it, because Ancestry.com has proven to be no place to organize and keep records. When Ancestry.com moved to the new interface they erased ALL the documentation I had uploaded that did not originate with them and replaced my documentation with “unsourced citation”.

    My experience has always been that Gedcoms are fairly compact documents, so I couldn’t understand why the last one I downloaded from Ancestry was *18 MG*. On inspection I found that *every* Ancestry source document in my tree is listed without any form of organization, and is scrambled, from person to person. And each one is a *backlink* to Ancestry.com – So the page may be for Thomas Astley b 1430 in Hillmorton Warwickshire England, and the first reference could be; “1880 Bell Co Texas Census.” What you see when you click that link is; “Click here to see what Ancestry has about your ancestor..free seven day trial!”

    Did Thomas Astley live 450 years and live in Texas in 1880??? You’ll never know unless you cough up dough. Ancestry is attempting to keep me from downloading (and sharing) documentation I bought and paid for over the last 15 years.

    If you don’t notice that your references are not coming along with your Gedcom, and you believe you have a workable Gedcom, you’ll be sorry come when t’s time to upload your Gedcom elsewhere. I’d advise that everyone download relevant census and other documents and the citation information, because the pages often don’t have relevant roll, page, book, etc. numbers on them. Organize them and BACK THEM UP in at least three places.

    It’s taken me up to two hours of wholesale deleting – per person – to get rid of these backlinks. It was the first task I undertook when I moved a 30 person Gedcom to WikiTree. I missed one and got a reminder to take care of it from a WikiTree “Arborist” citing “useless links which held no information”.

    I am now entering individuals manually because I can have an ancestor and their data entered in the time it takes me to delete the Ancestry advertising from a Gedcom. I expect entering my data on WikiTree will take me a year. When it’s done I’m done with Ancestry.

    I’d recommend WikiTree for serious researchers. It’s not owned by a for-profit company (yet anyway). The work remains after you are gone, there is only one entry per individual, and you can upload your documentation. All of these are important to me.

  14. Thanks Roberta your comments were more calm and less panicky than some of the others. We do have time to study and find the best solution. But we need to get started making the decision.

  15. My problem is that I had been using a Laptop which finally started dying 2 years ago; my grandson transferred the entire Laptop hard drive to an external hard drive which I have been keeping until I could afford [am on disability] to get another computer. My daughter’s family got me a new desk top computer with Windows 10 a week ago for Christmas. When I tried to get on the external hard drive, it showed that Family Tree Maker 11 program was there, but I was unable to open it to use. Now I am caught between a rock and a hard place trying to figure out what to do. My [IT Guru] grandson has married and is living in another area.
    I now have to decide to try and get the program up and going, then possible transfer it to another genealogy program. I have over 30,000 names on this cotton-pickin’ machine. As you can tell, I am not very computer friendly, even though I have taken several computer classes. I have worked not only on my family, but several other families helping them join the ancestral societies.
    Would anyone out there have any suggestions on where to start? I also am having to learn how to use the new Windows 10 on this new computer.
    I am not panicking, but I do know my abilities on computers, and I know that it is going to take me a good while to accomplish whatever I do. Luckily, over the years, I have made hard copies of most of my records.
    Would appreciate any and all advice. Have an old Legacy Standard install program from years ago; should I go that route?
    Thanks to any and all for their advice.

    • Betty, I don’t know exactly what your grandson did, but if he just moved the hard drive contents, Windows likely will not recognize your program as being installed. If you still have the disc it came on, you should be able to reinstall the program and open your old files again. Reinstalling the program will not wipe out your tree data.

    • Betty, Don’t bother with the old Legacy Standard program. Just go to Legacyfamilytree.com and download a new Legacy Standard free program as it will be current and updated. Also on that site there is a list of Legacy Users Groups all over the U.S.and other countries. Go to one. There will probably be a tech-inclined member who would be happy to help you get your data off the hard drive and onto the program. There is also a Legacy Users Group on Facebook for quick Q & A.

    • Betty ROSS BROWN, get your IT Guru Grandson and you too, to download a free program called, “TeamViewer”. [https://www.teamviewer.com/en/download/windows.aspx]

      Once you go to the link, they have it for Mac & Linux also.

      That way, he can come into your computer from where ever he is and he can look at your system and tweak it. After my son left for his offshore tour this month, he had to order me a new hardrive, I was having problems with it, so we got the TeamViewer downloaded, he coached me through the IM on Facebook, and he was able to log into my computer from out in the Gulf of Mexico, and get my computer working again. This program has been a life saver for me since it’s inception. AND only people who have been granted permission can access your computer. We pay for Webroot anti virus which comes with GeekSquad that can do the same ting if I can’t get him in an emergency. I bought it basically for my sister in Oklahoma, but it is available for all 4 of our computers. We use the TeamViewer for the easy stuff. The GeekSquad I use when I don’t have internet as they have an 800 number.

      I hope this helps you and any one else that is having these problems.

      Cathee

      • Yes, I have tech support using Webroot and the GeekSquad also for computer/printer issues of a non-genealogical nature and live in Florida.
        This is the most value for my $ of all of my expenditures.

      • I just found out that if you have TeamViewer activley “open” the GeoLocator doesn’t function. As soon as I closed it, my locations came back up. YAY!

  16. I highly recommend testing several programs. I tested four that work on a MAC without partition. There are differences—we all have different intuitions and I have to say that even some of the reviewers and review websites are WRONG. I tested Reunion, Heredis (from France an largest selling genealogy software in Europe). Roots Magic Mac versiion and MacFamilyTree (from Germany). See if you like the work flow—is it intuitive to you? Does there seem to be excessive key strokes to do lots of data entry. How do you like the maps functions/

    I thought I would end up with Roots Magic since everyone recommends it. I did not like it and I tried several times. One program stood out head and shoulders above the rest “for me.” That was MACFamilyTree. Its easy to learn—in 5 minutes I was darting about finding this and that. I love the charts—-I am mean LOVE. Its worth the price just for the charts . The color coding is lovely and the Fan charts wow.

    The layout is gorgeous and makes sense to me—I am never more than a couple of clicks from what I want. And its powerful. So I bought it. My first GEDCOM loaded very quickly but I ended up doing it a second time because one needs to put all you media in the same folder that you load the GEDCOM into. Once I did that it was a piece of cake. Notes, Media and sources transferred over. And my file is not small over 10,000 individuals and 600 media files. Some quirks with locations. There is a location file and there is a process of defining all location by latitude and longitude. I already had lots of cleanup to do on my old files and this will make it much easier.

    I think this program is both beautiful, fun and easy to use. Aside from the charts my favorites are all the statistics that this program compiles—like a breakdown on tribe or eye color or name distribution; the plausibility report (some reviewers say they don’t have a problem spotter (they do); and yes you can print books and charts even though “the Ten Best Programs for MAC” says they don’t. Also love the interactive tree. Its really cool and much more usable to me than Heredis’ three dimensional one.And finally if you are ever board they have a family tree quiz, asking you questions based on your tree.

    The price is $24.95 til the end of the year (1/2 off). The Iphone/IPAD app is $7.95 and allows real time syncing. You can sync to your Icloud or dropbox acct.

    I have only been fooling around a few hours. I was NEVER this excited in FTM. Years ago i had the PC version and then the MAC.

      • Roberta. There are very good reasons to stay in the PC world. What I like about Macs are the support (I could tell you nightmare stories abiut Dell and HP ) and the fact that they are durable, comparatively speaking. Over the years Windows keeps emulating IOS which tells you something. I like the compatibility bewtween my IPAD and Desktop. I don’t have an Iphone but if I did I would like that too. MacFamilyTree might not suit everyones needs. I just haven’t seen much on it and I think lots of genealogists would like it.

  17. I think you missed the point. My DNA results were dumped by Ancestry when they switched DNA companies. Then my software interface was dropped when they dumped FTM. Now they say trust me and put your family tree on our website and rely on our cloud. I no longer trust this company or their management.

    • I think what they would really like is for everyone to maintain their trees on their website and pay and enormous monthly fee to do so. After all, if that’s the only place your data resides, people will be more likely to maintain their subscriptions.

      I think ancestry has realized they can’t be all things to all people – a dna company, a research site, a software company, so they have dropped the things that are not profitable to them. Unfortunately, their marketing and advertising enticed people to keep all their eggs in one basket.

  18. I have yet to put my TREE from Ancestry on to any software…Was going to just buy the Family Tree Maker when this all hit!!! My concern is will I need to type every bit of this information in,and also loose other information as the census,ship lists,etc?? Since no other software that I am aware of SYNC’s with ancestry? HELP Please???? Pat

    • I have a few trees on Ancestry, but only 1 public one. I am very unhappy with the company, 1st the MyFamily sites, then my mtDNA and now FTM. The only “sources” that have been linked to my big tree, my brother added as part of his $300 per year subscription, that he no longer has. All my other documentation I have saved to my computer and added to my tree manually. As far as I can tell, all of that that I have uploaded as image files is still attached to my tree, which is still free as long as I don’t try to “see” the sources on anyone elses trees or the hints in the ‘shakey leaves’.

      I have downloaded all of my trees to my computer and I am going to delete all of my trees except for the newest public one I am making that has my DNA matches info in it.

      I refuse to support a company who has no regard for their customers.

      I have been using Legacy Family Tree Deluxe, since they 1st came out and I love the program. I am just now starting to use in in Win10. The only problem I have had so far is with the locations data. When I click on the locations to edit them, it crashes. I think I have to reload the locations info from my back up.

      Cathee

      • Cathee, I actually have a old version of family tree maker that I never even finished adding too,cause it took hours of course.I could never get it to up date either… I was wondering if it would be worth buying the new version while I can still sync my tree easily?? I wish I knew if they were going to have another that would?? How did you down load your tree from ansestry? Just to your hard drive?? Thx for the in put, Im not too savy on all of this…

      • Pat, Yes, you go to your “tree pages” and where you select if you want your tree public, private, private & unsearchable, the tree setting take you to where when you scroll down it offers you to “download your tree” it is right next to “Delete My Tree” the delete option cannot be reversed. Pat are you Patricia from MyFamily sites? Cathee

      • Well, I downloaded the MyHeritage, the free version, it only allowed me 250 people. When I downloaded my tree from Ancestry, none of the files or photo’s came with it. Thankfully, I have them all saved on multiple external drives. I am not paying for another service. I already pay for my Spokt website that replaced the MyFamily sites and I pay for my wordpress and the Tier1 at Gedmatch. I really can’t afford another site.

        What I have done in the past, is have my legacy tree open on my computer and Ancestry open in another window on my 2nd monitor, then I add and edit each entry in both programs. I also keep the surnames list at Ancestry open in a new tab, so I can go through to see if I have doubles.

        Cathee

  19. We can delete our trees from Ancestry, but they still have their own back-up copy. What will they eventually do with it? Publish it in their inventory of trees? I did not renew my yearly subscription in November as a protest. But, I still have access to my tree and can add to my tree. I do not have access to their research or shaky leaves hints. I still have access to my dna matches, but not to their trees. I.e., I cannot access any other trees, only the trees in my account.

    But, tomorrow is the 15th, and we shall see……..

    • You believe they have a way to maintain back-up copies of all the trees on Ancestry? Ouch. Wondering is that legal? If it is personal pictures used cant copyright issues ensue? Yes? NO? Anyone? I no longer sync, since they changed to the NEW and IMPROVED format (oh sure), I now save their documents to my computer documents and then add manually to my FTM. Which is time consuming but works. I just started RootsMagic, I also have a paid acct with My Heritage, and a WikiTree, there, now I think I have it covered!!!! LOL.

      • In the last 6 months, a service rep on the help desk told me that they have a back-up copy because I had a concern that my tree at Ancestry was not backed up anywhere and it could be lost.

        In reading the Ancestry Blogs, many are bailing out, deleting their trees and their dna. Or so they think……….

      • It would seem to me that ancestry would have to have some kind of back up of the data at their site in the event of a failure of their system or their website – otherwise they would be out of business. I don’t think you can jump from that to saying they keep a backup of trees that have been deleted.

        As I understand it, if you do not renew your subscription, you can still access your tree. You can’t add any documents to it that would come from ancestry, and you no longer have access to documents that had been attached previously when your subscription was active. This is not the same as deleting your tree. Seems to me, if you delete it, it will be gone.

  20. Remember everyone, Ancestry.com is now owned by British private equity firm, Permira, Ltd. which, “Since 1997, they have invested over €7.0bn in over 25 consumer companies, including Dr Martens, Atrium, Akindo Sushiro, eDreams Odigeo, Hugo Boss, Valentino, Galaxy Entertainment, iglo group, Sisal and New Look.” (from Wikipedia)

    So it’s the bottom line, not customer satisfaction, that now drives Ancestry.com. Buyer beware!

    • Enough customer dissatisfaction over time could affect their bottom line in their Ancestry entity. With the outrage over their heavy-handed tactics, etc., they have made themselves more visible to other oversights. Did I hear someone say monopoly. This could be the beginning of a storm………Where is the New York Times and Wall Street Journal when you need them. Surely there is a journalist out there who need to make a name for himself with an expose. It will be fascinating to see how this all shakes out.

      Yes, buyer beware.

  21. Over the years I have done a good bit of testing with ftdna and l have enjoyed your e-mails very much. Do you manage ftdna accounts for folks? I feel l could get much more in results if someone with your knowledge level of DNA would manage my account.  Thanks,Roger Harley

    Sent via the Samsung Galaxy S®6 active, an AT&T 4G LTE smartphone

  22. Will we still be able to upload trees to ancestry.com and will the searching of other family trees still be functional as a Search? The trees do connect us in Ancestry DNA, so will be still upload trees so we can compare them? If not, Ancestry DNA would be useless.

  23. Pingback: The Best and Worst of 2015 – Genetic Genealogy Year in Review | DNAeXplained – Genetic Genealogy

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