The End of Family Tree Maker

I’ve been using Family Tree Maker for years to conduct my family tree research.

That being said, I cannot do it any more.

Ancestry.com used to have an excellent product with Family Tree Maker. People used to sing praises of its quality and consistency. Some time, around late 2007 or early 2008, all of that changed. When FTM 2008 came out, it seemed people were excited about the new look of the interface and the better integration with the Ancestry.com website.

I’m not going to recap the horror stories that have happened since. They are well documented on the web and at Ancestry’s own user forums. Needless to say, over the past couple of years, I have used both new Mac versions of the FTM software, FTM 2008, FTM 2012 and the new FTM 2014.

Ancestry should be ashamed of abusing their users in this fashion. They should, without a doubt, reimburse the owners of the Mac versions of the software. There is absolutely no way that software was beta tested by anyone. I’ve run it on three different Macs and each of them have shown the same crashing and freezing patterns.  According to Ancestry, the problem belongs to the software developer. According to the developer, they aren’t responsible for any of the issues. So both Ancestry and Nova laid pipe to their Mac customers and, without apology, showed them the door to find other solutions to the genealogy woes.

The nightmare that has gone on since FTM2008 has continued with Service Pack 6 of the software, FTM2014. Firstly, it took three restarts to get 2014 to load and when it did, it took nearly an hour to convert the 2900 person family tree. It then promptly proceeded to play ’52 Pick Up’ with the photos of my database. Granted, I have a lot of photos and documents in my family tree. I’m lucky that way, but to find them redistributed like contibutors’ money to Senator Jackson’s campaign, doesn’t amuse me.

I’ve taken a lot of abuse from FTM software, but no longer. I’ve had all my documents lost by the first FTMM. I’ve dealt with consistent freezes and crashes from 2012. I’ve lost all my census and vital records to FTMM2 and now I’ve had what’s left scattered to the wind. Each step along the way, I’ve complained to an Ancestry rep, who have always been kind and professional, though not particularly helpful.

I really do hope that, one day, Ancestry will take a long look in the mirror at themselves and decide to do what’s right for the FTM customer.  If they don’t do that soon, it seems to me, they may become a relic of the past.

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