Ancestry.com upset a lot of genealogists when it announced, on December 8, 2015, that it would stop selling Family Tree Maker as of December 31, 2015. It can be difficult and frustrating when things change, especially with little notice. Here are some tips for coping without Ancestry.com’s Family Tree Maker.
Look at the Facts
One way to cope with change is to seek out the facts about it. Doing so can help you separate speculation from what is really going on.
On December 9, 2015, Ancestry.com posted a blog with more information about their Family Tree Maker desktop software. It was posted in response to a multitude of comments and questions the company received.
Ancestry.com stated that it is “fully committed” to supporting Family Tree Maker through at least the end of 2016. Those who are currently using it can get support from member services, including for technical issues, product issues, and updates. You can still use the Family Tree Maker software, and TreeSync, at least through the end of 2016.
Make Your Voice Heard
There is a petition on Change.org that was created by David Smith. It is titled: “Stop Ancestry from Retiring Family Tree Maker Software”.
The purpose of the petition is to let Kendall Hulet, Senior Vice President, Product, at Ancestry.com know that people want to keep Family Tree Maker. Sometimes, petitions that get a ton of signatures can influence a company to make a change.
Consider an Alternative
Family Tree Maker is not the only genealogy software out there. Legacy has a video that shows you how to import a Family Tree Maker file into Legacy. You can download the Standard Edition of Legacy for free. There is also a Deluxe Edition that can be downloaded for $29.95. Legacy was designed for PC computers.
Another alternative is the MyHeritage Family Tree Builder. It is described as “powerful free genealogy software with tree syncing”. It is available for both PC and Mac.
Copy Your Genealogy Information
This situation serves as an example of why it is an extremely good idea to have more than one copy of your genealogy research. It is possible to download your family tree from Ancestry.com via GEDCOM and import it to somewhere else.
Now is a good time to take a look at the information you have put into Family Tree Maker and make sure you have another copy of it. Do it before January 1, 2017, when the software stops being supported by Ancestry.com.
Image by Jake Davis on Flickr.
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