Family Tree Maker

by Software MacKiev (Jack Minsky)
This program Family Tree Maker was acquired by Software MacKiev and they will be supporting and continuing the development of the program. They made their first new version of the program available in March 2016. Please use this entry to review only Software MacKiev’s Windows releases of Family Tree Maker beginning with Family Tree Maker 2014, Build 429, version (32-bit) or version (64-bit) or later. Please go to Family Tree Maker 2008 to 2014 - by Ancestry to review earlier versions by Ancestry. Please go to Family Tree Maker for Mac to review the Mac version.

Purchase • Windows • Full Featured
Overall952.18 out of 52.18 out of 52.18 out of 52.18 out of 52.18 out of 5 2.18
2018163.3 out of 53.3 out of 53.3 out of 53.3 out of 53.3 out of 5 3.30
2017701.86 out of 51.86 out of 51.86 out of 51.86 out of 51.86 out of 5 1.86
Earlier91.55 out of 51.55 out of 51.55 out of 51.55 out of 51.55 out of 5 1.55

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95 Reviews of Family Tree Maker     RSS 2.0 RSS     Showing 1 - 20                   Add Your Review

Family Tree Maker Review by Larry Fischer,  11 hrs ago

4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

Received the free update to version 23.1 and appreciate that it was free. What was not quite so nice that I had to refuse or opt out of multiple additional programs and books they tried to sell me during the upgrade. There were about a dozen screens to go through to get to the update. I also ad to fill in my registration info again although I was already registered.
That said, the program works great. The synch to Ancestry was quick and easy. The “one button” synch is much easier to use than the synch in Roots Magic, which I also have.
This program can only be installed on a single computer unless you pay more for a family plan or buy a separate copy.

Biggest Pro: Synch to Ancestry
Biggest Con: Upselling is irritating. Single computer install.

Family Tree Maker Review by Paul,  23 hrs ago

2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5

The software seems to work; that might be the only good thing about it. It seems like every step along the way, the company makes excuses, syrupy sugar-coated sales-talk, for why they can’t do anything in a timely manner.The initial release was over a year late. They offered an update today that required me to click through more than a dozen product add-ons just to download the free update. Every experience I’ve had with them has felt slimy.

Biggest Pro: Program seems to sync with Ancestry
Biggest Con: Slimy sales pitch feel to the whole operation

Family Tree Maker Review by Donald,  1 day ago

4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

I decided on running both Family Tree Maker and RootsMagic 7 together and keeping identical trees in both. Family Tree Maker is easy to use and offers a clean interface. Also Family Tree Maker has the best reports out of it, Legacy and RootsMagic. The only real thing I find it lacking is a grouping or tagging feature. Legacy 9 has Hashtags and RootsMagic has Named Groups. But this is the only real thing I find lacking in Family Tree Maker which is why I gave it a 4 rather than 5 rating.

Biggest Pro: Reports and Navigation
Biggest Con: Lack of Grouping or Tags.

Family Tree Maker Review by Pat,  6 days ago

2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5

This was my favorite program, and still my “go to” but version 2017 has problems syncing. I’ve ended up with a lot of duplicates - very time consuming to correct. Also, the sync takes a long time to complete and often stops during the process. I’m still hopeful these problems will be resolved.

Biggest Pro: Ability to document sources with one click.
Biggest Con: Length of time to sync, and duplicates created when the sync fails and has to be restarted.

Family Tree Maker Review by Jan Kryst,  Feb 8, 2018

2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5

My ancestry is from the Czech Republic. I was quite happy with FTM 2014.1. I upgraded to MacKiev FTM 2017. It does not work right with the special Czech letters, i.e. š,č,ř,ž. The previous version had no problem with them. My FT is quite huge - 25 thousand entries and it is quite difficult to move in it without alphabet working.

Biggest Pro: It is still close to what the original Ancestry FTM was.
Biggest Con: Works right with the 26 English alphabet letters only. Doesn’t work with all the 42 Czech alphabet letters.

Family Tree Maker Review by Barbara Sykes,  Jan 10, 2018

1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5

I am using FTM 2017, and my tree is not particularly complicated, mostly built in last year
New sync would nearly finish, then message Media: 7 not complete - process error
Gave up but just tried again
Now have 1106 duplicate people and a few hundred duplicate media and events
Person added through Ancestry being loaded onto FTM and then sent back again as new person
Really odd stuff like sometimes adding adding husband and wife’s source to marriage

Biggest Pro: Syncing if they could get it to work
Biggest Con: Syncing as is now

Family Tree Maker Review by Glenn Harvey,  Jan 7, 2018

5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

I have used FTM since the very early days, each version get better and better, with extra features in new versions.
The citation system is first rate, and will publish customisable reports. The add-ins Creator and Charting Companion add extra functionality. I have found the sync feature to be without problems, the only problems appear to be server load or lack of bandwidth.

You do need a modern computer and operating system to get the most out of the program, just like modern applications.

I did consider other programs when Ancestry decided to discontinue FTM but none added anything extra, or had less features. The integration with Ancestry works well, not so much with Family Search

Biggest Pro: Covers all the features a modern genealogist needs and integrates with
Biggest Con: Integration with Family Search limited to trees only

Family Tree Maker Review by Gene Nowak,  Jan 5, 2018

4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

The program has numerous bugs that have not been addressed fully. The worst is it’s ability to sync with in a timely manner.

Biggest Pro: It feels and looks like the earlier versions of FTM
Biggest Con: It has not solved it’s sync problems which take unexceptionally long time to sync with

Family Tree Maker Review by paulr,  Jan 4, 2018

4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

Have been with FTM for over 20 years, the MacKiev acquisition is working well. I haven’t had any issues at this point. MacKiev seems to desire making this the best genealogy program, so far so good.

Biggest Pro: Everything is working well
Biggest Con: none

Family Tree Maker Review by Robert Oppenheim,  Jan 3, 2018

5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

FTM 2017 includes new features over it’s Ancestry predecessor. Notably the interface with Family Search, color coding and mapping. The interface with the contributing datastores, e.g., Ancestry needs work but it is unclear whether the blame lies with MacKiev or Ancestry. I am a FTM user for 20+ years. It seems to me that the “new guys” (MacKiev) are dedicated to making an enhanced product work. The software supports rigorous sourcing and adequate reporting. I am using the plug-in Book Creator. I’m sold on this product and will be a supporter for as long as it supports my needs. I thoroughly recommend it.

Biggest Pro: Richness of features; linkage with Ancestry
Biggest Con: Tech support is a shadow of what it was when FTM was supported by Ancestry

Family Tree Maker Review by ThomasW,  Jan 3, 2018

5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

By far the most user friendly genealogy program I have used. The user interface is built in a logical manner unlike so many other genealogy programs. The work space is laid out in a manner that makes it easy to find the fields you need to work on, unlike so many other programs that require you to constantly navigate around the program.

This program is a must for anyone that uses Ancestry extensively for several reasons. Number one it syncs individuals, media, and sources between the program and Ancestry so a change made in one location can be updated on the other platform. As great as Ancestry is, it doesn’t have necessary resources that are found in FTM such as the ability to search based on location, date, or keyword. I have thousands of locations in my Ancestry tree. If I need to update a location format (for example: Montreal, Quebec to Montreal, Quebec, Canada), I can easily do that by making the change in FTM by making the change for dozens of individuals all at once in FTM then simply re-syncing the tree and voila all on Ancestry are updated. This same process can be done for many other fields as well. On Ancestry you can’t create descendant charts, relationship charts, family group sheets, etc. but this can all be done with FTM. Having FTM synced with Ancestry eliminates the need to enter data in two places. FTM can now also be installed on two devices (workstation PC & laptop), and both synced to Ancestry.

Thank goodness MacKiev took over this program when Ancestry foolishly dropped it. It took a long time for MacKiev to get their program update running, but they kept users informed. I have found their customer service to be excellent and immediately responsive to my questions.

Biggest Pro: Easy to use / Syncs with Ancestry / Great search capability for user’s data
Biggest Con: Syncing with Ancestry can be a little slow at times, but at least this program syncs!

Family Tree Maker Review by Anna Metcalf,  Jan 3, 2018

1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5

Horrible…wish I would have just kept the older version. Won’t sync and worse of all I keep getting NOT RESPONDING just about everything I go to another page. I sit and wait and sit and wait and it eventually lets me continue. When I wrote about it…I was told to compress my files..I did and guess what didn’t make a difference. It’s a shame this can’t be improved. I’m about ready to give up on it.

Biggest Pro: Can’t think of ONE
Biggest Con: See above

Family Tree Maker Review by David Soames,  Jan 3, 2018

1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5

FTM 2016 was a great program. The new version is a disaster! The new additions like ‘weather check for syncing’, photo enhancement add nothing, just gimmicks. My experience is that it is substantially slower, my media syncing never completes, chat technicians are inexperienced and even give out totally wrong information, response to support tickets takes WEEKS and still dont solution my problems. Very, very disappointed with the new version.

Biggest Pro: Dated but fairly simple presentation
Biggest Con: Slow and poor support.

Family Tree Maker Review by Lauren Rogers Mahieu,  Jan 2, 2018

5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

I LOVE this program. It offers the same view as RootsMagic does in that you can easily tell if an item is sourced and has attached files. However, it goes a step further, and allows you to visualize the number of sources, the number of files attached, and allows you to attach the file to the source itself! Additionally, FTM is far more aesthetically pleasing to the eye, and provides additional visualization of data and relationships in the tree window. Sync with is awesome, and consistently WORKS. I had one minor glitch after install (user error) and the Live Chat provided a quick, easy resolution. I am a very happy FTM customer.

Biggest Pro: Seeing the numbers of sources for an item and attaching files to the sources directly.
Biggest Con: No ALL TEXT search

Family Tree Maker Review by Cindy Gardiner,  Jan 2, 2018

3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5

Overall, the program continues to provide good value. However, it runs slow and now has some quirks introduced.

Biggest Pro: Has the flexibility I need
Biggest Con: Runs very slow

Family Tree Maker Review by Craig Milne,  Jan 2, 2018

5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

This is one of a handful of excellent programs. On the facebook discussion page, mainly folks with issues post at all, and many of those are “user-issues” not program issues. The ratings on this site make me highly suspicious of the reliability of the ratings gathered here.

Biggest Pro: Robust, flexible and stable.
Biggest Con: Leaning curve for new users.

Family Tree Maker Review by Stephen Abernyte,  Dec 25, 2017

1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5

I’ve had this system for over 10 years and the day job is IT systems.

It use to be good: intuitive and informative; now it is a drudge to use and show little benefit over the earlier versions. I am looking for something more user friendly to use which hopefully I can share on line with other family members that are willing to help- can anyone make any suggestions?

Biggest Pro: Comphensive
Biggest Con: A drudge to use

Family Tree Maker Review by lionel mclaughlin,  Dec 11, 2017

5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

I am satisfied with the level of performance. Unlike Legacy 9 it has a working map to show the movement of ancestors. Legacy 9 has for weeks promising to fix the problem. Legacy 9 is now on the same level as this program, both very good

Biggest Pro: modern layout, great templates
Biggest Con: Bugs…….. need to see updates to sort them out.

Family Tree Maker Review by Connie,  Dec 9, 2017

1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5

All my years of research is disappearing. I have no idea what is happening and I no long have an ounce of confidence in the program. Avoid it if you have years of prior research to protect.

Biggest Pro: none
Biggest Con: destroyed family histories

Family Tree Maker Review by Chuck Hjortness,  Nov 25, 2017

1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5

This is real piece of work. Reviewing previous comments of others, I have experienced all of those same problems. It is slow, always Not Responding, and now having to wait for days without being able to work at all because a new BETA is available, but it is not and shuts the program down.. I would prefer that Ancestry bring back 2012 or even 2014 that did have problems but always allowed me research and work on the program.
I would like to know what other program is now being used by others that will open my existing FTM 2017 files.

Also, I lose so many of my media file if uploaded and have reload them to my tree.

Biggest Pro: Some printable features if you like those
Biggest Con: Always crashes and very slow, plus the days I lose when the don’t have to update BETA ready

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