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
Overall1072.19 out of 52.19 out of 52.19 out of 52.19 out of 52.19 out of 5 2.19
2018282.81 out of 52.81 out of 52.81 out of 52.81 out of 52.81 out of 5 2.81
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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107 Reviews of Family Tree Maker     RSS 2.0 RSS     Showing 1 - 20                   Add Your Review

Family Tree Maker Review by Jim Cowan,  2 days ago

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

Used FTM 2006/2008 for 11 years without a problem, upgrades to FTM2017 in July 2017, Tree relationship calculator is not fit for purpose, it changed relationships all over the Tree, from correct to incorrect, its so corrupt now, I have to trace my relations by using the colour code system, and the speed is now so slow it takes 4 minutes to record a relatives data. I have now been in contact with the ” Support Team ” for 9 months, worked with the new build all a waste of time, supplied a copy of my Tree for analysis, all I get is “it takes time to build a fix” they claim there is nothing wrong with the logic of the calculator, but are building a new one from scratch. So Jack Minsky tell it like it is, your product, and support, are at best CRAP (UK slang for SHIT)

Biggest Pro: Colour Code system
Biggest Con: the programme

Family Tree Maker Review by KT,  Apr 14, 2018

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

This program has a MAJOR flaw. I create books with FTM. I have done over 20 using the 2012 version. Unfortunately, the 2012 version loses some of the copy when a book is converted to a PDF file. I asked if this problem had been corrected before purchasing the 2017 program and was told that it had. IT WAS NOT corrected. The problem is even WORSE. The program will NOT convert a book to a PDF file. Consequently, you can’t send copies to the Family History Library or any of your relatives. If you want to create books about your ancestors, buy another program. This one does NOT work. What a shame.

Biggest Con: Can’t convert a book to a PDF file.

Family Tree Maker Review by Lyn Dolbel,  Apr 10, 2018

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

I find the new version does not link to Ancestry as well as the Ancestry version. Improvements need to be made to research component of the program. There have also been several outages between Ancestry and FTM. Slower then usual. Bugs need to be ironed out. I back up daily because I do not yet fully trust the program.

Biggest Pro: portability
Biggest Con: Linking Ancestry, Family Search is not favourable.

Family Tree Maker Review by C. Allen,  Mar 26, 2018

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

Used this program for many years and have a very large tree with many media files. However it appears that after all this time on working on FamilySync, this latest 480-build is still not ready for prime-time. Their whole sync/upload algorithm needs work. I’ve tried multiple times to upload a my tree, and each time after 12+ hours I receive “upload fail, tree not created” message or the program locks-up, or crashes. The best their support people offer is, to compact you tree, log-out/back-in Ancestry, clear browser caches(?), and try again. It appears that FTM expects a clean link with no issues to successfully upload IF the program doesn’t lock up or crashes before then. Since it’s uploading in the background over a long period of time, you can’t expect the link to remain pristine for the entire duration. The communication needs to be robust enough to take pauses, outages, etc, and then resume. Waiting an entire day only for the system to report a problem is horrible! This whole process is still broken in my opinion and I don’t plan to waste any more time on it until MacKiev comes up with a workable solution or I find another problem to use.

Biggest Pro: Like layout and GUI feel of the program.
Biggest Con: Sync issues still remain and not able to upload a large tree to Ancestry.

Family Tree Maker Review by Susan Voth,  Mar 18, 2018

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

I’ve used this program for many years and have the latest version. I think it’s very easy to use and I’ve been very happy with it.

Biggest Pro: easy to use
Biggest Con: can’t think of any

Family Tree Maker Review by Pamela,  Mar 15, 2018

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

I have used this programme for decades and never wanted a different programme until now. The programme used to be very intuitive.
It used to boot up in a reasonable time. It takes a long time now.
It used to show a family view that you could add sources by hotkeys, click on a person and and it would move to that family, put out an awesome Outline Report that I could copy to Word add comments and research notes to.

Biggest Con: The Outline Descendant report does not work well with MSWord now. It used to be that you could copy the report to Word and start to work with it as a word doc. Now it reads it in as field that take so much reformatting it’s no longer worth the effort, and therefore no longer worth the price of the programme for me.

Family Tree Maker Review by Mama Sinclair,  Mar 14, 2018

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

I wish I could say that FTM 2017 did everything it said it would but I can’t. I used FTM to store my large tree and worked on Ancestry, using the syncing feature to store data on my own computer. This new version cannot sync my 30,000 tree evidently having issues with media. If bug reports yielded helpful info (ie which media was the problem)OR I received any useful timely help from the team, I might keep trying. But it all seems too complicated to fix and has NOT improved in the last few months. I will be trashing FTM 2017 and go with Rootsmagic which,I have been assured, DOES Share/sync acceptably.

Biggest Pro: Can’t think of any
Biggest Con: Too many bugs in sync for large trees

Family Tree Maker Review by SGM,  Mar 8, 2018

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

Have been using FTM for over 20 years……this MacKiev version is a royal pain. As I add new family members, it dumps the oldest generations. If I have to re-enter the lost entries ONE MORE TIME this FTM is going in the dumpster and I’ll find something that actually works.

Biggest Pro: Haven’t found one yet.
Biggest Con: Losing/dumping my entries along with numerous other ‘bugs’.

Family Tree Maker Review by Rudy Bartol,  Mar 7, 2018

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

I had Ancestry’s Family Tree Maker for more than 60 years. It worked great. MacKiev purchased the program and wanted to make changes. I was asked if I would like to continue using the program while they made changes and be a tester. I agreed. through a lot of changes and testing and pulling my hair out for some 6 months they told us the finished product was ready and did I want to purchase it. At the beginning I was told I would be given a free copy of the final product because I had the original product and I participated in the testing. Well at the end I was told it was finished and I could purchase a copy of the new product. Bottom line, they took a very good program and *C#! it up and wanted me to pay for a copy. The program may be great, but I will never know. I too am looking for a home for my 19,000 plus ancestors.

Biggest Pro: I have no idea.
Biggest Con: The company can not be trusted.

Family Tree Maker Review by Bonnie Greiner,  Feb 21, 2018

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

Horrible–an embarrassment to to Mackiev. Incredibly slow & totally frustrating. I am looking for a new genealogy program for my 10,000+ ancestors

Biggest Pro: NONE!
Biggest Con: Completely frustrating & incredibly SLOW!

Family Tree Maker Review by TCB,  Feb 20, 2018

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

These guys have worked hard and with their latest version have solved the major syncing issues. Good for them. This makes it possible for many of us to enjoy the Ancestry web site but keep our research and records on our own laptop.

Biggest Pro: Good syncing with Ancestry.
Biggest Con: Too many overlapping data fields. Most are not used.

Family Tree Maker Review by Craig Milne,  Feb 20, 2018

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

Since Mackiev has taken over, the program is better, stability improved and technical response excellent.

Family Tree Maker Review by Larry Fischer,  Feb 19, 2018

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,  Feb 19, 2018

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,  Feb 19, 2018

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,  Feb 13, 2018

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

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