Posted by on August 28, 2008 in Family Tree Maker

One of the new features in Family Tree Maker 2009 is the ability to see an entire migration path for an ancestor’s life.

A life migration path


August 28, 2008 at 7:29 pm

That looks terrific, just what I was looking for! Can the path cross the pond — that is will it show from Europe through the States, etc.

If so, do you have an example of how such a cross-continent path would look?

August 28, 2008 at 9:11 pm
John Donaldson 


Say your ancestor was born in Aberdeen Scotland and died in New York

The map covers both points and when you hover your mouse over the nodes the location flashes up in a box

John D

August 29, 2008 at 5:23 am

I’ve been working with some other genealogicial mapping programs and run into 2 problems:

* Inability to restrict mapped locations by date, family line, or other criteria.

* Inability to map to historical places — IOW, I need to add coordinates to the map data base.

Will the new mapping feature in FTM2009 address either requirement?

August 29, 2008 at 8:26 am
Peter Mason 

Hello Russ,

Nice to hear from you at last.

Will this path work in the UK version for all UK locations?

August 31, 2008 at 3:57 pm
Jeff Krebs 

I’ve been a user of FTM since the early DOS versions and was quite happy with the program until version 2008. I’ve already purchased a competative product and will most likely purchase the FTM 2009 version to compare. If FTM has not maintained the same quality of product as they have in the past (FTM 2008 was a real bust) then I must move on to a product that I can trust.

Jeff Krebs

September 6, 2008 at 9:25 pm

Jeff, not only can you not trust the product, you surely can’t trust the people that sell it. Try Legacy 7 as I have. The people ar Millinnea know how to treat their customers.

September 8, 2008 at 3:51 pm
Arthur (aka Bill) Evans 

For those of us living in Australia, some of these would be interesting – one of my great grand fathers migrated from Ireland to Canada and then to Geelong, Victoria, Australia.

He kept a detailed diary of the trip from Hamilton to Australia via New York.

September 8, 2008 at 9:56 pm
Peter Sven 

All these bells and whistles a very nice, but when some basic requirements in the original FTM 2008 are still missing I question your priorities. In my case I refer to the listing of illegitimate children and unmarried couples which is still not possible with FTM.

September 9, 2008 at 7:44 pm
Rudy Caldwell 

I too tried ver 2008 and found it to be a terrible product and went back to ver 16 2006 which is very good. Can anyone give me a review of the 2009 product ? Also I am looking to dump FTM because there products since ver 16 are very very bad and would aprreciate some imput on which competitive products are good.

Your help would be appreciated

Rudy Caldwell

September 12, 2008 at 4:17 pm
Lyndell Storey 

How can i get Family Tree Maker 2006 to work.I installed 1009.I cannot find anything on it.The people don,t have a birth by them.When you have a number of first names the same.It takes to long to find the right one. Lyndell

September 14, 2008 at 7:53 am
John in Arizona 

I guess FTM 2008 was so bad they are sending everyone a free copy of 2009 for FREE. They just sent me an email with a special code and when I entered the Ancestry shop I just entered the key, verified my address and they even are pating the postage.
I will let you know how things go with 2009 unless someone alrady has it installed.

September 14, 2008 at 10:31 am
Marion Ordonez 

i have presentation in class about family tree ordonez please help me!

September 20, 2008 at 4:01 pm
Sarah F 

I’ve been playing around with 2009 since I installed it recently, and one of the main problems with this mapping feature is that you have to have place names in the EXACT format they are expecting. For example:

Miami, Dade County, Florida

is not recognized, and the program wants you to “resolve” this, so it’s top choice is:

Miami, Dade, Florida, USA.

Now I ask you, is it possible that the original location could have referred to any location on earth besides the location in the USA? No!!

The software does not understand the word “county”. It’s a mapping program, for crying out loud!

I don’t want to use the “resolve all” feature, because it may or may not resolve the items correctly.

I’ve been adding facts for over a decade, from much earlier versions, and they didn’t use to have “location” for facts such as “occupation”. So, for example, I’ve got “laborer”. In 2009, place and description are separate, and “laborer” has been put in the “place” field instead of the “description” field during import. Well this resovles to someplace in France, “Laberrer” or something like that. I cannot imagine going through every fact for every individual and manually changing them. Thousands of individuals, a few facts each.

Plus, I do not want to have the word “county” removed. Not every country has counties, sometimes it’s province, sometimes other terms. If I only had the city, for whatever reason, it would appear in the same format as if I only had the county:

Bartow, Georgia

looks the same as just the city:

Bartow, Georgia

This is bad. Let us keep the word “county”. Seems like mapping software should know that word.

It’s a great concept, infinitely better than the mapping tool in v16. I’d like to be able to use it easily. Other mapping tools I’ve played with don’t have the same issues.

September 23, 2008 at 2:45 pm

Hi Russell

Thanks for publishing that example.

Can you select multiple people from the list on the left and see the associated paths overlaid on the map?

Also, is it possible to export a KML or KMZ file for publication on a website (along the lines of this file generated by Map My Ancestors – – you’ll need to expand the time slider in the top right corner to view).



September 25, 2008 at 1:38 am
T Spring 

I agree with comment #14. I have some information about the unit an ancestor served in during the Civil War that’s coming up -no lie- as a place in Alaska!

Love the idea. But it needs some fine tuning.

September 27, 2008 at 12:42 pm

This feature is hopeless. If a street no longer exists, the map insists on finding one which does still exist, even if that place is at the other end of the country – and despite the town and county saying otherwise!

For example –

1920s-1950s Place:
Artillery Street, Blackburn, Lancashire, England.

2008 Place (result in FTM 2009):
Artillery Street, London, England

Why does it match on the first word only?

Try switching? Have done: putting the street name after England (ridiculous) makes NO difference.

A distracting gimmick.

September 27, 2008 at 5:23 pm
John Small 

When tracking a migration path under Places in FTM 2009, the various points show up, but the line conecting the migration path does not Why?

October 1, 2008 at 2:49 pm

This feature has some promise but I had a hard time finding it because it is not in the online help.

Also, t would be great if there could be a way of dealing with current versus historical place names beyond just using the description field. Maybe some way to manually add historical places and cross-reference them with current names? Then, you could pick which name to use when mapping.

October 2, 2008 at 1:51 pm
Terry Cacutt 


Sorry to buck the trend, but I am enjoying using FTM 2009, I have only ever used online equivelents previously and it seems fairly user friendly, with great ease of use.

However, the mapping function I must agree is a bit of a pain, you can ask on resolving the places for it not to keep questioning a location so that makes up for it.

The integration with MSVE seems very clunky, with unresolved addresses being showed clearly on a map and once the location has been resolved MSVE then not finding the address.

When looking at a map showing the migration of a family member I want to see exactly where they went from, not just to see the county so in that respect its very dissapointing.

If anyone is interested, I think a nice utility in the next version would be to integrate with a Timed Map, i.e. the Place names etc are relevant to the time period of that ancestor, and not just todays map of the world.

Has anyone thought of integrating not just with Google earth but also the new Google streets, this would be a nice feature, although I’m not sure enough people would use it.

The main complaint I would have is that I cannot find a way of adding a grid reference to an address, I can zoom into an exact location using MSVE and it would be nice to be able to click on that location and have the grid reference stored against the associated fact. The mapping would then be much more accurate, incorporate this with a timed map and you’ll be able to quickly go and visit any location today that your ancestors used to live at for photo’s etc.

Anyone agree and can we campaign to have some of these additional features in FTM. perhaps someone can develop an Add-in.

Kindest Regards

Terry Cacutt

October 23, 2008 at 3:14 am

With 2008 I was able to download the Official Guide pdf file. With 2009 you want $30. WHAT’S THIS? I expect you to publish the download instructions for 2009 Official Guide.

November 1, 2008 at 10:48 am
Lida Rains 

I was trying to find my family tree that I started and I am unable to find it. What do I need to do?

November 17, 2008 at 6:43 pm

Do I have to purchase 09 to get this feature or is there an upgrade for 2008?

November 27, 2008 at 7:27 am

I have used FTM since version 1. I had been using 2005. Recently Imoved and then changed computers. I had lost the 2005 disc so I bought the 2009. Yikes. I am not well pleased. It is slow and cumbersome. Am I the only one who thinks this way. Can I go back to 2005 or since I have all the data loaded into 2009 will it not accept it?
Any help appreciated.

January 5, 2009 at 6:46 am