Posted by on July 22, 2009 in Family Tree Maker

As many of you know, Family Tree Maker includes an option to search in the background and display hints about probable record matches that are found. If enabled, these matches, called hints, appear as a green leaf next to the names of people in the pedigree and detail views.

As of Thursday July 16 we implemented a new hinting engine that affects Family Tree Maker 2008, 2009, and the forthcoming 2010. The new hinting engine is much faster and can handle more traffic than the old system. In addition to a selection of databases that include census records, vital records (birth, marriage, & death), and immigration records, the new hinting engine searches the vast Ancestry Member Trees collection rather than the older “One World Tree” data.

We’re continually working to improve all aspects of the Family Tree Maker experience.


krystal ingram 

Michelle Pfister, I am 21 years old and know absolutely nothing about my family.I live in the big town of t-ville ga, and work in a nursing home. I did have a question, i was wondering if you were related to a Mr. arthur Pfister? if so i wld like to know. i worked with mr. Pfister for a short time at the nursing home. I also need some help with ancestry. Idk much about my family history, only my immediate family is left.thanks, krystal

July 22, 2009 at 5:13 pm
krystal ingram 

i’m sorry his name was not arthur, it was archer pfister. he met his wife in bainbridge Ga. i forgot her name. But he had told me that he worked as a delivery man for nabisco, retired doing this. Im sorry i do not know any of his other family, i only met his wife a few times in and out of the door.

July 22, 2009 at 5:23 pm

My “wish list” improvement:

The “leaves” are great but I wish there was a way to turn off a “leaf” once I’ve determined that the specific hint does not apply to me. I would want to turn off that one hint while still allowing others to be discovered for that person and other people.

July 22, 2009 at 6:14 pm

I’ve connected with several other cousins through the search of the Ancestry Trees feature. Now sharing photos of 2nd Great Grandfather / Mother.


July 22, 2009 at 7:44 pm
Family Tree Maker: Better Hints | Nye - Gateway to Nevada's Rurals 

[…] As of Thursday July 16 we implemented a new hinting engine that affects Family Tree Maker 2008, 2009, and the forthcoming 2010. The new hinting engine is much faster and can handle more traffic than the old system. In addition to a selection of databases that include census records, vital records (birth, marriage, & death), and immigration records, the new hinting engine searches the vast Ancestry Member Trees collection rather than the older “One World Tree” data. [Ancestry] […]

July 22, 2009 at 9:00 pm
alice maurer 

iamlooking for the history of the stroud family in virginia.

July 22, 2009 at 10:27 pm

How do you turn off searching in trees so it only searches for actual records?

July 23, 2009 at 7:18 am
David Warren 

Hello Michelle,
As a longtime user of pre 2008 versions of FTM, one question I would like to ask if versions 2008-2010 have or will ever have any facility for the user to run a utility to check the integrity of the database as earlier versions had? The last thing I would want is to be working with a broken database.

July 23, 2009 at 7:27 am

I can find the option to download my tree to Family Tree maker, where have you put that option now. And I am also trying to find a way to merge my three trees together, so I only have one large tree.


July 23, 2009 at 8:12 am
Peter Mason 


May I refer you to the comment I made on the following blog – Launches One of the Most Comprehensive Collections of Caribbean Slave Records

as I could not make a blog entry on the FTM blog at the time –

Will FTM 2009 run on Windows 7 or will we all have to upgrade to a new FTM 2010?

July 23, 2009 at 8:41 am
Diane Sametz 

I too am looking for ways to merge my Watson and my Hunt line trees together to create one huge tree not two. Is there a way to do this and if so how do I manage it?


July 23, 2009 at 8:42 am


July 23, 2009 at 9:50 am

I have noticed the difference in how the “probable records” look when you click on a leaf. The question I have is how do you then merge them if they turn out to be a match? In the past you would click on the record and the relevant facts would appear in the bottom right box. If it was a match you could merge it and if not you could choose to ignore the hint. Now I cannot do either. What am I doing wrong?

July 23, 2009 at 12:00 pm

I didn’t realize how old my version of FTM is until just now – I am using version 11 from 2004. No wonder I have such a hard time navigating around. I’m sure the new versions are so much better. I’d like to update.. is there any reason I’d want any of the other versions from prior to 2009? I’d prefer not to spend too much money on updating. Also, given that it’s so old – and I’ve recently done a lot of work in it, will I be able to export the data from v.11 into a newer version without too much trouble? I am using XP sp2.


July 23, 2009 at 2:42 pm

Phyllis, re: your #14, the later versions of FTM have been crippled as to self-publishing and other significant elements.

There are very active message boards about genealogical software programs, including FTM, that are worth reviewing for user information:

Some genealogical bloggers also have reviews of some software that you can find via a web search.

July 23, 2009 at 3:42 pm

I agree with Jade, I wouldl ike to turn off searching in trees and only search in actual records. I liked the previous system where I could chose a tab for family trees or the tab for records or the tab for stores/photos. I don’t find the new search results helpful.

July 23, 2009 at 4:04 pm
Tom Sommer 

I agree with those wanting the option of turning off trees. They are for the most part useless. There are usually no sources but other trees.

July 23, 2009 at 4:57 pm

Michelle, thank you for the update.

Similar to others, it would be great to have an option to make the “green leaf” only appear when new sources records are available. Since July 16th, my family tree looks more like a green forest  — with most individuals in my family tree being flagged as having possible tree matches.

Ideally this is already an option in FTM 2010. I have already pre-ordered FTM 2010 on Amazon — I am looking forward to the new/enhanced functionality.

July 23, 2009 at 5:57 pm
Judith Hiatt 

Agree with Jeff – I’d really like to turn off the green notice leaves after I’ve investigated the hint & either used it or not

July 23, 2009 at 8:04 pm
Mary Beth Marchant 

Also to Phyllis-You would probably be extremely disappointed in the FTM 2008/2009 versions of their Family Tree Software. It is a complete rewrite with many, many things left out. I have both FTM 2009 and FTM version 16 and use version 16. Both will run on your computer together. However, if you wish to add your current family tree or trees to FTM 2008 of 2009, you will have to upload them the same as if you had purchased another companies software. Then many of the things expecially books will not migrate to the new program. I have created a number of books and only 1 page out of 600/700 page books wound up in FTM 2009 and that was the front cover. Really, really, bad software.

July 23, 2009 at 11:40 pm
Elizabeth Sumaljag Guale 

I am one of the new member of and I found my great great grandfather who was Felix Sumaljag in the Fourteenth Census of the United States 1920-population but his last name spelled incorrect (Sumalgieg or Sumaljery). Please kindly changed his last name to Sumaljag as it is spelled in the census, Thanks

July 24, 2009 at 12:55 am
Steve Reed 

I am getting the leaf when there are no hints. Even on my name, it says there is one hint, but when you click it – there is nothing there.

also, I agree, let us choose whether to have hints for trees.


July 24, 2009 at 10:49 am
Michelle Pfister 

Krystal #1

As far as I know, there’s no relation to Mr. Arthur Pfister. It sounds like you have a lot of discovery ahead! The Learning Center on is a great place to learn about some valuable resources.
Hope it goes well!

July 24, 2009 at 10:51 am
Michelle Pfister 

Jeff #3

You can turn a “leaf” off in this way:
After highlighting a leaf, click on “Ancestry hints found.” This will take you to the Web Search area. Highlight a record you don’t want see again. You’ll notice that the record’s information is placed in the “Search result detail” at the bottom right of the screen. Right next to the “Merge” button, you’ll see a blue circle with a slash — this is the “Ignore record” button. Once you click it, that particular record won’t show again. If you do this for all Ancestry records associated with a person, the “leaf” will no longer display.

July 24, 2009 at 11:00 am
Michelle Pfister 

Linda #9

You can import a tree into Family Tree Maker by choosing “File” | “Import as New Tree.” When you want to merge 3 trees together, have the first of the three trees active, then choose “File” | “Merge.” Select the second tree. After that merge is complete, select “File” | “Merge” again, and select the third tree.

July 24, 2009 at 11:14 am
Karen Crenshaw 

Is there a way to move a census from the Shoebox to an ancestor? I tried looking under Historical documents,while in my tree, but the 2 census’ I found under Search without being in a tree would not come up. I knew where my ancestor “had” to be so I saved them the only way I could, in My Shoebox.

July 24, 2009 at 12:05 pm
Janice McCoury 

Has there been any action on the option of turning off hints for trees and seeing actual records instead. My tree too, looks like a forest.


July 24, 2009 at 5:07 pm

First, I would like a report of all people that have hints available. It is too tedious clicking through family by family to see if a person has a hint. I understand that the hint match is a background search – I do not mind leaving the program run overnite to generate a report after it searches through my 2-3000 person tree.

2nd, the hint system needs to be smarter to recognize matches that already exist. This isn’t an issue if your tree is native to the current FTM version in use, but each time we upgrade a file from v16 to 2008 to 2009 etc. the hints start all over again finding duplicate sources we have already found – a HUGE waste of time.

3rd, similar to the web site it would be so much better if there was a spinning leaf to indicate the program is ‘searching’ on a particular individual. Otherwise you can totally miss hints if you move to the next person before the search is complete on the previous person and thus the hint leaf never appears.

July 24, 2009 at 5:36 pm
Janice McCoury 

Is there any progress on turning off hints for trees? Also, is it possible to only search records?

July 24, 2009 at 5:51 pm
Laura Mayhan 

My wish list improvement is
when the search Results pop up. That you could click on the Date column
And have it sort the hits by Date so you could view the Years in order. Actually it would be nice If you could click on any of the Headings and have it sort the hits.

July 24, 2009 at 8:28 pm
Herb Carter 

Not sure where to post this question. Is there any way to turn off the annoying help screens which pop up when entering info to search.

July 25, 2009 at 10:37 am

All-in-one tree?

July 25, 2009 at 3:25 pm

Hi Michelle

Has the hint system been improved by reducing the time frame from known facts to suits a given person eg someone dies in 1860, therefore it should not show hints for 1861 census or if searching for a baptism it looks at say 1760 -1860 not 1660-1900?

I am looking forward to finding out what will be new and improved in 2010. Can you give us any details about it yet?

July 25, 2009 at 8:31 pm
Vincent A DiCarlo 

Because Books Are Back is dated I am unable to provide comments. So, while not the subject here my comments relate to Creating Books, my experience doing so with the intent to offer suggestions for improving Book Building.

These comments are based on my successful (and painful) experience building a 350 page Book in FTM 2009. My operating system is Windows XP, Home Addition w/3GB memory on an iMAC with Fusion.

I imported a 380 page book from Ver. 16. The import was complete but required considerable editing, e.g. delete old table of contents/add new, rework charts for number of generations, Fonts, etc.

Problems encontered/suggested solutions:

1. Generating a new Book Item:
Each time a new book Item is added it appears at the end of the book as last item. Each time a choice to move it up is made , right click or at top of Book Items, the new Item opens. A new move up action is required until the item is moved to the desired position.
Suggestion: Allow multiple up/down clicks or DRAG to get Item to the desired position before it opens. or preferably allow user to insert the new Item just below/above the current item.

2. Moving a Chart up/down:
Each time a chart is moved , a line at a time, as with Items above< the chart regenerates. Some of my charts are over 50 pages, a very time consuming effort.
Suggestion: Allow the user to drag or multiple click up/down the chart with out regenerating it at each line up/down. Regenerate charts only with "Regenerate Chart" selection.

3. Clicking on Title to Change Item Properties:
Each time a properties change is made, title, item position, header/footer, etc the Item opens, if a chart it regenerates.
Suggestion: The chane properties use right click that does not open item or regenerate if item is a chart.

4. Creating Charts:
When changing the number of generations in a chart, e.g 9 to 6 generations or vice versa, each time a cheneration change is made the chart regenerates.
Suggestion: Regenerate chart only with Regenerate Chart choice or allow multiple changes by multiple clicks, drop down window. Anything that does not regenerate the chart each time.

%. Memory:
Apparently, as th book is being built the program consumes memory. With about 7-8 charts, two over 50 pages, in my book when saving to a pdf file the larg charts would not save in the PDF file. A 'Not enough memory' or similar diagnostic was printed it its place. I found it necessary to (1) reduce the size of the book, and (2) close the FTM 2009 Progrmam for large charts to save to PDF.
Suggestion: Improve memory Management. Perhaps Book Building could be similar to Media and a linked feature that does not consume main program memory.

The final book is as good or better than in Ver. 16. With the experience and completed learning curve I can knock out a complete book in just afew sessions. With a few fundamental fixes Book Building off line is a winner.

Sorry to provide this epistle out of place but I felt compelled to do it after reading the negative comments offered by others. Keep up the good work!

July 25, 2009 at 9:01 pm
John Hirschmann 

Re #28 by Paul — the same problem exists about getting hints for items already found and sources if you download/export a file from and then import into FTM 2009 — it must know you found the source since when you print do reports that include references — they are included.

July 25, 2009 at 9:16 pm
Stuart Reader 

Iam looking ofr information on a Chas Reader that died at Abbots Langley Booksellers Retreat in 1856.
As I am hoping to get information on his fathe and mother.

Can anyone help me.

July 26, 2009 at 1:23 am
Steve Stacey 

I received the FTM 2009 as a gift. Over the years, I fell into the trap of upgrading (or downgrading depending upon my experiences)each time FTM needed a burst of new cash. This 2009 version is horrible. Some data, such as cemeteries, did not load. With a tree that hold over 20,000 names, this represents a loss that is inconceivable. My advice to ancestry would be to remember that simple is sometimes the best approach. I am seeking other programs.

July 26, 2009 at 6:37 am


July 26, 2009 at 3:22 pm

Steve #37

Some people like FTM 2009, and some people prefer the old FTM v16.

Although I am aware that the program was re-written after FTM 16, I’ve often wondered why the programmers didn’t provide for the old format as well as the new.

Quite a number of programs allow for two options as far the “view” is concerned.

A “classic” view (which is a traditional view), and “contemporary” view (which is a progressive view).

This would have satisfied those who preferred the FTM 16 program, as well as those who would like a new look.

July 26, 2009 at 7:06 pm

HELP!! Ancestry says someone is logged into my account. I am not using ancestry on another computer. Please help me!!!

July 26, 2009 at 7:11 pm
Tom Sommer 

I had this same problem a week or so ago. I still haven’t figured out what happened. Is it a glitch in Ancestry’s system?

July 27, 2009 at 7:04 am
Don B 

Thanks for launching the hinting server (most hint about a server and launch in the future)! I could tell you had done something by watching the speed of the searches and the added info that appears. Keep up the great work.

July 27, 2009 at 8:09 am
Lee Cooper 


Since this change has been implemented, the gree leaf is appearing on a number of my records. When I click on the leaf, it says ‘1 ancestry hint found’, however, however under the ‘Possible Matches for xxxxx’, nothing is listed. I now have multiple records like this. As there is no record listed, I cannot ignore the hint, hence the green leaf cannot be removed.

This has only appeared since in the past 2 days.

July 27, 2009 at 3:33 pm
John Donaldson 

Phyllis # 14

FTM 2009 will import your FTM 11 datafile including all the photos sources and notes etc.

You can have both FTM 2009 and FTM 11 installed on the same computer and at the same time.

When you import a file from a previous version, FTM 2009 makes a copy of the orginal file then converts it. It leaves the donor FTM file (version 11 in your case) alone.

This lets you migrate to the newer version and learn its tricks at your speed.

One tip

Before importing your FTM 11 file reindex and compact the File.

To do this press the Ctrl+Alt+Shift + Backpace keys down together

That is hold down the four keys.

It has been found that reindexing your file before FTM converts it ensures a smoother file conversion.

John D

July 27, 2009 at 9:08 pm
John Donaldson 

# 28 Paul (and others with enhancement suggestions).

The progrmmers are reading your suggestions. They may not respond, but good suggestions are always welcome. I have already made a few suggestions myself

You can also send them to this link

John D

July 27, 2009 at 9:12 pm
John Donaldson 

# 37 Steve

Are you sure that you have looked in the correct place for your cemetery data?

You need to go to People>Person view and select the cemertry entry

Also, you can customise the view in the RH editing panel in the People>Fmily view to always display cemeteries, or any other fact information that you want

John D

July 27, 2009 at 9:15 pm
John Donaldson 

# 38 Joanne

Two methods

Simply delete them or better still go to the person menu and delete them

You don’t say which version of FTM that you are using so please post back with that advice as the method varies between versions

John D

July 27, 2009 at 9:18 pm
John Donaldson 

# 40 Jane

Contact Ancestry on this link

John D

July 27, 2009 at 9:19 pm

I have been searching for a few years but I find that it is much harder now to find anything. A few years back I found an article in the “newspaper section” that was an obit or memorial type article. I have been searching for it so I can save it to the person in my family. When I put in the year or state, I get no newspapers from the year or state that I am searching. I get papers from different years and different states. I have marked exact search and get nothing but message that says not to try exact search. Why has it become so hard to find anything? It takes more time to do a search and a lot less results found. Anyone have any suggestions about how to search? I don’t know if I would have paid for this site for years if I had not been able to find any results as seems to be the case now. Michelle, please, I would appreciate advice on searching this site now.

July 28, 2009 at 12:10 am
Sharon Brickner 

When you end up with the same person in your tree by working on several different lines ancestry do not allow you to merge them as FMT does. I have asked for this change for years and I know it is a very simple program change.
I also find the screen mot very user friendly. I like FMT 16 also.
Happy Hunting to all.

July 28, 2009 at 5:33 am
Kathy Marie 


34 Written by:
Vincent A DiCarlo

Posted on:
July 25, 2009 at 9:01 pm

Create a small 3 chapter book in FTW 2006 v16. Create each chapter using the “Custom Report” creation capabilities available in version 16.

Once you have created the book, then transport/import it into FTM 2009 using the FTM 2009 instructions that are available.

After you have imported the book into FTM 2009 then open it and see what it says. If the book is not as you envisoned it would be then use FTM 2009 to fix/update the book you had imported so that it will look exactly like the book you created in FTW 2006 Version 16

July 28, 2009 at 7:47 am

I would also like to know how to move an item from the shoebox to the correct tree. thanks

July 28, 2009 at 8:27 am
Steve Reed 

I run FTM 2009. I have been running on home XP computer. I recently reloaded on a laptop running vista. the amount of hints on home computer is minimal, but there are leaves all over the place on the notebook. why the discrepency?


July 28, 2009 at 9:38 am
Jackie Hill 

I am looking for the father of John Oakley b: 1743 in Henrico, Va. I have a source that is saying his name was William born between 1720 and 1730. John had at least two siblings Erasmus and Thomas. His mother’s name is Sarah Hunt. However, some trees have him married to Eunice Hunt but these three siblings are not named. I can find Sarah Hunt married to another Oakley but again these three siblings are not listed.
Could you please help?

July 28, 2009 at 1:08 pm

David #8

Yes, versions 2008 and 2009 both have a “Compact File” option in the “Tools” menu. This options will check and fix any data integrity errors that may exist, and recover unused space in your file.

July 28, 2009 at 3:07 pm

Steve #52

Perhaps the installation on your Vista notebook occurred after we recently updated the hinting.

When Family Tree Maker searches for records, it caches this information on your computer so that it doesn’t have to search again every time you display a given person. The cached hints are kept for about 30 days after which Family Tree Maker will search for those people again to see if there is anything new. My guess is that after these cached hints expire on your XP computer, you’ll get the same thing that you’re seeing on your Vista notebook.

July 28, 2009 at 3:22 pm
Duff Wilson 

Jade #7

If hints are enabled, there is currently no way to exclude tree matches. This is something we will consider for the future.

Of course when searching Ancestry outside of the hinting system you can narrow your search and exclude tree matches using the list of categories on the left side of the results pages.

July 28, 2009 at 4:19 pm
Andy Hatchett 

RE: #50 Sharon

You are confusing the Online Members Trees with a real genealogy program- it isn’t. It is merely a display application and will never have the bells and whistles that a real standalone genealogy program has.

Believe me- Ancestry will *never* develop the Online Member Trees to the point that it can compete with Ancestry’s Cash Cow-Family Tree maker.

July 28, 2009 at 4:28 pm

Since the change with the hints, I have been getting bogus leaf hints. I click and there is no information on page that loads.

July 28, 2009 at 4:50 pm
Duff Wilson 

Steve #22
Lee #43
Kim #58

We have learned that the new hinting engine initially did create some faulty hints. This problem was fixed but those hints will persist until one of two things happens:

1) The hints expire. After 30 days they will expire and the hints will be regenerated.

2) The associated person’s data is changed. Whenever you add or edit the facts for a given person, Family Tree Maker will regenerate the search hints based on the new information.

We’re sorry about the inconvenience.

July 29, 2009 at 10:36 am

Will FTM ever be compatible with a Mac computer? I have the newest Mac, OSX with Intel Core, but don’t recall seeing any listing that FTM is compatible.

July 29, 2009 at 7:46 pm

I can not figure out why when I export my tree from Ancestry to my family tree maker 2009 all come thru except my pictures and stories.
Can anyone tell me what I am doing wrong.
Thank you

July 29, 2009 at 8:15 pm
Diane Treat 

I have never gotten any information with checking the “exact” box for a search. I even copied my father’s information directly from a transcription of a Census record, and got a “no match” message.
Secondly, I have always been able to attach FTM records directly to my tree on Ancestry by clicking the “Save record to someone…” in the page tool to the left of the record, but now that option does not exist for me on FTM. I have to save to FTM, and then bring the record up again so I can save the same thing to Ancestry. Can this be corrected?

July 29, 2009 at 10:10 pm
John Donaldson 

# 62 Darlene

Currently pictures and stories export is not supported.

It is a requested enhancement and may show up in a future version

John D

July 29, 2009 at 10:14 pm
John Donaldson 

# 61 Aleta

Currently FTM will not run natively on a Mac

You can do it by installing programs like Parallels then Windows.

There may also be a Mac version one day as it is an often requested option.

At the moment with the Mac the best option is Reunion 9

John D

July 29, 2009 at 10:17 pm
peggy mcnulty mckay 

how can I do a world wide search ?

July 31, 2009 at 1:38 pm
Tony Cousins 


I see from the Utah registration information that all attendees of the banquet will receive complimentary copies of FTM 2010 – this is at the end of August.

What will the options be for the new version – will recent purchasers of 2009 qualify for a free upgrade – or will everyone need to buy a completely new version? These versions are coming with more frequency than Microsoft ever managed.


July 31, 2009 at 3:28 pm

I wish FTM was compatible with The Master Genealogist. TMG is much more powerful but not as internet friendly. I would also like FTM to be more colaborative friendly – allow several people in the same family work on the same tree. In addition – all of my 20,000+ entries are now showing a leaf for an update (including me) and when I click on the leaf there is nothing that shows up for hints. Now I can’t tell which of my entries actually have an possible match. Also – it would be nice if FTM were smart enough to tell that you already have included a record and media (such as a census record). I have FTM 08 – I see FTM2010 will be released soon. Why don’t you offer half price upgrades or something similar. I guess I’ll save my money and pass up on 09. Thanks

July 31, 2009 at 4:30 pm
Scott Sparks 

Like a few others here, I would like a way to either filter out hinted tree matches or at least sort the matches so that actual records show first, followed by the tree matches at the end.
I personally don’t have much use for someone else’s undocumented and unsourced wild guess at whether a person fits into their tree or not. I’ve seen too many public trees where a married couple had 30 or 40 children, some of whom are older than their parents or who were born after their parents death, or trees where an individual is his or her own grandparent, in a seemingly endless loop. Public trees are great for comparing facts and confirming existing facts but they are seldom a good source for new facts.

— Scott Sparks

July 31, 2009 at 9:51 pm

Changing topics 🙂 … FTM 2010.
I see that we can now pre-orders FTM 2010 in the Ancestry online store.

Couple of questions about FTM 2010 functionality:

1) Charts – has the option to “include empty branches” been returned to “180 Fan Chart” and other charts?

2) Improved organization – is there improved organizing/order of Source-Citations (e.g., other options than citations solely being in the order of entry date)?

3) And some questions. Historically, I have not posted my 4,000 person tree on – but given that you can now post Source-Citations, I am considering posting my tree so that I can more easily share my research and sources with family members.
a) When I upload a new tree to, will/can it overwrite a previously submitted and outdated tree?
b) If the tree will not be overwritten, is there a way that I can delete the prior tree from
c) How does determine who to load and not to load, since I do not want to post information about living individuals. Is this something I need to do prior to posting, does automatically filter for living individuals, or do both options apply? If this filtering is something that can be done within FTM, how is this action performed?

Regarding my questions about FTM 2010 – although I have only to wait until early September, when I receive my pre-ordered copy – I am obviously hopefully anxious to know the answers to the above.

For all others, since many of you are likely also interested in what is coming in Family Tree Maker 2010 – the below is the text listed in the Ancestry online store.

Whether you’re a seasoned pro or just starting on your family tree, Family Tree Maker 2010 can help you create a family tree faster, easier, and better than ever before. The end result is a family history that you and your family will treasure for years to come.

Easy family tree download from – Import your family tree, along with attached photos.
Improved organization – Enjoy new ways to organize photos and other media.
Slideshows – Create slideshows from photos in your tree.
Family books – Publish beautiful keepsakes and books to share with friends and family.
Standard source templates – Cite the right information every time.
A new person view – View relationships within the context of your entire family tree.
Scanner support – Add photos directly from your scanner.
Family migration paths – View timelines and interactive maps highlighting events and places in your ancestors’ lives.
Better Performance – Experience faster load times and navigation.

Dynamic user interface that lets you quickly switch between important features
The ability to import data from other genealogy programs, including Personal Ancestry File, The Master Genealogist, and Legacy Family Tree
Powerful sourcing tools that let you document AND rate each of your citations
Interactive maps and lists that give you a bird’s-eye view of where members of your family come
Place authority database of more than 3 million names that helps you standardize your place entries
Photo AND file management features so you can easily incorporate all types of media files into your charts and reports
Timelines that highlight personal, family, and world events
Easy-to-use tools for merging duplicate individuals, calculating dates, creating to-do lists, and more.

Search the extensive record collections at without ever leaving your family tree! And, when you find new records, you can quickly merge them into your tree.
Take advantage of Ancestry Hints—Family Tree Maker automatically suggests records that may match people in your tree
Share heirloom-quality books and attractive posters that you create with the self-publishing tool at

August 2, 2009 at 10:16 am
Margaret Pederson 

WHAT IS WRONG WITH MY FAMILY TREE MAKER 2009. Once again I am locked up tight. I may be able to respond to 2 or 3 hints and then when I merge the fourth every thing locks up and says “program not responding.” Then it takes many trys to close down. Very maddening. Anyone else had this problem?

August 2, 2009 at 9:51 pm
Margaret Pederson 

One more question. Why does births and deaths show up twice or even three tims in the “Person” section of an individual.

August 2, 2009 at 9:54 pm
psd to css 

Hello Michelle,
As a longtime user of pre 2008 versions of FTM, one question I would like to ask if versions 2008-2010 have or will ever have any facility for the user to run a utility to check the integrity of the database as earlier versions had? The last thing I would want is to be working with a broken database.

August 3, 2009 at 1:54 am

Not sure if you issue is related to your #71 entry (i.e., issues you were having merging in information). But, in general, you can have multiple facts associated with one person (i.e., multiple birth dates). That occurs when you purposely add a “Preferred” fact and additional alternates or when you merge record from into your file and you select (or the default is) to have the fact added as an alternate. If desired, you can choose not to add the new fact to your tree and/or solely choose to add the source to the existing fact already in your FTM.

August 3, 2009 at 6:18 am
Lee Cooper 


I am also having the same issue, but before upgrading to release it worked perfectly. Removed FTM totally, re-installed from CD, then merge works again. Load the upgrade, merge stops working. Seems only to be with “England & Wales, FreeBMD Birth Index” records.

Your solution of changing a person’s data only appears to work on some occurrences. I still have numerous erroneous hints being flaged which when selected shows no records listed.

August 3, 2009 at 3:03 pm
John Donaldson 

#73 psd

The same as in previous versions


The database in FTM 2008/09/10 is much more robust than in earlier versions and will even detect a problem on starting

John D

August 3, 2009 at 4:28 pm
Kathy Marie 


This suggestion deals with the way source citations are shown on reports in FTM 2006 v16 versus the way they are shown in FTM 2009

In FTM 2006 a source citation consists of four parts:

1- Master Source: (This field shows the Master Source Name)
2- Citation Page: (This field shows a reference [if any] to the Citation Page, Box etc
3- Citation text: (This field shows the actual citation as typed by the user)
4- Footnote: (This field contains the total citation and includes the citation text if the user has checked the box to include the citation text in the footnote)

Note: I always check the box in item 4, since I feel this is the actual citation of the Source

Also Note: Nowhere in the FTM 2006 source citation information is there any reference to the Source Location (FTM 2006 Terminology) or the Repository Name (FTM 2009 Terminology)

In FTM 2009 the so called “Repository” has been inserted in between the Citation Page and the Citation Text. This repository information has just been stuck in the middle of the citation and set off by a leading comma and an ending comma.

I have been extra careful in creating my citations over the last seven or so years and have taken special care to ensure I have a well thought out citation sentence consisting of the Master Source, the Citation Page and the Citation Text.

All my carefulness has been “ruined” by the programmers just sticking the Repository information between the Citation Page and the Citation Text and off setting it by commas.

As a note I have over a thousand Master sources and approximately seven thousand source citations in my data base. I have not been able to find a way around this except to go in and delete every one of my thousand repository names, which would defeat the whole purpose of providing sources for my data. Needless to say this FTM 2009 methodology of documenting source citations is a large stumbling block and I will not be able to use FTM 2009/2010 if this situation remains.

I do have a suggestion for fixing this and it is a follows:

First, since users desire different ways of doing things the suggestion should be implemented as options that the user would check a box expressing their desire.

One place the options could be shown would be on the on the “Source-Citation Information” Pane

There could/would be three options:
Option A – Document Source Citations as done in FTM 2006
Option B – Document Source Citations as is presently done in FTM 2009
Option C – Include the Repository Name at the bottom of the Source Citation and include a led in/header such as “Repository: Followed by the repository name as presently shown in FTM 2009 inserted between the leading and ending commas

Michelle, please take a strong look at this suggestion and check a few source citations you might have in FTM 2006 and compare them to their counterpart in FTM 2009 —AND PLEASE PASS THIS SUGGESTION ALONG TO THE PROGRAMMERS – IT IS AN EASY FIX AND HOPEFULLY CAN BE MADE PRIOR TO RELEASE OF FTM 2010

August 4, 2009 at 12:08 pm
Ann Ridgway 

What happened to my tree?
I had all of my Slinkard Family all filled in up to Churtz. I shut my computer down and the next day I go back and It’s all erased back to John Slinkard, My GGgrandmother’s father. I have to start over again filling in everything.

August 4, 2009 at 1:36 pm

Why does no one ever answer an e-mail?? It is so frusrating not to get an answer to an e-mail.

August 4, 2009 at 5:38 pm

Why does no one ever answer an e-mail?? It is so frusrating not to get an answer to an e-mail. How come ?

August 4, 2009 at 5:40 pm
John Donaldson 

Anne # 78

I doubt your tree has gone

If you are using FTM 2008 or FTM 2009 go into Start>Search and for files and folders search for all files with the name *.FTM

If you are using FTM 16 or earlier search for *.FTW

John D

August 4, 2009 at 7:43 pm
John Donaldson 

# 79 Cathy481

This is a blog not an email list

What email are you referring to?

Who was it sent to?

John D

August 4, 2009 at 7:46 pm

Michele and Duff,

Regarding # 70, I located the answers to my FTM/ questions in the FAQs on (sorry for the annoyance of asking questions that easily could be answered otherwise …).

But, I would still be very interested to know the answers to my other questions about FTM 2010 … if not know 🙁 , ideally when you post the blog about the release of FTM 2010 🙂 .

1) Charts – has the option to “include empty branches” been returned to “180 Fan Chart” and other charts?

2) Improved organization – is there improved organizing/order of Source-Citations in the “Person” view and in reports (e.g., options other than source-citations solely being in the order of entry date)?

Thank you for the ongoing efforts to improve Family Tree Maker.

August 4, 2009 at 9:42 pm
Mark Carroll 

No. 71. If the record you’re trying to merge has attached media, the media has to fully load in the Search Result Detail before you can successfully complete the merge. This is annoying and completely frustrating because either (1) you have to click extra tabs every time in order to avoid a freeze or (2) you have to deal with the freeze by aborting the program if and when it happens.

There’s only one way to always avoid the problem. When the data comes up in Search Result Detail, look at the left-hand frame. You’ll see three tabs, the second of which is Media. Click on that. Sometimes the media will have already loaded; sometimes you’ll see the spinning circle. Wait until the spinning circle resolves into a media icon, then click Merge.

To be honest, this is so time-consuming that I only do it after a freeze. Many records will load the media promptly; after aborting from a freeze, though, I go the Media tab route on that record.

August 5, 2009 at 9:50 am

I recently bought a Mac /w Intel core OS 10.5 (will upgrade to Snow when available) to replace my PC. I bought the Mac knowing I could install Window, but doing everything I can to avoid. I checked a couple of week ago with your tech support and they thought that the FTM10 would be Mac compatible. Is this true? I’ve checked out Mac products and they just compare.

August 5, 2009 at 6:48 pm
John Donaldson 

# 85 Carisa

There is no native MAC version of FTM

You can run FTM on a Mac under Parallels and Windows or install the excellent Reunion Mac software.

There may be a native MAC version of FTM created one day, but currently there is no such product.

Those with long memories for FTM, will recall that about 20 years ago there was FTM 3 for the Mac.

John D

August 5, 2009 at 9:47 pm