Family Tree Maker Message Boards

Posted by Tana L. Pedersen on April 18, 2011 in Family Tree Maker

Family Tree Maker message boards are an excellent way to share your success stories, find experts to answer your questions, and exchange tips and tricks with users just like you. If you’ve never visited the message boards, take a few minutes to check them out today; you might be surprised at what you find.

Search the Boards

You can browse the message boards looking for topics you’re interested in or use the search functionality to narrow results to your questions and concerns. The Search box at the top of the board lets you enter keywords and phrases. Make sure you select the “Family Tree Maker software” option so that your search doesn’t include all the message boards on

Post Your Own Message

To post a new message, click the “Begin New Thread” link at the top of a message board.

The most important element of your message may be the subject line. The subject line catches people’s attention and determines whether they will read the rest of your message. Make your subject line complete and concise, and avoid using vague terms such as “reports” or “Family Tree Maker.” Try subject lines like “Using reference numbers” or “Changing fonts in reports.”

Respond to Other Messages

If you want to respond to a specific message you find on the message boards, click the “Reply” link located at the bottom of the message.

If you reply to a post, it will be “threaded” with the message to which you are replying. Threading means that responses are grouped with the original message rather than standing alone as an original
post. Posting a response (reply) to an original message also means that if the previous posters in the thread have elected to receive email notification of responses, they will be notified of your new message.


1 scwbcmApril 18, 2011 at 2:09 pm

Happy to say that my issue with the message boards that I posted previously cleared up that day. I want to thank whoever helped with that, whether it was on the message board side or through the main ancestry side of things. I had trouble with not being able to scroll but things appear to be working okay now.

2 dklartApril 18, 2011 at 3:09 pm


The message board indexing hasn’t been done for 6+ months, which makes keyword searching any message board completely and utterly useless.

For issues about function of the on-line trees, FTM, etc, the current posts are the most important to be able to find by a keyword search.

This issue has been posted about on the boards for months. When is the board indexing going to be brought up to date?

3 John DonaldsonApril 18, 2011 at 3:36 pm

I share Tana’s advice about making the subject line concise and a summary of your post.

The most useless subject line is “Help” or even worse, “Urgent Help”.

Just about every query to a message board could be headed “Help”. Accurate maybe but useless in terms of encouraging folk to answer your query.

So spend a bit of time considering your query, get the subject line right and could I suggest add the following.

What version of FTM that you are using and a brief summary of your file size and Windows/Mac operating system. There have been many changes in FTM, eg there are over 100 changes and enhancements between FTM 2010 and FTM 2011 which makes knowing what version is being used vital to a good answer. I have lost track of how many times in answering a query, I have had to first ask what version of FTM are you using? It just slows down the answer process which is not what you want.

Then describe the problem and the steps taken, any screen messages etc.

Remember people trying to reply to your query cannot see your screen and have no idea of your computer system, so help them to help you by taking the time to accurately describe your problem.

Your reward is a higher probability of getting a quick and accurate response to solve the problem or provide some tips, which after all is what you are seeking

John D

4 Carol A. H.April 19, 2011 at 12:22 am

#3 John Donaldson:

Excellent advice which could apply to any message board or forum.

5 BEEApril 19, 2011 at 4:08 pm

I’m a “self-taught” senior, and have found my way around my computer pretty well, but so much of the information is just “gobbledygook” to me.
Right now, I’m very frustrated. I’ve been using Firefox 4 ever since it was introduced, and had no problems with the enhanced viewer, but now, all of a sudden, it’s now working.
I “googled”, and checked out the ancestry messageboard, but everything looks like “old news”.
I followed the directions to add it manually, deleting cache and cookies, etc. and even restarted my computer, but it’s still not working!
The messages on Firefox say that the plug-in isn’t compatible with the latest version and to contact ancestry, which I will do.Someone advised uninstalling, and reinstalling the earlier version, but it’s hard enough to go forward, without going backward!

6 John DonaldsonApril 19, 2011 at 8:14 pm

# 5 Bee

FF 4 has got a few “missing bits” and is a dispppointment. No doubt there will be a patch, but in the meantime your are stuck.

Try using another browser such as Internet Explorer untill FF is fixed.

John D

7 dklartApril 19, 2011 at 9:54 pm

Here is a link to the most current thread about FF4 on the message boards.

Again, Ancestry needs to update the da*n boards so people can find current postings by key word searching. It’s now 7 months since the last index updating.

[...] Family Tree Maker Message Boards [...]

9 BEEApril 22, 2011 at 10:45 am

Thank you John #6 – that gives me the explanation I was looking for, not that it helps.
I called ancestry, and a very nice young fellow was very sympathetic, and basically said the same thing about using Internet Explorer, although I haven’t used it at all, ever since I found Firefox. I don’t even see it in my new computer, so I suppose I’d have to download it, but at this point, I’ll use what I have, and hope this problems gets some attention very soon.
I just hope someone, somewhere, notifies us when they get this problem solved.

10 John DonaldsonApril 22, 2011 at 8:36 pm

# 9 Bee

Of course you can always dump FF 4 and go back to FF 3.6 until FF 4 is fixed

John D

11 SueApril 22, 2011 at 9:33 pm

I have used Ancestry several times over the last few years. I only sign up for a month or two every year (i’m retired and can’t spend $40.00 a month) with no results. Every time I sign up I can’t find the the things most important to me- Texas history, death records, land records, child custody records (when parents have had to give up their children. I have had some advice by calling customer service but my questions and information have yet to be found. I’m very frustrated as this info. would complete a big piece of the puzzle.

12 Andy HatchettApril 22, 2011 at 10:42 pm

Sue Re: #11

A lot of what you are seeking is not presently online anywhere- and probably never will be.

Despite all the technological advances, most genealogical and public records will remain in the courthouses, libraries, and various other repositories for the foreseeable future (i.e. our lifetimes and probably our children’s lifetimes).

13 Kathy MarieApril 23, 2011 at 8:05 am


How about some help on this

There are many ways that comments/suggestions/bugs/enhancements can be submitted to

For example

This Blog:
FTM Software Board:
Enhancement Requests to the Support Group:

All of these mechanisms could stand some improvement:

1 – All of them provide an “itty bitty” space to type into and you are forever scrolling back and forth to see where you are and if you have made any mistakes

2 – It seems no matter how you try to control the format [e.g., by typing feedback on MS Word and then copying and pasting it into the “itty bitty” space] the mechanism provided has a mind of its own and reformats the information

3 – It is almost impossible to take a formatted report directly out of FTM and either embed it in the feedback mechanism or send it as an attachment [e.g., there appears to be no way I can run, say, an Individual Report for person X from FTM 2011 and send it to this blog or the other feed back mechanisms]. When I attempt to do this the report loses all it’s formatting

4 – There appears to be no way to send just an Email with an attachment

How about having someone look at this and provide an improved mechanism

A simple “real” word processer with the capability to attach PDF, JPEG, MS Word documents/images, etc would be a big help and would cut down on the frustration factor

14 Andy HatchettApril 23, 2011 at 12:08 pm

There are two easy ways to handle this:

1).Post it to the appropriate message board and attach a screen shot.

2). Send a direct e-mail to the appropriate person (i.e. Kenny Freestone, David Graham, Duff Wilson, Tony Macklin, etc.) and attach what you want to show them.

Of course, doing both wouldn’t hurt!

15 Kathy MarieApril 23, 2011 at 2:09 pm

Re: Number 14 Andy Hatchett:

Your comment

“There are two easy ways to handle this:

1).Post it to the appropriate message board and attach a screen shot.

2). Send a direct e-mail to the appropriate person (i.e. Kenny Freestone, David Graham, Duff Wilson, Tony Macklin, etc.) and attach what you want to show them.

Of course, doing both wouldn’t hurt!”

Your Item 2)
How do I find the E-Mail address for these people? For example, How do I find the E_Mail address for Duff Wilson?

If I had this/these E-Mail addresses)my problem would be solved

If you have these these addresses please let me know what they are

Thank You

16 Andy HatchettApril 24, 2011 at 9:34 pm

Kathy Re: #15

It seems Duff hasn’t made is e-mail known on any blog articles or any message board posts (hat is how I originally found the others).

Since that is the case I suggest you compose your e-mail to Duff and then send it to with the attachment and ask them to see that it is forwarded to Duff.

17 Kathy MarieApril 25, 2011 at 5:52 am


Your Comment

“Kathy Re: #15

It seems Duff hasn’t made is e-mail known on any blog articles or any message board posts (hat is how I originally found the others).

Since that is the case I suggest you compose your e-mail to Duff and then send it to with the attachment and ask them to see that it is forwarded to Duff.”

Andy, Thank You

Your suggestion is what I essentially have been doing for reporting bugs or suggesting enhancements

The support group has been kind enough to send them along and they have been helpful

But, it is somewhat a cumbersome approach [I don't think the support group likes to do this but they have been doing it anyway] and I thought Tana could do something about all the different ways there is for feedback and try to convince someone to standardize and simplify their approach

To me, in this day and age I would think an overall Word Processor/E-Mail approach in which I could embed an MS Word document, or JPG, etc. within the E-Mail or just create a short E-Mail and attach any type of image/document to it [just like I do with my AOL browser/system] and then send that E-Mail to the proper Place in

So, Tana my request still stands and hopefully you can find the right people to make this feedback process simpler

In the meantime I will contnue to follow Andy’s suggestion for reporting bugs/suggesting enhancements

18 Mary Beth MarchantApril 26, 2011 at 11:09 am

E Mail address for Duff Wilson

I spoke to him by telephone a couple of years ago concerning the new FTM 2010 edition which I had trouble with. He was kind enough to help me with that.

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