Following the last Family Tree Maker desktop software announcement, we’ve seen your outpouring of comments, questions and the concerns you have raised. I’ve read through many of your comments personally, and I want you to know that we truly value you as customers and your feedback.
Here are three key things I’d like to re-assure you of after reading through your comments:
- We are fully committed to supporting Family Tree Maker through at least the end of 2016 with all available support from member services, including technical issues, product issues, updates and attention to the product. You will be able to use the software, exactly as you do now, including TreeSync, for at least the next year.
- We are exploring possible relationships with other desktop software solutions that would make it possible for their products to integrate with Ancestry.
- We are exploring options to bring more reports and related functionality from Family Tree Maker into the online service. Stay tuned for updates on this over the coming year.
We’ve put together an FAQ to address many of the other questions you’ve raised. Our member services team is also available for further questions.
What happens to Family Tree Maker at the end of next year?
We are committed to helping our users through this transition. Towards the end of 2016, we will assess our progress toward a smooth transition for our customers and review our support commitment at that time.
After January 1, 2017, features that require connectivity to Ancestry, such as TreeSync, uploading and downloading trees and media, and Web Search, may no longer be supported. Most Family Tree Maker features are designed to work offline, and should continue to function unless a change on your computer, such as an operating system update, causes the functionality to break.
Will features such as charts, reporting and publishing be made available on Ancestry?
We are continuously exploring new options to make the experience better for all users and currently we’re looking into ways to bring desired features from Family Tree Maker into the online experience – such as report functionality or the ability to replace one instance of a change throughout your entire family tree.
Will third party providers be able to integrate with Ancestry family trees?
We are exploring possible relationships with other desktop software solutions that would make it possible for their products to integrate with Ancestry API. Stay tuned.
What happens to the family tree I’ve created using Family Tree Maker? Will it continue to be accessible?
You will continue to be able to access your data through the desktop software beyond Jan. 1, 2017, however over time there will be a gradual degradation of features. You can always export your tree and save it.
When will you stop selling Family Tree Maker software?
We will stop selling the desktop software on December 31, 2015, however we will continue to fully support Family Tree Maker at least one full year until January 1, 2017. Until January 1, 2017, you will be able to continue to use the product and its full functionality, as you do today.
Which versions of Family Tree Maker will Ancestry continue to support?
Ancestry will continue to support all versions of Family Tree Maker at their current functionality until January 1, 2017.
Will I be able to download my full tree?
You can continue to download trees as a GEDCOM file. Users can also download and save historical records and media attached to individuals in their family trees.
Is Ancestry looking to sell Family Tree Maker, as you did with MyCanvas?
Presently there are no plans to sell Family Tree Maker software.
UPDATE: On February 2nd we announced two new agreements that provide choices to preserve your work in ways that matter to you:
(1) Software MacKiev is acquiring the Family Tree Maker software line as publisher for both Mac and Windows versions. This new agreement means you will receive software updates and new versions from Software MacKiev, and have the ability to purchase new versions of Family Tree Maker from Software MacKiev as they are released.
(2) We have made an agreement with RootsMagic to connect Ancestry with the RootsMagic software by the end of 2016. With this new relationship, RootsMagic can serve as your desktop family tree software, while having access to Ancestry hints, Ancestry searches, and the ability to save your tree on Ancestry.
You can read the whole announcement here:
We ask for your patience as Ancestry’s product team works with Software MacKiev and RootsMagic. As soon as we have an update, we will make another announcement. For now, just know these options are coming and will be in place before the end of the year to ensure you do not have a break in tree syncing and preserving the work you have already done.