Posted by Ancestry Team on November 16, 2007 in Family Tree Maker

I wanted to make a quick post before the week was done to give an update about Service Pack 2, as well as answer some questions about International versions of Family Tree Maker.

As has been posted, Service Pack 2 was pulled after being available for only a few hours. Since that time the Family Tree Maker team has been working very hard to further develop the Service Pack 2 release. Additional time is being taken to test and retest the patch. Dozens of volunteers have been testing variations of the patch and have supplied invaluable feedback. A special thanks to these individuals.

We are still likely 1 to 2 weeks out before Service Pack 2 will be released, depending on the results of some final testing. I will make a new blog post announcing its release as soon as it’s available.

International Versions

I’ve encountered various questions about the release of the International versions of Family Tree Maker. Below is what has released or what will release in the future:

  • Family Tree Maker Canada is currently available in retail stores. It will also be available directly in The Ancestry Store after Service Pack 2 is released.
  • Family Tree Maker UK is available from the shop tab on and in retail stores.
  • Family Tree Maker Australia is available through retail stores and genealogy resellers.
  • The German and French versions of Family Tree Maker will be in stores next year.

I hope everyone has a great weekend.


  1. Harry Marshall

    I don’t know if this is the correct site/forum for posting this, but I’ve
    got a question.
    Why does 2K8 crash so often?
    It seems to crash more often when I’m
    unlinking multiple sources and changing
    preferred status’.
    It doesn’t like extensive key stroke data
    entry either.

    Harry Marshall

  2. Steve Freeman

    Hi. I have found loads of bugs in FTM2008, some functions work but are extremely slow, others do not work properly. Do you have a list of bugs which will be fixed in SP2 please. Thanks..Steve

  3. Pat Blanchard

    Hi Ben,

    I’m one of the dozens who is testing SP2 and I have to say that the reponse of the development team to my findings, good and bad, has been tremendous. You guys are really getting at the problems and doing a fantastic job of fixing the errors. I get new updates weekly and each time more and more problems are being corrected. As a consumer, I couldn’t be happier with the personal response.

  4. Beryl Blickstein


    Finally, this is the right way to let people know what you are doing. Please continue with weekly postings on the progress of the next release.
    The new ideas and facilities in FTM 2008 are a great step forward for genealogy programs, I’m fairly confident that the missing reports will appear eventually. The downside was in execution. So take as long as you need to fix the problems. Just acknowlege the difficulties and tell us what you are doing about them. I believe that the eventual product will be worth the wait.

  5. W Clayton

    No what you are doing is inadequate and very incomplete. You should be posting a detailed list of exactly what you are trying to fix and update it every 1-2 days. This is the worse piece of software of any type I have ever tried to use! The most important fundamental issue with serious Genealogy is sourcing. FTM 2008 is so unacceptable in how it handles Sources it is almost inadequate to try to list all the errors ane problems! You try to link to a existing source and often it will not show the existing source and the program incorrectly assumes some other source and attaches that. When you try to delete that source it wants to delete the Sorce that is correct for some other record, but incorrect for the record it is attached to. V16 was great. This one is pure Garbage! Too allow this piece of Software to be sold and used by (is it thousands?) of users without fixing major mistakes and errors after weeks on end no matter what the $ cost to do so is incompetience of the highest order and borders on FRAUD!

  6. Ed Spaans

    I would hope that you fix some problems with foreign names, too. It is a pain to be continually interrupted when I enter a last name like “van der X” If the program has been forced to accept one of these constructs, it should realize that all others of identical form are also OK.

  7. John Villilo

    I cannot even get SP1 to patch the program yet. The RTPatch software bombs out when trying to access and open RTA*.* files in C:/Program Files/Family Tree Maker/ and there are none. Any suggestions? These are the type of specific problems your Support staff should be commenting on..

  8. Benjamin Nettesheim


    I would suggest trying a manual patch. The directions to do this can be found at:

    When doing a manual patch, make sure Family Tree Maker is closed before running the .exe file. If this does not do the trick, I would recommend calling tech support so they can walk through the issues step by step.
    1-877-FTM-2008 (1-877-386-2008)

  9. Michael Schuler

    I am another one on the people testing SP2 and I have to say things are starting to turn around. There is no doubt that the program was released incomplete, but the 3 updates I have recieved the FTM Programming Staff has made some serious progress. I believe the program is approaching the point where it is usable and I have successfully import my file including images and source images.

    I have some serious problems still though and I am hopeful that FTM will continue to fix them. They do seems to be listening and I hope they work things out. I think by the time SP2 is released it will be usable but they are major areas that are at the least not polished.

    I have been one of the biggest complainers about this FTM Release, but I do have to say that they seem to be listening finally and in a day where very few companies care I think even is late FTM should be given a chance to make it right. I would not expect miracles casue I lot of little things still need to be done but it is getting a lot better and at least usable



  10. Dan Ward


    Should I uninstall SP2? I was one of the lucky ones that downloaded and installed it before it was recalled..

  11. Michael Schuler

    I am testing .557 as part of user test group and it is marketly better then the sp2 patch. The program is still raw around the edges but getting much better and I think maybe you guys are at least starting to see where in corner is if not starting to turn it.

    I hope I am right and I hope inprovements continue and you guys realized that you still have a long way to go but with the pace from sp2 to .557 I am encouraged that you may be able to make it there. Something I was not even willing to think about a month ago.



  12. Ed Hoak

    I too have spent many, many hours testing the weekly patches release by FTM. I was one of those who bitterly complained about the initial release of 2008. To those still unhappy with 2008 there is hope. I have been very encouraged by what I’ve seen in these weekly patches and look forward to the formally release SP2.

    There is a definate improvement in program performance, stability, features and outright bugs (i.e., import field mapping). FTM still has a bit to go to reach the functionality we enjoyed in 2006. Most of those issues are in report and chart generation but reading this blog and emails received I believe FTM is commited to giving us a quality product. It’s unfortunate FTM learned this lesson the hard way.

    It is clear the FTM Team is listening to us and that is hugely appreciated.

    Ed Hoak

  13. Benjamin Nettesheim


    You do not need to uninstall SP2 if you did grab it while it was available. The “new” SP2 will patch on top of the old one. I’m hopeful the new SP2 will be out next week.

  14. Dennis V. Hill

    I have had the good fortune to use FTM as the basis for my genealogy research since 1992 and have always valued the improvements as they have developed over the years. Now I have been one of those testing the incremental patches over the past two weeks and have been pleased at the response from the FTM Development team. As I have focused on using the new software, I have gained a real appreciation for the potential in the new design. The current effort is focused on making a dependable new release available. I am confident it will not be long before new features will outstrip the capabilities of the FTM 16.

  15. Dave Reed

    Help! Can’t get FTM 08 to assemble all report documents then print. It can assemble a few reports but when I invoke “print” the progam quits. Am using Vista O/S and last suggestion implemented was to turn off Vist UAC, which did not fix the problem. I’ve reloaded the FTM 08 S/w again this morning. Any suggestions to resolve problem would be appreciated. I’m dead in the water until the Ancestory Tech folks come in today. DAR

  16. Paul S.

    I really hope the import problems have been fixed, inlcuding large files and source file attachments. Please tell me that someone has successfully imported a file size greater than 500MB from FTM15.

  17. Doug Mader

    I have been a FTM user since the early 90’s. I applaud your efforts with FTM2008 but – I gotta say it – this should never have been released as is. I am running a 2GHz Penium with 1Gig Memory on Win XP SP2. My family file has 60,000 individuals. I am sitting here with the program open with no activity pending and the procesds is absorbing 55% of the CPU just sitting there. making any data entry – new individual, place name, birth date, marriage date – anything – and the “hourglass appears for 10-15 seconds – before the program accepts the entry and comes back to “ready” – absolutely unacceptable performance. I am going back to FTM16 and I will be requesting a refund of my money. Please don’t put software liker this on the market before it is FULLY tested

  18. Linda Matthews

    I am sure the customer test group is making a big contribution to the quality of the product through their ad hoc testing of issues of concern to them. Their time and efforts should be applauded.

    However, I fear from the quality of the product that professional techniques by a professional team of TGN testers was not applied or completed. You can’t expect a customer test team to write test scripts to cover all scenarios or apply systematic testing procedures (compliance with functional specifications; negative testing; regression testing; performance testing, etc.)or you’ll find that what they tested works and something else has gone wrong and isn’t noticed until after release. The customer group cannot be expected to find all the data corruption problems that you admitted was a problem in October. Please tell us what efforts other than customer testing are being made to improve the quality of the product.

  19. Paul

    I’d appreciate it if someone could tell me what the unique differences are between the US version, the Canadian version and the UK version. And, how do you tell which one you have ???

  20. Rolfe Bradbury

    Have you restored (or have plans to restore) the capability that used to be in Family Tree Maker to generate outline descendant trees? I find this to be an essential capability when you have a large family tree going back 20+ generations (as does mine; the outline descendant tree for part of our history is 230 pages long, and the other output formats that FTM generates are not as useful with such a large tree). I couldn’t tell from the available online information whether the outline descendant tree capability has been restored or not. Please let me know if you have added it in a recent version (in which case I will upgrade!), or if not, please give strong consideration to adding it in a future version of FTM. Thank you!

    Rolfe Bradbury

  21. Lynn Stearns

    I am confused as to why most of the reporting I had in 2005 FTM is no longer available? I very much like the new interface because it allows me to move from web search back to the person I am working with or to others. But, I miss my Descendants report BIG TIME.

  22. Benjamin Nettesheim

    While the customer test group has been a huge contribution to the testing of the product, especially in the areas of testing different configuration of hardware systems and file content, they have only been one aspect of our testing effort. We have an in-house testing group that tests the product using compliance testing with functional specifications, regression testing, performance testing as well automated testing and unit testing. We have also put the product through numerous usability testing passes all the while involving members of the genealogy community to help us fine tune the product’s functionality. We have also involved a “core” group of Family Tree Maker power users who have been testing the product for over a year. With this new version many of our pre-existing test cases and scripts had to be re-written. We continue to fine tune these testing tools and are feeling much better about their ability to test many of the fringe areas of the product as well as core functionality. Due to some of the stability issues we have seen over the last few months, we have augmented and will continue to augment the testing effort to assure much more stable releases in the future.

    There was also a question about the differences in the International versions. The main differences are where Family Tree Maker searches (,, etc) and what types of subscriptions it may be bundled with. One way to verify what version you are running is to open up Family Tree Maker and look at the product ID in the “Help” – “About Family Tree Maker” tab.

    Here are some international productIDs:




    Also, a few people have asked about the “Outline Descendant Report”. This report has been in Family Tree Maker 2008 since it initially shipped in August. You can find it by clicking on the “Relationship Reports” type in the left-hand panel of the “Publish” collection screen. Please be aware that each publication type can include multiple charts or reports.

  23. Jay

    I purchased FTM08 the same week it was released and had it shipped to the UK, so I’m using the American version which I suspect is searching My ProductID = 032468F00. Is it possible to change this to the UK version?

    You have my email address – Please drop me a mail if you want.
    Thanks, Jay

  24. Ray Schwartz

    Finally finished viewing your very excellent web presentation. As a long time FTM user, I will be updating to FTM 2008 when your vision and goal are achieved because it is a huge breakthrough. Press on!

  25. Linda Matthews

    It is true that FTM 2008 has a very crude “outline descendant report”. The real question is if and when it will be revised to include the CAPABILITIES of previous FTM versions (i.e. content and formatting options). The current FTM 2008 version of this report is limited in its capabilities and therefore was useless to me. Reporting capabilities and flexibility was one thing that set FTM apart from its competitors in previous versions. In the “plans” listed in the blogs, I have not seen any specific plans for bringing back the full reporting capabilties in the existing FTM 2008 reports. Can we expect the future reports to be reintroduced to be as crude in its implementation as the outline descendant report and other reports provided in the August release?

  26. Benjamin Nettesheim

    Increasing the charts and reports capabilities is very high on the Family Tree Maker team’s priority list. I do not, however, currently have a timeframe for that.

  27. Adrian Purkiss

    The new SP2 release appears to have the same version number as the one pulled according to website. Its all very confusing.

  28. Benjamin Nettesheim


    The initial release of SP2 that was pulled was The latest release (SP2 Rev 2) is

    To verify you have this current version do the following:

    • Open Family Tree Maker 2008
    • Click the “Help” menu item at the top of the program
    • Click “About Family Tree Maker…”
    • On the Product Information tab there is a version number. If the update was successful the version number will be

  29. David Starling

    I installed Ser Pk 2 ( yesterday. I attempted to open a register report and immediately the program crashed. This is exactly what occured before the installation.

  30. Les McFadzen

    After finally getting SP2 (559) up and running I can only ask “When is SP3 due?”

    There is so much still missing that was available in V16 that it is no longer funny.

    What longterm FTM users need to know is what has been dropped and won’t appear in the future and what will be in future patches.

    What there is of the product looks good and operates well (with a few exceptions) and it obviously has potential, but how long do we wait before we are forced to change to another programme?

  31. David Bull

    I have just installed FTM2008 (UK edition) and imported my tree via Gedcom. So far one thing amazes and surprises me, and I’m surprised no-one else has commented on it. This is the list of recognised place names. For example, many of my family come from Bath. This is one of the UK’s most important and well-known cities, yet the options box for recognised places lists Bath and similiar names all over the world (even Somalia!!) but the key UK city, in existence since Roman times, is missing! Many other well-known UK place names also appear to be missing. I can’t believe this can be right. If it is, it is not right to market this as a UK version of the software. Or am I missing something – maybe I have a place name file missing from my copy of the programme? Can anyone advise? Thanks David.

  32. Borut


    I am wondering if Family Tree Maker 2008 can be translated to other languages by editing language files?

    I am interested in Slovenian language.


  33. Like others here I’m not a happy camper when it comes to FTM2008 🙁 I’ve just installed SP2, and find my largest problems are still there.

    I have a large tree and it takes over a minute (often way longer) to do anything. I’ve put the product on a dual CPU 2Gb RAM machine and it is still unusable!

    I can find lots of posts of unhappy users, but nothing to say what is being done to address the issues – and issues there must be if you are again offering the previous version for sale!

    Is it time to jump ship? Are your users concerns going to be addressed?


  34. Dave Martin

    I have just got FTM 2008 (Canada)
    It says it is version 438 and there is no update required, however it looks like I should be installing 559.
    I have downloaded it but it will not install.
    FTM 2008 has already crashed once and I haven’t transferred my data from FTM 2005 yet!

  35. Maria Elena Martinez

    I hate FTM 2008-I want to return and buy another program but the store will not accept used software. Is there an address for the company where I can return this useless program. I am very upset over the fact that I start to work on a family tree and it “finds problem and has to close” It happens every 5 minutes or so. Or am I doing something wrong. I know it is not my computer. HELP! Maria Elena

  36. Janice

    I just purchased FTM2008 and can say I have now spent hours and hours trying to access the web for searches. I have spoken with techs about this problem several times and they can’t seem to help me. I try to register the program and will not accept my password and user name, thereby not allowing me to use this software to its full potential. I am so tired of seeing that darn box pop up saying, “Authentication to server failed” that I am now uninstalling this program. To bad as I have used previous FTM software for many years. Maybe it just doesn’t work with XP.


  37. Tracey Jones

    My FTM 2008 Australian version doesn’t stay open it either freezes or has to close frequently before it even opens fully ,in its current state it is virtuallly unusable as every time you attempt to attach any information the program freezes.
    when i check there are no available updates/patches my program is fully up to date. So curently i feel that buying this program which i only did for the web clipping feature (which doesn’t work) i feel that i have well and truly wasted my money.
    Being able to veiw 2 or more files at once and drop and drag between files and colour code people would be useful tools to have they are available in other programs and are
    a great.

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