Posted by Ancestry Team on December 11, 2007 in Family Tree Maker

I recently had a good discussion with the Senior UI Designer for Family Tree Maker about sourcing. I wanted to share some notes from that discussion on the blog. As always, I would be interested in hearing some feedback from the group as well. I hope this is helpful! 

A number of people have asked questions or made comments about managing sources in 2008.  At a basic level, the way sources work in 2008 is very similar to the way they did in version 16.  Sources can be entered and managed from the “Family” and “Person” tabs on the “People” screen and from the main “Sources” screen. 

From the “Family” tab on the “People” screen 

On the “Family” tab, you can add a source-citation to a fact by clicking the source-citation button next to a fact in the right-hand panel. This button appears for the fact that has focus and for all facts that have source-citations.  The menu that appears has two options followed by a list of sources (if any) for that fact.  The first option (“New Source-Citation”) adds a new source-citation just like you could do in version 16.  Clicking on an existing source-citation in the menu will open it. 

From the “Person” tab on the “People” screen 

On the “Person” tab, source-citations for the selected fact are displayed in a list below the fact detail in the right-hand panel.  This list of source-citations is similar to the one on the facts tab of the “Edit Individual” dialog in version 16.  Clicking the “New” button in the source panel offers two options. Again, the first option (“Add New Source-Citation”) adds a new source-citation just like you could do in version 16. 

New Features in Family Tree Maker 2008 

Family Tree Maker 2008 has some new features that make working with sources easier. 

Linking to existing sources – When adding a new source-citation, the second option (“Link to Existing Source-Citation” in the new source menu) will allow you to create a new link to an existing source-citation.  This is handy when a single source-citation offers proof for more than one fact.  In this case you don’t need to go through the work of creating a new source—instead you can simply link to an existing one. 

Rating sources – You can now rate the quality of your source-citations by selecting one and then clicking the rate button (the one with the star) in the source-citation toolbar.  Family Tree Maker supports two different ways of rating: 1) using your own system and criteria, or 2) using standard criteria. 

Managing Sources – The new “Sources” view (accessible by clicking the “Sources” button at the top of the screen) allows you to see and work with your sources in a variety of new ways: 

·         Easily see all of the source-citations from a single source title* 

·         View all of the people and facts associated with one source-citation 

·         View all of the source titles* from a repository 

·         View all of the source citations associated with a person 

·         You can also add, link, and rate sources from this view 

*Please note that the term “Master Source” from v16 is now “Source Title” in 2008.  But just as before, a single “Source Title” can have multiple “Source-Citations” associated with it.  The name was changed because of feedback from a number of customers and genealogy experts.


  1. The more I try to leverage the 2008 source capabilities, the more I appreciate what has been incorporated within 2008 … although I will not dwell on what I like, since the priority is what still needs to be fixed and desired next steps.

    What I consider to be the most important change for sources, is to add the ability to order source situations, something that was missing in version 16 and would be a very welcome addition in 2008. Either by allowing the user to define an overall scheme for ordering all source information or allowing for ordering of sources at the individual level. Solely alphabetical ordering is not desired.

    The biggest fix that I have found is how you attach an existing sources citation to other facts on the SAME individual – the current approach does not allow for a simple drag and drop or other uncomplicated process. The process to locate and attach an source is simple, but unfortunately it is also enormously time consuming … it can easily take 15 minutes to link sources to multiple facts on the same individual (i.e., on the Source tab: 1) select “New”, 2) select “Link to Existing Source Citation”, 3) wait for on the pop-up which automatically defaults to show all sources, 4) change the “View by” to “People”, 5) Wait for over a minute for the entire “People” listing to appear, 6) Scroll to locate the relevant individual, 7) select the ONE fact that you want to merge, 8) start the entire process over again to add that exact source citation to another fact or a different source citation to the same fact.) This is something that will greatly enhance the ability of longer-term users of Family Tree – I know I am hoping for an enhancement since it will greatly assist me to cleaning-up of some source information that were transferred from version 16 to 2008 (i.e., I have MANY source records that I want to link to MANY facts).

    P.S. If your current fix has already resolved some of the reasons 2008 frequently crashes, it would be much appreciated if you could release a Service 2b Pack, while we are waiting on Service Pack 3.

  2. If I enter new data in FTM 16

    I use my keyboard Control + S
    to get into the sources dialog box

    I type three or four letters to select the right source

    return key
    return key

    and use the arrow keys to move to the next child or fact I am entering

    I only need one mouse click to add a new source
    the rest is via keyboard

    all that with tabs and clicks is OK for newbies but so s l o o o w w

    but when I have 20 new marriages to enter in my LAPHAM One-name study
    I have no time for tabs and mouse

    alt P U
    takes me to an empty family sheet for the next unknown couple

    People around the world send me emails listing hteir research and it all has to be typed in

    a family with ten children involves filling in about 70 fields at least

    An FTW document is essentially a text document (by all means add multmedia if you wish)

    and FTM 16 is a highly sophisticated word processor

    I want to be able to use FTM 2008 as if it was an improvement on FTM 16 with all the same keyboard short cuts I have been using for about 8 years

    when FTN 2008 starts I want it to open on exactly the same view that was open when I closed it

    Think Excel for a model for data entry and management

    Hugh W

  3. Michael Schuler

    Let me give you two examples: (both which I have done with FTM 2006 and would not even try with FTM 2008)

    1) You go the a cemetery with 25 members of your family. I (1) Transcibed them (2) Photograph them (3) Record Photo Name for future reference in case of GED Export Etc. With all of this I would create one fact “Burial Photo” and add the burail photo to the photo album. I would then link the album photo with the Source entry for that fact so I would find the photo from if I went into the album and if I just went into the source. I would also copy that source into the Birth Date (assuming the date was on the Stone), Death Date (same), and Name. I would repeat this process for all 25 members of my family and that would be fairly easy with the copy and paste function in FTM 2006 and if not using that like previous people have said I would just type the first few letters and get the source. If FTM 2008, were fast and would keep source focus of the person I was currently looking at it would be useable but it take as much as 20 seconds to build the Person sorts Source table and you would have to do that 4-5 times for each person. I guess you could remember the source name and find it in list and link it but that still take much much longer then the FTM 2006 way. I understand what you are trying to do with the sources and some of it is good but if my machine Pent IV HT 3.0 with 2.0 GB can not run your program at any speed making it useable then you have a problem.

    2) You find I census with people in it that are “Not auto Mergable” it is a similiar process and more complex becuase all of the censuses look the same. Before you would just copy the source and paste it now it is not so easy and again very slow. I merged over 300 censuses last year alone and that is why I am an member to get all that internet content but to source it completily is very difficult and much more time consumming in FTM 2008.

    Like many people have said before, I wonder how many FTM 2006 experts were on the FTM 2008 programming/design team cause these things are seemingly not important to someone who does not use the process hundreds of times in 4 hours but if are it is as clear as day. My concern is that you have choosen a database structure and I am not sure there is anything you can do about it at this poine but me for one am at the point that if you do not then I will be forced to decide if FTM 2008 can be my platform. I for one hope you make the right choice and fix the problems.

    You can never forget one tale from the past that I think make the point. The first versions of Microsoft Word and Office for the Macintosh did not have the short cuts keys like the Windows Version did because the thought was that Mac users used the mouse and would not need the Keyboard shortcuts cause that was for “PC Users” I think if you check now you will find them all in their because even mac users wanted to work as quickly as possible. Some Unix machines the “NeXT” comes to mind had only GUI admin tools and again were regreted becuase to create 1000 of users you would go nuts. The moral of the story is progress .NET is great but solid Computer Science Fedimentals are process understanding is requirements.

    Hopefully you will realize this and fix things


  4. R Maples

    Is there a limit on the number of Sources that can be created in FTM 2008? I have 18,100 names and just under 71,000 Scources and cannot create another Source as FTM 2008 crashes when I try to save a new Source.

  5. Benjamin Nettesheim

    No, there is not a limit to the number of sources that can be added to Family Tree Maker 2008. I know the development team tested that file on their end a few weeks ago and were able to add more. It may be a resources issue with that particular computer. This is an area that is being focused on for the next patch.

  6. R Maples

    Hard to believe that the inability to add Sources is a hardward resource problem as FTM 2008 v is being run on Vista w/a Quad Core processor, 4 GB RAM and 500 GB HD.

    It would be nice to be able to converse with the appropriate tech support people to try to resolve the problem. As one might guess, my genealogy research is, and has been, at a standstill.

  7. Benjamin Nettesheim

    Your right… that certainly doesn’t sound like a hardware problem if that’s the system you’re running. I’ll see if I can get the person that tested your file (and was able to add additional sources) in contact with you.

  8. Michelle Procter

    Why when I’m merging a marriage source (eg 1837-1984 marriage index) from the ancestry website, does the source assign itself to the person’s name and not the shared marriage fact of the couple?? I can’t manually clip the data either as the option for ‘marriage’ doesn’t come up in the list of items to assign to! However, it does work when merging from any other website.

  9. Kathy Marie


    First let me congratulate whoever was responsible for allowing “Media” other than JPEG to be linked to source information without embedding them in the Family Tree Maker Data Base. I have over a thousand Media Items (MS WORD Documents) that I will finally be able to link to the Sources in my FTM Data Base without bloating the data base.

    Unfortunately, however, at this stage of development of FTM 2008 (after Service Pack 2-2) I am not using the system to input new data. I am using Family Tree Maker 2006. I periodically import my data from the 2006 version to FTM 2008 to test FTM 2008 and to “scrub” my 2006 version data . There are just too many issues and problems with FTM 2008 to use it. Hopefully there will come a time when FTM 2008 surpasses the quality and capability of the 2006 version (including the ability to create books without going to Ancestry Press). At that time I intend to switch from the 2006 version to FTM 2008

    As a result of my tests of the FTM 2008 system I have some suggestions that I think will further improve the system. Also, it would be nice (wherever possible) if these suggestions were implemented as “Options.” That is, rather than “hardwire” them directly in the system it is suggested that a check box be placed somewhere so that the user could decide whether they wanted to utilize the “feature” or not to utilize it. In general, as features are being implemented in FTM 2008, I think more option type features are desirable. I think it would reduce the number of users who say they want” it” this way versus other users who say they want “it” another way. I believe user/customer satisfaction with FTM 2008 will improve faster utilizing a feature option approach than with a hardwired (this is the only way you get it) approach


    The Media Groups portion of the system allows me to establish media categories and use the categories to code my media to make them easier to sort and find. The Source Groups portion of the system does not allow me establish source categories. My suggestion is that Source Group categories be added to the system and implemented in exactly the same way as the media categories are. With this additional feature I can code my Sources in exactly the same way as I code my Media and since I have a one-to-one correspondence between my Sources and Media I can very easily see if I have, for example, linked my Sources to My Media and more importantly correctly linked them

    The Media Usage Report is a very handy report. It gives me the Media Name, the File Location of the Media and the Source (including the exact tile of the source). The Source Usage report gives me the Source Title, Repositories and Citations. As part of the Source Title [boxed off in brackets] it shows me that the source includes media item(s), but it doesn’t tell me what those media items are. My suggestion is that another line be added directly under the Source Title line and that it be titled “Media Items” and that the Media Names items be listed there. That way, it would be easier to see, for example, if I have the correct Media Name linked to the correct source. I can’t do this presently since the report does not give me the Media Names. The Source Bibliography Report suffers from the same missing information as the Source Usage Report, That is, it tells me that the source includes media items but does not list them. My suggestion is that the Media items be listed on the report in a similar fashion as my suggestion for the Source Usage Report.

    The technology used in FTM 2008 and other software products for JPEG Media allows me to see a “small” image of the JPEG file within the JPEG Image Icon. Though the Image Icon used for MS Word Documents has been significantly improved in Service Pack 2-2 there is existing technology for much greater improvement. As stated above, all my Media Items are MS Word Documents. These documents are created by obtaining/creating a JPEG of the Source Record and enhancing it via various graphics editing programs. The resulting image is then cropped and pasted into the first page of a MS Word Document. Then various title and other information are added to the first page. A second page is then added discussing, among other things, source information. The end result is, for the most part, a two page MS Word document, not unlike a Media Item in FTM 2008 ——Though my end product is much “prettier.” After creating the document I store it in a Microsoft Windows hierarchical Folder System. I also have “PaperPort Professional” computer software by Nuance installed on my computer and when I want to view any of the documents I use this system. PaperPort is a very good system for doing lots of things, including the ability to look at all my files just like Windows Explorer does. However, the big difference between Windows Explorer and PaperPort is when I look at the MSWord Icons via PaperPort the image (I discussed above as being on the first page) “shines through the Icon” just like it does for a FTM 2008 JPEG Icon. This gives me an easy way to do many things, for example quickly scrolling through folders looking for a particular document I have created. My suggestion is that FTM 2008 be enhanced to include the technology used by PaperPort to create the MSWord Icons. By the way, PaperPort also allows PDF Document Icons to become transparent and allows the first page of the PDF Document to “shine through” the Icon

    This suggestion follows along from the previous suggestion. I suggest that a
    Object Oriented Media Storage Data Base be developed and made an integral but separate part of FTM 2008. In my case mentioned above I would just move my documents from the Microsoft Hierarchical Folder System into this Object Oriented Media Storage Data Base. The Data Base would need to be separate from the FTM 2008 Genealogy Data Base so as not to slow down or overload, etc. the use of the Genealogy Data.

    FTM 2008 would work as it does now except it would “go to” the Object Oriented Data Base to find Media and create links. The data base should be designed to “store” any kind of Object, e.g., Video, Audio, Jpeg, .Doc, PDF, etc. Objects. The Media File on FTM 2008 could be envisioned as a representation of the Object Oriented Media Storage Data Base. Many other features that don’t presently exist in FTM 2008 could be added to the Genealogy Side of the overall separate but integrated system. For example the creation of Source Categories mentioned above would become a part of the system. Suggestions by others to number Sources and Media could be part of the system, so could some “search and find” capability be implemented for Media and Sources. The potential for ideas and improvement on either side of the two data bases (FTM 2008 Genealogy Data Base and the Object Oriented Media Storage Data Base) is only limited by the imagination

    FTM 2008 has the capability to share a “Media Item” You can either share it directly by E-Mailing it to some one or you can export it to a file. However the process for doing this is a “Onesey Twosey” process. If I desire to share say, 10 Media Items I must share them one at a time. When I do this I feel that I am caught in a very time consuming old FORTRAN “Do Loop” iterated 10 times process. To me there is a better approach and it is the approach used by many photo data bases today (Picassa by Google is one example). With these systems I am able to scroll/look at “all” the Photo Icons in my file and use a small box positioned beside each Icon. If I desire to print/mail a particular Photograph I just click on the Icon box. After I have clicked all the ones I desire, I then click the send/print box and the entire batch of photos are sent/printed. I suggest this type of methodology be used for my example given above. All the Icons are already in the Media file and a check the box method for sending/exporting Media Item(s) will save a lot of time and eliminate an existing very frustrating time consuming process.

    The potential for using this “check the box” approach exists in many other places in FTM 2008. For example, it could be used to create and send “Individual Reports” to members of your family. The approach is already used in some cases within FTM 2008, but I suggest that all areas of the system (for example Data Entry) be examined where the one at a time “Onesey Twosey” FORTRAN “Do Loop” process is being used and apply the check the box approach where possible. [These one at a time FORTRAN “Do Loop” processes are of major concern/frustration to the users of the presently configured system and eat up a lot of unnecessary time]

    At the present time no process/methodology has been implemented within FTM 2008 for “sharing” the actual Media. I suggest that one be established and that it should work almost exactly as the check the box method outlined above for sharing “Media Items” The user should have the capability of going to the Media File and checking the box beside each Media desired to be sent/printed/exported. After clicking all the ones desired, the user would then click the send and/or/print and/or export box(es) and the entire batch of media would then be sent (via a zip file or equivalent) and/or printed and/or exported. I realize I can do this today using other software, but it would be much easier and faster to accomplish what I am trying to accomplish without leaving FTM 2008 and opening up one or two other programs to get it accomplished.

    The process for entering data into FTM 2008 is cumbersome and time consuming. First of all the Input Screens/Windows/Forms to me are buried within the system. When I finally get to them they are so small it is difficult to use them (In many cases I have to output the data onto some report in order to see if I have entered it correctly). Also when I finally get to them I must use the “Onesey Twosey” FORTRAN “Do Loop” process to enter the data.

    For example, if I have a census record with say 7 people on it and 3 facts to enter for each person and a source citation to be entered for each fact I have7x(3+3) = 42 fields of data I am trying to enter. However, in order to ensure all source citations are entered I must create a Source Record and then visit that Source Record at least six more times (when I am selecting the correct source for the source citations). And since there are 21 source citations to be made I must visit that Source Record 21 times. Hence in total to enter 21 Facts and create 21 Source Citations I must visit [7x(3+3) + 7×3] = 63 forms before I have finished entering my 42 pieces of data into FTM 2008

    Needless to say this is a very frustrating time consuming process and it is made worse by the smallness of the input forms. Two suggestions are offered to improve this process

    Suggestion 1 (Immediately Implementable and used until suggestion 2 is implemented)
    Each of the present data input forms need to be made stretchable/resizable so the user can easily see the data that is being entered. The ability to keep all three forms open (and available for input) at the same time each in its own window should also be implemented. The forms should be set up so that a user with more than one display monitor could drag any of the three forms to a different monitor. (In my case I have two different monitors and this could save me an untold amount of time in entering the data into the system) This is a minimal suggestion and though it will save a lot of time and make entering data into the system easier it doesn’t completely resolve the “Onesey Twosey” FORTRAN “Do Loop” process

    Suggestion 2
    The “Onesey Twosey” FORTRAN “Do Loop” process can be significantly improved if the input was accomplished via the concept of a spreadsheet.

    The spreadsheet would be set up not to unlike the Source Usage Report that is output for each Source (after all that is what a Source Usage report does —-it shows all the data that has been entered into the system for one Source). Looked at from the input side of the process we are doing nothing more than entering data to create a Source Usage Report for one Source, so why not use that Source Usage/Output report as model for the Input Form.

    The spreadsheet would be scrollable, have the ability to be resized/stretchable at the desire of the user and would be capable of being dragged to another monitor if desired. Most importantly the spreadsheet would stay in front of the user on their display at all times until the user had entered every piece of data that they wanted to enter for the particular source they were documenting. Once the user had entered every piece of data they would then click on a button on the spreadsheet to indicate everything was entered on the spreadsheet input form. The system would then check the entire spreadsheet for accuracy/spelling/consistency and if it found no problems it would then incorporate every piece of data on the spreadsheet into the data base.

    The spreadsheet would have two main parts.

    The top part would be the equivalent of the form for creating a source.

    The bottom part would consist of essentially the “Edit Individual Form” and the “Source Citation Form.” A particular fact the user was trying to document for a person would consist of two sub rows. The first sub row would contain the fact information shown on the Edit Individual Form and the second sub row would contain what is on the Source Citation Form. The spreadsheet would be initially created by telling the system that the user wanted to create a spreadsheet input form. The system would respond by requesting the names of the individuals that would go on the form. The answer would utilize the list of names in the data base and each name the user wanted to have on the form would be indicated by a check the box method. The system would then create an entire spreadsheet input form. As indicated above, the first part of the form would be the lines needed to create a Source. This would then be followed by each of the names for which the user was trying to enter information. Underneath each person there would be two sub rows for documenting one fact and one source citation. [Note: this process is not unlike other programs used to create forms —-MS Word being an example.]

    After the user finished documenting a fact and its associated source citation for an individual the user
    could click on the form and request it to supply two more sub rows to document another fact (again like MS Word) [Note: the source citation space could be made expandable by just continuing to type and the system would automatically add more lines to type in.] The user could move/scroll between persons at will documenting facts and source citations and copying and pasting information as the user saw fit.

    Note the example given above where I would have to visit at least 63 forms is greatly reduced, since I now would only have to visit and use just one form. I still would have to enter 42 fields of data but it would be easier and more efficient than the existing process. Note also the way the present system is set up I have to go and visit the forms and in this process the forms can be thought of as coming to me. Also note the spreadsheet form would have the minimal number of lines in it at any one time and would be completely under control of the user as they incorporated more people into the form or requested more sub rows

  10. Roland Rhoades

    I just upgraded to your new improvements in 2008 and it still doesn’t work. Clicking on create a register report (which I was very thankful to at least see), I just get an hourglass forever and “Program Not Responding”, repeatedly.
    Clicking on one of the contact us for support links, brings up “page not found”.

    I’m so sorry I spent the money on you instead of changing over to Legacy.
    Does anybody really think FTM will ever work again?

  11. Bill Bienia

    Your Senior UI Designer forgot to mention a very fundamental design flaw in the FTM2008 Source model. The major fundamental difference between FTM2008 and its predecessors is that citations in v2008 have a one-to-one relationship to the Source [title], whereas v16 and earlier versions there was a one-to-many (one Master Source to many individual citations) relationship.

    In FTM2008, the Source and the Citation are integral parts of the same “Source-Citation” entity. While there are separate windows to enter the data, i.e. the Edit Source Title window and the Edit Source-Citation window, the bottom line is that there can only be one Citation associated with any one Source Title. This is the reason why the term “Master Source” couldn’t be used – it wasn’t a master source.

    In v16 and earlier, the concept of a Master Source is alive and well. The Master Source is a stand-alone entity, to which many citations could be attached. (It’s interesting that _The Official Guide to Family Tree Maker 2008_ talks about Master Sources, and even spells out that you only have to enter the Master Source once. Was that wishful thinking or a carry over from the v16 functionality?)

    Take an example of a book that is a source. Let’s say that the book has several different page references that relate to a few different people. The title, author, publishing location, publisher and publish date, as well as repository and call number are entered into the Master Source window in v16 or the Edit Source Title window in v2008. But that is where the similarity ends! In v16, I just call up the same Master Source for each person and, in the citation page field, enter the respective page number that contains the appropriate data for that individual.

    In v2008, on the other hand, I have to create a complete duplicate of the Source Title so each source can have an individual citation detail entry for the page number. I cannot call up the source by itself, only as part of a source-citation pair. If I link the source-citation to another person, the source AND the citation must be used as is. If I link to a source-citation and change the page number, the page number is changed in the original citation detail field as well.

    Note: If users are using the v2008 source model in the same manner as they were used to in v16, they could have plenty of mistakes if they didn’t spot this major difference in operation!

    The same problem is encountered for a Census source for a particular city or county, where the source details (year, census level, schedule, county name and state, as well as medium – digital image – and web site) can be created for a “Master Source” record in v16. In the citation page field, I can enter the specifics of the census pertinent to the individual (Enumeration District, ward #, page number, dwelling number, family number, and individual’s name). For a second person in the same jurisdiction, I can re-use the same master source in v16, and just enter the specifics for that individual in the Citation page field. And the third, and the fourth, and on and on. In v2008, I have to create a new separate Source-Citation for each person – either typing the Source Title data in anew each time or copying and pasting the text each time.

    The list of sources that can take advantage of the one-source-to-many citations is virtually endless. Single page, single column documents are about the only ones that couldn’t.

    This one-to-one source-to-citation model may work well for where the download is done as the complete data for an individual entry each time, but for real data entry by people, the one-to-one model requires the Family Tree Maker v2008 user to type the same data over and over and over…

    Please re-evaluate the source-citation model and return to the one-source-to-many citation model that is one of the strengths of relational databases. (Even v16, which I believe was not built on a relational model, had this feature.) While you are at it, please consider changing the name from Source Title to Master Source or even just Source – anything but Source Title. The first field is the Source Title – the whole screen is the leading part of the Source.


  12. Kathy Marie

    Item 12 Posted by Bill Bienna on 17 Dec 2007

    Bill and Ben

    See my comment posted on Dec 5 2007 under item 47 of Service Pack 2 Rev 2
    regarding Individual Report and Documented Facts Report being Incorrect. If I understand what Bill is saying here in Item 12 it is essentially the same thing I reported under item 47 –I came at it a different way and that was from the importing of version 2006 data into FTM 2008 because what it is doing with data from 2006 is incorrectly interpreting it, but I think I now understand is that the whole structure has been changed —which if allowed to remain would change everything that everybody has done up to FTM 2008 — A comment and thought —-If the structure has been changed as Bill points out then a large philisophical change has been needlessly made in the system and I for one will never implement FTM 2008

  13. Kathy Marie

    Further Information on Item 12 Posted by Bill Bienna

    For Bill and Ben

    I further tested FTM 2008 based on info posted by Bill in Item 12 and my comment posted under Item 13

    I set up a one person tree with 3 facts under a Source A and two alternative facts under a Source B. It appears as if I was able to create only one Source A and link the three required source citations to the one source A. Also it appears as if I was able to create only one Source B and link the two required source citations to only one Source B. (Note: my use of the word “appears.”) I have been doing these types of fact, source and source citation documentation for many years and I think I am quite familiar with how to do them correctly. However, to test what FTM 2008 would do with the data I entered I ran a Documented Facts report and an Individual Report. Both of these reports were obviously incorrect and incorrect in the exact areas as I reported in my previous item 47 comment of Service Pack 2 Rev 2. So Ben I agree with Bill something is definitely wrong and as I have previously said I think the development team should look at this and compare exactly what Family Tree Maker 2006 does versus FTM 2008 (See My Item 47 for further details) If they do this I am sure they too will find that fixes need to be made. And Bill, sorry for busting into your Item 12 comment, but this is a very important problem

  14. karen

    >>In FTM2008, the Source and the Citation are integral parts of the same “Source-Citation” entity. While there are separate windows to enter the data, i.e. the Edit Source Title window and the Edit Source-Citation window, the bottom line is that there can only be one Citation associated with any one Source Title.

  15. Benjamin Nettesheim

    This is a great discussion and I appreciate the time everyone puts into reading and reacting to the posts.

    One item I am trying to understand is the statement that there can only be one Citation associated with any one Source Title in Family Tree Maker 2008. That is not correct.

    A user can create one “Source Title” and add unlimited “Source-Citations” that use that “Source Title.”

    You can associate unlimited “Source-Citations” with a single “Source Title” just as you could with a “Master Source” in v16. Each time you create a new “Source Citation” you simply select the “Source Title” you want to use. The model for “Source Titles” is the same as the one for “Master Sources” in v16.

  16. Kathy Marie


    Following is to clarify what I have previously said

    FTM 2008 is definitely INCORRECTLY interpreting source/source citation data exported from Family Tree Maker 2006 into FTM 2008. The Individual Report and the Documented Facts Report produced by FTM 2008 from the Family Tree Maker 2006 exported data are both INCORRECT (which probably means other outputs are incorrect —-but I have not investigated this). For a fuller explanation of this and some suggestions see my item Number 47.

    The following was extracted from Ben’s comment number 16

    A user can create one “Source Title” and add unlimited “Source-Citations” that use that “Source Title.”

    You can associate unlimited “Source-Citations” with a single “Source Title” just as you could with a “Master Source” in v16. Each time you create a new “Source Citation” you simply select the “Source Title” you want to use. The model for “Source Titles” is the same as the one for “Master Sources” in v16.

    I think I agree with Ben’s above statement because that is exactly what I was trying to do and reported on in Item 14. The problem was (and still is) that I was not sure I was successful. The reason I don’t know whether I was successful or not is when I ran the Individual Report and the Documented Facts Report from FTM 2008 I got exactly the same type errors I got when I exported my data base from Family Tree Maker 2006 to FTM 2008 and then printed the reports in FTM 2008.

    My guess is Ben is probably correct in his above statement, but the software errors the system has in it when translating the data and printing the reports does not allow me to say for a fact that Ben is correct. I think the software needs to be fixed ASAP for the types of errors I reported under Item 47 and then rerun the reports using both data exported into FTM 2008 from 2006 and data input directly into FTM 2008. I think at that stage you will be able to tell if Ben is correct

  17. Michael Schuler

    Merging Source Titles from merged items from

    I have been working through the new source model in FTM 2008 and for Sources under my complete control I have been able to figure it out and must say as someone how keeps Cemetery Photos for most of the people in my tree is makes the process much easy becusae the can creats I Source Title for the Cemetery itself (with general photos of the gates etc) and then Source items for each of the grave markers. This can be created before they are linked so I can go to a cemetery adn then come back and each all of the photo and link them as I get to them. I also put GPS Coors for the Cemetery in the Source Title from Google Earth so me and whoever will always know where it is, but these are sources that I have complete control of the model and the data input.

    I also do a lot of merging and with these sources I do not have the same level of control and I am lost for any good ideas.

    Problems: has switched the Repository it uses I have:

    I understand how to merge the these repositories into one but that only fixes put of the problem. If you import some 1850 Censuses from one source and some from the other it creates Two Source Titles and unless I am missing something there is no way to merge this into one source title so that it is clean. I am looking for a solution to make these neat. I have merged censuses for 2-3 years now and has changed their source info about 3-4 times so cleaning all that up in addition is a pain.

    I am not looking for the answer of merge it yourself becuase I believe if you ( develop a process you should think it through enough to understand that if you are going to change things all the time at least give us the option of merging sources so we can fix your mess. Also I have call both and FTM Tech Support and this is way over their head currently and they have no interest in even understanding why it is a problem.



  18. Benjamin Nettesheim

    From our Senior UI Designer:

    “There is a significant difference in the way that 2008 handles sources that may be confusing some people. Previous to 2008, if you wanted to cite a particular source many times, you had to create many instances of it, even if each citation was exactly the same. In these cases, you would re-use the master source each time but you would end up with many copies of the same information. Then when this information was printed in reports, each source-citation would be printed separately even though many of them were exact copies. This was a breakdown for many people in a couple of ways:

    · If you ever wanted to change the citation, you had to change every copy

    · The exact same information would needlessly be printed many times

    When you import your file into 2008, Family Tree Maker can detect if a source-citation is an exact copy. If it is an exact copy, Family Tree Maker will simply link to the existing one instead of creating another copy. Nothing is lost because the source-citation with the exact same information is linked to every instance where an exact copy was used before. Now only one source-citation may need to be printed where many were printed before. That is why printed reports in 2008 may have many facts with the same source-citation. This wasn’t possible previously. When citing sources in 2008 you always have a choice: 1) you can create a new citation every time (and re-use your source title many times) as you did with version 16 or 2) you can link to an existing source-citation multiple times.

    By the way, the ability to easily copy and paste source-citation copies or links is something we’re working to get back into the program.”

  19. Benjamin Nettesheim

    Kathy Marie,

    It does appear that some of the issues you mentioned with reports are valid, but they are issues with reports – not sources.

    The Family Tree Maker team has informed me that they are working on this. Thank you for the input!

  20. Athea

    The terminology that TGN uses is confusing and non-standard in the research community. In the world at large, there is no such thing as a “source-citation”. Sources and citations are two separate things — linked but separate. “Source” describes the work where the information was found and a citation provides details about a specific piece of information found in the work.

    I no longer have FTM2008 (I found it unacceptable and returned it after 2 weeks) but when I was trying to use it, I could not figure out how to create a source separate from a citation. Comments here and elsewhere indicate that a large number of users are having the same problem. I would suggest that either the design is not intuitive enough or the actual function does not correspond with what the designed specified. Either way, someone needs to go back and figure out how to make it more usable.

  21. Benjamin Nettesheim

    In regard to the question about merging source titles:

    Source titles and repositories both employ the same model for replacing one source title or repository with another.

    Choose “Manage Sources” from the “Edit” menu
    Select the source title you want to replace
    Click the “Replace” button
    Select the source title you want to keep (this title will replace the one selected in step 2)
    After clicking “OK” a message will appear to confirm this action
    Click “Yes” to invoke the replace

    All instances of the initially selected source title will be replaced with the second one. This procedure also works from the “Manage Repositories” dialog for replacing repositories.

  22. Michael Schuler

    Ben Thanks for the information. I am not here to just beat on and FTM but I will say that I have asked at least two different poeple in tech support and was told it could not be done.

    I unlike many am beginning to like this new source model and I understand it might be non-standard but I do not much care about that. I have spent about 20-30 hours the last 3 or 4 days trying to figure this system out and as well trying to figure out how I am going to use it and after that a few things come to mind:

    1) The method suffers from a lack of information and examples of use beyond a “second grade” level. I believe a lot of time was put in design this source system but very little time explaining it and not everyone, fortunatily I do, has a database or programming background.

    2) The import process from FTM 2006 to FTM 2008 is only “half way”. Becuase of the complete change in model the imported sources are a mess and without good knowledge of the new system people panic and get “mad”. I do not know much about the accept practices of sources so I am not saying this is inline with that but it does handle modern problems in sourcing that the internet and photography have created, but again people have to know how to use it and have tech support people that understand it before all will accept it.

    3) FTM 2008.559 is much better but still has memory leak and performance issues and when re-arranging sources I have crashed at least 2-3 times a day so a continued effert to clean that up sooner rather then later would also help.

    I will say in closing if you are willing to take a source like cemetery amrkers and work in up all the way through the source system what they are trying to do becomes clear but that example should exists for people to see. Also, people should be informed that they are going to have to do a lot of work to get their sources functional after a FTM 2006 import and I believe that if they knew why they had to do it and that it would be easier after that they would be happy. I for one am become much happier and working through it right now. I am greatful that you Ben are here and taking the time to get the information out and I look forward to completily understanding this system and having it completely converted.

    Finally fixing the Memory leaks and Database Speed issues should be JOB #1, but if you contimue to hopifully faster get the word out and fix the problems the end result will be a better program and for me source model then FTM 2006 even if it is not like the “research norms.”



  23. Rick B

    I would like to suggest that on the PERSON tab in the source panel on the right hand side that the NEW drop down box have a new option besides the existing ones for NEW and LINK TO EXISTING. The new option would be LINK TO LAST. This would take you to the last source-citation created or linked and then you can just hit OK or CANCEL. This, in my opinion, would cut down on the clicks and key strokes.

  24. Bill Bienia

    I was incorrect – there is a one-to-many relationship – one source-to-many citations.

    However, I stand by my statement that there is only a one-to-one (source-to-citation) relationship when relating to facts. More accurately, it is a one-to-one-to-many relationship – one source-to-one citation-to-many facts! A truly bizarre implementation.

    My confusion comes from the use of a Source-Citation in FTM2008 as an entity that you can apply to any number of facts. In FTM v16, as well as other programs I use, a Source is applied to a fact, to which a separate and individual Citation is added for each fact. Even if I copy the Source and Citation data to another fact, a new individual citation is created for the second fact – which can be edited separately from any other citations.

    Part of the problem that led me to that statement was when I clicked on the Link to an Existing Source-Citation, FTM2008 brings up a “Find Source” window. In that window, it lists Source-citations in the list on the right side. You can see the contents of the Source-citation by hovering the mouse over the citation, EXCEPT that the citation shown is incomplete! The Citation Text is not display, only the Source-Citation detail is shown. Hence, all the Source-Citations in the list are the Source-Citation “entities”. It is misleading since there is no way to tell one from the other because the display is incomplete. Also, the title of this box is Find Source, not Find Source-Citation – also adding to the confusion. You can arrange the display by Source Titles, etc., but the content in the main display area is the Source-Citation.

    Another eccentricity (?) of the FTM2008 interface is that in the person view, you add or link Source-citations through a “Sources” tab. Even though you add or link to Source-Citations, the data displayed in the panel in the Source tab when you hover the mouse pointer over the item is the Source data, not the Source-citation that you linked to. This is bizarre because it only shows Sources, but you can only add or link to Source-Citations! A total disconnect in the interface design.

    In the Sources workspace, incomplete Source-citation is displayed in the Reference note box. As I reported earlier, the Citation text does not appear in the Reference Note box in the Manage Sources window or in the Edit Source-Citation pop-up window.

    All in all, I stand by my statement that Sources and Source-citations form a one-to-one relationship within FTM2008. The one-to-many relationship is not Source to facts as in FTM v16 or other programs, but rather Source-Citation to fact.

  25. Bill Bienia

    RE: Number 19

    If FTM2008 can detect identical citations (something that computer programs are good at) when importing a file, why not just detect these identical when printing reports and lump them to gether ot use Ibid like the other programs. Instead FTM2008 uses a bizarre “one Source-to-one Citation-to-many Facts” relationship model. THis couples with the fact the the display of data is incomplete (Citation text not displayed), it is going to take users a while to get used to this oversimplification of sources to get around a very simple algorithm to detect idential Source Citations that you admit has already been developed for the import of files in FTM2008. Totally bizarre.

  26. Bill Bienia

    Further to Number 19:
    The developers made an assumption that a Source Citation, once entered, will never change again. Anyone who knows genealogy knows that there is nothing cast in stone – citation data can be entered incorrectly, etc. When an error is detected in FTM v16 (or other programs that use a one-source-to-many-facts model), you just change the related citation data and all is fixed.

    In FTM2008, you apply the same fix, the user has to unlink the Source citation from the fact, then add a new Source-Citation for the existing Source to the fact.

    This is progress?

  27. Benjamin Nettesheim

    I don’t want to get into too much of a back-and-forth discussion, but I am still trying to make sure we are clear as to what Family Tree Maker 2008 can or can not do in regard to sources.

    1. There is a one-to-one relationship between source titles and source-citations.
    This is just not correct. You can create many source-citations associated with a single source title.

    2. FTM2008 uses a bizarre “one Source-to-one Citation-to-many Facts” relationship model
    In our testing most users have found this to be a very useful model. With 2008 you can create separate sources for each fact or link many facts to one.

    3. You cannot change source-citations in 2008 but you must unlink them and create a new ones.
    You can easily edit or change any source-title or source-citation in FTM2008. In fact if you use the link model it will require much less changing than was required in FTM v16.

    A sourcing demonstration may be in order for our next Webinar. I am taking notes and will be asking for other demonstration suggestions before we finalize those Webinar plans.

  28. Athena

    “In our testing most users have found this to be a very useful model. With 2008 you can create separate sources for each fact or link many facts to one.”

    This Ben, is an excellent example of the confusion in terminology being used by TGN. Although you refer here to a “source”, I suspect you actually mean a citation. After all, we already had the ability to link to the same source as many times as necessary in FTM16. As I understand things, the key in FTM2008 is that it is suppose to support linking to the same citation multiple times without actually duplication.

    I recommend that representatives of TGN refrain from using “source” as shorthand for the TGN-only notion of a “source-citation. If you are referring to the “citation”, then say that. If it really is the “source” you are talking about here, then please explain where the concept of “Master Source/ Source Title” fits.

  29. Benjamin Nettesheim

    Your comment on terminology is very helpful. Some of us have mistakenly used the term “source” as a shortened version of “source-citation”, and your point of clarification is a very good one. In previous versions of FTM as in version 2008 you could in fact link many times to a source (meaning master source or source title). Now in FTM 2008 you can also optionally link many facts to a single source-citation. Thanks for catching this and for your clarification. We’ll be more careful to use these terms correctly in the future.

  30. Kathy Marie


    I hate to tell you this, but another report is incorrect in FTM 2008.

    When you create a Family Goup sheet and indicate you want to include BOTH PREFERRED AND ALTERNATE FACTS AND TO ALSO INCLUDE SOURCES AS END NOTES it doesn’t do it correctly.

    It appears as if the errors are only related to the alternate names of the people (Just like the other reports I previously indicated were incorrect),but I didn’t check this.

    The report lists the preferred name of the person in the body of the report and gives the correct number of the source. If an alternate name is spelled exactly the same as the preferred name it lists that alternate source number next to the preferred name source number

    And then in the sources portion of the report (at the end of the report) it lists the source and source number for the preferred name (which is correct.)and if an alternate name was spelled exactly like the preferred name it lists that source and number (I guess this way of referencing an alternate name that is spelled exactly the same as the preferred name is technically correct, but to me it is a confusing way of doing it)

    But then the report goes on to list the source for each alternate name that was spelled differently than the preferred name and and gives a reference number for each of these sources — BUT, THERE IS NOTHING IN THE MAIN BODY OF THE REPORT THAT HAS THE REFERENCE NUMBER SHOWN AND IT IS REFERENCING SOMETHING IN THE MAIN BODY OF THE REPORT THAT IS NOT THERE (OF COURSE IT IS REFERENCING THE ALTERNATE NAMES THAT IT DIDN’T INCLUDE IN THE REPORT.)

    I guess my suggestion, one more time, is that the developers check each and very output they are creating from FTM 2008 and compare it to the output they would get with the same data from Family Tree Maker 2006. This would be one way to check to see if the software was written correctly. I would have thought that someone was doing this, but it looks as if they are not

  31. Michael Schuler

    Let me try and help Ben out and also see if I have my hands around this new model.

    I have over 300 Grave Photos of my direct family. I have over 200 Great and Great-Great Aunt and Uncle so it is a lot of work. I have been looking for a way to source all of the photos and keep them in a form that I can organize them by person and also by cemetery so if I go to a cemetery I will know exact what I already have and included in the program. I was putting them into the scrapbook in FTM2006 and sourceing them with a single entry for each cemetery but that does not allow me to know what people a have in a cemetery cause the records are trid up with the poeple and no complete list of them exist anywhere in FTM 2006.

    In FTM 2008 the model is different and after spending about 10-15 figuring it out and studing it a “light bulb” went off and I came up with the following as an example of the power of the FTM 2008 Source model.

    REPOITORY – Cemetery Photo and Transcription Collection

    I created a repoitory for my Cemetery Collection as a whole. There might come a point when I have my many that I will break it by state or something but for now it is ok as one.


    One for each cemetery that I have records for. Example:

    Source Title: Lakeview Cemetery, Brookline, Hillsborough, New Hampshire, USA

    Author: Photographed and Transcribed by Michael Schuler

    Publisher Location: Latitude: 42°54’55.60″N Latitude: 74°56’22.42″W

    Media: Photos of the Sign of the Cemetery and any other General Photos

    (I got the GPS Location from Google Earth and this allows the Source to contain the location so 20-30 years from now people will know where to find it. This is important for me becuase I have a lot of farm cemeteries and ones that are privatily owned)

    CITATION DETAILS: Contains a general description of the stone

    EXAMPLE: Smith, John A & Family Grave Marker

    I then include in the media a picture of the stone and date photographes and comments in the media details. I also have created a Grave Marker Media group so they can be found that way as well in the media search.

    CITATION TEXT: For my purposes I am a semi-pro photographer so I have thousands of pictures and wanted I the photo name to print in my report so I put it in here.

    EXAMPLE: Photograph DSCN7089

    but I may add the transcript of the stone wither one or both makes sense. You can at that point turn on or off the Source Citation Text being in the source Reference Note.

    That in a nut shell is what I have done but there are some things you should know about how I use the method.

    1) I can print the Media Details and put that in my hard copy book and it will contain the full source info, photo name, and transcript if I include them. Before I was doing a loe of double work cause there was nothing in FTM 2006 that was easily get the same results.

    2) I can go to a cemetery and take 30 pictures and add them all in the source tab and connec them to people after cause I have tons of pictures and was losing track of them and have the time to take the pictures but so not always have enough time to add them to the people at the same time. Plus just being able to add all the picture one after the other just speeds up the process.

    I am not trying to say that anything is running like a top cause SP2Rev2 still has some issues but take another look at the source model and think about using the model and you may find (if you can figure it out without documentation another problem) that FTM did think alot of the media and internet based world and that their source model would have to allow that to be sourced. It still works with standard books and old school sources but also expand to source new school sources and places. I understand that CITATION-TEXT is not a standard field but how many times have you found a website that is well-sourced and valuable but 12 month later it is no longer there. In that world having the full text allows the source be be valueable 10-15 years from now and also transcribe photo and other media.

    I for one like the new model and it is true that getting a FTM 2006 model imported is not a easy job to get it converted but I think if you really look at it whose completed it is well worth it. Cuase Censuses, Obits, Military Records, and other things can be done in the dame way as Cemetery Listing

    Take another look at it. They need to fix some things still be the source model is not one of them at least by my way of thinking. Better trained Tech People and Documentation would be nice be the model works



  32. After cleaning up the many unlinked source-citations which I only discovered after importing my file into FTM 2008, I had many duplicate citations under the various sources. I marked the ones that had fewer entries with a letter d at the end to indicate that it was to be deleted. Then I went to the entry’s page and attached the person to the citation without the “d” (the one that I was keeping). Then I unlinked the person from the citation with the d. After doing that to any and all entries under the citations to be deleted, I then deleted the now empty citation.

  33. I can’t tell what a tremendous time saver it would be if FTM would remember the last source linked to by the user. It is a huge pain to dig through the Source-Citation list over and over for the exact same line as you link multiple facts to that source. If the menu had something akin to a history option, such as “Link to Existing Source-Citation: Last Linked Source,” a whole lot of needless scrolling could be avoided.

  34. Kathy Marie

    For Will Campbell and his item 34
    Posted on: December 26, 2007 at 5:20 pm


    See Item 10 in this same section of the Blog Posted on: December 16, 2007 at 6:56 am Titled:


    I share your frustration. Item 10 has a few suggestions to handle this problem including a spreadsheet concept to minimize it and make data entry very very simple

  35. Kev

    My FTM2008 would not even load, it crashed every time I tried to run it after about 20 seconds, on both my laptop (XP SP2) & my desktop pc (Vista) so I’ve gone back to FTM 2006. I’m told that the coding in FTM2008 is not compatible with lots of software generally but for it not to work at all is strange. A patch would be a good idea?

  36. WClayton43

    I opened 2008 just to return to this Blog and see if any progress was being made from what is an unusable system. It appears little has changed and folks are complaining about the same stuff. Let me try to get a couple of simple point across and maybe you can communicate it to every single programmer:
    1. Any time you require a experienced Genealogist to click a mouse for ANYTHING, you have made a mistake in programing. OK to allow it for inexperienced or new uwers. For the experienced folks you have slowed us down.
    2. Make certain an experienced user can UNDO and also DELETE any action or record. EASILY!
    2008 abounds with examples of both problems.

  37. Daniel Osiedacz

    I recently discovered an issue with some of my citations from When I link information from, within FTM 2008, it does a great job of also downloading an image file of the original source. After doing this for a while, I went into my media section so I could catagorize my media. When in there I noticed that some of the images are no longer the ones that downloaded at the time I downloaded the source citation.

    For example, the citation may say that it is a 1930 census record from Iowa, but the actual image now attached is one I downloaded later as a source citation for 1880 census in Ohio.

    Would there be a reason for this? I hate the idea of random citations now having the wrong image attached.

  38. Jessica Franks

    I am having the same difficulty with entering souce information as has been discussed on the blog. The explanation that Mike gave (Blog32) seemed fairly straight forward and easy. Since I have several hundred cemetery markers to enter, I decided to try his technique which is used to show that a one to many relationship does exist. I have spent several hours earlier in the week and again this afternoon. I created the source title to be the name of the cemetery just as Mike did. I then added the same information that he used for each of the fields, only used pertinent information for my family line. I was able to add the photo to the media and link it to the proper individual. I then changed the citation details and citation text to correspond to the next photo and linked that to the second individual. When I go back and click on the like for the source for the first individual, the souce now gives the information I entered for the second individual. I added a third citation, and it still worked the same. What I want to do is to have one source – Village Mills Cemetery. The information in the citation details and citation text will change for each individiual. Mike indicates that there is a way to do this without creating a single source for a single photo. I just cannot get it to work.

    Unfortunately, I have entered data into Family Tree Maker for 2 years now and never entered sources for information unless I could use the “merge” feature. The reason was I could not understand how to create the sources. I purchased Elizabeth Strawn Mills recent book Evidence Explained. I can write sources using this all day long in a word processor, but that does not do me any good because I need the information to be located in Family Tree Maker.

    I too have noticed that when I exported my family file from ftm 2006 to ftm 2008 that the sources are not properly linked. This is of concern to me as well because I do not know how to easily fix the problems. The people on the blog seem to be seasoned pros and they are having difficulty.

    My research is at a stand-still until I can learn how to do sources and to fix the problems that the export caused.


  39. Ray Smith

    I just loaded FTM 2008. I have never been so disappointed with any FTM version as with 2008. It’s slow. It crashes. It takes forever to reload from a recovery. There are no control keys (control+s, in particular). I’ll give it a few more days but this is frustrating. Maybe I need a break since I just rolled over 20,000 individuals in the DB.

  40. Jack Ruetty

    Just purchased 2008 – imported from 2005 – everything went well except I have what I think are thousands of screwed up sources.

    The source information came over as garbage (literally little rectangles on the screen). In the source tab at the bottom of the list on the left (a list of all sources) the last entry says “unlinked”. The source citation then in the middle of the screen is either garbage, garbage and partial citations, or full citations with no garbage.

    Realistically there are too many to fix.

    All the other negative issues seem to not exist (at least in my very limited time of using 2008). Speed is OK and the screen though different is workable. I need to explore this more.

    Another problem I just thought off. I do use TMG version 6.12. It would not let me import from that either. Got an error.

    Any help would be appreciated


  41. Jack Ruetty

    As a further update – played around and discovered the following:

    If the original 2005 piece of data had only one source then the source information came over to 2008 just fine.

    If the original 2005 piece of data had multiple sources then the first source imported fine but every other source was garbled.

    Thanks for any help

  42. Jack Ruetty

    As a further update – went back to 2005 and exported my file as version 11 (as per advice found here) – I am not sure what I would have lost exporting from 2005 to version 11 BUT this did take care of my sources issue. All sources now came over perfectly (as least as far as I can see)


  43. Re: FTM 2008 is slow to use I agree with most of waht Hugh Watkins said.

    Additionally, the Facts are added from the “Person” tab-view but the “Hints” are on the “Family tab-view. So when reviewing “Hints” unless you have secondary source for showing the recorded “Facts” compared to the “Hints” – I have too often added redundent facts just to deleted them later.

  44. Karen Dean

    I was trying to enter sources last night. I wanted to enter “US census” and then put the sources for each year. I had to enter a NEW source for EACH one instead of attaching the source to US CENSUS. I don’t understand why it changed.
    In Scrapbook we could organize the pictures by date. How do we move them in 2008?
    Also I can’t import FTM from CD. I have a new laptop and don’t have 2005 on it. That is the way I imported on my PC>

  45. Lee Martin

    I like the sourcing; however, I found if I try to change a source to fit a particular individual (for example change a vol. number and page number or even with a different repository), the change I did goes global. I don’t like that particularly if I’m putting death records and birth records with different repositories.

    Are there going to be fixes for this type of problem for Family Tree Maker 2008? I know I don’t have that type of problem with The Master Genealogist.

  46. Karen Dean

    I just found that when I import a file in 2008 that it doubles or 10 times the sources. One file in 2005 was 2700 and in 2008 it went to 4800. Another was 275 and went to 2790. The extra sources are gibberish!!!!!!!!! I took out some of them; but they can only be deleted ONE at a time and 2500 is TOO MUCH AND TAKES TOO LONG A TIME

  47. Michelle Procter

    On several occasions, during a web merge, FTM2008 has crashed and then any source information from that merge becomes corrupt. If you try to delete the source the program shuts down, if you try to assign the source to another individual, the program shuts down. The only option is to ‘never’ try and use that source again, or restore a backup file from prior to the web merge – very frustrating!

  48. Patricia Robbins

    I have lost all my family files. I am using FTM2005. Do you know how to get technical support from the company to see if they can be recovered?

  49. Athena

    Has anyone tried to use FTM17 with the newly released California Voter Registration database? One (of several) problem I noticed is that there is no source information included when you merge a record from that database. Another was that even when you go to the web site in an external browser (so that you can actually see what is going on) there isn’t much there to help you compose a valid citation manually.

  50. Keri

    The best part of FTM 2008 had been the ease at which it easily merged facts, sources and media.

    Notice that I said “had” past tense. Suddenly two days ago, FTM locked up while merging. The screen went white. After waiting several minutes, I finally had to reboot the computer to get out.

    After that it would only save the fact not the source or the media. Even though, the merge confirmation was displayed for both person and media.

    Today, I uninstalled and reinstalled the program. It still won’t save the source or media when merging data.

    To say the least, I am also very disappointed in FTM 2008. Why in the world would a company release a program that had not been thoroughly tested and still requires work? Good way to drive off loyal customers!

  51. Daniel Osiedacz

    Just another comment to go with my initial one regarding the media that is merged when using sources. It seems that the TMP file names that are used for the source images, are reused at some point. On many of my sources that have been merged from, if I look at the Media Detail, all the info in the Detail part seems to be correct, but the actual TMP image that is linked is no longer correct.

    When I find a Media Detail that is linked to the wrong TMP file, I can read that image to figure out what it really is. Then when I go to the media detail that it really belongs to, I see that both are linked to the same image. I can’t seem to figure out what exactly causes it, but I have been merging items one at a time, then checking to see what is using the new file. Maybe I’ll figure it out.

    There doesn’t seem to be an easy way of updating the images linked, without deleting them and then remerging the source info.

    That leads to another issue I found. If I merge multiple sources that use the same image from, I end up with different source citations that all use the same Media Detail and the same actual image file. This is great, but I noticed that each time I merge one of these records, that FTM actually downloads another TMP image file, it just doesn’t use it. I think that multiple source citations that use the same image should use the same image, but FTM shouldn’t be downloading the extra TMP.jpg files.

  52. Linda Henry

    Anyone know the difference in the Family Tree Maker you buy thru Ancestry and Family Tree Maker “Deluxe” you find in the stores for $69-70 dollars?

  53. Gary Violette

    It would be nice if entering data in the source field and clicking the return key, did not cause the program to stop working so often.

  54. John D. Leith

    Exporting sources into a small FTW file created from a large main file:

    … When I export a small family, or just one single person, into a new FTW file, the new file contains ALL my 5,000 or more source citations from my large main file! The new small exported file ought to include ONLY those source citations [from the MasterFile of all citations in my main file] that are pertinent to the newly created exported small FTW file. Two reasons: (1) Exporting the entire source citation list makes the new file too large and unwieldy, takes longer to export and for a recipient to import, and takes more space on the recipient’s computer. (2) I don’t want “just anyone” to see certain source citations which my impact on their or some related family’s sensitive interfamily quarrels, etc. This could cause them unnecessary pain and embarrassment.
    … I have called this to FTM’s attention several times over the past 10 years or so, and have never received any reply. I would appreciate hearing from someone that FTM will work on fixing up this problem for future versions of FTM. I use FTM 11 and FTM 16 currently.
    … Thank you, John D. Leith, 3/12/2008

  55. Robbie

    I am not certain, but hope this is the correct place for this comment. I am extremely frustrated with this program. The concept is excellent, but the execution seems to leave a great deal to be desired.
    1. Frequent crashes. I note others have mentioned this. The program seems to shut down for no rhyme or reason. By that I mean there is no particular action which causes the program to crash. It may perform the action 10 times and then crash on the 11. It may refuse to perform the action once without crashing.

    2. I have spoken with technical support at least 10 times. I have been told to disconnect my security software and reinstall. Made no difference.

    3. One tech, Torey, has been most successful in solving my problems. He walked me through a complicate procedure which required me to open the registry editor to remove data, then reinstall. But be sure the program doesn’t reboot. Add the patch manually running as administrator. All of that seemed to work. Still had crashed, but not as frequently. AND the merge function worked. By that I mean I was able to add the source and the media from the Ancestry website. Then it quit working. Now I am smart enough that I kept the procedure and did it again. This time it didn’t work. So I called tech support again. I was told to disable my security software. OK, don’t think it will work, but I will do it. OF course, it did not work.
    During the course of the last phone call, I was told to perform a clean boot and see if that solved the problem. Well, right now, I have nothing but the microsoft services enabled. I rebooted FTM 2008 and tried to merge data. SAME result. The fact merges, the data and the media do not.

    Now I personally believe that the frequent crashes have corrupted my data base (AGAIN)and therefore the thing doesn’t run correctly. But perhaps I am wrong about that. There does not seem to be any function available to check the database other than the one which comes up after the program crashes and before it restarts. I don’t if it really finds any problems or not. I guess I am pretty angry and you have caught the flack. PLEASE HELP

  56. Robbie

    Ben, I guess I will add this. Your website says tech support is available M-F 9:00 AM to 7:00 Eastern. When you call in it says 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM Eastern. Which is it?

  57. Richard Worth

    In am still using ver 11, I purchased ver 2008 but have had no luck getting it to work. I am thoughly (sp) discusted with 08. There was no instruckion booklet with 08. How can I return 08 since it’s no good. My ver 11 is sooooo much better…

  58. Paul S. Peterson

    See 080414-000379 dtd: 4/14/2008
    080423-000867 dtd: 4/23/2008
    in responce to
    080313-001186 dtd: 3/13/2008.

    They gave it the Status of “Solved”.
    However, I still can’t load my file ‘PaulTree.FTW’ into Tree Maker 2008 V17.0.0.559 error free. The PaulTree File Stats; File Size: 1256116KB, Individuals: 165522, Marriages: 60559, Text Records: 1405541 From FTM V16.0.350. It runs perfectly fine in Family Tree Maker 2006 V16.0.350.


  59. I am an heir to albert harrison johnson, and luthera van duzen, I am a grand daughter of john thomas peery jr. lillie may johnson is my great grand mother.

  60. sheila

    i have asked repeatedly over many years how to download my tree onto a disk. i tried everything you said. i used a cd-rw, the family tree maker etc…i need someone to tell me EXACTLY what to do.

    thanks in advance

    s smith

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