Posted by Ancestry Team on May 28, 2008 in Family Tree Maker

I wanted to make everyone aware of our next Family Tree Maker Webinar. It is open to the public and is scheduled for June 5th at 8:00 p.m. EDT (2 a.m. June 6th Greenwich Mean Time).

The following items are scheduled to be presented:
• Find and Replace
• Filtering Features
• Working with media
• Sources and Source Citations
• Searching anywhere on the Web

There will be a 20-minute Q&A session afterward.

To attend the webinar, you must first register here.

Duff Wilson will be presenting and yours truly will be moderating. We hope everyone will be able to attend and look forward to having a great presentation and discussion.


  1. Peter Mason

    Thanks for informing us of this – of course living in the UK, unless I wish to stay up all hours of the night attending this is impractible. Will this webinar be available to watch after the event as in previous events?

  2. Benjamin Nettesheim

    Thanks for the clarification!

    And yes, an archive of the Webinar will be made available for review or for those that are unable to attend the live version.

  3. Phillip A. Skiles

    Jim, the time difference between EDT and GMT is 5 hours.
    hence if 8pm, EDT = 1 am GMT

  4. Tony Cousins

    Sorry Jim
    The time difference between East cost USA and England is 5 hours – how do I know this? I make 2 calls to England from Central Time each weeekend – at the moment there is a 6 hour time difference.

    So unless things change dramatically between now and tomorrow or there is more than 1 hour time difference between Central and East coast – the webinar will start at 1:00 AM in the UK.

    You forget that the UK also changes time from GMT in the summer, even the Brits do it:)

    UK is now on Summer / Daylight Saving Time (NOT GMT) British Summer Time 2008 in force until: Sunday 26 October 2008 01:00 GMT

    Try this link for the explanation –

  5. Jim


    Thanks for the link. I think the confusion is that the UK is not on GMT during the summer but something called British Summer Time (BST) which is 5 hours different.

    GMT does not change.


    EST = GMT – 5 = BST – 5
    EDT = GMT – 4 = BST – 5

    So you are correct in that the UK time for the webinar is 1 am but it is BST and not GMT.

  6. Danielwilmoth

    I just installed FTW 2008 yesterday. I had heard there were some problems with the software, but I never imagined the depth of the troubles. I thought it was just because the interface had changed.

    Dead slow, like walking in Jello.

    Very disappointing…

    Just curious but why are there Cemetery Names in the Locations area???

    The “Resolve All Place Names” function needs a major over haul. Sloooowwwww….

    I hope that when FTW 2009 comes out, the current users (sufferers) of FTW 2008 get a free upgrade.

  7. Annette Alpers

    I am thoroughtly fed up with this program. I have tried to get on the webinar for two days and have only succeeded in giving myself a headache. How do we get answers to our questions? Please, please, please.

  8. pcaverly

    I didn’t make the June 5th Webinar but have just listened to the presentation. I am trying to hang on with FTM but it is difficult. I can’t get into using FTM2008 and still use Ver. 16. I keep hoping FTM2008 will become better to the point I will use the program but you may have lost me and others all together. I recently attended a one hour presentation on Legacy 7.0 and was impressed. I have both FTM and Leggacy on my computer but as mentioned still continue to use Ver. 16. I will continue to monitor advancements on these programs and will sooner or later move into using one or the other full time.

  9. Pat Blanchard

    Fabulous Webinar! I have been able to incorporate the tips given into my own use of FTM2008 and am extremely pleased with the results. I wasn’t using the web search to full advantage before, and now I’m really zipping along beautifully. Since loading Patch 3, I have not encountered any problems, and am switching back and forth from Internet searches to my tree seamlessly. I am also happy about the announcement that those that have stuck it out with FTM2008 will get FTM2009 free. Looks like sticking with the product’s potential and participating in the beta tests has paid off in a big way for everyone. I, for one, think this is a very elegant software package. I have three separate trees in my system, and changing from one to another hasn’t created any problems. Keep it up guys … we’re on the home stretch.

  10. Dorothy Payne

    The webinar went by too fast. The screen shots were too small, and not focused. Anyway, I don’t learn things just hearing them once. I need to be able to look things up. E.g., delete a file. (After 20 years,I have too many of them.)

    I’m at the stage where I’ve done enough research, and just want to get everything into a form that my heirs can use. 2008 isn’t helping.
    What I want from FTM is a program that is constant. What I did last year I want to be able to do today. ‘Enhancements’ don’t mean much to me–I need to be able to look it up. So, a complete Help file, and (I hate to say this) a complete printed guide book.

  11. Gillian

    I watched the webinar and then rewatched it the next day. I found it was more practical that I could pick and choose and pause while I explores topics. It was a good overview of of the updates.
    STILL – I cannot figure out the filters – especially in the publish section. I can find nowherre, nohow how to apply filtering in this location. I want to be able to add brother and sisters of ancestors etc.
    Any ideas?

  12. Linda

    I watched the webinar trying to detect whether TGN was getting their act together. Nope. While I must admit, a couple things like “Search and Replace” which was reintroduced with SP3 is a bit more robust then previous versions, it is too late and not enough. I’ve waited long enough for previously available features to be reintroduced and quality to improve. Statements that customers ranked the book feature as low is an insult. Any previously available feature should be a high priority. No customer should have had to take a survey to rank the importance of something that should have been included on day 1 of the FTM 2008 release.

    I’ve waited with hope because FTM v. 16 has some features that aren’t available on the competitor’s software. But with no guarantee of their return, I’ve switched to Legacy 7 Deluxe where the offline reports and charts are plentiful and robust and they seem to care about their customers. I’d probably still be with FTM had TGN not prematurely released FTM 2008.

  13. Mitch

    I’m glad I hung in when the disaster 2008 was released. With the release of SP3 I am working hard at genealogy once again.

    I appreciate the recent communication from the team, especially from Benjamin. The silence was a real negative.

    2008 has real possibilities for the researcher. A book feature will be a most welcome addition.

    TGN’s decision to give 2008 purchasers a free copy of 2009 is MOST welcome. I am one that had a real hard time hanging in after the release of 2008.

    The webinar is appreciated! It shows the company and programmers do have an interest in us.

    I suspect the TEAM took some hard punches over the last months that should have been directed more towards the top of the ladder.

    Keep up the good work TEAM. I look forward to good things in the future.

  14. Benjamin Nettesheim

    As many of you have seen, the archive to the Family Tree Maker Webinar for June 5th, 2008 is now available for viewing. Please click here to view it. It is approximately 60 minutes long.

  15. Peter Mason

    Unfortunately, the webinar is all gloss and face paint.

    It does not disguise the fact that the company have now abandoned FTM 2008 stating in the webinar that there will be no further updates to it.

    All resources are now clearly aimed at 2009 which all 2008 purchasers will get free apparently.

    We will wait and see whether lessons have been learnt and I would therefore expect 20090 to have all the functionality that 2006 V16 had – and more! , which is what we should have got from 2008.

    Sorry Ben, we don’t all get sucked in by image and overzealous self promotion of a product being better than it actually is.

    However, I will agree with other posters to these pages that there are good things to this software when it all works properly, but you have lost a lot of people on the way and alot will never come back to you (once bitten?).

  16. Danielwilmoth

    As a user of a three year old computer, I’m having extreme performance issues with FTW2008. Do I need to buy a new computer?

    There’s a old rule of software, that you NEVER buy an even version of a software product. They alwayss turned out to be slow and buggy. It became such a rule, that MicroSoft quit using version numbers.

    Yes, Vista and FTW 2008 are both ever versions of their products.

    When it comes to computer, it’s all about performance. Neither product meets the bare minimums.

  17. Deb

    I also mistakenly bought FTM2008
    It was a waste of my $$
    I keep checking to see if you are going
    to fix it any time soon

    Please let me know what you have planned
    to get it up and running smoothly with

  18. HowdyPez

    I was using and old, old version of FTM and after a long absence I’m back in the game.

    Purchased FTM 2008 and am completely disappointed.

    So many features that were previously available are gone.

    I do like being able to have the tree online for my family to help update, but it is cumbersome to then retype that info into FTM.

    I also like the Ancestry Press feature, but again, updating info between FTM, the online tree and the book is becoming a nightmare.

    I really miss the ease of entering info and the features of the old program.

  19. Will

    Is there any way we can get the webinar in a format other than Real? I don’t want to install an entire application for one video. WMV or something else Windows Media Player handles would be preferred.


  20. I did not attend the WEBINAR but I am now pleased with the performance of FTM2008. After I discovered that I had a printer driver conflict with the software and changed printers it works beautifully. I left FTM version 16 on my computer but I have found that FTM 2008 is much more sophisticated and has many features that previous versions do not have. One other positive came out of this experience. It forced me to perform lots of maintenance tasks on my computer. Even added a couple of extra Gigs of RAM and updated the BIOS. I am now a happy camper.

  21. Jay

    I failed to attend the live webinar but listened to a replay this morning and was very impressed with the content and depth that the topics were covered. Definitely provided insight to features that I either wasn’t aware of or where the additional information provided some ideas about what to do going forward. Also enjoyed the 20 minute question/answer period at the end of the call.


  22. Tyler Rasmussen

    Is there a non-RealPlayer version? I’m not loading that bloated thing on my computer, but I want to watch the webinar.

  23. Jim

    You can watch it using Windows Media Player. There is a radio button to select this option before launching the video on the page that is referenced above.

  24. Benjamin Nettesheim

    It appears that if you view the Webinar through the Firefox browser you are only given the option to view it with Real Player. Viewing it with the Internet Explorer browser, however, gives you the option to view it with Real Player or with Windows Media Player.

  25. Ray Justus

    It is so wonderful to hear that Family Tree Maker 2008 is being dropped! I can hardly wait until 2009 is released. I hope the powers that be have learned their lesson on this one. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! I will be watching for the new release. I hope I won’t be disappointed.

  26. Lisa

    OK, now I am annoyed. I have spentthe last year defending FTM2008, although my one disappointment was the lack of charting capacity compared with my 2005 version especially being able to export to a single PDF. Imagine my surprise when I opened my new issue of Your Family Tree Magazine last night to see that Ancestry has ‘revealed plans to release a new version of it’s leading Family Tree Software. Family Tree Maker 2009 will hit shops in September. Full fetails of the programs features have yet to be announced. However, we know that it will be very similar in style to the 2008 versions. Ancestry told us that one area that will definately be improved is the program’s range of reports and charts. many long term Family Tree Maker users were disappointed by 2008’s offerings in this area.’

    Where does that leave the people who paid out for 2008, and have been awaiting these reports and charts to be included in Service Pack Releases. Why have you gone onto to make a 2009 program when 2008 was clearly not fit for purpose for the majority of your users. |

    I have stuck by you, I have praised your product, I have shown people how it works and then I read this article and I saw red. I can imagine a lot of your other loyal customers will be equally disappointed now and I am sure you will quite a few of them now shopping around to see what other products are on the market to best suit their needs.

    One very disappointed and now very disillusioned FTM 2008 user.

  27. Jim

    Lisa, I believe the Webinar said that owners of FTM2008 will get FTM2009 for free. I could be wrong but I suspect that FTM2009 will be FTM2008 with proper support for reports. Think of it as “Service Pack 4”.

  28. Kathy Marie


    See Item Number 30 in this section of the Blog

    Written by:

    Posted on:
    June 18, 2008 at 10:37 pm

    I assume her statement about the information in the Family Tree Magazine is correct.

    I have extracted the following sentences from her statement ——-“Full details of the programs features have yet to be announced. However, we know that it will be very similar in style to the 2008 versions.”

    First I have a statement regarding these two sentences. It states that full details have yet to be announced, but then goes on with a big however and states that the program will be very similar in style to the 2008 versions.

    As you know from reading your own Blog there have been many many many concerns expressed in the Blog about the “style” of the program. It appears as if these concerns expressed by TNG’s customers of this program are being disregarded and the developers will continue on with developing the program in the style they originally set out to do.

    With that statement in mind I have two questions.

    First Question
    Even though the new version will not be available until September, are you and the developers still accepting ideas for improvement of the program from the user base?

    Second Question**
    Assuming your answer to the first question is yes, what is the likely hood that these suggestions will actually be implemented? As you can tell I don’t get a warm and fuzzy feeling that the developers are listening to their/your customers

    **This is not a rhetorical question, but is based on the improvements/enhancements to the program implemented so far and the above statement about “the next version being very similar in style to the 2008 version”

    I am sure a lot of users and potential users echo Lisa’s statement: Why have you gone on to make a 2009 program when 2008 was clearly not fit for purpose for the majority of your users?

  29. Lisa

    For Kathy Marie, I actually typed the statement word or word from my issued of ‘Your Family Tree Magazine’ issue 66 in the UK. For Jim – Thanks for that comment, however, when you say we should get FTM 2009 ‘Free’ what we would probably get is SP4, which I do not think is good enough. At the beginning when everyone was unhappy, Benjamin nettesheim said that we could have 50% of the FTM 2008 Book, we could never get on that link from the UK. I am a UK customer, I am not sure what country most of the comments on these blogs are made from, but I suspect it is from the USA.

    I am unhappy with the way things have turned out for this programme now, I had liked the new user interface and I praised it to all my fellow geneaologists that I come into contact with, even though there were niggles. I am not in some people’s leagues, about what they expect from reports etc, but I did like the charting capability of FTM 2005, which was completely lacking in FTM 2008, and I have used both programmes in conjunction so that I can use the charting of FTM 2005. This is a long winded process, as every time I update my 2008 programme I have to delete my 2005 tree, and then export my 2008 tree into gedcom to use in FTM 2005, just to get the chart that I wanted. I am sure that a lot of other people have felt the same frustrations as I have, well it has been obvious hasn’t it from all the blogs.

    But I do think that was the final insult to see that announcment in the Family Tree Magazine. I am very disillusioned now with the product and I will be searching elsewhere to see if there is a better suited product on the market.

    I will now get off my soap box, and say finally to Kathy Marie, keep up the good work, because I have followed your blogs, and you have clearly stuck by FTM2008 over the last year. I hope that you do not become as disillusioned and unhappy as I am.

    Kind Regards


  30. Lisa

    For Ben Nettersheim.

    I have just listened to you Webinar, which i did find interesting, I would like to know how you are going to give FTM 2009 free to all FTM 2008 users worldwide?

  31. Paul

    Along with the free copy of 2009 version, I would also expect to get a new 6 month subscription that was included in my Platinum version of FTM 2008. Afterall, it was Ancestry that touted the symbiotic relationship between and FTM. Since FTM was broke for so long, I couldn’t utilize the Ancestry portion of the ‘package’ effectively rendering that part useless (broke) as well. That is about the only way I’d even consider sticking with this product.

  32. Debbie

    I’m trying to find help on changing the home person. I just updated to SP3, imported family tree info from but it defaulted to a distanct relative for the home person. Is there a way to change it or should I just start a new tree?

  33. Lynn

    I am glad to hear you are actively working on improvements for the Fall release of the 2009 FTM.

    Some strongly desired improvements is the ability to order source-citations, ideally takes into account Source Rating scores. With the potential criteria including:
    • Source Rating, as an optional, but key way to order the sources (i.e., having all source-citations with a rating of 4-stars listed first, followed by all source-citations with a rating of 3-stars, etc.)
    • Alphabetical within the Source Rating , but with the ability to arrange the sources manually (potentially something similar to the ordering of children by birth date)
    • Given the new Source functionality allowing a single source-citation to be linked to multiple facts (with potentially different Source Ratings for the different facts); different logic would be needed for printed reports otherwise the numbering scheme could drive print readers crazy. Potentially utilizing the highest rating for a specific source-citation, in determining overall order of sources, as well as alphabetical ordering.
    • Note: I previously added/merged most sources in order of quality in my FTM file (e.g., adding family records, then census from Ancestry, then information from other member’s trees and the internet). With the new sourcing functionality linking multiple facts and sources to the same source-citation, it is no longer possible to control the source-citation order for a specific individual. This makes the electronic file and printed files harder to review (e.g., I have many individuals in my tree that have 10-20 different source-citations supporting a specific fact).
    • I would be happy to speak with someone at FTM about this, feel free to contact me via email

    A strongly desired Genealogy Report change:
    • Re-incorporate the ability to print Individual Facts, similar to notes, right after an individual’s biography versus as part of the biography paragraph. This formatting was available in prior FTM reports.

    Some nice-to-have report enhancements:
    • Genealogy Report: Print Sources Citations, similar to notes, right after an individual’s biography information with the option to include sources-citations with specific source-citation rating(s). This would not replace the option to print all source-citations at the end of a report. I have been manually entering source-citation information in Personal Notes to allow me to include this information in this location of genealogy reports; I include source-citations of which I have high confidence (e.g., information that I have rated with three or more stars). I find this information helps to tell the story of the individual’s life (e.g., looking a census you see location, occupation as well as who was living with whom during a specific time period).
    • Place Usage Report: Organization by Country, State and possibly US County versus solely alphabetical – in larger family trees, this report is not very useful (i.e., the listed for East Hartford, Hartford Co., Connecticut, USA; for Hartford Co., Connecticut, USA; and for Connecticut, USA – although these locations are geographically close to each other they unfortunately are approx. 50 pages away from each other in my Place Usage Report).

    An FYI: How I, and possibly others, are starting to use the Source Rankings that I strongly would not want negatively impacted in future releases/new versions functionality.
    • I typically use the “blue” quality score source ratings, but I also
    • Use the “yellow” standard score rating to designate that the rating is associated with the non-primary individual on the source (For example: on Millennium File there is the primary parent listed and I use the “blue” ranking for all facts associated with that individual, when I link that source–citation to the other individuals listed (e.g., spouse, children) I rate all of those facts with the “yellow” rating)
    This color scheme quickly tells me how much confidence I have in a particular source-citation as well as if the individual is the primary individual on the source materials. This is very helpful when numerous source-citations are associated with a particular fact.

  34. Ben Nettersheim:-

    I have just heard about your webinar, which I found interesting, We would love to know how you are going to give ftm 09 free to all ftm 08 users worldwide?
    Can you exlain this?

  35. Benjamin Nettesheim

    I am pulling together all of the details and will post them as soon as I have them organized.

  36. Peter Mason

    So having now asked for people to beta test V2009, you are asking them to agree to a confidentiality clause which will in effect stop anyone posting any comments about the quality of the product anywhere outside TGN.

    This will prevent people making comments on blogs such as this. I can understand your reasoning behind this as some of the comments we have been making have clearly been dammming and damaged the reputation of your organisation and FTM V2008.

    Unfortunately, not being transparent to current disgruntled users will continue to make them feel uncomfortable about the purchase / use of a new version (free to V2008 users or not).

    I also note that you have not allowed people to add comments to the Beta blog, hence ny addition here.

  37. Gretar

    I have been a beta tester for a big software company, and there has always been a confidential agreement between the software company and beta tester not to tell/write or publich anything about this software, while the beta test period is in process and even information that we do come across during our beta testing is undir the same conditon. We have to agree to this to be able to become a beta tester.
    This I understand perfectly, you as a beta tester are given an important information, that can have a major damage to the company that rely on your work to make there software better, so do not agree to any beta test agreement if you do not have any faith in the software, you have to make some contributon and report about every error and submint an enhancemetn to the beta product. So therefore you should have a great influence in making a good product, with as few error or bugs that is possible. just to make it clear, I am not going to beta test FTM 2009, but I am hoping to get a free version, but I am not sure because I am one of the foreigner. But happy beta testing, it is lot of fun, hope that Ancestry do make a good closed beta forum for the paticipant, and as a beta tester you are submitted to some of your free spech, but you do have an advantage from us not participating.

  38. Tony

    Interesting demo… The ability to access external URLs is a plus. But, to really be able to take of advantage to this, you need to be able to define the URL using tokenized parameters mapped to the current person (ie., Gensmarts).

  39. Danielwilmoth

    Compacting my FTW FILE!!!!!!!!!!

    Every two weeks or so, I cannot enter any information into FTW unless I compact the file first. Since this takes at least a half an hour to complete, it’s a major pain.

    Is this a new feature?????

  40. Shirley

    Like #30, I too, have been a great supporter of both Family Tree Maker and I have diligently upgraded each time and currently have 2008. I also teach “Genealogy Online” classes.

    In order to get 2008 to work properly, I started over, literally from scratch. I left version 16 open on one computer and typed information into 2008 as I verified sources. Now, after all that extra work, I hear that 2008 is being dropped. For those of us who have supported the programs so diligently, we are greatly disappointed, not only in 2008, but in FamilyTreeMaker and It suddenly appears that the mighty dollar is more important than quality genealogy. For true genealogists, that is never the case.

    It seems that the parent company, for some unknown reason, is working deligently to chase away loyal supporters. Why?

  41. DLWilson

    I must be a rarity. Yes there are features on FTM2008 that can be improved but for the most part I have had remarkably few problems with it. When I upgraded from 2005 it went nice and smooth.The only thing I have against 2008 are its reports. They lost alot when they went to 08 and when they added them back they weren’t the same as they were before. Fix this & I would be happy, ever since patch 3 things have gotten even better. But I won’t turn down an improved product of FTM2009, if it is truly better, and please make sure those reports up to par. 2005 had all the reports I needed in the format I needed, use that for your guide.



  42. I have more fundamental problems, and from the comments above they may be unique to my situation. As a loyal user since version 1, I find the situation to be most disappointing.

    1. In converting my FTM16 file to FTM2008, a substantial percentage of my file names seem to have disappeared. No explanation.

    2. Data entered into FTM2008 file is not there the next time I open it. I had failed to check this, and may have lost about 4 months of activity since updating. So far, I have no explanation.

    Like everyone else, I hate the loss of reports options.

    In retrospect, it looks like the corporate flacks at ancestry pulled a snow job to get me to convert!

  43. Sharon Cardinal

    Working with FTM, when I receive hints and it turns out no to be for the person I am researching , how can I delete that source so I don’t have a green leaf still showing ???????

    Thank you

  44. Richard Longfelllow

    It is really nice to add several family members at once from the census and other databases that you have. However, sometimes the person’s name is misspelled or shortened or middle name is used. There is no way to select an alternative name to include that person. So, you can end up with the same person under their first name, midde name, abreviation or nick name. So then you have to try to delete the alternative names. It would be helpful to be able select what name you want to use for the person included in the census. Also, the hint may include hints that have already been used. So, you can end up with duplicate listings i.e. 1910 census listed three times or more. I have both the family tree at and on my home computer. Trying to keep both with the same information is virtually impossible.

    Thanks for what you have added!!

  45. Jan Sartin

    On Allen C Sartin (Sr.) Tree:
    Elizabeth already listed as man.
    Please change. I could not add info:
    married Dean H Smallwood b. 12 Jan 1921; d 24 Sep 1999; Military from 07 Dec 1944 to 20 Oct 1945; F-1 US
    Navy WWII: BOTH buried Tahoma Nat. Cem 18600 SE 240 ST, Kent, King, WA
    Sect 25 Site 1567 (Please fix this)

  46. Cynthia Veller

    Long awaited for. Mergeing program.

    member since 2007. Familey Tree has had the program since 1980’s.
    Way behind the time.

    But I’m glad it is finally here.

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