Posted by Ancestry Team on July 25, 2008 in Family Tree Maker

I wanted to post a quick thank you to the Family Tree Maker community. I have decided to pursue a new career opportunity that will allow me to expand into some new career areas, so I will be leaving The Generations Network. Thank you for the opportunity to communicate with so many of you. As I’ve said many times… we are lucky to have such an engaged community, and it’s been a pleasure to be a part of the discussion with you.

We have an experienced and capable replacement for my role in this community. I would like to introduce you to Russ Hannig. Russ has been with The Generations Network for almost four years, most recently with our magazine and book department. He also started at TGN working for our Member Services department which has given him great insight into the customer base and their needs. Russ is determined to keep you posted on the latest Family Tree Maker news, updates, and helpful articles. I’m confident you’ll find that he hasn’t missed a beat.  Please offer a warm welcome to Russ.

Kind Regards,



  1. TonyC


    Sorry to see you go, hope it wasn’t something we said 😉 and good luck.

    Welcome to the hottest spot on Ancestry at the moment, hope you’re wearing a flame proof suit.


  2. MikeS


    Thanks for trying to make a positive change and being one of few who was willing to listen. GOOD LUCK


    Any thought of having a private FTM 2009 Beta blog so we can talk about the beta and report likes and bugs.


  3. Carol A. H.

    I watched and listened to your FTM 2008 Webinar last evening for the first time. I will have to go back again, as it was very quick, if I intend to use it. I did pick up several bits of information. I had the 2005 version but never liked it much so I kept on with PAF although I consider it to be a “bare bones” program. Your presentation was very good but I don’t really want to use a program which will keep me connected to Ancestry at the same time. Everthing is much too slow. So I guess I will have to go shopping for another program. I outgrew PAF years ago and it doesn’t look like they will ever add any new features. The church is just not into the software business. Good luck with your future.

  4. Lynn

    The best of luck to you.
    You unfortunately are going to miss all the praise and “thank you”s for the new 2009 FTM that is going to be release in the fall, since it is at least my hope that it exceeds all of our expectations.
    Although some say they are walking away from FTM, I do believe that people learn more from their mistakes then their accomplishments, with that ideally also applying to Family Tree Maker. Therefore, I am expecting great things from the 2009 version.

  5. Dennis V. Hill


    Thanks for your contribution to the new Family Tree Maker version. It has been great to work with you during the testing over the past year. I wish you well in your career change and I look forward to working with Ross.


  6. James Clouse

    Thanks for your voice and ears for users! Good fortune in your new adventure.



  7. Mark Miller

    Welcome Russ,
    Maybe you can help me. I lost my beta copy of 2009RC1 due to a hard drive failure. I e-mailed FTM_dev 1 1/2 weeks ago( Ihad to guess at the address since my address book was lost too) and since it wasn’t bounced back as undeliverable I guess they got it but NO reply yet.

    What I need is the download link and password to get another copy. Can you help? I know the public release is coming shortly but I’d rather not wait.

    Mark Miller

  8. Tony Cousins

    OK Russ – it is now 4 weeks since you took over, we didn’t frighten you away did we?

    Or is it that there is absolutely nothing to tell us – in 4 weeks?


  9. Russ:

    I was a beta tester and posted a crash issued after the FINAL version. I have not heard any response.

    Your silence here is a bit disturbing. A note of clarification would be good as well as a note to the beta test group.

  10. Lynn

    I do not really care who provides an update, Russ, his replacement or otherwise, but this is getting ridiculous. I realize you may be trying to minimize traffic to the blog, given all of the negative comments, but some of FTM’s most loyal customer check this blog for updates.

    At least Benjamin had the common sense to provide the paying public (FTM customers) with a period update, even if he did not have all information finalized/available.

    Based on Google searches, I see the FTM has been spending a lot of marketing time and energy making certain Amazon start collecting pre-orders as well as other sites for FTM 2009, but there are been no updates or listing of enhanced functionality on this blog. From what I can gather from other sources the enhancements from 2008 to 2009 are pitifully small.

    Additionally, per other blogs I understand email have gone out to registered 2008 users about the free 2009 free upgrade. I am hoping this was a miss-statement, since I am a registered 2008 user and have not received any related communication (I have even sent FTM a related email to validate my account, without a reply from FTM)

  11. Peter Mason

    I too, have not received any e-mail regarding a free 2009 upgrade as a registered user.

    I have been watching all developments and have never used 2008 as didn’t think it was worth wasting my time with it, and hoped 2009 would be nearer to the FTM16 “holy grail like-for-like replacement”.

    I too am disappointed at the lack of communication since Ben left.

    Can’t believe an American company can operate in such a way!

  12. Tyler

    Lynn and Peter,

    I’m a registered 2008 user and I have received an e-mail announcing 2008 users will receive FTM 2009 for free. So, something has come out.

  13. Mark Miller

    I e-mailed Ancestry support to enquire about Russ’ MIA status and asked that the message be passed on to the appropriate person yesterday. No reply to my message yet but maybe it will get someone’s attention at TGN.

    Not holding my breath,


  14. David

    Have Family Tree Maker installed.Recently a notice came stating I had 14 days left as I was only on Starter version. This of course limits the se I had before -Making of Books, Exporting gedcom and also lost current format.It also prevents me to search files to enable me t retrieve that work. Trying to ring Australian phone Number only results in “Mail Box’ Full for the last 5 days. Attempts to reload original disk results in same message ”14 days ‘ states I’m using Starter Version and still does not allow me to search for back up files.
    Appreciate if you reply before the so called now 9 days left expires. Regards


  15. Leeanne Dyson

    I think your site is fabulous. It sure saves a lot of time and travelling. I am a researcher with the Barrett Twp. Historical Soc. and am also the archivist. I would be willing to help make the 1920 & 1930 Barrett Tp., Monroe Co., Pa. site more accessible. Thanks.

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