Posted by Ancestry Team on November 11, 2008 in Family Tree Maker

Many resources are available to help you effectively use Family Tree Maker 2009. Here are some commonly asked questions and their answers.

Q. I’m new to Family Tree Maker. How do I get started?

Here are some options for becoming acquainted with Family Tree Maker 2009.

Option 1: The Family Tree Maker Getting Started Guide is a great place to start. It provides installation instructions, and a step-by-step tutorial.

Option 2: The New Training Tutorials provide an overview of each of the Family Tree Maker Workspaces. To access the tutorials from Family Tree Maker 2009, select Training Tutorials from the Help menu.

Family Tree Maker Training Tutorial Access

Option 3: In addition, Family Tree Maker Help is always available. Select Help for Family Tree Maker from the Help menu.

Family Tree Maker Help

Option 4: Many helps are available at

Q. I prefer to watch a live demonstration. What options are available?

Option 1: Family Tree Maker Webinars are attended by thousands of people who enjoy live demonstrations. The next webinar is scheduled for November 19th at 8:00pm EST. To attend, you can register here. The past webinars are also available online, and are helpful for both 2008 and 2009 users.

Option 2: Family Tree Maker classes are taught at genealogy conferences throughout the year. Some examples are FGS, NGS, and Southern California Jamboree. While you’re at a conference, you can stop by the booth and talk with one of the representatives there. As conferences are scheduled, you’ll find information about them here on the Family Tree Maker blog.

Q: What if I have a detailed question that isn’t answered in Family Tree Maker Help?

Option 1: The Family Tree Maker Knowledge Base has the same questions and answers that our Technical Support Consultants use. A big project is underway right now to increase the depth and helpfulness of this resource. Check out the latest Knowledge Base here. For instructions on how to use search, check out this Knowledge Base article. Articles written about Family Tree Maker 2008 almost always apply to Family Tree Maker 2009 as well.

Option 2: A strong community of advanced users is available to answer questions. For example, see the Family Tree Maker topics on the GenForum presented by

Option 3: Another excellent source of FTM help is the FTM-Tech list

To Join FTM-Tech

send mail to with the single word subscribe in the message subject and body. To join FTM-TECH-D, do the same thing with

• Subscribe to FTM-TECH-L
• Subscribe to FTM-TECH-D (digest)

This list was started in 6 April 1995 and has been operating more or less continuously since then.

(Thanks to John Donaldson for this information.)

Q: I like reading step-by-step instructions and explanations from a manual. Is there one available?

Yes. The Family Tree Maker Official Guide is available for purchase from the Ancestry Store.

In addition, many people find answers to complicated questions in  The Little Book of Answers, also available in the Ancestry Store.

Q: I need to talk with a Technical Service Representative. Is that an option?

Yes, Technical Support is provided free of charge for registered users of Family Tree Maker 2009.  You can email Technical Support here.

You can also call Technical Support at 1-800-Ancestry.

Q: What other resources are available?

The Family Tree Maker Program CD has additional resources. Insert the Family Tree Maker disk in your computer drive and an install screen similar to this displays:


Click the Extras tab to see additional resources:


Q: I’m an experienced V16 user transitioning to Version 2009, and the interface is new. What helps are available?

We’re in the process of creating a feature mapping guide that will be helpful for V16 users as they transition to Version 2009.  In the mean time, here are two links that can be very helpful:

Version 2006 keystroke mappings to Version 2008

Keyboard shortcuts in Version 2008

I hope these options are helpful to you. Family Tree Maker 2009 is a powerful program, and it takes time to become acquainted with all its features. Please let me know if there are other genealogy resources you’d like to see us provide.



  1. Michelle.

    >Option 2: Family Tree Maker classes are taught at genealogy conferences in the United States

    Don’t forget the rest of the world!!! We have a pretty big FTM following Down Under in Australia. There are user groups, training days and other online forums.

    And we are ALWAYS ahead of you (timewise)!

    Larry Czarnik
    Sydney Australia
    2008NV11 23:40 Sydney
    2008NV11 05:50 UT, USA

  2. Michelle Pfister

    You’re right, Larry! Since you’re ahead of me time-wise, I hope you’ll let me know what’s coming 🙂

  3. Peggy

    I have FTM 2005 installed on my computer which has Windows Xp. I recently purchased a Toshiba Laptop. The 2009 FTM loads fine but I can’t import all my genealogy from the previous version of FTM. Help. Why NOt?

  4. John Donaldson

    Another excellent source of FTM help is the FTM-Tech list

    To Join FTM-Tech

    send mail to with the single word subscribe in the message subject and body. To join FTM-TECH-D, do the same thing with

    • Subscribe to FTM-TECH-L
    • Subscribe to FTM-TECH-D (digest)

    This list was started in 6 April 1995 and has been operating more or less continuously since then.

    A lot of the FTM high end users are members of the list. It is totally self-help but a very good list

    John D

  5. Brenda Cox

    Have bought FTM 2009 but cannot import my family tree file. It starts to import file but stops saying there is a fault but not what the fault is!!

    2009 was expensive and I do not want to have wasted my hardearned money!
    Not having bought 2008 version I was never offered a free disc!

  6. John Donaldson

    Brenda # 7

    I assume that you are importing from an earlier version of FTM, eg FTM 2005/06/16?

    Open that program and run Tools>compact

    After the compact has run close FTM

    Now open FTM 2009 and try and import again

    What happens?

    If this doen’t work make a GEDCOM out of your earlier FTM program and import that into FTM 2009

    John D

  7. John Donaldson

    Roger # 9

    I assume that you have a MAC genealogy program like Renion for the MAC 9 on your MAC computer. FTM only works in Windows.

    Make a copy of your FTM file as a GEDCOM file (File>Export)

    Save the GEDCOM and transfer it to your MAC computer via a memory stick, CD, email attachment etc

    Open the GEDCOM with Reunion

    John D

  8. John Hawck

    I have been doing research on Irish ancestry, but always get stuck trying to locate or enter the Census of 1900 and 1910. Is there a site I might use to make my research easier and more fruitful?

    John Hawck

  9. Otto

    I am currently using FTM 9 and the one problem that I have is with the size of the Medical info field. I want to put in all medical information in there such as surgeries, medications taken, etc. The size of the field in FTM 9 does not allow me to put in all of the information that I want to.
    Is the Medical info field size larger in FTM 2009?
    If so I intend to upgrade to that.

  10. John Donaldson

    Otto# 14

    In FTM 2009 you can attach a note to the medical filed (o any other field) that can b1 1 MB about 250 pages. is that enough? 🙂

    Also you can attach images

    John D

  11. Diane Scott

    Does the Family Treemaker 2009 work on a 64 bit machine??? Somewhere in older blogs I saw some users saying it didn’t.

  12. Diane Scott

    Thanks James. Am still on version 16 and was relunctant to upgrade to 2009. Have a laptop and desktop and wanted to replace laptop with 4GB and 64bit.

  13. Jeanne Baldwin

    How can I get the 2009 update for FTM 2008? You said tonight that the offer has been extended, and I guess I missed it the first time around. Looking forward to getting it. Enjoyed the webinar tonight. Thanks.

  14. Jennifer Roberts

    I am a current FTm 2008 customer(FTM09314) and have yet to recieve my free FTM 2009 upgrade e-mail. The email I recieved a while ago does not work. Is there a better way to get this free upgrade?

    Thank you! I look forward to using FTM 2009! Great job!

  15. Stuart

    At the webinar yesterday, you mentioned that you would provide the link to the 2009 download. Can you send it to me please.


  16. Carl Matthews






  17. John Donaldson

    Stuart # 25 and 26

    See posts 876 and 879 on “What are your questions?” thread on this blog

    John D

  18. John Donaldson

    Carl # 27

    The last version of FTM before FTM 2008 was FTM 2006 or FTM 16

    These versions are now superseded from TGN.

    You could probably pick up a copy of FTM 2006/16 at e-Bay, Amazon or similar outlets.

    John D

    John D

  19. I have received my FTM 2009. When I install it into my Vista will the info that I have in my 2008 FTM automatically go into the 2009 or do I have to do a back up and then put that into 2009? I did a back up and it only backed up one of my trees. I can’t figure out how to get the other trees backed up on the same cd. Do I have to do each tree on a separate cd? I am a novice.

  20. John Donaldson

    Karen # 30

    FTM 2009 will install as a new program

    You can then safely remove (uninstall) FTM 2008

    I would back each tree up to a separate CD.

    John D

  21. Jim Weiss

    The Help number announced on the last Webnar, 800-Ancestry, is incorrect. Did I write it down incorrectly, or are you into another business?

  22. I’ve been a user of FTM since there were no ‘versions’… i began to mess things up when i was saving to a ‘new file’ each time i was asked the question at the end of my time of editing.

    I have moved from a good support in California, to Portland Oregon. I have the biggest mess but most saved on cds. Is there a group that meets where i could get some guidance? I don’t want to buy 2009 until i use my last one, even once!!! the gal who was helping me in Ca said i had to get the new one at that time. I did but then we moved and it’s been four years.
    Help.. I’d like to get back into our genealogy as we have so much info but i’m keeping hard copies so as not to add to the confusion.
    Thank you for any info you can give me.

  23. BJ DiCrocco

    One of the features I would love to have – timelines appropriate to foreign countries – not all just set in US with general worldwide items. Our line is strictly overseas until 1970’s so having US timelines is not as appropriate – yes, I know, I can edit and edit I did – but the point is to not have to edit everything every time! I already deal with entering names, etc instead of Living for most of our people! I am complaining but NO ONE has ever bothered to explain that glitch and the privacy versus non-privacy toggle did not change it.

  24. judy lillard keeps telling me that my email address is wrong. I have corrected it several times and it is correct. The message says that they have tried several times to contact me and the email address is wrong. How do I contact a real person to have this corrected.

  25. Daryl Rickards

    The Ahnentafel report has an error in it. It does not show who the person married. The example below show Daisy married on the 12 Jul 1916 but not who she married.

    i. Daisy Victoria SANDERS. Her birth on 20 Jun 1898 in Stoke Newington, London, England (117 Lordship Rd) [1]. Their marriage on 12 Jul 1916 in Guisborough, Yorkshire, England (Registry Office)[1]. Cremation 1988 in Folkestone, Kent, England [1]. Her death on 01 May 1988 in Folkestone, Kent, England (“Marchings” 152 Sandgate Rd) [1]. Record Change on 04 Jun 2008 (Daryl Rickards – record added).

    This error goes throughout the report.

  26. Rosemjacobs

    I am totally confused
    Do I need special software to get started?
    I found a family tree in One World Tree. Can I print this tree and/or save it to my account to add on to it? Is there a way to copy a tree and then add names?

  27. katyknock

    Is anyone else having issues with hints lately? I have been told by the wonderful customer “no” service to delete what I have entered and try entering the data again because the hint they provided did not only not add the data to the record, but the hint disappeared with no action after I sat and verified the information in it. It seems I get more customer “no” service than I actually get help from their “Help” line.

  28. katyknock

    Does anyone at ancestry read these blogs? Or are we just venting here? I would much rather be working on my research than looking to see if someone else has the same issues I am having with this site. Any chance anyone knows if any of the other sites are worth investing in since ancestry doesn’t seem to care about our issues?

  29. John Donaldson

    Katyknock # 40

    Yes Folk at Ancestry do read this blog especially Michelle Pfister.

    What issues are you having?

    This blog is not ideally suited to technical queries and for that I would recommend the FTM-Tech list that has been around since about 1995 and a lot of the high-end users and long-time beta testers are on the list

    send a post to with the word subscribe in the subject line

    John D

  30. Daryl Rickards

    Ref #41

    Thanks John for pointing me to the technical site outlined in one of your previous messages. Although there is a lot of technical stuff discussed the resource is there for knowledgeable persons to assist with FTM user problems.

    Daryl (ex PDP8 – Vax11780)
    Warrawee NSW

  31. Daryl Rickards

    Exporting the Place Usage report to RTF causes FTM to go into “Program not Responding”. This requires a program restart.
    Export to PDF is ok – a bug report has been reported. The reference number is 081222-000739

  32. Daryl Rickards

    FTM2009 – Gedcom:
    My FTM2009 database is very sound regarding Place Names and has no Unresolved Place names. I recently created a Gedcom from a section of that data and when I loaded the gedcom to check it out ALL the Place Names on the new File were “UNRESOLVED”
    Why is this so?

    Regards and have a Merry Christmas and a happy New Year


  33. Daryl Rickards

    The response from Ancestry Support:

    “When ever a Family Tree Maker imports a file, it defaults to marking all places as Unresolved. You should be able to go to the places tab and click on Resolve All and with in a short amount of time you should be able to resolve all locations.”



  34. Timothy


    I just purchased Family Tree Maker 2009. The problem is I reside in the Philippines which means that it would take some time before I receive the installation CD. I would like to ask if it is possible to download the software pending delivery of my installation CD.


  35. Alan Moll

    I recently switched from FTW 2005 to 2009. The biggest frustration is there are no longer Go Back and Go Forward buttons to allow you to easily navigate through the individuals I had examined or worked on. Is their a similar feature in FTW 2009? Bookmarks, History, and Navigate Back/Forward buttons do not come close to duplicating that capability.

  36. Helen

    Hi, I refer to the response below from FTM support to my query regarding how to generate an undocumented facts report, that is mentioned in the Family Tree Maker 2008 Book.

    “Dear Helen,

    We appreciate your message.

    There is not a way to create an undocumented source report in Family Tree Maker 2008 or 2009, the book is incorrect and is set to be corrected with the next printing.

    We apologize for the confusion.

    If there is anything else with which we might assist you, please let us know.

    Member Solutions”

    My question now is, when will Ancestry/Family Tree Maker be adding this ability/feature to the software? From the responses of my local FTM User Group to my question whether or not anyboby had been able to generate such a report, it appears that an Undocumented Facts Report is a feature many users would appreciate.


  37. Jacky Lee

    I have FTM9 and with my previous version I was able to include ALL facts instead of “include only preferred facts” I have found it in the “items to include” section but it is greyed out! HELP how do I activate it and include all the facts not just the first one? I want to show all the census details not just the first one.

    Thank you Jacky

  38. Shelagh Coleman

    I have just bought a subscription to and I also have a new (2008)version of FTM.

    I hava a pretty basic question, should I be putting all my information into the online tree template or should I be storing it all in FTM on my computer? I understand that I can merge data found on Ancestry.Com down onto my own computer.

    It seems to me to be a pretty important decision which will save me time later.

    Any advice would be very welcome.



  39. James Ralston

    I don’t know where to turn to for proper input, so I shall do it here. Personally, I think the Blog site is confusing. There is no clear site to click on for comment or support that I can make out. I have been a customer since the beginning and was totally disgusted with the FTM 2008. Then when we got the free CD foer FTM 2009, I was happy up to this point. All of a sudden, YOU HAVE DONE SOMETHING THAT MAKES THIS PROGRAM CRASHES REGULARILY. I called support and talked to a lady, who told me that a patch of some sort was forth-coming. This program crashes so often, I get a headache from it. It constantly says, after crashing, that FTM has encountered a problem and had to shut down. The lady says you are aware of it and that a fix is coming. All I can say is, “why did you change what was working”? I said after the FTM 2008, debacle, that I was skeptic on the 2009 version. If you keep this up, you will be right back where you were before, losing customers big time. I know one thing, I won’t buy anything else from you, until you demonstrate some understanding of how you people are making us tired of junk programming. This thing worked fine up until about a week ago. One last thing, like I told the lady at support, this 2009 version will not allow you to merge files either. It works great, up to the point of clicking on the merge tab, the bar goes all the way across and then sits at the end and crashes. Like before, hopefully we won’t have to go on “empty promises” about fixes.

  40. Chris

    I agree with the previous poster. I can’t figure out where it is appropriate to make this comment so I’ll do it here.

    I’ve read countless comments from users who don’t like the new software (FTM 09) compared to the older versions. I too am disappointed. I’ve never even owned an older version but I’ve had a tree on for the past two years and I’ve got to tell you, FTM 09 doesn’t compare.

    I miss being able to tell who a source is already attached to and I really miss being able to attach a source to multiple people at once. Merging web search results is not intuitive and not covered clearly in the provided resources, including the inadequate knowledge base.

    Today I found out that you’re selling a book that no doubt should have been included with the software.

    Disappointed indeed.

  41. Joann Jarvis

    I installed Family Tree Maker 2008 in February, 2008, but haven’t started putting it to use yet – (no information has been added to it). Received your 2009 update last October. Question: Do I delete the 2008 program from my computer, then install the 2009 edition – or leave 2008 on, and add 2009?

  42. Patti Mikkelsen

    I have been using FTM v11. Just converted to v 2009. As near as I can tell, reports no longer show footnotes (with the little numbers next to the relevant entry). Am I missing something? Why would they delete such an important research tool?

  43. Cyinthia Morgan

    I have been unable to figure out how to handle a stepchild. My 3-great grandfather had 6 kids with first wife who died. He married again to a woman who had one child then she and my 3-great grandfather had one child. Unfortunately I didn’t figure this out until I had added the stepchild as a child of his. I can undo the link to him, but that deletes her from his relationships. He still does have a relationship, but not as the natural father. How can I handle this?

  44. Keith Walker

    I have recently installed FTM 2009, my previous version was FTM 4,. I am very impressed with the improvements but have one niggle, not the fault of FTM. My broadband download speeds vary, anything from 6mb down to 600kbps depending how busy the stystem is, when the speed drops below 750kbps it will not download the media but is OK with the person info.
    Can anyone help with this please.

  45. Darlene Steffens

    I am using FTM 2009 v18.0.0.305 — Two questions/issues while printing family group sheets. (1) How can I eliminate seeing notes of the children? I want to see the notes of the parents, but not the children. (2) How can I choose to print some or all of the family group sheets within the database. Would like to set the printer to output many at once without me having to request to print one family group sheet at a time. Actually the choice should be one, few, many or all. Recall this capability in earlier versions. Am I overlooking a function that is there, if so how? If the function is not there, how can I make this an enhancement request? Thanks, Darlene

  46. Jon

    I have just had the platinum 2009 FTM software delivered and uploaded it to my PC.

    I have built an extensive online tree at with over 5000 names and over 1000 images and hundreds of stories.

    I had read the spec for FTM 2009 and it said it had greater integration with However to check that I would be able to use my online tree with FTM and download all my images I phoned up the ancestry number and specifically asked about downloading existing attachments in my online tree to FTM.

    I was told that this was all possible and the two worked together. I also asked if I could upload the software to both my PC and laptop and work on my tree from both at different times. Again I was told that this was indeed the case. So this was why I bought it.

    And now I find out reading the forums that this is not the case at all. I would never have paid out for the platinum 2009 edition if I had known this. I was seriously misinformed by ancestry and feel completely conned.

    I am terribly disappointed and let down yet again by The Generations Network. I am certainly not going to start my extensive tree all over again in FTM so my software is pretty much useless to me now.

    It’s such a shame as the FTM software seems to be rather good and much easier to input information than the website. At first glance at least.

    I can’t understand why the two are not integrated. However if TGN really can’t integrate the site and FTM then why can’t you enable the FTM benefits online?

    I for one would have been willing to pay extra on my ancestry subscription for this to prevent this no brainer situation I am in now.

    Yesterday I cancelled my ancestry subscription which expires next month to use the six months that came with the FTM platinum edition.

    However now I know the dead duck situation between FTM and online trees I can’t imagine me renewing it once this six months is up.

  47. Michelle Pfister

    #54 Joann

    You don’t have to unistall Version 2008 from your computer before installing Version 2009. It’s your choice.

  48. Michelle Pfister

    #55 Patti

    Footnotes, per se, are not yet supported in FTM, but there’s a way for you to add source citations as endnotes to many reports. You can choose this option in the “Items to Include” dialog. Hope this helps.

  49. Has anyone had success running FTM 2009 in VMware Fusion for Mac? FTM is the only Windows program I have not been able to install and use on VMware. Could there be a patch or quick fix I am missing?

  50. …perhaps I also should ask if an older version of FTM might work in VMware Fusion? And then, how would one save a FTM 2009 file in an old format like FTM 2006?

  51. Tana L. Pedersen

    The simplest thing to do would be to change the status of his relationship to the child. In the People workspace, make the father the focus. Click the Person tab and then the Relationships button. You should see the child listed under the Children heading. Click the child’s name. In the right editing panel, you should see a Relationships drop-down list. Choose “Step” from the list. Now the individual will still be linked to your ggg-grandfather, but their true relationship will also be noted.

  52. Eleanore Diiulis

    When starting FTM 2009 it says initializing. This goes on for over 5 minutes so I have not been using 2009 but am still using version 16. Please help.

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