Posted by Ancestry Team on February 2, 2009 in Family Tree Maker

The Family Tree Maker Free 2009 Update is within a few days of release! When it’s available for download, we’ll provide specific feature information here. I’ve asked Tana L. Pedersen, author of The Official Guide to Family Tree Maker 2009, to be a guest blogger on this site. She’ll provide you with characteristically clear instructions on how to make the most of your free upgrade.


In addition to the enhancements I mentioned last week, we are continually working to improve the speed and performance of the program.  For example, we just implemented a way to reduce the time it takes to resolve an unrecognized place name.  In our testing of a large database (100,000 people and 35,000 places), place names that previously took nine seconds to resolve are now completed in less than one second.  (Incidentally, for those of you with software development background who might wonder about the timing of this addition, it was a very “safe” change :).


Once the update has been released, you will see an update notice appear the next time you start Family Tree Maker 2009. 


1. The notice will include options to “Update” or “Remind Me Later.”

2. If you click “Update” another screen will appear.  Make sure “Family Tree Maker 2009” is checked and click “Update.”

3. A third screen will give you options about installing or scheduling the update.

4. Click “Start” to begin the update.


Note:  If you’re running Vista with User Account Control (UAC) turned on, you will need to run Family Tree Maker 2009 as an administrator to start the update.  To do this, right-click on the Family Tree Maker 2009 icon on your desktop and choose “Run as administrator” from the menu.


If you decide not to update now, you can install the update later by choosing “Check For Updates” from the “Help” menu in Family Tree Maker 2009.


Thank you for your suggestions and questions on last week’s post. I’ve read every comment, and I’ve forwarded your enhancement requests to our team. I’ll plan to continue answering common questions in future posts and comments. Next on the agenda is Tana’s explanation of new features. You’ll see her here within the next few days….



  1. Joe Connell

    Good news about the patch for 2009. For those of us without a continual connection, will an .exe version of the patch be made available?

  2. John Donaldson

    Joe # 2

    In previous patches the information is usually also on the FTM knowledge base as well as a link on this blog to the exe file

    I would expect something similar.

    John D

  3. Beverly

    When the update is ready will it automatically show this for Vista users, as now we have to go into run as administrator before we can pick up these updates?

  4. Glenwood Robinson

    I am glad to see that the update is about to be released. I will pass the good news on to FTM users in our genealogy society.

  5. David Abernathy

    It is nice to see your reminder about UAC. It would be nicer if the Update method wold be changed so it will work with the UAC without using the “Run as Administrator” as some other programs can.

    Looking forward in getting this release.

  6. Martyn Lewis

    I run the UK version of FTM 2009. Am I correct to assume that this will be a universal update rather than initially being for the United States with the rest of us having to wait awhile?


  7. John Donaldson

    # 8 Martyn

    All country editions of FTM are exactly the same

    So any version anywhere in the world will detect the update and offer to install it

    John D

  8. Good News!!!
    Now I just wait for the implementation of the Plugins feature.
    I believe it will be the solution to my dreams of having the program translating reports to Portuguese.

  9. Christopher

    Thank you for the new features, which appear to work well.

    Just a suggestion, Michelle:
    would it be possible in the future to be able to create a report that included Notes which followed on directly from their respective Facts, rather than all together at the end?


  10. William Boswell

    I just got the update and can’t wait to use it. I just love this new 2009 version.

    I spend more time using it on a daily basis. It’s like a computer game, only your ancestors are characters in the game leading you to your next clue.

    I’ve found a lot of information I didn’t find before using previous versions. The merging feature is a big plus as well as the green leaf that guides you to potential hits.

  11. Billy Huffman

    Thanks for the updated every since family tree maker 2009 has come out I have got back into doing my research and I have connect will several new family members. Family tree maker 2008 almost made me quit doing anything so glad the 2009 is so great

  12. Joyce

    Just downloaded the update and it worked flawlessly! I’m excited about using the new source templates. Where can I find information on them?

  13. Mary Beth Marchant

    I installed my FTM 2009 then downloaded the patch. I imported two trees into it and had not problems. UNTIL-I tried to import another one and have had many problems. #1-even after I checked the FTM 2006 file and found no errors, I got an error on an individual and the file would not import. I found a blog about that and fixed that one. #2-I tried again and got a “parameter error” of some kind. #3-THEN-I got System out of memory exception was thrown”. I have lots of memory on my computer. If this is the kind of mess there is and I have to practically gut my FTM 2006 file to get it to load, I will just go back to my tried & true FTM 2006. I don’t get errors there!!!

  14. Mary Morrison

    Downloaded your update. Can’t understand the new sources/citations/templates,etc.
    I can’t seem to edit repositories….no drop down box to select from. I think it’s a mess.
    Hopefully, you will give us guidance, PLEASE.

  15. Jill Duff

    One step forward… two steps back…
    (a)Set spouse order no longer works
    (b)In Person view – Add Task – the Category/Location is now empty – although it is okay if you enter a new task in Plan
    (c) Two crashes in two minutes

  16. Glen Swindell

    Update worked a treat, but I have not got far without encountering issues. It seems that you can no longer open a new file in a separate window without the software crashing.

    Glen S

  17. Michelle Pfister

    The patch released yesterday. Tana L. Pedersen will be here tomorrow to explain some of the new features.

  18. Michelle Pfister

    Thank you for the comments you’ve been making. A few of you have mentioned seeing problems with the free upgrade. I’ve forwarded these issues to our development manager, and so far, we have not been able to see the same problems on our systems, nor have the beta testers reported them in their testing. This frequently means that the problem is specific to a particular file, or hardware configuration. I will correspond with individuals outside of this blog to try to understand these differences and hopefully get to the bottom of why they’re happening. Thanks!

  19. Kathy Marie


    As you know I have previously commented on some of the errors dealing with “preferred and non preferred (alternate) name facts” in reports generated by FTM 2009.

    Note: as previously reported, these name fact errors occurred where and when (Master) Sources and Source Citations had been developed and entered into FTM 2009 for both preferred and non preferred name facts

    In an endeavor to obtain the status of “fixes” of those previously reported errors I tested the recently released version of FTM 2009 for the following seven reports and their fact options

    Family Group Sheet
    Individual Report
    Outline Descendant Report
    Simple Register Report
    Register Report
    Simple Ahentafel Report
    Ahnentafel Report
    As you know all the reports indicate they are capable of being run to include only preferred facts or to include both preferred and non preferred (alternate) facts. What’s more all the reports are able to be run with all the facts available in a person’s data base. [In my opinion both of these alternatives are excellent].

    I ran the reports (for an individual in my data base having a high number of alternate facts with all the facts available in my data base for that person). I ran each of the reports separately with the preferred fact box both checked and unchecked (In total I ran 14 different reports – each of the seven reports with the preferred fact box checked and unchecked).

    The results of my tests are as follows.

    The Family Group Sheet report seems to be correct

    The Individual Report is incorrect when run with the preferred fact box unchecked and the error occurs with the handling of “Alternate Fact Names.” To easily see this error choose any person in a test data base for which both preferred and alternate names have been entered (and documented with Sources/Source Citations). Run a Family Group Sheet report for that person and then run an Individual Report for the same person, then lay the two reports side by side and compare the handling of fact names. The errors become obvious and are the exact same errors I previously reported in the Test Data Base I sent you. Needless to say the Individual Report is incorrect [under the stated circumstance] and the report is unusable.

    The Outline Descendant report is also incorrect when run with the preferred fact box unchecked and the error occurs again with the handling of “Alternate Fact Names.” No Alternate Fact Names are shown any place on the report (only the preferred name fact is shown). Note: all other alternate facts for non name facts are shown on the report. To see this error just run an Outline Descendant Report for the Test Person in the above mentioned test Data Base

    The Simple Register report is also incorrect when run with the preferred fact box unchecked and the error occurs again with the handling of “Alternate Fact Names.” No Alternate Fact Names are shown any place on the report (only the preferred name fact is shown). Note: all other alternate facts for non name facts are shown on the report. To see this error just run a Simple Register for the Test Person in the above mentioned test Data Base

    The Register report is also incorrect when run with the preferred fact box unchecked and the error occurs again with the handling of “Alternate Fact Names.” No Alternate Fact Names are shown any place on the report (only the preferred name fact is shown). Note: all other alternate facts for non name facts are shown on the report. To see this error just run a Register for the Test Person in the above mentioned test Data Base

    The Simple Ahnentafel report is also incorrect when run with the preferred fact box unchecked and the error occurs again with the handling of “Alternate Fact Names.” No Alternate Fact Names are shown any place on the report (only the preferred name fact is shown). Note: all other alternate facts for non name facts are shown on the report. To see this error just run a Simple Ahnentafel for the Test Person in the above mentioned test Data Base

    The Ahnentafel report is also incorrect when run with the preferred fact box unchecked and the error occurs again with the handling of “Alternate Fact Names.” No Alternate Fact Names are shown any place on the report (only the preferred name fact is shown). Note: all other alternate facts for non name facts are shown on the report. To see this error just run an Ahnentafel for the Test Person in the above mentioned test Data Base


    So, in my opinion, all the reports (with the exception of the Family Group Sheet) are incorrect and unusable when run with the preferred fact box unchecked and the error occurs with the handling of “Alternate Fact Names.” Fortunately this error only occurs with alternate facts dealing with “Fact Names” It should be easy to fix if someone will just look at the algorithm used to generate the Family Group Sheet and use it as a pattern for a fix.

    One other comment, lest it is thought that the reports are not in error another comparison can be made. Just compare the reports mentioned above with the equivalent reports in Family Tree Maker 2006, Version 16 and it will easily be seen that he reports are correctly generated there.


  20. Michael Seamans

    Worse than Microsoft Vista!

    This update is horrid!

    I was REALLY looking forward to using the book building function of this update – I actually had a day off work yesterday so I decided to use it to construct a new book from the old one I had in FTM version 16.

    This update is RIDDLED with bugs! Where is the testing and QC that’s supposed to come with software?

    Just a couple issues:

    – After creating a somewhat large book (i.e. about 300 pages) FTM runs with over 200MB+ of memory. At a couple of times, I got error messages that my computer ran out of memory – pretty tough to do when its the only program running on a laptop with 1GB of memory & a 1GB+ pagefile.

    – FTM runs extremely slow performing simple tasks, even when its NOT eating a ton of memory.

    I’ll not waste time listing the rest – suffice it to say that this “upgrade” was more of a downgrade; yet another poor performance for this software.

    I am sooo unhappy that I decided to upgrade this software from version 16.

    If I can’t use these extra functions in FTM, then I’m better off using a free program like Personal Ancestral File (PAF). At least its fully stable and I can count on it…

  21. J Hintz

    If you’re on a dialup connection, be aware downloading the update will take more than an hour. If the download is interrupted, it apparently does not have resume capability and restarts from the beginning.

    I have not yet run a conversion with books, but the previous comment gives me pause – the reunion book for this summer is currently a little over 500 pages.

  22. Tom Sommer

    I read that the update included the ability to upload notes into personal trees on Ancestry,com. I uploaded a tree from FTM2009 (post update), but “fact notes” cannot be found anywhere.

    Did I misunderstand the update? Thanks

  23. Harold Brattland to One-page PDF:
    What used to work in FTM2006 and, now only produces a pdf with a big red X instead of a Descendant Chart. Apparently, the Module XtraPrinting-v8.3.3, which shows up in the PDF Properties, builds a file too large or some other problem. I have used the ‘Lowest’ setting, but still am unable to get a usable product. The chart generator shows 36 8.5×11 pages, chart size 142×21, about 225 people. I would like to have this capability back as I have several charts to do for my family reunion.

    Additionally, the PDF Export Options Panel needs to have some guidance in help for settings to be used. eg,Page Range — what works in here; Dont Embed These Fonts — How would we know what to type in here — I want to suppress all unused fonts–how; Image quality — to what does this apply…photos or line graphics.

    Can we use the previous v7 of XtraPrinting module with to gain back the OnePagePDF cabability???

  24. Michelle Pfister

    Michael #24

    A 300 page book will likely use a lot of memory especially if you include very many charts. The performance of book building and the performance of the software in general is a major focus for us, and we will continue to work on improvements in this area.

  25. Peter Mason

    Sorry to keep knocking the software as others do, but don’t Microsoft issue the Windows operating system with faults each time and then continually fix faults through it’s life. because most people want to run a Windows system because that is what they are most comfortable with (rather than Linux for example) you are as a user unfortunately used as system testers after the product is released.

    Sounds like TGN want to do the same thing now!

  26. Gary Holdcroft

    I have to agree with others – one step forward, two steps back. The speed of the “Use existing source-citation”, which seemed to have been resolved, is now back to 20+ seconds load time.

  27. Martyn Parsons

    Have just purchased 2009 version and a couple of days after installing was invited to install an update. Loading time increased from 25 secs to over a minute and maxed out the cpu during this time. And more worrying the program took over a minute to shut down maxing out the CPU again. I also lost the web dialogue box. Impossible to roll back so I’ve had to uninstall and re-install again. Have checked the patch aplication again with the same results. Back now to the original once more.

    Noww every time I start up it askes me to upgrade again. Very poor patch application technique.

  28. Mitch

    I just tried to add a task to a person while in that person’s facts window. When I tried to select a category for the task, none of my categories were available to choose from. I closed the task menu and saved it. Two categories had been selected, and one of them was selected twice. I didn’t do that.

    I went to the plan pane where all of my tasks file wide are listed. I opened the task that had the problem and was able to unselect the categories automatically selected for me and select the correct one.

    Is this a bug anyone else is noticing, or did I get a bad install on the update?

    Again I say, is my file safe with this application? I want to use it, but it has to be completely trustworthy.

  29. Michelle MM

    thanks for the update but you still have not included the ALL IN one TREE, please can you produce a patch for the and let everyone know whne this is happening


  30. Mitch

    In the plan pane, when adding a new task, I selected a single category. A second category was added TWICE to the task without my help.

  31. Ian Ponting

    I have FTM 2009 installed on my desktop(windows XP Media Center Edition) and on my laptop(Vista Home Premium 64 bit). I updated my desktop with the the latest patch. However when trying to update my Laptop I receive a message stating administrator access required do not have system administrator rights… I am logged on to my laptop as administrator(I’m the only user account). Any suggestions.
    This is the only problem I’ve had with FTM 2009. I find it functions very well.

  32. Martyn Parsons

    Hi Ian,

    Sounds like you need to activate the super user account.

    This link has a really good explanation.


  33. Kathy Marie


    I creatd a book in FTM 2009. As part of that book I included an extended Family Chart. The book building/creation process went well and the extended Family Chart of Ten generations was created. However, when I tried to Preview the Book I got the following message: “An error occurred while generating your book. The given key was not in the Dictionary,” The total book was created in the Preview Mode except for the extended Family Chart. I have no idea what “a given key” is. I asssume the programmers know. Again, the tree was for 10 generations and it was created when I built the book. It just wouldn’t generate in the Preview Mode

  34. Joe Bissett

    I am in a bind. I’ve been using FTM since V 1.0, and I want to update to FTM 2009. I have FTM v. 16.0.350, product code 019258F00 on my old W98 computer. I can NOT find my CD to install on my newer XP computer so that I can upgrade. My old computer is no longer on line.

    I’m sure you can recommend a solution.

    Thanks, Joe

  35. Lanelle

    I installed the update and now I can not open ftm 2009. At first I got a message stating the FTM 2009 had stopped working properly and asked if I wanted to check for a solution or close the program and I chose to close the program.

    Then I got a message telling me FTM 2009 was not closed properly and I needed to “compact” my last opened file which I did.

    As I looking at what was new I clicked on creat a media usage report. I got the FTM 2009 has stopped working message. I clicked on find solution and then close the program. When IO tried to open FTM 2009 again it would not open.

    I installed ftm 2009 with the free update last fall, if I uninstall I don’t have a way to reinstall the program.

    What can I do?

  36. Bob Fuller

    I don’t know if this is the place for this problem, but here it is.
    I have a problem with notes in a GEDCOM made from FTM 2009. When I make a GEDCOM, the notes all come out “left justified”. This makes a lot of my notes almost unreadable.
    What can be done about this?

  37. I have been a member of ancestry for several years now. What is the difference between Ancestry and Family tree maker? Thank you. Sharon

  38. I have just installed Version 09 of FTM. I am glad that I have not erased V, 16 yet. However I noticed that the new will not recognize that any of the ancestors are connected to me. Could this be because i may have recorded my adoption in the wrong way?

  39. Corrine Corbin

    I’ve purchased Fam Tree Maker 2005, then got the newest called ver 11.?. Then last year I again purchased Fam Tree Maker 2008. Are the newer editions so drastically different that I must purchase another program? Why not just upgrade my current 2008 to the newest 2009 version?

  40. Martyn Parsons

    Hi Lanelle (#42)

    You seemed to have the same problem as me. On my computer installing the update slowed the program down enormously. I was upgrading only one step as I have only just purchased the latest 2009.

    The major slowdown is in the startup and shut down stages. My computer was hanging at max cpu for 1 minute + before the backup file was saved. If certain programs, including MS Access were opened during this period FTM 2009 crashed. At the next start the working and backup files are now out of sync resulting in the request to compact.

    This is a poorly designed update proceedure. It modifies files and according to the update log does not back the old files up so you can’t roll back. Also rolling back using XP’s roll back proceedure results in a faulty FTM 2009 installation

    I know this is shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted but the answer is to never update on line but to save the patch as a file.

    This is typicle of FTM the design, of the product now is to maximise the on line subscription not to produce a flag ship program as it was years ago.

    The upside is that with the better compliance with gedcom standards I can now get my file into a state that can be imported relatively painlessly into some more professional program.

    It’s a great shame as I have been a loyal user since 1995 and Windows 3.1 having purchased every new revision except 2008.

    Just waiting for a response from support – shan’t hold my breath !!!



  41. Carol Hunter

    I have FTM 2006 and recently purchased FTM 2009. I downloaded the patches, but still find 2009 very hard to navigate. 2006 is much easier. In addition, when I try to attach media (photos) to a person in 2009, I get a message that FTM must shut down and it shuts down. I also find 2009 takes longer to open and the searches take much longer than 2006.

  42. Peggy Harless




  43. James

    Peggy – #51

    I’ve used FTM on my Mac for years (v. 15/16) using Virtual PC. FTM 2008/2009 would run better using an Intel Mac and running in Native Windows or under an emulator like Parallels, etc..

  44. roger darby

    Since the update the individual report (in persons report) has a bug.If you click put facts in chronological order,it doesn’t.It’s so frustrating as it makes a mockery of the reports.

  45. Tom Wilson

    I just purchased the Deluxe version of ftm 2009; have religiously purchased a new version every other year since 1995. My activity has come to almost a screeching halt. 2 main problems I am encountering. Any assistance would be very much appreciated! #1) When opening the “notes” section in order to paste an obit (for example), I might as well push a “shut down” button. I have to start it up again…still cannot post notes! #2) When I first started using 2009, I thought the slowness of entering data was just something I had to get used to. This is far too slow! Typing the city, county and state in would be much quicker than waiting for the program to find a location starting with “Fra” (for example). I was told I had better buy 2009 if I want to continue adding names past the 200,000 mark…currently at 201,000. $2 per minute for phone help? NO way! Ancestry should be in business to sell and serve effective software, not to make money off of a call center!

  46. Kathy Marie

    Posted on:
    February 11, 2009 at 8:01 am



    “The Individual Report is incorrect when run with the preferred fact box unchecked and the error occurs with the handling of “Alternate Fact Names.” To easily see this error choose any person in a test data base for which both preferred and alternate names have been entered (and documented with Sources/Source Citations). Run a Family Group Sheet report for that person and then run an Individual Report for the same person, then lay the two reports side by side and compare the handling of fact names. The errors become obvious and are the exact same errors I previously reported in the Test Data Base I sent you. Needless to say the Individual Report is incorrect [under the stated circumstance] and the report is unusable.”

  47. Faye L. Allen

    To whom ever—I’m not sure what you mean by A “technical issue”
    BUT–I have been trying to find out how to delete my FTM 2008, I have been trying to find out since Oct- or-Nov 2008.
    I have tried everything i know how to get an answer, BUT please get me the instructions in plain english as you can see I’m not too computer savvy..
    Thank You

  48. Jill T. Davis

    I’ve been running FTM 2009 for a couple months now and have had no noticible problems beyond operator error. Learning curve was not too bad at all. The recent update installed and runs flawlessly, and I love the book building feature!

    In playing with the book building feature, I created and named a single book of one title page. I didn’t like the name, found no immedaite way to rename it, and I tried to delete it, whereupon FTM simply crashed. Now when I try to open the book, it crashes every time.

    Now what?

  49. Brian Sullian

    I’m too very disappointed in the update to 2009. Over all my impression is that the functionality if a lot less intuitive for the user. Harder to find where you need to enter the data…still haven’t found a nice AKA field. My biggest gripe, like others have mentioned, is the save to one page PDF option. In FTM 2006, this worked like a charm. Now in 2009, the same descendent tree I can still export from 2006 to a 412kb file, either returns an “out of memory” error, gives me a pdf with a red box in it, or I have to strip it down, and squish it up, to get some sort of export. And then this file is a 1.8 mb file. Not sure how this is now 4x as large. Would love to see a fix on this issue. And added back in unique color boxes by generation.


  50. James

    Brian, #61.

    To see the AKA fact on the main page select “Customize View” then add the fact (you can add any fact to your main view for that matter.) To add this fact on the individual’s page use the “+” Add Fact mark.


  51. Brian Sullian

    Thanks James, that works for me. A little to add on the PDF export. It seems to be a major memory hog. Each time you try to create a PDF and it fails, it will pull an additional 200 mgs of memory and does not release until you quit and re-start the program. So 2 gigs of ram goes away pretty quick if you keep trying to create PDF’s at different resolutions or types to try to get one to dump out. Then you’ll get the, ‘not enough memory messages’.

    Would love to see this fixed.

  52. Jill Duff

    I’ve now rolled back to the pre update version. Sorry… the update added nothing and removed a lot…

    I’ve used FTM for many years. It looks better has more features etc. etc. It is just a pity a lot of them don’t work properly.

    “…If genealogy software has a granddaddy, it’s Family Tree Maker…”
    – ComputerUser Magazine, Dec. 2004

    Yep. This WAS true of the 2004 version. I’m afraid the same is not true in 2009.

  53. Ian Ponting

    I have a full world Ancestry subscription. I have updated with the recent patch. I am now finding quite a few “green leaf hints” which when I click on them the search begins and there are no matches not even incorrect ones. The possible matches screen has nothing listed. It has become more frequent over the last few weeks. Any one else experiencing this.

  54. Fran Harriman

    I’m on AOL, and a Member of Ancestry since 2006. I purchased FTM2008 on Jan 2. ’09, but got a 2009 CD. It is now Feb 17th. (on WinXP) I still can’t connect with Ancestry through FTM, although I used FTM 5000, on my old Win 2000, with AOL, DIRECTLY with NO problem. No IE needed.
    In the past 6 WEEKS, I have been on line to tech help, gotten reams of emails, clean-booted twice (That worked), uninstalled and reloaded 2009 3 times, consulted w/AOL 3 times, yet the error message I get REPEATEDLY is:
    Local settings\Application\data\PCHealth\error report\
    FTM.exe.mdmp.(Error reports (to Microsoft)
    My computer has been blamed, AOL has been blamed, IE has been blamed, and “help” (tech included) is giving me repeats of repeats to “do”.

    Some of my gen. files have been lost and had to be reentered using Ancestry, back to the 1600s.

    I was told TODAY there WERE NO upgrades or “fixes” for FTM 2009. Since I can’t access the internet with FTM, I obviously wasn’t notified of any. I have turned off ALL security, included exceptions, where possible, and it still won’t work. This is the only program I’ve ever bought that has caused so much trouble. I have probably messed up my computer in the process of tryimg to fix…since I was told yesterday to uninstall, reload, and download the 395(?)”fix” for FTM 2008, on my “supposedly” 2009!

  55. The program seems to have taken a step backwards with the update because I am having terrible problems with the interaction between FTM 2009 and Ancestory. Problem: leaves are appearing when the information has already been merged. Also, the leaves are appearing but when accessing Ancestory, nothing shows and one has to click the More Results, then Search buttons to access information. This may or may not have already been merged.

  56. Audrey Ruckman

    I am trying to correct a name and add other information to my late husbands family, but can’t. what do i do? His name is Jackie Derriel Ruckman and his fathers name is not Ulen, it’s Jesse Yulen Ruckman and all of our children are mixed up (not in order as to thier births. I would like to add those too.

  57. Audrey Ruckman

    I am trying to correct a name and add other information to my late husbands family, but can’t. what do i do? His name is Jackie Derriel Ruckman and his fathers name is not Ulen, it’s Jesse Yulen Ruckman and all of our children are mixed up (not in order as to thier births). I would like to add those too.

  58. CM Brown

    I just wanted to thank you for instituting “intelligent” code into FTM 2009 which streamlines the process to connect a source to multiple people. I love that FTM remains pointed at the same source as I connect the family members to that source. So much easier and quicker. THANK YOU!

  59. Ian Ponting

    Followup tp message 65. I compacted my database as suggested to me by support. I still have the green leaf displaying with no matches. Is it possible that the program is considering “more results botton” as a match? Usually when I do search for more results I can usually find some information.

  60. William Boswell

    #65, Ian Ponting:

    I’ve been having the same problem once in a while. I get a leaf in FTM 2009, when I click on it I get a page indicating there is no information available.

  61. William Boswell

    I’m hoping either the next update, or more likely the next version, will make FTM synchronize with online trees. Also more security features with uploading to online (private means private), and more options within the program to exclude source images and/or photos. Right now you only have the option to exclude images whether they are photos or source images.

    Also, previously versions of FTM allowed you to select a primary photo. I don’t necessarily want to upload my entire gallery of photos online, just a primary photo. There doesn’t appear to be any way to control this.

  62. Hi – I’ve been a FTM user since day one. I’m enquiring about a change that took place from FTM 2006 to 2008 (and carried forward). In 2006 I would create a GEDCOM and would privatize for Living persons – HOWEVER, in 2006 I would get the NAME of the living individual but nothing else. I noticed that in FTM 2008 I followed the same steps and all of my Living persons were now called LIVING. This created havoc with my web site where I have a searchable database. In order to get around that – I did my work earlier this year in FTM 2008 and then opened the file in 2006 and exported a GEDCOM to upload. That was not without some small challenges (created one erroneous individual file that threw off linking on my web site to individuals via photos, headstones,etc.) This is a long-winded way of saying it would be NICE to have security options when creating a GEDCOM/privatizing a file. For example, you could either select to retain individual name or have “LIVING.”



  63. Mitch

    Two weeks now since this string was last acknowledged by Ancestry. Hopefully that just means they are very busy making this a great application!

  64. Barbara Reecamper

    I have mixed feelings about this update. The new reports are great but my merging abilities have been messedup. I can no longer merge the media to go with the record. Most of the time the “media check box” isn’t even there. If it is there and I check the box, I still don’t get the media to merge.
    I have decided not to use the update and have reinstalled the original Family Tree 2009.


    I used FTM 2006 for several years. A month ago I “upgraded” to FTM 2009.


    After wrestling with FTM 2009 for a month — and I honestly tried — I uninstalled it, purchased Legacy, and am using Legacy.

    FTM 2009 WAS NOT AN IMPROVEMENT. The application looked and acted as though it was put together by a roomful of computer geeks whose approach was “Let’s make this thing cute but whatever we do, let’s don’t make it intuitive and easy to use.”

    On top of that, you folks have screwed up the search engine so badly that searches that previously took a minute or two now take half and hour to figure out what the search engine is searching for.

    I want to search for:
    — First name (full, partial, or initial)
    — Last name (full or partial)
    — Country
    — State if country is USA
    — Optional date range

    I recently tried searching for my maternal grandfather — for whom I previoulsy found info in a split-second — this time, I COULD NOT EVEN FIND HIM — but I found all sorts of people with similar names all over the US.

    FINALLY — I find no place on you blog for us users to start a new thread — we can only reply to an existing thread.

    I really don’t mean to be negative but over the past two months, my experience with FTM and has gone into the toilet.

  66. Michelle Pfister

    #41 Joe

    A CD of the older product is not required to upgrade to Version 2009, so you can go ahead and install the new version.

  67. Michelle Pfister

    #33 Mitch

    I have forwarded your concern to an advanced technician who will contact you regarding your question.

  68. Michelle Pfister

    #16 etc. Mary Beth,

    I’m not sure why you’re having the difficulties you mention. I’ve asked a technical support representative to contact you.

  69. Michelle Pfister

    #18, #64 Jill

    I’d like to understand specifically what you feel is not working in the Set Spouse Order feature. It is working as designed, but maybe there is something we can do to enhance it. Also, we’ve checked tasks categories, and we’re unable to see the problem you mention, and haven’t seen it mentioned by others. I’ve forwarded your concerns to our technical staff to see if we can figure out what’s going on.

  70. Michelle Pfister

    #19 Glen,

    You mention that opening a file in a separate window causes your system to crash. We’ve looked into this, and can’t seem to replicate it. I’ve forwarded your information to someone who will contact you to try to figure out what’s happening.

  71. Michelle Pfister

    #41 Joe

    The Free Upgrade is part of Version 2009. To use the new features, you’ll want to install Version 2009 first.

  72. Michelle Pfister

    #42 Lanelle,

    As long as you still have the FTM 2009 disk, you’ll be able to use it for a fresh install.

  73. Michelle Pfister

    #8 Martyn,

    Yes, you’re right in expecting that the Free Update will be available on UK versions of FTM at the same time as the US version.

  74. Michelle Pfister

    #54 David

    To import your file, first go to V16 and compact your file. You should then be able to import it into the new version.

  75. Michelle Pfister

    #56 Tom

    We know the performance of Places could you some improvement. It’s something we’re actively working on.

  76. Michelle Pfister

    #61 Brian

    I believe you might be coming against a natural limit in the PDF format. PDFs cannot be wider than 200 inches. If your request output is less than 200″ wide, please let me know and we’ll keep looking for a solution. Thanks.

  77. Michelle Pfister

    #67 Sue

    You’re seeing an issue that seems to happen intermittently. We’re tracking it down so we can fix it.

  78. Michelle Pfister

    #55 Roger

    We have identified the problem you mentioned, and it will be fixed in the next release.

  79. Phyllis Reynolds Goelz

    Is there going to be a free upgrade to FTM2009 for those who are still struggling with FTM2008???

  80. Milton H. Black

    I recently installed my Family Tree Maker 2008 that I purchased several months ago but was unable to install it on my computer due to technical difflcities. Will I be eligible for the free upgrade to FTM 2009?
    So far, I am extremely impressed with this software.

    Milton Black

  81. Anne Vickers

    Hi i recently installed the free upgrade, now when i try to open my family tree maker 2009 nothing happens… i talked to your techinal support this morning, they tried to help but in the end sent me two e-mails one was to delete the program and reinstalled it and the other was to do a clean reboot well none of this helped…i use windows xp my family tree 2009 was fine until i downoaded the patch…please get back to me asap this is drivig me crazy,
    thanks Anne

  82. Ian Ponting

    Re: comment #65 and #72. I received an email from tech support with advice on how to reso;ve the redundant green leaves showing. Seemed fine for awhile and now I’m receiving hints that have no relation to the subject. Anyone else having the same problem. Some of these hints have the ignore buttun greyed and therefore cannot be ignored.

  83. Mary Wilkes

    I have about 150,000 individuals in my files, and I was attempting to update my version 2005 to the new 2009. After 3 totally unsuccessful attempts to even copy my files over into the new version, I was finally able to copy them over (took ca. 3-4 hours), but only after an update was downloaded and installed. I sure hope this is not the patch that you are referring to that is supposed to fix the problems. My problems continue! I found that I am still not able to use the new version. It takes FOREVER to open a page, navigate, or do any simple task. I have scrapped the 2009 and will continue to use my old 2005 until you fully resolve all these issues.

  84. Lori Wooten

    I have Family Tree Maker Version 16 which is an upgrade from FTM 6. Do you have free upgrades to the latest version or is it necessary to purchase each one as it comes out. That gets kind of expensive.

    Lori Wooten

  85. Ann Jarrett

    I have used FTM 2006 (and earlier versions)for several years and loved it. Just purchased the 2009 version and was excited to make the transition.
    Until I read these blogs and downloaded the latest update.
    What happened to the concept of “first, do no harm”.

    The download took over two hours as I am on dial-up. Which would be okay IF I had been warned or IF I had the option to pause the download.
    And it is taking forever to open the program itself. The 2006 version is looking better by the minute.

  86. Bill Newcomb

    I was almost excited to hear that there was an update for FTM 2009. Again to be disappointed. As I have stated when 2008 came out and again with 2009. The data from earlier versions gets messed up and the reports are horible. Why is it that even with marriage dates, the reports mix up the sequence of multiple marriages. I am still using FTM 16 and will continue to do so until I can import my data without messing up the files. I have hundreds of hours in data entry into FTM since the ver.8 and don’t want to distroy it by importing it into newer versions until they work correctly.

  87. Ruth Cawood

    I am having problems with my family tree maker 2008, I keep getting a message that says Family Tree Maker 2008 has encoutered a problem and needs to close. We are sorry for the inconvenience.

    What can I do? I deleted the program and try to reinstalled and I keep getting to same message. HELP!

    I lost all my work on the Laptop..

    Can anyone help me with my problem?

    Ruth Cawood

  88. I have started the Family Tree would all my information go to the New Family Tree Maker. I would hate to lose all my information that I have on the tree. If I decided to take it when it comes out. Sharon

  89. Fred Johnson

    Still a bug. FTM9 allows facts to become detached from all indiviuals. Then when searching in Edit>Manage Facts>Separation>Data Options the fact is not there.
    BUT when exporting to GEDCOM the Family fact is there attached to no Indiviuals:

    0 @F00387@ FAM
    1 _SEPR
    2 DATE 1932

  90. Bob Fuller



  91. Harry Barger

    I wish to download the free family tree program. I am beginning genealogy research and do not have one. A friend suggested I contact I did, and was eventually found this page. Please advise me by e-mail how I go about downloading this free family tree program. I am retired and on social security. Thank you, Harry Barger,

  92. Shirley

    Where is the 2009 FTM update available? I have FTM 16 and recently purchased 2009. How to I switch my family file to this edition?

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