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

Hello Everyone,

We want to thank you all for your questions and participation in the webinar for Family Tree Maker 2010. We had a great turnout, with about 2,000 of you participating live with us that night.

We answered as many questions as time permitted, and we’re sorry if we weren’t able to get to yours yet. But don’t worry, we’ve got a list of the questions asked during the webinar, and we’ll be posting here to answer what we can. Again, specific questions about errors or technical problems will be answered much more quickly if you email or give our customer support center a call.

We just wanted to briefly mention some of the more frequently asked questions here:

Q: Will the webinar be available for viewing at a later date?

A: Yes. We will have the archived webinar up on our site in a few days. When its available, you can find this webinar, and past webinars at The webinars can be found on both in the Help section and on under the Learning Center.

Q: What about phantom hints with the shaky leaves?

A: We are aware of this problem, and are working on getting things fixed. Right now the best thing is to be patient with us, or email for some help.

Q: There were lots of questions about functions in the program.

A: Many of those can be answered within the program itself, so you don’t have to wait for us to get back to you to get working on your family history. To get answers, go to the Help menu in Family Tree Maker, and there you will find the Training Tutorials and Online Help Center.

The tutorials are videos on your program that go over some of the basics of Family Tree Maker, and are great for visualizing what you want to do within the program.

The Online Help Center gives you access to the Getting Started Guide. This handy guide will help you begin your first Family Tree Maker project and master the program’s basic features. You can quickly navigate to the section you would like to see for the answers you are looking for.

Also in Online Help Center is a link to our free online database of Knowledge Base articles. These are often made up of answers excerpted from the Official Guide, and are updated often. These are a lot of the same answers Customer Support would provide–it’s the same set of information they work from when they’re answering your questions. By typing in a few key words of what you are looking for, such as “splitting trees” or “duplicate people,” a list of articles will display that you can browse through to find what you are looking for.

During the webinar, there were many more questions, and just to give you a heads up for what we’re working on to put in the blog post, keep your eye out for these new posts:

Book publishing

Source Citation

Transferring Files



  1. Lynn


    Thank you for the webinar. It was very nicely done — I even had one of my questions answered 🙂

    Keep up the good work and please do share with us what is coming next!

  2. Jack D. White

    It would much easier for you and the person searching, if you would pay more attention to the race of a person. In most cases. If I am looking for James Smith from Indiana. When I see his race, then I immediately know whether he is kin to me or not. In most cases.

  3. Clois Richardson

    I watched the 2010 presentation. I wanted to tell you thay I thought it was great. I thought it was well presented and the material was very informative.
    I would like to see more.

  4. Joy Robbins

    THANKS for your email. I did not attend because I’m returning 2010. it does not work no matter what the technicians suggest I try. It scrambled relationships; dropped all media; and is just a mess (I have VISTA and upgrading from 2009). I appreciate FTM, but do not appreciate the problems this product has caused me.

  5. Tom Sommer

    I watched the webinar. I have use FTM for a number of years from the early versions to 2010. I learned several things about the capability of 2010. Thanks.

    I have never had any trouble installing any FTM or bringing my files from previous versions into the new one.

  6. Darilee Ibsen

    I find quite a few key errors on names. Is there a function to let you know so it can be fixed? I don’t see it in the report feature.

  7. Andy Hatchett

    Please look at the member tree below:

    (copy and paste the above link if broken into two lines)

    I believe, after the recent Drouin incident, that we all learned a valuable lesson about saving actual images and documents to our hard drives rather than just linkls on trees or in shoeboxes.

    The next step, of course, is to make sure that those images on our hard drives are backed up.

    What better way to back them up than to upload them as actual images attached to our tree!

    That way we know that even if our hard drive fails AND the links on our trees and in our shoe boxes go away we will still have access to our images.

    Neat Idea- huh?

    Comments welcomed

  8. Deborah Myers

    FTM 2010 is my first ancestry product. Initially, I had significant trouble with the product and trying to load trees from ancestry. I did get technical support from ancestry, they were nice, but not helpful.

    Ultimately, I figured the problem out on my own. I use firefox instead of internet explorer. At least on my computer FTM 2010 doesn’t work with firefox, but works well with internet explorer.

    I don’t imagine I am the only person to experience this issue. It would have been helpful to know about the issue with firefox….this kind of information of front would have made me a happier customer.

    I am pleased with FTM 2010 and found the webinar helpful. Tutorials seem to be aimed at covering the basics. Will another tutorial or webinar speak to the more advanced features of FTM 2010?


  9. Melvin

    A significant problem was solved by your presentation. However, the major problem only I can solve – wanting to dive into new software without going through the tutorials. I suppose you relate to that. I appreciate, too, your arquiving these webinars for review or for schedule conflicts.

  10. Carol U.

    I have received but not loaded FTM 2010 and have sent for the instruction book. I live in a rural area and am unable to get high speed or Dsl and have dial up. Will I have a problem using the 2010 program? I was unable to get the webinar because of this.

  11. Andy Hatchett

    Carol Re: #10

    Using FTM 2010 by itself shouldn’t be a problem but you may run into problems when it comes to using the features that require interaction with the website.

    While they have made an effort to improve page download times it can still be painfully slow at times- and I am on cable!

    Server time-outs will almost certainly happen on occasion if you are on dial up.

  12. BEE

    I finally got the courage to install FTM 2010 today, and don’t seem to have any problems. I have two individual trees on FTM 2009 and intended to leave them there for the time being. Because of something I read on this blog,I thought I closed them and thought I logged out, but when I installed the 2010, it still tried to download them? I thought I stopped that from happening, and that they were intact in FTM 2009. I then exported three smaller trees to FTM 2010. I do use Firefox exclusively. One tree has many “errors” that I don’t know how to fix, but for now will ignore that.
    My problem is, I now seem to have everything that is in my two original trees duplicated, and there are three “auto backups”, all in FTM 2010.
    When I checked back to the 2009, it was blank, but I was able to restore them from my file. I then backed it up in the 2009, but it says “backup file 2010” – I have no idea if I should leave all these back up files? Delete earlier ones? Is it really backing up the 2009, or what?
    These may be dumb questions, but where did all the documents go that I have in these three trees I just exported to FTM 2010 – do they have to all be added individually?
    One last question – does “privitizing my trees” remove them, so that everytime I open either Family Tree Maker, I have to go back to the file and open from there?
    Thank you for anyone’s help!

  13. Kenneth CampbellJr.

    I love the idea for these webinars, but my computer doesn’t have sound. I can’t tell what’s being said. I tried to cancel my registration, but couldn’t figure how how. I hope to correct this problem, but do not know when I’ll be able to.

    You see I’ve recently been diagnosed with Leukemia. I’m not working and have already run out of sick leave and vacation time. We are now living off of our savings. So I do not know when I can get sound in my computer.

    I wish you great success with your webinars as someday I hope to join in. Thank you Ken

  14. Marie Russell

    My comment is not about the 2010 resentation but about something I do not understand. When I am searching birth, marriage & death records I put in the correct name, correct birth date, dorrect place, date of death, correct place, etc. Why does the search start with the wrong person, a date that is 100 years off and I have to go thru hours of looking at something that I do not need? M. Russell

  15. Andy Hatchett

    Marie Re:#14

    The answer is that Ancestry, in its “wisdom”, has chosen to not make the main search screen an *exact* search
    so what you are asking for is

    1) Any record with that name OR
    2) Any record with that date of birth OR
    3) Any record with that place of birth OR
    4) Any record with that date of death OR
    5) Any record with that place of death,

    Also note that Ancestry adds a fudge factor to dates.

    All in all- a *very* fuzzy search!

    You have to go to advance search and mark each entry as exact to come anywhere close to getting what you actually want – and even then it is still a mess, just a smaller mess.

  16. Re #15 Andy and #14 Marie

    You could of course just revert to the good old ‘old’ search for the initial search and then drill down in the relevant record collections using dates and places.


  17. Andy Hatchett

    Tony C Re:#16

    That is, of course, an option…

    or Ancestry could make a *real* search engine- as if!


  18. Susan

    I uploaded FTM 2010 on my laptop with Vista and all of my information and media from FTM 2009 correctly installed and I am very happy. I thought the webinar was very good. Thank you!!

  19. John Donaldson

    # 8 Deborah

    Actually Deborah is is slightly different

    You can use FF as your default browser in FTM quite happliy, but you do need IE installed as well as it is used in the background for web calls to maps aand other internet functions.

    Given that FTM 2010 runs in MS .NET, uses MS Bing Maps and runs in MS Windows it is a pretty sure bet that it would also use MS IE for its critical web functions

    John D

  20. John Donaldson

    # 10 Carol

    Your maps and web search won’t work as well

    May be good to turn off automatically search when connected to the Internet except or work offline except when you need it.

    John D

  21. Can you stop tree searching and just search the ancestry catalogs?

    I’m trying one more time to use 2010 but the trees are getting in the way, too many leaves of duplicated people in far too many trees 🙁


  22. Don Strickland

    When are the problems with FTM uploads to Home Page’s going to be fixed???? These problems have been a problem for several months. Why not fix existing problems, before bringing out a new product???


  23. Deborah Myers

    #19 John

    Thank you for the information John. I do have IE installed on my computer, though didn’t have it running during my initial attempts to use FTM 2010 and import my trees off ancestry. They did install fairly well intact when I switched from FF to IE.

    I didn’t have success using FF when searching within FTM. The program would freeze up or close, even if IE is open. It may be a slight inconvenience to use IE when I habitually use FF, but I’m willing to deal with this slight adjustment to use FTM.

    Thanks you


  24. Joyce

    I recently purchased Family Tree Maker and waiting for its arrival. The comment #4 from Joy concerns me as I have VISTA also. Is FTM version 10 compatible with VISTA? or are there others having problems?

  25. Warren Rue

    In the new 2010 version of FTM the method for calculating relationships may set some new record for the most convoluted paradigm in history. I sincerely hope that it is a mistake and will soon be corrected.

    Thank you

  26. Andy Hatchett

    If a relationship calculator can tell me one person is the 5th cousin of a daughter-in-law of the third wife of my great great grandaunt’s son-in-law’s father then I’m all for it!

  27. Michelle Pfister

    Joyce, # 24

    Yes, Family Tree Maker 2010 is compatible with Vista. It is also compatible with Windows XP, and has been tested with Windows 7.

    We’ve had few reports of problems with Vista, and most of them can easily be resolved by speaking with our technical support team. Your program should be just fine when it arrives.

  28. Nigel Coleman

    I’ve been running FTM 2010 (UK) for many days now, been using FTM for a long time and many versions. For the most part I cannot agree with various online reviews that the new program is faster. I run a highly accelerated PC (i7 960 o/c) 12GB ram, Win 7 x64. Perhaps it does perform better on slower PC’s compared to previous versions? I perceive no difference with my system.

    Apart from the obvious bugs already reported I do have one serious bug. Having recently scanned my parents’ photo albums (not in FTM) I decided to add some media to various persons. I selected a ‘person’ from the tree then > Individual & Shared Facts. Here I select the media tab and click ‘New’. The ‘select’ dialog appears and moments later I have a catastrophic operating system failure, with no access to any function, including the Windows Task Manager! Next comes the BSOD which I have never seen in Win7 in months of use. . . Forcing a reboot, my primary hard disk is not responding and now I’m worried! After breathing into a paper bag for a bit (only joking) I figure out that “somehow” the bios has been changed; the primary hard disk is now set to my secondary disk, containing no OS. I change it back.

    Just to be sure it wasn’t freak occurrence I repeated the procedure several times after rebooting. Although no BSOD or weird altering of the bios this time, the system hangs just the same, every time I try to use the add function within the media tab in ‘individual & shared facts”.

    I must say I do like the added feature in ‘Web search’ where the merge ‘button’ now has a timer which is waiting for background actions to complete. One of my biggest gripes with previous versions was that often during heavy server activity, trying to merge data from UK BMD and other sources would almost inevitably result in FTM (2008/9) hanging and requiring a restart. This no longer happens in 2010, so thanks for that.

  29. Nigel Coleman

    Sorry, me again. I neglected to mention that from the outset, the first use of any open or select dialog would result in FTM2010 crashing. Re-starting the program and following the identical procedure normally results in expected operation.

    For the ‘wish list’ I would like to be able to scan directly in from the “Attach New Media” button in “edit Source Citation”. Also, a nice touch would be a new context function for the right mouse button which would allow the user to make a direct web search by right clicking on on any name in the ‘Personal Information’ in “Individual & Shared Facts” and also from the Family tab.

  30. Chris

    Why remove a perfectly acceptable method of a relationship calculator which is pretty standard across the board for some complicated tomfoolery whereby I am a great grandson of 2nd Great Grandfather of me when it was alright to call the other person a second cousin twice removed!!!
    Why change things for changes sake?

  31. BEE

    Still can’t get “documents” – census, ship manifest, etc to import to FTM2010 from my ancestry trees.
    I have attached as many documents as I can find for each and every person on my various “trees” on ancestry – at least I assume they are attached. They are listed under historical records. How do you get them to appear in the “media gallery” box as Andy’s example in #7? If they were all in the media gallery, would they export to FTM 2009 and 2010? However, I don’t think it happens automatically on FTM2009 as it is supposedly done with FTM2010, but doesn’t.
    How do you delete duplication of information on FTM2009 such as two listings for the same census? Thank you

  32. Andy Hatchett

    Bee Re: #32

    You have to remember that when you “attach” a document to your online tree that you are not actually attaching the document to it but merely adding a link to the actual image that is on Ancestry’s servers.

    To get the actual document to show in your Media Gallery you have to save the image of the document to your computer and then upload that saved image using the Add Photo function to really attach it to the person you want it attached to.

  33. Pat Blanchard

    I did not attend the webinar, since I was busy updating my data base, and attaching sources to those individuals that were missing same. However, I want to let you know that I have had great success with FTM 2010 … had to get used to it, as well as the “new” search engine. I’m taking my tree, individual by individual, and cleaning up errors. It’s a dirty job, but the software is working beautifully. I know folks tend to hate unsourced trees on, but I have found that sometimes they give me a “leg up” on getting starting information. From there I always check for sources to document my tree. I have also enjoyed adding photographs to my trea via these on-line public trees. The reports in FTM 2010 need some work, but that issue has already been addresed here. I have Windows XP, so maybe that makes a difference … don’t know. I also make it a habit of compacting my tree after any long session of adding and deleting information. That seems to keep everything on an even keel … no crashes. Thanks guys! I’m getting there, slowly but surely.

  34. Andy Hatchett

    My pleasure Bee.

    Contrary to the opinion of some, I am not a person unwilling to help or to share information.


  35. Janice McCoury

    I missed the webinar. I just downloaded 2010 FTM and all my notes are missing from the 2009 version. I had to reload 2009 to get to them, is this a fixable issue? What do I have to do to get them into 2010?


  36. BEE

    Andy, I followed your directions and with a little more guidance, I’m hoping that I can figure all this out before this blog closes. I worked on the smallest of my trees yesterday downloading all the documents to my computer, then uploading them to that tree. I then opened the tree in IE although I always use Firefox, exported it to FTM2010 and am happy to say all the “media files” are there as well as in the folder it created on my computer.
    Now my question: I have all these documents that I first downloaded and labeled with the name of the document and who it applies to in a folder labeled with the family name. The media folder that appeared in the “FTM2010” folder has the same documents with a bunch of numbers as identification. Do I have to keep this duplication? I would prefer the labeled documents over the ones that are numbered, but there is no way I can re-label the ones with the numbers, and I assume deleting them would delete them from FTM, and replacing them with those in the other folder would make them unrecognizable to FTM?
    One more question if you don’t mind – if FTM creates an AutoBackup, why does it continually ask if I want to do a “backup” – does the AutoBackup keep updating or not? If I do a “new” backup can I delete previous backups? What about the original AutoBackup? I hope I haven’t taken advantage of your generous offer to help, but this seems to be the only way to get answers in a timely manner. I did get an email from “support” on 5/10 to a previous question with a partial answer, but haven’t gotten a reply to my follow-up question, and may not need it now thanks to this blog, your help, and “trial and error” on my part. I just wish I had known how to download, etc. all those documents as I went along creating my trees on ancestry, as it is now a monumental task.

  37. Mary Beth Marchant

    For #38-Bee

    Duff Wilson was extremely helpful to me with the problem I had getting FTM 2010 to accept one of my files. He kept on with me until the problem was settled. I have found some folks at Ancestry to be helpful and some not so helpful but Duff Wilson is very helpful.

  38. Michelle Pfister

    Nigel #28

    Nigel, I’m sorry that you’ve had this difficult situation. We have had no reports of similar problems and have not been able to reproduce this issue on our Windows 7 machines. We will contact you directly.

  39. Michelle Pfister

    Chris #30

    The relationship calculator in Family Tree Maker 2009 was accurate, but more limited than the one in the 2010 version. Because of this, some relationship problems that existed in the data were not exposed in Family Tree Maker 2009 or were simply reported as “No relationship found.” The new relationship calculator in the 2010 version is much more thorough in finding whatever relationships exist. Some people interpret unexpected relationships as errors in the relationship calculator, when they are actually errors in the data.

    If you find something that is unexpected, it probably indicates that there is a relationship you didn’t know about or you have an incorrect parent/child or husband/wife link somewhere in your data.

    You can use the relationship calculator from the Tools menu to find these errors and then correct them using the “Attach” or “Detach” options in the “Person” menu.

  40. Andy Hatchett

    Bee Re:#38

    I have to start by saying I don’t really “use” FTM as I find it lacks the precision control and customization I feel is needed to produce what I require. My program of choice is The Master Genealogist. I do have a very old copy of FTM that I keep because it does one report that I like so when I want that report I generate a gedcom from TMG and import it to FTM just to run that particular report and then delete that so no data is left in FTM for the next time I need a new report.

    That said, my guess would be that FTM needs the numbered version of the files for proper operation. What you might want to do, and it will take a bit of work to set it up, is to do a spread sheet, one column with the name you gave it and one column with the number FTM gave it.

    As to how FTM handles backups… I have no clue whatsoever! *grin*

    Sorry I can’t be of more help on this. Hopefully a real FTM user will see this and help with your questions.

  41. Karen

    Is everything that is in the
    “The Official Guide to Family Tree Maker 2010 Book actually contained in the help secton” of the CD program?
    Is the little book of answers FTM 2010 additional information tips to the help program?

  42. Tom

    Michelle #41
    I agree with everything you stated which is a great tool for correcting errors. It great for identifying why someone is in my tree. However, I used copies of the Kinship Report in FTM 2009 and previous versions for providing to younger family members a list of everyone they are blood related to. These old Kinship Reports where approximately 35 pages long now they are over 90 pages and difficult to read for the uninformed.

    Can you possible issue a change FTM 2010 to give the old FTM 2009 Kinship Report also?

  43. Michelle Pfister

    Karen #43

    The Help menu has a good portion of the information that is contained in the Official Guide. The Official Guide is a helpful extra for those who like to work with a printed book, and want more detailed explanations.

    The Little Book of Answers covers ways to handle family details that are a little out of the ordinary, for example, how to enter adopted individuals into your tree.

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