Posted by Tana L. Pedersen on December 10, 2010 in Family Tree Maker, News

Every DecemberThe Oprah Magazine, announces its top holiday gift picks. And this year we’re excited to announce that our very own Family Tree Maker 2011 made Dr. Phil’s list of “Gifts to strengthen your relationship! Family Tree Maker software combines intuitive tools with robust features and flexible options, making it ideal for family history novices and experts alike. A dynamic user interface and integration with makes it simple to create family trees, record memories, and organize photos, videos, and audio clips, plus share ancestors’ stories. Family Tree Maker (and other gifts on the list) were featured on Good Morning America in “Oprah Winfrey’s and Gayle King’s Picks: Best Holiday Gifts.” You can watch the segment on the ABC website To learn how Family Tree Maker 2011 can help you discover your family and create a lasting legacy visit to purchase your own copy of the software, visit the Ancestry Store.


  1. Arthur Granbury

    Perhaps you’ll be kind enough to tell us, Tana, how much
    Ancestry paid Dr. Phil and Oprah for product placement on their shows. Keep in mind that their disclosure statements about this are available to the public.

  2. bill

    In today’s automatic email sent by hawking its software for the third time this week, they pointed to the heartwarming story by award-winning author Ted Gup on that special Depression-era Christmas story from 1933. I guess the award-winning author forgot to proofread. Or perhaps he has gotten by all these years without knowing the difference between the words “effect” and “affect”.

  3. Kathy Marie


    I know this is not the place to put this request, but I have sent it in to Ancestry many many times and it is never resolved

    Maybe you can get it fixed

    Sometimes when I am searching using FTW 2006 v 16 I get the dreaded message something to the effect that “Your System is behind a Firewall”

    I know it is not behind a Firewall, because the search I did just seconds prior to the search went through ok. I can almost predict when I will get this message — it occurs mainly when I search on something where I have minimal data shown for a person

    I also know that it is not behind a Firewall because I can just go directly to the Ancestry Website without using FTW 2006 V16 and (using the same minimal data) get Ancestry to respond with an answer to my request.

    So I know I am not behind a Firewall and going directly to Ancestry shows I am not behind a firewall, hence I am left to conclude there is a bug in the system when I try to go via FTW 2006, v16

    Would You please find someone who can fix this ———It is very frustrating — and forces me to do many unnecessary steps to be able to set up my search (again) to go thru FTM 2006 v 16

  4. Kathy,

    If it is a bug in FTM 2006 v 16 then I’m afraid I have some bad news.

    Ancestry, to the best of my knowledge, never issues a patch for a version of the program once a new version has been released.

    It seems they consider the newest version to be a universal patch for all previous versions- even if none of the major problems of the previous versions are addressed of fixed in the latest released version.

  5. Linda English

    I have used Family Tree Maker for a long while and have been very happy with it.

    Nevertheless, I am disappointed in the new 2011 Family Tree Maker. It is tedious, slow-moving and some of the best features for me are hidden. I go to the Help menu and sort it out every time I use the FTM. I thought it would become easier as I became more familiar with it. Now I find I am avoiding it.

    I have enjoyed researching my family tree and connecting trees since 1996. The new Family Tree Maker has taken a lot of the joy out of it.

    I miss the “old” version!

  6. Tony Knight


    If the old version is one of those 2008-2010 there is nothing to stop you going back. It is a simple export choice.

    I would be tempted to say that in some households FTM would be more likely to strain rather than strengthen relationships as users become exasperated.

    I am afraid that if I were either Tana Pedersen or Mark le Monnier, my personality is such that I would be going home each day in tears at how poorly my products perform compared to their rivals

  7. Silverio Chiaradia

    Please, would you please help me?

    After this 14 days of free trial what happens to my data if I do not purchase a plan? Get lost?

    I would appreciate you answer to that.

  8. dklart

    # 9 Silverio

    Once you’ve signed up for an account on it’s yours to keep. After the 14 day trial should you choose not to become a paying subscriber, you can still access your tree. It functions the same as a paying subscribers, EXCEPT you have no access to the research databases and no access to other member trees.

  9. I don’t give a flying you know what, what Oprah thinks, even though she is boring us in Australia this week.

    Why does Ancestry refuse to add something to the tree I am working on? Why does it insist on adding it to another tree?

    Is Ancestry becoming so big it is about to topple over? I’ve been trying to add a census record to someone in one tree, and it insists on only offering me the option of adding it to a tree in which he does not exist. I have about 8 tree running, and given what I am paying for my annual sub, I am pissed off to say the least.


  10. Karis

    A bit off this topic, referring back to other blog post, but I wanted to say how much I like the new ancestry pages family view and pedigree. I waited to respond until I made sure they didn’t cause me any problems but everything seems great.

  11. worshacf

    aelfirida1 #11

    Your problem isn’t totally with ancestry, it’s with your browser not being completely compatible with the ancestry data base. True, iIt’s a real anoyance, but there is a way around the problem.

    If you aren’t normally using Firefox as a browser, sign off the browser you normally use. Sign back in using Firefox and try again. If you have multiple trees, you will then be able to select the proper tree you desire and attach the census, or photos, stories, etc.

    Good luck,

  12. Carol A. H.

    Aelfrida: (#11)

    I have had the same problem occasionally. I don’t change browsers because Firefox messes up my whole computer; other programs as well as Ancestry. Since it happens occasionally, I generally make a note in the person’s profile that a record will not attach. I try again later with my usual browser and sometimes it works.

    I have other odd ball things happen with no pattern or consistency. Since I work the hours Ancestry is available for support and can’t be home at my computer, I must wait until I have some time off to call them.

    Try anything that works for you. Be sure to make GEDCOM backups of your trees and save these files on your home computer or any other safe place. Don’t trust all your work to only one place.

  13. Anna

    Where is a good place to learn how to make a gedcom that will work to back up an ancestry online tree? Is there a tutorial?

  14. Carol A. H.

    To make a GEDCOM file of an Ancestry tree: (Go slowly.)

    1. Click “Family Trees”

    2. Click “Manage Tree” (under the tree name you want)

    3. Click “Export Tree” (wait while it works)

    4. Click “Download your GEDCOM file”

    5. Click “Save”

    6. Enter the destination you want your GEDCOM file to be saved (folder on your computer or flash drive or whatever)

    7. It will give you “Download complete”

    8. Click “Close”

    Your file is now saved as xxxxx.ged on your computer.

  15. Tony Knight

    Nowhere else I can think to post it. Someone has deleted the Family Tree Maker message board. The Mac version is still there, but the main one has gone.

  16. Tana L. Pedersen

    Thanks to all you for answering each others questions.

    Tony, I also tried to access the Family Tree Maker message boards and you’re right, they’re missing. I am checking into what happened and will let you know what I find out.

  17. Anna

    What’s up with the new family tree maker not being able to install on Windows XP? I have this problem and can’t find a fix, and I see a lot of other XP owners posting online about the same problem (missing an installer component, Error 1305). Where’s the solution?

  18. BEE

    I had a problem last week when I was trying to transfer information from one tree to another one, as well as trying to locate a document I could access from the old tree, but couldn’t find it in a new “old search”.
    I called tech support and spoke with a very nice young man who walked me through the process and solved my problem, so I was very pleased with the service I received.

  19. W Clayton

    I would appreciate someone that is a PURCHASER of FTM 2011 conducting a test for me. Take any small family branch anc create one at a time both a Ancestors Genealogy Report and a Descendants Genealogy report. Then export them in .rtf Format. Go to your Word processor and open them and see if they are 100.0% editable in .rft and do not contain built in Headers nor Footers. This has been the acid test of FTM 2008-2010 and each of them have failed the test! I will never purchase FTM again until this massive Disaster of an Issue is solved. As a volunteer at a local FHC I am asked dozens of times a year about buying a Tree program and I have told at least 100 people to never buy FTM until they wise up and fix this problem needed by SERIOUS Genealogists!

  20. Will Campbell

    I’ve been reading this blog since FTM 2008 came out, and yet I’m still surprised at the visceral negativity many of the comments contain here. If you don’t like a product, then don’t purchase it. There’s no need to troll the blog. Most game forums are more civil than this, and they’re frequented by 14 year old boys. I wouldn’t have expected genealogists to be such scrooges.

    If you are an owner of Family Tree Maker 2008-2011, you are entitled to request bug fixes and enhancements. You have a right to ask for a discount on upgrades to new versions. But do so in a constructive manner. We have a saying at my company: “don’t call the developer’s baby ugly.” People don’t want to help people that aren’t polite, positive, and reasoned. A little niceness goes a long way!

    Happy Holidays,

  21. Tony Knight

    At the risk of being called a Troll.

    There is firstly no forum where anyone can vent, so if someone is silly enough to start a thread saying how wonderful FTM is, then look out.

    There was a comedy programme on British television some time ago called “Never mind the quality, feel the width”. This perhaps describes FTM succintly. It has loads of bells and whistles, but it simply doesn’t work properly for many people on an absolutely basic level. I like it for its format, but the number of man hours I have lost, because it won’t work properly is unbelievable.

    We start with having to jump through hoops even to instal it. It doesn’t like large amounts of data and runs slow and crashes. Bring in file from another a program such as Legacy and it may corrupt your data, etc etc etc.

    The core problems are not suffered by the users of other programs and it is therefore the quality of the code and/or the obesession with integration with Ancestry that is to blame.

    Bow to Mac users wish to have a Mac version, base it on FTM2010 Windows and it has all the problems of that version, including some that had been patched out and extras thrown in.

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