Posted by Tana L. Pedersen on April 8, 2011 in Events, Family Tree Maker

Do you have a lot to say about Family Tree Maker? Then we want to hear from you. In May the National Genealogical Society Family History Conference is being held in Charleston, South Carolina. As part of the event, we will be having a focus group at 12:30 pm on Thursday, May 12th, to find out what you think about the product. If you are attending the conference and are interested in being considered as a participant in the discussion, please email us at and include this information:

  • The version of Family Tree Maker you are currently using
  • How long you’ve used Family Tree Maker
  • Genealogy skill level: beginning, experienced, expert

We look forward to hearing from you!


  1. Donna Wright

    FTM 2010 does not have the provision for automatic assignment of personal ID numbers. By someone in your customer service area, I was offered the option to manually enter one, but it is not a good solution since you cannot sort by the number. How about a patch? We who are unemployed cannot drop more money for 2011 when we just bought 2010 a few months ago. I’m dissatisfied so far mostly because of that missing feature. I would appreciate a reply

  2. Anna

    Please explain to me how they cannot have live customer support of any type! I’m locked out of the system — they say I’m logged on elsewhere – which I’m not. And I can’t reset it online or reach anyone to take care of this. Very very very poor service!

  3. Irene Farmer

    It’s necessary to clean up “hints” about my Danish family every week. The hints are so far off base and completely useless…how many Lars Larsens have lived in Denmark over the generations? Sometimes a few Norwegians and Swedes are included.

    I’d like to be able to turn off “hints” for this family.

    I do research in the Danish archives on line. It is tedious but so satisfying to gather reliable

    Thank you

    Irene Farmer

  4. Irene Farmer

    My daughter and I have researched in Salt Lake City and on line for over 20 years and are amazed at the errors that are posted on line. We’ve had our family information inserted in other lines when there is no connection at all. When the error is pointed out (Politely) there are no corrections made. Then another researcher picks it up and the error is multiplied. It seems as if the number of people in a tree is more important than accuracy.

    We belive this is a huge problem! Any idea for a solution?
    Does this bother other researchers?

    Thank you
    Irene Farmer

  5. W Clayton

    You have a whole host of hundreds to thousands of highly experienced Genealogists who are current customers who have no intent of going to the National Genealogy Conference in Charleston. In addition you have hundreds of suggestions already in past postings that tell you what needs to be fixed or improved. And you have ignored 95% of them because in your judgment they fix problems seen by experienced Genealogists rather than provide what appear to be “sexy” inhancements that mgiht suck in Newbies!
    For just a few:
    Go back to exporting Genealogy Reports that are 100% Editable in .rft Format without built in Headers and Footers that screw up editing. No Experienced Genealogist anywhere who has any brain wants built in Headers and Footers. They want to add their name as Author, Date of Creation, Introductory Notes that set the stage for why the Report was created, maybe even Copyright it, etc. Only a utter Newbie wants what FTM currently gives! I will never buy FTM until this is fixed. Newbies don’t care! They do not have a need to generate Genealogy Reports to communicate real Genealogy info.
    I use FTM 2006 Ver 16 and have since it came out. I used other versions for 5 years before that. I own 2008 and 2009, but use only 2009 for Place search since that is the only thing it does better than 2006! The only reason I have 2009 is it was free to those of us stupid enough to buy 2008 which is the “worse computer progran ever sold publically for any audience!. The later versions are bloated, slow, full of errors and junk. But they encourage Newbies to link Ancestry Images and Pictures and think that is what Genealogy is all about!
    Just go back and read through all the Blogs that have anything to do with FTM and you will find Hundreds and Hundreds of suggestions for what you need to change.
    Per #5 poster, you desperately need to allow Public Trees without allowing anyone to change anything it them but the originator!
    These are just 3 short things and I frankly do not understand why Project Managers at ancestry know so little about doing real Genealogy that they cannot relate to it and actually do something about instead of doing ignorant things like creating Focus Groups then taking away only those things that will generate new customers instead of fixing major problems!

  6. Greg Burton

    I have been using FTM for many years. 2011 is very slow with importing records from Ancestry on line. 2011 is unable to generate book reports that I want.

  7. Orange Bucket

    Regarding post #5. There is certainly a mass of duff information posted in Ancestry member trees, generally unsourced as well. It doesn’t bother me in itself as if people want to do duff research that is their look out. It is just frustrating when you look at a member tree in the hope of gaining new leads only to find it is yet another one that has facts copied from other trees with absolutely no sourcing and really basic errors in it.

    However what does bother me is that Ancestry seem increasingly obsessed with drawing information in member trees to my attention, increasingly giving it greater prominence than the records in their geneaological databases. They seem obsessed with promoting social networking aspects of the Ancestry website above all others. It is useful to be able to view other members trees and to contact them easily, but it is not a priority and not something I want rammed down my throat.

  8. I dont understand your search engine. I put in someone’s name and state in which they lived and you give me dozens, if not hundreds of people all over the country. If I am searching Texas I dont want 49 other states to wade through. If I say John Doe was born in Illinois I dont want 49 other states to scroll through. If I want Texas, give me Texas and nothing else.

  9. Scott M. Jameson

    I’ve always found FTM & very useful and for the most part I recheck many of my sources by going to the Mormon Family History Center on the Internet. There is one feature that craves to be on FTM, the ability to locate data within the area of search. The Utah based library provides quick and easy searches that are right on the mark! Is there any way you could incorporate that type of searching somehow.
    Second, why are you making so may changes to your on-line family trees. I love the built-in command that you have in the past year placed on your site. Why can’t you incorporate that interesting model into FTM as well!?
    Third, when I think of maps, why put a map module into FTM if you cannot manipulate the data well. It primarily gives you basic feedback on where your ancestors resided. How about providing real data graphing abilities in which we can present in our own way?
    As others have posted of late, the trends that are pursuing tend more to the social aspect of genealogy. While find in its approach, others are more wanting of FTM software considerations, instead. Perhaps you can contact all of us about where your company is headed in the future.
    Thank you.

  10. Marie Mackey

    Regarding #9. I agree. I put in a state or country and get umpteen states and countries. It is frustrating. As to FTM I bought it and I’m sure if a book came with it I would use it. I tried to use it, even printed out what was available for use but have gone back to ancester because I can correct errors and see who is where. I also agree that there are glaring errors on member trees, and I am a beginner.

  11. I am upset that I have put in so much time inputting data and can not run different ancestry tree reports. I wish I had just kept “Family Tree”. If I am doing something wrong please let me know….A dissatified customer.

  12. Dolores Warren

    I just bought FTM 2011 and I’m not sure I like it. Too much stuff. I have been an FTM user for years. The first version I had was a DOS version, and then I bought the first Windows version when it came out. I was using 2005 version before I bought the 2011 and was happy with that. I have just signed up for Ancestry and so far I’ve found lot of good and bad info. I actually found a 2nd cousin didn’t know I had! I agree with all the critisms of the posters above. The website is good but needs some tweaking.

  13. Woodrow Daniels

    Regarding #9 & #11. I also agree fully. Since I’m new to, I thought I was doing something wrong but now I know others and maybe everyone has the same problem. It’s very, very frustrating receiving results I didn’t ask for. I try to refine the search and still get names and locations that don’t come close to matching.

    Please, please fix it.

  14. Since Ancestry owns both the website and Family Tree Maker there should be an easy way to switch information back and forth from one to another. If there is, I haven’t found it yet.

  15. FamilyTreeMaker can be only as good as Ancestry search…so let’s fix the latter first, then offer updates and fixes for FTM 2011. There are way too many problems, one being getting different results when searching for the same information in different databases. Why can’t all the databases return the information being searched for instead of showing information that isn’t even close to being right?
    Second, why can’t the databases with the same name and contents be combined? Or is this a way to show Ancestry has “X” number more just to make a point?
    Let’s go back to KEEP IT SIMPLY SMART.

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