Posted by Tana L. Pedersen on August 31, 2011 in Family Tree Maker

Family Tree Maker comes with a variety of default reports, and it also has a Custom Report that lets you mine your family tree for the information you’re interested in. Using it I’ve created family health histories, address lists, residency reports, and more. But the report I get asked about most often is a custom cemetery report. I first created one several years ago when I was planning a trip to a cemetery and wanted to take photos of tombstones for my family members buried there. The report helped me keep track of the photos I’d taken and also worked as a research resource to confirm (and contradict!) the facts I had in my tree.

Before you get started, you’ll want to make sure you’ve recorded burial and cemetery information the same way for all the individuals in your tree; otherwise, you report won’t necessarily include the correct individuals. In my tree I use the Description field in the Burial fact to record specific cemetery names.

  1. To create a cemetery report, start by opening the Custom Report (located on the Publish workspace under Person Reports).
  2. Click the Reset button (a blue arrow button next to the report’s title) to clear any previous settings.
  3. Click the Items to Include button (on the far left) in the reports toolbar. Now click the Add fact (+) button and add the Burial fact to the report. At this point, you can add any other facts to the report that you’d like. In this case we’ll stick with birth, marriage, death, and burial. Click OK when you’re finished.

Now we need to determine which individuals should be included in the report–the people who have been buried at a specific cemetery.

4. In Individuals to Include, click Selected Individuals. The Filter Individuals window opens.

5. Click Filter In. The Filter Individuals by Criteria window opens.

6. Click All facts. In “Search where” choose the Burial fact and Description field. (If you’ve recorded cemetery information in a different fact you’ll choose that here.) In the next drop-down choose “Contains.” Then in the Value field, enter the name of the cemetery and click OK.

The Filter Individuals window now shows all the individuals who are buried in the selected cemetery. Click OK to display the report.

Now it’s your turn. Have you tried the custom report yet? If you have, how do you use it?


  1. James

    I’ve used the custom report for burial facts then exported the results as a “csv” file to further process in a spreadsheet. Name, Burial State, City, Cemetery, Year. This is helpful when you are traveling a distance and may visit several cities and cemeteries.


  2. James

    #4 William,

    I have found that the site has 1,000’s of records related to those in in my tree. Learning how to search is important. Often names are misspelled in the record or the transcription of the record.

    I often find the male person in a census record by using the wife’s given name. William, for example, can be Wm, Bill, Billy, Harry, etc. If you have a local person who has some experience with the site they can help. I frequently find my ancestor’s names on the 3rd or 4th page of results (150 – 200 hits.)


  3. Mike Collins

    Yup, doesn’t work. Only had one hit at a cemetery although I have dozens of ancestors buried there.

  4. The report helped me keep track of the photos I’d taken and also worked as a research resource to confirm (and contradict!) the facts I had in my tree.

  5. Peter Jacks

    I have had a look at this site, and I like many others would use it. But I get fed up of being asked for a credit card to use the site. I will never use this site as it is! I only hope facebook does something like this, then everyone will use it.

  6. BEE

    Isn’t this blog about Family Tree Maker, the software you have to purchase, not something that is accessed online as part of, “free” or as part of the “Deluxe” membership that I have been paying for each year for almost 8yrs now?
    I purchased Family Tree Maker 2009 and was using it – entering the names of family members and adding the documents associated with them, but I then bought into the “hype” and purchased Family Tree Maker 2010.
    It all became very confusing, so I didn’t use it much, and when I bought my new computer last Dec. I couldn’t open either one, so it just sits there unused.

  7. I signed up for 1 month $22.95. yesterday. I’m calling to cancel tomorrow because the site is a farce, a rip-off. I do a search and put in all the information and it just sends me to a database conering the entire world and never even close to what I am looking for. I simply get the run-around on every try.

    I don’t trust to deliver on any search. Further, the family tree set-up is far below what I would expect for any web site. The is no way to make corrections if a typo is made and fields are far too limited. shows no real respect for it’s members or their families is a total waste of time, effort and trust. The leaders of this site should be ashamed.

    • Nick Cifuentes

      Sonny Moser –

      Sorry to hear your having problems, we’d love to help address any issues you are having. Please call our customer support team at 1-800-262-3787 and reference this posting, we’d be glad to help.

  8. lnilsson193

    For me, the custom report has been one of the most important report in FTM

    Have used it since 2006 ftm the only negative that I experienced is
    that it takes longer to generate the report in 2011 than in 2006
    and that it worked so well in 2011 as in 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010

    Since I have 1717 emigrants in my research who traveled with various boats
    and between the years 1850-1930. So it’s hard to look at every person without
    to use the custom report here, you can filter out the boats for himself and
    To be able to see how many people went to as 1892 and where they went
    it is an advantage because I think this is the best report in the publish in FTM

  9. Jamie Peterson

    I don’t think that it is fair that charges so much money to access family history information and records. Some of us don’t have that much money, but we still want our children to know SOMETHING about their ancestors!

  10. Don

    The software here is very weak. under the ” family” view it showed my mother as my mother and as my fathers sibling. when i tried to fix it, my mothers entire side of the family was erased. 2 months worth of work lost. there has to be a better way than this

  11. Night owl

    #16 Don:

    I don’t use FTM. First rule of genealogy: BACKUP your files regularly, often and completely, and you won’t lose so much. Backup your files before any major change and after several additions.

    If you happen to mean a tree on the Ancestry site, you still need to do backups to your home computer. I think Ancestry has backup systems but if the mistake is yours, due to any reason it is unlikely they will have a very recent file. You can always call them at 1-800-262-3787 and ask for help. They just may be able to help you retrieve an older copy of your tree.

    Second rule of genealogy: Document your sources.

  12. BEE

    I’m confused! Are we talking about FTM that you purchase and install in your computer, or “trees” on the ancestry website that you create and add information to, either by downloading and attaching the document, or just the link to the document, with a subscription, such as “Deluxe Membership” to

  13. Garland

    I have FTM 2011 and tried my best to follow instructions as you have them in your tut but I can find nothing that resembles your tut .

  14. Jamie Re:#15

    I am sick unto death about the “Ancestry costs so much money” line.

    The simple fact is not everyone can afford everything-that’s life.

    Less than $1.00 a day is *NOT* a lot of money. If you can’t afford it every month then subscribe for one month- cancel the day after you subscribe and the re-subscribe two months later for another month.

    Ancestry is a business. Just because you can’t afford their product is no reason they should lower the price of their product until it reaches a level you can afford.

    Even if you are eating cat food you can cut back on it and probably afford Ancestry- just depends o your priorities.

  15. Betty Murphy

    Was given FTM as a $300 gift from my daughter and now find it is good for only 6 months and that I must purchse, or at least give a credit card, so further charges can be added. I have a – O – balance showing and do not put CC info on my computor……and here I am with a gift that is only parially usable unless I agree to permit FTM to add more,now and at the end of 6 months….what’s up? Sounds like a very expensive scam.

  16. Al Eagan

    I’ve been a subscriber to for several years, even tried the delux (global) version once in hopes of finding family records from Ireland. Ancestry has taught me how really ignorant I am in computer usage, but I’m slowly learning more ll the time. That’s why I keep my subscription. For those that need help, you should consider using the help function ancestry provides. It answers a lot of questions (not all) but a lot.

    I learned something I didn’t know before this past week – the newer version of Internet Explorer can cause you problems in Ancestry.

    If you value your family history records I strongly recommend you back up your files on an external memory device, especially photos, scanned documents and stories your Grand parents told you.

    Ancestry also provides its users with another source of family history which really has no monetary value, but can be a priceless discovery. That is it tells you names of other people researching the same person you are looking for. They are often a living relative you have never seen or heard of.

  17. BEE

    I’m still confused! #23 – are you talking about $300 for the FAMILY TREE MAKER software, or a one year subscription to I don’t think I’ve ever seen FTM for that price, but I might be wrong.
    If it’s the latter, you should contact ancestry and find out why your subscription didn’t run for a whole year.
    In the 8yrs I’ve had what eventually turned into a Deluxe subscription, I have created a number of “trees” and found an enormous amount of information, but it takes a lot of time and work! Some names are easier than others, depending on the ethnic background, and the time period, but to just type in a name and expect information to appear, is a bit unrealistic.
    Every dollar I have spent over the years for my SUBSCRIPTION to ancestry has been worth it.
    All my trees are private, but through the “message” feature, and have met some distant family members and others, and have shared information.
    FAMILY TREE MAKER is an entirely different subject.
    I PURCHASED and INSTALLED the 2009 and 2010 versions {nowhere near the price of $300!} but as I’ve written previously, I don’t use them.
    As a “senior”, and someone not all that computer proficient, I am MOST grateful for the information ancestry provides with their website.
    Unlike others, I just don’t find the “free” information available on other sources.

  18. Pat Secord

    Jamie #15 – You could always just jump in your car and travel across the country and spend hours and hours of your time looking up all these records in libraries, courthouses, etc. You don’t HAVE to subscribe to Go look up stuff the old-fashioned way. It’s all out there.

  19. Jacquelyn Bridge

    I need some help with the cemetery custom report. I have followed the instructions. I get the report with the correct people in it; however, at the top left I do not get the name of the cemetery. I get the name of the person. I have FTM 2011. What am I missing? Thanks.

  20. I am no whiz when it comes to searching but have been a member of ancestry from the very start and their fees have not changed all that much but I do find it hard to come up with that much money when it comes due but somehow I do Now let me told you if you are not a member of Ancestry you gather all your info like names and Dob and Dod spouse’s names everything you know and send it to me and I will build you a tree and send you an invite so you can add to it my
    Looking forward to hearing from you.

  21. Enough already!

    This particular blog is for the Family Tree Software that you buy separately from you Ancestry membership. For heaven’s sake, folks, call them with any kind of problems. We are just members, we don’t handle the billing.

    Call them at 1-800-262-3787 and select “Billing” from the recorded menu. They will talk with you and help you settle your problems. Call them during their business hours. The recording will tell you what those are, but you will have to figure what the hours are for where you live. It’s a toll FREE call!

    The telephone help people are right here in the USA and speak American English. No off-shore language problems.

    If you want FREE use of Ancestry, try your nearest Church of Latter Day Saints (Mormon) local Family History Center. I understand they have it FREE for your use. Even some genealogical societies have use of Ancestry for their members.

    If you want FREE technical help with Ancestry or Family Tree Maker use the same FREE telephone number and select “Technical Help.” You get a live person who lives in the USA and speaks American English. No problem with language.

    Of course if you are outside the USA, I don’t know what the number would be, but I’m sure there is a toll free number somwhere on the site.

  22. Richard H.

    #28 Jacqueylyn. Remember that in the above example, the name of the cemetery has been entered in the Description field of the Burial fact. Now to make the cemetery name show in the report like a heading, refer to step 3. In the Items to Include window, make the first sort field “Burial” + Description field instead of “Name” as shown incorrectly in the example. (Name can be the second sort field) This makes the difference. Also click the button for Burial Options and make sure that the burial fact’s Description field is checked to be shown otherwise the cemetery name will not show as part of the burial fact that prints.

  23. Laura

    I’ve used Family Tree Maker software for almost 20 years now and love it.

    I love this tip and I wouldn’t have thought to use it this way, although I do routinely record cemetery data in the burial field.

    The post refers to the OFFLINE software that you can use to create your family trees. This software is significantly more powerful than the online tree that is offered on (you can attach and detach people in the Family Tree Maker if you accidentally put the wrong person in the wrong spot, whereas you can’t do that on the ancestry site, you can also merge two individuals in the software which you can’t do on the online tree).

    I DO use ancestry regularly and keep trees there also (and was grateful that I did because my backup drive corrupted last spring and I lost my most recent changes to my family tree when my hard drive crashed as well and was able to save months of work because I’d uploaded a lot to the ancestry site).

    Most of these complaints sound like inexperience and not understanding what they are doing, why they are doing it and what the difference is between and Family Tree Maker.

    The one thing I think excels at that I haven’t been able to figure out how to easily do in FTM is how to easily and quickly attach multiple people from a census to a tree if the census doesn’t link them. On ancestry, you can click on each name that appears and link to someone in your tree. In FTM, you have to do a separate search on each person and the census may or may not come up.

    I’d love to see a blog with information on that!

  24. Barbara

    Thank you so much for telling us about the custom report.Your example about the cemeteries was great. This morning I did several types of the custom reports and put them in a binder labeled ‘quick reference’.

    Thanks again.

  25. Debbie

    This worked like a charm! Thank you for this–I would not have thought about a report for this, and I am taking a cemetery trip soon to photo-document my ancestors, so this will come in very handy.

  26. Tana L. Pedersen

    I’m so glad that many of you who hadn’t worked with the custom report before decided to try it out and had success. As you work with it more and more I’m sure you’ll find a variety of ways it can help you analyze your tree and discover research avenues.

    For those of you who had problems, I’ll try to address your questions.

    #19 Garland
    I’m sorry you weren’t able to follow the steps. You mentioned that you had version 2010. This will still work for you except for the ability to sort. Let’s make sure we get you to the right report. First, click the Publish tab at the top of the window to open the Publish workspace. On the left side of the window you’ll see a list of report types. Click “Person Reports.” The thumbnails in the middle of the screen will change. You should now see a Custom Report icon. Double-click it to open the report. Now you should be able to continue with changing the report.

    #28 Jacquelyn
    If you’ll look at #31, Richard gives an explanation of how to fix the issue you’re having. Thanks Richard.

    Also a clarification…there has been some confusion about which trees these custom reports work for. Family Tree Maker is a desktop software program offered by and is used to create this report. Family Tree Maker is not the same as Ancestry Member Trees that you create online. Family Tree Maker is also purchased separately from an subscription. If you have any concerns or questions, please call 1-800-Ancestry.

  27. Mary Beth Marchant

    The reason I am not and will not use the new versions of FTM is the lack of the book building feature. If it is there, it is very weak and lacking in the very things I need. In the past number of years, I have created and printed well over 100 books and have made many people happy. Because I have a subscription to, I receive the new versions of FTM when they come out but I am sticking to my old faithful version 16.

  28. Charie Barker

    I have 2010,And I just love it,I find when it seems to be messed up, it is something that I did myself.and if I can’t fix ,they can help fix my mess, just wanted to put my two cents in.Thank You

  29. I to think version 16 is the best that FTM has ever put out and would like to have a copy lost mine long time ago when my machine went up in smoke….

    For all you complainers here is a phrase to remember
    You can please some of the people some of the time but you cant please all the people all the time.

  30. Helen

    Doesn’t work with V 16?
    I will not upgrade,satisfied with what I have, so I may not be able to use this new tool idea.

  31. Samantha

    The directions are confusing – – can’t find the tabs that they’re talking about on the site.

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