Posted by Ancestry Team on January 31, 2012 in Family Tree Maker

A free update for Family Tree Maker 2012 for Windows is now available. This update includes:

  1. Some important improvements for syncing source citations, relationships, and accepted & rejected hints.
  2. Resolution of some data issues that were causing sync to fail in some cases
  3. Sync stability and performance improvements.

How to get this free update? As a Family Tree Maker 2012 for Windows owner simply open your software program and the update will be ready for download. If you need help with the upgrade (version, technical help is available by email or by phone: 1-800-ANCESTRY.

While this update provides some helpful improvements, there is one issue it can’t resolve: TreeSync has been so popular that on occasion it has temporarily overwhelmed our online system! During these times, your tree data has been safe, but syncing has been unavailable for a short time. It is very important to us that this popular feature is working for you at all times and we are working very hard towards improving the system to accommodate the huge and growing interest in this feature. But, if you should run into a problem with syncing, please wait a few hours and try again. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you.

We’re excited to see so much interest in TreeSync, and we’re working hard to keep it available at all times of the day and night (whenever you want to use it). We hope you enjoy this free update.

Thank you for using Family Tree Maker 2012.

The Family Tree Maker Team


  1. Ken Anderson

    Could you please adjust the error reported when syncing is not possible due to congestion as opposed to an actuall unrecoverable failure. Maybe “The network is busy, Please try again later” would be more appropriate and clear.

  2. Heather

    I logged on to my FTM 2012 and it said there was an important update I shut down my anti virus software and the update won’t work on XP Worked perfectly on my other laptop which is Vista. an anyone help me please

    Thank you

  3. Douglas Griffeth

    As usual, you fail to mention Family Tree Maker for Mac and whether this update applies to the Mac version. Thank you for clarifying this glaring error!

  4. Gary Inglish

    I agree with Ken, Tell us what is really going on, so we know how to respond. We never get status updates or notices when something is not working on and as paying customers we should.

  5. Robert Klein

    There is still no mention of fixing the problems with descendant reports. I have been waiting several years now. I am losing hope that anything will be down.

  6. David Mason

    It is long overdue that more effort is put into fixing the dozens of bugs still outstanding in FTM 2012. It is not acceptable to have to wait years for a resolution.

  7. Lindsay Parry

    The update to FTM 2012 to version is disappointing in that it fails to address issues already reported. Despite having support tickets for items reported, with assurances that they will be addressed in a future update, they have not been addressed in this update. 1) FTM 2012 continues to not show the sort order of children correctly 2) FTM 2012 continues to change correct data from Ancestry into incorrect data in the software : a child born to one parent, and displayed correctly at Ancestry, is assigned two parents by FTM 2012. As such, I am STILL unable to use the software, as it corrupts data which TreeSync will then export back to my AMT. I do think it is a little disingenuous of you to expect us to “enjoy this update” that leaves FTM 2012 as unusable.

  8. James

    When will we get the overall program speed increase promised? Also, memory management is till poor.


  9. Tom Plocinik

    Good try on this and the speed up but you failed in both.

    Sync still does not sync. I downloaded the update and it crashed when I tried to sync.

    The speed up of merge process is better but still not acceptable.

    It is great to be able to see the images better but the printing now does not work all the time.

    Plus, while you are unsuccessfully concentrating on sync, the list of long standing issues that other people talk about still grows.

    When will get your act together?

  10. Tim

    This update that was supposed to fix sync problems, may have done that for other folks, but it has created new sync issues for my tree.

  11. Peter Watson

    I will not use sync until I am sure that FTM 2012 will not place hundreds of citations against facts in AMT where they are not wanted.

    I should also like to know what all the FTM 2012 error messages are that appear in Events Viewer. I have sent screen shots to Tech Support with no response.

  12. Marc

    I upgraded to 2012 for the sync option. For that reason I think I should be compensated. Selling a product that isn’t up to the job as described is dishonest. The pre release testing procedures should be seriously questioned.

  13. James

    Fixing things by issuing updates is only a short term method. The software FTM2012 should be re-written using other programming languages.

    Using the .NET Framework v 4.0 is not a tried and tested method also using a single user standalone embedded database such as SQLite and expecting it to then retrieve/sync data from an RDBMS backend such as your MS IIS SQL server 2008 or equivalent is asking trouble.

    The FTM2012 database is an encrypted file. There are no known recovery tools available. If you are
    unfortunate to have a corrupted database use third party backup software and save very often.
    Do not rely on using the FTM2012 backup facility.
    You might need this backup sooner than you think, to rebuild your hard earned information.

  14. Leslie

    When FTM came out with a Mac version, I finally bought myself an iMac, very happy to get away from PCs. FTM for Mac 2010 worked very well with few problems – occasional stalling and slow response when clicking on leafs. I was happy enough that I bought FTM for Mac 2 when it came out. I did have the “failed” problems mentioned above with the Sync feature, but they would resolve themselves overnight each time. When the update came out I thought that would fix those Sync problems. Not. Instead, within a few days of the update my FTM tree became totally inaccessible. I can open FTM for Mac 2, but if I click on anything within the window (like Open Tree), the program disappears. I have been working with Ancestry on this – for almost three weeks. No fix so far. Thirty-five years of my research is unreachable. I wouldn’t buy any FTM for Mac product until they get it right. Those of us who have are out a lot of money.

  15. The patch and sync worked for one day. Today, the FTM looks as if never synced and instructs to up-sync to ancestry which I won’t do because I already made numerous entries into ancestry which would be wiped out if I were to up-sync from FTM.

  16. This issue with the server load needs to be addressed ASAP. It’s not just that I can’t upload a tree outside the window 08:00 – 14:00 in the UK but unless I log out of Ancestry the program freezes on a regular basis during high server load periods. During the last 3 weeks of complaining this is the first time that server load has been acknowledged as an issue.

    What’s quite infuriating is I am now getting invitations to upgrade to FTM2012 on a regular basis and “Sync my tree”.

    I bought a program in October 2011 which worked fine until the previous update but now is unusable causing me to revert back to FTM2011. I don’t care how much better it is from 2011 in other respects I bought for the TreeSync feature. This does not work and I want my money back.

  17. T L Compton

    I don’t know if this update will fix the problems I’ve encountered with FTM and Sync. All I know is that the one tree I began with is has been totally screwed up by sync. The tree unlinked itself and following the directions sent by FTM support all chaos broke lose. Photos disappeared, then reappeared but doubled. Then most of the “facts” doubled. This program has cost me hours of headache. I’ve managed to reload the tree using a back-up created mid-January. I now have to spend hours reloading all my photos and then recreate the two weeks of additional research lost. I am removing this program from my computer and I want my money back. This faulty program should never have been released for sale in it’s condition.

  18. CampbellJill

    I find it humorous [not] that you are advertising this as a ‘free update’. An oxymoron of the highest power as the cost has been to the user in the initial cash outlay and again in time lost. Time is money, and your backhanded largess is not appreciated.

  19. Michelle Pfister

    We appreciate all the comments that have been made and recognize that not everyone is having success with syncing their tree—even with this latest update. This latest update includes additional error tracking information that can help us understand and solve even more errors. If you are experiencing problems with syncing your tree, contact member support and they will help you send this information to us. Our toll-free support can be reached at 1-800-ANCESTRY (262-3787). They will be able to provide you with help specific to your hardware setup.

    We also recognize that there are other non-sync related issues and needs that many of you have requested. While we cannot address all of these, we do continually review and work on those that are requested most.

  20. Mike La Favre

    After spending many hours repairing problems caused
    by the sync feature, I was happy to see this morning a update to address the issues relating to sync failures was available. Before downloading the update, I checked into this blog to see what this update was all about. I almost fell off my chair after reading “FREE” update for version 2012. Your loyal customers who put up with hours waiting on hold for tech support or never receiving a response to e:mail requests for tech support might feel insulted by the word “FREE”

  21. Peter Watson

    If you are saying that there are issues that can not be addressed then perhaps it would be helpful if we all know what those issues are. I have sent error information appearing in Event Viewer to your tech support without any response. We can do our bit to help you, I think you should respond by helping us.

  22. Well at least after this new update I now get an error message, the operation has timed out, try again later and it times out again. I knew that when it stalled at 87% every time I tried. By leaving the time ceiling you have created a denial of service attack against yourself. Everyone like me just keeps trying and trying and it is bringing your system to its knees. I want my stuff, so I’m going to try again and again until it’s fixed, this has been going on for months, lift the ceiling on timeouts and size and let us get our stuff.

  23. Don Guinard

    Jumped back to 2010 on my laptop to see if by chance I might be able to download my site there. I’m not trying to sync, I simply want to download the whole site. Working your servers pretty hard and I’m 51% before I go to bed for the night. My perdiction is it will stop around 87%, because I have added new things the total may be less. I’ll keep you posted. But I can tell one thing, it will time out.

  24. Kathy Marie

    We also recognize that there are other non-sync related issues and needs that many of you have requested. While we cannot address all of these, we do continually review and work on those that are requested most.

    Are you saying you cannot address all the non sync issues on FTM 2012. Which ones are you not going to address?

    I have been sending issues/bugs to the development group since FTM 2008 was introduced. There are still many many many bugs in this system. [I assume, as just one bug example, you know the register report being generated by FTM 2012 is wrong when you have a female who had a child born out of wedlock and then subsequently married another person who was not the child’s father] I hope you don’t mean what you said. [and in the example, I hope you are not just going to forget about it]

  25. Stephanie

    I was very happy with FTM2011 and was excited to get this new version of FTM2012. It has been a total disaster. The program hangs, it’s hard to connect to a server as other people commented on and now I find my AMT on line is so messed up now I don’t know what to do.

    I have duplications on photos as much as three times, descriptions lost or strange characters inserted, the notes fields are a mess too and I stopped checking my tree last night and went to bed. I’ve been afraid to even look at it today.

    This is unacceptable for a purchased product. It obviously was not completely tested before being put on the market. I’m unsyncing my tree very soon and will go back to FTM2011.

    It’s not up to us the paying public to help solve computer issues with a program we paid good money for. I expect that in an open source program that is free. In fact I have many open source programs that have not given me the grief this one has. The so-called mandatory update just made things worse. I don’t even trust the backup I made before the update either.

    U just dread the thought of going through some 3,100 people in my database and checking every bit of information, including notes, facts and sources to make sure things are correct and making changes as necessary. I sure wouldn’t trust any reports
    that I generate from this atrocious software.

    I also don’t like the fact that you cannot download your tree again if you wanted to after it is synched and if you unlink it then you can never link up that tree again w/o uploading the file with a different name to Ancestry. I’m beginning to think that T. L. Compton is right. I might just delete this useless program from my computer and ask for a refund. Ha, bet that would get me nowhere.

  26. Lindsay Parry


    In your reply above – “We also recognize that there are other non-sync related issues and needs that many of you have requested” – I must point out that two of the issues that I reported as faults with FTM 2012 – WORK CORRECTLY in FTM 2011.

    How can you release a new version of FTM that INTRODUCES faults that were not in the previous version?

    How can you continue to advertise this software for sale as STABLE ? Since it was released 5 months ago, there have been 4 updates, yet FTM 2012 still cannot be used.

  27. Scott

    So disappointing… yet another update that gets me thinking they’ve finally fixed the broken software, yet it’s as bad or worse than before. Now I’m getting duplicate images on Ancestry after a sync when I didn’t before. At least that was while I could sync – that no longer works and there appears to be corruption – good job. The program still lags to the point where it isn’t usable while logged in. Three updates, and three times the program actually got worse instead of better. I think it’s time to find software that actually works and doesn’t corrupt the data.

  28. Ann

    While the new patch is not perfect, it is, for now, working for me.

    One suggestion – the instructions do not include a reboot. I found that the patch only worked after a shutdown and restart.

    Those of us who have been around for awhile know that most updates in Windows only work properly after a restart.

  29. Dan

    Well, this sync feature obviously isn’t soup yet. It’s a a great idea, but, if your infrastructure can’t support your code when traffic is heavy then you shouldn’t have released the product.

    I was so excited that I went to Best Buy and spent $79 instead of waiting for a discounted update via mail. Sync has worked on and off and now doesn’t work at all.

    Yea, yea, I’ve been advised to unlink and resync my tree, but I’ve also read the horror stories about doing that, duplicate entries, scrambled trees, media that can’t be used – – – –

    I’m going to sit on my current sync error for a few days and see what happens but I am about ready to chuck FTM 12, and for that matter! You have really peddled an inferior product with all this sync stuff and it’s caused much trouble for your customers. Get it right before you try to sell it.

  30. KJ

    You said: “We also recognize that there are other non-sync related issues and needs that many of you have requested. While we cannot address all of these, we do continually review and work on those that are requested most.”

    As a former Level I and II support engineer for a very large software company, as well as an application designer, programmer, database architect and development manager at three very large software companies, I fully understand that resources can be spread thin and that fixes to software take time, BUT to make a statement such as this makes me cringe. Are you saying that bugs, program errors, poor design decisions and faulty workmanship requires the user base to “Vote” on what gets fixed? I’ve sent in several issues with basic functions of the product that others in the community have stated are known bugs for years or at one time worked but do not now work. When I sent these in I assumed that they were new issues, not knowing you already knew about them.

    Personally, I wish I could see a list of known issues, bugs, work-a-rounds, caveats and the like so that I can stop beating my head on my desk each time I try to do something and find out that “FTM does not work-like that”!

    I realize that many of the problems I’ve found are related to FTM making initial design decisions to not support the entire GEDCOM standard or that some of the “legacy code” was based on older versions of the standard, and misunderstandings of the standard. I also understand that family relationships and genealogy have many intricacies that newbie designers and testers of software may not have imagined (or ignored) and that the core code design may be too hard to change at this point. But many of these problems, such as poor support of single-parent families, male oriented reports, internationalization issues, and poor support of .RTF and .PDF files, as well as name indexing that misses names in reports and a very slow database interface for large data-stores, all make this product very hard to use.

    Most software companies publish a “Road Map” that tells the community at large the direction for the future of the product, and what to expect down the road. I would be very interested in understand how and when the design team will improve this product and fix long standing issues and design flaws. I would also like to know that the years of genealogy background that many of your users have, are being heard and that their ideas will be implemented in the future. It would also be nice to know if and when a database interface layer (an IDE) will be implemented for 3rd party programs.

    FTM is (or could be) a major player in the genealogy software world especially for the entry level genealogist. I would hate to see these individuals get a bad taste for the hobby or to form bad habits based on ineffective tools. FTM has potential, but with so many issues – all large in the eyes of the people who have them – the potential may not be realized.


  31. Rick Larsen

    I was one of the many (perhaps more vocal) users who experienced problems that led to the release of the patch to version 466. Since installing that patch when it was first released, I experienced only minor synchronization issues. These minor issues were usually most easily resolved with simply unlinking my tree in FTM2012 and download/linking a new one. This works in my case, because I do “almost” all my work on Ancestry.

    Well, I for one am disappointed with the fact that after installing the new patch to version 506, within a couple of hours of working, after several successful synchronizations, my synchronization failed with the message “An Error Occurred while Analyzing Changes from Family TreeMaker. Please try again later”. I did, but they never succeeded again.

    I notified the manager (CE) who worked with me on the other issues and provided the details that led up to the problem and a copy of my error log file. The latter did not provide them any details of the error. He asked me to unlink my tree and download a new one, which will, of course, eliminate all of the changes I made in FTM2012 that I was trying to synch up.

    In an effort to be a “part of the solution”, I’ve agreed to install a special debug version of FTM2012 and to feedback subsequent issues/problems.

    My real disappointment is that we all would have waited a few days, or weeks, longer for the release to allow adequate time for testing…if someone had done it. If it was done, it appears to have been done in a “clean environment” that could only produce clean results.

    My other disappointment is that the patch did not include (or simultaneously provide by other means), the repair tools that users need to eliminate the duplicate relationships, duplicate events and duplicate citations that were the problems that drove this patch in the first place. These should have been included/provided, since they are really no-brainers.


  32. Frank Wentworth

    I have had to give up on 2012 and I have never used the new sync feature at all. I have spent almost two weeks trying to fix issues related to plain old program functionality, I assume because of the interaction between the software and Dot Net. I run XP – up to date and running lots of other software without issue. I have divide by zero errors – null value errors showing up with crashes from FTM2012…It has become so bad that I have shelved it because it is soooo unreliable. One day the backup works, the next it crashes. One day a report runs and the next it doesn’t. All I change is inputs within the program…Sure wish I could get my money back but I know that won’t happen. Support told me to go use a backup – when the program would not do backups! Imagine…

  33. Patti Salvaggio

    Wow. I was so close to buying FMT today but now that I’ve read these blogs, I won’t. Good luck all. Any other software out there that has a good rep?

  34. Greg

    This product has a LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG way to go. customer support has a lot longer way to go.

    1. Why does it take so long for to take down old trees?

    2. Why does the information in FTM NEVER match the information on – Isn’t that what SYNC means??

    3. Why for the last three days do I get constant “error” messages when it does try to SYNC?

    I agree with a previous comment – STOP WITH THE TV SHOWS and get back to what it is you are supposed to be doing !!!!

  35. Stephanie

    I am totally disgusted with not only this product but the lack of response from Ancestry re/my complaints by email. I will not use this software and it’s been a waste of money. I already stated my case in a previous post here. Doesn’t anyone at Ancestry hear all these complaints?

    Time to black ball this atrocious product. I’ve told all my genealogical friends that are looking for software not to buy this piece of junk. Seems all I do now since synching my tree is correcting all these terrible duplications of photos, facts, sources and many errors this software did to my online tree. I’ve got better things to do with my precious time than that!

  36. Kelley Edwards

    I have the exact same problem as Rick. I haven’t been able to sync my tree since Jan. 4th. First it would hang for almost an hour and get all the way to the end and then not be able to sync the media. Okay, downloaded the “patch.” What patch? Now, I get “An Error Occurred while Analyzing Changes from Family TreeMaker. Please try again later.” I HAVE BEEN TRYING SINCE JANUARY 4TH!!!!!!!!!!! THIS IS RIDICULOUS!
    Several times I have even gone on to my online tree after “trying” to sync and my online tree says I cannot access it, because it is currently syncing with FTM! Are you kidding me?? I had to “cancel” the non-existent sync!
    Nothing irks me more than having to go back and having to fix sync disasters messing up my decades of research!

  37. Greg

    It is obvious could care less….so as a newbie to all this Tree stuff…can anyone recommend another software product that actually works?

    Now I could be wrong about Ancestry not caring so I will ask the first few people who posted comments on this subject – Have you heard back from the moderator?

  38. Kathy Marie

    Greg – Your Comment

    Now I could be wrong about Ancestry not caring so I will ask the first few people who posted comments on this subject – Have you heard back from the moderator?

    If I understand what you are saying, she has had one response —— Number 23 above [Note it is unnumbered]

  39. Mike Evans

    I agree with many of the comments here, the update caused more issues than it solved. FTM 2012 continually now says ‘ not responding’ when clicking on searches, sync failed for days – I had to uninstall and reinstall to get it to work at all. I feel I’ve been sold a ‘pup’ here.

  40. Lorraine

    I returned FTM for Mac for a refund as it was totally unreliable. It would have been super if it worked properly, but it messed up my media as well as other issues. I don’t have years to wait for this to be fixed, nor patience for all the re-uploading, downloading, renaming, media counting, error codes and other nonsense.

    I since purchased Reunion for Mac. Although I have only been using it a short period of time, I absolutely love it. It is easy to learn, and most of all reliable. I am finally geting something done!

  41. Mike Williams

    I bought FTM 2012 a few days ago just to get TreeSync and find it doesn’t work. (NB This is after the update became available.)

    I found there are pockets of people who simply don’t show up in the online tree. When I investigated further I found that syncs only worked one way Ancestry->FTM. Anything I did locally was detected, and theoretically synced, but the changes never show up online.

    I filed a support request 4 days ago and have heard nothing.

    Time to file a complaint with my local consumer protection agency I think.

  42. Debbie

    Some important improvements for syncing source citations, relationships, and accepted & rejected hints.

    What exactly were these improvements? This doesn’t tell me anything. I need you to be more specific.

  43. Mike Williams

    Debbie @51 wrote:
    “Some important improvements for syncing source citations, relationships, and accepted & rejected hints.

    What exactly were these improvements? This doesn’t tell me anything. I need you to be more specific.”

    Exactly. Ancestry needs to raise the quality bar with proper KB articles and change-logs, and not do seat of the pants revisions.

  44. Barbara Williamson

    I am very disapointed in 2012 software. In order to use the software I have to unplug my internet cord from my computer. If I don’t the family tree is so slow that I would be sitting waiting for a long time, even if I am off line on the software. I use to like your family tree but I don’t like it very much anymore.

  45. Michelle Pfister

    It is a frustrating experience to have complications with your tree, and we are sorry to hear about the concerns of those who are commenting here. While there are several concerns mentioned, the large majority of people are successfully syncing their tree without any issues. We are able to see this success in our monitoring systems.

    Having said that, I realize that this news doesn’t help if you’re the one having trouble with your tree. Troubles with the Syncing system can be related to specific tree arrangements, or hardware issues. It will help us to resolve the issues you’re seeing if you’ll give details to our Member Support. Toll-free support can be reached at 1-800-ANCESTRY (262-3787). Thank you.

  46. Stephanie


    Sorry but your response is infuriating. I, along with many others, have contacted Ancestry re/this software not working right and to date have had no response. That’s baloney about “specific tree arrangements” or “hardware issues.” The software does not work properly and I’ve already addressed my complaints twice on this board. Why don’t you admit there are issues and that FTM2012 programmers are working to correct the problems; if in fact, they are? No, you are taking the easy way out and making it sound like the user is at fault. You can’t tell me that any majority of users are not having issues with this so-called sync feature and other problems as well. I have found all kinds of duplicates down to my sources and it will take me months to correct all the errors I find this sync has caused in my large tree on Ancestry.

    I’m through with this software and all it’s issues and going back to using Legacy. Of course I’d like a refund on my purchase but why fight city hall as I know that would never happen and I got better things to do with my time.

  47. Kathy Marie

    Extracted portion of previous comment

    “That’s baloney about “specific tree arrangements” or “hardware issues.” The software does not work”

    Even if it were true the developers of the software should have taken this into consideration and develop(ed)/revise(ed)/fix(ed) the software so that is did/does work for all hardware and tree arrangements

    It is impossible for me to believe that the software does not work for specific tree arrangements [Is it always going to be that way?–Is it just the nature of the beast? And is the user always going to wonder if they have somewhere in their data base a particular tree arrangement that will cause the system not to work.] I thought it was supposed to work for all tree arrangements —–another word for this to me is a bug.

  48. James

    The saga goes on, fix; maybe sometime soon?
    I won’t hold my breath.
    Please read these:


    This outlines the problems with the so called FTM2012 program. Do earlier versions behave the in the same manner, if so, the problem is being made worse by Ancestry devs not knowing what they are doing.

  49. Greg

    Going on Day 6 of Error Msg trying to Sync.

    But even when that was ‘working’ the trees never synced – EVER

    I believe everything we need to know about can be found in the first three posts to this ‘blog’ All they are interested in is shameless self promotion so they can continue to sell this worthless product….

    Calls to the help line….please…the young people they have answering those lines are either incompetent or conditioned liars….they are clueless – all they do is send out another useless email…which attempt to ‘label’ the user as the problem…..

    Legacy huh? will have to check that out

  50. Mike Williams

    ” It will help us to resolve the issues you’re seeing if you’ll give details to our Member Support. Toll-free support can be reached at 1-800-ANCESTRY (262-3787). Thank you.”

    1. Still waiting for my support request from days ago to get a response. I guess they’re overwhelmed by the reports of us not in the “large majority” who have been having problems from day one.

    2. For customers outside the US (who may as well go to hell for most Ancestry support issues), the response from local Ancestry is to read THIS THREAD. LOL (maniacally)

  51. Stephanie

    Now I am madder than ever. People please check all your sources on your trees if you have used this sync feature on FTM2012. I am presently working on my tree online and I find ALL my citations and sources are a total disaster. I spent years doing research and it will take me months to clean this mess up. Source names are dropped or the wording changed, publication locations, dates, notes and repository names are missing. I’ll have to resort to going through all my paper trails to correct them all. This is inexcusable.

  52. Tony Sawyer

    I have been suffering with sync from before Christmas when suddenly the Sibun members of the family (about 10) decided to duplicate on the Ancestry site and sync failed. I chose not to unkink and load new file to Ancestry but waited until new patch arrive. Loaded it and suddenly sync was working fine until today. Sync has crashed again and surprisingly the Sibun members of the family have multiplied on Ancestry and tried to write back onto my FTM2012 version as well. Looks like all is not fixed??

  53. JMB

    “If you are experiencing problems with syncing your tree, contact member support and they will help you send this information to us. Our toll-free support can be reached at 1-800-ANCESTRY (262-3787). They will be able to provide you with help specific to your hardware setup.” Really? All they will do is give me the link to the instructions on how to start over. Not how to make my current FTM 2012 tree link successfully to the currently linked Ancestry tree. This is not a user problem, it is a software problem, and Ancestry/FTM needs to fix it.

  54. Steve Hyland

    Could you please adjust the error reported when syncing is not possible due to congestion as opposed to an actuall unrecoverable failure. Maybe “The network is busy, Please try again later” would be more appropriate.

  55. Greg

    Yesterday I called customer service (AGAIN)and a nice young person had me UN SYNC my tree – then compact my tree (this is the first time anyone at CS advised this manuever – in fact we did it twice to get it down to 0%) then we did a NEW TREE and brought it back from Ancestry to FTM….

    I have done those steps minus the compacting three times now.

    The tree did Sync this time….HOWEVER….the media download failed. I turned off my Antivirus program and did the media file download again – this time it worked.

    So far it remains synced…..but I am not foolish enough to think that this will last long.

    The most interesting part of my online helper was his honesty (unlike what I read here) about all the difficulties this program has exhibited

  56. Mike Williams

    Like Stephanie @60, my citations and sources from the last few weeks of intense work are now a total disaster.

    I unlinked my tree and uploaded a new one, but it still doesn’t sync changes upwards. It looks like no progress has been made.

  57. Stephanie

    Mike @#65, so glad that someone else finally gets into the meat of things and realizes that sources are a very important part of genealogy and after years of hard work we find a total mess of them. I reviewed the situation and I do know a little about database structure and can see that the fields in do not match the ones in FTM2012. It might be the cause of this citation and source disaster.

    There are many people who don’t give a thought to sourcing their trees and are happy to see that maybe the sync works for them. They don’t delve into really examining the results and think it works fine.

    I went back into my Legacy software and printed out a citation and source report and from there will have to reconstruct my citations and sources on my Ancestry tree. Unfortunately, the report I generated goes back to August 11, 2011 so it’s not completely up-to-date as I added a lot more into my Ancestry tree since that date. I can’t think of any other way to correct this mess.

    Mike you said you unlinked your tree and uploaded a new one but that won’t help as the sync process changed both databases and unfortunately your original data is lost forever. Did you do a backup of your program in FTM before you did the sync? You might try restoring that one and uploading that to Ancestry as an unlinked tree and see what you come up with. Make sure you compress your file before doing that. Just don’t do the sync again afterwards or you’ll be back to square one again. I have no idea how that will look as I haven’t tried it and don’t intend messing with this program anymore. I just want my tree on Ancestry back to it’s original condition.

    As long as the fields don’t match with both the program and Ancestry, it will not work right. Did you take a look on your Ancestry tree citations? I find that a lot my repositories are missing. Also, I notice that where you enter a date of publication that is never picked up by the software; another clue that the two database structures are not the same. I mainly work on my trees on and all I use genealogy software for is reports and backups so, at this point, any reports I were to generate would be useless to me.

    We are all here for one thing…genealogy and not to be messing around with unreliable software that is useless and ruins our years of hard work.

  58. Mike Williams

    @Stephanie: I certainly have backups of my FTM data. The original tree I uploaded for treesync was based on a compressed file and was post the recent patch.

    I usually do my genealogy over a short period each year at a very intense rate, so I can take out a bunch of short subscriptions and immerse myself in the data. Finding that Ancestry/FTM has screwed up most of that effort may have the effect of setting me back a year until I have time again to do this work.

    I found that not only had repositories and citations disappeared but also some of the vital records I’d entered.

    The reason I uploaded a new tree was to see if any of the ancestors that didn’t show last time would appear. Some did, but others disappeared. I now have no linked tree there and have to go back to manually trading GEDs and smaller fragments of data with the researchers I was consulting with in Scandinavia. Time’s running out on this and I’ve lost so much time from this year’s work because of the Treesync debacle.

  59. Stephanie

    Mike @57, So sorry to hear all that and about your lost hard earned work. I am in a similar situation and feel rather hopeless as to how I am going to fix up my tree. I will have to apologize to all the people invited to my private tree as well, until I resurrect the situation. I keep finding more and more things wrong and like you I’ve lost people, connections, data, facts and media are duplicated or no longer there; not to mention the citations and source mess as mentioned previously. There are a lot of incidences where with the repositories missing it means going through my paper trail files to connect the citations with the right sources, correcting wording that was changed and putting in missing dates. It’s giving me nightmares. I’m sorry to hear that you have such a time constraint as that makes it even more difficult; if not impossible to achieve your goals.

    I also never had a response to my original complaints to Ancestry going on two weeks now and don’t expect to. This program FTM2012 should be pulled off the market. We’ve been nothing but “guinea pigs” for a product that has so many faults, it is beyond comprehension. Also, where is management in all this? All we get is some brief apolgoy and comments like, “The large majority of people are not having issues…” I sincerely doubt that. Many suffer in silence or don’t even know they have issues.

    Well, I’ve said enough and Mike, I do wish you the best of luck. As for me, I am going back to using Legacy 7.5 software. At least that is stable genealogy program I can trust and rely upon to be totally accurate. I NEVER would run the risk of ruining my reconstructed tree by using this FTM2012 and it’s so-called sync feature EVER again and I don’t care how many “patches” they issue from this day forward.

  60. Today I am seething !!!
    I emailed support, just one of many exchanges recently, with my observations as to why the program hangs for periods. I took the effort last weekend to montor every incident at peak times and this is an extraxt from the email.
    My main problem is the constant hangs (program not reponding periods) which only happen at peak times.In the absence of any meaningful advice from yourselves I have been trying to find where the problem lies.

    My main file is 19MB with 7,600 persons
    The gedcom size is 4.6 MB
    File uploaded is to the on line tree is 2.42 MB
    The settings are Non Public and Manual sync
    Automatic web search is disabled.

    It is well nigh impossible to upload a tree after 18:00 GMT. The data uploads fine but the process fails at the “Importing Data into your Ancestry Tree” stage.

    During this period we also have numerous instances of the program hanging for periods of about 60 – 90 seconds. As this is cured by
    1) logging out of Ancestry or
    2) unlinking the online tree

    One can only assume that the problem is caused by the program polling for on line tree changes.

    This weekend I tried in the morning period numerous times ( to prove a point) and it never failed once. Also I never suffered a program hang at all.

    This to my mind is caused by a server load issue I welcome your comments.

    Answer received (6 days later) :-

    At this time all the Ancestry sites are having extreme site traffic that may cause slowness issues. Also, you may want to try some of the steps in the link below.

    Answer Title: Tree Sync Troubleshooting Steps
    Answer Link:

    If there is anything else with which we might assist you, please let us know.

    So am I to assume that I can only use the program in the morning. AS unfortunately I work that means I can only use it at weekends.

    This is disgraceful IWANT MY MONEY BACK !!!!!!

  61. Stephanie

    Martyn@#65. Forget it! Don’t even try anymore. Save your valuable time and buy some other software that is more reliable. Be thankful you cannot get your program to sync because of server issues. Wish I could have been so lucky. I regret the day I bought this atrocious software and it will take me months to unscramble the mess it caused me. Today I am in funeral mode after finding more and more errors it caused to my tree on Ancestry. Well, I said all that before in my numerous comments here and elsewhere. Time for a class action suit!

  62. Cary Allen

    Returned FTM2012 for PC after many issues. Just purchased FTM2012 for Mac. Still same sync issues. Guess this one going back too. Time for me to start looking for another genealogy program.

  63. DJF

    First Martyn, when you paid for you subscription, it is for a year and if you are unhappy their attitude is too bad. I recommend that when you sign-up you cancel then next day or so thenyou won’t be charged the next year. You would think they would be glad to have people that sign up, I did again this year but I will cancel it again. As long as you have already paid, I feel they don’t care about the subscribers. In fact, they never approaced me to re-up my subscription. I guess they really don’t care to keep subscribers.

  64. Stephanie@70 It’s such a shame that FTM 2012 has been such a disaster. I’ve purchased every version of FTM from version 3.4 (1995). Different developers have been envolved over the years and since Avanquest started from scratch with 2008 it has improved dramatically. I was quite happy with FTM 2011 apart from one or two niggles, I was part of the beta team for 2010 and 2011 but wasn’t invited for 2012. I was looking forward to the tree sync feature and that was the main reason for buying 2012. I now feel completely let down. This software was released to early and there is not a proper support team in place. All software support appears to be managed Ancestry’s outsourced support system, not a software team. To be fair to Avanquest I feel that the bulk of the issues I am experiencing are due to the interaction with the Ancestry server. Us UK customers still have to use the Provo servers and at the best of times were looking at pings of 150ms. If FTM 2012 is to be marketed in the UK there should be at least a mirror here.

    There is a sense of De Ja Vue here At that time I battled with FTM for 3 weeks until they admitted there was a problem. The software was still marked with the bug for another 2 years, there was no auto update in those days.

    DJF@72 I have no issues with the the subscription services but as a UK user who pays both for Ancestry and FindMyPast’s 1911 subscription simply for the census data, I shall probably rationalise with FindMyPast now their census coverage is complete, their indices are better any way. I would not have considered this if it not for the way Ancestry has treated me.

  65. TO :-Michelle Pfister

    If you are following these comments perhaps you could give us your thoughts before tomorrow, bearing in mind posters have been almost entirely negative.

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