Posted by Ancestry Team on December 9, 2015 in Australia, Canada, Family Tree Maker, United Kingdom

Following the last Family Tree Maker desktop software announcement, we’ve seen your outpouring of comments, questions and the concerns you have raised. I’ve read through many of your comments personally, and I want you to know that we truly value you as customers and your feedback.

Here are three key things I’d like to re-assure you of after reading through your comments:

  1. We are fully committed to supporting Family Tree Maker through at least the end of 2016 with all available support from member services, including technical issues, product issues, updates and attention to the product. You will be able to use the software, exactly as you do now, including TreeSync, for at least the next year.
  2. We are exploring possible relationships with other desktop software solutions that would make it possible for their products to integrate with Ancestry.
  3. We are exploring options to bring more reports and related functionality from Family Tree Maker into the online service. Stay tuned for updates on this over the coming year.

We’ve put together an FAQ to address many of the other questions you’ve raised. Our member services team is also available for further questions.

What happens to Family Tree Maker at the end of next year?

We are committed to helping our users through this transition. Towards the end of 2016, we will assess our progress toward a smooth transition for our customers and review our support commitment at that time.

After January 1, 2017, features that require connectivity to Ancestry, such as TreeSync, uploading and downloading trees and media, and Web Search, may no longer be supported. Most Family Tree Maker features are designed to work offline, and should continue to function unless a change on your computer, such as an operating system update, causes the functionality to break.

Will features such as charts, reporting and publishing be made available on Ancestry?

We are continuously exploring new options to make the experience better for all users and currently we’re looking into ways to bring desired features from Family Tree Maker into the online experience – such as report functionality or the ability to replace one instance of a change throughout your entire family tree.

Will third party providers be able to integrate with Ancestry family trees?

We are exploring possible relationships with other desktop software solutions that would make it possible for their products to integrate with Ancestry API. Stay tuned.

What happens to the family tree I’ve created using Family Tree Maker? Will it continue to be accessible?

You will continue to be able to access your data through the desktop software beyond Jan. 1, 2017, however over time there will be a gradual degradation of features. You can always export your tree and save it.

When will you stop selling Family Tree Maker software?

We will stop selling the desktop software on December 31, 2015, however we will continue to fully support Family Tree Maker at least one full year until January 1, 2017. Until January 1, 2017, you will be able to continue to use the product and its full functionality, as you do today.

Which versions of Family Tree Maker will Ancestry continue to support?

Ancestry will continue to support all versions of Family Tree Maker at their current functionality until January 1, 2017.

Will I be able to download my full tree?

You can continue to download trees as a GEDCOM file. Users can also download and save historical records and media attached to individuals in their family trees.

Is Ancestry looking to sell Family Tree Maker, as you did with MyCanvas?

Presently there are no plans to sell Family Tree Maker software.


UPDATE: On February 2nd we announced two new agreements that provide choices to preserve your work in ways that matter to you:

(1) Software MacKiev is acquiring the Family Tree Maker software line as publisher for both Mac and Windows versions. This new agreement means you will receive software updates and new versions from Software MacKiev, and have the ability to purchase new versions of Family Tree Maker from Software MacKiev as they are released.

(2) We have made an agreement with RootsMagic to connect Ancestry with the RootsMagic software by the end of 2016. With this new relationship, RootsMagic can serve as your desktop family tree software, while having access to Ancestry hints, Ancestry searches, and the ability to save your tree on Ancestry.

You can read the whole announcement here:

We ask for your patience as Ancestry’s product team works with Software MacKiev and RootsMagic. As soon as we have an update, we will make another announcement. For now, just know these options are coming and will be in place before the end of the year to ensure you do not have a break in tree syncing and preserving the work you have already done.


  1. Robbie

    Please don’t do this! I don’t think you understand that many of your Family Tree Maker customers are older and not as proficient at using newer technology. I, for one, do not trust “the cloud”. You are destroying a wonderful product, that many of us have used for many years, and we are fearful that all of our hard work and research will be lost. Please reconsider this decision. You are fixing something that isn’t broke! I think you will find most of your customers are very concerned and upset about this. Please listen to us! Thank you.

  2. Martin Hall

    At the moment it appears between now and Jan 2017 I’ll be changing over to Root Magic. I also hope they are one of the “possible relationships with other desktop software solutions” your speaking of?

  3. William Hutchinson

    This is a very bad idea. Many people, myself included, use Family Tree Maker as an off-line backup. In addition, FTM has many features that you have never made available in the web version. Nothing you have said in the this or the earlier article in any way convinces me that you actually have any intention addressing the issues that we are raising. If you had, you would have already done so. Add me to the list of those who will probably be severing their relationship with Ancestry. Now just how does one nuke their data files? FYI, I was using FTM before there was an

  4. Neal Smith

    I switched over to RootsMagic last night. They’re offering a discounted rate to refugees from To my surprise, when I uploaded my gedcom file into RootsMagic, all of my photos, sources and notes were uploaded as well. I hope others who try this have the same effortless experience. From what I can tell, the only drawback of RM7 as compared to FTM seems to be the Windows 98-style look of RM7. I’m deleting my trees from so they won’t be able to profit from my decades of original research by making my information available to their subscribers. I’m still at a loss to understand how “truly values” its customers. At least now I no longer am one of them.

  5. Bradley Rymph

    I posted a brief comment in response to your blog yesterday and more detailed comments on your FB page. As I just posted on your FB page a few minutes ago, I am not willing to wait until January 1, 2017, to get satisfactory answers to my concerns. My current World Deluxe membership is paid through February 20, 2016. If I do not have satisfactory answers by that date, I will be cancelling not only my Ancestry subscription but also my separate Fold3 subscription. Frankly, I suspect that your January 1, 2017, support pledge is just a tactic to try to squeeze a full year of revenue out of us while you plan to do nothing of substance to satisfy our concerns. Since it is clear that it is your strategy to force us to work through the “cloud” instead of having our master data on our own hard drives, I am particularly skeptical that you will satisfactorily respond to one of my key concerns: My husband is Filipino, and when I am with him in the Philippines, I am trying to expand my research on his family’s genealogy. Internet service there is spotty and expensive, especially outside of Manila. That means relying on the cloud for access to my data simply is not an option. It is absolutely critical that my master genealogy database be accessible to me directly on my laptop and not limited to any sort of internet connection.

  6. john

    The following lead end was posted on the retirement of FTM notice:
    Kendall Hulet has served as our Senior Vice President of Product Management at Ancestry since March 2015. He joined the Company in 2003 has held a variety of roles in the product organization including Director of International Product Management and most recently Vice President of Product Management for AncestryDNA. During his tenure, he was deeply involved in some of the most popular innovations at Ancestry, including the “Shaky Leaf” hinting system that has delivered over five billion discoveries; the Ancestry Family Tree system that has led to the creation of over 70 million family trees containing six billion ancestors; and the creation of the award winning Ancestry mobile app, which has been downloaded more than 12 million times.
    I would like to remind you research took place before Ancestry came along. Many sifted through micro film, records, books, and etc. We shared among ourselves. So when you talk about the numbers of trees generated as a result of your efforts it appalls me. Yes, your tools helped but much of the work was done, by many, before you offered the tools, and many have since expanded on that work.
    You should remember we use the tools to organize and make the data meaningful. Your company does not just hand us the trees or resolve the data. FTM has played a major role in our research and there will be resentment at the thought of losing that tool. IT IS OUR DATA!

  7. Mike

    Meanwhile, Permira bail out, having taken their pot of gold, leaving us all to suffer the consequences of their greed.

  8. Mardi

    I agree that what was said in this post is not reassuring and that it’s merely marketing talk and doesn’t say anything more than the first post. I try to stay current with new developments and have never complained to Ancestry before, but on this issue I will. I don’t want my data held hostage by Ancestry. I need a backup, it’s not that I’m not willing to embrace technology or the cloud (I’m a graphic/web designer). If Ancestry does not supply another option to syn our trees, then I will be maintaining my tree in my software program and Ancestry will be the biggest loser, having the great family trees on your service has been one of your great selling points for both people maintaining subscription and for DNA testing, and your loyal customers have given you their work at no cost and this is how you repay them. If you take the ease of use away, you won’t have as many trees and when people research on your website, it will be a manual process to save information to their software. I’m well aware of my software options. Serious genealogists (no matter their age) don’t want to give away their data and lose it if they don’t pay the subscription fee to Ancestry. For me it’s not about not wanting change. I thought I was making a good decision last year switching over to FTM and keeping my tree on Ancestry with my backup, but now I know it was a big mistake. I’ve been with you for many years, and I’m disenchanted to say the least. My interest in researching on your site and budgeting for renewals doesn’t seem to be important any longer. It’s really control and greed. Your customers can make or break your company. You have a lot of good resources but why not work with your customers to make your service better. I’m sure another genealogy software company would be more than happy to supply this service ( both PC and MAC versions), so no excuses. Please just do what’s right by your customers. Ancestry shouldn’t try to benchmark with Microsoft and Adobe, they have a totally different customer base catering more to the business world. Ancestry’s customers are genealogists who need to be more frugal. I feel like I’m wasting my time by commenting but hoping in the end that Ancestry will realize they are forsaking their customers. But since the decision makers at Ancestry have so little regard for their customers (you could have asked your customers if it was important), I’ve lost trust now and that’s the key component in any relationship.

  9. Martin

    Ancestry just don’t get do they, they are not listening to their customers on this or the website changes, they have their rose-tinted glasses on and think everything is fine.

    A organisation that fails to listen to its customers soon becomes an organisation that fails.

  10. kurt

    Dear Members use the better business bureau and lodge a real complaint on the company. That’s what it is for and why Ancestry has it on there home page Time to take Action.

  11. Lila Guenther

    You still have not reassured us that we will be able to get our data from the cloud to the desktop. Probably I will leave Ancestry after I figure out how to research without out it and find a new program to load my tree into.

  12. Bob Douglas

    I don’t want added functionality online
    Forget it
    I have been stabbed in the back and no amount of reassurance will ever make up for it

  13. Roger Neilson

    Reputation and trust is a big thing in business. Even if you rescinded this whole decision (which is about as likely as finding men on Mars) the manner by which this has been done leaves me unable to ever regard you as a company worthy of any reliance when it comes to my thousands of hours of time spent in building my data. I will be taking the year to completely sever all ties with yourselves.

  14. Elizabeth W

    Ah, the template “fobbing off” FAQ tactic. This will not help the situation. Well, all I can say is I’ll continue to use FTM for as long as I can, and if there comes a time when I can no longer use it or re-install it, I will look elsewhere for a full desktop program. Don’t expect me to fork out hundreds for a subscription after this.

  15. Elizabeth Jones

    Appalled at the news. I am 81yrs old and have been using FTM since it’s floppy disc days and continued to upgrade regularly. Have spent a great deal of money believing it to be good and dependable. I would hate nearly 25 years of work to go down the drain. Please reconsider – I believed my family would be able to pick up where I had to leave (on becoming an ancestor myself) I would hate to see the desktop version go.

  16. Martha Goodwin

    I downloaded RootsMagic7 last night. So far I’m pleased with the program, especially the function that allows me to color code a list of ancestors or descendants of a particular individual. This is a feature that I’ve truly needed since a lot of my family research now is based upon DNA results. So I welcome any help I can get. BTW, I do not use Ancestry for DNA testing and as of December 31, I will no longer be a subscriber.

  17. Colin James

    Kendall Hulet’s latest PR smoothing job only confirms his initial statement yesterday. We have until 1st Jan 2017 to continue with FTM with its current functionality. Therefore I will continue to enjoy it up to the renewal date of my subscription in the middle of next year. This will provide ample time for rival software companies to produce meaningful alternatives and give me the time to assess them before making a choice. I have already uploaded a GED file to Roots Magic 7 and this was 100% successful and although an excellent alternative it does need some improvement before it can compare directly with FTM. I have no doubt Roots Magic and others are reading these posts so come on spruce up your act, work on syncing your PC software with an online tree and you will reap the benefit of thousands of defectors from FTM.

  18. Tim

    I read “Here are three key things I’d like to re-assure you of after reading through your comments:”

    1. Commitment to end 2016 (as before!)
    2. We are exploring ……
    3 We are exploring……

    Am I reassured? No!

  19. Anne

    This is an utterly contemptible decision by the Ancestry powers that be who have lured so many of us into buying FTM over the years. I really hope that their competitors rise to this challenge and develop an alternative product that we can all use and leave Ancestry devoid of its now much less loyal customer base.

  20. kurt

    I just listed my complaint with the Better Business Bureaus as i think everybody should do and on there page it showed this: Alternate Business Names Operations Inc. My Canvas For all who are jumping ship Please read the fine print or you might just be asking for the same issues down the road.

  21. Jan

    Ancestry really don’t get it do they? We want our trees where we have total control over them – on our computers not at your whim in the never never. I note they did not respond to all the criticism over the new look – obviously it was done in the nursery – very pretty but not practical for working genealogists. I wonder how many trees have been taken down from the website and how many have gone private in the last 24 hours? Unless this disastrous decision is rescinded I will certainly not be renewing my subscription once it expires.

  22. kurt

    Dear Martha Goodwin I moved all my DNA work over to Family Tree DNA. And i can not tell you how happy i am real people helping real people. Groups and forums suited for your surname or General to join if you choose. Real tools you can use to compare DNA with other matches And after many many years with in just a year working with Adoption group there i Found my Biological Grandparents. Just can not say enough good things about them and they can transfer DNA from any company to them at a cost but a small cost. Hope this helps

  23. Nan

    WHY would you “explore” other desktops? Keep FTM going!! Just great! Spend MORE money into this investment. Your software didn’t come cheap as it is. Ancestry worry abt their sales…. What about OUR investments?? OUR investments… down the drain. Don’t retire FTM!

  24. Jeremy

    The above “reassurance” from Ancestry doesn’t wash. They are basically just reiterating the original announcement. Despite the fact that over 7000 loyal customers have registered their disapproval on the original blog post, Ancestry just don’t care and are going ahead with their business plan. I have downloaded the trial version of RootsMagic, Family Historian, MyHeritage Family Tree and Legacy 8 and am in the process of investigating which one best suits my needs. One thing for certain – I will be ditching FTM as soon as possible.

    Ancestry – your actions have not only alienated your income base, but your reputation will be heavily tarnished in the genealogy industry. Noone will ever trust you again. I wonder how long before the first law suits to try and stop you using the trees people have uploaded in good faith?

  25. Connie

    The headline will read bankrupt, Hulet fired as loyal customers all left in mass after the stupidest decision since New Coke.

  26. Charlene

    Did anyone else catch the phrase “You will continue to be able to access your data through the desktop software beyond Jan. 1, 2017, however over time there will be a gradual degradation of features.” Does this mean after Jan 1, 2017 or before? I am getting ready to remove all seven of my trees with over a total of 25,000 people. Because I was one who download your app, but it chokes on my large trees and I have abandoned the app. Your interface is difficult and if I want to use Ancestry, I will visit my library or go to my local family history center. Many of the records I seek are not online and I still do research the old fashion way, by visiting the source.

  27. Conrad

    There certainly seems to be a lot of exploration going on, and not many definite solutions on offer. That gives the impression that this decision was not fully thought out. I appreciate that a business cannot be run as a democracy, but did no one think of exploring users’ views beforehand ?
    Family Tree Maker and the Ancestry website complement each other really well, and each will be poorer if the integration is discontinued. How ironic, too, that TreeSync now works so well, after a shaky start !

  28. Graeme Rodgers

    Kendall, you are now advising us of possible solutions to our grievances, when we already have a product (Family Tree Maker) which meets all of our needs and is working most satisfactorily. Your excuse to “retire” FTM due to an apparent declining desktop market just doesn’t cut it I’m afraid. Not everyone uses a tablet or some other similar device.
    Furthermore, many would argue that Ancestry’s strength, size and appeal, as arguably the best genealogy product on the market, is mainly due because of me and the thousands of others just like me, who have willingly provided your organization with many beautiful old photographs, birth, marriage and death certificates and a myriad of other documentation for the benefit of your organization including it’s members, for us all to share and enjoy. And for this you remove the very tool (FTM) which is of such a great benefit to us, not to mention the appalling manner in which it was advised.
    Sorry mate but in my opinion you have done irreparable damage to your brand, in what can only be described as a public relations disaster, in my opinion.

  29. Gerry

    Like many ‘older’ users, I started with FTM and initially used ancestry only for research but then later uploaded my trees to help others – but only when I was satisfied with their accuracy. That’s called commitment – not this PR nonsense from a sadly fading company who probably think that what we do is called GeneOlogy like many TV numpties.

  30. B.

    Ancestry is going to force me and all its subscribers into New Ancestry in a few days. After eight months of endless promises that functionality, appearance, and readability will be improved, bugs and glitches will be fixed, and that your computer generated Life Story profile narratives won’t reduce us to tears of anger and frustration due to all the errors the program inserts into the narratives, Ancestry blind-sides us with the news that Family Tree Maker and all support for it will be gone January 1, 2017.
    So now you make the statement above that you’re planning to make improvements to the “online experience” (New Ancestry) to compensate for the loss of FTM when I can’t even yet print out a family group worksheet or do a continue search in New Ancestry. Your statement is nothing more than vague bait to try to get us to subscribe for another year.
    In August, when I saw how very slowly any new improvements were being made to New Ancestry, I started printing out records. I downloaded Gedcoms, bought FTM and downloaded my trees. Yesterday, I synced again and downloaded my updated Gedcoms. Today, I bought RootsMagic and downloaded Legacy.
    Does this sound like what a satisfied customer would do, or does it sound more like someone who does not believe the vague promises and is ready to bail out?

  31. Andrew Powell

    Kendall Hulet and the Ancestry management team sticks to a position that remains a BREACH OF TRUST with Ancestry’s most LOYAL CUSTOMERS who quite frankly with their efforts over decades built up much of the best and most accurate content. Remains a notable breaking of the brand promise to exactly those most dedicated to the MISSION of family stories and genealogy who have contributed not merely hundreds but thousands of hours, in many cases a life’s work, now creating not merely disappointment, but significant stress and not insignificant efforts disrupting the family researcher, end user and CUSTOMER, who is being insulted and DISRESPECTED, despite claims to the contrary.

  32. Rowland Hackett

    I agree with Jan above. I have several trees on Ancestry and have now started to unlink them in FTM and delete the online trees. I must remember to remove the automatic renewal of my Worldwide membership of Ancestry and upgrade my Findmypast membership to Worldwide.

  33. Peter Ellis

    Totally disgusted by the way you are treating long term FTM customers. I have been using FTM in different versions for almost 20 years and do not want to have to access my tree over the web. One good point is that I at least have until my subscription renewal to find an alternative.

  34. Dave Playford

    Disgusting behaviour. I buy your product only to find 4 months later you are making it obsolete. You are screwing your customer base, so just watch your customer base go straight off to the next genealogy supplier. I will cancel my subscription on 22 January 2016, which is when it comes up for renewal.

  35. Peter

    If they really valued their customers they would not be doing this. What people want is independant offline access to their trees and not being forced to go online to access their tree. They want to be able to store it themselves and not be beholden to a corporation or the vagaries of the internet to hold and keep their data safe and secure. It seems that Ancestry want to turn themselves into a facebook lookalike with only an online precence to gobble up individuals data. BIG BROTHER OR WHAT!

  36. Tina

    You say you are exploring sync with other software vendors – why not start with RootsMagic? They have been applying to you to do this for some time. Sync is the best feature of FTM now – when that’s gone we need something else, and fast.

  37. Jock

    1. What’s this “degradation of features” that will happen to FTM after January, 2017? Did the latest FTM update include provisions to deliberately degrade the features after that date?
    2. Under no circumstances will I allow the ancestry site to hold the master copy of my data.
    3. Under no circumstances will I use the site as my primary means to update data (it is garbage)
    4. Like some others, I have taken advantage of the Roots Magic special FTM pricing and am currently testing it as my new respository of ancestry data

  38. Phil

    This so called up-date is an absolute joke & gives no indication that they are listening to over 7000 complaints – all lodged within 24 hours of the initial announcement.I’ve been so entirely happy with Ancestry since joining about 6 years ago that I haven’t botherd to check out any other providers so I was pleased to see a couple of alternatives recommended in the comments above – Root Magic 7 & Family Tree DNA. I’ll be checking both and no doubt others out shortly. My current Ancestry subscription is good to November next year but it seems very unlikely that I will be re-newing. Someone please start up a fb site so that we can all become friends before this blog is taken down. We can help each other to transition to suitable alternative providers. Hopefully as some have mentioned above those alternative providers will be looking at enhancing their products to replace FTM or better still buy it and provide the service which Ancestry seem intent on taking away from us. Shameful decision and appalling treatment of loyal customers.

  39. Lesley Ford

    Well – what a lot of words from Kendall Hulet that tells us NOTHING.
    I had hoped we would get some REAL ANSWERS.
    Your post only reinforces the FTM / Ancestry communities disappointment in the ancestry management’s lack of understanding with our concerns. You may think that you can ride this out but your corporate standing has been severely damaged, and previously loyal customers will have very long memories. Marketing 101! Man Up!!

  40. I am surprised that you are still “considering” adding some of the features of FTM to the online Ancestry. Surely this should have been considered BEFORE announcing the end of the desktop software? I hope that you do make the API available to software developers as this could lead to some much better products that FTM is at the moment. It is a little “tired” and could do with updating but I’m not sure it was quite ready to be retired.

  41. Susan

    I really like Family Tree Maker and have used it constantly since version 10. It is not perfect, but I particularly like the customisable reports. I can do without synching to my online trees and I have found to my surprise that my old version 16 works OK with Windows 10. I plan to continue using FTM 16 until it breaks, but I shall make sure that I always have a current GEDCOM backup for each tree so that I can move to an alternative software when I need to.

    Now, about my Ancestry subscription – I have paid it for more years than I care to remember, but this seems an ideal time to reconsider. Putting aside loyalty and community since Ancestry seems to have no such concepts, what is left? The databases – good, but not enough fresh useful material to be worth the money. Time to look elsewhere. The search facilities – not as good as they were. It is sometimes impossible to find a record even if you know it is there and put in as much detail as possible. The tree interface – oh dear. The trees themselves – it was fun making them, it was useful sharing with others, but the good information is overwhelmed with a flood of copies and rubbish. If the serious people remove their trees as they are threatening to do then it will no longer be useful. Do I remove my own trees? It hardly matters since everything has already been copied, sometimes appropriately, sometimes not.

    I have until August to decide, so there is plenty of time to look at alternatives. What should Ancestry do to keep my custom? It’s probably too late now that the idea of leaving is firmly in my head. Do the current owners care whether I renew or not? Of course not. They will have sold by then.

  42. George

    I use both the online tree and FTM, in combination they make a great system. I really value working offline, having a copy of my tree offline and generally using the features of FTM not available on Ancestry. So long as you keep supporting FTM then my intention is to remain with Nothing you have said so far gives me confidence that you genuinely understand the situation nor will Ancestry reverse the decision. I predict that like so many other subscribers by Jan 2017 I will have been forced to sever my custom with Ancestry and will be using a suitable (if not better) alternative. It will annoy me to go through all that effort, given that I am happy where I am at the moment.

  43. bob watkins

    I agree with the majority of the blog posts since you announced that you will cease to support Family Tree Maker. This is an ill-considered decision. I rely on the functionality of FTM for my genealogical research. The web based alternative does not allow the amount of personal control over the content and how it is added to individual trees that FTM does. Please reconsider this decision.

  44. David

    I am devastated by this announcement. Had it occurred to Ancestry that not everyone has superfast broadband. Two of the invitees to my family trees on Ancestry live in rural areas where no one, BT included, are willing to upgrade their service from the old copper-wired telephone cables meaning that their broadband speed is next to useless. So Ancestry’;s assertion that “the Cloud” is used by everyone is absolute nonsense. More than that, it is probably a smokescreen for achieving cost savings in their organisation.

  45. Jock

    Clearly, Kendall, despite your claim to the contrary, you don’t value our feedback as customers at all. There were over 7,000 complaints within 24 hours of your announcement and they were NOT simply seeking a clarification. Everyone fully understands your first post and your second post only serves to highten the level of contempt that ancestry has for its customers. What we are seeking is nothing less than a reversal of a ridiculous decision which is a slap in the face for many long term and loyal customers.

  46. Richard Gehringer

    First let me say that I understand why you are doing what you’re doing with FTM. But, having said that, I still am not in favor of it and am disappointed.
    Secondly, you say that one of the reasons for stop selling FTM is “because of declining desktop software market.” I would just like to say that most of us older individuals (many of whom are retirees) and who probably make up a large number of FTM owners, prefer desktop software. Because of FTM, we can work on our trees without the internet. This is very helpful if our internet is down, we are unable to access the internet, or if Ancestry is down (or not working) for some reason, we can still work on our trees. This is a great advantage of the desktop software. I for one prefer the desktop software.
    Thirdly, I am glad that you plan to support FTM, which is, in my opinion, the best desktop or any family tree software, through at least January 1, 2017 (hopefully longer).
    Fourthly, I would like to be positive and offer a suggestion that I hope you will seriously consider. The one thing that I hope you keep for those of us who use FTM is the ability to access the hints (the leaves) for as long as we own and use FTM. This is one of, what I believe, the strongest parts of FTM beside all the report formats (that the internet is not necessary for) that FTM has. Please consider my suggestion/request which will help all of us who use FTM and I enjoy using both and one thing I have noticed with the hints is that between the two is that each none might not always give me the same hints and can have some different hints which offer much more help in my research than only being able to use only one of them for hints. This helps me get the best from both and for my trees.
    Fifth, the data entry in FTM is much easier than that of the Ancestry method and for those of us who, as my mother use to say, are more mature (older) is a great benefit.
    Lastly, and alternative for you and for all the FTM users might be to allow another software company the rights to continue FTM and do all the support and be able to have all the benefits that we have now in FTM. This could be the best of both worlds and could really cut down on all the negative and angry blog entries that I read. You do not need all that negativity and angry users. Ancestry has and I hope always will be the best Genealogical Source for Family Tree research there is.

    A loyal user

  47. john

    I note there is no comment about this on your software sales page – deception!
    I take it therefore if I leave my tree, which has taken years to develop, on Ancestry the only way I can access it will be to pay your subscription charges, but you will still be able to use it for your own purposes.
    Terrible decision Ancestry
    Why only allowing comments until 23 dec 2015?

  48. Mary Bourgeois

    More double speak from the marketing representative. I’m not understanding the total contempt you are showing for your customers who have devoted countless hours and enormous amounts of money to their research. Telling us to wait to see until 2017 is ridiculous as many of us have a huge amount of data we will need to move to another location if we want to save it. Considering the fact you gave us a 3 week notice before ending the sale of FTM software I would guess no one believes you will resolve our concerns in a timely manner that gives us options. From reading other comments it seems that I am not alone in reconsidering my relationship with in the future.

  49. Gail Fairchild

    This is VERY DISAPPOINTING. Your FTM Software and the tree synch feature is what separates you from the rest of the pack. I hope you remember that there are a lot of free genealogy websites that we can go to.

  50. Erin

    I don’t care how good it looks on paper, the death of Family Tree Maker is just a horrible decision by Ancestry. FTM was likely the industry leader in genealogical software and you just tossed all that away. As sorry as I am for all the serious Genealogist that use your program, I’m sorry for you and what Ancestry has become. Even through all your marketing campaigns inviting newcomers to “click the leaf and find your past”, I felt you still gave attention to serious genealogists through the FTM software. Some of us are dedicated to finding our roots and we not only needed, but wanted, Family Tree Maker.

    I have some serious thinking to do between now and when my membership renews in March.

  51. R Schulman

    Yesterday I have cancelled my World Explorer subscription even after being offered another 3 months for the price of 1. When your reassurances materialize I will happily come back. I believe the great (only maybe)advantage of compared to your competitors is the ability to synchronize with FTM. Kendall, if this was your idea and if you still have a job when this terrible marketing decision is sorted, a small advise on business 101. Know your costumers and bring them solutions not problems.Shame on you, for the time being.

  52. S. K. S. Coon

    The biggest mistake I DID NOT make was to entrust all the information held in our 112 Blo(o)r(e) Family Trees to an organisation over which I had no control. We have used Family Tree Maker ‘off-line’ since it first appeared, and will continue to do so.

  53. Vannin

    This commercial decision echoes Microsoft’s purchase of Money 20** and then scrap it in 2008. I and many hundreds of thousands of others continue to use it every day (it is still the best platform) despite the link to the internet being broken, and a registry ‘tweak’ needed to be made with W10 (found on MS Forums). I suspect that FTM 2014 will continue to run on hundreds of thousands of computers for many years to come. BUT the essential key elements MUST be retained – the ability to Sync and also research using Web Search tab. IF this is assured, then I remain a happy man. Just cream off 1% of the subscriptions to sustain FTM support to all the loyal and experienced owners.

    Second thought, I hope Kendall Hulet’s boss is watching all of these comments and considering a new role for Kendall?

  54. Floie

    Kendall, this addendum to your previous post isn’t helping. What made Ancestry great was the PARTNERSHIP between you and your members. When you discontinue the software, and the sync, you, in effect, cut the link between the two. Ancestry purchased FTM, YOU linked the software to your site, YOU sold it to us as a revolutionary, new, way of researching. YOU proposed this partnership and now it feels like you’re trying to squeeze us out. Our hard work and loyalty are nothing. We depend on the software to download our data. You don’t care that, at this point, there’s no alternative. “oops, sorry, we gotta cut the dead weight”. How about you “explore” this….given the amount of money I, and thousands (dare I say millions) of us have paid Ancestry over the years, instead of retiring the software, it should be a free download for all subscribers.

  55. S. K. S. Coon

    I would suggest that Ancestry provide every currently registered user of FamilyTreeMaker with a copy of the latest version – FREE!

  56. Patrick

    Mr. Hulet, Your recent announcement regarding the decision to retire Family Tree Maker was a bombshell. It caught many of us off guard and feeling betrayed. I was one of those subscribers and users of FTM2014 which I purchased this past summer, directly from Ancestry as a download. Six months after purchasing your product I learn of your plan to eliminate the product and cease support. Like many others, I have lost all confidence and trust in This announcement seems to be nothing more than damage repair. It seems to me you want to clean up the mess you made with your initial announcement but honestly, the damage is done and irreparable. You can not undo betrayal. My family trees are private and unsearchable but I also intend to also remove my trees from Ancestry’s website in protest over this decision. Mr. Hulet, I seriously doubt this means much to you but I do hope you live to regret your decision.

  57. Sarah

    It is astounding that Ancestry has decided to cut its own throat. I shall not use my time to reiterate the points already made by other long standing users of FTM but will use it to explore the best alternative software to provide off line storage of extensive data accumulated over 25 years of research from various sources. The only thing I will miss is contacting other researchers online. With the inevitable mass exodus of users that will be a rarity in the future anyway.

  58. Gillian Taylor

    So where are we all going to go, when we’ve taken down our Ancestry trees? I wish I didn’t have to leave, it’s been a pleasure for many years, but now that my careful research has been violated and mutilated by computer-generated misinformation, I just dread what Ancestry will do next. (I’m particularly nervous about my media attachments, now relegated invisibly to a separate tab unless attached to an event, and I fear that Ancestry may ‘disappear’ them in favour of its clip-art computer-imposed historical insights). I’ve enjoyed member connect, which has led to some superb collaboration over the years, and I don’t know where I’ll find that again. Findmypast has good UK resources, but is its tree functionality any good? Can we share recommendations on what sites to move to?

  59. Stan

    Mr Hulet, reading through your original statement and then the “placating” blog on 9th December, I think your statement of “valuing” your customers and their feedback rings very hollow. I really do think you have underestimated the value your customers have placed on an excellent piece of software that apps (is there even one available for windows devices ?), or indeed the web do not even get near to replicating for convenience and performance. The people using your services and FTM software are in the main driving a passion that takes up huge amounts of their time and to see a company like yours treat such passion so dismissively, answering their comments with such bland statements just makes your situation so much worse. I think you are about to lose an absolutely huge number of members … truly a shame but one so easily reversed by a rethink on what looks to be a very, very poor decision. For me and i’m sure for many others, i’ll be looking around at alternative software solutions and a new records provider … because your actions are driving me away. It’s in your hands .. I thought the customer was supposed to be king and always right… how about listening to them ?

  60. S Schmitt

    Once again I want to know if I can access MY tree at any point without a subscription… I think that is the game… If you want your tree you will have to pay a subscription to access it and therefore make, as usual, more money for themselves.

  61. Jean

    I am beyond disappointed in this.When I have finished putting my tree on Ancestry, I intended printing it out in book form using the Family tree software. I shall now have to look for a different programmme that lets me do this. So annoyed. I am also annoyed that you are going to alter the format of the Ancestry programme so we will not have access to the previous version. The pages in this where you put your bits of rubbish picture on are an insult to the work people have done on their trees. You truly belittle them. I shall be glad when my membership expires so I can go elsewhere

  62. Karen

    Please please don’t do this. There are tons of older folks who are the most serious researchers hey not always so proficient in the newer technologies. There is not one thing wrong with the FTM, actually ancestry classic works supremely for hundreds of us too. Please don’t do it

  63. Bernie dalton

    As usual very short notice that FTM will no longer be sold after 31 December which you must of known about at least a year ago. Mmmmm? I will reinterate who ever designed the ‘new’ look ancestry needs to go back to design school – grey background pink & blue boxes what was you thinking? Oh perhaps a 5 yr old designed it? Black on white easily seen by anyone no distractions with colours. When you decide in 2017 to no longer support FTM what will happen to those who share and have access to personel trees like invites to FTM? Will there be refunds available to those people whom have purchased FTM as Christmas presents?

  64. Nancy

    I have kept my research private up to now and plan to keep it private no matter whatever Ancestry pulls.
    How can it be right that I spend 25 years working on my trees then have to upload it to Ancestry. It is my private research and I was never led to believe it would be otherwise. It seems terrible unfair to me and I will be looking into other alternatives.

  65. Dory

    Mr.Hulet, I would, if I were you, not give us knee-jerk responses to our roar of disappointment by trying to placate the over 7000 comments thus far with such lame updates that they’re embarrassing to read. Wait it out, think it through. You wrote that you “truly value us as customers” makes me believe that you are indeed worried about losing money when we all walk away from renewing our yearly subscriptions. Just 7000 comments indicates over a million dollar loss should we all walk away and I think Ancestry will lose many millions when all is said and done. Good job, Mr. Hulet. I think you blew it on this company decision.

  66. howard engers

    This second announcement is useless and just serves to confirm that Ancestry absolutely does not get it !! How can an organisation be so stupid ??

  67. Roger

    I find it shocking and ironic that a company who started as a company that built a software to allow users to track their historical and current family history for future generations is now dropping that very service and leaving people out in the cold. It comes across as Ancestry not caring about historical records (their own product line). While I certainly understand the decision from a financial perspective, I think Ancestry is under estimating where it is leaving people and will leave Ancestry in a couple of decades. I also think they don’t care. It’s all about the annual subscriptions and where they stand financially today. I assume this will go through, but I can assure you, no matter what solution I have to come up with to manage my family history, it will not include Ancestry. If they don’t care about people that have been with them before the existence of annual subscriptions and the cloud, then something else would come along later where they would hurt the small older family member. I also think they are forgetting their longer term market. All these younger people who have entered into these new online subscriptions and can afford them, will someday be retired and will not be able to afford them. Give it about 10-15 years and this new financial model will likely come crashing down on them.

  68. Barry

    Well, you must be very satisfied with yourselves for taking your difficult decision and communicating it so carefully to your valued customers.
    I feel somewhat like a 5 year old child who has just been told that Christmas has been cancelled and that Santa Claus isn’t real.
    I was intending to respond yesterday but couldn’t find the right words that were printable. Therefore I was for a moment pleased that you had decided to clarify the situation. For clarify please read “pull the wool over our eyes” or “provide marketing mumbo jumbo”.
    This must rank as the most unpopular corporate decision ever taken. I can see no comeback from this situation.
    Some of the earlier responses that I have read do provide a few possible recovery routes that I can investigate, and I can at least thank these people for offering a bit of light at the end of the tunnel. It would seem that Ancestry are not at the tunnel’s end!
    I have been subscribing to Ancestry for many years and have used FMT for a good while also. It wouls seem highly unlikely that I will be renewing after next April and in the meantime will take whatever steps I can to protect my research and the investment of time and a not inconsderable amount of money.
    FTM is not perfect, nor is Ancestry, but together they provide a very acceptable combination for my needs.
    At the very least I would hope that you will be able to provide the sync facility, even if FMT can no longer be used to conduct searces.

  69. Jeanne

    Why do you not sell or let other software companies have the schema data for Family Tree Maker, then other companies would be able to maintain Family Tree Maker and support your customers who would have a seamless transfer of their research to another product without all this trauma and worry for people. Simple really if you don’t want to support FTM in the future for purely financial reasons. It would certainly appease your customers.

  70. Victor

    ‘We really do appreciate your feedback’. If that is so, then perhaps Ancestry will now very kindly begin to take serious notice of the objections that have been raised by so many (to which I now add my own voice) to the unjustifiable and very regrettable decision to ‘retire’ Family Tree Maker, as well as the equally deplorable decision to inflict the so-called ‘New Improved’ Ancestry website on us all from 14 December: as I have written before, this latter includes such things as highly selective snippets of information about what was going in ‘the wider world’ at the time which serious researchers frankly don’t need, not to mention the unnecessary and often inaccurate ‘summaries’ of the information that we have ourselves uploaded onto our trees notwithstanding our own careful ‘write-ups’ which do not need supplementing! It’s all a great shame, because up till now Ancestry has provided a really worthwhile service.

  71. Kristi Kisler

    I have been a project and production manager for over twenty years. The fact that almost every answer in this update says that they are still looking into the possibilities of offering some kind of integrated service with third party software should have been thoroughly discussed and planned before ever making this announcement. The fact that they are also still looking into designing and implementing other functionality that they are destroying with the death of FTM is another example of poor project design and implementation.
    If only 10% of their customer base decides to delete their trees and cancel their service, it will cost Ancestry over 6.9 million dollars a year and loses them extensive data as customers begin to delete their research. I cannot see how this decision makes them more money. Trying to justify it by saying we do not know how we will support the million plus Family Tree Maker customers seems fool hearty and just plain stupid. Information update … we are not stupid. We know what we want, we know what we like and even though FTM was not perfect, it was the best the market has to offer at this time. This information is not what we want to hear. Listen to your customers and find a different answer to whatever challenge your company is facing!

  72. Kay

    “We are committed to helping our users through this transition.” Transition to what? You have removed important functionality by ditching the combination of the and FTM. You are exploring. The options for FTM users should have been in place before you made the decision to discontinue support of FTM. I have deleted my DNA profile (painful, since I paid for it) and will discontinue my subscription to when it comes due in 2016. cannot be trusted. My transition will be to another vendor.

  73. Pat

    I have never purchased Family Tree Maker, however, I do not understand why Ancestry plans to “retire” it. It’s unbelievable the changes Ancestry has made over the last few months. It makes me afraid of what other changes are coming up. I’m worried about my tree and all the sources and info I have saved. I don’t, for one minute, believe Ancestry “values” their customers. They already have a monopoly on most of the resources out there. Now it appears they are doing whatever they can to make their customers miserable.

  74. Pat Wells

    I am so very disappointed in your decision. I do use an IPad for Amcestry, but my main go to is Family Tree on my laptop. It is so much easier to view my tree and various lines in this software. Please reconsider or at least sell it to some company.

  75. Paul Clarke

    You’ve been “dumbing down” for a year or more now in an area where it really isn’t a good idea; now you are alienating a huge number of your customers (and probably a lot more would be alienated if there was an announcement on your home page) These will leave taking their data with them and making your product less attractive. Is this some sort of elaborate and deliberate way of closing the company down? Look how quickly your competitors are targetting your disaffected customers. And, who on Earth do you imagine will be buying FTM from now until the end of December? All this “We are exploring..” should have been sorted before you made the decision… or perhaps if it had you wouldn’t have made the decision.

  76. Jeff S

    You didn’t address the issue of the non-paying Registered Guests. Our family trees have enhanced your product. Well, you’re not getting mine. I have deleted all 4 of my high-quality trees. With the next re-indexing, MY data will no longer be available to the general public. customers: Delete your family trees!!

  77. Ellen Elder

    This is about money as it interfaces with customer trust. Money motivation always wins and that behavior is always a tool to evaluate a company service as it values or devalues the customer. We customers have received the message of being devalued. Everyone’s comments address the injury.

  78. djarnet1

    I used FTM from the beginning – Long before I ever used Ancestry – Luckily, I always copied and saved info to my computer and did not depend on Ancestry to upload all of their junk into my tree – I spent many hours transcribing info into my tree so that any one who looked could see all names and dates that I was associated to the person – verified with copy and source. So to me FTM is much more important than Ancestry – and the new Ancestry is a rather infantile. I have since deleted my family tree – will use up the rest of my subscription (since you will not give a refund) and then it will be GOOD BYE to you. Millions of people have built your company to the important status you think you have attained by the hard work THEY have done – But also remember – those same millions of people can also shut you down – I know that I will not let you have total control of my families history while sitting on a cloud.

  79. Peter

    I have used FTM on windows when I started a number of years a go and after becoming a MAC user switched to FTM when It became available. The software is easy to use when building a tree because of a number of functions which I have not seen on other software. I have looked for thee functions on the online tree and they appear to be missing. That means the withdrawal of FTM is going to make building and checking a tree more difficult. I will therefore be reappraising the various offerings and choosing he best combination of desktop software and cloud services. This is unlikely to be Ancestry as the lack of a desktop and adequate functionality will push it down the list.

  80. Ken Copeland

    Having just upgraded to FTM2014 3 days ago, I’m not a happy camper. I use both FTM and extensively and the TreeSync is the one of the best features offered. With out that feature, is just another place to go find information. As an ALL ACCESS member I will be looking for another provider who offers the sync feature. As a general question, who ever made this decision that stand along software is not needed to do genealogy research NEVER really did any real research.

  81. Whitney

    For the cost of an Ancestry subscription, the FTM software should be free to members as a benefit. It IS about the money because it is obvious that you have no respect or concern for the customers who have built Ancestry over the years and paid your excessive charges. By scuttling FTM, you are removing a valuable and important tool without having a full replacement plan, features or alternatives in place. I think this is a decision that Ancestry will regret and may ultimately lead to the company’s demise. Good luck with that. I agree with the comments that we should remove our trees from Ancestry immediately. Without our data, they don’t survive.

  82. caith

    You can delete your tree from Ancestry, but they still have a back-up copy, and will always have a back-up copy. Always.

  83. Caroline

    Speaking of Kendall Hulet’s career, I wonder how this debacle will appear on his LinkedIn profile in the future.

  84. Joe

    This is all about money; a change to mirror changes at Microsoft Office and Adobe Photoshop. Both Microsoft and Adobe discovered that a large segment of their users do not routinely purchase endless upgrades (like some FTM users?). Subsequently, both Microsoft and Adobe end support for Office and Photoshop and convert to a subscription service. Therefore, their cash flow will continue forever. The Ancestry strategy could collapse if they do not immediately disclose that a conversion to subscription is the real strategy. Because by the comments herein show that smart users are jumping to competing software now, and will be lost to FTM forever before they offer the inevitable FTM service. Both subscription Photoshop and Office caused a firestorm at the start (as FTMs actions have). Now, subscription Photoshop and Office bitterness has mostly subsided and users have resigned themselves to the situation. Again, this is motivated by money (greed) and you will adapt or move on to a more customer friendly alternative. Thanks to fellow FTMers who have shared with me and added to my personal tree. I hope we all somehow continue to share.

  85. William Duling

    Well, seven days ago you got another $389 from me. Spend is wisely because it’s the last you will see from me. I have used FTM since 1998, but I am now looking into Legacy Family Tree software. I have enjoyed the available records at Ancestry, but I was getting data long before you came along. We genealogists have been and are a “community” that help each other. There is still Rootsweb (which was far better before Ancestry gobbled it up) as well as other online resources.

    I believe that there is more to this decision than meets the eye. Yes, it is about money, but it is also about control (which leads to more profit). By encouraging the exodus from desktop/laptop data to online/cloud data we will lose control over our own trees many of which have been multiple decades in-the-making. We will be at the mercy of cable/internet companies and other bloodsucking corporations like Ancestry to access our own data.

    This latest debacle of greed on your part along with my inherent distrust of large soulless corporations is exactly why I have been so reluctant and judicious in my posting of an online tree. I have always been and will continue to be willing to share data with fellow researchers, but not in an online fashion which is just another source of revenue beyond the aforementioned $389 you just vacuumed from my wallet.

    And now Ancestry is added to the growing list of companies that were started by passionate people and then overrun by bean-counters who have no grasp of the original mission. Sad …

  86. Karen

    Marketing nightmare…don’t know that you will be able to recover from this one. Since I hate your new format, FTM was the only reason to stay. I am not going to act rashly, will take a wait and see attitude for a while, but even I have my limits. Good luck saving your company.

  87. Aileen

    In addition to my comment yesterday, I’d like to boil things down since I’m not sure understand the basic issues:

    1) We are appalled that you made this decision without having alternatives for FTM in place. Address that issue, and own up to your mistake. It is ridiculous that you are saying that you are only now “exploring” this. Think ahead! Did you truly not expect that loyal users of FTM would be upset? Really? While I personally don’t want to lose FTM, it worries me more that you did not have answers in place about alternative solutions. It worries me that Ancestry decision-makers did not think ahead. What a bad business plan that is. Now you have forced us to decide, “Should I stick with a company with poor customer business plans?? ”

    2) Have you noticed that a large amount of serious genealogists who record sources are upset? Remember, that we also help others, and recommend programs to others. You have ignored our reactions and our share of your market and now you are scrambling for a solution. You preach accurate sourcing at your genealogy conferences, and now you are taking away the best tool to do that. Your online tree function is extremely awkward to source correctly. Notice all the trees that have a census records listed as a source for a birth date of “April 17, 1899.” I cringe when I see that. I also cringe when I see how your online tree merges facts and deletes old facts, often without the customer realizing it. Is your market plan to only keep the groups of people who just copy the mistakes in other people’s trees? And those who do not source their trees correctly? What is your goal?

    3) In addition, it seems that you are also ignoring the groups of people who have poor internet connections, and those who are elderly. Do not forget these people are your customers, too.

    4) You really need to read the article at the link someone posted above from the Harvard Business Review (I’m sure you’ve heard of Harvard, right?). I’ll add the link again, but here are a few direct quotes which might wake you up:

    “…errors are inevitable…But dissatisfied customers are not…

    …After all, the battle for market share is won not by analyzing demographic trends, ratings points, and other global measures but rather by pleasing customers one at a time…

    …It’s tempting to dismiss the occasional problem as petty and complaining customers as cranks but…No business can afford to lose customers, if only because it costs much more to replace a customer than it does to retain one—five times more, most industry experts agree.

    …Companies that alienate and frustrate their customers will soon have none left to bother them. Those that go out of their way to please customers will soon have many more… (Ancestry, notice Roots Web’s market strategy of appealing directly to YOUR Family Tree Maker customers, which you are handing to them on a silver platter.)

    …When the inevitable problems arise, customers are almost always disappointed. (Please note, Ancestry, that the article says it is HOW you react that sets the immediate tone as to whether or not they stay dissatisfied.)

    ..Studies we’ve done show that more than half of all efforts to respond to customer complaints actually reinforce negative reactions to a service…” (Ancestry are you listening? This is what you are doing now.)

    So…please, all of the Ancestry decision-makers truly need to read that article today and LEARN from it. People are angry, and unfortunately (for you) that fact actually gives you very little time to come up with solutions. Days, perhaps. That’s a fact from Business 101. Because you didn’t do your homework and have answers in place when you made your decision, now you are scrambling and there is no one to blame but yourselves. Again…what a very poor business decision!

    If you don’t fix this within the next few days (yes, most likely DAYS), you will lose some of the most loyal customers you have. Just count the # of posts on this issue, and multiply that times four or five (because not everyone posts) to get the number of angry people there probably are. Then notice that the Harvard Business Review says it will cost you five times more to get new customers than to keep the old ones. That’s their number, not mine. And guess what? Those customers who are dissatisfied tell people, and they tell people…did you not realize this would happen? Truly?

    Here is a ink again to that article. It should be the gold standard for your business practices. Starting today! Hurry. Every day you don’t have solutions, more customers leave. I can’t believe I even have to tell you that.

    P.S. To quote you, Kendall: “I’ve read through many of your comments personally, and I want you to know that we truly value you as customers and your feedback.” Wow, what a rookie mistake to put in print the fact that you have only read a selection of comments. If you value your customers, you will read ALL of the comments. If you have that many people upset, they all deserve a voice. Listen. Act. Today.

  88. Suzanne

    I started out using Family Origins… a program I loved. Then it was no more, and I went to FTM where I have remained thru all the upgrades! I have spent a lot on Ancestry while hating the changes that hindered rather than helped any serious research. Now I will transition to RootsMagic.. and as of May 2016, no longer will be associated with Ancestry in any way.. ever again.. You have lost me and many others with your stupid decision. Greed will cost you in the end.

  89. MPrault

    If someone at Ancestry is keeping and using metrics, perhaps the December numbers regarding how many users cancelled/non-renewed, how many trees were deleted, and how many trees were made private will influence further business decisions. Beginning Dec 15, we are all forced to lose Classic and live with reduced function. That can only accelerate the loss of customers and the opportunity for sharing and collaboration. Ancestry is quickly destroying what, to me, was one of their core selling points – collaboration with others who have been at this much longer than my 6 years. Based on blog comments, Ancestry is losing the people with the most knowledge. So sad

  90. Brenda

    I have been doing genealogy for more than thirty years. I was doing it before there was a FTM or an FTM has been an essential part of my research since it’s creation. Additionally I, like so many others, have spent a great deal of money on subscriptions to Ancestry and did not mind because I felt Ancestry looked after their customers. Within the last year I finally decided to upload my family tree to Ancestry. I see now this was a big mistake. What is even more sad is the amount of money I have spent on the DNA testing and also the amount of money I talked my family into spending for their DNA tests. I will be looking into finding another avenue which is more reliable, after which, I will be removing all my trees and DNA results from Ancestry along with my subscription.

  91. Ken Feusse

    What you have said above is no help to anyone. It looks like you made this horrible decision without any forethought at all. Kendall Hulet should be fired.

  92. John Eppler

    I have been an ancestry subscribe and Family Tree Maker user for many, many years. Your decision to phase out FTM is very disappointing There are reports that can be generated that simply cannot be done on the web site, such as producing ahnentafel reports, ancestor and descendant charts and all of the other options in the FTM program. Although I have been told by one of your telephone representatives that the web site will be “expanded and improved” I will have to be shown. Please keep these features available. I have read Ancestry’s response to the posts of us, your customers, and frankly see nothing but “spin” This appears to be nothing but a profit driven decision.

  93. This most assuredly will be lost in the avalanche of mail you will receive but I add my “hear, hear” to all the postings of unbelief that Ancestry would do this! I have used Family Tree Maker since it began and have been loyal to the software. This doesn’t seem to make sense, at least to the users. Is this all about money? What software makes the books and other reports? I not only use the software for my personal genealogy but that of LDS pioneer history. What software are we to use when we are unable to be online? My concern is that the cloud will be taken down somehow and along with it all the data, not just genealogical but everything that we now are saving there.
    I hope this will be approached at RootsTech in Febuary… there will be many, many questions!

    Terry Latey
    The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
    Church History Department
    Remote Service Missionary

    Pioneer Research Library
    Research Librarian
    Mormon Trail Center at Historic Winter Quarters
    3215 State Street
    Omaha, NE 68112-1703

    Historical Pioneer Research Group, Inc,
    Administrator to the Early LDS Database, “Crossroads to the West”, & “Lest They Be Forgotten” Projects

  94. Mike

    It appears Kendall Hulet got the position of Senior VP of Product Mgt in Mar 2015. I will conclude he is the one to ‘thank’ for the New Ancestry debacle and now eventual elimination of FTM, since he is the one trying to appease everyone with his comments. As far as I am concerned, he might want to consider looking elsewhere to another company. Hopefully it won’t be the one though where I will be find a ‘home’ for my family tree.

  95. David

    Having used FTM very happily for over 6 years and becoming increasingly impressed with how it integrates with Ancestry, I committed myself to my first annual membership to Ancestry on 8th December (special offer: 10% off if bought by 9th December!). Have just checked my emails for yesterday and today – what a kick in the teeth!

  96. carol

    You haven’t mentioned those of us who have only just purchased FTM. I’m a first time buyer and haven’t even figured out how to use my new software yet and feel like there is probably no point in spending my valuable time learning how to as I only bought it for the sync facility.
    I spent a few weeks in Ireland two years ago, travelling around the Townlands of my ancestors and visiting their graves. The rural cottages we stayed at had no internet access and I wrote everything down on paper. I’m going back to Ireland in 2017 to continue my research and buying your software was going to make this so much easier, or so I thought.

    You can’t possibly think that this is ok.

  97. Lynn

    I am appalled at losing FTM. Ancestry should have already “explored” other options for users and had them ready to go. Leaving us in the lurch over the next year is ridiculous. I will be exploring other options.

  98. Jacqueline

    If the US government can’t keep stuff safe in the cloud, how does Ancestry plan to manage? I don’t want online access only: I want FTM on my desktop where I trust my own control of MY data. FTM is a great system: why not invest more rather that divest? Seems odd way to create shareholder value.

  99. John Roscoe

    By now a lot has been said about your decision regarding Family Tree Maker. I am disappointed but I realise that in todays world businesses must change to keep at least in line with the competition etc. etc. It is good to hear that FTM will continue to be supported for a while but that’s not the issue for me, I would like to know what your broad plans are beyond 2016/2017 so that customers like me who have a considerable amount of data on FTM software are able to make an informed decision what they do with their info. It seems strange that an organisation like yours will not provide a facility to store, collate update and share the information found by means of their research using the Ancestry site. I assume I am correct in assuming that you won’t be making a tree making facility available. As your communication specifically mentioned Desktop Software is it correct to assume that the App that can be used via IPad will continue in which case the issue of record storage is probably less especially if some enhancements are made to the App.

  100. Denisetwin

    I have been a loyal FTM user for over 15 years, upgrading regularly. I am appalled at your decision. The online experience does not have the reports and offline capability that the software does. Your post “reassuring” us does anything but. I read “Here are three key things I’d like to re-assure you of after reading through your comments:”
    1. Commitment to end 2016 (exactly the same position as before!)
    2. We are exploring ……
    3 We are exploring……

    Am I reassured? No!

  101. Jean

    FTM software will, of course, become obsolete over time as operating systems change. Having charts, reports, saving and printing capabilities on my computer is not just an option for me. It is a necessity. Accessing these features online (and paying a fee for the privilege) is completely unacceptable. In so many situations today, I am expected to turn over control of my life to companies. Your company will not succeed with my genealogy. I will continue to use Ancestry as a research tool for as long as I decide to do so, but I will not substitute Ancestry for my software.

  102. David Fleming

    I represent a large group of users of FTM (and Ancestry) here in the UK. We are very disturbed at your announcement, especially since
    a) you have not given any reasons for the decision
    b) you have not provided any form of alternative method for many of the functionalities currently used in FTM
    c) you are not exploring the possibilities of another organisation keeping FTM up to date (in some form or another), but selfishly hogging the redundant code to yourselves
    d) you appear to have gained the politician’s skill of not answering the questions put to you
    e) it would appear that you will in breach of the Data Protection Act by allowing (after Jan 2017) a Family Tree to appear on Ancestry where the information is not correct and up-to-date
    f) you are effectively creating and enforcing a monopoly in that your users can only use you web facilities.

    I would appreciate a proper reply to all these questions that are being raised, and would urge you to completely reconsider this decision, and seek an alternative way of resolving whatever problem it was designed to tackle.

    Yours truly, but in some anguish

    David Fleming

  103. JessicaMcManus66

    If you haen’t figured it out yet….this is all about forcing people to use the “crap” interface that doesn’t work so that Ancestry can “sell” the information the users provide for free. (Meaning that Ancestry makes you have a membership to see even the trees that “free” users have created.)

    And making your tree private doesn’t help….Ancestry still has access to it by virtue of you putting it on their site. The only thing you block is the public from seeing it. (I have had private family photos that only I possess show up in the search even though the tree they were from was private and I was the ONLY one with access to it.)

    And even if your tree is private, it gets included into things such as the Millenium File and the Family Data Collection. (Which are in NO way records like Ancestry likes to call them!)

    If your family tree is on their website, it assures that you keep a membership up so that you can see the things you have added to your tree. (Because most people don’t save everything to their computers) If you ever cancel your membership, yes, your tree rremains, but everything in it that is connected to Ancestry will no longer be available for you to view.

    If you have FTM, sync your trees and remove them! If you don’t, take the time to go in and save each and every record or photo you’ve ever added to you computer. If you don’t, you will lose them all if you ever cancel your membership!

  104. Simon

    Obviously this is an unwise decision. What I find interesting is a parallel with another computer debate that has been going on for decades now: Mainframe computers. Many people preached the death of mainframes, but nothing could be further from the truth. Many folks are now migrating their expensive to operate/unreliable applications back to the reliable/dependent/fast mainframes. So this current fashion of phones/tablets/web applications, while it will explore new avenues, will never replace personal ownership of data. Relinquishing control of personal data to some 3rd party is the flaw that Ancestry organization has failed to grasp. While THEY may have lots of good searchable records available, I consider Ancestry / FTM just tools, and just as I can switch my chainsaw from brand A to B, I can switch my family research tool also. Once you have lost my trust (which you have, along with many others), even paying me to come back won’t work. Even if you continue to support FTM (which I hope you do) , and even if you reinstate the “traditional” user interface/experience (which I hope you do), it is TOO late now. You have started this road to divorce, no turning back now.

    • Kristie Wells

      @Mike D: There are no filters blocking comments on this second post. I just went through the spam folder to be sure and there is nothing there. This second post is simply receiving much less activity.

  105. J. Deen

    This announcement simply solidifies the recent bad news. It appears that the best we can do at this point is to get our data out of the ecosystem and move on- our pleas are falling on deaf, greedy ears.

    For me, this involves ending my annual World subscription, deleting my online tree and finding another product- so far RootsMagic appears to be the most compatible with the FTM output GEDCOM file.

    The Web and tablet interfaces are simply not up to the task of being used to enter data- they were good only for occasional viewing of it. Without the FTM desktop software, I simply have no need for the rest of their offerings.

  106. Colin

    I think it is absolutely outrageous that Ancestry has done this I have only recently purchased FTM and there was never any suggestion that it would be discontinued. What a way to treat customers I am considering voting with my feet and withdrawing from Ancestry altogether. You need to seriously re-consider.
    Colin Hodgetts

  107. Ginny

    Interestingly, as I was researching alternative software last night, FTM is ranked the number one genealogy software program followed by Legacy and Roots Magic. It remains a mystery why a company would abandon the number one program. I will be trying the #2 and #3 programs over the next few months. My long-standing subscription expires in May 2016 and I will not be renewing unless Ancestry rescinds this decision. Everyone with a tree on Ancestry needs to make sure that you have each document that is connected to your tree, saved on your own computer before deleting your online tree.

  108. Rick Massey

    For those of you who have purchased FTM recently and now find from this ill considered action that it will soon cease to do what it is advertised to do you should now ask for your money back. If you have purchased from a retailer other than Ancestry, and in the UK there are some ; pursue the retailer. They hold the responsibility and I would venture to suggest they will be less than pleased. Which may result / should result in all the stock they have being returned forthwith. In point of fact it puts them in a some what invidious position as with this decision ( at least in the UK ) that stock now contravenes the Trading Acts as it is no longer fit fror the advertised purpose which means that the Trading Standards authorities could take an interest should a refund be refused. That could create some very interesting scenarios which could well point out to Ancestry how ill considered this action is. Ancestry its time to reconsider or at least put together some sort of reply to all of the posts above, something which as yet, as far as I am aware, you have been unwilling to do ~ if as you say you appreciate feedback ~ then at least have the courtesy to reply to the feedback you have recieved on this and should some respect for your customers who have been good enough to offer it.

  109. Jim HOuston

    Dear Blah, Blah, Blah

    I have used FTM since 2005. Each new version came with its bugs. Always told it will be fixed and improved. Even FTM 2015 still have bugs and limitations in reports and searching/sorting. Have spent many hours talking with customer service and support on improvements needed over the last few years…WHAT A WASTE OF MY TIME ..NOT one was implemented. So…am I REALLY TO BELIEVE you NOW!!!!

    You can fool some of the people some of the time but not all the people all the time.

    It is time you come to the table and be honest with us all. You will definitely be losing more than you will gain if you don’t. If not, count me out and my data too.

    Not willing to wait much longer!

  110. Juan

    I’ve retired!! It’s official as soon as my subscription runs out. I’ve uploaded RootsMagic7 (feels more like family and not a corporation!) and my DNA results to another site with an awesome data base. I’ve recommended to my family and friends in the past. I’ve bought FTM software for myself and updated over the years and purchased it for family members as gifts. The laptop usage is paramount for me and my family. Your new format is for children (just my opinion). Too many of your public trees are junk. The biggest reason I’ve made these decisions is your lack of respect for your client base.

  111. Tracy

    I am extremely disappointed with this decision. I use to conduct research and I use FTM to input my data. I have over 1200 people entered in my tree – that’s hours and hours of work. Does this mean I will need to reenter all of that data into another program once my FTM in obsolete? I have researched other software and I choose to use FTM because it’s user friendly and there are just some things that I can do on FTM that I can’t do on others. However, this decision will force me to shop around and give my money to another company. I could go on and on about this, but I know that the bottom line (money) is the only thing that is pushing this decision. If really wanted to keep their customers happy in our quest to research and find our ancestors, then they would do anything they could to help us. Taking away a very integral part of the process is not it. SHAME ON YOU!!!

    • Kristie Wells

      @Tracy: We have seen other members be successful exporting their data from Family Tree Maker into another desktop solution without much effort. You should be able to export your trees and all your media with just a couple of clicks. And as a reminder, you do not need to act now, you have a full year to prepare for this transition.

  112. John

    Once we remove our trees from, can anyone recommend another site NOT owned, operated or controlled by Ancestry?

  113. Tony

    It is clear from the uncompromising reply that Ancestry are NOT going to reconsider their decision not to continue support for FTM or, importantly, the SYNC interface.
    The recent response proves that the decision was made purely on financial grounds without any forethought about opening up the SYNC interface or hiving off FTM to someone who would develop it further.
    What sort of business decision is that?
    It is small wonder that subscribers are leaving in droves. I shall, for one, because I don’t believe that a company with business ethics like that deserve another penny from me.
    I feel so strongly, I heartily wish Ancestry’s business will collapse.
    Bye Bye!

  114. RobinH

    I am furious that the time I used to (lovingly and very happily) spend researching my family on has now (thanks to New Ancestry & the demise of FTM) got to be spent trying to protect the results of that research and finding a new home for it. You have ruined formerly great products and turned formerly happy customers into very angry soon-to-be-ex-customers. If your goal is to lose all of your customers, I would guess you are making significant progess in that regard.

  115. CountryMetCity

    Dear Kendall H – you stepped in it bigtime with this decision. All the “exploring” you now say you will be doing, as a result of the backlash over your decision to kill FTM, should have been done prior to that decision.

    Your “exploring” is not good enough. FTM was a good program all the better because it was able to sync with the web version of our trees.

    As others have said, we are often in areas without internet, but we need access to up-to-date tree. FTM allowed us that. And now you say, no more.

    I had an old copy of Legacy 7.5 Deluxe on my backup hard drive. I resurrected it last night and downloaded the latest version. I will learn to use it.

    The loss to Ancestry in all this?

    The goodwill of your long time customers.
    The benefit of their up-to-date family trees for your “shaky leaves”.

    Bad, bad decision. You need to rethink, and fast. The longer you continue on this path of destruction of FTM, the more damage you do to the relationship with your customers who pay your salary.

  116. John Parkyn

    The leading polluting countries get the “Fossil Award”. Is there an award for the company that has the shoddiest business practice, the company that most abuses its customers?

  117. John Parkyn

    Better tread very carefully or you’ll get the message I got:

    “Sorry, but your comment has been flagged by the spam filter running on this blog: this might be an error, in which case all apologies. Your comment will be presented to the blog admin who will be able to restore it immediately.”
    You may want to contact the blog admin via e-mail to notify him.”

    No suggestion as to how do I contact the blog admin?

    • Kristie Wells

      @John: I am not sure what triggered your posts being marked as spam, but I have been clearing the folder to make sure your comments are heard.

  118. Al

    Some misc thoughts on this mess;
    – I see my previous blog post has been “uncurated”, i.e., removed.
    – Facebook Ancestry posts ( have been more direct….”Hi everyone, when that deadline comes closer we will be providing direction and updates on our blog regarding the Family Tree Maker program. In the meantime, we are taking notice of the feedback our members are providing us and sincerely appreciate you letting us know how you feel this” or this truthful beauty…”We are unsure at this time what accessibility will be available to Family Tree Maker after we discontinue supporting it. Please keep an eye on our blog posts for any future updates.”

    – The internet is burning up with comments on the FTM retirement situation….a few links:

    – For a good overview as to how Ancestry got into this mess see Tamaru Jones’ 2014 summary of perceived software issues at Ancestry:

  119. Craig G

    This really does not make any sense to me. Its like Ford Motor corporation doing away with F-150 or Harley Davidson getting rid of the Ultraglide Classic.
    What you seem to have failed to realize is that serious genealogists will insist on having a hard copy saved to their own computers. For a company like Ancestry to no longer provide that service seems to be not well thought out at a minimum.

  120. Mark Hall

    While I recognize the business case for discontinuing FTM, the situation does a serious disservice to those of us who do research via more than just the shaky leaves.
    The sync feature is a major reason that I bought FTM and I use it constantly.
    Ancestry folk, I realize you use my online tree and the research I have put into it as a selling point for new customers but Ancestry online doesn’t give me enough features to work with in seriously doing my research and analysis. That’s what FTM helps me do. Reports, syncing with Ancestry to pull down recent research updates etc.
    Without a continued syncing feature I am more likely to let my online trees languish and keep my real, detailed, updated trees in my old FTM or maybe a different application.
    Valued research that currently helps your other customers won’t be kept online.

  121. Malcolm

    As usual the customer/paid subscriber has no say. Not everyone has or wants apps, but prefer to use their PC or laptop, but it appears that we don’t matter. Maybe if we all started to leave Ancestry they might change their mind. The new tree view is awful and the old saying says: If it ain’t broken, don’t fix it!!

  122. Linda

    Apparently the people at ancestry who made this decision do not know the difference between genealogists and ancestor collectors.

  123. Julie C

    I can’t fathom ONLY having access to the cloud version of Ancestry. For me, FTM offers a highly important advantage over Ancestry online trees: the ability to extensively write notes on lives. I use the Notes section for transcripts of records, for copies of emails from family members, for details on a life gathered over the years, for thoughts. My notes are an integral part of my research– they are easily available to look at, they assist me in finding mistakes and holes in my work, they provide extensive detail that isn’t available via attached records only. I would never add these notes to a web/cloud-based tree– much of it is private information and thoughts that I wouldn’t trust to be kept private. I will never keep ALL of my records in the cloud.

    Too much information that I possess is private and should stay private. For example, on a living person– yes, Ancestry will use the word “Private” for the record as shown online in a public tree. But one simply needs to open the records attached to that person’s life in the public tree to easily access all kinds of information, even their actual name.

    Please reconsider this decision. I will miss FTM but I have already begun searching for an alternative.

  124. Nicholas Rassel

    What Ancestry doesn’t seem to understand is that nothing less than continuing to sell FTM and not ceasing to support it are the only acceptable answers here. You would honestly think that after the massive outpouring of complaints Ancestry would be on their hands and knees begging for forgiveness. Also, Mr. Hulet tried to make a point and say that he respects his customers. That is an outright lie. He has no idea the amount of time, money, and dedication so many people have spent on preserving their family history. This get-rich-quick scheme is undermining all of that. Does he not realize that the vast majority of his customers can see right through it?

  125. Jim Davis

    Extremely bad business decision, imo. I’ve been a subscriber from 2006 to ..?? Interoperability between your web products and local genealogy software is the only (shakey) dangling carrot that’s kept me subscribing this long.

  126. Lauren

    I have already started looking into other desktop solutions. I have been a valuable customer for the last 20 years, but I no longer feel valued. I do believe, based on so many complaints, that a software based company will jump all over the potential and when the dust settles, I will choose one.

  127. Joan

    Shameful. I don’t use the interface with from FTM so not worried about that. I worry that the software will not be kept current and may not function under new operating systems. I guess I could keep an old PC with no Internet connection sitting in a corner with the current operating system and a copy of FTM. What a pain. Here is a hint. Never just link a source document found on Ancestry to your tree. Download to your computer or print the document. I download and do redundant backups. I have never trusted Ancestry. See why now? Ancestry has so much information, but it is sloppily indexed and the search engine is terrible, horrible, … There are not enough negative words to describe. What good is the information if you can’t find it? Why should I have to look at 100 hits not even close to the search parameters before finding an exact match. Why should putting more information into the search parameters result in less relevant information rather than more? has more problems with its services than discontinuing the support of FTM. Maybe they should spend less money on TV shows and “there’s a leaf” adds and more on the functionality of their website. They are dumbing it down and no serious researchers need apply.

  128. Tom G

    I am one of those 12 million downloads mentioned in the announcement. I guess what Ancestry doesn’t see is how many of those downloads are now deleted from devices. The iPad app was a nearly useless app that is no longer active on any of my devices. So don’t equate downloads to active users.

    I think what this customer community has realized is that Mr. Hulet is a “Corporate” Product manager and not a “Customer” Product manager. We fully see that he has no sense of supporting the FTM customers. If he, in any way, thinks the online Ancestry site or the Apps are a replacement, he himself is not a genealogy user.

    The FTM customer community’s wishes can probably be summed up with the following…

    Request that Mr. Hulet resign or be removed from the Ancestry company.

    Replace Mr. Hulet with a true “Customer” focused VP of Product Mgmt.

    Reverse the decision to retire FTM and renew the support of FTM to the “Customer” base

    End the ‘childish’ graphical tweaks to the Ancestry online system and renew an interest in making it a great “search” tool.

    Barring this course of action by Ancestry, at least my family’s plans will be to…

    Lock all family tree records on Ancestry.

    Determine replacement program for FTM – already in contact with my state historical society to determine what will be best replacement for FTM.

    Move FTM records, data, media, etc to new desktop software.

    Verify any remaining Ancestry data is included in the new desktop software.

    Remove all family data from Ancestry.

    End regular World membership in Ancestry. May sign up for occasional month use for a quick search.

    Essentially end my many, many years “Customer” relationship with Ancestry/FTM.

    Ancestry doesn’t realize how personal they’ve made this decision. This deals with the historical records of “OUR” families. The many trips to the places our ancestors lived and all the great data we collected to trace the history of those early family members. The near literal stacks of gold stored in FTM to document the many previous generations. In a way, Mr. Hulet – on behalf of Ancestry – is telling us our families and years of hard work don’t mean a thing to them. And we’re supposed to just blindly follow them ahead with only the broken/unfinished online system? Someone did not think this through.

  129. Brenda

    I am disappointed but change is a fact of life and I for one will adapt. I am glad they are assessing printing options, the printing options in FTM are great. Another feature that is FTM is being able to mark photos and documents private, this is really an option needed in Person’s notepads not available in Ancestry for others to see so I would think it could be integrated in to ancestry also. Anxious to see future update notices from Ancestry.

  130. Crystal

    Ancestry tells us we have a year to prepare for this “transition.” Can we really believe that or will something else come up that pulls the rug from under our feet? Trust is a very fragile thing, Ancestry. Once it’s broken it can’t be repaired.

  131. CPogan

    What an extreme disappointment! So many of us used FTM before Ancestry. It feels as if we are being robbed.

  132. Al

    These Ancestry facebook posts are telling:
    “Hi everyone, when that deadline comes closer we will be providing direction and updates on our blog regarding the Family Tree Maker program. In the meantime, we are taking notice of the feedback our members are providing us and sincerely appreciate you letting us know how you feel this.” and the best to date…..
    “We are unsure at this time what accessibility will be available to Family Tree Maker after we discontinue supporting it. Please keep an eye on our blog posts for any future updates.”

  133. Mary R.

    From Legacy Family Tree: “Per the Family Tree Maker Announcement on Dec. 8, 2015 when announced they will discontinue their Family Tree Maker software effective Dec. 31, 2015. We know this change is difficult, yet know that you will enjoy Legacy Family Tree. Millions have already downloaded it. See how to Import a Family Tree Maker file into Legacy:

    Why FTM users love Legacy: Company-user relationship and support; Reasonable pricing and free updates; Navigation and data entry; Sourcing capabilities; User-friendly; Reports [Numerous charts in the Deluxe version]; Name list; View multiple databases side-by-side / drag-drop; Web pages [FamilySearch]; Color choices. Price choices: Free Standard Version. [No trial cut-off date.] Import your FTM file in minutes. or $10 off – through Dec. 31, 2015, which means Legacy Deluxe (download-edition) is $19.95.

  134. Kev

    I will be cancelling my world membership tomorrow, after many years of being an Ancestry customer. I just don’t trust them any more, at all. I bought RootsMagic 7 this afternoon through their discount FTM users offer. I’ve also downloaded Legacy to try that out too. Thanks for all the recommendations for alternative products.

  135. Randy

    Reading through these comments is kinda what it might have been like to sit on a hillside and watch Rome burn to the ground. Sad.

  136. Angela Faulconer

    Please allow Rootsmagic to use the Ancestry api. This would make Ancestry much more valuable. With the ability to sync, Rootsmagic would be the perfect desktop companion to Ancestry. This is a win for you because customers who can’t fathom using Ancestry without a desktop backup will be happy and the software development headaches can be outsourced to Rootsmagic.

  137. Chuck

    I am looking into Roots Magic, Heredis, and Family Tree Builder. Anybody have pros and cons on these products.

  138. Robert

    Dear Kendall Hulet

    Firstly I must say it took you long enough to respond considering the size and negativity of your announcement to retire FTM.
    But what is even more unbelievable is you response is just a rewording and patronizing response to your first announcement to your loyal customers.
    You mention you read some of the responses perhaps you did but you seem to have missed the point completely that people are making, they want to keep tree sync and want support for FTM past jan1 2017.
    Here is a life lesson Humans are an emotional species especially when it comes to family and these tress are family to us ( I hope this does not need to be explained as to why this is the case due to the nature of your business) any way the main point is this, people take it very personally when it comes to family, and considering the business you are in this should be very clear to you and if you continue down this road with out adequate redress to you customers concerns this will affect your company negatively .

    I have had a look at your competitors commercial response and really they are laughing at your companies decision and more likely at this response as well . Come on and catch wake up son.


  139. Debrah Hauger

    Ancestry is holding our family history hostage with this decision to no longer support Family Tree Maker. I’ve checked out Roots Magic and it seems a viable alternative for me and looks like it may even have more features than Family Tree Maker! I had never put all of my research info on Ancestry and I am thankful that I didn’t. I will only use Ancestry for research. Bad, bad decision, Ancestry. Roots Magic should send a thank you card to each Ancestry management member because they will reap the rewards of Ancestry’s inane decision.

  140. Nancy

    You still don’t value your customers, do you? What other plans do you have in mind for us? My plans are to sync my trees while I can and then delete the online ones. Then I’ll move on to Legacy or Roots Magic. Oh yes, I will also not be renewing my subscription to your website. Trust is hard to regain. I can’t help but wonder what else you have in your future plans. It certainly can’t be good.

  141. Jim Davis

    Btw, media on the web trees CANNOT currently be downloaded using the web export to gedcom. Media can (currently) only be downloaded by using FTM software. And additionally, media descriptive text entries can only be properly exported to gedcom via FTM2012. FTM2014 gedcom export is flawed.

  142. mrodgers67

    Very disappointed. Unless I can customize my data collection the way I can in FTM, I will find a new method. I have always thought about purchasing FileMaker Pro and creating my own database system. Looks like it’s time to do that. And since that will take a while to do, I can finally stop paying for Ancestry’s “service” each quarter. That’s extra money in my pocket.

  143. Chris

    I became concerned some time back when I would call in for assistance with an Ancestry function and was repeatedly told that they would email me a FAQ to solve the problem rather than walking me through the solution. Customer ‘service’ seemed to be slipping away. Then the “new” Ancestry appeared and in spite of numerous complaints by members, it was stuffed down our throats. Now we are given 2 weeks warning that FTM is on the way out. The negative response from members has been huge and the excuses by Ancestry are weak at best. So, it appears this is a done deal and the exodus from Ancestry is going to be phenomenal. Since members were not consulted as to the desirability of this change prior to the announcement and once again change is being stuffed down our throats, I expect, I too, will end my subscription. I’ll be sure to close the door behind me.

  144. John and FTM are inseparable, They are a package that I pay a subscription for. The nominal cost of FTM and updates are part of the recurring cost of I was very happy with the arrangement, but since you are removing FTM capability for local backup and reports, you have lowered the value of subscription substantially. How could you not have a plan for a reporting capability and backups of our data prior to this announcement? It makes me think there is something more you are not telling the subscribers, because it is very bad news.

  145. Annette

    Why explore other desktop solutions? Just keep FTM. What is the real reason you are retiring the software? Again, listen to your dedicated and valued customers.

  146. Barbara

    Dear Mr. Hulet & The Team That Made This Decision,

    You are not acting like a company who is committed to their customers. Do you actually realize & understand that, while you provide access to records, that it is US, The Customer, who has made your company successful? It is actually OUR millions of hours of painstaking research to put your offering to good use, that has allowed you to succeed. Or have you lost sight of that? And, where is the CEO of Ancestry in all this? Hiding in his/her office while you are the face of all this customer upset?

    You really need to make a decision for third-party software. Either sell FTM to a company or offer thiird-party software providers access. Remember Apple? Jobs refusal to make their system software available on other computers nearly sunk the company. Yes, they came back, but were on the brink. Is this where you want to take Ancestry?

    Your customers are furious with you–not just on the software but also on the “New Ancestry.” So, think about it, you have made thousands of loyal users on BOTH platforms quite upset recently. This is not indicative of a customer-focused organization. You’ve become internally-focused and lost sight of what/who makes your company successful.

    Don’t believe that Ancestry is so almighty that some other company won’t come along and exploit your weakness? I’ll continue with you for now to see what happens. Don’t know how long our relationship will last though because trust has been severely weakened.

  147. Andrew

    What do you expect your users to do after 2016 is over? A website is not a viable or reasonable replacement for computer software. There is information and media in my tree that cannot be posted online. I cannot use your website as my sole method of storing my family tree. I have canceled my Ancestry subscription and it will stay canceled under I get a satisfactory answer.

  148. GLeaviit

    As a professional genealogist, I cannot post my client trees online or “in the cloud.” In my weekly lecture to beginners, I have always used FTM and “shaky leafs” to show them how the combination can guide their research. This combination has gotten so many into genealogy- and onto your website. This is so disappointing.

  149. Tom

    Frankly, this is PR bull****! There is nothing in your answers that is beyond what was already obvious from your initial announcement. Consequently I, and I am sure many others, will not be fooled by your ongoing contempt for your customers. Starting off a new blog item to take the sting out of the 7,000+ negative comments you have on your former blog post fools no-one. Many of your customers are disgusted and feel a huge sense of distrust with you as an organisation. When do you plan to address that – or does that not matter to you?

    ADMIN EDIT: Altered a word to keep it within the community guidelines.

  150. Paula D

    This is more to the posters on here, rather than Ancestry. So many of you are talking about switching to Roots Magic, or Legacy, etc., but are you not jumping the gun? Say you buy Roots Magic and Ancestry partners with Legacy to provide syncing through the software, etc. Then you buy again and start all over. I have used FTM since the very first version (where we got a few disks that we could search) I am as upset about seeing it go as anyone. Just saying don’t run out and buy something until they announce who they are going to partner with.

  151. Lejanna Bayha

    This announcement is full of a lot of marketing BS. Here’s some straight talk. When FTM 2014 needs upgrading on my desktop, I’ll be switching over to Legacy. As for any future subscriptions to Ancestry, you can forget it. I know how to do research without Ancestry. I’ve done it before and I will do it again. The only thing that can change my mind at this point is having a copy of FTM 2016 in my hand. I don’t trust you anymore, Ancestry. I don’t do business with companies that I don’t trust.

  152. Janice

    Ancestry, you treat us like a herd of sheep. *Before* you made your arbitrary and self-serving decision, you should have had a deal worked out with another software program. The deal should have included giving us a monetary credit towards said software, and, of course the software should have been able to seamlessly sync from your expensive subscription service to our desktops. Instead, we are expected to be seen, but not heard, like good little children. Gawd. Oh, and I’m really glad that you are giving us until your, once again, arbitrary date of 23 Dec to be able to actually speak our minds. Gawd…again.

  153. Martha

    To Kristie Wells – no, there won’t be that many comments this time. We’ve already poured out our hearts in response to the last blog posting. With the new blog posting making it crystal clear that you don’t even understand our hurt and betrayal, let alone want to do anything about it, most of us are just moving on, heart-broken. We don’t trust you, period. I just bought RootsMagic and I’m removing my trees from Ancestry and canceling my membership. I just wish I knew for sure that you won’t go on using my information without my knowledge.

    • Kristie Wells

      @Martha: As someone who personally uses Family Tree Maker, I completely empathize with you on being able to sync your online/offline trees as well as wanting a long term viable ‘offline’ home for your family history. As an employee of the company, I absolutely hear your concerns and we are reading all the comments. We are working on options over the next year, but understand your decision to leave now and I wish you all the best.

  154. Donna Talipsky

    I am not at all happy with this notice which I just received today, December 10. What are we to do to ensure we have all of our information downloaded from Ancestry? I just purchased FTM3 this year. Many moons ago, I used PAF and went to FTM only because PAF seemed antiquated. I do not like using the Cloud. I believe that my personal information is not safe from hackers nor am I sure what server it is on or who can look at it. Many of us gave uploaded pictures, etc. Ancestry’s bottom line seems to be the almighty dollar and not a desire to help those of us attempting to build our family story for all our descendants. Your high subscription rates for a tremendous amount of free information gleaned from online sources is proof of that. Bottom line, I wonder where those of us who want a program to keep all of our information safe and easily stored, go from here. Thank you for at least giving us a year’s heads-up. PS all subscribers…’s not just older people who have trouble digesting software and computers. Quit making us look like a bunch of inept dummies!

  155. ChuckL

    No need to repeat what several thousand of your other customers have already said, other than to add my vote of disappointment at this self-serving decision on the part of Ancestry. I’ll be looking at options other than Ancestry when my present membership expires.

  156. Bill S.

    It does not feel like anyone at is REALLY listening to the customer base. By that I mean the Serious users of the service, the ones that have built QUALITY family trees that others can use. Yes the numbers quoted for how many use the might be true, but that probably mostly represents casual users that build a small tree, get bored, then never come back. The people that have made a valuable service use FTM to manage their data. If you are content with losing them, their data, and therefore ALL meaningful value to your service, then go ahead and drop FTM with no SERIOUS plan for replacing lost features. I suspect in 1 or 2 years will be worthless and eventually fold if that is the course of action you take.

    This year’s changes to the web site are horrible. The mobile app is worthless for more than casual browsing of a tree. Just who is your intended audience for your service? It surely is not the serious genealogy researcher, and probably not even the dedicated casual genealogy researcher. How can you build a business on what is left if you exclude those two groups? How did you reach the decision that you can alienate those two groups and have useful data for building family trees? Is it really based on the person that just is curious about the past 1 or 2 generations? I have seen too many examples of what the most casually constructed trees contain, and it is faulty information slapped together by clicking blindly on your ‘shaky leaf’ without even considering if the people are really related.

    It feels like the board and senior management has accepted this plan with no marketing data based upon the customer base. You do not have to read many of the comments to this posting or the original one to see the result of continuing down this path. Unless you want to lose 10,000 customers overnight (ones that actually pay annual subscriptions) and their trees, then you must QUICKLY reverse the plan to drop FTM and TreeSync. It is not going to sufficient to ‘explore’ other solutions. Even if you can actually implement FTM functionality within the online experience, it will not satisfy the real customers.

  157. Tom

    To Paula D who has commented above – Please do not take offence but ‘wake up and smell the coffee…’ It’s over – and even if they backtracked now you know how they feel about – and treat – their loyal customers. I’m with Leanna’s comments above – I don’t give my money or business to companies that I don’t trust!

  158. Donna Talipsky

    After reading through some of the posts (those who have obviously read more than I have), I am appalled! If you merge with Microsoft and or Adobe, I will definitely leave Ancestry. OMG! I was right…it is the almighty dollar. There is no interest in your customer base and the subject matter involved. You are selling us out.

  159. Pidgie

    One thing I really like about Reunion is Google Maps. You can put actual addresses or even just landmark names, and it’ll map them in most cases. For example, if you want to specifically locate a small family cemetery that is in the middle of nowhere, you can usually just put the name of the cemetery, county, and state, e.g. Metz Cemetery, Marion County, WV, and Reunion will pinpoint the exact location on a map.

  160. Martha

    Interesting. Does it reach your attention, Mr. Hulet, that people have immensely more loyalty to Family Tree Maker than to Ancestry? Leafing through the comments to THIS message (intended to reassure people), I find them entirely (or is it nearly-entirely?) negative – hostile towards Ancestry and the whole situation. On the other hand, responses to the announcement-message offered far more in the way of constructive, positive thought.

  161. Beverly

    This reeks of ignoring the customers who have supported FTM all these years which have helped to grow to the important role it currently holds in the community. Shame on them. Not a great way to begin the new year. Thanks for not caring about our investment of time and money.

  162. fhusers

    Have just read Mr. Hulet’s reply. What a load of rubbish, how can you expect any loyalty. I am about to download the family Historian 6 software and remove my online tree. I think most people feel betrayed. Has Mr. Hulet considered retiring himself on 31 Dec 2015?

  163. Dave Richardson

    You have taken a commercial decision and you will live and die by it. The FTM link to Ancestry is close to a unique selling point. Other suppliers of genealogical data must be rubbing their hands in delight. I for one will be actively seeking another way of searching and storing. You have though signalled the end of reasons to stay with Ancestry. Not good.

  164. DH

    Kendall, while a nimble enterprise mindset and visionary focus ensures necessary profitability for company relevance and long term life, the poorly executed FTM retirement announcement has created panic in a core foundation of your brand’s strength and creates doubt in fact seeking suitors willing to invest in’s model.
    While those behind the broader market outreach in DNA and shaky leaf family compilations might be commended from a marketing stand point, my guess is internal research would show those using FTM bring and help ACOM retain that same broader market needed for sustainability.
    It wouldn’t be too much of a broad stroke to suggest FTM is critical for story tellers, serious fact checkers and rare family heirloom photo archivists/sharers that ACOM uses in their mass marketing media commercials and ads. Let’s all try to imagine an ACOM commercial with frustrated new users seeking to navigate incorrect histories and images solely consisting of census and historical records.
    Many of us don’t mind playing guides to others following paths we chose to take, yet our stewardship of family stories and connections, is now challenged with a major blow to our shared journey.
    Please be a better steward and help nudge ACOM’s next moves into easy market available tools (open source and API toolkits), timely communication and transition processes which balance the loss of FTM., and thereby show respect to many now feeling slighted.

  165. John Ambrose

    I have just added my post to your Blog agreeing with the anger being expressed by FTM users. I want to add that I am now in my 70s and like others above started out my old fashioned research in local history centres via micro fiches etc. Over the years I have spent much time, and money to Ancestry subscriptions, in building up my tree on to FTM. Like other ‘oldies’ I am not always up to date with the ever changing IT world and hoped that with FTM on my PC my Data would be safe. I ask you again to consider your many customers like me with trees on FTM and years of loyal subscriptions to you.

  166. Please follow through on points 2 & 3 above. If you’re not going to have a desktop app anymore, then make sure has all the same functionality. And let other companies exchange data with your website. This is a win-win situation: all the users of RootsMagic, Legacy Family Tree, etc., will have easier access to your collections, and Ancestry will have access to their family trees.

  167. Jercro

    Seems like you all are just doing the opposite of what you started a few years back. The integration of FTM and So why are you doing this. Do you expect all your loyal customers to just edit their family trees online. So you can charge more money?? I haven’t looked at Ancestry’s bottom line, but I ‘m sure you are making more money than you know what to do with and you keep raising the cost of using your services to where it is almost beyond most of our reach. ????? is all I can say.

  168. Bruce Harshberger

    Trust. The most basic asset (non-monetary) that a business can have., and Mr. Hulet’s responding marketing talk, have lost it. I have flirted with moving to RootsMagic for several years, and Ancestry gave me the reason to move there and I have done so on 08 Dec the day your surprise FTM retirement announcement arrived here. Trust…your company threw it away.

  169. Bill_Sieb

    I can’t find the email, but I recall my invitation to join Fold3 for half price a month ago was based on being a loyal FTM user. I bit on it. I then got another invite to that I am – make that was – looking into. When my Ancestry membership expires in July I will be an ex-customer as will also happen when my Fold3 year is up. So your decision is costing you every year, from me alone, the price of my annual membership, my Fold3 membership, and my aborted membership.

    Smart marketing decision.

    Microsoft made the assumption that the world was turning to touchscreen gadgets and came out with Windows 8. How did that work? What did it cost Microsoft to gets its head out of its ### after that one?

    Ancestry is basing its decision on the myth that no one uses desktop programs anymore. History repeating itself?

  170. Linda Glass

    I would like to meet the person who brought this to the boardroom table. Are you out of your mind? Clearly, he or she has never done a lick of genealogy in their lives. I always thought that was the best of the best. I cannot believe a company that had an otherwise good reputation could so quickly dismiss the customers that helped them rise to their level of success. You underestimated the power of a genealogist. I would assume that a large percentage of us are retired with nothing but time to band together and fight. I can’t imagine how you will ever recover from this. Shame on you.

  171. Linda

    You should have said most of this yesterday. This just looks bad on you personally as well as the company who employs you. This looks like you haven’t developed any customer service skills in your years in the business world. Better get some fast.

  172. Paddi Salas

    I am so sorry to here what Ancestry is doing to their members who have supported them through the many years. This to me seem they have made a choice, once again, to cut out the “middle” in order to make the gains ($$). The middle is what built the top and without the middle the top will collapse. I hope everyone who has made their comments here yesterday and today can somehow report this struggle to the Better Business Bureau, and maybe this will knock Ancestry down a notch!

  173. Stu

    No answer at all really from Ancestry then. Clearly not listening.
    Thanks to those comments above suggesting how easy it it to migrate to RM and Legacy. Will be investigating over the coming months. With the simply awful new views, and the search algorithms getting worse, it’s time to change before it gets any worse.

  174. Bill_Sieb

    Just looked on the homepage of and noticed a link to buy FTM. It states it will not be sold after 12/31/15, but says nothing of the only one year of support. I clicked on the link to download and was brought to NOVA Development where I can download it for $69.99, again with no mention of the one year of support.

    More deception by If you are not going to support it for more than one year so say so or don’t sell it at all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  175. David

    Looks like a “Netflix Moment” But maybe Ancestry is just having financial problems. This puts the last nail in the bankruptcy coffin if so.

  176. Joe

    I’m glad to see that I’m not the only one who has had enough of the way that internet & software companies treat their users when those companies decide to make a change—which, by the way, user—you don’t need to know much or anything about, either before or after. I’ve owned a computer for 16 years now, and over time, you see the thoughtlessness being repeated again and again. In 2015, I purchased only 1 new piece of software, and I expect to let most or all of my genealogy subscriptions lapse upon expiration in Spring 2016. I’m tired of dealing with the non-stop changes and being used as a guinea pig to test them. I’ve decided that I can wait until I get to heaven to learn about the rest of my ancestors—without going through so much h*ll now.

  177. Norry Sponse

    Your response is a step in the right direction (and reflects what you should have said in the original announcement) and I commend you for that, but it doesn’t go far enough. If you truly have no intention of ever selling the product again that’s fine, but if so you should commit to making it an open source project supported by the community. I can’t tell you how many of my customers (computer support) are elderly citizens who have put years into their FTM based geneology work and you can’t seriously expect them to learn an entirely new system at this point. Transitioning to open source solves that problem at a very modest transitional cost to you.

    Beyond that, you should commit to opening your sync API to third parties. Saying you are exploring possibilities of working with third party solutions is good an encouraging, but it’s also weak because it makes it clear you want to dictate the future. If you commit to opening the API it is then up to the third party to adapt their software, taking you off the hook. You can certainly charge a support fee to those third parties if they want to use your engineering time in any way.

    The part that is missing here is the clear commitment to do right by your customers, rather than simply looking into it.

  178. stan wilson

    Mr Hulet is obviously not responding to the more than 7,000 negative responses, so the community of dissatisfied customers has another way to get’s attention – CALL AND CANCEL YOUR PAID SUBSCRIPTIONS. It appears that the management is more business oriented than genealogy. Perhaps they will listen when they see their bottom line suffering.

  179. Jeanne Mease

    I have not been doing genealogy as long as many of these people. I complained yesterday, so I will keep it to a minimum today. I downloaded the Ancestry apps to my android phone and tablet. I found them useless because the screen is too small and I never learned to text fast, so using those devices for Ancestry is impossible. I only bought Family Treemaker for backup. I also bought the Companion Book because I struggle with online help. I haven’t done much with FTM but I rely on its sync and backup. I live in the middle of nowhere by choice, but it means there is no cable, only 3G and my cellphone does not even work in my home as a phone. My WIFI is slow. My internet goes out when it snows, or the winds are strong, or my antenna ices up. There is no choice for an alternate provider. Wow! I just did a speedtest on my connection and it’s really good right now. 1.76 mbps download and .48 upload. I’ve never seen upload that high. My kids laugh! They have it 100 times faster. Even one window open on my desktop causes me to wait. Interesting that using Ancestry last night took forever. Depending on an online only source scares me to death. Each computer or software upgrade is difficult. I’ve always used Macs (for art) and this is why I chose FTM. I’m not confident in my problem solving. Even downloading a gedcom looks “scary”. What if I screw something up. I’m still of that generation. I have FTM for a backup, and an external drive for a backup of a backup. I’m worried that my external drive is too old. Anything new worries me so I stick with what I know. I’ve made many mistakes in my early work on a tree with Ancestry. I went from private to public to private with my trees. I just bought into World and took the DNA test. Looks like lots of “cousins” will be jumping ship. I’ve taken many classes in genealogy and the #1 thing is “Don’t rely on the internet for research.” Heaven forbid for your only tree?

    Many people on the Facebook groups I belong to suggest Even before this debacle. I have not tried it. Has anyone?

    They’ve also shared these articles.
    For what it’s worth, I’m trying not to panic, and hoping that there will be real options and answers from Ancestry. Maybe this suggestions will help others. If not, I value all of your help. Merry Christmas.

  180. Tom

    EVERYONE PLEASE NOTE:- This is Ancestry’s response to comments I have been leaving on their FB page. Please take particular note of the comment – that members needs are ‘best served elsewhere’:-

    “Hi Tom, we’re sorry you feel this way. However, it is not the case that we wish to treat any member with contempt. Nor are we interested in fooling members. However, sometimes, the product offerings we have do not align with the member’s specific need and they are better served elsewhere. This is the unfortunate reality with regards to Family Tree Maker.”

  181. Ken

    Why delete your online trees? They will still have the data for their own use. Download your trees, then update with junk values, just like they are treating you

  182. Barbara

    I love researching and for that reason I have always used FTM and Family Historian – there are slight differences, but protection of my information is top priority so I ensure that my files are compatible with more than one system. I do link to Ancestry – and have enjoyed doing so – but I use it as a backup and it’s handy if a relative wants to view something, but it’s private, not public. I shall continue to research, gradually moving to another program – time will tell, at the moment it will be Family Historian – and keeping backups of my tree in safe places in the time honoured way. That old saying ‘never put all your eggs in one basket’ applies to most things in life.

  183. Mike Cashman

    This is very disappointing. It is very obvious that the purchase of Family Tree software is likely to have been to acquire something that one intends to use for the rest of one’s life. I purchased my second FTM edition a year ago with the desktop/web integration a key selling point The web facilities in Ancestry are in no way comparable to desktop FTM. Is this simply a cynical ploy to drive more traffic to the website and generate revenue via subscriptions and/or advertisements by making customers who bought FTM in good faith dependent on the website and a subscription? I imagine Ancestry’s lawyers have provided assurance that Ancestry can not be sued for this manouevre, but this is an effective way to ensure that this corporation will never be trusted by customers again – not by this customer anyway – unless there is continued support for FTM & synchronisation with the web by some means.

  184. Ken

    WOW! As everyone has said above, I’m shocked that Ancestry would do something as stupid as taking away our ability to work and save our research data OFFLINE since none of us are comfortable having all of our data stored online where we have no assurance as to its safety and security. I for one so not utilize ANY online storage features such as THE CLOUD and others for that very reason. I guess I like the many other folks who commented above will be looking for a new local program to use. I have used FTM since it was a DOS version and have recommended it to many people over the years as the best genealogy data management program. It is interesting that Ancestry has not given a clear reason for such a drastic plan.

  185. Richard Allen

    Limiting comments is one way to prevent this back lash. But I am quite positive this ill conceived change will damage Ancestry. I know you believe the FTM users are all old fogies clinging to their family and desk tops. It is quite evident the new interface is designed to be used on tablets by novices. Your error will lead to the loss of most serious genealogists. Their trees will disappear and your “leaves” will wither.
    I know you think profit and growth depend on the idiots attracted by your celebrity based stories. Sort a gym membership mentality. Casual users who build trees of 3 to 4 generations of say 70- 200 people and keep their membership for one or two billing cycles. The source of such clients is vast and their trees do not take up much memory. When interest wains, they are easily replaced by other such customers.

    Ancestry’s reputation is not based on such subscribers. We long term customers have been the seller to our less interested family members . I am responsible for 5 subscriptions in closer family and many more with friends and extended family. That will come to a screaming stop.
    You have really screwed up and may have lost your job. Remember new coke?

  186. Cynthia

    Oh my goodness, Mr. Hulet condescended to state that he read through “many” of the comments PERSONALLY. Should we applaud and be grateful for his tenacity at reading a few trifling grouses from the peasantry? Good grief.

    Unfortunately, like so many others, my attitude toward has been permanently tainted by this rapacious move on their part. I have marked my tree Private, and if EVERYONE did so, it would significantly diminish one of the touted values of Ancestry – allowing other people to view and copy your research with a few clicks. I will not be subscribing internationally, as I was just about to do. I have already deleted two of my three trees and am preparing to remove the third. I have downloaded a free program to use temporarily while I decide on the replacement program. I am incredulous that they are continuing to sell FTM, at full price no less, through the end of the year. Skulduggery at its finest.

    I have been a member of Ancestry for at least 10 years, and worked on my research for 25 or more. I bought FTM less than two years ago and spent HOURS and hours typing in my >8,000 ancestors (my old program was OLD and wasn’t compatible), and now they are dropping it. I am NOT trusting my research to their greasy cloud. As someone else said, other programs are compatible with importing a Gedcom file. Download your Ancestry info as a Gedcom today…it is quick and easy, and upload it to another program. Even the free program imported the file right away, photos and all. I hope this parsimonious action by Ancestry highly benefits many of the other genealogical software companies, who appear more than willing to work with the former Ancestry customers. Good luck to all.

  187. Jan

    To: Kendall Hulet at

    I really want to believe your statement :

    “…….we’ve seen your outpouring of comments, questions and the concerns you have raised. I’ve read through many of your comments personally, and I want you to know that we truly value you as customers and your feedback.”

    …… but frankly, I just don’t.

    The evidence of Ancestry’s track record over the past year just does not support this statement.

    Unfortunately, trust has been lost.

    Firstly, it was seriously challenged due to the way in which, you failed to listen, or respond to, the thousands of pleas not to ‘retire’ ‘Old Ancestry’, or, at the very least allow us to have the option to choose. The ‘Old Ancestry’ was superior in so many ways and also more user-friendly but our opinions and experience fell on deaf ears.

    Secondly, your decision to ‘retire’ FTM without an established alternative and the way in which, you have made and dealt with this current announcement has killed it for me.

    Let’s face the reality! …….. We are not going to be able to save FTM, no matter how strongly we protest, or in whatever numbers, any more than we were able to save ‘Old Ancestry’ despite the thousands of voices that rose up in an attempt to do so. It’s a done deal! ….. The rest just comes across as lip service and damage limitation on your part.

    So! What’s the damage limitation from our (your customers) point of view?

    “We are exploring possible relationships with other desktop software solutions that would make it possible for their products to integrate with Ancestry”.

    I get the fact that, if FTM has to go, and you allow other software to become compatible and integrate with Ancestry, that all may not be lost …..BUT …… ONLY if it includes the ability to Link & Synch our trees and Web Search as FTM does now.

    The loss of familiarity of using the existing FTM and the financial cost of purchasing new compatible/integrative software are two problems which may be particularly difficult for your more senior members or those who are not financially able to do this.

    I trust ….. (There’s that word again! I’m really not so sure how appropriate its use is in connection with Ancestry anymore?) …. that if you do successfully negotiate to produce compatible software that you will also:

    1) Support the transfer from FTM to this new compatible/integrative software or negotiate support into the agreement with the software provider.

    2) Negotiate a substantial discount for existing FTM customers who are being forced to buy the new software because of your decision to ‘retire’ the one they have already paid for.
    “We are exploring options to bring more reports and related functionality from Family Tree Maker into the online service. Stay tuned for updates on this over the coming year”.

    Well! For those members who are happy to maintain and store their tree on the Ancestry site then I guess this can only be a bonus under the circumstances but you are just not listening to the thousands of comments from members who have stated categorically that they do not want, and will not have, their tree soley on line. They want to be able to back up their precious trees on reliable and compatible software which is under their own control and ownership. Wouldn’t you?

    So, this brings us back to the urgent necessity for compatible/integrative software to replace FTM. Without it you are likely to lose a large proportion of your customer base.

    If you do genuinely intend to find an alternative, as you have suggested, then I would suggest making a more concrete announcement about this sooner rather than later if you want to prevent the migration of a large proportion of your subscribers to other genealogy providers.

    To be honest, I suspect, it is the added hassle of not having the facilities that the integration between Ancestry and FTM provides that many of us want to avoid. But, if, in order to maintain ownership and control of our own trees, (which for many of us is non-negotiable), we are going to have to go backwards and have the hassle of either manually updating duplicate trees, one on line and one on our own computer software, or maintaining just one tree off line; return to copying and pasting or downloading and then uploading documents, photos etc. – then, the truth is, we can do that using any of the many genealogical sites on offer. It is the ability to link and synch our trees as well as the much more user friendly Web Search facility of finding information and documents and being able to save them directly to our FTM trees that gives Ancestry the edge and has attracted many of us to choose membership with Ancestry over other Genealogy sites. Without this edge, there is little to differentiate you, from other providers now. Find My Past, which in my experience has a far more effective and accurate search engine than Ancestry’s, is but one example. This coupled with the animosity and sense of betrayal that Ancestry has generated recently amongst its customers suggests that it is unlikely that they would be inclined to choose Ancestry in the future.

    Doesn’t sound like good business sense to me!

    Recommendation from others, who have perhaps had some experience of navigating genealogical records and websites, is often how those, new to family history research select which genealogy provider to subscribe to. Hand on heart! In the past I have always recommended Ancestry, closely followed by Find My Past and Family Search. In the future I shall be recommending Find My Past and Family Search. Rather sad after nearly 10 years collaboration and loyalty to Ancestry.

    On a final note!

    A question: Why have you chosen now, of all times to make this announcement?

    It is less than a week away from the switch over in the UK from ‘Old’ to ‘New’ Ancestry, which in itself has and continues to create a great deal of animosity and dissatisfaction amongst your members, myself included. It is also two weeks away from what is, for many, the busiest holiday time of the year. Instead of enjoying valuable family time and perhaps a bit of relaxed family history research many of us are going to be frantically backing up our trees, exploring options of alternative software and genealogy sites and preparing ourselves for a mass migration from Ancestry. You seem intent on angering and inconveniencing your members in every way possible. Happy Christmas to you too!!

    If I received a copy of Family Tree Maker or an update of it in my Christmas stocking this year I would feel cheated both, as the recipient and also as the giver.

    Would it not have been more honourable to have withdrawn FTM well ahead of the Christmas season to avoid innocent shoppers buying it as a special gift for equally unsuspecting loved ones? Do you have any idea how shocking it is to know you have cold bloodedly cashed in on the Christmas bounty, taken the profits, knowing that you plan to jump ship as soon as you can? Is there a warning on each product that they are spending a good deal of their hard earned cash on something that has no longevity? Do you intend to refund these poor unsuspecting people when they realize they have been conned?

    Would I be correct in thinking that the dates that you are ceasing trading Family Tree Maker – 31 Dec 2015 and also the date that you propose to cease supporting the product – 1 Jan 2017 are both cleverly contrived? The first as I have already stated, to maximize on the Christmas sales of FTM and the latter date, not as you would like us to think, as a gesture of consideration and support to your long term customers of Family Tree Maker but, more to the point, a legal obligation that you have to honour (at least here in the UK) of 12 months Statutory Consumer Rights.

    The chances of this being read are minimal but at least I know I have tried.

    My membership expires in Feb 2016. Unless there has been an announcement before that time confirming that Ancestry has secured the availability of alternative compatible/integrative software to replace FTM, I shall not be renewing my membership. I will use the time until then to do what is necessary to be ready to delete my trees and leave. I sincerely hope this won’t be necessary but I am resigned to it if need be. I will not support an organization that doesn’t listen to or consider its fee paying clientele and appears to be conducting itself in an unethical and highly questionable manner.

    Just one more of the thousands of disheartened and disappointed members of Ancestry.

  188. Gayle

    Wisely and logically one would “explore” prior to announcing “th th th that’s all folks”. Everything said in the answer section above is just an obfuscation tap dance.

  189. Rhonda

    I don’t think you are listening to us users. This is a devastating blow to all of us. Years and years of research have been put into our FTM and we don’t want to have to do it all again. We are the ones who built your company. Do you really want us all to go to your competitors? My subscription would renew in Aug of 2016 I will not cancel right now cuz I know there would be no refund for the part of the year I haven’t used. I have however privatized my tree on and I will remove it before my subscription runs out. I will not renew my subscription and I urge all other FTM users to do the same thing. I hate to see ancestry go out of business because they do have tons of information on the site but I don’t see how they can stay in business when we all leave.

  190. I can’t believe this is happening. It’s like a really bad nightmare. I’ve spent so much money and time on your sight and was fixing to rejoin and do the DNA. Not that you apparently care, but I’m out! So glad I didn’t upload my information to your website although my cousin uploaded much of what I gave her without permission.

  191. A van Helsdingen

    This sort of thing is why I have never taken out a paid subscription with Ancestry. I had been considering it but will definitely not now. The same goes for their DNA tests. They have always been commercially minded rather than genealogically minded.

  192. Linda Martin

    Please don’t do this! I have so many records in the FTM program and I do not want to post them online! Why ruin a good thing? I will have to look into another program as well. It was bad enough that you kept changing file types with upgrades. Have some respect for your customers.

  193. jan

    Ancestry tells us continually that they listen to their customers but are taking away FTM/sync and refuse to provide a chromosome browser for their dna results. Both are ridiculous moves. I’ve been there from the beginning of your site, FTM, and your dna service but will rethink my genealogy future after this latest blow.

  194. Beecher

    Many thanks to you all for this outpouring of common sense and direct feedback. 1000’s of disgruntled customers and users have it right. But in a competitive world the reality is that all customers can do is decide where they spend their money.

    I avoid using commercial cloud services for many reasons- and one of them is to retain and maintain control of my own files…. just in case things like this happen.

    I have used FTM successfully for about15 years, regularly updating to the latest versions, and have an Ancestry subscription that I will now also stop. I must and will now find a workable FTM substitute for expanding, exchanging and archiving my own trees.

    They have given me -and all others like me- no real choice. And, yes, they are not listening.

  195. Joe

    I already provided a comment but as an addendum I checked out Roots Magic and they are a good deal as an upgrade for FTM users, $20 for the software and book on Roots Magic.

    I did a quick import of my FTM file and it seems to be VERY similiar. The import, via a GEDCOM file, included media. The only feature I would still like is the interface between the PC database and the online db.

    Maybe ancestry will realize there is a market for an API.

  196. Shannon

    Incredibly poorly handled.

    Any “exploration” of exposing a sufficiently robust API for third-party vendors to use to integrate with online Ancestry trees should have been done well before this announcement, and something along the lines of “we are in active discussions with (names of parties)” made a part of the announcement. Spinning off FTM should have been explored – and also have been made a part of this announcement. My faith in Ancestry’s management has been thoroughly shaken.

    Vague promises of folding current FTM functionality into the new half-baked web product also do not comfort. We’re to expect you’ll somehow do a good job with the significant new functionality, when you can’t even get the New Ancestry working as consistently as the old, with no new functionality of any consequence?

    But here’s the hugely important bit:

    The large part of the value of Ancestry, if not most of it, is in the community, and the treasured people in this community are not the 18-49 demo.

    Our elders are our treasures! They have the memories and the old letters & pictures in that box at the back of the closet. My 40-something husband can’t read cursive, and in spite of my best efforts, my own kids struggle (my parents are the reason I can – not everyone’s so lucky, and they don’t teach it in school any more).

    Our elders have given so much to us, and to Ancestry, simply by correcting erroneous transcriptions, never mind the priceless photos, stories, and documents so many share! Theirs is the DNA most precious to collect, because just one generation earlier is twice as good for matching. And judging by the comments, they are the members most likely to flee Ancestry once your damage has been completed, if not well beforehand.

    Without our active elders actively contributing and curating, and without excellent tools with which to manage our (OUR!) information, all you are is a data broker, a provider of a commodity. A handy one, but also the most expensive and – crucially – not the only handy one.

    In my experience, the breakthroughs in genealogy come about through community.Yes, there’s crap in many trees, probably including mine. There are also gems. I will hang with my flock, and that flock looks to be fleeing Ancestry. At some point, it will no longer be worth spending $300/year, and more, to continue my work here. The more people you drive away, the sooner that will happen.

  197. Liz

    I am extremely unhappy with Ancestry’s surprise post on Dec 8th to stop supporting Family Tree Maker. The web software has very limited data management support for trees, no useful reporting, no ability to sort people by location, but can be a useful tool — primarily as it is connected to databases controlled and managed by their owners in a real database software package. Even Microsoft’s move to the cloud didn’t remove the desktop applications. Obviously an abrupt and clearly unplanned end to Family Tree Maker is a very poor management decision. The Ancestry Update on Dec 9th reflects the same lack of planning, poor management and waffling about how long tree sync and other features will last. Ancestry DNA is ONLY useful when the people have a fully populated and vetted tree. With this change to the support of Family Tree Maker the value of Ancestry DNA has collapsed. Ancestry should drop the price on the World subscription down to something in the neighborhood of $10 month to reflect the “new” management plan. I have been using Family Tree Maker since its early days under Broderbund and have maintained a World Subscription to Ancestry for many years.
    Time to explore other options since Ancestry has chosen to remove their own value from the study of Genealogy.

  198. World Tree Project – NOT!
    Could tell in advance when I was told Avantsoft support FTM2014 recently by your help line. The disinterest was palpable!
    So 1/1/2017 and Tree Sync stops. This is all about ease for Ancestry and cost savings in space/ TCO. How dare you send me a Customer Satisfaction Survey immediately after you told me my 25+ years research is degraded! Here is my note to you that you expect good feedback on. I am appalled. Root Magic calls! The main summary is
    1) I have more on my local FTM file than in the cloud
    2) Functionality, whilst good, online is significantly less than locally.
    3) I have bought every version from ver2 to FTM2014, costly me a small/ no large fortune over the years
    4) You increase your annual fee quoting extras (i.e your online development costs) then treat your customers with contempt with this despicable action… angry doesn’t cover it!
    Here is my letter to you dated yesterday.
    Note I am not a luddite BUT I am very very very unhappy with this decision, we have over 25 years worth of research stored on FTM (from vers2.0 upto ftm2014) – we have spent a fortune with you over the years
    The online version doesn’t hold all that is on our laptop version not least in terms of videos, plus lots of other research facts, notes, weblinks etc etc
    Please assure me that even though no further changes or support will happen that the TreeSync feature WILL BE AVAILABLE ad infinitum? Not just ending 1/2017
    Yours sincerely
    K A Hellinger (keefhellinger) on ancestry
    Sent from Mail for Windows 10

  199. Heather Burdge

    Please, please do not go ahead with this. You have very many loyal customers who, like me, must be feeling “kicked in the teeth” by this action. I have used Ancestry and Family Tree Maker since I started my family history research. It is a product which I have become familiar with, and confident in its use, and quite frankly will not know which product to head to next. PLEASE do not take away our much loved family history friend.

  200. susan meister

    Am now in the process of downloading all my Ancestry trees to FTM in order to save the GEDCOMs on my computer for a different offline software provider. I have seen recommendations for RootsMagic and Legacy Family Tree (which I used many years ago). Anyone have a better recommendation or advice regarding which of these two are the better option? Thanks

  201. David Faux

    I became aware of Ancestry’s disreputable business practices two years ago when, with scant notice, they destroyed all of the data in the 5 MyFamily sites – without providing any viable option. They said that the information could be downloaded, and provided a few weeks in which to do that (I was out of the country). Then I find out that the “download” contained only the pictures with no captions, no family tree, no cousin messages, no e-mail addresses of members – just gibberish. Surely they could have provided a single pdf copy of everything on each site. Despite feeling betrayed by Ancestry, I still stayed with them because I loved FTM and the ability to sync with the online tree. Now that rug has also been pulled out from under me. There is absolutely no reason to retain any connection with Ancestry. That important ingredient called “trust” has vaporized. I have made my 12,000 name fully researched tree private as a first step in the divorce process. When my subscription is up for renewal in February I will remove my tree (actually a combination of 5 trees) from the site, and will not renew my subscription. I am eagerly anticipating that day. I was willing to give Ancestry a pass on the MyFamily debacle, but not so when combined with the FTM demolition. I feel “violated” at this point, and want nothing further to do with a corporation whose lack of any apparent conscience or guilt put them in a league with Machiavelli.

  202. Ronnie

    This is beginning to look like a petition although it does not look like Ancestry is listening. But I will add my weight to the arguments. FTM was/is a great product – I have the Ancestry apps on my IPAD and Iphone and, whilst they look very whizzy on the screens, are pretty useless for managing data and the more you build up the story of your family the more power you need to organize the data and publish and present it in different ways. I have been using FTM and Ancestry for many years and am very disappointed with this proposal and hope that the “powers that be” will change their minds. I do have and have had subs to other genealogy sites:- FMP; Genes Reunited, The Genealogist – some of which offer tree building facilities which I do not use as they are not as powerful as FTM. What a dumb proposal!

  203. Andrew Mawson

    Ancestry are just doing what all major software shops are doing. Desktop software is an outmoded and financially unsustainable model for delivering product and content. Moving to the cloud is inevitable and will not involve the sky falling down. The key will be whether Ancestry are willing to create an industry leading, visionary cloud product rather than their current mundane, dumbed down offering. If by the time FTM is retired, the cloud experience is as robust and feature filled, as FTM the panic will be over.

  204. Barb Third

    How to say this loudly enough? Ancestry doesn’t own diddly-squat. Permira, a global investment firm, owns Ancestry and is quietly looking to auction it off. Loose ends, like FTM, are being trimmed. Hulet, Sullivan and Hockhauser are just puppets dangling from strings. There’s no telling what will happen come Dec. 15. Maybe your zillion entries will be flung far from the Ancestry corral. I suggest you put on your boots and hop off this train while you’ve still got your data!

  205. Nan

    I find this very frustrating. I just finished my ancestry membership and do not have the money to continue. Now you will discontinue the family tree maker. If I can get back into ancestry in the future, I will not be able to sync all my info to family tree maker. This is a very poor decision.

  206. Gayle

    I have successfully synced all my trees and will continue until the end of Dec 2015 to get as much information that I can uploaded so that my files will be complete. I have spent thousands of dollars supporting FTM and then Ancestry when it became available 25 years or so ago. I will be ending my relationship with Ancestry at the end of Dec. I am so saddened by this as I will no longer be able to be in contact with my new cousins and other family members because of this betrayal from I will be going over to Roots Magic as I already own the software, as well as Legacy these were always my backup programs, as I don’t like either of them much. But, I am being forced into using them, I will also mourn the loss of the DNA database but have found a new home on couple of other sites. Not easy to use or sync but at least somewhere that is being kept alive for now. I love Family, but they are now linked with and I fear it will be destroyed as well. Also, know that Ancestry now owns and will be charging for its services in the future. That was told to us during the last RootsTech conference. So we will also loose that site unless we keep paying into Ancestry. This will be a loose, loose situation for the family historian who is on a budget, I think Ancestry just shot itself in the foot, and are hanging the members out to dry for their mistakes.

  207. Tom

    I don’t believe anything he says. He is only putting this kind of “marketing” information out there for legal reasons and because he is an employee, has no other choice. I am sure he did not make this decision alone. There are a lot of other characters behind the scenes that have the same disregard to the whole value of customers and the role FTM dedicated users have contributed to their success. I will be gone and feel sorry for the implications this will have on those Ancestry/FTM employees who do understand what we have contributed.

  208. Ed Price

    Ah Robbie, I don’t envy your position. Ancestry’s decision to “retire” FTM and take a flying fling to move everyone onto Ancestry’s cloud could well be the New Coke of this decade. Have you started formulating a backup plan as to how many Product Managers will need to go under the bus when you have to back Ancestry out of this decision? Yeah, Classic FTM is just around the corner!

  209. Judy

    After using FTM for 20 years (before there even was, I am devastated to find out it will be no more. I have continued to upgrade each time one became available and have been extremely happy with the program as it seems to be one of the best genealogy programs out there. The excuse that Ancestry is getting rid of it because of the decline in desktop use makes no sense, especially considering most genealogists are not in the “younger demographic” who use only tablets and phones. After 20 years of research, I hardly want to leave the security of my data in the cloud of a company who has so blindsided us! Other downsides include having to access to my data only through the internet, the lack of many valuable tools found on FTM and the slow speed on the app (due to large trees). PLEASE give serious thought to your loyal customers and RECONSIDER dropping FTM.

  210. Zac

    Disappointing news but I have has to mainly use the website for some years for some time now due to the fragile nature of the sync feature. However I am cautious about having data in one place only as an enormous amount of time/money has gone into it. What is also challenging is that the model for access to records that we have referenced during a subscription period ends at the point the subscription does. Thus while synced to FTM if I download the record it is generally ok but otherwise it is lost when the subscription ends. I have relatives around the world but do not need a continual worldwide subscription but I still expect to have access to the research I have done. You have free access to our trees and at present we get nothing from ancestry for the huge amount of associations we share. Please up your game in terms of the online offering, integrating with map software, present and historic and in terms of the confidence we can expect in data resilience and we may be less challenging to these changes. Are the App offerings also being withdrawn or will these continue to be available?
    Also if there is no desktop linkage you may find people leeching to other offerings as this one of your near unique features which kept me for the last 15 years or so.

  211. B. Hall

    I used Family Tree Maker before there was an Ancestry, I didn’t need you then and I won’t need you in 2017 when you drop FTM. If untold millions have subscribed to beneficial Ancestry, then untold millions can just as easily unsubscribe from cut-throat Ancestry.

  212. Mac

    I was just about to re-join Ancestry coupled with the purchase of FTM (which I have not used in the past) when I hit upon this maelstrom.It looks like I need to find a different way forward.

  213. Randy

    As a long-time member, let me affirm the anger and disbelief being registered by an obvious majority of your customers over the decision to end yet another service…while failing to upgrade the value of even the original services we had when we first joined. Not since “New CocaCola” has a company had such a year for major blunders. LIke many others now, I, too will be looking for another genealogy site; one that respects and values its customers.

  214. Nancy Chirco

    I appreciate that you are trying to calm the fears of FTM users with possible work-arounds for us to continue to use the program. But I am concerned trees will become more private than public ones because we FTM users keep information in the Notes on FTM that is private. I would never let that be public, so I would have to change my Ancestry tree to private. That would eliminate others from seeing and collaborating with me as a potential cousin.

  215. Jay Bailey

    Read Kristie Wells (from Ancestry” respond to Martha below. Ancestry does not care about customers leaving and is a poorly run company as show by this answer.

    “Kristie Wells @Martha: As someone who personally uses Family Tree Maker, I completely empathize with you on being able to sync your online/offline trees as well as wanting a long term viable ‘offline’ home for your family history. As an employee of the company, I absolutely hear your concerns and we are reading all the comments. We are working on options over the next year, but understand your decision to leave now and I wish you all the best.”

  216. stan wilson

    If you go to
    you can find that the senior leadership at are businessmen, technologists, lawyers, etc. I see no bona fide ‘genealogist among the leaders. Consequently, I think that they have made a calculated business decision to terminate Family Tree Maker. The best way to get their attention in a way that they will understand is CALL ANCESTRY.COM AND CANCEL YOUR MEMBERSHIP, and tell them why. If 5,000 of those who have complained on the blog each did so, assuming each had World Explorer membership at $300 per year, that would cost them $1.5 MILLION. I think this is the only way – at this point – to get their attention.

  217. I am not buying this explanation . I only joined Ancestry because I had FTM before that. I have spent 33 years the old way of collecting records on my family by making trips out of state, going to courthouses, state and local libraries, etc,.
    I have on my FTM original records of my family such as wills, deeds. and many more records that I type in. I did not get that at Ancestry. .FTM is where I do my work. Also, before Ancestry started their DNA testing, my family did our DNA testing at Family Tree DNA based in Houston with great results. Ancestry is not the only act in town nor will you be. My data belongs to me. .

  218. DH

    Comparison Paying Customer 3 Key Points FAQ:
    1. Drip Drip. The backlash is now a trickle. Example: Amazon FTM product reviews today.
    2. We as paying customers, should “explore” how many of the WDYTYA esteemed public figures were actually assisted by serious family researchers using/connected to FTM vs. shakey leaf clickers.
    3. We, as paying customers, should “explore” how many of the people portraits/photos/CDV’s used in ACOM advertising are from FTM users vs. shakey leaf clickers.
    Kendall, like your 3 Key points, only one is known reality today. If I were on the due diligence research team of a potential suitor/investor for ACOM, I would now have another “To Research Further” item on my list.
    Will be interesting to see mainstream news investigative reporters filling time slot fillers with the hornets nest just poked. “The emperor, ACOM, has no clothes” live at 5.
    Cheers and Merry Xmas to you and any ACOM team members who are listening/watching. Time to speak up and help keep ACOM stay truly “connected” to not just the broader market but your foundation of researchers and family story tellers who make ACOM a great leader vs. a worldbase repeat.

  219. Harley

    Laughing if not so sad. One of my favorite parts of business school are the case studies. Looking back at companies and putting yourself in their shoes at a key point in their history. Assessing their products, their services, their customers, competitors, etc. Examining their options — diversify, merge, sell, — and what decisions they ultimately made.

    I am 100% certain that some prof. will soon be teaching his/her future MBA students about ancestry at this moment in time and what they chose to do, and how their actions this week contributed to the demise of the company.

    It is hard to imaging how a company of this size and importance can be so unbelievably brash as to cash in on the massive amount of good will and passion given to it by this community. Maybe it’s our fault for not seeing this coming sooner. They have been out of touch with their customers. Not just with this most recent decision but in the trends of late. Ancestry has shown no desire or willingness to interact with users on planned new features — either on their design, or even if they are wanted. No effort to participate in community message boards w/ regard to users input on how to make ancestry better. Unbelievable. It is only about the $$$. And in that regard, I have to give props to their current owner, Permira.

    They found a company to buy whose model was to implement a software platform over a massive set of valuable data, collected and organized by volunteers, then effectively charged these same volunteers a significant amount of money to access it. Meanwhile, stripping the costs of business by making only minimal investments for “improvements”. No doubt they will negotiate a nice sale with a very tidy sum — that takes a lot of moxy. Congrats, to those precious few investors who were able to monetize and cash in our all of our time, passions, and contributions to genealogy.

    Why don’t you go buy yourself a nice boat. You earned it.

  220. Joanna Kelley

    What disturbs me is that much of what you have stated above should have been a part of your initial statement when you announced you were discontinuing FTM. I really question whether or not you had any intention of pursuing the options you listed here before a substantial portion of your membership expressed their ire about this situation. Therefore, I can only take your vague exploration of other options with a degree of pronounced cynicism. I don’t know if you are just stalling us for another year, or you actually intend to explore other options. I will wait and see, but as of now my trust in Ancestry is pretty much gone. I’ve loved and enjoyed Ancestry for years. I’ve recommended Ancestry to many friends and family. However, this who incident has left me questioning the direction the company is headed in and if they truly have their membership’s best interests at heart. I understand that you have to make a profit, but you also have to provide a service. You can’t just expect your customers to put-up with whatever it is you decide to do when they are giving you money. Ancestry is a Christmas gift that I have been getting every year since 2007. My subscription was just renewed for this year two weeks ago, so I am stuck with Ancestry for another year. However, the joy I have take in my Ancestry membership has been seriously soured by some of the business practices Ancestry has been practicing. I don’t like feeling scammed and I am starting to feel that way about Ancestry. I suspect most people don’t like feeling that way either. Some of the sneaky stuff with the renewals, the weird updates nobody really likes that make it LOOK flashy but don’t help at all with research, it’s all starting to add up to something I don’t want to participate in. I feel really foolish trusting Ancestry as much as I did. I thought this was a reputable company, but the past six months has made me question my trust. As far as I am concerned, you have a year to make this right. Otherwise, I am done with Ancestry.

  221. Kristi Ellis

    I agree, this is one of the worst business decisions since New Coke. In fact, New Coke pales in comparason. I was planning on buying FTM 2014 as well as FTM Mac 3 because I run both platforms in multiple locations. Now that I’m forced to reconsider my software options, there’s no reason to leave my tree at Ancestry. Merry Christmas, 2015 version, to the customers I suppose.

  222. Kerry

    Did everyone see that AncestryDNA is working with Calico? We aren’t their income drivers, guys, big data businesses are. That’s why they don’t care about us – they already have what they want from us. Take trees down, don’t privatize them (THEY can see it). That is the only way we can make any impact.

  223. Arthur

    My membership of Ancestry auto-renewed two weeks ago at a cost of £180 (GB Pounds). I wish I had blocked auto-renew. But I definitely do so for Nov 2016. Incidentally the mobile app is useless

  224. Vivian

    Shame on you ancestry!!! I have been a loyal customer for forever. Now what do I do?? I have 5 huge trees, thousands of names, pictures and documents. I have spent thousands of dollars on my trees and this information and I don’t know what to do. Definitely wont be renewing my deluxe subscription that costs $299.00 a year. My subscription runs out in May, guess I better get to work looking for a replacement. Can’t believe you would hang us all out to dry like this. SHAME ON YOU. Hope you loose all your customers and end up bankrupt.

  225. Rob

    I totally agree with the comments that everyone is making. If FTM is not to be available in the long term, those of us who are not happy with the prospect of all our hard won research being stored solely in the cloud will have to go elsewhere. My annual subscription is due in January. I will probably renew for just one month whilst I migrate elsewhere.

  226. Henry Priebe

    If I have no practical way to comprehensively sync my online trees with my computers at home then I see no reason to keep sending my money. I’m not interested in any cloud BS.

  227. Rolland Hauser

    Yesterday, I purchased the full versions on CD-ROM of both RootsMagic 7 and of Legacy. I will try them both out and then decide which program to rely on beginning 1 Jan 2017. If Ancestry does not tree sync with either of these programs by 1 Jul 2016, I will remove my 60,000-person tree from three continents from . I will have to have a really great experience during the next six months using Ancestry’s on-line original records collections if I am to convince myself to renew my annual World Deluxe subscription. After all, there is always findmypast, Find A Grave, GenalogyBank, familysearch, and ever more state-focused digital collections.

  228. Bob

    I am not buying your “song and dance” response. My ancestry service is coming up for renewal soon, and I do not plan on renewing, as the service is of no value without the integration to Family Tree Maker.

  229. Shannon

    For people interested in continuing any genetic genealogy they have going on Ancestry, there are options.

    For $35 – or free if you get friends to transfer – you can easily transfer your results and your tree to FTDNA. I have my issues with their site, but those are more about website glitches, rather than the WTFery that Ancestry has just become.

    Less simple, but not too much of a stretch, is GEDmatch. GEDmatch is free, with some amazingly robust tools available for a small donation. That will allow you to match 23andme, Ancestry, and FTDNA results that others have uploaded, and they support GEDCOMs as well.

    There’s also the nascent (yes, that’s the URL). It’s a Columbia University project not deeply focused on genealogy, but they’re in their infancy, and also free.

    Any of these – or better, all – combined with the other genealogy resources others are mentioning, will allow you to continue to find those connections. Not as handy as “Circles”, but also not prone to the same kinds of error.

    There are Facebook and Yahoo groups for all of these, with nice people who are incredibly helpful with getting people up to speed at those sites. Some of those people you will have seen on different Genealogy TV shows, and/or you’ve read their blogs. They know their stuff.

    Good luck to all – hope to see you at GEDmatch!

  230. Jason Cerny

    Just a longer winded version of what was previously stated. Should have had actual programs in place before the announcement, not, we hope to have it figured out by the end of the next year.

  231. Eleanor

    Just renewed my ancestry membership for 6 mos not knowing FTM was being discontinued. Very disappointed with this decision. I don’t like cloud and won’t be using it. Yes I know in the future that is all there will be, but clouds seem to dissolve and float away. When my subscription is up that is what I will be doing.

  232. Scott Baldwin

    Excuse after excuse. Most of us pay our annual membership fees and use the desktop software because of the ease with managing our trees. By effectively killing the software, you’ve removed the only tool that made paying for membership worth it. The minute Tree Sync is gone, I’m cancelling my membership. Simple as that; if I need a record stored on Ancestry, my neighborhood FHS is just around the corner.

  233. pat Borcherding

    “Voice of the customer” , i think not, “innovator focused on delivering products”, i think not, that being said i wonder who the CEO is?

  234. Linda

    Dear Ancestry,
    Sorry to say, but I also have to agree with almost all the comments above. I have been a member for years and have always recommended and praised Ancestry & DNA to my friends and relatives as the “gold” standard to assist them in their research….sorry, but will no longer be doing that. Instead I will be researching a new “gold” standard company that will not be dumbing down their site and features. I hope it all works for you.

  235. peggy

    I echo comments made so well by others here, about the arrogant disregard now has for its’ paying customers. I too will make my trees private, so can’t profit from my paid research. I have invested thousands of $$ in’s tools, you are putting my work at risk + I resent that deeply. Unfortunately I just renewed my World membership for a year, i would not have, if I’d known what you were up to. You’ve gone from a company I had warm regard for, to one which I now have contempt for.

  236. jim

    Retiring Family tree Maker is the worst thing Ancestry can do. Firstly I want my family tree on my PC. Secondly it is good to have it on a family history website as well. With “Tree Sync” it is brilliant but I can do without it if need be. Hints facility is good but I can do without that too. So If they go ahead with this I will clearly have to look elsewhere. Whatever else they decide to do to soften this blow just won’t wash with me, they could cancel that too!!!! or come up with nothing in a years time. There is a serious risk of me losing my data if I can’t keep ftm working. If all else fails, I can type it all in again but that would take a long time so I must look for an alternative now!! to keep my data safe. I can’t afford to wait for Ancestry to come up with something else or possibly nothing at all in a years time. Ftm still seems to be on sale??

  237. Don

    I, like the thousands who have already responded do not like the heavy handed way this news has been handled. The rule of thumb when it comes to complaints is that for every one you get there are at least 10 more who felt the same but did not take the time to write. What about the ipad app? Will that go away as well? I have worked in a cloud computing environment for years. Servers crash and can be compromised. I do not want to rely on an online only solution.

  238. Mary

    Kendall, your additional comments demonstrate that this has not been fully thought through. You are now exploring relationships… options… All of which needed to be done before announcing the retirement of FTM. Maybe your board of directors think you know the genealogy market after adding the little flashing leaves… but wait until they see the mass exodus of loyal customers from Ancestry. I’ll bet many of the board members will take the time to read ALL or MOST of the comments as opposed to the Many which you personally read. Let’s see how long it takes for Ancestry to drop from number 1 to the bottom of the list.
    Retaining and continuing to support FTM is the only hope you have of redeeming yourself. Every other genealogy company is now nipping at your heels and offering special deals to your ex-customers.

  239. Chris

    This seems like contempt for your customers. I am so cross. What more can I say. I can’t believe such an announcement out of the blue. Disgraceful.

  240. Steve

    This reminds me of the young man who recently bought the rights to a medicine that is used for aids patients that used to cost only in the mid teens per dose. When he bought the rights to the meds he raised it to seven hundred fifty dollars per dose!
    Greed based sales with not thought for what brought you there as a company will only bleed customers. Cutting of the nose to spite the face comes with a lot of pain and loss. I’ve yet to read a favorable comment. The web based stuff they have is just plain clumsy and to only hint they will fix it in the future is not realistic.

  241. Marilyn

    This always happens after a company goes public – all the shareholders care about is the bottom line, not one bit about the customers. It is pretty obvious that is what is going on here.
    Has anyone tried MyHeritage? That is who FTDNA recommends using. And BTW, FTDNA is far superior DNA testing than what Ancestry offers. Yes, you can upload your tree to FTDNA but it is not a site where you make notes or have photos. It’s for DNA matching only.
    After reading a few comments about Roots Magic I am not at all eager to go over there either – not without a month free trial or something. Their discount is a bit misleading as well.

  242. B.

    Dear Mr. Hulet, You might want to add the movie “The Caine Mutiny” to your favorite movies on your Facebook page.

  243. David

    Forcing retirees and pensioners to go to an online subscription model to publicly maintain their family trees is socially irresponsible. Your software has a lithe majority market share in the desktop market so declining PC sales is a very misleading. Just be honest with with your customers and say you wish to extract more money from them by moving to a full subscription model.

  244. JoAnne

    I am only 34, but do not trust “the cloud” as my only file storage either. I like to have a soft copy of my research with manueverable software on my desktop computer.

  245. Blake

    Such answers do not deal with the fundamental issues: (1) those, like me, who are uncomfortable placing digitized birth certificates, marriage certificates, personal photos, etc. in the cloud have no “solution” — I say this with the complete understanding that I can designate them as “private”. (2) Even if I synch my 35-years worth of digitized records — nearly a quarter terabyte of data — into the cloud, I will be able to access my content only so long as I pay annual subscription fees regardless of how high those fees become. I understand I can “export” my tree but, obviously, I risk not having functional software in the future to access my export meaningfully. (3) I am extremely uncomfortable with mere statements in a corporate blog that much of the reporting — and other functionality — that is available in the software but not in the online version will, at some point, be generated. In any event, I suspect that subscription fees will merely have to be increased to pay for the wok necessary to replicate such functionality in the online context — functionality that we users already have within the software. I also am uncomfortable with such assurances given that the company waited until only three weeks before it will stop selling the software to disclose its intention to stop selling the software. I understand why the company did so, of course. Otherwise, no one would buy the software . . . . I in fact, have made my choice and have already purchased replacement software to be delivered to me in two days. I plan to allow my subscription, that I just renewed less than two weeks ago, to expire next year.

  246. Bill S.

    Some have suggested RootsMagic as an alternative to FTM. I use a Mac and RootsMagic for the Mac is a mess and looks nothing like software for that platform. I have used Reunion for the Mac and am very happy with the continuied support they provide. I plan to upgrade from v10 to v11 very soon.

  247. I use FTM 2011 and was about to upload it onto the “online tree” . That’s on hold now until ??. This will mean the someone somewhere will miss out as I have info that “only I am in possession of” as there are about 30+ people in my FT that the links are broken / missing. In one case the birth, marriage & death would be impossible to find as there were 11 different or variations of her name. Added to which there were similar problems to both her mother and her daughters. I only found out due to an “almost” death bed conversation

    I see that in one the comments above the you are going to impose this “New Ancestry” “New Look” or whatever on us. I hope that that is completely wrong. I would leave Ancestry if that occurred. I tried it back in Jun/Feb/Mar/April and passed comment then !!That it was a load of codswallop.

    Also please get it into your and your companies head that REAL family researchers USE DESKTOPS or LAPTOPS. Tablets, i pads etc. are just a convenience tool that takes photo’s and does other Bits. They are not and never will be “research tools”.

  248. Derek W

    The answer “We will stop selling the desktop software on December 31, 2015” – so is each package going to come with a “retirement” warning – or are you just going to rip off some new customers over Christmas

  249. Janice

    Pardon my weird sense of humor. ACOM sold to Gamehouse.
    New game “Finding grandpa”.
    12 clicks level 1, then another
    15 clicks level 2, then another
    17 clicks level 3. then another
    20 clicks to reach FTM and follow the purple or orange brick road
    Discover you are your own grandpa.

  250. ImLela2

    Wow! Complained to customer service about NOT getting the email notice about FTM cancellation…NOW my tree is inaccessible!
    So did everyone else get the notice via email, or like everything Ancestry/FTM did you have to figure it out by yourself.?
    This “change” is a horrible idea/plan. There is no way to “mine”or export usable data from the Ancestry site, or get personalized reports. If it had been easy they would have done it BEFORE dropping FTM. I am sure it will become another PAY-FOR-IT system. They can’t even get relationships right!
    Not going to waste time here-no one is listening, going to get my data cleaned up & backed up. Please, as you all find other places to go and work-ability information, share it with a link to access it.

    • Jessica Murray

      @lmLela2 – In regards to your tree being inaccessible, we’d like to look into this for you. Please contact member support at 1-800-401-3193 (toll free for U.S.), if you’re outside of the U.S. please visit this link to find alternate numbers:

  251. Linda

    I feel a cold wind blowing and there is no heart or feelings given to your paying customers that I can see in your Dec 9 response. For me and my company, we are out when my subscription expires in June /16. The transparency in your words is deafening and easy to see that will be no change. My loyalty and love of is gone so Roots Magic here I come.

  252. Mark

    “We are exploring possible relationships with other desktop software solutions that would make it possible for their products to integrate with Ancestry”.


  253. Annette Carroll

    I have been a Family Tree Maker user since it first came out and an Ancestry member for a number of years. You have NO idea how this horrible news affects us! Many of my friends now use Family Tree Maker and have subscriptions with Ancestry. PLEASE reconsider this choice. As a company who seeks to encourage Genealogy, you seem to be failing in doing that, with this decision. You are certainly not encouraging those who believe in good family history research!

  254. Cathy Dickerson Champion

    I haven’t been able to synch my trees for some time because I have a Vista laptop (I do have FTM 2012 and 2014). I’ve been able to work around it by entering new info into FTM2014 manually; it takes more time but it works. I will continue to renew my monthly Ancestry subscription (I can’t afford to spend $300 all at once) as I’ve tried other genealogy sites and none have as much info as Ancestry. I’m looking forward to new things appearing on the website!

  255. Greenhill39

    I have been using Family Tree Maker since it was owned by Broderbund. I do not use any of the link features or the online tree. I think the merge feature and hints have resulted in the huge number of inaccuracies that plague the online trees. I have only upgraded my Desktop program three times in 20 years. I understand that the $300 annual subscription price to use the online tree functionality is a lot more profitable than $79 three times in 20 years. I have never contacted support. I imagine I will be using Family Tree 2014 well past the year 2020.

    I do appreciate my subscription to the record archive and recognize Ancestry as a leader in genealogy records. I eagerly watch the new and upcoming databases. I just prefer my personal data to be offline and appreciate the advanced reporting features that are part of the standalone program.

  256. Rebecca

    Really? Do you realize what a bad business decision this is? I have yet to see one positive comment yet. I agree with the majority. I have put a lot of time, effort and money using FTM and Ancestry. I think more information about what has happened to cause Ancestry to make this decision needs to be known. The fact that thousands of people have used FTM and depend on it’s working with Ancestry should be important to the future of your business that you would reconsider. Something smells and you are not telling us everything. You are not giving any hopeful alternatives, just maybe’s. I can understand maybe discontinuing the software, but why would you leave thousands of members hanging by removing TreeSync? Still so many questions. I’m pretty sure you will see negative ramifications from this action. A huge drop in membership and more. Tell us the truth, give us some hope, something before you ruin what thousands of people have worked so hard on. We, your members, made you, Ancestry, popular, and a lot of money I am sure. Think very carefully before you move forward. As with any consumer driven business, the consumer can make or break you.

  257. Sandy

    I agree with others. These “answers” aren’t anything other than rewording what was already said. This is the exact kind of garbage that we get from politicians. I don’t like it when I hear it from them and I like it even less when hearing it from you. For me, I guess it comes down to a fewf basic things. I want to continue to use my FTM that I have used since it came out. I like the way it works, it’s easy to use, I know where everything is, I can create, print and share with others, reports, charts, trees and a large variety of other items. It allows me to search and merge information I’ve found on I can keep my private information private and share what I want to share. The internet and cloud services are not safe. As we have seen many, many times, things get hacked constantly. Not exactly a good place for my personal and private information.

    Obviously, you are in business to make money, but it seems like you’re trying to force us into a relationship we might not want or cannot afford. What it looks like to me is that you want us to put everything into Ancestry and then we have to continue to pay the fees in order to access our own information.

    I’ve run into this with other companies. Cricut (die cutting machines for crafters) has a handy gimmick where I can purchase designs thru their web based program and, for my convenience, they keep it for me in the cloud. The problem with this is that I cannot download it onto my computer. I can only use it in their program and if I choose to change to a different machine, I lose the design that I “purchased”. It’s not really mine. They just let me use it as long as I use their service. Sounds like what Ancestry is going to be doing. I feel ripped off and lied to.

    I can understand if you don’t want to continue with Famiy Tree Maker. We all like to change things up after awhile. But, you purchased FTM from another company, why don’t you sell it to someone else so that we may continue to use it. Otherwise, to me, it sounds like it all boils down to what’s in it for you and that you don’t care about your customers. is convenient, but expensive. People have been researching their family histories long before you came around and they will continue to do so long after you’re gone. Just remember the old saying “don’t bite the hand that feeds you”.

  258. Andy

    When, oh when, will big companies wake up and realise it is easier & cheaper to retain existing customers that to have to go and recruit new customers – Ancestry seem to have forgotten this important fact and will pay heavily when they finally wake up….

  259. Robert

    You have created a hardcore group of users who are hellbent on causing you the same kind of grief that you have caused us. You only hope of keeping our subscriptions to your database is to arrance for a viable desktop solution WITHIN THE NEXT 3 MONTHS so we will have a chance to try iy out before 1/1/17. Otherwise plan on loosing those subscription fees for good. I suspect that you will find out that the millions you claim have downloaded the mobile app will not pay you huge subscription fees. The mobile app does not support serious genealogy. Also, no serious genealogist is going to rely on having their data only in the “cloud.” Especially when that cloud is managed by a company that has “shafted” them in the past. I wish that I had a button that I could press that would make your head explode

  260. Bob

    On the initial blog with over 7,000 posts, there were several posts from Kristie Wells, Head of Global Social Media Marketing for Ancestry. I am glad to see that other officers of Ancestry are following this disastrous decision. We need you and Rob Singer, Chief Marketing Officer, Karen Peterson, VP Marketing at,
    Jay Eyunni, Director, Global Digital Media,
    and Eduardo Pretell, VP Global Consumer Marketing to step in and recognize what this decision to retire FTM will do to your standing in the genealogy marketplace. Please reverse this decision before any more longtime members cancel their subscriptions or make the family trees private.

    • Kristie Wells

      @Bob: While the post was written by Kendall, I think it is important for you to know the decision to retire Family Tree Maker was approved by all the executives. And the executives are all listening and acutely aware of the comments being left here.

  261. Charley Martin Edwards

    First response. Don’t know if your interested but this is a disaster to me. I have been using Family Tree Maker for I guess 20 or so years. I like having Family Tree Maker on my computer. It is easy to work with and I like all my options which are not available on the internet under This will completely change the way I have been working on my family tree for all these years. I will certainly re-think my future with regards to what program I will use going forward. Looks like I will not be a renewing customer of Thousands of sources, census records, birth, marriage, death, photos, etc., just came to a screeching halt. All my records, names, future research, etc., not gone but stopped. These words cannot express the complete and total dissatisfaction I have right now with Over the years, I have made a lot of contact with family members through my research. I can promise you that I will do everything humanly possible to let everyone I know how utterly dissatisfied I am with No more recommendations from me. Consider me a STOP sign on’s road to wherever they are going. I certainly know one direction I like to send them.

    Completely Dissatisfied Long Term (soon to be previous) Customer,

  262. Sandy

    Why do I think that any relationship Ancestry develops in regards to other software depends on which company you hope to purchase?

  263. Bailey

    Despite all of the support for FTM, I seriously doubt Ancestry would rescind this horrible decision. I often work off line and use this software to accomplish my goals. However, Ancestry might have to admit they made a mistake if they keep FTM. Since they are perfect in their own minds they will never admit this is a big error. Oh, and by the way, fire upper management, starting with Kendall and the rest of the idiots that put out the “New Ancestry” that they say they are so proud of. They are clueless individuals who are only in this for their own salary and not for genealogy. Don’t ask me to recommend them because it isn’t going to happen. And their corporate comments of “we understand why you are leaving Ancestry and wish you well” is so patronizing it is sickening. Wake up Ancestry! Do the right thing — admit you made a mistake and keep FTM!!! At least the “New Ancestry” is palatable with FTM.

  264. Lyn

    I read the announcement yesterday and commented on my discontentment. Today, my mind is not changed. I too bought Rootsmagic7 at their intro price but I’d truly prefer FTM. I’ve used it since it was with Broaderbund, floppy disks, and continued through the upgrades. Just because there is a decline in software purchase doesn’t mean we, the long term customers, don’t use it regularly. My tree on the website has always been private. I will not share it because the people on the website are mostly copying and pasting and really don’t read the records. They are not true genealogists. Feel free to take their money and run but I value my work and have never liked your website. I hate the look of it, it doesn’t function well at all, there are no reports I can use and I don’t need the fluff pieces of what went on at the same time of my ancestors. I studied history. I’m quite aware of that already. As a long time customer, I’m very disappointed. The people who bought and invested in your software are the ones who allowed the website to exist in the first place. We are the ones you should be catering too. Rootsmagic has looked into syncing with Ancestry but I have no idea if you’ll respond to them. I’d really rather prefer, FTM get sold off so someone can continue it’s software upgrades and improvements. Truly bad decision making on your part and I’m afraid, as I said yesterday, you’re going to lose the most valuable customers you had and they are taking their decades of trees and DNA results with them.

  265. John McC

    Kendall, the fact that you have followed up your ominous first post with one that seems a little more conciliatory tells me you had no idea that customer reaction would be so fiercely negative. This reinforces my belief that Ancestry does little research or polling of its customers to determine future directions for the company. I have several times submitted lists of “nice to have” features with no feedback whatsoever. I’m sure many others have gone through the same fruitless exercise. New Search and New Ancestry are other examples of major changes that many customers were not prepared for and still have difficulty with – particularly older, less technically inclined persons. The only glimmer of light I see at the end of this long tunnel is that you have not yet defined a date when Tree Sync will end. With now almost 7,500 replies to that first post (and 17,000 shares) I hope that you and your management will realize that FTM and its superior features is not something that can just be flushed down the drain.

  266. Joanna Kelley

    My first post to this blog didn’t post. Is Ancestry editing the comments too? Seriously, this strong arming your customer base has to come to an end. I’m making this short because you didn’t post my last post. So here it is: I don’t believe you. I don’t trust Ancestry and I don’t think you have any intention of fixing this problem.

  267. Allie

    Presumably this was meant to be reassuring, but what I hear is “It’s like a rollercoaster, wave your hands in the air and scream if you want, but you’re still going down the same track at the same speed regardless.”

    It’s clear from the betrayal of trust that was New Ancestry and now this that the parent company has no interest in the customers. What happens next? You have no trust left. What new way will you find to shaft customers?

  268. Richard

    No I am not reassured. When you spend many years of your life researching, at great cost, much of which has been to Ancestry you are looking past one year. Just repeating the same rubbish does not help. The only way to reestablish your customers trust is to retract your decision. Else most of us are off to your competitors filling their bank accounts with our hard earned cash.
    Stop thinking we are missing the point. You are! We will not switch to a rubbish online interface, or trust our data to the cloud. You are not the only solution and I will not renew if this goes ahead.
    I don’t know if ancestry is a public or private company, but if there are share holders I suspect that several peoples jobs will be at risk.

  269. Tricia Smith

    Your disasterous and ill-considered business decision which was handled poorly has been made even worse by your ‘further information’. There is absolutely nothing of substance in your comments, the only thing that is evident is your utter contempt for your subscribers. If Ancestry is to survive I suggest you reconsider swiftly.

  270. Donald

    You know I keep reading people posting about the cost of the site and it got me to thinking. If I quit my Ancestry account and just saved the money, I could probably go around the country each year to find the actual records, not just indexes of the people I am hunting for.

  271. Suzanne

    I usually roll with the changes, but I checked out other software and to me the are not comparable to FTM. I only put a tree on Ancestry because of DNA and that has panned out like I expected. I’ve used Ancestry since 1997 and every upgrade has been the best, though I went back to 2012 because of the syncing issues way back when–was thinking about finally going back to FTM 2014. Find someone to take over FTM.

  272. Kathy Bremner

    I can trust FTM much more then Who changed a majority of my figures to a meaningless logo? Who told me every time I tried to down load a hint “Sorry we care having trouble. Please try again later. It wasn’t FTM. How do I work on my tree when I’m in a area without the Net? And to echo a great number of postings. I don’t have a tablet. It’s not my age, it’s my eye sight that makes me prefer my desktop.

  273. Kristen

    Just read K. Hulet’s comments. Most were nothing new. Others appear to be pipe dreams, no concrete plans for anything; likely stating possibilities as a result of all the criticism. But, any “enhancements” they make to the child’s toy they are moving everyone to , will require you to have all your data on their website/cloud. AT THAT POINT ANCESTRY WILL OWN YOUR DATA AND CHARGE YOU TO USE YOUR OWN WORK. They then sell it to Family Search, Google and their new DNA company. Likely they are anxious to let “researchers”match up your DNA tests with your extensive, genealogical files. BEWARE of keeping any data on Ancestry’s site. I have removed what was there (they have copies which they will continue to sell but they won’t have my complete data). I will continue to use FTM and download files from Ancestry to my FTM files until my subscription is completed in August. (I’m one of the old Borderbund people) so have been with Ancestry forever. But that will end in August. Then, I will continue to use FTM (unless I find something better) and input/scan data, which I currently do as most of what Ancestry has in their data base is exhausted in my case and does not go back far enough to source the more than 10 generations I have documented. THIS IS NOT A TRUSTWORTHY COMPANY. If they match up your DNA files with extensive genealogical files and they are hacked, everything about you and your family will be known. Think about it. We have birth certificates, death certificates, very personal documents attached to our files. CAUTION, CAUTION, CAUTION.

  274. Nick 123

    Very disappointed at your decision. I do not plan on maintaining my tree on the cloud. It is unfortunate that this just a un ilateral decision without any regard for the customers that have helped you become the company that you are. SHAME!!! SHAME !!!! I have for a long time maintained my tree on so I am covered and I will try to get out of your way ASAP. Even if you change yo9ur decision due to customer pressure …. I AM GONE !!!!

  275. Peter

    What a relief to know you “really do appreciate” and “value” me as a customer. Honestly, I was losing sleep over that point. What are you saying? That if your revenue fell from the sky instead of coming from customer payments, you’d … what? Weep? Please, save it.

    You know what you’ve just done, don’t you? You’ve done the market research for a third party software company. Ten thousand potential customers have asked for an application, one that comes ready made with a reverse-engineerable user interface and is seriously NOT rocket science, and one that you have promised not to provide a year from now. They will have one year to develop and announce just as ancestry exits the scene. Brilliant. Just brilliant.

    No one denies the shift to mobile apps and the cloud. But consider: That fact by itself spells the doom of the desktop computer just as assuredly as TV spelled the doom of radio. Wise up. A really stupid decision was just made.

    Would you like a sure-fire scheme to increase your customer base by 10,000 in a single day? Here’s a tip: Undo the decision that alienated 10,000 customers in a single day.

    Finally, quit believing that more PR drivel from a VP is the answer. Believe your customer base. Because most assuredly someone else will.

  276. Floie

    ……….and another thing, Kendall, other “cloud” service “apps”, like Adobe’s Photoshop, MS Office and Google Docs, allow for the continued management of personal data ON THE DESKTOP. The decision to cut folks off from THEIR data, by making it a pain in the backside to download…may come back to bite you. I’m truly sorry for your actions.

  277. Debbie DuBrucq

    For such a poor decision by the leaders of to drop support for FTM software (the #1 family tree program), they have a link to purchase the program (download only) on the front page of There is indeed a “clarifier” written in white and bordered in orange that states that it will no longer be offered afte Dec 31, 2015. It does NOT say that it will no longer be supported and that the 2014 wonderful tree sync will also be poof gone. Just a little case of fuzzy advertising to get the biggest bang for the buck? Now with ancestry knowing all of this, you would think that they would put it on sale for 50% off, but no, greed has gotten in the way of honesty and it is listed at the full price of $69.99 (oh and with a 14 day trial). Just another shameful way of blindsiding the customer. Shame shame

  278. Karen

    Hey Kendall,
    Maybe you should have “explored” and “explored” solutions for users BEFORE you made your decision (stupid) that you will be abandoning FTM. Many of us do not want all of our information on the cloud, especially if it is ONLY on the cloud. Also, the number of new on-line trees is really irrelevant since many users have multiples of their own trees, and other users just propagate bad info by copying everything in any tree they find, be it correct or incorrect. Due to all of this bogus info that has to be weeded through, has been much less helpful to those of us who actually want to do real research. has become an entertainment center, not a true research tool.

  279. C Marie Steele

    7500 disgruntled customers and growing multiplied by $300/year (or more if monthly) = $2,250,000/yr in potentially lost income.

  280. LL

    Oh, the gnashing of teeth Ancestry’s cancellation of FTM has caused. The loss of customer Goodwill is great. Only time will tell if Ancestry will survive this self inflicted wound.

  281. judy

    As I review all these many comments, replies, and feedback, I do not see one word of applause and appreciation for your decisions and changes. As a recent consumer of Ancestry, this is disturbing. It sounds like Ancestry needs to go to PR school!

  282. Jackie

    Like so many others posting here, I will not maintain my tree on the cloud either. When my subscription is up for renewal I’m done with Ancestry. My thoughts: FTM was around before you purchased it & it’s a good product, you had a good idea with Ancestry but have now ruined it, and now you’re taking FTM down with the ship!

  283. Terry Bond

    Kendall I think you are seriously missing the point. What happens after January 1, 2017 when I can no longer sync my Family Tree Maker database on MY computer to At that point I won’t be able to keep my online tree updated unless I have to enter all information twice, once into FTM and once online. I would NEVER trust my many year’s worth of data to only be stored online. I WILL keep it on my computer in some software program. I ordered RootsMagic yesterday since they were having a sale to use as a backup if I need it. They seem to be invested it keeping their software up to date if/when some day Windows changes their operating system and FTM ceases to work.
    “After January 1, 2017, features that require connectivity to Ancestry, such as TreeSync, uploading and downloading trees and media, and Web Search, may no longer be supported.”
    I have at times had issues with my database on my computer and have had to download it from my tree on to restore it. So now if that ever happens again after Jan 2017, I’m screwed and all my year’s worth of work is gone?

    I hate your “New Ancestry” website layout, so I could care less if you add reporting capability to it because I won’t be using it.
    My main concern is that I have purchased 5 DNA tests. I have found out so much more about my husband’s family than we ever knew before. I never just except what other users have in their trees as gospel, but by being able to verify tree information with DNA matches and other sources I have been able to add to our tree.
    I want to be able to continue to use to do my research, but so many angry subscribers are pulling their trees or making them private. Your misguided decision to drop FTM is going to seriously impact the value of And unless you allow another software company to sync their trees to the way FTM does how will I get new leaves to investigate since as I said I have no intention of adding data to both my local tree and online tree, which will make my online tree out of date.
    The arrogance in your response is mindboggling. You are NOT hearing what your subscribers want. That’s bad business. You are probably too young to remember the “new coke” fiasco, but go look it up. What a disaster that was. Don’t make the same mistake!
    7,525 comments on the original blog post and now that people have discovered this response the comments are starting to pile up here too. If as you said you “truly value us and customers and our feedback”, then LISTEN to it and fix this mess!

  284. toni

    Stabbed in the back again? Most assuredly. BUT did you notice the same day ancestry made their announcement, Roots magic and Legacy offered their software for $20? So the ancestry decision was set in stone already and ancestry has no intention of doing anything we ask. You saw the response to the new web site, didn’t you? I say let ancestry sink. I am going to bet that another site will take over what used to be all the things ancestry did well. The new site won’t be involved in health information you supply to them, it won’t hold your tree research hostage. It will be everything ancestry used to be. It might take a year; might even take two. But it will happen. Look how much money ancestry has made with the old format. Don’t you suppose some other business will figure that out? And with all the unhappy ancestry customers ready to abandon ship, they will have a built in customer base. Be patient. Start working without ancestry. You will be amazed at how little you really need it. I stopped using ancestry for much of anything a few months ago in anticipation of the NEW ancestry being the ONLY ancestry. That was enough for me. Now this. You CAN adapt. It will be a new habit but it can be done. And I have found other information “out there” that ancestry did not have. Bonus! Let it go. Two years from now you won’t recognize ancestry anyway.

  285. RobinH

    @ Kristie, you might want to correct the typo in your message. I would guess that customers might want to believe that the executive team is more than “cutely” aware of the coments being left here.

  286. Alicia

    Unlike many of the other commenters here, I am not a current user of FTM but coincidentally had been looking into purchasing new family-tree software, and FTM was near the top of the list. However, I will never consider any option that requires an online connection and will never consider uploading any tree information to On I’ve seen trees contributed by others for lines with which I am very familiar, and most of the trees on the site are wrong and some are complete garbage. Attempts to provide corrections to tree owners are usually completely ignored, without even a response from most. There’s a saying in the tech business “garbage in, garbage out”. Data mining the DNA results with the useless trees is only going to generate more garbage – but, having alienated the users who can contribute the most accurate information, the trees on the site will degenerate further as casual users create trees willy-nilly with little idea that by borrowing from wrong trees they are piling further wrong on wrong. Your data mining will FAIL as a result of this and your big data customers will figure that out sooner or later.

    I have subscribed to the site in the past but am currently using two other sites as the costs of an subscription are getting ridiculously high – especially as the useability of the site declines. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to comment.

  287. Stu

    Kendell, here is the problem. Ancestry says one thing, but it treats its loyal customers to the contrary. You say our voices are being heard, yet I find it hard to believe that in the rooms where this move was discussed, that our voics were ever really considered. Maybe someone said “they’ll come around” or perhaps even the more macho “they need us more than we need them.” In any event, this collosal PR mess that Ancestry has created for itself reminds us that you all do not think everything through, and while I suppose you regret being the one caught in the grinder, I just don’t feel that Ancestry can be trusted as an organization. You all need to fix this instad of simply saying you’ll look into fixing this. At this point, action talks louder than words.

  288. Bill Quinn

    I too add my voice to the many other.

    I am dismayed at what has now become. It obviously is an attempt to cater to the non-professional and non-serious user.

    You took a serious genealogy tool and turned it into a toy.

    When I saw where that was going I thought, boy I better freshen up on my FTM again.

    So much for that plan.

  289. Dwight

    The reason I use Ancestry is its ability to work on or off line with FTM. Between two blogs there are over 8500 negative comments in just two days. And the only response is they are “exploring” . Exploring is not very comforting and sounds like just an excuse not to do anything to the thousands who have relied on FTM working with for years. Ancestry should have explored and come up with solution before making and then announcing it’s decision to drop FTM with no off line backup.

  290. rgotrinity

    Ok…. how can you think that getting rid of Family Tree Maker is a good decision? Monetarily maybe, but not something good for your customers…. obviously this is based on finance and not customer services. Will you integrate the search abilities that are available in Family Tree Maker? Searching by place? or When we aren’t able to connect online? This is absolutely ridiculous! Can you read all these customer comments and believe this is a good move? Obviously you do not care!

  291. Mary

    Who appointed Mr. Hulet? He does not seem to appreciate loyal customers. But maybe his business will survive without all of us.

  292. James Usmar


    I wonder if has lost its way, and have you acquired some management consultants who think in spreadsheets. Potentially, I put it to you, that they have totally failed to understand the user base and that you are dealing with people for whom this is a life piece of work, it never ends – and that is non standard?

    Your customer base is loyal and committed, but needs to be respected. Applying standard commercial business thinking does not work to the model, and they maybe about learn the financial impact of this the hard way – shame. Is about to be come the next .com failure because they failed to put the person first?, if you are listening, please listen harder, please come to the table and reverse the retirement announcement of the desktop local application. Lets think of this blip perhaps as just a re-branding opportunity to launch a new greater locally hosted application filled with the rich value of FTM and more. “The Ancestry Desktop Application” has a good ring to it, would you not agree?

    It would be good to explain why FTM is being dropped.. maybe there are some of us who can help you fix the problem that led to this, and keep a desktop application going.

    Contact me, a problem shared and all…

    Warm regards, James Usmar.

  293. Angelia

    While you may be considering other options for transitioning, you should be aware that we will be as well. Ancestry is likely to be in that equation to the extent it remains useful. Gone is the loyalty that has sustained it through the years.

    What you have failed to grasp is that it was the complete integration between FTM, Ancestry and AncestryDNA that put you head and shoulders above the competition. FTM is such an important piece that you are likely to lose support on all the other products with this decision.

    Who do you think subscribes to Ancestry? Who makes recommendations about software and testing sources? I would be willing to bet that you don’t have as many individual customers as you think you do. Most family historians and genealogy hobbyists I know encourage and sponsor many many others. The folks you just cast off as irrelevant to the corporate future will likely cause more than a minor blip to your P&L statements. It’s not just their patronage you have jeapardized, but that of their entire family and network of friends.

    Yes, I am angry and disappointed, and looking for alternatives for all 3 products I thought I could depend on.

    I have a few months left on my current subscription… after that? I am not sure the intangible promise of things to come will cut it for me.

    I believe you have seriously misjudged the core of your own market. This decision did not adequately consider the demographics or preferences of your main customers.

    When you divorce yourself from the interests of your own community and openly worship at the alter of the allmighty dollar, you have all but ceased to exist.

  294. SueD

    I use FTM 2014, previously had 2005 for ages. I must say I don’t upgrade regularly, as I don’t get any notifications to do this. However I do use ancestry for searches and finding documents, without the sync feature. Lately was considering uploading my tree to the site as seemed the way to go, but had some reservations. Definitely not doing that now, I was confident in FTM being my main way of storing all my research, including using the notes function extensively and the report functions. Will be furious if these stop working without being offered any upgrades/fixes. I have noticed the ancestry search function being less useful and lacking accuracy lately, interesting that others have found this too. They are dumbing down I think and losing a lot of loyal paying customers in the process. Totally agree that the way this has been communicated is insulting to their customers and it is a bad business decision.

  295. Cal

    Just wanted to snivel along with the rest of the disgruntled customers about Ancestry abandoning FTM…personally I have upgraded my Windows and Mac versions of FTM since at least 2009, and also have upgraded my Ancestry cloud account from USA to World in the past two years. I will be rethinking this strategy come renewal time in Feb 2016. For sure you will lose me as a World customer, and possibly entirely, as I seek to find some other software to use. My Ancestry customer satifsfaction is at an all time low — good job bean counters!

  296. Joyce

    How thoughtless of ancestry to spri9ng on us at the very last minute–their decision to discontinue FTM 2014 at the last minute. NOW they have us all jumping through hoops if we have not previously purchased FTM 2014–BUT when they KNEW what they were going to do quite some time ago NOT to inform their customers of these changes–JUST as they did to us with the NEW and not improved (and often not fully functional) They should have lined up an alternative program months ago in order to assuage their customers fears–yet they did not–I missed LAST Christmas due to legal disputes with a neighbor and this year I will again lose Christmas due to all the last minute hoops I am going to have to jump through to get 2014, and acquaint myself with the program—I was putting off downloading the newer version (I have 2005 FTM version) until I thought I had uncovered everything possible about my Pilgrim ancestors and their families. I wanted the chance to complete source citations so that this info would be in my GEDCOM…I misguidedly placed my faith in to keep the things I relied on in the future–

    Not all of us trust our information being on “the cloud”…a nebulous concept…and prefer to keep MY FTM software on MY computer where I have some control of it…

    Once again we see how thoughtless is…1st they spring on us MAJOR website changes that MANY of us are not happy with…and then they show their continued lack of respect for their customer base by again making us jump through hoops by trying to figure out their new “Hide N Seek” website

    Ancestry DOES have the best databases to be sure BUT they have also ruined a LOT of data by their advertising campaign which has invited SO many people to make grave errors in their family trees, making people think it is just SO easy to get hints and grow your tree.

    Ancestry has forgotten their customers have allowed them to furnish “little green leaves” by our honest research…

    They have invited people who really don’t know the first thing about research and just attach any “green leaf hints” to their trees–

    ALL in the name of profit.

    NO ONE begrudges a company PROFITS…but to treat their customers SO shabbily is simply unforgivable.

    I wonder if ancestry is actually TRYING to drive themselves into Bankruptcy by pulling all this “stuff”.

    And I am SO SO sorry I have recommended them to SO many people over the years.

    Ancestry YOU have embarrassed me and angered me.

    I have totally lost my faith in you…and I will endeavor to make sure MY data is backed up elsewhere -as you have proven yourself to be a company who simply does not care about its customers

  297. John H

    After reading your response to the overwhelming concerns I think Kendall Hulet you are not in touch with reality. Your BS response sound like excuses from a crooked politician who treading water. Your three comments are not satisfying and it seems you don’t care after December 31, 2016. Good Bye!!

  298. Peter

    That didn’t take long at all. Check their website.

    Family Tree Maker® users have a new home at RootsMagic; Upgrade offer and Free Book and Magic Guides

  299. John R

    I am not at all reassured by this ‘update’ – it just repeats what has been said before. Plus it seems insane to be “exploring” alternatives after the decision instead of before it. My subscription expires in March, when I will delete my online tree and not renew.

  300. Huskergma

    I must say I’m really taken back by this announcement. I have been a FTM user since it was first introduced for the PC, then when the Mac version became available I purchased a Mac/Apple and bought the new Mac software. I’ve upgraded to FTM3 for Mac, I’ve got alot of money and time invested in these programs as well as in Ancestry over the years. I’m very concerned that I can not get my media files to download with my gedcom into any program on the market. Please look at that this issue and make it possible for us to get our media with our gedcom file so we can continue working on our trees. If that is not possible it will take me longer than a year to get all those files back. I trusted both FTM and Ancestry and I must say this has damped my spirit for doing research – not to mention that just last month I paid for another year of Ancestry. I realize things need to change, but why this – the tree sync with a big factor when I made my choice with FTM. I hope that between FTM and Ancestry they can resolve this issue.

  301. Given FTM only has 1 year to go, it is deceitful to keep selling it without mentioning that the support will finish on 1 Jan 2017.
    Many of us will have to spend a lot of time next year making sure all our information has been imported into a competitors site, especially when we have large trees. your little leaf will lose so much information as member trees will only have a small amount of information from other members trees.
    I am also disappointed with your response in the above blog.

  302. Mary

    I wrote my disaapproval as soon as I saw the first notice that you were doing away with FTM; and, I actually thought after seeing almost 8,000 messages on the blog about this that you would actually reconsider your decision. Well, I see you have not! You have just tried to placate your very loyal customers to no avail. I have been using FTM since it came out, and so have so many others, and now you expect to just toss us all away like garbage. Larger companies need to question the people taking over higher positions ; sometimes their ways aren’t the right ways. Oh, by the way, there was no mention of this when you renewed my Ancestry subscription tin October, 2015!

  303. Bob

    This is a disgrace. Perhaps the best way to illustrate how we users feel is to convert to another software package and then cancel our membership. My complete tree is not on-line. It resolves many anomalies in my family tree which I planned to make available to other people interested in my line now that I have retied and have time to do so. It looks as though I won’t be doing this on Ancestry now.

  304. Kristin

    Hi, I’m a loyal customer of 15 years who currently uses my Ancestry online tree exclusively (I don’t use FTM). However, many of your older and/or more serious customers depend on FTM, and you are gravely hurting me, also, by losing these customers and their high-quality contributions, with this disastrous decision. Please listen and reconsider.

  305. Kelli

    More doublespeak from the “family” corporation. George Orwell would be proud.

    Ancestry had many choices in making this decision. We have two: continue to do business with them or not.

    I have no objection to the cloud as a backup storage entity. But relying on browser-based cloud software for complex research work is just plain silly and certainly not egalitarian, given the uneven distribution of fast internet connections around the world … even if the online “new” Ancestry site were actually viable, and not a clumsy, ugly, dumbed-down joke.

    If Ancestry felt FTM wasn’t making enough money, they could easily have moved to subscription-based desktop support. For example, I use desktop software from a small company that offers both cloud and desktop solutions and both are subscription-based … as long as I’m a subscriber, I receive all the latest editions, improvements, updates, bug fixes, etc.

    That they didn’t consider this–didn’t even gauge interest in it–clearly demonstrates that they not only consider FTM a liability, but a threat to their continued monopolization of access and personal data. I can only see them exploring the API option if people actually do leave in droves. Fingers crossed.

    In the meantime, I’ve purchased RootsMagic and found that it has excellent compatibility, if not as aesthetically pleasant an interface. I’m also trying Family Historian, though at first impression it seems rather cumbersome (I dislike the reliance on plug-ins) and curiously inadequate in a few areas (handling of PDFs).

    Good luck, everyone. Remember when Amazon took heat from pulling books off Kindle, because you don’t really “own” them? Sometimes the best technology is paper and ink.

  306. Steve H

    Is Ancestry gone bananas? It was Family Tree that brought me to Ancestry in the first place. It is the close link that causes me to subscribe to Ancestry. To announce termination a month in advance? To not have in place a transition for its customers. This speaks of total arrogance, lack of planning, and a failing business model. Bad luck to you!

  307. Donna H.

    Thank you Ancestry for considering working with other software companies for the TreeSync feature. I am probably in the minority when I say that I subscribe to Ancestry for the RECORDS so I will be keeping my subscription. Yes, there have been a lot of changes at lately…many that I have not been personally happy with; New Search…UGHH! But for my money I want MORE records! I’ve been a member for 12 years and feel that my money has been well spent. Most genealogy software is comparable (except for Tree Sync), and migrating to them seems to have worked for many who have posted their comments here. But, there are few other sites that offer the amount of records that Ancestry offers that I can access from the convenience of my home…at 2:30 am…on a Sunday morning…in my PJ’s. In the end, isn’t it really about the records? (And it is not my intent to dismiss anyone’s frustration or anger about this.)

  308. Charlotte Huggins

    To Kristy Wells and other staff members!! This is in regards to your post that we have until January 1, 2017 to utilize the records. Some of us are up for World Deluxe renewal in February, 2016 and I for one have no intention of renewing with Ancestry. You have lost my trust and my business. This was a huge mistake on the part of your Mr. Hulet. He and all of you who work there surely will see the demise of your company long before you would ever want to.

  309. Annette

    It’s great to see so many comments. I have to add my voice. I didn’t like the change to New Ancestry, but was willing to put up with it because I could still sync with FTM. I will start looking for another desktop software, and I will drop my Ancestry subscription.

  310. Clovis LaFleur

    None of your “Assurances” listed were my concerns!! You have “Retired” a very useful product I use in my research due to, as you clearly said, “the decline in DESKTOP CONPUTERS.” Evidently, you don’t really want to listen to our complaints and would like for us to just go away.

    Get this: Most of us expert genealogists who are the source of these complaints have voluntarily uploaded our trees to and are a big part of the reason for your past success. Please note I wrote PAST!!

    I have primarily been a Member Subscriber for 12 years due to your collection of documents and large catalog of books and other items. I’ve used these in my research and listed them and as my sources

    When you synchronized FTM to our online trees I thought that was great and that was when I uploaded my family trees to My only reason was to make my research available to others.

    When you first purchased FTM and released that FTM2008 mess, many of us complained and the leaders at listened. I even was chosen as a beta tester for FTM 2009 and several of my suggestions were implemented. Didn’t do everything, but did listen and make a number of good changes.

    I plan to say around until my subscription expires in March of 2016. My decision to continue at that time will be dependent on how reacts to the many complaints I’ve seen on the blog.

    IN the meantime, I have changed my privacy settings on all of my trees to Private and they can’t be included in the searches. Be interesting to see how that will work for your if everyone does the same.

    As customers, we are protesting what we believe is a very bad decision. More importantly, we are protesting your reasoning: “THE DECLINE IN DESKTOP COMPUTERS!!!”

  311. Barbara Lewis

    We are committed to helping our users through this transition. Towards the end of 2016, we will assess our progress toward a smooth transition for our customers and review our support commitment at that time. – more Empty words. It is clear that you are not a people person… you are in the wrong niche….get out go away get a different job you do not interface with us, ancestry users. Out! Out! Out!

  312. Cathy L

    After hearing this, I am so glad that I refused to move my tree to the website just so I could access it on my tablet when I travel. For you to have absorbed the years of work and information that your FTM customers have provided to the website and not make a decsion to discontinue FMT, the only conclusion is that you are robbing us of effort we provided in good faith. We helped establish FTM and recommended it for years. Wish we could send you to trial – that would give an interesting result!

  313. RobinH

    Kendall, I have started to wonder how many ancestors & photos and stories you (and Tim Sullivan and Howard Hochhauser and John Coyle) have in your trees on and FTM. Sad to say, but “none” would be my guess.

  314. Deborah

    Has there been any answer to the question of whether one’s tree will be accessible without a subscription to Or, much more likely, it will only be accessible through paid subscription.

  315. Eliminating FTM makes Ancestry nothing more than a large data base and search engine for genealogical data.
    With out FTM there is not any way to generate individual stories, print Ancestor notebooks, Descendants notebooks, or to sync information from
    Ancestry. Personally FTM is more important than Ancestry. I for one never input data directly to FTM. I use the sync to update FTM.
    If you cancel FTM them you must at a minimum refund our money for the product.
    I will personally look for another genealogical software to do my research that incorporates the FTM function in the software. There is no method at this point to replace desktop software. There are many of your customers that are probably still using extremely old versions of Microsoft OS that do not have any desire to keep up with the technology world.
    Your new VP has definitely missed the needs of your customers as you have seen from the negative responses that you are receiving. The results of your announcement definitely shows this was a bad business decision.
    I have made great strides with Ancestry and FTM, however I will definitely not reenroll in Ancestry if FTM is dropped as a product,


    I have read your added information. I believe you are still missing the point. I use FTM to enter all my family info. I use your site to research the info that I enter into FTM. I do not enter any info via your site. I do sync FTM to your site. Once you take away FTM, I will delete my private online tree and never enter any info on your site. Simple.

  317. Mary James

    This is outrageous! How dare you do this to all of us who have been loyal customers for many many years. I will delete my trees (plural) before January 2017 because I see no reason to share all my hard work and years of research with your organization.

  318. Robby & Mary

    This is the weakest and poorest attempt at an explanation and did nothing to relieve or address our concerns.
    I too believe you have really missed the ball or have outright ignored who your serious customers are. I can assure you that most serious genealogist rely heavily on a desktop (or laptop) solution to organize their research and years of work. You should face the fact that not everyone is as comfortable with “the cloud” as you are.
    We have invested many years in our genealogy as a hobby, and I realize that Ancestry believes they control and have the market cornered in your vast collection of records. I can assure you that we WILL NOT be held hostage by Ancestry because of this elitist attitude.
    We like most of your original customers came to Ancestry because of FTM. I can assure you that we have no reservation in leaving Ancestry because of FTM.
    Your collection of records have gone a long ways in making research easier, but you have made a very poor decision by choosing to do away with FTW. Many, many genealogist are not comfortable is sharing everything to the cloud. I would also venture a guess that many professional genealogist may be hesitant if not permitted to share their clients’ information for the world to see and much worse Ancestry to profit on this information.
    While Ancestry has been a help with our research in the past few years, we will not continue to do business with Ancestry in the future. We have more genealogy experience without Ancestry and have no problem in returning to the basics.
    Unfortunately, I’m not sure if anything you do at this point can change my mind.
    Thank you Kenneth Hess, Banner Blue & Broderbund for a great ride, shame on Ancestry.

  319. Mark Stenhoff

    FTM was an expensive piece of software, even though it contained a lot of bugs. As a pensioner, I thought long and hard about whether to pay for the most recent upgrade, eventually deciding that it was a good long-term investment. It now appears that this and my earlier outlay were money down the drain. I have therefore requested that the costs I have incurred are subtracted from next year’s subscription. Please confirm.


    I have read many of the blogs on this issue and nowhere have I seen mention of Genes Reunited. I was a member of this site long before I became a member of Ancestry. When Ancestry became the powerhouse that it is, I reticently joined about eleven years ago but I still kept my allegiance with GR. I’m so glad I did. GR is a UK based site and it provides similar services to Ancestry. All trees remain private and are accessed by invitation only. Explanatory notes and history are displayed on each individual’s page, contrary to Ancestry, media records are held in a keepsake that can be categorised but cannot be attached to specific entries in trees as I write, matches are notified fortnightly (a service that needs improving but it is provided) and some UK based records can be accessed. Searching by name is available but in a different manner because of the privacy GR provides. They are not hidden like Ancestry private trees unless searched within those trees. Searching on GR reveals all names that are available to the site for the relevant search and then contact can be made with the respective tree owners.
    My tree being so large, I’m unable to attach media to individuals for fear that my FTM might crash so GR provides the tool that enables me to keep my documents, photos and other records in a secure place that I can make available to other researchers and not clutter the personal records that I have on my PC. In addition GR provides very good support usually answered within 24 hours (I’m in Australia) and you might be surprised about its fee structure. Maybe all you disgruntled bloggers like myself should investigate this option. It will not overcome the dismantling of FTM but hopefully someone will come along with a viable alternative.

  321. Michele Martin

    Please tell me why I should continue to use FTM as well as my yearly subscription to Ancestry!!!!Just another example of a company caring little for their customers who have helped make them the company they are today. A total rip-off you are getting too big for your boots.

  322. Scott

    Tried the online version, to be open minded. Very slow screen responses (40Mbps internet connection). Difficult to navigate. Lacking features I use in FTM for Windows.

    Membership cancelled. Trees deleted. Bought a competitor’s software. Feel free to verify, Ancestry management. I’ll check back in a year or so to see if you’ve come to your senses.

    Until then, bye, Ancestry. It’s been a slice…

  323. Greg

    Agree that there is nothing new here – just promises to trust a company that clearly doesn’t not care about their customers. Look forward,to hearing from the community about new desktop options and hopefully better repository sites so I can detach from Ancestry entirely.

  324. Brenda

    Shame on you Ancestry. You are a horrible company messing and charging for public domain family data. Next it will be no DNA support. I am bailing and will recommend other users including libraries to do so as well. (a librarian)

  325. Trevor

    I really do find the responses that you are going to help customers (yes, customers i.e. those who pay your wages) transition totally patronising. PEOPLE DO NOT WANT TO TRANSITION – is that not blatantly obvious? Any sensible business manager (of which I am one) knows that it takes years to build a good reputation with a client, but one mistake or action can destroy that reputation and any trust in one fell swoop for many, many years. You only need to see the outpouring of heartfelt disbelief to understand that you have done just that. You have destroyed the trust that people had. Recognise also, that it is a generally accepted (if not scientifically proven) fact that for every 1 person who writes to complain about a particular situation, there will be another 10 who just can’t be bothered to complain – that would make something approaching 80,000 unhappy customers. The only thing that could save that situation now is a very rapid U-turn, an apology to all users direct from the CEO and – if it was my business – ‘resignations’ from the board.

    One thing that many people may not have picked up on is the fact that you are not prepared to sell FTM to anyone else. Why is that? That is because you understand that in so doing, you will be allowing someone else to set up a viable (and profitable) alternative to what you are proposing that people do – i.e. holding all their information on the Ancestry Web site – one that a lot of people would prefer. Having made an awful business decision in the first instance, you are now in the middle of a damage limitation exercise. Sadly for Ancestry, unless the actions I’ve suggested above are taken, I feel that the damage is already done and could possibly even be terminal in the medium term. Will any new customer trust what you say, once they get to hear the history of this debacle? I think not.

    I, like many others, will be checking my renewal date and cancelling it unless said U-turn happens very quickly.

    One of the worst business decisions I have seen in a long time.

  326. Barbara

    I will let my subscription lapse when it is due, I have been a LOYAL and paying user since the first days of having to buy individual CD’s. I do not want my info online, private or not. I want my FTM access. It is only a matter of time, before you buy out the other companies, and shut down more programs, JUST LIKE IN THE PAST. I have decided to end my passion of research, print off what I have of 25+ years of search, and then pack everything away, thank you for breaking my heart, my passion, my love, and my spirit, you sicken me.

  327. Tony

    Before rushing into a move to RootsMagic please do check out Family Historian. A 30 day trial download of Family Historian is available here:
    I have been using it since 2003 and supporting Family Tree Maker as well and there is very little about FTM that would make me want to use it instead of Family Historian. FH is a program used by many professionals and at least two genealogy companies in the UK use it on a daily basis to design charts for printing on wide format paper. Give it a try, you may wish you had found it years ago.

  328. Gary

    The ability of FTM to generate all kinds of wonderful genealogy charts and reports as well as to keep a copy of the user’s data on his/ her personal computer has been a competitive advantage for Ancestry. I decided to go with Ancestry tools for this reason. Too bad that they are making this decision. I was ready to renew my subscription to Ancestry services, but …….

  329. Breaking up is hard to do.

    But that is what is happening here.

    I accept that wants to get out of the desktop software market. Certainly they can do that and are doing that.

    I am more concerned about in the long run about the damage that is being caused in the larger community of genealogy. Open sharing is a central concept to researching our shared family histories.

    Several decisions that has made the past couple of years are clearly alienating quite a few long time genealogists. needs to find a better way of communicating their long term intentions and to give people a very long time to adapt to changes.

  330. Matthew

    I do not have anything new to add other than to express my overwhelming disapproval for this move. I like the Desktop version and like to be able to work on it without the internet. The Internet is not as fast as my computer and never will be. I don’t like this at all!!! Shame on you!! I will be searching for another desktop version and I hope they put you out of business and Kendall and any other half witted idiot loses ther job.

  331. I DO NOT BELIEVE THESE STATS. SINCE ANCESTRY IS PRIVATE THEY DON’T HAVE ANY INVESTORS/SHAREHOLDERS TO ACCOUNT TO. Heck, they don’t even believe they have to account to their subscribers. According to Kendall Hulet, during his tenure, he was deeply involved in some of the most popular innovations at Ancestry, including the “Shaky Leaf” hinting system that has delivered over five billion discoveries; the Ancestry Family Tree system that has led to the creation of over 70 million family trees containing six billion ancestors; and the creation of the award winning Ancestry mobile app, which has been downloaded more than 12 million times. That shaky leaf is more trouble than it is worth. I just visited their Facebook page and they are still promoting for the holidays. I suggest we all make posts there to warn other not to buy these products right now. Also in case you don’t know our DNA is being used for another one of their pet projects. So, I don’t suggest testing here. Here is a link:
    Not sure about the rest of you but I feel scammed and used. Anyway, visit their FB page and leave some holiday greetings.

  332. Tom Warren

    After reading a substantial number of these comments I don’t think I have much original to add. But, I will agree with many that after many years of using FTM and Ancestry I will not be renewing. It strikes me that from the many thoughtful comments you haven’t just pissed off some customers, you have struck out with the core folks whose work is at the heart of your business. If this were just a social media site it’s as if you banned the popular people. (Hint: it’s why everyone else is there)

  333. Byron Lewis

    All this marketing mumbo-jumbo said nothing more than the original message… FTM not to be supported after Jan 2017, sure we can still use it on or pc, but without the ability to sync with our online data. All this “exploring” should have been done prior to this announcement and you should have been able to say that FTM was being killed off BUT here are your options and then given us a list of other software options that would be able to work with our data… now that you’ve seen the outpouring of frustration on our part, now you think it’s a good idea to say you are exploring other options… what a joke…. will we be able to maintain a subscription to AncestryDNA so we can continue to use that information, or will you require us to have a full subscription that includes a now useless subscription???

  334. Judy

    Additional comments from Ancestry do nothing to help me – this company has totally abandoned me. I am looking at other software and other research options. Bo hiss to them.

  335. Carol Ellis-Jones

    Please don’t dump FTM! I don’t think you understand that many of your Family Tree Maker customers are seniors. I, for one, do not trust “the cloud”. You are destroying a wonderful product, that many of us have used for many years; I have used since Broderbund. I am now am up to 2014. Please reconsider this decision. You are ditching a product the programmers didn’t consider in their zeal to modernize. I am very concerned and upset about disbanding a loved product. Please listen to us! Thank you

  336. Arlene

    I am very upset about this decision. This “reassurance” is not reassuring at all. It seems to me that this is a very short-sighted decision. There are hundreds of posts here, and a great many of them represent lost revenue for Ancestry. Yes, using the cloud as your main product will be easier for you to maintain, but what made you so certain that the Cloud was the best way to provide what your users want or need? How dare you think that we FTM users will understand and accept your decision based on the information you have provided us in the manner you have done so. What happened to your customer service? Didn’t anyone ever tell you that lack of customer service is a major cause of lost customers? Or that great customer service keeps them? It seems very odd that you have given your users a three-week notice that there will no longer be any updates or sales. You have suddenly ripped the rug out from under us. Even much maligned Microsoft does better than this.

    If you haven’t already gotten the message from the many posts here, many loyal users are feeling betrayed, unimportant, unvalued (except for the money they give you) and abandoned. It is largely because of the way you make us feel that we will be leaving your products behind. That’s really unfortunate, FTM has been the best software I’ve used to track my research and I suspect other competitors have been envious of your market share and aspired to overtake you. I and many others will be investigating those other options and we may well suffer through their growing pains just as we did for FTM. As long as we feel valued, we will be rooting for them. BTW, you should read that as “lost revenue opportunities for Ancestry”, especially since your shift in focus now seems to be strictly for revenue, rather than delivering superior products to help researchers (with a secondary benefit of revenue). Yes, your online resources are vast and very helpful, but we need a database product we actually like to use…for many people, your cloud tree is not it. Provide what we need and the revenue will come. Talk to your customers, we know more than you think we do about what works for us. Provide us opportunities for surveys about FTM, not just your website, and not while we are trying to import data into our databases.

    I have liked many of the improvements to FTM it over the years. Your on-line tree doesn’t even come close to satisfaction. Over 99% of my large tree is NOT on the cloud, nor do I wish to put it there. Like many others, I need off-line access to my tree as I often work on my tree in locations that do not have an internet connection. Remember, the entire world is not on high-speed internet. Switching only to cloud-based databases eliminates more potential customers than you seem to realize.

    This is a prime opportunity for competitors to hire your newly released developers and to enhance their products, improve their customer service, etc. There is a very large customer base wanting to feel like people again.

  337. Jane

    Shame on the executives that voted for this bad decision! I, too, will not be renewing my subscription!! It’s become a trust issue for me.

  338. Chris

    It is clear from the number of negative comments on both blog entries that the decision to dump FTM was profoundly stupid. Unfortunately, I know how the corporate machine works and am relatively sure that the concerns being expressed by all of us are falling on deaf ears. How do I know this? Well, I worked in corporate America for many years and I’m pretty sure this is how this stupid decision happened and how it will all work out in the end:

    Mr Hulet got promoted to Executive VP in March 2015. As a newly appointed VP, it was imperative that he make his mark in the organization quickly in order to justify his existence. He calls together his middle management staff and announces that there need to be powerful, innovative changes made to the product in order to enhance the company’s bottom line (or, in reality, make a name for himself). Many, many meetings are held. Many, many donuts are consumed. Some useful ideas are offered by some folks who actually know how the product works, but they are rejected by competitive middle managers who are hungry to become the new VP’s right-hand man. After hours spent in uncomfortable conference room chairs watching one another preen, one of the dimmest middle managers offers a remarkably ridiculous idea. The room sits in stunned silence. The VP misinterprets this silence as awe. He immediately announces that this is an awesome idea and adds a few flourishes to it in order to take credit for the entire project later. The middle managers smile and clap one another on the back. They are all so pleased to be such amazing team players. The middle managers announce the new project to their staff. The workers bees are shocked. This is a remarkably stupid idea and they are going to have to make it happen. Some workers groan. Some shrug it off–they’ve seen corporate stupidity in action before, no big deal. The middle managers go back to the VP to let him know how enthusiastic the staff is about his terrific idea. He is happy. They are happy. The workers bees need a beer.

    The VP announces his arbitrary drop-dead implementation date for the project. Middle managers tell the worker bees. The worker bees panic. There is not enough time to get the job done. Middle management is afraid to tell the VP that the date can’t be met. They push the worker bees. The worker bees groan. Middle management writes them up for not being team players.

    It is drop-dead day and about 40% of the project is viable. The middle managers are afraid to tell the VP that there are many unanswered questions and there are concerns about customer acceptance. Instead, they tell the VP that they are ready to go and everything is just peachy. The VP is happy. The middle managers are happy that he is happy. The worker bees need a beer.

    An assistant to the VP writes a generic announcement on the corporate blog touting the exciting, innovative, new project that the brilliant new VP has implemented. The customers react in horror. It is a very bad idea. Many, many people leave comments on the corporate blog asking intelligent and thoughtful questions about the new project and expressing their concerns. The middle managers read the bad comments and are afraid. They do not want to tell the VP that people think his project is stupid. They write a sugar-coated synopsis of the blog comments and give it to him. ( It is highly unlikely that he was actually read the blog. He is too important for that kind of nonsense.) The VP directs them to write up an FAQ in order to placate the customers. The customers are not happy with the FAQ because it does not really address their concerns. The VP is confused. The middle managers are still afraid to explain reality to the VP. The worker bees laugh and drink more beer.

    Time marches on. The company loses many customers. There is much confusion in the Board Room. Why are profits down? The shareholders begin to whine. The Board begins to panic. They have an epiphany and let the VP go, with a generous severance package. The VP moves to the Bahamas until the competition clause in his contract expires. He then goes to work for the competition. The middle managers are happy to see the VP go. They remind one another that they knew it was a bad idea all along. The dim manager who thought it up in the first place gets promoted to fill the VP’s position. The company “streamlines its operation” to cut costs and boost the bottom line; i.e., they lay off worker bees. The worker bees cannot afford any more beer.

    In short, nothing we say here matters. The corporate machine will grind on and does not care what any of us think. We have the choice of accepting this or moving on. I’m opting to take my toys and move on.

  339. DEB

    I just want to be able to search in FTM on the website. the synching was never my fave. the FTM program I have will still be my program of choice. but if I cannot search from it??? I am so unhappy right now.

  340. Kenneth Powell

    An ultimate irony is that the management team at not only don’t seem to have a clue how their most devoted users use and experience the FTM-Ancestry online TreeSync duo, for a variety of purposes, they have failed to recognized that this is a central strategic “core competence” – a key competitive advantage that distinguishes them in the eyes and experience of their customers from any potential competitor – — a core competence that Ancestry management does not realize they have! — and this sync function is one feature that brought many users to Ancestry and kept them from ever considering defecting and happily paying the not-so-cheap subscription fees to boot, so it is small wonder that masses of otherwise loyal customers feel completely betrayed, demand a reversal of this decision or at least an alternative from someone else.

    The Ancestry management team and product development team have shown that they have no idea how their customers think and what they need and want, or if they did, demonstrated brazen disregard and disrespect for their deep, loyal customer base of serious genealogists and family historians who are on a person mission.

    In today’s world such behavior can seriously damage a brand, not to mention show the hypocrisy of Ancestry’s claims to care for the customer and promote the larger genealogy community. Or if not intentionally hypocritical, I suppose one could simply chalk it up the the “core incompetence” of the management team.

  341. Craj1983

    Kendal you need help

    The first announcement was emailed. This one wasn’t. You ask us to stay tuned. So please email your follow up announcements just like you emailed the first. Do not impose on your customer base to need to second guess if you’ve posted an announcement somewhere. It’s called customer focus.

    The first reaction of your customers was anger. Then distress. Some just want to get even. Now the focus is turning to how they find a solution to the problem you’ve handed them. Your competitors are circling. And you ask your customers to stay tuned.

    Kendal, I don’t think they will. The trust has gone.

    For those with large trees into which they have invested thousands, yes thousands, of hours they need to start working on the transition to new desktop software now, because the transition is going to take a long time, and be very tiring and frustrating. Easier if you’ve got a large screen or two screens to compare side by side the results of importing a gedcom file but that won’t be the case for most users. FTM has features and data fields that may not come across the gedcom migration. By the time you turn off support in a years time many of these migrations will still be in progress.

    So don’t just tell us to stay tuned. Give us clear dates by which decisions will be made and announced.

    And why on earth didn’t you start talking to your competitors sooner? They would have paid you to hand over your customer base!

  342. Sandra

    I added two comments to the original blog and read the non answer today from Ancestry. I am sickened by this news, but yet again today, Ancestry sent me another email selling me on their DNA package. That will not happen. Thank you to the others who suggested alternatives. I will be looking at Root Magic after I finish this post. My online tree has been private as I worked out the mistakes and updated my tree. After reading the other posts, I will remove it from Ancestry. I wish I had not renewed my subscription at the end of November.

  343. Richard McCunney

    After the barrage of negative comments in wake of the announcement of the discontinuation of FTM, I suppose Kendall Hulet felt the need to say something, lest he appear to be completely deaf. But his clumsily written FAQ give us no new information. His expression “We are exploring…” can be translated as “We haven’t really given it a whole lot of thought”.
    The discontinuation of FTM is blamed on the “declining desktop software market”. Phones, tablets and other mobile devices work fine for apps that can be dumbed down to small screens, such as email, facebook, twitter, news, weather, etc. Unfortunately, genealogy is not such an application. The app for iPhones and Android is worthless for any family tree in excess of 6 people. Even on the desktop, an online tree on is awkward to navigate. A full featured desktop application is necessary for genealogy, and any serious genealogist will continue to use a desktop application regardless of the decline of the overall desktop market.
    On its face, this decision appears to make no sense. Obviously, it must be a matter of money. I suspect it may be one of two things. First, FTM is a complex program and takes some experience to understand and navigate. So it stands to reason that the number of support calls for FTM is high. Once FTM is sold to a customer, it does not generate any more revenue, but continues to have costs. Solution – discontinue the product. Secondly, FTM users tend to be heavy users of services, and near daily Tree Syncs can consume a lot of resources. Again, once sold, FTM generates no additional revenue but continues to have costs. Solution – discontinue the product.


    What happens after 2017 if I cancel my subscription????
    Does that mean that I don’t have access to over twenty
    years worth of work???
    I suppose I should make sure that I take VERY GOOD
    care of my program If I am not able to purchase in the future.
    It is absolutely amazing that someone made this decision.
    Now I feel like an idiot spending all of my hard earned $$$
    on your subscriptions, program updates and DNA tests.

    Not Happy,
    Glenn Sahli

    • Kristie Wells

      @Glenn: If you sync your online tree with Family Tree Maker, you will have your complete family tree saved offline on your computer.

  345. Glenna

    I am extremely disappointed in Ancestry’s decision to discontinue Family Tree Maker. I have used it for years and don’t know what I’ll do without it. Hopefully there are other companies out there that can adapt to the software.

  346. Christine Riding

    I have been using FTM for many years. I LOVE the ability to print out reports and the various styles of trees. It has been wonderful to share them at family reunions. Please don’t discontinue them.

  347. Sue

    I am still wondering about all of the information in the Notes section for each person, where I have spent countless hours typing in personal information. My data is not shared on Ancestry, it’s just for my own personal use. The Notes have all of the documentation for that person, including typed out census info., marriages, deaths, and even obituaries whenever possible. Will all of that be lost if I switch over to another program? To me, data is not data unless it has been documented. (DAR background). Although I have enjoyed Ancestry and the records they have provided, I’ve rarely seen anything on the personal pages of others that helped. I usually see things like mothers having children before they were born. People share their material, and it’s just a waste of my time in a lot of cases. Please, please, reconsider this decision. And soon!

  348. Steve

    Truly disheartening! I have been in shock since the original announcement and this follow-up does not give me any hope that the company is listening to our chorus of complaints!

    I have decided to purchase Legacy as an alternative to FTM. I downloaded my 3K plus tree to Gedcom and uploaded it into Legacy. Everything went great. There were very few problems that I can tell. All images and notes transferred over without an issue. While I am not really looking forward to going person by person and verifying that the data is accurate I will by having FTM and Legacy open side by side.

    There is one positive that I can see. I never ever thought I would leave FTM as I have been upgrading consistently to the latest software for 15 years and swore by it. From my brief look at the interface from Legacy, I have to say its not bad at all. I actually like what I see so far. The reports seem fantastic. Without this stupid decision by Ancestry I would never have looked elsewhere.

    The way I see it now is that I have until Jan 1 2017 to verify all the data is correct in Legacy and then I look forward to deleting FTM permanently. I will start deleting people from my online tree as well methodically checking that every bit of data is stored in Legacy before just deleting out of anger as much as I want to.

    My recommendation is that for any FTM users that are on anything other than FTM 12 or FYM 14, bite the bullet and purchase the new version before Dec 31. I know you can’t bear to give them any more money but it would be worth it to save yourself extra work.Those 2 versions are the only ones that will transfer all your images and notes to GEDCOM and will all be there when you upload it to Legacy or other programs. I see from comments above that RootsMagic also accepts the images and notes from FTM as long as it is one of the newer versions.

    I am certainly NOT looking into ALL the additional work that this will cause me in the coming year! I guess this taught me a lesson and others too I hope that we can only count on our documentation and notes to keep our tree’s maintained and not put too much hope in companies like Ancestry. I believe they will regret this decision they made tremendously in the coming year. I’m sure there will improvements coming to try to stem the tide of people leaving but the damage has been done. Unbelievable!

  349. Brenda

    I am so very disappointed on the decision to discontinue Family Tree Maker. My family’s lives are recorded there. Can you explain the REAL reason for your decision. If it is the lack of sales…maybe you should do a advertising campain on it, and not so many expensive ads on TV to join Ancestry. I have been using FTM for years. I already have hard copy documents before Ancestry ever provided them. NO I am not happy and not savy to all the things that I will have to do to save my family. I am 75 years old and no real help with all of this.

  350. Jeannette

    I don’t usually put my two cents in, on the public forum scene, but OH. MY.GOODNESS! The only thing that has been forgotten here, are the pitch forks and torches! “Burn the witch!” C’mon! It appears to me, that Ancestry simply made a business decision. That’s all. If you don’t like the service, simply choose a different one. That is your prerogative – but that would be a shame, because Ancestry is simply the BEST there is, bar none! So, good luck with those second rate, Ancestry wannabe companies. I’m sure they will spin rainbows and miracles and do everything YOU demand of them… Or heaven forbid, you’ll report them to the BBB for making a change. I started with PAF and Gedcom files, on DOS and then used FTM (back in the old Brüderbond days, too.) In fact, I still have the cd databases they sold in the 90’s…which are now obsolete…why? Because technology moves on! Have you NEVER heard that when a door closes a window is opened? Can’t we at least be a little optimistic here? If not that, how about a little civility? I’m wondering what Ancestry has up it’s sleeve next, and I’m looking forward to finding out. As for the support end, I’ve NEVER even heard of a company, not only giving advanced warning that they are discontinuing a product and then offering another year of support for it! So, THANK YOU, ANCESTRY for 20+ years of a terrific product. I’ve enjoyed it immensely and will continue to do so, until it dies a good death. By then, I’m sure there’ll be something else even better out there. I’m looking forward to it and will remain a loyal customer, because, as I said before -Ancestry IS the BEST! 🙂

  351. Caitlin

    At the very least Ancestry needs to enable users of FTM to be able to export their data to another desktop application without data loss before the program is retired. I have just tried exporting my tree to the the Gedcom 5.5 and importing into another program. All Description fields for media & individual facts were lost in this process as the FTM file is not a standard Gedcom format. I have a tree of more than 35,000 individuals which I was hoping one day to share online. Now that is highly unlikely – especially if I cannot guarantee being able to access my own information post another Windows operating system change. I think Ancestry is underestimating just how important it is to keep dedicated researchers onside. I’ve spent years fixing Ancestry’s shoddy indexing and paying Ancestry for the privilege & this is the reward I get. You can’t post all of a tree online. For a start, some of the documents collected are copyrighted and legally cannot be shared. Other supporting documents are personal & many more are connected to living people. PLEASE RECONSIDER THIS BACKWARD STEP!

  352. Please include in your future enhancements to the following very useful FTM features:
    – find duplicate people
    – resolve all place names
    – copy and paste citations and links to citations
    – print an Ahnentafel report

    I currently use both FTM 2014 and New Ancestry. I typically do most of my work in New Ancestry, but I periodically Treesync to FTM 2014 so that I can use features such as the ones I listed, and then Treesync the results back to New Ancestry.

    My concern is that you will keep such features out of New Ancestry because you don’t want to overwhelm new users with features they won’t understand. I believe you are marketing Ancestry primarily as an entertainment product, and not a serious genealogical tool. For example, your trend has been to destroy the usefulness of citations relating sources to facts by making ‘Preferred” the default during merges instead of “Alternate”. As a result, sources that give a birth date of 1897, Jan 1897, or Jan 12 1897 all get lumped together as supporting a birth date of Jan 12 1897.

  353. MPrault

    Is anyone else seeing really weird errors in Ancestry right now? I am guessing some background conversions for New Ancestry are occurring?

  354. Diane Mason

    I started using FTM way before there was even an Once the two became intertwined it made sense to invest in a subscription as the two worked well together. Now that you are killing off the best genealogy software available I am seriously considering ending my subscription. Without the software there is no need for the subscription. Sorry, but I really don’t want to have my information stored in a cloud where I may not always have access to it. I will continue to use my FTM for as long as it works. is rapidly losing its appeal.

  355. Debbe

    W H Y S U C H S H O R T N O T I C E T O B U Y
    L A T E S T V E R S I O N B Y D E C. 3 1, 2 0 1 5 ??
    W E N E E D M O R E T I M E !!
    You said …. ” there are several other programs available that you can transfer your Family Tree Maker data to.”
    I say …. ” Will my old XP operating system, with FTM version 5 ….. transfer to another program? It is UNLIKELY that I will find another program ….
    …. That will work with XP operating system!?
    …. and that will transfer all of my PHOTOS?
    …. and transfer all of my customized FIELDS?
    …. and create my customized REPORTS?
    If you are not intending to reverse your decision, then …….
    …Are YOU going to buy my new COMPUTER?
    …Are YOU going to buy my new SOFTWARE?
    …Are YOU going to assure my files, photos,
    & fields all cleanly TRANSFER to an identical program?
    YOU certainly must be aware of the devasting impact you will be casting upon your loyal customers.
    … and remember it is YOUR Customers who give you YOUR paycheck.
    Are you listening?

  356. rayfan

    Again, management gives no true answers. Like many others, I am researching other options for my software needs. I will not stay with Ancestry after I get all my data moved out of Ancestry. Bad decisions will hurt Ancestry in the long run.

  357. Buck711

    I am hurt and disappointed that feels that this move is for the better. I have been using FTM and only FTM since I started my tree 16 years ago. I have had subscriptions to for almost as long, first with just access to USA records and as my tree grew and information became more available, upgrading to the World subscription. I have bought every new version of FTM as soon as it had came out to be up to date on all features and to make sure my researching tools were the best available. My tree has grown to contain over 113,000 people, almost 30,000 media items, and spans over 500 years. I use FTM to create and print books for family reunions and a calendar for my grandmother, who will be 100 in February. I am also very active in sharing my research with others and helping them with their research. To discontinue FTM without an equivalent or better option not only will cause people to move away from your sites, but will also hurt other researchers by having some of your best researchers and sharers leave. The idea of not having a backup on my network or having a way to access my tree without internet such as at family reunions or functions, is not acceptable. With the amount of time I have put into my tree, the amount of information I have gathered and shared, and then having the idea of not having my primary research tool, to have to move to another software or company knowing how much I will have to redo, will delay my research and will prevent my ability to help others with their research. In the next year I foresee you losing many of your current customers and the number of new customers will drop also. You are basically stabbing in the back the people who have helped make you one of the largest and most reputable genealogy research sites around. The current online version of Treemaker falls very short of the current software version in the tools we use and what we have come to expect for our money. To say that we will have to use it only strengthens our believe that you do not care about helping people find and explore their roots, but only the almighty dollar. I am sure if given the option to spend a little more for the software versus the poor alternative you are going to force us to use if we stay with, you would find that we would pay more for the software. I guess I will have to spend much of my valuable research time in the next year looking for a different company that values their customers, give them my money and recreate years of research.

  358. Jo Ann

    I cannot believe how Ancestry is showing such little regard for its loyal customers. I have my tree on Family Tree Maker and I subscribe to Ancestry and have done so for many years. I do not want to put my tree on Ancestry or in the Cloud. I have been researching for many years and my plan was to make a book with my research. Will this option still be available after January 2017? I am 80 years old and cannot start all over again. If I have to move my desktop program will I end up with two different formats? Seems like Ancestry should have been “exploring possible relationships” before this major announcement. We need answers now, not next year about what will happen to our valuable research.

  359. rob

    I don’t agree with her at all, but it’s interesting that “Jeanette’s” comment above is the ONLY positive one out of almost 10,000 on these two blog pages.

  360. Chuck Crannell

    “… Nor are we interested in fooling members. However, sometimes, the product offerings we have do not align with the member’s specific need and they are better served elsewhere. This is the unfortunate reality with regards to Family Tree Maker.”

    Well, I think this is backwards. The members’ needs were pretty clearly stated in voluminous replies about the website and FTM. It isn’t the members’ needs that changed, but the company’s direction. That is the unfortunate reality. Now that anyone remotely serious about genealogy is being disregarded by ACON, we are beginning to find we’re better served elsewhere.

    Imagine that, a company that ignores its most steadfast customers and tells them they are better served elsewhere.

    Great way to run product development Kendall.

    I remember when the Cadillac Cimarron d’Oro came out. It was based on a low-end Chevy Cavelier, gussied up, and resold at a huge profit. Except that the car sucked, people saw into it, and it sullied Cadillac’s reputation for a long time. is looking like the Cimarron d’Oro right now.

  361. Stephanie Miller

    Why would you stop selling the Family Tree Software BEFORE you even had a substitute in place or in sight? That’s putting the cart before the horse. I spend over $200 a year to research my family history with access to the World subscription. I can’t create reports, charts, etc. via the website, which is what makes the research so much fun, because you have data that can be shown, displayed, etc. Are we getting a discount on the annual fee now that the website will be losing functionality?

  362. Scott Miller

    It would seem that the powers that be at ancestry feel that they only need to cater to those products directly tied to the site. As is evident by all of the comments by ancestry/FTM users over the last few days, they are wrong.

    I suggest we give them until the end of January to explain how this is going to be corrected. Then we all need to cancel our subscriptions until they come up with something meaningful in response.

    I would not want to be an investor in this company next year! If I was one, I would sell my stock now.

  363. Joe Lynn

    I am just getting started converting my tree from The Master Genealogist, and purchased FTM bon 11/14. I picked Family Tree Maker because I thought that Ancestry was a big company who is committed to genealogy research, so I thought this would be a reliable program for many years to come. How wrong I was. My only consolation is that I did not do much work yet, and I am still within the return period. And so my search for a new genealogy platform continues.

  364. lexi

    Ancestry is trying to have everyone pay the annual membership for their money making. Without FTM they “think” they will gain members. Actually, they will lose. Bad company. Ancestry DNA already bad….what will be left. We can find another source. Check out Legacy software. It is very good. A bad year for Ancestry users all around.

  365. stan wilson

    Kendall: What you neglected to mention in your brief bio was the record you recently set for terminating the most popular computer program, Family Tree Maker, and in the process alienating more than 7,000 of’s most loyal customers within a period of only 24 hours! Setting that record will be your legacy.

  366. Lynne

    Say it isn’t so! I’m disappointed and unhappy with Ancestry’s decision. I started with FTM 9 years ago because of the record merge feature. As the online trees grew I stayed with FTM because of the reports, sorting & filtering features, and backup. I won’t be shuttled into an online tree, I will be looking for another program. I agree completely with Kristi Kisler comments. This was very poorly planned and executed and the Ancestry brand has been severely damaged by not understanding the value of their customer base. They do not seem to value the older and/or retired segment of clients who may not have as much money to spend and they seem to be chasing the younger tech savvy group who like instant gratification. We’ll just see how this plays out in the long run but they have lost all my good will towards them. FTM is the best program out there and I would like to see someone take it over like My Canvas was after the announcement they were ending it and the uproar similar to this announcement. Come on Ancestry – give something back to the community that has given you lots of AMTs.

  367. Bruce Gennings

    I’m deeply disappointed by the corporate self-absorption displayed by Ancestry. I remain distrustful of “the cloud” as the main locus for my data. It has already demonstrated vulnerability to cyber-attack. Other forms of catastrophic failure are also easy to contemplate.

    In the event I am forced to migrate to another desktop application, I will definitely be taking my family tree down from the Ancestry site.

  368. Catherine Windsor

    First you take away my ability to choose what I want to see from the lists of hint and you choose for me what you think I might want to see, like a child that doesn’t know what they’re doing. Nothing you have chosen for me gives me the information I’m looking for.
    Now you take away the software that many of us use on a daily basis and expect us to cheerfully pay for, and convert to, new software just so we continue doing what we’ve been doing for years.

    You can be sure that I will be looking at all your competitors as a replacement!

    Boo, hiss,! You lose!

  369. Susan

    I downloaded Rootsmagic today for a very fair price of $20 and am really liking it so far. It also has “hints” but they link to rather than ancestry. com. is FREE and has wonderful information. I haven’t used the new program long enough to make more detailed comments but I recommend giving it a try while the price is so low.

  370. Mark Floyd

    I have read your response above and find it totally lacking in any new useful information. I too intend to make plans to transition from FTM to another software package and will not continue to subscribe to Ancestry. How would it work out if we the members who have helped correct thousands of records transcriptions as well as created the trees on which much of your shaky leaf hint system is based start making changes to our trees with inaccurate ties, missing ancestors, false ties to unrelated individuals, false obituaries incorrect transcription corrections and such to essentially muck up your system we helped create? I would imagine Ancestry would not be very happy with those of us who took that action. Now place the shoe on the other foot…you advertised an integrated product with certain features I determined were useful to me and my research…I bought it..then you started making changes to said product not based on what you were asked to do by customers but rather what you thought your customers wanted. (Read “New” Ancestry that i provided multiple suggestions and never got even a response to the issues I saw with the changes) Then you decide a key component of the integrated system that allowed me to conduct MY research was no longer profitable enough for you to continue to support. Point being is you are messing with MY project, making it more difficult for me to do MY work. So do you think I am happy about it? NO especially when your announcement is not accompanied with a well thought out plan to allow me to continue with my research work in a useful manner.

  371. Anne

    This is a business decision. I disagree with it but it was not made so that we would be happy dancing because of it. I, as so many others, have used FTM since it was a Broderbund product. While I do use and support cloud-based storage, I do not currently do so for my genealogy work. Sometimes work simply must be done off-line and the announced change will make that impossible. I will continue to use FTM while I also explore Legacy and Roots Magic, both of which will provide the offline and greater privacy. I respect your right to make this decision. I just think it was shortsighted and wrong.

  372. Derek Butcher

    I am gutted that Ancestry is taking down FTM, I only got it a few months ago and wished I had done it sooner as it does a great job finally bringing my Ancestry tree to my desktop. I cannot understand the reason of declining desktop use as it seems to me there are hundreds out there using it on a desktop. I prefer a desktop like many others.
    I purchased FTM so I could sync with my tree and use all the other advantages that it has. Changing over to other software is not my choice otherwise I would have gotten that instead of FTM.
    I urgently ask you to reconsider this bad decision before you lose all your membership to other sites.
    I also use FMP and can easily transfer all my data but I prefer Ancestry.
    So I think you should stop this move before you ruin yourselves.

  373. Mark

    This is a terrible idea for a number of relevant reasons. First, you have no plan going forward. To say you are ending a product and have no plan (evaluating options) shows the disarray you are in. I can’t argue with your sales numbers, but you have other options. You could open source the software or you could provide a subscription option (like Adobe) which includes desktop software updated regularly…or you could do ‘freemium’ options. I don’t trust you to open your API to third parties without a current relevant plan. I can’t even imagine the security and privacy implications of that when you haven’t even thought through your desktop options. Maybe it isn’t the declining market for PC software that is the issue—Windows 10 is running on ~150 million devices—maybe the issue is that you don’t have a compelling offer to onboard new customers. Maybe you need some new product leadership. You can’t run a business off of history. Put someone new in charge and have them develop alternate options. I am going to echo others and say that I’m going to actively explore other options as soon as I can download my tree. I do appreciate that you gave us time and notice. Cutting costs in business is understandable, but I absolutely hate using Ancestry in the browser. Please consider rallying your loyal customer base for alternative options instead of this current course of action.

  374. D.

    WHERE DO WE GO TO BUY A …. CD … BEFORE DEC. 31, 2015??


  375. David Ott

    I’m extremely disappointed in your decision to discontinue the FTM software. I’ve been a loyal customer for over 15 years through several version changes. Now I’m left with searching for other software options. I have immeasurable hours invested in my research and was assuming that I’d have a product/research I could hand down to my children for them to continue with.

  376. Latricia

    I am devastated to hear this news. I have been using family tree maker since borderland introduced it in the 90’s. I have close to 10k names in the file and a tremendous amount of supporting documentation and images. Gedcom is not a current file format to capture ALL of the data that has been captured in any genealogy program. It is rudimentary. Moving to another supported program will be a manual process. 10k names will be a major MAJOR effort. I have been doing genealogy research for about 30 yr. This will end the life long hobby. I have been an user for many years and had to take a sabbatical in the early 2000’s Have rejoined abt 10 yrs ago and suspect that I have paid ancestry thousands of $$ and promoted the site to MANY of my colleagues. I feel deflated and let down. I am sick. I hope there is a Genealogy God that will have mercy on us and pick up the support and carry the product forward. Any technologist interested in developing a team to take over? I am a seasoned program manager that could be talked into leading the team!! Ancestry team…. remember the coco cola blunder??

  377. Derek Butcher

    I would like to add to my previous comments and say that the competition to Ancestry will be offering all sorts of attractive subs and goodies to join them, there will be a mass response and Ancestry will overnight go from a leader in the field to a minor player.
    What a stupid decision that is going to ruin things for so many loyal customers. I am very saddened that they did not talk to the customers first to gauge the reaction and feelings out there.
    It is almost too late for them now so Ancestry staff had better start looking for other jobs as their future is limited.
    Unless they rescind this decision immediately they are lost.

  378. Judy

    I can’t believe that you are taking FTM support away in 2017. What were you thinking? I agree with most of the thousands of those who have commented. I will not be staying with Ancestry after my subscription runs out. Unbelievably stupid!

  379. Kitty

    I see that ACOM has this on their website: “!Family Tree Maker will no longer be offered as of December 31, 2015” NO WHERE DOES IT SAY THAT THAT SUPPORT FOR THIS PRODUCT WILL END OR BE “RETIRED.” Trying to milk the unknowing public for all it’s worth. Shame on you Ancestry!

  380. Kirsten

    It’s very clear that none of your decision makers are experienced genealogists. If you did have actual personal experience with genealogy, you would have written a totally different initial press release including a detailed FAQ. Plus, you would have already explored and developed ways of integrating some of the beloved features of FTM into Ancestry before you made the announcement. Now, you’re just scrambling and throwing a bunch of words at us as a stalling tactic hoping we’ll all go away. And if your subscription numbers go down, you’ll probably tell your higher ups that we’ve just died out so it’s not your fault.

    At my company, we think out and discuss all the possible questions, problems, concerns, etc. before we make a major change and offer real solutions as we transition over before people come running to us. Did anyone on your team realize that there would be major fallout from your decision? Not just that “old people hate change,” but that Ancestry doesn’t currently function the way experienced genealogists need it to? Someone should already have had a list together that included basic things like reports, searching by locations, searching for duplicates, etc.

    I think you’ve forgotten that most of those people with FTM trees have not only populated your database, but have actually paid for the privilege. You should be courting us, not writing us off.

  381. Cathy

    Between retiring FTM and forcing the new ancestry platform on me, I have made my tree private and will not renew my subscription. Will be checking out Rootsmagic, Legacy and My Heritage.

  382. john

    I am now over on Rootsmagic (for $20). All my data including notes and media moved just fine (about 7000 individuals in my largest tree). They have a series of videos that are quite adequate and it is surprising just how similar the capabilities are. The reports are adequate and printable. It can make books from the data stored (genealogy reports are called narrative reports). Not 100% of FTM yet, but with our inputs it could be (example: no easy index name search). No need for me to spend anymore time entering into a dead product all new entries will be in Rootsmagic. If FTM comes around I feel I can export a gedcom and import it back into FTM, but not sure i’ll ever trust them again. Rootsmagic is pleased to have me as a customer. It was worth the $20 to try it check out ( ).

  383. Tim

    I worked retail for 17 years and in IT for 24, “The CUSTOMER is always right”. Ancestry is joining Adobe and Microsoft where “the company dictates”.
    Well over 7000 comments, in a day, on the original thread. YOU AREN’T LISTENING.
    You have not addressed fixed income customers who don’t want subscriptions.
    What options do we have when we no longer want to be tied to a subscription? No desktop software to view years of OUR WORK?
    You have a product – we are doing the work.
    You want to take our work away from us.
    Regretful your decision.
    Hulet should be fired.

  384. Gary Blohm

    Unfortunately this response after reading though many of our comments does little more than reiterate the original announcement. I found that the tone of the note did NOT indicate a real understanding of why so many of us were upset. The idea that you will “explore” options doesn’t leave me with any confidence that there will be any meaningful effort to address the customer s real concerns. Unfortunately you have really just giving me a year deadline to transition from ancestry all together. Fascinating business model to ignore your customer

  385. Scott

    Why kill treesync at all. No way it complicated things that much. Unless it’s messed up with the new pretty boy Ancestry? ?

  386. Kellie

    I think you’re just saying these things to appease the crowd with no real meaning behind any of it. Ancestry FAILED on this one.

  387. Fred L Gibson Jr

    At this point the only thing that could keep me with Ancestry is a management shakeup that would require the firing of the CEO. This move is a breach of trust and this management team can no longer be trusted period.

  388. kStadelbauer

    I do not find this second blog posting to be reassuring; it exposes that the killing off of FTM was a half-baked idea. As a business person, i find it shocking that you would admit to reading only some of your customer’s comments. Ancestry will eventually pay for such an appalling lack of respect for its customers.

  389. Sarah Atkins

    You’re not listening, Mr. Hulet. Your customers do not need or want enhancements to a new online product in lieu of FTM. I feel sorry for all of those who so unknowingly put their family trees on your web site without stopping to think they would be paying indefinitely to use their own information. You have created a public relations nightmare that messages such as your latest one only made worse. Your company will NEVER gain back the trust you have lost unless you reverse this decision or offer FTM to a third party vendor. Never, ever, ever. I have already commented on your initial announcement so I will not repeat myself. Suffice it to say that this business decision will go down in history as an example of how a successful company managed to run itself into the ground due to lack of concern for their customers and failure to understand their reason for being.

  390. Charlotte Hunter PhD

    I googled Ancestry’s Staff and they don’t have anyone who represents their customers. You can’t email anyone who works there. The dude who conjured up this brilliant idea is a Wharton School of Business grad and that means $$ is the bottom line. If enough of us leave, they’ll suddenly decide that FTM is a great idea. I’m an Ivy League PhD so they aren’t talking down to me and getting away with it. It takes brains, perserverence, a great memory, and a love of what we do to put up with this nonsense for any length of time. Obviously, you don’t share our values so I’ll be looking at Legacy or any one of the 5 or 6 other good programs out there. I’ll dump Ancestry when my time runs out. I’ll take my friends and family with me. Buh bye.

  391. Carol Dimond

    I have to add my voice to those above. I can’t understand why Ancestry thinks this “non-update” should be considered to be reassuring.

    If you really want to reassure us, then commit to support FTM beyond 2016 — let’s say indefinitely for now. In the meantime keep on with the web-vision you plan to execute on a parallel basis. Let your customers decide when and if they want to change.

    Becomes a win-win. Perhaps many of us will eventually migrate to the new web-vision, some of us will stay with FTM. Most importantly, we will all stay with Ancestry which I expect would be your goal.

    As for me, right now I am going to start researching Rootsmagic. Based on some of the comments above, sounds like it is worth investigating. I want to be ready to move quickly if I don’t see satisfactory answers soon over the next few weeks.

  392. Kenny Pierce

    I commented on the original post and that stands. There is little in the statement of Mr. Hulet that differs here. They simply aren’t interested in listening to the serious genealogists, researchers, and volunteers who’ve handed them their golden goose. I find myself growing angrier with every entrenched reply of theirs towing the party line. It isn’t so much just the deprecation of software as it is the apathy toward our dismay over the blasé dismissal of such a crucial tool for us. I think this is where the root of my own anger lies: a betrayal of trust and confidence that won’t go away going forward.

    Genealogy is (I’d assumed) the core mission of this company, yet it has turned a deaf ear to those who further that work – often fighting an uphill battle in the ever present rush to the quick and easy answer to questions that (absent validation) may or may not ever be available. The stubborn disregard for our concerns has just been underscored by the party-line stance in this rebuttal by Hulet, and is parroted on the Ancestry FB page by its customer service representatives who are quite simply NOT LISTENING. It is simply stunning.

    I have zero interest in expending any energy in feeding this golden goose going forward. I’ve paid for a year with MyHeritage to see – between now and my time to renew my World Subscription in August – how to regard my research tools away from Ancestry. This in addition to buying several new programs to test and try.

    It’s clearly some bottom line metric and an intoxicating bling that elicits starry eyes on the part of the masses that this short-term-minded company seems to hold as sacrosanct. Who cares about authority control (and what tools most effectively get the people with the base of experience and wisdom to get them to that point) when you can make poorly sourced (yet often re-shared) material look fabulous for an armchair “expert” who wants all of the glory with little of the work, experience, or integrity? Hit the shaky leaf on that IOS app and watch how you too can be a member of the Royal Family. And as that tidbit of data goes viral, just watch the profits spike.

    It’s disgusting and wrong, and I’ve little faith they’ll either get (or care about) what we’re saying – ever.

  393. Richard

    This so-called “More information” blog is completely pointless. You are not telling us any more than in your previous rude, arrogant press release. What you are hiding is that when you do finally break the links between FTM and Ancestry then FTM will be unusable, and you know it. Not just the TreeSync, but FTM relies on a link to for maps, place name finder, etc. It just won’t work as it currently does without your website support.

    This is an incredibly arrogant and cynical decision. I will NEVER put my data onto your website simply because I do not accept your terms and conditions, which require me to give you complete and perpetual ownership of my own data for you to use however you see fit with no acknowledgment of the original author. How arrogant is that!!

    It is YOU and your greedy corporate type who should be retired, Mr Hulet – not FTM. I have cancelled by Ancestry subscription. I will not be renewing unless and until this abysmal decision is rescinded.

  394. Gwenda

    So many people have artfully expressed all of my concerns before me. Just two thoughts of my own. So many serious genealogists are taking down their trees, not renewing their subscriptions, and taking away all their great pictures and media they have uploaded. You are advertising how easy it is for new people to get started, use the shaky leaves, and connect to family. It appears that many of the great family trees, done by serious genealogists, are leaving and this depletes your data base. I would think you would want to do anything possible to keep these great trees on your site. Your records are fabulous to help make the trees and help the serious genealogist document their work. It is your genius subscribers that put those records to work and make the connections to create the trees that others want to use. I have about 20 to 25 trees I have done for friends and family. These trees got my friends and family so interested that they joined Ancestry and they in turn got more people interested. I left them public because I decided that if it took me so long to research and make connections I might as well leave them public to help other people and spare them the time to have to do it for themselves. I am sure many others do the same thing. When we delete our trees you loose, in time, all those extra subscriptions we brought to your site because our friends and family no longer can see or use our trees. You also loose the information that you are advertising you have from trees to help others get started. I even got friends and family to send their DNA to Ancestry to link to the trees I started. I know a much better DNA site, I could have suggested, where my family has found incredible information (Y and M DNA) but I didn’t suggest it because it didn’t link to their trees. If people take down their trees and they have also added their DNA for testing you are going to loose value in what you have been so recently promoting.
    My kids would tease me about how much I talked about Ancestry and its many benefits to everyone I knew. Now they will tease me about how much I talk about Ancestry’s very poor business decisions.

  395. Pamela Sutterfield

    I received my email today and felt that I had been slapped. I’ve been with FTM for many years and last updated with 2014. Loved the sync but felt it should be used with more than one computer since most of us use more than one. But I noticed nothing new coming out and began to wonder what was going on and I did not expect this. I spoke to a wonderful lady and genealogy like most things needs to keep up with the “young” crowd. You have to give them something that with entice to look at their family history and since FTM is already attached to the “ole folks” you have to give them some new and exciting. Sometimes something that won’t really tax their brains. I knew something was wrong when you put the story line in it as someone who is interested in facts doesn’t really care what a barn would look like or a cotton field. When I saw that constant repepitition, I knew we were in trouble. I have not heard of some of these of the other sites but will check them out as my World subscription is due in a few months. I think it’s good to make changes but I think you forget that most of us aren’t as young as we used to be and totally revamping may put Ancestry us out. Church’s change to bring in the young’uns but they also push out the paying old ones. I’ve always felt good about FTM but maybe now, it’s time to hang it up.

  396. Barbara

    I am so disappointed in this decision. I have been a subscriber since it was a Broderbund product and have recommended Family Tree Maker to all who asked as well as in my genealogy classes. It is hard to trust a company that solicited DNA samples and then shut down that program. Now you are still selling FTM programs until December 31st, 2015, knowing that the program will be retired as of December 31st, 2016. That is a very dishonest policy towards your customers. How do we know that you will continue to maintain our personal family trees on your website for future generations? For all I know, a new CEO will come along with the bright idea of deleting all of those family trees that have been uploaded by thousands of genealogists and all of our data will be lost. It is hard to trust a company that disrespects its customers to such an extent. I am fully expecting other family tree software program companies to offer attractive alternatives to Family Tree Maker and I will have no compunction about making the switch.

  397. Kathy

    I have had FTM and an Ancestry World membership for a long time, and I have never complained on your blog until yesterday. In fact, when I’ve seen complaints about updates in the past, I’ve usually thought people just needed to accept change and learn to adapt. However, discontinuing FTM makes me angry. You have the right to do what is best for your business, but I believe this will hurt your business, and I have the right to do what is best for me. I have one large tree on Ancestry and on FTM, but I have several more in earlier development, which I had planned to upload soon. If I have to go to the work of moving all of them – and the danger of losing data or connections to all the attached media, I don’t see why I would want to bother uploading them to Ancestry help you provide help to other clients. Nor do I see why I would want to continue voluntarily submitting alternate data to errors I find, which I now do frequently. And once you’ve set a precedent of not supporting me, why would I do my DNA with you when there are other companies? You need to immediately reconsider the decision and keep FTM before you lose clients for all areas of your business. Once people migrate their information, which will be very soon, you’re going to lose many clients for all areas of your business.

  398. Stephen Schmideg

    Like most users I find this very disappointing news. I have been a FTM user from the time it was launched and I thought the benefits that Ancestry brought to it made it an wonderful unique service. At a time when providers like Geni and MyHeritage are growing in leaps and bounds a better option would have been to make FTM a free service to users of Ancestry. I was planning to renew my Ancestry subscription in the new year as I think at the moment Ancestry still has superior data for regions that I’m researching than MyHeritage. But given this news I’m happy to sit back and see how the market reacts.

  399. Keith Marley

    I agree with the many people that like me, are older and not willing to learn new tricks just to make their tree fancier. or contained solely in the cloud. I for one, want to keep my tree on my own hard drives and not depend on a company’s ability to control hackers or their own inconsistencies over the years. A hard copy is the only way to go for sustainability over the generations and I want control over my hard work. I seriously doubt i will continue using Ancestry with the vigor I have had these last few years. Now I will put my energy into producing hard copies from my extinct FTM.

  400. Kathy

    Ancestry, I’ve seen your answers that you will provide more information about what we can do and partnerships with other companies that will help us closer to the end of when you plan to support FTM. You don’t seem to understand that large numbers of your clients and their trees will be gone long before then. They’re already leaving. Very soon it will be too late to change your decision.

  401. Jim

    Like so many others that are commenting, I am very disappointed in this decision. I have use FTM for many decades. I have never even tried anyone else’s product. I subscribe to the service. When the FTM is gone I will leave the service. I have not shared a online tree and do not care about the syc of trees. But the ability to search through my FTM and download viable finds and sources through my subscription, has been my mainstay.
    I am very, very upset with this move. It is a bad assumption to assume dissolving FTM product will not negatively impact the rest of your business. I will not use a web version. I use and understand the web but I keep my family tree on my PC (with external drive back up of course). THIS IS A MARKETING DISASTER. IF IT WERE MY BUSINESS, I’D BE FIRING ANY MARKETING EXECUTIVES INVOLVED IN THIS DECISION.

  402. John

    What a nothing response. Obviously no idea about their users. I would be looking at these user responses and be going OOPS I think we might have made a mistake. Still time to save the situation is you are serious about your user experience.

  403. Alexandra

    Be aware that the GEDCOMS generated by FTM 2014 are faulty. FTM 2012 GEDCOMS are less faulty. But, all have issues and you will need to check every record and source. Google it and you will find more info about this problem.

    Also, if you have uploaded your tree to you granted them a full license in perpetuity to use and even sell your data and images. Read their terms of service. Even if you delete your online tree, the still have the license and I’m sure they keep your data and images too. That’s why I never synced.

  404. George Durman

    Ancestry, eat shit and die! Money-grubbing butt-holes, who now are robbing hundreds of thousands of users of a necessary utility. Who is in charge there, if anyone? Are you people living on Mars with Obama?

  405. Stan

    I think pretty much has figured out the community is pissed about FTM being retired. First of all, they do not have any responsibility of your research, how long it took, what tools you used, how many names, how many years it took. And if FTM was making them money, they have all the right in the world to retire it. They own FTM and they can do whatever they wish with the software. Am, I happy, no! Will I get over it, yes. Will I continue to use their on line services, more than likely. If I didn’t, I would be ignoring the use of a major tool in my tool box. Here’s the reality of the real world. is owned by an investment firm. Investment firms buys companies, builds them up, and then sells the company for greater profit. Usually between the six and eight year window of purchasing the company. Ancestry is not like Family Search. Family Search is run by the LDS Church. is an private equity group (Permira Advisers LLP), who’s goal is to MAKE MONEY, not run companies for the long run. If they don’t make money (or “greed” as many of you have put it), the possibility of the assets being raided & sold, could be a possibility. In the long run, will be sold again in the near future. And their will be more changes to cope with. I admire your passion for the continuation of FTM beyond 2016, but, it’s not going to happen. So we will all have to deal with it by making decisions on the way we do our research in the future. And calling for people to make complaints to the BBA & Attorney Generals Office and so on, is a complete waste of time. No crime has been committed. Ancestry is just getting out of the software business. It’s like how the music recording business has pretty well got out of the CD making business. Music is now being downloaded these days. CD’s are only a small minority of the business. Ancestry, is converting to all online business.

  406. Anne

    Very disappointed with this decision. Lots of people do not have reliable internet access and rely on having a desktop version of their tree. I also bought RootsMagic today and am looking at Heredis. Both companies have specials at the moment – smart move. There are other online resources that people can use. Your advantage was the easy integration of cloud and desktop files. You will have lost that advantage with the demise of FTM. I suspect many will look elsewhere. I just renewed my subscription but will probably relegate it to searching at the library next year. Some suggest we be more positive….not sure what the positive spin could be!

  407. Rhonda

    Why not keep FTM if you are “exploring possible relationships with other desktop software solutions that would make it possible for their products to integrate with Ancestry”.? I just don’t get it and obviously Kendall Hulet doesn’t either 🙁

  408. Jean

    Please do NOT do this. I live in a rural area without dependable internet service. I cannot even reliably download the current version of FTM and am using FTM 2010 because of this. Many others are in the same boat. I gather that even if I wanted the current version I would be unable to get it due to downloading difficulties with our connection to the web. Further, some of us who have worked with genealogy and FTM for 20+ years do our research in places where we do not have access. I guess we’re supposed to magically invent an internet connection so we can give you our hard earned research and pay you (our subscription) for the privilege of displaying it for us. Obviously you are aiming towards the younger generation and their desire for quick, easy “research”. The one tree I had on your site has been taken down (supposedly) and no others will be put up by me. I will continue to keep my information on MY computer and generate the charts I want and share with those I care to share with. I can only hope that when I upgrade my computer next year (when FTM available by download only is no longer available for sale) that I can either coax my version of FTM to work or find a new program where I can save my hard earned research! Thanks for nothing! I will probably keep my subscription since I do some research through it but I am definitely looking around for other records that I haven’t accessed yet elsewhere as well as another program to use to keep my research on.

  409. Glenna

    I think a deafening silence, a united cancellation of subscriptions and removal of our trees from Ancestry would speak far louder than any written or verbal objection we could make. I have already moved my trees to RootsMagic 7 and will be deleting my online trees in the next day or so. My subscription will NOT be renewed net year.

  410. Carol

    This whole episode is a perfect example of a company THINKING it knows what it’s customers wants without taking the time and effort to find out. Ancestry certainly knows now!
    It looks to me that Ancestry is more concerned in its ‘online Web image’. TV programs like WDYTYA, show someone typing in a name, and their Great Grandmother pops up just like that! Some of the ‘hints’ I have received lately have been absolutely ridiculous, matching someone in UK with USA in 1841. The only thing in common being a name.
    Sadly Ancestry have lost sight of their REAL customers, who have been loyal. The choices they have made lately have lost these and down graded their product, all in the name of ‘a more up to date image’.

  411. Bill Lindsay

    Read Stan’s blog (10 Dec 11.59). It’s a pessimistic point of view but probably hits the nail on the head. If true then Ancestry have made their money and are getting out of the geniology business. If they were serious they would listen to all their customers views and reverse their decision and continue with FTM. I can’t see it happening. Such a shame because it’s an excellent programme. It’s asset stripping of the worst kind because it effects so many people’s lifetime work. What a world we live in.

  412. caith

    @Alexandra – Since/if Ancestry owns our data/trees and they have a back-up of the trees that owners delete, I wonder if Ancestry would keep those trees on-line for public view. I wonder if Ancestry would ever have the right to make the private trees public. Anyone know?

  413. Connie B

    Primiera or whoever you are going to have a tough time selling off a company that was really about networking as much as data. Family history is not a video game. The alienation of a huge customer base of an overpriced product that talks to each other in a way few internet products do has devalued the selling price of ancestry stock to anyone. All ancestry really is, is a customer list, the databases can all be recreated again by a smart competitor which are making so much money this week without spending a dime on advertising or product.

  414. Caitlin

    When I last looked at this page it said there were more than 1400 comments, now it says there are only 440. Has the deluge of comments broken the counter? If so, I’m glad!

  415. Janice Moran

    It would appear that Kendall Hulet was a valuable and innovative employee of Ancestry from 2003 until March 2015, when he suddenly found himself in over his head as Senior Vice President of Product Management. Perhaps a demotion is in order. Or a relocation (translation: “Here is your pink slip, Mr. Hulet”).

  416. Darrell

    I am sorry to see this happen, I don’t think any of the alternative programs are as good, that’s why I have used FTM since it was first introduced. I hope that they can find “relationships with other” entities to make ALL features of the current FTM work.

  417. Peter

    I REMEMBER a Large SUCCESSFUL Cola company once ditched its original recipe. The customers were angry and a huge outcry developed. That company were BIG enough to ADMIT their mistake and turned their business around and continued to be SUCCESSFUL.


  418. Graham Beard

    Simple solution, everyone: Send message within the Ancestry system to all Users with whom you normally interact, and any others you can, just to make absolutely sure that all Users fully understand the disaster that is unfolding here – and encourage them to cancel their membership. Then cancel yours and move on. It’s a big market out there and other companies will see their chance and step up to the plate to meet properly the needs of the Genealogy Community. Money speaks for commercial organisations – but to survive they need customers. Let’s take away Ancestry’s income.

  419. Lesley

    Are you listening / reading, Ancestry?
    Your customers own their data, not you. We use the online system to share it, and to help each other out. The millions of records and indexes and lists are NOTHING without the family trees. The notes and other information that I keep on my desktop in FTM doesn’t get synced to the online tree anyway, and certainly none of the publishing facilities on the desktop are easily available – to me or anyone else – online. The desktop software is VITAL to any serious genealogist.
    Have you read all these comments, Ancestry? Is there a single ‘good decision’ comment? No, for the very good reason that this is a bad decision. It shows how little concern there actually is for the business of genealogy, and for the customers of Ancestry. Frankly, it’s a disaster for me, and I can’t imagine the amount of work I’m going to do to safeguard my research. Appalling, Ancestry, appalling.

  420. Carolyn Duffy

    I have been a loyal FTM user since it was published by Broderbund. My analogy is that FTM is like a toothbrush and is like toothpaste. Don’t need toothpaste without a working toothbrush.

  421. Lance Murphy

    I found out what ancestry have in mind for the future by trying to download a gedcom. Luckily, I found the long list of recent negative comments published here. Oh Dear! Looks as though I have fallen for one of the oldest tricks in the book. Encourage new clients and keep quiet about changes due. This week I sent off my DNA sample, being advised by phone that it was a good idea, likely to open doors to relatives who had an Ancestry account. It will be interesting to see what happens. Now, do I trust the results? Too late anyway. Ah well, live and learn, AND ANCESTRY, from what I read, support your members and listen to them. I will follow this closely now before I commit myself further, but bang goes my Christmas present.

  422. Joseph P.

    Which versions of Family Tree Maker will Ancestry continue to support? Ancestry will continue to support all versions of Family Tree Maker at their current functionality until January 1, 2017. — FUNNY!! I’m currently using FTM ver. 16 which still works on my Windows 10, with one exception, I’m not able to PDF files anymore. Ancestry response to this was for me to upgrade. Given what ancestry has done, I’m glad that I hadn’t done what they told me to do.

  423. Mary Yetter

    I have been a loyal customer of since 2004, and of FTM for years before that. I am fine with the new Ancestry, but when I read about Ancestry’s plans to drop FTM, I was very disappointed. I am extremely alarmed at the number of long-term genealogists who are planning to leave Ancestry over this, but I do not blame them at all. I subscribe to Ancestry for three excellent benefits I gain from the membership: 1) excellent access to records, 2) the opportunity to collaborate with other experienced family historians, and 3) DNA cousin matching. If any of those 3 things is strongly and negatively impacted by Ancestry’s decision to drop FTM, that would reduce the value of my membership, so I would be less committed and invested in Ancestry than I am today. When I see my genealogical societies posting alarmed FB posts and I see experienced members seriously preparing to leave Ancestry, that concerns me greatly. I don’t want to be left to deal mostly with newbies to genealogy, or cousin matches who are only interested in finding out their ethnicity reports. I need some experienced family historians to interact with in order to stay happy as an Ancestry member. Also, I will be financially impacted by the departure of FTM, too, and I will have to l9k for new software to replace it!

  424. cindy johnson

    It seems clear, that even if I waited for to figure out what to do next that serious users are jumping ship and that their research and work will no longer be shared through So I see no point in holding on to a membership, hoping that they’ll figure something out. Kendall, you have destroyed our trust and once that’s gone, it is gone. Darn! What a pain.

  425. Doug

    I echo all the previous posts and hope they reconsider. I downloaded and tried Roots Magic. Yes they have hints as well from Family Search and My Heritage. The problem is integration into the tree. With FTM/Ancestry, the shaky leaf shows a hint. If it is a valid hint, you click it and it, with the source citation is downloaded into the tree. With Roots Magic, you have to copy and paste. There are way more steps with Roots Magic to get the data into our trees. Not a great option compared to FTM.

  426. Paul Miner

    I have downloade the FREE version of Rootsmagic – it may not be the best looking but have used the GEDCOM link to import from FamilyTree Maker 2014 and it seems to have imported everything OK. I give Ancestry a couple of weeks to reverse this disgraceful decision then I will buy this package.

  427. Tim Hill

    What patronising PR rubbish! Hulet just reiterates what he originally wrote as if we are too stupid to understand it first time. It is still the wrong decision – it is the integration between FTM and Ancestry that is its USP.

  428. Mike Edwards

    Probably time to download all the media I have on line if not already synced and find another service provider. You just lost a 15 year world wide customer. Well done on making so many people unhappy. Narrow minded and suspect all about how much revenue can we make. some companies it’s all about profit, when is enough enough? 10 million, 20 million? it’s a damn joke. In last couple of years I’ve had little or no time to work on my tree, but continued to pay annual subscription, not any more. Good bye

  429. Mark Kubesch

    I use FTM to generate reports, and create images of the data I have on Ancestry. These are combined with memories and personal pictures of my ancestors and added to online book creation software to generate a hard copy of book of the information. I will leave these with my children so my ancestors will be remembered. It seems like you will severely curtailing my ability to do this after 2016. Very sad and, I think, very arrogant and crass for you to do that.

  430. Mark Kubesch

    Couldn’t you price the software at a point where you could still make a profit from it? I would be willing to pay more to keep the software and it’s features.

  431. Richard S

    I’ve been a loyal Ancestry costumer for 10 years, but that will end the day you stop supporting FTM. Obviously, the reasons behind your ridiculous decision to do so are solely based on greed. This is an outrage, and like with many, I find it completely unacceptable that you’re destroying one of the best products and services available for genealogical research so you can put more money in your pocket.

  432. Karen

    I just purchased Family Tree Maker and was looking forward to the options it offers above what Ancestry provides. I would like a refund of my purchase! When you look at all the negative feedback above and many from long-time users, it would behoove you to reconsider your decision. What a happy new year to come!

  433. PK

    I’ve already commented on this stupid business decision. Ancestry sold me FTM less than a month ago, and I also paid for an additional 2 years worth of download. Guess that money was wasted! Thanks everyone for the Rootsmagic information. I will check it out, and cancel my Ancestry subscription! Since Ancestry seems to now not care for those of us out there that are serious genealogists, when I cancel my subscription I will delete my trees before I go. Let’s see how long they last without us loading in correct information with back up citations to prove it! I’m really tired of all those wonderful ‘shaky’ trees that just prove to be something I originally loaded in the first place!

  434. Dan G

    Poor decision making. For every FTM user you lose, you are also going to lose an subscriber. Duh.

  435. I work with adoptees and others and would be very interested in exploring API Integration to make it easier for those using DNA to make use of the Ancestry information. I was a cofounder of DNAAdoption and the techniques are still difficult, but with some integration, we can make it easier on those using DNA by better integrating with the trees available.

  436. misterc6

    I’ve just noticed that the shop on makes no mention at all of the withdrawal of FTM from 31st December and of support of FTM after January 1st 2017.

  437. Susan

    Well, reading all the comments on this, and the first edition is time I won’t get back! Agree with most of the views, and am certainly not very happy either. I wonder if the support, or lack of it, is the reason FTM keeps on telling me that it is not responding, and won’t sync properly. I know it is early, but something is amiss. I am not going to ‘reach out’ any further, it is a waste of time. Somewhere back there was the comment from someone named Jeanette who seems to think everything is wonderful, and will continue to be so. Not in my eyes! Dreading the 14th when I will be forced to used the ‘improved’ site too, It is ‘orrible, and the designers should be demoted, or sent back to kindergarten. Just as PK says, the shaky leaves are a joke, you see a dozen possible ‘matches’ which don’t even come close to the person they are advising close links to. My sub takes me to November 2016 so I shall have to bear with it for now, but next time I just may ditch Ancestry for good, after 13 years too.

  438. Michael Guinn

    Have you all lost your minds? Destroying FTM? Are you crazy. That’s like building a magnificent house and then deciding to kick out the foundation. If you do not rescind this decision to no longer support FTM then I will no longer be able to support you with membership fees. When my account expires I very likely will not be back. If you do not bring back FTM then allow Rootsmagic or Legacy to have access and synching abilities with
    All the old people who have supported you from the beginning like me feel like they have been sucker punched in the face. I will be downloading all my data and printing hard copies as fast as I can and will be moving to another site, possibly Rootsmagic. Signed, one very unhappy and irate customer who has been using FTM since version 7.0.

  439. Steve

    I have been waiting for a response to the original notification, and I am just as disappointed with this as I was with the original. This was just a plea to hang on and we may do something better in the future. I don’t think you get it – we don’t want FTM to go away, and if it does then we will go away. If you want to save money scrap the app and not FTM. How many people do serious genealogy on a phone or tablet? And if they do, they will still have access through their browser. I think you have enough input to determine that this is not a good decision, and that you have lost the trust of your most loyal customers who subscribe every year.

  440. Jvtree1

    Dear Ancestry –

    Since you are confident in making a wise business decision to cease offering desktop software, why not COOPERATE with Roots Magic to make the interface more accessible to current Ancestry customers that desire desktop Software? At least that would be evidence of your hollow claims of supporting your customers. I get that you are trying to “dumb down” your site to appeal to the “cocktail party” genealogist, both through the Family Trees and DNA testing, but this shows real contempt for your seroious researchers. I urge you to provide a direct interface to Roots Magic, since tthey are willing to support one.

    From Roots Magic blog:
    “UPDATE: We’ve had many people ask if we could work with to integrate with their website, similiar to how Family Tree Maker has done. We’re very willing to make this happen and have let them know this. If this is something that you’d find useful, please contact Ancestry and let them know.”
    December 8th, 2015

  441. Bailey

    Aside from the “new Ancestry” being horrible, and cost cutting measure of removing FTM, seems costs are being made elsewhere. I do a search for info on an ancestor and most of the time I get ‘this is an index only”. Ancestry appears to be in a free fall.

  442. Howard

    Apparently not the first blunder by Mr Hulet !!!!

    Ancestry’s response to this week’s PR nightmare
    1 Sept 2007

    The following statement was issued today by Kendall Hulet, a product manager at, in response to the controversial Internet Biographical Collection Ancestry published this week:
    Hi, my name is Kendall Hulet, and I’m a product manager at I’ve probably met a lot of you at FGS, NGS, and other conferences. If not, I look forward to meeting you in the future.

    I wanted to write you a note because I’m extremely concerned about the frustrations that the recently-removed Internet Biographical Collection has caused. We had hoped to provide a way for you to be able to search the entire web easily for genealogically-relevant pages and provide for preservation of sources for future generations. In looking back, we understand why members of the community are upset.

    We’ve heard you loud and clear, and we’ve removed this product with no intention of re-releasing it. Instead, it is my hope that someday we’ll be able to provide a free web search engine that links directly back to the live web pages, and can become a useful tool to the genealogical community. If we do move forward with this type of initiative, we will seek your input and talk more with community leaders to make sure we get it right.

  443. Jay Weber

    Ford – Edsel. SONY – Beta Max. Coke – Coke Zero. Hostess – Twinkies. Now it’s Ancestry’s turn to make another great business decision. Welcome to the club. What’s next? Perhaps Mr. Hulet should invest in 8-track tapes.

  444. Jim Davis

    Kendall, I’ve just read about the disaster you created in 2007 when you claimed the work of others for Ancestry. Sounds like this is another blunder of the same sort. Driving business to the web is IT thinking from more than a decade ago, and it has not been a completely successful strategy. A combination strategy is what sells over the long term, a perspective I hope you’re adopting. Perhaps the private equity investors are driving a short-term approach?

    Many options have been presented by your users, which I hope you’re analyzing. In a market where people have options, and where emotion permits users to “cut off their nose to spite their face,” you must apply more than financial analysis when making product decisions. Your loyal users will walk away, and they will trash your brand and your reputation. They will NOT accept that their research must live only in the cloud, and they will not perceive that a soon-to-be-sunset desktop application preserves their work. They will NOT leave their research in Ancestry hands, despite the disclaimers about title transfer in your T&C’s.

    The combination of desktop software tightly linked to online assets is currently unbeatable. Why destroy a defensible competitive advantage? Warren Buffet would not approve … please feel free to contact me for more discussion.

  445. Bob

    I just checked my Ancestry order history and find that I have spent nearly $4,500.00 on various Ancestry products and services since 2001. Because of the decision to drop Family Tree Maker, I have already deleted two of my tress from My third tree will be deleted as soon as I have found a good alternative program to FTM. Also, my subscription ends in February 2016, and I am not renewing.

  446. Jvtree1

    RootsMagic is willing to provide an interface to their software through the Ancestry website. Why won’t you cooperate?!?!

    From RootsMagic blog: “UPDATE: We’ve had many people ask if we could work with to integrate with their website, similiar to how Family Tree Maker has done. We’re very willing to make this happen and have let them know this. If this is something that you’d find useful, please contact Ancestry and let them know.” Posted December 8th, 2015

  447. Martha

    Do you remember the tale of The Goose That Laid the Golden Egg? It is a reminder of what greed can do, and Ancestry has just killed the goose. Ancestry is now circling the drain as thousands of us leave for other companies who value us as customers. I, too, am now a member of Roots Magic and will be leaving Ancestry when my subscription expires. It is a sad day for all of us as we pull our trees from Ancestry and lose the ability to share what we had with others. At this point there is nothing that Ancestry can do to make me feel better about the situation. Loss of trust is a deal breaker.

  448. Jvtree1

    Congratulations on appealing to the lowest common denominator user base by turning into a video game!

  449. Richard

    It seems to me that Ancestry needs to remember the old say, “The customer is always right.” This outpouring of comments, concerns and alike show that the customer is saying that they don’t want Family Tree Maker to go away and that the need for the product is still there. What Ancestry needs to do is listen, really listen, to its customers and not do what many businesses have done in the past and proceed with whatever their personal agenda may be, and then the company in the not too distant future finds itself in trouble simply because it failed to hear what was being said by their customers. Listen to us Ancestry. Hear what we are saying before taking action. That would be the smart thing to do for your business and frankly for any business.

  450. Jvtree1

    caith For all of you who have just order FTM, can you dispute the charge on your credit card and send it back?
    December 11, 2015 at 7:51 am

    Ancestry has no website interface with any other software (except FTM). It is necessary to use FTM to export to another Software application. I recomnend RootsMagic.

    PLEASE, Ancestry, RootsMagic is willing to provide an interface with your website, so PLEASE allow this!!! What are you afraid of? 😉

  451. Marian

    I saw this coming many years ago when they first started changing the FTM interface for a GUI one. The idea being that it would look just like their online experience. They stopped support of their older product (I think it was 2009, but not positive) and in doing so “forced” their base to move their data online. They removed key reports for me from the online version which for me was a show stopper at that time. I did what many of you have said you are going to do. I looked at Roots Magic (which was at version 4 at the time) and Legacy (also ver 4 and Deluxe which had my reports). I settled on Legacy Deluxe and have absolutely NO regrets. I carry a copy of my files on my iPad which I can update and sync easily. No internet connections required as I do my research from files I own (electronic or paper), a library, my cousins house or wherever I am! And I use Evernote for data gathering, etc. and an electronic repository before posting to Legacy. I still have a world connect subscription which I use. But accumulation of data is not on unless it has been placed there by a relative on their personal trees. This works for me. I have not trusted ancestry to hold my data for years. Just my 2 cents.

  452. Errol Genet

    Ancestry’s decision to abandon FTM can only be due to cold blooded business realities. Were FTM considered a profit center, it would continue to be supported. The decision can be seen as an admission of failure by those responsible at Ancestry. In the process, Ancestry has alienated countless FTM users. The one way to salvage the situation for Ancestry is to quickly forge relationships with other full featured genealogy software vendors allowing them to access Ancestry resources in the same manner as FTM. Vendors such as Family Historian and Roots Magic stand ready it step in if Ancestry will cooperate. Will you?

  453. Jane

    I am disappointed by the recent short sighted business actions of especially since your customers have contributed to your wealth of knowledge and your vast financial company growth in the past. Being a long term Family Tree Maker customer and a faithful paid subscriber of at $299/annually as well as a subscriber of Fold3, I have the option to discontinue our relationship which is one I am currently pursuing. Thank you for the past as it was a lovely relationship while it lasted. I wish it could have lasted longer but alas, I am forced to take care of my own self interests as well 🙂

  454. Cathleen

    Regarding this statement made in the initial blog post:
    “You will continue to be able to access your data through the desktop software beyond Jan. 1, 2017, however over time there will be a gradual degradation of features. You can always export your tree and save it.”
    Unless you have written destructive code into the software, how will there be a gradual degradation of features? The software should work as it always has, whatever version the user is using. The only degradation of features should be the ability to sync with online ancestry, or any other feature that involves connecting to something outside of the actual software. At least, I certainly HOPE that is what is meant. Just making that statement instills a lack of trust, whatever actual meaning it has.

    I cancelled my subscription and I will continue to use Family Tree Maker while I research an alternative, which I have already started to do. It will be an alternative that does NOT rely upon anything in the cloud or with subscription fees. I see this as a money grab by and it makes me sick (along with all the other corporations who throw people aside for the almighty $$). Let’s face it, we all need to make money to pay our bills, but there’s a difference between making a decent living and just plain ripping people off. I see this move by ancestry as the latter. Someone is getting a nice big fat bonus for Christmas at ancestry!

  455. Carlotta

    Once again you have shown that you are not interested in genealogists, only in people you can suck in with your idiotic commercials. You’ll get loads of new customers, as you do every year near Christmas, but you are going to lose the real genealogists that have been loyal customers for years. I hope these new ies can support your company. Keep on dumbing down the website for those point and click idiots who all think they’re going to find out they’re related to a celebrity.

  456. john

    Why don’t you get your act together before you announce things like this. Are you so out of touch with ancestry members, that you could not anticipate that this was going to cause a ruckus??? Ancestry members have questions now, but you plan on getting them answers in the coming year??? Wow, fantastic business strategy. Are any of you genealogists? I doubt it, if you were, you wouldn’t retire the best genealogy program on the market. FTM is awesome but Rootsmagic looks like something a ten year old would use. I wouldn’t use it if they gave it to me. Put FTM up for sale and make a pledge to continue to support tree sync.

  457. James Harvey

    I am not reassured at all and I will be “exploring” the cancellation of my World access subscription.

  458. Craig Sherouse

    I am a long-time user and am stunned. Unbelievable. One of the worst abuses of customers I have ever experienced. Surely you will listen to the thousands who have already blogged their outrage! Otherwise, your subscriptions will plummet.

  459. Sharon

    When I buy something, I always know there’s a chance that it will go out of style, or lose its usefulness, but I didn’t expect that FTM would go by the wayside. I only purchased it last year, and had hoped to use it for many years to come. It’s been very helpful, and it worries me that when Ancestry has to remove support in about 12-13 months, there will be features I’ve enjoyed that will no longer function. The reason that I began using FTM is the option to work on the tree when I can’t get online, and to build the tree using features that are not as easily done in the online tree. I hope you will sincerely reconsider. If you are not able to continue making new versions of FTm, please consider at least supporting the ones that are currently in use by your customers. Thank you.

  460. Aileen

    john: Family Historian is also offering a discount to FTM users, through the end of January. You can find comparison charts by Googling “Roots Web vs Family Historian,” or other combinations in your word search. One comparison site is here:

    Family Historian Version 6 seems to be one of thee top-rated software programs out there. I watched their “tour” video and their program looks very much like what we are used to in FTM, with some added features I liked very much. In addition, they are also trying to get Ancestry to let them access their records as “web hints” (they currently have web hints to My Heritage), which may interest some who keep their Ancestry subscription. Family Historians welcome page for FTM users is here:

    This is yet one more company welcoming FTM users with open arms!

  461. Terry Bond

    I tried to post this last night, but it never showed up, so I’m posting it again.

    Kendall I think you are seriously missing the point. What happens after January 1, 2017 when I can no longer sync my Family Tree Maker database on MY computer to At that point I won’t be able to keep my online tree updated unless I have to enter all information twice, once into FTM and once online. I would NEVER trust my many year’s worth of data to only be stored online. I WILL keep it on my computer in some software program. I ordered RootsMagic yesterday since they were having a sale to use as a backup if I need it. They seem to be invested it keeping their software up to date if/when some day Windows changes their operating system and FTM ceases to work.
    “After January 1, 2017, features that require connectivity to Ancestry, such as TreeSync, uploading and downloading trees and media, and Web Search, may no longer be supported.”
    I have at times had issues with my database on my computer and have had to download it from my tree on to restore it. So now if that ever happens again after Jan 2017, I’m screwed and all my year’s worth of work is gone?

    I hate your “New Ancestry” website layout, so I could care less if you add reporting capability to it because I won’t be using it.
    My main concern is that I have purchased 5 DNA tests. I have found out so much more about my husband’s family than we ever knew before. I never just except what other users have in their trees as gospel, but by being able to verify tree information with DNA matches and other sources I have been able to add to our tree.
    I want to be able to continue to use to do my research, but so many angry subscribers are pulling their trees or making them private. Your misguided decision to drop FTM is going to seriously impact the value of And unless you allow another software company to sync their trees to the way FTM does how will I get new leaves to investigate since as I said I have no intention of adding data to both my local tree and online tree, which will make my online tree out of date.
    The arrogance in your response is mindboggling. You are NOT hearing what your subscribers want. That’s bad business. You are probably too young to remember the “new coke” fiasco, but go look it up. What a disaster that was. Don’t make the same mistake!
    7,759 comments on the original blog post and now that people have discovered this response the comments are starting to pile up here too. If as you said you “truly value us and customers and our feedback”, then LISTEN to it and fix this mess!

  462. Brett Cox

    The bottom line is that you’re trying to sell this change to a community of users that treasure wrinkled pieces of paper and books with their bindings in process of turning to dust while excitingly digging through ancient archive drawers in darkened rooms. In my opinion, I believe that you have lost touch with your core customers who habitually renew subscriptions year after year in the same manner national politicians wander away from understanding how much a trip to the grocery store costs.

    This is a community of people that have had their hopes of finding a solution to complex puzzles dashed because they learned there had been a fire. These are sometimes dedicated researchers who have reached complete dead ends because someone misfiled a probate record in the wrong box, not knowing if it happened yesterday or 80 years ago. Asking them to rely only on website database or cloud based service where they do not have direct control of when the data is available to them is hard pill to swallow. There is great fear in the community of losing (or being unable to access) years upon years of difficult and frustrating work that has resulted in them being able to better understand their history.

    I know that discontinuing support for the Family Tree Maker software does not end the ability to continue using the software…I have many programs that I still use that were sold by developers who are no longer in business or they no longer support my favorite version. It is the uniqueness of the combination of FTM with that has lead us to mutual benefit. We, the genealogists, have the ability to use a wonderful suite of tools that interact well and you, the company, have had financial success selling software, subscriptions and mining vast quantities of big data. The apps are fantastic for on-the-go reference but impractical to use for serious research. The website is great for research but hard for serious genealogists to ensure they have their 2 sources to validate every fact in the tree.

    True, the “New Year’s Resolution” genealogists will still get a membership to and they will be profitable because they only increase the resource load for a short period of time like a new gym membership and then slowly fade into inactivity resulting in them paying monthly dues but not putting wear and tear on the equipment. The less profitable hard-core genealogists use resources all year long but they are loyal to a fault and will continue to renew year after year because it’s just what we do. We need to have our memberships because of a spark of an idea erupts at any time day or night and we need to be able to look something up or chase down a lead. *WE* are the recurring revenue stream and the reason the company can perform long term outlook calculations. I believe that Ancestry will see significant impact to the strategic financial models with this change. Short term savings by discontinuing the software vs. long term stability.

    For the users, we need to understand that the business decision has been made and they will see it through to conclusion now that the path has been set. I do not believe that any amount of comments, letter writing, complaints, blog post responses or sending nuts in the mail will alter the course like the fans of the television show “Jericho” did several years ago reviving it from cancellation for one last season. The best way to impact this situation is from a financial perspective. If enough users end their subscriptions and remove their data from to the point where they company sees an impact in their quarterly statements, then we will see change and emergency strategy sessions on how to bring the numbers back up. Or….we could all send nuts and inundate the CEO with what grows on trees =)

  463. douggrf

    It is very sad to see that the company is being driven by headstrong management individual opinions of what customers really want. This is like no company should ever be driven unless it is an outcome in oblivion.
    Real company’s really listen to and have the heartbeat of the customers pulsing in their existence. Collective sound management collaboration would be the order of the day. Not this kind of thing going on at Ancestry. Sad, sad, sad!

  464. Barbara lewis

    I read about your organization including your third quarter earnings. Ancestry is making a ton of money. Why then no support for FTM?

  465. David Ives

    This sudden announcement certainly smacks of nothing but contempt for your clients — including those of us who are paying $300 per year (at least for now) for World Deluxe access to the Ancestry site. Giving the public less than a month’s notice that you will stop selling the software that we depend upon? Contempt. Not already having in place agreements and functionality of other software packages (e.g., Legacy, RootsMagic) being able to fully integrate with your site and databases? Contempt. This certainly smacks of a corporate decision that was poorly thought through and which displays minimal concerns for those paying to use your content. Perhaps corporate needs to be reminded that they are NOT the only “fish in the sea.”

  466. Ian

    This is clearly a decision that has been taken by a bunch of merchant bankers (reverting to type as aptly described by their nickname in British rhyming slang – “w**nkers”). This decision is an attempt to milk profits out of a company whose business they didn’t understand, and haven’t even tried to. They saw a company that appeared to be making money and appeared to be on a growth curve driven by the availability of technology. But they forget to notice that its core business only succeeded because it had some unique selling points, and it is now throwing them away. If I were a shareholder, I’d be telling the Board that the management is either incompetent or lacks the guts to tell the Board that its short term decision to put profit first by stopping supporting the desktop software and relying on the cheaper less comprehensive website will kill a goose that could be laying golden eggs. There’s no way that a web site could be created at the same or lower cost than one that offers the same sophistication as is possible in the desktop FTM software. You only have to look at the revision of the web site that took place recently, with Life Story for Dummies as its proudest claim to be an advance. All that proves is that any idiot can design and write pretty pages in hypertext.

  467. Bill

    This is a huge, huge mistake. Why would any business make such a decision without direct inputs from its customer base? And what a crass response!! “we’re looking into ways to bring desired features from Family Tree Maker into the online experience – such as report functionality or the ability to replace one instance of a change throughout your entire family tree.” “we are exploring possible relationships with other desktop software solutions.” How is it that can make such a decision without having solutions beforehand? How can say that they have the customer in mind when there is such blatant disregard for the customer going into this decision. Obviously, “don’t bother us with the facts, we have already made up our minds.”
    In order to meet the stringent requirements for sourcing in line with the publication “Evidence Explained”, completely redesigned the FTM software after junking version 16/2006. And it took 4 years for the newer version of FTM to incorporate many of the report features of the old software demanded by many genealogists. Now all of that effort is down the drain. Looks like the venture capitalists have taken over and are interested in only the vast searchable data base which we have to pay for (and should, this isn’t cheap), and don’t care about the real genealogy that each of us has to do on our private computers, using all other sources, not just And this is the rub, as pointed out by others, we will eventually have to pay to continually access our own family data on, because the VC will require it for the bottom line.
    The essence of genealogy is sourcing. Without doing this rigorously, we really have no family tree. And yet the online oservice does not come close to the desktop software. And look at how many family trees there are online without adequate sources or none at all. There is not a heavy emphasis from to provide sources, even with the limited resources, and there should be. This is bad for genealogy, in general.
    And how about those large format charts necessary for family reunions; need a 5-foot screen pulling in the data from the internet. And how do you share family data with family members without them having to access a completely foreign web site. This is where FTM is invaluable.
    And documenting the family history in a book for the family is important, and FTM is invaluable for this effort. There is no such capability in the online software. FTM provides the necessary interfaces for producing a family history book. I have done two books, requiring desktop software.
    As to the response that “the customers’ needs are best served elsewhere”, what better way is there than FTM to rigorously document the results of genealogy research than the desktop FTM. The online option doesn’t even come close.
    There is a time and place for the cloud, but this is not one of them. Bad decision.

  468. Alan K.

    I am not an Ancestry subscriber but planned to be after first of year. Not now!! I am looking into Legacy and Roots Magic. I have used Ancestry through Library and I find the new format HORRID. I have been at genealogy since Jan. 1966. I will not put my info in the cloud and have to pay to have it reside there. If I do not pay it will be gone .

  469. Your customers have spoken as shown above. I am appalled at your decision and cannot believe the time I put into creating something now to be rendered useless. Why would I want to put in another year’s worth of work to be flushed with the rest of it? I am cutting my ties with Ancestry and FTM now and will keep my tree as a “dead” reference only. I hope that your company’s bottom line suffers as a reflection of your customers’ deep disappointment.

  470. Jan

    This has been such a shock – like many have said before me. Please reconsider this decision. I am utterly disappointed in Ancestry that you have let us all down so badly.

  471. Brenda

    I didn’t hear the right answer to all our complaints. Should have known that when you purchased Broderbund FTM, Genealogy Forum, started DNA, and changed the ancestry,com format that you did not have your customers in mind, only your bottom line. The new is terrible, too hard to find what I am looking for. I have complained and complained to no avail. Before you drop FTM, seems you would have made your customers happy with the new Ancestry. I too have already put legacy and rootsmagic on my computer. After the holidays I will be removing all my trees from Ancestry and will cancel my subscription to Ancestry. I will go back to reasearching the old fashioned way or use your competition, I have never liked the fact that I put my hard to find genealogy your site and you charged others to view it. That is why my tree is private. I will share with anyone who asks but do not what you to benefit from my hard work. Genealogy Forum was the best question and answer site online and still would be if you hadn’t bought it and then closed it. Selfish bottom line company,

  472. Deborah

    I too am very disappointed at this decision. what I am most concerned about is the loss of the usefulness of the package on my hard drive once FTM is no longer supported and enhanced. I only use the facility to upload to enable me to access my tree via the I-pad app (which I agree is pretty awful but its useful when away from home). I see the desk top version as the master copy, not the online one. This change will simply mean that Ancestry loses its access to my family tree data because it will now stay on my computer and wont be in the cloud.
    It might be helpful if Ancestry could publish an unbiased assessment of the alternative options – perhaps they could provide a link to each of the main ones, so we can use the free trials before deciding which one to use in future.

  473. Dwight

    Why would you consider deleting the #1 rated genology software that is tied directly to Ancestry. What happens when I am at a location doing research that does not have good internet access. It takes both tools, now you are taking away a you have taken away from a good research site to just another run of the mill commercial genology site. There is no single tool that does everything, but by working together FTM and Ancestry provided a valuable solution and tools that are needed to do and document proper genology research. Using the website along is only good for the curious not for hard core research.

  474. Judy

    “Most (of) Family Tree Maker … should continue to function unless a change on your computer, such as an operating system update, causes the functionality to break.”

    This is EXACTLY why we are concerned! Do you not realise that genealogy is a lifetime’s work? Do you honestly not understand that those changes to the operating systems/updates and subsequent loss of our desktop FTM are predictable and inevitable? The speed of change in the computer world is frighteningly fast. Bully for you that you so generously commit to a whole year of maintenance. It cuts no ice with me, and neither does your online cloud storage. It is totally unsuitable as the single working repository for valuable data such as this – ask anyone who’s lost work due to hackers, breakdowns, viruses, or simple cessation of services.

    What if your company ceases trading? Where would we be then? Well, I’m sorry, I’m not going to be around to find out. I am 100% unimpressed by your damage limitation speech and will be deserting Ancestry just as Ancestry is planning to desert me.

  475. Tina Glen-Riddell

    Change often upsets people especially when the change removes use of a product that has “done the job” admirably for quite some time. The syncing feature has been an easy way to use ancestry for research and keep a master copy on a desktop. Sure the software will still work but the sync. feature will be missed. AND that is beside the horendus update scheme to ancestry on line. So cluttered and not arranged on screen at all well. A very good product has been rendered very poor at a stroke, in my opinoin

  476. Cynthia

    Both Family Historian 6 and Roots Magic have discounted deals on their products for former users of FTM. Both are highly rated on the list of top ten genealogy software products. I enjoyed FTM, but I’m not putting one more moment of effort into it knowing there is no future support. I’ve already purchased my new product and uploaded the information/photos without a hitch.

  477. Kevin J Enser

    I just made 5 of my trees private and will not renew my ancestry subscription. Ancestry owns findagrave. How soon before they charge to use that? I no longer trust Ancestry.

  478. Stewart Reeves

    To Ancestry management – Wake up,people! You have thousands of unhappy customers and we can’t ALL be wrong!

  479. B.

    The negative publicity generated by the decision to scrap Family Tree Maker combined with the forced move to New Ancestry were bad moves across the board for Ancestry. Both decisions will now negatively impact Ancestry’s highly successful DNA product. We will still get new DNA matches, and in my case, lots of them since I descend from “old Colonials,” but fewer and fewer of our matches will have a usable Public tree attached to their DNA results. Yes, my DNA match list is already cluttered over now with DNA dabblers who are only interested in their ethnic admixture. However, I just got THE DNA match I had been waiting and hoping for just before Thanksgiving, the match I needed to prove one whole family line of descent. My match happened to have a public tree. I truly feel a great deal of empathy for adoptees and others searching for their family. I personally know how the trickle-down effect of Ancestry’s decisions about FTM and New Ancestry, as well as the high price of Ancestry’s subscription service, are already affecting the usability of their DNA product, just from the jump in the number of my matches with no trees, and the jump in matches who have recently made their trees private. I too have made all my trees private for all the accounts I manage.

  480. Graham Beard

    Wow! 7,777 complaints on the original blog and a further 513 on this one (at time of writing). Looks like RootsMagic et all are set to receive a massive membership boost in the coming weeks!

  481. Graham Beard

    Wow! 7,777 comments on the original blog and 513 (to date) on this one. Rootsmagic et all are set to get a massive membership boost over the coming weeks!

  482. Michael

    Based on this response by Mr. Hulet it appears that Ancestry is determined to retire FTM regardless of what their customer base is trying to tell them. When you think about it however, the decision to drop FTM fits right into the activities at Ancestry over the past year or two. The management team seems to be caught up in a continuous chain of bad decisions (always the result of bad management), totally oblivious to the needs and wants of the customer.

    First they spend who knows how many millions of dollars on the “Who Do You Think You Are” TV program which is no where close to a real ancestry research experience. How many of us are able to travel around the world and meet with specialists to gather data for our tree? And to be honest who really gives a damn about some celebrities’ ancestors? Just think how much better FTM could have been had they used all of that money they spent on the TV show on software development.

    Then they change the online Ancestry to that Mickey Mouse “New Ancestry” and force everyone to use it whether they like it or not. I guess they have never heard the old saying “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it”. I haven’t seen a single positive comment about the “New Ancestry” from a customer in any of these posts. Most software developers create a beta site to get customer feedback before making a major change but apparently “Kendall Hulet and his team” know more about what you and I need or want than we do.

    And have you noticed that they have been offering quite a few half price deals for subscriptions for the past year or so? Apparently their cash flow is drying up. You would think that they would be smart enough to do some research on how their customer’s use their products and services, but again they think they know more than we do. Most of us do not need a continuous subscription after our tree(s) are built so we drop the subscription due to the high cost. Rather than developing a reduced rate/reduced access subscription plan they ignore their customer’s needs and lose that revenue (a little cash flow from lots of users is better than none at all).

    It’s also obvious that they do not understand how people really use FTM along with access. If they did then they would know that FTM is THE reason that most people have a subscription to Ancestry in the first place. They certainly have the “cart before the horse” on this issue. Makes you wonder if Kendall Hulet has even built a family tree that goes any farther back than his grandparents?

    I suspect however that the damage has already been done and Mr. Hulet blew any chance of “righting the ship” with this pathetic B*** S*** response. Sounds just like a dishonest politician with his foot in his mouth doesn’t it?

    I have been a loyal user of FTM and Ancestry for many years and extended my family tree to over 4800 people. It has been fun but it’s time to move elsewhere now that Ancestry has “shot themselves in the foot”. Their next bad decision will probably put them completely out of business (if this one doesn’t) so I am going to jump ship before it sinks!!!!

    I just downloaded the Legacy and RootsMagic free versions to evaluate and determine which one I will be moving to (probably next week). So Mr. Hulet, if Ancestry somehow survives this catastrophic mistake I hope you will be happy with your “New Ancestry”, I for one will NOT be using it!

  483. Monica Pattangall

    For someone who deals with the amount of genealogical data that I do, it is crucial to have this year’s advance notice on the software’s demise. For that, thank you. It allows me to trial test alternatives and create a migration plan. Please choose a successor partner as soon as possible. There will be a massive learning curve if it is not one of the two on which I am running trials: Legacy & Roots Magic.

    On the other hand, although I will continue to subscribe to Ancestry for its deep databases, there will no longer be a need for me or anyone with a desktop client to keep any tree permanently online in, public OR private. Without full integration, it will be pointless and without benefit. .

    Although uploading the occasional gedcom to the Mothership for a fishing expedition would be a reasonably useful exercise, you will no longer get our personal photos and documents and other goodies for free under that scenario, and when I have exhausted the fishing in any area I would certainly delete the tree.

    So … my preliminary plan is
    1. Complete my two trials and choose an alternate client.
    2. Migrate each of my databases to the new client and do post-migration housecleaning.
    3. Find an online host … parameters not yet determined. Purpose: to give me mobile read-only access to data to respond to personal or email queries on the fly.
    4. Once everything is stable, delete all my trees from Ancestry online.

    I think about 18 months should do it, assuming you announce a partner/successor in the next six months. Two years if you wait until the last flea is dead to let your customers know.

  484. Andrew S

    Mr. Hulet,
    I appreciate that you’ve posted a response to our concerns, but am dismayed that you still appear fully committed to this new course. All serious researchers do NOT want to input data into their tree from a smartphone or laptop, it simply is not convenient. Desktop programmes which use a keyboard are still the most efficient way of entering data into a tree, rather than a portable device with a touchscreen. Perhaps for more casual users who simply want to copy data from other people’s trees that is not the case, but they will be here today and gone tomorrow while the more serious researchers will still be at it 10 years later. As you can see from the comments, many people here are been at this game for over 20 years. Please don’t cater for the casual user at the expense of your loyal customers who have showed this company such loyalty over the years. Please reconsider.

  485. Suzanne

    Having been a corporation CEO for a number of years I understand corporate decisions being made for the bottom line. However as a genealogist I am very disappointed at losing my Family Tree Maker software. I do understand that it can be used for an additional year with the website. I will adjust my desktop usage to other programs accordingly but I must mention my concern over how this will also affect your DNA testing market. As a customer, I currently have two of your DNA tests that I had planned on submitting for my parents. I only wish I had sent them in before your announcement. Judging from the number of experienced genealogists who are cancelling or making their trees private, that will potentially reduce the number of cousin matches and potential cousin contacts, and makes testing DNA with Ancestry much less attractive. Now, I certainly feel that my parent’s potential matches are reduced and will be further reduced in the future. My biggest concern with your company’s decision is the fallout it is creating for your company in the future. Ancestry has always been revered by professional, as well as casual genealogists. If your products are no longer going to be useful for the professional genealogists, no amount of advertising will make up for the loss of that customer base. I work as a staff genealogist at our local library and recommend Ancestry daily to many people. I have been concerned over the new Tree system on your website and some of it’s features and feel, as do many others posting here, that is simply not comparable in functionality to Family Tree Maker. I had planned to upload my tree before giving the DNA tests to my parents, but will now only upload a bare bones tree. This is so disappointing to all of us in the genealogy community as it will limit our shared information over time. Since you did beta testing with the new website, I am curious if you “beta tested” the decision to end Family Tree Maker with some of your long-standing users? I am not angry, just disappointed that a great product and it’s integrated functionality will be no more.

  486. Mike

    Well, it is obvious that we, the users, are not happy.

    If anything should have happened it should have been that FTM would become free to the online subscribers, since we pay both ways.

    I am quite sure money is the main motivator for your choice to use the cloud. I for one will not use it to store all the information I have on my family. Hence I have my own machine and software to keep my records safe……the cloud is a joke to users but is a boom to businesses. I am a programmer and will never trust an open cloud software….that is just begging for people to steal the information.

    I too just spent more money within the last week to get the Worldwide access… wish I hadn’t.

    You are about to collapse your business into nothingness….you better reconsider.

  487. Brian

    Listen up folks – privatize your trees until FTM is reinstated. Nobody will pay (or continue to pay) for an subscription if all of the family trees are privatized and inaccessible! IT’S YOUR DATA – lock it up by privatizing every family tree you have! Keep your tree(s) private until they reverse this disastrous decision!

  488. Roland Miller

    Well guess your decision will cost you thousands of customers. New technology is great but apparently you don’t know how to keep making it work to better your customers and company. This is just a poor excuse your making hoping save money one place but I’m sure that savings won’t come close to your losses from current customers. I’m not paying you just to use your web site with out what I have now or something better not something worse. Good luck saving your company.

  489. Donna Thomas

    I don’t want more online functionality. I want to be able to sync online records to my computer. Sometimes I am doing footwork in cemeteries and other places where going online is impossible, so having a fabulous tree strictly “in the cloud” is of no use to me.

  490. Derric

    I read and re-read this notice thinking it was April 1st…. unbelievable. I’ve been a FTM user since Broderbund and DOS! There are SO many reasons to not do this … many users are older and have run this for years, other programs/formats do not sync all the data correctly! Many folks (such as myself) do NOT want our data “in the cloud” and wish to continue to run programs locally. Please consider selling FTM to some other software developer that will continue it, or even making the source code available as OpenSource. Also, please do NOT put any sort of software bomb in it so that it will stop operating at some point … even without support, hopefully the software can continue to be used for decades, if necessary! I don’t personally see the need for new features, etc., but surely the software sales is enough to keep a small support team in place indefinitely (not just one year as indicated!). Unbelievably disappointed!

  491. Janet

    I am sorry Mr.Hulet but your comments do not nearly cover the users concerns. Using a tree completely on makes ancestry the owner of my research. It poorly integrates information not found on ancestry (using an outside source and inputting into is a JOKE). The locations feature is not available on HOW MANY MORE WAYS DO you need to be told WE WANT TO MAINTAIN our research OURSELVES we do not want ANCESTRY to own/reuse/LOOSE/damage our research. The last system patch you sent out I LOST 3200 individuals on my FTM file. HOW do I get that back. You want me to trust you and say everything will be alright, ancestry will take care of it. YOU DO NO EVEN have a GENEALOGIST on your executive board. DO YOU EVEN understand what your clients concerns are? ARE YOU LISTENING YET!

  492. Grace

    Glad I have seen all your comments. I agree but they clearly don’t value our custom.
    As others have said many of their recent improvements have been awful. I hate the new search its not good. The new layout is appalling do i really need to see when someones sisters or brothers were born and died. Do we have to have this cluttered and horrible layout. I am resisting moving over but when its forced on me and with these changes to FTM I am also thinking of moving elsewhere when my subscription is due to run out.
    Their shop page is still as they say selling FTM but no note stating it will be unsupported in 12 months time.
    They don’t care about us – they have got too big.

  493. Bernie

    For those of you who appear suddenly “perplexed” at the decisions of regarding the “end” of FamilyTreeMaker software development and support, check out what did to their irreplaceable DNA database (held in trust for users just like you) just last year.

    Can be trusted with family history records or DNA results – I think not!

    Interested in DNA testing … consider some alternatives …


    Post any alternative software titles to FTM and viable online platforms besides And for that matter, what about “Find-A-Grave”, recently purchased by

  494. Brian

    I just cancelled my annual subscription. I recommend everyone that has posted here do the same. Ancestry will not change their minds regarding FTM until you change their revenue stream.

  495. Mike

    Have been using FTM since the 90’s. I have had suspicions that Ancestry was going to try and move everyone to their “cloud” for the past year.
    I will not be putting my data into their “cloud” or any other entities “cloud” and then having to pay a fee to access it.
    It is my data, that I want to keep on my hard drive, period.

  496. Daniel Dubbs

    Regarding your “More Information” Post:

    1) After January 1, 2017, features that require connectivity to Ancestry, such as TreeSync, uploading and downloading trees and media, and Web Search, may no longer be supported. What does “May not be supported” actually mean?

    2) What does “You will continue to be able to access your data through the desktop software ‘beyond’ Jan. 1, 2017, however over time there will be a gradual degradation of features” actually mean? This is counter intuitive to what is stated in question 1).

    In closing, as most of us realize the world of information is moving toward the cloud… That being said, you fail to understand the very real connection to family that our data represents. Safe, secure, private is important. Many of us rely on FTM to be that ‘footlocker’ where we safely organize our electronic research (with references to our paper research) so one day, we can hand over to our next generation. You are really asking for all us to pay for that ‘foot locker’ in perpetuity and then one day hand over our login information and our annual bill to our descendants. It is similar to paying rent on your gravesite forever.

    The comments I have read to date speak to the use of your web site and FTM software in concert. Your decisions however, are based on a business plan that speaks to an all electronic generation. You will never replace the smell of an old newspaper or an original document from great grandpa with 1’s and 0’s….. never. I believe your decisions are skewed toward the believe that ‘your way’ is best for us, the family researcher, without considering ‘how’ many of us actually use your tools. Second, the profit motive has clearly replaced customer support as your new mission statement.

    Thanks for your time (whoever reads this) and Merry Christmas. Be assured, the one thing I will not be giving for Christmas is FTM or a subscription to

    As a PS: Your comment section of your blog is a clear example of your “lack of customer support!” Your ‘Customer Service” provides a ’45 letter by 3 line’ box to enter our many comments. I defy you to try typing a anything meaningful in such small area! Is this an example of things to come with your all online approach?

  497. KC

    I feel traumatized. Anger has never been the best emotion to covet. I am beyond anger and in disbelief, attempting to comprehend the pathetic disregard shown by decision makers at for not providing an avenue for a smooth sync transition to a respectable service that provides for synchronized on-line and off line capabilities.

    Trust-Family-Respect for one another … are these values to be forgotten? Is this your new business norm? It is apparent that this ancestry/FTM decision and announcement has betrayed the trust of thousands who have supported you for years.

    Despite innuendos over the past year, saying that changes were indeed coming, couldn’t you have been more forthright with your announcement? Couldn’t you have just said “We regret that due to financial losses and interests by and FTM, we will no longer support our product as purchased after the deadline of 12-31-2016. We have made no attempt to offer a synchronized resolution for the outcome of our decision.”

    Many of us are capable of moving on and will most likely survive … but not without deep wounds of betrayal that could have been completely avoided with a true, transparent and caring demeanor. I can’t speak for others, but I can honestly say that you have lost my respect and therefor my trust. It is with deep regret that any future relationship with will forever carry this tainted experience. Still hoping for a non-passive resolution ….

  498. Doris

    When my cousin passed away three months ago, the extended family had to come to grips with how to share the information in the several filing cabimets in her “genealogy room”. Many of us had portions of the same pedigree with some differences in information and sources. Our solution was to put this on in public trees; which seemed to us the best of all worlds with its ability to sync with FTM and with FamilySearch Family Tree using an LDS account. Added incentive was the fact that searchable images of many of the records we need are online at Ancestry, and it is so easy to attach them to the online tree. But the ability to sync and download all of that research to FTM was central to our plan. And now Ancestry just pulled the rug out from under us. Please reverse that decision. If not, give Roots Magic the ability to function with a tree sync and ability to download all the sources and notes we attach to our online Ancestry Trees. Soon. Thank you.

  499. Deborah

    Question: I’ve been trying to import the Gedcom file that I downloaded from Ancestry online into other programs (RootsMagic,Legacy). Others have said that they are able to import everything – photos, documents, etc. But I don’t get anything but the text data. Does the Gedcom file have to come from FTM on the computer, not the online site? Thanks for any help on this.

  500. Derric

    Hello again … I have read and re-read the post and I would like clarification on these points, please: You (Kendall) say: “You will be able to use the software, exactly as you do now, including TreeSync, for at least the next year.” I’d like a flat statement that we can continue using FTM as we use it (offline) now, INDEFINITELY (don’t care about Tree SYnc). And the next statement: “however over time there will be a gradual degradation of features.” I’d like to hear a flat statement that FTM will NOT be crippled in any way such that it will slowly cease to function. In other words for both, I’d like to know, clearly, for sure, that the FTM program will continue to work on my local PC as long as I choose to use it locally (and Microsoft Windows upgrades allow). Thanks. Oh, and again, I’d like to again request that at least you make the software available to the OpenSource community!

  501. David

    The “EVIL EMPIRE” strikes again! has truly become Ancestry (dot) CON! This is not the first time has destroyed irreplaceable data in the name of corporate profit. In 2014 much of the Ancestry DNA database was arbitrarily destroyed, as this article documents … ! continues to score a big ZERO on the “responsibility, stewardship and ethics” test. Now FamilyTreeMaker is on the “chopping block” Can the decision be reversed? Ask those who had their DNA files “tossed into the garbage” in 2014. Many of those very tests were of individuals who are no longer with us and retesting is impossible. Will you trust Ancestry DNA with your precious DNA samples – seriously? I wouldn’t trust this organization with a “URINE SAMPLE”. If you want to explore your DNA and how it can compliment your other genealogical research, there are better alternatives. Try . was built on the back of your research and countless hours spent compiling your family history. So much for their corporate stewardship of your hard work. What to do … ? As others have suggested:

    1. make your tree(s) PRIVATE and deny using your work as their resource;

    2. CANCEL any long-term SUBSCRIPTIONS you have, provided these can be used until they expire; and

    3. explore ALTERNATIVE SOFTWARE and ONLINE PLATFORMS (as miracles are in short supply with


  502. Carol

    I did see this question asked earlier, but I’m still wondering whether the data, photos, documents etc that we have entered on our FTM trees (which have synced with our online trees) or online trees for non FTM users, would actually be removed from Ancestry if we delete our Trees?
    Up to now many of us have been prepared to share information we have. However if we delete our tree, some other member may have saved Our information to their tree. So really it will still be on Ancestry.
    I have kept my online trees private, so I presume that if I delete them, should Ancestry use any of that information after that date they would be in breach of data information etc?
    Anyone any ideas? It’s a pity Ancestry have lost their customers trust.

  503. Bill_Sieb

    The text of the negative reviewI just put onto the BBB website. is a very useful site for genealogical research that I have been using for several years in conjunction with their desktop software Family Tree Maker, which is a very powerful tool for entering, correcting and standardizing data. With it I have been able to generate and export to a spreadsheet data that has been useful in cemetery explorations. On December 9 Ancestry, without warning, announced that they would be discontinuing the sale of this software as of 12/31/15 and offering one additional year of support, after which they would allow the software to sunset as unsupported software does. Despite the outpouring of complaints on their blog by long time users who are serious about genealogical research they continue to show contempt for their end users by suggesting that they will “explore” ways to remedy very few of the specific issues users of the software have raised. They would force people to rely on their childish website, via a subscription, to access the information that some users have spent a lifetime amassing and that they freely share with the “genealogy is a fad” crowd that Ancestry seems to be relying on.

  504. Lee Ann

    I echo many of the comments here. This is a very poor decision on Ancestry’s part. I purchased Family Tree Maker because of its integration with the Ancestry search engine and for its reporting capabilities, plus the fact that I did not have to upload to the cloud until I was confident with the accuracy of my records. I have spent years populating my family tree. Now I need to find a way to save all of this time, effort and data onto another service provider (hopefully one that does truly value its customers). I resent having to spend more time and effort but I am not reassured by cheerful recommendations to “stay tuned.” No faith at all in this company; I will be looking at options early in 2016, when my subscription expires. Ancestry: there are options for us out there, you know.

  505. Ian

    Ancestry have made a major misjudgement. They assumed that they may lose a few Members by ditching FTM, but ultimately gain more from the changes. WRONG! They should have canvassed opinion and listened to existing Members before, not after, the Announcement. I shall certainly ride off into the Sunset with my Gedcom.

  506. Bill_Sieb

    This and the previous blog on the subject has gone from no CAPTCHCA to a CAPTCHCA to a note that the comment has been approved to now “Thank you. Your comment will be displayed as soon as it is approved by a moderator.”…interesting

  507. David A

    Unless Ancestry brings back Family Tree Maker in its entirety, I’m no longer an Ancestry customer. I spent 20 years of using the software and do not appreciate Ancestry telling me what software I can or cannot use. I’ve already downloaded all of my data to Rootsmagic free program. I will most likely buy this program and forget that Ancestry ever existed. That’s how they feel towards me. Sad.

  508. Hulet, if you listen carefully [place your ear to the ground], there is a rumbling sound, like a herd of cattle coming from a distance. Perhaps you can’t hear it, or recognize what it means to you and your superiors. This sound is your screwed-over customer base, your loyal, trusting customers paying your salaries, gathering their anger like a storm, feeling betrayed and violated by your breathtakingly stupid decision to pull the plug on FTM. Did you think we wouldn’t react as if we were punched in the gut by a jerk such as yourself with a smirk on your face? Can you be so clueless to not understand that people like myself [paying $30/month, not to mention previous FTM and DNA costs], are the backbone of your business, and without us you will flounder and then fail? WELL UNDERSTAND THIS: FOR MY PART, I WILL BE CANCELING MY SUBSCRIPTION IN THE NEAR FUTURE AND MOVING MY BUSINESS SOMEWHERE ELSE.

  509. I’m very disappointed with this decision to discontinue FTM. I will make this short, being everything has pretty much been said. FTM is the backbone of my Family Tree, & searching. Ancestry is just a plus, a very necessary one, they are intertwined & both are needed & neither one should be dropped. I would hope that the staff at Ancestry will look once again at this decision & rethink it.

  510. Jan

    Message in reply to Deborah.

    I made the same mistake with one of my trees. If you download a GEDCOM from your ancestry tree it will only transfer the text. To transfer all your media, documents etc. with your tree you have to link and synch your tree from Ancestry to FTM then once its in FTM create a GEDCOM from FTM which will include the media etc. for you to upload to other software. I hope this helps. Good luck. This sort of help is what I think we are all going to miss the most. So very sad.

  511. RobinH

    Kendall, I think your analysis might be flawed. While it is probably true that the market for desktop software is declining, I would guess that it might not be true that the market for desktop software for genealogists is declining. Where is the evidence that we genealogists want to do our work on smart phones and mobile apps? I see two pieces of evidence that seem to point to your having been wrong with your assumptions. One is that, according to your own most recent SEC 10-Q filing, you have failed to “monetize” the mobile app market. The second is that your own customers seem to be migrating – not to mobile apps but to other companies that still offer decent desktop software for genealogists.

  512. Mardi

    I’ve taken a couple of days to mull this over and to see if Ancestry would give us further details or some reassurance (this post doesn’t). Just canceled my subscription.

  513. Ian

    Hulet should eat ‘humble pie’ and admit the decision is wrong; he has history as in 2007 he had to apologise and withdraw his Internet Biographical Collection database. The majority of current genealogists are elderly and invest a large amount of money in their research. Those he is targeting are young ‘Smart Phone Users’ who will only develop an interest in later life.

  514. OH NO! I am one of’s 1st customers and I will definitely NOT RENEW renew my account unless I can upload to with software that is stored in my computer at home. I am very, very displeased. I can’t even get a family group sheet with the New Ancestry. Am I to hand over MY DATA and not be able to access it unless I am a paying customer? Why would anyone choose to keep their family tree where the only way to reach it is by paying for eternity? I FEEL BETRAYED.

  515. George Krell

    I am very disappointed as everyone else, My first version of FTM was given to me by my kids for Fathers Day in 1994. It was ver.II put out by Banner Blue. Since that time I have purchased 17 versions. Although I am not a dedicated, 24 hrs a day genealogist I do constantly enter info. into my program , what do I do with 21years worth of computer entries? What I know about gedcom is that it will not transport all the information I have entered. I am also 70 yrs. and don’t have the energy to re type every thing I have done. SO WHAT DO I AND THOSE LIKE ME DO NOW??????

  516. Roger Hastings

    Poor PR, Kendall. Thousands of comments and you fail to hear what your customers are telling you very loudly. WE DON’T WANT FTM TO GO AWAY. We like using it, we like the interface with Now we’re being told that if we want a database that will be serviced, we have to purchase a program from another company. We all know it will be years before the sophistication and interface catch up to the current FTM program. You’ve bewildered your customer base and have created quite the cloud of distrust between us and you – and that, my friend, isn’t going away.

  517. Jan

    Message in reply to Deborah’s.

    I made the same mistake with one of my trees.

    If you create a GEDCOM from your tree on Ancestry it will only transfer the text. You need to download your Ancestry tree to FTM (link & synch). To do that go to ‘New tree’ in FTM (Plan view) and select ‘Download tree from Ancestry’. Select the tree you want to download and whether you want it to manually or automatically synch. Once you have the tree downloaded to FTM you can then Export the tree including all the attached media or any part of it from the file menu. Hope this helps. Good luck.

  518. J.D.

    I’ve been a faithful user – and huge fan – of FTM for almost 20 years. I’ve recommended it to others, who have purchased it. This followup statement does not address the real issue – Ancestry forsaking it’s customers. I expect many (most?) will not renew, but rather will find acceptable alternates.

  519. Steve W.

    I just voted with my wallet to send a message to the majority owners of the company (Permira funds) by cancelling my automatic renewal. I may be one only one of 2 million paying customers, but it feels good to make a statement. If more do the same, they may reverse their decision. Despite the rhetoric of their mission statement, the investors main goal is to make a profit. A loss of customers tends to mean a loss of profit. That’s the beauty of the free market. Someone else will fill their shoes.

  520. Kevin Bowman

    I have already resigned effective at the end of my current membership period. If Ancestry had committed to keep syncing trees for another 12 months, they could have kept my subscription. There is much information in my FTM tree that does not appear on my Ancestry tree. If they don’t snyc, I have to choose one or the other. I choose not to lose work.

  521. Tom Naylor

    I would like to add my voice to the many others on this blog expressing an unhappiness with Besides the FTM decision, I am also very unhappy about the move to the new version on-line. There are problems with the new version that have been apparent for months and I have seen no effort to address these issues. Ancestry has apparently become a large enough corporation that it no longer feels the need to listen to it’s customers. Well, I worked for MCI and where are they today? Gone!!!

  522. Bud

    I won’t bother with my singular opinion, which mirrors the others posted here. Rather, let me ask, “Why?” Why would Ancestry forsake the vast majority of their paying customers on this issue? What software application, if any, will replace FTM?

  523. GLeavitt

    I think they are trying to draw in a younger demographic. As a professional genealogist, I can tell you that of the hundreds of clients I have had- 3 have been under the age of 40. You are not going to create a “stir” by offering a technology that appeals to 20 year olds. These kids are not suddenly going to pick up genealogy because they can do it on their smart phone.

  524. On DNA … My family and I have always done our DNA testing at Family Tree DNA. based in Houston. Later Ancestry started their DNA testing.

    Most professionals in DNA prefer Family Tree DNA as the superior company to test with. . It is a great company and Bennett Greenspan will welcome you with wide open arms. That is a company and staff worth working with. You should consider transferring your DNA results to them. I don’t think you would be sorry.

  525. caith

    As a protest, I cancelled my subscription a month ago. But, at present, I can still access my tree and the trees in my account (those other trees I have created, and other trees to which I have been invited). Although I can access the list of my DNA matches, 8,500 +, I cannot access their trees without a subscription. Is this subject to change?

  526. Betty

    Re the stated decline in desktop sales – I believe most serious genealogists do in fact use desktops – why would anyone want to try viewing records such as a census on a hand-held device of any kind? As an Ancestry subscriber I was not aware that you canvased your users to determine what kind of device they were using. I personally do not have a laptop, tablet or smart phone and I do all of my research at my desk with my desktop. I can’t possibly be the only one using a desktop.

  527. Jan

    I have tried to post two messages in the last 30 minutes in response to Deborah’s question and both appear to have disappeared into the ether!!! Both came up with requests to type in numbers, the first disappeared – no trace and the second said it would be posted after it had been moderated – that too has vanished. What’s going on? Are only a portion of posts being posted? My message was just an answer to a question ….. hardly in need of blocking. Could this example of how things ‘vanish’ be a wonderful example of why no serious genealogist is ever going to rely solely on the cloud!!! Thank goodness it wasn’t my tree.

  528. Barb Norton El

    I have removed my trees from your online service and will continue to work in FTM only.
    I will continue my subscription membership with Ancestry on a month to month basis going forward as you sort through the mess you have created by making this announcement before you have all your ducks in a row.
    But…should you fail to deliver on the above points in response to the outcry from your customers…I will not hesitate to leave you in the dust. Loyalty goes both ways and it certainly hasn’t been on your side lately.

  529. caith

    Actually, you should consider transferring your dna results to GEDmatch. It is free and the upload takes less than 15 min. There you will find your dna matches from FTDNA, 23 and Me, and Ancestry (those who have chosen to upload). You will have up to 1500 matches which is their cut-off. Chromo Browser and all the tools you need for analysis. I believe GEDmatch is the ONLY place where you can do a one-to-one comparison which is essential for segment matching to prove a line.

  530. Wendy

    “We are exploring possible relationships with other desktop software solutions……” I’d like one of these solutions to be an intergration with FAMILY HISTORIAN. Web Hints within FH to Ancestry would be a big plus and help ease the pain of leaving FTM.

  531. Valerie Makkai

    I realize that many FTM users want to be able to put their information on line and interact with Ancestry or some other cloud-based data-base. I am not one of them. I don’t trust what will happen to my data once Ancestry or others get hold of it, and I will continue to store my data solely in desktop software. Mr. Hulet states that “You will continue to be able to access your data through the desktop software beyond Jan. 1, 2017, however over time there will be a gradual degradation of features. You can always export your tree and save it.” How dumb does he think we are? Of course we can export our trees and save them! The point is that if, as he says, there is a “gradual degradation of features” (whatever he means by that!) then the software itself will become useless. We have no option but to switch to another company which will provide and continue to support genealogical software.

  532. Susan Swanson Sommars

    I had planned to do a big project using Family Tree synced to I cannot believe that you are doing this. I will have to consider what to do next. I have very hard feelings towards Ancestry. You have been my go-to source for many years. You may have lost that status. And to only sell for less than a month, then only support existing software for a year … that is totally absurd and inadequate. Please reconsider.

  533. James

    Please don’t do this. I am so disappointed with this decision. The one big advantage of Ancestry and FTM was the ability to synchronise the two sites. Doing away with FTM leaves us reliant upon an internet connection and this is not always possible. FTM is useful for referencing and adding to your family tree out in the field, e.g. graveyards, where there is no internet connection or mobile phone network to permit the use of a dongle. This leaves us resorting back to the good old pen & notepad (+ any photographs) and wading through though all the information back home; so time consuming. If there is no replacement for FTM and the synchronizing facility I will be looking elsewhere.

  534. Ralph

    Well – I think we’ve gotten Ancestry’s answer to how they feel. Check out the YouTube video from Ancestry that was just received on how to download your family tree to your desktop.

    And by the way, don’t let the door hit you in the butt as you leave…

  535. Angela

    Does anyone know if you transfer your files to Roots Magic or Legacy or whatever program do the records and sources attach as well. does it at least source the data. I understand the family files and photos transfer but all the links to the data you have in Ancestry does not. So if you have a land record does it source it in new program? I understand you will not be able to view it but do we at least get the source?. Maybe census will because it is free on other sites but books, land records etal are lost for viewing. Can anyone confirm this?

    GEDCOM appears to make the transfer of genealogy data back and forth between programs easy but, in fact, there can be quite a bit of data duplication and data loss when using the GEDCOM method.

    Example: if your database program allows you to create your own events that are not part of the standard list of life events – such as First Holy Communion – that data might be exported as part of the GEDCOM file, but . . . the other program into which you import the data may not have a way to store that snippet of data. So what happens? For some programs, the data is simply dropped or is not imported. For others, the data is “dumped” into the Notes section and must be sorted out and reformatted.

    Other issues involve multimedia. If you store photos and documents, very often this data – even the links if the items are stored in another data directory – are dropped as part of the conversion to GEDCOM format.

    And sources – let’s not even go there. If you spend a lot of time citing your sources for your genealogy research – which you should do – then you will be greatly disappointed when a data transfer reformats your sources or drops them all together.
    Over 30k in my files how am I supposed to check each one to see what transfers and what is missing. Years of work and I feel like I have been violated. I am just sick over this.
    Any suggestions?

  536. Barb Norton El

    I wish the comment section had a “like” function on each comment. I and standing and cheering at the eloquent, passionate, raging comments left by each one above this post. Well done I say fellow customers!

  537. Lowell Ludford

    The most valuable asset Ancestry has is its reputation. When a company’s reputation takes a big hit, like it has with the FTM announcement, it can take up to 10 years or more to recover. In this case, the Ancestry Board of Directors can quickly minimize the damage by publicly admitting a mistake, reverse the FTM decision and promise to continue supporting and even enhancing FTM in the future. This is unlikely to happen, of course, because entrenched company directors usually circle the wagons when disaster strikes and wait in secluded denial until the damage is well past repair.

  538. Jan

    I have tried to post three messages in the last hour, two in response to Deborah’s question and the third similar to this one. They all appear to have disappeared into the ether!!! Twice it came up with requests to type in numbers, the first disappeared – no trace and the second said it would be posted after it had been moderated – that too has vanished. The third said my posts were going into Ancestry’s spam folder. What’s going on? Are only a portion of posts being posted? My message was just an answer to a question ….. hardly in need of blocking. Could this example of how things ‘vanish’ be a wonderful example of why no serious genealogist is ever going to rely solely on the cloud!!! Thank goodness it wasn’t my tree.

  539. Jan

    I have tried to post four messages in the last hour, two in response to Deborah’s question and the third similar to this one. They all appear to have disappeared into the ether!!! Twice it came up with requests to type in numbers, the first disappeared – no trace and the second said it would be posted after it had been moderated – that too has vanished. The third and fourth said my posts were going into Ancestry’s spam folder. What’s going on? Are only a portion of posts being posted? My message was just an answer to a question ….. hardly in need of blocking. Could this example of how things ‘vanish’ be a wonderful example of why no serious genealogist is ever going to rely solely on the cloud!!! Thank goodness it wasn’t my tree.

  540. Jon

    -FYI: Ported FTM2014 GEDCOM file to Family Historian, Legacy8, RootsMagic7…FH had some issues, but I gave it a “70”…Legacy8 had minor issues, not overbearing “80”…RootsMagic7 had no issues, and the GUI (IMHO) is better than Legacy “95”…Can someone from Ancestry state private trees will NEVER be accessed by internal analytic software?

  541. Michelle Doutrich

    I have been a faithful FTM user since before Ancestry bought it (Blue Banner?). I was appalled when they took all the trees that people had submitted for the World CDs (that HAD been free with FTM subscription), stopped producing the CDs, then put them all on Ancestry and charged a subscription to access the data. I for one am glad I never synced up my tree or posted a tree on Ancestry (although others with whom I shared my info did post without my consent). It’s more of the same. Additionally, even when you point out errors and show documentation, their answer is to post another tree. Phooey. Already ordered Roots Magic.

  542. spektazmocha

    And there is more – Ancestry is sharing our DNA info with another company with a GOOGLE relationship. I found that buried in a Facebook complaint. Check out their Facebook post Dec 10 at 10:58 AM and comments to the post. Not sure if it will paste here. Craig Morrison Can you clarify for us what’s partnership is with biotech company Calico? Is it true that has sold its DNA database to Calico? If so, for what purpose, and what steps are being taken to protect the privacy of those of us who have taken DNA tests from Ancestry?

    Genealogy, Family Trees & Family History Records at
    Like · Reply · 5 · Yesterday at 1:08pm
    Ancestry Hi Craig, we have commented on your other post regarding this inquiry. However, we will post our response here as well. We are working with Calico to investigate human heredity of lifespan. Details are available in this press release: and this is all the information we have available on this deal.
    Ancestry | Press Releases
    PROVO, Utah and SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., July 21, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — AncestryDNA, an industry leader in consumer genetics, and Calico, a company focused on longevity research and therapeutics, today announced an effort to investigate human heredity of lifespan. Together, they will evaluate…
    Like · Reply · Yesterday at 1:29pm
    Craig Morrison
    Craig Morrison There are no details in this press release, only vague references to longevity research. Since my DNA is part of this collaboration, I feel I have a right to know how it, and my own corresponding research and tree will be gathered and used. I also have a right to know how my privacy will be protected, The way this Press Release is written, it implies that a users name will not be stripped from DNA results, or tree data. Since Calico is a division of Google, surely you are aware that many users may have major issues with their DNA/data being involved with this deal.

    Genealogy, Family Trees & Family History Records at
    Like · Reply · 5 · Yesterday at 1:36pm
    Ancestry We apologize for any frustration, Craig. Please refer to your post to our wall for our latest response.
    Like · Reply · 1 · Yesterday at 2:39pm
    Patti Hunt
    Patti Hunt It’s sounding more and more like the people who have paid Ancestry for products are getting screwed. Time to get lawyers involved to protect our data. Check out their Facebook post Dec 10 at 10:58 AM and comments to the post

  543. karen

    Sorry Ancestry, do you not understand – NOT EVERYONE wants to upload information to cloud, in case the inevitable happens! Why fix something that isn’t broken????

  544. James Eubanks

    I just finished removing my trees from Roots Magic offered a great deal on their software, and my trees loaded into it with no problems. Online information can be accessed from other companies that are less expensive than Ancestry. I now have control over MY information! When my subscription expires in March, That’s the end of this company for me.
    Ancestry, how do you plan to make money if we end our subscriptions?

  545. Terre

    Dear Ancestry,

    You’re really not listening to us. We don’t want our trees to ONLY be “in the cloud” on your website. We want to retain control over our trees and have the main repository be on our computer and/or laptop. Maybe if Kendall Hulet had read ALL of our comments on your original blog post, instead of just “many” of the comments, you all would understand what we’re saying. Between your two blogs, there are over 8,000 comments – all negative except for one. That’s more than 8,000 very unhappy customers – and that’s just the ones that you’ve heard from. Think how many other customers aren’t even posting their displeasure on these blogs! There are probably tens of thousands of customers making other arrangements without even telling you of their concerns!

    I liked using the website TOGETHER with my FTM. Together they were a GREAT system! I liked to research using the website but I liked doing everything else on FTM, then syncing the two. I have been very happy with your service . . . until your decision now to discontinue FTM.

    I enter all my information on FTM; it is much easier to enter information into FTM than the online tree. I find the online tree very cumbersome and slow to navigate through. I use your website to research only.

    I am not afraid of new technology. I embrace new technology and love learning the new technologies. I am also very computer literate, and feel very comfortable on the computer and internet. It’s absolutely not about change. But I do not ever want to give up control of my tree by only having access to it through your website. I will NEVER do that.

    Not all of us have high speed internet – it just depends where we live if we can get that. Not everyone lives in a big city. Not all of us have reliable internet service that doesn’t go down periodically. If I take my laptop to someone’s house or to another facility where they don’t have internet, I need to be able to access my tree as I research! Don’t you get that??!!

    While I’ve got a lot of Ancestry’s records in my tree, I’ve also got a LOT of documents that I’ve paid for outside of Ancestry. I have been reading the discussion here about how you own our trees and EVERYTHING in them. It’s true folks – here’s the language from Ancestry’s Terms & Conditions:

    “By submitting User Provided Content on any of the Websites, you grant Ancestry and its Group Companies a perpetual, transferable, sublicenseable, worldwide, royalty-free, license to host, store, copy, publish, distribute, provide access to create derivative works of, and otherwise use User Provided Content submitted by you to the Websites, to the extent and in the form or context we deem appropriate on or through any media or medium and with any technology or devices now known or hereafter developed or discovered. You hereby release Ancestry and its Group Companies from any and all claims, liens, demands, actions or suits in connection with the User Provided Content you submit, including, without limitation, any and all liability for any use or nonuse of your User Provided Content, claims for defamation, invasion of privacy, right of publicity, emotional distress or economic loss. This license continues even if you stop using the Websites or the Services. Ancestry may scan, image and/or create an index from the User Provided Content you submit. In this situation, you grant Ancestry a license to the User Provided Content as described above and . . .”

    Shame on me for not knowing that before I uploaded my tree to your website. I won’t make that mistake again by uploading my tree to some other website. This is too bad because you can find some very reliable information in other trees that you can’t find elsewhere . . . as long as you’re careful about which trees you get it from. Some trees are pure junk, some trees are pure gems. I think sharing information and cooperation between genealogists is a key piece of researching. And, Ancestry, from what I’m reading it sounds like you have ruined that for the future!

    My membership subscription runs until March. So until then, I will devote as much time as I can to research and take advantage of your online records. I will then use the remaining nine months of 2016 to research what software I will purchase and move my tree to. A lot of people here seem to like Roots Magic, and that was of two (the other being Legacy Family Tree) that The Legal Genealogist recommended in her email. That will give me plenty of time to make sure my tree transfers over to the new program and everything is good.

    Through my AncestryDNA, I’ve made some great cousin connections! What a shame to lose that wonderful feature. I will be printing out all my DNA info before I leave. What a waste of paper that will be, but I’ve paid for it and I’m taking it with me!

    After I make sure I’ve covered MYSELF and all my information is safe and transferred over to another program, I will be sabotaging my online tree before deleting it because as your Terms & Conditions state, you will still own my information on your backup servers even after I delete my tree. While my tree is private, if you ever decide to make it public or use my information, you won’t know if any of the information is accurate. Imagine people using my tree information that you’ve allowed them to have and having it be so inaccurate. And then imagine having that information be re-copied over and over and over to lots of other trees. What a nightmare that will be for you! What will all that misinformation do to you Cousin Matching?

    Do you not understand how integrated everything was between, FTM and AncestryDNA? You made it so fun and very easy to research. That combination put you above all your competitors. I will miss that for sure, but I will survive and I will continue researching my family history.

  546. Jere_Becker

    Let’s be frank; FTM is *not* that good of a program. It does not “work and play well” with other programs, making sharing much harder than it needs to be. I am thrilled that Ancestry is “exploring possible relationships with other desktop software solutions that would make it possible for their products to integrate with Ancestry API”, especially if those desktop publishers include RootsMagic, which I switched over to a few years ago – and would never have used FTM again except for the lack of sync with is a *great* service; it makes researching so much easier.

  547. Wayne

    TOO BIG TO FAIL – I don’t think so! is certainly BIG. The entity that became gobbled up,,, and FamilyTreeMaker software, as well as many other genealogical enterprises, along the way to December 2015. Has failed? Absolutely, has failed in so many ways. FAIL 1: has seriously REDUCED COMPETITION in the field of “family history”. Many of the acquisitions by have become mainly ADVERTISING PLATFORMS for products. This EVIL
    EMPIRE has grown at the expense of lost alternative options for the family historian. FAIL 2: has introduced and promoted such inaccuracy in its online family trees as to render any information in the public and private trees “suspect”. In fact, the “f******ing leaf hints” (that’s “fluttering” leaf hints) which invite the immediate incorporation of data into one’s own tree are an ABOMINATION to accuracy. Recently, I was reviewing a public tree which covered part of my own extended family. Imagine my surprise when I found a father who was born three hundred years before his son or, worse still, when I found my grandfather, who lived next door to me for twenty-one years, had acquired a second wife in addition to my grandmother and six additional children in addition to my mother. Clearly, someone had used the “fluttering leaf hint” to find a man with the same name as my grandfather, and without regard for dates and places, had merged the two data sets into their own “FANTASY TREE”. A researcher who comes across my family tree and the “FANTASY TREE” may not do the research necessary to determine what the facts are. In truth, any serious family historian has to take anything in public and private trees on “with a grain of salt” and perform their own validation from original sources. The new online format at is another “NAIL IN THE COFFIN” of responsible and accurate family history collaboration. FAIL 3: has “UTTERLY FAILED” the STEWARDSHIP test. No better example of “PUTTING PROFIT BEFORE ETHICS” exists with than the destruction of a significant portion of the Ancestry DNA database in 2014 without regard to the longitudinal value of the data or the concerns of the contributors of that data. Are you really going to entrust your DNA data to a corporation that may at any moment decide to “DUMP YOUR DNA IN THE
    GARBAGE” because the profit margins are too low. Genealogical research through DNA is a long process and not to be trusted to a corporation mainly interested in “SHORT TERM PROFITS”. does not pass the “SNIFF TEST” here either.

    “EPIC FAILS” on the part of and we are still “wringing our hands” at the prospect of osing updates and support for FamilyTreeMaker. We have a year of support, at least – so we are told. In the past I used one version of FTM for six years and only upgraded when I became afraid that my data was getting so old it might not transfer correctly to a new version of FTM. There are several software alternatives still around to FamilyTreeMaker. However, I have used FTM since it was introduced by Broderbund Software and the “pre-Windows version” ran under DOS. Like most of you, I would prefer not to have to change.

    So what is the plan?

    Plan A: Hold’s “feet to the fire”. Set your online trees to “PRIVATE” and take greater control of your own research; “CANCEL and DO NOT RENEW any existing SUBSCRIPTIONS”, provided you can still use what time you have already paid for; and start telling the “STORY the way it is, with all its CORPORATE CARPETBAGGING details”, thereby depriving of its free “word of mouth” advertising and endorsements.

    Plan B: RUN, don’t WALK to download your research from the online platforms and maintain this data on your own computer/media in some format and SERIOUSLY EXPLORE ALTERNATIVES to FamilyTreeMaker and online platforms which could display your family history research. [Based on previous experience with, this situation may not turn out well for any of us!]

  548. John B

    I see nothing in your latest response that reassures me. I do not want my genealogy data to exist primarily in a cloud-based setting, particularly in your amateur, overly simplistic on-line formats. The quality of your on-line family trees has been steadily deteriorating with the proliferation of unsourced and poorly researched data. The main point of maintaining my files off-line is security, control and fully sourced data. I intend to use the next month to select a suitable product, transfer my data to it. In January, I will remove all my shared data as well as my 4 DNA tests from the Ancestry site. In February, when my current subscription expires, that will be it – I will be gone for good. There should be other alternatives available that have more respect for their customers.

  549. Donna

    “We are exploring possible relationships with other desktop software solutions that would make it possible for their products to integrate with Ancestry.”

    After reading all the negative comments that are popping up all over the web, you might want to put your ‘exploring’ into hyper drive. We (the consumer) have a choice to renew or not to renew our subscriptions. If Ancestry doesn’t meet our needs, we will simply go another direction. I suspect there are other genealogy websites that would love to have our business.

  550. Linda

    Just reading your answers to some of our questions…..can I just ask….if you are going to look at another …as you quote below
    “Will third party providers be able to integrate with Ancestry family trees? We are exploring possible relationships with other desktop software solutions that would make it possible for their products to integrate with Ancestry API. Stay tuned – See more at: ” THEN WHY THE HELL ARE YOU TAKING AWAY THE ONE WE ALREADY USE ??????????????

  551. Jimmy

    Unacceptable update. FTM was and has been the highest rated genealogical database, and us customers know that. Why won’t you sell it? Ancestry is disgusting, and has total contempt not only for their customers, but the entire genealogical community. I don’t know who runs this business, but they are destroying what was a good thing.

  552. Gen

    Wow. This is incredible. ATT took over Direct TV and they got too big for their own britches too. They stopped listening to their customers! I canceled my service with them. Unfortunately Ancestry is doing the same thing here. Not listening to their customers. I saw the notes about people locking their trees and thought with confidence that for sure ancestry would come to their senses. The update from Hulett is very disappointing. It amazes me how companies get so big now and seem to think they can for lack of a better word try to brainwash customers and not listen to what the customer really wants. What a shame. Especially since I just updated my subscription to the full access about two weeks ago. Tree locked now.

  553. Gillian

    I really don’t care that you’ve added all that information on Mexico and the USA, my research is in the UK. Two to three weeks notice alone shows an utter disregard for your customers. And only one year of continuing assistance to users of FTM is inconsiderate. Didn’t put my tree on Ancestry web, all of my work is on FTM offline. Heard comments at WDYTYA this year about FTM not being there & I couldn’t find them, maybe this is why you were absent. DNA not done via Ancestry as their T&C seemed to give them the right to share the information with others if they so wished. Family Tree Builder on My Heritage is an option – they are also offering their services to ex-FTM users. I use Findmypast for most of my UK research. I would like to respond to those who blame Ancestry on mistakes in online family trees – these are the mistakes, carelessness or whatever of the tree owner, not of Ancestry. They have enough faults without this. tree.

  554. Glynis

    I can not believe that this was considered to be a good business decision, how to dissatisfy your customer base in one swift move. Family Tree Maker provides functions that are not available online and the sync facility reduces duplication of effort between versions. You make the mistake of discarding a unique selling point for your product and becoming more like other genealogy providers. It would appear that you are now looking a ways of mitigating the impact of this decision surely you should have considered this before proposing to withdraw FTM. You appear to understand very little about your customers, their needs and the way in which they use these products. This is a highly competitive market and it looks as if your decision will be instrumental in shrinking your market share.

  555. Gary Coombs

    Again, instead of trying to sell FTM, why don’t you give it away to a non-profit, open source organization and let them continue to develop it. Give all the base code to Mozilla and take the tax write off for the value of the software. There are always answers if you have at least a small amount of creativity.

  556. Donna

    I am very disappointed about this. I’ve been a Family Tree Maker user for over 10 years. I love the ability to sync FTM with, but I really don’t like using the online version because it’s much more difficult to move around and there is no ability to print charts, etc. At the very least you should continue to allow FTM users to sync with permanently. It may not be worth $400 a year to continue as a user.

  557. Richard Werbin

    Please continue allowing FTM 2014 to sync with trees forever.

    Forever, forever, forever.

    Sync is the critical feature.

    You said “We are exploring possible relationships with other desktop software solutions that would make it possible for their products to integrate with Ancestry.”

    If you let other products sync with then you can continue allowing ftm 2014 to sync even if you stop adding features.

  558. Donna

    Many of us have uploaded many personal photos and records to share with other users. If we are stripped of the ability to maintain our primary source for our genealogy files on FTM why would we want to keep our personal files on I for one would seriously consider removing my tree from and cancel my membership. I feel this decision is a disservice to loyal users.

  559. Mona

    I cannot believe that Ancestry is actually discontinuing FTM. I have over 10,000 people in various trees. It isn’t the GEDCOM, an antiquated app that doesn’t transfer media and notes plus custom fields. I am extremely upset as are many of the persons I help with their genealogy. At least give a 5 year window so we can find other programs and perhaps a programmer to transfer ALL our files.

  560. Tania

    Hey Kendall Hulet:
    Here is what I think:
    Your transaction confirmation number is 130816748
    World Explorer Membership
    Expiration Date – February 12, 2016

    Refund Amount $0.00

    Your subscription has been canceled successfully.

  561. Mark

    I knew this was going to happen when they were purchased by a private equity firm. They care nothing about customers , products only money. Hopefully some other web service will raise to the top, as Ancestry falls to the wayside. Ancestry had a good thing going, too bad they were taken over by the greed of wall street.

  562. Lynda

    I just purchased RootsMagic… and need some advice/help. When I import my FTM tree (I use a Mac) will I lose the info in my FTM tree when I download the GEDCOM? Never done this before… and someone above suggested downloading a GEDCOM from ancestry tree… is that possible? And can someone give me a brief tutorial? Thank you all very much…

  563. Bob

    A disaster with no reassurance from your latest statements. There is only one way to restore confidence. RESTORE FTM.

  564. Howard

    Ancestry is losing a very valuable asset by doing away with FTM. Without that, nothing sets Ancestry above other sites. I guess it’s time to start exploring my options.

  565. Kerrie

    I am so taken back by this. This product encouraged many of us to do years of research. I have to say I like having it saved on a local PC for obvious reasons. Is there another software product offering to have the ability to import process?

  566. Richard Schenk

    From the remarks above, it seems RootsMagic is the consensus as the best alternative to FTM, correct?

    Any lawyers out there? How do we get the ball moving on a class action suit?

  567. JS

    My posts are being stopped. This is the 6th attempt and they are either vanishing into the ether or I’m being told that they have been stopped for moderation or going into Ancestry’s spam folder. I was trying to answer Deborah and Lynda’s question. Sorry folks there seem to be gremlins about!!. Wonder if this one will post?

  568. Sharon

    Excuses, excuses, excuses. Glossing over the problems and making excuses doesn’t change the issues here. The problems are real and STILL exist. FTM is an important part of many people’s experience with Ancestry, and you won’t be supporting it after a certain time. I am already having problems with it working properly (I wondered why, now I know). It’s disgusting that you’ve chosen to force people to belong to Ancestry or else, which is what this amounts to. Yes, you can use FTM offline, but without being able to integrate it with Ancestry easily it’s going to be an absolute PAIN. Thank you so much for making this harder than it should be…….

  569. Marilyn

    The reaction of your customers to this decision should have your sales and marketing directors hanging their heads in shame as they are booted out of the door! In this modern age of customer/client focus and evidence-based decision making, Ancestry has clearly revealed itself to be in the dark ages. If you had done only the most basic FTM customer-focussed marketing survey along the lines of “We’re thinking of discontinuing FTM. To what extent do you use FTM in your genealogy research? Why do you use FTM? How do you use it in combination with the subscription web-site?”, you would have had the feedback of the nearly 8,000 users (and rising) who have already negatively commented in this public blog. In this age of social media I am quite sure this will expand exponentially, and it will erode your customer base across all of your products.
    How so? Well, the thinking will be that if Ancestry can do this to its FTM customers, then surely it is not impossible that one day it will made a $$ driven decision to phase out Ancestry as we know it, along with everyone’s cloud-based data.

    I endorse all of the comments from serious genealogists that we have put too much time, effort and money into our research to entrust our data solely to a third party. There is also no comparision in the analysis, data housekeeping and reporting functions of FTM to those of the website.
    It is time for this decision to be rescinded, and some serious market research to be undertaken with your customers. You will also have some work to do to rebuild the trust in your business reputation as a result of this incredibly poor business decision and process. I look forward to a new and better business model. For example, now that you have some understanding of why and how your FTM customers use your products, perhaps you might consider a special subscription for FTM customers which acknowledges their use of your research services and sync capabilities, That way, you will still have the benefit of their uploaded research for your site, and they will have access to your research data. You will need to do something along this line in order to mollify the FTM users who have expressed their wrath in no uncertain terms in this public forum.
    – See more at:

  570. Graeme Angell

    Not even a good try at schmoozing us Kendall. Definitely no cigar. You don’t seem to have grasped the point that we don’t want our functioning trees in the custody of Ancestry and their operation subject to our continuing subscription with you. I would recommend that you carefully read the blog contribution by Buck 711 who gives you the real deal right there. It will be a real wrench to abandon some of the great resources provided by your site but don’t forget many of them were provide to you FREE by the very people you profess to care for but have abandoned in such an arbitrary manner. I have enjoyed the interface between my FTM tree and Ancestry but I have also used many other sources (Family Search, Wikipedia, and others) and it is a pain to import them manually but I did research manually before the internet and I can do it again just without your company. In the meantime I will carry on till my subscription runs out and see if any of your “maybe” solutions have any solid basis. I’m not usually a pessimist but going on your current performance I’m not optimistic. Glad to see that other more caring and smarter companies are already advertising ways to transfer over to them. That is my back stop if you guys don’t come through.

  571. As an extensive user of Family Tree Maker since circa 1997, I am extremely disappointed that the software will be discontinued by Ancestry.

    As genealogy is your business, what is baffling is the seeming lack of understanding about some of the most common use cases of Family Tree Maker. The notion that the Ancestry website can be used as the sole substitute seems to demonstrate a lack of not only knowing your clients, but advanced genealogical research, as well.

    The Ancestry website may be suitable for novice and beginning users, but it is grossly lacking for advanced and experienced researchers. There are numerous examples of missing or lacking website features that I could enumerate, but I will keep it simple with just two: NOTES and REPORTS. These are two features of Family Tree Maker that I use religiously, intertwined together, and neither are available on the Ancestry website. The lack of both intertwined is a total “show stopper” for me.

    NOTES: Every single one of the 9,800 individuals in my Family Tree Maker database contains extensive Notes. These Notes are the entire basis of my research, and include background on how decisions were determined, transcriptions of all records, documents, newspaper articles, etc.

    REPORTS: I regularly use the Reports feature to create PDFs which include those Notes, as they provide a cohesive narrative. This might be to share with others, as well as to examine the status of my research, identify branches to look at further, etc. In fact, I have so many Notes that certain Descendant Reports are hundreds of pages long.

    In previous dialogue with Ancestry, I have commented and suggested about the lack of (public!) Notes integration between Family Tree Maker and Ancestry. The response and recommended alternative was to use the Stories feature of the website. But this directly ties into the lack of a Report feature. Even if a Reports feature was added to the website, would it treat and include Stories as Notes are with Family Tree Maker?

    Given the announcement, I will obviously begin to explore all possible other software alternatives. Obviously, it appears my paid Ancestry subscription will be ended by no choice of mine. While my Family Tree Maker database is linked to nearly 25,000 source records on Ancestry, the most important part of my research is, quite simply, my notes. So I am more than willing to sever that record linkage to Ancestry, if necessary, and it will not matter which paid source I view and transcribe records from, etc.

    The original announcement, and the subsequent clarification, both make mention to potential future website features coming, which are a long way off. This announcement was obviously not well thought out, and was done prematurely, before any clear answers and resolutions were even determined. Unfortunately, this announcement serves as an example of how not to handle corporate public relations for the textbooks.

    Timothy J. Barron

  572. Allison

    I quote: “Jere_Becker Let’s be frank; FTM is *not* that good of a program. It does not “work and play well” with other programs, making sharing much harder than it needs to be. I am thrilled that Ancestry is “exploring possible relationships with other desktop software solutions that would make it possible for their products to integrate with Ancestry API”, especially if those desktop publishers include RootsMagic, which I switched over to a few years ago – and would never have used FTM again except for the lack of sync with is a *great* service; it makes researching so much easier. – …”
    OUT OF THOUSANDS OF COMMENTS HERE, THIS IS THE ONLY POSITIVE ONE I HAVE SEEN!!! [does the poster believe in the Easter Bunny?] What does that say to you Ancestry???

  573. Andrea

    Not good enough Amcestry. What arrogance to treat your customers this way. I won’t be staying when my sub is due in January.

  574. Cathryn

    I am distressed to hear this news! I’ve used FTM on my desktops since the beginning–I’ve never subscribed (paid) to your online service and never will. I will also never store any data at all to the cloud! Please don’t discontinue this…I need access to the reports (I publish to hardcopy quite often) and my computer data. Every few years when I buy a new laptop, I purchase the FTM software for that operating system. What will I do now???? I’ve been with this product since version 1 back in the 90s. Very upset by this…

  575. Sandy

    So much for getting technical support. My install file is corrupted — yes, I know what I’m talking about, I am a computer tech!!! After upgrading my computer, I am no unable to reinstall Family Tree Maker 2014. The extent of the tech support I received was that the only option I had was to purchase the software again — mind you, I only paid $29 for it in the first place and now they want me to pay $49 (upgrade cost) to reinstall software that I already own. This is such crap.

    I have been a loyal Ancestry and Family Tree Maker customer for many years. I can’t believe their idea of helping us trouble shoot is “give us another $49”. But, what other option do I have so I can get all my data and the connected source media downloaded to my computer and then move to another program.

  576. Bob F

    I just cancelled my subscription to Ancestry saving almost $400. I have had FTM since the days of floppy discs. I was thrilled when you were able to sync my data with the web site data. I was then very easily able to see everything I needed on my IPAD I never used your web site. The graphics were terrible. I have met some very dear distant cousins and I am sorry I will not have that opportunity any longer. I predict this will be a classic case study in MBA business schools of a company not understanding it’s customers needs. I can’t imagine the focus groups you used who said ” Wow What a great idea! We are sure no one actually uses that old fashioned software on their computers. Those folks would be glad to put all their data on the cloud and pay annual fees to be able to access their data” Your company had the best combination of software and cloud based computing and you threw it away! It really is sad.

  577. For all the comments, as a former software developer, all I want to say is this:

    FTM may not have been the most perfect program out there, and the rewrite was definitely released before it was stable, but FTM is by far the most polished genealogy program. Yes, it had many limitations that I wasn’t pleased with, but I’ve always been searching for an alternative and find all the others much more unsatisfying.

    The major problem with the cloud is that it takes 10 to 20 times longer to enter data, not to mention its sources feature is extremely weak for a serious genealogist.

    I get Ancestry wants to focus on the cloud, but don’t abandon what may be the only worthwhile genealogy program out there. You built a program for the modern computer when every other program out there is built like it was meant for Windows 98.

  578. lacygtch1 (Janet)

    This didn’t answer any questions or concerns for me, you just repeated what you said before! I don’t like using the cloud, it’s slow, we don’t have that high speed internet in the country and I want a backup like FTM that I can work on and then sync. You are ignoring a vast amount of customers concerns!

  579. Rosie

    Trust destroyed. Last straw really, but feels like a 10 ton log. No renewal of my World subscription after this years has expired and will be spreading the word as to why. Will have to make do with Find My Past and Family Search databases. Back to where we were a couple of years ago without the synchronising facility, which I used mainly as a back up to FTM. There are other ways. Trees on Ancestry already private and wont be updating them anymore even though we can synch FTM for 12 months. I really don’t want to migrate to another genealogy programme for re -organizing data and media and notes if I can help it. Hope they sell FTM to someone else to manage. Great Christmas present from the money makers at Permira/Ancestry. Hope the business management team of “bright young men” and the occasional woman have a wonderful holiday and don’t choke on their turkey stuffing.

  580. steve

    Nice BS non-answer. Thanks for the empty promises. I look forward to pointing to this blog entry a year from now when there’s no tree sync enabled software available. Thanks again.

  581. Rosie

    I suggest everyone read the comments above by Terre, posted December 11, 2015 at 3:37 pm.
    Ancestry owns all the data we have submitted. It doesn’t matter if you delete your tree or privatise it. They have copies and can use it however they so choose.
    Here it is again…
    Ancestry’s Terms & Conditions: “By submitting User Provided Content on any of the Websites, you grant Ancestry and its Group Companies a perpetual, transferable, sublicenseable, worldwide, royalty-free, license to host, store, copy, publish, distribute, provide access to create derivative works of, and otherwise use User Provided Content submitted by you to the Websites, to the extent and in the form or context we deem appropriate on or through any media or medium and with any technology or devices now known or hereafter developed or discovered. You hereby release Ancestry and its Group Companies from any and all claims, liens, demands, actions or suits in connection with the User Provided Content you submit, including, without limitation, any and all liability for any use or nonuse of your User Provided Content, claims for defamation, invasion of privacy, right of publicity, emotional distress or economic loss. This license continues even if you stop using the Websites or the Services. Ancestry may scan, image and/or create an index from the User Provided Content you submit. In this situation, you grant Ancestry a license to the User Provided Content as described above and . .

    Her plan to deal with this is ‘food for thought’ and the same thing had crossed my mind.

  582. Dick Follett

    I actually want to thank Ancestry – without this change I would likely still be procrastinating and not do much work on my family trees. Now as I switch to Roots Magic and remove my “stuff” for, I am again excited to work on my family history again.

  583. Anthony W Carter

    Not a single positive comment. Not a single helpful answer. Q: How do you answer a question? A: Yes or no, then with you any explanation needed. The FAQs are some of the worse I’ve seen. Complete lack of information, not to say empathy. FTM is the “New Coke” of software, and hopefully they will relent and continue to serve their loyal customers.

  584. Judy Trees

    This is purely and simply an effort by Ancestry to lock people into subscribing to the Ancestry website. I have been using Family Tree Maker for about a decade now and found it to be the best for citing sources. I will NOT subscribe to Ancestry and have never synced my database to that site. After working in IT for over 20 years, it goes against the grain to use superseded software, but I will continue to use Family Tree Maker 2014. I have looked at the online tree on Ancestry and find it clunky and cumbersome.

  585. Paul

    Nope. Still a stupid announcement. Perhaps not a stupid decision, if you are going to find a way to put the software functionality into your online service, but without a doubt–this was a stupid announcement, followed by an ineffective re-assurance. If this is what Mr. Hulet is really thinking, then you need to find better leadership.

  586. Charles Staples

    Somewhat off topic regarding FTM, but within Kendall Hulet’s domain – I read that the CEO of ACOM is talking with the FDA about offering some sort of health report associated with the DNA product. There is an Oct 12 article in The Verge regarding this.

    23andMe recently got FDA approval after having it taken away some time ago. Those customers knew going in that their results could be used in this capacity (the company is up-front about it). However, the million+ folks who have already tested at Ancestry did not have that expectation.

    Will there be an opt-in for this? Will we be able to get basic tools like chromosome browsing like the other vendors provide (but I suppose you regard customers as incapable considering the trajectory of product offerings getting less sophisticated).

    Ancestry is investing is some serious science, yet at the same time abandoning customers by failing to retain or improve existing products that were at least the foundation of the company, historically. Updating an FTM program is nowhere near as costly (and admittedly, profitable). It really is head-scratching.

    I used to work for a huge networking equipment company that still dominates the landscape. We had some products which by themselves did not generate a ton of revenue. But, it was absolutely required to retain and attract new customers buying routing gear. FTM is a similar kind of product.

    Here’s the link for the article:

  587. Charles Staples

    Somewhat off topic regarding FTM, but within Kendall Hulet’s domain – I read that the CEO of ACOM is talking with the FDA about offering some sort of health report associated with the DNA product. There is an Oct 12 article in The Verge regarding this.

    23andMe recently got FDA approval after having it taken away some time ago. Those customers knew going in that their results could be used in this capacity (the company is up-front about it). However, the million+ folks who have already tested at Ancestry did not have that expectation.

    Will there be an opt-in for this? Will we be able to get basic tools like chromosome browsing like the other vendors provide (but I suppose you regard customers as incapable considering the trajectory of product offerings getting less sophisticated).

    Ancestry is investing is some serious science, yet at the same time abandoning customers by failing to retain or improve existing products that were at least the foundation of the company, historically. Updating an FTM program is nowhere near as costly (and admittedly, profitable). It really is head-scratching.

    I used to work for a huge networking equipment company that still dominates the landscape. We had some products which by themselves did not generate a ton of revenue. But, it was absolutely required to retain and attract new customers buying routing gear. FTM is a similar kind of product.

    [If this is a duplicate, my apologies. The first post had a link which supposedly was approved, but I’m not seeing it. Reposting without the link]

  588. Norman

    Wow! You guys at Ancestry just don’t get it??? The company’s desire to profit from my hard work and research has convinced me that I cannot continue to support this you. I only used the online option as a backup. A web solution may be great for people who have fast connections, but a lot of people still have satellite connections so offline content creation is the only solution.

  589. Evadene

    You people have got to be nuts. You do realize for each person who has written you there are another 50 who are sitting at home simply dumb founded and are on the hunt for a whole new carrier. Too bad for you.

  590. Stephanie

    I have always kept my main trees offline and on my laptop. However, I really enjoy the web hints feature, and honestly, if your taking that away, there really isn’t a need to stay. I have been a very loyal customer, but do feel this could have been handled better.

    Anyone looking for new software might like this link. I know they are offering low introductory offers for the “FTM orphans” as we’ve been referred to.

  591. Jenny

    Basically, translated to “I’m not listening…. yadadadadadada….” You obviously didn’t clearly understand. You points you make are NOT what people are telling you.

  592. Teressa

    “I’ve read through many of your comments personally, and I want you to know that we truly value you as customers and your feedback.” — No you don’t. If you did, you wouldn’t phase out the option for people to use the “old” version of ancestry if they wished, nor would you discontinue support of FTM. Since neither of those things are going to happen, despite the complaints of thousands upon thousands of your customers, I must conclude your statement is a willful lie. I have no trust in the company’s promises about their products nor confidence in their ability to delivery any of their promises. The result of this mistrust is that I have not renewed my subscription and have no plans to purchase any other Ancestry products until they have regained my confidence. Somehow, that just doesn’t seem like a profitable way to run a company.

  593. further to my earlier post “disgusted of Derbyshire”…. this is the response I got from the support centre that then prompted the Ancestry “need for feedback” – as if! PS what is the final line about “having a lovely day”? PPS “so unfortunately come 1/1/2017 the tree sync will be discontinued” please please please don’t do that
    Dear Keef,

    Thank you for contacting Ancestry in regards to the retirement of Family Tree Maker.

    We will still support Family Tree Maker in 2016. We are simply no longer selling new copies of the software as and from December the 31st. Ancestry will continue to support Family Tree Maker owners that have purchased the software by December 31, 2015 through January 1, 2017. During this time, all features of the software, including TreeSync™ will continue to work, and Member Services will be available to assist with user questions. Ancestry will also be addressing major software bugs that may occur, as well as compatibility updates. If this happens, Ancestry will release a patch through the software to fix major breaks.

    So unfortunately, the link between Family Tree Maker and Ancestry should be discontinued after the 1st of January 2017.

    Here is a link to our blog with more information to come :

    I have passed on your feedback regarding the retirement of Family Tree Maker but still attached a guide that will explain how to put your own feedback if you wish.

    Answer Link: Providing feedback about Ancestry

    I wish you a lovely day.

  594. Carol

    Even if Ancestry were big enough to own up and say they had made the wrong decision and they would reinstate and improve FTM would many of us trust Ancestry again with our information and data???
    Sadly I don’t think I would.

  595. Robert

    I have made some comments and read some comments and truly some people are really angry including myself, but one comment in particular really got my attention and should get Kendall Hulet and the private equity firms that owns Ancestry attention as well, in fact it should give them sleepless nights.

    The comment is this; if people leave Ancestry and delete their tree, Ancestry will still own your data and can use it, But here is the real concern, some have made the suggestion that if this is the case they will be sabotaging their trees as they leave making them useless for further research.

    I personally don’t approve of this but I understand where this anger comes from. But here is the real concern; the data that people collect for family research is based on trust and if the perception is that trees associated with ancestry have been sabotaged due to this poor business decision why would any real genealogist use them I certainly would not. Kendall Hulet does not seem to realise that family trees are like family members to people and people are taking this personally it is common sense for this to happen if one messes with peoples family.

    This really is a new Coke decision but Ancestry is not as big a Coke will they survive this past 2017????????

    Most businesses pay big bucks to marketing agents ( probably what happened here )to know what there customers want but here for free we the LOYAL customers are telling ancestry what we want, but they seem to not be listening. This will make a great case study for business schools on how not to treat customers.

    How much longer must this go on before we get real answers.

  596. Ian

    Ancestry do not understand that there are a Silent Majority – for every Comment on here there are Thousands who will agree and will also Cancel their ‘Valued Membership’.

    I have cancelled my World Explorer Membership. In addition I will be sabotaging my online tree before deleting it because the Terms & Conditions state they will still own my information on their backup servers even after I delete my tree.

  597. Linda

    Ancestry seems too concerned with $$$ and attracting the millennial generation instead of keeping their core membership. Please give us an option to keep “classic” ancestry and to continue FTM. I like the option of both working online and offline. I like all the reports and charts on FTM that I can’t get on ancestry. Ancestry needs to work on indexing problems and hints. All those shaky leaves are meaningless when the clues so clearly are not correct. You will be losing many of your subscribers in the coming year if you don’t listen to their concerns and address your existing problems with the site.

  598. Dave

    I agree with many! You are abandoning us, therefore I will no longer support Ancestry! This announcement, put out without the answers all of us are asking, is a third-grade, knee-jerk action that smacks of poor judgment and management at the policy making levels. I thought you were better than this!

  599. Janet

    Many years ago I used a free-standing but now defunct genealogy desktop program that offered the miraculous benefit of being backed-uo online. Like most of us, paranoia about losing data is real. (Probably not identified in the DSM yet.) I’m not a computer genius and got a snarky comment from their Support when I had a problem. I ditched the program and went to Roots Magic. Low and behold, about 2 years later I received the exciting announcement that my information was now online in their tree, and I could add at any time with a membership. I still get announcements. I was appalled! I had designated the information as private. I’ve never made my trees public. I feel guilty but feel as though I can’t put information online when 2nd, 3rd etc. cousins have no idea. I predict that soon even Ancestry trees designated as private will become public…Thank goodness for Roots Magic and other software programs that value our quest and respects our families. And thank goodness for Family Search, for one, which continues to expand their online records. Ancestry itself out-priced my need a year ago. Can we even hope that Rootsweb will stay cost free?

  600. Debbie

    I’m so disappointed in Ancestry. As a loyal user of FTM since it’s inception, I can’t believe this decision was made with forethought of it’s affect on users of the software. I’ve been researching since 1979, my house is filled with paper sourced in my software and scanned into it. I hate the thought of having to switch over to something new ALONG with losing the ability to use either the software or my tree to access and attach records. However, Ancestry is not the only fish in the sea. I’ll have to think heavily about using my yearly $300 fee to instead pay for a subscription to and Findmypast. My local library is only 6 miles away… I can use there. Not ideal for me, but doable and cheaper…

  601. caith

    @Bob F – “classic case study in MBA business schools” – Yes, and where are those hot shot young attorneys (those with the trust funds who do not need any earned income), but who want to make name for themselves? Which they could do with a Class Action Lawsuit. Did I hear someone say, Monopoly? Well……….. And, where are the journalists waiting for their next expose?

  602. Renato

    Email from We’ve canceled your membership, as you requested

    World Explorer Membership

    Effective Date

    Confirmation Number

  603. Ian

    Permira, the European private equity firm, appears to have gotten back nearly all of its investment in less than three years. Now of course it will be sold on to yet another Speculator to rip us off. Subscription fees accounted for 83 percent of Ancestry’s total revenue last year – I suspect future Investor’s will NOT be told that future Subscriptions will plummet as a result of the treatment of Ancestry’s ‘Valued Customers’.

  604. Cynthia Manshack

    I am appalled at the decision to terminate Family Tree Maker. I purchased the software long before I purchased an Ancestry membership. While my membership lapses during those periods when I’m unable to devote time to research, my use of the software does not. It’s integration with Ancestry is what often prompts my renewal, not any particular resource on Ancestry. Ancestry is one tool among many that I use, and I will retire it from my toolbox going forward.

    As business decisions go, this one makes no sense unless you understand that Ancestry’s target market is not the serious amateur genealogist, but the inexperienced “lay” person who is unfamiliar with bona fide genealogical research that requires an investment of time and study. Really, what do we expect when tapping a shaking leaf is marketed as doing genealogical research?

    Many thanks to those of you who have suggested other products and resources.

  605. Ed Yeutson

    I really fell that kicking Family Tree Maker too the crub is a real big mistake for Ancestry, Family Tree Maker works good with on line Ancestry and Syncing. I have been trying to get them too sync to 2 computers per person many of us use a pc for our main computer, but whenever I go on a family history vacation I take a lap top so I can update information on who ever I am viseting and I can scan there photos and visit with them. A laptop has just too small of a hard drive. biggest is 1TB I am at that and I figer I stell have 5 years of Scanning to go. Yes it does look like desk tops are sagging but it is because School Dis. are requireing the students to have Lap tops, kinddles that tipe of electtronices their not used for what we use them for or companies use the for thay have to have PCs.
    I have read for 2 days the complants of Members, for many of you it will be easy for you to delite you tree and go to another family history server and another family history program, Its not going to be so easy for me to change not because I don’t exept change but because I have dimacia and the next company may not have a teachingtool on Utub like Crista Cowan and all the other folks that do programes to help you learn and get the most out of your experince.on Ancestry. Their is a lot of times I watch those programes 20 to 30 times to be able to use Ancestry and Family Tree maker. Hopffoly one day I can meet Crista Cowan at a conference Like at Springfield Illinois in 2016. Hope Ancestry will change their mind and keep everything
    Ed Yeutson

  606. Peter

    Perhaps Kendall is a sleeper working for another company. He seems intent on ruining Ancestry. Watch out folks! You never know where he might appear next.

  607. Duane Miller

    Prime example of a company shooting themselves in the foot – the software and it’s ability to interface in real time with the website is and was a main reason so many people have invested in both the program and the subscription. With the program going away there isn’t as much attraction to maintain a yearly subscription and Ancestry will certainly lose revenue by its action. You have to wonder just exactly what is driving this decision. Someone at the helm of this company is upside down on their concept of what makes work. Since Ancestry has announced cancellations in the past that they later did a complete reversal on perhaps before the end of next year they will change their mind about this exercise in madness as well.

  608. Paula Watts

    Is any of the above comments going to make any difference, probably not. But any reputable company would certainly take note of all these unhappy people. If they have to kick FTM to the curb can they please consider working with Roots Magic who have stated that they are very willing to work with Ancestry

  609. Bob Runion

    I am distressed to learn that Ancestry is proposing to eliminate the FTM genealogy program and/or total support for it effective 1 Jan 2017. I spoke to a technician a few days ago who indicated that during the ensuing year, that ancestry will be working to modify the GEDCOM features to permit a smooth transition for those of us who wish to maintain the Ancestry TREE and also a genealogy program on our computer.

    I have been experimenting with some of the present GEDCOM features that currently exist and find the resultant upload to the current FTM 3 for MAC and my older REUNION 11 programs. I uploaded the Ancestry Tree GEDCOM to the following and glaring results noted below:

    (1) Ancestry Tree GEDCOM uploaded to REUNION 11:
    (a) ALL media is unable to be utilized since it shows and ‘… media missing’. This includes all Photos and Source documents.
    (b) Notes :
    (1) an entry of some magnitude precedes all note entries as the first sentence which makes no sense at all. The following is a sample that would have to be purged for all persons with NOTES in this program: ‘…{\rtf1\ansi\ansicpg1252\cocoartf1404\cocoasubrtf130{\fonttbl\f0\fswiss\fcharset0 Helvetica;}{\colortbl;\red255\green255\blue255;}\pard\tx560\tx1120\tx1680\tx2240\tx2800\tx3360\tx3920\tx4480\tx5040\tx5600\tx6160\tx6720\pardirnatural\f0\fs24 \cf0…’;
    (2) there also appears in the midst of the notes a ‘/par’, presumably a paragraph break, which clutters the notes with useless data.

    (2) In using the ‘Standard GEDCOM’ selection (presumed to be version 5.5) of the Ancestry Tree GEDCOM uploaded to a new FTM 3 for MAC file:
    (a) 8,863 Media items listed are shown, but are unusable and appear to be corrupted. One would have to visit each of these items to connect the Media item to the appropriate person!
    (b) All 3,714 PLACES would need to be resolved!
    (c) All 2,104 SOURCES are missing the identity data I had affixed to them in the Ancestry Tree which would entail ‘linking to existing Media’ for each Source I have in file!

    I was advised that modifications to the GEDCOM would be made to permit retaining the MEDIA, PLACES and SOURCES intact when the GEDCOM is finalized. I do hope this is the case, since my experiences with the present GEDCOM features leave much to be desired insofar as using it to set up my elected genealogy program. Present GEDCOM features, without massive changes, do not appear to allow continued use of a workable FTM if we intend to retain that program beyond 31 Dec 2016, nor does it appear to permit a workable non-FTM program either.

    Perhaps I’m being premature and pessimistic, but if it isn’t broke, why are the changes in the offing?

    A Concerned FTM user

  610. Bruce

    It seems to me if you care about your customers as you say you do you wouldn’t have put the cart before the horse. The decision to discontinue the software before trying to solve the problems it presents to all the customers that use it now is backwards. All the things you say may evolve and you’re trying to do over the next year does not make me secure in where we’ll be in a year. I’ve been using the software since the beginning and now will have to consider other alternatives and will try to have you take all my trees off your site and the web.

  611. Larry Weathers

    Here’s what I’ve done and encourage all FTM users to do likewise.
    Go to ‘manage trees’ and take them all private. (4 in my case) Make them non-searchable. (takes up to 30 days to take effect)
    CANCEL your subscription. (Don’t worry, everything stays the same until your expiration date and you can un-cancel anytime)
    In the reasons why, tell them you want FTM to continue…

    What really makes me mad is that they wait until 12-31 to stop selling the software and, that way, they can suck all the Christmas Gift receivers in their subscription services.. They don’t seem to understand that their users are the ones supplying the MOST IMPORTANT data to others.. Almost everything else on ACOM can be accessed by other means.

  612. I’ve been a user of FTM for longer than I care to admit. My “tree” contains over 4000 individuals. Unless Ancestry partners with another software company, it will be difficult to pass on our histories to later generations unless published in book form. Ancestry is making a mistake that will cost them subscribers. I for one will probably cancel my subscription and find other avenues for historical data.

  613. John

    Absolutely gutted by this decision. Shame on you. FTM is the leading software in its field to my mind and the website integration is invaluable. Is there no chance of a change of heart? If not, I do hope Ancestry agrees to share its API and some other firm takes on developing an interface of similar sophistication or preferably Ancestry agrees to sell FTM software rights as well to another software company given the superiority of the functionality it offers.

  614. Jay Henry

    Shame on you. The new owners of have shown themselves to not only have no understanding of serious genealogists, but no regard for their opinions and experience.The people who have been doing this for decades have always been one of the highlights of ancestry. Now you’ve made sure they will leave. Shame on you.

  615. Brad

    Whow between both sites of complaints over 8400 complaints so far and all these answers above are there just to confuse the person even more, there have been so many bad changes over the years that patrons have complained about and you always ignore them, we are the core of your income, another issues that bothers me is over the years how could you send out new tree programs that werent able to function with lets say windows 8.0 or 8.1, that was another huge issue, I had to get an older computer that would handle it, how could you not know that prior to putting them on the market for sale to stick your patrons with it and get your money back you invested and left us hanging , then your issues with obits, many of them you couldnt access the obit or error 404 came up I called and was told to go to there newspapers, Id rather cut and paste the write it down from the newspaper, will or tree maker program work if were not synced ?? all and all very poor business practices and as someone else mention we should all file complaints to the BBB

  616. Linda Swoyer

    I have been using Family Tree Maker for many years, long before existed. They are two different things. is a tool that makes some of my research easier and Family Tree Maker is where I store my data. I can share my data on the website but I do not share everything and here is the reason. There is a lot of sensitive, personal, and confidential data in my Family Tree Maker data and I would lose the trust of those in my family who have shared with me if I made it public. I do NOT trust that my confidential data will be kept confidential if it is stored in the cloud. You have violated the trust of this community by purchasing a product, that it turns out you never intended to continue, so that you could blackmail us into putting all our information on your website. This is a product that people have been using for years and your failure to understand the importance of being able to access our information anywhere, anytime without logging onto the web is appalling. Many of us have have been doing this research since before the web was around. Sure it has made the research a lot easier but it has NOT replaced the need for private storage of data. I refuse to pay a subscription fee to access Microsoft Office and I will not pay a fee to access my own research either. When I pay a fee to access your website, I do it for the research I am able to accomplish and I freely share with all other members but I am not and I will not store my confidential information on your website or any other. You are dead wrong in this decision but you seem to not understand the business that you are in.

  617. Reinout

    I do hope that major newspapers in the world are taking notice of what is happening here. The issue is not that desktop software is declining; the issue is that our most private, personal and valuable data is hijacked and stolen by a private company. I am a relatively young genealogist but as concerned as all of you. The second issue is that we are loosing a lot of digital data. Most governments are struggling with that as well. I expected that a number 1 product with a billion dollar company behind it, would take its responsibility and ensure a long term commitment to compatibility and up to date software. What woud happen when Microsoft decides to quit Word and Adobe to quit PDF? Would any government be able to do something about it?

  618. Cathleen

    When ancestry has millions of users, the 8000+ comments made here are going to be meaningless to them. They have investors that need to make money. Their concern is no longer about people. Such a shame.

  619. Larry Weathers

    Continued — and while you’re at it, you better start removing your work from Find-A-Grave while you can. Because, as ACOM loses this income, Free FAG will be a thing of the past….

  620. Dag Arne Danielsen

    I am VERY disappointed by their company, after spending FTM since 1999.
    Reverses your decision and proceed with FTM on PC!
    From Norway.

  621. gordon

    Well somewhat shocked at this announcement – and the case being made or not is treating loyal customers with contempt. Having been with Ancestry and using FTM for many years a partnership that works very well for customers is now to be withdrawn at short notice with no alternatives being considered for customers – that’s the reality. Fortunately as Ancestry feel that they have no duty to its customers equally I have to question my continued commitment to them. Thus you will be surprised to note that other subscription genealogy sites exist (I am sure you are aware of them) and available to me – so when a company treats you badly, as Ancestry is clearly capable of, then the option is mine not to renew my subscription or indeed not to recommend Ancestry to others keen to start genealogy research. It is clear from all comments registered how badly loyal customers to Ancestry feel – sadly as I feel their case for withdrawal of FTM is more to do with, cant be bothered anymore with this software, having sold the product and taken the money – Ancestry Policy, ‘tough’ there will be no alternative – so in that case I will be saying goodbye to Ancestry.

  622. Robert

    I am very unhappy with the plan to drop FTM. Prior to this year, I felt your software and online services with their tight integration were superior to the offerings of your competitors. With the loss of FTM and the ability to sync with a computer based genealogy program, I no longer feel your services are cost effective. I have cheaper options elsewhere.

    Instead of exploring options after dropping support for FTM, you should have put one or both of your “possible options” in place first. This would have reduced the pain you are causing your loyal customers. Additionally, you could have followed Microsoft’s example when they introduced the new Windows interface but continued to make the old version available as as option. You could have done the same with the new and old Ancestry. It you had, it would already be obvious that your new interface is not as popular as anticipated. You have made two bad business decisions this year that have shaken the trust and support of your customers.

    Please consider adding a feature to the Ancestry website that would allow downloading a family tree with all its media files in the backup format that is readable by your current versions of FTM. This should be a relatively simple fix that would allow a form of data syncing for at least a few years beyond 2017.

  623. Deb F

    I am so livid I am speechless (almost). I will be privatizing my on line trees and at the end of February I will cancel my subscription. And, of course, my trees will be removed.

    With no support for the software and eventually no sync, I have no further ties to this megagiant money grubbing operation. Good luck to the folks who do research just for fun and depend on my trees to give them hints.

    One thing further – to all of you have raised your voices and called for boycott – I have already noticed the impact you are making on their miracle shaky leaves. When I have explored those hints over the last few days, I get a lot of “member tree is not available” messages. Good Work, guys!! I am about to join your club. If they think we are few in numbers, they are about to find they are sadly mistaken.

  624. Scott Brown

    Posted in the other blog comments 3 days ago. Since then, I have been investigating my alternatives. Bought RootsMagic today. My 5000+ person tree copied over using the GEDCOM export without losing things too much (still have to re-affix the pics, etc.). I am also trying out the free version of Legacy. Neither is quite as polished as FTM, but RootsMagic seems to be good enough for me.

    Unfortunately, I mailed in my AncestryDNA stuff the week prior to the FTM announcement. As soon as I get my results, download them, and transfer them to FamilyTreeDNA, then it is so long to!

    You have completely lost my trust by your actions and (especially) your manner of announcing things. I will be demanding that my DNA sample be destroyed as well. You should also note that, as a professor and scientist, I have multiple contacts at places like the National Institutes of Health, and I will be contacting them after the holidays to demand a full review of any projects/grant submissions that you may have ongoing with them.

  625. John Carass

    Well, you sure are going to explore a lot! Should you perhaps have done a bit more exploring before making these decisions?
    I imagine all this is about money anyway and I’m sure you don’t really give a damn what we think and say and will go ahead and do what YOU think is best for YOU!

  626. Kristie

    Everything has been said, but I wanted to add my voice. My account has been cancelled, new software purchased, trees privatized and unsearchable while I wind down my Ancestry usage. I’m not livid – businesses can make any decision they want, but then that triggers customer’s decisions about continuing to be customers. Since this is just one more greedy decision from Ancestry on the heels of ‘New Ancestry’, selling DNA, selling us Ancestry Academy, eliminating various services, and who knows what’s coming next with very poor communications, my new ex-customer status decision was too easy. Thank you for that.

  627. Glynis

    I have already expressed my displeasure about this business decision in an earlier post, the Ancestry Board have clearly demonstrated that they understand little of the way in which their customers use their products in particular that genealogy research, recording and collation is still a predominantly PC based activity and whilst the cloud and smart phones are useful they are not the preferred way of working for many. They have also ignored the demographic profile of their users in relation to PC preference. I noted at the last WDYTYA show that the Ancestry team had changed their focus they were less interested in engaging in discussions about how to get the most out of their systems and had shifted to a hard sell of smart phone apps and DNA testing. We now know that the Board has aspirations to enter the DNA Healthcare market are we to assume this move is on the back of Ancestry subscriptions and that customers needs and preferences are collateral damage for corporate greed? Have not seen such contempt for customers since Gerald Ratner trashed his jewellery business.

  628. Mary R.

    @Scott Brown and others who gave their DNA: Copy quickly:
    July 21, 2015. by Caroline Chen. “Google Inc.’s Calico, a biotechnology firm created by the search-engine giant to study aging and related diseases, will delve into the genetic database amassed by a unit LLC to look for hereditary influences on longevity. AncestryDNA, a division of the Provo, Utah-based genealogy company, has gathered more than 1 million DNA samples from the $99 testing kits it sells to consumers to help map their family history. Beside the genetic information, Calico will have access to tens of millions of public family trees created by consumers, which include birth and death dates, relationships, and geographical locations.
    “Now that we’ve got 1 million samples, there’s enough statistical power in the dataset to elucidate drug targets,” said Ken Chahine, Ancestry’s executive vice president and head of DNA and health. “If you aggregate a set of individuals who had long-lived families and we have their genetic information as well, that’s a way to start making hypotheses about the heritability of longevity.”
    Health companies are mining the growing amounts of digital information on people’s genetic codes to hunt for clues about how diseases develop — and how they might be cured or prevented. Databases are growing as costs fall as low as $1,000 to sequence a whole genome, while selective genotyping is even cheaper. Closely-held reported $619.5 million in revenue last year. Chahine wasn’t able to say how much the DNA kit sales contributed to revenue. The companies declined to disclose the financial terms of the deal…etc., etc.”

  629. Charles B. Lee Jr.

    If Ancestry continues their current plan to discontinue FTM, they will never see another penny from me. The only thing their web site is good for is records…most of these can be found for FREE on So without the online functionality of FTM, what good is Exactly…it’s absolutely worthless. I will be blocking all Ancestry domains in the Windows HOSTS file (Google it) so not even their advertisements make a penny off me. This is not the first but it WILL be the last time Ancestry screws me over as a paying customer.

    I advise everyone else do the same.

  630. Charles B. Lee Jr.

    For those looking for alternatives & spelling it out for the imbeciles at Ancestry…

    Records — is FREE

    Software & Service — RootsMagic is cheaper the Ancestry

    Ancestry — Worthless once FTM’s online functionality is gone

  631. Sally

    Ancestry, you have made this personal. We’re researching our FAMILIES utilizing the fabulous tools we willing purchased from you. This business move is cruel. Your clientele are not always tech-savvy, and to force this community to either abandon their research or start anew should go against every belief that was based upon. You claim to be researching options. That should have been accomplished before your announcement to abandon your clientele so that we were at least given the opportunity to evolve with Ancestry.

  632. Carol

    Like the hundreds before me, I am now exploring options to and will not be renewing my world account when it comes due next year. It is amazing to me that a viable company could make such a poor business decision with so little regard for it’s customer base! Well, they will not be the first company that has gone “belly up” for a bad decision and they won’t be the last.

  633. Anne

    I have used FTM for 25 years, all the way back to floppy-disc days. Because of your inane and greedy decision, I have begun researching alternatives and RootsMagic looks like an excellent option. Everyone commenting on this blog should take a look. They have BETTER publication features, the color-coding option is excellent, and they clearly want FTM’s business! They very well may get mine. I have read most of these comments, and I sure hope that Kendall is reading them too. My favorite so far: Connie said, “The headline will read bankrupt, Hulet fired as loyal customers all left en masse after the stupidest decision since New Coke.” December 10, 2015 at 1:50 am

  634. Anne

    And by the way: I have yet to find a SINGLE comment in favor of the Ancestry.Com business decision to dump Family Tree Maker. And I am blown away by Mr. Hulet’s comment that they are “exploring other desktop options.” WHY? You already have an excellent desktop option. There must be more to this business decision than meets the eye. Fess up, Mr. Hulet!

  635. I have very recently upgraded FTM and you made no mention of this before I purchased. When I upgraded December 3rd I was speaking to a customer representative who made no mention of your shutting down. NOT VERY FAIR!!! I can’t believe you would do something like this! I think my money should be refunded!

  636. Barbara Lewis

    A”feeling message” (so no question that it will be ignored by ancestry decision-makers). Until Dec 8 I looked forward to each day … and the enjoyment and satisfaction I got from connecting with my ancestors — the Palatines, their names, their relationships, their incredible history. That lovely feeling is gone. I am hurt, wounded, sad. Now I must go to the computer in a mad rush to try to reach a completion point and GET OUT. In a way, my heart is broken.

  637. Reuven Dressler

    To say that I am disappointed with Ancestry would be a huge understatement. I have had tons of respect for the organziation, its goals, how it is run, until this point.
    I am not sure if the decision is some sort of business plan coup or rather a public relations nightmare. It seems that Ancestry is spitting in the face of those that have had a longstanding relationship with the company. I am sort of in a panic mode right now, not knowing what to do.
    I have put hundreds of hours into my tree, that to now has been on FTM-Ancestry. The functionality that has does not come close to what FTM offers. If it is ancestry’s intention to move all of the functionality from FTM to its web-based services, I would applaud that move. But nothing that I have read describes such a move. There is a sense that Ancestry is saying to its customers, “go fly a kite”. You might as well spit in these people’s faces, that way that this decision has come down. I would to hear how from you how this is going to be resolved.
    In the meantime, I have opened up an account with myheritage.

  638. Peter Dawson

    I doesn’t take a genius to see what Ancestry are going to do. YOU have supplied them with the end results of YOUR hard work and research and once all YOUR data is only available on Ancestry via the cloud they will jack up their subscription fees and you will have no choice but to pay up to maintain YOUR OWN data. I challenge Ancestry to say this is not true by making an unambiguous statement that they will not increase annual subscription rates above British rates of inflation for the next twenty years. I bet they won’t.

  639. Shawn

    I too, like most am very disappointed in this decision. I can only request that you highly consider integrating many of the features on Family Tree maker to Ancestry, such as charts and other printable features.

  640. Cathy

    From Ancestry’s FB page in case you don’t want to support their products:
    Company · LLC is a privately held Internet company based in Provo, Utah, United States. The largest for-profit genealogy company in the world, it operates a network of genealogical and historical record websites focused on the United States and nine foreign countries, develops and markets genealogical software, and offers a wide array of genealogical related services. As of June 2014, the company provided access to approximately 16 billion historical records and over 2 million paying subscribers. User-generated content tallies to more than 70 million family trees and subscribers have added more than 200 million photographs, scanned documents and written stories.Ancestry’s brands include Ancestry, AncestryDNA, AncestryHealth, AncestryProGenealogists, Family Tree Maker, Fold3,, Find a Grave,, and Rootsweb.Under its subsidiaries, operates foreign sites that provide access to services and records specific to other countries in the languages of those countries. These include several countries in Europe (covered by Ancestry Information Operations Company) as well as Australia and Canada.HistoryInfobases, Inc.In 1990, Paul B. Allen and Dan Taggart, two Brigham Young University graduates, founded Infobases and began offering Latter-day Saints (LDS) publications on floppy disks. Allen’s brother Curt and his brother-in-law Brad Pelo had founded Folio Corporation, where Paul Allen had worked in 1988. Infobases chose to use the Folio infobase technology which Allen was familiar with as the basis for their products.

  641. rjl

    Totally insufficient! A restatement of the previous announcement and “we are exploring” vagueness. Do you really expect us to trust you? If so, another mistake on your part.

  642. EA

    I have used FTM for years and spent years including personal details in this desktop package which I hoped my family would be able to read and learn about their family history once I am gone. I would not want this personal information on the internet nor cloud. I think this is a retrograde step without any thought of your customers. I am really distressed that after years of being a paying customer a decision like this has been taken without any consultation. Like many others I will now have to look elsewhere

  643. Ian

    I challenge Ancestry to publicly reveal how many Members have so far cancelled their Subscriptions. Also the potential impact on their 83% income (2014) from Subscriptions on next year’s projected Profit figures. Permira and/or whoever next acquires Ancestry will not be happy. Why should they be happy – we are NOT.

  644. Charlene

    I have cancelled my World Deluxe membership to Ancestry and I urge all those who are unimpressed with the arrogance of Ancestry to do the same … we need to let them know we are serious! You will still have access to your membership until your renewal date … at least this way Ancestry will see in $$$ what their decision will mean

  645. Jim Davis

    Will you commit to repairing the gedcom export, so that it a.-is importable correctly into other desktop software, and b.- make it complete enough so that it transfers our stories, media, and event tag details?

    Well before January 1, 2017 as a show of good faith??

    It (the web gedcom export) does NOT conform to the defacto gedcom 5.5.1 standard, nor to typical 5.5 standards, and is incomplete, yet this has been requested for years.

  646. Ang

    Interesting. This morning I received 2 discount offers from Ancestry. 20% off DNA and 20% world explorer. NOT!!! Once again the marketing team has misjudged the impact of their actions. It feels like a bribe.

    Why not take the discount offer and apply it to product support efforts? A better online Ancestry (compatible gedcom downloads too) AND continuing FTM development. Sorry, I’m not biting at this savings opportunity.

    Doesn’t feel like Ancestry is really listening. I don’t want to transition… but if forced to, it’s likely to impact many of my buying decisions.

  647. Jeff

    You people do all realize that this decision has all most nothing to do with FTM as a product, don’t you? This is all about the ability to layoff programmers, middle managers, etc. that is where the savings are: reduced payroll, decreased benefits cost (a biggie), no retirement fund matching, etc. Lots of people getting a pink slip for Christmas.

  648. Linda

    I input my genealogy records on Family Tree Maker for Mac — because I believe the alternative of storing on Ancestry requires the user to maintain an eternal Ancestry membership to access his data, OR he must print reams of paper, then try to find ggg-grandfather Obediah in the stack.
    I’ve been a years-long member of Ancestry so that I can use its resource functions.
    I have two trees, one I synch with Ancestry to obtain data; the other resides on my computer. I did this when huge problems were created during synching, the “Notes” for every person were scrambled with computer code, Notes and Sources were duplicated up to six times, and other glitches which required months of work — creating the “clean” tree. These major issues occurred when I got the most recent FTM for Mac update. The company’s later corrections came too late — I’d re-entered every single person on my new, unsynched, tree.
    I would like to get opinions from users of other products, such as Roots Magic, about ease of use, pros and cons. might like to note that my membership has just ceased. I’ll come back if the company shows respect for its members and offers a way to synchronize one’s home-based program to Ancestry. And by way of apology, provides a free year’s membership.

  649. Kim

    I have been with both Ancestry and FTM from the beginning. I am very disappointed in this decision. I have transferred my tree information to Roots Magic 7 for a back up. I will be watching very closely to what happens now and up to Jan ’17. I have no problem cancelling my subscription and removing my tree’s from Ancestry if this service does not meet my needs any longer.

  650. RWS

    “STAY TUNED” you say? Are you nuts or just mentally deranged? I have already cancelled my annual renewal which is due in January. So you just lost my annual $400. I’m cleaning out everything I have ever put on You should have thought everything through and made transition arrangements before your initial arrogant announcement. I would say some executive(s) in Ancestry need to be TERMINATED along with FTM. Our community will just move on and be fine – we are smart people. You, however, appear to be DUMB and are about to see your career go south. Hell is a very hot place.

  651. Martha Goodwin

    Cancellation Details
    Your transaction confirmation number is 132873586
    World Explorer Membership
    Expiration Date – April 1, 2016
    Refund Amount $0.00
    Your subscription has been canceled successfully.

  652. tom

    not much here new here to learn besides the fact that has become less relevant to me research and I will be spending less time and money here.

  653. Dan

    Leaving Ancestry? Don’t just delete your tree! Ancestry will steal your data.
    Unsync with FTM first. Then make as many nonsense links with unknown people and add as many incorrect facts as possible.
    Then cancel your subscription, but leave your tree on Ancestry.
    Ancestry will have difficulty selling your data if it is unreliable!

  654. Terry Kraft

    Here’s hoping someone takes over Family Tree Maker. It is (IMHO) by far the best tree software for Mac, and I’ve tried them all. An alternative solution would be to beef up Gedcom capabilities so transferring files is painless – like including all associated media, and providing users flexibility to define the fields they’s using/transferring and not using/transferring.

  655. Clare

    My first reactions were shock, disappointment, and then sadness. Having struggled though all the development problems with FTM [our first version was on floppies], I had expected better reward for loyalty. Obviously that is not important to Ancestry. So what to do now?
    I don’t think they will reconsider because why would they? It is a business decision and that means customers do not count if they can be replaced. So I’m in the market for software that contains data on living persons and hence can not be loaded to the cloud. While I may not care if Ancestry steals or seals my dead ancestors I can hardly allow them to steal the identities of living relatives! And yes steal is the correct word here because as we have seen there really is not security in any database connected to the internet.
    So I look forward to researching new software for my desktop and moving everything across. But then of course I won’t be connected to Ancestry so I’ll just use it for free at the library.
    So sad.

  656. Toni

    I’ve been exploring options since Mr Hulet’s catastrophic announcement and here are the results so far:

    Roots Magic 7
    My gedcom, exported from FTM, imported well into RM7, including photos and citations. The citation document images are also there and attached to the correct people although you have to do some digging to get to them for viewing.

    Family Tree Builder from My Heritage
    This desktop software is FREE! I used it and loved it, but switched to Ancestry and FTM for the record availability and sync features. This software has far greater functionality for inputting details. Just one example is the ability to add titles to names in a separate field that displays correctly. The gedcom transfer didn’t go quite as well. The citations did transfer, but the document images are not attached to the citations. Photos transfered, but if you want them to show up in the tree, it’s necessary to go into each person’s record and check a box to make whichever photo you want “personal”. So, there’s a lot of redundant work to be done, but I think this is the route I’ll take because of the quality of the software. Special note: Family Tree Builder DOES sync with a My Heritage tree online, if you so choose, and they also have record matching to other trees with a paid subscription to their site.

    A note about Find A Grave. Someone commented that it will only be a matter of time till Ancestry starts charging extra for access to the many memorials there. I could be wrong, please correct me if I am, but it’s my impression that Ancestry did not purchase Find A Grave. Yes, they have an arrangement to link to Find A Grave records, but Find A Grave is still a stand alone and their management has assured users that their site will remain free to use. It’s a little more work to go to their site and search for a particular ancestor, but I don’t think Ancestry has any agreement with them that would allow them to charge for access to that site. My hat’s off to Find A Grave!!

    I have already privatized my trees on Ancestry and will delete them just before my subscription expires, and will not renew it. Ancestry will not get another penny of my money. I’m surviving on social security and I won’t do business with a company that is only interested in money, ignores their customers, and can’t be trusted.

  657. Ken

    Too bad to see you stop support of Family Tree Maker. Kendall, you’ll probably have a short tenure at Ancestry with you proposed changes. Ken

  658. Schroeder

    try “Family Historian 6″… i never look at it possible i live in Germany and the interface only support english, but the software is really great

  659. Susan

    Family Tree Maker is the only software that I have used. When I found it in the late ’90’s I was elated that I would have a format for the several family books that I had collected. Now I am going to have to find something else. My only on-line post was so many years ago that it is now outdated and i do not use the “cloud”. I am very sorry that Ancestry is dropping the software and I will not be able to use FTM. I is a hobby with me as I have retiired. In the words of “Pretty Woman”, Big Mistake!

  660. Karsten

    if you really “kill” FTM, I will cancel my membership here at Ancestry.
    It won´t have any use for me. I do not believe that any other company providing a software will use Ancestry´s databases and that Ancestry would grant a third party access to these.
    And I´ll never trust the cloud.
    Thanks Ancestry for killing something really positive…

  661. Susie Q

    Now that Ance$try has totally ruined what was once an excellent Broderbund Product – Family Tree Maker & After having struggled through all of Ance$try’s so called upgrades – Ance$try is washing their hands of the mess they’ve made. Makes sense to me! Ance$try ruined Family Tree Maker – It was a much better product in the Broderbund days – I’ve stayed with it only because it was what I was used to – This may be a good thing b/c it will finish the connection to Ance$try for me – except as offered through my Public Library. Have never registered my FTM2014 and have never connected to Ance$try from it. I’ve heard some good things about Legacy. I am going to take my time and do my research before I switch from FTM 2014 to anything. My Family Tree resides on my Hard Drive and nowhere else.

  662. Carrie

    I am currently “exploring” a download trial of reunion which as a mac user i should have done years ago. it was only tree sync that kept me around. feb 2016 when my world deluxe expires I’m out will also be pulling off my tree

  663. Robert

    I canceled my subscription last night. That is the true way to get the point across. FTM is a gateway to the $189 yearly subscription to Ancestry. So, they lose both with me, not just eh $29 desktop revenue.

  664. Larry Weathers

    I just replied to “Toni’s” query about Find-a-grave and it went to a moderator.. So, now I guess they are going to edit our comments too.

  665. Rachel Boeye

    This is ridiculous. I’m a relatively new genealogy enthusiast, and when I started, I thought ancestry was great, I even shelled out the 200 something $$ for their full subscription. But, over time, I’ve lost faith in how much they “value” us as customers and their “concern” during this time. I started with FTM for Mac 3 because it was the only
    desktop program that would access my tree on, because it would install and run on my Mac without having do anything funky or install any extra software. I’ve had other issues over the last year, but I have one major bone to pick about all of this. The post announcing the retirement of FTM was published on December 8, 2015. On November 28, 2015, I bought a copy of FTM2014 for a new PC I just bought. Do you think that, whoever at ancestry made the decision about FTM, woke up on the morning of Dec 8th and thought to themselves “I’m going to retire one of the most popular genealogy programs today…”? I doubt it. I paid 69.99$ for the program. I seriously doubt that people would be paying that much for a program 10 days before this kind of announcement? I know I wouldn’t have. But here’s the real kicker… when I bought the program, the 6.95$ option for the extended download time was still available, which of course, I paid for as well because that’s smart, right? Do you think I’ll get my full use out of that extended download time? All I know is this, if I had been aware of ancestry’s plans, I would absolutely not have paid 76.95$
    for another copy of the program, or any software program that is going to be retired in a month. The subsequnt posts on ancestry’s blog have not made me feel all warm and fuzzy either. Being told to ‘stay tuned’ and that ancestry is ‘exploring options’ doesn’t re-assure me at all. To me, that sounds like a line to keep subscribers happy. I would have thought that a company like ancestry would have
    already had all of the details worked out about the ‘options’ they’re exploring for their customers before they made an announcement like this. If ancestry is going to stop supporting FTM, they need to come up with other options for us now, they need to give their subscribers answers, and they need to stop selling their software now!!! Why sell it if they know they’re no longer going to support it? If ancestry comes up with a good solution for all of this and allows other genealogy programs (that are comprable to FTM) to start working with our online trees, I’ll stay. But, if ancestry doesn’t come up with some good answers by the time they retire the sofware, I’m taking myself, my ancestors, and all my research somewhere else and will be deleting my trees. I’ll do my DNA research somewhere else, and won’t pay another dime to ancestry – for anything. And by reading all of the reviews posted before mine, I’m sure that I’m not the only one. One more thing, for those of us who bought a copy of
    FTM right before the announcement, they’re should be some sort of refund or something. As a company, if you respect your customers, you don’t sell them
    software for 76.94$ that you know you’re not going to continue supporting.

  666. RMau

    If anyone is going to rootstech ( in early February out in Utah, one of the most entertaining spots to visit will probably be the Ancestry booth. I’ll bet they get an earful from people attending the conference. And FamilySearch, findmypast and MyHeritage will all be there too, encouraging FTM users to switch.

    I hope Ancestry is offering more complete answers to people’s questions by the time rootstech gets started.

  667. David J Bunke

    After years of thinking about subscribing to, I finally bit the bullet and subscribed last month (Nov, 2015). I majored in history in college, I love history, I have an abiding sense of history, and the only thing that held me back from subscribing was the fact that I would probably become addicted and not have the time to devote to my tree. After a month exploring, I think I am addicted, and I want to spend as much time as I can researching. Yet, on the advice of a good friend and 20 year subscriber to Ancestry, I spent the extra money to buy FTM. A little over ONE MONTH later, I find out FTM is pretty much worthless, caput, gone. As one might expect, I am NOT a happy camper, and I will be seriously considering whether I want to continue with

  668. Carole Johnson

    When you took over from Broderbund many years ago, it cost many of us a fortune because our very expensive research cd’s became obsolete unless we used very old Family Tree Maker Software but we still supported you. Now you let us down by retiring FAMILY TREE MAKER after freely swallowing up our very expensive research . You retire Family Tree Maker software and tell us you intend exploring possible relationships with other desktop software solutions that would make it possible for their products to integrate with Ancestry. Then why is Family Tree Maker being retired. Why can’t be part of these software relationships. I have a subscription with Ancestry which doesn’t run out until July 2016 but after that date, I shall cancel my membership and will use software which I will make certain is not part of Ancestry.

  669. GFinlay

    Before announcing the retirement of FTM, you should have thought about first revealing a plan and timeline to implement many of the useful features of FTM on the online site. Your announcement of a phase-out of FTM with only vague assurances that you may consider adding some current FTM-only features to online (without any specifics) is a total failure.

    At most high tech firms, a software product manager would be severely reprimanded for not offering existing customers a clear EOL (end-of-life) migration plan for customers (to address their concerns about replacing lost functionality) and treating them with such callous disregard. Not impressed!

  670. Rick L

    I’ve been a customer since the 1990’s. On November 28, 2015 I inquired about getting a New version which would include a book to give as a Christmas gift. I was very surprised that the only way to buy it was as a “download”. Who wants to give as a Christmas gift, a piece of paper with a code. And who wants to receive that. As a way to try the download process, I upgraded my personal version. It worked fine, but i did not need to spend the $49. Last night i was still looking for a way to buy it with the cd’s and book and discovered that 3 days ago they made this announcement. I am pretty BS. I have 1525 family members in my tree and they date back to the year 1524. I hope something can be figured out soon.

  671. GFinlay

    Futher to my last comment, I would like to see your blog provide a list of features found only on FTM (e.g. generating all sorts of published charts (e.g. many styles of ancestor and descendant tree charts including printed output and PDF output), person reports (including much valued data errors reports to fix and scrub data errors) as well as ways to manage facts (including data options for different fields like occupation) and data sources. Then for each current FTM-only feature, you should have announced whether there is a similar way to achieve the same task or functionality online, or if not then a plan or timeline to implement that feature in the online

  672. James Eubanks

    Here’s one more…

    Cancellation Details

    Your transaction confirmation number is 131586150

    World Explorer Membership

    Expiration Date – March 1, 2016

    Refund Amount $0.00

    Your subscription has been canceled successfully.

  673. Debra Bethea Lodge

    I am angry ,sad and disappointed by this “New Coke” decision. This is what happens when a company forgets its ethos and it just pushes product.My membership with Ancestry.Com is over in September and I will be exploring my options in the meantime. As always the family history community has presented some possibilities for me to explore.

  674. Charles

    I suggest that you open up the API that FTM uses to access Ancestry on-line trees. I and many other software developers would have a keen interest in creating new innovative desktop and mobile applications that improve upon FTM. Releasing FTM as open source would give everyone a leg up in developing powerful new solutions. Ancestry could thereby utilize the resources of thousands of programmers at no cost, except for developing and maintaining the API much as Ancestry needs to do anyway. Ancestry could offset any overhead costs by charging a nominal fee to developers by issuing encrypted keys that allows their applications access to Ancestry data via the API.

  675. cal

    This is a first class betrayal of loyal customers. I will not be renewing my subscription. I regret all of the work I put into uploading data to I have launched my campaign to inform everybody that I can that has betrayed its customers and not to consider them for any future

  676. Richard Allen

    I am not reassured by Mr. Hulett’s comments. I have suffered through Ancestry’s inconsistent support for the tools the customer relies on for research while jumping off to fund the next showy thing. Examples of inconsistent support include maintaining the Y DNA matches, the print module and now Family Tree Maker (FTM). The next showy thing is to build a big revenue generator with (and you pay for it whether its successful or not). What Ancestry fails to realize is that a majority of us have been buying FTM for most of its history and we have heavy participated in its development by buying annual releases. Why? Because we had our data, photos, attachments, stories, documents, notes, etc and years and years of work in FTM. The sync with Ancestry was initially buggy but now that it has been worked out, and it is a dream come true. Why chuck all of this for no firm plans? Talk about being insensitive to customer! You have to ask yourself, why didn’t Ancestry just leave FTM alone instead of killing it? Because it was the next showy thing at the time. The thing is that I like, but not its huge annual world discovery subscription price (and it is really huge). So what have I learned from this:

    1. Do not trust Ancestry for consistent support of products.

    2. Ancestry is really insensitive to the demands of its customer. Must be because they are so huge.

    3. I need to find another software program that is totally independent from Ancestry and then spend hours and years repopulating data in that database because not nearly enough moves across in a GEDCOM file. If so, you could almost use it as a tree sync. I also want to leave it a database that future generations can access.

    4. I need to start using Family Search a lot more and maybe cutting cord with Ancestry. I wonder sometimes why I still pay for Ancestry when Family Search is free (the answer is the FTM tree sync).

    5. If I maintain a separate genealogy program without tree sync, I am not going to waste the time to separately put it on Ancestry and thus degrading Ancestry’s value to its customers. I am also not going to value tree sync in the future because I can’t bank on it being there.

    Again, I still want to use Ancestry because it is the way I have done it since Ancestry was invented, but I need for it to be consistent in its product support and focus. For example, the web interface has long way to go in feature improvements to match FTM. And the search function, a key functionality, can definitely use a lot of work (try searching for Bartow or Cass County, GA in the 1850 census and good luck).

    Finally, I simply find it hard to believe that Ancestry would dump a major product and functionality without plans to replace it with something better for the customer. I guess its business model is showing signs of age and the whole thing needs to be revamped.

  677. Dale

    Ancestry has profited from members research for years. Even if you delete your tree from Ancestry, they still have all the information that you put on there to date. This applies to people who had a private tree on Ancestry also. They have your information, and have been profiting from it.

  678. Kelley

    The below about says it all.

    Dear friends, I hope all’s well on your side.

    At MyHeritage, we believe there is still a place in the world for genealogy software, and there is value in the ability to work offline, and enjoy more powerful functionality that many websites cannot offer. We also believe that people should be able to discover and preserve their family history on whatever platform they are comfortable with. That’s why we are constantly innovating new technologies and enhancing our website, mobile apps and our Family Tree Builder genealogy software.
    We are delighted to offer FTM users who move to MyHeritage, and who choose to sync their family tree with their MyHeritage family site, unlimited tree size capacity on their online family site, which is normally limited to 250 individuals on a free account.

    Please see the blog post here which includes information on how to claim this gift, and let me know if you have any questions.

    Best regards!
    Daniel Horowitz
    Chief Genealogist Officer & Translation Manager
    +972-3-628-0047 | |
    MyHeritage Ltd., 3 Ariel Sharon St., Or Yehuda 60250, Israel

  679. Mary R.

    @Toni, per your request, I’m correcting you about Find a Grave. Here’s its citation in WIKIPEDIA: “The site was created in 1995 by Salt Lake City resident Jim Tipton, who sought a site to cater to his hobby of visiting the burial sites of celebrities.[2] He later added an online forum.[3] It was launched as a commercial entity in 1998, first as a DBA[4] and then incorporated in 2000.[5][6]
    The site later expanded to allow non-famous graves in order to have online visitors pay respect to their deceased relatives or friends.[citation needed]
    On September 30, 2013, announced its acquisition of the company. Tipton said of the purchase that had, “… been linking and driving traffic to the site for several years. Burial information is a wonderful source for people researching their family history …” planned to bolster the resources dedicated to Find a Grave to “… launch a new mobile app, improve customer support, introduce an enhanced edit system for submitting updates to memorials, foreign-language support, and other site improvements.”[7]

  680. If this is true about Ancestry owning Find a Grave, it seems they are in for a lawsuit since living people are displayed there and since Ancestry states that they do not give information on…. LIVING PEOPLE !

  681. Marilyn

    Some of us may be “grey power”, but we know about social media.
    Facebook users: Post to the Ancestry FB pages.

    Below some recent comments by me on the FB page & their replies:
    Unbelievable that you are still marketing the FTM software with no notice to customers of its imminent withdrawal.

    Hi Marilyn, as your previous post links to, we have publicly announced the retirement of the Family Tree Maker software; however, how third parties that are currently selling the software present it is up to them.

    Respectfully – perhaps you didn’t notice the headings on the top of the page at the above link: “” and “Online partner – Avanquest Software” – perhaps you should talk to your partner about this?

    Ancestry: (No reply as yet)

  682. Joe G

    The Retirement of FTM by Ancestry is obviously only a means to get everyone to use the Ancestry Website Tree Version “directly” or the Ancestry mobile app. ( I will explain what I mean by “directly” below). I agree with most of the posts (above) that Ancestry is making this change without regard to their customers “us” who want to maintain our files on our own computers and not rely on some 3rd party to look out for us. They also disregard some of the many features FTM has over the Ancestry site tree or the mobile App version (Think IPad).
    Two major features FTM 2014 has; (add your own and let me know)
    1. With FTM you can “merge” two “trees” together, which cannot be done with the existing Ancestry website or APP features.
    2. You can Export an “entire” tree or “selected individuals” and chose several FTM file versions as well as GEDCOM(the only support available from the website Ancestry tree), and nothing from Ancestry Mobile APP(Think IPad)
    To be fair the Ancestry web site tree by its design relies heavily on its graphic capabilities for a more appealing presentation, as most websites do these days, that is a good thing and is fine for those of us who have sufficient internet bandwidth and computers capable of handling it. For those who do not have those capabilities Ancestry should continue to support the ability of the existing versions of FTM to have access to the site material with their paid subscription to Ancestry. By the same token, those of us who have the bandwidth and computer capability should update and keep current with the improved software features which financially helps improve and maintain the existence of the FTM software you and I need and want. Just saying, support goes both ways….yes we are providing a data source to ancestry with our trees but in turn we need to support them by upgrading to current versions of the software we need.
    With that said however, FTM 2014 utilizes the same graphic features and page as the web site when it displays “search” results. Here are at least three examples of where FTM already uses the website “Directly”.
    1. FTM is using a web page from Ancestry that is displayed within FTM to provide a listing of the results of your “search queries”.
    2. FTM is using a web page from Ancestry that is displayed within FTM to provide the results of an “ancestry posted tree” that may have turned up in your search of an individual
    3. And if you choose to “use” i.e. “merge” some of the info in the “found” tree to “your” tree that is done by using “guess what” a web page from Ancestry that is displayed within FTM to merge the facts, media, sources etc. into “your” FTM tree and most importantly “your” electronic FILE on “Your” computer that you maintain, backup and are responsible for.
    What that means…. is Ancestry has done what it minimally needs to do in order to support FTM and using the Engine of the Ancestry Site deliver the data to FTM to use. In both cases they (Ancestry) are pulling the info from a common database.
    So Ancestry, that mumbo jumbo explanation for the retirement of FTM is just so much garbage. It appears to me the folks (your customers) who have supported you in the past are much smarter and attuned to their needs than the great honchos of Ancestry. They have little interest in your dribble of excuses and promises of finer things to come on the Web versions of their search tools. It would be smart on your part Ancestry to stop and “listen to your customer’s needs”, that is marketing and smart business 101.
    For your reference, I have been a practicing engineer since 1962. My computer interest and experience began in college in 1961 where as a Physics lab technician I helped design and built a working version of a simple computer to do basic addition and subtraction. In the early 80’s my first computer was a Commodore Vic 20, then a Commodore 64, then a Commodore 128, then finally IBM and w/ Bill Gates operating system the IBM Floppy disk PC appeared, and on and on. Computers were my tools as well as part of my end products as an engineer. I have written all kinds of Software for many uses along the way including geology data base software. First for the Vic 20 and then for the PC until there was something available in the market place that was better than my home brew. I went through several brands before PAF & Family Origins, (as the software business is tough (to live in, right Ancestry), and I end up here with FTM for many years.
    If FTM is indeed killed at the end of 2016 I will of course be prepared with the next most complete and competent “desktop genealogy software” brand available, whether “linkable” to the Ancestry database or not. That will determine if I keep any subscription to Ancestry or not….there are still some other choices to explorer.
    Keep the faith and have option “B” ready.

  683. Pamela

    #2 makes no sense: ‘We are exploring possible relationships with other desktop software solutions that would make it possible for their products to integrate with Ancestry.’
    You already own Family Tree so don’t try to suggest you’re looking at other desktop software to integrate with Ancestry, unless it is the 2nd most popular software that you acquire with the game plan to shut it down also to lessen perceived competition with Ancestry.
    Are you listening??? People use their desktop software in addition to Ancestry.

  684. ellen

    I’m so tired of hearing how your going to let us use what we paid for in good faith for a while changing over to Find my my past I knew a few that are and its going to snowball right to the stock holders.

  685. Roe

    It is time to leave the party, cancel my
    subscription, and take my trees with me.
    I belong to a over 1000 member local genealogy
    Society. I will go to the meeting on Monday where the topic is whether to use Legacy or Roots Magic.
    Ancestry, it was good while it lasted but I am out the door without looking back. My data stays on my computer not your cloud. Nice try to grab more of my money but not this time.

  686. rob

    You know, people… after reading pages and pages of comments (here, in several blogs and forum pages, and on many other websites), it is apparent that Ancestry has completely miffed off maybe 10,000 customers. We can all leave, drop our subscriptions, go our merry way… and nothing will have affected the corporate giant in the big picture. This will just be a blip in Ancestry’s financial spreadsheet.
    Marketed as “entertainment” (vs. real Genealogy), they have millions of paying fool customers. We 10,000 who care about the research and data don’t really matter.
    I’m going to quit crying and move on. See ‘ya, Ancestry. Enjoy.

  687. Edward Steiner

    MY data, MY work is on Once the software is no longer available, will I have to pay to have access to MY work that I HAVE posted? If not, this sounds like legal extortion. Take away the software and I’m forced to pay for my data. I’m invested enough in that I will not leave right away, but once I’ve discovered other software that I like, then I’m gone. I got onto precisely because of the software, not the other way around. If you do not find software that works with, then my primary reason for using your site no longer exists.

  688. Rosie

    I suspect that the real money for Ancestry is in the huge DNA database. Interesting that the Ancestry Management team has both a DNA Vice President and a Chief Health Officer. No where is there anyone even pretending to have some genealogy experience or interest.

    I have now cancelled my World Heritage Subscription. It doesn’t run out till Sept 2016 so time enough to make use of sources but there are some Australian and UK databases I will miss being able to access at 11.00 pm from the comfort of home.. Most of these are available at my local Family History Society.

  689. What is not understanding is the depth of our PERSONAL relationship and enjoyment we, as serious genealogists have with our dedication and yes, obsession, for years and years to this pursuit of one of the leading hobbies in America and the world. What we have create is in essence our “baby” to develop and nurture and something we are extremely proud to share with family and friends. This was a gift I could give my grandchildren and great-grandchildren and descendants of their heritage. As part of this also is our enjoyment of learning new ideas and history and strategies and all for sometimes of one discovery – a date- a possible ancestor we prove… I shared my Mayflower ancestor discovery, the application process, and wait to be approved with my 8th graders last year and they were as excited as I was and probably many of them caught the “genealogy” bug and maybe their families. As I have looked through the comments for the last two days I can’t help but wonder how you can read some of these stories and not be moved – people in this country in America with a lack of adequate internet, people in other countries – rural England for example, and Australia with inadequate internet service. People who have given thousands of hours helping in assisted living places provide a hobby for people who have a worthwhile project to keep them feeling vibrant and productive. It is such a travesty. I have cried several times and I think I am seriously depressed by this announcement and lack of caring. There have been several times when I was very upset with Ancestry in the past. Many years ago when I had NOT uploading my work I found close family members uploaded with EXACT WORD descriptions in the facts with UNKNOWN name for the trees headings. But, I did not want the burden of taking on a huge giant and what that entailed. I forgave. I have also been appalled by the 50,000 trees citing wrong information – blatant trees on my ancestor Jonathan Buck born 1751 Sharon, Connecticut. I spent 10 years going to libraries, sending for any documents, land deeds, census records (the hard way) until the DAR finally changed his wife from Mary Brencenbridge to Irena and accepted MY Jonathan Buck. Mary Brecenbridge and husband Jonathan Buck were TOO young for him to be in the Revolutionary War and were born and died in Herkimer County, New York. MY Jonathan Buck stated in his pension papers he lived in Vermont, New York, and Ohio where he applied for his service pension and was approved. HOW in the H could this be the same Jonathan Buck that others were using in their trees? I talked to Customer Service for hours and got no where. “We don’t judge – we let all the trees be included” and today when you look at the hints for individuals the first thing you see are Ancestry Trees, not records. In the past two days I downloaded my tree (14,000 people) on my Iphone and took a look at it. I laughed – it is in no way as good as my laptop. I also tried to use the Find-A-Grave for a known ancestor and no results were displayed as a result on the Iphone. I am disgusted. As I went back to my FTM on my laptop and saw the great features I enjoy – the display, the ease in which to change locations in bulk for consistency, the relationship calculator (my son-in-law and I are 10th cousins) which we laugh about…. on and on. I was planning a trip to Massachusetts and using my places search with relatives in different towns as well as burial sites – so easy and with maps. I’m not sure I will ever get over this. I am almost done with my families’ genealogies after 30 years and have intensely workied until 2,3, sometimes 4:00 in the morning for the past two years, and I feel VERY sorry for the people you have essentially said “We do not care about you; we do not care about our integrity to America and the rest of the world; we do not care if our product is bought and only used a short time, especially after people get frustrated and bored and don’t have the support. You have heard from knowledgeable people, technology people, design people, engineers, professional genealogists, IT people, and you still don’t care. I do not know how you can sleep at night. I have not slept much the last two nights and just want to keep crying. I feel powerless and we know you are wrong and we are right. You can fix this, you can change your mind, you can do so much to be the beacon in the world for what we stand for, or used to stand for, with a superior product that helps millions. I’m not even talking about the financial hit you will be taking. It is inevitable with the poor product you are displaying now. This is a serious shame and I have tears running down my face. How can you be so heartless? Please re-read these comments and do the right thing. You will make millions happy with just a few caring words – IMPROVE FTM – Keep the cloud/server/iphone/mobile apps, but leave the rest and we will forgive you. People forgive, it is the season of giving, and you can give the gift of happiness to so many, me included. Please don’t take this away from millions, (up from thousands) that I know this will affect. Read, listen, learn…..please care……I have written this from my heart.

  690. John

    I agree with so many others this is a complete betrayal, when we Aline with and put trust in a family tree company we expect them to support their software into perpetuity . The cost is a fraction of what they will lose in future business and reputation.

  691. John

    This is what happens when a software company puts a Wharton graduate in charge of its project management instead of an MIT or Berkley grad. This is purely a business decision. Ancestry can bilk its customers with subscriptions and addons. It’s really the future of all software since it is no longer driven by technicians but by bean counters. I mean, let’s face it, Kendall’s “shaky leaf” has brought us to the “buy a world membership” more often than not… this move will bring us “buy PREMIUM reporting” when you want more than the most basic of reports. Mark my words.

  692. Jan Murphy

    I encourage all of you who are interested in switching to new software to consider Family Historian 6. The link for the special offer to FTM users was posted above, but I’ll post it again:

    Family Historian has a wonderful users’ group with friendly and knowledgeable people who can help you make the transition to Family Historian. FH6 is powerful and can be customized easily by free plugins and other files which users create and share. There is an add-on program, Ancestral Sources, to help with data entry. The designer is willing to work with Ancestry — the only question is, is Ancestry willing to play nice with others?

  693. David A

    It would appear the leaf is not the only shaky decision Kendall Hulet has come up with.

    Is really so arrogant that they believe they can alienate and disenfranchise the owners and developers of the product they sell and to do so without consequence?

  694. Jane Billingsley

    I am so disappointed. We have been working with FTM and world ancestry subscription for a number of years now. We were also planning to give each other DNA gifts for Christmas….but,not now. My world subscription expires next November, so I will continue until then. Afterwards, without FTM or a better alternative, I will discontinue my ancestry subscription.

  695. John

    While the midnight oil burns in Ancestry la la land as they reconsider who they think they are, we must be grateful that we have been given the opportunity to escape the monster that they have created before they are fully exposed. It will be one of the headline stories once the news barons get hold of it and ring what they can from it. It is obvious however that FTM has become obsolete and that is why they are junking it. There are now better products on the market and this deceitful and contemptuous corporation is unable to complete and nor is it prepared to develop its package but rather take the easy option to get out. Thank you Ancestry for bringing my attention to this. I have now had the chance to look at the latest and I have been impressed.
    As the genuine genealogists dump you, your Ancestry trees product will be further diminished. Already it is suffering but when it becomes more apparent what garbage you are dishing out and what little creditable genealogy you can offer as the real players desert you; you will be the laughing stock. A great many of these trees already are unreliable and at times outrageous and it will become worse as more people plagiarize, copy and provide further idiotic connections. Your shaky leafs are indeed shaky if not shady as they produce some of the most ridiculous matches I have even seen. Beware the beginner who comes to your site and expects to grow trees without doing the necessary spade work that the serious genealogist knows is required. The general genealogical community will be able to call you for what you are. I’m so pleased I will be leaving before the rot sets in. How you will survive in that climate is for you to contemplate as you let more and more down. For us, we will be able to look back and say gee I got out at the right time.
    To think you can steal other people’s intellectual property for oneself is arrogance beyond belief. You take advantage of our good will for your own corporate greed. You don’t see this as a partnership but a means to an end, serving to dominate those who have supported you over many years and have enabled you to grow to the giant you have become.
    Merry Christmas but I cannot wish you a prosperous New Year.

  696. Robert B

    Why any business with the top selling software package on the market would suddenly decide to just up an abandon their market is simply unbelievable. Declining market, so what it’s rated the best in the market. If it’s declining then you are not marketing it correctly-get creative!
    I personally believe that FTM and are two separate entities owned by the same corporation. In other words, Family Tree Maker is the software that allows me to gather, compile, sort, save and report my findings and is the tool that I use to perform a lot of my research, but only one of several tools.
    As much as I hate the loss of my premier software package, it’s not the only software in town. Making the switch will be a difficult decision and I will continue to use as one of my tools for research; however, I will no longer share my data with Ancestry and have already deleted my online tree. I encourage all of you to do the same, unless living in the cloud is your cup of tea and you have unlimited access to it.
    None of us like change, especially when we view the change as negative. We all helped in making FTM the software package that it became because we saw it’s potential and we provided the feedback that eventually made it great. We can do that again, the question is which package do we shift too?
    Also remember that built their reputation on the backs of us sharing our research with them, that’s why they purchased FTM to start with, so don’t stop using them as a research tool, just delete your personal trees from their site and let the chips fall where they may. Don’t let them make you feel helpless!
    I’ve read about 1/3 of the comments left on these last two posting and believe me I understand the anger. That’s all I could think about for the first 24 hours, then I decided to not be a victim but a survivor. I’m not letting all my work just drift off into the sunset. I’ll be watching everyone’s comments over the next several months, then I will decide on a new software package and move on. Right now I’m looking at Family Historian and Roots Magic, but leaning towards the first.
    Happy hunting, we still have discoveries to make.

  697. Carol

    This whole episode makes you wonder just how the world of technology will move and just what we will have control of.
    When Windows 10 came out a few months ago Microsoft stated it may be the last version they develop, which means our computers may become useless in the future also.
    The thought is quite depressing. With the modern threat of cyber attacks and data theft etc are we all letting ourselves be blindly led into the future without questioning it?

  698. Alan Medows

    Maybe switching to MYHERITAGE.COM instead of ANCESTRY.COM may be an incentive for Ancestry to reconsider their unfavourable decision.

  699. Wes Cook

    It appears that some of the functionality of FTM/ is already cut. 2 days ago, I clicked on the “leaf” to see my hints. I found a couple that looked promising, so I opened one and found some info I needed. When the I went to the bottom of the info, NO MERGE BUTTON. Tried another hint, same thing NO MERGE BUTTON. Tonight I tried again. Same thing. NO MERGE BUTTON. Only way to get the info is to print it and manually input it to FTM. ALSO, unable to sign in or create an account for the customer comment community. What’s cooking?

  700. Richard

    I saw on the Ancestry website they are still actively selling FTM. Dishonest or what! I also noticed they were offering a service to get UK birth, marriage and death certificates for £22.99 each. You can order them direct from the General Registry Office for £9.25 each. More rip off!
    I have been researching for years with Ancestry, but now researching other software and will be gone before my current membership runs our. I have sent this information to all the people I have helped with their trees over the years so the word will spread. They have not caught onto the fact that only a small percentage of people will post here. Most will just vote with their feet. I see people are starting to share their thoughts on other software options. Suggest we all do that.

  701. Rowland Hackett

    I have downloaded the trial version of Roots Magic 7 UK version and imported 7 of my FTM trees from GEDCOM files. So far the only issues I have found are with the import of a few media items. My full copy of the Platinum edition is on its way to me. I will continue to use FTM with Ancestry until my subscription expires in October 2016 and continue with FTM till it ceases to function. I know that Roots Magic 7 will be able to successfully import my files and the full version should allow me to correct any missing media.

  702. Carol

    I tried to put an innocent comment re the future of Information Technology etc and it hit moderate! Not posted.

  703. John

    Ancestry’s failure to act quickly and at least suspend the decision to ‘retire’ ftm and also the half-baked new format due to be imposed on us shortly, for serious reconsideration, is the last straw.It has seriously misunderstood its core audience and it’s not even attempting any damage limitation whatsoever. It is contemptible corporate behaviour of the worst kind. The other software providers will benefit hugely from this maladroitness. Let’s make sure we take our subscriptions with us too. It will be hard to manage without the breadth and depth of Ancestry’s data sets to begin with, but that drawback will diminish with time. We will survive this; Ancestry may well not if it thinks the future is all about cloud, mobile apps and locked-in subscriptions.

  704. Wolfgang

    I use FTM for more than 10 years in Germany. For years ancestry stopped the devellopment of german versions and failed to produce an acceptable new version for the production of pdf. charts. The latest desicion to stop the desktop version is the worst among the many wrong desicions ancestry made in the last years. I think that this latest desicion of ancestry will not just finish FTM – I think it will finish ancestry.

  705. Jørgen

    I’m quite disapointed by the retirement of FTM, and are therefore considering to move my data from Ancestry and terminate my “World Explorer Membership”.
    I find it problematic that the proposed on-line solutions prohibits backup in other means than GEDCOMP.
    I use FTM for many purposes like having a local backup, just incase that looses their data in the clod. (I’ve been working with IT-security for many years and will under NO circumstances lack from complete structured local copy of my data. tend as a working copy of my primary tree works.
    Again if there are no change of the position of FTM (which will not sell outside US, so I have to stick with version 2012 even when it says there is a new version), I’ll move my data out of, and take it up in my Genealogy comunity.
    This means lower income to when more World Explorer Membership will be discontinued.

  706. Jim

    I use FTM desktop software as my primary genealogy research and storage tool. The reason I have a premium membership with Ancestry is the excellent integration between FTM and Ancestry’s source-databases, and the ability to sync my constantly evolving local database with Ancestry’s online trees. Now, I’ll be taking a close look at the free “” site and its equally impressive data content; this site has recently been making great improvements to the ability to store and manage family trees, and has been integrating with Legacy and other software programs. “” is part of a long time effort by the Mormon church to make family history accessible to everybody, and is far less likely to be abandoned or commercially exploited than ANY of the for-profit genealogy sites.

  707. Ian

    The approx 9-10,000 Comments are the tip of an iceberg. There will be many times more Members who will now ditch Ancestry. Last year Ancestry received 83% of it’s Profit from Subscriptions. The Ancestry Chief Dodo will by now have got the message that they can expect a huge drop in their Subscription Income in 2016/17.

  708. dspberg

    FTM was a real value for those of us who purchased it. It gave us the ability to share our family tree details with relatives who rarely looked at family trees (and thus did not subscribe to Ancestry). To compensate for the future inability for us to “publish” family tree reports inexpensively using FTM, will Ancestry expand it’s menu of free print options and file saving? That’s why I purchased FTM – to be able to print various reports without the expense of “publishing” through Ancestry’s service. I am disappointed that you plan to take away this feature when FTM is retired.
    Thanks in advance for reconsidering similar report and file-saving options your members.

  709. why do you retire one of your best features in the first place? And why then come back with a blogpost like this? It looks like you didn’t read the comments and concerns at all. I haven’t seen one in the original blog to support this decision. And those are 5000+ already. Nor does one of the 700+ here. Why don’t you listen to your customers? What is the strategy behind this decision. There has to be one, otherwise you wouldn’t do it. I give you that credit of a doubt. And why investigating if there are other desktop solutions? There is one, right now which is FTM!

  710. stewart

    very disappointed in Ancestry is pulling FTM but my view is this. will not stop me using Ancestry as the research and info it holds is great. yes the tree sync and some web feature will/may stop after 2017. but this will not top e from working on FTM on my laptop as the software will still be on there and usable.. yes I will look for an alternative software to use as a back up (as a just in case), but to fully back it up will mean many hours of saving all the facts & media which are not on my hard drive and have just merged to FTM. as a gedcom will on ly copy text and the media only saved on hard drive. we will not be able to buy FTM, and support will stop but this will 1. not stop us from using FTM, 2. not stop what we get from ancestry,.3. FTM will continue to be of use after 2017. all we need to do is back as should be done

  711. KenR

    There have been many company managers who have made incredible blunders like Coca Cola and Microsoft Windows 8. This decision has to be a huge blunder by Ancestry. Time for a new CEO!

  712. Linda

    FTM is my software I use for my genealogy program I use Ancestry as a source of information and I think I pay a hefty price for it. I find it interesting that Ancestry can control what software I use for my own use. I will carefully evaluate my options as this is devestating to me as I have all my information, notes and linkages to pictures in FTM. Can anyone list alternatives to help others in their next steps. I have a ton of research at my fingertips through FTM and none of this is on ancestry – please Help and I hope Ancestry will reconsider. I know there are other websites and subscription services that are popping up all over and suspect there will be many more especially in response to this announcement. Thanks for all your help – or not

  713. jacqueline

    Ancestry continues to make decisions without consulting subscribers who paid money for their services and expected to get what they paid for —-FTM will be defunct eventually and of no use – a waste of money and time. Ancestry does it again.

  714. Marty

    By now it should be obvious that your customers do not support this abrupt change in direction. Rather than speculate on the rationale that might have led to this very unpopular decision I suggest you reconsider and continue to support your existing family tree software. In the end, it is both the right decision for your loyal customers and for Ancestry. Thank you in advance for rethinking this decision.

  715. I have to admit, I’m, mostly upset about the loss of TreeSync. I had resisted upgrading FTM to the newer versions for a long time, but last year I finally decided that since I wanted my Ancestry tree to be up to date all the time, I finally upgraded to FTM version 2014. Until then, I was still using my tried-and-true Version 16 from 2006. I had seriously considered using Legacy which seems like a great program. The only thing that kept me with FTM was the TreeSync ability. I hope you follow thru with the statement:
    “We are exploring possible relationships with other desktop software solutions that would make it possible for their products to integrate with Ancestry.”

  716. Jeremy

    Guys, take a look at Gramps… it’s OPEN SOURCE and FREE so you’ll never be held to ransom again. Importing a Gedcom file into it was easy and the only information that didn’t make it across was the media description field in FTM.

  717. Malcolm

    Dear Kendall
    Thought you might like to know that after subscribing to your website for over nine years and purchasing a copy of Family Tree Maker, I have, today deleted my trees from your website and cancelled my subscription with great saddness, as I had hoped to remain with you for as many years as possible, but as I cannot stand the look of the new site and the cancellation of the Family Tree software means I cannot link trees there seems no point in continuing on this site. Should you ever have a change in thought I may rejoin, but from the look of things your members wishes are not worthy of consideration. Thanks for the good years I have had here, shame there won’t be more.

  718. Linda Cain

    Very bad idea. Basically you are asking all those that have been with you FOREVER to buy new software to accomodate YOU and your systems instead of being a loyal genealogy friend. Think you will be losing a lot of people along the way. Your services are getting higher and higher and those of us on set incomes can not continue to pay the price to continue with their subscriptions. The majority of your subscription base is elderly people. Most are not computer techy people and making them switch to another software is going to tell the tale let alone the continued rise in prices to subscribe with no discount to seniors. Good Luck. I’m looking elsewhere and I’ve been with you FOREVER.

  719. Farley

    I predict that Kendall Hulet will come riding in on a white horse at the eleventh hour and bring back FTM – but as a subscription product much like Microsoft did with Office. Kendall will be maligned for his greed much like Microsoft was, but many users will get over it, especially since FTM will continue to be available. However, may permanently lose quite a few members in the interim. Will it be worth the cost to their reputation?

  720. Ian

    Reply to Farley. Hulet will not come riding in on a white horse – more likely a donkey. The damage has been done and Ancestry will dig in their heels and issue a few reassuring (!) statements from time to time. They obviously believe the future lies with encouraging the kids to join – they are so wrong; they are too busy with their Smart Phones, XBoxes etc to take an interest in a time-consuming hobby such as Genealogy. Ancestry have not only lost all credibility with the Seniors th