Earlier this week, Ancestry announced that they are going to stop selling their very popular genealogy software program, Family Tree Maker (FTM) effective December 31st, 2015. This announcement came as big surprise to the genealogy community. However, with the reformatting of their website and millions of new records added to their vast records collections I must admit I am not all that surprised by this announcement.
With all the changes at Ancestry.com this year I felt that this announcement might be coming in 2016, especially after I had a conversation with the FTM Help Desk. It wasn't anything that the person said directly, it was there actions! Always, I have found that those who answered my questions regarding FTM were very helpful but on this particular occasion they just wanted to hurry through my questions. The person also kept referring me to "Ancestry Academy". In all honesty I wasn't quite sure that the person I was talking to actually knew anything about FTM. After this call I should have seen the writing on the wall.
Why are we, the genea-community as a whole so surprised by the announcement? Is it because of our familiarity with the program? Is it because we don't like or want change? Or are we just set in our ways? What I am surprised by is the negative comments I have been reading from the genea-community on social media sites. Yes, we have all taken swipes at Ancestry, me included and especially this year with the "new" Ancestry roll out online. However I don't think that the responses I have been seeing are truly warranted.
In Ancestry's statement posted on their company blog, Tuesday, December 8th, 2015, they state that "Ancestry will continue to support current owners of Family Tree Maker at least 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. We will also address major software bugs that may occur, as well as compatibility updates." Well, that gives us all at least year to find an alternative.
Decisions, Decisions, Decisions
So what are the alternatives? Here are some of the offers I have found but you should know up front that I am not being paid in any form for my suggestions of these software programs, these are all Windows options because I know absolutely nothing about MAC's and I am a consumer just like you. I don't know what software program I will be using yet but I do know that I am trying RootsMagic and Heredis because I already own FTM and Legacy. I would also recommend this review, "2016 Top 10 Best Genealogy Software Review" which can be found here. Below is a list of the software programs I have been looking at recently because of specials currently being offered.
- RootsMagic announced in their company blog post on Tuesday, December 8th, 2015, for FTM users to switch to their software program with special pricing and bonuses. It is $20.00 and is a "limited time offer". See the full post here.
- Legacy Family Tree has also made an offer for FTM users to switch to Legacy, offering a special price of $19.95 until December 31, 2015. See the full post here.
- Calico Pie, makers Family Historian (from the United Kingdom) which is offering FTM users a 20% discount of a download license for Family Historian 6. This offer ends January 31, 2016. See the full post here.
- Ancestral Quest 14 which is made by Incline Software is also offering a discount to FTM users. The regular price for Ancestral Quest is $29.95 for the download of the Windows version or $34.95 (plus shipping/handling) if you purchase the CD (Windows version only). There is a discount code you must use to ensure you get the discount. Be sure that FTM10 appears in the promo code field near the bottom of the order page. For more information please see their website here. Thank you very much to Cathy Meder-Dempsey of Opening Doors in Brick Walls, for sending me the information regarding Ancestral Quest's offer for FTM users!
- Heredis Genealogy Software program has recently made some big changes in 2015. They are currently offering a 50% discount off of their regular price of $29.99 and is now $14.99. This offer expires January 3, 2016. To learn more click here.
I am going to spend several days checking out RootsMagic, Heredis 2015 and Ancestral Quest 14. Once I have completed that task, I am going to post my review of each here at Dawning Genealogy. Look for those to be posted before December 31st!
In the meantime I have lots to do as I finish up with my posts for the remainder of 2015 as well as starting posts for 2016 here at Dawning Genealogy and starting my new blog, The Other Side of Scarlet coming in January 2016.
"2016 Top 10 Best Genealogy Software Programs", Top 10 Reviews, (http://genealogy-software-review.toptenreviews.com/ : 9 December 2015).
Ancestral Quest, Incline Software, (http://www.ancquest.com/index.htm : 9 December 2015).
Michael Booth, "Family Tree Maker Users Have A New Home at RootsMagic" RootsMagic Blog, 8 December 2015 (http://blog.rootsmagic.com/?p=2546 : 9 December 2015).
Family Historian, "Family Historian Welcomes Family Tree Maker Users", Family Historian 6 Genealogy and Family Tree Software, December 2015 (http://www.family-historian.co.uk/ftm : 10 December 2015).
Geoff Rasmussen, "Update on the Family Tree Maker Announcement", Legacy Family Tree, Millennia Corp., 8 December 2015 (http://news.legacyfamilytree.com/legacy_news/2015/12/update-on-the-family-tree-maker-announcement.html : 9 December 2015).
Heredis.com (http://www.heredis.com/en/heredis-2015-for-windows/download-trial-heredis-2015-for-windows/ : 10 December 2015).