Family Tree Maker Returns PLUS Ancestry Partners With RootsMagic

By Allison Dolan

Those of you wondering what you’ll do with your family tree now that Ancestry.com has discontinued Family Tree Maker genealogy software will probably welcome these two new options for storing your computerized family tree data and records:

  • Ancestry.com announced today it has sold Family Tree Maker software to a company called Software MacKiev (which has been the developer of Family Tree Maker for Mac for six years). Family Tree Maker owners will receive updates and be able to purchase new versions from Software MacKiev, and they’ll continue to be able to save their trees to Ancestry.com, use hints and search Ancestry.com from within the software. (The announcement doesn’t specifically mention syncing, though.)Update: Here’s how Ancestry.com responded to my question about syncing: “Family Tree Maker will continue to have syncing capability with Ancestry trees, however this feature may evolve as Software MacKiev updates the software.

    “It will use different underlying technology than our current TreeSync but it effectively provides the same basic functionality of allowing the user to keep data in their online tree and data in their desktop tree consistent.”

  • Ancestry.com also announced a new agreement with RootsMagic to connect the Ancestry.com website to RootsMagic genealogy software by the end of 2016. That means you’ll be able to use RootsMagic as your desktop software while using your Ancestry Member Tree as your online version.

RootsMagic does say its software will sync with Ancestry trees, as well as directly import Family Tree Maker files (no need to export a GEDCOM first). Read more details and a Q&A on the RootsMagic website.

“We have heard your concerns and are working to provide the solutions you requested,” states the announcement from Ancestry.com. “These new agreements will make it possible to preserve your work on Ancestry and Family Tree Maker and enable future features and benefits to help you discover your family history.”

Wondering whether all the fuss could’ve been avoided when Family Tree Maker’s retirement was announced in December? You’re not alone. Ancestry.com spokesperson Matthew Deighton says that the software purchase contract wasn’t yet signed when the announcement was made.

For more details on these agreements, see the Ancestry.com blog.