08 December 2015

Ancestry.com - Dumps Family Tree Maker

Once again we see Ancestry.com dumping their acquisitions!  If this company had a solid "game plan" for itself, perhaps they would leave things alone and focus on what they CAN do instead of upgrading their viewer which often has to revert to the old viewer as it doesn't work well, never fixing indexing errors, but just allowing anyone to do a patch; doing DNA testing for the Y-chromosome and trashing all that; taking on various DNA companies then dumping those test samples and now this...


Dear Family Tree Maker™ community,

Ancestry is proud to have made a significant investment this year to bring valuable new content and records to the Ancestry site. In 2015, we’ve made 220 million searchable historical records from Mexico available, more than 170 million pages from the largest collection of U.S. will and probate records, among others. We’ve also introduced new features such as Ancestry Academy, and major advancements for AncestryDNA.

As we strive to provide our customers with the best experience possible, we are constantly evaluating our services and product offerings. True to this focus, we’ve taken a hard look at the declining desktop software market and the impact this has on being able to continue to provide new content, product enhancements and support that our users need. With that, we’ve made the tough decision to stop selling Family Tree Maker as of December 31, 2015.

We will continue to support existing Family Tree Maker owners at least through January 1, 2017. During this time, all features of the software, including TreeSync™ will continue to work. Our Member Services team will also remain available to assist with questions or issues you may have.

These changes are never easy. But by focusing our efforts, we can concentrate on continuing to build great products for our loyal Ancestry community.

You can find additional details about the retirement of Family Tree Maker on our blog.

They have obviously, once again, taken on more than they can handle and/or what they have isn't making a big enough profit.




MS2015 said...

With FTM now on its way out, could you recommend other offline alternatives to xfer our FTM files?

Thanks so much!

Genealem said...

MS2015. I do not make recommendations for specific software or for most everything. I am looking into what I plan to use the in the future. Many people may stick to FTM until it gives them problems. I plan on having a back up program in place before FTM gets so old and crashes. I would suggest you use your browser to view comparisons among genealogy software. Here's a few links in no particular order:

Best to you,

MS2015 said...

Thanks so much Emily. Wow, the offerings grow every day. I see a large number of users are unhappy with FTM; might have been a reason they threw in the towel. I had tried a few of the others mentioned in the reviews; only went with FTM because all my trees are on Ancestry, so I thought there'd be less software issues. That being said, I am less and less a fan of the new Ancestry online interface, it's slow and buggy in terms of results (their SQL stmts often don't reflect what the user specified) - they're not a very consumer friendly company, I never got any of my issues addressed. So the larger question for me is also how I balance where I get genealogy content from. I am curious if any of the software suppliers are planning on adding a DNA database addin - so e.g., I can store various DNA results of family members in an interpreted, accessible (family tree) manner. Seems that would require a special genetic genaology interface. Thanks again.

The Intrepid Adventuress said...

If I understand the implications of Ancestry dumping FTM -- it be much more difficult for customers (especially newer ones)to efficiently transfer their research/trees from Ancestry's server -- so, they'll be less likely to discontinue their subscription. My interpretation of their motivation for the move is that it is at least partially about greed. Does that angle hang together? Thanks -

Genealem said...

My understanding is that Ancestry didn't wish to put more money into FTM. We know Ancestry has a record of acquiring companies and dumping them; we know that Ancestry does not fix errors and that they outsource their transcriptions to people outside the US. As they say: a leopard doesn't change its spots.
..... I've used FTM for decades. I have heard there are some software programs that do allow you to add genetic information. You would have to write the companies to know which. I would, however, be very careful that there is no assumption that a living Y-DNA tester would have the exact result of every male in the Y-line. Mutations as you know do happen, and making assumptions is not accurate. However, you can state that the tester has that particular result, and hopefully, any genealogy software program will not allow you to draw generalizations based on that. Of course, the haplogroup would be correct UNLESS there is some NPE back in time. NPE (my version is: Not the Parent Expected, but geneticists say: Non-parental Event. IMO, every conception is a parental event, so I coined my version years ago). Regardless, there are many reasons for surname changes and basically that is what an NPE is.


Genealem said...

The Intrepid Adventuress...
Isn't any business about greed? There are exceptions (some do not charge their customers: Family Search, ProQuest which does now have an Acnestry connection!)

It will be more difficult to keep up your AncestryTree as you have to make changes via their system. I don't post my tree, although I have tested there. People need to contact me to share data. I will not give out my entire gedcom under any circumstances. I'm a seasoned researcher and not a "collector" of information that pertains to my family.

It will be interesting to see what the fall-out is from this. However, with Ancestry's money, they are seriously targeting the NEWBIE genealogist and have done so for years with ads. They make research sound so simple...Just pick the leaf...just click here, etc. For "genealogists" who are out to "collect" their ancestors, that works. For the seasoned genealogist, that is bunk. When the internet first began (I've researched for over 50 yrs), someone emailed me and exclaimed they had been on the internet for 6 months and couldn't find their family. I told them to get off the Net and get into the court house.