After retires Family Tree Maker

By now you may have heard that is retiring the Family Tree Maker (FTM) software line. cites the diminishing desktop application market as the reason to retire the software. That can be translated as the software group is not profitable enough for them.

If you are like me, you have seen the usefulness of having an online tree at You might have searched for new records from the tree. You might have followed the hint leaves. You also might have attached the records and other media (e.g. pictures and stories) you find by merging them into the profiles of people on that online tree. The more detailed those profiles are, the better the quality of the records that suggests. made it so useful and so convenient.

So far, the only method download the tree complete with the attached records and media was to synchronize it to FTM using the TreeSync™ feature.

When you download an online tree, it is packaged as a GEDCOM with citations, but not with the attached records or media. This is done by selecting the “View Tree Settings”, then in the Manage your tree section, click on “Export Tree”. Then you would need to download the actual records individually. Of course, you can always download the individual records one at a time independently of the online tree, and add them to a family tree on your computer.

What we know:

  • will not sell Family Tree Maker 2014 after 31 December 2015.
  • FTM will be supported until at least 1 January 2017.
  • Currently, no other family tree software has the ability to synchronize (sync) with the online trees

Read about it on the blog:

Here are some options for Family Tree Maker users:

The big questions yet to be resolved:

  • Will online tree users be able to download the media attached to their trees after 1 January 2017?
  • Will allow other companies to interface with the online trees to sync with other programs?

If were thinking of getting FamilyTreeMaker, it is only available as a download. It costs $69.99 and can be found at: If you have a previous version, you can upgrade for $48.99:

My history with FTM goes back to the Broderbund version of it in the late 1990s. After some experimentation, I moved on to Rootsmagic. However, I had been seriously considered buying FTM 2014 to sync with the online tree. Even though I have been keeping online trees at, I have always kept a family tree with photos and other documents on my home computer in a desktop program.