Family Tree Maker and Our Family Tree

Published September 22, 2012 by Steve Watts #

Family Tree Maker and the tree Julie maintains for our own family don’t play well together. Late last year - early October 2011 I think - they first offered up the newest version. We jumped on it because, frankly, we were afraid that something might happen to Julie’s work on ancestry.com. Good news - nothing has happened. Bad news - after nearly a year and lots of trying a complaining and we still don’t have a synchronized tree between ancestry.com and either the MAC or the Windows version.

I’m writing this because I tried both versions of FTM - MAC and Windows - today and both have updates. I try running trial syncs every few weeks in the now seemingly futile hope that they will have fixed whatever is keeping us from using their programs as defined on this massive tree. I am in the middle of an attempt to sync on the MAC as we (or maybe that’s I) speak. I believed prior to the MAC FTM implementation that MAC programs are usually more capable and that it would work first there if anywhere. It actually does look like it’s going to work, but then I check memory use and as the program consumes all available memory and starts to consume swap space it’s pretty clear that - whoops, crash. At that point you have to go clean up after the ancestry software - not too bad since the only “ill” effect seems to be the fact that they THINK the trees are in sync when they are not.

So far we haven’t lost anything. I really hope that continues, because - well, it’s really beyond contemplating. We do have the more standard GEDCOM backups and such, but her tree goes so far beyond what you can download from ancestry using a GEDCOM that it’s not even funny.

We hope they hurry. For my part, I’ve given up on calling them about it - they are nice but that are also a black hole - lots of input but no output beyond a random update now and then. It’s fairly shocking they get away with it, but I guess when you’re the BIG DOG

All of that said, I want to be clear that the tool appears to work quite well for smaller trees and the ancestry.com tools are great for what we need. We just want to have a representative backup in our hot little hands for goodness sake!