1) On Contest to Win a Free Copy of Family Tree Maker 2012 (posted 6 August 2013):
* Barbara said: "I absolutely love the "Sync" feature in Family Tree Maker. It is a no brainer if you subscribe to Ancestry.com. Entering this stuff is way too time consuming. I believe that is what makes it #1. I also use RootsMagic 4 which really is a better program for creating reports/charts, citing sources, etc. I have to say, recently, my data in RootsMagic has gotten somewhat out of date. Wish there was a "Sync" button to link Family Tree Maker and RootsMagic. How about it, Bruce?"
My comment: It's a great wish, considering how badly FTM mangles a GEDCOM file. If your Ancestry Member Tree is the most recent, you could download a GEDCOM file and import it into RootsMagic. If your FTM file is the most recent, you could create a GEDCOM file and import it into RootsMagic, or sync it to an Ancestry tree and export it as a GEDCOM file. There are pletny of options. The major issue with GEDCOM is the media files.
* James Aylard commented: "It was about a year ago that some of us speculated on the possible release of a Family Tree Maker 2013. About a month or so later, Ancestry.com nixed the speculation and said, no. We are now nearing the time of year when Ancestry.com traditionally releases new versions of FTM. I am curious whether we will soon see a Family Tree Maker 2014?"
My comment: There has been absolutely no word out about an FTM 2014 that I've seen. I forgot to ask about it at NGS and Jamboree conferences, my bad! There was a thread on the Family Tree Maker message board for suggestions for FTM 2014 - a wish list, with many comments.
Do my readers have more up-to-date information about a possible FTM 2014? If there will be one, there should be a beta version already in work. I was in on the beta for FTM 2012 and the sync issues, but have not heard of anything this year. They usually announce these upgrades in the summer of the year before, and often unveil it at a large conference (FGS Conference is in two weeks!).
2) On Top Ten Genealogy Software Reviews for 2013 (posted 5 August 2013):
* Anonymous #1 said: "The Top Ten Reviews site is a joke. They base their reviews on who pays the highest affiliate commission. Don't believe me? Look around at the top three products and click on the "Buy" links. They all take you to the Herman Street store which is the same ownership as Top Ten Reviews.com.
"Family Tree Maker, being the most expensive software, and therefore making Herman Street the most money, gets the highest ranking. Software that is not sold by Herman Street is all relegated to #4 or lower.
"Look at their other Top Ten Review sites and you'll see similar patterns. The highest-ranked products are those that are the most expensive and are 1) sold through Herman Street's store or 2) have a generous affiliate-link program.
"As you mentioned, the fact that this is the 2013 list and they are not even reviewing current versions of programs tells you that this is not a serious software review site.
"A better source would be About.com Genealogy or GenSoftReviews.com. Come to think of it, the Amazon.com user reviews are a pretty good way to read what actual users think of their software."
"I realize most review sites sell the products they review, so I pay more attention to the accuracy of those reviews.
"That being said I agree their reviews could be updated to reflect the newest versions. I also disagree with a few of their points."
"The difference is that Top Ten Reviews writes their own reviews and ranks the products based on which will maximize their profits. The other sites allow users- who do not directly profit from the reviews- to rate the software. With such glaring bias, Top Ten Reviews cannot be trusted to give readers accurate information."
"RootsMagic doesn't have an affiliate program. I've asked and they say to refer people to your own Amazon link where you can get paid that way. No wonder they rated them #3, but used version 4 for the comparison."
"How about the town records of Southborough (not deeds or probate)? And since Southborough was formed from Marlboro in 1727, I assume you have really looked for Browns there in deeds, probate and town records?
"Now that you have a couple of candidates for Brown parents, you might try searching those families in the NEHGS search to see if they appear in any journals. But of course birth records can be spotty in this era, so your search among the extremely common name of Brown continues, I guess...
"Ah, for ancestors that didn't move all over the place ..."
"I have a John Goodrich, 1623–1680, of Wethersfield, CT, and son of John Goodrich & Margery Howe. Is this the same as yours? If so, the Elizabeth he married is identified as Elizabeth Edwards, d/o Thomas Edwards & Elizabeth Busfield (Charles Collard Adams, Middletown Upper Houses)."
"I have a John Garnsey born 7 Dec 1648 in Dorchester, Norfolk, Massachusetts, United States. Son of Henry Garnsey and Hannah Munnings. He died 31 Mar 1722 in Rehoboth, Bristol, Massachusetts, United States
"His wife is identified as Elizabeth Titus born 5 May 1651 in Rehoboth, Bristol, Massachusetts, United States. She died 11 Apr 1714 in Rehoboth, Bristol, Massachusetts, United States.
"If this is the same as your John Garnsey then we may be cousins! He is my 9th Great-Grandfather."