If you already have Family Tree Maker 2012 or 2014 (or Family Tree Maker Mac 3), then you can synchronize your Ancestry Member Tree to your Family Tree Maker software any time during the next year. The synchronization feature of FTM/Ancestry will work until 31 December 2016.
BUT, if you don't already have Family Tree Maker 2012 or 2014 (or FTM Mac 3), and want to synchronize your Ancestry Member Tree, you may want to purchase FTM 2014/Mac 3 by this Thursday, 31 December 2015. After that date, Ancestry.com has said they will stop selling FTM 2014. Go to http://www.ancestry.com/cs/apps/products to purchase and download Family Tree Maker 2014 or Family Tree Maker Mac 3.
For more information, see Ancestry to Retire Family Tree Maker Software (posted 8 December 2015) and More Information on Family Tree Maker Desktop Software (posted 9 December 2015) from the Ancestry.com Blog.
There is a learning curve to any desktop genealogy software program - Family Tree Maker included. A new user will have to learn how to use the program so they can synchronize Family Tree Maker with their Ancestry Member Tree, and capture the attached Media.
Researchers with an Ancestry Member Tree can always download a GEDCOM file to their computer at any time, but when they do the attached media is NOT included. The only way to capture the attached media is by synchronizing with Family Tree Maker 2012 and 2014 (or Mac 3) desktop software, and the ability to download and purchase FTM 2014 (or Mac 3) ends on 31 December 2015, two days from now.
Once the media files have been downloaded from Ancestry to your computer, they will be in the "Family Tree Name" Media file folder in the Family Tree Maker file folder on your computer, where "Family Tree Name" is the name of your Ancestry Member Tree. If my Ancestry Member Tree name is Randy's Genealogy, then the Media file folder will be Randy's Genealogy Media.
Unfortunately, the actual attached file names do not include the name of the person to which the file is attached. The file names include the name of the database (e.g., 1900 United States Federal Census). If there is more than one attached image from that database, then sequential numbers are created by Ancestry and appear in the list of downloaded files.
This is not an optimum situation, but the media are linked to persons and Facts in Family Tree Maker 2014.
Russ Worthington has many helpful short videos on how to sync FTM 2014 with an Ancestry Member Tree, how to download a GEDCOM file from An Ancestry Member Tree, and many more, on his Cousin Russ YouTube Channel. See also his Family Tree Maker User blog.
Ancestry.com has instructional Family Tree Maker videos on their YouTube Channel also. There are free video tutorials and discussion about Family Tree Maker 2014 by Duff Wilson on the Ancestry Academy site.
Now let's assume that a researcher did not obtain Family Tree Maker 2014 (or Mac 3) before 31 December 2014. In that case, a researcher could try to obtain FTM by:
* Finding someone in their community or genealogical society that is willing to sell their FTM 2014 (or Mac 3) installation disk.
* Finding someone on a message board or social media that is willing to sell their FTM 2014 (or Mac 3) installation disk.
However, not everyone has an FTM 2014 installation disk - many researchers downloaded FTM 2014 (or Mac 3) from the Family Tree Maker website after paying for it.
The Terms and Conditions for Family Tree Maker software should be reviewed by potential buyers and sellers. They may require the seller to delete their Family Tree Maker installation from their computer if they sell it to another party.
Lastly, the way to ensure that record images or photographs for your ancestral families are attached to persons or Facts in your genealogy software program is to download the record images from the provider website, rename the images to something descriptive, and useful, and then manually attach them to the persons or Facts in your family tree software program (whether FTM or another program). I will write more about that in another blog post.
Copyright (c) 2015, Randall J. Seaver