Saturday, July 11, 2009

Family Tree Maker 2010 software - what? when?

When will the latest version of Family Tree Maker, version 2010, be announced, and be available? I'm thinking that the announcement will be "soon" and that it will be available sometime during August 2009.

Those estimates are based on the Sunday morning breakfast hosted by at the SCGS Jamboree where Michelle Pfister and Mark Lemonnier reviewed some of the highlights of FTM 2010 for nine wide-awake and eager bloggers. I took notes. They said that we could "tell" after July 8th... I fully expected some sort of announcement this past week, but maybe it is coming soon.

Another indication is that FTM 2010 is being offered for advance sale on (price $29.99 for FTM 2010 Essentials, released 2 September 2009) and on Navarre Distribution Services here ($69.99 for FTM 2009 Deluxe with 3 months of ancestry, release date 18 August 2009). The section titled What's new in Family Tree Maker 2010? lists:

* New tools and charts that help you tell a richer story

* Better ways to organize photos and other media

* Create slideshows from the images in your tree

* Family books made from your tree

* Standard source templates that help you reference the right information
* A view of your relation to everyone in your tree

* Extended family birthday calendars

* Images scanned directly into your tree

* Family migration paths over time

* Easy family tree download from

At the breakfast, I think that Mark hit all of those bullet points. He expanded on some of them, including:

* FTM 2010 will "synch" to Ancestry Member Trees - the user will be able to upload an FTM 2010 database, including attached images and other media, to an Ancestry Member Tree. The Ancestry Member Tree, with attached media, will be able to be downloaded to Family TreeMaker 2010. However, I think that an Ancestry member will be able to download only their own trees and media, not somebody else's trees and media (we'll need to sort this out!). [delete this sentence: However, the standard GEDCOM download from Ancestry Member Tree will not include media - only the GEDCOM format - even if you are using FTM 2010.]

* FTM 2010 will load faster, and will have a reduced database size relative to FTM 2009.

* FTM 2010 will be a separate buy - users with FTM 2009 will have to pay to upgrade to FTM 2010.

* The Plan screen in FTM 2010 will have a web dashboard and a list of family trees with statistics. The dashboard will include the user's Ancestry account and Twitter feed.

* On the Publish screen, there will be more reports and charts. Media will be added to Family Group Sheets and sources to Charts. They will offer an extended family chart (the view of your relation to everyone in the tree).

* There were many more items in the People, Places and Sources screens - all of them sound good to me. Let's see what they look like when this is released to the genealogy community.

The important thing to me is that is continually improving the Family Tree Maker software. In some cases, they are "catching up" to the competition. In other cases, they are breaking new ground.

I believe that, at some point, there will be a Family Tree Maker program online so that users can do their adding, editing, noting, sourcing, etc. in the online program without a massive desktop program sitting on their desktop hard drive - in other words, "Genealogy in the Cloud." That makes a lot of sense to me, especially with Netbooks becoming so popular. I expect that such a program, and the database storage, would be offered for a price.

NOTE: If I have misstated anything above, I hope that an person will let me know. While taking notes, I was still thinking about how good the breakfast was... I thank for the free breakfast and the FTM briefing - it is helpful to get to know the Ancestry people and for them to get to know some of their customers.

Updated 9 p.m. to add Amazon link and price details.

UPDATED 13 July: I corrected my discussion of "synching" above in red. I received an email today from Michelle Pfister informing me that FTM 2008 and 2009 can already upload a Family Tree Maker file, including attached media (images, audio, video, etc.) to an Ancestry Member Tree from within the Family Tree Maker program. I must have misunderstood Mark when he discussed the "synching" of FTM 2010 to Ancestry. Michelle told me that the capability for an Ancestry member to download their tree, with attached media, from Ancestry Member Trees to FTM 2010 will be part of the FTM 2010 upgrade.


geneabloggers said...


I too was at the Ancestry breakfast during Jamboree and I've not yet received any communication in terms of release date, talking points to be used in blogs, etc.

It may be that FTM 2010 is not yet ready for "prime time" but also it might be due to all the GenealogyWise traffic and blogging and publicity. Ancestry may be waiting for all quiet on the genealogy internet front before making its push.

Anonymous said...

Gosh, now I'm really bummed! While at the 2009 Jamboree I ordered the newly discounted 2009 Family Tree Maker thinking I was getting a terrific deal. Now I find out that it's already outdated and I haven't even taken delivery of my order yet!

Cindy Jeitler

Anonymous said...

Looking forward to version 2010. I enjoy being able to share my tree with others on, but if I make an update to my FTM 2009 software, I either need to delete my current tree at and upload a new tree, or I have to double enter the information.

What I'd love to see is some form of app for the iPhone that can work with the tree on

Anonymous said...


Thank you for providing this information ... I aready pre order FTM 2010 from Amazon, because I would want the added functionality. Thank you for letting us know what that new funcationality is!

Unknown said...

I much prefer having the genealogy software on my computer rather than "Genealogy in a Cloud".

Anonymous said...

I received my copy of FTM 2010. My former copy was 2005 and every previous edition. Because of edition problems, I stopped upgrading after 2005. I loaded the 2010 software, then registered my copy. Then the problems started.

In 2010 you have to import your database(s) into the new software. The requirement seemed a little strange to me. Why can't the software just read my database without importing it? I can't find an answer to my concern yet, because without an imported database, the software is inhernelty inoperative.

My next problem arose after I spent 2.5 hours importing a single database into the software. When the import was 99% completed, the program froze and crashed. An error message appeared, stating "Import failed because of an unknown error." I had to use Windows Task Manager to abort the import, and to quit the FTM application itself.

I made two more attempts to import the database, taking an additional 5 hours of time. I only got the same result.

I've emailed FTM Tech Support THREE TIMES. So far, no response.

Anonymous said...

I am having problems with FTM2010.
I currently use Legacy and it states in the software that you can import directly from your Legacy file. NOT TRUE!! I get a file import error and they have not been able to solve it.

FranD said...

I just got the upgrade from 2009 to 2010 today. The ONLY reason I bought it was because of this: "The relationship calculator takes the difficulty out of working out how all of the members of your family tree are related - with just a simple click the relationship calculator tells you how all the family members in your tree are related to each other."
NOT brother and I have two 4th great-grandfathers who are brothers. One line to my father and the other to my mother. The two relationships the tool shows (1) brother (2) "Grand nephew of husband of aunt of wife of husband."
My brother and I are actually 6th cousins.