Saturday, December 31, 2016

Family Tree Maker Newsletter - dated 24 December 2016

The Family Tree Maker Users Facebook group page has the latest newsletter (dated 24 December 2016) from Jack Minsky of Software McKiev, the owner of Family Tree Maker:


FAMILY TREE MAKER News - Holiday Edition

As you settle in for some holiday cheer, here's our last news for 2016.

If you've been trying hard to resist upgrading to the new MacKiev edition, well quick, cover your eyes, close this email or just jump to the next article, because we are about to share three potentially irresistible reasons to make your move:
• The $29.95 upgrade discount ends December 31st (it's going up to $39.95)
• You will be able to continue syncing into 2017 and beyond
• You will get a copy of a new edition coming in 2017 — for FREE

So if you haven't upgraded yet from your older Ancestry edition of Family Tree Maker (FTM 2012 or Mac 2 and older), and you've read this far, no more excuses. See “How to Get a Copy of FTM” below to learn more.

Here's the situation. You're upgrading to our new edition of Family Tree Maker and you have your tree still linked to your old edition. Well there's one thing you should NOT do — and that's to break that link and re‐download your tree. Because now you can take your link with you. When you open your tree in our edition, the link will move (somewhat magically if you ask me) right along with the tree. No need to break links or re‐download. It just works.

Relax. TreeSync® won't stop working at the stroke of midnight on New Years Eve. It will still be retired at some point in the not too distant future, but before that happens, new syncing technology will be available to replace it. And that means syncing as we know it for FTM is going to live on into 2017 and beyond. So stop worrying about what happens at the end of the year. As long as you've purchased a MacKiev edition, syncing, search, and Ancestry's shaky leaf hints are all here to stay.

If you're an early bird in the US, you'll be pleased to know that we've added three more morning hours to our live chat support service, now open from 6am‐6pm, 7 days a week. We still offer email support and you'll find hundreds of useful articles in our Support Center. But when your research can't wait, there's nothing like a live agent to walk you through the steps. See “Getting Technical Support”, below.

Here's hoping you have a great holiday time with family and friends, and I can hardly wait to share what's coming in the new year. But that will just have to wait for the next edition of Family Tree Maker News.

Stay tuned!
Jack Minsky
Software MacKiev

Topics of Interest (see below)
• How to Get a Copy of FTM
• Getting Technical Support
• Getting a Replacement Copy
• Family Tree Maker Home Page Links

As you probably know, we have published updated versions of Ancestry's latest editions which we call FTM 2014.1 and Mac 3.1. You can find out how to get a copy below. Where you go depends on what Family Tree Maker edition you currently have:

• Users of FTM 2014 and Mac 3
Free updates are coming very soon. If your copy is working well, just hang in there, and we'll notify you as soon as the updates are available. If however, you are experiencing problems with your copy of FTM, you can get the latest build right now for free. See “Getting a Replacement Copy” below.

• Users of older FTM editions
No matter how old your copy of FTM is, or whether it's running on Windows or Mac, you can download an upgrade for $29.95 (vs. $69.95 regular price) until the end of 2016. Sign up for the Family Tree Maker mailing list at to take advantage of this limited-time upgrade offer which ends December 31st.

• New users
If you have never owned a copy of Family Tree Maker before, you can download a full edition from our online store for $69.95 by going to and clicking the Store button. You can purchase a download with or without a hard copy on CD or on a USB drive. And on startup, you'll get an offer for a 14-Day free trial you can use to search all US records on

Software MacKiev is now supporting all versions of Family Tree Maker for both Mac and Windows, though Ancestry will continue to assist us behind the scenes through the end of 2016 and beyond.
Where to Get Technical Support

Companion Guide. 
The first stop for learning how to use features of Family Tree Maker is the Companion Guide which contains step by step instructions for everything you might want to do. You can open the guide from the Help menu while running Family Tree Maker.

Knowledge Base. 
We have hundreds of helpful articles posted on our support site on a variety of topics that will be of interest to all users, and can help solve problems. To get to the knowledge base, just go to

Support Requests. 
If you don't find what you need in the Knowledge Base articles (at just click the link for “additional support” at the bottom of the page and you will see the Technical Support request form. Typically we'll be getting back to you by email in 2 days or less.

Live Chat. 
When you file a Support Request (see above) between the hours of 6am and 6pm EST (7 days a week), you will have an option to have a live chat with an experienced support agent. This can be very helpful for urgent issues or those that would be easier as a discussion than an email exchange.

Facebook Group. 
There is an excellent unofficial but very active Facebook group called “Family Tree Maker® Users” which you might want to consider joining. They have many very experienced users who are generous in sharing their time and wisdom to help other users solve problems and learn new tricks.

Replacement Copies. 
We have set up an online Replacement Center which is always open. The Center provides free replacements for those with FTM 2014 or Mac 3 and later, and discounted upgrade replacements for older editions. If you are a registered user and find yourself needing a fresh copy, then have a look at “Getting a Replacement Copy” below.

For any users needing a replacement for FTM 2014 or Mac 3, we have set up a completely automated online Replacement Center. Whether you've had a hard drive crash, are moving to a new computer, or just need to reinstall FTM but your activation code doesn't work anymore, you can use the Replacement Center 24 hours a day to get a fresh copy. Here's how:

Getting a Replacement Download
1. Go to
2. Click "for additional assistance" at the bottom of the page.
3. Click the Replacement Center tile.

The Replacement Center checks that you have a copy of FTM 2014 or Mac 3 registered with Ancestry and then provides you with a free fresh link by email. You will also be given an option to purchase a backup disc for $10 or our new natural wood USB backup drive for $14. Note that what you get will be a full free-standing installer, so it won't be looking for your old copy, a disc, or anything else.

You will also notice that the replacement copy installer doesn't ask you for an activation code. That's because we don't use them. Why? Well, we don't like them ourselves, so we decided a long time ago we weren't going to torment our customers with them. Instead, we use this old-fashioned thing called the honor system. It's been working pretty well for us for more than two decades now, so don't expect us to be changing that any time soon.

Almost everything you will need to know can be found on our Family Tree Maker home page.
Links on the home page include:
• FAQ – Find answers to the most frequently asked questions.
• Feedback – Let us know what we're doing right and what to improve.
• Report a Bug – Tell us what you think needs to be fixed.
• Suggest a Feature – What you would like to see in our next edition?
• Beta Tester Signup – Volunteer to help us test upcoming editions
• Gift Collection – Perfect gifts for the family historian.

Any Questions?
If you have questions for us, please first read our FAQ as we've tried to answer the most common ones there. If you don't find the answer you are looking for, please send your question through our Feedback Form which you'll find on our FTM Home Page (see above). Thanks!


If you go to the Facebook group page, please read the comments - there are many, and some of them describe a good experience updating their Family Tree Maker software and continuing to sync with their Ancestry tree.

So the bottom line for current FTM 2012 and earlier users is that there is a FREE update right now, but FTM 2014 (Windows) or FTM Mac 3 (Macs) users will have to wait for the email with the link until sometime soon (Jack's intro says "next week" which starts on 1 January 2017). 

One other great thing is that, for current users of FTM 2012 and earlier, the NEW version for 2017 will have a discounted upgrade price if you buy the Update now.  And the sync with a currently linked Ancestry Member Tree should work.

I didn't see any promise of a FTM 2017 discount for FTM 2014 and Mac 3 users, but I'm guessing there will be one.

I haven't received my email from Software MacKiev yet because I am a registered FTM 2014 user.  I don't think I will download the replacement copy now since the email is coming "soon."

I just found the email for my FTM 2014 Update in my Gmail spam folder dated 30 December.  Onward!

Has anyone taken advantage of the earlier users opportunity?  


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