On December 8, 2015, Ancestry.com announced that it will be ending the creation of it’s Windows and Mac lineage program Family Tree Maker. There will be one more year of support for Family Tree Maker users through December 31, 2016. After that the program will no longer be developed or supported.
If you are a user of Family Tree Maker your existing software will still continue to work on your machine. But many users of a discontinued lineage program often feel uncomfortable when they discover their program will no longer exist in the future as to future developments or new releases.
And so with this big announcement from Ancestry.com there has been a lot of
“buzz” going around about this. Dick Eastman in his online genealogy blog created a post highlighting all of the “free” lineage genealogy software that still exists for users to consider using or trying regardless of what software they currently are using. Most of these programs will work both for Windows machines and for Macs.
Here is a link to the Dick Eastman blog post on “Free Genealogy Software”:
This is a well put together article that can help those currently undergoing the uncertainties of the news surrounding the discontinuance of Family Tree Maker. Many of those users will be entertaining switching over to a completely new lineage program. For everyone else this is still a great article because it will expose you to all the lineage software that is available for you to sample yourself whether you are a Windows user or a Mac user.
Whether you have uncertainty if you are currently using Family Tree Maker or would like to try out another lineage program, you can always get your lineage data into another program by creating a GEDCOM file from your program and then importing it into your trial program.
My one rule of thumb is to always import a GEDCOM into a newly name file and not into an existing family file that you use.
Just do a Google search using the following terms “importing exporting gedcom youtube” and you will see many YouTube videos on how to deal with GEDCOM files both for importing and exporting between a variety of the lineage programs that exist.
You can also go the Ancestry.com YouTube channel at:
and just enter the term GEDCOM into the search box within the channel. You will see many tutorial videos about importing, exporting and just about anything about what a GEDCOM process is.
Check out Dick’s expansive blog post on “free genealogy software” to see what is out there for you to consider using. For all lineage software users this is a great chance to see what is out there for you to try that is different from what you are currently using. There is plenty for both Windows and Mac users.
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