Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Family Tree Maker to Live On, and RootsMagic to Get Ancestry.com Syncing.

Back in December I reported that Ancestry.com was discontinuing its support for Family Tree Maker.

Well, I should have realized that all sorts of things get announced in early February in connection with the RootsTech conference in Salt Lake City, and this year is no different, and yesterday they sent the following announcement to their users:

Ancestry

Dear Family Tree Maker™ community,

Since our Family Tree Maker announcement last December, we have continued to actively explore ways to develop and support Family Tree Maker and ensure you have choices to preserve your work in ways that matter to you.

Today, we are pleased to announce two options for desktop software that will work with Ancestry.

Software MacKiev

Software MacKiev, with whom we have a long-standing relationship, is acquiring the Family Tree Maker software line as publisher for both Mac and Windows versions. Software MacKiev has been the developer of Family Tree Maker for Mac for more than six years and is thrilled at the opportunity to publish future versions of Family Tree Maker for Mac and Windows.

This new agreement means you will receive software updates and new versions from Software MacKiev, and have the ability to purchase new versions of Family Tree Maker from Software MacKiev as they are released. You will have continued access to Ancestry Hints, Ancestry searches, and be able to save your tree on Ancestry with Family Tree Maker moving forward.

RootsMagic

We have made an agreement with RootsMagic, a leading genealogy desktop software program publisher, to connect Ancestry with the RootsMagic software by the end of 2016. With this new relationship, RootsMagic can serve as your desktop family tree software, while having access to Ancestry hints, Ancestry searches, and the ability to save your tree on Ancestry.

We have heard your concerns and are working to provide the solutions you requested. These new agreements will make it possible to preserve your work on Ancestry and Family Tree Maker and enable future features and benefits to help you discover your family history. Be assured that Ancestry, in cooperation with Software MacKiev and RootsMagic, will continue to support you as you discover your family history.

We ask for your patience as we work diligently through all the details to make these solutions available. You can find additional details about these Family Tree Maker partnerships on our blog. We also encourage you to continue to check back on our blog for future updates in the coming months.
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RootsMagic was not going to be left out, so they posted more on their own blog:



Search, Sync & Download from Ancestry
Recently, the genealogy world was rocked with the news that Ancestry would be parting with their “Family Tree Maker” (FTM) genealogy software. Thousands of FTM users have since made the switch to RootsMagic. But the question everyone has been asking has been, “Will any other software be able to search and synchronize with Ancestry the same way that Family Tree Maker did?”
Today, we finally have an answer to that question- “Yes!” We’re pleased to announce that we will be working with Ancestry to bring these features to RootsMagic in the near future.

What does this mean for you?

Search, Sync, Import
  1. Search – RootsMagic will be the only software besides FTM to search Ancestry’s extensive collections of historical records from around the world and let you download those records into your own file.
  2. Sync – RootsMagic will be the only software besides FTM to let you share data between your RootsMagic files on your computer with your personal Ancestry online trees. You’ll also be able to download people, events, and even pictures from Ancestry onto your computer through RootsMagic.
  3. Import – RootsMagic will be able to directly import your Family Tree Maker files, without having to go through an intermediate GEDCOM file, giving you the cleanest, most complete transfer of your data. RootsMagic will also be able to download your online trees from Ancestry.
Yes, this is big news and we’re sure you have many questions about it.

Questions

Does this mean that Ancestry bought RootsMagic?
No. RootsMagic is still the same independent software maker that we’ve always been. We’ve simply arranged to work with our friends at Ancestry to make this happen; just as we work with FamilySearch, MyHeritage, and other genealogy companies.
Why are RootsMagic and Ancestry working together?
This really is a win-win for both companies and their users. RootsMagic users will have convenient access to Ancestry’s vast collections of trees and records, as well as synchronizing with private online trees. Former Family Tree Maker users will have a path forward, importing their original FTM files while using the Ancestry hints and trees that they’ve come to depend on.
When will these features be available?
As is to be expected with something this big, it will not happen overnight. Both Ancestry and RootsMagic are dedicating considerable time and resources to make this happen. We anticipate having many of these features available later this year in an update to our RootsMagic 7 software.
Are you the only other genealogy software working with Ancestry?
Besides Family Tree Maker, yes.
What if I don’t want to upload my data to Ancestry?
Like all of our integrations with other companies, these features are completely optional. You’re free to use or ignore them as you like.
Will I need an Ancestry subscription to use these features?
Use of Ancestry features will require an Ancestry account, even if only as a free Registered Guest. The features and records available to you will depend on your subscription level.
Will I still be able to use RootsMagic to work with FamilySearch, MyHeritage, and other companies?
Of course. This will not affect any existing functionality in the RootsMagic software including sharing data with FamilySearch Family Tree and WebHints. In fact, these relationships give RootsMagic users the ability to access more records from more sources than any other software.
I’m a Family Tree Maker user. Do I have to buy RootsMagic now?
We certainly wouldn’t mind if you did :) But seriously, Ancestry has stated that current versions of Family Tree Maker will work with their services through 2016. So you don’t have to make the switch immediately.
We invite you to look at RootsMagic and its features and, if you like what you see, you’re welcome to make the transition whenever you feel ready. You may be willing to wait until the new Ancestry features are available or you may wish to get started right away. Whenever that time comes, please visitwww.rootsmagic.com/ftm for a special discount and instructions to help you make the change.
Please visit www.rootsmagic.com/ancestry for more information.
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This is all very exciting news for the genealogy community, and probably puts RootsMagic on track to be the premiere genealogy software, with its upcoming Ancestry.com syncing along with its current ability to interact with FamilySearch.org and MyHeritage.com.

My only quibble with RootsMagic is that it is difficult to merge identical events, but that is really minor. I am probably switching over this spring.

I'm on the California Genealogical Society Board!

I cannot believe that I did this: I wrote this post on Saturday, January 23, 2016 but I never published it.

I really need to get back to blogging more regularly!


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Today I was elected to the board of directors of the California Genealogical Society.

This is my first genealogical leadership activity, and the first board that I've served on just for fun (i.e., not for professional, political, or social justice reasons).

I'm honored and excited. I will be formalizing my life role on the board over the next month, but I know that this will be a lot of fun. The people are great and the opportunities are many.

More details will follow over the next few weeks.