Neal relations at Cuckoos Cup, The Wrekin

Keeping the family trees in sync

I started building my family tree using, but fairly quickly decided that my reference database would be using the connected Family Tree Maker software on my PC. A new version of this comes out every year, and the latest is due out soon – in America at the end of September and in the UK two weeks later (according to Amazon, which says release date is 14th October).

The differences between the annual versions can be quite small, such as minor enhancements to the reports available and customisable historical events for  the timeline view. This time though there is a key new facility – Tree Sync. At last the online and offline versions can be kept matched up without doing everything twice (or creating a new tree every time you want to sync).  There is a little information on TreeSync in Ancestry’s Customer Help FAQs (web pages gone, Jan. 2018).

If you haven’t started using FTM and/or Ancestry yet, it would be silly to buy the old version (the upgrade discount in the UK isn’t worth talking about). And for once I might not just be buying the new version, once I’ve found a decent discount, as a cheap way of getting an Ancestry subscription.

Also note

I’ve started a Family Tree Maker notes page – useful links and a few tips and on using the program.


An email on the FTM 2012 upgrade has arrived from British distributor Avanquest (lunchtime 26th Sept). Seems like the upgrade is available right now if ordered direct from them for £19-99 (includes one month Essentials membership), but probably won’t be despatched until nearer 14th Oct.

Pre-orders can be made on Amazon – Family Tree Maker 2012 Deluxe Edition (PC) is the cheapest (but check further Cutlock item on options).

This is what the Avanquest email contained:

NEW TreeSync™ – Synchronise Desktop and Online trees! Easily update your online tree from your desktop, laptop and even your iPhone or iPad – and then simply click to sync so your tree is always up-to-date, no matter where you access it next. Share your tree with other family members and choose who can view and update it.

NEW Blended (Combined) Families View – see stepfamilies, adoptees and other blended families at a glance.

IMPROVED Smart Stories™ – gives you new tools for adding and editing your family’s details. Include facts about the individual and his or her spouse and children.

NEW Customised Fact Sentences – Now when you create an Ahnentafel, descendant report, or Smart Story you can change the wording of the fact or event sentences and also choose what data is included.

IMPROVED Notes Report that lets you display person, research, relationship, or fact notes you’ve entered for individuals in your tree.

NEW & IMPROVED Charts – Now you can display generation labels (such as parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents), add your own images and text and create a descendant chart that shows the relationship between two people whom you select.

NEW Index of Individuals Report that lists every individual in your tree and their birth, marriage, and death dates.

SIMPLIFIED Interface for Upgraders – A newly simplified interface integrating the best of previous versions.






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