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50 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ancestry for beginners, and experts
What a wonderful product for storing and sharing your family tree. I was half expecting to be blinded by science with this software, with long detailed descriptions of why things work a certain way and possibly having to rigorously enter all exact details in a certain order. I can happily report that Family Tree Maker is a joy to use, and one that the more experienced...
Published on 8 Dec 2008 by G. Horsham

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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Family Tree Maker 2009
I was expecting and upgrade of the Family Tree Maker Program 2007 only to find a completely new program that is nothing like the original. The thing that upset me most was the inability the publish my own book. I do not want it done by the program vendor at some considerable cost.
I have reverted to my old program.
Published on 17 Feb 2009 by P. Forsyth


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50 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ancestry for beginners, and experts, 8 Dec 2008
By 
G. Horsham (UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Family Tree Maker 2009 Deluxe (PC CD) (CD-ROM)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
What a wonderful product for storing and sharing your family tree. I was half expecting to be blinded by science with this software, with long detailed descriptions of why things work a certain way and possibly having to rigorously enter all exact details in a certain order. I can happily report that Family Tree Maker is a joy to use, and one that the more experienced you get, the more benefit you can get out of it.

Installation was straight forward and easy to register (the deluxe version grants 3 months "Essentials" membership to ancestry.co.uk - 6 months for the platinum version). The "Getting Started Guide" gives slightly more than brief details of the main features such as installation, setting up a new tree, adding media clips and printing the tree.

So using my standard approach to using new software, I ignored the guide and got on with the job in hand. I started off entering my details (date of birth, marriage etc), then I noticed you can add in the place of marriage, and it will allow you to look up the exact place (must be a list installed with the software as the look up works whilst off line), but even if it cannot resolve the place name, you can still enter it.

Entering other details is very easy. There is a quick entry pane for adding new people and children of an individual, and if you select one of these, there is a further more detailed pane to add date of death, marriage(s) etc as well as media clips, notes and tasks. All in all, a very comprehensive list of attributes that can be added for an individual (dates of degrees, confirmation etc) plus you can add your own custom facts/notes too.

Add to the fact you can then print the details in a number of different, pre defined ways (charts and various different report types, too many to mention). You can even export the data in GEDCOM 5.5 format to share with others.

Negative points, not many - it takes 10-15 seconds to start up; there seem to be a multitude of ways to do the same thing (add a spouse or child for example), so you can get confused how to do something; navigating the family tree when entering details takes a little getting used to.

Cannot grumble though, overall, it is a great package.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Software., 31 Dec 2008
By 
Curlynob (Eastleigh, Hampshire, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Family Tree Maker 2009 Deluxe (PC CD) (CD-ROM)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I don't know whether it's just an age thing, but recently in my mid thirties I started to become more and more intrigued by the history of my family. My Mother and Father come from quite different backgrounds and as my Father died when I was quite young I know very little about his side of the family. This program was simple and easy to use. I had it up and running quickly, and to be honest with only minimal attention to the instructions I found it very easy to find my way around.

Once a few names had been entered, the software automatically started to find ancestry artefacts like my Father and Grandmother's Death Certificates. Some of these ancestry artefacts were included in the price, but pretty quickly the software started asking me for money to display additional artifacts it had located - some of which obviously were not relevant to my family tree (unless i've been lied to and my Grandad is really from Canada). This sofware should be considered the start of your Family Tree adventure, but get ready for a lot of work and additional expense.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really a great programme, 26 Nov 2008
By 
Birmingham Book Reader (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Family Tree Maker 2009 Deluxe (PC CD) (CD-ROM)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
For a long while I have been wanting to start to sort out my family tree. This programme has been the answer, the CD is easy to install. The tutorial is very helpful. Already I have the makeing of my family tree going back over 100 years. The 6 months free registration to some helpful websites is vital.
Finding out your family tree does take time, this CD will not give you a long tree without some work. The Web is on the whole answer either but this great set points the family historian along the way.
A super buy, highly recommended.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars ...does what it says on the tin..., 18 Dec 2008
By 
Mr. H "Mr H" (Embra) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Family Tree Maker 2009 Deluxe (PC CD) (CD-ROM)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
After a spate of family deaths, it's fallen to me to try and pull together the strands spread far and wide, so this couldn't have come along at a better time. As someone new to the whole notion of genealogy software I was looking for something to hold my hand through a new experience. So, was Family Tree Maker 2009 Deluxe the right choice?

Well, yes-ish.

Installation was a breeze, something that shouldn't delight me, but still does, after wallowing in so many buggy products over the years. Now, to be fair, I had cheated and already had a pile of birth, marriage and death certificates to input, something that definitely helped. But once things were up and running, the learning curve was simple enough, although with a product as in depth as this one, there were a few WTF moments, as I toiled to understand what was expected of me.

However, the basics were dealt with well enough by the "Getting Started" guide, so that was enough to start a basic family tree. However, there does seem to be a multitude of ways to do the same thing. Having a single point of entry would help out novices like me. I also found the Interactive Training Tutorial not much cop.

But, so far, its turned out to be a fabulous package, which does everything I want it to, and doubtless a thousand other things that I don't know I want yet. But will. Highly recommended.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Review of Family Tree Maker 2009 - Platinum Edition, 24 Feb 2009
By 
Nick Flynn "NickF" (Devon, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Family Tree Maker 2009 Deluxe (PC CD) (CD-ROM)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I had the Deluxe edition of Rootsmagic before receiving the FTM 2009 Platinum program, and immediately I saw how much more user friendly FTM is, and how much more information came with it. It was really easy to install and to import a GEDCOM program from Genes Reunited where I had a fuller family tree already set up. The import only resulted in 6 small errors, far fewer than when I imported a GEDCOM file into Rootsmagic. The only problem was that the Getting Started guide didn't mention how to import files, and it was only once I'd opened up the program and looked around it that I found out how to do it. Maybe a section on this should be included in the guide!

The 6-month free subscription to Ancestry and the ability to instantly merge records into my family tree is a brilliant addition to what I had before. I had not had Rootsmagic long so am not an experienced user of FT software yet, but FTM 2009 is so user-friendly I can see I'll be using it whenever I have a spare minute. I like the automatic back-up facility, but I found early on that I could switch this off if I wanted to, and save a back-up elsewhere, which is useful.

To be honest I didn't really read the Getting Started guide much before getting stuck into using FTM 2009. I found it really easy to pick things up as I went along, producing reports and adding people and so on, by just exploring all of the options on-screen. I also like the way you can choose to look at the information in different ways. I think it does help that I am used to computers, and that I had used a Family Tree program before."
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Family Tree Maker 2009, 17 Feb 2009
By 
P. Forsyth (Wales, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Family Tree Maker 2009 Deluxe (PC CD) (CD-ROM)
I was expecting and upgrade of the Family Tree Maker Program 2007 only to find a completely new program that is nothing like the original. The thing that upset me most was the inability the publish my own book. I do not want it done by the program vendor at some considerable cost.
I have reverted to my old program.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing start but getting better, 12 May 2009
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Family Tree Maker 2009 Deluxe (PC CD) (CD-ROM)
This is a review of Family Maker 2009 Deluxe. I assume it also applies to the Premium version; looks like the same software with longer ancestry.com membership etc.

First the installation. It recommends closing all applications before installation. I found out the hard way; it means ALL applications including firewalls and antivirus and all TSRs. First go at installing failed; had to uninstall, clean registry and start again. At least it worked well the second time. For those with technical knowledge FTM also installed Microsoft WSE 3.0.

Second transferring my existing FTM file from an earlier version. Looks easy and intuitive, until you look closely at the data. Yes the 926 individuals and their relationships were taken on. But the structure of the 'sources' and of 'facts' is quite different to my old version. FTM 2009 made no attempt to match these fields. It took me several days to move all the fact descriptions out of the 'place' field into the 'description' field. I now realise that all my source information has likewise been messed up; it will take a lot of effort to put this right.

Third the user interface. Many comments in this feedback, new users like it and existing user have to learn FTM all over again; I am one of the latter. Well it is not that bad, once you get the general idea about how it works it can be intuitive. FTM 2009 is well geared for first time users. It is also quite complex and can hold much detailed information. Compared to the earlier versions FMT 2009 manages people, places and sources separately yet allows these to be linked. The links between these concepts are not fixed so it is possible to build a family tree using the links in a free and easy way (good for new users) or to set up something more advanced.

At the same time there are some real limitations to the software. For instance the basic relationship between two people is man-woman; just how same gender relationships are recorded I don't know but I suspect this is not supported.

The manual that came in the box takes the new user through a simple example; I did not use it so no comment about how useful it is. The on-line help file covers all concepts in detail though clarity at explaining them is not precise; includes a user manual, index, search and glossary but no bookmarks. Does basic context selective help.

So a three star feedback. One star less for a truly awful installation and one star less for an even worse transfer of a previous FTM file.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, 24 May 2009
By 
Dr. P. K. Browning "Pip" (Manchester) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Family Tree Maker 2009 Deluxe (PC CD) (CD-ROM)
Family Tree Maker doesn't seem to do the one obvious thing which I bought it for!
I wanted to input a display a proper "Family tree". That is, including all known information for several generations - myself, siblings, nephews and nieces, cousins, uncles, grandparents etc.
All it will do is print a Pedigree - starting from one person and working backwards to all their direct line ancestors - or descendant chart, starting from one person and working forwards. Either way, its totally useless as it misses out the waelth of information of non-direct line relations.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful stuff, a great gift, 24 Nov 2008
By 
Mr. K. P. Rogers "rogers_kp" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Family Tree Maker 2009 Deluxe (PC CD) (CD-ROM)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I am very impressed with this product. Everything is made easy.

I am someone who has a vague interest in sorting out my family tree but does not know precisely where to start -- whether it be gathering the information; where to get the information; how to organise it; how to present it.

Well, this software does it all. It is extremely user-friendly and comes with six months subscription to ancestry.co.uk which has lots of records about family that are easily searchable.

If you're looking for a quirky gift for a family member who has time on their hands then this is ideal, I would say.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not so Scary as it looks, 25 Nov 2008
By 
This review is from: Family Tree Maker 2009 Deluxe (PC CD) (CD-ROM)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This Product is Far Less Scary to use than it is made out to be..the Gumph on the Box makes you think that you need a Degree in Computer Science..this can be very daunting for the novice,but nothing can be further from the Truth,the Programme is very easily installed,and once you get started using it,the Tutorial is simple to understand ,after a few false starts i am happy to report that I am compiling my Family Tree,and it looks very professional..This Programme is excellent Value for Money,and DOES NOT require a Degree in Computer Science to use it.
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Family Tree Maker 2009 Deluxe (PC CD)
Family Tree Maker 2009 Deluxe (PC CD) by Avanquest Software (Windows Vista / XP)
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