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on 18 May 2014
Having built up an on-line tree I decided it was time to get some software so I could start 'fleshing out' the details of each individual a bit more than the basic "born, married, had children, died".

As an existing subscriber this seemed the obvious solution (the free months just add on to your current expiry date), and whilst FTM does allow you to record additional notes against either the person or the Events relating to that individual, overall I'm somewhat underwhelmed.

To begin with, it took me three hours two phone calls and a lot of having to mess around with my settings to successfully install the program. There is a known bug with the synch facility and the 'patch' has to be installed before you can use FTM, but this kept failing meaning I had to repeatedly uninstall & reinstall the program, including having to do a 'clean boot' and deleting things from the registry - not for the feint-hearted!. However, once installed it was then very easy to download & synch my existing tree, and didn't take long at all.

Having worked with it for a few days now though I find it actually easier to do most of my work outside of FTM, which kind of defeats the point! Once I've added a record or whatever to my online tree, I then synch to FTM and add any additional information I want to keep. In fairness, this could simply be because I'm just more used to doing it that way and need to force myself to stop, but so far Ive found it far easier this way.

A big negative for me is that FTM doesn't seem to recognise half siblings, so when I look at a person who I know has 6 or 7 half brothers & sisters, unless I remember or have noted separately that these people exist, that person looks like an only child.

One thing I do like though is the ability to include family events in a persons timeline - so whereas I was previously having to add Custom Events for things like "husband George died", this automatically shows within FTM if the appropriate setting is selected. What it doesn't show though is any notes added against that event - so if Id added a note to Georges Death event that (say) he'd died onboard the Titanic, that information doesn't pull through.

There are some good charts, reports & 'story' facilities, navigation is simple enough, and it does allow you to do a bit more than you can with the basic online tree, but in all honesty it really is only "a bit". Maybe I was just expecting too much......
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on 21 October 2014
Had been looking at purchasing FTM 2014 software for awhile for my new hobby. Couldn't believe my luck when I searched online recently and found Amazon selling it at £54.99. (normal price £99.99 from Ancestry). This includes 6 months worldwide subscription / membership to Ancestry. The membership on its own would cost more than that normally.

The software disc loaded up on my laptop with no problems and then I registered the software with Ancestry this enabled me to synchronise with my online family tree. The whole process including signing up for the free Ancestry.co.uk worldwide membership which requires activation with a valid credit or debit card (no money is debited from your card. You only pay if you decide to take further membership after the initial 6 months expires). Took less than 15-20mins.

The challenge now is to get the most out of building the family tree using all the facilities within the software. One pleasing aspect is having the ancestry = FTM sync facility this makes it so easy updating when researching.

A very good buy if you are researching and storing your family history
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on 13 August 2014
item arrived on time and was as described - watch out when you activate the free 6 month membership - Ancestry only activated it as premium not world, had to phone them, but, they did sort it straight away.
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on 23 February 2015
The Download version has a known fault and will not load. I spent 3 hours downloading again and again. After speaking with Ancestry they sent two patches which did not work!!! They then sent more detailed instructions about soft load and bla bla bla... by then I had given up and requested a full refund. Question???? How can a product continue to be sold with known faults............. Do not buy the download version unless you are prepared for a frustrating time!!!!! I do not known if the hard copy is OK....
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on 15 January 2016
Bought this as I was having trouble with the older programme and thought that this would have more up-to date features.
Doesn't seem that different actually, but I have had no problems with it,so I assume any 'wrinkles' from the older version have indeed been ironed out.
A plus point is always the free 6 month subscription that comes with it. The minus is that Ancestry have decided not to support it any further in a year or so.
Hope they change their mind!
The way of adding to your tree hasn't changed, so for oldies like me that is a good thing; we can't handle too much change !
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on 27 March 2014
Not hugely different to 2012 and, in fact, I purchased to gain 6 months free ancestry search (cheaper than subscribing). Loaded easily and imported existing trees no problem.
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on 22 June 2014
Purchased this item and it arrived on Friday. It is now Sunday and despite several hours and numerous telephone calls we are unable to install and activate this item. It has however managed to uninstall my Family Tree Maker 2014 Premium. Helpline cant help. Tried every option suggested but still nothing. It is going back tomorrow!
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on 8 November 2014
Being a family historian for the last 40 odd years I have tried various different ways of record keeping. I have tried F.T.M. in the past however with the links directly to Ancestry.com it is fantastic for updating my own trees as I research. I am struggling to get my head around certain aspects of the programme however that is probably down to my age !!!
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on 17 December 2015
Ancestry have announced they will be DISCONTINUING Family Tree Maker after December 2015 1 month from my new purchase! It may be still worth buying for the 6 month world membership if you don't want to buy the 12 month subscription from Ancestry.
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on 23 October 2015
Still only using FTM2014 standalone (i.e. not linked to Web) to capture family history. Brilliant product covering most needs. Templates have a strong US flavour. Would be an even better product if templates were included for other countries.
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