I am a newbie and just learned here that Family Tree Maker has been discontinued What do Family Tree Maker users do, now that FTM has been discontinued?.

What non-cloud software is the least painful for me to transition to? (My family tree has some 700 people, so reentering the information is not a viable option.) I am now using FTM 2012 on a PC.

  • Friendly reminder: What topics can I ask about here? in the help center has this tip on how to write good answers to subjective questions: "Remember that answers should explain 'why' and 'how', and be backed up either with facts and references, or experiences that happened to you personally."
    – Jan Murphy
    Jan 5, 2016 at 21:02
  • 2
    From the help center I am worried that this question falls on the wrong side of ... it is not about: ... Which genealogy software or website is “the best”. To improve it for focussed Q&A I think you should instead pick a candidate software, and then ask about a particular requirement that Family Tree Maker meets, and which you are worried the candidate software may not. As a "by product" it is likely that an answerer might say "your candidate software X cannot, but I use software Y which can". You may need to ask a number of questions, but they would then be on-topic.
    – PolyGeo
    Jan 5, 2016 at 22:45
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    The place to ask for software recommendations is softwarerecs.stackexchange.com . There is a genealogy tag there and already a few questions of this type.
    – Chenmunka
    Jan 6, 2016 at 10:36
  • @Chenmunka Thank you for the link. I was unaware of that group. Yet, I think my question will get the best answers here. The software forum has relatively few genealogists. A serarch of that site for "Family Tree" yielded mostly posts from 2014 and nothing relevant. (Of course the SE search engine is very poor.) Pls point me to specific posts there that are relevant. In any case, my question asks not the capability of the software but ease of use by geneaologists. Jan 6, 2016 at 14:35
  • There may be more links with useful information in the answers to genealogy.stackexchange.com/q/10107/1006
    – Jan Murphy
    Jan 7, 2016 at 23:44

2 Answers 2


We don't really know yet, but we may know soon.

Two technical genealogists are currently doing exactly that comparison and will be discussing all the little nuances of the transition.

Eileen Sousa of Old Bones Genealogy will be doing detailed tests of converting on a PC to the following software:

  • Family Historian 6.0
  • Ancestral Quest 14
  • Brother’s Keeper 7
  • Heredis 2015 for Windows
  • Legacy 8.0 Deluxe
  • Roots Magic 7.0
  • Family Tree Builder 7

For those people on a Mac, Keith Riggle on GenealogyTools.com is putting together a 13 part series: Replacing Family Tree Maker. He is covering

  • RootsMagic 7 (also PC)
  • Reunion 11
  • MacFamilyTree 7
  • Family Tree Builder 7 (also PC)
  • Heredis 2015 (also PC)
  • Gramps 4 (also PC)
  • iFamily for Mac
  • Legacy Family Tree 8 (also PC)
  • Ancestral Quest 14 (also PC)
  • Family Historian 6 (also PC)

Note that I've indicated which Mac programs are the same or similar to their PC versions, so you will want to see what Keith says about them.


Keith Riggle is currently producing a series of posts on Replacing Family Tree. He is reviewing importing FTM Tree data into a number of other programs. This is Part 1 - links to the other posts can be found in that post - some are still just dummy entries.

Bear in mind that there will be no change for a year. Bear in mind also that people are still using PAF years after FamilySearch discontinued that. That is, however, a risk - the next version of Windows could break PAF or FTM or .... Although, Microsoft do usually try to provide backward compatibility modes.

Thanks to Tamura Jones for highlighting the blog.

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    Sorry Adrian, I had been drafting my answer and you had just beat me posting it. Didn't mean to undermine you. Do note that Keith is reviewing the migration on a Mac, whereas the question is interested in PC.
    – lkessler
    Jan 5, 2016 at 20:49
  • Another problem is that the newest PC version is FTM2014, and the question is about transitioning from FTM2012, so answers that address differences between 2012 and 2014 may also be helpful. I suspect MANY people still have FTM2012, expecting to upgrade to a FTM2016 released around RootsTech (which of course won't be happening now).
    – Jan Murphy
    Jan 5, 2016 at 22:08
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    @JanMurphy - The comparisons being done may take that into consideration, e.g. Keith Riggle says: "While I’m writing, I’ll also mention that while FTM2014 will NOT export media descriptions, FTM2012 WILL export them."
    – lkessler
    Jan 5, 2016 at 22:43
  • @lkessler - thanks! I skimmed the articles that I thought of relevance and missed that! Possibly because seeing Family Historian in the list switched my brain into Windows mode. Hopefully a lot of the concepts carry over.
    – AdrianB38
    Jan 6, 2016 at 14:14

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