Family Tree Maker 2017 – The Best All Round!

By | March 18, 2018

Are you just starting out on your genealogy journey? Then Family Tree Maker 2017 will be perfect for you. With this genealogy software program you will be able to create and build you family tree in no time at all. Learn what this program has to offer with this informative review.

Family Tree Maker 2017

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Family Tree Maker 2017 Product Details

Family Tree Maker
Rating 4 Stars
Platform Download
Compatible Windows and Mac
Features Charts, Reports, Maps, FamilySync
Connects FamilySearch (FREE) and Ancestry (PAID)
Help and Support FAQs, Online Chat, Email
Place To Buy Mackiev
Bottom Line Most Popular Genealogy Software Program

Topics discussed in this post:

Please check out my Best Genealogy Software Programs where I review the best software on the market today. And then after that then why not head over to Top Ten Reviews where there is a Top 10 Best Genealogy Software of 2018 guide.

Also, after you have finished reading this guide you may like to check out Keith Riggle’s Family Tree Maker 2017 Review.


An Overview of Tools and Features

First of all you may be wondering whether your computer is compatible with Family Tree Maker. Well I am pleased to say that this program can be used on either Windows or Mac. Hopefully I have set your mind at ease with that.

I personally have used Family Tree Maker and I can definitely say that it is a very easy program for you to use. The simple and elegant layout makes it very easy for you to understand what can be done with the program. And also working your way around it.

You can start creating and building a family tree with this program straight away. Just start with information about yourself.

First you will need to enter your name, birth date, and then important places and events in your life. Then after that you move on up to your parents and then fill in their information. And then enter details for your grandparents and so on.

Yep, it’s pretty much what you would expect from a genealogy software program.

Credit: FreeTutorials

Very intuitive and easy process!

As I have explained elsewhere on this site you first work with what you know. And that is you. You then just move up your family tree to your parents, grandparents, and great grandparents if you know anything about them.

If you are like me then you may also want to add siblings along the way. I am fascinated with cousins so adding any brothers or sisters was a must for me. Doing this can help you for whenever you do make contact with a distant cousin.

The whole act of adding relatives and their details is a very intuitive and easy process!

Color coding

This is a very initiative idea that has been added to Family Tree Maker. With this option you can add four colors to each person of your family tree.

The idea with this is that you can assign different attributes to different colors. So for example, you can say dark blue represents everyone in your family tree that was in the military.

It’s just a clever way of tagging your family tree and I quite like it!

Family Tree Maker - Color Coding

Same-sex relationships

With family dynamics changing in the modern day it is great that you do have the option to select same sex relationship between two people in your family. Not all genealogy programs today do allow for this so it’s great that Family Tree Maker have this option.

Charts and reports

The program comes with a variety of different charts for you to select from there. There is the usual pedigree, descendant, bowtie and fan charts, as well as many more for you to look through.

Creating reports is also a must with any program and you can do that with Family Tree Maker. You can create person, family, and relationship reports.

And not only can you create charts and reports but you can easily share them with friends and family.

Books

You may wish to create a book with all the information that you have added into your tree. Well I am pleased to say that you can do that with this program.

Add media

I have said that you can create colorful charts, reports and books with this program. One of the ways that you can do that is by adding pictures of your relatives. This is great because you can put a face to the person that you are researching.

This can also be beneficial for when you are sharing your family history with either relatives and friends. By seeing pictures they can see who you are talking about. It’s just a way of making a connection.

Family Tree Maker Deluxe Photos

There is even a built in Photo Darkroom that you can use where you can restore old family photographs that you have scanned in. With a few clicks you can brighten up those faded photos.

You can also add scans of documents, letters, wills, etc. These scans can be attached to whichever ancestor that they refer to. So whatever you have discovered for a particular member of your family tree you can easily upload it to this program.

Searching for anyone in your tree is easy. You just enter their name and then all of their details will appear. With also all of the scans that you have uploaded for that person.

Maps

When adding information for your ancestors you will be adding places of interest as well. These can be where they were born, where they lived, where they married and where they died.

All of these places can be viewed on a map. This is great as rather than just having this information presented to you in text form you have a visual representation of your ancestors lives.

You are even able to print these maps and also add them to your family history book as well.

There are three different views that you can select from. They are aerial, satellite or street-level view. The street-level view is particularly of interest with this program you can view your ancestors house as it is today, (if it is still standing of course).

Family Tree Maker Deluxe Maps

I have mentioned that you can add places where your ancestors once lived. And that’s another great thing about this program as you can create migration maps. With these maps you can build up a picture of your ancestor’s live as they move around the country, or even the world.

FamilySync and the Sync Weather Report

You want to be able to work on your family tree when you are out and about don’t you? Well with the FamilySync feature you can do exactly that.

If you are familiar with Family Tree Maker then you may have heard about a similar feature called TreeSync. The FamilySync feature is a replacement and is in some ways an improvement.

With this feature you can have your tree on several computers, (TreeSync only allowed you to have one tree synced to Ancestry). That way you are not tied down to a particular place, i.e. if you are working at your parents house on your family tree then you can sync what you have added and that new information will appear in your tree at home.

Family Tree Maker - FamilySync

Of course there will be an occasion where there maybe an issue when syncing your tree. And that is why Family Tree Maker has come up with the Sync Weather Report.

This ‘weather report‘ as they called it tells you whether syncing maybe dangerous or caution is advised when doing this process. If everything is ok then a green window will appear.

Connecting to Genealogy Search Websites

Every family history software program these days will give you the ability to connect with a genealogy search site. And that’s no different with Family Tree Maker as you will be linked to both FamilySearch (a free site), and Ancestry (a paid subscription site).

Family Tree Maker Deluxe Sync

Connecting with both of these is a great way for you to build your family tree. The reason is because as you add ancestors and their information to your tree then hints will appear.

These ‘hints‘ as they are called will show you records that may contain your ancestor and information about them. They’re called hints because given the information that you have put into your tree it is probable that the search sites records match up to that information and have records for your ancestor.

Connecting to FamilySearch is great because they have millions of genealogical records that you can freely access. It is the world’s largest free genealogy site.

On the flipside is Ancestry where you will need to pay a subscription in order to access the records. You can still see that there are records there it’s just that you need to hand over your money in order to see the record.

Ancestry may not appeal to you in that regard but let me tell you that with this site there are billions of records. So the chances of finding your ancestor on this site is far greater than FamilySearch.

It’s worth considering anyway.


Pros and Cons

Pros

✔ Stunning user interface that makes it easy to use
✔ Connects to FamilySearch (FREE) and Ancestry (PAID)
✔ Sync trees to web
✔ Get web hints
✔ Same sex relationships

Cons

❌ No connection to other genealogy search sites


Final Thoughts

Family Tree Maker is a very popular choice for many family historians. As I mentioned in this review it is the program that I used to extensively build my family tree.

Even though Ancestry no longer develop this program the new developers Mackiev have done an excellent job of retaining its qualities, and also adding tools and features that improve it.

I look forward to seeing what other improvements that they will make.

Do I recommend it?

Yes I do recommend Family Tree Maker 2017. It is an easy program to use that will help you to immediately build your family tree.


Thank You and Please Leave A Comment

I hope you enjoyed this Family Tree Maker 2017 review and how it can help you. If you think that this post will be helpful to others then please share it with friends and family using the social media buttons below.

If you have any questions or comments then please leave a comment below. I would love to hear from you.

Author: Owain

Hello, Owain here. After researching my family history for a number of years I wanted to give back to the genealogy world. So here you will find guides, tips and product reviews that will help you on your genealogy journey.

10 thoughts on “Family Tree Maker 2017 – The Best All Round!

  1. Stefan

    Thanks for the well-detailed review.

    Just wondering though where in the world can this be used. Is it solely for the US? Or is it worldwide?

    I am convinced that this program is a good choice for me.

    Thank you again.

    Reply
    1. Owain Post author

      Hi Stefan,

      Sorry for not adding that in my review. As it is a download it can be used anywhere in the world.

      All the best with your genealogy research.

      Reply
  2. Sean Mansfield

    This looks like a good start for anyone who wants to build a family tree. I know that there are many people who have their family genealogy elude them, due to families losing touch. This software looks like a good one to try.

    Reply
    1. Owain Post author

      Yep glad you agree Sean. It is a great program to start your genealogy journey. It is the program that I used when I first started to trace my family history and I still use it 🙂

      Reply
  3. Savita

    Definitely an interesting product, didn’t even know that these programs could do so much. I like how they can connect to search sites such as Ancestry. That will surely help me even more with building my tree.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
    1. Owain Post author

      Yes definitely Savita. Connecting to sites such as FamilySearch and Ancestry is great as you can find records concerning your ancestors. Also, you do not have to have two separate windows open as you can work on your tree and search for records all in the one window.

      Reply
  4. Jill

    Hi Owain, This is really the best Genealogy Guide I have ever seen. You have done an amazing job. I have quite a number of friends who are busy with their research and I will be recommending your site to them. Have also shared it with Facebook, Twitter, Google + etc. So worthwhile. Best wishes. Jill

    Reply
    1. Owain Post author

      Thanks Jill. That is very kind of you for sharing my site with your friends. There is plenty of helpful guides and tips here, as well as product reviews. I’ve also recently added a FREE section where I have compiled all of my posts concerning free resources and tools. I’m sure that they’ll love that.

      Reply
  5. Brian

    Hi Owain, thank you for the review. This is something that I want to introduce my sister to. She has been working on a family tree for a long time now and I think it’s time it was done electronically. She is going to love the user-friendly interface.

    All the best,

    Brian

    Reply
    1. Owain Post author

      You’re welcome Brian. When I was very new to genealogy I got right into it with Family Tree Maker. The simple and easy to use interface just make it so much smoother for me to get into this new hobby for me.

      Reply

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