This is probably the world’s most well known genealogy software program. For many the Family Tree Maker brand is a popular choice among genealogists today and is regarded as one of the best genealogy software programs today.
In fact it has become synonymous with the family historian.
Many use it to help them create and build their family tree. And I have used this program myself too!
Family Tree Maker Deluxe
|Compatible||Windows and Mac|
|Connects||FamilySearch (FREE) and MyHeritage (PAID)|
This review will look at the Ancestry 2014 version and its successor Mackiev 2014.1. Both are essentially the same.
Checking out reviews on Amazon this software has gained most favorable responses.
You may wish to check out the latest version Family Tree Maker 2017 which includes many improvements and updates.
I will explore the features that are included in this genealogy software program and how it can benefit you!
Family Tree Maker Deluxe – An Overview
Let’s first look at the essentials that a genealogy software program should provide for anyone wishing to build their family tree digitally. When you load up Family Tree Maker Deluxe you can start by entering your own information to start building your tree.
You will enter your name, birth date, places of important events and so on.
This is a very intuitive and easy process!
You can then add relatives such as your parents and grandparents.
So, you will start out from yourself and then work upwards, adding your parents, grandparents, great grandparents and so on.
You may also want to add any siblings that you know of along the way.
One particular advantage with this software is that same sex relationships can be set for couples. This program has tried to keep up-to-date with the modern family.
Charts and reports!
There are various charts that you can create with Family Tree Maker Deluxe, such as pedigree, hourglass and descendant charts.
Reports can also be produced and these include person, family and relationship reports.
As well as charts and reports, you can print books at home or you can upload it from your computer and get it professionally printed for you.
One key advantage with any genealogy software program is the ability to print out charts.
It is far easier for you to enter your family’s history into a program like this and then print out any chart that you wish.
Can you imagine drawing by hand a family tree?
What if you had corrections to make or you need to add more details as you find out more about your ancestry?
You can add pictures too!
To enhance the presentation of these charts and books you can also add pictures of your relatives so that you put a face to your relative. This can help further entertain your relatives when it comes time to displaying your research to them at a reunion.
When researching my own family history these pictures helped me make a connection with my ancestors.
And more to add too!
Not only can pictures of your ancestors be added but also scans of documents, letters, wills etc.
These can then be attached to particular members of your family. By doing this you can add all the information that you have gathered on an individual and store it with that ancestor.
When you want to see what you have collected on an ancestor of yours you just go to that family member.
You can search for your ancestor by their name and all of their details and associated files are there in the one place.
So, that is the basics of Family Tree Maker Deluxe, and any genealogy software for that matter.
But what else can this program offer to the family historian?
Well, as you enter places of interest for your ancestors, such as where they were born, married and died, you can view these places on a map.
Then you are able to print these maps off and add them to your family history book.
This is just one more way for me that I could feel the connection.
And you can add maps as well!
The types of map produced with this program give an aerial or satellite view, as well as street-level view. This is particularly an advantage as you can actually view your ancestors house as it is today, (if it is still standing).
Not only can you create maps pinpointing the many locations of your ancestors but you can create migration maps. These maps will show you the path of your ancestors through time and show how you came to be where you are today.
You can get an appreciation as to the distances that they had to travel to find work or to start a new life.
So, that is the basics of the Family Tree Maker Deluxe program.
How Family Tree Maker Deluxe Can Benefit You?
Well, like with any software program or service available these days there is an added bonus for you.
When you purchase this program you will be entitled to a 3 month subscription to the Ancestry genealogy website.
Here you will get a taster of what the online world can do to help you further your research.
When signing up with Ancestry you will have access to over 10 billion US records, as well as news stories and photos that other genealogists have added to the site.
But wait there’s more!
Not only do you have access to all this information but also you can view other members family trees. The Ancestry community is the largest online so there is great potential in expanding your tree.
With this feature you have the possibility of finding your ancestors.
You can message members to find out more about your relations and so this will help further your research.
TreeSync feature and more!
You can upload your tree to the Ancestry website via the TreeSync feature, (now replaced with FamilySync).
When you have done this then hints may appear next to your ancestors. This will show you that there maybe records available for that ancestor.
This again will help you build on your family history.
Please note: From March 29th 2017 versions previous to Family Tree Maker 2017 will not be able to sync to the Ancestry database.
If you have created your family tree through the FamilySearch website then you can synchronize it with your Ancestry tree.
That way your family history will be up to date on both sites.
You may though decide to create your tree solely online via Ancestry, without using the Family Tree Maker Deluxe program.
If you decide though later on that you want to have a copy of your tree on your home computer then you can export your tree as a GEDCOM file.
Even More Benefits!
When researching with other family members you can export your research to create a GEDCOM file.
This is a standard file used to pass on your information to others. They will then be able to load up your tree despite maybe using a different genealogy software program, or different device.
Export a single branch!
A new feature though with this installment of the Family Tree Maker Package is the option to export just a single branch of your tree.
This will mean that you do not have to export your entire tree to your relative.
This is an advantage as you may not wish your ancestor to view your wife’s ancestors or your mother’s history, for example.
Other improvements with this version are the upgraded help topics, organizational tools to order people in your tree, and enhancements to trees to make them even more presentable when producing charts and books.
Despite there being many advantages to using Family Tree Maker Deluxe program there is yet one drawback.
Unfortunately, the developer has decided to discontinue any further updates to this title. The reason given is the decline in the desktop software market.
Update: Family Tree Maker is now supplied through Software Mackiev.
Please check their site for information about updates and support.
Pros & Cons
✔ Stunning user interface that makes it easy to use
✔ Connects to FamilySearch (FREE) and MyHeritage (PAID)
✔ Sync trees to web
✔ Get web hints
✔ Same sex relationships
❌ No connection to Ancestry
My Final Thoughts
People do seem to be heading towards the online world of doing things.
However, owning a genealogy product like this is still a very popular and powerful tool for any genealogist.
I personally use Family Tree Maker for my genealogy research. For me it is the best genealogy software program that you can use.
When I first started to trace my family history I wondered what software program to use. I obviously knew that I needed one in order to not only create charts but also it help me keep track of all my ancestors.
Exploring what this program offered!
I really enjoyed creating the relationship charts as I could check out how cousins were related to me.
This was particularly fascinating when distant cousins would just pop out of nowhere and contact me.
So, I could enter their family research that they had given me and then compare their relationship to me.
I would also create horizontal and pedigree charts which I could then insert into my family history book.
My goal was to not only preserve the family stories that my father had passed down to me, but also to show people the relationship of my ancestors to me.
It is too easy to recite someone’s story, but to know how they are connected just makes it feel more personal and strengthens the connection.
What do you think?
If you decide to buy this software program then please come back and let me know what you think of it. I would love to hear how it is working for you.
Thank You and Please Leave A Comment
I hope you enjoyed this Family Tree Maker review and how it can help you. If you have any questions or comments then please leave a comment below.
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