Family Tree Maker Deluxe – A Popular Choice

By | July 13, 2016

Even if you are new to genealogy you have probably heard of this 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.

Software Family Tree Maker Deluxe

* Affiliate Disclaimer *

Family Tree Maker Deluxe Product Details

Family Tree Maker
Rating 4 Stars
Platform PC Disc
Compatible Windows and Mac
Connects FamilySearch (FREE) and MyHeritage (PAID)
Place To Buy Mackiev

This review will look at the Ancestry 2014 version and its successor Mackiev 2014.1. Both are essentially the same. 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.

Credit:   Ancestry

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. So this program has tried to keep up-to-date with the modern family.

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.

Family Tree Maker Deluxe Photos

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. Simple.

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).

Family Tree Maker Deluxe Maps

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.

Family Tree Maker Deluxe Sync

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.

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.

The Negative

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 and 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

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.

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.

Thank You and Please Leave A Comment

I hope you enjoyed this Family Tree Maker 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.

32 thoughts on “Family Tree Maker Deluxe – A Popular Choice

    1. Owain Post author

      Glad you like the post. Family Tree Maker is certainly a popular choice amongst genealogists. It is very easy and intuitive to use. Plus you can do so much with it.

  1. Crystal

    I’ve heard about this on TV and didn’t know much about it but now I do! It’s pretty cool that there is a software for genealogy and family history. So I noticed you talked about software and, can the same be done on the website instead of using the software? Or do you need the software to create a family history tree before linking it with the website? Also you said that the creator of the software is not making any more updated software but is there a reason why?
    Your post has obviously caught my attention and I’m def coming back! Great post!

    Best wishes,

    1. Owain Post author

      You can chose to either build your tree using the software program or online at the Ancestry site. If you chose to use a program then you can upload it afterwards to Ancestry.

      The reason given for not updating the software is the decline in the desktop software market. People do seem to be heading towards the online way of doing things. But there is certainly a lot of people who want to have their information stored at home as well.

      Thank you again for your comments and questions. I will update the article to make it clearer for readers.

  2. John Savage

    So I’ve always wanted to know who my ancestors are/were and always thought they originated from North London.
    To be honest, not knowing wasn’t a struggle but always kept my eye my family tree for extra info then I discovered something amazing!

    An aunt has traced the family by actual birth certificates to Owen Dennis Savage born in 1765, Dublin Ireland!!

    My mum found her real Dad who first language was Welsh and then Im told, Savage is the second oldest recorded surname in Scotland!!

    Highlighting how to trace ancestry, I think youre doing a great job.

    1. Owain Post author

      I am really enjoying putting this website together. After doing so much on my family history I thought it was a good idea to give something back. It is quite an interesting hobby and the number of people researching their family tree has grown quite rapidly over the years.

      Quite fascinating that your ancestors were spread out over various parts of the U.K. It’s amazing how people come together, and all the circumstances that brings us to who and where we are today.

  3. ariefw

    You have mentioned that this software is declining in sales due to online competitors.

    Do you really think that this software can still be use in the next 5 years or 10 years?

    Especially, it seems that I will use this software for one time only. After I build my family tree, I might forget about this software altogether.

    I know it will be fun when I hand out the copies of the family tree at the family gathering, though.

    1. Owain Post author

      This software was and is still popular with genealogists around the world. The new supplier Software Mackiev have taken over from Ancestry and so will be around for a long long while

      1. Joan

        Will my genealogy information on this program only be available on my computer for viewing? Or can I print it out? What I am looking for is a program I can copy onto paper charts and book form. As well as on my computer to share with other family members.

        1. Owain Post author

          Hi Joan,

          You can print out a number of charts with this program. I personally use this program and can certainly say that it is great at creating charts which you can print out, as well as save under different picture formats. These charts you can then share with your family, either by sending them the picture file or hard copy if you wish.

          You could also create a GEDCOM file which you can send to your family. So if they have the same software or a different one it doesn’t matter as they will still be able to open up the file and see the research that you have done.

          Hope this information is helpful to you,

          1. Tim

            Mackiev doesn’t have a 800 tech help number. And the don’t have their program in place. I can’t sync any info to my online tree. Ever time you turn around there is a postpone up date… No emails about delays.. Like to switch to a better program that a good tech support on call. Like ancestry was..

          2. Owain Post author

            I’m sorry Tim to hear that you are having problems with Family Tree Maker. Mackiev are still working with their replacement to TreeSync, which they are calling FamilySync.

            I couldn’t find a contact number or email address, just a form page. This page lists all versions of FTM up to 2014.1 (Mackiev version).

            You could check out my Legacy Family Tree software, which has been regarded as the best on the market today.

  4. Richard

    Hi Owain

    I have collected photos of my own family tree – where do I start! I am a mixture of German-Dutch Indian Japanese and English and for a number of years I have this goal of putting my family tree in a book for my children and grandchildren. Where to start that was the question –

    I looked at another genealogy website some time ago but because of my commitments put it on the back burner. I am grateful I came across your website as it has Genealogy Guide and Tips and Software Tools.I am going to set time aside and start my family tree again

    Your website has been a wake up call



    1. Owain Post author

      You certainly do have a mixture. My How To Create A Family History Book – Part 1 article will be of great use to you if you wish to write about the life’s and stories of your ancestors.

      A photo book is a great way you can show off your photos. You may wish to just show one particular branch of your family, detailing one surname. Then when you have created your book you can do the same with another branch. You can do this either online, with software or instore. I will cover this in a post, but for now my How To Preserve Your Family Treasures article will be of use to you as I explain how to preserve photos.

      Hope this helps you. All the best with your family history research.


  5. Yousef

    I`ve always wanted to know who my ancestors are, but the problem is that; I am a middle eastern person from Egypt. I wonder if this software could help me to know my ancestors? I know only the fourth name of mine.
    We use the Family genealogy in medicine to trace some inherited diseases in families and this give us idea about the possibilities of being affected with some diseases in certain families. Does this software help us in this matter? I hope so.

    1. Owain Post author

      I have checked and unfortunately this program does not link to Egyptian records. You can try genetic testing which may give you some indication of hereditary diseases. Death certificates, if you’re able to get hold of any of your ancestors, can show what they died of. But this approach maybe hit and miss. I hope this is of some use to you

  6. Jessy

    Genealogy is such a fascinating subject to talk about. It’s a real eye-opener regarding how connected we are to relatives and ancestors we would otherwise have no clue we were related to. Sometimes there may be an ethnicity in our past we never thought we would have, which again, gives us that sense of connectedness somehow. Great post!

    1. Owain Post author

      When you discover fascinating discoveries during your genealogy research you certainly can talk about these to family and friends. Family Tree Maker (US) or Family Tree Maker (UK) can help you make these discoveries as well as create charts and even a photo book. It’s a pretty powerful tool for the genealogist

  7. Wanda Casson

    I have this and did not realize that there was so much you could do with it. I will have to go back and see if I missed anything. I like your review. It gave all the details about it. I too wish it would have been continued. I liked keeping up with it. I have not done much with my software lately. I have not had time.

    I am glad you still can get updates. Did not know that there was a way to keep it updated. That information is helpful. Knowing that there is more than just keeping the tree is also good to know. I will have to work on my Family Tree Maker and do some of the things mentioned in your review. Good to know these things.

    1. Owain Post author

      Yes there is plenty that you can do with Family Tree Maker. But also you have to find the time as you said. I went some time without doing my family history for a while. But when I got back to it it was like I never left. Family Tree Maker makes it so easy to use.

    1. Owain Post author

      You’re very welcome. It is great to know your family history. It gives you a sense of purpose, knowing where you came from and about their lives.

  8. Zoey-Red LeFey

    Hello Owain!
    This is a wonderful program to develop your family tree! I wish that I had a program like this when my great-grandmother was alive. I used to ask her questions about our family history when I was a little girl. This would have been a great tool to use with my family. I know you are gong to help many people develop their own family tree! 🙂

    1. Owain Post author

      It is a great program. I have done so much with it. I am glad that I found it. If you do want to do your family history I suggest you go to Amazon to purchase it. You will not regret it.

      I really want to help people build their family tree. I have so many more topics that I can cover through this website

  9. Jan

    You have done a nice job of highlighting the features of this software. Family tree maker looks like something I could really use. It looks like a very comprehensive package for putting together your family history in a very easy to follow and presentable way. Your description of the features describes all the things I would want for recording and preserving my families history.
    Can this software help be do any of my research? Is it connected with any of the research sites on the web.
    What kind of support is available with this software?

    1. Owain Post author

      Family Tree Maker can help you with your research as you can use it to connect with the genealogy site Ancestry. You need to pay though for a subscription to join this site. But there you will be able to access certificates and records. There are also ‘hints’ attached to your tree which will show you more connections to your tree.

      The program offers onscreen help. There is also a community in there who can help. Or you can ask the makers for help also

  10. shrey

    It is a nice software for a beginner like me and I would surely check it out once I decide when to get started.The concept of having a family history book is unique and I might need a little help in actually writing a book and collecting all the information so will this software would help me reduce most of my work when it comes to organizing?

    1. Owain Post author

      You can certainly order your family tree with this software. When you add your ancestors you can add their details and cite the references. You can print out reports and charts on each family group, so everything is very organised with this software

  11. roamy

    Hello Owain
    Wow, brilliant content,just recently l was fooling around with the idea of looking for my family tree which might be complicated as l only know my family tree upto my grandparents(not much l know)
    While looking for info where to start, l came upon your site and must admit you did a good job explaining all the facts.
    How ever good your explanation is,you mentioned family tree maker is for the USA,what about us outside the USA? any program you can reccomend?

    1. Owain Post author

      Even if you have got as far as your grandparents at least that is a start. You could ask relatives for help to trace your family tree further back. My Top 20 Family History Interview Questions article will prove useful in this case.

      As for outside of the US you can get the UK version. I will have to update this page to give other alternatives for purchasing this product.

      Thank you for your query,


  12. Sunewako

    Hello Owain,
    I love reading your article. I have started making my family tree that I have never thought of doing until the time I started reading your articles.
    It is very important to have a family tree. It enables you to know where you are coming from and how did you get where you are now.
    Thank you again.


    1. Owain Post author

      That’s great that I have inspired you to trace your family tree. Please check out my website for information and any help that you may need. All the best with your genealogy research


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *