For me, genealogy has been as much a passion as it was a hobby; my maternal grandmother and my uncle started researching their Meador and Bridwell lines years ago, and when I became an adult I picked up where they had left off, expanding the search for my father’s family, the Lipsetts and Hublers, as well. Over the years I have spent countless hours online and in libraries researching and amassing a huge collection of data; I have truly enjoyed discovering information, pictures and stories that have helped me learn more about my ancestors’ lives. Genealogy has given names in old family bibles a chance to live again, even if only in my imagination; it has explained family secrets, revealed heroes and scoundrels, stories worth retelling, and stories some might consider better forgotten. The more I learn, the more I start to understand my ancestors; the more I understand my ancestors, the more connected I feel to the things I have inherited.
In the past couple of years I’ve made myself slow down on family research, and during that lull I switched to Mac. Little did I know that it would be so difficult to find a genealogy program I’d want to use when the desire to start up struck again. Lately, I have been feeling the itch to start digging into the past once more, to renew my membership on Ancestry.com, and to start chipping away at some of the “brick walls” I had hit when researching before.
A few months ago I sent a plea out on Twitter asking if anyone knew of a good genealogy program which would work with Mac. There were a couple of suggestions made, but none of the programs I tried felt as fully featured as Legacy Deluxe, the admittedly long-in-the-tooth PC-only program I had been using previously.
And then I was contacted about trying Ancestry.com’s Family Tree Maker software, which is being released today.
While I was eager to replace Legacy with something Mac-based (and hopefully “fresher” looking), I was also apprehensive about whether I would find a program that I would like as much or feel as comfortable with as I had been with Legacy. The only way to find out was to make the switch … so I inserted the Family Tree Maker CD.
After installing the software, I was asked if I would like to create a new tree or continue. Options for those needing to start a new tree include entering data starting with (in my case) myself and then my parents, and presumably working my way back from there …
… downloading a tree from Ancestry.com (which requires an Ancestry.com membership) was another option …
… as was importing a tree from an existing .gedcom file, which is what I opted to do.
As expected, all of my data transferred over, but also as expected, there were some formatting issues for places, and media links were broken.
The absolute beauty of this program is that with a bit of tweaking — all of my past work, all the media I’ve saved, and all of my familial ties are now in an easy to navigate, easy to add to, easy to edit, and easy to track format.
Perhaps most importantly, because Family Tree Maker is tied in so tightly with Ancestry.com’s vast family database network, new information will always just a click or two away — as soon as I am ready to renew my membership.
I have a lot of work to do before I consider my research as complete as I’d like, and I have to admit that I am slightly apprehensive about really digging in again. Why? Because I know how I get when I start digging — obsessive, tunnel-visioned, consumed — but now I also know that when I have a bit of free time, my files will be right here on my Mac in a program whose format I like, ready for me to begin.
The Family Tree Maker for Mac Flatpack includes Family Tree Maker for Mac, a free trial to Ancestry.com, and an electronic users guide for $69.99. The Family Tree Maker for Mac Retail version includes Family Tree Maker for Mac, a US Deluxe membership to Ancestry.com, a printed users guide and a family history toolkit for $99.99.
ANCESTRY.COM UNVEILS NEW FAMILY TREE MAKER FOR MAC
#1-Selling Family History Software Now Available in Mac Version
SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., November 4, 2010 – Ancestry.com today announced the launch of Family Tree Maker® for Mac, the new Mac version of the world’s No.-1 selling family history software. Family Tree Maker for Mac provides an easy way to save and organize your family tree conveniently on your Mac computer and has a variety of tools that can help you share your discoveries with family and friends.
“Family Tree Maker for Mac has been a long-requested feature from our customers. We are committed to delivering the same powerful experience on the Mac that millions of Family Tree Maker customers have been enjoying for the past 20 years,” said Eric Shoup, Senior Vice President of Product. “We couldn’t be happier to provide yet another way for our members to interact with Ancestry.com and discover, preserve and share their family history.”
Family Tree Maker for Mac combines intuitive tools with robust features and flexible options, making it ideal for family history novices and experts alike. A dynamic user interface and integration with Ancestry.com makes it simple to create family trees, record memories, and organize photos, videos and audio clips, plus share ancestors’ stories. It’s even possible to explore family migration paths by viewing timelines and interactive maps that highlight events and places in ancestors’ lives.
The first step is to start a family tree by entering and organizing family history information. From there, a myriad of features help you bring your family history to life:
· Grow your family tree – Search Ancestry.com directly from Family Tree Maker and seamlessly merge historical records and important information you find into your tree. Family Tree Maker for Mac comes with either a free trial or subscription to Ancestry.com.
· Organize photos and documents in one location – Add photos, documents, audio, video and other media files to the people in your tree to help make their stories even more fascinating.
· Create family books, charts and reports – Publish beautiful keepsakes and books to share with friends and family.
· Craft slideshows – Create slideshows from photos in your tree.
· Cite the right information – Standard source templates make it easy.
· Explore family migration paths – View timelines and interactive maps, highlighting events and places in your ancestors’ lives.
· Track information – Powerful sourcing tools let you document and rate each citation.
Family Tree Maker for Mac is now available for purchase online at http://www.familytreemaker.com starting at $69.99. The program is also available in select retail stores, including Apple Stores, Amazon, Best Buy, Office Depot, and Office Max.
System requirements for Family Tree Maker for Mac include:
· Mac OS X 10.5.8 or later
· Intel-based Mac
· Hard Disk Space: 500MB for installation
· Internet access is required for all Web integration
Family Tree Maker for Mac is built on the functionality of Family Tree Maker 2010, the PC-version of the software, and is constructed from the bottom up to take full advantage of the Mac platform in terms of technology and user experience.
Early this year, Ancestry.com expanded to another Apple® platform: the iPhone®. With the launch of its Tree To Go iPhone application in January 2010, Ancestry.com now gives users access to generations of family history at every turn. From their iPhone, users can easily upload photos, update sources and edit trees. The Tree To Go iPhone application is available for iPhone and iPod touch® for free through the iPhone App Store or iTunes®.
Ancestry.com Inc. (Nasdaq: ACOM) is the world’s largest online family history resource, with more than one million paying subscribers. More than 5 billion records have been added to the site in the past 14 years. Ancestry users have created more than 20 million family trees containing over 2 billion profiles. Ancestry.com has local websites directed at nine countries that help people discover, preserve and share their family history, including its flagship Web site at www.ancestry.com .