Putnam/ Dougherty family genealogy

IMG_0990This is my third blog in my third year of blogging. In reviewing what I have done I have to thank Amy Johnson Crow and the challenge that I had been following for the first two years. 52 Ancestors in the first year was to try and write about one ancestor each week. I did pretty good. Life only got in the way a few times. This past year was a new challenge theme each week. That gave me direction and a schedule to try and meet. I was not always so successful and life interfered more often. This year I will need to find a new challenge. Please email me, any suggestions on topics would be greatly appreciated.

Todays topic is about my changing over from Family Tree Maker software program to the Roots Magic software program. Since Family Tree Maker is going away ( I assume you are aware that Ancestry who owns Family Tree Maker now has made the decision to stop updates and will discontinue support in 2017).  I decided to change my genealogy software to Roots Magic.  I Am not getting rid of my Family Tree Maker (FTM)  program yet! The reason for changing was due more with my unhappiness with FTM  problems that I had been having and had never been able to solve with FTM support team. There were several things about FTM that I really liked including being able to print a Bow Tie chart on my 24×36 inch plotter.

FTM Bow Tie chart

FTM Bow Tie chart

Roots Magic (RM) does not have the bow tie chart option. I also like the older FTM 2012, people, family page. That is where I work most of the time. (Click on images to enlarge)

FTM Screen shot

FTM Screen shot

I read many discussions on other blogs about the discontinuation of FTM. I remember starting out on DOS with the “Dollarhide” program. My first windows program was FTM. It seems like every time I changed computers I had to get new software. I have tried other programs including Master Genealogy. When Ancestry tied their site to FTM I decided to stick with them.  Currently I work on Windows 7 platform and will not change to Windows 10 because I am still using my Excel 2013 program and I know that when I go to  Windows 10 I will have to go to the cloud and Microsoft 360. This may be the trend of the future to have everything in the cloud but I would rather rely on my own system, especially since I live in an area that has dubious internet capabilities.  Yes change is part of life and adaption is one of our great capabilities. So for me it looks like I will try to adapt to the new Roots Magic until I find something I like better.

Remember when we could go to the computer store and stand there and read on the different boxes exactly what the software did. Now we go to some website and try to compare them or read someones blog about them. I waste more time and end up buying nothing. Or we have to go to the online app store for an app. For me this is a little better because at least I can read the reviews from those who have download the app and either praise it or dish it.

Roots Magic Screen Shot

Roots Magic Screen Shot

In RM (Roots Magic) when I experiment with a chart or report I have to close it out to reset something. On FTM you can make changes to the chart or report while viewing the way the chart will look. That I find very convenient.

FTM Family group sheet

FTM Family group sheet

RM Family Group Sheet

RM Family Group Sheet






I have become use to the way FTM family group sheet looks. I find the RM family group sheet hard to read. (I know I like more white space in my reports)

The report I could no longer use on FTM due to a bug that could never be resolved was the Descendants Report.

FTM Descendants Report

FTM Descendants Report

RM Descendants Report

RM Descendants Report







On the FTM report if you could look close enough you would see that all the birth dates are Nov. 1 2012. That is the glitch. While on the RM Descendants Report (same data base) the birth dates are correct.

This is not a review, just a comparison of some features of Roots Magic and Family Tree Maker.

Is there another program you like and how do these items compare?




Comments on: "Looking at Family Tree Maker and Roots Magic" (1)

  1. […] My second most popular post was when I compared Family Tree Maker and Roots Magic. […]


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Tales of a Family

Finding my Way Home

Next Gen Historians

One Family's Adventure Exploring History

Vita Brevis

A resource for family history from AmericanAncestors.org

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Helping Family Historians Make More Discoveries

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Two sisters sharing our genealogical research and family stories.


If you sit and listen you can hear the whispers

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Putnam/ Dougherty family genealogy

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