My Genealogy Software is Driving me Crazy

I used to keep all of my genealogy records by hand. But when the tree grew out of control a few years ago, I ported things over to genealogy software. When that system became dated, I moved to a new software package tied to a site where I conduct a lot of my initial research on new branches in my family tree. But lately that software is proving to be more trouble than it’s worth.

Here’s what happened.

The Culprits

Family Tree Maker (2010 version) and

The Problem

The biggest fault of the Family Tree Maker software is its inability to truly sync with your data (and personally I find it easier to first store that data in the online tree). I doubt I’ll upgrade the software again until true syncing is available.

This has become an issue for me because I had old family tree data stored in a gedcom file and newer info saved on I was told the best way to handle this was to import the new data into the existing tree in Family Tree Maker. Well, it didn’t quite turn out as expected. I ended up with hundreds of duplicate entries.

Now I can understand confusion if a person’s data was different. But this also applied to many (but not all, which I can’t explain) individuals where no changes were present. To call this frustrating is a serious understatement.

The Solution

At this point I have to admit I feel a bit stuck. My options are to manually fix all entries in the Family Tree Maker software and then replace the online version of the tree with that repaired on, or I could switch to new genealogy software (and I do have another software package here). The problem is that switching would also require me to manually fix things because the software isn’t recognizing them as duplicates.

Have you had issues like this? Do you know of options that can automatically scan your family tree data and deal with duplicate entries more effectively than FTM did? What was your biggest issue using this or any other genealogy software? Leave a comment below to tell me about it.

Jenn is a professional writer and publisher, and the founder of Climb Your Family Tree.

She first became interested in genealogy as a teenager. Since that early start, she's spent 28 years putting her personal passion and professional research skills to use in exploring her own family history while assisting others in their genealogical journeys.

In addition to running Climb Your Family Tree, Jenn is a long-time PR, social media, and online marketing specialist and she's been a digital publisher / web developer for over 20 years. She owns a variety of web properties including All Freelance Writing, Freelance Writing Pros, Kiss My Biz, and NakedPR.

2 thoughts on “My Genealogy Software is Driving me Crazy”

  1. I’m not sure if it will be of any use to you, but I use the free software that provides. I don’t try to synch it, so I don’t know how well that would work. In general I think Ancestry could do a lot better in providing useful software and tools. I’ve found a number of issues with just their online pedigree charts (just try navigating those – I dare you!).


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