Monday, December 19, 2016

Can I Merge My To-Do List
With My Christmas List?

So many lists. So little time. Perhaps I can merge my lists and double up on the processing time?

Yes, I know we all had 364 days warning that Christmas would be here again this year. Somehow, I missed that memo. I'm still shopping. Likely will find myself buying some last minute gifts right up through this coming Saturday afternoon (leaving time for wrapping, of course).

But that's not the list I'm concerned with, right now. It's not my Christmas list giving me angst; it's my genealogy to-do list. Specifically, that deadline looming at the stroke of midnight on New Year's Eve, when my current desktop-resident family tree database manager of choice becomes officially untethered from its former mother-ship at

You remember the furor that was unleashed, right in the middle of the holiday shopping season last year, don't you? When Ancestry announced it would no longer be supporting its FamilyTreeMaker product? A reprieve in early February— announcing that Software MacKiev would acquire and support the desktop software, including the tree syncing capabilities that allow updates to the program's contents to cross-apply between personal computer and online trees at Ancestry—seemed to address exactly what the clamor was all about. Ah, relief!

But the dream ran into a glitch, and by mid-November, Software MacKiev was here to say, in an emailed notice to subscribers, that there had been a delay in completely developing the sync portion of the updated program.

And so, that minority of us Ancestry subscribers who still insist on those antiquated ways of keeping a copy of our family tree on our own personal computers will, at that very same stroke of midnight on December 31, 2016, see our last chance—at least for the moment—to sync our work between two sites poof into the ether. At least until that undetermined moment when the ball passes completely to Software MacKiev's court, and they pick up on the action.

As of now, it looks like we get to hold our breath until...well...I'm not sure. The Software MacKiev email this November 23 included this hopeful, but unclear, note:

So relax. TreeSync® will not stop working at the stroke of midnight this December 31st. And though it will be retired at some point in the not too distant future, before that happens, there will be new syncing technology available to replace it. It's already well into development and we will be starting outside beta testing in the next few weeks. And that means syncing as we know it for FTM is going to live on into 2017 and beyond. So if you've been worried about what happens at the end of the year, well you can just stop worrying. Syncing, Search, and Shaky Leaf hints are all here to stay.

But...but... This is all so unclear. Beta testing in the next few weeks? Does that mean we have to wait until the test is over before we can sync again? Will we have a reincarnated version of sync? Or just a zombified version of its old self?

This is something at least this inquiring mind needs to know. Otherwise, the one glaring thing left on my genealogical to-do list for 2016 will be to do everything I can do to spruce up all my trees on Ancestry and get them ready for one final farewell sync on New Year's Eve. Before the drop of the midnight ball—in whatever time zone that might fall.


  1. I jumped ship and left FTM last year, but it is my understanding that since neither RootsMagic nor FTM have their new sync features ready to release that Ancestry has postponed the death knell for the current sync ability into sometime next year. I think the current sync will actually end soon after the other two are released and up and running.

    1. It seemed to sound that way, Linda, based on the email from Software MacKiev, but then again, they are not, so it would be more reassuring to see that in print by Ancestry, themselves. Hopefully, it turns out to be so.

  2. I'm just waiting for the dust to settle before I purchase any desktop software - I can wait... for months.


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