2015 Year in Review


RootsMagic 2015 Year in Review

Welcome to 2016! With the new year, we in the RootsMagic underground labs like to take a little break and reflect on all that has happened this past year. It’s been an eventful year for us full of loss and growth. Join us for this look back at what has happened in the RootsMagic world during 2015.

Loss in the RootsMagic Family

Gordon Dixon Booth

2015 started out on a sad note. Gordon Dixon Booth passed away on Tuesday, January 13, 2015. Gordon is the father of Michael Booth, our vice-president, and a valued member of the RootsMagic family. He was passionate about family history, loved talking to people about our software, and was one of our best salespersons! He also became a popular presenter at conferences teaching classes on British research, photography, and personal histories. You can learn more about Gordon and his contributions in this tribute article.

Conferences and Classes

RootsTech 2015

In 2015, we attended many genealogical events. The first and the biggest was RootsTech. At RootsTech, we introduced badge ribbons and gave away prizes through our Prize Patrol.

Ribbon

We also attended conferences across the country where we taught classes, answered questions, and met face-to-face with fellow users.

User Groups and Magic Guides

We know that one of the reasons our loyal users love RootsMagic so much is that no other genealogy software provides the level of support and training that we do.  Over the past four years, we have pioneered the use of “webinars“, tutorial videos, and weekly tip articles.

Magic Guides Header

Different people learn in different ways. We’ve had many requests for written tutorials in addition to our videos. In 2015, we’ve added free “Magic Guides” to our many sources of support. Magic Guides are free, downloadable and printable handouts that cover a variety of topics.

RootsMagic User Group

In 2015, we also created an online RootsMagic User Group and a Personal Historian User Group on Facebook. These groups are where you can connect with other RootsMagic users to ask questions, share ideas, and discuss how to use the software.

Since their creation, over 7000 people have joined these groups, and they have taken on lives of their own where users support each other.

Windows 10

RootsMagic on Windows 10

One of the biggest stories in the technology world was Microsoft’s release of Windows 10. Since it was a free update to most users of Windows 7 or higher, many people took the leap and upgraded. With some planning and testing on our part, all our products were prepared for Windows 10 on its day of release. In spite of a last-minute change on Microsoft’s part that caused a few headaches, the upgrade went smoothly for most of our customers. No small feat considering the size and scope of the changes in Windows 10.

RootsMagic and Personal Historian for Mac

RootsMagic for Mac

In 2014, we announced “MacBridge”, an add-on purchase that allowed you to run RootsMagic on your Mac without Windows. In 2015, we did away with the separate purchase and consolidated it into “RootsMagic 7 for Mac“. So now, one purchase of RootsMagic lets you run it on either Windows or Mac, no additional purchases or licenses required. Even our free “RootsMagic Essentials” is now available for Mac.

But we didn’t stop there. We also released “Personal Historian 2 for Mac“. Just like RootsMagic, one purchase of Personal Historian covers both Windows and Mac operating systems, as well as the free “Personal Historian Essentials”.

Personal Historian Book

Personal Historian 2: The Companion Guide

On November 24, we released the long-awaited companion book to our Personal Historian software. For years, we have been asked if there was a printed book to go along with our personal history writing software. We were excited to be finally able to say, “yes.” We’re especially pleased to see how well you all have received the book and how it is helping our you get the most out of the software.

Don’t forget, for a very limited time, the book is still available at the discounted price of only $7.95 (plus shipping). That’s nearly half-off its regular price of $14.95. Simply visit our website and add it to your cart to receive the discount.

A New Home for Family Tree Maker® Users

On December 8, Ancestry.com announced that they would be retiring their “Family Tree Maker®” (FTM) genealogy software. RootsMagic immediately welcomed Family Tree Maker users with a special upgrade offer as well as videos and written tutorials on how to make the transition. We’ve even released updates to RootsMagic to better support FTM’s unique GEDCOM files to make the transition ever smoother.

Family Tree Maker users have a new home

Since then, thousands of Family Tree Maker users have made the switch to RootsMagic. And the feedback has been tremendous.

“Every day I am finding new features in this software that makes me grateful Ancestry made their announcement that drove us all to seek alternatives to FTM. Have you even SEEN what DataClean can do? And here I was thinking I would have to manually fix all these things record by record…..and I didn’t even know about the website feature….feels like Christmas around here!” – Anni

“So far, in 1 weeks time, I have to say, Better service. Being with FTM since the 90’s, I NEVER remember users indicating an issue, and then an update to fix those issues being put out there in a matter of about 5 days.class than actually after gathering the issues. THATS service! I also don’t remember putting any kind of post, forums included, and having the top guys in the company reply usually in less than a couple hours That’s even Better service!” – Danielle

If you’re a Family Tree Maker refugee and still haven’t made the switch, be sure to take advantage of our special upgrade offer for FTM users.

 Awards

GeneAward 2015

With the end of each year come awards. We’re pleased to have won the GeneAward for “Best Genealogy Product of 2015″ for the 7th year in a row. As the reviewer put it,

“I hate to say that RootsMagic is still the overall best genealogy application. I hate to say that, because I’d like to see some other vendors close the gap and give them some serious competition.”

GenSoftReviews RootsMagic 2015

UPDATE: We’ve also received the “Top Rated Genealogy Software” award from GenSoftReviews Users’ Choice Awards. This award is also one that we’ve received for the 7th year in a row. This award is based on reviews submitted by actual users of genealogy software. The glowing reviews on the page speak for themselves.

Thank You!

I know we say this every year, but we mean it when we say that none of this would have been possible without you and your support.  We are grateful for the wonderful feedback, enthusiasm, and encouragement that we receive from our community.  We hope that our work is deserving of your trust and support. 2015 has been an amazing year for us thanks to you, and we’re working hard to make 2016 even better!

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Reader Comments

I haven’t made the full switch from FTMM3 yet, but I will this year. I have been playing around with RM and like it a lot. The support I have seen in feedback from Bruce and Renee on the FB groups is outstanding and exciting.

My TO-DO in the first half of 2016 is to clean up my FTM tree so the GEDCOM will be as clean as possible when i transfer.

I hope that a native Mac version is HIGH on RM’s list.

Steve

We all cannot thank Bruce and his team enough for the enormous amount of work they do for us! They are always making RM better and better. Reading the summary of what was done in 2015, I am absolutely amazed! We enter data and keep our records. The research team continues to make our life easier and easier. Bruce, many, many thanks. You are the best!!

My husband introduced me to Rootsmagic before we were married. I love it and we use it together with Family Search to find our ancestors. We enjoy sharing Roots with anyone we meet who is interested in genealogy. Many have now caught the genealogy ‘bug’ because Rootsmagic makes it so much easier to make the connections in our families. Thank you for your wonderful product!

I’m a very recent (2 weeks) convert from Family Tree Maker and so far I’m very impressed. Was so disappointed to learn that not only was Ancesstry not going to continue to support FTM but they also updated their site to make it ‘better for the user’ and decided that I no longer needed the Family Group page – well I loved that page and was very upset to no longer have it available. I am learning the features of RM but I do have a suggestion (unless there is a way to do this that I haven’t discovered yet…) – that suggestion would be to automatically make media files viewable on the individual’s info page when you click on an event for example you should be able to see the media file tagged to that event in the lower right hand corner of the screen for instance. Again, I’m still exploring and learning but so far I’m very happy with the transition. Thanx for the special offer to FTM converts.

FTM user who just recently transferred to RM, though before I heard about the special offer. Was excited to hear about the update that worked better with some FTM GED files. Sadly the download was corrupted and now does not seem to be available to re-download. I will keep checking.

I just scrolled through the 2015 Year in Review and reflected back over the years. I ‘m proud to have purchased every new version since Family Origins version 1 (well, maybe missed one). I was grateful for your loyalty to your customers in rescuing your software by releasing Roots Magic. You have earned every award and every loyal user. Thank you so much for the Mac version 7. I hope a fix for the “invalid floating point” error can be implemented soon.

I am on of the FTM orphans. Thank you RM for offering us such a good service. I have seen some of your webnars and found the info really helpful.
Looking forward to going though my current research to fix any problems and putting in more info that was missing.

I find RootsMagic, the second software I have tried, very friendly and am grateful to the team that created it and is supporting it. I have two suggestions for improvements. Please provide more server space for family trees and allow posting of more trees. The user may need to pay extra, but I would not mind. Please improve the quality of images in the wallchart. Thank you again and Happy New Year.

I made the switch from FTM and an rebuilding my tree from scratch as a complete do-over. I like the way RM helps me cite sources in a professional manner, and I hope to finally get my counties corrected for their time periods. Also I think it will be fun to launch the website, once I get to where I have enough people again!