RootsMagic and Ancestry: Working Together at Last

Search, Sync & Download from Ancestry

Recently, the genealogy world was rocked with the news that Ancestry would be parting with their “Family Tree Maker” (FTM) genealogy software. Thousands of FTM users have since made the switch to RootsMagic. But the question everyone has been asking has been, “Will any other software be able to search and synchronize with Ancestry the same way that Family Tree Maker did?”

Today, we finally have an answer to that question- “Yes!” We’re pleased to announce that we will be working with Ancestry to bring these features to RootsMagic in the near future.

What does this mean for you?

Search, Sync, Import
  1. Search – RootsMagic will be the only software besides FTM to search Ancestry’s extensive collections of historical records from around the world and let you download those records into your own file.
  2. Sync – RootsMagic will be the only software besides FTM to let you share data between your RootsMagic files on your computer with your personal Ancestry online trees. You’ll also be able to download people, events, and even pictures from Ancestry onto your computer through RootsMagic.
  3. Import – RootsMagic will be able to directly import your Family Tree Maker files, without having to go through an intermediate GEDCOM file, giving you the cleanest, most complete transfer of your data. RootsMagic will also be able to download your online trees from Ancestry.

Yes, this is big news and we’re sure you have many questions about it.


Does this mean that Ancestry bought RootsMagic?

No. RootsMagic is still the same independent software maker that we’ve always been. We’ve simply arranged to work with our friends at Ancestry to make this happen; just as we work with FamilySearch, MyHeritage, and other genealogy companies.

Why are RootsMagic and Ancestry working together?

This really is a win-win for both companies and their users. RootsMagic users will have convenient access to Ancestry’s vast collections of trees and records, as well as synchronizing with private online trees. Former Family Tree Maker users will have a path forward, importing their original FTM files while using the Ancestry hints and trees that they’ve come to depend on.

Will I have to buy a new version of RootsMagic to use these features?

If you are using the paid version of RootsMagic 7, these features will be included in a free update to that version.  If you are using a version of RootsMagic older than 7, you will need to purchase an upgrade to 7 to use the features.

When will these features be available?

As is to be expected with something this big, it will not happen overnight. Both Ancestry and RootsMagic are dedicating considerable time and resources to make this happen. We anticipate having many of these features available later this year in an update to our RootsMagic 7 software.

Are you the only other genealogy software working with Ancestry?

Besides Family Tree Maker, yes.

What if I don’t want to upload my data to Ancestry?

Like all of our integrations with other companies, these features are completely optional. You’re free to use or ignore them as you like.

Will I need an Ancestry subscription to use these features?

Use of Ancestry features will require an Ancestry account, even if only as a free Registered Guest. The features and records available to you will depend on your subscription level.

Will I still be able to use RootsMagic to work with FamilySearch, MyHeritage, and other companies?

Of course. This will not affect any existing functionality in the RootsMagic software including sharing data with FamilySearch Family Tree and WebHints. In fact, these relationships give RootsMagic users the ability to access more records from more sources than any other software.

I’m a Family Tree Maker user. Do I have to buy RootsMagic now?

We certainly wouldn’t mind if you did 🙂 But seriously, Ancestry has stated that current versions of Family Tree Maker will work with their services through 2016. So you don’t have to make the switch immediately.

We invite you to look at RootsMagic and its features and, if you like what you see, you’re welcome to make the transition whenever you feel ready. You may be willing to wait until the new Ancestry features are available or you may wish to get started right away. Whenever that time comes, please visit for a special discount and instructions to help you make the change.

Will the sync work exactly like TreeSync in FTM?

Ancestry is working on a new API that both RootsMagic and FTM will be switching to (“API” is a fancy word for the system with which Ancestry can communicate with other products).

The API is still in development, buy syncing in both RootsMagic and FTM will likely be a bit different than the current “TreeSync”.  It will still allow you to share names, events, notes, sources, and even media between RootsMagic and Ancestry.

Please visit for more information.

132 thoughts to “RootsMagic and Ancestry: Working Together at Last”

  1. So excited – I guess Ancestry felt the power of upset people.

    I’m sticking with RM. Have had FTM and RM, but use FTM for hints and RM for the real dea.

  2. Thank you this is the best news possible as Ive been using both programs for over 5 years and to be bale to integrate them is suberb well done you.

  3. I am a long time FTM user and one of the Extremely unhappy customers of Ancestry.Com to learn of their less than forward thinking in dropping FTM. I would normally consider staying with FTM as it is being taken over by the original software developers, but have lost faith in the whole process. While Ancestry is a great online source for data I am looking at other programs and have purchased RootsMagic for Mac – the entire bundle. I will be also looking at other software as well.

    I have a question for the community and Roots —
    If not Ancestry for your web based search and data collection then who else?

  4. THANK YOU THANK YOU! Knowing my FT format will be close to the same is fantastic. I just got the download and anxiously looking to continue all my trees and branches going forward.

  5. This is a God send! Thank you Roots Magic! Thank you Ancestry! I belong to both.
    Thank you Laura Ellen Buckner Swain for recommending that I use Roots Magic!

  6. Our “Englewood Genealogy Society of Florida” group has also this past week started using RootsMagic 7 in our SIGs. Everyone is still a little nervous but I feel with time most member will learn the new program and let go of FTM.

  7. I am so pleased. I purchased RootsMagic 7 thinking that I would be starting over due to changes that ancestry has made. Excited learn of this when I installed my CD. Thank you.

  8. A very big thank you as the ability to sync was one feature that I have been searching for. I have used RootsMagic for a couple of years, but wished for that feature. I even considered switching to FamilyTreeMaker, but now I’ll be able to use this great feature without switching. Thanks again.

  9. I purchased RootsMagic7 to replace my FTM software. Will I have to pay again for the upgrade later this year to be able to use the new features that work with Ancestry?

    Reply: No, this is planned to be released in a RootsMagic 7 update.
    Renee, RootsMagic

  10. Bruce, this is great news, and I am glad that my choice made 25+ years ago to go with Family Origins, predecessor to RootsMagic was made. You have outlasted the filtering and shifting of the market place because you make a superior product. Congratulations and Thank You!

  11. Have been using Ancestry since ‘goodness knows when’. Just getting into putting my ‘tree’ on to it.
    Have been using RM for ‘goodness knows how long!’ – now I can really get to grips with new projects etc..
    Thank you Bruce for such an initiative!
    I am only 90, and still have a long way to go!!

  12. So, when will rootsmagic search, sync, and download with FamilySearch the same way it now does with Ancestry?

  13. I purchased & installed RM7 when the initial offer was made.This is great news! Now if RM7 would show relationships like FTM and it had a relationship calculator like FTM it would be even better. Thanks for your efforts.

  14. This is wonderful news. I had been wishing that I could sync ancestry to my roots magic. Can’t wait for the upgrade.

  15. I have been using Ancestry for a couple years and then I discovered Roots Magic 6 through our local research center, I am so excited to utilize both for my family tree. I love Roots Magic.

  16. I am much more comfortable with RM’s model of assembling information. Repository access is important, but not the core of activity. I switched after Ancestry’s announcement demonstrated they have lost touch with the research process.
    Everything about RM is superior, in particular their open communications on what’s happening.
    Please continue to stay in touch with the “roots” of genealogy research!!

  17. Thank you for filling the void left by the retirement of Family Tree Maker. I have used FTM for many years and have almost 20,000 people in Ancestry and FTM with many thousands of records and media for them. The December announcement was very upsetting.
    I immediately bought several genealogy software packages and after working with them for several weeks find RootsMagic the best solution for me. The one feature of FTM that I find missing is the place view which allows me to see everyone associated with a single place and selecting the individual profiles as needed. I have learned to substitute the RootsMagic List Place report that allows me to see who is associated with a specific place, but unless I am missing something, I cannot format the report into alphabetic order, nor only list individuals w/o every associated event. In addition, I cannot access the individual profiles without going back into the database.
    If I am indeed missing a way to do this, please let me know. If not, I would like to put in a plug for including this feature in RootsMagic sometime in the future.
    Again, thank you for helping us make this transition.

    Reply: Confirming this is on our enhancement request list.
    Renee, RootsMagic

  18. I thought I would never see the day.
    Now I can suggest other important things for you to work on.

  19. This is awesome and exciting news! Roots Magic has Lisa Louise Cooke of Genealogy Gems to thank for my decision in purchasing Roots Magic. Her enthusiastic support of Roots Magic is unparalleled! I love her Genealogy Gems podcasts and video tutorials!

  20. I have been a RootsMagic/FTM3 (mac)/Ancestry/Family Search user for more years then I can remember…. and have been waiting for this to happen for almost as long. This is very good News can’t wait to be able to do this as soon as I can.
    Thanks again Roots Magic for helping get this done for us.

  21. I’m going to be looking forward to direct FTM import, because currently I can only export my file in pieces. (Trying to export the entire file means FTM crashes, every time, with ‘unknown data error’. Ask me why I like RM so much….)

  22. Thank you so very much for this wonderful improvement. I can hardly wait until it arrives!! I LOVE Roots Magic!

  23. I had purchased Rootsmagic7 some time ago but had not installed it. When the announcement was first made, I transferred my FTM 2012 via the gedcom. Everything transferred so smoothly, I thought that I had made a mistake…but no it was all there!! Rootsmagic7 even lets me save my file to the cloud each time I make a change in the file. The confidence of knowing that I have an off-site back up is a huge relief! But I had two FTM files. I transferred the tiny one. I can hardly wait for the software development to transfer the major database (38K files, sources and media).

  24. And what about us Mac users?

    Reply: All updates will come out for PC & Mac users at the same time.
    Renee, RootsMagic

  25. I am glad that there will be a working arrangement with Ancestry. There has been an enormous investment in my subscriptions with Ancestry over the years (since 1992) and, like others, was less than happy with FTM’s decision!

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