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Family Archive Viewer

Posted by Nancy Frazier  on Fri, 02 Mar 2001
I, too, have been considering downloading the Family Archive Viewer and reading some reviews about it. However, I DO OWN the FTM program. Your late instructions say that if I own FTM, I should not have to download the Archive Viewer. However, every time I try to check out the data that I find on FamilyFind CD, I get the page that tells me I have to order the CD or download the Family Archive Viewer. How can I View these CDs?

What do you mean in #1. to Barbara 0518. when you state "place the desired FTM data CD in your CD Rom Drive." What do you mean by "desired?"


Indeed you are right to question what is the Family Archive Viewer, from Family Tree Maker. Let me provide a few definitions. But I will first answer your question about "desired CD." If you have a CD you wish to view, its considered the "desirable one" to put into the CD drive. -- OK, now for the definitions:

1. A genealogy management program that allows researchers to keep track of ancestors' names, dates of events and localities. Additionally, it will provide a variety of printouts including family group sheets, pedigree charts and genealogy books. 

An additional feature of the FTM program is the ability to look at genealogy data CDs (created by the Family Tree Maker company) by putting a CD into your CD-drive and pressing the "FamilyFinder" button on the upper right portion of the Family Tree Maker tool bar, shown below:

2. Family Tree Maker is also the name of a company that was formerly owned by Broderbund, then Mattel, and now, that is engaged in creating a variety of genealogy CDs including:
-- WORLD FAMILY TREE CDs (GEDCOM files from users of the FTM genealogy management program (the type you are being asked to view or order)
-- FAMILY ARCHIVES genealogy data CDs such as those created in conjunction with Genealogical Publishing Company (the kind I usually review)*

FAMILY ARCHIVE VIEWER - software for non-owners of FTM to view both types of genealogy CDs created by the Family Tree Maker company.

In your case, it sounds like you are searching through some genealogy indexes that came with your FTM genealogy management program. When you find a "hit" on the index of names, the CD provides the message basically asking you to order another genealogy data CD from the Family Tree Maker collection. You'll need to make a note of the specific title and CD# from that screen prompt.

Ordering the Family Archive Viewer won't do the trick. Its just another set of binoculars -- when what you really want is to see the actual treasure chest of genealogy data on your family.

There are two ways to view the actual data. If you are a member of FTM's web site (all new FTM users are automatically members for a specific time period - I believe its 1 year) -- then you can go to the web site, and view the data available in their "members only" online library.

I see that as of this writing, there are 68 CDs that comprise FTM's World Family Tree. You may search all, or specify a particular CD to search. You may then click "more about" the lineage, or click "transfer" (to download the file to view at your convenience on your home computer.) You can see that lots of folks might be confused with the downloading, and would prefer to purchase the CD. There is a price to pay for that CD convenience.

In preparing for this column, I went to the Family Tree Maker web site located at:  
and clicked on "World Family Tree"
I decided to look at CD #68, so I selected it from the drop-down menu. I then selected Tree #503 and pressed the "more about" to learn:

Tree #503 contains:
200 individuals 
1 individual(s) with More About information 
Other features of this tree: 
Date range: 1850-2000 
Some early dates: 1850, 1851, 1860, 1866, 1867 
Most common surnames: Kaminski, Druzolowski, Green, Mogielnicki, Pallone, Blair, Robertson, Carbonneau 
Most common locations: CT, IL 
Foreign locations: 
This tree is also available on CD-ROM 

If these names looked likely, then it would behoove me to either download the file, or order the genealogy CD. Either method requires a little $$ -- current web site membership ($19 monthly or $79 annually) or the purchase of the CD (about $39 each).

Since the info in the World Family Tree is submitted by researchers like you and me, you'll want to contact that person to obtain additional source notes and copies of original documents proving ancestry.

*NOTATION: The other type of Family Tree Maker CDs are known as FAMILY ARCHIVES. They contain a different sort of genealogy data, in index form, relating back to specific pages in previously published books scanned, viewable and printable on the CD. These CDs can save you valuable research time, and take up a lot less shelf space than the books scanned onto the CD. For instance:

-- CD #023 Genealogical Records: Pilgrim Genealogies & Histories 1600s-1900s
According to the co-producer, Genealogical Publishing Company, this CD includes the images of the following amazing number of titles:

  • Cape May County Mayflower Pilgrim Descendants, 1620-1920 by P. S. Howe
  • A Catalogue of the Names of the First Puritan Settlers of the Colony of Connecticut by Royal R. Hinman
  • Chronicles of the Pilgrim Fathers of the Colony of Plymouth from 1602 to 1625 by Alexander Young
  • The English Ancestry and Homes of the Pilgrim Fathers by Charles Edward Banks 
  • Families Directly Descended from All the Royal Families in Europe (495 to 1932) & Mayflower Descendants by Elizabeth M. Leach Rixford
  • Genealogical Register of Plymouth Families by W. T. Davis
  • Lineages of Members of the National Society of Sons and Daughters of the Pilgrims, Volumes I, II, and III (records of the lineages submitted to the NSSDP) 
  • Mayflower Descendants and Their Marriages for Two Generations After the Landing by John T. Landis 
  • The Mayflower Reader: 'The Mayflower Descendant'" by George Ernest Bowman 
  • The Planters of the Commonwealth in Massachusetts, 1620-1640 by Charles Edward Banks 
  • Records of Plymouth Colony Births, Deaths, Burials, and Other Records, 1633-1689 by Nathaniel B. Shurtleff
  • Three Hundred Colonial Ancestors and War Service by Elizabeth Rixford 
  • Topographical Dictionary of 2,885 English Emigrants to New England, 1620-1650 by Charles Edward Banks 
  • The Truth About the Pilgrims by Francis R. Stoddard
  • The Winthrop Fleet of 1630 by Charles Edward Banks

You can see that these sorts of searchable genealogy CDs might prove useful in research, as the titles in this case are some of the standard works for Mayflower ancestral research.

I hope this column will demystify the process of looking at both types of genealogy CDs provided by Family Tree Maker.

Myrt     :)
Daily Genealogy Columnist
AOL Keywords: roots or myrtle  

To post a message on this topic, go to Myrt's Message Board 


1995-2009 Pat Richley HOME | Ask | Blog Right-click to copy RSS feed URL. Add to My Yahoo BookShelf | ContactLessons | Listen to Podcast media RSS feed
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