Saturday, October 12, 2019

Reader Question: How to open Old Files

Here a question I received from a reader:
I have several old versions of my ancestry trees of over 3000 individual's going back to the late 1400s, that I can't open in current operating systems. I never learned and have no help to convert them to Geodom(sp?).

So this is my question: can Family Treemaker open and preserve all this work completed by an older relative who left it to me, and myself???

If it can't be saved, it will be lost for good, which seems a shame.
And the Good News is,FTM2019  will open all previous versions of the Family Tree Maker program.

And, if you don't remember where those files are, on your computer, the New, Tree Browser, will find them for you.

I did a blog post on that one.

and, the Tree Browser will find files on any external hard drive connected to your computer.

The one that is high lighted in on an external drive and I haven't touched it for 15 years.
Copyright © 2019 by Cousin Russ


  1. Hi Russ. Excuse my ignorance but what format are they in now? Are they in older GEDCOM formats, some proprietary format, or a database?

    1. Tony,

      Older versions of the Family Tree Maker program. FTM2019 will go back to Version 1 (30 years ago), as well as a GEDCOM file (all flavors of GEDCOM), PAF files, as some versions of Legacy Family Tree.

      Until FTM2019, only RootsMagic would open OLD versions of Family Tree Maker. FTM2017 would only go back to Version 5. (20+ years ago)

      You may remember that Family Tree Maker changed from a DOS based version with Version 16 to Windows Based, (FTM2008) at the end of 2007.

      Hope that helps,


  2. Thank you for the reminder of Browse trees. You always provide new information. Appreciate all you do.

    1. June,

      The Tree Browser, is a New feature in FTM2019

      I demonstrated that on the WackyWednesday Webinar last week.


  3. Help, dont know where to go for assistance. I lost the email I got to download 2019, van you help me with this? I totally love your blog and video s
    Thank you

    1. Bonnie,

      Is it possible that you haven't received it yet. They only started to send them out on 28 September 2019 and have to cut back to sending them out for various Technical Reasons

      You want to go to this website to check out the status



Please post your comments here

Print Friendly