I've been storing up research on 500 years worth of hundreds of ancestors and related data using the Ancestry Family Tree software. I was running this software which I'd downloaded from Ancestry.com on a work PC. I no longer have access to that PC (it's been recycled), but I made sure that I'd grabbed the data file (.aft) and all the back ups (.afz) so I could set up the application at home and retrieve my information.
However, when I went to download the AFT software from the site, I saw that it had been succeeded by Family Tree Maker and a web based equivalent. The web based version I am hugely in favour of, but I though I'd stand more hope of handling any potential file format problems with an installed app in the first instance.
I installed Family Tree Maker at home and was relieved to see the promise that it can open an .aft file. Unfortunately, it doesn't work. Even though .aft is one the Open file drop down list file types, when you try it, FTM says that it does not recognize the format of the file.
I welcome progress, but hope I have not lost years of research! I thought I'd made adequate provision for backups, but I'd not forseen this. So, I've asked in support from Ancestry.com, so fingers crossed.
In future I will save backups in a more open standard such as GEDCOM. I'd like to hear from anyone else who has come across this problem.
Tags: genealogy, ancestry, family tree, Ancestry.com, Ancestry.co.uk, Family Tree Maker, Ancestry Family Tree, .aft, futureproof, compatibility, backwards compatibility