Saturday, August 12, 2006

500 years of Ancestry data up the swanny?

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 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, 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.

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Anonymous said...

I really liked the old AFT software. Am running into limitations with the new version and they link it to their own site for making web pages. The old one let you make a web based page locally to upload anywhere. New version has some nice features, but overall I hate it. If you are not an Ancestry subscriber don't use it.

Anonymous said...

Yes! Encountering the same problem. If you know of fix, please post to the forums a! It seems there is an app called Ancestry Quest that will make the conversion but you must purchase it for this feature.

Richard Atkinson said...

Good news... solution posted at