Too Big For Our Britches

We have outstripped the capabilities of Family Tree Maker 2019 (FTM) and now find it necessary to split the trees up into 3 separate trees. This move comes with mixed emotions for me and I’ve struggled against it for the last several years.

In 2001 I started converting Jean A. Sargent’s book Babb Families of America into Family Tree Maker. Jean had never used a computer and I wasn’t about to use anything else. Working for a technology company I realized the vast power that would be at my finger tips. It took me 3 years to convert those 6,000 people and their associated data. Over the years I watched it steadily grow to 11,000 and then 17,000. I was stunned as it crossed 20,000 and before I knew it we had passed 30,000 and were picking up speed.

Today the collection stands at 33,000 people, with 30,000 pieces of media and I’ve been struggling with data consistency issues due to the size of the file. Additionally, data import takes that much longer with each merge due to its 23 GB of data. I like having everything in one file because it creates a very powerful search capability and the ability to easily spot duplicates. But I’ve just waived the white flag and split the file into 3 along the country the tree is found in.

The fact is that the new team supporting FTM have worked diligently to produce the most stable and full features product ever. Initially, it was never designed for heavy duty researchers like myself and a little over a decade ago the software would be unstable with as little as 1,000 people. The book software built into it still barely handles trees with more than about 75 people, which is laughable to me. I can’t imagine putting out a Genealogy book with 30 pages, but to each their own.

Anyway, the old links for the tree will no longer be functional. Here are direct links to the 3 trees on Ancestry for your convenience:



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