I am not talking about Halloween scary or thinking you forgot your child at the bus stop scary...but I think I just lost almost 4 years of work scary. Whew, bout gave myself a heart attack this morning.
I have watched for nearly 4 years people discuss the pro's and con's of owning any version of Family Tree Maker. As with every program it has it's fair share of bugs. But last year when they announced the release of FTM 2012 with tree sync, my interest was piqued. Tree sync is a very cool feature that allows you to sync your online tree with ancestry.com to Family Tree Maker on your desktop. I thought this would be nice for when I go home to my parents to work offline and to share stuff with my parents. And also a good thing in case anyone asked questions at the family reunion.
I downloaded the program last spring and until today had no problems with updates or sync's. Last night, I received an email from ancestry.com stating that they have decided to not release a new FTM 2013. Instead, they are doing one big update to FTM 2012. So I did what most people probably did, opened up FTM so that it would do the update. I wanted to see all these "new" updates. I turned it on and went to bed. When I woke up this morning, the update was complete but it was stalled on "downloading media" (media being any photo's or documents I had attached to the tree). I hit the sync tree button to get it going in the right direction, when an error message popped up telling me that my "online tree has been deleted". WHAT!?!?
I have heard of this happening to others that had sync'd their tree to FTM. But really like most I thought surely this will not happen to me. My chest tighten up, my eyes swelled with tears and I was about to have a nervous breakdown. I jump on ancesty.com to see the destruction for myself....but what I am thinking to find and what I find do not match. All three of my trees are safe and sound. I have three trees on ancestry, only two that I would sync with FTM. The first one is just a tree I use when I am helping friends with their research. In my lowly opinion, it is easier to find what I am looking for if the information is in a tree. Then I don't have to keep track of everyone's siblings and making sure this information gets put in this search or that information. So I just add them to "My H Family Tree" and build up each family member. The other two are my main trees "Adamson-Timbrel Family" and "Wahl-Thornton Family". These are the two trees that I was most concerned about. The tree however that I thought was deleted was my "Adamson-Timbrel Family" tree. I have spent the most time and work on this tree. To see it deleted would break my heart. I have backed it up but not in the last few months....something I think it's time to remedy. So I most likely would not have lost the whole thing. But that initial fear of lose, shot through me before I could think clearly.
Moral of the story.....BACKUP!!!! You should back up your work at least once a month. More if you are working everyday. I try to backup my work on the 1st day of the month. But I have been lazy in this the last few months. NOT after today. I will promptly back up all databases and set my mind at ease...at least till next month.
So what is in store for my FTM 2012....I am thinking I might delete the whole program. But I don't want to make any hasty decisions. It is still currently on my computer but will remain un-opened until I can figure out if I want to try it again. The chances are slim though. I have the ancestry.com app on both my cell phone and my Nook, and so far they have been the most useful. I may just stick with that.
I use RootsMagic 4 as my "main" database (even though I have not caught up with all my research....that's a winter project). And I always recommend PAF (Personal Ancestral File) which is free from familysearch. This is a great program also.