Going From a PC to a Mac ~ Part 1

Most of you know from previous posts that I am NOT "Miss I-T." Please keep this in mind as you journey through my experience of learning yet something else "new," this time with actual computers.

I have been so excited, I received my new Family Tree for Mac 2 in the mail! It showed up at my door in less than a week from the day I ordered it. I have felt a bit lost not having access to my family tree at any given time, funny how we get. Aren't we all used to having our genealogy information handy 24/7?

I have not been excited however in even thinking about how to transfer my family tree to the Mac. My schedule had been very busy since the new program showed up at my door, and I am thinking that was probably a good thing. It didn't allow me time to worry or stress about how to do the transfer.

A few days ago, I had some time, so I downloaded the new program to my Mac. I also downloaded a Gedcom of my tree to a memory stick. I did this because I was afraid I would not be able to get into the laptop, or be able to be in it long enough to get my tree information before the laptop either died or locked up on me. I knew my days, hours, minutes were numbered with the laptop.

One evening after I did these downloads, I decided to put the Gedcom on my Mac and into my tree. Wow, was I wrong! That was just not going to happen at that particular time! I was instantly reminded of where my mentality was...on a laptop! I knew nothing about the Mac! Oh no, the challenge has begun.

Well, today was the day I chose to tackle this, as it was the first day I have actually had free time. Plus, I would be alone the majority of the day, without interruptions etc., except for the drop off of the beautiful King Charles Cavalier I am watching through the holiday weekend.

My initial thought was that I needed to start on my husband's awesome computer I bought for him a year ago Christmas. I was sure I wouldn't be able to get much use of my laptop, it had become so unreliable. For those who are unaware, my laptop had some electrical issues after it was only two years old. I would call it "a poorly laid out electrical plan" which turned into my having to hold the cord in all angles you can image in order to keep power to the darn thing. This was the laptop that was suppose to last me five years.

I brought my Mac right next to my husband's computer in the office. I started his computer, while reading directions on my Mac. I previously had downloaded Family Tree Maker to his computer along with Roots Magic, about a week before. I knew if I totally lost my laptop, I would still need to work on my trees in order to transfer them to the Mac. This was why I felt comfortable starting on his computer.

Last night I did a bit of researching and saved a few links that I felt would help me this morning, which in turn made me feel more confident that I could handle this. I immediately downloaded FTM 2005 Starter Edition on my husbands computer, as per the directions. The directions stated I needed to convert my tree to make it work with the Mac. Made sense to me, even though it made me rather nervous. The next step in the directions didn't seem to work, so I eventually came to the conclusion I hadn't actually downloaded the FTM program to his computer! Had I only downloaded a copy of the tree?

At this point I figured things may go a bit faster if I could turn on my laptop and get what I needed from it, verses downloading FTM to my husbands computer and then load my tree to it. I proceeded to move my Mac into the dining room table, pulled out the PC and set it up there also. I turned on the laptop and waited for what seemed like eternity for it to totally boot up. I lucked out! The laptop turned on, and was charging! Ok, this will be good if I can only hurry and get done what I need to before the laptop freezes on me.

I went to Google and asked for a link to convert my tree from FTM to Mac. Here, I began reading about all these different file types, (the part I was stuck on at my husband's computer) not having a clue what any of this information meant at this point. I poked around a bit longer and found a whole different link telling me what I should be doing! I read through that a bit, and it made more sense to me to follow those instructions as my FTM program was a 2009. I never really understood why I needed to use a "2005 Starter Edition" to begin with. My mind only told me that maybe I had to bring it "back to a point where it would convert."(Remember, I do NOT do "I-T"!)

So now there was a different download I needed to make in order to proceed. Ok, I have to hurry it up....oh no... darn...I had to start thinking like that...but I knew it would happen...you guessed it...the dang laptop froze! Well, doesn't that just take the cake? I was so mad, I did a hard shut down. I can't even begin to tell you how many times I have wanted to throw the darn thing through the window!

To be continued...

Thanks for stopping by!

Wishing you success in all of your genealogical treasure hunts!

 Copyright © 2012 By Cheryl Palmer All Rights Reserved


  1. My Heritage Happens,

    If I understand the issue, you want to get a Windows based version of Family Tree Maker file to your FTMM-2 version for your Mac.

    FTMM-2 will read FTW files (Windows base Version 16 and earlier) BUT for FTM files (Windows base Version 2008 and newer) you need the Migration Program. It's on the FTMM-2 Installation CD and also on the Ancestry.com Website.

    Please go to the Knowledge Base website:


    and enter 5313 in the Search Support field and click on the Search Button. That will take you to an article that should help you with this.

    If I missed the issue(s), please let me know.


    1. Russ,

      Thank you so much! If I wasn't such a hard head, I would learn to ask for help in situations such as this. But no, I hate to bother busy people. But then, we have the best group of people in our community! I should know people are so willing to help! I did finally get the transfer completed, I just wanted to share my "un-knowledge" of the computer world. I have had a lot of patience my whole life and learn most things by reading and on my own, however time and age is catching up and making this more difficult. I will try to remember to not be too stubborn to ask for help next time! Thanks again Russ, you are wonderful! (I don't remember anything about "5313"...but am going to check that out! too!)

  2. Cheryl, I have Reunion on my Mac but Roots Magic I am told runs well on a Mac with minor incidents. I am going to be trying it here soon. Bruce wants to know how I like it on the computer. Poor man I bugged him for years to make it Mac compatible. I have not tried FTM for MAC. I had it eons ago it seems and I just not happy with the newer stuff like what I see on Roots Magic. I can so relate to your comments big time. Suddenly I felt like I might belong within this group after all.

  3. Susie, I LOVE Roots Magic! I want to bring that onto my Mac also, but have had very limited funds and can only do a little at a time. In order to have Roots Magic work on the Mac there is another program I need to buy and then I would like to also purchase the newer version of Roots Magic. It all takes time, and money. Roots Magic is where I am molding my "perfect as it will be for me" tree. I started on Family Tree and am missing a lot of sources and I am not sure about some of the trails, they may have been picked up from Ancestry and not verified. So, I had been going through EACH person, adding everything on that person to Roots Magic. There is a long way to go as I only have completed one line so far. It is frustrating as I can't even work on it at this point. For now my Roots Magic Tree is on my husband's computer, at least I got it off the bad laptop! I like Roots Magic, that is why I was moving my tree there, it has the best sourcing in my opinion!

  4. In addition to the resources Russ pointed out, I'll offer another in case you're a visual learner. I recently published a video, Migrating Family Tree Maker 2012 and 'for Mac Trees, on my site, GenealogyTools.com. I think it would help you to see the process.

    ----Ben >@<

  5. Thank you Ben for sharing this! I will be sharing it in my next post!


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Organizing ~ Cousins Found

#31 WBGB ~ Week 11 ~ Come Up with 10 Post Ideas

Sentimental Sunday ~ Western Union Telegram