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Upgrade from FTW 1999

Upgrade from FTW 1999

Posted: 1381943158000
Classification: Query
Hi, this is John posting on my wife's account.

I have my Dad's old FTM files on a CD.

We have a CD with a FTW.exe application file from August 1999 and all the associated FTM files that were downloaded from my Dad’s computer after he died in 2005. Attached to this post is a list of some of those files on the CD. My Dad did not make a public tree on I do not know if he made a private tree on

In 2007 we bought FTM 16, but never used it.

My wife has become interested in her family line and that caused me to realize I had better get my Dad’s work preserved in a better way than it is now, on a CD in my file cabinet.


Question 1. What is the smart/best way to retrieve my Dad’s FTM files that he made with the 1999 FTW.exe program? He used the program from 1999-2005.

Question 2. Is the never-installed FTM Version 16 we got in 2007 any help as we move forward to create our family trees with the current version of the software or in accessing the 1999 files?

I did some research about my questions and it seems I will need to contact tech help and get the most recent FTM program that can open those old 1999-2005 files and then use the current version of FTM to open those converted/updated files. And based on my research I think if we had been smart about buying a FTM program that we never intended to use, we should have got the 2005 or 2006 version which I think I read someplace could open some earlier files! :)

Thank you for any suggestions.

Tampa, Florida

Re: Upgrade from FTW 1999

Posted: 1381945009000
Classification: Query
I am not an expert, but I believe FTM version 16 (2006) will import the files form the previous versions ie those released in 1999. So that should not be a problem

However since FTM version 16 is now extinct I would do one of two things. If you do not plan to upgraded to FTM 2014, I would create FTM Books in Version 16, and stuff every fact into the file that the program is capable. If necessary make several books. I would then export them to PDF files. It is improbably that the PDF format will be come obsolete and unreadable in the next few decades, so you will always have the data available.

It you are thinking of upgrading, I would upgrade and import your dads files form the Version 16 FTM files.into FTM 2014.

I don't know what kind of computer you have, hopefully a pre Windows 8 system, as FTM Version 16 will not reliably run one the Windows 8 OS.

A note on FTM 2014. There is a lot of post in the forums about all of the difficulties people are having with it. Remember these are the people who post to the forum and they probably do not represent the average user of FTM 2014. Most seem to have very large files, one recent post was worried about the 4BG 32 bit file size limit. or are doing a lot of synchronized with Ancestry. While I do not have 2014, I upgraded from Version 16 to FTM 2012 and am still using it with no problems. I would highly recommend it for a new user.

Re: Upgrade from FTW 1999

Posted: 1381945823000
Classification: Query
Unless I am completely wrong the files that you posted in your attachments do not contain the FTM database file. They look like they are all FTM system files.

Maybe someone else more familiar with the older version has more information.

In FTM Version 16 (2006) the FTM database file extension would be FBK, FTW, etc.

In FTM 2013 it is FTM, FTMB, etc.

Re: Upgrade from FTW 1999

Posted: 1381947132000
Classification: Query
Edited: 1381947750000
I don't see your datafiles in your screenshots. Anyways....

I recently started watching the Shakespeare plays of King Henry IV and V on PBS and the The White Queen, on Starz, which focuses a King later, with King Henry VI to Edward IV to King Richard III to King Henry VII, the first Tudor king (that last part is coming up next Saturday night if anyone is interested.)

This caused me to go back and "dustoff" my old kingsandqueens.ftw file dated 03/17/2002 so that I could keep track of who was who. When I went to Open with my FTM2014, the file type choices included *.ftw. I chose that option and browsed to my old kingsandqueens.ftw file from 2002 and opened it with no problem in FTM2014.

I believe there is a problem with older files that requires a FREE 2005 download from

I think the distinction may be whether the ftw file was a dos file or a windows file.

For more on this subject, see:

If I am reading the below correctly, you should be able to read your file directly into FTM2012 or FTM2014 - from Help File:

"Is your file an .fbc file or a file from FTM 4.0 or older? Family Tree Maker 2009 - 2012 can’t import .fbc files or files from FTM 4.0 or older. To import these files, you will need to use the Family Tree Maker 2005 Starter Edition as a go-between. More information regarding this can be found by clicking the link below."

Re: Upgrade from FTW 1999

Posted: 1381956616000
Classification: Query
Keith and SilverFox,

Thank you very much for your suggestions. They really got me onto the right track. And thanks to you I did more searching on the CD and found several .FBC, .FBC., and .FTW files my Dad made, some during his final illness. So, I made backups of all of those.

Thanks to your help I know my next steps. Your help is much appreciated.

Tampa, Florida

Re: Upgrade from FTW 1999

Posted: 1381961555000
Classification: Query
I really hated to reply with the information that the database was not listed in the files you posted. I know it would have been a complete disaster for you to think you had your Dad's genealogy files and learn you did not.

I am glad it worked out well..

Re: Upgrade from FTW 1999

Posted: 1382010578000
Classification: Query
FTM 2014/2012/2011 etc will import .FTW files made by FTM from version 5 through to FTM 16

Don't use the .FBC files

.FBK files can be renamed to .FTW

See also the excellent knowledge base article on the subject at

John D

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