Family Tree Maker: 20-Year Anniversary!
Back to Blog

Hello Everyone, We wanted to take a moment and announce something very exciting. Family Tree Maker is celebrating its 20th Anniversary this year! Here is some of the history behind the program. In 1989, the first edition of Family Tree Maker was released by Banner Blue Software. This program ran on DOS, and came on 3.5 and 5.25 floppy disks. Even then, though, the program was designed to help you gather, store, and then share your family history. First Edition of Family Tree Maker - 1989 Banner Blue was acquired by Broderbund Software in the mid 1990s, after Banner Blue had released a second edition of Family Tree Maker. Broderbund continued to add new developments to Family Tree Maker as technology advanced, releasing a few more versions of the program. Over the next few years, the Family Tree Maker program was owned by several different companies, but kept getting updated as the resources to build family trees and do family history research advanced with the growth of technology. It eventually came to rest with a company called, which released version 10 in about 2002. Soon after this, was purchased by MyFamily, which later was known as The Generations Network and is now With the success of the program, which has been a major leader in the family tree building software industry since its beginning, MyFamily kept expanding the features of the program and releasing new versions. In 2006, version 16 was released. The program had expanded from a simple way to print family trees, to a powerful program that could include pictures, create a digital scrap book, and had the power to search the Internet for more information on your family tree. However, Family Tree maker was still based on old computer programming, and would not be able to keep up with new releases of personal computer technology. We decided it was time for a major revamp of the program to keep it current with the latest updates in computer operating systems. While this wasn't always a smooth road, we've learned a lot and feel we've come out with an even better product because of that learning process. We're doing our best to continue to integrate the new features and improvements you have suggested as Family Tree Maker users through the years. Family Tree Maker 2010 - 20 years after the first release In Family Tree Maker 2010, we have brought back the in-program book building feature, and updated the features of our Extended Family Tree' chart based on feedback from All-in-one chart users. (We're planning a new post that will go over the finer details of these two charts soon.) In addition, we've added many new features based on the needs and suggestions of our users. And so that brings us to this year, where we're celebrating 20 years of Family Tree Maker growth, and looking forward to even more growth and improvement to come. Keep your suggestions and comments coming!