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Latest Articles and Tutorials

  • How Common Is My Last Name?
    Are you wondering how common is your last name? You probably have an idea based on people you met at school or work. At one time in my career, my desk was next to an O’Brien on one side and an O’Brien on the other. We were not related, so you can guess that my … Read more
  • Where Does Family Tree Maker Save Files? (All Locations)
    Family Tree Maker stores files by default in two locations on your computer. Different types of files are grouped in subfolders. This article explains where the application saves files and we’ll show you how to find them if they seem to have moved. You also have the option of changing one of the default locations … Read more
  • Why Can’t I Open Family Tree Maker? (Simple Fixes)
    You may occasionally experience issues with Family Tree Maker not opening properly. This article runs through the most likely problems and how to fix them. Problems Opening Family Tree Maker The problem occurs in different ways, but the end result is the same. You can’t view or work on your family tree. Here is how … Read more
  • Bead Arrays And Oligo Probes – Explained Simply
    DNA tests from the big consumer DNA companies like and 23andMe rely on bead array technology. This technology was invented in the 1990s by David Walt at Tufts University and further developed by Illumina, now a giant in the biotech world. This article explains bead array technology in simple terms. A vague memory of … Read more
  • What Is Genotyping? (Explained For Beginners)
    Genotyping is a way of analyzing DNA to explain how someone’s genetic makeup influences their traits and characteristics. Let’s say Bill is a tall guy and has black hair. Bob is six inches shorter than Bill and has red hair. Before we get into how genotyping comes into play, we need to start with an … Read more
  • What Is DNA Sequencing? (Explained Simply)
    DNA sequencing refers to any technique that identifies the sequence in which the basic building blocks of a DNA sample appear. The building blocks are four types of molecules called nucleotides: A, C, T, and G. DNA sequencing determines their order. The latest techniques are called Next Generation Sequencing or NGS. So, what is NGS? … Read more
  • Does Family Tree Maker Work On An iPad? (Workarounds)
    Family Tree Maker will not install and run on an iPad. The software only runs on Windows or Mac computers, whereas iPads have a different operating system. There is a separate application called FTM Connect that does run on the iPad. However, it is read-only and does not display all tree details. Read on to … Read more
  • Does Family Tree Maker Ever Go On Sale? (Yes!)
    I finally purchased Family Tree Maker in early 2022 when I saw it was on sale at a large discount. Like me, you may have been put off by the lack of a free trial. I have to say that I’m happy with the software features. But this is not a review! Instead, I’ve spent … Read more
  • Does Family Tree Maker Work On Chromebooks? (Workarounds)
    Family Tree Maker will not install and run on Chromebooks. The software only runs on Windows or Mac computers. However, several workarounds let you work on your family tree using your Chromebook. This article runs through your options. One method is simple, and the other is a little more technical. But first, we’ll explain what … Read more
  • How To Search For Someone Through Ancestry DNA (Tips & Tricks)
    Can you find someone specific through an Ancestry DNA test? Yes, if the person meets these criteria: Took an Ancestry DNA test (and the test is fully processed) Opted into their DNA being matched with other Ancestry customers You are both related up to a distance of 4th or 5th cousin Use their full name … Read more