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Corporate Chronology of Family Tree Maker
Column published: 17 October 2006
By: Rick Roberts,   Biography & Archived Articles

We are often asked about the ownership/corporate history of Family Tree Maker. Family Tree Maker is a leading genealogy software program used by millions of family historians around the world to record, share and research their family history. The question probably comes up because of the many changes of ownership in the 1990s.

The following chronology was created by Paul Burchfield , a well-respected FTM tech who appeared in their training videos and supported the brand at genealogy conventions across the continent. Paul left the company in 2003, shortly after its acquisition by, Inc.

Family Tree Maker (software) Corporate Chronology:
  • 1984 - Banner Blue Software founded
  • 1989 - Banner Blue Software released first DOS version of Family Tree Maker
  • January 1994 - Banner Blue Software hired Paul Burchfield
  • Late 1994 - Banner Blue Software acquired Automated Archives
  • May 1995 - Banner Blue acquired by Broderbund Software
  • May 1997 - Broderbund Software acquired Parsons Technology from Intuit (which included the marketing rights to Family Origins)
  • August 1998 - Broderbund Software acquired by The Learning Company (which included Family Tree Creator through an acquisition of Mindscape/IMSI)
  • Late 1998 - The Learning Company acquired Palladium Interactive (which included Ultimate Family Tree)
  • May 1999 - The Learning Company Acquired by Mattel, Inc.
  • November 1999 - A&E Television Networks, Hearst Interactive Media, Mattel, and top private equity firms form, LLC
  • Late 2001 - acquires the GenForum message board site which it had been hosting for a few years
  • February 2001 - A&E acquired
  • June 2002 - acquires Generations product line from Sierra Home
  • April 2003 - A&E sold the assets of to, Inc.
Source: Paul Burchfield 's blog.

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