Glossary of Terms

Ahnentafel Numbers Ahnentafel numbers are a common system for numbering a given person’s ancestors. The person themselves is numbered 1, their father is numbered 2 and their mother is 3. The father’s father is 4 and his mother is 5. The mother’s father is 6 and her mother is 7. And so on. Working back, the ahnentafel number of any given ancestor’s father will be exactly twice that of the ancestor; and the anhentafel number of the same ancestor’s mother will be the father’s number plus 1.
Ancestor Your ancestors are people from whom you are directly descended - e.g. your parents, your parents' parents, their parents, and so on. A great-uncle, for example, is not an ancestor (although he is a relative).
Attribute The term attribute in Family Historian is usually used to refer to a fact about a person (or family), such as their Occupation or Religion. Attributes are similar to events - another kind of Family Historian ‘fact’. When you record details of either an event or an attribute you can specify dates, places, ages, notes and other details. An attribute however has one additional field that events do not have. This is the value of the attribute. You want to know what the hobby was - e.g. wood-carving? gardening? For the same reason, Occupation and Religion are attributes whereas Burial and Cremation are events.
Chart A chart, in Family Historian terms, is a diagram that has been saved to a file in Family Historian chart format (i.e. using either the Save Diagram command, or Save Diagram As > Family Historian Chart). If a diagram has not been saved it is called a working diagram. Charts are also known as Saved Diagrams.
Citation See Source Citation.
Data Reference A data reference is an expression which identifies a particular field within a given type of record, or within a linked record. Family Historian will generate data references for you, whenever you need them.
Descendant Your descendants are people who are directly descended from you - e.g. your son or daughter, your grandson or granddaughter, their offspring, and so on. A great-nephew, for example, is not a descendant (although he is a relative).
Diagram A diagram, in Family Historian terms, is whatever is displayed in the Diagram Window - which could be one or more trees, and/or other diagram elements such as pictures, rectangles, lines and text boxes. Diagrams are divided into 2 kinds: working diagrams and saved diagrams (also known as charts).
Diagram Window A window used for displaying family tree diagrams. The Diagram Window can display an Individual's ancestors, descendants, ancestors and descendants, or all relatives. It can also display the same information for a couple.
Dialog A dialog - also known as a dialog box - is a form-like window. Typically it contains boxes where you have to enter data (e.g. the name of a named list you are creating), or buttons you have to push, or options you have to tick. The Property Dialog, the Preferences dialog, the Diagram Options dialog - these are all examples of dialogs. With ordinary modal dialogs, you have to press an OK or Cancel button, or something similar, to close the dialog before you can do other work within the program. However, with modeless dialogs, you don’t have to do this.
Duplicate Box Where you have two or more boxes for the same person in a diagram, these boxes are called duplicate boxes.
Event Birth, death, marriage and divorce are all examples of events - that is, a kind of fact about a person (or family). Event facts are distinguished from attribute facts within Family Historian. When you record either about a person, you can specify dates and places and other details relating to the event or attribute. An attribute however also has a field for value which events do not have - see attribute.
Expansion Button In the Diagram Window, expansion buttons are little circles that you can click on to hide or show a branch of the diagram. Expansion buttons are also used elsewhere. For example, the Records Window also has expansion buttons. In the Records Window, they are square and contain a ‘+’ or ‘-‘. Wherever they are used, expansion buttons allow you to hide or show detail.
Fact The word ‘fact’, in Family Historian, is often used as shorthand for ‘event or attribute’. See also Fact Sets.
Fact Set A ‘Fact Set’ is a defined list of types of facts - that is types of events or attributes. For example, you might create or import a fact set for military events and attributes which you could use when recording information about individuals’ military histories. A medical fact set might define a list of events or attributes which are relevant to a person’s medical history.
Field The terms ‘tag’ and ‘field’ are used in Family Historian largely interchangeably for an area within a record that stores an item of data (see Tag). ‘Field’, unlike ‘tag’, is also sometimes used to refer to a box in a dialog where data can be entered.
Function Functions are used as part of queries, and elsewhere, to compute values. For example, a function could be used to calculate how 2 people are related to one another.
GEDCOM The global standard format for shared genealogy data, and the one used by Family Historian. The GEDCOM format was created by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Marriage Note A note that is associated with a Marriage record (also known as a Family record). It applies to both partners/spouses/parents in the marriage/family. To be distinguished from a Shared Note. Marriage notes are stored in Family records. Shared Notes are stored in their own Note record.
MDI Child Window Windows that fit inside, and cannot be moved outside, the frame of the application window to which they belong. The Records Window, Diagram Window, Multimedia Window, Query Window and Reports Window are all MDI Child Windows. MDI Child Windows are sometimes called sub windows.
Modeless Dialog Unlike ordinary dialogs, a modeless dialog is a dialog that you do not have to close - e.g. by pressing an OK or Cancel button - before you can do other things. Modeless dialogs typically will not have an OK or Cancel button anyway. They are designed to be used in conjunction with other windows. An example of a modeless dialog is the Property Dialog or the Diagram Window’s Movement Control Box. Modeless dialogs stay in front of other windows until closed. If they get in the way you can move them or close them (e.g. by clicking on the Close button in the top right hand corner).
Multimedia Window A window used for displaying multimedia objects (pictures, sounds, videos, etc).
Parent Family A person's parent families (you can have multiple sets of parents if, say, you are adopted) are those family records in which he or she figures as a child. To be contrasted with spouse families.
Named List Pane A hideable area on the right hand side of the Records Window where Named Lists are displayed. The Named List Pane is hidden by default.
Named List Pane A hideable area on the right hand side of the Records Window where Named Lists are displayed. The Named List Pane is hidden by default.
Property Dialog A dialog box that appears in front of other windows, showing the contents of records. A very versatile tool, the Property Dialog is a quick alternative to viewing the contents of a record in the Records Window.
Qualifier A qualifier is a word added to the end of a Data Reference, which determines how the referenced item of data will be displayed in Diagrams, Queries and Reports. There are a large number of qualifiers for dates, for example, which allow dates to be displayed in a number of different formats. The qualifiers associated with a field (or 'tag') can be viewed in the Fields listing of the Columns tab, within the Query Window.
Query A set of instructions for finding a set of records, and for displaying them in a grid. The output of a query can be printed as a report, saved to a file or copied to other programs (such as spreadsheets). Queries can also be used as part of other functionality (e.g. when splitting a Family Historian file).
Query Window A window used for displaying queries.
Record A record is a stored set of data relating to a particular subject. The notes that your doctor keeps about you, constitute your health record, for example. There are 9 different record types in Family Historian, including records for individuals, families, notes, and sources.
Record Flag A record flag is like the answer to a Yes/No question for a given record. Family Historian is installed with only 2 record flags: Private and Living, but you can define as many of your own as you want. For example, if you want to have a way of marking a record to show that the individual is a fellow genealogist, create a Genealogist flag and set it on records for genealogists. Then the question: “Is this person a genealogist?” is answered Yes if they have that flag, and No if they don’t. You can view and set record flags for selected individuals (one or many) using the Record Flags command on the Edit menu.
Records Window A window that displays (or can display) all the records in a Family Historian file. Unlike other windows, you can't have more than one Records Window open at any one time.
Remarriage Box Refers to a type of box that can appear in diagrams. When a person is married more than once, you can if you wish opt to display an extra box for that person, for each of their 'extra' marriages. This is what happens if you choose the ‘One Box Per Marriage’ spouse display option in a diagram. The extra boxes are called ‘remarriage boxes’. A remarriage boxes is one kind of duplicate box.
Reports Window A window that is used for displaying reports.
Relative Your relatives are your ancestors, your descendants, and your ancestors' descendants. Spouses of any of the above are usually counted as your relatives too. Your spouse's relatives (your in-laws) may also count.
Saved Diagram Saved diagram is another name for chart - that is, a diagram that has been saved as a file in Family Historian chart format.
Shared Note If you have a note that is applicable to several records, you can create a Note record to store the note, and link as many records as you like to this ‘shared note’. To be distinguished from a Marriage Note.
Smart Tree Smart trees automatically adjust themselves if you move a box or branch within the tree, or if you resize a box, or use expansion buttons to open and close branches. All trees in Family Historian are smart trees.
Source When accumulating genealogical data, it is a good idea to document not just the information you accumulate, but also where the information came from - i.e. your sources. A ‘source’ can be whatever you choose to consider the source of your information is. For example, a ‘source’ could be a person, a book, a document, a part of a document, a graveyard (perhaps, even, a single grave in a graveyard), or even - another GEDCOM file.
Source Citation A source citation links an item of data to the source of the information. A source citation can be qualified by a note or other details, such as an assessment of the reliability of the source for that particular item of information.
Spouse Family A person's spouse families are those family records in which he or she figures as either a parent or as a spouse (or unmarried equivalent). To be contrasted with parent families.
Sub window See MDI Child Window.
Tag The term ‘tag’ and ‘field’ are used in Family Historian largely interchangeably. 'Tag' is, in effect, the GEDCOM term for what would more usually be called a field - that is, a part of the record that stores an item of data. Unlike fields in database records, however, GEDCOM tags form a hierarchy. 'Tags can have ‘child' tags that qualify their 'parent' tag. Birth, for example, is a tag, and it can be qualified by child tags Date and Place, amongst others.
Text Scheme A text scheme is a stored set of instructions for displaying text in diagrams. Family Historian provides a number of standard text schemes, but you can also define your own. For a list of available text schemes see the Text tab of the Diagram Options dialog.
Tree When used in the context of a Family Historian diagram, a tree means either an Ancestor tree, a Descendant tree, an Ancestors & Descendant tree (sometimes called an Hourglass tree) or an All Relatives tree. That is, it names a particular way of displaying relationships using boxes and lines. A Family Historian diagram can contain an unlimited number of trees of all types.
Uncategorised Data Field (U.D.F.) A field that is used to store data which Family Historian has not been able to categorise. U.D.F.s are sometimes created when Family Historian loads a GEDCOM file created by another application, that contains errors or extensions to GEDCOM.
Working Diagram Any diagram that has never been saved as a file in chart format, is called a working diagram in Family Historian. See also saved diagrams (also known as charts).
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