Ancestral Sources Tutorial ~ Enter Baptism Facts


This tutorial illustrates the fundamental features of capturing a Baptism Record and adding its details to your Family Historian database. It is based on very old versions of Ancestral Sources and Family Historian, so does not include some of the features that are now available such as templated sources and rich-text. Videos that refer to those new features are available on the Ancestral Sources Videos page. However, the fundamental concepts of capturing the data are still reasonably relevant.

There is a series of videos on How to Add a Baptism Entry showing the key features of these tutorials.

Throughout the tutorial the notation ‘Option1 > Option2 > Option3 button’ means select menubar Option1, then Option2, and finally click the Option3 button.

Any text in Italics usually represents literal text visible somewhere in the tutorial windows.

It is feasible to copy & paste many of the data values from the tutorial scripts directly into Ancestral Sources input forms.

Tutorial Scripts

Configure Initial Settings


The Ancestral Sources tutorials require the following settings to be established in order to operate correctly.

However, the settings only need to be configured once before undertaking a series of tutorials. It may be useful to watch the video tutorial.

Note that all Options, Templates, and Tools settings apply equally to all Projects, but they can be different in each Windows User Account.

Reset Family Historian

Version 4.1 (or later)
Family Historian Version 4.1 (or later) needs its Family Historian Sample Project to be reset to its installation state.

Select File > Project Window… > More Tasks… button > Samples > Reset Sample Project, and answer Yes or OK to all prompts.

Close Family Historian, and if it prompts to create a Backup, choose the Skip button option.

Reset Ancestral Sources

Ancestral Sources must have its original installation settings.

Before resetting Ancestral Sources it is important to preserve your custom settings, by using Tools > Backup A.S. Options….
These can be restored later using Tools > Restore A.S. Options….

To reset Ancestral Sources, use Tools > Options… > Reset button, select Reset to original installation settings, and click OK twice.

This not only resets all Tools > Options… settings, but also Tools > Customise Fonts, every Tools > Flag Assignment…, and all Census > Census Flag Settings….

Click the Open button on the left of the toolbar, and select either the Family Historian Sample Project or the Sample.ged file created above.

Then use File > Make Current Project/File Default to ensure this database is chosen if Ancestral Sources is closed and opened.

Notice that the members of the sample Munro family tree are listed in the top right-hand panel.

Ancestral Sources Tutorial ~ Enter Baptism ~ (1) Enter Baptism Information


It is assumed that you have found a new Baptism Record as part of your family history research, and want to enter its details into Family Historian by using Ancestral Sources.

Watch the associated Enter Baptism Information tutorial video.

A transcript of this Baptismal Church Register (which is entirely fictitious) is shown below.

Parish Church, Newton, Surrey – 1837 Baptism Register
May 9th Arthur Hodges baptised by Rev. A. Vicar with god-parents Jack & Jill Jones
April 20th born to John a farmer of Hodges Farm and Mary his wife of this parish

Baptism Data Entry Screen

The baptism data entry starts here, and this first section completes the Main Info tab in the centre of the window.

The rest of this tutorial, up until the data is saved to file, must be completed in one session, otherwise all the data will need to be re-entered.

Open Ancestral Sources and ensure the Family Historian Sample Project or the Sample.ged file opens by default, but if not then Configure Initial Settings.

Notice that the members of the sample Munro family tree are listed in the top right-hand panel.

Ensure that the Baptism Records mode is active by clicking the Create baptism entries button near the middle of the toolbar, or by choosing View > Baptism Editor.

Main Information

Ensure that the Main Info tab is selected.

The Church Parish from the transcript should be entered into the Place field, and the Church Address into the Address field (e.g. Place: Newton, Surrey, England and Address: Parish Church).

These will become the Place and Address values used in the Baptism Event and other Facts created by Ancestral Sources.

If there are matching Place or Address values in your GEDCOM data, then these fields will auto-complete, and Address values will be available from a drop-down list, depending on the check box to the right.

From the transcript, enter the Baptism Date as 9 May 1837 and Date of Birth as 20 Apr 1837.

To choose the key person in the baptism transcript, enter the start of his surname (Hod) into the Find Name box above the family names, and select Arthur from the list. Notice that his offspring are listed under Children below.

To add Arthur as the key individual, click the << Select button, or use Edit > Add current individual to the entry, and select Individual from the popup list.

As the Place, Baptism Date, and Individual fields are entered, they also appear in the Title above.

It is beyond the scope of this tutorial, but the Title field can be customised by a template that compiles data from a variety of sources.
See the menubar Tools > Options > Baptism settings > Baptism Method 1 Title Template option and the Title & Type Templates tutorial for details.
If you have a source naming convention, try and replicate it using this template, to ensure consistent titles.

The baptism transcript lists the parents John and Mary, who do not yet exist in the database.
To add John, enter his name as John /Hodges/ in the Father name field.
To add Mary, type her name directly into the Mother name field.

Alternatively, the Add Parent… link to the right could be used to add John and Mary.

From the transcript, enter the Father’s Occupation as Farmer.


  1. To undo such parent entries, you would use Edit > Review/remove individual data changes.
  2. To add other relatives use the Add Spouse…, Add Sibling…, Add Child… links.
  3. To add a completely new unrelated person click the + Add unrelated individual button near the middle of the toolbar, or use menubar Edit > New unrelated individual option as explained in Ancestral Sources Tutorial ~ Working With Tools ~ (1) Unrelated Individuals.

Ancestral Sources Tutorial ~ Enter Baptism ~ (2) Enter Family Residence


The parish record gives Hodges Farm as the address of the parents, and since the child is not a month old, this is probably his birth place.

Watch the associated Enter Family Residence tutorial video.

Residence Data

Ensure that the Residence tab is selected.

Enter Newton, Surrey, England and Hodges Farm as the Place and Address for the Individual Residence.

Notice that the same details are replicated automatically in the other Place and Address fields.

These location details can be individually cleared, edited, or ticked.

Each residence entry with a Place or Address value will result in a Residence Fact being created when the data is saved to Family Historian.
Likewise, the individual Birth Fact may be updated with birthplace Place or Address values.

The ticked entries will be included in the Auto Text as a transcript of the baptism record.

Since only the Father’s Residence is actually mentioned in the transcript, this should be ticked and the other three locations un-ticked.

Ancestral Sources Tutorial ~ Enter Baptism ~ (3) Enter Further Information


The parish record gives Rev. A. Vicar as the minister and Jack & Jill Jones as the godparents.

For this example the godparents are assumed to be unrelated to the family and will NOT be added to the database as Individuals.

Watch the associated Enter Further Information tutorial video.

Further Information

Ensure that the Further Info tab is selected.

Enter the Ref ID as Newton Parish 1837 Baptism Register.

There is no Other Info to enter.

Enter the Minister name as Rev. A. Vicar from the transcript.

Under Associated Individuals ensure that the Association is Godparents.

Select the Just a name – not in file option, enter the Name as Jack & Jill Jones, and make the Desc plural God-parents:

Click the Save button to register the details.

It is beyond the scope of this tutorial, but Associated Individuals can be customised by a template to allow associated persons to be recorded in various ways.
See the Edit… link option in this pane and the Associated Individual Types editor tutorial for details.

Ancestral Sources Tutorial ~ Enter Baptism ~ (4) Add Multimedia Image


Church baptism records such as this, are unlikely to be supplemented with an image of the register or photo of the event.

This is in contrast to the formal GRO birth, marriage, death, and census records.

Thus it is recommended that the warning regarding no images attached should be disabled.

Watch the associated Add Multimedia Image tutorial video.

Baptism Settings

To adjust the settings use Tools > Options… > Baptism settings and under When saving baptism entries… remove the tick against Warn if no images attached.

While in this window, under Sources in the centre, tick both the Citation Certainty and the Use Citation Entry Date options, and then click OK.

Image Viewer

If there were an image, then it would be added using the Image Viewer.

To open the Image Viewer, either use Edit > Add/View Images… or click the Add/View Images link in the Linked Images panel.

The Add Multimedia Census Image tutorial demonstrates how an image could be added.

You can in fact add any type of file, not just image files. In the Open file window, near the lower right corner, it lists Image Files (*.bmp;*.gif;*.jpg;*.jpeg;*.pcx;*.tif;*.png;*.tga;*.wmf), and to the right of this list is a black triangular arrow. Click on that arrow and from the drop-down list choose All Files (*.*). You will then be able to select any file type to attach to the source. Although the file might not display within the Image Viewer, clicking on the area where the image would normally be displayed will open the default program for that file type. e.g. If you attach a word-processor document then it might open Microsoft Word.

There are several options for specifying the Image Title and the Linked Filename of the Multimedia Record.
One option, beyond the scope of this tutorial, allows the Image Title to be customised by a template that compiles data from a variety of sources.
See the menubar Tools > Options > Baptism settings > Baptism Image Title Template option and the Title & Type Templates tutorial for details.

Click the Close button near the top, to close the Image Viewer window.

If an image is obtained at a later date, then either the Ancestral Sources Add Images to Existing Sources option, or the Family Historian add Multimedia options could be used.

Ancestral Sources Tutorial ~ Enter Baptism ~ (5) Edit Auto Text and Note


The next two areas below the tabs are the Text and Note boxes, which define multi-line text for the Text From Source and Note fields of the Source Record.

Watch the associated Edit Auto Text and Note tutorial video.

Auto Text Transcript

To create an automatic transcript of the Baptism, click the Auto button, or use Edit > Auto Text, and select the Rose’s Act Eng & Wales 1812- option.

Note how all the data entered so far is reproduced automatically, and that the 18th Century Baptisms and Generic Baptism options are available to produce different transcript layouts.

The ticked Auto option allows any further changes made to the data to be automatically updated in the Text box, unless the text is manually edited.

To edit the text, click the Text link to obtain a large editing window, and click OK when satisfied that the transcript accurately reflects the Baptism record.

It is beyond the scope of this tutorial, but the Auto Text transcript can be customised with a template that compiles data from many fields to generate an alternative transcript.
See the menubar Tools > Autotext Template Editor options and the Auto Text Templates tutorial for details.

Source Note

The Note box can be similarly edited via the Note link, and possibly should say Fictitious tutorial data.

Ancestral Sources Tutorial ~ Enter Baptism ~ (6) Create Repository Link


In the same way that a Source cites the derivation of one or more Facts, a Repository cites the owner of one or more original Source documents.

Watch the associated Create Repository Link tutorial video.

Repository Link

Baptism records may be lodged with the Parish Church in question.

So to cite the Newton Parish Church as the Repository, use the Link a repository… option.

In the Repository window select Link a new repository to this source.

Enter the Name as Newton Parish Church, and add present day contact details such as an Address of High Street, Newton, Surrey and Rectory Telephone number 01234 567890.

Click OK to close the window.

Alternatively, the Repository could cite an online genealogy website, such as Ancestry UK or Find My Past, from where the baptism source records were downloaded.

Other parish records obtained from the same place would simply link this existing Repository to the Source

Ancestral Sources Tutorial ~ Enter Baptism ~ (7) Save to Family Historian


This is the final step, so before committing the data to be saved, just check it over carefully.

After the data has been saved, it can be examined in Family Historian, and modified if necessary.

Watch the associated Save to Family Historian tutorial video.

Save Entry to File

When satisfied, click the Save File button near the left of the toolbar, or use File > Save Entry To File.

Answer Yes to the warning message regarding adding parents to this individual.

For the key person’s Birth Event, where better Date or Place details are suggested by this Baptism, a popup window offers options to accept or reject the suggestions.

Various Birth Event options can be selected by using Tools > Options… > General settings and Baptism settings.

Since Arthur HODGES has no Birth Event recorded, choose Create birth event with suggested date and place, and click the Finish button.

Then, and only then, will Ancestral Sources commit the data entry to the GEDCOM database.

If you use Tools > View Log Files… it show a comprehensive list of all the changes made.

Finally, close Ancestral Sources by using the File > Exit option.

Ancestral Sources Tutorial ~ Enter Baptism ~ (8) Examine Family Historian


Now let us examine the Family Historian data to see how much information Ancestral Sources has automatically added. (Family Historian Version 3.1 options are enclosed in parentheses).

Watch the associated Examine Family Historian tutorial video.

Family Historian Data

Run Family Historian and open the Family Historian Sample Project (or the Sample.ged GEDCOM file).

Locate John HODGES the father of his baptised son Arthur, open his Property Box, and ensure Show Sources is enabled.

Individual Details

Virtually all the data displayed was created by Ancestral Sources.

Click on any data field to see the Baptism Source citation, with its Entry Date and Assessment completed.
Alternative values for these fields can be chosen via Tools > Options… > Baptism settings within Ancestral Sources.

In the Sources pane, click the Sources For drop-down list, and every entry marked with an asterisk (*) was created and cited by Ancestral Sources.

Select the Facts (or Events) tab for John HODGES, his wife Mary, and son Arthur in turn. Note that every Fact was created by Ancestral Sources, including the Date, Place and Address details.

For example, the Baptism event for Arthur shows the Date, Place, and Address of the baptism, and the Note identifies the God-parents.

Since Family Historian Version 6, the Facts tab and Sources For pane have a Show Media button in their central toolbars, offering a shortcut to any associated Media images.

The Occupation attribute of John HODGES assumes he worked in the same Place as the Baptism, but not at the same Address.
However, such assumptions can be changed via Tools > Options… > Baptism settings within Ancestral Sources.
In this instance John probably did work at his residence Hodges Farm, since he was a Farmer, and this detail can be changed in Family Historian.

Source Record

Open the one Source Baptism Record that is cited by all those Facts, and notice how all the new data is presented.

If for example, anyone ever asks how you know that Arthur was Baptised in 1837, you can easily find the Source of that information.
Note that the Title, Type, Publication Information, Repository, Note, and Text From Source baptism transcript, were all automatically inserted by Ancestral Sources.

Click on the Repository icon to the right, and select Go to Repository record to review the Repository contact details for the keeper of the original source document.


A Baptism record that took just a few minutes to enter in Ancestral Sources has created many new Facts and two new Individuals, all citing a new Source, which is linked to a new Repository record.

It could have all been done in Family Historian without Ancestral Sources, but it would probably have taken at least three times as long, using a tedious and repetitive set of steps.

Restore Original Settings


Now restore Ancestral Sources and Family Historian to their original state.

Restore Ancestral Sources

To restore Ancestral Sources, use Tools > Restore A.S. Options… and then locate and Open the AS Options Backup.xml file backed up originally.

Ancestral Sources will then close, and when next run will use the restored settings.

Restore Family Historian

Version 4.1 (or later)

To restore Family Historian Version 4.1 (or later) perform the following steps:

  1. Delete the entire Family Historian Sample Project folder from within the Family Historian Projects master folder, or use File > Project Window… > More Tasks… button > Delete Project… option.
  2. Delete any downloaded image file(s) from your usual family history working folder, such as:
    * 1901_RG13_0603_052_10.jpg
    * 1897-06-07 CHILDS Marriage.jpg
  3. Use File > Project Window… > More Tasks… button > Samples > Reset Sample Project and accept the prompts to recreate the sample project. This project can be used for any experimental use of either Family Historian or Ancestral Sources without risk to your main project, and can easily be reset.
Last update: 28 Feb 2024