Ancestral Sources

Ancestral Sources (AS) is an application, designed by Nick Walker, to be used in conjunction with Family Historian (ƒh) to allow faster and more convenient creation of source records with census events, BMD events, occupation attributes, and other facts linked to the sources, and the ability to easily link multimedia images. Ancestral Sources is freeware but the author does appreciate donations that can be made from within the application. The latest version of Ancestral Sources is v7.8, released in July 2023 and supports all versions of ƒh including the latest v7.

Ancestral Sources
Ancestral Sources with census entry

Source Driven Data Entry

Ancestral Sources pioneered a source-driven approach to entering data into ƒh. Most of the information that is added to a family history file originates from one of just a few types of documents, namely birth, marriage and death certificates, church baptisms, marriages and burials, and census records. The concept of Ancestral Sources is that it allows the data from these source documents to be entered directly into the software, building up the family history data in a more intuitive approach than the usual methods used by genealogy applications. For example, typically entering a census household entry in a family history application requires multiple facts such as census, occupation, birth, etc. to be created for each individual, all linked back to a source via citations: a very time-consuming exercise. Ancestral Sources makes this far easier and much quicker to achieve.

Ancestral Sources is highly recommended for all users of ƒh. The availability of Ancestral Sources is frequently cited as a key reason to use Family Historian over other genealogy applications that do not have similar functionality.


The first version of Ancestral Sources was released in 2010 and was a follow up to the successful ‘Gedcom Census’ that had appeared six years earlier. Ancestral Sources has been downloaded well over 30,000 times since then.

Further Information

You can find out about the features included in the latest version of Ancestral Sources in our Ancestral Sources Version History page, visit the  Ancestral Sources Download page and look at the Getting Started with Ancestral Sources guide. There are also some useful introductory videos available on the Ancestral Sources Videos page.

The full Ancestral Sources help included with the application is also available on the web here: Ancestral Sources Help ( and can be searched using the Knowledge Base search facility.

Last update: 29 Jul 2023