Fact Flags

  • Skill Level: Advanced and Intermediate
  • FH versions: V7
  • In Topics: Facts 

Family Historian version 7 introduces the ability to set flags on Facts. You can mark them as one or more of:

  • Private: ‘Not to be shown in reports’. Useful if you don’t want to advertise the fact that Great-Uncle Bernard suffered from a socially unacceptable disease. You can mark multiple facts of the same type for an Individual as Private, and override this in Reports.
  • Preferred: Perhaps an Individual had multiple recorded occupations, but for most of his life he was a Tightrope Walker. You can mark that occupation as the ‘Preferred’ occupation, and it will show up in the Main tab of their Property Box. (You can mark multiple Facts of the same type as ‘Preferred’, in which case the first (earliest) fact is treated as ‘Preferred’ — so it’s better to mark a single such Fact). This is also useful if you have (for example) multiple theories for when/where somebody was born and thus multiple Birth Facts. You can flag your most likely Birth Fact as ‘Preferred’ and have it appear in the Main tab of the Property Box.  If you’re an advanced user, you can also configure ƒh to display the Preferred Fact in reports and queries. From the ƒh Help File:

“It is possible to set a flag on events and attributes to indicate that a fact is a preferred fact.  For example, you may have recorded numerous occupations for a given person, but one of them may be the occupation that they were most closely associated with; and you may choose to mark this occupation as the preferred one, by setting the Preferred flag for that fact.   You can reference a preferred fact by using [preferred] as the index. e.g.:


If a given person has no occupation which has the Preferred flag set, this will return the first one.

Sometimes you may want to just find a Preferred fact – that is, return nothing if there is no fact of that type with the Preferred flag set.  To do that, you can use the [prefonly] index.  e.g.


This will match the first occupation which has the ‘Preferred’ flag set, or return nothing if there is no ‘Preferred’ occupation.

The [preferred] and [prefonly] indices can only be used with facts (events or attributes).  They are not valid in any other context.”


  • Tentative: ‘I’m not sure but maybe’ You may have added Citation Assessments for your Fact(s) but want to emphasizse  how uncertain you are. Flag it as Tentative. It doesn’t usually affect the presence of the fact in Diagrams and Report, but you can exclude it from exports to other products/service.
  • Rejected; ‘Other people believe this and/or there are facts suggesting this, but they are wrong in my opinion’. Flag it as rejected.  You might be wrong so you want to retain the evidence, so that you can change your mind if of other evidence shows up but you don’t want to publish data you disbelieve.

There are some combinations of Fact Flags that you might find unintuitive. However, according to the ƒh author:

Our view was that it should be possible to set all of them. The idea is that the ‘Rejected’ flag takes precedence over all other flags. So if something is flagged as ‘Rejected’ it always is rejected, regardless of any other flags that may be set. This means that, if you want to, you can choose to attach special meanings to combinations like this: “Rejected and Tentative” could be interpreted as “treat as rejected, but review this as I could be wrong”. “Rejected and Preferred” could mean: “there is a theory that X was a Y – and if he was a Y, that would have merited the ‘Preferred’ flag (e.g. his main job say). But I have concluded (based on whatever evidence) that this theory is not correct”.

There is also a practical advantage of allowing all of them. Suppose you decide that something should be flagged as rejected for whatever reason. If you later change your mind, it’s nicer if you can simply unset the flag – i.e. you don’t have to remember what flags were previously set, so that you can reinstate them.




Last update: 22 Feb 2024