Key Features for Newcomers

  • Skill Level: New User
  • FH versions: V6 and V7
  • In Topics: FAQS 


If you are new to Family Historian, and especially if new to genealogy, then familiarise yourself with these topics. They provide an insight into how to learn about ƒh and explain many features that newcomers often ask about, or wish they had known before committing so much data to their family tree.

There is advice in the ƒh Help pages, the Family Historian website, and our FHUG Forums postings (see Forums Usage Tips for posting questions, replies, screenshots, etc). This FHUG Knowledge Base cross-refers to them where appropriate, rather than repeat their advice.

For an overview of all the FHUG topics on offer then visit our Knowledge Base Home.

Documentation and Tutorials

See Family Historian Documentation especially the book “Getting the Most from Family Historian V6”, available in printed format, from Amazon. We don’t know if and when there will be a V7 book.

Family Historian Sample Project

Use File > Project Window > More Tasks > Samples > Reset Sample Project to reset the sample Project which is the best place to experiment without risk to your family data, and that can be easily reset, at any time, by repeating the same command.

Project Structure and Location

See Understanding Projects and Backups for location, backup & synchronisation advice.

Migrants from other genealogy products should study the Importing to Family Historian section.

If unsure how many Projects you need for your family branches see the Structuring your project thread and One Project or Many by Jane Taubman.

Customisations and Preferences

ƒh can be highly customised and has many preference settings accessed via Tools > Preferences. Many are not stored in the Project Structure but in the Family Historian Program Data Folder that should be included in your backup regime.

Backup and Recovery

See Backup and Recovery especially the Backup and Restore Family Historian Settings plugin for customisations and Windows Registry settings that are not stored in the Project Structure.

Also in V6 and above File > Backup/Restore > Revert to Snapshot can restore just the GEDCOM file.


Facts are one of the key concepts at the heart of Family Historian; they are how you record the things that happened to, or described, each ancestor (Individual). See Working with Facts for New Users.

Places and Addresses

Most data fields are obvious, but these two often cause confusion, so are explained in Places and Addresses.

The automatic geocoding of the Latitude/Longitude of Places is described in the ƒh V6 book “Getting the Most From Family Historian” in Chapter 14 Places, Maps and Timelines. A similar feature is available for V5 or later via the Map Life Facts Plugin.


To substantiate your Events and Attributes most users cite Source Records : see Sources and Citations in Version 7 (for New Users).

Ancestral Sources

The free Ancestral Sources utility makes entering census and other basic records much easier, as do the  features in V7 for source-driven data entry.

Records, Fields and Multimedia

Open the Tools > Preferences and select the Records Window option on the left. Set each Record Type Display Option to Always show so that the Records Window has a tab for each Record Type, without which some data is partly obscured.

Some data fields are only visible on the All tab of a Property Box or in the Records Window, and accessed via a mouse right-click menu.

Most data is stored in the Project GEDCOM file, but linked Multimedia files are stored within the Project Media folder, and can be summarised using  Tools > (Work with) External File Links.

For further details see Formal Database Structure and Record Types and Record Id.

Diagram Root Couples

Diagrams created by newcomers often show fewer Ancestors than expected and usually the solution is to View Both Spouses’ Ancestors.

Internet Data Matches

See the Internet Data Matches advice for obtaining ‘hints’ from online databases, which is also explained in the V6 book “Getting the Most From Family Historian” in Chapter 13 Web Search, Web Hints & Web Clipping.


Family Historian Plugins can add significant functionality without the ƒh program being upgraded.

This is the only feature NOT supported by the ƒh 30-Day Free Trial version in Version 6 and below; in the Version 7 trial, you CAN run plugins.

Last update: 13 Sep 2022