Ancestral Sources Tutorial ~ Working With Options ~ (1) General Settings


Most of these options customise the user interface, but a few adjust global interactions with Family Historian. They apply to all Source Types handled by Ancestral Sources.

Newcomers in particular are recommended to work with the default installation settings, until sufficient experience is gained to make an informed choice.

Remember to use Help to obtain extra advice, and hover the mouse over buttons and boxes to obtain a brief Tooltip.

User Interface Options

Use Tools > Options to open the Options window and ensure General settings is selected.

Tools > Options > General settings


The Folders options allow the location of administration files to be specified. They should not be changed, unless you need to move them to another disk drive, or into a Dropbox folder, or similar Synchronisation & Backup folder. Use the Help button to obtain more details.

Every time changes are saved to the GEDCOM file a backup copy is saved, and by default only the most recent 10 backups are retained. This number can be changed, and if set to 0 then all backups are retained.

Individual Information

Usually the [Record ID] is used to identify individuals, but ticking Use Custom IDs will substitute the <Custom ID> if it exists, and allow it to be specified when adding new Individuals.

ID in Individuals Lists

These options specify how individuals are identified in lists on the main screen. You can opt to Show birth date, Show ID, or Show birth date and ID. If a Birth Date does not exist, then the ID will be substituted.

Date Estimates

This determines how, for example, a Birth Year is estimated from a known Date and Age.

Select Simple dates and the Age is simply subtracted from the Date Year.
e.g. A person who is 10 years of age in February 1880 is estimated to be born in 1870.

Select Smart dates and if the Date falls before the end of June, then 1 extra year is subtracted.
e.g. A person who is 10 years of age in February 1880 is estimated to be born in 1869, which is more probable.

Source Identification

This specifies how to recognise sources in the GEDCOM file as being a particular Source Type. This is principally used with Recording Method 2 as discussed in Census Settings and Baptism Settings and Marriage Settings, but also when you Add Images to Sources. Most users should find that the default filter settings do not need to be changed.

Filter Demonstration

Close the Options window by clicking Cancel, use View > Add Images to Existing Sources, then from the Type: drop-down list select Census, and note the Source: list is empty.

Use Tools > Options and from the Source type: list select Census, and ensure Source title includes: is selected, then enter the letter a in the box and click Save. This adds an extra filter that will recognise any Source Record with an a in its Title as being a Census.

Close the Options window by clicking OK, use View > Add Images to Existing Sources, then from the Type: drop-down list select Census again, and note the Source: list now includes several Source Records all with a in their Title.

Reset Button

Click the Reset… button and from the Choose the settings to be reset: list select Reset census settings only and click OK. Notice that the Census filter list modified above has been reset.

Short Date Format

When entering a date such as 5/10/1800 it could be interpreted as 5th October 1800 with Use day/month/year format or 10th May 1800 with Use month/day/year format. The default is automatically determined from the Windows control panel settings. However, you can choose to change this if necessary.

Birth Events

Most users prefer a single Birth Event per individual, linked to multiple Citations and Sources.

If you prefer to record multiple Birth Events where different Sources give conflicting information, then tick Offer to create multiple births for individuals.

However, you should also tick …even if existing birth includes place and date on the Census settings page, to ensure the multiple births option is presented.

Then when the data is saved, the Birth Event Suggestions will include the option to Create an additional birth event with date and place suggested.

Other Options

Version 2.0 introduced the ability to create Repository links, but this can be disabled by clearing the Allow repository use tick option.

The Use multi-line address option enables the multi-line edit button even for single line Addresses, but is not recommended.

Clear the Associated Individuals – separate line in local notes option to list such Individuals on one line separated by commas.

The Same-sex relationships option relaxes the rule that partners, and fathers & mothers are of opposite gender.
(Same-sex relationships are not supported by Family Historian Version 3 or earlier).

Transcriber defines the name of the person entering data and is only relevant to the {SYSTEM.TRANSCRIBER} auto-text keyword.

Whole Person and Name Citations

Whole Person Citations

Whole person citations link the whole Individual Record to an associated Source Record.

These citations may be created just for new individuals being added, or for all individuals involved in the data entry.

Name Field Citations

Name citations link just the Individual Name field to an associated Source Record.

These citations may be created just for new individuals and name changes being added, or for all individuals involved in the entry.

By default Ancestral Sources only creates Individual Name field citations for new individuals and name changes.

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