One Project or Many

  • Skill Level: Intermediate and New User
  • FH versions: V4, V5, and V6
  • In Topics: Projects 

When getting started with family history and Family Historian some users have difficulty in deciding whether they should have one or many projects. For myself I much prefer to have a single project with all the information in, so that’s all the branches of my family, my husband’s family, my brother-in-law’s family etc.

The advantages with this is that I can do a diagram or a tree or a report for any member of my family, so if I do some reports for my nephew’s that will include all their relations and you don’t need to worry about joining trees together or having the same information in multiple files.

Of course it’s possible that you’ve got some completely unrelated trees perhaps you’re doing a research project for your friend and her family don’t overlap with yours in anyway, in that case it’s sensible to have a separate project for that, as it’s easy to then give the project to your friend for her to using her own copy of the program.

If you do build a very big project when you come to share the information with other people you might need to use the export option. You can extract out just the people that relate to a single person, so you can export all relatives of my first cousin once removed and it won’t include all my husband’s family and my brother-in-law’s family it will just include the relatives that are related to him by blood and their spouses.

The tools in family historian which you’ll need to look at are the already mentioned “export” perhaps the “split tree helper” to remove additional information.

What you would normally do after using the export option is to then use that new exported gedcom file to create a Project. This will copy over any linked media to go with the new gedcom file and you can then simply send a full backup of the new Project to your contact, just remember to remove any sensitive information about living people, there are Tools on the family historian for stripping down that information include the helper already mentioned and several plugins in the plugin store to do with cleaning up living information on a project or gedcom.

For a few more opinions check out Structuring your project.

[Reproduced with permission from Jane Taubman]
Last update: 12 Sep 2020