This page describes how to upgrade an earlier Family Historian installation to Version 7, released in December 2020.
Ordering Your Upgrade
Users of registered copies of ƒh6 and ƒh5 may be entitled to upgrade discounts (or a free upgrade from a recently-purchased copy of ƒh6), as described at Family Historian 7 Upgrade page within the Family Historian store using the process described there. Users of older versions wishing to upgrade need to purchase the full version.
Unlike earlier versions, ƒh7 is only available as a download, and there is no option to purchase a CD copy.
Both full and upgrade versions of ƒh7 require the purchaser to register with a Family Historian account. This is used for subsequent activation of the product using an activation code that is e-mailed to you with a download link.
Before you order, check that your current operating system is supported (Vista has been dropped from the list of supported environments, so you must be running Windows 10, 8.1, 8 or 7). If running on a Virtual Machine or in an emulated environment then Windows 7 or later is required. However, remember that only Windows 8 and later are receiving security updates, so any remaining users of Windows 7 should seriously consider upgrading their operating system as well.
Backing Up Projects and Settings
Prior to installing ƒh7, you should ensure that you have full backups of all of your ƒh projects, and of your settings and customisations. Without these, it is very difficult to fully restore your existing configuration if anything goes wrong during the upgrade or you later change your mind and want to revert to your current version of ƒh.
Backing Up Projects
Backing up A Project is a Windows folder, created by Family Historian, which contains all your Family Tree information recorded in Family Historian. Normally located in the Documents\Family Historian Projects folder. data should be a normal part of your day-to-day usage of ƒh, and is described here.
Backing Up Settings
Settings and customisations (e.g. custom Querying is a very powerful feature that allows you to specify and save criteria for identifying a set of records of a given record type., Plugins are small programs that allow new features to be added without upgrading Family Historian itself; some plugins are written by Calico Pie and others are written by users. or A Fact Set is a defined list of types of Facts – that is types of Events and Attributes.) can be backed up using the Backup and Restore Family Historian Settings plugin. However, note that this plugin should not be used to transfer settings between different versions of ƒh, due to incompatibilities between versions.
These project and settings backups should be kept in a safe place until you are sure that you will not need them to revert to your old version of ƒh. You should take particular care to ensure that they are not accidentally overwritten by subsequent ƒh7 backups.
Installing and Activating the Version 7 Upgrade
Step-by-step instructions for installing and activating ƒh7 are given on the Calico Pie website. Note in particular the requirement to have an activation code prior to starting the installation. The first time ƒh7 runs, it requests this code, which is then permanently associated with your account. Any future reinstallation can be activated simply with your user name and password.ƒh7 continues the Calico Pie policy of new releases overwriting previous ones. It is not possible to run ƒh7 alongside a previous version, as even the free evaluation version will overwrite your old installation. Users wishing to trial ƒh7 prior to upgrading will need to run the evaluation version on a separate PC (or in a VM for experienced computer users familiar with running multiple installations).
Using Version 7ƒh7 will inherit most of your settings and customisations from previous versions, although some minor tweaking may be required. Calico Pie Limited is a UK software house, and the publishers of Family Historian. have provided detailed Family Historian version 6 and below supports two types of Notes: Local notes (associated with a single person, record, or fact); and Shared Notes or Note Records, that can be linked to multiple records and/or facts. Version 7 introduced Research on potential issues affecting upgraders. The two main areas that will impact the most users are probably changes to the The Property Box is the primary window for data entry and for viewing details of stored records. It is used with records of all types. , where customizations are not restored by default, and in plugins, where all existing plugins are disabled on upgrade.
Both Property Box customizations and plugins can be restored using the procedures described in the upgrade notes referenced above.
When a project from a previous version is loaded into ƒh7 for the first time, the user is informed that it will be upgraded to the new format. Once this is done, the project should not be used in earlier versions of ƒh, otherwise data corruption is likely. ƒh6 will recognise an ƒh7 project and give a warning message if you try to load it, but ƒh5 and earlier do not.
It is good practice to create a copy of your main project when first using ƒh7, and use this copy as a testbed to become familiar with the new program.ƒh7 also comes with an updated set of standard queries, and not all queries from earlier versions will run correctly in ƒh7 (and vice versa). However, existing queries are not disabled when upgrading as queries only read data, and cannot update it. A faulty query cannot corrupt user data, unlike a faulty plugin.
Although multiple versions of ƒh cannot be installed on the same PC, it is perfectly possible for more advanced users to operate different versions on two different PCs and use a local network or cloud storage to selectively synchronise features such as queries, plugins, 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). sets, etc. (provided, of course, that any incompatibilities are noted). However, for the reasons described above, user projects cannot be shared between ƒh7 and earlier versions, and using different default project folders is recommended to keep user data separate.