About Family Historian


Family Historian (fh) is a comprehensive family history software product from Calico Pie Limited who say in their Product FAQ that all versions will run on Windows 10, 8.1, 8, 7, Vista, and XP, except Version 6 that does NOT run on XP.

Version History

There have been several Versions of Family Historian (fh) since its release in May 2002. Each has added significant functionality to the program as explained by clicking any Version Number below.

Version Number Available Upgrade Paths Available Media Date
Version 2.0 Paid-For Initial Release CD only May 2002
Version 2.3.5 Free Upgrade for V2 users Download only Feb 2005
Version 3.0 Paid-For Upgrade Release CD only Mar 2006
Version 3.1.2 Free Upgrade for V3 users Download only Mar 2008
Version 4.0 Paid-For Upgrade Release Download & CD May 2010
Version 4.1.3 Free Upgrade for V4 users Download only 2011
Version 5.0 Paid-For Upgrade Release Download & CD Mar 2012
Version 5.0.11 Free Upgrade for V5 users Download only Sep 2014
Version 6.0 Paid-For Upgrade Release Download & CD Dec 2014
Version 6.2.7 Free Upgrade for V6 users Download only May 2018

How To Upgrade

In common with many other programs Family Historian (fh) allows Free Upgrades within a Release. So if you have Version 4 you can upgrade free to Version 4.1.3, but to move to a newer Release, such as Version 6, you need to purchase a new Licence and program.

If you are more than 2 Releases behind (i.e. Version 2 or Version 3), you must purchase a new Full Licence Download or CD. However, if you are upgrading by 1 or 2 Releases, e.g. Version 4 or Version 5 to Version 6, you may purchase a discounted Upgrade Licence Download or CD.

A Full Licence program will detect any earlier Release and upgrade it to the purchased Release. An Upgrade Licence program used to require the previous Release to be installed to upgrade it. However, the V4 to V5 Upgrade does NOT need the prior Release V4 to be installed, but needs both the V4 Licence Key and V5 Licence Key to be entered. Likewise, a V4/5 to V6 Upgrade does NOT need the prior Release V4/5 to be installed, but needs both the V4/5 Licence Key and V6 Licence Key to be entered.

If you have customised Standard Text Schemes or your default Diagram formats (for example by adding Icons), it is advisable to save the Core Standard Diagrams as Custom Diagram Types and clone any edited Text Schemes to Custom ones, before doing an upgrade, as the installation process may overwrite the standard items with replacements. See how to Move Family Historian Settings and Projects for full details.

If you have customised Standard Reports or Standard Facts Sets it would be wise to create Custom versions.

See Family Historian Installation Advice for detailed instructions for any upgrade path.

Core Standard Diagrams are Ancestor, Descendant, Ancestor & Descendant, All Relatives, Everyone, and Blank Diagram, the first four of which are opened by icons on the toolbar.

Upgrade Notes

Users with early Version 2 CD may have problems installing on 64-bit variants of Windows, see Family Historian on 64-bit Windows Variants for more information.

Any variant of Version 2 can be upgraded for free using the Family Historian Version 2.3.5 Upgrade.

Any variant of Version 3 can be upgraded for free using the Family Historian Version 3.1.2 Upgrade.

Any variant of Version 4 can be upgraded for free using the Family Historian Version 4.1.3 Upgrade.

Any variant of Version 5 can be upgraded for free using the Family Historian Version 5.0.11 Upgrade.

Any variant of Version 6 can be upgraded for free using the Family Historian Version 6.2.7 Upgrade.

An upgrade from any earlier version to Version 6 requires a Download or CD, that can be purchased from Calico Pie Limited at the Family Historian Site or from other software retailers.

Licence Agreement

The terms & conditions applicable to the licence are described in the Licence Agreement that is displayed during installation. After installation it can be found in C:\Program Files (x86)\Family Historian\Program\Licence.txt or on 32-bit PC omit the (x86). See Index for related topics.

An extract from the single user License Agreement for Family Historian (fh) Version 6.2 says:

The Software must not be installed on more than one computer at any one time, except that, subject to all other conditions, you may install it onto 2 computers (and no more than 2) if both computers are owned and kept by you, and no more than one person ever uses the software at any one time.

Problem Reporting

If a problem or fault is discovered with fh that cannot be resolved in the FHUG, then report it via the Help > Technical Support command, or visit the Family Historian Support page, and use the support centre link at the bottom. That will lead to the Family Historian Support Centre ~ Open a New Ticket page where the problem can be described and if necessary screen-shots or other files attached. See Index for related topics.

You are advised to use the Windows Snipping Tool to capture screen-shots, as described in the Utility ~ Windows Snipping Tool, as it is free in every current version of Windows.

The same technique can be used to add screen-shots to FHUG Forum postings via the Attachments tab below the Post a reply text box, or by dragging the image into the text box. See the Forums Usage Tips for further advice.

Support Centre Ticket System

It is best to consistently use the same Email Address for every New Ticket. After using Create Ticket you should receive a Support Ticket Opened [#123456] message via that Email Address, which supplies a 6-digit Number and a cryptic hyperlink to access the ticket. Don't lose those details or it will be difficult to view the ticket's progress.

Alternatively, in the Check Ticket Status page, enter the same Email Address, enter the Ticket Number, and click Email Access Link to obtain a Ticket [#123456] Access Link message with the same cryptic hyperlink as above. Anyone who used the earlier Email support service can employ this technique to access their original tickets providing they enter their original Email Address and know the Ticket Number.

There does not appear to be a way of listing outstanding tickets either by Email Address or Subject or Number.

It is unclear what happens if the Email Address used is no longer available, if say you change Email service provider.