Key Features for Newcomers


If you are new to Family Historian (fh), and especially if new to genealogy, then familiarise yourself with these topics. They provide an insight into how to learn about fh 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 fh program 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.


Click on the blue links to open further pages of advice.

Each of the How To Guides in the sidebar to the left has a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) section near the top.

Documentation & Tutorials

See Family Historian Documentation especially the fh Book: "Getting the Most From Family Historian 5" with many tutorials, the newer V6 book is available as a printed copy from Amazon.

Do not overlook our Glossary of Features that covers many popular and fundamental topics.

If new to genealogy then the Genealogy Research hints & tips will get you started.

Family Historian Sample Project

Use fh File > Project Window > More Tasks > Samples > Reset Sample Project to create a sample Project in which to experiment without risk to your precious family data, and that can be easily reset by repeating the same command.

Project Structure & Location

See Understanding Projects and Before You Even Begin 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 & Preferences

fh can be highly customised and has many preference settings. 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 & Recovery

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

Also the fh V6 command File > Backup/Restore > Revert to Snapshot… can restore just the GEDCOM file.

Places & 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 Place names is described in the fh V6 book "Getting the Most From Family Historian" in Chapter 14 Places, Maps and Timelines. A similar feature is available in both V5 and V6 via the Map Life Facts Plugin.

Sources Methods 1 & 2

Ancestral Sources

The free Ancestral Sources utility makes entering census and other basic records much easier.

Records & Fields & Multimedia

Use fh Tools > Preferences > Records Window > Record Type Display Options and set each 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 fh 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 fh 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 fh program being upgraded.

This is the one and only feature NOT supported by the FH 30-Day Free Trial version.