Family Historian

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by Calico Pie (Simon Orde)
A new kind of family tree program with a design with strengths in its user interface, use of GEDCOM, graphics and picture handling. See their Design Goals & Philosophy page to see their ideas. It has a User Group.

Purchase • Windows • Full Featured • Builds Website
http://www.family-historian.co.uk/
Overall294.58 out of 54.58 out of 54.58 out of 54.58 out of 54.58 out of 5 4.58
201445 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 5.00
201394.18 out of 54.18 out of 54.18 out of 54.18 out of 54.18 out of 5 4.18
Earlier164.82 out of 54.82 out of 54.82 out of 54.82 out of 54.82 out of 5 4.82

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29 Reviews of Family Historian     RSS 2.0 RSS     Showing 1 - 20                   Add Your Review

Family Historian Review by Jane,  Apr 9, 2014

5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

I began using Family Historian at the beginning of 2000 after researching the pros and cons of other programmes It has consistently been updated and improved over the years since then and the support and information provided by Jane Taubman and the F H Users is second to none.better

Biggest Pro: Too numerous to mention ; However its flexibility,adaptabilty and its warning when dates conflict are a few of is features which I find particularly useful and last but not least the Fabulous Users Group s Family Users group who provide support and some usefull addons
Biggest Con: None thus far

Family Historian Review by Bob Brock,  Mar 8, 2014

5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

I’ve been using Family Historian for at least ten years now and am very happy with it. Its capabilities are endless - which may mean that some beginners find them slightly daunting - but having tried several other family history programs in the past I can thoroughly recommend it. In a nutshell, if you want to do something, there’s almost certainly a way to do it, and the independent User Group is always there to help you find out how if you can’t find it in the manual. It is also very good in checking your data when importing it from other programs, If you’re a complete beginner with family tree software then just maybe FH isn’t the first choice, but you’ll find you’re quickly outgrowing some of the other software on the market and need a program that can grow with you as you become more experienced. As a final point, for those of us who become exasperated by the US-oriented programs on the market, here’s one that can handle many of the issues of European genealogy.

Biggest Pro: A top-notch helpful and independent user group
Biggest Con: May take time to learn all the things you can do

Family Historian Review by Brian Curtis,  Mar 6, 2014

5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

Having used Family Historian 5 since May 2013 I have found this to be the best family history program on the market. I tried a few well known brands between 2011 and May 2013 and none of these including market leaders produced what I was looking for.

Family Historian software is easy to use, allows you to create custom facts, diagrams, reports to name a few. Importing from other software using a GEDCOM file is easy, should you want help before starting this look no further than the FHUG websites Knowledge Base where detailed instructions on importing your tree are there to help and guide you.

Should you need any help using Family Historian then posting your problem on the FHUG Forum will be met by friendly, helpful people who are willing to assist you to overcome your problem no matter how small or large. The knowledge base and forum has a vast amount of information there waiting to help you make the most of using this brilliant software.

The ability to create your own reports, facts, sources etc gives the user flexibility that other programs don’t allow.

I wish I had known about Family Historian sooner because entering census, baptism, marriage information using the free Ancestral Sources program which automatically creates source records and citations makes this so easy. My family history is much more detailed than that allowed by other software programs.

Biggest Pro: Very easy to use and allows creation of custom features, brilliant help available
Biggest Con: None

Family Historian Review by Irene B,  Feb 2, 2014

5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

I have been using Family Historian for several years now. Every so often I try other products but I always come back to it because it is so easy to use at a basic level, but so rewarding to use at a more advanced level. I never feel constrained by the software and the user group forums are superb.

Biggest Pro: Highly adaptable, excellent help available.
Biggest Con: There are so many features that I will never learn how to use them all.

Family Historian Review by J. Poole,  Dec 27, 2013

2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5

I think that if you start out with Family Historian, it would be a very satisfactory program. But if you have a substantial amount of data in another program, and try to import it, you may find- as I did- that FH has a very hard time getting things right. And many of the errors I had would require a ‘plug in’ to correct, and plug-ins are not available to anyone using trial versions, so you had better check this program out very carefully before spending your money.

There are quite good programs out there that cost less than FH and which imported my GEDCOM flawlessly, so I passed on FH. My interaction discussing this problem with support consisted of them telling me that my data was bad and their garbled result was correct, so from my experience, don’t expect much from support.

Biggest Pro: I wasn’t able to evaluate enough to answer
Biggest Con: they have a bit of an attitude…

Family Historian Review by J Stark,  Nov 29, 2013

5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

Have used FH since 2004, and have never wanted or needed to change. I use it for files of many branches, plus several small one-name studies.
Editing/adding, etc., from diagrams is really easy.
A big plus has to be the support group - I have learnt a lot about computers, not just about the programme!

Biggest Pro: Diagrams
Biggest Con: None

Family Historian Review by John,  Sep 23, 2013

5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

I’d only ever used a free program before this - WOW, what an eye opener Family Historian proved to be! Switching from software I’d grown familiar with was a bit of a bind but the advantages are huge. The scope of the program is immense. Whilst easy to use at the basic level, if you’re prepared to delve a little deeper then the opportunities to alter things to suit your particular needs are very probably available. It may need the excellent assistance provided by the User Group, but for a little effort…

When you’ve been researching your family history for as long as I have, the ability to interrogate the database is vital. Again, the standard basic reports are adequate but some ‘light’ reading will allow you to make full use of the software and in addition, many of the great ‘plug-ins’ that are written by regular users and provide extra reports etc.

It’s improved my researching ability and revealed the odd mistake along the way. Wish I’d found this software earlier.

Biggest Pro: Ability to alter things to suit and the great User Group - you’ll never be stuck for an answer.
Biggest Con: None that I’ve yet encountered. (Using it for about twelve months)

Family Historian Review by Anne,  Sep 13, 2013

5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

Family Historian has been my friend for years now. When I began I had a different, long forgotten program. It did’t do half the things I wanted and became unstable. Changing to FH was a shock to the system but it repays a bit of patience and work getting to know it. When you start using the program you can work at the basic level and begin using the great features as and when you need them. I’ve just upgraded to v5 and know that the program will be able to do virtually everything I could think of, although I may need the help of the wonderful User Group!

I use FH for two different families and two One Name Studies. Great!

Family Historian Review by Pat,  Apr 28, 2013

5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

Love this programme and I find it really easy to use. Its particular strength is the way it handles photographs. I haven’t really explored the new plugins on the new version but they look interesting. Couple of niggles-perhaps a field for an individual’s military service would be good. However I have just converted to a Mac and despite trying to run it through special software it has become unstable. Please, please can we have a Mac version.

Biggest Pro: I find it really easy to use with so many great features
Biggest Con: There is no Mac version

Family Historian Review by Gabrielle Baker,  Apr 27, 2013

2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5

I chose Family Historian due to it’s claims of Gedcom handling as well as the queries and the dropline trees. I have upgraded twice now but what has been a minor annoyance has now become a major one, and other problems have now reared their heads as well. If you have multiple ancestors that are descended from a single common ancestor in the charts these are denoted by the common ancestor being duplicated with arrow between each instance denoting the link. The FH die hards in the user group think this is a real advantage but I find it a major annoyance. Some of it can be averted by better tree design. If you end up with a lot of aristocracy or even royalty in your tree the resulting charts can be impossible to look at. I am having to consider having to buy another program in order to get better charting capabilities. I have already had to fork out for another genealogy program for my ipad and iphone as they dont have an app yet. My other pet gripe is to do with how it handles names and titles (though I think this is true of all geneaolgy programs) the capabilities around names and titles of royalty, aristocracy and medieval ancestors is severely limited. yes you can use custom fields but using the title and or custom fields does not override what was put in the standard name field, so if you have a run of ancestors all of the same name say Joe Brown that’s all you will see in the index of persons in the database or printed on a tree.

Biggest Pro: Gedcom handling
Biggest Con: tree drawings where there multiple common ancestors

Family Historian Review by Jan Ledochowski,  Apr 27, 2013

Not Rated

My review depends completely on whether or not you can use foreign language fonts. As you know in Windows computers you can set up languages like EN, FR or PL (Polish) so you just choose the relevant icon and you are typing in that language. Before buying I was told that you could use foreign language fonts, but so far I have not been able to discover how to use them. As many of my relatives are Polish inability to type their names in correctly would kill this programme for me!

Biggest Pro: Have not really started due to font problem
Biggest Con: Does not (yet?) cope with foreign language fonts

Family Historian Review by Dave Tomlinson,  Mar 18, 2013

5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

I have used this program for a number of years. I bought it for its GEDCOM compliance but you would never believe that the data is not held in a fancy relational database. You never need to enter, or update, data in more than one place. The reporting features are amazing. It is hard to think of nything I want that the program does not provide ‘out-of-the-box’.
Version 5 has introduced plug-ins which are tiny additions that are free to download and add functionality to be dreamed of. My favourite is the Census Checker. It asks for a starting person, or persons, and produces a webpage list of all the ancestors who have not had census records created for all the censuses when they were alive. The webpage includes two links with each record which connect to the search engines at FindMyPast and Ancestry. Click the link and another tab opens for the search for the right person in the right census (I haven’t tried the Ancestry link but the FMP one works perfectly)
If I find another problem I can’t solve a quick email to the very friendly user group will tell me how or someone will offer to write another plug-in or maybe Simon Orde will tell me why the problem can’t be solved. The last usually means that the problem is in my head.
There is an additional program called Ancestral Sources (FREE) which guides you through entering a Census entry, a baptism record, and a marriage certificate (birth certificates, death, burial and probate records are planned). These things can easily be done ‘by hand’ but the program reminds you to fill in ALL the data available and it creates occupation and residence records and birth records, when necessary. It also creates source records and citations.

My family history would be much less well organised and very much less well recorded without Family Historian.

Biggest Pro: It can do anything I can imagine needing.
Biggest Con: I don’t think it has one.

Family Historian Review by Colin,  Jan 7, 2013

5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

I use this programme for my One-Name study.

It has a different but intuitive interface that makes data entry easy. With the plug-ins such as Find Duplicates and Ancestral Sources it makes keeping my data clean easy to do. Ancestral Sources is what turned me on to Family Historian and now I won’t use anything else. The ability to run queries against the database to get exactly the report that you need is great too.

Highly recommended

Family Historian Review by Shelagh Boardman,  Jan 3, 2012

5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

Very easy to use as a basic family tree builder, and also to progress in as an advanced user. The ability to personalise templates to make narrative reports “flow” as a story is a huge bonus, as is the ability to create your own templates and own queries. The user group is also extremely helpful, as is the user group web site, I can’t think why it wasn’t number 1.

Biggest Pro: Flexibility and narrative reporting
Biggest Con: messy upgrading from early versions

Family Historian Review by Alan Hourd,  Jan 3, 2012

5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

Easily the best program available. It can be used without much effort at the most basic level but can also accomplish the most complex of tasks with just a little effort involved.

Biggest Pro: Excellent support and user group
Biggest Con: Upgrading gets a bit complicated if you start with a very early version.

Family Historian Review by Martin Allen,  Jan 2, 2012

5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

For sheer range of what it will do, this is unparallelled

Biggest Pro: Range, excellent support
Biggest Con: None

Family Historian Review by Ken Toll,  Jan 2, 2012

5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

Version 4 does everything I need - and them some.
‘haven’t tried ‘v 5…
…yet.

Have used it to create the GedComs for my TNG site:
http://www.toll-familyhistory.org

Biggest Pro: works natively in GedCom
Biggest Con: upgrade to V5 ain’t free :(

Family Historian Review by Patricia Spray,  Oct 20, 2011

5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

I’ve tried many Family History applications over many years. Once I tried Family Historian there was no going back. A bit harder to get to know than most, but well worth the effort.

Biggest Pro: Interactive charts
Biggest Con: Reports are not as good as other applications.

Family Historian Review by Jackie,  Jul 11, 2011

5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

I use two genealogy programs - FamilyTreeMaker to make hard copy books because of it’s index of names feature and I use Family Historian for everything else. Love, love, love Family Historian! Some reviews below site a steep learning curve, I didn’t find it so bad at all. Family Historian has terrific features - multi-media handling is superb, charts are fantastic, and the queries feature is outstanding. I am so pleased with Family Historian, that I often purchase copies to give as wedding presents!

Biggest Pro: Flexbility, reliability, great user group.
Biggest Con: Accompanying index of names feature for hard copy book printing.

Family Historian Review by Adrian Bruce,  Jan 23, 2011

4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

Yes, it does have a steep learning curve - but so does virtually anything powerful. I found the user interface very natural - someone likened it once to MS Office (pre-ribbon) in its style of dialog boxes. I typically bring up a family tree diagram for someone and work from there, double clicking on the person to edit their details.
Resulting charts are great and the computer produced narrative report is acceptable - though still clearly machine produced.
The query language is powerful (see previous comment about learning curve) but it’s easy enough to concoct a query to list (say) all burials in a location to use as a hit list looking for MIs.
Don’t understand the comment earlier about size of Notes - mine are huge.

Biggest Pro: Access to details in a natural way from the diagram
Biggest Con: Can enter any GEDCOM data but ability to display them _easilyand quickly_ is limited

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