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Version 6.1 has been released – the biggest free upgrade for 10 years

February 24th, 2016 – Calico Pie today announced the release of Family Historian 6.1 ? a free upgrade for version 6 users, and the largest free upgrade of the program for more than 10 years.

?There are a number of themes in this release?, explained Calico Pie?s CEO Simon Orde. ?Much of it is responding to a long list of requests from our users for detailed improvements of varying kinds. We know that often it?s the small things that make all the difference in terms of usability and we?ve worked hard on getting the details right. But there are some great new features too, like the new Snapshot Manager. We?ve also had genealogists coming to Family Historian from other programs, asking for specific things they need ? and we?ve responded to many of these requests too. That means not just improved import, although that is a big part of it, but also feature enhancements. For example, we?ve improved sentence-generation for narrative reports in response to requests from users of The Master Genealogist. We also improved handling of source citation media ? primarily in response to requests from Family Tree Maker users. You could see it as a sort of cross-fertilisation, as new users bring influences from other programs. We see that as a very positive thing, and one that has benefitted the program as a whole.?

What?s New in 6.1

For full details of new features and enhancements, please see What’s New in Version 6.1.

Summary of New and Improved Features

? A new feature called Smart GEDCOM Loading has been added, which delivers big improvements in GEDCOM imports ? especially from Family Tree Maker and Ancestry GEDCOM files. The same feature can even be used to recover hidden data in existing Family Historian projects that were previously created by imports from Family Tree Maker or Ancestry.
? Improvements to direct import from The Master Genealogist and Genbox.
? Much improved support for Source Citation media.
? Numerous enhancements to support for witnesses (?shared events?), including the ability to have multiple roles for witnesses and principals, and to effectively have ?no-principal? or ?multi-principal? events.
? Improved support for generating sentences in narrative reports.
? You can now add source citations for parent-child relationships (birth or adoptive), as well as spouse relationships.
? Tool to automatically find, and fix links to, missing pictures and other media files.
? A new tool that can automatically take and store daily snapshots of your entire data file, so that you can easily revert to an earlier version if you need to (this is in addition to full multi-level undo/redo within each session). By default, only the 8 most recent snapshots are kept, to ensure that space taken by snapshots never becomes excessive.
? Improved compatibility with companion products, including the option to save Family Historian data files in the popular UTF-8 format.
? And much more?

How to Upgrade to 6.1

All version 6.0 users are recommended to upgrade to 6.1. To do so, click Check for Updates on the Help menu, when running Family Historian, and follow the instructions. Alternatively, the upgrade can be downloaded from the Latest Free Upgrade?page.

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Discount Price for Family Historian 5

MyHistory2MyHistory are selling off remaining boxed copies of Family Historian 5 at a special?discount price. ?Version 5?doesn’t have all the features of the latest version (version 6), but while stocks last, you can pick up a copy for just ?19.95 here: My History: Family Historian V5 Full Version.

See What’s New in Version 5 for a reminder of all the great features that were added in that version. ?Makes a great?Christmas present…


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Upheavals on the Family Historian Users Mailing List


First a recap for those who don’t know what a Mailing List is: ‘Mailing List’ is a confusing name for a great Internet institution. There are Mailing Lists for every topic under the sun. And there’s one for Family Historian users called, appropriately enough, the Family Historian Users Mailing List (or ‘FHU list’ for short). The way it works is this: you subscribe to the list, and thereafter you get every email that anyone sends to the list. That way, you can have (or, if you prefer, just listen in to) a multi-way conversation between all other subscribers to the list. If you don’t want to get every email, you can opt to get a once-a-day digest instead. Personally, I prefer to get them all, but set up a rule in my email program, to automatically copy FHU list emails to a special folder when they arrive. That way, they don’t clutter up my inbox, and are still easy to browse and read.

The FHU list is a great way for FH users to communicate with one another and share advice and tips. Any FHU list user will tell you that the list has a number of heroes, like Mike Tate, Jane Taubman and others, who seem to be able to answer almost every question, however simple or complex. And best of all, it’s a very friendly and helpful environment where people really can ask those very basic questions, without being made to feel stupid.

Last week, after years of reliable and uneventful functioning, the list hit some snags. First, there was a spate of garbage emails containing?dodgy links. These emails must all have come from subscribers’ email addresses, or they wouldn’t have made it onto the list. But they were clearly sent by some ‘malware’ without the knowledge of the actual subscribers. The garbage emails all had “Fw: new message” as their subject, so clearly all such list emails should be ignored and deleted. But more generally, the rule is: don’t click on a link in an email, even if you recognise the person it apparently came from, if there isn’t enough text in the email for you to be confident that that person actually wrote it.

Then, probably as a side-effect of the first problem, some email providers started to reject emails coming from the list. The list, which is managed by Rootsweb, is designed so that?after a while, if emails ‘bounce’ back, eventually the subscriber will be automatically unsubscribed. Suddenly we had hundreds of automatic unsubscriptions! And shortly after that we had hundreds of emails from subscribers saying that they didn’t want to be unsubscribed and could we please fix it ? too many for us to be able to reply individually. Hence this post.

We have now re-subscribed everyone who was unsubscribed. And we hope and believe that emails sent from the list are no longer being routinely ‘bounced’ by email providers. But please bear with us if problems recur. It may take a while before things settle down completely again. For future reference, if you do get unsubscribed unexpectedly and you did not want to unsubscribe, please just re-subscribe. If you continue to be unsubscribed automatically, please just wait a day or so and then try again. If nothing seems to be working, feel free to email the list adminstrators at; but please be understanding if we don?t reply individually. In these situations, we may just be getting too many emails to be able to do that.

To learn more about how to subscribe to the FHU list, please see

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Family Historian wins award from Your Family Tree magazine

YFT00.standing.seal 18d9189b6b014a47a676d2ddd16b1884Family Historian has won an award from Your Family Tree magazine (see right) and had praise heaped on it in a review:

?Family Historian 6 takes this well-loved program to dizzying new heights ? packed with a host of new features and improvements ? it?s the most user-friendly and accessible release yet ? vastly improved web-clipping tool, which is now best in class ?The crown for best PC software belongs to Family Historian 6 for 2015!?, Your Family Tree magazine, Issue 154, Spring 2015.

We couldn’t have put it better ourselves.



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Findmypast 20% Discount Offer (till May 22nd)

Findmypast 20% Discount Offer (till May 22nd)

This offer has now expired.

[expires off=”23 may 2016″]
Findmypast are offering Family Historian users a 20% discount on 12-month Findmypast subscriptions;?but hurry – the offer is?only valid till May 22nd. ?The offer applies both to world subscriptions and to regional subscriptions. ?For example, British users can get the discount on either a 12-month World subscription or on a 12-month UK subscription.

To claim the discount, click on the appropriate link below and follow the instructions. You will be able to choose the type of subscription you wish to purchase. ?Remember that the discount only applies to 12-month subscriptions.


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Introduction to Automatic Internet Data Matching


Since we first announced Family Historian to the world, about 13 years ago, I have been surprised by the number of non-genealogists who aren’t clear what a genealogy program is for. A common question is “Family tree program huh? You mean it automatically goes off to the Internet and finds out who your ancestors were?” Well, after many years of having to answer with a slightly dispiriting “No” to that question, it’s very satisfying to be able finally to say: “Well – sort of”.

I?m talking about Automatic Internet Data Matching of course – one of the new features in Family Historian 6. Actually what it does is to find records on MyHeritage that match Individuals already recorded within Family Historian ? but these records can of course provide important new discoveries. The matching records can be either historical records or family tree profiles. At time of writing, MyHeritage has approximately 6 billion historical records in valuable collections from around the world, including census, birth, marriage and death records, newspapers, military and immigration records, and more. Family tree profiles incidentally are family trees, compiled by other genealogists ? but only family trees that the owner has chosen to make available for matching.

Someone asked: if I can see other people?s family tree profiles on MyHeritage, does that mean that other people can match their records against my records in Family Historian? Does it mean that MyHeritage is storing copies of my data? The answer to both questions is No. Automatic Internet Data Matching is a one-way research tool for your benefit only. It?s essentially just a way ? albeit a very convenient way ? of finding out where there are useful records about people you?re interested in. See MyHeritage Matches & Privacy Policy for more on this.

Some people aren?t interested in other people?s family tree profiles. They?re just interested in historical record matches. That?s not a problem. Go to ?Preferences? on the ?Tool? menu, and on the Internet Data Matches tab specify what you want. You can also set your required ?confidence? level. Set it low to find more matches. Set it high for fewer matches but greater accuracy.

How Do I Use it?

The way it works is simple. When you look at the Focus Window (the main workspace window) Family Historian asks MyHeritage for matches for the individuals displayed in either the ?Spouses & Children? tab or the ?Parents & Siblings? tab ? whichever you?re looking at. This ?conversation? happens behind the scenes. You don?t have to do anything. A little white and green circle, called a ?hint?, is displayed next to each person for whom matches are found. The number in the circles is the number of matches found. In the picture above,?9 matches have been found for Michael Munro, and 13 for his son.

It can take a minute or two for hints to arrive. You may notice a tiny little grey clock in the corner of each box while this is happening. It means that matches are being checked. If the clock disappears and no hint is displayed, it just means that no match was found for that person. You don?t have to wait for hints to appear of course.

If you move your mouse over one of the hints, a little balloon appears giving you more information about the match ? like the one shown in the picture for the?9 matches for Michael Munro above. One nice feature is that the balloon even tells you what information is held in the matching records, that you don?t already have ? the ?added value?. If you want to view the matching records, you just click on the link shown in the balloon. Clicking on the hint itself does the same thing. This takes you to a web page, showing a list of matching records for the person in question.

Get 25% Discount on MyHeritage Data Subscriptions

myheritage-discountTo view the list of matching records, you don?t need to open an account with MyHeritage. But to view the records themselves, you normally will need a data subscription. If one is needed, when you click on the ?View Record? button to view a listed record, MyHeritage will prompt you to set one up if you don?t already have one. The good news is that Family Historian users automatically get 25% discount on these, so be sure to follow this route to setting one up. If you just go to the MyHeritage website and set up a data subscription ahead of time, it will still work but you won?t get the discount.

Copy Record Details to Family Historian using Web Clipping

The recommended steps when working with matches?are: review the match, extract its useful information, confirm it (or reject it), and move on to the next match. Extracting the data is not automatic, but we?ve made it much easier in version 6, with its new web clipping capability. A full discussion of web clipping will have to wait for another blog; but the key point is that you shouldn?t normally need to re-type anything. Text, in particular, can usually be dragged directly from a web-page (a MyHeritage web page, or any other web page) and dropped into the appropriate field within the Property Box. Obviously it?s important to provide appropriate source citations. The Automatic Source Citation pane is designed to make this quick and easy ? and you can drag-and-drop onto it too. To open the Automatic Source Citations pane, click on the Automatic Source Citations button auto-source-citation-button?on the main toolbar to open the panel. Then click on the Help button on the right-hand side to learn how to use it.

Drag-and-drop works best if you?re using the new Web Search window to display web pages. You can use an external browser, if you prefer; but you may find that you have to play around with the browser settings to get drag-and-drop to work. Bear in mind that you can use copy-and-paste as an alternative if you wish (press Ctrl-C to copy selected text, and Ctrl-V to paste it).

Once a match has been confirmed or rejected, it will normally no longer show up as a match in the Focus Window ? but that?s also something you can override in Preferences if you wish.


Automatic Internet Data Matching is a great new feature, that can make your research a lot easier and a lot more fun. To learn more, please see


Simon Orde, Family Historian Designer

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Press Release: Version 6 of Family Historian Has Been Released

V6 3d right 135x150Press Release
Source: Calico Pie Limited
For Immediate Release

Family Historian 6 Adds Internet Data Matching and Much More

LONDON ? 9th December, 2014 ? Calico Pie today announced the release of version 6 of Family Historian, the popular desktop genealogy software product.

?Version 6 is a big step forward for Family Historian, both in terms of features? and usability?, says Simon Orde, managing director of Calico Pie.? ?We?ve teamed up with MyHeritage to add automatic internet data matching.? This means that as you use the program, Family Historian automatically finds matching records on MyHeritage databases ? from more than 6 billion records.? We?ve also added a Web Search workspace window, and a new web clipping capability, to make it easy to transfer all the information you find into your project, with full source citations. ?We?ve added best-of-breed mapping in another new workspace window, the Map Window, so that users can easily see events marked on maps, and use the Time Slider to observe changes over time.? The Media Window has been completely redesigned and now includes a new Media Link tool, to make linking people to faces in pictures much quicker and easier than before.? There?s a new Automatic Source Citation pane, to help with adding source citations.? And there?s much more.? The program has been given a complete refresh, with a great new look and numerous usability improvements.? It?s a long list of important enhancements and great new features.?

What’s New

For full details and pictures of new features in version 6, please see


Summary of New & Improved Features

  • Automatic Internet Data Matching, with on-screen ?hints? showing matches found
  • New Web Clipping Capability for easy copying of facts and pictures from websites, using drag-and-drop
  • New Web Search window and improved Internet Search tool
  • New Map window, with Time Slider to view changes over time
  • Redesigned and enhanced Media window, with new Media Link Tool to make easy to link people to faces in pictures
  • New Automatic Source Citation Pane ? to automatically add source citations to new and modified data
  • Support for Extended Family ?Timeline? Facts ? see all the key events in each person?s life at a glance
  • Now you can record Witnesses (non-principal participants in events, like bridesmaids at a wedding)
  • Easier, faster data entry in an enhanced Property Box
  • Users can now attach pictures to places (as well as notes, and longitude and latitude)
  • The program now uses the Unicode standard to support language characters and accents from round the world
  • A new configurable popup accent tool, makes entering accent characters easy
  • New filtering options for record lists, make it much quicker and faster to find the record you want
  • New powerful Find tool, lists all matches and can display each matching field in the Property Box
  • New powerful Find and Replace tool
  • Improved options for the graphical display of relationship information, with the How Related tool
  • More ?modeless? windows (windows that you don?t have to close before you can do other tasks)
  • Numerous improvements to make the program even easier and more enjoyable to use
  • And much more…

To Learn More?

For an overview of the program, why not take the tour ? at

Family Historian has won numerous awards and accolades from reviewers ? see to learn more.

Purchase Information

Version 6 is available for purchase as a download or boxed.? There are also lower-priced upgrade options for version 5 and version 4 users.? Please see for full details of purchase options.

Contact Information

Family Historian is published by Calico Pie Limited.? For more information, please contact us.

Address: Calico Pie Limited,? 7 Effingham Road Lee, London, SE12 8NZ, United Kingdom