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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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Baltic Cruise Report

RJT2015071075In July, Family Historian sponsored a cruise to the Baltic, organised by Unlock the Past Cruises. ?We asked Jane Taubman how it went:

“Back in the summer I took part in the 8th Unlock the Past cruise sailing the Baltic states, and including the stunning St Petersburg, with it’s golden palaces. Alongside all the standard cruise fair?-?excellent food, beautiful ship, superb service?-?this cruise also contained over 55 hours of Family History related lectures. ?Well there were more than that, but 55 was the maximum any one person could go to as some were run concurrently. ?The lectures?covered everything from Family Historian (a 6 part series) to researching the Irish poor, 17th Century barber surgeons, and a series on writing up your Family History. There was something for everyone. The conference group consisted of UK, Australian, New Zealand and American?citizens, and it made for a great selection of people to chat to both during the conference, or when relaxing around the ship.

I presented the Family Historian lectures to an enthusiastic group, who were up and ready on sea days by 9am. ?Admittedly quite a few had already attended the 8am lectures before coming on to mine, having climbed the 10 decks to go between the two venues. The Family Historian lectures covered everything from a general overview on the first sea day, to more advanced topics around customising reports and diagrams, and using queries.

As the conference was only on when the ship was at sea, it allowed everyone to make the most of all the ports we visited, and any ‘partners’ of the conference goers could make use of all the many shipboard activities rather that attend the lectures if they wanted to. My husband went to ship lectures on the Viking invasions of Britain, as well as several others, and watched the glass blowing demonstrations.

RJT2015071239On port days my husband Stephen and I headed out to explore on our own, or with a couple of friends from the ship: Chris Paton ( and Tony Beardshaw ( We explored the seaside resorts of Blankenburg where we saw the Queen of Belgium, and Warnem?nde in Germany. We wandered through the ancient town of Tallin with it’s plain Lutheran, and ostentatious Russian Orthodox Churches.

The highlight of the trip was certainly St Petersburg, and due to the visa restrictions, all four of us were booked on a two day “highlights” trip around the city, with SPB Tours. It was a full on tour, with many golden palaces and churches to explore. ?It even included a short ride on the Metro with its Soviet decorations. The Hermitage Museum was not to be missed and I could have happily stayed there for several days. ?Apparently if you look at every exhibit for 30 seconds it would take 9 years to see everything. So 3 hours was not really enough time.

RJT2015071096The next stops were the beautiful cities of Helsinki and Stockholm which we explored with Tony and Chris. ?We learnt a new word,?”dandering”, which is apparently the Northern Irish for wandering about looking at stuff, with no real plan. For our last stop Chris had specific plans so he went off on his own, and Tony, Steve and I went dandering via the National Museum and a palace or two.

Anyone interested in learning more about the cruise can check out my book on Blurb, shown below, or Chris’s blog posts on the subject.”

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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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New update for version 6 available (6.0.2)

Fact Tab showing SurnamesThe new update contains improvements to the import for “The Master Genealogist” and various fixes and enhancements, including the ability to exclude Place records when exporting, and the ability to show surnames on the Timeline facts on the Fact tab.

For more detailed information please see?Latest Free Update.

For any users who are currently using the trial version, ?they can download the latest trial version and install over the current trial as this has also been updated to 6.0.2.