Family Historian 6, Citing Sources

Today, I am taking just a very quick look at source citation in Family Historian 6. First, I have to be honest and make a confession. I have never used source citation templates in any genealogy software program I’ve used. Don’t get me wrong and misinterpret my message – I am not saying I don’t cite my sources. It’s just that all those years of term papers in school left their mark and I prefer to cite my sources in notes, using a bibliography-type style.

I can fully appreciate having source templates ready to go, but sometimes they are a bit over the top. Recently, a question was asked online about how to cite images found on ArkivDigital, the Swedish company. My idea of a complete citation is one which gives the information I need to go find the same documentation. I replied to the ArkivDigital question by explaining how, with the image page open, to go to EDIT and click on the first choice – Copy Source Identifier. That link includes all the information needed for anyone using ArkivDigital to immediately go to that specific record. Very simple and it takes but a second to paste the information into notes or a template.

Other than adding the website,, to me the source citation was complete. The person thanked me, but then shared a customized citation that was totally different. That is making way more work for oneself than is necessary, but I digress.

Family Historian has more than one way to create source citations. Being a newbie using this program, I am going to make an effort to try out their source citation window in the Property Box.

Source Citation Box, Yellow in Right Corner

My first attempt to add a citation didn’t go too well because I tried to enter information into the yellow box.

Source Citation Box

My problem was that I missed the green + button. When I clicked on that, a second box opened and I needed to then click NEW.

NEW, Center Button in Bottom of Gray Box

I was then able to add citation information:

New Source Record Box

Here is a screen shot of just the data box:

New Source Record Data Entry

I attached a death certificate for my grandfather, Vernon Adams, and then entered information in the New Source Record box. Because I had already completed this task before I wrote this post, I needed to access the record. That was accomplished by clicking on the blue arrow (noted with the red arrow) in the Property Box.

Property Box

Here is the saved information. Note that the yellow box has no entry access point because this record has already been created. Now, I can edit, if I so wish:

Saved Record

If you look at the gray box above for a New Source Record, I can give the record a title and even a shortened title. I can identify the type of record (e.g. Vital Record or Death Record). If this information had been published in a magazine article, I could record the author’s name and in which magazine, etc. it was published. I could enter text and create my own notes about this information. I could also enter information about the repository location, which I did for Vernon’s death certificate.

At this point, you are likely thinking that this is a very basic template for source citation and you would be correct. Does this program offer anything more?

Remember, I commented that there are multiple ways to accomplish the same task in Family Historian? Well, an English blogging friend told me to be sure to download ANCESTRAL  SOURCES in the FHUG forum, which I promptly did.

Now, for me, who never uses citation templates, my head began to spin. For those of you who love them, I imagine you might think you just landed in citation template heaven.

A Family  Historian user, Nick Walker, has created Ancestral Sources, which not only is downloadable in FHUG, but it also has its own website. 

Ancestral Sources

Remember, too, that in an earlier post, I mentioned that Family Historian tech-oriented users create plug-ins that are accepted for use in Family Historian? Ancestral Sources is a utility for which a plug-in has been created.

By adding the Ancestral Sources plug-in to Family Historian, completing source citations is made much easier. Notice in the description that even WITNESS roles can be cited.

Ancestral Sources Description

I won’t even pretend to have delved into all of this, but for those of you who are interested in more details about Family Historian and Ancestral Sources, just click on the links in the text above.

This is the last of my introductory steps into Family Historian 6 and I am more than sold on it. I may post occasional updates in the future as I find new features and develop some proficiency using FH 6. I have barely even touched on all that the program has to offer. In fact, I just read a blurb where it even has a web clipping tool built into it.

I hope that my newbie visits learning about this software have tickled your fancy, too. One last pitch – you can try out the 30 day free trial of the full program, with all the bells and whistles, if you are thinking that this might be the genealogy software program for you.

If you decide to try it out or are already a confirmed Family Historian 6 user, I would love to hear your observations about the program so please leave a comment.



4 thoughts on “Family Historian 6, Citing Sources”

  1. Citing sources has always been an area where I have not been sure what to record or where to record it. I was given a booklet for Christmas “Where to Record it; in Family Historian” I had a read and then tried to see if I had done what it suggests.
    Looking through the help section in Family Historian I think that this booklet is at odds with the program and I prefer the method I have currently been using.
    I am going to use Ancestral Sources to enter some more information for the next generation and will post my thoughts on my other blog
    I am reviewing my tree and getting a consistent system from the start is my aim.

  2. Useful information. We are trying to decide between Family Historian and Rootsmagic. Also prefer traditional bibliographic citations styles, using Zotero citation manager for years, but looking at genealogy considerations to go along with the historical. Thank you.

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