Re: Advice wanted on improving my tree

Michael Thomas

Please excuse my interjection.

I have been following this group after asking Mike Tate (sp.?) a question months ago. You are all way ahead of me !


Lorna has raised an excellent point about the ‘extra bits of information about other people’ on a single document.

This resonated with me as it happened to me yesterday. You will know that the 1921 Census has just become available so I decided to explore my paternal line as I have neglected this.

Straightaway I came across my grandparents’ marriage certificate which was fine except that I had not looked carefully at the witnesses. One was a familiar great-aunt, but the other was quite new to me and carrying my family surname.

I called a cousin who is related to the cosignatory – nothing at all except surprise. Now I must start from scratch without even a birth or death date/year.


Lorna’s methodology seems totally logical to me.

Best wishes,


Michael Thomas

From: <> On Behalf Of Lorna Craig via
Sent: 13 January 2022 20:01
Subject: Re: [family-historian] Advice wanted on improving my tree


My approach would be to take each document in turn, rather than each individual. 

Some documents contain a lot of extra information about other people, which you might miss if you are concentrating on one person at a time.  For example a birth certificate gives not only the date and place of birth of one individual but also the names of their parents and the father's occupation. (A Scottish birth certificate even gives the date of marriage of the parents!) Similarly a marriage certificate gives the names and occupations of the fathers of the bride and groom.  These extra bits of information about other people can all be gleaned from the one document, which can be cited as the source for all of them.  Make sure you extract all the information you can from each document.   The Ancestral Sources program is designed to help with this task and automate the process of creating a Source record and linking the image of the document to it.  It is ideal for handling censuses, which as you say can refer to many members of the same family.

If you move the image of each document into the FH Media folder as you deal with it, it will be easy to keep track of which ones you have still to deal with - they will be the ones left in your 'My Family Tree' folder.   You can keep the same structure of sub-folder in the Media folder as you have in your current folder.


On 13/01/2022 19:31, ihmorrison via wrote:


I have been using Family Historian for almost 30 years, since either V2 or V3, and am now on V7.  I have 600 names in my tree, but I have never taken a consistent approach.  I have filed many census records and birth certificates but have not always used them as citations.  I have a number of document folders on my computer marked WIP, or documents from so-an-so, or awaiting transfer.  Every time I go into Family Historian I get side-tracked into investigating individuals, rather than bringing order.


All my documents and pictures are stored in separate named folders within the folder My Family Tree, and are not stored in the Media folder of FH.  Is it worth the effort to transfer and relink them all?  I suspect not. 


My aim is to make a reasonable stab at getting things in order, bringing all the source documents into FH, and citing as much as possible.  I would like to think that I could handover my work to the next generation!


One approach is to start at Record 1, update it with the necessary documents and citations, then repeat.  But a typical Census page could refer to a dozen members of one family, and there could be confusion about whether I had brought that in or not.


My second thought is to take each document in turn, move it into FH, then use Ancestry Source to cite each person named.  Hence each document is a step and it is easy to see progress.  When that is done, it would be easy to identify people without documents or citations.


I welcome your thoughts.


The Inspector

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