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Family Historian 4 available from Calico Pie

26 Apr

The latest version of the UK authored, Windows family history program Family Historian is now available from the Family Historian website.

I have been using Family Historian since June 2002 (version 2.0.7) and have had no call to change in all that time. I love the flexibility in it’s diagrams and queries, and it’s records window just seemed so intuitive to me when I first started, although I know it is not to everyone’s taste.

Details of what’s new in version 4 can be found on the website where you can also download a free 30 day trial (existing Family Historian users should make sure they read the note about installing the trial version over their existing version before downloading).

I will be downloading the upgrade shortly and will give you an update on it’s new features in due course.

Parish maps: where are they?

16 Mar

I can’t believe how difficult it is to get hold of maps of parish boundaries. I have been searching online to find a historic map of parishes in Hampshire, with very little success.

I have a splendid map from The Institute of Heraldic and Genealogical Studies but unfortunately it is approximately A3 size, not really practical for taking to the record office with me and not the sort of thing I want to be scribbling notes on as I go about my research (even if it is only in pencil). If only they or someone else produced a range of county maps that researchers could download and print copies.

I am sure there would be a market, just as there appears to be for old Ordnance Survey reprints, if I had the time I would try and do something on Google Maps or such like. I would love to be able to overlay parish boundaries, registration district boundaries and any of the dozens of other administrative divisions on a present day or historic map.

If anybody knows of a such product, preferably free, then let me know, until then I will make do with my old OS maps.

Find your family history on eBay?

8 Mar

I have been buying on eBay ( for several years, and the vast majority of what I buy is related to either local or family history. As eBay is a massive marketplace (and an international one at that) there is no limit to what you might find, in fact the only limit is probably your imagination when coming up with search terms, but as most genealogists are already pretty adept at searching that shouldn’t be a problem

So if you are not already searching eBay why not give it a try? Here are some suggestions to get you started:

  • Your research names (if they are not too common, otherwise you may get swamped with results)
  • The places where your ancestors lived (eBay is a great place to find old postcards)
  • Books and magazines (both old and new, and don’t forget family bibles, maps and church guides)
  • Medals (as I write this there are nearly 2,500 WW1 medals and ribbons listed, and don’t forget other militaria).
  • CDs, microfiche and printed transcriptions (numerous data sets are available, including family history society transcriptions)

Don’t forget you can also save your search terms and have eBay email you when an item is listed that matches your requirements, and there are some pretty good advanced search features which allow you to search more precisely.

There is lots of information on the site in their help pages about buying, selling and finding stuff (

Finally, please make sure you know exactly what it is you are buying (make sure it is genuine) and that the dealer is reputable (check their feedback rating), because I won’t be held responsible for anything that goes wrong.

In future posts I will hopefully feature some of my successful purchases, that is if you don’t outbid me!


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