Help Wanted: Looking for Former TMG Users to Help Test a Future Version of Family Historian

The Master Genealogist, usually referred to as “TMG,” was a very powerful genealogy program for Windows. I have to use the word “was” because the company that produced TMG folded up and went out of business. TMG is no longer available for purchase, is no longer being upgraded, and no longer has a Customer Service department to answer customers’ questions and to help with using the program.

Despite all that, many TMG users remain loyal to the program as they have not yet found any replacement program that includes all the power and advanced features offered in TMG. Actually, I believe that at least one program is as powerful as TMG and has been available for years but many TMG users have not been aware of its existence. However, Simon Orde, the owner of Calico Pie Limited and the creator of Family Historian genealogy software, is looking for experienced TMG users who are also Family Historian 6 users, to test a new upcoming version of Family Historian. The new version (7) includes features added specifically for TMG users, such as an improved TMG import routine which automatically converts sophisticated TMG narrative sentences containing ‘variables’ (TMG users will know what I’m talking about) to Family Historian equivalents. I would refer to these volunteers as “beta testers” although that is my terminology, not Simon’s.

Family Historian is a very powerful and very flexible genealogy program for Windows. In my opinion, Family Historian has always been one of the leading Windows genealogy programs available. It always has been a very strong competitor to TMG and Simon Orde plans for the next release to be even stronger.

I understand that a formal program of testing version 7 with selected customers, is due to start shortly. Last week, I met Simon at the RootsTech conference in London and I asked him if he could predict a release date for Family Historian version 7. He replied, “As soon as my testers tell me it is ready for release.” I suspect he also meant, “… and not one day sooner” although he didn’t use those exact words.

I am guessing version 7 is a few weeks or months away, certainly not years.

Version 7 of Family Historian will include a very powerful word processor that provides familiar word-processing features such as bullets and tables, but also includes embedded record links (that is, links to records in your project), web links (links to websites), private notes-within-notes incorporating hash tags (similar to hash tags used on Twitter and elsewhere), and embedded source citations (that is, numbered source citations which can be inserted into the text itself, rather than just attached to the note as a whole). The new version also includes improved support for sources and source templates, new relationship diagrams, new DNA tools, quite a few new reports, and quite a few enhancements to existing features.

While in London, I watched Simon give a demonstration of the new version 7 of Family Historian and must say I was impressed. I believe that Family Historian has been the most powerful and flexible Windows genealogy program for some time now and version 7 will only enhance its reputation when  released.

If you have Family Historian 6 and are interested in helping the development and fine tuning of one of the leading Windows genealogy programs of today, please send an email to and include a brief summary of why you think you might be qualified to examine the Family Historian beta test version and to provide feedback from a TMG user’s viewpoint. If you don’t have version 6, apparently since November 1st and until version 7 is released, anyone who buys a copy of Family Historian 6 as a download (full version only) from the Family Historian website, will get a free upgrade to version 7 when available.

Comment by Dick Eastman: I will say that Family Historian has a different “look and feel” from The Master Genealogist. In my mind, that’s a good thing. If you become one of the new testers providing feedback, don’t expect Family Historian to look exactly like TMG or to emulate TMG’s menus in any way. These are two very different programs from different software developers, with different screens, and different reports. In my opinion, Family Historian has the more user-friendly user interface of the two programs.

The goal is to see if the proposed version of Family Historian provides the EQUIVALENT FUNCTIONALITY that is important to experienced TMG users, although not necessarily the identical functionality. In other words, does Family Historian version 7 meet the needs of TMG users?

Again, if you are interested in helping the development and fine tuning of one of the leading Windows genealogy programs of today, please send an email to

NOTE: The screenshots shown above were made with new Family Historian software still being developed. Don’t be surprised if the final product to be released has some differences. In fact, YOU may be able to define some of those differences!


This looks like a very interesting program and one I could trade my TMG for. BUT, I’ve migrated to Mac, and they apparently do not make a MAC version. That still leaves me in limbo with nothing close to TMG for the MAC. Sigh!


    I see that you are a fellow MAC user like me and can fully recommend using Family Historian on a MAC computer. You just need to purchase and install Parallels. Works like a dream.


Just like Daisy, I would jump at the chance of a Mac version of Family Historian. I run Windows as a virtual machine on my Mac and have Family Historian running happily on it, but it is not the same as a fully fledged Mac version. Come on Calico Pie, you can do it!


When it was announced that TMG would be discontinued, I did some research and selected FH, migrating my data a few years ago. Yes, there was the initial shock of a new layout and the usual time spent searching the Help menus, knowing that the software must be able to do a particular function but not being entirely sure what it was called or how to activate it. I was only just starting to familiarise myself with some of the more advanced customisation features in TMG, so perhaps that made it easier for me to switch as I wasn’t having to re-learn as much. These transitional issues were minimal and I’m now a very happy FH customer. The user group is also very friendly and there are plenty of helpful user-designed add-ons which helped a great deal in tidying up TMG data.


I am still a die-hard TMG user, though I am willing to investigate FH7. Is it possible to be a beta tester if you are not a FH6 user?


    I believe the announcement states, “… is looking for experienced TMG users who are also Family Historian 6 users… ” as well as “If you have Family Historian 6 and are interested…”


When describing Family Historian’s features you don’t say anything about what it does with sources. TMG handles them very well — with such features as remembering sources previously used, and reading them back various ways in reports, depending on the context — but to do TMG justice in even this one area would make this reply quite long. How well does FH do?


    —> When describing Family Historian’s features you don’t say anything about what it does with sources.

    Family Historian has one of the best, possibly THE BEST, handling of source citations of any genealogy software available today. The following is a copy-and-paste from the Family Historian web site:

    “Easily Record Your Sources With Automatic Source Citations
    “Where did you get your information from? Family Historian makes it easy to record your sources with its automatic source citations which are created and enabled on the Automatic Source Citation pane. Also invaluable is the ability to copy and paste citations from one event or attribute to another. The Property Box (the main data entry window) is designed so that you can see at a glance the sources of each item of data without have to ‘drill down’ to another level.”


I too am a Mac user of Family Historian. I run it on a VM on my iMac and in Crossover on my Air. In answer to the question about Sources I did a short video on how auto source citations works it is on YouTube at if you want to take a look.


I hope that version 7 will have a filtering mechanism much more like that of TMG than that currently in FH 6.3. The TMG one is much easier to use by general users and seems to be more general.


As a die hard TMG user the new version of FH seems to have a lot of promise. Now if only John Cardinal would create a version of Second Site for it with the same functionality he has for TMG.


John Cardinal has, and it is called GedSite, that supersedes Second Site, with support for many more genealogy products.


I tried Family Historian version 4 and still have it on my computer but I abandoned it because the only import from TMG was GEDCOM which was not going to work. Still using TMG and hoping for a way my data and image connections can be successfully transferred. I don’t qualify to be a tester, but I do look forward to your and others’ review of Version 7 when it is released.


Current version of Family Historian has direct import from TMG that is very effective.


I used to use TMG but changed to Family Historian when it first came out and have been happier using it than TMG and will continue to upgrade. If you are short on testers then happy to give it a go.


Will there be a portable version of 7 ?


I was a TMG user since version 3.7 in 2004 through to 9.05. There were so many features in it and there must be many I didn’t use – but I did go to extraordinary lengths with variables in sentences, trying to get very readable narrative and exporting to Second Site. When TMG became unsupported I tried FH6 but just could not import my TMG data and vowed I would have to start again, using FH6, but this time keeping it simple should anything untoward happen in the FH world in the future. Sadly, because I am back to the beginning of loading the data again I have stalled. I will be very interested in attempting to resurrect my old data through FH7.


I, too, was a confirmed TMG user of many years, but my GEDCOM export into FH worked a treat. I have been pleased with how much data came across. You have not explained where you encountered a problem – if you did, maybe we could provide further guidance. I first came across FH program at RootsTech 2019 in London. I, too, spoke at length with Simon Orde and realised that my problems of TMG obsolescence were virtually solved – it was encouraging to find a developer with the knowledge and expertise to provide us with a solution. Do give it another try – you will be pleasantly surprised: there’s no need to re-enter all your data that’s on TMG.

And thanks, Mike Tate: I didn’t know about GedSite.


I have used Family Historian v6.0 through to v6.2 until Windows 10 came along…………….in short I have ditched all Microsoft OS and products and migrated to a better OS and using open source software. Is there any way this good product can be ported or re-coded to Linux other than by using emulators? I know more and more people are getting disillusioned with Microsoft, especially due to recent issues. For me, I have sadly stopped using FH for now. I still have an emulated copy but some of the functions just will not work. It is time the world woke up to not being controlled (as far as operating systems go at least) by Microsoft.


    —> Is there any way this good product can be ported or re-coded to Linux other than by using emulators?

    Not that I know of. However, if you want to use open source genealogy software on Linux, take a look at GRAMPS (an abbreviation for Genealogical Research and Analysis Management Programming System) at

    GRAMPS the leading genealogy program for Linux and UNIX open source operating systems. It is rather powerful but also is very different from Family Historian. It may or may not fit your needs and preferences but I would suggest you at least take a look at GRAMPS and then decide for yourself.


When will the product be available? I just restarted using my TMG V8 after many years of inactivity.


Leave a Reply

Name and email address are required. Your email address will not be published.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

You may use these HTML tags and attributes:

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <pre> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong> 

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: