Family Histories

A&D is based on the concept of one or more family histories.  A family history is a database or a biography that includes a group of people who may or may not be blood relatives, and covers those individuals, relationships, households, and sources that you want to keep together as a single entity.  All data for a family history is stored in a single directory on your computer's hard disk.

Quantities and Sizes

A family history may cover only a few individuals or it may include many thousands of individuals and marriages.  An A&D family history can hold up to 9,999 individuals—along with all of the notes and marriage, household, and source data that relates to them.

Multiple family histories are often appropriate—especially if you have been married more than once.  You can create thousands of family histories with A&D, but your needs and available time will probably limit you to one or a few family histories.  Just under two megabytes of hard-disk space are needed for 4,000 individuals and all of their data—or 24 megabytes for 50,000 individuals.

Each family history is given a short name for ease of reference.  For example, you could name the history of George Washington's family Washington.  Or you could use both your paternal and maternal surnames—such as the Kennedy-Bouvier family history.

Types of Family Histories

Many different types of family histories exist.  The four most common types are family histories that encompass:
A group of related people
  This type is the most common.  An example is my Hancock family history.  It includes all of my direct ancestors that I have been able to trace, their known brothers and sisters, all of my descendants, as well as all of the men and women who married any of these relatives of mine.
A group of related people plus some unrelated persons
  This type of family history adds a few non-relatives, such as friends, borders, slaves, or business associates.  It may also include individuals who are potentially related to the main group of relatives, but whose relationship is not yet determined.
A group of people who have the same surname
  This type is known as a one-name study.  Only individuals with a single, common surname are included.  These may be mostly unrelated people—except that they all share the same surname.
A group of people who live in a common area
  These family histories are relatively rare and are used to track people who came from a particular village or shared a common experience.  An example is the collection of data on all the individuals who came to America on the Mayflower in 1620.  Another example is the family history that covers the people who were in the Donner wagon train.

A&D lets you create and maintain any and all of these types of family histories.  For more detailed information on family histories, see Chapter 2 of our Adventures in Genealogy book.

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