Personal Historian 2 makes a fantastic addition to your genealogy software. Produced by the folks at Roots Magic, this software package helps the family historian bring their own life, along with the lives of others, to life through stories.

There are few individuals who will sit and write their life story without prompt or assistance. Even writing the biography of a beloved family member can seem daunting to many. Personal Historian provides the assistance most need to get their story written down. The software helps by breaking one’s life stories down into manageable pieces. This is done by taking advantage of numerous facilitators. The program will help the user unload their thoughts and memories as they come. The software also makes use of timelines, historical events, cultural facts, and questions to prompt the writer’s memory.

Taking memory prompts to the next level, Personal Historian can also import names, dates, events,notes, sources, and pictures from genealogy software. The built-in word processing and writing analysis tools help make sure content is easily captured and relatively error free. Story organization is both fun and easy with an interactive timeline and search features.

Because the same tool can be used to write one’s own story or the story of others, Personal Historian, becomes a great tool for preparing a published family history. In fact, the software offers publishing features, including book creation with chapters, indexing, added photographs, and more.

Get past the overwhelming anxiety you feel when considering writing your own story. Personal Historian make the process easy. The software also makes a great gift anyone you are trying to cajole into writing their story–parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc.


Order copies of Personal Historian 2 from Family Roots Publishing; Price: $29.95.


Personal Historian Features

General Information

    • Runs under Windows 7, Vista, XP, and 2000
    • Single-file database format
    • Support for international character sets through Unicode integration
    • Integrated backup and restore help safeguard your data
    • Free technical support
  • Easy to Learn and Use
  • Easy file management
  • Easy to use Explorer-like help system
  • Sidebar on main screen makes filtering easy
  • Use of Wizards simplifies tasks

Organize Your Personal History

  • Write unlimited stories
  • View the list of your stories on screen
  • Filter the list of stories
  • Just double click story in list to edit the story
  • Customize the story list layout
  • Quickly add a journal entry story
  • Edit random stories (great for writer’s block)

Story Editing

  • Use multiple fonts in stories
  • Use paragraph styles
  • Add images to stories
  • Wordwrap text about pictures
  • Readability Analysis
  • Full screen edit mode
  • Spell checking
  • Live spell check
  • Thesaurus
  • Adding footnotes
  • Text-to-speech reads your story back to you
  • Speech-to-text takes dictation
  • Add new paragraph styles
  • Import styles
  • Export styles

Story Organizing

  • Organizer lets you create an outline for each story
  • Brainstorm to add items to Organizer
  • Add subitems to Organizer
  • Easily rearrange outline items
  • Copy outline to the word processor

Search Features

  • Search for text in the current story
  • Search and replace in the current story
  • Full text search across all stories

Story Filters

  • Filter the master story list
  • Filter the stories included in the published book
  • Save and reuse filters

Publish Your Personal History

  • Print to any printer connected to your computer
  • Customize headers, footers, margins, and fonts
  • Include any stories in your personal history
  • Include cover and title pages, copyright, dedication, acknowledgement, preface pages
  • Include index of people in the story
  • Create multiple customized personal histories for each person
  • Save books to PDF (Adobe Acrobat)
  • Save books to your word processor (RTF)
  • E-mail books directly from the print preview
  • Include index of places in the story


  • Date calculator when entering dates
  • Pop up calendar when entering dates
  • Gazetteer to look up places
  • Place name standardization and geocoding
  • Display places on map


  • Direct RootsMagic import
  • Direct Family Tree Maker import (version 16 and earlier)
  • Direct PAF import (version 5)
  • Direct Legacy import (versions 3 and later)
  • GEDCOM import
  • Import text data (tab or comma delimited)