I recently took my 89 yo father to his birth town, which he had not been to for 30 years. We spent 2 days driving, visiting and him reminiscing. I use Family Historian and would like to record the trip. What way do I do this? Can it be saved to a GEDCOM for import by others?

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    What is it that you want to record? The fact that the revisit took place (an event in your father's life) or his reminiscences prompted by being there (a potential source)? How you record these will depend upon what evidence you have. Do you have a photograph (preferably identifying time and place), notes you made as he spoke or an audio recording of his voice?
    – Fortiter
    Jan 5, 2013 at 4:38
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    I have filed away the meories for further action/verification of dates etc later. I was asking if this type of trip was significant enough to be an event to be recorded in both his and my lives. It certainly was significant to both of us at the time, and for me some 6 months later. And if so, how was the best way to do it. Hope that makes some sense. Jan 5, 2013 at 4:43

3 Answers 3


I don't see any reason why one wouldn't want to record special events such as the trip with your father into your family history file.

I've seen this writeup:

Events & Attributes: With Family Historian you can record full details of any events in the lives of the individuals or families in your files. Family Historian comes with a large number of pre-defined events for you to select from (birth, death, baptism, marriage, divorce, etc), but you can easily create any new event types that you wish, and use them exactly like standard events. Attributes are facts about a person e.g. their religion, where they lived, what they did. Again, Family Historian comes with a large number of standard attributes, but you can easily add your own. Family Historian has no built-in support for disease history, for example. If that's what you want no problem. Just add whatever attributes and events you need, and quickly see at a glance, who's had what, when, and how old they were at the time.

So if there is no "trip" event already in Family Historian, you can add it. The date can be a date range. The place should likely be the final destination.

You may want to add the event to both yourself and your father, but describe it from each person's point of view. Maybe you picked up your dad 3 days into your trip.

Doing this will be exportable to GEDCOM by Family Historian. Most programs should be able to read custom events from GEDCOM, but they have no way of really understanding what the event is.


My software allows for a "family event" to be recorded and exported by GEDCOM, but it links husband and wife, not child and parent. You can probably create a custom event for your father, but I would not create one for yourself, as you and he may have partaken of different journeys.

He was on a pilgrimage (of sorts) to his home town, and walking down memory lane. Most likely these memories were from a time before you were born. As others mentioned, this is biographical info, and not genealogical. But well worth noting for family history.

You were the observer (interviewer/researcher). It may have been a moving experience for you, but you were only a tourist; your father was the tour guide. You should definitely record everything about the trip, but again, think of it as your father's trip.


There are three very different types of data involved when we do genealogical research.

First there is the evidence. This is the information we discover. Evidence data involves both the sources that we discover (books, records, grave markers, conversations, etc), and the facts that we learn about our ancestors from those sources.

Second is the conclusions we draw from the evidence we find. These show up as the persons and families we add to our databases.

Third is all the administrative information we generate in our attempts to find the evidence and make the conclusions. This information shows up as todo lists, research logs, trip reports, and so on.

Information about a research trip is administrative information. Certainly the genealogical evidence gathered during a trip must be added to the evidence part of your information. And any conclusions you make during or after your trip from the evidence you found during the trip must be added to the conclusion part of your database.

In my opinion it's a bit of a stretch to consider a research trip a genealogical event of its own accord. If your software supports it, you can sure do it. You could also add each of your trips to the super market. I think the question that you need to ask before you add a new event to a person record is whether recording that fact will positively help to establish ("prove") the existence of that person.

We are dealing with some of the distinctions between genealogy, family history, and biography here. The fact that someone went on a genealogical research trip is great biographical fodder, and maybe even family history fodder. But is it genealogical fodder? I mean the trip, not the information discovered during the trip.

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    As you note so perceptively "We are dealing with some of the distinctions between genealogy, family history, and biography here." What a shame we do not do that more openly and seriously. I do think that you might have distinguished between the trip made by the OP and that of his father -- same time and place but very different significance (in a Family History sense, of course).
    – Fortiter
    Jan 6, 2013 at 11:07
  • Many of the facts your father tells you during your trip qualify as "normal" genealogical facts with your father as their source. All those facts should be entered into your database in a normal fashion. The fact that these facts were related to you during a trip is not relevant to the genealogical data itself. Jan 7, 2013 at 9:30

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