Blog post

Monday, April 20, 2015

Plugging away at a plugin

I had good intentions of writing up a post after Congress 2015. I started, but never quite finished. Somewhere along the way I got distracted by a project that hadn’t even been on my to-do list, but has since because the primary focus of my attention.

Since Congress, in my spare moments, I have been chipping away at writing a Family Historian plugin. It started when I was talking to Jill Ball at Congress. She mentioned that she had looked at the CSV import plugins currently available but they hadn’t quite met her needs. The goal of a “CSV import” plug-in is to move spreadsheet style information into a family history package.

I have a few ideas about how a flexible CSV import tool might work… one you could customise without having to get into the code. Sparked by Jill’s comment, I tried a few proof-of-concept experiments and my little obsession project grew from there.

As at today, I have a plugin that seems to work as intended. I’m thinking about refining it to a point where I could submit it to the Family Historian plugin store so that anyone who has Family Historian can use it.

Right now I’m on the lookout for a few more sample files to try it with. Please leave a comment if you have something that might fit the bill and I’ll get in touch with you.


  1. As I am partially responsible for your obsession I can send along a sample. Do you want 5, 50, 500 or 5,000 records in the sample?

    As I wander round the internet I see quite a few instances where I could extract lists to a spreadsheet. Being able to import to Family Historian, which is the workspace for my surname study would be fab.

  2. 50 to 500 initially. You've got my email, don't you? That would be great, thank you.

  3. Sounds great, if you need any help, you can always ask in the FHUG forums, if you have not already, When you think it's ready for public consumption, you can attach a plugin to a forum post for beta testing, before submitting it to the Plugin Store. I look forward to seeing it.

    1. Thanks Jane. I've a bit more tinkering to do, but then the FHUG forums are my next port of call!

  4. Sounds fantastic Shelley. I have built (much hair-tearing!) a large database in Access. If I could export some of the spreadsheet elements to FH it would be great.

  5. Pauleen, Shelley is a whizz kid. She has changed my messy excel into a gedcom that I have loaded into Family Historian and she didn't have to leave out any of my data. You should be able to get all your access stuff into FH.