Old Family Portrait

New Features in Ancestral Quest 16

Ancestral Quest 16 is a major upgrade to AQ. It offers some exciting new features to the program. Details on these new features appear below.

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how to use these new features.

Descendants View - Premium Feature*

A much-requested new feature, the Descendants view joins the Pedigree, Family, Name List, Individual, and Timeline view tabs along the top of the program. This gives you yet another way to view and navigate the records within your database.

You can click on the various buttons to the right or left of individuals to navigate, including the special left arrow next to the main person, which will let you change the focus to a parent. You can select 1, 2 or 3 generations of descendants, then expand selected lines up to 6 generations deep.

Share Custom Events - Premium Feature*

When you are adding or editing other/custom events within the Edit Individual screen, you can now share (copy) an event with other individuals in your database. For example, after finding a family of 10 on a census record, you can go to one member of the family, add a “Residence” other event to indicate that the person lived in that location on the date of the census, and attach a census source to the Residence event. You can then Share that event and source quickly with the other 9 members of the family, without having to individually add the Residence event to each record. Talk about a time saver!

Background Images on many Charts - Premium Feature*

For many charts, you can now include a background image. The background image can be placed on these reports:

  • Pedigree
  • Fan
  • Ancestry (Standard and Wall chart)
  • Descendant (Standard, Wall chart and Dropline chart)
  • Line of Descent
  • Calendar
  • Timeline

The image can be displayed with various opacity levels. You can even move background images around on the chart. As an example, you can create a birthday calendar for a month, where you set the page margins to .5 inches for left, bottom and right, but to 5.8 inches for top margin (this will put the calendar on the bottom half of an 8.5 x 11 paper), then put a picture on the top half of the page.

Add/Remove Country Names - Premium Feature*

Under the Tools menu, there is a new tool to add or remove a country name from all places in your file. For example, you can add “United States” to all states, or remove “United States” or “Canada” from all states or provinces.

If you are regularly downloading data from, or uploading data to, other genealogy systems (like FamilySearch), this will help you keep your data the way you want it.

Share Scrapbook Items - Premium Feature*

You can select any image (or other scrapbook item), which is a part of the Scrapbook of one record in your file, and share (copy) that media item with the scrapbook of other records in your file.

Auto Update for the Windows version

With version 16, we are implementing a new method of handling updates for program updates (new builds) for the Windows version of AQ. This new ability should make the installation of program updates for Windows users as easy as it has been for Mac users. You don't need to do anything special for this, just notice that AQ should automatically prompt you when a new build is ready, and the process should be much simpler than in the past.

LDS Ordinances (Confirmation/Initiatory)

Prior to version 16, you could record the LDS ordinances of LDS Confirmation and Initiatory only as Other Events. Version 16 now gives you an option to record these in the same form with other LDS ordinances.

Tags Enhancement - Premium Feature*

Tags were introduced in version 14, and ended up becoming a big hit with AQ users. Version 16 makes some improvements to these Tags. Once you have assigned a tag to an individual, and you see the tag in the Pedigree, Family, or Descendants view, you can now simply click on the tag to adjust the tags for that person.

And a new option allows you to set tag placeholders, so even if a tag isn't set for an individual, you will be able to click the placeholder to add tags to the person.

Working with Multiple Databases - Premium Feature*

AQ has always been able to open multiple databases at one time, but it placed the windows on top of each other, so that you may not realize you have multiple files open. AQ 16 now stacks new files as they are opened, to make it obvious that multiple files are shown. A new “Windows” menu lets you cascade or tile these multiple database windows. Use of the options in the Windows menu is a premium feature.

MapIt - Premium Feature*

AQ has had a MapIt button next to some place fields throughout the program, and in some views, like the Individual Summary and Timeline views, you could click on any place to see a map of that place. In the past, this always showed you the place on the MapQuest online site. Now, enabling this tool gives you the choice of various online mapping services.

Enhancements to Couple Relationships

In the past, AQ provided you with this list of relationship statuses: Married, Divorced, Not Married, Common Law and de facto.

For version 16, AQ separates the type of relationship from the status of the relationship. Relationship types now are Married, Not Married, Common Law, and de facto. The status of a relationship can be 'blank', indicating an ongoing relationship, or it could have terminated as Divorced, Separated or Annulled.

Version 16 also allows you to record non-traditional couple relationships.

Fan Chart Title Placement - Premium Feature*

You can now place the title of a fan chart below the chart rather than above it.

Individual Summary Options - Premium Feature*

The Individual Summary view now has an Options button. This will permit you to make some adjustments to the display of information within the Individual view.

Broken Scrapbook Links/Moving Scrapbook Items - Premium Feature*

Have you ever moved a photo, which caused AQ to pop up a window indicating that it could no longer find the photo, and asking you to fix the link? With the release of version 16, AQ's handling of this situation has been made much more helpful.

The “Move Scrapbook Items” tool (found under the Tools menu) is designed to help you quickly adjust volumes of scrapbook links. This tool has also been modified and enhanced to be more helpful in version 16.

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I like what I see described for the new version, and I want it.

Previous Version's Features

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Did you miss a version of AQ? You can explore the many features that were introduced in the previous version, 15.


Many tools in Ancestral Quest work directly with FamilySearch Family Tree. Many of those tools have some new abilities and enhancements in AQ version 16. (Basic access to FamilySearch Family Tree is free and available to all users of Ancestral Quest, including the free Basics version. However, some advanced options for syncing are only available as premium features.)

FamilySearch Sources - Advanced Importing and Conversion - Premium Feature*
As you download sources from FS into your AQ file, a new checkbox appears on the bottom of the screen, which allows for “Advanced Importing”. With this box checked, AQ will give you the option to attach the FamilySearch citation as a citation to an existing AQ source, rather than simply to create yet another source as in the past. For example, in the past, if there were 10 members of a family, and all were listed on the 1920 census, then FamilySearch would create 10 different source citations, and if you import them, you will end up with 10 sources of the same census record in your list of Sources. If you take advantage of this new advanced feature, you can create just one source for the 1920 census, and attach all FamilySearch citations to this single source.

If you have already downloaded citations from FamilySearch, and feel like your source list is cluttered, you can go to AQ's “Edit” menu and select the Source List. If you will select any of the sources downloaded from FamilySearch, you will see a new button to Convert Freeform Source to Structured Source. This will allow you to convert FamilySearch citations from being individual entries in your Source List to citations attached to a master source. This will take time, but it gives you an option for cleaning up your source list.

Watch the video tutorial on advanced handling of FamilySearch sources.

FamilySearch Advanced Syncing - Premium Feature*
As you sync data (both individuals, families, and specific events/facts), some screens have been redesigned to be more intuitive.

When exchanging events/facts between your file and FamilySearch, you'll notice the “Advanced Options” button (with a small down-arrow) next to the main checkmark. This Advanced Options button allows you to transfer just the date or just the place for an event. You will also have the option of editing the name of the place before transferring it.

FamilySearch Compatibility
FamilySearch regularly changes the underlying methods (API) used by programs like AQ to access the FamilySearch Family Tree. Ancestral Quest 16 contains updated code to handle new APIs recently put in place by FamilySearch, so AQ 16 will be able to continue working with FamilySearch Family Tree well into the future.

*Premium Features are those which require the purchase of an Ancestral Quest 16 Registration Key. The other AQ 16 features listed above are ‘free’ within Ancestral Quest Basics and do not require a purchase.

View the Frequently Asked Questions page on upgrading to the latest version of Ancestral Quest.

Access the Release Notes for Ancestral Quest 16.

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