New Legacy QuickTip Video - Using Legacy's Calendar Tool

We have another great Legacy QuickTip Video for you today! Learn:

  • How to find the day of the week for any month back to the year 1700 (helpful for when the newspaper says "he died last Tuesday")
  • How to use the date calculator (helpful for when the census says he was 73 years old - calendar will calculate the approximate year of birth)

These tips were presented live during the recent after-webinar party of Jan Gow's recent webinar, Researching Your New Zealand Ancestors.

Click here for the video.


Click here for more Legacy QuickTip videos.

New Legacy QuickTip Video - How to Create a List of Civil War Candidates

We have another great Legacy QuickTip Video for you today! Learn:

  • How to identify which of your ancestors may have served in the U.S. Civil War
  • How to filter this list to just those on your direct line
  • A little bit of tagging

These tips were presented live during the recent after-webinar party of Thomas MacEntee's recent webinar, Step-by-Step - Finding Confederate Soldiers and Their Records and compliment/reinforce what he taught.

Click here for the video.


Legacy Tip - Comparing two Legacy files at once

A great question came into my inbox this morning from one of our Legacy users, Karen. She asked,

Is there a way to have two different family trees open in Legacy at the same time? I want to compare some “possible” connections between two family lines that I have worked on, so I want to be able to move up and down from parents to children to siblings, etc. One is my family; one is for a friend. Thank you.

Yes! This is possible, and is one of the features that draws people to Legacy. Here's how....

First, on the View tab, click on the Split Screen button.

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Click the Yes button.

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Next, browse to and select the other family file you wish to compare.

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The result is that your personal family file is open on the left, and the new family file is open on the right. Here, like you requested, you can navigate as you wish in either family file for your comparison.

TIP: If you find something in the right file that you want to add to the left file, just drag and drop the person from the right to the left. Be careful though, I don't usually recommend adding everything from someone else's file, but the possibility exists.

New Legacy QuickTip Video - Getting Started in Legacy, Research Log, and SourceWriter

We have another great Legacy QuickTip Video for you today! Learn:

  • How to get started in Legacy
  • How to use the To Do List and Research Log
  • Quick intro to the SourceWriter

These tips were presented live during the recent after-webinar party of Thomas MacEntee's recent webinar, My Genealogy DO-Over: a Year of Learning from Research Mistakes and compliment/reinforce what he taught.

Click here for the video.


New Legacy QuickTip Video - Timelines, County Histories, and Centennia

We have another great Legacy QuickTip Video for you today! Learn:

  • How to add historical events to an ancestor's timeline
  • How to learn which county/local histories are available for the places where your ancestor lived
  • How to use the Centennia software to visualize the changing country boundaries in Europe

These tips were presented live during the recent after-webinar party of Marian Pierre-Louis' recent webinar, Expanding Your Research from a Single Fact and compliment/reinforce what she taught.

Click here for the video.


How to create a 2015 birthday / anniversary calendar using Legacy Family Tree

With the new year approaching, why not resolve to be a better relative by remembering family birthdays and anniversaries? (Here's what happened when I forgot this year.)

Two features of Legacy Family Tree make this easy to do:

  • Legacy's birthday and anniversary reminders described here.
  • Legacy's Calendar Creator.

Legacy can create a birthday calendar, an anniversary calendar, or a combination of the two. There are options to include a cover picture, picture pages above each calendar month, and complete control over color, layout, shadows, fonts, page size, and more. The calendars can be blank or include the birthdates and anniversaries of the people already entered in your family file.

That's right! Because the information (birthdays and anniversaries) is already in your Legacy family file, Legacy will automatically add this to the calendar pages. With the who to include options, you can customize the calendar so only certain family lines are included. You even have the option to skip the anniversaries of divorced couples.

Get Started

To begin, make sure that you have installed Legacy Family Tree 8 Deluxe Edition available here. Then follow these steps:

  1. With Legacy open, click on the Reports tab, then the Other Reports button, then the Calendar Creator.
  2. Using the options on the six tabs, customize the calendar to your preferences.
  3. Print, and enjoy being the person in your family that never misses a birthday or anniversary!

Instead of including all 20,000+ individuals on my calendar, I selected to include "Only Tagged Living Individuals" (found on the Include tab). I previously "tagged" the descendants of my grandparents and my wife's parents so as to only include those closely related to me.


And wow, creating this calendar reminded me that come August 2015, I'll be turning 40. Hmmm....

Legacy and Sourcing: Lumpers vs. Splitters

The subject of source lumpers vs. splitters comes up all the time on the Legacy User Group (LUG) email list. Legacy user, Wendy Howard, posted the best explanation that any of us have seen and she received several compliments on it. Rather than try to explain it myself, I asked Wendy for her permission to post her email here. Here is Wendy’s response to fellow LUG Lister, Dennis. Great job, Wendy! 

Dennis' question:  

Okay folks, Newbie Dude here but, I'm seriously confused by all the options available regarding Master Sources and Details.

Since it is possible to do in both places, is it best to attach copies of documents (or pictures) to the "Master Source" or, as part of the "Detail" (using the Source Writer), which is the best place to use to add them? Specifically, I referring to attaching copies of Birth/Death Certificates, Census Pages, etc.

Wendy's reply:

It depends on how you use the Master Source, whether in your particular situation it is better to attach the image to the Master Source or the Source Detail.

An example... you have your great-grandmother's birth certificate. Ask yourself this question - do you set up a new Master Source for that certificate alone, or do you use a Master Source that covers all birth certificates for that country/state/county/whatever? There isn't a right answer here, only the answer that works for you.

Some people will set up a new Master Source for each certificate they acquire. We call that "splitting" on this mailing list; you end up with a lot of Master Sources this way. In this situation you probably won't use the Source Detail very much, and it's appropriate to attach an image to the Master Source.

Other people will set up a Master Source for all birth certificates they acquire of the same type, and then put the information specific to each item in the Source Detail. In this situation, I'd attach an image to the Source Detail, so that each citation has an image relevant to its use. We call this "lumping" on this mailing list.

I tend to do a bit of both. When I first started entering sources, I set up a separate Master Source for each certificate I had. Later on, when I'd learned more and thought about what I wanted, I changed to using one Master Source for all New Zealand birth certificates, and another for all New Zealand birth registrations (a copy of the Registrar's book, we're a bit different in this country!), and others for marriages and deaths, and repeat for England, and Scotland, and for each state in Australia from which I've acquired documents, and so on.

One day I might change all those early entries and get rid of the Master Sources that cover one piece of paper alone, but then I may never get around to that. Either way, the information is still stored and can be properly interpreted by anyone reading my data.

Where I've cited a book, I set up a Master Source for the book as a whole, and then in the Source Detail I put the information about which page a piece of information came from. Here, I could put an image of the book cover in the Master, and an image of a page in the Detail, if I so desired.

So think about what works for you, and go with that. Keep asking questions here - the program is very flexible, and there are usually at least two ways of doing something. Which is right, depends on your preferences and expectations.

Hope this helps. :-)


The LUG email list is a great place to get your questions answered. If you would like to join the group you can sign up HERE. It is the second option, Legacy User Group.

If I could turn back time to before I called my mother this morning...

WeddingAh, the highs and lows of family and genealogy.

A few minutes ago I received a text message from my sister who asked,

"How long have mom and dad been married?"

Wondering why she was asking, but feeling confident because I knew I could find the answer immediately, I opened Legacy. Legacy's "Ages" tool will tell me exactly how long - to the day - they've been married. I quickly navigated to my parents, and then clicked on View > Ages. What I saw made my heart sink.

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Today is my parents' 40th wedding anniversary. With my tail between my legs, I responded to my sister and wondered what I could do to make it up to my parents. My mother already knows I forgot, because about an hour ago I called her and asked her for a favor. Nope, I didn't wish her a special day then. Had I been more diligent in looking at the Legacy Home tab inside my Legacy software, I would have remembered:

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Legacy has the tools to help me be a good son. I just wish I had used them before calling my mother the first time today. Fortunately, she loves me unconditionally. But if any of you have any advice for me, I could surely use some this morning.

Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad!

5 Legacy Tips for your next family gathering

Legacy user, Khadija, wrote in asking for some tips on how to use Legacy to make their family reunion even more special for everyone.  

We are having a family reunion of my mums family, next year in January. My grandparents have passed on, all the people under them will be there. This is what I want to do for the reunion:

1. Have a large family tree for all to see and a small one A4 to give to each family member.

For the large family tree I would do a Descendant Chart starting with your grandparents. All of your cousins will get a kick out of seeing how they fit into the family compared to everyone else. Legacy Charting has many options to customize the chart so you can make it really nice. Once you have it just like you want, you can order your custom chart through using our chart printing service available on the Publish tab. I have ordered charts this way and have been very pleased. 

You could just make A4 copies of this chart to pass out to the attendees but if you have the time it would be more fun to personalize the chart to each guest. Instead of creating a descendant chart, create individual four-generation Ancestor Charts with each person as the anchor of their own chart. They will go home with a nice keepsake and hopefully a new-found interest in their family history.


 2. A slide show with family pics, with a bit of family history of my grand parents, aunts and uncles.

There are two ways to do this. You can put together a slide show in Legacy using the Picture Scrapbook. You have complete control over which image files are used. Your family will be able to see the caption, date and any notes you have written about each picture. You can set the slide show to advance automatically and you can control the amount of delay between photos. This feature is very easy to work with. This is a great option if you can hook your computer up to a projector and show it on a screen so that everyone can see it. 

You can also use the free add-on program Passage Express. Once you download it you can access the program from within Legacy. This program will create a CD (or DVD, or others) with a multimedia presentation on it. You can add text narrative as well as sound narrations to the photos. CDs are cheap and this would be a great surprise to pass out at the reunion. There is also a Deluxe edition of Passage Express available if you are interested in some more advanced options. 


 3.  A family history book

Legacy’s Publishing Center will help you create a family history book. You have complete control over the contents and there are plenty of options so that you can personalize it just like you want. One thing I really like is being able to preview the book as you make changes until you get it just like you want. You can pull any of Legacy’s reports into the book, each report being its own chapter. You can edit each chapter and you also have options that will apply to the entire book as a whole. Legacy has options to include a Title Page, Copyright Notice Page, Dedication Page, Preface Page, Index and more. As with everything in Legacy, you can customize the book to make it your own. You can save the book as a pdf file and most publishing outlets can publish from a pdf file. There are many print on demand companies on the internet such as Lulu and Blurb. You could also just simply put the pdf file on a CD and pass them out at the reunion. 


4. The family tree that can be viewed by others of the internet

You can create a gedcom file and upload it to a website such as WikiTree. If you have your own web space, Legacy will create the webpages for you and then you can upload them. There are five different styles of web pages you can create and you have complete control over what is and what isn’t included. Rootsweb offers free web space to genealogists. 


5. How can I save the whole family tree on a cloud, my laptop was stolen once, and I lost a lot of info because of that. I do not want that to happen again.

Backing up your family file to cloud storage is a great idea. There are several free cloud storage servers available such as DropBox, OneDrive and GoogleDrive. I back up my files to OneDrive. I keep my ten most current backups and then delete anything older than that. If my computer crashes my backups will be safe. It is important to make regular backups and not wait too long in-between them. Since I work in my file every day I backup my file every day. There is an option to have Legacy remind you to backup your file if you are worried you might forget. Once you tell Legacy where you want to back up your file it will remember it and will continue to back up there until you tell it otherwise. 


There are more things that Khadija can do to make the reunion a one-of-a-kind event. How about printing name tags for everyone. You can do that right in Legacy. How fun is this!



Legacy has a customizable Family Questionnaire you can pass out. If you have older attendees this might be your only opportunity to capture this information. Since you will be collecting information on persons still living make sure you have their permission to add the information to your file.


Legacy is much more than a just a genealogy database program.

Thanks to Legacy Support rep, Michele, for this article! She also writes the Ancestoring blog.