4 Ways to Celebrate Saint Patrick's Day

Wearing green to school and trying to avoid pinches was how I remember celebrating Saint Patrick's Day as a kid. A generation later, my kids have their green all lined up for the big day this week. Join us here at Legacy Family Tree as we celebrated our Irish heritage.

First, see how Irish you are.

The inspiration behind Legacy's new Origins report was to answer my kids' question of "Daddy, where do we come from?" While this could lead to an interesting discussion, I chose to answer this by implementing the Origins report in Legacy which shows us the distribution/percentage of where our ancestors were born.

To create the report, first navigate to yourself in Legacy. Then go to Reports > Other Reports > Origins Report. Choose your options (I chose to go back 20 generations) and click Preview or Print.

Looks like I'm a little over one percent Irish, with 17 of my 1,560 direct-line ancestors having been born there:


Second, join us for Webinar Wednesday with Judy Wight

Ireland research expert, Judy Wight, will teach about 17th-19th century genealogy records using different case studies in this day-after-St. Patrick's Day webinar. Register for the webinar (free) here.

Third, get FREE access to 3 Irish webinar recordings

There's no better place to learn how to find your difficult-to-find Irish ancestors than in our Webinar Library. These three members-only webinars will be FREE to view through Wednesday, March 18:

BrophyFourth, tune in for an Irish surprise during Wednesday's webinar

Michael Brophy and Irish genealogy go hand-in-hand. Tune in during our live webinar this Wednesday to find out how FamilyTreeWebinars.com and Michael have teamed up!

Happy Saint Patrick's Day everyone!

New Legacy QuickTip Video - Finding Surname Variations

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

  • How to find surname variations using Legacy's Soundex calculator. Helpful for coming up with different spellings to use when searching online indexes
  • How to use FamilySearch's Standard Finder tool to identify other ways our surnames could have been spelled.

These tips were presented live during the recent after-webinar party of Jan Gow's recent webinar, Researching Your New Zealand Ancestors, and compliment/reinforce what she taught.

Click here for the video.


Click here for more Legacy QuickTip videos.

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.