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.

11-19-2014 9-47-12 AM

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:

11-19-2014 9-49-59 AM

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.

Register for Webinar Friday - Pictures and Legacy Family Tree by Geoff Rasmussen

LogowhiteJoin us this Friday for our next Legacy Family Tree Virtual User's Group Meeting where Legacy's Geoff Rasmussen will teach about the multimedia tools available in the Legacy software. We'll also have time for casual questions and answers about using Legacy.

Join us for the live webinar Friday, November 14, 2014 at 2pm Eastern U.S. Register today to reserve your virtual seat. Registration is free but space is limited to the first 1,000 people to join that day. Before joining, please visit to ensure you have the latest version of Java which our webinar software requires. When you join, if you receive a message that the webinar is full, you know we've reached the 1,000 limit, so we invite you to view the recording which should be published to the webinar archives within an hour or two of the event's conclusion.

Download the syllabus

In preparation for the webinar, download the supplemental syllabus materials here. The syllabus is freely available. Click here to save or print.


Or register for multiple webinars at once by clicking here.

Not sure if you already registered?

On the Upcoming Webinars tab, login to view the webinars you are already signed up for (available for annual or monthly webinar subscribers).

Test Your Webinar Connection

To ensure that your webinar connection is ready to go, click here.

Can't make it to the live event?

No worries. Its recording will be available for a limited time. Webinar Subscribers have unlimited access to all webinar recordings for the duration of their membership.

Add it to your Google Calendar

With our Google Calendar button, you will never forget our upcoming webinars. Simply click the button to add it to your calendar. You can then optionally embed the webinar events (and even turn them on and off) into your own personal calendar. If you have already added the calendar, you do not have to do it again - the new webinar events will automatically appear.

Webinar time

The webinar will be live on Friday, November 14, 2014 at:

  • 2pm Eastern (U.S.)
  • 1pm Central
  • 12pm Mountain
  • 11am Pacific
  • 7pm GMT

Or use this Time Zone Converter.

Here's how to attend:

  1. Register at today. It's free!
  2. You will receive a confirmation email containing a link to the webinar.
  3. You will receive a reminder email both 1 day and 1 hour prior to the live webinar.
  4. Calculate your time zone by clicking here.
  5. Make sure you have the latest version of Java installed on your computer. Check at
  6. Check your GoToWebinar connection here.
  7. Click on the webinar link (found in confirmation and reminder emails) prior to the start of the webinar. Arrive early as the room size is limited to the first 1,000 arrivals that day.
  8. Listen via headset (USB headsets work best), your computer speakers, or by phone.

We look forward to seeing you all there!

Legacy QuickVideo: How to Create a List of War of 1812 Candidates

In yesterday's after-webinar party we showed how to create a list of War of 1812 candidates in your Legacy Family Tree file. We used the "Veteran Identification Strategy" portion of Thomas MacEntee's syllabus and created a list of 153 individuals in my family file. Then we learned how to narrow the list down to just my direct line, and found 68. Wow, I'm excited to start searching for them using the resources Thomas presented. Watch the entire webinar here or the QuickVideo below.


Legacy Family Tree - Virtual User's Group Meeting - free webinar now online

LogowhiteThe recording of today's webinar, "Legacy Family Tree - Virtual User's Group Meeting," is now online for free at A few comments from our viewers:

  • So glad I changed to Legacy ...... not a better program for genealogy.
  • Being a visual learner, it helps so much when you do these classes!! I feel like it's *just for me* - one on one instruction!
  • This User Group is very helpful. I am in the process of switching from TMG to Legacy. There were some tasks/reports that I used a lot in TMG and I thought were not available in Legacy, but by attending the Virtual Group I found that those options are still available to me!

View the Recording at

If you could not make it to the live event or just want to watch it again, the 1 hour 25 minute recording of "Legacy Family Tree - Virtual User's Group Meeting" is now available to view in our webinar archives for free for a limited time. It is also available to our monthly or annual Webinar Members for the duration of your membership. Visit to watch. The supplemental syllabus materials are also available for annual/monthly webinar subscribers to download/print/save. Login or subscribe.

Webinar Memberships/Subscriptions

Webinar Members get:

  • On-demand access to the entire webinar archives (now 272 hours of genealogy education)
  • On-demand access to the instructor handouts (now 739 pages)
  • 5% off all products at (must be logged in at checkout, and yes, you can also use the 10% off webinar coupon above for a total of 15% off)
  • Access to all future recordings for the duration of their membership
  • Chance for a members-only door prize during each live webinar

Introductory pricing:

  • Annual membership: $49.95/year (that's about the cost of 5 webinar CDs)
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Click here to subscribe.

Register for our upcoming webinars (free)

  • Success with Manuscript Sources by Barbara Renick. September 10.
  • A Library at Your Fingertips - the Internet Archive by Maureen Taylor. September 24.
  • The Fair Court: Records of Chancery Courts by Judy Russell. October 1.
  • Overcoming Destroyed or Missing Records by Karen Clifford. October 3.
  • Welcome to FamilySearch Indexing! by Devin Ashby. October 8.
  • Researching Your War of 1812 Ancestor by Thomas MacEntee. October 15.
  • Tracking Migration Using the Draper Manuscripts by Mary Hill. October 22.
  • Legacy Family Tree - Virtual User's Group Meeting by Legacy Family Tree Panel. November 14.
  • Using Evernote for Genealogy by Lisa Louise Cooke. November 19.
  • Family History for Kids by Devin Ashby. December 3.
  • Look Ma, No Hands! Using Dragon Naturally Speaking for Your Genealogy by Ivan Baugh. December 5.
  • Researching Your North Carolina Ancestors by J. Mark Lowe. December 10.
  • Bagging a Live One - Connecting with Cousins You Never Knew You Had by Mary Kircher Roddy. December 17.

Click here to register. Or click here register for multiple webinars at the same time.

Print the 2014 webinar brochure here.

See you online!