Friday, March 5, 2010

Legacy FamilyTree Software

Legacy FamilyTree Software
Kathryn Brannigan Walizer

Ok you have gathered all the documents, have tons of family files, can hardly find the desk and the computer files are full of notes and emails from relatives, things found online, message boards..
Where to store all this and put in some kind of order? The answer may be free, there's that word again, free!! Just go to Here you will find a free download for the basic program You will need to pay for the deluxe version but the free version will get you started in organizing and printing out family files in book form.

Legacy will work on Window 95, Windows 98, Windows NT, Windows 2000, Windows ME, Windows XP, or Vista and Legacy will run on newer Macs with Parallel, Bootcamp or Fusion It features a complete source citation system which is extremely important.Legacy imports both Personal Ancestral File® information as well as GEDCOM files.This means if you or someone has a gedcom of your family on a CD or flashdrive you can easily import it into your newly downloaded program. no fuss, no muss.

Once you have entered you information either by typing it in or importing via gedcom all family file information can be exported to a GEDCOM file. Various formats are available, including: Legacy, Gedcom 5.5, PAF 2.31 or 3.0, Ancestral File, TempleReady, Clooz, Basic and Generic. You will have complete control over what is included in the exported file. You can specify which individuals are to be exported as well as what information is included. You can export all records or specify a subset by tag level or focus group. .

Many of you may be thinking, Way to technical ! , Not at all, the help feature is a goldmine of information and will guide you though each step. Say you need help attaching pictures, (you know the ones that are in that photobox under the desk.). Just bring up help and enter pictures and a box pops up and tells you step by step how to include them in the family file. If you need more help there are online tutorials under the Legacy website.

Any number of pictures, sounds and video clips (media files) can be attached to each individual in a Family File. Legacy reads most popular picture file formats. The pictures can then be displayed at any time and also included in many printed reports as well as Web pages.
Once your information is entered you then will be able to print out reports on various families.The report section includes, family group sheets, pedigree sheets, individual reports, which can include all notes on that person.for example a printed bio or obituary. Moving on to the book tab. this enables you to print a report that has a title page, table of contents, name index. The main part of the report reads like a narrative and . looking over the tabs I discovered a tab on the book section that said Blank Charts. That brought up a questionnaire form that you can print and send to relatives asking for additional information or photos that they might share with you. Also in this section is a research log form that can be printed out to keep track of new information. There is also an overlooked tab that will print you out a surname list that lists the surnames, the amount of persons with that surname and the date range. As example I have 8 Brady's with the date range from 1738-1910 There is an additional line which would be best used to write in the area of research .I.E. these Brady's were from the Harrisburg area of Pennsylvania.
Another great report that can be printed is the calendar and you can decide what information to add and it will list all the Birthdays, Anniversaries, and even how old the person will be on that day, How great is that!! Never again forget and important date.

In the deluxe version most of the reports can be converted to PDF file that then can be saved as files on your computer or transferred to CD or Flashdrive. How handy is this when a family member requests information on various families. One of the best features is that you can decide what to put in the reports and what to exclude for the reports.

Legacy is working together with Family Search to be able to access their digitalized records that will allow you to match your Legacy individuals with FamilySearch individuals, and again it will be your choice if you wish to share your records online or not. Further information can be found on this coming feature on the Legacy FamilyTree web page.

If you are like me, time seems to get away and before you know it you have spent way to much time researching and inputting data, well Legacy even has a help feature for that, there is a built-in alarm that you can access under options, alarm settings, this will give you the current time and you can set it to pop up a time reminder, In it you can type your own message.

Mine is: It's late go to bed!!

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