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Legacy Family Tree 8 Revealed - Color Coding

Legacy Family Tree's color coding tools are one of the reasons genealogists love Legacy. And in the upcoming Legacy 8, it gets even better!

Legacy's color-coding, developed by Accredited Genealogist and popular webinar speaker, Mary E. V. Hill, was implemented to help researchers organize both 1) what they see on the screen AND 2) their paper files more efficiently. In the pedigree view bleow, notice that my tree is divided into four colors: 

  • Grandfather's lineage on father's side: BLUE
  • Grandmother's lineage on father's side: GREEN
  • Grandfather's lineage on mother's side: RED
  • Grandmother's lineage on mother's side: YELLOW


While navigating my pedigree, if I am viewing someone who has been color-coded as yellow, I immediately recognize that they are part of my maternal grandmother's line.


These colors are also available for your printed pedigree charts:


and family group records:


and even wall charts:


These colors go hand-in-hand with Mary's filing system, where your paper files correspond to the colors in Legacy. Here's a image from Mary's webinar:


One of the frequent requests concerning this color coding system is to be able to color code both your pedigree AND your spouse's pedigree.

New in 8! Multiple starting points

You've asked. We've listened and responded. And we even have Mary's blessing. When I previewed this to her, she responded by saying "Wow! I really like it! It is awesome to see that you did the 4 colors for your ancestors and four for your wife's lines!!!"

Here's what it looks like in Legacy 7 with only my pedigree colored. Notice my wife's side is not colorful:


Legacy 8 lets you have two starting points.


By default, the second group's colors are a darker version of the same colors, but you can adjust the colors to anything you want. Choose them on this screen:


Oh yes, and the new v8 pedigree view displays the ancestors' pictures too. Cool!

New! Color-code 8 great-grandparents' lines

Also new in Legacy 8, if you have the need to divide your tree into more groups than just the four grandparents' lines, you can track the eight great-grandparents lines with eight different colors.


Just select this option:


When ancestors intermarry

The further back in time you go, the more likely your ancestors will intermarry and the colors will "blend." Legacy 8 makes it easier to see these relationships. From the colors below, I can see that my paternal grandfather's pedigree (blue) marries into my maternal grandmother's pedigree (light yellow) and then mixes with my wife's maternal grandmother's pedigree (dark yellow). At last I have a reason for why my kids are the way they are! (Just kidding, I love my kids...)


Set Ancestor Colors option

Enable color coding from the Tools tabs:


So what do you think? Do you already use color coding? How will these new options help?

B_8UNLOCPO-2TLegacy Family Tree - Unlocked!

See Legacy 8 in action with the new Legacy Family Tree - Unlocked! book by Geoff Rasmussen (that's me)! Get the PDF edition free when you purchase the 236 page paperback. Click here for more information or to purchase.

What are the other new features of Legacy 8?

Here are links to the articles I've previously written:

Legacy Family Tree 8 Revealed

Legacy Family Tree 8 Revealed - Q/A, new Tagging options, and other surprises

Legacy Family Tree 8 Revealed - Migration Mapping

Legacy Family Tree 8 Revealed - Instant Duplicate Checking

Legacy Family Tree 8 Revealed - Shared Events and Automated Sorting

Legacy Family Tree 8 Revealed - Potential Problem Alerts and "Gaps of Unusual Size"

Legacy Family Tree 8 Revealed - Sources

Legacy Family Tree 8 Revealed - Origins and Migration Reports

Legacy Family Tree 8 Revealed - New Wall Charts and options

When will Legacy 8 be released?

There's still more than one truthful answer to this:

  • I'm not really sure, but probably before the end of the year, and hopefully way before then
  • When it has been thoroughly tested by our development team and beta testers

But if you are considering downloading either the free or deluxe editions of Legacy, don't wait! Any purchases of Legacy 7.5 from May 8, 2013 forward will receive the new Legacy 8 at no charge. And as always, anyone who has purchased Legacy Deluxe previously will qualify for special discounted upgrade pricing. Get started today - you won't have to relearn everything when Legacy 8 is ready, but you'll get some really nice new features when it is.


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I love the new option to go back further in the generations! It may be the only way I can highlight two lines that did intermarry at one point!

This is a very useful feature, Geoff!

One quick query, if I decide to colour two lines, then change the default colours of the first root person, will the colours for the second root still be a darker version of the first?

Hope it is not much longer for V8 though I do understand the wait. I am so looking forward to the new "problem alerts" and the enhanced sourcing.
Kind wishes

My parents (way back) occasionally had a common ancestor, but that ancestor only shows one color line. Is there a way to color code the ancestor to show he/she shows up as both lines?

Very excited to see something on the v8 list that I requested--wow! Thank you! Now I can color-code to match my binders, currently at 6 colors, but soon to expand to 8.

Chris - in Legacy 8 you will be able to see both colors for that person in the Pedigree View.

Anne - all colors can be chosen. If you change the colors for the first group, you'd need to also change the colors of the second group if you're hoping for them to be similar, just a darker shade.

Terrific to be getting 8 colors for 8 branches in Version 8. Legacy is catching up with the 8 color-coded lines I've been using for past 25 yrs. Can't wait to install Ver. 8 with split colors for our many ancient intermarried ancestors! MMM

I am so looking forward to the new version! I love Legacy anyway, but the new features!!!! I at the moment have to switch color coding between my mother's side and my father's side. It will be so nice to have it "stay put". I do have a large number of "duplicates" further back and it will be a joy to see how that works. Now I notice a red for wife and a blue for husband for example (and a plain). He's a common ancestor, once with wife number two and three times for wife number one. And further back it gets even more complicated. Was rather surprised to find blue for most of the line back then green once it hit gen. 22. The Blue tends to have the most Royal's (a couple Green and a couple Red's) but majority are on the Blue side. But, Edward III on up is Green. So, I'm still wondering a bit. So looking forward to all the new features!!

May I please make another suggestion for Legacy 8.

Would you please organise it so that, in adding children, there is an automatic sorting of them by age?

At the moment one needs to use the procedure to do a sort by age but it would be helpful if this was done for us automatically.

If no age is entered for a child, there could be a default - as there is at present - for that child to be listed before all children whose ages are entered.

This would be very helpful. Thanks.

Daryl Murphy (from OZ)

Daryl - this sorting will be possible in Legacy 8. Maybe I'll write about it next week.

That's fantastic -- now I'll be able to have them all coloured and know at a glance which family they come down to, or up from or whatever. And to get the automatic sort on kids -- you've made my day all over again!

I hope the sorting of children by age can be set automatically ONLY if you want it, high up in my tree I have a lot of ancestors that have the same parents, so I like to list my ancestors on top, marking the youngest of them as the preferred child so I know everyone above the preferred child is also an ancestor.

Boy Geoff, I can hardly wait....I didn't think it could get much better but 8 will be amazing!!!

My father was adopted. Will I be able to color code his birth family differently than his adopted family by using grandparents as starting point?(6 grandparents)

I haven't used this except in the Family Tree Charting program in the main but I will be using this in the main interface now that there is more color coding! Thanks!!! Love these "teasings" Geoff.

Martha - good idea. Yes, this seems like a good use of the two starting points.

Christelle - yes, the sorting of children/marriages/events is optional.

Is it possible to have 9 or more colored tags, not just 3, showing above an individual's name to indicate descent from a common ancestor throught 9-15 different children? I would not be using the ancestral coloring plan.

Norman - yes, Legacy 8 will provide 9 tags which can use any color you define.

I'm so glad about the color coding for intermarriages between parents lines as mine have done that at lease a dozen times in the 1600s and 1700s.

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