New webinar in the archives - Share Your Family History with Legacy Charting

Last night's webinar, Share Your Family History with Legacy Charting, is now available in our webinar archives. Janet Hovorka did a fantastic job of giving us ideas on why to use charts and I had a blast demonstrating some of Legacy Charting's features. Thanks everyone for calling in - especially Janise from Australia (I love her accent).

As a reminder, be sure to place your wall chart orders several days before the holiday shipping deadlines for ontime Christmas delivery. And the link for the step-by-step instructions to create the special family tree bookmarks is here.

Listen to the recording here. The webinar will be available in the archives until at least January 1, 2011 (can't believe the new year is almost here...).

Register for our upcoming webinars (free)

Katie-Gale-small Wednesday, December 8, 2010. Helping Unlock the World's Records - FamilySearch Indexing for Power Users. If you’ve graduated from the basics of FamilySearch Indexing, you’re ready to learn how to simplify and increase your work without decreasing your accuracy. This class, taught by FamilySearch's Katie Gale and hosted by Legacy Family Tree's Geoff Rasmussen, will discuss a variety of ways to enhance your indexing experience with program tips, tools, and more.

ThomasMacentee-small Wednesday, January 5, 2011. Google for Genealogists. Most genealogists are only using 10% or less of the resources behind Google when it comes to genealogy research. Learn from professional genealogist, Thomas MacEntee, about the other 90% and how these Google components can be leveraged for better search results. Google is more than just a search engine – it is a wealth of information much of which goes unnoticed by the average genealogist. Besides search, Google allows you to access maps, books, journals, abstracts, patents and much more. These components may be what is needed to make advances in your genealogy research.

Click here to register.

How to create a "Mother's Tree"

Motherstree I've never been more creative than flowers or a telephone call for Mother's Day, so this year I thought I'd give Legacy's Mother's Tree a try. With a nice quote, background, and pictures of my mother's mothers, I might just surprise my mother this year (unless she reads this article first).

This chart (click on the image to enlarge) was created with Legacy Charting. Here's how I did it:

1) With my mother selected in Legacy's family view, I clicked on the Charting button in the main toolbar.


2) Then I selected the Mother's Tree chart. This chart begins with the selected person, then creates a tree with her mother, then her mother's mother, then her mother's mother's mother, and so on until there are no more mothers. Mine ended with Sophronia Kintz born in 1810.


3)  The chart also includes the spouses of each of the mothers, but I only wanted to display the females. So, I marked each of the men in the chart as being private. To do this, in the Individual's Information screen in Legacy, click on the Privacy Settings button and mark each person as Private.


Then, in Legacy Charting, click on the Privacy Options button:


This will remove all of the husbands so you have a line of mothers.

4) On the Appearance tab, click on the Background button to add the background of your choice. I chose a background that complemented the quote I added.

5) To add the quote, click on the Insert tab and click on the Text button. I loved the quote: "If I had a flower for each time I thought of My Mother, I could walk in my garden forever."

6) Publish - you can choose to print the chart, export it to an image, email the chart, or have the Legacy chart printing service print a nice chart for you. Which do you think would impress Mom the most?


The thing about mothers, though, is that even if we forgot about their big day, they would still love us. That's just how they are. But if we want to be included in their will, we'd better give them something nice - like a Mother's Tree produced by Legacy Family Tree. :)

Legacy Charting tip: How to hide those "first marriages"

Question from Wayne:

"I am preparing some charts to take to an upcoming family reunion. There are some family members who had a first marriage that ended in divorce with no children. They had children with their second marriage. Is there a way to keep the first marriage from printing in the Legacy Charts?"

Our answer:

Great question Wayne! This is actually quite simple if you know about Legacy's Privacy settings. Follow these step-by-step instructions.

  1. In Legacy, navigate to and open the Individual's Information screen for the person you want to hide. In your case, this would be the first spouse.
  2. Next, in the lower right of this screen, click on the Privacy Settings button and mark this person as "Private". Click Save, then Save.
  3. Do steps 1 & 2 for each person you want to hide in the chart.
  4. Launch Legacy Charting by clicking on the Charting button in the main toolbar.
  5. After selecting the desired chart type, click on the Privacy Options button on the Home tab. Select the first option to "Suppress private individuals".

All "private" persons will no longer appear in the chart. If there are children from this first marriage, they will still appear.

Asa Clark Brown with both of his wives in a descendancy chart:


Asa Clark Brown with his first wife marked as private in a descendancy chart:


Genealogy-itis and family trees

I think I have genealogy-itis.

While hiking in Oregon's Columbia River gorge yesterday (day 2 of the family reunion), I could not take my eyes off the forest's tall trees. Although I was impressed with their height and beauty, all I could think of was how great they would look as a background of a wall chart.

The hike was beautiful, and the wall chart turned out pretty good. Using Legacy's charting program, I created an Ancestor Chart (upward style) and used the "Mug Shot" theme (Appearance tab > themes). Using the Sizing button (Appearance tab) I also adjusted the box size and spacing. Finally, using the Background button (also on the Appearance tab) I added my favorite tree picture from the hike and adjusted its transparency to 25%.


Tomorrow we're going to the beach - my favorite place on earth. Well, cemeteries are pretty fun too. Is there a cure for genealogy-itis? I hope not....

Publish your tree on artist canvas - using Legacy Charting

Legacy Charting (available in Legacy Family Tree 7.0) produces great charts for family reunions and other occasions. But did you know that it can also produce art-gallery-quality works of art? Once you have created your chart, you can order and have it printed on high-grade artist canvas through Legacy Charting's printing service. The result is a family piece of art that has the texture and feel of an artist's canvas.

Today I created what I believe will be a family heriloom. I recently located an old photograph of the actual ship on which my Danish ancestors sailed to America in 1870. Using Legacy Charting, I created a "Father's Tree" showing the descent from my immigrant ancestor down to me. For the background I used the picture of the ship, and I created a Text Box with the sailing information. I titled the chart "My Danish Heritage."


This picture cannot give you the full effect of the chart for two reasons. First, I removed the pictures and details of the living persons so I could display it here....Second, you cannot feel the actual canvas texture in a digital image. This canvas is otherwise known as a giclée (zhee-CLAY).

A giclée is an individually produced, high-resolution, high-fidelity reproduction done on a special large format printer with archival/pigment ink. Giclée are produced from digital images or scans of existing artwork and are usually found in art galleries.  Since many artists now produce only digital art, there is no "original" that can be hung on a wall. Giclée solve that problem, while creating a whole new vibrant medium for art. Giclée are usually framed by stretching on stretcher bars like a piece of art and are rarely matted, only framed.

To order a Matte Canvas Giclée of your family tree, first launch Legacy Charting by clicking on the Charting button in Legacy 7.0's main toolbar. Select the type of chart and adjust the various options by using the Apperance tab. When you are ready:

  • click on the Publish tab
  • click on Order Chart.
  • in the Order Options panel on the right, select the Matte Canvas paper type.

You do not have to wonder how much it will cost, because Legacy Charting displays the total cost (excluding shipping) in this right panel. If the cost is too high or too low, make some sizing adjustments on the Appearance tab, and watch the price adjust. I ordered my canvas for a mere $25. That's right! A canvas of my family tree for $25.

I'm also working on an Ancestor Chart canvas for my mother. Her family came west on the Oregon Trail, so I used the covered wagon image (download for free at for the background:


If you want a truly personalized work of art that would be perfect as a gift for Mother's Day, Father's Day, or any other occasion, create your chart today using Legacy Charting.

How to identify your end-of-line ancestors

End-of-line ancestors. We all have them. We think about them. We study them. We even dream about them. Once we find their parents, we do a quick Genealogy Happy Dance, and then it starts over again - we now have new end-of-line ancestors.

Who are your end-of-line ancestors? Let Legacy Family Tree identify them for you using one of the two following methods.

Special Search List

  1. First, in the Family View, navigate to yourself.
  2. Click on Search > Find > Miscellaneous tab.
  3. Select the "Direct-line ancestors with no parents" option and click on Create List.

The resulting Search List displays each of your direct-line ancestors who do not have parents. In other words, these are your end-of-line ancestors.

Now select one of them and see if Legacy can find their parents:

  1. Click on Internet > Search Internet for Current Person.
  2. Select one of the listed websites, and click on the Search button.

Fan Chart

Using Legacy Charting, you can creating a Fan Chart which provides a graphical perspective of viewing your end-of-line ancestors. Follow these instructions:

  1. Launch Legacy Charting by clicking on its icon in the main toolbar (or go to Reports > Legacy Charting).
  2. Select one of the 4 Fan Chart styles, and click Select.
  3. On the Home tab, increase the number of generations until the Fan Chart starts displaying the "holes" in the outer rings.

See the Fan Chart below. Notice where the end-of-line ancestors are? Makes it pretty easy to see where the "holes" are, doesn't it? Happy hunting!


Legacy Charting Tip - a mug shot for a background

At a seminar this week in Mesa, Arizona, I demonstrated Legacy Charting to a great group of genealogists. I wanted to impress them by adding one of my own pictures as a background to an Ancestor Chart.

This was the first time I had presented using my new netbook computer, and I quickly learned that I had not copied all of my pictures onto the new computer. Stumbling around through my various folders on the hard drive, I couldn't find the normal scenic view of the Canadian Rockies, but I did locate a "mug shot" of one of my cousins. As it was the only immediately-accessible photo I could use, I selected it.

The reaction from the audience, and even my own reaction was quite surprising. It actually looked really good. We had just been discussing how we could get our less-interested family members interested in genealogy. We felt that the chart with this kind of background was an immediate solution.

I've since printed a picture pedigree for each of my kids with their own picture as the background. It's just a small thing, but maybe it will help plant the seeds of love and respect for their ancestors.

Click here for step-by-step instructions for adding a background to a chart.

If you have a good idea for a chart, we'd love to hear about it. Let us know by commenting below.


How to Create a Family Tree Bookmark

If you are looking for an inexpensive gift idea that the whole family can enjoy, create a family tree bookmark. Using Legacy Charting and a little creativity, your bookmarks will be the talk of the family this year.

(Front - a 3-generation descendancy chart. The background is an aerial photograph of our home.)

(Back - a birthday calendar listing the dates and ages of each member of the family.)

Using Legacy Charting and a word processor, these bookmarks measure 6.5" x 1.5". The steps below demonstrate how to duplicate this example, but feel free to get creative.

Step 1 - Add the pictures to Legacy

After collecting and digitizing your family's "mug shots", add the pictures to each individual in Legacy. (Watch a video on how to do this by clicking on the Pictures link in this video.) I cropped each picture so they all shared the same dimensions of 161 pixels by 231 pixels. There's nothing special about those dimensions except that each mug shot is the same size.

Step 2 - Launch Legacy Charting

In Legacy, navigate to the starting person of the desired family and launch Legacy Charting by clicking on the Charting icon in the main toolbar. Click here to see where this button is. If you don't have this button, either you haven't yet installed Legacy 7, or the button hasn't been added to your toolbar. Click here for instructions on adding this button to your toolbar.

Step 3 - Choose the chart type, # of generations, and theme

  • Select the Descendant Standard chart.
  • On the Home tab, change the # of generations to 3.
  • On the Appearance tab, click on the Themes button and double-click on the Mug Shot theme. You should now have a 3-generation descendancy chart with pictures of each individual.

Step 4 - Fine tune the text

  • Because I only want the given names to appear with the picture, on the Appearance tab, click on the Box Items button.
  • Turn off the checkmark next to Life Span.
  • Click on the Name option in the Items to Display section.
  • Then, in the Item Options, change the format to: First.
  • Change the font size to 24.
  • Finally, click on the Italics button in the Settings section. Click OK.

Step 5 - Other fine tuning

  • Turn off the page border by going to the Appearance tab > Borders section and clicking on the Page button. Click on No page border.
  • Turn off the title, also on the Appearance tab, by clicking on the Title button and deselecting the Show Title option.
  • Increase the line size by clicking on the Line button in the Borders section of the Appearance tab. I set the line width to 6 and changed the line color to black. This will help make the lines visible when the chart size is reduced later on for printing.

Step 6 - Add a background

This one's your choice. You can choose to include a background or not. It can be any of the backgrounds that is included in Legacy Charting, or you can use your own digital picture. To add a background, follow these instructions. In this example, I chose a picture of the house where we grew up. I changed the Display Options to Stretch to Frame and set the Transparency to 25%.

Step 7 - Adjust the sizing

If the picture boxes are too close together, use the Sizing Options button on the Appearance tab to make adjustments. I set the Space option to 1". The larger the space between pictures, the skinnier the bookmark will eventually be.

Timeout - Create a new theme

Steps 4-7 can be eliminated in the future if right now I take the time to save my fine-tuning as a new theme. On the Appearance tab, click on the Themes button. Click on the Create New Theme link and call it Bookmark. Now, in the future, if you want to quickly create another bookmark, just select this theme.

Step 8 - Export to File

Now that the bookmark is complete, click on the Publish tab, then click on Export to File. I chose to export to TIFF. When you select the Location and File Name, just remember where you are saving it. Click OK. The front of the bookmark is now ready to print. However, my bookmark is still 42.5" wide by 11" tall. The next step will take care of this.

Step 9 - Insert the bookmark image into a word processor

Using your favorite word processor (I use Microsoft Word 2007), insert the picture into the document. Using Word 2007, click on the Insert menu and click on the Picture button. Word will automatically resize the picture to fit within the margins. Word tells me that my bookmark is now 6.5" wide by 1.5" tall.

Step 10 - Add the birthdays for the back of the bookmark

If you want, you can print the bookmark at this point without adding anything to its back side. To add the birthdays to the back, you'll need to create a text box of the same size as the picture. But first, press <Control-End> on your keyboard to ensure that the cursor is at the end of the document. Then, press <Control-Enter> to start page 2.

Now, insert a text box. In Word 2007, click on the Insert menu, click on Text Box, and select the first choice. Now, adjust the size of the text box to have the same dimensions as your image.

Now you'll need to change the text direction. In Word 2007, in the Text section in the upper left, just click on the Text Direction button a couple of times until the text is turned sideways, as is displayed in the bookmark example above. Here, type in the birthdays for everyone in the family. I also typed how old each person will be in the upcoming year.

Finally, I turned off the Text Box's outline by clicking on the Shape Outline button and choosing a white outline.

Step 11 - Print and laminate

You're ready to print the bookmarks now. If your printer does not have the ability to print double-sided, just print the first page, refeed the paper into your printer, and print the second page. You'll just need to experiment with your printer to get the paper turned the right direction. Because both the image and the text box are identical in size, the bookmark should print perfectly, front-and-back.

Print as many as you want. I printed one for each person in the picture. Using a paper cutter (or really straight scissors), cut the bookmark. Take them to a copy store to have them laminated.

Step 12 - Mail

No explanation necessary, I hope.... :)

Other ideas

I'm always looking for other creative uses of Legacy Charting. Please share your ideas and successes using the comments section below.

Legacy Charting update now available - 7.0.120

A new update for Legacy 7's Charting is now available. This free update includes some new features and resolves a few minor issues.

What's New

Short location names can now be used (one of the most-requested features). This setting is found at: Appearance tab > Box Items. After clicking on the birth/marriage/death location item in the "Items to Display" section, click on the new "Use short locations" option to the right.

Removing leading commas in locations is now available. Instead of displaying ", , Massachusetts" on the chart, you can now display it as "Massachusetts". This option is found at: Apperance tab > Box Items. After clicking on the birth/marriage/death location item in the "Items to Display" section, click on the new "Remove leading commas" option to the right.

We've added a new link on the Background Options screen to give you easier access to the new background pictures that you can download. Just click on the Appearance tab, then click on the Background button. To access the additional backgrounds, just click on the "More backgrounds online..." link.

Scanning your hard drive and other drives is now easier. If you want to create a new chart from a different family file, after clicking on the New Chart icon on the Home tab, you can now click on the new Options button allowing you to tell Legacy Charting which drives you want to scan for family files. Then, when you click on the Scan Computer button, it will search only these directories/drives for existing family files.

How to update

  1. Launch Legacy Charting by clicking on the Charting icon in Legacy 7's main toolbar.
  2. Click on the Tips & Updates tab and click on the link which reads: Download New Update Now

New backgrounds for Legacy Charting now available

Thanks to Legacy user Joseph Leavitt's recent trip to Hawaii, Legacy Charting now has 12 new scenic backgrounds to choose from. To preview and download the new images, visit

How to add a background image to a wall chart

Adding a background image is easy. Just follow these steps:

  1. Once Legacy Charting is open, click on the Appearance tab in the upper left.
  2. Click on the Background button, and click on the Select Image button.
  3. Navigate to the desired image, and click Open.

You can also change the transparency and the Display Options.


Order your wall charts soon!

Wall charts are great family gifts for the holidays, and they are quite inexpensive too when you place your order from us. After creating your chart in Legacy Charting, just click on the Order Chart button on the Publish tab.