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October 2005

World's Newest Legacy User - Born Today

We would like to welcome the newest (future) Legacy user into the world. Millennia’s Geoff Rasmussen became the proud new father of Braden Christian Rasmussen. He was born Friday, September 30 at 10:05AM, weighing in at 8 lbs 14 oz, 21 inches long. We’re sure that Geoff will have him hooked on Legacy in no time! Congratulations Geoff and Tanya.

Response from Geoff:

Thanks for the congrats guys. He’s also the newest member of my Legacy family file. . . .

It’s been a long few days, but we’re so happy to welcome Braden into our family. As of this very minute, 7:27PM on Friday night, Tanya nor I have slept in 37 1/2 hours. I’m a little worried about filling in Braden’s birth certificate tomorrow (Saturday). The last birth certificate I filled in was for Nathan. He’s now 3 1/2. It had a space to fill in the father’s birth place (that’s me). Naturally, I filled in “Oregon” - that’s where I lived most of my life. The certificate was filed, and it wasn’t for many months that I discovered the error - I was born in Utah, not Oregon. How could I have done that? I’m a genealogist. . . .

Needless to say, I’ll try to get enough sleep tonight so I’m ready for tomorrow’s “big event.”

Here’s Braden at the age of 1 hour, 27 minutes:


Genealogy Mistakes and Faux Pas for Beginners

The following article is from the FamilyTrackers Blog by Gene Hall. It is re-published here with the permission of the author.

Nobody told me how to do genealogical research; I learned from trial and error - with a big emphasis on the error. Perhaps you can learn from my mistakes. My wife first suggested a topic called Ten Genealogy Mistakes to Avoid and I thought it would be difficult to come up with ten. In less than five minutes we came up with ten embarrassing things that I have done personally and it looks like this could turn into a Time Life series. So I limited this list to “beginner mistakes” just to keep my ego intact and give you some good ideas to help your search.

Pay Attention to Details: Margaret and I were so lucky to take a trip to her grandmother’s home town in the village of Riseley in England. It was so nice to be able to involve her in the genealogy part of my life and I was excited to see her reaction when we finally got there. We toured the church, walked through the graveyard, and visited with the vicar. I insisted that she pose in front of the sign on the outskirts of town for a photo - the outskirts of the wrong town. IT turns out that there are two villages named Riseley - one on the map that I purchased before we left California and one in the materials handed down through our family that emphasized Riseley, Bedfordshire, England as grandma’s birth place. Sigh . . . I still think it is a nice photo and a really nice town to visit.

Back Up Your Data: This is a lesson that seems to go into short-term memory. It seems that everyone has a story about losing a document and losing a day’s work; How about losing a genealogy file with 25 years of effort invested? It is a disaster compared to other similar computer losses. Still not likely to change your ways? In order to mitigate your losses you should share. Share with relatives by trading gedcom files and share with the world by publishing your info online. These two things effectively back up your information on other computers so that a loss at home can be recovered.

Get Permission to Visit: We tried to get permission to visit our distant relatives in Switzerland earlier this year and couldn’t get contact information. Your relatives may not be prepared for a reunion when you just show up on their doorstep. Our last-minute visit was cordial and fun considering that they hadn’t received so much as a Christmas card from us in over 250 years. An additional issue that I hadn’t considered is that the people living in the original homestead may have received more visits before we got there since the original line of this family has expanded to over 100,000 people in the US alone. Thinking about the possible implications of that number makes me think that our relatives are saints - or at least something more than just really nice people like we originally thought.

Precise Descriptions: Many genealogists start with newsgroups, email groups, and online discussions because they are good places to get in touch with distant relatives. It’s a great idea to find out if someone has already done the work before you invest 25 years. When you get involved in those types of places, you find that many beginners make the mistake of using general language in titles and subject lines - like “My Family” or “Grandparents.” These are the short blurbs listed on the web site or in the email that people scan to see if they want to read your message or not. The problem with general language is that the people who scan the list don’t know if they should read your post or not. You want people to read your post, but your really want the right people to read your post. A good subject line tells me who the post is about; name, location and date range. You can also include an event if you have that like birth, death, or marriage. One good example is “Langenegger, Ulrich b 1664 in Langnau, Bern, Switzerland.” You can’t really identify a person with less information than name, date and place. No matter how unique your relative’s name, there are bound to be others when you consider all locations and all time.

Publishing Data on Living People: There are bad people out there who try to get information about others so that they can use their name and reputation to cheat people. Many security systems have used Social Security numbers and your mother’s maiden name as identification. The better systems do much more these days. Still you shouldn’t publish anything on the Internet that includes unique identifiers like Social Security or driver’s license. My genealogy software includes a filter that allows me to publish my file and replaces living people’s information with “Still Living” or “Not Available.” People in your file who are less than 120 years old and who don’t have a death date should be assumed living for this purpose.

Prove Relationships: You should satisfy yourself that a person is really related to your family before you include them in published information. Proof is a bit of an issue sometimes and it means something different to every genealogist - sometimes different things to the same genealogist in different situations. I made a three hour trip one time to meet a distant relative who turned out to be not related at all. We have sent each other emails and joked about this meeting many times - just like family and still a great experience.

I have on occasion accepted a simple interview with a person who knew the person in question personally as proof, especially if I can confirm the information from two or three additional people. Generally, I require two bits of public information to prove a person. That kind of proof is not always available and sometimes I am content with just putting a person in my tree as a place holder (and marking it clearly as “Unproven”).

Don’t Believe Everything You Hear: I had a detailed family story about Mary Martha Higginbotham that came from my mother and her sister that included dates, names, and places. My uncle wrote about this person in somewhat less detail. When I finally got to the LDS Library in Salt Lake, I was determined to unravel this mystery - really aiming to routinely prove the family story. I found some great data for Nancy Matilda Higginbotham born on the same date as the family story in Macon County, Missouri and who lived in Gage County, Nebraska. I refused to believe the public record because the names were different from the family story even though all of the other details fit. “It must be her twin sister” I thought. My brothers were mystified that I would continue to search when faced with so much proof. I can’t really defend myself, but I was just curious about how this story could have been wrong. I finally accepted the public record after I found Nancy Matilda’s grave in Oklahoma on the same plot as my grandfather’s first wife. Turns out that my uncle with less information was a more accurate story than my mother’s. The lesson is this: Don’t believe everything that your family tells you - or that anyone else tells you; Prove everything to your own satisfaction.

Proper Caution Notices: When you first started, someone helped you. After you have some experience, you will help someone else. Genealogists are some of the nicest people in the world and your generosity will pay dividends when you need help yourself - even without any dividends, you are just paying the people who helped you. One caution about sharing: be careful to quote sources and to give proper cautions to people who read your information. If you are not sure about a relationship, person, or date, make sure that you clearly say that and include it in your written information. It is amazing how many times I have gotten a hot lead on my current brick wall with someone who quotes another researcher and when I contact the other researcher, they quote me as the source. Those events have slowed for me since I started giving proper precautions along with the data that I share. I also stopped publishing data online that is not proven to my satisfaction because it was not clear enough to the reader.

Please keep in mind that we look back on these experiences as fun learning experiences - not the embarrassments they seemed to be at first. Have fun with genealogy; even the gaffs turn out to be fun.

Gene Hall is a genealogist with 30 years of research experience and the CEO of FamilyTrackers, Inc., a world-wide genealogy exchange dedicated to serving the needs of genealogists, genealogical societies, professional genealogists, and transcribers all over the world. FamilyTrackers is located at .

This article comes with reprint rights. You are free to reprint and distribute it as you like. All that I ask is that you reprint it in its entirety without any changes including this text and the link above.

New - Firefox Toolbar

Firefox is a popular web browser, similar to Internet Explorer or Netscape. Google has just released their Firefox Toolar which has a couple of great features. Read more about it here.

To download the new toolbar, visit

Don't have Firefox yet? Get it here:

Read Dick Eastman's review of Firefox by clicking here.

Passage Express (Family History CD 2.0)

Do you have computer files that you’d like to share with others — maybe Legacy information, documents, pictures, audio/video clips, family trees, or other files? Why not create your own interactive, customized CD-ROM with Passage Express for Legacy? With Passage Express it’s easy to create high-quality, interactive multimedia presentations using your family’s historical materials. . . .

Passage Express is a new software product developed by the Jefferson Project, the makers of Family History CD. Passage Express’ state-of-the-art features and tools enable you to do the following and more:

  • Publish small or large amounts of information in an attractive CD or DVD presentation format
  • Create slideshows and documentaries complete with background music and narration
  • More effectively organize and document photographs with face labels, captions and dates
  • Publish genealogy data, video clips, audio recordings, histories and more
  • Create beautiful graphics for your projects’ title screens, adding buttons and separate pages that will link to your files

Passage Express makes it easy to create your own interactive, customized CD-ROM . It guides you through the steps of organizing and labeling your files, and helps you design your own creative front page with buttons linking to the files. Passage Express will burn auto-run CD’s for you that will work on any Windows computer (Windows 95 or later). The features of this software make using your CD a snap. Your friends and relatives just point and click!

Passage Express makes it easy to create your own interactive, customized CD-ROM . It guides you through the steps of organizing and labeling your files, and helps you design your own creative front page with buttons linking to the files. Passage Express will burn auto-run CD’s for you that will work on any Windows computer (Windows 95 or later). The features of this software make using your CD a snap. Your friends and relatives just point and click!

With applications going far beyond genealogy, this software helps you organize your CD project. It helps you easily design your own custom front page with buttons linking to your files.

For more information, or to purchase, click here.

Special Upgrade Pricing

If you previously purchased Family History CD, you can upgrade to Passage Express for just $19.95. This special upgrade pricing is good until Wednesday, October 5, at which time you’ll be able to upgrade for $24.95.

Visit to upgrade.

DearMYRTLE's Family History Hour Internet Radio Show: September 27, 2005

DearREADERS, This is the lineup for this week's show:

To listen to the show: Go directly to to view the "show page" and then click to listen either through Myrt's or the websites that provide the storage space for Myrt's shows.

Happy family tree climbing! Myrt :)

DearMYRTLE, 6023 26th Street West PMB 352 Bradenton, FL 34207

Legacy Update Now Available - 26 Sep 2005

Legacy 6.0 Deluxe Edition Users

If you have Legacy 6.0 Deluxe Edition then start Legacy and click on the “Install and Download Now” link on the Legacy Home tab. (If you're reading this from within the Legacy Home tab, you'll first need to click on the Home button in the top left.)


Legacy 6.0 Standard Edition Users

Standard Edition users are required to visit our web site in order to download the new update.


Research Guidance - Local Histories: added hundreds of additional county histories (in repositories other than the Family History Library) for Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, and Idaho.

Research Guidance - added Commonwealth War Graves Commission source (United Kingdom, New Zealand, Canada, Australia, South Africa, and India)

DNA - The Print button now generates a report. The Help button now shows the help topic.

Timelines - new Acadian timeline contributed by Lucie LeBlanc Consentino. Do you have a timeline that you’d like to share with other Legacy users? Email it to [email protected]


IGI Search - If the IGI information has a source then Legacy will not assign an additional source.

Tabs in Notes - Tabs that end up in notes from a paste operation or from using Ctrl-Tab, are now retained and used when printing reports. There still remains the possibility that tabs within a line will push some text off the end of the line and into the left margin of the next line, but if used judiciously they can be used to line up columns of information on multiple lines.


IGI Search - Filter List, using current search results has been fixed.

Marriage List - Resizing of the columns was not working correctly.

Potential Problems List - Fixed a problem where entries were not removed when an individual in your Legacy family file was deleted.

FGS Conference Syllabus Now For Sale

This year’s syllabus of the Federation of Genealogical Societies national conference is now available for purchase. Its 530 pages are filled with how-tos, web sites, bibliographies, research strategies, and breaking news from the genealogy community’s best lecturers.

Just a few of the titles include:

  • Is Anyone Following My Footsteps? Involving Youth in Family History
  • Researching German Ancestors: “The Agony and the Ecstasy”
  • Scanning and Photo Retouching
  • What’s the Next Step? The Organized Genealogist
  • Family Collaborations: How to Get Everybody Else to Do Your Work

Visit to order. Syllabai are also available for 2001, 2002, 2003, and 2004 conferences.

Pocket Genealogist Update Now Available - 2.96.1

An update for Pocket Genealogist is available which affects Legacy users:

  • Change to Surname and Given name processing (All imports) to allow duplicates if the ‘case’ is mixed. (For example, SMITH and Smith are 2 different surnames)
  • Fix to Legacy V5 2-way synchronizing. (Introduced with 2.96 - would cause a “Changes also found in Legacy” warning which would stop the 2-way sync)

Download the FREE update from

Humor: Dear Tech Support . . .

Dear Tech Support,

Last year I upgraded from Boyfriend 5.0 to Husband 1.0 and noticed a distinct slow down in overall system performance - particularly in the flower and jewelry applications, which operated flawlessly under Boyfriend 5.0.

In addition, Husband 1.0 uninstalled many other valuable programs, such as Romance 9.5 and Personal Attention 6.5, and then installed undesirable programs such as NFL 5.0, NBA 3.0. and Golf Clubs 4.1. Conversation 8.0 no longer runs, and Housecleaning 2.6 simply crashes the system. I’ve tried running Nagging 5.3 to fix these problems, but to no avail.

What can I do?


Dear Desperate:

First keep in mind, Boyfriend 5.0 is an Entertainment Package, while Husband 1.0 is an Operating System!

Please enter the command: “http: I Thought You Loved Me.htm” and try to download Tears 6.2 and don’t forget to install the Guilt 3.0 update.

If that application works as designed, Husband 1.0 should then automatically run the applications Jewelry 2.0 and Flowers 3.5. But remember, over use of the above application can cause Husband 1.0 to default to Grumpy Silence 2.5, Happy Hour 7.0, or Beer 6.1. Beer 6.1 is a very bad program that will download the Snoring Loudly Beta.

Whatever you do, DO NOT install Mother-in-law 1.0 (it runs a virus in the background, that will eventually seize control of all your system resources). Also, do not attempt to reinstall the Boyfriend 5.0 program. These are unsupported applications and will crash Husband 1.0.

In summary, Husband 1.0 is a great program, but it does have limited memory and cannot learn new applications quickly. You might consider buying additional software to improve memory and performance. We recommend Hot Food 3.0 and Lingerie 7.7.

Good Luck,
Tech Support

Should we really share our findings online?

Absolutely! Sharing what we know, even if some of the information is unimportant to us at the time, will open unexpected doors.

Several years ago I published a small amount of information about Nathan R. BROWN’s family. Nathan was married twice — first to Hannah M. GRAY, second to Anna C.

Hannah’s relationship to me is “wife of my half 3rd great-granduncle” (now there’s a close relationship). I had information on her first marriage to William ROGERS, which really wasn’t important to my immediate research. However, in researching this family, I published everything I knew, including this first marriage.

Just yesterday I received an email from a researcher in Wisconsin. Apparently this William Rogers was her 2nd great-grandfather and had been a brick wall in her research for years. I had his death date, which came from Nathan BROWN’s Civil War pension file. This date was new to her, and has given her renewed hope.

She also had a lot of information about Hannah that I never knew. I’m anxious now to write her back and exchange information.

Moral #1: use an email that will last. Since I published this information on Nathan BROWN’s family several years ago, I’ve had email addresses come and go. But the email address that was associated with this published info has never changed. Suggestion: when you’re publishing info online, or posting to message boards/mailing lists, use a special email address that will not “go away” due to a variety of circumstances. You can obtain free email accounts from Google, Yahoo, Hotmail and others.

Moral #2: share your information. You might have the missing piece of the puzzle that another researcher has been searching for. Information can be published/shared in a variety of methods:

  • Publish your own website. (Takes a little more time and know-how though)
  • Publish a selected GEDCOM. Many sites will publish your data for free, some for a fee. ie: WorldConnect, Pedigree Resource File, TNG5, etc.

Cautions: Be careful not to publish information on living individuals. If you use Legacy Family Tree’s web creation tools to create your web pages, you’ll be happy to know that it has the option to automatically remove information from living persons. If you plan to share information with others via a GEDCOM, make sure that in the GEDCOM Export screen, you select to suppress the details for living people:

Do you have a success story resulting from sharing your information? Please write to us by leaving a comment below.