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Color-code your ancestry with Legacy Family Tree

If you are looking to add a little sparkle to your pedigree, or if your paper files need an organizational face-lift, then Legacy Family Tree's color-coding is just what you need.

Colorpedigree How to turn on the colors
Before you can view and print your pedigrees in full color, the color-coding needs to be turned on. Follow these simple steps:

  1. In the Pedigree View, navigate to yourself. (You don't have to be in the Pedigree View, but it makes it easier to see the effect of the color-coding.
  2. Click on Tools > Apply Ancestor Colors
  3. Click on the Apply Color Coding button.


  • You and your father's father's ancestors are now blue.
  • Your father's mother's ancestors are now green.
  • Your mother's father's ancestors are now red.
  • Your mother's mother's ancestors are now yellow.

Choose the colors you want
The default colors are blue, green, red, and yellow. However, you can choose your own colors. Follow these steps:

  1. Click on Options > Customize > View tab.
  2. In the Ancestor Color Coding section, click on the Change button.
  3. Select your desired colors, and click Save.


Print charts in color
Many of Legacy's charts/reports can be printed in color. For example, to print a color-coded pedigree chart, follow these steps:

  1. Click on the Reports icon in the main toolbar. Click on the Pedigree tab.
  2. Click on the Color Text and Boxes button.
  3. Click on the 4th option of 4 Line Colors. Click Save.
  4. Preview or Print.

Organization by color-coding
You've probably learned that unless your paper files are in order, further genealogy research can be frustrating. You've also probably tried dozens of different organizational systems. Not every system works for everyone, which is why we have been publishing different methods via Legacy News.

Mary Hill developed a color-coding system for organization which has become very popular, and it works directly with Legacy's color-coding system. Her system is explained here.

Purchase Legacy Deluxe
To take advantage of Legacy's color-coding, you must be using the Deluxe Edition. To learn more about the Deluxe Edition click here. To purchase/upgrade to Legacy Deluxe, click here.

U.S. Indian Census records, 1885-1940, now online

From The Generations Network:

June 25, 2007, Provo, Utah –, the world’s leading online family history resource, today launched more than 7.5 million names in U.S. Indian Censuses, the largest online collection of Native American family history records. Taken by the Bureau of Indian affairs, the censuses document some 150 years of Native American family history. These censuses create an intimate portrait of individuals living on all registered Indian reservations between 1885 and the 1940s.

The U.S. Indian Censuses are among the most important documents for tracing Native American family history – as well as the place for anyone with Native American ancestry to begin searching for their heritage. Representing more than 250 tribes from some 275 reservations, schools and hospitals across the United States, the censuses typically recorded names, including Indian names, ages, birthdates, tribe, reservation and most importantly the Allotment/Annuity/ID number, otherwise known as the Census number. Some earlier rolls even listed the member clans, a very important relationship identifier.

Details of children born in the 1940s combined with information about individuals born in the early 1800s enable researchers to find parents and grandparents as children in 20th century censuses and trace their family to earlier generations. Clues in the census show where ancestors lived and how families changed over the years.

“The stories contained in these censuses will help Native Americans preserve their tradition-rich personal and cultural identity,” says Megan Smolenyak, chief family historian for “Crossing tribal and reservation boundaries, these censuses tell personal stories of Native Americans living on reservations across the United States. In them we find influential Native Americans who led their people along side those whose stories are still waiting to be told.”

Among the well-known names in the Native American censuses include:

  • Celebrated Iwo Jima flag raiser Ira Hayes was counted on Arizona’s Gila River reservation in censuses from 1930 to 1936.
  • Legendary Jim Thorpe appears 15 times in the censuses – first as a three-year-old named Jimmie living in Indian Territory, finally as a 50 year old in 1937.

The census also tells countless personal stories, such as:

  • Jesse Cornplanter of New York’s Cattaraugus reservation appears in 16 censuses – first as a child with his parents, then as a father with a wife and child
  • Gabe Gobin, a logger on the Tulalip Reservation in Washington, who appears in 33 years of censuses.
  • Seminole Mary Parker appears as a young teenage in three censuses taken in the 1930s.

Because the Native American censuses were taken so often, they are among the best censuses worldwide for tracing family history. The U.S. federal census is taken only once every ten years. In addition, because Native Americans were not granted full U.S. citizenship until 1924, the U.S. federal censuses before 1930 are sporadic at best for counting Native Americans. The yearly counts and updates reflected in the Indian censuses offer Native American family historians a more complete and accurate picture of their ancestors than the federal census.

Search the Records subscribers have access to these records by clicking here.

FamilySearch - Publishing Indexed Microfilm to the Internet has Begun

FamilySearch is beginning to publish the digitized microfilm from their vaults to the Internet. These records are being indexed by volunteers via We've previously written about these projects in these articles:

FamilySearch is now testing the searching capabilities of the records that we have been indexing. Current projects that are now either browsable or searchable include:

  • 1880 United States census
  • 1900 United States census
  • 1930 Mexico census
  • New York Passenger Arrival Lists (1892-1924)
  • World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942
  • Freedman Bank Records 1865-1874
  • England, Diocese of Durham Bishops' Transcripts ca. 1700-1900
  • Ohio Deaths 1908-1953
  • Ontario Deaths, 1930-1932
  • Texas Death Index 1964-1998
  • U.S. Social Security Death Index
  • Utah Death Certificates 1904-1956

How to Begin

At the FamilySearch Labs site, click on the Register to use Record Search link. You may be selected to participate. If you are, you will have free access to the above records where you can help FamilySearch test their services and provide valuable feedback. FamilySearch plans to make their records available for free to the public. Visit to get started.

New Software - GenSmarts 2.0

GenSmarts 2.0 is now available from our online store for just $29.95 (Legacy Deluxe edition customers can receive an additional 15% off. See below for details.)

This exciting add-on program is an excellent tool to help you with your research. GenSmarts finds holes in your data and can do automatic lookups for you on free internet search sites. GenSmarts works its magic by analyzing the genealogy information you've previously recorded in Legacy Family Tree.

GenSmarts Finds Missed Research Opportunites

Are there research techniques you’ve missed or under-applied? Here’s an example: You’re probably aware that the 1880 U.S. census asked for the birthplace of a person’s parents. Suppose you have an ancestor born in 1780, and his son, your direct line, was born in 1800. Since both the father and son died prior to 1850, you might not think about the 1880 census for this family. BUT WAIT... this son had a younger brother, born in 1815... he might still be alive in 1880, and could give you the birth location of your 1780 ancestor. GenSmarts applies complex research logic like this to identify research opportunities.

GenSmarts Finds Under-Explored Limbs In Your Family Tree

How many people do you have documented in your file? 1000? 10,000? 250,000? How do you manage to be on top of all that data? Do you fall into the trap of spending too much time in a favorite/familiar part of your tree? When’s the last time you went through each person and looked for new research ideas? How long would that take you? GenSmarts can cover your entire tree in seconds and point out areas that deserve more attention.

GenSmarts Makes Research Finds With Sites You'd Given Up On
Have you under-used some online research sites because they’re just too hard to use? That’s what our customers tell us. GenSmarts has rekindled their interest in sites they could never figure out, or were too slow. GenSmarts can navigate the search screens and fill in the forms for you with just one click.

GenSmarts Keeps You Current With New Online Research Sites

Are you up to speed on the latest online research opportunities? GenSmarts stays current with new sites as they become available. And instead of just informing you of the site, GenSmarts tells you why you care which of your ancestors you should be searching for there. And… gives you a link so you can do that search in a single click.

A Sampling Of Comments From GenSmarts Users

"Thank you for the listing of websites where my data is available. I didn't know about some of these sites!"
"The instant look up in LDS is great."
"GenSmarts is a great genealogy software program that makes it much easier to research ancestry."
"A great program to prevent wasted time in research."
"I really like the way GenSmarts works with any genealogy program you use."
"GenSmarts is really easy for a beginner to use and install."

What's New in Version 2

The improvements are all around - it's easier to use, it's faster, it's more powerful... here are a few specific highlights:

  1. Data Cleanup reports
  2. Save reports to Word, PDF, Excel, MSAccess
  3. Simpler and more powerful filters to find the best suggestions
  4. Partial file analysis
  5. User selectable fonts and text sizes
  6. Add a comment to a suggestion
  7. Now remembers your last settings
  8. User definable marks (not limited anymore to Found, Not Found, etc.)
  9. Source auditing, analysis, and importing of more events than just BMD

How to Purchase

GenSmarts is available from our online store for just $29.95. If you are a Legacy Deluxe edition customer, you can save an additional 15% off by using the coupon code found in the Legacy News section of the Legacy Home tab within Legacy Deluxe. (The coupon is only visible if you have the latest update of the Legacy Deluxe edition. Coupon expired July 1, 2007.)

How to Upgrade

If you purchased GenSmarts 1.0 since January 1, 2007, your upgrade to version 2 is free. Just visit to download the latest update. If you purchased GenSmarts 1.0 before 2007, a new purchase is required.

Legacy's Relationship Calculator Results Might Surprise You

This morning I was using Legacy Family Tree's Relationship Calculator to determine the relationship between two ancestors of mine. Knowing that Legacy will report all known relationships between two persons, I calculated the relationship between myself and my mother. I was shocked with the findings.

I called my mom (6:30am) and instead of saying "Hi Mom" I said "Hi there 12th cousin!"

Apparently, my dad and my mom share the same common ancestor - Richard Kimball, who was born in 1595. Somehow, Legacy determined that because of this relationship, I am my mom's 12th cousin.

How to Use the Relationship Calculator

  • In the Family View, locate yourself.
  • Click on the Tools menu, then click on Relationship Calculator.
  • Your information is filled in on the left. Now click on the Select Right button, locate the person to whom you wish to calculate the relationship, and click Select.
  • At the top right of the screen, the relationship is listed.

If there is more than one relationship, there will be more than one couple in the Common Ancestors section. Just click on the other couple, and their relationship to you will be presented in the upper right. Not only is my mom my 12th cousin, but we are also 15th cousins, and 15th cousins once removed. My wife and I are 13th cousins, which makes my mother-in-law my 12th cousin once removed. Knowing that my mother-in-law and I share common blood, we try harder to get along! Enters DNA Genealogy Field

The following was written by

PROVO, Utah, June 18 /PRNewswire/ -- A new partnership seeks to reunite families through science. The Generations Network, parent company of, has announced it will combine its unrivaled collection of online family trees and historical documents with Sorenson Genomics' precision ancestral DNA testing. This unique partnership promises to revolutionize family history by allowing people to trace their roots and connect to distant cousins through DNA at the click of a mouse. boasts more than 14 million users and the world's largest collection of online family trees. In the last 12 months alone, more than two million people have built family trees on Sorenson Genomics is one of the world's foremost laboratories for genetic genealogy testing services, and has been helping genealogists extend branches of their family trees through DNA analysis since 2001.

"Entering the DNA category is a natural and powerful extension of our company's mission to connect families across distance and time," said Tim Sullivan, CEO of The Generations Network. "Our partnership with Sorenson Genomics creates an incredible combination of resources designed to demonstrate how closely we are all related."

By taking a simple cheek-swab test and comparing results against DNA profiles in a test-results database, virtually anyone can uncover genealogical associations unimaginable just a few years ago. Users can easily connect with and discover lost or unknown relatives within a few generations, as well as gain insight into where their families originated thousands of years ago.

In the coming months, will release technology that captures DNA test results in an ever-expanding, searchable database. Using this database, users can easily identify distant cousins and tap into thousands of hours of already-completed genetic genealogical research, breaking through family tree dead-ends or barriers such as missing or inaccurate records and name changes. is also developing technology that will allow users to integrate DNA results with the historical documents already in their online family trees.

"DNA research becomes more meaningful to people searching for relatives as more peoples' DNA results become part of the database," said Doug Fogg, COO of Sorenson Genomics. "By combining the powerful networking effect of's extensive user base with Sorenson Genomics' industry-leading DNA testing capabilities, this partnership will dramatically alter and expand the DNA testing services marketplace."

Prior to the current partnership, Sorenson Genomics provided DNA testing and database matching services through its direct-to-consumer genetic genealogy division Relative Genetics. This new partnership agreement brings former customers of Relative Genetics and its DNA database under The Generations Network's umbrella. Sorenson Genomics will now provide DNA testing services for The Generations Network, and will market DNA testing and database-matching services for genealogy purposes. Results of the Relative Genetics' DNA database will be included in's growing database.

Record DNA results with Legacy Family Tree

Did you know that in Legacy Family Tree you can record your DNA results? From the Individual's Information screen, click on the DNA button, select your test results, and record the information.


Legacy Tip for Beginners: Colors

Question from Alice,

I notice that in the Family View, some of the children are blue and some are red. What do the colors represent?

Good question Alice. But once we tell you, it will seem really obvious. :)

Blue = male
Red = female

In fact, these colors are also used in the Descendant view, Index view, and the Name List.

Legacy is flexible enough that you can change these colors to anything you want. Just click on Options > Customize > Colors tab. Here, just click on the male or female label and select your favorite color.

Does the Family History Library have it all?

When I began my research, I used to think that the Family History Library had everything. Although it is the finest library in the world in which to research, I'm glad I learned about the availability of records that they don't have.

We recently were searching for Lewis KING, born about 1807 in Baden, Germany. His first child was born abt 1836 in Erie County, New York, and he moved to Iowa in 1856.

We exhausted all the "normal" and easy-to-locate sources for Erie County for the time period, so we turned to the state census records. The Family History Library Catalog's earliest state census record for New York was 1855. We located Lewis KING's family in the census which revealed information about when the family first came to Erie County.

Does the Family History Library have it all?
If we relied solely on the holdings of the Family History Library we never would have broke through our brick wall. The answer to our problem came through the suggestions in Legacy's Research Guidance.

Because we were trying to find evidence of Lewis KING's birth, we clicked on the "Goal: Birth" tab. Instantly, Legacy provided 74 suggested sources - all of which may contain information about his birth. One of the records Legacy suggested was the 1845 New York State Census. These records were absent from the collections of the Family History Library. Not only did Legacy suggest this source, but it explained what information might be contained in the source, and where the source is located - at the New York State Library. Click on the image below to view this suggestion in Legacy.


Had we relied on the Family History Library's Catalog, we may not have learned about the availability of the 1845 state census, and the brick wall would remain.

Is Legacy's Research Guidance just for beginners?
Ask any professional researcher - they'll probably tell you that it is difficult to always remember all of the available sources. While Legacy's Research Guidance is perfect for the beginning genealogist, even professionals benefit from the checklist-style approach.

How to begin using Research Guidance
Once you've opened Legacy Family Tree, locate the individual for whom you want suggestions. Then click on the Research Guidance tab in the upper right. Finally, click on the Start Now button and Legacy will guide you through your research.

Research Guidance is available in the Deluxe Edition of Legacy. Learn more about the Deluxe Edition features, or click here to purchase.

How to find your nearest Family History Center

FamilySearch has recently announced new services to be offered via Family History Centers. Free access to databases at, Godfrey Memorial Library, Heritage Quest, Kindred Konnections, and are among these offerings. While they are not yet available, they will be in the near future.

Family History Centers are branch facilities of the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. Centers provide access to most of the microfilms and microfiche in the Family History Library to help patrons identify their ancestors. Most centers are located in meetinghouses of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They are administered and operated by local Church members. Everyone is welcome to come to the centers and use the resources.

There are more than 3,400 centers worldwide. To find a Family History Center near you, go to Find a Family History Center.