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November 2007

How to preview information before importing

Question from Ruth:

I belong to a society which sells a CD with their entire genealogy database on it. It contains 55,000 names in GEDCOM format. Since I do not want to dump 55,000 names into my tree sight unseen, but would like to check it out and see if any of my "Munros" can be connected, is there a way to "tweak" Legacy so that I can import this database, but NOT into my family tree?

Answer from Millennia:

Before importing anything into your master family file, you will want to preview the information, as you suggested. There are three simple approaches that will help you see what is in the file before importing into Legacy.

Approach 1. Import into a new family file.

Importing the GEDCOM into a new family file will allow you to see what is in it. Then, using Legacy's split screen view, you can compare its information with yours. Follow these steps:

  1. Click on File > Import from > GEDCOM file.
  2. Browse to the location of the GEDCOM, highlight it, and click Open.
  3. Select the first option to "Create a NEW Family File and add the GEDCOM information to it". Click Proceed.
  4. Enter a name for the new family file, and click Open.
  5. Click on Start the Import.
  6. You may want to add a source to the incoming information so you always remember its origin. Click on Select a Master Source and add the source information if desired.
  7. Click OK.

Using any of the views (Family, Pedigree, Index, etc.) you can now view the information from the GEDCOM file. If you see something that looks like it might match up with your information, use the split screen view to compare both the new family file and your original family file.

  1. With the new family file open, click on View > Split Screen View.
  2. Click Yes to open a different family file in the new window.
  3. Browse for and select your original family file. Click Open.

You can now view and compare both family files side-by-side. You can even drag and drop information from one side to the other.

Approach 2. Use GENViewer to preview the GEDCOM.

GENViewer, a Legacy add-on, will preview the GEDCOM without importing anything into a new database. It would be the fastest method. Read Technology Tip: Preview Before Importing.

Approach 3. Use GENMatcher to compare two files for duplicates.

GENMatcher, also a Legacy add-on, compares two genealogy files for matches, or one genealogy file for duplicates. GENMatcher quickly finds matches, allowing you to quickly test downloaded files for potential matches to your data. You can compare files of different formats. In other words, it can compare a GEDCOM file with a Legacy family file. For more information, visit

Legacy workshop in Arizona, November 3

If you live near Phoenix, Arizona, you don't want to miss this Saturday's Legacy workshop in Youngtown. Millennia's Geoff Rasmussen will be in town to lead a discussion about working with digital images in Legacy. He will also solicit students' feedback on the upcoming release of Legacy version 7. The class is open to the public.

The West Valley Genealogical Society sponsors a Legacy Family Tree special interest group which meets the first Saturday of each month at 10:00am at 12222 N 111th Ave. in Youngtown. For more information, please visit

U.S. Civil War records to be digitized

from (23 October 2007):

Landmark agreement will lead to the digitization of millions of genealogical and historical documents

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH—The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) of the United States and FamilySearch today announced an agreement that will lead to the digitization of millions of historical documents over time. The bulk of the digital images and related indices will be freely accessible through as well as 4,500 family history centers worldwide, or at the National Archives and its Regional Centers.

The agreement is the result of several years of discussions between the two organizations and NARA's new long-term strategy for digitizing and making available major segments of its vast collection online to the public. Ultimately, the records digitized by FamilySearch will consist of court, military, land, and other government records that include information of genealogical significance for family historians. The records date as early as 1754 to as late as the 1990s.

Almost all of the records in the National Archives currently are not readily accessible to patrons who visit the National Archives or one of its regional facilities. The newly digitized and indexed records produced under the agreement will be available online—greatly increasing patron access.

"For a number of years, we have had a very productive relationship with FamilySearch," said Professor Allen Weinstein, archivist of the United States. "This agreement expands our relationship to enable online access to some of the most popular and voluminous records in our holdings. It is an exciting step forward for our institutions and for the American people," he added.

Under the new agreement, FamilySearch will be operating highly specialized digital cameras 5 days a week at the National Archives in Washington, D.C. FamilySearch intends to extend the digitization services to select regional facilities at a later date. That means there will be a continuous flow of new data for genealogy buffs to explore for years to come. It also means FamilySearch will be able to digitize the thousands of microfilms it has already created from NARA's holdings—providing access to millions of images for genealogists to search from the convenience of their home computers with Internet access.

The first fruit of this effort is a portion of a very large collection of Civil War records, already underway. In this pilot project, FamilySearch will digitize the first 3,150 Civil War widow pension application files (approximately 500,000 pages). After digitization, these historical documents will be indexed and posted online by with the indices also available for free on FamilySearch intends to do all 1,280,000 of these files over the coming years.

James Hastings, director of Access Programs at the National Archives, said, "For decades the National Archives has helped thousands of researchers gain access to this rich trove of records in Washington. Thanks to this agreement with FamilySearch, this valuable information will now be available to millions of users around the world in a far more accessible format."

Wayne Metcalfe, director of FamilySearch Record Services, said, "No single group can preserve, organize, and make available all the information contained in the world's important genealogical documents—like those found in the National Archives of the United States. Such immense undertakings require the cooperation of record custodians, researchers, and specialized services. FamilySearch is committed to being an integral partner in this global effort."

FamilySearch is the largest international organization of its kind, working with national archives and record custodians worldwide to preserve and increase access to records of genealogical significance. It is currently working on projects in over 45 countries.

About the National Archives. The National Archives and Records Administration, an independent federal agency, is the nation's record keeper. Founded in 1934, its mission is unique?to serve American democracy by safeguarding and preserving the records of our Government, ensuring that the people can discover, use, and learn from this documentary heritage. The National Archives ensures continuing access to the essential documentation of the rights of American citizens and the actions of their government. It supports democracy, promotes civic education, and facilitates historical understanding of our national experience. The National Archives meets a wide range of information needs, among them helping people to trace their families' history, making it possible for veterans to prove their entitlement to medical and other benefits, and preserving original White House records. The National Archives carries out its mission through a nationwide network of archives, records centers, and Presidential Libraries, and on the Internet at

About FamilySearch. The Genealogical Society of Utah (GSU)—doing business as FamilySearch—is a nonprofit organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. FamilySearch maintains the world's largest repository of genealogical resources; these resources may be accessed through, the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah, and over 4,500 family history centers in 70 countries. FamilySearch is a trademark licensed to GSU and is registered in the United States of America and other countries.

Free software for bad eyesight

This weekend I made a sad conclusion. As I get older, my vision gets worse. Squinting my eyes in front of a computer screen ten hours a day probably has not helped any. Growing up, my vision was always 20/20, but now I can barely read my email. Oh, and I've already moved my two monitors to the edge of the desk.

I have heard of free software that will magnify the screen wherever my cursor is, but I have always thought it was for people of the more "experienced" generation. Today I downloaded the Virtual Magnifying Glass software, and I can "see" already that it and I will become good friends.

After installation, a small magnifying icon appears in my system tray (right next to the clock in the lower right of the Windows desktop). Whenever I need to magnify something on the screen, I just click once on the icon, and I have a magnifier that moves with my cursor. The magnifier can be resized, and the magnification level can even be modified to 1.5x, 2x, 3x, 4x, 8x, or 16x.


With software like this, maybe I can put off the appointment with the eye doctor for a little longer. Virtual Magnifying Glass can be downloaded by clicking here.

Georgia death certificates 1919-1927 - now online and free


275,000 death certificates from 1919 to 1927 linked with index and images

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH—FamilySearch and the Georgia Archives announced today that Georgia's death index from 1919 to 1927 can be accessed for free online. The online index is linked to digital images of the original death certificates. This free database will open doors to additional information for family historians and genealogists with Georgia ties. The index and images can be searched and viewed at (Virtual Vault link) or

The names of Georgia's deceased from 1919 to 1927 are now very much alive, searchable, and viewable online—and for free. The online index to some 275,000 Georgia deaths is the result of a cooperative effort between FamilySearch Record Services, the Georgia Archives, and the Georgia State Office of Vital Records and Statistics.

FamilySearch digitized the records, and volunteers from both FamilySearch and the Archives used FamilySearch indexing technology to create a searchable online index from the digital images of the original historic documents. "These death records are obviously a gold mine for genealogists and historians. Certificates include age, county of death, parents names, occupation, gender, race and cause of death; these documents open all kinds of possibilities to researchers," said Georgia Archives director, David Carmicheal.

The deceased person's name, birth and death dates, sex, spouse and parents' names and location of death were extracted from each certificate for the searchable database. The linked image of the original death certificate can reveal additional interesting facts and clues for the family historian—like the names and birth places of the deceased person's parents, place and date of the decedent's birth, marital status, occupation, permanent residence, and place and date of burial and cause of death.

Before making the certificates viewable online, Carmicheal said patrons had to order copies through the mail for a fee or visit the state archive's office in person. The new online database will make it quicker and easier for patrons to get the information they are seeking.

"It is always exciting for family historians when they can freely search a vital record index online like the Georgia death records. The link to the original death certificate is an added bonus—it saves you time, money, and provides rich genealogy data," said Paul Nauta, manager of public affairs for FamilySearch. The users just type in an ancestor's name that died in Georgia between 1919 and 1927. They will see a brief summary of information from the ancestor's death certificate with a link to also view the original image. Additional state indexes are currently in production.

FamilySearch maintains the world's largest repository of genealogical resources accessed through, the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, and over 4,500 family history centers in 70 countries. The Genealogical Society of Utah, doing business as FamilySearch, is a nonprofit organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. FamilySearch is a trademark licensed to the Genealogical Society of Utah and is registered in the United States and other countries.

Legacy Search Tip

Question from Linda:

I have two or three ancestors who were accused of being witches. I put this information in the general notes and now can't remember who they were. Does anyone know of a way to "Search" the notes for the word "witch"?

Answer from Millennia:

Good question Linda. You could either examine each person's notes in your entire database one-by-one (just kidding), or follow these steps:

  1. Click on the Search menu and click Find (see image below), or just click Ctrl+F.
  2. Click on the Detailed Search tab.
  3. In the Look for Whom? column, select Female.
  4. In the Where to Look column, select Notes-General.
  5. In the How to Look column, select Contains.
  6. In the What to look for column, type "witch" (without the quotes)
  7. Click on the Create List button. The resulting Search List displays all persons who have the word "witch" in their General Notes.



Legacy's Tagging and Searching Made Easy

This video provides 34 minutes of expert advise and other search techniques. Watch a preview here.

Private BuyOut of for $300+ Million

TechCrunch just reported that Spectrum Equity Investors has just invested $300 million in The Generations Network, the parent company of The Generations Network is "almost certainly preparing for an IPO or other larger liquidity event."

Read the complete article here.

Thanks to Tom Kemp of the Genealogy Librarian News blog for bringing this to our attention.

Legacy workshop in Ontario, Canada October 27, 2007

The Ontario Genealogical Society is sponsoring a full-day Legacy workshop on Saturday, October 27, 2007 in Woodstock, Ontario. Internationally-known and respected instructor, Rick Roberts of Global Genealogy and History Shoppe, will be the presenter.

This workshop will demonstrate the use of computers in family history projects, using the software program, Legacy Family Tree. Easy-to-use Legacy Family Tree is the most comprehensive and powerful genealogy software on the market. Isn't it time that you stepped up to Legacy Family Tree? It is a full-featured computer program designed for beginners and experts. You enter the data once (names, dates, stories, photos, etc.), then let the program organize the data.


9:30-10:00 - Registration
10:00-12:00 - A.M. session
12:00-1:30 - Lunch on your own or Brown Bag it
1:30-4:00 - P.M. session

How to Register

Pre-registration is a MUST as there is limited space. Mail registration and $30 cheque to:

OGS Oxford Branch
Box 1092
Woodstock, ON
N4S 8P6
519) 421-1700
Cheques - Payable to: Oxford Branch, OGS

About the Presenter

Rick Roberts is a publisher, retailer, and on-line entrepreneur, specializing in genealogy and history reference materials and maps.

Rick’s hobby became his profession in 1992, when he co-founded Global Genealogy with his wife Sandra.
They recognized a need for a single source where family historians could buy a wide variety of genealogy reference and how-to materials. The business began with catalogue sales, then online sales, and then a physical store was opened in downtown Milton, now in Campbellville. He also publishes the on-line genealogy magazine called “The Global Gazette”. Rick also lecturers at national and regional
genealogy conferences across Canada and the US.

Legacy Add-On - GENViewer - Discount Offer

GENViewer for Legacy is now available to download from our online store for $19.95 (Legacy Deluxe edition customers can receive an additional 15% off. See below for details.).

Purchase GenViewer

This exciting add-on program is an excellent tool to help you with your research. GENViewer for Legacy adds new ways to search, sort, analyze, and print your Legacy family file.

Genviewer GenViewer searches your files

With GENViewer's powerful File Search capabilities, you can simultaneously search multiple files for individuals or find that critical piece of information you need.

Simply select your search criteria and click Find. GENViewer will look for the information in every Legacy family file or GEDCOM file on your hard drive or data folder! No more examining files one a time! This labor-saving feature is enough to make GENViewer a great value; but hold on -- there's more!

GENViewer provides more views of your data

GENViewer's intuitive, easy-to-use interfaces provide nine different views of your genealogy information: General, Individual, Family, Pedigree, Descendants, List, Highlighted, Islands, and Sources. Your information is just one click away.

Most views of your data can be copied to the clipboard with just a click of the mouse. You can then paste the family information right into an e-mail message, word processing document or another application! Reports can also be created in HTML and PDF format!

GENViewer analyzes your information

GENViewer is an incredible tool for analyzing your family information. Use GENViewer's highlighting tool to make information stand out in each of the views of your data. There are about 100 easy-to-use highlighting options. It's amazing what you can see using this highlighting tool.

GENViewer searches the web with a single click

And there's still more! You can also use GENViewer's Internet search to find information about your family on the Web. GENViewer's searches are a perfect compliment to the Internet searches done by Legacy. Why buy expensive CD's when much of that information is already available free at regularly updated Web sites? (No more gimmicky, out-of-date CD's!) When you find a Web page with information just right click on it and select Print from the popup menu!

GENViewer helps share your information

GENViewer can create a self-viewing executable from a GEDCOM file that will display your genealogical information when run. This file can be e-mailed as an attachment or placed on a Web site for downloading. This special file can also be saved to floppy, zip disk or flash drive or burned to CD and run on any Windows computer. The special file will not expire and can be viewed as many times as wanted. This special version of GENViewer is NOT installed on the viewing computer. No information is left on the computer when finished viewing the information. This is a truly unique and efficient way to share your genealogy with people who don't own a genealogy program but who have a computer.

GENViewer previews GEDCOMs before importing into Legacy

Use GENViewer to quickly examine and clean up all of those GEDCOM files that are cluttering your computer. Its speed and versatility makes it ideal for previewing GEDCOM files before taking the time and effort of importing them into Legacy. GENViewer's speed ranges from 10,000 to 20,000 individuals per second on some computers. GENViewer has been tested reading a GEDCOM file containing 1.3 million individuals and 500,000 families: it took about two minutes to load! (The limit for a GEDCOM file is 2 GB.)

Because GENViewer uses existing Legacy files and GEDCOMs, it doesn't create extra files that fill up your hard drive. This is a great space-saving feature. Furthermore, GENViewer is a read only application: it doesn't change or modify any files so users don't have to worry about changing any information.

A Sampling of Comments from GENViewer Users

  • "GENViewer is one of the 'must have' tools for any genealogical researcher." - Lee
  • " ... ridiculously makes importing GEDCOMs into my database so much easier. Thanks for a wonderful product"
  • "I was amazed at the speed . . . easy to use." - Dick Eastman
  • "Thanks for a great product. It is EXACTLY what I have been looking for." - Robyn

How to Purchase

GENViewer is available from our online store for just $19.95. 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. Discount expires October 21.)

Purchase GenViewer