Previous month:
January 2008
Next month:
March 2008

Legacy Tip - How to Include Alternate Names in the Index View

Have you ever located a variant spelling of your ancestor's name? How about a nickname? Or even an alias? If so, these variant names and spellings should be added to the individual's Alternate Names list.

Akas3_2While researching Asa Frederick GOAS, I located eight different spellings and variations of his name:

  • Asa Frederick GOAS
  • Fredrick GOAS
  • Asa GOAZ
  • Frederick GOAZ
  • Frederick GOES
  • Frederick GOEZ
  • Frederick GOOZ
  • Frederick GOZ

Because I added each name to his Alternate Names list, I can include these other names in reports, web searching, and even in the Index View. To add the alternate names, click on the corresponding icon (see above).

To include the alternate names in the Index View:

  1. In the Index View, click on the Options button in the upper right.
  2. Click on Include AKAs in List.

Each alternate name is now alphabetized in the list and is preceded by the ~ symbol. Now it is even easier to locate the ancestor because you can search for him by any of his known spellings or variations.

This is one of 92 deluxe-edition-only features. If you have not yet upgraded to Legacy Family Tree deluxe, click here.

Legacy Family Tree seminar to be held in Sacramento, CA - March 29, 2008

If you live in the Sacramento, California area, don't miss this opportunity to get an insider's view of Legacy Family Tree and other genealogy technology. Featuring Legacy Family Tree's Geoff Rasmussen, the Spring Seminar of the Sacramento Genealogical Society will be held March 29, 2008.

Topics include:

  • Insider's Guide to Legacy Family Tree: Tips & Tricks
  • Genealogist's Guide to Working with Digital Images
  • Timelines and Chronologies: Secrets of Genealogical Success
  • Research Guidance: GenSmarts, FamilySearch & Legacy

Door Prizes and More
In addition to fantastic door prizes, the latest products, software, and books will be available for purchase. Each attendee will also receive a complete syllabus packed with additional tips, links, and other helps.

About the Presenter
Geoff Rasmussen of Phoenix, Arizona, has served as director and vice-president of the Utah Genealogical Association, and instructor for the prestigious Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy. He is one of the developers of the Legacy Family Tree genealogy program. He is the author of numerous books, articles and training videos on computers and genealogy. He works as a professional researcher and develops family tree software. He met and proposed to his wife in a Family History Center.

Due to the high interest in the seminar, pre-registration is highly encouraged. Download the registration form here.

Held at the Fair Oaks Presbyterian Church, 11427 Fair Oaks Blvd, Fair Oaks, CA.

More Information
For more information, contact Sammie Hudgens at (916) 481-4930 or Billie Helms at (916) 991-5971, or visit

DearMYRTLE interviews Legacy Family Tree's Geoff Rasmussen

Myrt In this week's DearMYRTLE's Family History Hour, Myrt interviews Legacy Family Tree's Geoff Rasmussen about the soon-to-be-released Version 7 and the upcoming 2008 Genealogy Cruise to Europe. This interview starts 18 minutes 15 seconds into the podcast.

How to listen
Click here for the interview page, then click on the Launch Player button on the left.

DearMYRTLE is known for her practical, down-to-earth advice for family historians since 1995. She will be the featured speaker on this year's Genealogy Cruise to Europe. She is the author of DearMYRTLE's Joy of Genealogy.

Dick Eastman interviews Legacy Family Tree's Ken McGinnis

We like to refer to Dick Eastman as Genealogy's Anchorman. Many of his interviews with genealogy experts are published at Roots Television. This past week at the Family History Expo in St. George, Utah, he interviewed Legacy Family Tree's Ken McGinnis. Ken is vice-president of Millennia Corporation, and one of Legacy's developers.

Ken talked about many of Legacy's features and reports, as well as some of the differences between Legacy and its competition. They also talked about the upcoming Legacy Genealogy Cruise to Europe.

Ken was really nervous, but you'd never know it. :)

Watch the complete interview by clicking here.

How to help your children find the genealogy bug

A recent thread in the Legacy User Group discussed how to get your children interested in genealogy by using Legacy Family Tree. I really enjoyed Dawn Crowley's suggestions. Thanks to Dawn for letting us republish her ideas here.

If your goal is to interest a minor in genealogy, here are some things that I have done with my children and other people's children:

Start a new database (just to be safe) and ask the child to start inputting some typed records.  I found that giving them no directions up front showed them that I believed they were smart enough to do it, while giving directions made them feel inadequate and the task too daunting.  After they have some folks in there, go back and teach what they need.  Some kids will automatically estimate a birth date from cemetery records, for example, while others will not.  When they're ready, include some sort of sourcing.

Ask them to show you what they did in Legacy, and you may just learn some new things about Legacy!

Give them situations to solve, such as merging individuals, or correcting the spelling of a place.

Have them help you solve a problem, such as removing tabs from notes or adding married women's surnames as AKA names.  (Those are two things that I read about today on LUG.)

Use data entry for typing practice.

Find out what they are studying at school, and see if you can tie something in to your own family.

When children are studying states, countries, or particular ethnic groups, help them tackle the assignment from a genealogist's point of view.  Even if it doesn't tie to your family, you can teach genealogy research skills by helping children find time-appropriate maps, census records, cemetery records, major events (wars, earthquakes, illnesses, etc.), etc.  My children expect to include these resources in school projects.  As long as they can explain their part in gathering the records, teachers like it, too.

Ask children for help. This builds their confidence, helps them feel needed, and teaches them to interact with adults.

Teach them how to read the handwriting that you're researching. Since they've only known cursive and spelling rules for a very short time, I find them more open to reading strange handwriting with creative spelling.

Both boy scouts and cub scouts have heritage / genealogy projects for which they can receive awards.  Perhaps other youth orgs do, too.

Be aware that children using Legacy may change some of your settings, but not know what, exactly, they did.  If you can't figure it out, this group is a great resource!

Take them to repositories with you and have them help you do the research, not just pull films and make copies.  Teach appropriate planning & etiquette for various facilities.

Ask them how they'd look for a specific person or place online. They may teach you some new research skills or sites to visit.

Take them to a genealogy workshop or conference.  Let them choose the classes that they'd like to take.  One day or 1/2 day is generally enough for them.

Have them write a letter or email to a repository or new-found relative to share or request information.

When you've had a chance to approve of their work, have them guide you through exporting/importing and merging the data into your database.  That's when they truly know that you respect their work!

One of the keys for my children's interest in genealogy was switching to Legacy.  We tried several programs.  Other software was less intuitive, so they could not move around it easily without mom sitting beside them.  That did not help them develop independence.  A creature of habit, I continued using my old software while my oldest child used Legacy.  She eventually sold me on the features and I switched to Legacy about 4 or 5 years ago.

1911 Ireland census now online

Exciting news for researchers with Irish ancestry! The first phase of the 1911 Ireland census, which includes the records of Dublin, is now online and fully indexed by name.

Information collected for each family include:

  • Name
  • Age
  • Sex
  • Relationship to head of household
  • Religion
  • Occupation
  • Marital status
  • Number of years married
  • Number of children born alive
  • Number of children still living
  • County/country of birth
  • Ability to read/write
  • Ability to speak Irish language

Now that the digitization, indexing, and linking of the records is complete for Dublin, work can progress on the rest of the country's 3,281 rolls of microfilm. The total population of Ireland, according to the 1911 census, was 4,390,219. If your relative is among these, they just became much easier to locate.

The order in which records of other counties will be made available is:

  • Dublin
  • Kerry
  • Antrim & Down
  • Donegal
  • Cork
  • Wexford
  • Galway
  • King’s County (Offaly)
  • Limerick
  • Mayo
  • Waterford
  • Armagh
  • Carlow
  • Cavan
  • Clare
  • Fermanagh
  • Kildare
  • Kilkenny
  • Leitrim
  • Londonderry (Derry)
  • Longford
  • Louth
  • Meath
  • Monaghan
  • Queen’s County (Laois)
  • Roscommon
  • Sligo
  • Tipperary
  • Tyrone
  • Westmeath
  • Wicklow

Click here to begin searching.


New databases of African-American records now online

African-Americans seeking to discover family roots obscured by slavery may be one step closer to their heritage., the world’s largest online family history resource, today expanded the largest online repository of African-American family history records with two new collections that provide unique insights into African-American family history: Freedman’s Marriage Records and Southern Claims Commission Records. 

“While these documents depict the horrors of slavery, they also provide invaluable information that help uncover ancestors’ life stories,” said Megan Smolenyak, Chief Family Historian for “These documents further cement the fact that African-Americans can discover their family’s heritage, even those ancestors enslaved prior to the Civil War. We’re seeing an increasing interest among African-Americans in tracing their roots, especially as collections such as these are made available and accessible online, rather than stored away in archives.”

Freedman’s Marriage Records
From 1865 to 1868, plantation marriages of thousands of former slaves from 17 Southern states were legalized. has digitized and made available online a collection of marriage certificates, marriage licenses, and other proofs of the marriage “legalizations.”   

Southern Claims Commission Records
Following the end of the Civil War, Southerners filed more than 23,000 claims against the U.S. government for property seized by the Union Army. Claimants furnished answers to some 80 questions about seized property and supplied witnesses, often former slaves, to testify on their behalf. In addition to their name, age and current residence, African-American claimants stated:

  • Whether they were free or enslaved at the beginning of the war
  • When they became free
  • Occupation and residence
  • Name of their former masters
  • Whether they purchased land from their former masters

African-American witnesses were asked:

  • If the claimant was their former master
  • Whether they currently worked for him
  • Whether they currently lived on his land
  • To give testimony of any property seizure they witnessed

In one April 1867 example, former slaves Gabe and Aleck Banks of Baldwin, Georgia, offer eyewitness accounts of the Union Army seizing their former master’s horses and mules. “The Cavalry Came Riding up to the Gate . . . ,” said Gabe Banks, “and made me get the Bridles and catch the horses and mules for them.”  The local commissioner hand recorded each man’s testimony in the claim document, viewable on’s blog at

In February 2007, propelled the topic of African-American family history to the nation’s forefront with the shocking discovery that the Reverend Al Sharpton’s ancestors were owned by the late Senator Strom Thurmond’s ancestors.

The Freedman’s Marriage Records and Southern Claims Commission Records are the latest additions to’s ever-growing collection of African-American family history documents. The collection also includes:

  • U.S. Colored Troops – Records for more than 86,000 African-Americans who served in the Union Army during the Civil War.
  • Freedmen’s Bureau Records – Documents include records of schools, labor contracts, hospital discharge papers and more from 1865 to 1872.
  • Freedman’s Bank Records – More than 178,000 names of depositors of Freedman’s Savings and Trust, which served thousands of African-American former slaves between 1865 and 1874 throughout the Southern States.
  • U.S. Census Records (1790–1930) – More than 53 million African-Americans names appear in U.S. census records, especially those taken in 1870 and later.’s special index filter reveals all African-American entries, regardless of whether individuals were listed as “colored,” “Negro,” “black” or “mulatto.”
  • African-American Historical Photos – Thousands of photos from the National Archives and Library of Congress Photo Collections portraying African-Americans throughout American life as well as military history from 1850 to the present.
  • Slave Narratives – First-hand accounts collected by the U.S. government during the Great Depression capture the incredible life stories of 3,500 former slaves.
  • Slave Schedules – Recorded as part of the 1850 and 1860 U.S. Censuses, these records offer insights into formerly enslaved ancestors, including ages and names of former masters.
  • WWI Draft Cards – Nearly two million black men registered for the WWI draft in 1917 and 1918. These records offer personal details about military ancestors including physical descriptions and personal signatures.

Users can explore the African-American Historical Records Collection and begin piecing together their family tree at

The Inkjet Money Pit

"Your inkjet printer may be quietly eating you out of house and home," wrote Marlo E. Schuldt, developer of the Legacy add-on Heritage Collector Suite.

Is this statement ever so true! I discontinued use of my inkjet printer a couple of years ago. Although the initial cost of the printer was cheap (it was actually free with the purchase of another product), it seemed like I was always purchasing more ink. Over time, I also noticed the pictures I had printed began to fade.

In fact, at last weekend's seminar in San Luis Obispo, California, I learned from fellow speaker, Dick Eastman, that pictures printed via an inkjet printer may only last 15 years at the best.

After I threw my inkjet printer as far as I could, I did as Schuldt's article suggests. I purchased a color laserjet printer. The initial cost was more than an inkjet, but over time I regained the price difference in savings on ink. However, I still wonder if printing to photo paper via my color laserjet printer will give me archival-quality photos that will stand the test of time.

In Schuldt's article, "The Inkjet Money Pit", he answers the question of "how much does inkjet printing really cost?" He provides guidance on how to attain archival-quality prints of your prized digital photos. He concludes, "Now you know why inkjet printers are so cheap. They might as well have an automatic withdrawal hooked up to your bank account."

Click here to read the article.