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November 2008

FamilySearch indexing - 100 million names indexed this year

FamilySearch announced today that the FamilySearch Indexing project has indexed 100 million names this year alone. Congratulations to all of the indexing volunteers!

Results of the indexing projects are published at and includes records from the United States, Canada, Mexico, France, United Kingdom, Norway, Germany, Czech Republic, Spain, Argentina, Peru, Brazil, and Russia.

Anyone can participate in the world's grandest volunteer indexing project. You can even choose which records you want to help index. Current projects are listed here. Upcoming projects are listed here. Completed projects are listed here.

For more information, or to volunteer, visit

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.

Legacy News will return on October 27

I'm actually taking time to be with some of my living relatives this next week, so new Legacy News articles will resume on October 27.

In the meantime, you can browse the archives of the 640 articles we've published over the past three years by using the links in the Archives section on the right of this page.

Also be sure to take advantage of the special $10 off sale in our online store.

So, until October 27, happy hunting, and good luck for your next Genealogy Happy Dance.

Online backup service brings peace of mind

Last month I wrote about a potenially devastating experience which I avoided relating to my computer's power supply. The article was entitled How Often Should You Backup Your Computer? Since then, I have setup my backup software to backup any new or modified files every evening to my external hard drive. Knowing that my files are safely backed up has brought peace of mind.

Or are my files truly safe?

Both my computer and my external hard drive reside in the same room. If something were to happen to this room, I could easily lose both. Two weeks ago I finally signed up for the online backup service that everyone has been talking about -

Mozy is a simple and secure backup service which stores a copy of your data in a secure, remote location for safekeeping, so that in the event of a disaster your data is still retrievable.

After I downloaded and installed the free software, the backup process began. First, Mozy automatically marked certain groups of files to backup, including my pictures, documents, and videos. Then I selected the remaining folders that I wanted to backup, selected a few backup settings, and started the backup.

The best thing about Mozy is the price. If you are backing up less than 2GB of information, Mozy is completely free. You don't even have to give them a credit card to get started. If you just want to backup your Legacy family file, you would certainly fall within the free limits. My family file containing about 22,000 individuals is only about 50MB, so this wouldn't be a problem.

However, I need to backup much more than this - 93GB of information to be precise. Anything over 2GB costs just $4.95 a month. I actually paid for two years up front, which gave me three months free. For less than $5 a month, I have complete peace of mind. I know that anything can happen to my computer and the external hard drive, and because I have an offsite backup, everything will still be recoverable.

I would suggest that everyone give Mozy, or some comparable online backup service a try.

Visit for more information.

Legacy Crossword: October 13, 2008



1. The name of the tab in Legacy Charting to print your wall charts
6. One of the 2009 Legacy Cruise ports
7. Millennia's founder, president, and programmer
8. Displays a list of unlinked "trees" in your family file
9. Millennia's vice-president and programmer


2. Follows industry standards for citing sources
3. Legacy's Research __________ creates a checklist of sources for you to search
4. Legacy's initial version number
5. Legacy's current version number
8. # of years Legacy has been available

Click on the image below for the solution:


How to Create a Panorama

Using Legacy Charting, I've created a nice descendancy wall chart of my parents, showing off their kids and grandkids. At 59 1/2" wide, it's fairly wide and will make a nice piece of artwork for the wall, especially if I choose the matte canvas paper type in the Order Options.

Every chart needs a nice background - a picture of the mountains, a nice sunset, or something meaningful to the family. The problem with adding a background picture to a wide chart is that it may appear stretched or pixelated because the dimensions of the chart are wider than the digital picture.

To solve this problem, you can create a panorama, or a very wide picture. Follow these steps:

  1. Bring your digital camera to a scenic location. You'll get the best scenic pictures by joining us on the 2009 Mediterranean and Greece cruise. (I just had to get that in somehow!)
  2. Using your camera, take 6 or 7 pictures of the scenery. Just pan to the right for each subsequent picture, making sure to overlap between 25-50 percent of the previous picture.
  3. Photo editing software will then stitch together all of the pictures, creating a wide panorama.

On our 2008 cruise to Europe, one of the countries we visited was Estonia. Here, we found a beautiful spot that overlooked the entire city of Tallinn. I wanted to remember the entire view, not just the small view my camera offered. I took six pictures, panning a little to the right each time. Using Photoshop Elements 6.0, I created a panorama using these steps:

  1. In the Organizer part of the software, I highlighted all six pictures, then clicked on File > New > Photomerge Panorama.
  2. Click on the Add Open Files button, and click OK.
  3. Photoshop Elements then stitched all of the pictures together into a smooth panorama. After cropping it just a bit, the picture was over 200 inches wide - well wide enough for a good background for my chart.
  4. Save the image to your hard drive.

To add the panorama as a background in Legacy Charting, follow these simple steps:

  1. In Legacy Charting, click on the Appearance tab, then click on the Background button.
  2. Click on Select Image, and locate the image.
  3. Change the Display Options to "Stretch to Frame".
  4. Adjust the Transparency slider until the chart looks great.

Print or Order the chart
So the chart now looks great on your monitor, but it will look even better hanging on the wall. On the Publish tab in Legacy Charting, you can either Print the chart to your printer, Export the chart to a file that can be taken to your local printing store, Email the chart to your family, or Order the chart through Legacy's inexpensive chart printing service.

The best thing about our chart printing service is that when you click on the Order Chart button, in the right panel Legacy Charting displays the total cost of the chart based on your paper type, paper size, and quantity options you select. If the cost is a little higher than you want to pay, simply click on the Appearance tab, and using the Sizing button, make some sizing adjustments. The cost of the chart will automatically adjust too. This solves the problem of not knowing exactly how much the local printer store is going to charge you until you've given them your file.

When you're ready, just click on the Purchase Chart button, fill in your information, and in a short time, your chart will be delivered to your front door.

About Legacy Charting
The Legacy Charting software is included at no extra cost with the Legacy Family Tree deluxe software. The chart seen below was created with the free Standard edition of Legacy. The only limitation in the free Standard edition of Legacy Charting is the number of generations, which is limited to four.


New E-Book Available for Download - The Researcher's Guide to American Genealogy

Rga "Recommended as the most comprehensive how-to book on American genealogical and local history research." - Library Journal

In every field of study there is one book that rises above the rest in stature and authority and becomes the standard work in the field. In genealogy that book is Val Greenwood's Researcher's Guide to American Genealogy.

Arguably the best book ever written on American genealogy, it is the text of choice in colleges and universities or wherever courses in American genealogy are taught. Of the dozens of textbooks, manuals, and how-to books that have appeared over the past twenty-five years, it is the one book that is consistently praised for setting a standard of excellence.

In a word, The Researcher's Guide has become a classic. While it instructs the researcher in the timeless principles of genealogical research, it also identifies the various classes of records employed in that research, groups them in convenient tables and charts, gives their location, explains their uses, and evaluates each of them in the context of the research process. Designed to answer practically all the researcher's needs, it is both a textbook and an all-purpose reference book. And it is this singular combination that makes The Researcher's Guide the book of choice in any genealogical investigation. It is also the reason why if you can afford to buy only one book on American genealogy in a lifetime, this has to be it.

This new 3rd edition incorporates the latest thinking on genealogy and computers, specifically the relationship between computer technology (the Internet and CD-ROM) and the timeless principles of good genealogical research. It also includes a new chapter on the property rights of women, a revised chapter on the evaluation of genealogical evidence, and updated information on the 1920 census. Little else has changed, or needs to be changed, because the basics of genealogy remain timeless and immutable. This 3rd edition of The Researcher's Guide, then, is a clear, comprehensive, and up-to-date account of the methods and aims of American genealogy--an essential text for the present generation of researchers--and no sound genealogical project is complete without it.

PDF format (requires Adobe Reader), 676 pages, published in 2000, reprinted in 2005. Only $19.95 to download.


"Greenwood's guide has long been regarded as the best of its kind, a text and reference work for anyone who is doing American genealogical research beyond the beginner's level...Purchase of Greenwood's guide is recommended to any serious genealogist, and every genealogical library should have this latest edition on its shelves."--THE NEW YORK GENEALOGICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD (July 2000), p. 229.

"...this work is still the single best reference and text for the serious beginning genealogist."--AMERICAN REFERENCE BOOKS ANNUAL (1991).

"Greenwood's book is easy to read and covers a broad enough spectrum of resources that readers are equipped to get started with a minimum investment of study time. For those who want to learn how to build pedigrees and reconstruct family groups, tying them from one generation to the next, this book is an excellent guide...This book also has value to other researchers. Historians, demographers, and sociologists studying people in the past will find that this book will provide important guidance in assessing which records will provide the facts needed. Government document librarians will appreciate having this book to refer to in answering questions about censuses and other sources created by national and state government. It is still one of the best guidebooks on genealogical research available. It is an important title to include in collections of libraries with patrons interested in genealogical research."--GOVERNMENT PUBLICATIONS REVIEW, Vol. 18 (1991).

"Seventeen years ago this Reviewer wrote: 'It is impossible to recommend this book too highly. It is indispensable for anyone interested in genealogical research.' The verdict stands."--THE VIRGINIA GENEALOGIST, Vol. 34, No. 3 (July-September 1990).

"...this modestly priced classic remains the outstanding text on American genealogy. It belongs in every library whose patrons explore genealogy."--LIBRARY JOURNAL (April 1, 1990). 

PDF format (requires Adobe Reader), 676 pages, published in 2000, reprinted in 2005. Only $19.95 to download.

Legacy Tip: Marking Your Direct Line

Sometimes, as you’re navigating through your tree, whether in the family view or the pedigree view, you get lost. You’re working with your 6th great-grandfather, and you’re trying to get back to you or your parents, but you can’t remember which child you descend through. Or, when you print a family group record, some researchers would like a small indicator next to the child who is your direct-line. By marking your direct line as preferred, Legacy with automatically set all the direct-line ancestors of a specified individual to preferred. Then, as you navigate up and down through the generations, you can find your way back down the same way as you went up. I generally like to begin, not with me, but with one of my children. By setting their direct line as preferred, your spouse’s line is also marked appropriately. It does not matter which child you choose.

For more Legacy video tips, click here.