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October 2008
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December 2008

Help index the 1916 Canadian Census

FamilySearch Indexing, the grandest genealogical project ever, is asking for our assistance in completing the indexing of the 1916 Canadian census by December 3, 2008. If you have an extra half hour this week, give it a try. It's easy to install the free software. Here is their message they sent to current indexers today:

Dear indexing volunteer,

We are currently indexing the 1916 Canadian Census. The project is 43% complete and our goal is to finish by December 3rd. We know that with the help of everyone in our worldwide network of indexers we can reach this goal.

If you have some time available during the next week, between your holiday celebrations, please download, index (or arbitrate), and submit at least one batch from this project.

If you have not indexed recently, the indexing application and help resources are available on the FamilySearch indexing Web site ( Click here to read instructions specific to this project. Updates to the instructions and frequently-asked-questions are also available on the project revisions page.

Thank you for your interest and participation in FamilySearch indexing. If you would like to learn more about the 1916 Canadian Census, including a few fun facts, click here.

Happy Holidays,

The FamilySearch Indexing Team

For more information or to sign up, visit

Houston Public Library Joins FamilySearch in Digitization Effort

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH—Thousands of publications that capture the diverse histories of Gulf Coast states will be accessible for free online. FamilySearch and the Houston Public Library announced a joint project today to digitally preserve and publish the library’s vast collection of county and local histories, registers of individuals, directories of Texas Rangers, church histories, and biographical dictionaries. The digital records will be available for free online at and

“Houston Public Library has one of the top 10 genealogy libraries in the nation and a very strong Gulf Coast and international collection,” said Susan D. Kaufman, manager, Houston Public Library's Clayton Library Center for Genealogical Research. “Visitors come from all over the country to visit the library. Researchers will benefit from the convenience of online access to the collection targeted under the joint venture with FamilySearch,” added Kaufman.

In 2007, FamilySearch announced its plans to create the largest and most comprehensive collection of free city and county histories online. Over 23,000 digital publications have been made available online since then. The addition of Houston Public Library and its collection furthers that goal.

Under the agreement, FamilySearch will digitally preserve thousands of Houston Public Library's historic publications collection and provide free access to the images online. The targeted publications range in date from 1795 to 1923.

The new digital collections published online will have “every word” search capability, which allows users to search by name, location, date, or other fields across the collection. The search results are then linked to high quality digital images of the original publication. Users will also be able to just browse or read the publications as digital books online if they prefer.

The digitization efforts have already begun, and publications are now viewable online. Texas records are the first publications targeted by the initiative, followed by other Gulf Coast states. The project will take up to five years to complete.

Digital publications will be noted and hyperlinked in the Family History Library Catalog at as they are digitized. The growing collection can be accessed currently at (go to Search Records, and then Historical Books).

“We are honored to be part of such an important and beneficial initiative with a world leader like FamilySearch,” said Kaufman. “The digitization and online publication of Houston Public Library's historic collections will help increase the inquisitiveness of library patrons and create a heightened sense of awareness of the library’s resources—which then brings customers back more often with more research questions. It’s a win-win for everyone,” Kaufman added.

FamilySearch is providing the computers, scanners, and camera operators required to complete the project. FamilySearch previously announced projects with Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, Indiana, Brigham Young University Harold B. Lee Library, and FamilySearch’s own Family History Library in Salt Lake City.

The Houston Public Library’s Clayton Library Center for Genealogical Research is also a FamilySearch Affiliate Library. That means local patrons have access to millions of microfilms from FamilySearch’s vast genealogical collection in Salt Lake City, Utah. Patrons can order research material from FamilySearch through the library and use the library’s film readers and copiers to further their genealogical efforts.


FamilySearch International is the largest genealogy organization in the world. Millions of people use FamilySearch records, resources, and services to learn more about their family history. To help in this great pursuit, FamilySearch has been actively gathering, preserving, and sharing genealogical records worldwide for over 100 years. FamilySearch is a nonprofit organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Patrons may access FamilySearch services and resources free online at or through over 4,500 family history centers in 70 countries, including the main Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.

How to create a 2009 birthday/anniversary calendar using Legacy Family Tree

With the new year approaching, why not resolve to be a better relative by remembering family birthdays and anniversaries? Two features of Legacy Family Tree makes this easy to do:

  • Legacy's birthday and anniversary reminders described here.
  • Legacy's Calendar Creator.

Legacy can create a birthday calendar, an anniversary calendar, or a combination of the two. There are options to include a cover picture, picture pages above each calendar month, and complete control over color, layout, shadows, fonts, page size, and more. The calendars can be blank or include the birthdates and anniversaries of the people already entered in your family file.

That's right! Because the information (birthdays and anniversaries) is already in your Legacy family file, Legacy will automatically add this to the calendar pages. With the who to include options, you can customize the calendar so only certain family lines are included. You even have the option to skip the anniversaries of divorced couples.

Get Started

To begin, make sure that you have installed Legacy Family Tree Deluxe Edition, available here. Then follow these steps:

  1. With Legacy open, click on the Reports icon in the main toolbar.
  2. Click on the Books/Other tab, and click on the Calendar Creator button.
  3. Using the options on the six tabs, customize the calendar to your preferences.
  4. Print, and enjoy being the person in your family that never misses a birthday or anniversary!

Click on the picture below for an example:


How to Create a Family Tree Bookmark

If you are looking for an inexpensive gift idea that the whole family can enjoy, create a family tree bookmark. Using Legacy Charting and a little creativity, your bookmarks will be the talk of the family this year.

(Front - a 3-generation descendancy chart. The background is an aerial photograph of our home.)

(Back - a birthday calendar listing the dates and ages of each member of the family.)

Using Legacy Charting and a word processor, these bookmarks measure 6.5" x 1.5". The steps below demonstrate how to duplicate this example, but feel free to get creative.

Step 1 - Add the pictures to Legacy

After collecting and digitizing your family's "mug shots", add the pictures to each individual in Legacy. (Watch a video on how to do this by clicking on the Pictures link in this video.) I cropped each picture so they all shared the same dimensions of 161 pixels by 231 pixels. There's nothing special about those dimensions except that each mug shot is the same size.

Step 2 - Launch Legacy Charting

In Legacy, navigate to the starting person of the desired family and launch Legacy Charting by clicking on the Charting icon in the main toolbar. Click here to see where this button is. If you don't have this button, either you haven't yet installed Legacy 7, or the button hasn't been added to your toolbar. Click here for instructions on adding this button to your toolbar.

Step 3 - Choose the chart type, # of generations, and theme

  • Select the Descendant Standard chart.
  • On the Home tab, change the # of generations to 3.
  • On the Appearance tab, click on the Themes button and double-click on the Mug Shot theme. You should now have a 3-generation descendancy chart with pictures of each individual.

Step 4 - Fine tune the text

  • Because I only want the given names to appear with the picture, on the Appearance tab, click on the Box Items button.
  • Turn off the checkmark next to Life Span.
  • Click on the Name option in the Items to Display section.
  • Then, in the Item Options, change the format to: First.
  • Change the font size to 24.
  • Finally, click on the Italics button in the Settings section. Click OK.

Step 5 - Other fine tuning

  • Turn off the page border by going to the Appearance tab > Borders section and clicking on the Page button. Click on No page border.
  • Turn off the title, also on the Appearance tab, by clicking on the Title button and deselecting the Show Title option.
  • Increase the line size by clicking on the Line button in the Borders section of the Appearance tab. I set the line width to 6 and changed the line color to black. This will help make the lines visible when the chart size is reduced later on for printing.

Step 6 - Add a background

This one's your choice. You can choose to include a background or not. It can be any of the backgrounds that is included in Legacy Charting, or you can use your own digital picture. To add a background, follow these instructions. In this example, I chose a picture of the house where we grew up. I changed the Display Options to Stretch to Frame and set the Transparency to 25%.

Step 7 - Adjust the sizing

If the picture boxes are too close together, use the Sizing Options button on the Appearance tab to make adjustments. I set the Space option to 1". The larger the space between pictures, the skinnier the bookmark will eventually be.

Timeout - Create a new theme

Steps 4-7 can be eliminated in the future if right now I take the time to save my fine-tuning as a new theme. On the Appearance tab, click on the Themes button. Click on the Create New Theme link and call it Bookmark. Now, in the future, if you want to quickly create another bookmark, just select this theme.

Step 8 - Export to File

Now that the bookmark is complete, click on the Publish tab, then click on Export to File. I chose to export to TIFF. When you select the Location and File Name, just remember where you are saving it. Click OK. The front of the bookmark is now ready to print. However, my bookmark is still 42.5" wide by 11" tall. The next step will take care of this.

Step 9 - Insert the bookmark image into a word processor

Using your favorite word processor (I use Microsoft Word 2007), insert the picture into the document. Using Word 2007, click on the Insert menu and click on the Picture button. Word will automatically resize the picture to fit within the margins. Word tells me that my bookmark is now 6.5" wide by 1.5" tall.

Step 10 - Add the birthdays for the back of the bookmark

If you want, you can print the bookmark at this point without adding anything to its back side. To add the birthdays to the back, you'll need to create a text box of the same size as the picture. But first, press <Control-End> on your keyboard to ensure that the cursor is at the end of the document. Then, press <Control-Enter> to start page 2.

Now, insert a text box. In Word 2007, click on the Insert menu, click on Text Box, and select the first choice. Now, adjust the size of the text box to have the same dimensions as your image.

Now you'll need to change the text direction. In Word 2007, in the Text section in the upper left, just click on the Text Direction button a couple of times until the text is turned sideways, as is displayed in the bookmark example above. Here, type in the birthdays for everyone in the family. I also typed how old each person will be in the upcoming year.

Finally, I turned off the Text Box's outline by clicking on the Shape Outline button and choosing a white outline.

Step 11 - Print and laminate

You're ready to print the bookmarks now. If your printer does not have the ability to print double-sided, just print the first page, refeed the paper into your printer, and print the second page. You'll just need to experiment with your printer to get the paper turned the right direction. Because both the image and the text box are identical in size, the bookmark should print perfectly, front-and-back.

Print as many as you want. I printed one for each person in the picture. Using a paper cutter (or really straight scissors), cut the bookmark. Take them to a copy store to have them laminated.

Step 12 - Mail

No explanation necessary, I hope.... :)

Other ideas

I'm always looking for other creative uses of Legacy Charting. Please share your ideas and successes using the comments section below.

Heritage Collector Suite 5.1 now available as a Legacy Family Tree add-on

Heritagecollector LifeStory Productions, Inc. announces the release of Legacy add-on, Heritage Collector Suite version 5.1.

Heritage Collector Suite provides everything you need in one program to organize, share, tell stories, backup / preserve, find photos in seconds, and more.

New features added to the 5.1 version include:

  • Create and share PDFs. Select from several image and information options.
  • Use the duplicate search tool to find and remove duplicate images to save hard drive space.
  • Batch convert and enhance old negative images to positives.
  • Share images and collections via e-mail.
  • Enlarge or zoom in on an image using the mouse wheel.
  • Drag and drop photos and images into collections.
  • Use the e-mail request system to receive files from others using Heritage Collector.
  • Batch assign information to a group of photos or records.
  • New photo enhancement tools.
  • Add frames and borders to photos.
  • More image conversion options and tools.
  • Crop and export to print option.
  • Batch resize image size and format.
  • Expanded and simplified search options.
  • Enhanced advanced slide show options – music, narration, special effects.
  • More options to create personalized jewel case inserts for CD/DVD cases.
  • Capture image / frame from DVDs and movies.
  • Capture slideshows and create TV/DVDs with included software.
  • Audacity sound editing software included. Capture sound from old cassettes.
  • International date format options.
  • Create additional family or individual databases.
  • Revised 200 page Digital Family History Guidebook in PDF.
  • New “How To” tutorial movies make it easy to learn and use the software.
  • Revised and expanded full color manual with screen captures. No computer jargon.
  • Updated and expanded Help resources.

Heritage Collector is a complete family history management system for all your family history files and resources. Create and share self-running CD/DVDs. The archive system saves hard drive space and helps you find photos on CD/DVDs. Install and run the program from an external hard drive attached to the USB port of another computer. Use GPS coordinates.

How to Purchase
For a limited time, save $20 by clicking here.

For more information, click here.

Legacy Charting update now available - 7.0.120

A new update for Legacy 7's Charting is now available. This free update includes some new features and resolves a few minor issues.

What's New

Short location names can now be used (one of the most-requested features). This setting is found at: Appearance tab > Box Items. After clicking on the birth/marriage/death location item in the "Items to Display" section, click on the new "Use short locations" option to the right.

Removing leading commas in locations is now available. Instead of displaying ", , Massachusetts" on the chart, you can now display it as "Massachusetts". This option is found at: Apperance tab > Box Items. After clicking on the birth/marriage/death location item in the "Items to Display" section, click on the new "Remove leading commas" option to the right.

We've added a new link on the Background Options screen to give you easier access to the new background pictures that you can download. Just click on the Appearance tab, then click on the Background button. To access the additional backgrounds, just click on the "More backgrounds online..." link.

Scanning your hard drive and other drives is now easier. If you want to create a new chart from a different family file, after clicking on the New Chart icon on the Home tab, you can now click on the new Options button allowing you to tell Legacy Charting which drives you want to scan for family files. Then, when you click on the Scan Computer button, it will search only these directories/drives for existing family files.

How to update

  1. Launch Legacy Charting by clicking on the Charting icon in Legacy 7's main toolbar.
  2. Click on the Tips & Updates tab and click on the link which reads: Download New Update Now

How I survived my first computer crash

Sunday afternoon our family returned home from a nice car ride. When I opened the door to my office I smelled something burning. It was my computer!

I figured this would happen to me eventually. Recently I've been "prompted" to ensure that I have a good backup/recovery plan in case this ever happened. I sure am glad I took these promptings seriously. In fact, I've recently written a couple of articles about it:

Monday morning I took my computer to the repair shop. My last words to them were, "if my data cannot be recovered, don't worry about it. I have a good backup."

Thank you!

It's taken a few days to get all of my data back and my software reinstalled, but just imagine my true anguish if I hadn't set up my account. I would have lost my 9,327 digital images, my Legacy family file, all of my financial data, and much more. Ever since I backed up my data onto Mozy's off-site storage servers, I have had peace of mind about my data. Each evening, Mozy automatically backs up any new or modified files so I always have a complete backup.

The $4.95 I paid this month to have my 93 GB of data backed up at Mozy was the best $4.95 I've ever spent. I actually paid for two years up front which gave me three months free. If you have 2 GB or less, you can use for free. They don't even ask for a credit card. 2 GB is more than enough space if you just want to backup your Legacy family file. I suggest that everyone reading this article stop what they are doing right now, and sign up for or another comparable off-site backup service.

Visit for more information.