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BYU conference - win a free computer from Legacy Family Tree

Acer Here's a little extra incentive to stop by the Legacy Family Tree booth at the BYU conference next week (begins Tuesday, July 28 in Provo, Utah). We're giving away a free Acer Netbook PC.

You do not have to register for the conference to be eligible to win the computer. But you do have to turn in the entry form (it's a crossword puzzle) to the Legacy booth by 4:00pm on Thursday and be present for the drawing. The drawing will be held at the end of our "Legacy & New FamilySearch" class which begins at 5:15pm in room 2258. The class is free and is open to the public.

Meet the Legacy developers
Legacy's Geoff Rasmussen (that's me) as well as Legacy's co-founder, Ken McGinnis, will be at the conference - so bring your questions and suggestions - we look forward to talking with you.

Download the entry form
All the contest rules (like you must be present to win, etc.) are explained on the entry form. Click here to download the form, or you can pick one up from the Legacy booth starting Tuesday morning. If you can't make it to the conference, download the form anyways - it's a fun crossword puzzle!

Is this a real computer?
It is so real, that I personally use an identical Acer Netbook for all of my presentations throughout the world. In fact, the Legacy seminar that we recently published online was recorded using this Acer Netbook. Actually, that's not all the way correct. The netbook we're giving away has a 10.1 inch screen. Mine is only 8.9 inches. It's got a "roomy" hard drive (160GB), and the 1GB of memory is enough to run its operating system (Windows XP). It also has a digital media card reader, built-in webcam, built-in stereo speakers, 3 USB ports, and built-in wireless so you can surf the Internet. Yes, it's a real computer and a real contest. Dick Eastman, our 2007 Legacy Genealogy Cruise speaker and editor of Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter, recently wrote about how great these netbooks are. DearMYTLE, our 2008 Legacy Genealogy Cruise speaker also wrote about netbooks here.

So, why are we doing this again?
Mostly for fun. But mainly we want as many people as possible to come see our "Legacy & New FamilySearch" class Thursday evening. We will not be announcing that our new FamilySearch interaction tools are now available to download (the crossword puzzle tells you when it will be released), but we will show you what the new software looks like and how close we are to its official certification.

Hope to see you all there!

Cast Your Vote - Legacy Genealogy Cruise 2010

Cruiseholland We need your help deciding where to go for our 7th annual Legacy Genealogy Cruise in 2010. In fact, we are going to let you choose our cruise destination for us. We've narrowed it down to the following two locations:

12-Day South America Passage departing from Santiago, Chile. Possible ports of call: Puerto Montt, Chile;  Darwin Channel Chilean Fjords; Amalia Glacier Canal Sarmiento; Strait of Magellan; Punta Arenas, Chile;  Cockburn and Beagle Channels; Ushuaia, Argentina;  Scenic Cruising Cape Horn; Pt. Stanley, Falkland Islands;  Montevideo, Uruguay;  Buenos Aires, Argentina.

14-Day New Zealand & Australia departing from Auckland, New Zealand. Possible ports of call: Sydney, Australia; Melbourne, Australia; Burnie, Tasmania, Australia; Milford Sound, New Zealand; Fiordland Natl Park Eastbound; Dunedin, New Zealand; Christchurch, New Zealand; Picton, New Zealand; Wellington, New Zealand; Napier, New Zealand; Tauranga (Rotorua) New Zealand; Auckland, New Zealand

When are we going?
We are planning for October/November 2010 on the Holland America cruise line, which gives us plenty of time to rest up from our 2009 cruise to Greece/Mediterranean.

Cast your vote here!
Click here to send us your choice. We'll tally the results and let you know what you have decided for us! Or maybe you have a better destination in mind. Let us know that too....

Wherever you decide to send us, we'll have the time of our lives because we'll be together with our Legacy users.

Legacy classes to be taught at upcoming BYU Conference, July 28-31, 2009

BYU's annual "Conference on Family History and Genealogy" is coming up (July 28-31, 2009). As always, we will be there to answer your Legacy questions. We hope you will stop by and say hello.

We are also teaching two exciting classes on using Legacy:

Wednesday, July 29, 5:15-6:15pm, room 2260. Overview of Legacy Family Tree 7.0, taught by Legacy-expert Leonard Plaizier. Leonard has served for fourteen years at the South Davis Multi-Stake Family History Center as an Advisory Council Member, Assistant Director, Technology Specialist, Conference and Outreach specialist. If you have not heard Leonard speak, don't miss this class. He has a gift for teaching.

Thursday, July 30, 5:15-6:15pm, room 2258. Legacy and New FamilySearch, co-taught by Luc Comeau and Leonard Plaizier. Luc is our lead programmer responsible for Legacy's Research Guidance, Legacy Charting, and now Legacy's interface and synchronization tools with new FamilySearch. He will demonstrate how Legacy will interface with the new FamilySearch program. Although we have not yet released this tool to our Legacy users, attendees will get to see it in action (it's looking really good!). Leonard will present some great ideas about preparing your Legacy information to work more effectively with the new system. This should be a great class.

Legacy classes and user groups are available in many different parts of the world. To see our upcoming speaking and conference calendar, please visit To see if there is a local user group, please visit

Legacy Family Tree update available (

We have a great new update for you to download. This update adds new FamilySearch fields in preparation for our integration with their new system, some GEDCOM tools, and a new SourceWriter template. It also fixes a few minor problems you have reported.

What's New

FamilySearch - Added new field to handle the new FamilySearch individual number. This is now imported and exported and displayed in the Individual's Information screen.

LDS - added new confirmation and initiatory fields on the LDS Ordinance Information screen. (You must have "Display LDS Information" turned on at Options > Customize > General tab.) You can also search for people with missing confirmation and initiatory information in Legacy's Search screen. Here's an example of how you would do this:

On the Detailed Search tab (Search > Detailed Search tab) add these conditions:

  • Look for whom column:  Individual
  • Where to look column: LDS Conf. Date
  • How to look column: Equal to
  • What to look for column: [leave this blank]

When you click the Create List button at the bottom, you will get a list of all persons who is missing the confirmation date. Do similar searches for the confirmation place, and the initiatory date/place.

GEDCOM Export - Added a new option on the Items to Include in GEDCOM screen (click Customize from the GEDCOM Export screen): Don't convert British Quarter dates to a date range.  If a user wants to keep the quarter dates in the GEDCOM, he/she has to select this option each time an export is done (the setting is not saved).

GEDCOM Import - Legacy now prompts the user when unrecognized media paths are encountered, letting the user specify where the files are really located.

SourceWriter: new templates for Voter Rolls

Changed Items

Reports - The user can now include the date in either the Compiler information OR the Credit information at the bottom of each page. Previously the date was only available with the Credit information.

Timelines - updated the "Confederate States of America" timeline

Timelines - updated the "US States and Territories - Dates of Organization and Admission" timeline

What's been fixed

For a list of what has been fixed, click here.

How to Update

For our Deluxe Edition users, all you have to do is connect to the Internet, start Legacy 7.0, and click on the "Install and Download Now" link on the Legacy Home tab. (If you're reading this from within the Legacy Home tab inside of Legacy 7.0, you'll first need to click on the Home button in the top left of the Legacy Home tab which looks like the following picture:


If you are a Standard Edition Legacy user, you will need to visit our website. Go to and follow the instructions.

Join the Legacy Family Tree Fans group on is a brand new social networking site, similar to Facebook, but dedicated to genealogists. In fact, it was officially announced just hours ago. is a site with forums, blogs, videos, RSS feeds and more - again, all related to genealogy. Developed by, it looks to be a great tool to help us stay and get connected with other researchers.

We hope you'll come join our Legacy Family Tree Fans group on Just visit to sign up. Since this is still so brand new, we'll have fun learning about it at the same time.

Genealogy-itis and family trees

I think I have genealogy-itis.

While hiking in Oregon's Columbia River gorge yesterday (day 2 of the family reunion), I could not take my eyes off the forest's tall trees. Although I was impressed with their height and beauty, all I could think of was how great they would look as a background of a wall chart.

The hike was beautiful, and the wall chart turned out pretty good. Using Legacy's charting program, I created an Ancestor Chart (upward style) and used the "Mug Shot" theme (Appearance tab > themes). Using the Sizing button (Appearance tab) I also adjusted the box size and spacing. Finally, using the Background button (also on the Appearance tab) I added my favorite tree picture from the hike and adjusted its transparency to 25%.


Tomorrow we're going to the beach - my favorite place on earth. Well, cemeteries are pretty fun too. Is there a cure for genealogy-itis? I hope not....

Family History Moments

Yesterday I had a real "family history moment."

During a casual conversation with my mother's parents at our family reunion, I learned that they both played the piano when they were younger. I had no idea about this part of my grandparents' lives. I can't say that I was shocked to learn this because my mother has always played and taught me to play when I was young. I now have my own baby grand and am trying to teach my kids.

My grandparents also told us about something they recently discovered about their childhoods. They learned that when they were ten years old they each performed at the same piano recital. They even shared the same piano teacher at one point. Seems they were destined for each other.

Music, and especially the piano, have always been a big part of my life. Now I know that it actually runs in our genes. Learning how it was a part of my grandparents' lives gives me a better sense of "me". A better sense of why I am the way I am. I guess that is what family history is all about.

And so for the next week I get to put my long-ago-ancestors on hold while I make some memories with my "living relatives."

What about you? I'd love to hear about your favorite family reunion story or a special "family history moment." Use the comments below to share your experience.