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December 2009
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February 2010

More SourceWriter tips

A good friend emailed me the other day asking for my advice on which SourceWriter template he should use for a collection of obituaries and death records he was using. He mentioned that Athens County, Ohio has published all of their obituaries from 1900 until 2008.

Looking through the SourceWriter's list of templates (click on image below to enlarge), my friend did not see an entry for an obituary. That's when he emailed me.


He was right, there is not an Obituary entry in the list of templates, although the Newspapers template would cover this. However, one word in his email to me stood out - published. I asked him about this, and he said that the obituaries were published in a series of books.

Problem solved. The correct SourceWriter template to use in this case is a book.

Let's say that a book has a listing of marriage records for a city. In the book, you find an entry of an ancestor's marriage date. Which SourceWriter template should you use? Marriage Record? Artifacts? Book?

The answer is pretty simple if you know what you are "holding in your hand". At a recent genealogy conference, Elizabeth Shown Mills, author of Evidence Explained, (book upon which the SourceWriter templates were constructed) taught that for us to understand what kind of citation/template to use, we should first look at the source we're holding in our hand. Are we holding a marriage record or an obituary in our hand? Or are we holding a book that talks about a marriage record or an obituary? If it's an actual marriage record, then cite this source using the template for a marriage record. If it's a book, then use the book template.

A similar concept would apply for citing a digitized document that you find on a website. Let's say you found an image of a marriage record online. The rule of thumb here is to cite this as a marriage record. After selecting Marriage Records in the SourceWriter's list, and answering the first few questions, select Online Images as the medium.


If you're ever in doubt of which SourceWriter template to use, try to remember the reasons for which we cite our sources. We cite sources to document our findings for a) analysis purposes and b) to help you/others be able to retrieve the same source in the future. With this in mind, I believe that the content of the citation trumps the style of the citation. So if I'm not sure which template to use, I won't be hauled away by the citation police, unless I don't record anything.

Having said this, if you're not sure which template to use for the type of record you are consulting, you can always use the generic source templates (see image below). The available templates here should cover every type of source that you would consult.


I guess what I'm trying to say is that it is more important to record something about the source than to record nothing because you're stuck on which template to use. But, using the "what's in your hand" concept can make it easier to select the appropriate template. Of course, you can always contact Support or even get the advice of other Legacy users on our Legacy User Group mailing list. We've also published an article entitled Four SourceWriter Tips which has some other good ideas.

On a more personal note - I just love the SourceWriter. There are times that I'll sit in front of my computer with Legacy opened, and I'll open a person's Source screen and just stare. I love seeing my citations - I love knowing that they conform to standards and that they are consistent. I love filling in the fields and watching the bibliography and footnotes be created on the fly. Um...I'd better stop now, my wife might wonder about this other love affair I have.

Update on Legacy 7.5 (and 7.4)

Legacy version 7.5 is finally almost here. Version 7.4 is even closer....

FS_cert_med Here's where we're at. In January we will release Legacy 7.4 which will add most of the long-awaited FamilySearch integration tools to Legacy. This will be a free update for both Standard and Deluxe edition users. Just yesterday, version 7.4 received official certification from FamilySearch in the following categories: Access, Print, and Ordinance Status. This will allow you to:

  • Match your Legacy individuals with FamilySearch individuals
  • Combine potential duplicates that exist at FamilySearch
  • View the real-time ordinance status of individuals

So, the matching and combining functionality in 7.4 will prepare you for the features in 7.5. LDS users will want to know that although the ordinance reservation tools will not be available until 7.5, 7.4 will provide you with the ability to reserve ordinances via the web site.

In the next month or so after 7.4's release, we will complete the software development to receive certification in the following categories: Sync, Update, and Ordinance Reservation. This is mostly done now, but we want to give you what we have - a great, solid version 7.4. We will then release these final features in Legacy 7.5.

Legacy 7.4 / 7.5 web site

We've created a special web site devoted to keeping you updated on this release. At we will publish the very latest information:

  • News / Updates section - this is where we will publish the latest announcements (in addition to this LegacyNews blog)
  • Video Tutorials - we've published our first video entitled Getting Started in Legacy Family Tree for the brand new LDS genealogist.
  • Preparing for Legacy 7.5 - these are links to all the articles we've published in LegacyNews about preparing your Legacy family file for working with the new FamilySearch tools

Upcoming Legacy classes in Arizona, Utah, and California

We are excited to participate in the following genealogy seminars and workshops. If you are in the area, please stop by our booth to say hello. You can ask the Legacy Family Tree experts questions and take advantage of special seminar discounts.

January 2010

AcerUSA | Arizona | Mesa - January 22-23, 2010. 2nd annual Arizona Family History Expo. Held at the Mesa Convention Center at 263 N. Center Street, visit us in booths 15 and 28. As a major sponsor of this event, we will be giving away hundreds of dollars of prizes including an Acer netbook computer (entry forms will be available during Tim Sullivan's keynote address Friday morning, or pick one up at our booth). We will be teaching the following classes:

  • Market your ancestors using message boards, mailing lists, blogs, and social networking sites
  • Legacy Family Tree: Tips & Tricks
  • Timelines and Chronologies: Secrets of Genealogical Success
  • Organizing, Planning, Mapping, Charting and Sharing Using Legacy Family Tree

Click here for more information about the conference.

USA | Arizona | Youngtown - January 26, February 2, 9, 16. West Valley Genealogical Society. Genealogy Technology 4-week course taught by Legacy's Geoff Rasmussen. Topics include digital images, social networking with blogs, message boards, etc., research guidance tools, mapping, genealogy software tips, sharing information electronically, timelines, and much more. Pre-registration is required, and seating is limited. Visit for more information.

February 2010

USA | California | San Luis Obispo - February 6, 2010. San Luis Obispo County Genealogical Society presents "Genealogy NOW: Photos, DNA, Documents, and the Internet". Visit with Dave Berdan (Legacy's president) and Geoff Rasmussen and get special seminar pricing on Legacy products. Geoff is teaching "Mapping and Timelines" and "Organizing, Planning, Mapping, Charting, and Sharing with Legacy". We're also giving away an Acer Netbook computer. Of course, you must be present to win. Held at Veteran's Hall, 801 Grand Avenue in San Luis Obispo. For registration and more information, please visit

USA | Arizona | Sun City - February 13, 2010. West Valley Genealogical Society's annual seminar featuring Lloyd de Witt Bockstruck. Visit the Legacy table for seminar special pricing on Legacy products. Click here for more information.

USA | Arizona | Scottsdale - February 16, 23 and March 2, 9. Four-week advanced hands-on Legacy workshop held at the Via Linda Senior Center's Computer Lab at 10440 East Via Linda in Scottsdale. In this hands-on advanced workshop you will learn how to use the basic Legacy screens, SourceWriter for accurately citing sources, Research Guidance, report writing, mapping, charting, inserting pictures and documents and other Legacy features. Classes meet for 2 hours each week for 4 weeks. Cost is $40 for Scottsdale residents and $60 for non-residents. Call 480-312-7957 to register (course #78386). Contact Barbara Despenza for more information.

USA | Utah | Highland - February 26-27, 2010. At this annual multi-stake family history fair, Leonard Plaizier will teach a class on Legacy and answer your questions at the Legacy table. Held at the LDS church building on the corner of 9600 North 6800 West in Highland. Classes run Friday from 7:00-9:30pm and Saturday from 9:00am-12:30pm. Contact Lorie Stout for more information.

AcerUSA | Utah | St. George - February 26-27, 2010. 6th annual St. George Family History Expo. Held at the Dixie Convention Center at 1835 Convention Center Drive, visit us in booths 302 and 401. As a major sponsor of this event, we will be giving away hundreds of dollars prizes including an Acer Netbook computer (entry forms will be available at Bernie Gracy's keynote address Friday morning, or pick one up at our booth). Legacy's Geoff Rasmussen will be teaching four classes:

  • Organizing, Planning, and Sharing Using Legacy
  • Improving Your Use of New FamilySearch
  • Legacy and New FamilySearch
  • Insider's Guide to Legacy Family Tree: Tips & Tricks.

Click here for our speaking schedule. Click here for more information.

USA | Utah | Highland - February 26-27, 2010. 13th Annual Family History Fair. Sponsored by the Highland, Highland East, Highland West, and Highland South LDS Stakes. Held at the Highland South Stake Center at 9600 North 6800 West in Highland. Friday schedule: 7:00pm to 9:00pm. Saturday schedule: 9:00am to 12:30pm. Leonard Plaizier will teach a class on Legacy Family Tree and will demonstrate the new FamilySearch features. Contact Lorie Stout for more information.

USA | California | Whittier - February 27, 2010. Whittier Area Genealogical Society's 27th Annual Seminar featuring Paula Stuart-Warren. Visit us at the Legacy booth for the latest software and seminar-special pricing. Visit for more information.