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How to create a "Mother's Tree"

Motherstree I've never been more creative than flowers or a telephone call for Mother's Day, so this year I thought I'd give Legacy's Mother's Tree a try. With a nice quote, background, and pictures of my mother's mothers, I might just surprise my mother this year (unless she reads this article first).

This chart (click on the image to enlarge) was created with Legacy Charting. Here's how I did it:

1) With my mother selected in Legacy's family view, I clicked on the Charting button in the main toolbar.


2) Then I selected the Mother's Tree chart. This chart begins with the selected person, then creates a tree with her mother, then her mother's mother, then her mother's mother's mother, and so on until there are no more mothers. Mine ended with Sophronia Kintz born in 1810.


3)  The chart also includes the spouses of each of the mothers, but I only wanted to display the females. So, I marked each of the men in the chart as being private. To do this, in the Individual's Information screen in Legacy, click on the Privacy Settings button and mark each person as Private.


Then, in Legacy Charting, click on the Privacy Options button:


This will remove all of the husbands so you have a line of mothers.

4) On the Appearance tab, click on the Background button to add the background of your choice. I chose a background that complemented the quote I added.

5) To add the quote, click on the Insert tab and click on the Text button. I loved the quote: "If I had a flower for each time I thought of My Mother, I could walk in my garden forever."

6) Publish - you can choose to print the chart, export it to an image, email the chart, or have the Legacy chart printing service print a nice chart for you. Which do you think would impress Mom the most?


The thing about mothers, though, is that even if we forgot about their big day, they would still love us. That's just how they are. But if we want to be included in their will, we'd better give them something nice - like a Mother's Tree produced by Legacy Family Tree. :)


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This is a great Mother's Day gift! I have made a chart but cannot find where to change the chart to landscape view as the sample in the article is. I know how to change the setting in my printer, but I want to tweak the chart in landscape mode. Any suggestions?

Merle - click on the round button in the far upper left. Then click on Page Setup. Here you can change the orientation.

Wow, you're quick with the response. I clicked on the small round circle on the top left corner of the page, that took me to preferences for my printer. When I select Landscape mode, the view was still portrait with a dotted line through the portion of the background pic that is being used. Maybe what I can't do what I think I should be able to do? I want to view the picture with the charting information in the landscape mode.

Merle - once it's in landscape mode, try moving the chart around a bit. It might not appear how you expect it without doing this. Maybe even resizing the boxes will help you as well.

Got it! I originally made the chart in portrait mode, the pic I used was landscape. It looked a little distorted in that mode. I found that after selecting Landscape mode in prefs, I had to remove the image and reapply it. Then it worked just fine. I have a 6 generation chart with photos in landscape mode. Looks awesome!

This is a huge and brilliant jewel of an idea. As husband and father of 5 daughters this is a great gift for my daughters and grand daughters. But...Am I wrong in believing after several hours of attempts that the reason I cannot get the women's married names to print is that I have supressed them with the privacy flag? And do you have any suggestion other than restoring their names one at a time with insert boxes?

Dean - you just need to turn on the "Use married name" option. On the Appearance tab, click on the "Box Items" button. Then, in the "Items to Display" section, click on the "Name" item. In the "Item Options", make sure there is a checkmark in the "Use married name" checkbox.

What do you suggest is you have no pictures beyond your own mother?

Thank you. It is nice to know how to display a female line although a bit cumbersome. Legacy would have my undying gratitude if it incorporated that option in it's reports menu.

Thank you for sharing... Am on my way to creating.

Great idea! I'm attempting to make one for my daughter. I have one problem: My daughter's photo appears on the display but did not print. However, the photos of her mother, gm, ggm, etc. did print. Any ideas? Another note: A Print Preview option would save a lot of ink! Thanks.

Geoff - I, too, am having a problem getting the ladies' married names to show. I do have the "Use married name" checkbox checked. I tried the 'refresh" button and shutting down and restarting charting. The checkbox is still checked, but no married names... Thanks.

I made a 'Mother's Tree' for my mother several years ago. We were able to go back eight generations. I did mine in a green-only cross stitch. She was thrilled and it hangs in her bedroom today. I think I'll try the legacy one, also.

Geoff- As for what image to use when you don't have a picture of someone... I went on to google and typed in silhouette woman and looked under the "images" tab. I found a good one at:

Give that a try!

Married Names: I found the problem with showing the ladies' married names on the Mother's Reports. I had surpressed the husbands. When I unchecked that box, the married names for the ladies appeared. Kind of makes sense, but defeats the purpose of a "mothers only" chart...

Nice! I just finished mine. Just used pictures no names, a different picture and quote. "God could not be everywhere, and therefore he made mothers." A Jewish Proverb.
Is there a way to attach and share?


Geoff - I just finished one for my mother-in-law, but need pictures for my own mom. I just sent out an email to all my aunts & uncles (I have 7), letting them know that I am putting together a special item for Mom on Mother's day, and ask them to email me any pictures they have of my Great-Grandmother. I also put that if they don't to give me a name of someone they think might have one. This is needed in my family tree anyway. I am hoping to get a response soon.

What a neat idea! I just finished making mine, and then saved it as a jpeg file. The only thing I wish I could change is that I'd like to show their marriage dates, but I think it didn't show them because the husbands were marked as private. (I had marriage dates selected in the box information.)
You can see my chart here:

Granolamama - love your chart and how you staggered the boxes. I'm changing mine now.

Great idea. But when I'm into the chart, the number of generations is limited to 4. Even though the box appears to allow you to change the number, there is a red sentence which says "limited to 4". How can I change that?

Nancy - Charting is limited to 4 generations in the Standard Edition. Upgrading to the Deluxe Edition removes this limitation.

Making a Mother's Tree is a great idea! I'm trying it, and it's actually my first time to use Legacy Charting, so it's been a good motivator. I do wish that there was a way for the chart to automatically update whenever you make changes in Legacy, rather than having to start over with a new chart, or maybe I'm missing something. I also haven't been able to figure out how to make the background on a text box transparent so that the underlying image shows through. Am I missing something here, too? Thanks everyone for all of the great comments!

Melissa - on the far left, the last button down is a Refresh button. Clicking on it will update the data if it has changed since you last made the chart. But if you have added new individuals, yes, you would have to recreate the chart.

The text box transparency option is logged in our enhancement tracking database. So it should come some time.

Geoff - I can't get the quote to work. I tried to see if there was anywhere to change the font size but can't find it. Am getting frustrated. thanks

Judy, after adding the Text Box, click on it, and click on the Text Settings button. Here you can change the font size.

I love this whole Charting thing. I just did the Mother's Day (I made it for me), used my own photo, and it was so easy.

Question tho--how do I get more than the 4 generations? I clicked on the arroww, but it would go higher. I noticed that someone had submitted one with 7 generations.

Thank you,

Kimmer - Charting is limited to 4 generations in the Standard Edition. Upgrading to the Deluxe Edition removes this limitation.

Geoff, thank you for such a brilliant idea. My problem is the background - I'm trying to use a photo from my pictures but when I select it to the chart it appears as many many little replicas instead of one picture. Please can you help?
many thanks

Sandy - on the Appearance tab, click on the Background button. Change the Display Options to something other than "Tile". This should resolve it for you.

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