Watch Geoff live: how to add a death certificate in Legacy Family Tree
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Free webinar now online - "Watch Geoff Live: Adding a Death Certificate"

LogoThis morning I received a death certificate for an ancestor and I was about ready to start adding it to Legacy when I had the idea to turn it into a "reality show" - with the death certificate as the star.

My boss called me right after today's impromptu webinar and said, "that was the best class you've ever given..." While I don't know about that, I am on cloud nine for how successful it was. I'm really excited for all of you to be able to watch it.

Just three hours before the event, I announced the impromptu mini-webinar on our Facebook page and blog, and couldn't believe that so many of you got the notice in time. The webinar turned out to be much more than a boring (I hope it wasn't boring anyways) class on typing in a death certificate. We discussed different websites, the Family History Library catalog, the source clipboard, how to analyze the evidence, and even how to organize your digital pictures - all with real documents using my personal database. It ended with a great question and answer session.

View the recording

If you could not make it to the live event, the 1 hour 23 minute recording of Watch Geoff Live: Adding a Death Certificate is now available in our webinar archives. Visit to watch. Don't worry though - it won't take you 1 hour and 23 minutes to type in a death certificate. Click here to print the death certificate so you can follow along.

The recording will be available in the webinar archives until at least May 16, 2011.

Viewers' comments

Thanks to all the live attendees for your participation. It was so fun to interact with you the way we did. And from your comments, it sounds like we should plan many more of this type of webinar:

  • Enjoyed watching you work. It helped build my confidence in how I'm using Legacy, and I learned a few new tricks.
  • Watching you go through the steps you use and commenting as you do each one showed me so much more than just how to add a death certificate.
  • Very helpful to use real source (death certificate) and real family - and address all the problems that arise and watch the way you use Legacy and set up your files.
  • Excellent-citing the sources properly is one area where I am always questioning whether I am doing it properly. There were lots of tips today that I didn't know previously, so I am excited about trying some new things.Thank you!!!
  • I REALLY enjoyed this one more than almost all of the other ones.  I learned more about how to input informtion (and what all information I have not been inputting that I should have) today than I have from any other source - videos, webinars, books, etc.
  • It was very good. I think the things that didn't go so smoothly made it seem a lot more realistic than if it had been canned.
  • THANK YOU, I have been hesitant to use the source writer.  You explained it beautifully.  I will be able to add sources now.  This was a very informative webinar.  I hope you will do more like this!
  • This was a GREAT Webinar. I have the training CD's and watch them often. However, this live presentation is the most powerful learning tool you have provided.
  • This was a great webinar. I picked up a couple of tips that I didn't know. I will certainly forward the link to the recording to our local Legacy User Group as I am sure they would surely benefit for the "Reality Show".

Register for our upcoming webinars (free)

  • Further Your Research and Unify Your Family Reunion with Beautiful Genealogy Charts with Janet Hovorka - Wednesday, May 11, 2011
  • Google Docs for Genealogists with Thomas MacEntee - Wednesday, May 18, 2011
  • Google Forms for Genealogists with Thomas MacEntee - Wednesday, June 1, 2011.
  • Ready, Set, Write! Share Your Family's Story with Lisa Alzo - Wednesday, June 29, 2011
  • The Power of DNA in Unlocking Family Relationships with Ugo Perego - Wednesday, July 13, 2011
  • Google Images and Beyond with Maureen Taylor - Wednesday, July 20, 2011
  • Organizing for Success with Karen Clifford - Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Click here to register.


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Hi, Geoff,
Thoroughly enjoyed the webinar - thanks for posting it in the archives so that I could watch it. Your talks are always both informative and entertaining.
I have some familiarity with citing sources, but am just learning to use the templates in the Source Writer. I have newspaper digital images supplied by an online subscription service, so not the newspaper publisher. I can't seem to find the "right" template that will print the newspaper information and the online provider information. Hope that you can steer me in the right direction.
Thanks very much!

Laura - I would use this template: Newspapers > Online images (issued by unrelated content provider).

Yes, that seems logical, but where is the information about the online provider entered, so that it appears in the citation? My example is digital images provided by World Vital Records, and I would like to include that information in the citation.

The fields for that are part of the source detail (step 3 of the SourceWriter).

I watched the Webinar last night and it was GREAT! You need to do more of these real life things :) I enjoyed watching you enter REAL data into Legacy which makes is much easier to understand and relate to. Please do more of these.

Thanks for a great webinar. As a beginner this was real data with real life application for my current family history. I have not used the source clipboard as I didn't understand its purpose, but will be using it from now on! What a great tool! I hope you will do more of these practical application webinars in the future!

I enjoyed the webanair very much, but have a few questions:
1) Why not just put a copy in the '+' section either under pictures, notes or dates. This is what I do...but have found that this is not printed when I do a report. Why and how can I get those '+' additions to show in reports.

2) Can we request fhf records refered to in if we are not members of Temple without having to pay for a copy. [I am lucky that most of the ones I have researched through were from Texas, and records from 1903-1979 have original copies there so I can sign in and get them and print them for my records]

3) Suggestion for others, go to and look for memorials for your research. I have found pictures of tombstones with genealogical info on quite a few of my ancestors at this site.

Really enjoyed the webanair

Luayne - I think you are referring to the fact that I transcribed the death certificate and included this transcription as part of the Detail Text. I guess there are lots of reasons why I do this, but primarily, because I don't know today everything that I'm going to need in the future, so if I include both the picture and the transcription I'm covered. Also, the document now becomes searchable. Also, if I want the transcription included in a citation, I now have that opportunity. I'm not really certain what you are referring to in #2, but #3 is great.

I liked the fact that we can watch how it is done. However, I did not understand the source clipboard bit as I am hearing impaired (and have been for most of my life) and rely on both visuals and lip reading. I wish there is a way to caption it or have it transcribed and saved as a PDF format so that I can read it...

Attending the AZ Expo was a big help and learned a lot from the classes that Geoff presented. ( I was able to understand because I was watching the presenter in person.)

So, please find a way to have that assistive technology available so that many people can use/watch the video webinars. There are many Legacy users that are deaf, hard-of-hearing or their hearing ain't what it used to be, if you catch my meaning.

Other than that, I often recommend your Legacy product to many of my friends, family and co-workers.

Is there any way you could leave the webinar, "Adding a Death Certificate" up until those of us at NGS can get home and watch it?

Yes, we'll keep it up there a while longer...

Dear Geoff – Thank you for the death certificate webinar. You were very helpful and I loved the spontaneity! If you are interested in obtaining an obituary for your William Henry Brown, and no one else has offered to look, please let me know. Sincerely, Pat

Thanks Pat for the offer. I've put in a request at the Washington State Library for his obit. Can't wait to see it.

Hi Geoff
Just watch you show Thank it was great mate!
Just wanted to know what template you use for your Washington 1907-1950 death certificate.
Thank Leah/Geelong,,Victoria, Austraila

Leah - the template that was used was: Death records > Death Certificate > All countries except those below... > Created at state/provincial level > microfilm/fiche (microfilm publication)


I just got a chance to watch the webinar. Thanks to some comments you made about the FamilySearch catalog, it took me less than a minute to find the image of my father-in-law's Chicago birth certificate. Knowing which collections have images available is a great help.

One question about filling in location names - why didn't you use the Geo-search feature on Legacy? I use it all the time to find county names.

Lyle - congrats on finding your father-in-law's birth certificate. I didn't use the geo-location database in Legacy to lookup the county name because it would not help me identify the correct county for the time period, it only lists the modern jurisdictions.

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