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Legacy Family Tree 8 Revealed - Shared Events and Automated Sorting

The feature most requested by Legacy Family Tree users - Shared Events - will be included in the soon-to-be-released Legacy 8 upgrade.

First of all, if the Legacy term of "event" is new to you, you have been missing out on one of the most important aspects of genealogy research. An event is something that took place in an ancestor's life - like their immigration, a land transaction, being enumerated in the census, being a witness to a marriage. An event is usually associated with a date and a place. Recording these events is crucial to genealogical success because it builds a timeline of the ancestor's life. The timeline displays their migration and shows you where you need to look for their records. Just click on the Chronology View to see the ancestor's timeline. (Click on the image below to see a portion of Asa Brown's Chronology report.)


The timeline is built from the information and events you have recorded. In Legacy 7, much of this comes from the Events/Facts section as shown here:


Compare this with the same screen in Legacy 8:


In red, below, are some of the enhancements:


First is the addition of the Age column - I love it!

Next, the blue arrows in the Event/Fact column indicate that this is an event shared with this person, originating from someone else. In this example, I added the 1800 census event to Nathan Brown, and shared it with everyone else in the household.


Using the new "Share" button prevents me from having to manually add this event to everyone else involved.


Next, the four columns of colorful icons replace the boring S and + symbols of v7. Hovering your cursor over the shared event icon will show you how many people share this event: 


By the way, when you add a new event, it is now automatically sorted! Can I get a hallelujah?!

Now for the practical use of shared events. I'll use the census for the first example. Since I found Asa Brown in the 1850 census, I would add a new Census event to his record as shown below. (Some people call it a Residence event. It doesn't really matter. What matters is adding the event because it shows the place a person lived on a certain date.)


Also in this household were his wife, five children, and one stepson. Prior to Legacy 8, I would 1) click on the small "copy event to clipboard" button, 2) navigate to the next person in the household, 3) create their census event, 4) click the "paste event from clipboard" button, and 5) save their new event. 6) Repeat steps 2-5 for each person in the household. This has worked wonderfully because it adds this event to each person's timeline.

In Legacy 8, just click on the "Share Event" button and select the other people with whom you wish to share the event. The role of "household member" is automatically added to everyone, yet this role can be adjusted if desired.


This new shared event now appears in both the Individual's Information screen AND the Chronology View for each of these people. Simple!

Other uses for shared events would include sharing the "Deed" event with the others mentioned in the deed like the grantor/grantee or even the witness to the deed. These individuals may be family, associates, or neighbors that end up being important to research also. When you click on the Add Person button, you can choose to 1) select a name from the name list or 2) just enter the name of a person.


You would also use shared events with a marriage certificate. The marriage certificate not only provides information about the bride and groom, but also about the wedding's witnesses. Sharing the marriage event is an easy way to link everyone together so their relationships are recorded and not forgotten.

What other ideas do you have? When would you use a shared event?

Sorting of events and children

It gets even better! I mentioned above that events are now automatically sorted in the Individual's Information screen as they are added. But what about all those events and children you have previously entered? With the new "Sort Child, Marriage, and Event Lists" tool, Legacy 8 will look for children, marriages, and events that were entered out-of-order and sort them for you.


Don't worry though if you have children or events without dates that you have manually sorted. We have taken that into consideration and provide you with options to preserve your manually sorting.


So what do you think? Are you excited about the new Shared Events and Sorting features? 

What are the other new features of Legacy 8?

Here are links to the articles I've previously written:

Legacy Family Tree 8 Revealed

Legacy Family Tree 8 Revealed - Q/A, new Tagging options, and other surprises

Legacy Family Tree 8 Revealed - Migration Mapping

Legacy Family Tree 8 Revealed - Instant Duplicate Checking

When will Legacy 8 be released?

There's still more than one truthful answer to this:

  • I'm not really sure, but probably before the end of the year, and hopefully way before then
  • When it has been thoroughly tested by our development team and beta testers

But if you are considering downloading either the free or deluxe editions of Legacy, don't wait! Any purchases of Legacy 7.5 from May 8, 2013 forward will receive the new Legacy 8 at no charge. And as always, anyone who has purchased Legacy Deluxe previously will qualify for special discounted upgrade pricing. Get started today - you won't have to relearn everything when Legacy 8 is ready, but you'll get some really nice new features when it is.


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WOW! It just keeps getting better and better! I am very excited!

This is an awesome feature, but the first thing that comes to my mind is will it automatically "share & sort" all information that has been entered into previous versions of Legacy or will it only operate on newly entered events?

Chris - it will work for both. As new events are entered, they will automatically be sorted. There is also a Global Sort tool as described above that will go through your previously-entered information.

Are there roles for the shared events
Census, Head of Household, Wife, Son, Granddaughter, Etc.
Marriage, Bride, Groom, Witness, Minister etc
Birth, Child, Godparents, Minister, etc.


Fantastic! No more jumping back and forth and forgetting where I was. Does this also mean that when you print out the Family Report sheet that it will eliminate duplicate census records showing up under the husband and then again under the wife?

Alexander - each event comes with a pre-defined set of default roles, or you can add your own.

Phyllis - unfortunately not. If you choose to print events on a FGR, they will appear for anyone that has an event. Now that we have the foundation of shared events, it's probably something we could look into more easily now.

Just to confirm the obvious, a Census jpg document attached to the event will also be a part of what is shared (therefore available to be viewed) from any of the list of shared people? Yes?

Dave - that is correct. Anything linked to the event (pictures, etc.) will be part of the shared event that anyone that shares the event can access.

Hallelujah! Shared events rock. Not having to manually enter the same event for each individual will mean more time devoted to doing genealogy.

Thanks Jeff and to the developers of Legacy 8

Can hardly wait for the release.

Can you change the predefined sentence for a fact for each sharee eg parents, son, daughter etc on a census?

Sounds good. I have looked at my family tree critically and find I have under-recorded events for people not in my focus at the time. So I often don't have the whole family having a census or residence event. I think this feature will make me work more effectively now, especially as the one who does NOT share this event is often one I want. Soldiers, girls or boys in service or apprenticed. I am hoping it will be possible to formulate searches based on events shared or not shared with a specific other person.
Will it be possible to 'add a new person' if one does not exist, at the point where you are adding sharers to an event?

Anne - yes!

This is, to me, one of THE most exciting features. I have done many censuses and taken hours to enter a census into all family members. I may go back and remove all the censuses I did and re do them with this new feature. And the auto sort.....Wonderful! Thanks, guys

This is GREAT... Always wanted an EVENT based program similar to ROOTS from past decades. So, some of us have an event loaded database. Will there be a tool for cleaning up matching/duplicate events and making them a SHARED event?

*Facepalm* I just finished adding events to almost 10,000 names. It took me months. Hundreds of these were duplicate entries (of course). So, be still my beating heart that this nifty feature is coming soon, but does this mean I have to go back and do it all over again. Will we be able to combine events and event descriptions?

This is the most exciting, time-saving feature you have revealed so far. Kudos to the developers! They must be getting great input and listening. Love the sort too.

Oh my! This is going to save me so many hours of tedious entry. I love both the sharing and the sorting features. Let's do it now!! :)

I think this could be the best new feature yet. What a time saver!

I have a census event for each member of the family, but for the English census events, the top portionare personalised for each family member: name age, where born eg
Name: Lousia Clay
Age: 4
Estimated Birth Year: abt 1837
Gender: Female
Where born: Staffordshire, England
and then lower portion common to all the other family members.
The census image is attached to each family member.

I was wondering how legacy 8 would handle that as sharing Louisa's with her family would overwrite what I have for her father and mother and siblings?

Hi Geoff, you do get a Hallelujah! from me. This is looking great. But where are the TAGS in the Individual's Information screen? I can't live without them!

Bob - the tags are still there if you having tagging turned on. In these examples, I must not have had tagging turned on.

Margaret - there are notes that apply to the shared event as a whole, yet each person can also have their own specific notes that are not shared for that event.

Carol - I'm personally not going to go back and redo all of my events. They're still perfectly good and perform the function they intended. For new events I add, I will use the shared events feature to save me time.

Carl - since events have always manually been added to individuals, Legacy would not know which events should be connected with which people, so there isn't any automated way to convert existing events to shared events. Rather, you will just pick the event, click the share button, and then remove the now-extra events from people. That is, if you want to do it. It wouldn't be necessary though.

Dave - currently it doesn't give you the ability to add a brand new, linked person while you are in the middle of sharing the event. I'd like to look into this more though.

When would I use a shared event? How about an obituary? Especially when that obit provides me with the married surname of a female descendant when no marriage record has been found (yet)! And also (with my family, at least) when one family member has shot and killed another, and that event has been reported in the newspaper... This is a great addition to Legacy 8!

Hallelujah! And hallelujah again! I can hardly wait to get this downloaded and start cleaning up my family files! These are some of the most useful features in a long while. Thank you Geoff and all you developers!

I've just spent the weekend inputting data -- census, birth, baptism, marriage, etc, and I could have used this! I can hardly wait for the release! I'm floored with the possibilities of the shared data ... and that sort feature to boot!

I need this NOW!!! I was happy about version 8 before, but now with the shared events, I'm jumpin' all over with excitement! Cannot wait!!!

Love this!!! Used this feature in TMG. Baptisms, Weddings, Plays, etc. Wonderful to see how individuals connect, often neighbors or witnesses to events are actually found to be related.

Last night I experienced an aha moment........just discovered that my paternal 2nd Great Grandfather's first wife was my 1st cousin 4 times removed through my father's mother. Or a dear friend, and former employer is my 8th cousin twice removed. ;-) The new featured in Legacy 8 would help in both instance, with the possible duplicate feature, and sharing.

So excited! Thanks again Geoff!!!!!

I confess. I have omitted adding events to all individuals named on the census, but only because it was so tedious with my large families. I am looking forward to going through all my records and adding the missing information. I had actually started to do it, but now I will wait. I am creating a log of events to be shared and who to share them with, in preparation for the upgrade. Hallelujah!

Can't wait to update. Hope it is soon.

This is really impressive. Argh, the wait! BUT...
I get the little symbols - shared with whom, source, image, but what is the little exclamation mark in the red circle? I have opened up my existing Legacy (7.5), but that gives me no clues. What is it for?

I wonder if a family photograph would make a good "shared event". It would be useful to know where in a chronology a photo may lie, even if the date is an approximation. Any thoughts?

Okay, this means to me that, from now on till 8 comes out, I will hold off entering anymore "events"! I have a bunch of events that were just added to the parents, and not the children. After the new version comes out, I will go back and add all the children to the censuses. Thanks this will be a great addition!

Megan - my favorite new feature! I'll write about it soon.

I can't wait. I do include an event and pictures to all of the people found in a source, and I agree that it is time consuming. This share feature will be awesome! I really like having the ages of a person shown for each event. Thank you in advance.

I had one item on my Legacy 8 wish list. This was it! It will now be possible to make connections beyond the family unit, and expand into neigbourhoods and friendships. It might not be genealogy in the strictest sense, but it will sure help your research!

Shared Events is brilliant. I was looking at moving away to a different product with that functionality - not now. All I need now is a way to work through 6000 people with common census events.

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