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October 2014
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December 2014

One Day Only Black Friday Sale

BlackFridayFor the first time ever Legacy Family Tree is having a Black Friday sale!

There are big discounts but the sale will only last one day.

Are you working on a joint genealogy project with a family member or a group of descendants? You'll be able to share information easier if you are all working in the same software program that is the same version.

If you've hesitated to buy Legacy Family Tree software in the past, don't wait. Now is the time to buy. You won't see savings like this for another year. Buy it for yourself, a family member or a friend.

Check our special Black Friday website page for all the discounts and details.


Make the Most of a Thanksgiving Gathering

For most Americans, Thanksgiving turns into a multi-generational gathering of friends, family or loved ones. While it might not be appropriate to do on-line genealogy research or to sequester yourself away to make a family history video, it is a perfect time to tell stories, record family history interviews or to encourage relatives to work together on future family history projects.

When spending time today with your loved ones, enjoy the stories and memories of times past. Perhaps help some children record an interview with their grandparents. Stories recorded today can be used in videos created during a February snow storm when you are stuck at home. Or spend some time charming the teenagers in your family by convincing them that their technical expertise with computers and camcorders is essential for your next family history project.

Our next Webinar Wednesday speaker, Devin Ashby, will be speaking on the topic "Family History for Kids." Spend some time this Thanksgiving enjoying a family history video Devin created with his family (and a few neighbors too). And don't forget to sign up for the webinar! He'll have more ideas like this to share with your during his webinar.


2 New Legacy quickGuides now available - Organizing/Digitizing Family Photos and Preparing for a Successful Research Trip

Legacy QuickGuidesTM have quickly become one of the more popular resources for genealogists. Each guide contains four (sometimes five, sometimes more) pages of valuable information covering a variety of genealogy research topics, dozens of clickable links, and are written by genealogists and family historians who are experts in the subject areas. We've added two brand new Legacy QuickGuides: Organizing and Digitizing Family Photos and Preparing for a Successful Repository Research Trip, both by Deena Coutant. Now choose from 96 Legacy QuickGuides!

Organizing and Digitizing Family Photos by Deena Coutant - $2.95

Organizing and Digitizing Family PhotosMany people feel that their collections of digital or physical photos and family files are disorganized, and therefore disconnected from full enjoyment in their everyday lives. Organization is very personal, with each individual having his or her own unique flavor of methods, approaches and goals. Although there are no right or wrong answers to how we become more organized, many would like to adopt proven strategies to enable a better state of organization.

The Organizing and Digitizing Family Photos Legacy QuickGuide™ contains useful information including how to establish collections and repositories, file naming and metadata considerations, methods for proper storage, and more. The five-step organization process describes how to manage digital or physical photos so they can be celebrated and shared. Also included are links to websites and resources covering photo organization and preservation methods. This 9-page PDF guide can be used on your computer or mobile device for anytime access.


Preparing for a Successful Repository Research Trip by Deena Coutant - $2.95

Preparing for a successful repository research trip involves numerous actions. Most of these actions occur before the trip, but some cannot be facilitated until arriving onsite. Still other steps are necessary after returning from the trip to complete the cycle and begin preparation for the next research trip. Crafting a solid research strategy will ensure success before, during and after the trip.

The Preparing for a Successful Repository Research Trip Legacy QuickGuide™ contains useful information including how to set research goals and develop a research plan, strategies for duplicating and organizing information, and more. Detailed checklists are provided for trip logistics, repository rules and resources, staff accessibility and supplies to pack. Also included are links to websites and resources covering top genealogical repositories to visit. This 10-page PDF guide can be used on your computer or mobile device for anytime access.


Now choose from 96!

Purchase for just $2.95


United States - State Guides

United States - other Guides


United Kingdom




Five Fabulous Digital Tools to Power Your Life Story

Thanks to guest-blogger Lisa Alzo for this great article!

Does the thought of writing your life story scare you? Even just a little bit? Perhaps you struggle to find the right words, don't know where to begin, or worry that nobody will want to read your finished product. Often, just the very idea of sharing intimate moments through memoir can stop us before we even put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard. As genealogists, we often focus our efforts on chronicling the lives of our ancestors, leaving our own stories to wait until another time. 

IStock_000045146630Medium-300So if the thought of writing freezes you with fear, or conjures up a litany of excuses (it’s too difficult, not enough time, unsure of where to begin, etc.), here are five fabulous digital tools to help you get your story out there.

1. Day One Journal (Mac App $9.99; iPhone/iPad $4.99). Many writers like to keep a diary or journal, and the entries often serve as the outline, or even the meat of the memoir. The Day One Journal takes the diary/journal concept virtual. This app is easy to use, and works well for ideas or making that memory list. The bonus of keeping a digital journal with Day One is that, at any point, you can effortlessly search through your entries, email them, or sync through Dropbox. The app also supports tags, photo uploads, and more. The convenience of this handy app is a great step to move your memoir forward, and makes it easy to turn your notes into a book. [Note: Android users might like Day Journal or one of these alternatives]. [Note: this app is a personal favorite of mine.]

2. Dragon.  (Windows, Mac, and App versions-cost varies from free - $199.99). Some writers find it easier to dictate a story than type it. Dragon turns what you say into text. While there is a bit of work required to set it up to recognize your speech, and results will vary, this program is quite useful when you are unable or don’t want to type. Whether you choose the full computer version of Dragon, or its mobile apps for Android, iPhone/iPad, this tool gives you a way to tell your story like you are sitting across from your best friend or a favorite relative. 

[Want to learn more about dictation tools? Register for the Legacy webinar “Can You Hear Me Now? Voice Recognition Software for Genealogists” to be held on 5 December 2014.]

3. Saving Memories Forever (iPhone/iPad; Android. Free, and premium versions). Many writers turn to writing prompts to help jumpstart a story. The Saving Memories Forever App works like a series of writing prompts–only with audio. Start by creating a free account and adding yourself as a storyteller. Use the prompts (Childhood, Teenage Years, Adult, etc.) to record your story in your voice, and then start writing from your answers. There is a new feature called the audio diary (perfect for memoirs). You can record stories with a free account, but if you want to attach pictures and text files you’ll need to go premium.

4. Vine (free iOS, Android, Windows). Vine is a mobile service that lets you create and share short looping videos. Download the app, then set up your profile (or use your Twitter account) and your posted videos will appear there for others to follow, or you can share via Twitter or Facebook, or you can opt to protect your posts until you are ready to let the world view them. Vine videos are short and sweet—a great way to practice saying what you want in less words. This app is great for capturing current life moments (in very short segments) as they happen. You could also use it to reminisce on a trip back to see your childhood home, or record memories about a favorite toy, family vacation, etc. Search for “memoir” to see how others have used this tool.

5. Voyzee (iPhone/iPad, Android; free). Voyzee is an all-in-one mobile storyteller that lets you combine your photos and movies, and even your own voice into one shareable story.  Voyzee’s tag line is: “Your Story. Your voice.” What could be better for the Memoirist?  In the simplest of terms, a memoir is really an album of the many snapshots of our lives. You can use Voyzee to take those snapshots to storyboard your memoir, combining voice-over narration, photos, videos, captions, filters, and more to create a full story, a beginning, middle, and end. Voyzee even has its own social network where you can share your movies, and follow other users, or you can share via Twitter, Facebook, email, etc. Watch this cute Voyzee video to see you are never too young to start writing your memoir!

As always, users should carefully read the Terms of Service (TOS) for any online app or tool before signing up or using it.

Once you find the right digital tool(s), you can jumpstart your memories by downloading a copy of my free Life Stories Writing Guide (— this handy guide contains questions you can use document your own life story and/or to interview others about significant life events to gather, preserve and share precious memories, or to leave a legacy for future generations.

Remember: All of the technology in the world can’t replace creativity. You still have to write your memoir. While these digital tools and apps should not be used in place of writing, they can certainly jumpstart the process, and hopefully help you to overcome your fears of what to write, or how to say it, and provide new ways for you to get it done! 

Lisa A. Alzo is a freelance writer, instructor, and lecturer, and has been tracking her ancestors for 25 years. She is a frequent presenter for the Legacy Family Tree Webinars series and can be contacted via

How to Get Kids Interested in Family History

by Marian Pierre-Louis

KidsincemeteryIs it important to you to get your kids or grandkids interested in family history?

As family historians we spend a lot of time researching our family history. It would be nice if the next generations were as interested in family history as we are. Not only do we want them to share our passion for family history but it would be re-assuring to know that they will protect and carry on the research down through the generations.

On Wednesday, December 3, 2014 Devin Ashby will present a webinar called "Family History for Kids" (register here). He'll have some ideas on how you can get the youngsters in your family excited about genealogy.

In the meantime, here are some techniques that three Legacy staff members have used to get their own kids involved in family history:

Michele Simmons Lewis, Technical Support

"Kaitlyn (my now married 21 year old) goes with me to cemeteries and has since she was about eight. She always checks behind me to make sure I don’t make a mistake when I am transcribing markers. She is great with microfilm too. She can whirl through a reel without ever missing a name. She is the only one of my five children that is interested in genealogy."

Marian Pierre-Louis, Social Media Marketing Manager

"I have three boys spread across six years. The age spread means that they are interested in different things at different times. As young children, they spent quite a lot of time with me in cemeteries and historic houses. With two teenagers it's harder to drag them along with me. Now I search for age-specific activities to get them involved. Activities involving computers, cameras and camcorders are always a hit. My old standby, of course, is inserting family stories into any conversation we are having."

Geoff Rasmussen, Legacy developer, host of

2014 10 14 01"Having met my wife in a Family History Center, I had visions of doing genealogy together throughout our lives. Turned out, she was just there for a part-time job to put herself through school. But I have four more chances to get a living relative interested in genealogy - my four descendants! Somehow, my 5-year-old daughter loves doing FamilySearch Indexing with me. Last night she said, "Daddy, can I index with you?" Together we indexed 2 names in a Zimbabwe death notice. At the end, I told her, "you just helped someone find their ancestor!" She smiled, and seemed to understand what that meant.

Somehow my 9-year-old has also taken to Indexing. He loves indexing obituaries. They are typed and therefore easy-to-read. He also likes finding obituaries where people died on the same day as his birthday. It creates a small connection between them and him. My genealogy highlight with him was the day he stood in front of a group of 400 and taught them how to index.

I tricked my 12-year-old into visiting a cemetery with me. My kids know that "you never know what happens when you go somewhere with Dad." I'll take them to ice cream, or to a movie, but this time I took Nathan to a cemetery where we took pictures with the BillionGraves app. I think what he liked most was getting to use Dad's phone (usually off-limits).

2012 07 11_0024

My now-14-year-old, Evan, got his start in the Family History Library with me. We were on the way home from a family reunion, and I just needed to stop in Salt Lake City for a quick death certificate. I couldn't believe what I heard when he said, "Dad, can I come with?" I published the rest of the story here.


There are lots of ways to get your kids involved in family history and each family is different. What are some of the ideas you've used with your own family?

Marian Pierre-Louis joins Legacy Family Tree Team

Marian-2013_243_TwitterLegacy Family Tree is pleased to announce the addition of Marian Pierre-Louis, to our Legacy team. Marian will act as the Social Media Marketing Manager and provide outreach to Legacy customers through the Legacy blog, Facebook, Google+ and Twitter. Marian will also guest-host our new evening webinars in 2015.

Marian is well-known in the genealogical community as a house historian and professional genealogist who focuses on New England research. She has also been a popular presenter on the Legacy Family Tree Webinar series. Marian specializes in probate, deeds, New England town records and brick wall research. Marian is Program Co-Chairperson for the 2015 New England Regional Genealogical Conference (NERGC) and is actively involved with the New England chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists. She is also a Director of the Federation of Genealogical Societies. In addition, she is the host of Fieldstone Common, an internet radio show dedicated to northeastern history and genealogy and The Genealogy Professional podcast, a show for anyone interested in a career in genealogy.

Legacy's Geoff Rasmussen said, "We are excited to add Marian and her unique set of skills to our Legacy Family Tree team. She has a genuine enthusiasm for genealogists and genealogy research that will resonate well with our software users and webinar audience." We, and our Legacy customers are lucky to have her on our team.

Marian brings 15 years of corporate marketing experience in the engineering and semiconductor industries as well as 8 years' experience promoting a small business. In addition to social media her areas of expertise include running targeted marketing campaigns, copywriting, website design and maintenance, and audio and video production.

Join the celebration!

To celebrate her arrival, we've gone to the webinar membership vaults and unlocked one of Marian's popular webinars, Ten Brick Wall Tips for Intermediate Researchers. Normally available only for annual or monthly webinar subscribers, this webinar is free to the public until Thursday, November 27, 2014. Click here to watch.

Using Evernote for Genealogy - free webinar by Lisa Louise Cooke now online for limited time


The recording of today's webinar, Using Evernote for Genealogy, by Lisa Louise Cooke, is now available to view for free at for a limited time. The viewers loved it!

  • "Wow! Didn't know a thing about Evernote, now can't wait to use it."
  • "Legacy puts on the BEST webinars. And today was one of their best."
  • "She has made a believer out of me and I can't wait to try it. Anxious to try out her website as well. Thank you Legacy!"

View the Recording at

If you could not make it to the live event or just want to watch it again, the 1 hour 34 minute recording of "Using Evernote for Genealogy" is now available to view in our webinar archives for free for a limited time. It is also available to our monthly or annual Webinar Members for the duration of your membership. Visit to watch. The supplemental syllabus materials are also available for annual/monthly webinar subscribers to download/print/save. Login or subscribe.

Coupon code

Use webinar coupon code - evernote - for 10% off anything at or, valid through Monday, November 24, 2014.

Lisa's special offer for a premium membership at ends tonight at midnight (November 19). Use coupon code LEGACY5 (in all caps) for $5 off.

Webinar Memberships/Subscriptions

Webinar Members get:

  • On-demand access to the entire webinar archives (now 194 classes, 284 hours of genealogy education)
  • On-demand access to the instructor handouts (now 787 pages)
  • 5% off all products at (must be logged in at checkout, and yes, you can also use the 10% off webinar coupon above for a total of 15% off)
  • Access to all future recordings for the duration of their membership
  • Chance for a members-only door prize during each live webinar

Introductory pricing:

  • Annual membership: $49.95/year (that's about the cost of 5 webinar CDs)
  • Monthly membership: $9.95/month

Click here to subscribe.

Register for our upcoming webinars (free)

  • Family History for Kids by Devin Ashby. December 3.
  • Can You Hear Me Now? Voice Recognition Software for Genealogists by Luana Darby. December 5.
  • Researching Your North Carolina Ancestors by J. Mark Lowe. December 10.
  • Bagging a Live One - Connecting with Cousins You Never Knew You Had by Mary Kircher Roddy. December 17.

Click here to register. Or click here register for multiple webinars at the same time.

Print the 2014 webinar brochure here.

See you online!

If I could turn back time to before I called my mother this morning...

WeddingAh, the highs and lows of family and genealogy.

A few minutes ago I received a text message from my sister who asked,

"How long have mom and dad been married?"

Wondering why she was asking, but feeling confident because I knew I could find the answer immediately, I opened Legacy. Legacy's "Ages" tool will tell me exactly how long - to the day - they've been married. I quickly navigated to my parents, and then clicked on View > Ages. What I saw made my heart sink.

11-19-2014 9-47-12 AM

Today is my parents' 40th wedding anniversary. With my tail between my legs, I responded to my sister and wondered what I could do to make it up to my parents. My mother already knows I forgot, because about an hour ago I called her and asked her for a favor. Nope, I didn't wish her a special day then. Had I been more diligent in looking at the Legacy Home tab inside my Legacy software, I would have remembered:

11-19-2014 9-49-59 AM

Legacy has the tools to help me be a good son. I just wish I had used them before calling my mother the first time today. Fortunately, she loves me unconditionally. But if any of you have any advice for me, I could surely use some this morning.

Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad!

5 Legacy Tips for your next family gathering

Legacy user, Khadija, wrote in asking for some tips on how to use Legacy to make their family reunion even more special for everyone.  

We are having a family reunion of my mums family, next year in January. My grandparents have passed on, all the people under them will be there. This is what I want to do for the reunion:

1. Have a large family tree for all to see and a small one A4 to give to each family member.

For the large family tree I would do a Descendant Chart starting with your grandparents. All of your cousins will get a kick out of seeing how they fit into the family compared to everyone else. Legacy Charting has many options to customize the chart so you can make it really nice. Once you have it just like you want, you can order your custom chart through using our chart printing service available on the Publish tab. I have ordered charts this way and have been very pleased. 

You could just make A4 copies of this chart to pass out to the attendees but if you have the time it would be more fun to personalize the chart to each guest. Instead of creating a descendant chart, create individual four-generation Ancestor Charts with each person as the anchor of their own chart. They will go home with a nice keepsake and hopefully a new-found interest in their family history.


 2. A slide show with family pics, with a bit of family history of my grand parents, aunts and uncles.

There are two ways to do this. You can put together a slide show in Legacy using the Picture Scrapbook. You have complete control over which image files are used. Your family will be able to see the caption, date and any notes you have written about each picture. You can set the slide show to advance automatically and you can control the amount of delay between photos. This feature is very easy to work with. This is a great option if you can hook your computer up to a projector and show it on a screen so that everyone can see it. 

You can also use the free add-on program Passage Express. Once you download it you can access the program from within Legacy. This program will create a CD (or DVD, or others) with a multimedia presentation on it. You can add text narrative as well as sound narrations to the photos. CDs are cheap and this would be a great surprise to pass out at the reunion. There is also a Deluxe edition of Passage Express available if you are interested in some more advanced options. 


 3.  A family history book

Legacy’s Publishing Center will help you create a family history book. You have complete control over the contents and there are plenty of options so that you can personalize it just like you want. One thing I really like is being able to preview the book as you make changes until you get it just like you want. You can pull any of Legacy’s reports into the book, each report being its own chapter. You can edit each chapter and you also have options that will apply to the entire book as a whole. Legacy has options to include a Title Page, Copyright Notice Page, Dedication Page, Preface Page, Index and more. As with everything in Legacy, you can customize the book to make it your own. You can save the book as a pdf file and most publishing outlets can publish from a pdf file. There are many print on demand companies on the internet such as Lulu and Blurb. You could also just simply put the pdf file on a CD and pass them out at the reunion. 


4. The family tree that can be viewed by others of the internet

You can create a gedcom file and upload it to a website such as WikiTree. If you have your own web space, Legacy will create the webpages for you and then you can upload them. There are five different styles of web pages you can create and you have complete control over what is and what isn’t included. Rootsweb offers free web space to genealogists. 


5. How can I save the whole family tree on a cloud, my laptop was stolen once, and I lost a lot of info because of that. I do not want that to happen again.

Backing up your family file to cloud storage is a great idea. There are several free cloud storage servers available such as DropBox, OneDrive and GoogleDrive. I back up my files to OneDrive. I keep my ten most current backups and then delete anything older than that. If my computer crashes my backups will be safe. It is important to make regular backups and not wait too long in-between them. Since I work in my file every day I backup my file every day. There is an option to have Legacy remind you to backup your file if you are worried you might forget. Once you tell Legacy where you want to back up your file it will remember it and will continue to back up there until you tell it otherwise. 


There are more things that Khadija can do to make the reunion a one-of-a-kind event. How about printing name tags for everyone. You can do that right in Legacy. How fun is this!



Legacy has a customizable Family Questionnaire you can pass out. If you have older attendees this might be your only opportunity to capture this information. Since you will be collecting information on persons still living make sure you have their permission to add the information to your file.


Legacy is much more than a just a genealogy database program.

Thanks to Legacy Support rep, Michele, for this article! She also writes the Ancestoring blog.