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Managing Client Files in Legacy

Managing Client Files in Legacy

This article assumes that you are comfortable using Legacy (not for beginners).

There are a lot of certified, accredited, and professional genealogists that use Legacy not only for their personal genealogy but also for their client files. There is a nifty file structure trick that will not only keep everything organized for you but will also make it easy for you to send a client's file to them that has all of their data and media. They will be able the open it in Legacy and continue their research without having to worry about broken media links. If your client doesn't already use Legacy, you can give them the link to download the free Standard Version which will give them access to everything you have sent and a link to our collection of Legacy 101 Articles to help them get started on the right foot. 

Each client will have a folder. Inside that folder will be his/her data file and a folder for their media. Where you keep this folder of client files doesn't matter a bit. They are self-contained and will have internal links between the data and the media. You can move these files on your computer on a whim and you will never have to worry about broken links.  If you send the client their entire folder, they too can put it anywhere on their computer, access it, and have no broken media links though the instructions I send the client puts the folder within the Legacy file hierarchy. For illustrative purposes I have the client files in a folder directly on my C: drive. 

Client Files
(click image to enlarge)

If you open one of the client folders this is what you will see:

Client Folder
(click image to enlarge)

Everything is nice and tidy. 

To prepare the file to send, right click their folder and select Send To > Compressed (Zipped) Folder. You will be sending them this zip file. I like to park the client's file on cloud storage and then send them a download link  You can also email the zip to them using a free service such as WeTransfer. Chances are the zip file will be too large to send via regular email if there are a lot of attached documents/photos. 

Here are the instructions to send to the client. You will need to substitute the name of their file:

1) [explain how you are getting the file to them]

2) Download the file and then double click it to open it. Inside you will see a file folder named Doe. You need to copy this entire folder (don't open it) to the \Documents\Legacy Family Tree\Data folder. If you have done this correctly, when you open the Windows Documents folder you will see the Legacy Family Tree folder inside. If you open that folder you should see a folder named Doe. Here is the full file path:
\Documents\Legacy Family Tree\Data\Doe

3) Now open Legacy. The Sample file should automatically be on your screen. Go to File > Open File. Use the Windows dialog box to navigate to \Documents\Legacy Family Tree\Data\Doe\Doe and open your new file

4) Go to Options > Customize > Locations
In Option 6.1 navigate to the \Documents\Legacy Family Tree\Data\Doe folder using the Change button
In Option 6.2 navigate to the \Documents\Legacy Family Tree\Data\Doe\Doe Media folder using the Change button
Click Save at the bottom

5) Go to Options > Customize > General Settings
In Option 1.2 make sure it is set to Open last used family file automatically

6) Now you can use your new file!


Sending the client your research file will be an added bonus for them and can be a marketing tool for you.


Michele Simmons Lewis, CG® is part of the Legacy Family Tree team at MyHeritage. She handles the enhancement suggestions that come in from our users as well as writing for Legacy News. You can usually find her hanging out on the Legacy User Group Facebook page answering questions and posting tips.


New "Member Friday" Webinar - Four-Star Genealogy on a One-Star Budget by Mary Kircher Roddy

New "Member Friday" Webinar - Four-Star Genealogy on a One-Star Budget by Mary Kircher Roddy

Every Friday we're pleased to offer Legacy Family Tree Webinar subscribers a new bonus webinar just for them!   This Friday enjoy "Four-Star Genealogy on a One-Star Budget" by Mary Kircher-Roddy. If you're not a member, remember the webinar previews are always free.

Four-Star Genealogy on a One-Star Budget

Wouldn’t it be great to be able to afford every subscription database you want? But sometimes that’s just not in the cards. Does that mean you can’t do genealogy? Absolutely not! Learn about some free databases that just might help you in your research. Or for those cousins you’re trying to lure into research – these free databases might be just the thing to get them hooked on this addicting hobby. Even if you just take a short hiatus from a subscription sites you’ll find resources you never thought to look for… and maybe reinvigorate your research in the process.

  New "Member Friday" Webinar - Four-Star Genealogy on a One-Star Budget by Mary Kircher Roddy



About the Presenter

Mary Kircher RoddyMary Roddy, a Certified Public Accountant, has been a genealogist since 2000, becoming interested in the subject in anticipation of an extended trip to Ireland. She earned a certificate from the Genealogy and Family History program at the University of Washington in 2005. She lectures frequently on various genealogical topics in the Seattle area and at conferences across the country.  She has written a number of articles for Internet GenealogyFamily Chronicle (now Your Genealogy Today) as well as Speak! (the publication of the Genealogical Speakers Guild) and FGS Forum. Mary also writes a regular blog at She is a participant in ProGen 31.

See all the webinars by Mary Kircher Roddy in the Legacy library.

Not a member yet?

Legacy Family Tree Webinars provides genealogy education where-you-are through live and recorded online webinars and videos. Learn from the best instructors in genealogy including Thomas MacEntee, Judy Russell, J. Mark Lowe, Lisa Louise Cooke, Megan Smolenyak, Tom Jones, and many more. Learn at your convenience. On-demand classes are available 24 hours a day! All you need is a computer or mobile device with an Internet connection.

Subscribe today and get access to this BONUS members-only webinar AND all of this:

  • All 699 classes in the library 935 hours of quality genealogy education)
  • 3,107 pages of instructors' handouts
  • Chat logs from the live webinars
  • Additional 5% off anything at
  • Chance for a bonus subscribers-only door prize during each live webinar
  • Additional members-only webinars

It's just $49.95/year or $9.95/month.


Look at our lineup of speakers for 2018! All live webinars are free to watch.

Print the 2018 webinar brochure here.

Legacy 101 - Entering Events

Creating a timeline for your ancestor is critical. If you know where they were at specific times you can then research in the correct jurisdictions to find possible records. If you see a migration pattern in their movements you can then back them up in time using known migration routes which might give you a place of origin. You can investigate other people in the same area at the same time who might be related in some way. Entering events is how you create this important timeline. The vital events (birth, baptism, death, and burial) have their own fields so you will not be entering these as custom events.  All events are entered on the Individual's Information screen. 

Individual's Information screen
(click image to enlarge)

Click the Add button over on the right and you will see the event entry screen. If you click the drop down arrow next to the Event/Fact field you will see the default events that Legacy comes with but you can also easily add your own event name by typing it in the field. Legacy will auto fill if you already have that event in your list. You can mouse click on the Event/Fact: label and Legacy will fill in the last event you used.

Entering an event name
(click image to enlarge)

You may or may not need the description field depending on the event. You then add the date of the event (if known) and the place where it occurred (if known). If you right mouse click the date or place field name it will give you a list of the last ten things you used. The place field will also auto fill as you are typing if you have already used that place and it is on your Master Location List. You also have a place to add notes at the bottom. All of Legacy's note fields can have up to one million characters. I had to reduce the size of the window for the screenshots. Your screens will have more room.

I am going to show you a few examples of events from my personal file. It is important to understand that different people will enter events differently so what you see is just the way I do it.

Census event
(click image to enlarge)
Residence event
(click image to enlarge)
Deed event
(click image to enlarge)
Will event
(click image to enlarge)

You can also add an address, sources, and media files to an event. 

Address, sources, media icons
(click image to enlarge)

Legacy has two ways to save you a lot of time and help you make sure that your events are consistent.  You can Copy and Paste events to other people or you can Share events with other people. Which method you choose is a matter of personal preference and you might decide to use one way for some events and the other way for others. One thing you will want to consider is how the events will read out in reports. The two methods produce different outputs. You can try each method and run sample reports to see which one works better for you. When you copy and paste you are creating an exact duplicate of the event that will be added to the other person's timeline. When you share an event you are able to add roles for the other people (how they participated in the event).

To copy an event you will click the copy icon, navigate to the person who needs the event, click the Add button, and then click the paste icon.

Copy an event
(click image to enlarge)
Paste an event
(click image to enlarge)

To share an event you will click the Share Event button over on the right. 

Sharing an event
(click image to enlarge)

If you chose "Select from the Name List" you will see a familiar screen where you can choose one or more people you want to share the event with by putting a check mark next to their name. Legacy helps you out by putting the immediate family over on the right so that you don't have to hunt for them (first screenshot). You use the "Just enter the name of a person" when the person is unknown to you and they are not in your file. For example, a marriage license that lists a witness whom you do not know (second screenshot).

Using the Name List
(click image to enlarge)
Adding a person that isn't in your file
(click image to enlarge)

There are more advanced options on these screens as well as in reports that will help you refine how you want your events to appear but the information you have now is enough to get you started on the right foot creating comprehensive timelines for your ancestors.


View a Compilation of all Legacy 101 articles


For video tech tips check out the Legacy Quick Tips page.  These short videos will make it easy for you to learn all sort of fun and interesting ways to look at your genealogy research.

Michele Simmons Lewis, CG® is part of the Legacy Family Tree team at MyHeritage. She handles the enhancement suggestions that come in from our users as well as writing for Legacy News. You can usually find her hanging out on the Legacy User Group Facebook page answering questions and posting tips.


Compilation of Legacy 101 Articles

Compilation of Legacy 101Articles

The Legacy 101 articles provide you with an easy-to- learn resource as you get started with Legacy Family Tree software. The twenty-part series has been released weekly on the Legacy Family Tree Blog.  

Here you will find a compilation of all the posts for your convenience.

Legacy 101 Articles

  1. How to Find Help -
  2. The Different Views -
  3. Entering Locations -
  4. How to Enter a Person and His/Her Spouse -
  5. How to Enter a Child and Parents -
  6. Linking and Unlinking -
  7. Privacy -
  8. File Maintenance -
  9. Backing Up Your File -
  10. Sharing Your Data with Others -
  11. Reports -
  12. Charts -
  13. Data Entry Using the Name/Search List -
  14. FamilySearch -
  15. Master Lists -
  16. Source Citations -
  17. Customizing Legacy -
  18. Potential Problems -
  19. Help with your research: Hints, Research Guidance, Internet Searches -
  20. Entering Events -


The Birth of MyHeritage and the Bright Future of Legacy


What an emotional, educational and passionate webinar we experienced today! In this special appearance by the founder and CEO of MyHeritage, Gilad Japhet, learn about the history of our new parent company - MyHeritage - and Gilad's vision for the future of both it and Legacy Family Tree.

The recording of "Special Appearance by the Founder and CEO of MyHeritage” by Gilad Japhet is now available to view at for free.

Webinar Description

Join us and the founder of one of genealogy’s most successful companies, Gilad Japhet, for an intimate view into his brainchild, MyHeritage. Learn about:

  • the story of the founding of MyHeritage, key milestones and learnings along the way
  • a super interesting genealogical mystery of 70 years that Gilad took on and solved
  • Legacy: why we like it, why we acquired it, and its future
  • some highlights of new things about to be released by MyHeritage

View the Recording at

If you could not make it to the live event or just want to watch it again, the 1 hour 32 minute recording of "Special Appearance by the Founder and CEO of MyHeritage” is now available to view in our webinar library for free.

Webinar Memberships/Subscriptions

Webinar Members get:

  • On-demand access to the entire webinar archives (now 698 classes, 934 hours of genealogy education)
  • On-demand access to the instructor handouts (now 3,107 pages)
  • On-demand access to the live webinars' chat logs
  • 5% off all products at (must be logged in at checkout)
  • Access to all future recordings for the duration of their membership
  • Chance for a members-only door prize during each live webinar
  • Access to register for bonus members-only webinars
  • Ability to view which webinars you are registered for
  • Use of the playlist, resume watching, and jump-to features

Introductory pricing:

  • Annual membership: $49.95/year (currently 50% off until August 20, 2017)
  • Monthly membership: $9.95/month

Click here to subscribe.

Register for our upcoming webinars (free)

Discover Your Family in School Yearbooks  05/08/2018  MyHeritage Webinars
The Hidden Web: Digging Deeper  05/09/2018  Cyndi Ingle
A Checklist of African American Resources  05/11/2018  Angela Walton-Raji
Good Research Habits  05/15/2018  Paula Stuart-Warren  CG  FMGS  FUGA
The First 5 Things to Do with Your New Test Results  05/16/2018  Blaine Bettinger  Ph.D.  J.D.
How to Use the Smart Matches & Record Matches MyHeritage Technologies  05/22/2018  MyHeritage Webinars
Quaker Migration into America  05/23/2018  Peggy Clemens Lauritzen  AG
The Palatine Immigrants: Tracing and Locating 18th Century German Immigrants Online  05/30/2018  Luana Darby  MLIS  AG
Digital Gravestones  06/05/2018  MyHeritage Webinars
What Your Ancestor's Neighbors Can Tell You  06/06/2018  Melissa Barker
The Family DNA Project  06/08/2018  Nicka Smith
Easily Read Old Style American Handwriting  06/13/2018  Sharon Monson
Using Maps in Genealogical Research  06/19/2018  Sara A. Scribner  CG
You Need a Search Strategy: Maximizing Your Results with Online Genealogical Databases  06/19/2018  MyHeritage Webinars
Lightroom or Photoshop? What should I use for my photo editing?  06/27/2018  Jared Hodges
Legacy 9 Unlocked (part 4): Adding Estate/Probate Records  07/06/2018  Geoff Rasmussen
The Art of Negative-Space Research: Women  07/11/2018  Jeanne Bloom  CG
Freedmen's Bureau Records - Valuable to ALL Southern research  07/13/2018  Diane L.  Richard
Special Tools that can Take Your Research to the Next Level  07/17/2018  MyHeritage Webinars
It's a Numbers Game! Understanding Recognized Genealogical Formats  07/17/2018  Alice Hoyt Veen  CG
Trails of Daniel Boone and other Western Travelers  07/18/2018  J. Mark Lowe  CG  FUGA
Photoshop: What you need to know as a photographer  07/25/2018  Jared Hodges
An Overview of Important Historical Record Collections  07/31/2018  MyHeritage Webinars
Jewish Genealogy for the Non-Jew: History  Migration  DNA   08/01/2018 Schelly Talalay Dardashti
Legacy 9 Unlocked (part 5): Adding an Obituary  08/03/2018  Geoff Rasmussen
Genealogical Proof for the Novice Genealogist  08/08/2018  Annette Burke  Lyttle
50 Websites To Find Vital Records  08/10/2018  Gena Philibert-Ortega
Everything you need to know about Genealogical Charts and Reports  08/14/2018  MyHeritage Webinars
Untangle the Web of Germanic Websites  08/15/2018  Teresa Steinkamp McMillin  CG
GPS: Finding Your Way Through Tough Research Problems  08/21/2018  James Ison  CG  AG
Researching Forces Ancestors (England and Wales)  08/22/2018  Kirsty Gray
How Photos Enhance Genealogical Research  08/28/2018  MyHeritage Webinars
The YDNA Test Should Be Your Favorite  08/29/2018  Diahan Southard
What's Been Done: Using Someone Else's Genealogy Research  09/05/2018  Thomas MacEntee
Legacy 9 Unlocked (part 6): Adding a Death Certificate  09/07/2018  Geoff Rasmussen
Examining Migration & Researching Migrants in the British Isles  09/12/2018  Julie Goucher
Slave Narratives: Telling the Story of Slavery and Families  09/14/2018  Ann Staley  CG  CGL
Using Lists to Find Proof  09/18/2018  Cari Taplin  CG
25 Simple Research Hacks Every Genealogist Should Know  09/19/2018  Lisa Alzo
Importance of Newspapers for family research  09/25/2018  MyHeritage Webinars
Remote Research in the Databases of the Daughters of the American Revolution Genealogical Research System  10/03/2018  Rick Sayre  CG  CGL  FUGA
Legacy 9 Unlocked (part 7): Adding Email Correspondence  10/05/2018  Geoff Rasmussen
On the Go: Using Your Mobile Device for Genealogy  10/09/2018  MyHeritage Webinars
In Search of My Brother's Mother - An Adoption Story  10/10/2018  Beth Foulk
Strategies for Using FamilySearch  10/12/2018  Shannon Combs-Bennett
Using Emigrant Guides for Genealogical Research  10/16/2018  Julie P. Miller  CG  CGL
Ho to California! The Draw of the Gold Rush  10/17/2018  Peggy Clemens Lauritzen  AG
True Stories of Families Reunited thanks to Genetic Genealogy  10/23/2018  MyHeritage Webinars
10 Eastern European Genealogy Resources You Might be Missing  10/24/2018  Lisa Alzo
Researching your French and Indian War Ancestor  10/26/2018  Craig R. Scott  MA  CG  FUGA
Privacy Issues with Online Family Trees  10/31/2018  E. Randol Schoenberg
Legacy 9 Unlocked (part 8): The Smoking Gun  11/02/2018  Geoff Rasmussen
City Directories: Much More than Ye Olde Phonebooks  11/06/2018  MyHeritage Webinars
Using Voting and Election Records to Find Your Ancestor  11/07/2018  Melissa Barker
Introduction to the Bayou State: Louisiana for Beginners  11/14/2018  Rorey Cathcart
Every Day Life of Our Ancestors  11/20/2018  Ann Staley  CG  CGL
Railroad Records and Railroad History: Methods for Tracking  11/28/2018  Paula Stuart-Warren  CG  FMGS  FUGA
Ins and Outs of Indexes: Keys to Unlocking County and State Records  12/05/2018  Mary Kircher Roddy
Legacy 9 Unlocked (part 9): Adding an Entry from an Online Database  12/07/2018  Geoff Rasmussen
101 Ways to Design a Genealogy Chart  12/12/2018  Janet Hovorka
Citation for beginners  12/14/2018  Shellee Morehead  PhD  CG
Proving Identity and Kinship Using the GPS: Finding a Freedman's Family  12/18/2018  Nancy A. Peters  CG
That Splendid Little War: Researching Your Spanish American War Ancestors  12/19/2018  Michael L. Strauss  AG

Print the 2018 webinar brochure here.

See you online!

Top 10 Genealogy Webinars of April 2018


We've tallied the numbers and made a list of the Top 10 classes for April 2018! Are your favorite topics or instructors among the list? Need something new to learn? Use the list to get inspired!

Each month thousands of Legacy Family Tree Webinar subscribers head for the library to learn new skills and techniques to help improve their genealogy research. Among the now-697 genealogy classes in the members-only library, these were the most frequently played during the month of April 2018.  They aren't necessarily the newest classes but rather the topics that were sought out by our members.

Have you seen any of these classes? Are these among your favorites too? Some of these classes (and topics) might be new to you! Get inspired to learn more and make your genealogy journey more fun!

The Top 10 for April 2018

1. Understanding DNA Matching technology by Ran Snir and Regev Schweiger

2. Legacy 9 Unlocked (part 3): Adding a Census Record by Geoff Rasmussen

3. Formulating a DNA Testing Plan by Blaine Bettinger, Ph.D., J.D.

4. Better Together: Making Your Case with Documents and DNA by Patti Lee Hobbs, CG

5. Sharing The Joy: Projects That Will Captivate The Non-Genealogists In Your Life by Lisa Louise Cooke

6. CompGen: Germany's Genealogy Mega Site by Teresa Steinkamp McMillin, CG

7. Genealogy for Advanced Users: Grow Your Family Tree Online by Uri Gonen

8. Watch Geoff Live: Adding a World War I (and II) Draft Registration Card by Geoff Rasmussen

9. Hands-On with MyHeritage DNA by Geoff Rasmussen and Ran Snir

10. Verifying Information You Find Online by Marian Pierre-Louis

The Runner-Ups

11. Introduction to DNA Testing in Genealogy and Family History by Mike Mansfield

12. How DNA testing can reveal your ethnic roots by Yoav Naveh

13. Sources and Citations Made Simple, Standard, and Powerful by Geoff Rasmussen

14. Get the Most from the MyHeritage Search Engine for Historical Records by Daniel Horowitz

15. DNA is Dynamite - How to Ignite Your Ancestral Research by Michelle Leonard

16. Using FamilySearch Digital Microfilm to Find Genealogical Records by Randy Seaver

17. Lincoln's Laws and the Records of War by Judy G. Russell, JD, CG, CGL

18. Legacy 9 Unlocked (part 1): Your First Few Legacy Tips by Geoff Rasmussen

19. Help, They Are Dutch! Tracing Your Ancestors in the Netherlands by John Boeren

20. Discover the new Legacy Family Tree 9 by Geoff Rasmussen

Access to classes in the Legacy Family Tree Webinar library are available with an annual or monthly membership. Not a member? Become one! Or watch one of our free classes here.

Tuesday's Tip - Internal Hyperlinks (Intermediate)

Internal Hyperlinks

Tuesday's Tips provide brief how-to's to help you learn to use the Legacy Family Tree software with new tricks and techniques.

Internal Hyperlinks (Intermediate)

Let's say you have an electronic file folder full of documents for one of your ancestors but you don't want to have to manually link to all of those documents in the person'a Media Gallery. You can create an internal hyperlink to the folder itself which will then open up showing what all you have. 

When I submitted my DAR application for Reuben Radford I had several individual documents as well as a zip file of images. I can link to the FOLDER that contains these documents and images instead of doing it one file at a time.

Open the person's Media Gallery and select Add Media > Internet Website

Add Media > Internet Website
(click for larger image)


Instead of typing in a Website URL, I am going to add the file path to the folder

File Path
(click for larger image)


After you click OK you will now have this

Media Gallery
(click for larger image)


Now double click the URL icon and you will see a list of documents inside of that file folder. All of these are hot links that will open the documents.

File Directory
(click for larger image)


I even have a shortcut way for you to capture the entire file path to the folder without having to type it. Navigate to the folder in Windows:

Windows Explorer
(click for larger image)


Notice that the file path to the folder is now condensed and highlighted. You can use the Windows shortcut to copy this file path and then you can paste it into the URL box in the Media Gallery (CTRL-C, CTRL-V)

Windows Shortcut
(click for larger image)


For those computer gurus out there you will notice that this is the exact same thing Legacy does when it generates webpages for you to preview in your browser. That's why you can send a zip file of webpages to a family member or fellow researcher and they will be able to view the files as an interactive "webpage" even though they are not connected to the internet. It is using a system of internal hyperlinks to files that are on your computer.

This is a little Easter Egg that isn't detailed in the Help File. I hope you find it useful.


Find tech tips every day in the Facebook Legacy User Group. The group is free and is available to anyone with a Facebook account.

For video tech tips check out the Legacy Quick Tips page.  These short videos will make it easy for you to learn all sort of fun and interesting ways to look at your genealogy research.

Michele Simmons Lewis, CG® is part of the Legacy Family Tree team at MyHeritage. She handles the enhancement suggestions that come in from our users as well as writing for Legacy News. You can usually find her hanging out on the Legacy User Group Facebook page answering questions and posting tips.