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Tuesday's Tip - Copying vs. Sharing Events (Intermediate)

TT - Copying vs. Sharing Events

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

Copying vs. Sharing Events (Intermediate)

In the last two weeks you learned How to Copy an Event and How to Share an Event. So how do you know which one to use?

Part of it is just personal preference. The biggest deciding factor is how you want things to read out in reports. I suggest you try it both ways. If you copy and paste an event it will look exactly the same for each person unless you have manually made modifications. When you share an event it will look different between the person from whom the event was shared and the person to whom the event was shared. I think this will make more sense if I show you. 

In this first screenshot you will see Ann [—?—] Simons's will being shared to others. I turned off the notes because the transcript of the will would be too long to show here. 

Event Shared from Ann
(click image to enlarge)


In this next screenshot you will see Keating Simons. The above will was shared with him.

Event Shared to Keating Simons
(click image to enlarge)


Don't forget, when working with events in general there are several options that govern how events are formatted. I highly recommend you read:

Report Options Part I
Report Options Part II

Census events are the one event that I don't like to share. I just like the full event listed for each person so their timeline is consistent from census year to census year. If I were to share a census, I  would have some censuses shared from the parents, then censuses where the person is the head, and then censuses that are shared from one of the kids when the person moved in with them. The events that I share are ones that have true witnesses, things like marriages, baptisms, funerals, and probate. 

Shared events are very important to me in my One Name Study (ONS) files. I enter unlinked people all of the time but I need to link them to the main tree in some way. This shows me WHY I think they belong.

For example, one of my ONS files has all persons with the name of Simmons (and variants) in South Carolina pre-1800. I have a man named John Ball that just keeps showing up in Simons records. 

  • He was a trustee for a marriage where Catherine Simons was a witness
  • He was the executor of Benjamin Simons will
  • He was a trustee for the marriage of David Maybank and Mary Simons
  • He witnessed the will of Keating Lewis Simons
  • He was the executor for the will of Catherine (Chicken) Simons
  • He was a trustee for the marriage of Keating Simmons and Eleanor Ball

I found out later that John Ball married Ann Simons (his second marriage). The Balls and the Simons were tied up in all kinds of things. 

Guess what, there was more than one John Ball. I have identified three distinct men. When I find a new document with John Ball's name on it, having shared events and dates for all three John Ball's helps me to determine which document belongs to which John Ball. Shared events are invaluable to me in my ONS files.  I have 18 Keating Simons in this file. I know for a fact some of these are different men but I also know that some of these are duplicates with different information. Those shared events help me sort all of that out. 

Here is another example from a previous blog post,  A Shared Events Tip. It shows how sharing helps maintain a connection between otherwise unlinked people.

Ultimately this is a personal choice. You need to play around with both features and see what works best for you. You may end up being like me where you copy and paste some types of events and share other types. Legacy gives you a lot of flexibility.


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.




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Is it true that FamilySearch Family Tree does not recognize shared events?

This is a known issue that is in our tracking system for the programmers to review.

Michele - the person in the will that you have sharing is a Keating Lewis. But I don't see his name in the screenshots. Is he listed somewhere else? Or did Keating Simons become Keating Lewis because it was a long day ?

Ha! His full name was Keating Lewis Simons. My mistake. I will fix it.

Thanks for this explanation Michele. I have stayed away from sharing events as I wasn’t certain how they would read in my reports.
I believe that I will continue to copy and paste most events, however, I will experiment with sharing for a probate and see what I think.
Good to learn new things.
Now if I could just feel comfortable with the Picture Manager. All these years and still, I don’t use it.

Michele thanks for that great explanation, I will now use both as your suggestion.
I have a problem with a report for an individual, if I have a marriage event for the individual the event is not included in the report. How do I make this happen?

I need to know more info (which report specifically, etc). Please send an email to [email protected] and put ATTN: Michele in the subject line so that someone will throw it in my box :)

Michele, just wondering how you set up your ONS using Legacy FT software. I am having difficulty determining which of the various people with the same name who arrived in Australia in a particular year is my ancestor.
Happy Easter, keep well and safe

Take a look at the webinar we did yesterday! I talk about how to do a One Name Study in Legacy.

I am planning to do a blog post on this as well.

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