Share |

Legacy Family Tree

Article Date: 
10 September, 2010 - 06:00

I had not previously used Legacy Family Tree and my impressions from the beginning were very positive.  The screens are clean, uncluttered, easy to understand, and easy to navigate.  There is a free product and a premium version for $29.95.  As with most of these products, the premium version is worth the small additional investment.
There are tabs across the top of the screen with the major functions of Family, Pedigree, Descendant, Chronology, Index, and Research Guidance.  The type is large, easy to see, and the arrangement puts all of the major portions of the product at hand.  The descendant view is unique to Legacy.  Most of the record managers have a report on descendants, but not many have a view.  If your ancestral lines are well researched, this descendancy view can be very helpful in identifying additional areas to find ancestors.
The pedigree is easy to navigate.  As with RootsMagic, there is the ability to put two pedigrees side by side to copy from one into another.  There is the ability to copy one ancestor, or a group of descendants or ancestors.  This is one of my favorite features of the new record managers.  It makes it easy to split large files into multiple pieces, or share only a portion of your tree with a family member.
The sourcing is good.  The premium version even comes with a source writer.  This step-by-step guide helps to write sources.  It follows the style recommended by the bible of sourcing in the genealogical world, Evidence, by Elizabeth Shown Mills.
The reporting is good, but not the best of the record managers.  All of the basics are there, but only a limited set of the more extensive reporting options found in other record managers, like fan charts.  
The premium version comes with a research guidance feature.  This feature will help suggest additional records to search for an ancestor.
There is the standard set of multimedia features that allow pictures, sounds, and videos.  The premium version allows documents to be added as sources.
For members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the product is a mixed bag.  It has synchronization with new FamilySearch.  It also displays the temple icons familiar from the pedigree of new FamilySearch.  These features seem to be well implemented and intuitive.  The bad news is that to view the reserved ordinance list or to reserve names for temple ordinances the product takes you to the new FamilySearch website.  The software has a message that the temple reservation and display options will be available in a future release.  While this omission is not fatal for the software, it is not nearly as good as other record managers.
Legacy has the ability to create a book output that can be printed and distributed to family members.  It also has the capability to output the pedigree as a website for the tech savvy who want to build their own website to share information.  
I like Legacy.  Its clean lines, easy to use interface, and smooth integration with new FamilySearch made me want to use it more.  It is not as feature rich as some, but the ease of use, for me, more than makes up for some of the missing features.  Legacy also has a suite of add on products that add capabilities to the product, albeit for a price.
The new FamilySearch limited integration is a big negative for me, however.  I believe I will wait until the next version is released with the temple ordinance options before I consider using it in earnest.  If the existing experience in the current product in synchronizing with new FamilySearch is any indication of what is to come, then the temple functionality will be worth the wait.  I wait with baited breath to try the new features.  
Since the basic product is free, give it a try and see what you think for yourself.  The website is legacyfamilytree.com.  If you are looking for a record manager, this is definitely a strong contender in the market.