Legacy Family Tree Software Review

I recently purchased a copy of Legacy Family Tree Software, largely because I wanted to try out its Source Writer feature.  I had read good reviews of the product; it was supposed to be easy to use, with a rich set of features, and advanced reporting options.

I found the data entry interface to be clunky and counterintuitive.  I spent a whole day trying to figure out how to find my way around and enter a few facts.  Contrast this with TNG (The Next Generation of Genealogy Sitebuilding), which I think is very user-friendly and which I was able to begin using immediately after installing.

While I won’t be using Legacy as my main database, it does have some very useful features, so I will keep it on my computer to use in an auxiliary capacity.  The features I have most helpful include:

1.  Source Writer is a template-based system through which one can drill down, making the appropriate selections and filling in the template to create perfectly-crafted citations for the myriad of sources that genealogists access, such as birth records, marriage records, property records, etc.    I didn’t like the way the citations uploaded to TNG, which is another reason I chose not to use Legacy for data entry.  What I’m doing instead is creating the citation in Legacy, then I can figure out how to configure the source in TNG.  They won’t always display in the exact same format, but I can ensure that all the appropriate information is included in the citation.  Here is an example:

Murray County Marriage Book N, 1907-1925, (Murray County Clerk of Probate Court, Chatsworth), 431, Kindrick-Whitner, 1922 (Reliability: 3), 26 Nov 2008.

2.  USA County Verifier verifies the validity of all US counties in your database and generates reports of errors, including places that have never existed as a county in that state and counties that were not in existence on the date of your event.  What makes this even better is that you can do a search, filtering the data however you choose,  then run the county verifier based on the search results.  For example, I ran a search on all Hemphills, then ran the County Verifier, which produced just over a page of errors that I can fix. 


3.  Search feature – While in general, I think the TNG search feature is beyond excellent, occasionally I can’t make it return the results I want.  Legacy is filling the gap nicely.  For example, I was preparing for a trip to a county probate office and wanted a list of all individuals married, born, and/or died in that county.  I can get the births and deaths easily with TNG, but not the marriages, whereas Legacy can produce reports of all three.  As an added bonus, Legacy prints the resulting report in tabular format with a row in between results; the blank row turned out to be very handy for taking notes while at the probate office.

Ultimately, the Legacy features I was interested in are the ones that I like and will continue to use, while maintaining my TNG site as my main database.

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