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Legacy Family Tree 8.0 Review

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PROS / In addition to over 20 charts and reports, Legacy is one of the few programs that creates research forms.

CONS / There are no web hints in this program.

 VERDICT / Legacy creates appealing charts and reports that help you visualize your family line and share your research with others.

The best genealogy software provides tools for research, charting and organizing your family tree. Legacy links directly to popular genealogy sites like FamilySearch and Ancestry.com. It has an in-app browser that allows you to research your family online directly from the software, and when you find new information, the program can import it directly to your family tree. After you gather family records and information, you can choose from a variety of charts to display your findings; within the charting section, there are 25 different charts and 20 reports. Because of these extensive features and tools that help you every step of the way, Legacy 8 receives our Top Ten Reviews Silver Award for family tree software.

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  1. This score is based on the number of clicks required to complete a task within the software.
    Higher is Better
  2. 2 Legacy Family Tree
  3. 79%
  4. 99%
  5. Category Average

Web Capabilities

Like any other research-heavy field, the web and its many resources have quickly become essential to genealogists. The best genealogy software has web-enabled research assistance that comes in many forms. With the exception of web hints to alert you when new information is found, Legacy Family Tree has them all.

Legacy exports and imports GEDOM files offline quickly, a useful tool when working with other genealogists. The program also connects to the web via popular sites like FamilySearch and MyHeritage. From here, you can log and import these online sources into your own database. You can also sync your family trees to the web.

In addition to the classic paper charts, Legacy lets you create a full webpage to display your family history. This is a good feature if you are considering starting a genealogy blog or want to share you work with your family. The program gives you the choice between a Java based or HTML based page, but both are easy to create in just a few clicks.

Creating Connections

The interface of this genealogy software is smooth and uncluttered, so it's easy to find the tools you need. You can also customize the ribbon menu and toolbar for quick access to the features you use the most.

Within the Family tab, you can view multiple marriages and other types of complex relationships. You can also add notes and media about individuals using this tab. Sometimes multiple marriages make genealogy confusing, and color-coding is another one of Legacy's talents. This feature allows you to label names, places and events associated with different family branches. For example, if one of your relatives had children from two different marriages, you can use the color-coding feature to label each branch's descendants.

This family tree software checks for duplicate entries and potential problems or gaps in time throughout your tree. When it catches such an error, it flags it with a small red warning symbol. This is especially useful since these errors can be difficult to spot on your own.

Legacy 8 has some of the best features found in genealogy software. For example, it has several tools that note where your ancestors' most significant events occurred based on your records. It also offers several reports to give you more information, such as the Origins Report, which shows you what percentage of blood you have from each of your countries of origin, and the Migration Report, which tells you how far a person's descendants spread out in the world. Legacy even animates your ancestors’ movements through time in several modes, including street, aerial and 3D, with the migration-mapping tool.

Charting Capabilities

When you complete a family tree in Legacy 8, there are several ways to exhibit your research. To display the ancestors and children of a husband and wife, you can use the Family Bow Tie chart. There is also the Descendant Chart, which shows how the family line progressed from one pair of ancestors. If a common ancestor had multiple marriages, the Descendant tab is the best way to see how each branch split from this individual. You can hide duplicate lines in wall charts to save room for more photographs and captions. You can also add photos, videos and sound bites from members of your family to add to a genealogy blog, slideshow or wall chart.

Legacy is one of the few family tree programs that provides templates for genealogy worksheets, which genealogists often use to record their research and gather information from others. Backgrounds for websites, charts and reports are completely customizable. You can add your own pictures or adjust the backgrounds Legacy provides.

You can collect information from relatives by sending questionnaires, interview notes and research logs to track progress. This genealogy software also produces relationship diagrams and forms based on U.S., U.K. and Canadian censuses. Fonts and formats are customizable, along with changeable content and fields for any of these forms. If you prefer to conduct paperless research, all of the available forms can be produced as PDF files. This means you can send them to other genealogists online while collaborating.

Citation & Organization

As you conduct your research, you want to record how and where you found your sources. Legacy Family Tree can use sourcing information from your records to create correctly formatted citations. Entering a source into Legacy takes longer than other processes in the software. This is because the fields and requirements change based on what you enter into the system. When you enter items like birth certificates, the fields change to ask for information like certificate number and the county the birth took place. If you're unsure of what to enter, you can find a helpful dialogue box next to each field that guides you through the section.

The Index and Research tabs come in handy when your family tree starts to get large. The Index allows you to access individuals and to see information, including Reference Identification Number (RIN), sex, birthdate, birthplace, date of death and place of death. The Research tab connects you to suggested sources and a to-do list to keep your process organized. This tab serves as a great guide for novice researchers.

In addition to documents like birth certificates, you can add media as sources into Legacy. When you amass a large amount of information on your family, it's best to store all of your multimedia together for easy keeping. The Media Gatherer feature in Legacy 8 allows you to place your genealogy pictures in one common folder. With this tool, you have quick access to your files, making it easy to share them with another computer or family member. When you find sources and multimedia related to your family online, you can link them to a gallery in Legacy 8 for easy access.


Legacy has a wide variety of customizable charts, reports and research forms. Within the program, you can find 25 different kinds of charts and 20 report types alone. If you like researching offline, you can print helpful forms that step you through the digging process. Generally, Legacy is easy to use, but lacks useful features like web hints that guide your research.

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