Legacy Family Tree 9 Review

Legacy Family Tree 9 is a FamilySearch-certified genealogy software program that can integrate with online databases and genealogy services.

Our Verdict

Legacy Family Tree doesn’t have the best charts, but everything else about this family tree builder is exceptional.

For

  • The GEDCOM accuracy was perfect.

Against

  • It doesn’t have an undo or redo tool.
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Legacy Family Tree uses a startup wizard to help you get started.

Legacy Family Tree uses a startup wizard to help you get started.
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In Legacy Family Tree, you’re prompted to start by entering information about your family that you already know.

In Legacy Family Tree, you’re prompted to start by entering information about your family that you already know.
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Legacy Family Tree begins by listing your information with your parents and grandparents.

Legacy Family Tree begins by listing your information with your parents and grandparents.
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As it builds your family tree, Legacy Family Tree indents to indicate parents and grandparents.

As it builds your family tree, Legacy Family Tree indents to indicate parents and grandparents.
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Legacy Family Tree’s interface received an A for ease of navigation.

Legacy Family Tree’s interface received an A for ease of navigation.
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The program received an A for data entry efficiency.

The program received an A for data entry efficiency.
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Legacy Family Tree is the only family tree builder with chart options for DNA markers.

Legacy Family Tree is the only family tree builder with chart options for DNA markers.
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In Legacy Family Tree’s home tab, you can see news about Legacy, tips on ancestry and your to-do list.

In Legacy Family Tree’s home tab, you can see news about Legacy, tips on ancestry and your to-do list.
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You can work in a pedigree view in Legacy Family Trees’ pedigree tab.

You can work in a pedigree view in Legacy Family Trees’ pedigree tab.
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We gave Legacy Family Tree a B for chart quality.

We gave Legacy Family Tree a B for chart quality.
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Legacy Family Tree received an A+ in the GEDCOM accuracy test because it was perfect.

Legacy Family Tree received an A+ in the GEDCOM accuracy test because it was perfect.
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When you enter potentially incorrect information, Legacy Family Tree offers a warning and prompts you to double-check.

When you enter potentially incorrect information, Legacy Family Tree offers a warning and prompts you to double-check.
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Legacy Family Tree uses a name list database where every individual you add is accessed.

Legacy Family Tree uses a name list database where every individual you add is accessed.
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You can add photos to charts in Legacy Family Tree.

You can add photos to charts in Legacy Family Tree.
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In Legacy Family Tree, exclamation points next to names indicate potential problems.

In Legacy Family Tree, exclamation points next to names indicate potential problems.
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Once you create your family tree in Legacy Family Tree, you can export the results and share it with family.

Once you create your family tree in Legacy Family Tree, you can export the results and share it with family.

Legacy Family Tree 9 is a FamilySearch-certified genealogy software program that can integrate with online databases and genealogy services. Its outdated interface is reminiscent of Microsoft Word 2004, but it’s very easy to navigate and efficient for data entry, making it ideal for genealogists who spend hours at a time indexing. While its charts are average at best, its charting capabilities are comprehensive, and it offers some charting options other programs don’t. When you consider its ability to achieve perfect GEDCOM accuracy without the high cost of the best genealogy software, it’s clear why Legacy Family Tree is the value pick.

Ease of Use

Legacy Family Tree received an A+ in the GEDCOM tests. In these tests, I imported four genealogical records and then measured the accuracy of the information. Only this program and Family Historian were perfect, displaying all information accurately. Other programs failed to include media files or misattributed them. Many programs excluded same-sex marriages and polygamists, causing all sorts of issues with the pedigree charts.

The Legacy Family Tree interface feels like it was designed when Windows Vista was the most popular operating system. The background colors, the box shape with drop shadow and the font all resemble Microsoft Word circa 2003. Still, despite the dated look, it’s an effective design. Some might even call it classic.

The interface and the data entry efficiency both received A grades for ease of use. The interface is mostly modeless, using a floating-tab module as the primary interface. There are only a few instances that require you to open separate windows, such as when you’re working with charts or reports. The efficient data entry process let me enter the information for 10 individuals in a total of seven minutes. On average, most programs took around 13 minutes to enter the same information.

Charting Capabilities

My biggest criticism of Legacy Family Tree is the chart quality, which received a B grade in the evaluation. With 29 charts, the software offers more options than most programs, including charts for DNA records. And the chart quality is certainly better than that of half of the programs I reviewed. But the charts simply don’t have the frame-and-hang quality of the charts you can generate in programs such as Heredis. That said, you can add background images, and the Legacy software does give you a lot of control over how you display the charts. Perhaps with time and practice, I could have replicated the quality and style offered by Heredis, but that would really have lengthened the learning curve for the program.

Like most genealogy software, Legacy has report tools to turn the genealogical information into a printable story of events, memories, relationships and more. It has 22 report options, each built around collected information rather than style. You can also create comprehensive reports with charts using the book tool, formatting the information into a narrative you can save into printable formats and HTML for websites.

Data Management

Legacy’s scrapbooking capabilities received an A+ for quality. Beneath an individual information is a toolbar for adding research notes, medical history, stories and memories, photos, video, audio, sources, alternate names, event details and other facts. It even has a hashtag function for improved searchability and a location mapping tool so you can follow your ancestors’ travels as they moved between regions and countries. There are no easier scrapbooking tools for telling your family stories.

The warnings feature is the best one I evaluated. It doesn’t automatically exclude potentially incorrect information but instead flags it to remind you to double-check. You can customize the alerts you receive, a feature I didn’t see in other programs.

Legacy Family Tree’s interface is dated but effective. Not only is this one of the easiest genealogy programs to use, but it imported the test GEDCOM files with perfect accuracy. While the chart options are many and the controls are excellent, the quality of the charts themselves is just average. That said, this program is my pick for best value because it performs similarly to the best overall genealogy software program at a lower price.