Saturday, March 8, 2014



This is a feature of Legacy 8 that I had not yet discovered or used.  We all know that we don’t use the full potential of any of our software programs. Whether you are a user of Legacy, RootsMagic, Family Tree Maker, The Master Genealogist or Reunion (to name a few), these programs are much more powerful than we can imagine.  

This report was new to me and I really like the potential it presents for helping me with my research.

This tool is located by
- Clicking on the Search tab and then Census List
- You can also go to Help, click on Help Index and type in Census List.  

This brings up the help screen for this particular feature.  Rather than repeat everything that is said on this help screen, I will let you read it in the program.  However, I will say that this particular feature was “inspired by the release of the 1940 U.S. Census and the Create a List of Potential Individuals feature.”  Apparently that feature was so popular they expanded it to include all census reports.

Let’s take a quick look at what I found today.  

For our purposes, I chose the following criteria using the drop down list in each section.
  • Choose a country – United States (the list includes many other countries)
  • Place – I typed in United States.  You could type in a specific state
  • Choose the census year – I wanted to see the 1840 list
  • Date Range – I let it default and it chose 1 Jun 1840
  • Average Life Span – I left the default of 80 years
  • I chose to ONLY include males.  You can leave this box unchecked and include all genders, or choose only females.
On the right hand side of the list there are two tabs.

For the Search List Options tab I left the default choices

For the Report Options tab I left all the default options, except I wanted to “Exclude Individuals from the report who appear to have already been found in this census.”

Here is a screen shot of my choices, prior to running the report.

Census list screen shot

Then I clicked on the box on the lower right that says “Preview a Census List Report”

The result was a 65 page report!

The list is alphabetical and includes
Name, Birth/Christening
Age on Date (which would be the age on the date of the census you chose)
Possible Location

Like you I have those brick walls in my family.  I wanted to see what the report had generated for the surname GOULD.  My 2nd great grandfather, John C. Gould,  is a huge brick wall for me. I have not been able to tie him to parents or siblings.

Pages 24-27 of the report contained the surname Gould.  Here are those pages.

census gould - 1 

census gould - 3
census gould - 4

You can see on the second page, that John C. Gould, my 2nd great grandfather is listed as the 3rd person on that page.  

This tell me that he would have been about 7 years old in 1840 and that there was a 90% chance he would be located in Michigan (based on his birth).  The record also lists everyone in his family.  


First of all, I apologize. I could have picked an easier census.  You know, one that has the names of ALL the household members.  But, since this blog is about my journey in finding my family, I’m taking you right along with me, no matter how difficult it gets.  

Back to the question. This tells me that I need to go to the 1840 census records and find a head of household, in Michigan, named Gould, with males 7 years old.

The 1840 census only lists head of households.  I will have to settle for the tic marks made by the enumerators that indicate the numbers of household members in a certain age group.  

Using a blank 1840 census record that I have at my desk I can see that the John would be marked in the “Males – 5 and under 10.”


I am going to go on and search specifically in the 1840 census in Michigan.  I will look at every Gould family in Michigan.  I know from previous searches that there weren’t hundreds of them at that time.  Maybe under 50 families.  I will look at every Gould family and see who has sons marked between 5 and under 10.  

NOTE:  I have every census record for my John C. Gould from 1850-1910.  They all indicate he was born in Michigan.  I know he was married in Michigan and I know he bought and sold land in Michigan.  I know that his only living child, a son, was born there as were his grandchildren, great grandson and great great grandchildren.  Those are pretty strong clues that he was, indeed, born in Michigan.  Now, was his family living in Michigan in 1840?  I don’t know.  They could have moved and come back.  But, I have to go with what I know.

Because I uncovered, completely by accident, this feature in Legacy, I now have another GREAT tool to use.  I’m excited about the possibilities.  There are numerous options when creating your reports.    I can’t wait to create more lists for other census records, from the U.S. and other countries.  Oh my!!!

This post was not meant as a complete tutorial on how to use the Census List, but rather just a means of letting you know that it exists.  I’m certain I have much more to learn about the search queries we can run and oh so many other features of the program.  

Adding Sibling Links to FindAGrave Memorials
How to Find Family Statistics in Legacy 8
Legacy 8 - A quick guide to Label & Tab colors 

Until next time.  Happy hunting,

Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2014   Diane Gould Hall


  1. Diane,

    I want to let you know that your blog is listed in today's Fab Finds post at

    Have a wonderful weekend!

    1. Jana,
      Thank you very much. I have entered a link to that post on my Mentions page. I've added you to my + circles too.
      Enjoy your weekend,

  2. Okay Diana, I am going to try and not clog up your comments section with all of my comments, but your Legacy post are seriously so great for me. I love to research and do a lot of it, but really don't use Legacy to its fullest. This has really inspired me to want to get in there and use it more and I definitely will be using this feature.

    1. Michelle - I hope the day never comes when I consider reader comments to be clogging up my blog. I appreciate each and every one. I do love the Legacy program and plan to continue to post tips about the program.
      Thanks for every one of your comments :)


I look forward to reading your comments. If you have any connection to the people mentioned in this blog, please let me know. I write about mine and my husband's ancestors and would welcome new information or meeting a new cousin or two. Thanks for visiting and come back soon.