Saturday, September 6, 2014


One of the members of a Facebook group (Technology for Genealogy) I belong to asked a question this morning.  I thought this would be a good topic to share with you.

This group member was switching from Family Tree Maker to Legacy. She asked how we would recommend she save things she found on Ancestry to the Legacy database so that she doesn't lose what she finds.  She has been used to Family Tree Maker and Ancestry syncing all the records. I have written this post in response to her question.  

My primary database is stored in Legacy.  I have a couple of trees on Ancestry.  The “working” tree is private and I use it to share with relatives and to glean any hints that Ancestry might come up with.  The other tree is public, but I don’t have any pictures attached to it.  I still get plenty of contact from new cousins this way.

Back to our topic.  ADDING A RECORD TO LEGACY

Today I have chosen to learn more about Charles Louis KING, the son of my great grandaunt.  At this point I don’t know very much about him or his wife.

Here is a screen shot of what I have at this point.


A-Charles L King first screenshot

Our goal is to try and find every record we can from the time someone is born until their death, by using every method we have learned.

Here is the screen shot showing exactly what facts and events I currently have for Charles L. King.

A-Charles L King screenshot2

Now, let’s take a look on Ancestry and see if there is anything new?  Are there any new hints?

A-Charles L King screenshot3

NO HINTS!  I don’t let that deter me.  Now I will click on “Search Records” located just under his photo.

As I scroll through the first page of records that come up I see one that could be a match.

A-Charles L King screenshot4

The names look like a match (closer than the other names I’ve seen on this list). 

I will click on that record and bring up the page on Ancestry. 

A-Charles L King screenshot5

For this exercise, I will add this event to Charles L. King.  I need to find more evidence that this is, in fact, the same Charles L. and Emma M. King. I do know that Charles was widowed and living with his parents in Lexington, Fayette Kentucky in the 1930 census. 

Now I will go to Charles King’s Event/Fact page in Legacy and begin to add this event. (See the events/facts in the screen shot above for Individual’s Information)

1.  Click on the “Add” icon  

A-Charles L King screenshot6

2.  In the Add/Edit Event screen use your drop down list to bring up the event/fact you want to record.  If there isn’t an event/fact in the list that meets your needs, then add your own.  If I remember correctly, I had to add the “City Directory Listing” event myself.  I wanted this to be very specific, not just residence or location.

3.  Now fill in the top portion with description, date & place.  Your event screen should now look like this.

A-Charles L King screenshot8

4.  Back on the Ancestry page showing the details for this listing I highlight the pertinent data.  I don’t want everything on the page, only the detail.  I roll my mouse over the data from “Name” down to “1921” at the end of the listing.  Your data should now be highlighted as shown below.

A-Charles L King screenshot9

5.  Now you can right click with your mouse and choose “copy” or use the shortcut Ctrl C.

6.  Go back to your event/fact screen in Legacy and in the NOTES area for the City Directory Listing, place your cursor and use “paste” or the shortcut Ctrl V.

Your Event will now look like this.

A-Charles L King screenshot 10

7.  Since there is an image available for this event, I will add that image.  I won’t go into detail here about adding images or sources to Legacy.  They have tutorials on their website and in their CD’s for that.  The image is added just like any other image, by clicking on the little picture frame icon at the top of the event screen.

8.  The next thing I would do is enter the source for this information. 

When you are finished your entry will look like this.

A-Charles L King screenshotA

You have entered your event, sourced it and added an image.  This entire process takes less than 5 minutes.  

You perform these same steps for every event, whether it’s a census record, World War I or II registration card or obituary.
This creates your timeline for this individual and allows you to review it and see what you might be missing.  In Legacy you can click on “Chronology” and all of these events are listed.

I hope this post was helpful.  Now go add some events.


Happy hunting,
Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2014   Diane Gould Hall


  1. I like your idea of having a private working tree as well as a public tree on Ancestry. How do you sync their information (and FTM if you have it) without copying photos and other media? Thanks for your help.

    1. Hi, and thanks for your comment. I don't use FTM and therefore I don't sync my tree. I switched from FTM to Legacy back in 2006. All the information I enter on Ancestry is entered manually. I prefer it that way and find it isn't much trouble at all. I use two monitors here at my desk and that makes it very easy to have Legacy open on one screen and Ancestry open on the other. I work back & forth between the two.
      There is a gentleman who is an expert on using FTM, if you are interested in speaking to him. His name is Russ Worthington and he also has a blog. Here is a link to his blog (If you cannot get the link to open by clicking on it, then just copy and past the URL into your browser).
      Thanks for stopping by.

  2. I've been doing this for years using older versions of FTM, and The Master Genealogist and Legacy. One additional step I take is to first copy to Windows Notepad to eliminate any junk carried over from the web which sometimes happens. Also I have to manually reformat the text because it normally never lines up correctly and inserts extra tabs and line returns.

    I also save a day's worth of research in its own text file in case of some type of data failure to the Legacy data file. This is rare, but it also helps to be able to go back in case I need to do further research on those persons that I might have missed that day.

    Unfortunately Notepad files don't always format properly so you might want to use an RTF program like WordPad, or just format in Legacy to get the words to wrap properly. I don't use MS Word or WordPerfect for this because it sometimes introduces codes of its own.

    1. I agree with you. The notepad is my best friend. I frequently copy there first. However, I find that if I use the "remove HTML" option in Legacy, most things are fixed. Not a bad idea saving your days worth of research. I do that by backing up my Legacy file every day to my hard drive. And, backing up every other day to Dropbox. Plus I have Carbonite working all the time. Enjoy your research and thanks for stopping by.


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.