Research Guidance | Legacy Family Tree

Legacy Family TreeIf you’re not using Legacy’s Research Guidance, you’re missing half the show.

I’ve been missing half the show. Research Guidance, as the name suggests, is about being organized. I tried it when Legacy 6.0 first came out and gave it up because it made me claustrophobic. All of my family history has been put together so far by my being chronically side-tracked. I am genetically incapable of working in a straight line. In Grade Two I was chastised for putting curly-cues on my handwriting.

Deep breath. Basically, what it does is suggest where to search, (which you can do right on the spot) or give you a button to add a search item to your To-Do List. Later, you can filter the To-Do List to get focused in one category, database or geographical area.

Starting here:

Review Timeline, Research Guidance, Legacy Family Tree

Here’s an example of a timeline that Legacy generates automatically when you click Research Guidance for an individual:

Review Timeline, Research Guidance, Legacy Family Tree

The red indicates Legacy’s best guesses, based on what’s already in your database using the Vital and custom Events. If you know it’s a bad guess you can un-tick the ‘Use’ box so it doesn’t play into what comes next.

Under Tab 2, Preliminary Survey, I can see what other people are doing around the world. Large databases, message boards, locality message boards, genealogies and local histories. Under each of the sub-tabs is a list. The databases and message boards will open in the same window. This is where most of my derailments have taken place as I’ve gone crab-walking in the message boards.

Preliminary Survey, Research Guidance, Legacy Family Tree

It’s also where I’d like a way to copy information I find that’s not related to the person I’m using Research Guidance for at the moment. But I can’t because I’m on a single-person track here and there’s no way out. There’s no way out. Just breathe. I can click the Edit button (top of the screen) and add information directly for that one person. Or I can zip over to my desktop, start a new text document and paste it there. You’re in a web browser window here so you have all the usual right-click options for Copy/Paste/Add to Favorites, etc that you have in your IE browser normally. Although Firefox is my default browser, it insists on using Internet Explorer. If you’re an IE user this will suit you to a T.

If you have EverNote installed, you can right-click on a selection and send it over there. This would be much quicker as it hardly puts a dent in your train of thought as you go. You can catch up to your web clips there later and try to remember why you clipped them in the first place.

Add To EverNote, Legacy Family Tree

If it’s anything other than a web text selection, you can use Win+A for EverNote’s Universal Clipper button or Win+PrtSc for a screen-shot.

I think there really ought to be a direct way to navigate to other people as well and add to their To-Do’s or Research Notes in Legacy.

You can also go directly to the Internet from the other tabs, Genealogies and Local Histories or add your intention to search to the To-Do List for that person with the “Plan to search” button.

Tab 3. Suggested Sources. Here it gives you lists of sources based on different types of events.

Suggested Sources, Research Guidance, Legacy Family Tree

You can toggle back to the first screen, Review Timeline, to see what you’re missing. Each suggested source shows what’s freely available and what has a fee. There’s plenty of both. This column and the other three can be used as filters. In this case I’m wanting to see only what’s Online. To the right is a description of each source.

Research Guidance Results, Legacy Family Tree

Again, you can go to a website directly, send an email, or add the item to the To-Do List. In the lower left is a list of different repositories for each source.

Now we’re at the last section, the To-Do List.

To-Do List, Research Guidance, Legacy Family Tree

If you click on the Edit button for a To-Do, you get the same screen for editing a To-Do as you would anywhere in Legacy. It’s all integrated. Just boggles the mind how ingenious this is.

You can change or add any other information that you want to each item.

To-Do Item, Legacy Family Tree
Notice that the task is ‘Search: Michigan Death Index’. In the Filter options there’s no way to filter by Task. It would be my preference to do all my searching of the Michigan Death Index at the same time. If I go to the All To-Do’s list I will find all the other Michigan Death Index searches lined up together alphabetically so that works out fine.

Of course, every step of the way you can keep track of where you’ve been and when so you aren’t repeating yourself. If you’re accustomed to keeping your genealogy to-do’s on scraps of paper or have a sneaking suspicion you’re wandering aimlessly in circles, do give this a try.

4 thoughts on “Research Guidance | Legacy Family Tree

  1. GCO Post author

    “All of my family history has been put together so far by my being chronically side-tracked. I am genetically incapable of working in a straight line.” Are there any Scroggs or Oliver’s in your North Carolina family?

    Athens, Ga.

      1. GCO Post author

        Actually it was a rhetorical question. I never seem to be able to complete a project without getting side tracked into a loop and a month later trying to remember what I set out to do.

        My legacy file is in many different stages depending on what I had learned about the program, how I decided to handle a certain type of data and what I was doing at the time I learned it.

        My current project is a mix of adding GPS data to address/locations along with moving all my headstone entries to an event so the picture will print.

        I do appreciate your insight into Legacy and the other programs you write about.

        1. JL Post author

          I didn’t completely miss it. I just wasn’t sure if it was totally rhetorical or a mix of humor and a serious question. I do understand your dilemma as described.


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