Wednesday, 4 July 2007

Legacy Family Tree

About a month ago I blogged about talking to Geoff Rasmussen, a representative for Millenia Corp, and undertook to take a serious look at Legacy Family Tree when the next major release arrives. In the meantime I now have a copy of the full version of Legacy version 6.0 DeLuxe. That's thanks to my namesake, or rather his wife who is not a genealogist but who won a copy at the Quebec Family History Society Roots 2007 conference banquet. John already uses Legacy so I benefited from their prize.

Here are some first impressions of Legacy from a long-time Family Tree Maker user.

Installing the program was painless. I transferred my family files from FTM using a GEDCOM, the only option. The textual data transferred well, but images and multimedia files were not carried over. This remains a MAJOR problem in moving to another database program.

One of the things I really like in FTM, it comes close to being a killer app, is the ability to search for an ancestor directly from the program. Legacy appeared to offer this, plus searches on other databases too. When I tried it an error message was returned. Millenia quickly responded to my email with a work around. I was impressed with the speed and friendliness of the response.

Less impressive was the capability of the search. FTM's ancestry search takes into account not only the person's name but also date and place of birth, husband's name if a women, and seemingly other data. FTM does a fuzzy search and seems remarkably good at guessing the best matches. By contrast Legacy searched only on the name. As my family history is almost all in the UK it was frustrating to find Legacy suggesting mainly US matches. On this one FTM wins hands down.

It will take more to to evaluate Legacy fully, but so far I've found no compelling reason to switch.

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