TopTenREVIEWS - Gold Award - Awarded for excellence in design, usability and feature set

The best genealogy software provides tools for research, charting and organizing your family tree easier. Legacy 8 wins our Top Ten Reviews Gold Award for family tree software because it links directly to popular genealogy sites like FamilySearch and Ancestry.com. This feature combines your research and mapping in a few steps. Rather than digging through printed records, you can research your family online. When you find more information, Legacy can import it directly to your family tree. After you've gathered family records and information, you can choose from different charts to display the different relationships with this family tree software. Legacy can list adoptive, foster and step relationships easily.

Reporting & Publishing
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10/10
Legacy Family Tree
Family Tree Maker
RootsMagic
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10
10
9.4
9.4
9.4
9.4
8.1
8.8
8.8
8.1

Genealogy is all about discovery and sharing. When you've completed your family tree in Legacy 8, you have several ways to display your research. To display the ancestors and children of a husband and wife, you can use the Family Bow Tie chart. There is also the Descendant Chart, which shows how the family line progressed from one pair of ancestors. If a common ancestor had multiple marriages, the Descendant tab is the best way to see how each branch split from this individual. You can suppress duplicate lines in wall charts to save room for more photographs and captions. You can also add photos, videos and sound bites from members of your family to add to a genealogy blog, slideshow or wall chart.

Legacy is one of the few family tree programs that provides templates for genealogy worksheets, which genealogists often use to record their research and gather information from others. You can collect information from relatives by sending questionnaires, interview notes and research logs to track progress. This genealogy software also produces relationship diagrams and forms based on US, UK and Canadian censuses. Fonts and formats are customizable along with changeable content and fields for any of these forms. If you prefer to conduct paperless research, all the available forms can be produced as PDF files. This means you can send your forms to other genealogists online while collaborating.

Listing & Notes
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9.5/10
Legacy Family Tree
Family Tree Maker
RootsMagic
Family Tree Heritage
Ancestral Quest
The Master Genealogist
Family Historian
Brother's Keeper
Heredis
WinFamily
9.5
8.8
8.5
8.8
8.1
8.8
8.8
7.5
8.8
7.5

The interface in this genealogy software is smooth and uncluttered, so it's easy to find the tools you need. You can also customize the ribbon menu and toolbar for quick access to the features you use the most. The Family tab is the best place to view multiple marriages and other types of relationships. You can add notes and media about individuals through this tab. Sometimes multiple marriages can make genealogy confusing. Color-coding is another one of Legacy's talents. This feature allows you to label names, places and events associated with different family branches. For example, if one of your relatives had children from two different marriages, use the color-coding feature to label each branch's descendants.

Legacy’s family tree software checks for duplicate entries and potential problems or gaps in time throughout your tree. When it catches such an error, it flags it with a small red warning symbol. This is especially useful since these errors can be difficult to spot on your own.

Legacy 8 has some of the best features for genealogy software. For example, Legacy has several tools that record where your ancestors' most significant events occurred based on your records. It also offers several reports to give you more information, such as the Origins Report, which shows you the percentage of "blood" you have from your countries of origin and the Migration Report, which tells you how far a person's descendants spread out in the world. Legacy even animates your ancestor's movement through time in several modes, street, aerial and 3D, with the migration-mapping tool.

The Shared Events feature lets you record multiple people at family events. It can take a long time to add events to every family member's profile one by one. Instead, Shared Events adds family members to a virtual guest list for events like marriages or funerals. The more events you add, the clearer your ancestors' timelines appears. As your family history unfolds, Legacy's Chronology View shows how individuals fit into the generational scheme.

Citation & Organization
Compare
10/10
Legacy Family Tree
Family Tree Maker
RootsMagic
Family Tree Heritage
Ancestral Quest
The Master Genealogist
Family Historian
Brother's Keeper
Heredis
WinFamily
10
10
9.4
10
8.8
8.8
8.8
9.4
9.4
9

The more individuals you add to your family line, the more stories and facts you need to keep straight. Legacy 8 sorts children, marriages and events automatically and chronologically as you add them. If you've ever wondered what your family's average lifespan is or how long the longest marriages were, Legacy 8 can tell you, as it collects statistics based on the information you enter.

When you amass a large amount of information on your family, it's best to keep all your multimedia together for easy keeping. The Media Gatherer feature in Legacy 8 allows you to place your genealogy pictures in one common folder. With this tool, you'll have quick access to your files, making it easy to share your family file with another computer or family member. When you find sources and multimedia about your family online, you can link them to a gallery in Legacy 8 for easy access.

The Index and Research tabs come in handy when your family tree starts to get large. The Index allows you to quickly access individuals and to see much of their information, including their Reference Identification Number (RIN), sex, birthdate, birthplace, date of death and place of death. The Research tab connects you to suggested sources and a to-do list to keep your process organized. This tab serves as a great guide for novice researchers.

Help & Support
Compare
10/10
Legacy Family Tree
Family Tree Maker
RootsMagic
Family Tree Heritage
Ancestral Quest
The Master Genealogist
Family Historian
Brother's Keeper
Heredis
WinFamily
10
10
10
7.5
10
5
7.5
7.5
5
5

The Help section of the ribbon menu on Legacy 8 gives you access to solutions for common problems with the software. You can also submit an order form, contact tech support or report a bug in the software. When we contacted Legacy's email support, we received a reply within an hour. There are also in-software options for reporting bugs and submitting suggestions to improve Legacy.

Legacy Family Tree Summary:
9.9/10

If you're new to genealogy and want an easy-to-manage program to get you started on building your family tree, Legacy 8 has a wide range of tools to help you organize your information. You can list a number of complex relationships, like remarriages, adoptions and divorces, which cause other programs to struggle. The specialized charts help you visualize these relationships and help you get a better idea of where your family came from. Legacy is the best genealogy software because it offers a combination of reporting and organizing tools to help you manage your research as your family tree grows.

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Legacy Family Tree 8.0

Pros
Legacy offers many helpful features for novice genealogists like reports that track where your ancestors settled through the years.

Cons
You might find that some of the sourcing and research features seem oversimplified.

The Verdict
: 9.85/10

Legacy helps you organize generations of family history. Mapping reports and an array of charts help you visualize your family line and share your research.