Family Historian vs Legacy

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Family Historian vs Legacy

Post by Aliballibee » Sun May 06, 2012 6:09 pm

Hello all,

I'm sure this debate has raged previously but, as a newcomer to the world of family tree tracing, I've downloaded both trial versions of these software titles.

First thought is that FH is easier to use than Legacy and presents the information in an easy to use format; however I'm a little concerned that they seem to be providing "upgrades" that, as usual, mean extra cost.

Either piece of software will be used mainly for record storage, as I'm drawing the family tree in totoal on a CAD package.

Your thoughts / comments would be welcome.



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Re: Family Historian vs Legacy

Post by Alan SHARP » Sun May 06, 2012 10:03 pm

Greetings again Alan.

Not my field, but if you search those two systems names, in the SEARCH box at the top of the page, you will be directed to all previous TS discussion on the subject. There has been quite a bit, over the years.


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Re: Family Historian vs Legacy

Post by trish1 » Tue May 08, 2012 5:45 am

Hi Alan

I use FamilyTreeMaker - which has been around forever - it was one that a friend had when I started researching. It is forever putting out upgrades which I ignore. I was slightly worried that my version would not work under windows 7 - but after a minor problem to which google gave a solution - it is working well. Unless the upgrades are related to the security of your data/system and/or you really want the new features - they can usually be ignored.

Which probably doesn't help in deciding between your two systems - if they both suit, I would probably go for the one you find easiest to use.


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Re: Family Historian vs Legacy

Post by Falkyrn » Tue May 08, 2012 12:09 pm

I personally use Family Historian as it suits the way in which I work, it is also an extremely flexible piece of software. The latest version (v5) now uses a system of "plug ins" which offer added functionality to the program and which are available for free from the user group (FHUG) website.

Where the program is upgraded by minor tweaks the upgrades are provided free but where major upgrades to the program are made these basically constitute a new program and as such admittedly must be paid for BUT if you have an older version of FH which does everything you want there is no need to upgrade as the program is still extremely functional and provides many, if not all, of the tools generally used unless the new version offers something you really want.

Unlike some programs FH uses gedcom as its native file system and a gedcom file saved from V2 can be read equally well in v5 - some other programs change their file formats with each upgrade making older files incompatible.
~RJ Paton~

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Re: Family Historian vs Legacy

Post by Currie » Tue May 08, 2012 1:38 pm

Hello Alan,

Just one more Alan and we’ll have enough for a Barbershop Quartet.

I’m still using Personal Ancestral File (PAF) and have been for about 11 years. It’s a very basic program and very easy to use. It doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of the commercial programs most of which most people never use. Its development has ceased but it works perfectly well in all versions of Windows. It may well be the most popular genealogy program.

It’s available completely free from FamilySearch (LDS Church), They’ve changed the site a bit since I last looked but I think this is the way in. ... ration.asp

Most genealogy programs have ways of printing trees in various formats but if you’re adventurous enough to design your own using Computer Aided Drafting or similar programs you can get all sorts of inspiration from Googling images. ... 80&bih=840

All the best,

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Re: Family Historian vs Legacy

Post by Aliballibee » Tue May 08, 2012 9:17 pm

Evening all,

Well, I'm not a bad tenor! :D

I'm plotting the family tree on an ever increasing CAD (AutoCAD) drawing, keeping each generation to one line and recording simple information e.g. birth, marriage & death.

The software programme was to input dates, photographs and information snippits into e.g. employment, court cases (!), general scandal.

I'm still leaning towards Family Historian - I find Legacy and FTM a bit "clunky" but like many pieces of software, it's what the user feels most comfortable with.

Alan C - I'll have a look at the PAF type for comparison.

Many thanks


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Re: Family Historian vs Legacy

Post by Tracey » Tue May 08, 2012 9:26 pm

How i miss Legacy ! Nearly two years ago i changed from PC to Mac and Legacy isnt compatible with Mac. Legacy is very simple and easy to use( i only used the free version) and because i am so far unhappy with the two others i tried, mac Family Tree and another one i cant remember the name of, it has lead to me stoping researching - I MISS IT :(
Scotland - Donaldson / Moggach / Shaw / Geddes / Sim / Gray / Mackie / Richards / Joel / Coull / Mckimmie / Panton / McGregor
Ireland and Scotland - Casey / McDade / Phillips / McCandle / Dinely / Comaskey + various spellings

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Re: Family Historian vs Legacy

Post by ninatoo » Tue May 08, 2012 10:40 pm

I'm a Legacy user and I liked it so much I paid for the full version. However, during one of the upgrades I somehow managed to lose the details of all addresses (for example, it lost the year of the event, and the district of EVERY entry!!!) I was/still am LIVID! I am still finding individuals on my tree that I need to manually correct....! Not so hard if it is a simple census entry, but very difficult if the source document was a bit more obscure (like a poorhouse entry for example). A real PAIN!!!

I am not sure if the problem was caused my me or them, but I have not been able to find any other person with this problem in my searches of the net.

Researching: Easton ( Renfrewshire, Dunbarton and Glasgow), Corr (Londonderry and Glasgow), Carson (Co. Down, Irvine, Ayrshire and Glasgow), Logan (Londonderry and Glasgow)

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Re: Family Historian vs Legacy

Post by AnneM » Tue May 08, 2012 11:00 pm

Family Historian works for me. I find it easy to use and generally intuitive. However like everyone else I think it is user choice. If you like FH just now I don't think you'll regret acquiring it. It produces good reports as well as trees if you want that.

Researching M(a)cKenzie, McCammond, McLachlan, Kerr, Assur, Renton, Redpath, Ferguson, Shedden, Also Oswald, Le/assels/Lascelles, Bonning just for starters

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Re: Family Historian vs Legacy

Post by StewL » Sat May 12, 2012 6:32 am

I have been using the legacy Deluxe version for quite some time now. I do have other FH I can and do have my Ged file loaded into. I have had no problems at all with it, and I like the relationship calculator, where of course I have set myself off at the starter. I suppose it really is a matter of choice, and also depending on what your experiences have been like with any FH programme.

Searching for: Anderson, Balks, Barton, Courtney, Davidson, Downie, Dunlop, Edward, Flucker, Galloway, Graham, Guthrie, Higgins, Laurie, Mathieson, McLean, McLuckie, Miln, Nielson, Payne, Phillips, Porterfield, Stewart, Watson

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