Contents - Index

FamilySearch Overview

   The Legacy FamilySearch screen is reached by clicking the Family Search button on the My Toolbars tab of the Ribbon bar.  It can also be reached by clicking on any temple icon next to any name on the Family or Pedigree View.  (You must have the FamilySearch option turned on in order to use the  FamilySearch feature.  You must also be connected to the Internet.)
  • What Can I Do Here? -  Legacy makes it easy to work with FamilySearch.  By incorporating a convenient, four-step process, combined with easy filtering of your family file, you start with manageable projects so that you are not overwhelmed by what you can do with FamilySearch integration.
  • Don't Try to Do Everything at Once -  It would be a daunting task to see a list of thousands of names to work on right at the beginning.  So, when you first come into Legacy FamilySearch to start using it, you are presented with a list consisting of only four generations of ancestors to work with.  As you progress through the simple steps, Legacy tracks your progress with a percentage bar so you can see how you are doing.  When you complete everything (or mostly everything) for this group, you can expand the list by another generation or two and continue on.
  • Watch the Videos - There are several free videos explaining eveything you can do in Legacy FamilySearch.  If you get stumped and want to see how something is done, click the Watch Videos link in the upper-right corner of the screen.
  • A Few Things to Take Note Of Before You Get Started -  Here is a quick tour of the elements you see on the screen.  It's good to be familiar with the various sections on the screen and how they can help you work through the successive tasks you will want to complete.

    The Legacy FamilySearch screen is divided into a few main sections.  

    Main Top Tabs
    Across the top are three main tabs:

      When you first come into Legacy FamilySearch, you are shown the Tasks tab.  This is where you will do most of your work.  The other tabs are used to present other tools and options.  

    The Temple tab presents the powerful Temple Ordinance Reservation and Tracking system (if you have the LDS option turned on in Legacy).  This is where you manage all your ordinance reservation and completion progress and track your temple cards and who you have assigned them to.  

    The Tips & Updates tab lets you read current articles about Legacy and FamilySearch and lets you see if you have the latest update of the program.

    Name List
    Along the left side of the screen is the My Legacy People list.  This list shows the group of people who you are currently working on as a project.  It can range from all the people in your entire Legacy family file down to a much smaller group consisting of one or two generation of the ancestors or descendants of a particular person.  It is easy to use and easy to change.  (See below for details.)

    Above the list you are shown the current filter setting (which determines who is contained in the list).  You can see how many people are in the list and how far you have progressed in completing the tasks for this group.  

    Each person in the list has a background progress bar showing what percentage of the tasks have been completed.  

    Your goal is to reach 100% for each person.

    At the bottom of the My Legacy People section is an area with four tabs: 

    The Tasks tab shows you which of the four tasks you have completed for the current person in the list. 

    (Only the first three tasks will be shown if you have LDS options turned off.)  These four tasks match the four tabs in the main information section of the screen (described below).

    The Pedigree tab shows a 3-generation pedigree chart that is completely navigatable.  

    You can use it to quickly move up and down ancestor and descendant lines.  When you click on a different name in the My Legacy People list, the pedigree chart contents change so it starts with the highlighted person in the list.

    The Details tab shows the basic vital information for the current person in the list.

    The Legend tab shows you what each of the icons used throughout Legacy FamilySearch means and also what the highlighting colors mean in the main information section (described below).

    Tasks Tab
    Main Information Section
    The main section to the right of the My Legacy People name list is where you will do most of your work.  It is divided into four task tabs:

    As you click on each name in the My Legacy People list, you will be systematically taken through all four tasks for that person.  Each task and how it works will be explained further on in this topic. (See below for details.)

    So now you know mostly know what you are looking at on the screen.  Below is a detailed explanation on how each section works.

    My Legacy People

    What the Name List Shows
    The list is made up of six columns:

    RIN - the record identification numbers assigned to each person in your family file.
    Name - the names of the individuals.
    Born - the birth year of the person, if known.
    Sync Icon - an indication of the sync status for each person.  Two green arrows means that the Legacy person's information and the FamilySearch information are synchronized.  A red right arrow means that the Legacy person has information that FamilySearch does not.  A red left arrow means that FamilySearch has information that the Legacy person does not.
    Duplicates Icon - If the icon is displayed it means that there are uncombined
    Temple Ordinance Icon - shows the current status of each person's ordinances.

    Filtering the List 
    The Current Filter area is at the top of the My Legacy People area.  By default, the list contains the starting person and up to four generations of his ancestors.  This is a good starting point when working with FamilySearch.  If you would like to expand (or contract) the scope of the list, click the Edit... link in the Current Filter section at the top of the list.  This opens the Filter Options screen where you can change the starting person and what group of related people you want to include in the list.  (See Legacy FamilySearch Filter Options for more information.)

    Main Information Section

    Step 1: Possible Matches
    When you click on a person in the name list, Legacy starts the first task automatically which is to search for a person in FamilySearch who matches your Legacy person.  Most often, even if you have very little information on your Legacy person, one or more possible matches will be found in FamilySearch and placed in the Possible Matches area.  Sometimes you will find dozens of possible matches.  The matches are ranked by FamilySearch from one to five stars, which show under the name, and are place in the list with the highest ranking names at the top.  Names with four and five star rankings are very likely to be matches to your Legacy person.  Names of lesser ranking should be looked at very closely to make sure there is enough matching information to conclude a match.  Don't automatically rule out possible matches with one or two stars however as they are often obvious matches.

    When Legacy completes the search for possible matches and places the results in the upper list, the first, highest ranked name is highlighted.  Your Legacy person is placed on the left side, below the possible matches list, and the FamilySearch person is placed on the right.  The different types of information are grouped (Name, Personal Information, Facts and Events, Family Relationships, and LDS Ordinances) and lined up side-by-side making it easy to compare.  If there is more information than will fit in the vertical space available, scroll bars appear that can be used to move up and down.  The two scrollbars are "locked" together, meaning that if you scroll one person, the other will also scroll, keeping the information types lined up.  

    Comparing Information
    Information shown with a green background means that your Legacy person's information is the same as the FamilySearch information.  Anything with a yellow background means that you have information that FamilySearch doesn't have or FamilySearch has information that you don't have.  Information with a red background means that your data and FamilySearch's data conflict in some way.  All these color highlights make it very easy to compare the two people and determine if they are the same individual.

    Look At Everyone in the List First
    If there is more than one person in the possible matches list, you should look at them all before deciding which one to link to.  Many times you will find more than one person who is obviously a match for your Legacy person.  Linking to the first one you see might cause you to miss a better match below it.  Keep in mind that the people in the list who you don't link to will be displayed in the next task, Possible Duplicates.  It is better to link to the best person in the list and then combine information from the other people in the next step.

    Linking the Legacy Person to a Person in FamilySearch
    Your goal is to link each of your Legacy individuals with an individual in FamilySearch.  If you determine that the two people you are looking at are the same person (and are the best match of all the people in the possible matches list), click on This person is the same as mine.  This creates a link between the two and Legacy now moves on to the next step, Possible Duplicates (see below).

    Note:  If you have linked one of your Legacy individuals to an individual in FamilySearch and you want to undo the link for some reason (perhaps so you can link them to someone else), you can do this by clicking the Unlink person button at the top of the Information section.

    What If They Are Not the Same?
    If you can see that the two people are not the same person, or probably are not, move to the next person in the Possible Matches list above.  If there are no more people to compare then there are a couple things you can do:
    Refine the search criteria - Click the Advanced Search button and see if there is something else you might search for to find a match.  (See Advanced Search for more information.
    Click None of these people are a match - this will pop up a submenu where you can choose Add My Legacy Person to FamilySearch.  This uploads the known information on your Legacy person to FamilySearch and then links the two together.

    What If No Possible Matches are Found?
    Although it is rare, sometimes a matching person can't be found on the FamilySearch side.  In these cases you either refine the search criteria by clicking the Advanced Search button or you can click Add my Legacy person to FamilySearch.

    Refreshing the List
    FamilySearch is a "moving target" in that the information contained on its Internet data servers is constantly changing as millions of people make additions and edits.  You are probably safe during the few minutes it might take to compare the possible matches, but if you are called away from your computer for a while, you might want to refresh the possible matches search before you continue.  This can easily be done by clicking the button above the right edge of the FamilySearch person on the right.

    Potential Problems
    You may sometimes see a icon next to a piece of information for a person on the screen.  This can be on either a Legacy person or a FamilySearch person.  This means that there is a potential problem with that particular piece of information.  If you hover your mouse over the icon, a message pops up showing you what might be wrong.  (See Problems Report for a list of all the potential problems Legacy looks for.)

    The Potential Problems feature in Legacy FamilySearch can be turned on or off from the Potential Problem Options screen.  You can also turn off any of the many problems that Legacy checks for.

    Step 2: Possible Duplicates
    The next step after matching your Legacy person with the counterpart on FamilySearch is to combine any duplicate inviduals who are found on the FamilySearch side.  Since many, many people contribute people and information to the FamilySearch site, there are bound to be duplicates.

    The process is very similar to that used in Step 1 above.  The list of possible duplicates is shown at the top of the main information area.  Your Legacy person and his or her information is shown below the list on the left, and the highlighted person in the possible duplicates list is shown on the right.  Again, the field background colors help you quickly compare information.

    Note:  If Legacy can't find any possible duplicates in the FamilySearch database, Step 2 will be skipped and you will be taken directly to Step 3: Share Data.

    After carefully examining the first possible duplicate, you have the following choices:

    Do nothing yet - You should make sure you look at all the people in the list to get a feel for who all is being presented as possible duplicates.
    The possible duplicate is the same as your Legacy person - If you are sure the possible duplicate on the right is the same person as your Legacy person, click the Same person button.  This will mark the FamilySearch person to be combined later with the FamilySearch person who is linked to your Legacy person.  The word Combine is shown in the Action column.  (Nothing is combined yet - you still have to process this action by clicking the Process Actions button - but don't do it yet...  keep reading.)
    You are not sure if the person is a duplicate or not - It happens.  After comparing the two people you just can't determine if they are the same person.  They might be.  They might not be.  What do you do?  Click the Not Sure button.  Not sure is placed in the Actions column.
    The possible duplicate is NOT the same as your person - If you can determine that the FamilySearch person on the right is not the same person as your Legacy person on the left, click the Not the same person button.  Not the same is placed in the Actions column.

    When you have worked all the way to the bottom of the list and are sure you have marked them all correctly, click the Process Actions button.  This will combine all the people you marked as Same Person and combine them with the FamilySearch person you first matched with your Legacy person.  Legacy will then do another search for possible duplicates.  This is done because after finding and combining duplicates, other previously unnoticed duplicates might be found.

    Step 3: Share Data
    The Share Data tab is where you can exchange information back and forth between your Legacy person and the FamilySearch person he or she is linked to.  My Legacy Person is on the left and the FamilySearch Person is on the right.  As in previous steps, the field background colors help you quickly compare information.

    Note: If you combined duplicate people in Step 2, the FamilySearch Person you now see on the right is a combination of all the information from all the combined individuals.

    What can I do on this screen?
    Upload name and event information from your Legacy person up to the FamilySearch person.
    Download information from the FamilySearch person to your Legacy person.
    Add parents, spouses, and children of your Legacy person to the FamilySearch person.
    Add parents, spouses, and children of the FamilySearch person  to your Legacy person.
    Update your ordinance information from what FamilySearch has.

    Viewing the FamilySearch Event Details Box
    At the far right side of each piece of information on the FamilySearch Person, is a icon.  Clicking this icon displays the Event Details box.  This box contains all the information on the name or event found on the FamilySearch site.  It also contains the names of the people who contributed the information which usually their email address so you can contact them if you need to.  (See Event Details for more information.)

    Potential Problems
    Again, you may sometimes see a icon next to a piece of information for a person on the screen.  This means that there is a potential problem with that particular piece of information.  If you hover your mouse over the icon, a message pops up showing you what is wrong.  Be on the lookout for these problem icons.  You don't want to add incorrect information to either your family file or the FamilySearch database by copying it one way or the other.

    Copying Information Back and Forth
    Along the left edge of both My Legacy Person and the FamilySearch Person, there is an arrow ( or ) that is used to copy information between Legacy and FamilySearch.  Clicking either of these icons initiates the copy process.

    Copying Information from FamilySearch
    When you click the icon to the left of a piece of information or person on the FamilySearch side, the Select an action to perform window appears where you can choose how you want to handle the item and what kind of source citation you can to create (if any).

    If you are copying a name, you have the choice to either add the name to your Legacy person as an Alternate Name, or to replace the main name with the FamilySearch name.

    Copying vital information (birth, christening, death, or burial) gives you the options to add alternate event versions of them to Legacy or to replace the Legacy information.

    Copying events lets you add the events to the Legacy person list or replace events with the FamilySearch equivelant. 

    When you copy people, such as parents, spouses, or children, you have the option to link them to the Legacy person's equivalent (for example, if the Legacy person's father has not been linked yet to a person in FamilySearch, you can link the father to the father you are copying from FamilySearch). 

    Copying Information from Legacy to FamilySearch
    Copying information from Legacy to FamilySearch is much like copying information the other way, from FamilySearch to Legacy, with a few exceptions.  For example, when you copy a person to FamilySearch, a father or mother for example, Legacy checks for possible duplicates in FamilySearch in case the person is already there.  If possible duplicates are found, a new Combine Duplicates screen is displayed so you can take care of the combining.  This process is also done when adding Spouses and Children to FamilySearch.

    When You Are Finished Sharing Data
    When you have copied and added all the information and people to and from Legacy and FamilySearch and are satisfied with the results, you can mark the pair of individuals as "synchronized."  This will change the double arrow icon 

    Step 4: Ordinance Status (only shows if using LDS option) 
    The Ordinance Status tab shows the official ordinance status according to FamilySearch for the current person.  The information shown is downloaded and displayed on facsimiles of temple cards and summarized in a list.  If information is available, cards are shown for a person's individual ordinances (with baptism, confirmation, initiatory, and endowment, as well as sealing to parents) and sealing to spouse.  Completed ordinances are displayed with the completion dates in the ordinance boxes and are shown with a icon in the list.  Reserved ordinances are shown with Reserved in the boxes and a icon in the list.  If a particular ordinance can't yet be completed because more information is needed, xxxxxx is shown in the ordinance box and is shown in the list.  Ordinances that have not yet been reserved but are qualified to be done are shown with xxxxxxx in the ordinance box and in the list.

    Adding the Completed Ordinance Information to your Legacy Family File
    Oftentimes the Ordinance Status tab show one or more completed ordinance.  To copy the completion date and temple information to your Legacy Person, click the Update your Legacy family file with the completed ordinances for this person link in the lower-right corner of the screen.  This copies the official FamilySearch-recorded ordinance information into the appropriate fields for your Legacy Person.  If there is something already in a particular field in Legacy it is not overwritten.

    How to Reserve an Ordinance
    You can tell when an ordinance is ready to be reserved by looking at either the ordinance card, where Ready is displayed in the reservable ordinance box, or the ordinance list where an unchecked checkbox

    is shown for the available ordinances.  You can also tell by looking at the My Legacy People name list on the left where a icon is displayed for anyone with one or more available ordinances.

    To reserve an ordinance, select the checkbox in the list.  Oftentimes there will be two or more ordinances available for reservation.  If you want to reserve all of them, select the box on the right-most ordinance.  This will automatically select all the ordinances to the left of it.  As part of the process of selecting an ordinance, or ordinances, to reserve, Legacy does another Possible Duplicates check.  Legacy requires you to have all duplicates combined before you can reserve an ordinance.  This is to ensure that the ordinances you are reserving have not already been done in one of the duplicates you have not combined yet.  It is a total waste of many people's time if you duplicate an ordinance that has already been completed.

    Sometimes, when you select some ordinances to reserve, Legacy pops up a message indicating why a particular ordinance can't be reserved yet.  This can happen when you are sealing a person to his or her parents and the parents are not yet matched together.  The warning message will show links to the father and mother that can be used to quick jump to those individuals where you can choose from the Possible Matches to make the needed matches.  After you have done this, return to the person you were working on to finish the ordinance reservation(s).

    Go to
    If you want to launch your Internet browser and go to the website and navigate to the currently selected individual in the Name List (who must be linked to someone in FamilySearch), click the button.

    Temple Tab
    The Temple tab shows the Temple Ordinance Reservation and Tracking screen where you can print Family Ordinance Requests and view all your currently printed ordinance cards.  See Legacy Ordinance Reservation and Tracking for more information.

    Tips and Updates Tab
    The Tips and Updates screen is a live link to the Legacy News blog and show articles in a built-in browser window as they are posted to the blog.  This keeps you up-to-date on what is happening in the genealogy community.

    You can also see the current version number of Legacy FamilySearch and see if there are any update available.

    Note from FamilySearch
    8-10-14:  The "110-year rule" has been in place for some time but has not been enforced. The definition of "closely related" hasn't been consistent nor has the process for validation and enforcement been established. This change seeks to remedy this problem.

    The FamilySearch authenticated user must be closely related to the selected person to request ordinances if that selected person was born in the last 110 years. For the purpose of this rule, "closely related" include spouses, parents, children, siblings, and grandchildren of the selected person. Users wanting special consideration to request ordinances for which they are not closely related must be directed to a support website to confirm that they have the permission of a closely-related family member and apply for approval.

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