Importing from Legacy

This page describes how to find items imported from Legacy within Family Historian, if the import was done as a direct import from Legacy 9, using Family Historian version or later. It is recommended reading for all Legacy users. Imports from earlier versions of Legacy are also supported, but not all the features described below may apply. We recommend importing from Legacy version 9 (or later) if possible.

Tip: To ensure good results when displaying narrative reports, please carefully read the sections ‘Fact Types’ and ‘Create/Edit Fact Definitions’ below; and, when the import has completed, take the recommended steps, as necessary.

Tip: Records may be listed in Family Historian in a different order to the way they are listed in Legacy. If you want to compare the lists, you may need to sort the list to match the Legacy order of listing. You can sort on any column in a Family Historian record listing by clicking on the column heading (or press the Alt key while clicking to reverse the sort order). Click on the column heading for the record name, the first column, to sort the list in alphabetical order.

Legacy ItemFamily Historian Location
PeopleYou can view and edit people records (“Individual” records in Family Historian), in the Property Box. The Property Box is accessible from all Family Historian workspace windows and is used for viewing and editing records of all types. By default, it will display details of the currently selected record in the currently active workspace window. You can select an Individual’s record in nearly all workspace windows, but the first workspace window you will encounter if you are new to Family Historian is the Focus Window.

If an imported record is flagged as Living or Private in Legacy, it will have the equivalent record flag in Family Historian. If an imported record is flagged as Invisible in Legacy, it will have both the Private flag and an Invisible record flag. Private is a standard Family Historian flag, which is referenced in reports and elsewhere, when choosing privacy options. Invisible is a special flag, created specifically for the import, so you can easily see who had been flagged in this way (and optionally condition more features based on this flag). Record flags can be viewed and changed for one or more selected Individuals using the Records Flags command on the Edit menu. You can also view a list of all people with a given record flag by running the “Has Flag” query, and selecting the required record flag from the dropdown list. To run the “Has Flag” query, click on the ‘Query’ toolbar button, and then choose “Flags and Named Lists”, and finally “Has Flag”.

To quickly view a complete list of people in a project, click on the Records Window button on the Navigation Bar (second button down from the top). The records will be displayed in the Records Window. Use the filter options at the top to quickly locate particular Individuals.

Legacy’s Modified date for a person becomes the Updated date for Individual records, in Family Historian. By default, the Updated date for Individual records is displayed in the last column of the Individuals tab of the Records Window (this is configurable). Click on the column heading to sort on that date, or press the Alt key while clicking on the column heading to reverse the sort. You can also view an Individual’s Updated date in the Property Box when viewing their record. It is displayed on the All tab (rightmost column, first line).
NamesPeople can have multiple names and titles. To view a full list of a given person’s names and titles, click on the ‘more…’ link, to the right of the Name field, in the Main tab of the Property Box. This will display the details in the Names and Titles Dialog. You can also view details of titles in the Facts tab of the Property Box.
FamiliesFamily Historian allow Family record details (facts, notes etc) to be viewed as shared items, when accessing records for either of the parents/spouses. So, for example, in Family Historian you can add or view a shared note for a couple in the Notes tab of the Property Box, when viewing the Individual record for either of the 2 parents/spouses. It is also possible to view a list of Family records if required. On the View menu, click Other Record Lists, and then Families. Family records can also be separately viewed and edited in the Property Box, if required.
Events/FactsFamily Historian makes a distinction, that Legacy does not make, between events and attributes. Events, at a minimum, have (or can have) associated dates, places, addresses, notes, media and source citations. Attributes have all of these, and in addition have associated values. So, Birth and Death are examples of events. Occupation, however, is an example of an attribute. The value of Occupation, for a given person, might be ‘farmer’, or ‘engineer’, or whatever. There is no equivalent ‘value’ as such for a birth or death. Legacy events have descriptions, which are used in different ways, depending on the event type. Hence, care is needed when importing them. In some cases, these descriptions are stored as values in Family Historian, but may also be handled differently, depending on the event type.

Facts (that is, events and attributes), are viewed and edited in the Facts tab of the Property Box.

If a fact name has the prefix ‘Alt’ or ‘Disproven’, this prefix will by default (it is an import option) be removed and the fact will be marked with the Rejected fact flag. You can remove this fact flag at any time if required. If the fact is marked as private in Legacy (either the fact type or the instance), it will be marked with the Private fact flag in Family Historian. To learn more about fact flags, see the “Fact Flags” section of the Help for the Facts tab of the Property Box.

In Legacy, the same event can be labelled as either a ‘christening’ or a ‘baptism’ (see option 3.10). When you import, you choose whether these events should be imported as christenings or baptisms.
Fact TypesFamily Historian will try to match up imported facts with the equivalent fact type in Family Historian, based on the name of the fact. Fact types can be viewed in Family Historian’s Fact Types dialog box, by clicking Fact Types on the Tools menu. Both Legacy and Family Historian use sentence templates to generate sentences, from facts, in narrative reports. Family Historian will use its own sentence templates for fact types it recognises, and will create default sentence templates for fact types it does not recognise – either because they are custom fact types (created by the user), or because they are standard Legacy fact types which have no equivalent in Family Historian.
Create/Edit Fact DefinitionsDefault sentence templates are unlikely to give satisfactory results; so you are strongly recommended to create a custom fact definition for all these fact types, and provide a suitable fact definition yourself. You only have to ever do this once, for each such fact type. For example, ‘Court’ is a standard Legacy event type, but is not a standard fact type in Family Historian. If your data includes any examples of this fact type, you should make sure that it has a fact definition, including a suitable sentence template. To check this, open the Fact Types dialog box (by clicking Fact Types on the Tools menu). If ‘Court’ is not listed there, click the ‘Show Hidden‘ check box on the right. If you can now see a row for ‘Court’ that shows that is currently has no fact definition. Select its row, and click the Edit button. Click OK when asked if you want to create a new definition. The Fact Set field will default to ‘Custom’. You can leave it as ‘Custom’ or specify another name if you prefer (e.g. ‘Legacy’ perhaps). The default sentence template, which uses Family Historian sentence template codes, will initially look like this:

{individual} experienced {label} {date} {place} {age}

You should change this to something more suitable. For example, in the case of the ‘Court’ event type, you could change it to something like this:

{individual} was involved in a court case <about {inline-note}> {date} {place} {age}

Click the Help button for advice and tips.
Customized Sentences for FactsBoth in Legacy and Family Historian, with any particular instance of a fact, you can customize (override) the normal sentence that will be generated for the fact, when details of that fact are displayed in narrative reports. In Family Historian, an approximation of the sentence that will be used for any fact, is displayed in the Sentence field at the bottom of the Facts tab of the Property Box. You can click on the Sentence field to edit and customize it if you wish to. When you click on the Sentence field, any template codes that are used in it, will be displayed as such, so you can modify them as required.

If a fact’s sentence has been customized in Legacy (in the ‘Sentence Override’ box), the customization will normally be imported into Family Historian (this is an import option) and displayed in the Sentence field. Any template codes that are used in the sentence can also be converted to the Family Historian equivalents. This is another import option. The conversion feature is listed as ‘experimental’, to indicate that it cannot be guaranteed to give good results in all cases. So you are advised to check conversions, and to make any tweaks that may be necessary.

To view a complete list of customized sentences in Family Historian, click on the Tools menu, and then choose the Work with Data submenu, and within that choose Fact/Witness Sentences . Double-click on the text in the Fact column to open the Property Box to show that fact.

As well as allowing customization of fact sentences, both Legacy and Family Historian also allow customization of sentences describing the role that non-principals may be play in shared events (see “Shared Events” below). If you have never customized any sentences within Legacy there will be no customized sentences to view.
PlacesPlace details are primarily associated with facts, and hence can be viewed and edited in the Facts tab of the Property Box. To view full details about a given place (notes, media, etc), double-click on the Place field, or click on the little button with 3 dots to the end of the Place field. This will bring up a place selector with the current place pre-selected. If you click the View in Property Box button, the full details of the Place (latitude and longitude, as well as notes and media) can be viewed and edited. Family Historian will automatically geocode places (locate their latitude and longitude) when you view them in the Map Window, if they haven’t already been geocoded.

There are numerous options for viewing places marked on maps – see the Map Window.

A list of all Place records can be viewed in the Places tab of the Records Window.
AddressesAddress information for facts (events and attributes) is accessed, along with other fact details, in the Facts tab of the Property Box.
Shared Events (Witnesses)In Legacy a ‘Shared Event’ is any event which has one or more participants other than the principal or principals. These non-principal participants are called “people who share this event” in Legacy 9. All such people are simply called witnesses in Family Historian. So, for example, the bridesmaids and best man at a marriage are witnesses in this sense, and the bride and groom are the principals. Every witness has a role, which must be specified; so, in the example, one role would be ‘bridesmaid’ and another would be ‘best man’. In some cases, as well as using the word ‘witness’ to simply mean ‘non-principal participant’, the word ‘witness’ may also be used as a role. For example, the ‘witness’ may be one role that a witness at a marriage can have. Do not confuse these two uses.

All details of witnesses (non-principal participants) for events, can be viewed and edited in Family Historian’s Witnesses Window. The Witnesses Window is a satellite window of the Property Box. Like many other windows in Family Historian, the Witnesses Window is a floating window. This means that you never need to close it. It will show the witnesses for whatever fact is currently selected in the Facts tab of the Property Box.

If a person has a role which is not already defined in Family Historian, a role definition will be created for that role in the relevant fact type. These can be viewed and edited as part of fact definitions (see Create/Edit Fact Definitions above)

You can customize sentences for witnesses in the Sentence field of the Witnesses Window, in much the same way that you can customize principal sentences in the Facts tab of the Property Box.
MediaIn both Legacy and Family Historian, media (pictures, video etc) can be associated with people, families, facts, sources, citations and places. The same media item can be linked to more than one person. In Family Historian you can also link each person to their face in each picture they appear in.

All media associated with a given person (or other record) can be viewed on the Media tab of the Property Box. All media can also be viewed in the Media Window.

Family Historian allows you to keep media files (or copies of media files) within your project, if you wish to – and this is normally recommended. When you import from Legacy, an option to copy media files into the Family Historian project is ticked by default.

If any media files are missing, the images of course will not display. To manage links to media files, click External File Links on the Tools menu to open the Work with External File Links Dialog. If you want Family Historian to automatically try to fix any ‘broken links’ (that is, find any missing files), click the Auto Repair Links button.
Sources and Source CitationsA full list of source citations linked to any item of data, can be viewed in the yellow Citation List Pane of the Property Box. Source citations can be attached not just to facts (in the Facts tab), but to many other items of data. When you click on a field in the Property Box, the Citation List pane will automatically update to show you the source citations for the item of data. It will also show citations for witnesses, and other details, when these are selected in satellite windows of the Property Box (e.g. the Witnesses Window or the Names & Titles Dialog).

Tip: The Citation List Pane can be configured to list citations using their footnote text, or using their Source record name, or in other ways. For options, click on the Menu button (a ‘cog’ image) on the Citation List Pane toolbar (at the bottom), and choose ‘Display Citation As‘.

To view full details of a source citation, double-click on the citation in the in the yellow Citation List Pane of the Property Box, or select it and click the Edit Source Citation button below the list (second from the left). The full details of the source citation will be displayed in the Citation Window. The Citation Window displays not just the citation-specific details, but it also allows you to view and edit the full Source record details. Be aware that if you make changes to the (clearly-labelled) Source record fields, these changes will affect all source citations which refer to that Source record. Changes made to the citation-specific fields however, will only affect the currently-selected citation.

Source records, like any other record type, can also be viewed and edited in the Property Box (on the View menu, click Other Record Lists and then Sources to view the full list of Source records in the Sources tab of the Records Window). However, it is more common to view Source record details in the Citation Window.
Repository RecordsSource records can be linked to one or more repositories. You can access the repository records from the Source record. By default there is a field for a single repository in the Citation Window, for generic Source records. If you need more fields (either for generic Source records or for templated Source records) you can customize the window to add them (see “Customize the Citation Window” in the Citation Window Help page). Alternatively, you always view and edit all fields stored in a record, without having to customize anything, on the ‘All’ tab of the Property Box, for the record in question. Fields can also be added on this tab.

To view a list of all Repository records, click on Other Record Lists on the View menu, and then choose Repositories.
NotesNotes in Legacy can have character styles, such as underline, bold or italic. These will be imported with the same style in Family Historian. Both Legacy and Family Historian allow you to specify that some part of a note is private, so that it can be excluded from reports, by placing it inside doubled square brackets – like this: [[private note]].
Source TemplatesBoth Legacy and Family Historian support source templates. Both also allow a very simple, basic type of source to be used (in Family Historian, these are called ‘generic’ source types). Family Historian allows the contents of footnotes, short footnotes and bibliography entries, to be specified for any given source template using special template codes. Source record titles can also be automatically generated, using a similar mechanism.

You can see how footnotes, short footnotes and bibliographies will appear in reports, in the side panel of the Citation Window, when viewing a source citation. If you need to modify the formatting for any of these, you can do so by editing the Source Template record in the Property Box. See Source Template Formats to learn more.

To view a complete list of Source Template records in Family Historian, click Other Record Lists on the View menu, and then choose Source Templates.

Family Historian comes with two collections of its own source templates: the Essentials collection and the Advanced collection. The Advanced collection is based on the work of Elizabeth Shown Mills’ book, Evidence Explained. It contains 169 source templates. The Essentials collection, which was designed with the help of the Genealogy Program of the University of Strathclyde in Scotland, is much smaller and simpler, and contains only 17 source templates. You can also copy and modify source templates, or create your own from scratch. You can import source templates into your project, or even import entire collections of source templates. And you can mix and match source templates in any way that suits you.

Legacy sources are imported into Family Historian as generic sources (in Family Historian terminology).

Tip: For users who want to use source templates and who don’t have their own ideas about how to do so, and who are looking for guidance, our recommendation is to use the Essentials collection of source templates. For most people, this small collection is easy to use and may contain all the templates you will ever need. The easiest approach is to add them all into your project immediately (rather than installing them one at a time as-needed – although you can do that too if preferred). They can be added from the Source Template Definitions Dialog (click Source Template Definitions on the Tools menu). Filter on the ‘Essentials’ collection, select them all, and click the Add to Project button. You can use the Essentials template alongside any other source templates you may already have, and alongside generic sources. That’s not a problem.

To learn more, see Getting Started with Source Templates.