Sunday, January 18, 2015

Not quite a Genealogy do-over

I've decided not to do a full genealogy do-over for a number of reasons. Firstly, because I regularly take a particular line and review it to check if there are any gaps or any new information available. Secondly, because I have thousands of people in my database. And thirdly because I just don't have time. BUT I have decided to do a version of the do-over with a small subset of my tree.  To be precise, with one family - the Harding family from Somerset and Wiltshire.

The reason I have chosen this family is that since my genealogical epiphany (see earlier blog post) I have been trying to find time to revisit this family for some time. I tackled this family early in my research, and much of the information I have came from another researcher. That means it all needs verifying.  This "genealogy do-over" prompted me to tackle it in a structured way, rather than spasmodically approaching it parish by parish.

I am also using this as an opportunity to test out another genealogy program.  Not that I am intending to change the one I use at the moment.  But as The Master Genealogist (TMG), which I use, is no longer going to be developed there will probably come a time when I am forced to change. So this current test is using Legacy.  All that is happening is that I love TMG even more.  Legacy just isn't up to what I am used to and feel that I need.

So anyway, who are my Harding family?  I am descended from Elizabeth Harding, daughter James Harding of Henley Grove in Milton Clevedon, who in turn is descended from the Hardings of Mere in Wiltshire.

Map showing Henley Grove, the home of
James Harding
And have I discovered any errors yet?  Well, I've discovered one thing I'm not sure about.  Jane Harding, the daughter of James & Elizabeth Harding and sister of a direct ancestor, was baptised in Milton Clevedon, Somerset, on 13 May 1788.  I had her marrying Williiam Green in Milton Clevedon on 29 April 1817.  The entry actually says that Jane is from that parish, and a spinster. So far so good - she is the only Jane Harding baptised in that parish.  But it says they were married with consent of parents. Now Jane would have been at least 28 at that time, so didn't need consent of her parents (and in fact her father had died the previous year).  Could she really be marrying a man that much younger that permission was needed?  Yes, of course she could BUT I think it needs further verification just to be sure I have the right people.


  1. Your plan sounds good. I was interested to hear that you find Legacy a disappointment after The Master Genealogist. I have no intention of changing from TMG, and as I've never needed tach support for it yet, I'm hoping that version 9 will be all I ever need.

    1. The areas of Legacy I didn't like are (and I accept that maybe it can do these things and I just didn't know how)
      1. Not being able to see a timeline of all the events in a person's life
      2. Not being able to move directly between siblings, but having to navigate via the parents
      3. Not being able to add variant names
      4. It's very cumbersome to add the same source citation over and over to different people/events. I'm a big user of the F3 option in TMG to find a recently used citation (not necessarily the last)
      5. Not having all the keyboard shortcuts that I use in TMG. It really slows me down having to use the mouse.

      I certainly don't want to move away from TMG before I have absolutely no choice.

    2. Good grief! After almost 20 years of using The Master Genealogist, I guess I take those features for granted. I certainly wouldn't use a programme that did not allow me to add variant names. I also like the fact that TMG lets you enter conflicting dates for a particular event, explain where the details came from, add your assessment of each source's reliability, and set which date will print in charts and reports.

    3. Judy, that reminds me of another shortcoming - I had someone with two conflicting dates of death and could only enter that as a note on the death, and it isn't easy to spot that one has been entered, and it doesn't come out on reports by default (though it can be turned on). I also miss the ability to have lots of "Notes" type fields with different dates to allow me to enter information in a way that fits in with the timeline of the person's life.
      I just wish someone would take on TMG - it really is the best program for my personal needs

    4. That is indeed a serious shortcoming. And I know what you mean about 'Notes'. I use a custom tag called 'Note - Don't Publish' which is only visible to me. It doesn't print and it doesn't go into GEDCOMs or reports for other people. I use it for all sorts of things - suggestions, theories, negative searches, etc. I change the Sort Date depending on where I want the note to appear in the Person View. Some notes form part of that 'timeline' and some sort at the top or bottom for quick reference. Personally I don't think it matters that TMG is being 'discontinued'. The current version is sufficient for my needs, and I will continue to use it. I don't foresee a need for tech support, and if I did get stuck there are lots of user's groups out there.

  2. There is a great Legacy Google+ group at

    We have a hangout once a month and the community is great about answering questions and showing you how to do things.

    I love Legacy and I continue to learn more and more about how to use it to its fullest potential.

    I look forward to reading more about your genealogy not quite a do over.

  3. You can see a timeline by going to the Chronology tab. Once you are in the Chronology tab you can go to options at the bottom right and customize it.

    You can add variant names by clicking on the Alternate Names icon in the Individual's Information screen.

    To make adding sources easier you want to make use of Shared Events and the Source Clipboard.

    Search Keyboard Shortcuts in the Help and you will get all of them.

    For conflicting information such as places, dates, etc. you add an Alternate Death, Alternate Place, Alternate Date, etc. Event on the Individual Information screen.

    I also add a Note Event in the Events/Facts area when I need to add a note. You can also add notes by clicking on the notes icon on the Individual Information screen and on the Family View.

    If you send me an email at I can do a couple of screen shots for you with some more explanation. I can show you how I make Legacy work for me. I would hate for you to give up on Legacy just yet.

  4. Jenny,

    I want to let you know that your blog is listed in today's Fab Finds post at

    Have a wonderful weekend!