Monday, March 10, 2008

Charting Your Family's History

I've certainly been remiss about posting to this blog, haven't I? I do apologize. I got distracted with other things, namely my mtDNA test. I got my results back a couple weeks ago and I'm a member of haplogroup H. Ever since then I've been spending a lot of time creating a new blog and reading up on what's known about haplogroup H. I'll make up for my lapse by posting 3 times this week, how's that?

It's been a while since I've written about anything other than digital scrapbooking. But there are other ways to get creative with your genealogy. A new piece of software is available for creating wall charts from your genealogy data. The software is called Legacy Charting and it's available for free from the folks at Legacy Family Tree software until June 15, 2008.

This is one fun and easy to use piece of software. You do need a data file of your genealogy but just about any will do. It doesn't have to be a Legacy file (although the standard edition of Legacy is a free download if you don't already have genealogy software ;-) . Legacy Charting will accept files from most of the major database players including Family Tree Maker as well as the industry standard GEDCOM file format.

Once you download and install the program it will go out and find your genealogy database files and compile a list for you to choose from. Then you select a file and a chart type and you're on your way! There are lots of options to play with from changing chart types to changing fonts, colors, and which information to show. My favorite feature is the mtDNA chart which will display your maternal line (your mother's mother's mother's line) showing just who is carrying the same mtDNA. Something to reflect on during March, National Women's History Month. Just who are those women whose DNA we carry inside us and pass on to our children?

Legacy charts can be saved in a number of file formats including PSD, JPG, and TIFF. The charts can be printed in one piece or separate pages that can be tiled together. Just think of what a great conversation piece this would be to display at your next family reunion!

So what are you waiting for? Go get creative with your genealogy!

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