Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Tech Tuesday: Rootsmagic 4 v Legacy

I love them both. A family history program is only your favourite when it does something for you that no other program can do.  In this case, Legacy wins out ever-so-slightly over RM because of this one thing: it shows the blended families you meet in the censuses.

To give an example: John Haywood marries Johanna in 1869.  She produces three boys in quick succession, then dies in childbirth with the third.  With three small boys under 6, John remarries a lady called Eliza.  So in the 1881, 1891, 1901 and 1911 censuses, John appears with his second wife (Eliza), the three small boys, and another two small girls.  In Legacy, in the Family View, you can see John as the husband, Eliza as his wife, the three small boys and the two small girls as a single family unit, with 1/2 in front of the stepchildren and the name of their mother in brackets after their name. In RootsMagic, it looks as though John's family ended when Johanna died.  Unless you change the view so that John was married to Eliza, but they only had two small girls.  Johanna and the three small boys don't exist (except as files buried in your database).

In a census (and at the time!) the family unit was comprised of John, Eliza, 3 boys and 2 girls.  Legacy shows this.  RootsMagic does not. 

Families don't live in neat little databases.  And that's why I prefer Legacy - to see the whole family.  There may well be some people who prefer RootsMagic's database approach.  Me, I prefer the family approach.

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