Saturday, April 22, 2017

Review of Legacy Family Tree Software, Version 9

I've been using Legacy since the Best Buy in Dover, Delaware opened. I discovered Legacy Family Tree by accident when I was browsing the software in the store back in 2002 or 2003.

Prior to that, I used Generations and then Family Tree Maker. I wasn't keen on either of them, but they got the job done. So when I saw a 2-pack with Legacy 4.0 and scrapbooking software for far less than half the cost of updating my Family Tree Maker, I figured I would give it a try.

Ever since, I've been a big fan of Legacy. I stayed with 4.0 for a while, then went to 7.5, and now I've upgraded to 9.0 thanks to the features Randy Seaver listed in his post.

Since it was an upgrade, I got to pay the lower upgrade price. I also used the 15% off code offered by Thomas MacEntee.

Now, on to the software!

First, I like the family view better. It looks tidier to me. But this is my favorite part of that view:

Legacy 9 Review - Family View


How cool is that? Half-siblings and their other parent's name are listed right there! It's much easier to navigate to them now. It also has more room for siblings, so if you have more than 12 siblings, you don't have to scroll down to see them.

Second, how well does the Find-A-Grave integration work? Pretty darn well when I test it on someone I know has a Find-A-Grave listing. So I tried it someone I've never searched on Find-A-Grave, like Rhoda (Delano) Winsor:

Legacy 9 Review - Find-A-Grave


I just clicked the Find-A-Grave button and voila!

Legacy 9 Review - Find-A-Grave Result


So what about some of the other features listed in the upgrade? I was most interested in the Hinting, so I checked it out.

There's nothing explicitly listed as "Hinting" on the toolbars, Fortunately, Randy Seaver deconstructs how to turn on tips in this post at GeneaMusings. I checked and hinting was already enabled for MyHeritage. You can also add hinting for FamilySearch (requires your login), FindMyPast and GenealogyBank.

It took Legacy about 12 to 24 hours to generate hints for me, but when I opened the program the next day, there they were - a little orange circle with a number in it:



Just click the circle and a pop-up shows you where the hints were generated from:


Then you can click the blue box to be taken to the site and see the results. I found that the hints didn't improve anything for me thus far, but I'm glad to see these sites integrated with Legacy. You just never know what someone might put out there that you will miss. Legacy can pretty much search for relevant hits for you even as you sleep!

Those are just a few of the new features in Legacy 9.0. As always, Legacy continues to offer powerful software that doesn't break the bank. I'm sure I haven't even delved into all that it is capable of, but I hope to in the near future.




Copyright (c) 2017 Wendy L. Callahan

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Favorite Plymouth County, Massachusetts Research Resources

There are many go-to research resources for New England, such as the wonderful holdings at the New England Historic Genealogical Society. Their databases are well worth the price of membership. Family Search also has many fantastic resources.

But sometimes there are hidden gems we don't know exist, until we happen upon them in a Google search. When I realize I've stumbled upon a treasure, I try to make sure I save the link for future reference. Here are some of my favorite, perhaps lesser-consulted, research resources for Plymouth County, Massachusetts:

1. Alden Kindred of America - this lineage society also includes an 8-generation database. If you descend from John Alden, you might find your family in it.

2. Ancient Landmarks of Plymouth Project - this is a transcription of the book by William T. Davis. If you have any family in Plymouth, Massachusetts in the 1800s or prior, it is well worth searching the index for their surname(s) and reading the entries.

3. Middleborough Public Library - the Digital Library at the Middleborough Public Library is a fantastic resource if you have ancestors from the area. The Digital Library includes a Middleborough Gazette Index, a Vital Records Index, Cemeteries, Historic Homes, and much more.

4. The Plymouth Colony Archives Project - this is another multi-faceted collection that includes a wide variety of records from the 1600s, including wills, probates, court records, and biographies. If your ancestors were part of Plymouth Colony, it is well worth checking out this website.

5. Wareham Vital Records from Town Books 1 and 2 - if you have ancestors who lived in Wareham, Plymouth County, Massachusetts, this site is fantastic. It has births, deaths and marriages for Wareham.

You can also find all of these linked on my Genealogy Resources page for Massachusetts.


Copyright (c) 2017 Wendy L. Callahan

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Annie Florence Haley

Annie Florence Haley was born 27 February 1876 in Plympton, Plymouth County, Massachusetts. She was the eldest child of Edward Marshall Haley, Jr. and Catherine "Katie" Murphy.

Annie was one of two children. Her brother was Charles Edward Haley, born 5 September 1880 in Plympton. Charles married Helen Cushman Ryder on 12 March 1905 in Middleborough and died after 26 April 1942, at which time he resided in Middleborough. Helen passed away 11 September 1976 in Falmouth, Barnstable County, Massachusetts.

It is peculiar to note that there are only two other references to Annie after her birth. The first is the 1880 census, at which time she was 4 years old and residing with her parents in Plympton.

The second and most intriguing is the birth of her unnamed daughter on 9 October 1892 in Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts. After that, I have found nothing about Annie or her child - no reference in the 1900 census, no marriage, and no death record.

Annie is not mentioned in her father's 1905 obituary, nor are any grandchildren mentioned. Here is the text of the obituary:

Edward Haley died at the home of his sister, Mrs. David Thompson, Crossman Avenue, Wednesday morning. His death was due to an accident sustained about two months ago when, in a fall from a carriage, his head struck up on the tire of the wheel, causing partial paralysis, which developed later into meningitis of the brain.
 He was 62 years old, and a native of Plympton, but most of his active life was spent in Middleboro. The deceased was a veteran of the Civil War, and was in the service for 3 years, 1861-1864. He enlisted from Plympton in Co. H 18th Mass. Regt., and participate in several of the ___est engagements of the war - at the second battle of Bull Run, Antietam, Fredericksburg and Gettysburg among others. A son, Charles E. Haley, who resides in town, survives him.

It seems odd that an unwed young lady - Annie was 16 when her daughter was born - would simply drop off the face of the earth and not be mentioned in her father's obituary, unless she pre-deceased him. Even in such circumstances, there should still be a record of what happened to Annie.

Naturally, I am very curious to know if Annie got married and had more children, or if her daughter went on to have descendants. I've tried to align various Annies in the 1900 census with my distant cousin Annie, to no avail. As I have limited my search to Plymouth County, I think it's very likely that Annie moved - or was forced to live - elsewhere with her illegitimate daughter.

So what became of Annie Florence Haley?




Copyright (c) 2017 Wendy L. Callahan

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Organizing Vital Records

New England Genealogy - Organizing Vital Records
Vital records are one of my favorite things to collect. Organizing vital records, as well as other paper records, is important if you want to be able to put your hands on something quickly. There are various methods out there and this is just one.

Mine is probably the most simple way to organize and index records. It only requires basic office supplies and word processing software. To organize my vital records, I simply used two binders and page protectors to store the certificates of birth, marriage, and death, among a few other records. The binders I use have a plastic cover on the front and back, so I can slip my indexes in as cover pages.

Organizing the Binders


1. Alphabetize all documents by surname. Women are organized by maiden name. Marriages are organized by male/husband's surname.

2. Index all documents by surname. I simply created my index in Word, using the following format:

Livingston, Mary Ann   Death   June 11, 1886   Brockton, MA
New England Genealogy - Organizing Vital Records - Index
When it comes to marriages, I list them under the male/husband's name, but I also list the wife by maiden name. Next to her name I cross-reference it back to the husband, i.e. "See Shaw, Harrison."

That's all there is to it. Volume 1 has so many records in it, that the index is two pages long, so page 1 appears on both the front and and page 2 is in the back of the binder.

In addition to birth, marriage and death records, I also include obituaries, passports, probate and estate records. This keeps all records created at a town or county level in one place and organized for easy reference.

Do you have a method of organizing paper vital records? 



Copyright (c) 2017 Wendy L. Callahan

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Those Elusive Italians

Ernesta Maddelena Bergamasco
My nana, great-aunt and their siblings have shared quite a bit with the family about their grandparents from Italy, since they grew up around their grandfather. Of course, there's plenty they didn't know, either. Here's what I know of my Italian heritage, which is also my matrilineal/mtDNA line, as it stands now:

My great-great grandparents (direct maternal ancestors) were Bartolomeo Giovanni Michele Galfre and Ernesta Maddelena Bergamasco. They were married sometime after 24 November 1894 in Italy. They had 8 children, including twins born in Sanremo in 1895 who died in infancy.

Bartolomeo was born 22 January 1869 in San Benigno, Torino, Piedmonte, Italy. He died 5 October 1952 in Lakeville, Plymouth County, Massachusetts.

Bartolomeo had a brother, Giovanni Battista Galfre. Giovanni remained in Italy, where he married, had 8 children, and several grandchildren. We are in touch with his great-grandchildren, our cousins, thanks to letters, email and Facebook.

Their parents were Michele Galfre (born 1836) and Francesca Manassero (born 1839), both of whom were born in Spinetta, Alessandria, Piedmont, Italy.

Michele's parents were Giovanni Battista Bartolomeo Galfre and Teresa DeMatteis. We still do not know if Giovanni and Teresa were born in Italy or France, but we are told Galfre is a French name.

Francesca's parents were Giovanni Manassero and Teresa Cavallo. At this point, we know nothing more about the family.

We do, however, know a bit more about the Galfre side than we do about the Bergamasco side.

Ernesta was born 12 May 1874 in Moneglia or Chiavari, Genoa, Liguria, Italy. She died 8 March 1925 in Middleborough, Plymouth County, Massachusetts.

Her father's name was Guiseppe Bergamasco and all we have for her mother's name is "Giabatta," which fellow Italian genealogists have told me is not a name, or at least not a female one. Of course, my mtDNA has not given me any clues. Neither has my Family Finder (autosomal) test at this time.

We do know Ernesta had 6 siblings: Bartholomew (Bartolomeo?), Angelina, Giovanni, Peter (Pietro?), Peter's twin who died young, and Archie (?). We have different stories about each, such as:


  • Giovanni (John) lived in Boston for a while and visited often
  • Peter had a clothing company in Chile located at Casilla 147, Los Andes, Chile, known as: Fabrica Italiana de Fideos "La Estrella Polar" de Moltedo, Bergamasco y Cia
  • Archie dropped by unannounced as often as he could (which made everyone happy)
  • They had an uncle who was a bishop in Italy.


Ernesta's father supposedly lived to be about 100 years old. The only record I have at this time that names her parents is Ernesta's passport. I wrote to the Stato Civile in Moneglia some years ago and they replied that they did not have a birth record for Ernesta.

However, until this year, Ernesta and Bartolomeo's firstborn twins had remained nameless. During one of my every-so-often "sweeps" of FamilySearch for brick wall ancestors, I found the twins' names - Vittorio and Emanuele Galfre, born 20 October 1895.

So I do hold out hope that as more and more records are transcribed and placed online, I will find Ernesta's birth and/or Ernesta and Bartolomeo's marriage in them one of these days.



Copyright (c) 2017 Wendy L. Callahan