Master Location List | Legacy Family Tree

Legacy Family TreeI once imported a gedcom with at least 75 cemetery names in the Master Location List, as well as innumerable place names in multiple formats. I’m sure this gedcom did not come from a Legacy Family Tree user because Legacy has a ream of quick tools for keeping the location list tidy and we all use them, of course. What took some time was outside Legacy tracking down the cemeteries in an area with an inordinate number of similarly-named churches and graveyards within a few blocks of each other.

If you’re interested in this sort of thing, and haven’t been there for awhile, (or ever) here’s a checklist of some simple things to do.

  •  Start with Options, and “Purge Unused”, then go back in and “Combine Duplicates”. Now, you’re already way ahead.

Master Location List options, Legacy Family Tree

  • Move all the cemeteries over to the Master Event Address List. Do this by clicking on one cemetery name at a time and then clicking Show List and tagging the list. Quick version: Tag the list on “1”, Search Tag “1” and use the Search results as they appear in the Name List. Enter the cemetery name for each person under Burial Address. They’ll be in the Master Event Address List automatically now. Clear your tags (under Edit/Tag Records) and go on to the next errant address until they can all be purged from the Master Location List.

Burial location options, Legacy Family Tree

  • I’ve even seen dates in the Master Locations List. If you have any of those figure out where they belong and move them. If you can’t, put them into individual Notes as interesting artifacts. Maybe they’ll become clear later.
  • Combine all the variations on the same place into one. It doesn’t matter if your chosen format is [city name], [county name] Co., abbrev [state name] or [city name], [county name] County., [full state name], just pick one and stick to it. Your charts will look much nicer if you’re consistent.
  • Then start at the top of the Master Location List with anything that has a city name, click the blue globe in the bottom right corner, and get a county for it if it doesn’t have one.

Master Location List, Legacy Family Tree

Here it gets a little tricky because if you want to be strictly accurate you’ll have to use something like AniMap to track down what county that town was in for a particular year for each person. Being strictly-accurate is not an absolute requirement, but it can help a lot when you’re searching through other documents.

If you have U.S. locations listed as only a county and state, you can still check the validity of the connections through the flag button above, a direct link to the USA County Verification List.

  • You can also run the “USA County Verifier” listed under Tools on the main program screen. It will scan your entire database and create a report telling you if the county didn’t exist at the time you’re using it for. The report can include the RINs so it’s easy to work through deleting the errant counties for those individuals one by one. The more you work with your list the less this will be an issue.
  • Sometimes I haven’t been able to verify a place name because the spelling’s off by a letter or two. That’s where the search options come in handy. I’ve often found what I need by leaving out the city or county name temporarily.

Search Options, Master Location List, Legacy Family Tree

  • The Legacy geodatabase does not contain U.S. township names so when you look up some “towns” they will appear to not exist. The best thing to do is go to your web browser and look them up. A really simple way of doing this is to click on the location at the top of the page as shown here. This will drop it into the box below and from there you can copy and paste it into a search engine.

Geo Location Database, Legacy Family Tree

Somewhere in the first few search results it should be clear if it is in fact a township so you can adjust your location name accordingly. Locations that get added through census records are often townships. If you still can’t find it chances are the name’s been changed. Back to AniMap.

AniMap 3.0

  • When you select a location from the Geo Location Database window it will open the box below and add in the co-ordinates automatically. This can come in handy when you want to calculate the distance between places. I started out thinking I would never use this feature but I was wrong. Sometimes knowing that two locations are 5 miles apart or 180 will be the deciding factor about whether a certain other piece of information is likely true or not.

Merge Location, Master Location List, Legacy Family Tree

  • When you’ve verified a location, give yourself a gold star by clicking the “ver” button in the right hand column of the Master Location List screen. It saves you having to go through this with the same locations over and over, and it will give you a great sense of accomplishment.

With over 1,500 locations in my list I’ve gotten it down to a dozen I still can’t find. Does anyone know where “Sarrop, Odunsen, Denmark” is?

2 thoughts on “Master Location List | Legacy Family Tree

  1. Bruce McArthur Post author


    I own up-to-date versions of both Legacy and The Master Genealogist. I know you are on record as a Legacy fan but I would point out some features of Legacy that I don’t happen to think are that great. If they were to be improved then I would agree with you that it is as good as anything else but at the moment I still use TMG, slow as it is. Of course you may have found some whizz-bang way around these so I might learn something.

    First of all I don’t like the way Legacy deals with places. I live in the UK and most of my ancestors in the 19th century grew up in tiny hamlets or farms which are on the map but are clearly not Cities, Towns or even Villages in most cases. I’m sure this is the case in most countries. So to describe these places with Legacy (as far as I can tell) I either have to describe them as cities, or I have to create an address. The latter means entering some of the data more than once and presumably means that the place won’t appear in the master place list with the benefits that brings. If I use the first method it means that there is no level of place detail between a small farm and a county, whereas I would want to include the name of the parish that the hamlet or farm sits in so that I know roughly where it is. In TMG you get to define places the way you want them and you can have different styles for different countries. Also you don’t have this idea of a separate address – it all goes in the same place.

    The second gripe I have with Legacy is the lack of ability to record witnesses to an event. For example if you have a census entry for a family of two parents, nine children and a mother in law, you presumably have to create 12 separate census data tags to record this repeating dates, addresses, and everything else. As I have about 500 families with potentially 7 or 8 census events each this represents an enormous overhead. The same applies for witnesses to weddings, civil registration events and so on but to a lesser extent. I know you can record things in notes but that is no use if you later find that the witness marries the groom’s sister or whatever. TMG has a witness box so you can just link the witness(es) to the event while you are creating it and it means the witnesses are people in their own right.

    Thirdly it would be nice if they brought out a UK version of Legacy as TMG has but this is less of a concern than the other two gripes.

    As far as TMG is concerned it does everything but soooooo slooooowly and that is certainly one area that Legacy wins hands down.


    1. JL Post author

      I am a fan of Legacy, but that doesn’t mean I’m against anything else. Thanks for informing us about what’s wrong with it. I hope you’ve written your concerns to Legacy as I’m just a minnow in the pond and don’t have the power to re-program it.

      I can see that there’s only the US County Verifier Tool, not for the rest of the world, and I’m aware of that both when I’m using the program and when I’m writing about it. But I also have European ancestors and cousins and I can still create addresses for non-U.S. places and they will show up in the Master Location List.

      If you’ve imported the European geodatabase (or any other world-wide) you can still search your locations for missing parts. And there are various address and Notes fields for putting in further detail such as “over there yonder past the crik”. We have the same situation on this side of the Pond; farms and the backwoods where people were born, married, worked and died. I don’t think this is an easy thing to deal with on a mass scale. Somewhere along the line you have to add the detail manually if you want that much detail.

      I don’t know the insides of TMG so it’s difficult for me to “see” what your gripe is about entering census data. I’ve never had a problem doing it in Legacy and the process seems highly efficient to me. About “witnesses” – I’ve never run into the issue myself. I’ve read some-one in the Legacy forum asking for a way to enter witnesses as you can do in TMG. I don’t know if that’s being considered for the next version or not. There are so many things that can be considered for a next version and they have to decide what’s most important based on programming time available.

      I find things in most software that I would design differently if I knew anything about programming but, since I don’t, I make my wish list known and then try to possess my soul in patience.


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