I 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
- 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.
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.
- 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.
- 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?