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Tuesday's Tip - Using the USA County Verification Feature

TT - County Verification3

Tuesday's Tips provide brief how-to's to help you learn to use the Legacy Family Tree software with new tricks and techniques.

Using the USA County Verification Feature

USA County Verification is a feature in Legacy Family Tree that checks the county you are entering as you type it. If Legacy thinks the county is incorrect it will let you know.

1) You turn this feature on in Options > Customize > 2. Data Entry.
Option 2.1 - check the box for Verify USA Counties in Place Names

I keep this ON because this option does two things. It will tell you if you have entered a county that never existed in that state (possibly a simple spelling error or you totally have the wrong name) and it will also tell you if you are entering a county that didn't exist when your event occurred. For example, if I were to enter a death that occurred in Lamar County, Mississippi in 1850 I will get an error message because Lamar wasn't formed until 1904.

2) See the screenshot for information about what the error message can tell you.


3) Check your current data by going to Reports > Other Reports > USA County Verification. You can then see if there are any locations in your file that you still need to address. You might have overridden the error message because you weren't sure about the location and you told yourself that you would look into it. If you forgot, it will show up on this report.

Making sure your locations are accurate is the first step in getting your genealogy database organized. Give it a try and you’ll be on your way to clean data. Any questions? Head for the Facebook Legacy User Group (info below).


Find tech tips every day in the Facebook Legacy User Group. The group is free and is available to anyone with a Facebook account.

For video tech tips checkout the Legacy Quick Tips page.  These short videos will make it easy for you to learn all sort of fun and interesting ways to look at your genealogy research.

Michele Simmons Lewis is part of the technical support team at Millennia, the makers of the Legacy Family Tree software program. With over 20 years of research experience, Michele’s passion is helping new genealogists get started on the right foot through her writings, classes and lectures. She is the former staff genealogist and weekly columnist for the McDuffie Mirror and now authors Ancestoring, a blog geared toward the beginner/intermediate researcher.


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so, when using the USA County Verification Feature when entering data -
-when the county existed long time ago, but NO longer a county/changed to a different county name - which do you enter? both? which first? how should you enter/specify which is which?

You should always enter the location as it was at the time the event took place. Here is an article that Jim Terry wrote on how you can record both :)

Here's the problem I have ... when I run the county verification tool I get several errors, such as "Saint Louis, St. Louis (City), Missouri, United States
There was never a county by the name of St. Louis (City) in the state of Missouri." ... yet when I open the Geo Location Database and search for St. Louis, Missouri the Geo Location database lists the county as "St Louis (city)" (and that's the ONLY option I can select). So ... the county verification tool tells me it's wrong, but the geo location database only gives me that county to select. Which one is correct? How can the software provide the location, and then tell me it's wrong?

Why does legacy not recognize Maine counties as part of Massachusetts pre-1820?

I need an example. Which county in Maine?

The reason the County Verifier is rejecting it is because of (City). It is true that there is no county in the state of Missouri named "St. Louis (City)"

St. Louis is an independent city. you can record it a couple of ways.

St. Louis [independent city], , Missouri, United States
St. Louis, , Missouri, United States

The both examples the county is left blank because in this case there is no county. You can add "independent city" in square brackets if you want to make it clear that there is no county. When a writer adds something in square brackets that is a signal to the reader that whatever is inside those square brackets is something the writer has added for clarity's sake.

I need an example. Which county in Maine?

Cumberland, Hancock, Kennebec, Lincoln, Oxford, Penobscot, Somerset, Washington, and York Counties all were part of Massachusetts, United States of America.
York was part of Massachusetts Bay Colony, England, from formation until 1686 when it became part of Dominion of New England, England. In 1689 it reverted to Mass. Bay Col., England. York then was part of Mass. Bay Col., Great Britain, from 1707-independence, Lincoln and Cumberland Counties were part of same from 1760-independence. (I'm not sure if independence is 1776 or 1783). All three were then part of Massachusetts, United States of America through 1820. Any of the other counties (see list above) formed before 1820 were also part of Massachusetts.

I am going to email you directly. I did some research and tests on this and I want to explain it all (not enough room here).

Is there any way others can see your response to Jon about Maine counties before 1820?
Also, how do we enter any colonial location?

I just wanted to outline the testing for Jon that I had done and what I found. I didn't want to take up that much space here :) I did find that the Maine counties prior to 1820 (and they did exist but in a different state) are causing the County Verifier to say that the county didn't exist (either in ME or MA). I sent everything through to Sherry who is the tech that handles the County Verifier.

Colonial locations are interesting because locations were very fluid. Names changed and boundaries changed. I put together a text file of some of the dates and locations and I put it in the Files section on our Legacy Users Group Facebook page. You can join here and then you will have access to the files. It isn't a comprehensive list but it will get you started. Also, if anyone has any further information or additions they can contact me.

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