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Tuesday's Tip - The UnknownName.txt File (Advanced)

Tuesday's Tip - The UnknownName.txt File (Advanced)

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

The UnknownName.txt File (Advanced)

A question that comes up pretty often in the Legacy User Group on Facebook is how to enter unknown persons. Normally you simply leave the unknown person blank but sometimes you have some information about that person even though you don't know their name. This means you are going to have to enter something in the name field so that Legacy will allow you to enter what you know about that person. An example would be a census record that records the birth place of someone's parents but you don't know what the names of the parents are.

I use [—?—] for unknown surnames because that is how unknown surnames are normally handled in the National Genealogical Society Quarterly (NGSQ). If you use something like this Legacy is going to view it as a Potential Problem. There is way to tell Legacy to ignore this without having to turn the Potential Problems off.

You will create a simple text file named UnknownName.txt and place it in the \Documents\Legacy Family Tree\_AppData folder.

UnknownName.txt file in the Documents folder
(click image to enlarge)

You will create this file using any text editor (Windows Notepad is ideal). This text file will have only two lines. The first line is for the given names you want Legacy to ignore and the second line is for the surnames. If you have more than one given name or surname you need to separate them with a space.  For example, 

Child Infant ???
[—?—] NN ???


I use the UnknownName.txt file. In my file the first line is blank because I have no given names that I want Legacy to skip (I always leave the given name field blank if I don't know what it is). My second line only contains [—?—] because for consistency's sake I only want one "unknown" surname.

UnknownName.txt file
(click image to enlarge)

This little trick will save you some aggravation with the Potential Problems.

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 check out 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, CG® is part of the Legacy Family Tree team at MyHeritage. She handles the enhancement suggestions that come in from our users as well as writing for Legacy News. You can usually find her hanging out on the Legacy User Group Facebook page answering questions and posting tips.

Deadlines for on-time Christmas Delivery 2017

image from news.legacyfamilytree.comWant to make sure your cards and packages arrive by December 25? See the post office's holiday deadlines to see when you need to drop your cheer in the mail.


If you are purchasing Legacy or other products from our online store, please do so at least a few days before the below-published deadlines. One never knows how accurate the deadlines are from the postal service.

Genea-gift ideas

Legacy Family Tree software - the most comprehensive and easy-to-use genealogy software.

Webinar membership - genealogy education, where you are! More than 600 continuing education classes to choose from.

Legacy QuickGuides - four page guides on 88 topics.

E-Gift cards - let them choose! Comes in $50/$25/$10 cards.



According to the United States Postal Service (as of December4, 2017), these are the "last mailing dates to arrive by Christmas."

U.S. Destinations

  • USPS Retail Ground: December 14
  • First Class Mail: December 19
  • Priority Mail: December 20
  • Priority Mail Express: December 22

International Destinations


  • First-class International Service: November 30
  • Priority Mail International Service: November 30
  • Priority Mail Express International Service: December 7
  • Global Express Guaranteed Service: December 19

Asia/Pacific Rim

  • First-class International Service: December 7
  • Priority Mail International Service: December 7
  • Priority Mail Express International Service: December 14
  • Global Express Guaranteed Service: December 19

Australia/New Zealand

  • First-class International Service: December 7
  • Priority Mail International Service: December 7
  • Priority Mail Express International Service: December 14
  • Global Express Guaranteed Service: December 19


  • First-class International Service: December 7
  • Priority Mail International Service: December 9
  • Priority Mail Express International Service: December 16
  • Global Express Guaranteed Service: December 21


  • First-class International Service: December 7
  • Priority Mail International Service: December 9
  • Priority Mail Express International Service: December 14
  • Global Express Guaranteed Service: December 21

Central & South America

  • First-class International Service: November 30
  • Priority Mail International Service: December November 30
  • Priority Mail Express International Service: December 9
  • Global Express Guaranteed Service: December 20


  • First-class International Service: December 7
  • Priority Mail International Service: December 7
  • Priority Mail Express International Service: December 14
  • Global Express Guaranteed Service: December 20


  • First-class International Service: December 7
  • Priority Mail International Service: December 9
  • Priority Mail Express International Service: December 14
  • Global Express Guaranteed Service: December 20

Middle East

  • First-class International Service: December 7
  • Priority Mail International Service: December 9
  • Priority Mail Express International Service: December 14
  • Global Express Guaranteed Service: December 18

Play Ball! Finding Your Baseball Ancestors

Play Ball! Finding Your Baseball Ancestors


Baseball has long been thought of as America's "national pastime." From the sandlots to the major leagues, chances are good that the game influenced your ancestor's life in some way.

Here are a few resources to help you find your baseball-playing ancestors.

General Resources

The National Baseball Hall of Fame offers an amazing digital collection of oral histories, manuscripts, correspondence, photographs, cartoons, and images of 3D artifacts. The Giamatti Research Center in Cooperstown, New York, is the library and research facility for the organization. You can visit the library in person by appointment or request research assistance from a staff librarian. You may wish to consult ABNER (American Baseball Network for Electronic Research) for a partial list of holdings before your visit. ($) offers two databases specific to the research of baseball-playing ancestors. "U.S., Professional Baseball Player Profiles, 1876–2004" is an index to over 15,000 professional baseball players who played between 1876 (the year the National League was founded) and 2004. Available information includes birth/death dates and locations, nicknames, college attended, physical characteristics, and game statistics. The second database, "U.S., Professional Baseball Player Photos and Illustrations, 1876–2004," provides nearly identical information, but also may include a photograph or a baseball card for players who played between 1887 and 1938.

The Society for American Baseball Research offers many useful resources, including the Baseball Biography Project. All biographies in the project are written and peer-reviewed by SABR members with the goal of publishing a biography for every major league player in history. Also available are links to players' professional career statistics, a bibliography of research citations from The Baseball Index, as well as interviews, photographs and much more. Additionally, the project is creating pages for ages for ballparks, broadcasters, executives, games, managers, scouts, spouses, and umpires, so be sure to check those out if your ancestor could have been connected to other aspects of the game.

Baseball Almanac has dedicated itself to "preserving the history of our national pastime" with an interactive website containing 500,000+ pages of baseball history, facts, original research, and statistics not found anywhere else online. The website is privately-held and welcomes contributions and suggestions from the public. Research services are available by request.

LA84 Foundation's Sport History Library is a growing digital collection of more than 70,000 documents on Olympic and general sports history. Included in this collection are images of Baseball Magazine from 1908–1920. The LA84 Foundation supports a library in Los Angeles, California, housing a collection of thousands of books, periodicals, other publications, and photos. A staff librarian is available to do research by request.

Specific Resources

The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum is dedicated to preserving the history of African-American Baseball. The website offers an eMuseum of resources, including a historical timeline, personal and team profiles, and "Diamond Cuts," which are narratives taken from the history of African-American baseball. The Research Library contains a multimedia archive of oral histories, selections from the Museum's photo archive, and a resource bibliography for further research.

Negro League Baseball offers a trove of historical information, including details about the League, a timeline of events, team profiles, and player biographies. A Frequently Asked Questions section provides answers to inquiries from students, educators, and baseball fans.

If your ancestor played ball as a youngster, be sure to visit Little League® Baseball and Softball. This site offers a unique timeline of the League from its founding in 1939 to its 75th Anniversary in 2014. Various historical articles can be found in the Newsletter, such as this one on "The 18 Girls Who Have Made Little League Baseball® World Series History." The Little League Baseball World Series History Book (which appears to be a forgotten section of the main site) is a browseable database of game scores, team rosters, and tournament brackets for over 50 years of Little League® World Series history.

Did your ancestor play in the College World Series? Then you'll want to check out College World Series History hosted by and the Omaha World-Herald. This site features historical information for each year of the CWS, dating back to 1947. There is a page for every school that has played in the CWS, some with photos, statistics, and players' names. Baseball Reference also has a section of information about the CWS, so be sure to check that one, as well.

 If your ancestor was one of the athletes who inspired the film A League of Their Own, you will want to visit The All-American Girls Professional Baseball League Players Association. This site is a "virtual scrapbook…filled with articles, photographs, interviews, and statistics that give you an up-close-and-personal look at the pioneering women who played professional baseball from 1943 through 1954." The site features player biographies, interviews, and obituaries, league history, and you can even read a section of the players' "charm school guide."

Finally, baseball isn't only popular in America. If your ancestor played ball in Cuba, Japan, or Korea, check out Baseball Reference. This comprehensive site contains team and player information for Japanese and Nippon Pro Baseball, the Korean Baseball Organization, the Cuban National Series, as well as American Major and Minor Leagues and the Negro Leagues.

Elizabeth O’Neal is a freelance writer, educator, and web developer. An avid genealogist for three decades, Elizabeth writes the blog My Descendant’s Ancestors, where she shares family stories, technology and methodology tips, and hosts the monthly "Genealogy Blog Party."

Register for Webinar Wednesday: Finding Your Roots in Catholic Records by Lisa Toth Salinas


Catholic genealogical research has a depth unequaled by any other record group. The documents of the Catholic Church chronicle important events in the lives of members and can provide the key to uncovering otherwise impenetrable family mysteries. Author of the Catholic Genealogy Legacy QuickGuide™ and contributor to The Catholic Gene blog, Lisa Toth Salinas will guide you into exploration of the lives of your ancestors through sacramental records, additional Church records, and other Catholic sources. Join Lisa for an introduction into Catholic genealogy, an overview of traditional and often-overlooked documents, and research strategies that will help you dig into your Catholic roots.

Join us and Lisa Toth Salinas, for the live webinar Wednesday, December 6, 2017 at 2pm Eastern U.S. Register today to reserve your virtual seat. Registration is free but space is limited to the first 1,000 people to join that day. Before joining, please visit to ensure you have the latest version of Java which our webinar software requires. When you join, if you receive a message that the webinar is full, you know we've reached the 1,000 limit, so we invite you to view the recording which should be published to the webinar archives within an hour or two of the event's conclusion. 


Or register for multiple webinars at once by clicking here.

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Can't make it to the live event?

No worries. Its recording will be available for a limited time. Webinar Subscribers have unlimited access to all webinar recordings for the duration of their membership.

About the presenter

LisaSalinas-144x144Lisa Toth Salinas is a freelance writer and genealogist with a focus on Catholic research and the immigrant origins of her Hungarian, Croatian & Irish ancestors and their roots in the Northeast (New York, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts). She is author of three Legacy Family Tree QuickGuides™: Catholic GenealogyHungarian Genealogy, and Croatian Genealogy. In addition to her other writing projects, Lisa is a contributing author for The Catholic Gene blog. She is active on Twitter as @smallestleaf and @catholicgene. Visit her website at
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Webinar time

The webinar will be live on Wednesday, December 6, 2017 at:

  • 2pm Eastern (U.S.)
  • 1pm Central
  • 12pm Mountain
  • 11am Pacific

Or use this Time Zone Converter.

Here's how to attend:

  1. Register at today. It's free!
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  7. Click on the webinar link (found in confirmation and reminder emails) prior to the start of the webinar. Arrive early as the room size is limited to the first 1,000 arrivals that day.
  8. Listen via headset (USB headsets work best), your computer speakers, or by phone.

We look forward to seeing you all there!

Top 10 Genealogy Webinars of November 2017

We've tallied the numbers and made a list of the Top 10 classes for November 2017! Are your favorite topics or instructors among the list? Need something new to learn? Use the list to get inspired!


Each month thousands of Legacy Family Tree Webinar subscribers head for the library to learn new skills and techniques to help improve their genealogy research. Among the now-627 genealogy classes in the members-only library, these were the most frequently played during the month of November 2017.  They aren't necessarily the newest classes but rather the topics that were sought out by our members.

Have you seen any of these classes? Are these among your favorites too? Some of these classes (and topics) might be new to you! Get inspired to learn more and make your genealogy journey more fun!

The Top 10 for November 2017

1. Watch Geoff Live: Adding a Newspaper by Geoff Rasmussen

2. Is this the End? Taking Your German Brick Walls Down Piece by Piece by Luana Darby, MLIS, AG

3. Google for Genealogy: Search Tricks to Tease Out Information by Jessica Taylor

4. British and Irish research: the differences by Brian Donovan

5. Introduction to the Use of Autosomal DNA Testing by Tim Janzen

6. New York City Genealogical Research: Navigating Through The Five Boroughs by Michael L. Strauss, AG

7. Advanced Autosomal DNA Techniques used in Genetic Genealogy by Tim Janzen

8. Using Non-Population Schedules for Context and Evidence by Jill Morelli, CG

9. Research in Federal Records: Some Assembly Required by Malissa Ruffner, JD, CG

10. Cause of Death: Using Coroner's Records for Genealogy by Lisa Alzo

The Runner-Ups

11. Creating Family History Ebooks: Your Blueprint for Success by Lisa Alzo

12. Discover the new Legacy Family Tree 9 by Geoff Rasmussen

13. How to Pass Your Ancestors' Legacy to Your Grandchildren by Jessica Taylor

14. Discover Your Family History with MyHeritage's Unique Technologies by Daniel Horowitz

15. Little Known Sources for Virginia Research by Shannon Combs-Bennett

16. Searching for a Pennsylvania German Ancestor by James M. Beidler

17. Sources and Citations Made Simple, Standard, and Powerful by Geoff Rasmussen

18. Filling in the In-Between of the Jewish BMD by Rose Feldman

19. Keeping Up with the Smiths and Joneses by Gail Blankenau

20. Databases, Search Engines, and the Genealogical Proof Standard by David Ouimette, CG

Access to classes in the Legacy Family Tree Webinar library are available with an annual or monthly membership. Not a member? Become one! Or watch one of our free classes here.

New "Member Friday" Webinar - Clusters and Chains for Genealogical Success by Shellee Morehead, PhD, CG

New "Member Friday" Webinar - Clusters and Chains for Genealogical Success by Shellee Morehead, PhD, CG

Every Friday we're pleased to offer Legacy Family Tree Webinar subscribers a new bonus webinar just for them!   This Friday enjoy "Clusters and Chains for Genealogical Success" by Shellee Morehead, PhD, CG. If you're not a member,  remember the webinar previews are always free.

Clusters and Chains for Genealogical Success

Track neighbors and associates to find European hometowns. This lecture describes cluster genealogy and chain migration and demonstrates proven methods to find your ancestors’ origins.

  Clusters and Chains for Genealogical Success



About the Presenter

Shellee MoreheadShellee Morehead has a Ph.D. in evolutionary ecology and is an adjunct instructor of Biology at NEIT. She was certified by BCG in 2012, and researches, writes and lectures on family history. Her most recent article is "Thomas Hamilton -- Progenitor of a Colonial American Family: His Ulster Origins revealed using DNA" which appeared in the Directory of Irish Family History Research. Recent speaking events include NGS 2016, The Genealogy Event in New York, the Ukrainian Historical and Education Center in New Jersey, and NERGC 2015 in Providence. She was one of the program Tri-Chairs for NERGC 2015. In 2010, she appeared in an episode of Danish Television's "Who Do You Think You Are?"

Her specialties include Rhode Island, Italian, and French-Canadian research and genetic genealogy. She is an associate of the Board for Certification of Genealogists (BCG), an active member of the Rhode Island Genealogical Society, American-French Genealogical Society, a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG) New England Chapter. Visit her website at

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Legacy Family Tree Webinars provides genealogy education where-you-are through live and recorded online webinars and videos. Learn from the best instructors in genealogy including Thomas MacEntee, Judy Russell, J. Mark Lowe, Lisa Louise Cooke, Megan Smolenyak, Tom Jones, and many more. Learn at your convenience. On-demand classes are available 24 hours a day! All you need is a computer or mobile device with an Internet connection.

Subscribe today and get access to this BONUS members-only webinar AND all of this:

  • All 627 classes in the library 843 hours of quality genealogy education)
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