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Legacy 101 - Data Entry Using the Name/Search List

Most of the time you will probably be editing people using the Individual's Information screen.

Individual's Information screen
(click image to enlarge)

However, there is another way you can edit people that is especially helpful in certain situations and that is by using the Name List (View > Name List).

Name List
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There are a couple of things I want to say about the Name List in general. A Search List works in the exact same way as the Name List does. Think of a Search List simply as a filtered Name List. There are three buttons and three fields at the top. The first button allows you to sort the list by RIN (Record Identification Number) and the field next to that button allows you to type in a RIN number and you will be taken right to that person. You can change this button/field to the User ID by going to Options > Show User ID# in the list. The Given button allows you to sort the list by given names and you can type a given name in the field to the right to navigate to a certain given name. The Surname button allows you to sort the list by surname and you can search by surname using the field to the right. You can search by full names in either field. In the Given name field you would type John Doe but in the surname field you would type Doe, John. In the given name field, if the person has a middle name you will have to type that too.

I want to talk about a couple of important options before we go over editing. If you look to the left of the # button at the top you will see a blue triangle icon. This will open the Source Clipboard. At the bottom left you will see five icons, AKAs, Media Gallery, To-Do List, Hashtags and Stories which you can use as quick shortcuts. If you click the Options button at the bottom you will see an option to add Married Names to the Name List. Married names will have a § symbol in front of the name. You can also add Alternate Names to the Name List. Alternate names will have a ~ symbol in front of the name.  You can see these symbols in this screenshot.

Married and alternate names
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There are three other things you can add to the left panel of the Name List, Tags (all 9 or your choice of 3), Hint results, and Potential Problems. Also notice that if you have set your direct line those people will be in bold (Tools > Set Direct Line), and if you have set males, females, and unknowns to be different colors you will see that too.

Options on the Name List
(click image to enlarge)

You will see many more options on the Options menu that you can explore on your own but I do want to point out that this is where you will find the Print option. The Print option is very important because you can tell Legacy exactly which fields you want to print making for a very customized report. You can also export the report to a CSV file (generic spreadsheet file format) which is very handy. We won't be going any further than that in this article.

Now to editing. Over on the right side you will see six tabs. The first tab is the Detail tab and this gives you a quick overview of the person. You can't do any editing on this tab. If you look at the top you can see in the Surname box that I typed in a partial name to get to my grandmother.

Detail tab
(click image to enlarge)

The second tab, Edit, is where you can edit vital events, AKAs, all of the different ID numbers, privacy settings, and several more things. If you have set Legacy up so that fields that have sources have a different color you will see the colored labels on this screen exactly like you would if you were looking at the Individual's Information screen. I have my screen shrunk down so that I can do the screenshots. You will have more room than what you see here.

Edit tab
(click image to enlarge)

The third tab, Events, is where you will enter and edit the person's events. You will be using the buttons at the bottom. You can see on the right of the events three columns of icons. If you have a shared event you will have an icon in the first column. If you have a source for that event you will have an icon in the second column. If you have media attached to an event you will see an icon in the third column.

Events tab
(click image to enlarge)

On the fourth tab, Notes, you will find the General Notes, Research Notes and Medical Notes. I have highlighted the Medical Notes because that is where you will find the cause of death field and some users overlook this.

Notes tab
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The fifth tab, Family, is where you will see the person's immediate family. You will see parents, siblings, spouse(s), and children. You can edit any of these people. Click the person you want to edit and you will see the buttons below change as well as the details of that person. You can't delete, link, or unlink from here. You will have to go back to the main menus to do that.

Family tab
(click image to enlarge)

The last tab is the Sources tab. It works just like the Assigned Sources screen that you are used to. You will be using the buttons at the bottom to add or edit. I want to point out two icons that have just now appeared on your screen that you might have missed. Remember where the Source Clipboard is? (to the left of the # button at the top left). Now you will see a new icon there just below it. This is the Paste button.  If you have something loaded on the clipboard you can use this to paste it into into any of the fields on the right. Also, there is a Copy icon at the bottom right. If you highlight a source in the list you can copy it to the clipboard. We will be talking more about sources and the Source Clipboard in another article. For now just be aware of where these icons are.

Sources tab
(click image to enlarge)

I told you that there would be times where editing from the Name/Search List would be the way to go. Let's say you need to do the same sort of edit to a group of people that you have put on a Search List. You can click the appropriate tab on the right and then quickly go down your search list making the edits. This will save you a lot of time and you can be assured your edits are uniform.

Legacy usually has more than one way to do something so that our users will find a routine that makes sense to them. Being able to edit an individual via the Individual's Information screen vs. the Name/Search List is one of these types of options.


View a Compilation of all Legacy 101 articles


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.


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I have never used the Name List to perform edits. As you stated, most people, including me, use the Individual's View. However, I can see from this post that it would be helpful in some circumstances.
Thank you for sharing this info Michelle.

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