What is the genealogical standard way to record specifically the United States of America?
I want to be clear this question is specific to storing "United States of America", not a general how to record a historical name question (already asked) or formatting of general place names (already asked). It is also not about recording "British Colonial America" or the "United States of America" (already asked).
There are many way to record the United States of America in a place name and I see a variety in records. So am looking for a 'standardized' way, if one has been set to record it for post American Revolution "United States of America". I think in terms of the long term and so am a bit hesitant to use abbreviations record "USA" or even shortened "United States" as it could change over time to refer to more than one place such as perhaps one day United States of Africa (hypothetically) which would be unique and unrelated. Usually you have other location data, but not always, you may only have the country.
I am aware of the following ways to record the United States, all of which I have seen in records.
- United States of America (long proper name)
- United States
- U S A
- US of A or USofA
- USA (ISO-3166-A3)
- 840 (ISO-3166-Numeric)
- US (ISO-3166-A2)
- U S
- As well as various other typos and mis-spellings.
I tend to use the long proper name, but it requires a lot more data entry.
I scanned the NGS's standards page and did not see anything jumping out. Ancestry.com's World Archive Key'n standard's has some guidance on locations, but not whether to use the full name. I also checked the GCG's Genealogy Standards Book (50th Anniv. Ed, pub. 2014) and I did not see anything specific there related to the use of abbreviations of countries or specific to the United States. The later book refers to the United States in the book in its long and short form interchangeably in other reference examples but none are abbreviated and it makes no specific guidance.
I realize some older programs may not support, "United States of America", but all modern programs I have seen support the full length.
Is there any other specific standard out there for recording the United States of America for genealogical purposes?