Identifying an event location when boundaries have changed
A patron at our FamilySearch Center is asking about the correct way to identify an event location when the physical boundaries have changed. For example if someone was born in the late 1770's in "Virginia", but the location of the birth today is actually in "West Virginia", which would be the preferred location? We could also cite examples from Germany to France or Prussia to Poland, etc. Should we "modernize" a location or identify it as it was originally?
Here's a few experts giving advice:
• https://genealogysstar.blogspot.com/2019/12/what-about-using-standard-place-names.html "How you designate the location of an event in a person's life really does matter and yes, the general rule is that the places should be named as they existed at the time of the event."
• https://fhug.org.uk/kb/kb-article/working-with-places-and-addresses-for-new-users/ "Genealogical best practice recommends that you document the name as it was recorded in the source that refers to it, i.e. an historical name."
• https://familylocket.com/adding-historical-place-names-in-familysearch/ "Place names change over time as the boundaries and jurisdictions are modified. Genealogists should use the place name as it existed at the time of the event."
• http://www.columbinegenealogy.com/pdfs/Getting%20It%20Right.pdf "Always enter the place name as known on the day the event took place in the place name field."1