1) For researchers like myself, with 28 years of research and using desktop family tree software, and having over 45,000 persons and over 8,800 place names in my family tree database, to use either of the options outlined in Post 2 is "too much work" at this point in time. So I will leave the task to someone else in another time. This is something that I should have done a long time ago, and did not do. It's my fault that I didn't learn about the historical place name issue earlier and use it in my family tree data entry.
2) A proposal: To me, the only rational way to implement a method to incorporate historical place names is by adding a feature to the different software programs that consider the date of an Event, the historical or current place name, and then adjust the place name in the data entry fields depending on the time frame.
Let me use the current place name of the town of Medfield, Massachusetts as an example. I created a table, based on information from the FamilySearch Place Research page, for the town of Medfield:
The table above reflects the jurisdictions at the town, county, state and country level from 1635 to the present. The latitude and longitude of the place name could be added to the table.
If an event (e.g., birth, marriage, death, probate, deed, etc.) happened in Medfield in, say 1685, then the program would enter Medfield, Suffolk, Massachusetts Bay Colony, British Colonial America into the place name for the event. If I want to see a map of the location, the map of the standardized, current, location would appear.
Likewise, if an event happened in Medfield in, say 1799, then the program would enter Medfield, Norfolk, Massachusetts, United States into the place name for the event. Again, the map would show the standardized, current, place name.
3) The Challenge: The above is fairly simplistic with respect to Medfield. A similar table would have to be coded for each town, each county, each state or province, and each country and put into the family tree program.
There is also the problem of even smaller places than towns, like hamlets and villages, and mid-size localities between towns and counties, like boroughs and townships, where the table needs to account for them.
Then there is the problem of how the historical and current place names are transferred in a GEDCOM export to another program or online family tree.
Perhaps the FamilySearch Place Research information could be accessed by the family tree program, or online tree site, to offer the user a list to choose from. Ideally, it would select from the list automatically based on the date of the event.
If it was implemented in some fashion by desktop and online family trees, a neat "Option" in the program or tree would be to "Select historical place names for all Events" so that the user doesn't have to do them one place name at a time.
4) I know all of this is idealistic, and pretty "elegant," and i'm sure there are reasons why this can't be done. But maybe it can be accomplished. If so, it would be heralded by all researchers as a tool to make our research more accurate and to cover the shame of past sins in entering place names
"Forgive me, Saint Jacobus, for I have sinned."
Copyright (c) 2016, Randall J. Seaver