kgthunder wrote:I agree with Alan. A database could be produced of location names with dates - it could even have its own pedigree of a modern place name branching off into all historical place names that would be included. Thus a search for the modern location would iterate through all included historical place IDs. Thus ghost towns could be included in the current county even if they have no modern place name to be linked to. And a specific town that has just been renamed or survived several larger political boundary or name changes could have a list of names paired with dates all sharing a place identifier with the modern equivalent and the system would need to store somehow the equivalent names for certain dates.
The current system does some of the things you mentioned. There is a database with different versions of the place names but it does not track historical name changes by the year of change. It needs more refining and that is being done. You can see the project at FamilySearch Labs it is called the Standard Finder. You can use the standard finder and submit feedback for improvements even without a nFS account. Example: Draper Utah use to be called Draperville Utah. Enter Draperville Utah into the standard finder and see the results. It shows all the variations of the locality name for you.
A possible solution might be to allow us to display what ever place name we want in the Summary view and still use the standardized place name in the searches.