On Mon, Feb 11, 2013 at 7:04 PM, Tim Lyons <guy.linton@gmail.com> wrote:

paul womack wrote

Unfortunately, now that the Post Office deprecate counties, it is sometimes
difficult to get a good estimate for the current county name for a place,
let alone what it might have been in at some time in the past.

 This can be a problem about recording places accurately, since
names and territories can change over time.
It's like the old joke about the man who was born in St. Petersburg,
spent his childhood in Petrograd, lived in Leningrad, and hopes
to die in St. Petersburg.
What's worse is when counties, regions, and even national
bounderies shift. 
For understanding from a modern perspective, the modern
place name is the most useful.  But for research, often
the contemporary place and it's place in the location
hierarchy of the time is frequently the most useful.
Hmmm, I don't have Gramps in front of me, so I can't tell
if it's possible or not, but it would be interesting to see if
a physical location could have aliases, with or without
year ranges.  So a certain city in what is now Russia could
have the same physical ID in the database, but with different
year ranges - so the city would have the name "St. Petersberg"
until 1914, "Petrograd" from 1914 to 1924, "Leningrad" from 1924
to 1991, and "St. Petersberg" from 1991 to the present.
I'd have to think about that idea and see if there's a downside.