We Should Use Original County Names, Not Current County Names, Right?

+5 votes

I need to confirm that we should use original county names on profiles, not the current county name.  So, Marie Magdalene (Chastain) Sallee should be showed as born in Goochland, Virginia, not Manakin Town, Henrico, Virginia.

WikiTree profile: Marie-Mary Sallee
in Genealogy Help by Vic Watt G2G6 Pilot (366k points)
see https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Category:Manakin%2C_Virginia for details about Manakin, Virginia
and... from http://homepages.rootsweb.com/~george/countyformations/virginiaformationmaps.html - Goochland County was formed from Henrico County in 1728.

So, birth in Goochland County in 1720 is wrong. Birth was probably in Manakin, which in 1720 was in Henrico County.
So, as currently show, Marie's birth about 1720 in Manakin Town, Henrico County, Virginia Colony, is correct except that it should be Manakintown.
I've seen it both ways, but I believe that by 1720 Manakintown was the more usual. But categorize her under Category: Manakin, Virginia

Cheers, Liz
If you wish to really split hairs, Manakin - Sabot farms were in Henrico Shire. Now I will concede shire is unnecessary but I think when we talk about historical places that no longer exist it may be prudent to devise a way to indicated where it was and what it’s called now. And the cemetery where some of these folks were buried is named Monacan the original Native American tribe name. Similarly Buckingham was not created until later in 1761 and the farming area where our Sallees etal resided was Albemarle. Which no one seems to be able to spell lol.
In 1720, Henrico County is correct.

As I understand it, shires were a blink in the timeline - in 1634 - being quickly renamed counties. Prior to that they were Incorporations: Henricus Incorporation.

see http://homepages.rootsweb.com/~george/countyformations/virginiaformationmaps.html
ps - Wikipedia talks about Manakin-Sabot as being a community in Goochland County (which was formed in 1728, so Wikipedia's using current, not historic location) & appears to date its beginnings to 1700-1701:


Could you share your source(s) for c1634 Manakin & Sabot farms?

https://www.newrivernotes.com/topical_books_1886_virginia_hugenotemigration.htm which was linked in one of the family profiles 

A also a resource available thru ancestry 


A book also available thu ancestry as a scanned copy written by a man named Bolton titled Pedigree of Henry Hardin Sallee 


I’m sorry I don’t have these last two outside of ancestry and no way to copy or extract them as I don’t have a computer currently. 

Thanks! Interesting info at https://www.newrivernotes.com/topical_books_1886_virginia_hugenotemigration.htm - sorry I can't access Ancestry info.

3 Answers

+5 votes
by Susan Smith G2G6 Pilot (677k points)
+5 votes

Yes. The key portion from the link Susan Smith provided is:

Place names, and even boundaries, change over time. They also have different names in different languages. We aim to use the name that was used by the people in that place, at the time of the event you're recording. This standard is often difficult or even impossible to apply, but it is an ideal that members from all over the world can agree upon.

by Chase Ashley G2G6 Pilot (321k points)
With burials in particular, it is good to list both as relatives do commonly visit gravesites.GPS is even better if you have it.
Great in the bio, but in the location field only the contemporaneous name should be used.
The way I do it is list the exact  county where the event occurred and then add ( now present county).
+2 votes
I have family in Virginia and I don't think there can be a hard and fast rule. I use the name which will make it easiest to search out the reference. For example Princess Anne County no longer exists and once when it did exist, was named Lower Norfolk County. Virginia counties changed a lot--the object should make clear what is most helpful and help make sources easiest to trace. Use whichever name seems most helpful and use both or all names if needed for clarity. For example a favorite reference of mine for PA county is The Lower Norfolk County Antiquary. Lower Norfolk County is long gone. Likewise Princess Anne County.  Norfolk county and the City of Chesapeake are more or less synonymous. No hard and fast rule wil cover everything
by Christopher Wright G2G4 (4.4k points)

Except that the official WikiTree policy for the location fields has a hard and fast rule: "We aim to use the name that was used by the people in that place, at the time of the event you're recording." If the old name might be confusing to a modern reader, the modern name should be given in the narrative bio. That way both needs for historical accuracy and the needs of a modern reader are addressed.

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