In the Netherlands we seem to use a three-level way to write placenames: Place, Province, Country. So a village like Mierlo is written as Mierlo, Noord-Brabant, Nederland.
Mierlo has existed since the middle ages, although Noord-Brabant and Nederland have been stable names since 1814. Should I still use 'Noord-Brabant, Nederland' as specification for Mierlo before 1814 or use the contemporary names.
From 1648 this would result in the following names for the same village:
- Mierlo, Staats-Brabant, Nederlanden (1648-1795)
- Mierlo, Bataafs-Brabant, Bataafse Republiek (1795-1798)
- Mierlo, Dommeldepartement, Bataafse Republiek (1798-1802)
- Mierlo, Bataafs-Brabant, Bataafse Republiek (1802-1807)
- Mierlo, Bataafs-Brabant, Holland (1806-1807)
- Mierlo, Brabant, Holland (1807-1810)
- Mierlo, Bouches-du-Rhin, France (1810-1814)
- Mierlo, Noord-Brabant, Nederland (since 1814)
You can see that this would lead to a lot of different names within 20 years during the French era.