How should one report "place of birth" (or death) where the location has legally changed over time?

Many locations experienced county name changes, or birth occurred in an area that later became a new state. For a baby born in Vermont before Vermont became a state I am unsure whether to report place of birth as New York or as Vermont.


1 Answer 1


I would report both of them.

I have a friend who has birthdates in his tree of "16-Mar-1623, Braintree, Massachusetts, United States of America". Of course, there was no USA in 1623 :-)

However, there are times where the original name is good for searching old records, and the current name is useful for actually finding the place.

Constantinople vs. Istanbul is the one I learned as a child.

Or St. Petersburg, which became Petrograd, and then Leningrad, and then St. Petersburg again.

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