Sally Bruckheimer <sallybruc@...>
"Then I put in parentheses the current name of the community, i.e., Stolbtsy, Minsk, Russian Empire (now Stowbtsy, Belarus)"
I am also a Database Administrator, so this bothers me. If you intend to search for the place, say the birth place in your genealogy program, you don't want all the extraneous information, as you will never get it all right when you search, so you will never find it. You want the place name "Stolbtsy" then in the Country, Belarus or Russia, depending on whether you want today or when it happened.
I would suggest using the town name and country as they were at the time, not as they are today, as that is important to keep in mind. I put my ggrandmother's birthplace as Langendernbach, Nassau; it was then in the Duchy of Nassau, and Germany was not then a country (although everybody knew about it). Another ggrandparent was born in Külsheim, Baden, again before there was Germany.
Legacy Family Tree has a Geocode finder, to find out where the place is, but like many things (including FamilySearch) they want how it is today, not how it was 150 years ago. I don't care that Langendernbach is in Hesse, Germany today, so I don't use the Geocoding. This brings up messages from Family Search, but I don't care, as I never want to search in Hesse for it.
Of course, you can make 'Events' in Legacy Family Tree (and probably most programs), which I use for everything. They are much better than Legacy's sources; you can put whatever you want in it. Birth [name of event], Place Langendernbach, Nassau; Date whenever it was; then fill in whatever: I put "Per Birth record: Born to Haim Löwenstein and Reis Fuld, one of 20 children - mother's name is different in each birth record. Today this is in Hesse, Germany"
You can put whatever you want in these Events and can name them anything: I have one for Schutz - the protection Jews paid to live somewhere. I'll bet few people have that.
Sally Bruckheimer, Princeton, NJ <sallybruc@...>