Somewhere, sometime, a computer programmer got the idea that their life would be easier if all the place names in the world were standardized. Wow. This was a superb idea but ignored the fact that place names change over time. The same town in Yavapai county ended up in Apache County, which subsequently became Navajo County, while the name of the town changed also. Hmm. To add a little historic interest Arizona became a state during the same time period. Unfortunately for standardization, that means there are a number of names for exactly the same geographic location:
Allen's Camp, Yavapai, Arizona Territory, United States
St. Joseph, Yavapai, Arizona Territory, United States
St. Joseph, Apache, Arizona Territory, United States
St. Joseph, Navajo, Arizona Territory, United States
St. Joseph, Navajo, Arizona, United States
Joseph City, Navajo, Arizona, United States
All the same place. Can you guess which one of these is suggested as the "Standardized Place Name?" I can give you a hint, it isn't any of the first five. Do you know which one to choose if your ancestor was born in this location in 1890? What about a birth in 1876? Of course, this only matters if you follow the long settled and long propounded genealogical rule to record the name (and jurisdiction) of the place at the time of the event. Before the advent of standardized place names, you had to think a little before you choose one or the other (not that most of my relatives did so, but it is nice to dream). Now, when you type in any of the above, you either get nothing in the way of help from the program or you get a suggestion that you are wrong with anything but the standardized, current place name.
So, if I use any one of the many programs with built-in standardized place names, the program will try to change or entice me to change what I have and put in a more acceptable modern-day, sanitized, non-controversial, politically corrected version of the place name. Now, the issue is not standardized vs. non-standardized, the issue is using a standardized method to record place names, not a standardized name. I am aware that most of the programs out there will accept a non-standardized place name and even allow you to make your own list of standard place names, but the problem is that this seldom happens, I see the actual place name of the event obliterated by the standard name too many times.
Here is the substantiation for the county and name changes:
Yavapai County was one of the original counties of Arizona Territory created on 10 November 1864 (Howell Code, Ariz. Terr. Laws 1864, 1st assy., ch. 2/ pp. 24-25)
The original settlement in 1876 was named Allen's Camp and was changed to St. Joseph in 1878. See Tanner, George S., and J. Morris Richards. Colonization on the Little Colorado: The Joseph City Region. Flagstaff: Northland Press, 1977, page 36.
Yavapai lost the area where the settlement was on 14 February 1879 to the newly created Apache County. (Ariz. Terr. Laws 1879, 10th assy./ pp. 96-97)
On 21 March 1895, the area was divided off of Apache County to create Navajo County. (Ariz. Terr. Laws 1895, 18th assy./ pp. 96-105)
On 14 February 1912, Arizona became the 48th state. See Wikipedia:Arizona
In 1923, the name of St. Joseph was changed to Joseph City. See Tanner, George S., and J. Morris Richards. Colonization on the Little Colorado: The Joseph City Region. Flagstaff: Northland Press, 1977, page 36.
Now, of course, all that is really complicated and you couldn't expect anyone to know all that history. Could you? It is much too confusing for the newcomer and would require way too much programming in the standardized options to take into account all the boundary and jurisdictional changes in the world. Let's just pretend that none of this happened and ignore the fact that the records we are searching for may have moved with the boundary and jurisdictional changes. We can also ignore the fact that this just might be the reason we can't find our ancestor, but hey, it is a whole lot easier to program and that is what is important.
After all, history and genealogy aren't the same thing. Like love and donuts, who needs history if you have genealogy?