Which year to use before Georgian calendar?

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scottsrs-p40
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Which year to use before Georgian calendar?

Postby scottsrs-p40 » Fri Oct 05, 2007 8:22 pm

Backround: Before Western Europe and their colonies switched to the Gregoirain calendar (1752 in England), the new year often started on a different day. In England March 25 was the beginning of the new year. So for example, March 24, 1602 was followed by March 25, 1603.

To avoid confusion, genealogists would write a date between Jan 1 and March 15 with both years, like this: 14 FEB 1602/1603, when it fell before the country's switch to Jan 1 being the New Year's day.

My question is: with the advent of computer database searching, we can't use both years anymore - we have to pick one. I haven't been able to find a standard. Do we use the year as it would have been recorded: 1602, or the year in today's calendar: 1603?

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thedqs
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Postby thedqs » Fri Oct 05, 2007 10:48 pm

Best would probably use the modern calendar as reference and leave a note specifying about the date.
- David

MarianJohnson
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Use of double dates in converting Julian to Gregorian Calendar

Postby MarianJohnson » Sat Oct 06, 2007 5:15 pm

Both PAF and the new FamilySearch allow the use of slash marks in dates in those databases. The PAF 5 Users Guide says

"If you are not sure on what day or during what year an event occurred, type a slash mark (/) between the two days or years...

Personal Ancestral File accepts dates from the Gregorian Calendar and Japanese Emperor dates as standard dates. If you type anything else, the program warns you that you have just typed a non-standard date. If you click OK then move the cursor out of the field, the program accepts the date as you typed it."

So although it is not considered a standard date, a double date may be entered into the date field. When submitting to Ancestral File, TempleReady or Pedigree Resource File, the first date is transmitted.

russellhltn
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Postby russellhltn » Sun Oct 07, 2007 4:26 pm

scottsrs wrote:14 FEB 1602/1603


I think some software programs (and even people) might interpret that is Feb 14, 1602 or 1603. In other words as two possible dates, not as a single specified date.

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thedqs
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Postby thedqs » Sun Oct 07, 2007 9:28 pm

RussellHltn wrote:I think some software programs (and even people) might interpret that is Feb 14, 1602 or 1603. In other words as two possible dates, not as a single specified date.


That is a very good point and that is exactly what I think when I see it and that is how I program FH applications.

And again most people (and the programs they write) take everything referenced from today. Though can you store two forms of a date I don't know but again I would use the notes field.
- David

BlackRG
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Postby BlackRG » Wed Oct 10, 2007 1:17 pm

Personally, I'd bet the issue is even worse. Given communication and transportation standards back then, I'll bet changes in timekeeping weren't universally accepted by a given governed group at the same time.... So if you say 1602/1603, maybe is REALLY IS 1602 or 1603...
Personally, I know it's often important to me to know the time between two events, and mixing different standards of timekeeping in my genealogy program would really mess with that, so I'd try to keep everything in one format where possible - and if in doubt, specify both.

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Postby MarianJohnson » Wed Oct 10, 2007 7:40 pm

I have found that the most difficult problem with the Julian / Gregorian calendar is with Quaker records. The Quakers recorded their dates as 1st month 15th day 1742 etc. So then the question is not only with which year to record for January or February or March, but with every month, since under the Julian calandar the 1st month is March, but under the Gregorian calendar, the 1st month is January, etc. I have seen many records where the Month was interpreted as the Gregorian month, but the year was during the time when the Julian calendar was in use - that is prior to 1753 in the U. S. and Great Britain. The change occurred when 2 September 1752 was followed by 14 September 1752. 1752 started on March 25 and ended on December 31, and lost those 11 days in September.

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marianomarini
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Take the original

Postby marianomarini » Sat Jan 19, 2008 4:53 am

Different calendar is almost like different languages.
I think is better to store the original registration and put the conversion rules into notes, for example with numbered month, avoiding misunderstanding to readers.
Change of calendar are known in heaven, no chance to fault.

russellhltn
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Postby russellhltn » Sat Jan 19, 2008 2:18 pm

Since this thread left off, I've found that nFS stores dates as both "normalized" and as "astro". So I think the important thing is to let it know what calendar you're using when you say 14 FEB 1602 and it will take it from there.

rogerwinget
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Calendar Escapes?

Postby rogerwinget » Wed Mar 05, 2008 10:07 pm

GEDCOM 5.5 allows you to enter a calendar escape on each DATE line. I personally use the calendar which was in effect at the time of the event, and enter the year as defined within that calendar. It is up to the software to recognize that 01 JAN 1603 occurred after 31 DEC 1603 in the Julian calendar.


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