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Tuesday's Tip - Double Dating (Intermediate)

TT - Double Dating

Tuesday's Tips provide brief how-to's to help you learn to use the Legacy Family Tree software with new tricks and techniques.

Double Dating (Intermediate)

There is an option in Legacy to do double dating which Legacy will do for you automatically. The Option is at Options > Customize > Dates > Option 5.4. So what is double dating? 

In a nutshell, we changed from the Julian Calendar to the Gregorian Calendar in 1582 but it wasn't officially adopted by England (and its colonies) until 1752. The problem with this is the Julian Calendar used March 25th as the first day of the year and the Gregorian Calendar uses January 1st.

The problem dates are January 1st through March 24th. If you are looking at one of these dates between the years 1582 and 1752 you need to double date them.

04 Feb 1740 under the old calendar would be 04 Feb 1741 under the new calendar. Why? Under the old calendar the year 1740 didn't end until March 24th but under the new calendar the new year started on January 1st. You would write it as 04 Feb 1740/1. The reason this is important is when you are looking at the chronology of documents and dates you might get things out of order.

There is one other slight problem with the change over. There was an 11 day discrepancy. In the first year of the change, 1752, they dropped 11 days off of September to get things back right. For further information, please read Julian and Gregorian Calendars from FamilySearch.

Quakers and dates...
All of the above applies to the Quakers too but they didn't use the names of the days or months because they were named after Roman/Greek gods. They used numbers. Sometimes they used Arabic numbers and sometimes they used Roman numerals. As long as you can read Roman numerals there is no problem because you will recognize them immediately.

If you see 2nd day of the 11th month of 1750 in a Quaker record, this would be 02 Jan 1750 on the old calendar and 02 Jan 1751 on the new calendar. January was the 11th month on the Julian Calendar. Double dated it would be 02 Jan 1750/1.

I would not use double dating in your file unless most of your file is located in England and its colonies. If most of your file is located in another European country you can consult the above FamilySearch Wiki article and set the date change date to whatever it was for that country or region. You will see that in Germany, Switzerland, and the Netherlands it is a problem because each region was doing its own thing. It can get complicated.

 

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Michele Simmons Lewis, CG® is part of the Legacy Family Tree team at MyHeritage. She handles the enhancement suggestions that come in from our users as well as writing for Legacy News. You can usually find her hanging out on the Legacy User Group Facebook page answering questions and posting tips.

Comments

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I would not use double dating in your file unless most of your file is located in England and its colonies. If most of your file is located in another European country you can consult the above FamilySearch Wiki article and set the date change date to whatever it was for that country or region. You will see that in Germany, Switzerland, and the Netherlands it is a problem because each region was doing its own thing. It can get complicated.

Thanks Michele. Excellent reminder of when and how to use double dating.

Another problem with double dating is, even though France does not need it because they changed their calendars pretty quickly, they did the same at the time of the French Revolution, when they had their very own singular calendar unlike any other on earth. I still haven't figured it out! And probably never will. And then there are kalends and ides for each month.

No wonder us amateur genealogists turn gray young.

It must have been difficult if your birthday was, say, 15 Feb 1740. On 15 Feb 1751 you would have been 11 with the year end at 24 March, but the next 15 Feb would have been 1753 with the year start at 1 Jan, so you've missed a year out - you can no longer subtract your age from the year and get the year you were born! It's OK for us if you understand double-dating, but for the people at the time I expect it was extremely confusing!
Mind you, I expect people were also put out if their birthday was 3–13 September, since we skipped those days in 1752, so I guess everyone with a birthday in between would have had to have their birthday on the 2nd or the 14th...

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