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Tuesday's Tip - How to Calculate Dates (Intermediate)

TT - How to Calculate Dates

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

How to Calculate Dates (Intermediate)

I have a Bible that tells me Elizabeth (Bryant) Ball died on 22 September 1812 but it also tells me that she was 28 years, 6 months, and 17 days old when she died. We can use Legacy to calculate when she was born.

Bible entry
(click image to enlarge)


I have entered Elizabeth's death date. I put the cursor in the Born field and then I clicked the Calendar icon at the top.

Calendar icon
(click image to enlarge)


I enter her death date in the Second Date field and then I enter her Age at Second.

Enter dates
(click image to enlarge)


Now I click the Calculate button.

Calculated date
(click image to enlarge)


Notice that the First Date is now filled in. This will be Elizabeth's birth date. However, this birth date was calculated using another date so the word Calculated precedes the date. This is very important information so you don't want to remove this. I have copied and pasted that birth date using the Windows copy and paste commands into Elizabeth's birth date field.

Pasted date
(click image to enlarge)


You probably have two questions. Why did you tell me to put the cursor in the birth field if I had to manually copy and paste there? And the answer is, because I wanted you to get into that habit because it is a good idea to put your cursor in the field you are working with so you know where you are. Why couldn't I just use the Select Date button at the top?  If you had, today's current date would have been inserted because that was the actual date being displayed on the calendar. If you look at the screenshot above, you will see that I created the screenshot for this article on 10 Feb 2020; however, there is something else the Calendar will do where you will need this button.

Technically I could have changed the actual calendar to the new date and then clicked the Select Date button and it would have pasted the date into the birth field because that is where my cursor was. I didn't do that because I didn't want to lose the word Calculated and it would have been more work.

There is another scenario that I want to show you. Let's say you are reading a funeral notice where the deceased was buried on 20 Feb 1905 and the paper says he died last Thursday. You could count on your fingers to figure out what date last Thursday was based on the publication date of the funeral notice but you might mess up. Instead, I am going to enter the burial date for the death date.

Burial date
(click image to enlarge)


Now with the cursor in the death field (I told you this would come in handy) click the Calendar button. Notice that the date highlighted at the top is 20 Feb 1905. The reason it didn't default to today's date is that this time the field is not blank. It picked up the date from the death field.

Calendar before you change the date
(click image to enlarge)


Now simply click last Thursday the 16th to highlight it. 

Calendar after you changed the date
(click image to enlarge)


Now click the Select Date button at the top. Because you have the cursor in the death field it will update the date to the correct one. 

Updated date
(click image to enlarge)


There are other scenarios where you will know the day of the week and not be sure about the date so this feature is very helpful. I try to use all of the Legacy tools to their fullest to save me time and aggravation.


Find tech tips every day in the Facebook Legacy User Group. The group is free and is available to anyone with a Facebook account.

For video tech tips check out the Legacy Quick Tips page.  These short videos will make it easy for you to learn all sort of fun and interesting ways to look at your genealogy research.

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.



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Great, this is valuable information, and thanks so much.
I have always used anoother website to calculate this information ( Tombstone Birthday Calculator.
You are so appreciated, Michele.
Thanks, Dale

When you have calculated the date, you can select the date in the birth field if you have also selected the field

Thank you for the reminder : I used these possibilities some time ago, but I had forgotten them. I will use them again.
Question : when Legacy will handle other calendars ? (French Revolution, Hebraic, ...)

You don't have to copy and paste. You had put the cursor in the correct field before calculating the date. Once calculating the date, you can click on the Select button (lower, in the calculation section) - not the Select Date button at the top. The lower Select button will put the just-calculated date in the current field, the one you clicked on before opening the Date Calculator.

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