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Double Dates in Genealogy - Interesting reading!

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  • Marilyn Hertenstein
    Double dating in genealogy needn t be mysterious by Mona Robinson Herald-Times Columnist December 31, 2006 The double dates you sometimes find in family
    Message 1 of 3 , Jun 11, 2008
      Double dating in genealogy needn't be mysterious


      by Mona Robinson Herald-Times Columnist
      December 31, 2006
      The "double dates" you sometimes find in family records, such as "born
      1701/02," can be mystifying. Didn't the recorder know in which year the
      person was born? Those double dates occur in the old records only in
      January, February and March - never in any other months - and never after
      1752.

      The system of double dating occurred because of a change made in the
      calendar in 1582. Prior to that date the Julian calendar, established by
      Pope Julius, was used throughout the Christian world. This system, dividing
      the year into 365 days with an extra day every fourth year, was adopted at
      the Nicene Council in AD 325.


      Once it was possible to measure the length of the solar year more
      accurately, it was learned that the Julian system exceeded the solar year by
      11 minutes, or 24 hours every 131 years, and three days every 400 years.
      Between 325 and 1582, this excess amounted to about 10 days, so that the
      vernal equinox had been set back from 21 March to 11 March and calculations
      for Easter were therefore incorrect.


      In 1582, Pope Gregory, head of the Russian Orthodox Church, ordered that 10
      days be dropped from the calendar to restore the equinox to its proper
      place. To prevent this error from recurring, he ordered that in every 400
      years the leap year's extra day should be omitted three times. It was to be
      omitted on centennial years in which four without a remainder could not
      divide the first two numbers. Thus it was omitted in 1700, 1800 and 1900,
      but not in 2000. This Gregorian calendar is still in effect, making us
      "right with the sun."


      The decree also changed the beginning of the year from 25 March to 1
      January. All Catholic countries adopted the new system, but England refused
      to adopt the new calendar until 1752, or 170 years later, when the calendar
      difference was a little more than 11 days. So, in English-speaking countries
      and colonies, the Julian calendar prevailed, and March 25 was still New
      Year's Day.


      In spite of the difference in the official calendar, many people began to
      use the Gregorian system. In many early colonial records you will see
      "double dates," written as "9 March 1656/57." indicating that some people
      considered it to be 1657. Gov. Winthrop dated one letter 22 March 1629 and
      six days later he dated another one 28 March 1630.


      When the British government finally recognized that a mistake had been made
      in calculating the solar year and, in order to shift into line with the rest
      of Europe, the Gregorian system was officially adopted. When citizens in
      rural England learned that 2 September would be followed by 14 September,
      they felt that they would "lose 11 days of their lives" and they rioted!


      An example of what the change meant is seen in the birth date of George
      Washington. He was born on 11 February 1731 (Old Style), but with the
      calendar change in 1752, he changed his birthday to 22 February 1732 (New
      Style).


      Look for discrepancies in dates before 1752, and label them O.S. (Old Style)
      and N.S. (New Style). This change in the calendar can explain the birth of
      two children within too short of a time. You might find a son born 27 March
      1640 and the next child born on 28 February 1640. In this case, the dates
      were "old style," and there were actually eleven months between the births,
      instead of just 27 days.


      So, thanks to Pope Gregory, you can observe New Year's Day tomorrow and not
      have



      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Ben Sorensen
      You can even find this dating in Benjamin Franklin s writing- and makes for an interesting read. However, I think that the Orthodox would take offence at POPE
      Message 2 of 3 , Jun 11, 2008
        You can even find this dating in Benjamin Franklin's writing- and makes for an interesting read.
        However, I think that the Orthodox would take offence at POPE GREGORY being the head of the Russian Orthodox Church (they have Patriarchs and Gregory was never the head of that church, though technically the Pope is still a Patriarch in the Orthodox faith as this title was never revoked, and today almost never INVOKED), and I would like to point out that the Gregorian calendar was not accepted in Russia until the advent of Communism. Many Orthodox parishes accept the Gregorian calendar for fixed feasts, but movable feasts, such as Easter, for example, is still calculated by the Julian Calendar.
        Ben

        Marilyn Hertenstein <mjhertenstein@...> wrote:
        Double dating in genealogy needn't be mysterious

        by Mona Robinson Herald-Times Columnist
        December 31, 2006
        The "double dates" you sometimes find in family records, such as "born
        1701/02," can be mystifying. Didn't the recorder know in which year the
        person was born? Those double dates occur in the old records only in
        January, February and March - never in any other months - and never after
        1752.

        The system of double dating occurred because of a change made in the
        calendar in 1582. Prior to that date the Julian calendar, established by
        Pope Julius, was used throughout the Christian world. This system, dividing
        the year into 365 days with an extra day every fourth year, was adopted at
        the Nicene Council in AD 325.

        Once it was possible to measure the length of the solar year more
        accurately, it was learned that the Julian system exceeded the solar year by
        11 minutes, or 24 hours every 131 years, and three days every 400 years.
        Between 325 and 1582, this excess amounted to about 10 days, so that the
        vernal equinox had been set back from 21 March to 11 March and calculations
        for Easter were therefore incorrect.

        In 1582, Pope Gregory, head of the Russian Orthodox Church, ordered that 10
        days be dropped from the calendar to restore the equinox to its proper
        place. To prevent this error from recurring, he ordered that in every 400
        years the leap year's extra day should be omitted three times. It was to be
        omitted on centennial years in which four without a remainder could not
        divide the first two numbers. Thus it was omitted in 1700, 1800 and 1900,
        but not in 2000. This Gregorian calendar is still in effect, making us
        "right with the sun."

        The decree also changed the beginning of the year from 25 March to 1
        January. All Catholic countries adopted the new system, but England refused
        to adopt the new calendar until 1752, or 170 years later, when the calendar
        difference was a little more than 11 days. So, in English-speaking countries
        and colonies, the Julian calendar prevailed, and March 25 was still New
        Year's Day.

        In spite of the difference in the official calendar, many people began to
        use the Gregorian system. In many early colonial records you will see
        "double dates," written as "9 March 1656/57." indicating that some people
        considered it to be 1657. Gov. Winthrop dated one letter 22 March 1629 and
        six days later he dated another one 28 March 1630.

        When the British government finally recognized that a mistake had been made
        in calculating the solar year and, in order to shift into line with the rest
        of Europe, the Gregorian system was officially adopted. When citizens in
        rural England learned that 2 September would be followed by 14 September,
        they felt that they would "lose 11 days of their lives" and they rioted!

        An example of what the change meant is seen in the birth date of George
        Washington. He was born on 11 February 1731 (Old Style), but with the
        calendar change in 1752, he changed his birthday to 22 February 1732 (New
        Style).

        Look for discrepancies in dates before 1752, and label them O.S. (Old Style)
        and N.S. (New Style). This change in the calendar can explain the birth of
        two children within too short of a time. You might find a son born 27 March
        1640 and the next child born on 28 February 1640. In this case, the dates
        were "old style," and there were actually eleven months between the births,
        instead of just 27 days.

        So, thanks to Pope Gregory, you can observe New Year's Day tomorrow and not
        have

        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]







        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Christian Lesinsky
        My name is Christian Lesinsky and history was my major most of this article is correct. But there are thee corrections to be made the Nicene Council set the
        Message 3 of 3 , Jun 11, 2008
          My name is Christian Lesinsky and history was my major most of this article is correct. But there are thee corrections to be made the Nicene Council set the date of Pascha (Easter in the West) which was the first full moon after the Spring Equinox but not until the Jews celebrate Passover. The second they used the Julian calendar which was used in the Roman Empire established and named for Julius Caesar and not a Pope. Pope Gregory was Roman Catholic and not Russian Orthodox. All of the Orthodox Churches still follow the Julian calendar for Pascha (Easter). The Roman and the other Western Churches follow the new calendar which puts Easter (a pagan term) after the first full moon after the Spring Equinox but they forget the Jewish Passover. So the Western Church didn't figure the Jewish Passover and the Orthodox Churches still do. Yes the old calendar is now 13 days off and will be 14 days in the very near future. That is why both Churches
          celebrate on different days and every so ofter they celebrate on the same day.

          --- On Wed, 6/11/08, Marilyn Hertenstein <mjhertenstein@...> wrote:

          From: Marilyn Hertenstein <mjhertenstein@...>
          Subject: [S-R] Double Dates in Genealogy - Interesting reading!
          To: SLOVAK-ROOTS@yahoogroups.com
          Date: Wednesday, June 11, 2008, 9:16 AM






          Double dating in genealogy needn't be mysterious

          by Mona Robinson Herald-Times Columnist
          December 31, 2006
          The "double dates" you sometimes find in family records, such as "born
          1701/02," can be mystifying. Didn't the recorder know in which year the
          person was born? Those double dates occur in the old records only in
          January, February and March - never in any other months - and never after
          1752.

          The system of double dating occurred because of a change made in the
          calendar in 1582. Prior to that date the Julian calendar, established by
          Pope Julius, was used throughout the Christian world. This system, dividing
          the year into 365 days with an extra day every fourth year, was adopted at
          the Nicene Council in AD 325.

          Once it was possible to measure the length of the solar year more
          accurately, it was learned that the Julian system exceeded the solar year by
          11 minutes, or 24 hours every 131 years, and three days every 400 years.
          Between 325 and 1582, this excess amounted to about 10 days, so that the
          vernal equinox had been set back from 21 March to 11 March and calculations
          for Easter were therefore incorrect.

          In 1582, Pope Gregory, head of the Russian Orthodox Church, ordered that 10
          days be dropped from the calendar to restore the equinox to its proper
          place. To prevent this error from recurring, he ordered that in every 400
          years the leap year's extra day should be omitted three times. It was to be
          omitted on centennial years in which four without a remainder could not
          divide the first two numbers. Thus it was omitted in 1700, 1800 and 1900,
          but not in 2000. This Gregorian calendar is still in effect, making us
          "right with the sun."

          The decree also changed the beginning of the year from 25 March to 1
          January. All Catholic countries adopted the new system, but England refused
          to adopt the new calendar until 1752, or 170 years later, when the calendar
          difference was a little more than 11 days. So, in English-speaking countries
          and colonies, the Julian calendar prevailed, and March 25 was still New
          Year's Day.

          In spite of the difference in the official calendar, many people began to
          use the Gregorian system. In many early colonial records you will see
          "double dates," written as "9 March 1656/57." indicating that some people
          considered it to be 1657. Gov. Winthrop dated one letter 22 March 1629 and
          six days later he dated another one 28 March 1630.

          When the British government finally recognized that a mistake had been made
          in calculating the solar year and, in order to shift into line with the rest
          of Europe, the Gregorian system was officially adopted. When citizens in
          rural England learned that 2 September would be followed by 14 September,
          they felt that they would "lose 11 days of their lives" and they rioted!

          An example of what the change meant is seen in the birth date of George
          Washington. He was born on 11 February 1731 (Old Style), but with the
          calendar change in 1752, he changed his birthday to 22 February 1732 (New
          Style).

          Look for discrepancies in dates before 1752, and label them O.S. (Old Style)
          and N.S. (New Style). This change in the calendar can explain the birth of
          two children within too short of a time. You might find a son born 27 March
          1640 and the next child born on 28 February 1640. In this case, the dates
          were "old style," and there were actually eleven months between the births,
          instead of just 27 days.

          So, thanks to Pope Gregory, you can observe New Year's Day tomorrow and not
          have

          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


















          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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