General Information - After

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Calculates birth date from death date and age of death in year-month-day format. You might want to try the Java Script. All dates, Gregorian or Julian, use New Year on January 1st.

This new version uses two different computation methods: (28 day calculation has some problems and it wasn't very useful, so it has been removed.

1. 30 day fixed length (the "8870" system is a variant of this)

2. Calendar length months

Baptism date may be found at the local churches your ancestors attended or your local libraries.


* 68 days from Rotterdam to Baltimore in 1824.

* 58 days from Bremen to Baltimore in 1832.

* 44 days from Bremen to Baltimore in 1834.

* 66 days from Bremen to New Orleans in 1843.

* 47 days from LeHarve, France to New Orleans in 1854.

From 1867 - 1890, most sailing ships used steam auxiliary engines on days when there was little or no wind. However, many sailing ships remained in service and their fares were often lower than the faster steam ships. In 1893, a steamship made its trip from Ireland to New York in only 10 days. (From various newsletters, last seen in The Muskingum, March 2000)


Genealogists can be confused with the double-dating period between the 1st of January and the 25th of March of the years prior to 1752. The legal, civil, or Ecclesiastical Year. Prior to 1752, began on March 25th each year. The new style calendar began January 1, 1752.

From the time of the Norman conquest in 1066, the Historical Year began on January 1st making an overlap of two different years. It was customary to show both years in a hyphenated manner, such as: February 10, 1824/5. This was not always true, only just "customary". One may find old chronological tables which show only the older numbered year through March 24th. Entries made the following day are written in the next subsequent year, such as: March 25th, 1725. This is the day immediately following March 24, 1724.

It is not unusual to find a person, prior to 1752, had dated his will in August and the will was probated in February of the same year.

Quakers, or Friends, used a number for a month, rather than the name of the month. February, in the Old Style calendar, was the twelfth: thus the 12 month 15th 1725 was the 15th of February for that year. A monthly meeting date would be written: 30th of the 9th mo 1742. A record of birth might be written: borne the 25th of ye 9th mo called November 1741.


(Year began March 25, prior to 1752) (Year began January 1, 1752 and subsequently)

March 1st month, I January

April 2nd month, II February

May 3rd month, III March

June 4th month, IV April

July 5th month, V May

August 6th month, VI June

September 7th month, VII July

October 8th month, VIII August

November 9th month, IX September

December 10th month, X October

January 11th month, XI November

February 12th month, XII December

(information from Ancestors West, Santa Barbara (CA) GS, v 18:31/ Benedict Newsletter Vol 1, No 2 (Summer 1993)


It is all in your perspective. The year 2000 AD will be:

* 6238 according to the Egyptian calendar

* 5760 according to the Jewish calendar

* 5119 in the current Maya great cycle

* 2763 according to the old Roman calendar

* 2749 in the ancient Babylonian calendar

* 2544 according to the Buddhist calendar

* 1716 according to the Coptic calendar

* 1420 according to the Muslim calendar

* 1378 according to the Persian calendar

* 208 according to the calendar of the French Revolution

* Year of the Dragon according to Chinese calendar


The calendar or groupings of our calendar often have religious significance and some of the groupings are linked to astronomical periods. Our calendar is made up of days, weeks, months and years. The day is the rotational period of the Earth; the week is an artificial period linked to the Biblical story of creation; the month is linked to the period of the Moon and the year is linked to the Earth's period of rotation around the Sun.

The Jewish calendar and the Moslem calendar are connected with the Moon. The Jewish calendar is now a fixed calendar with rather complex rules for its construction. The lenght of the Jewish year may be 353, 354, or 355 days or 383, 384, or 385 days. Each month has 29 or 30 days.

The Moslem calendar is a fixed calendar. The religious festivals depend on visual sightings of the New Moon. The length of the Moslem year is 12 months of alternate lengths 30 or 29 days, except for the 12th month, which can have 29 or 30 days. The calendar is kept in adjustment with the Moon using a cycle of years of different length.

Mosaic law forbids work on every seventh day established a seven-day period as a measure of Jewish time. This passed over into the Christian church and gradually became established in the Roman calendar. The astrological practice of naming the days using the names of the Sun, Moon and five known planets provided us with the seven-day period.

The names given to the days of the week are based on the nomenclature. In English, Sunday and Monday are named after the Sun and Moon while the other days of the week are named after the Teutonic versions of the gods that corresponds to each of the planters. Tiu = Mars, Woden = Mercury, Thor = Jupiter and Freya = Venus, Saturday keeps its Latin connection with Saturn.

Many ancient calendars were based on the lunar cycle. The lunar month is 19.530589 days and the number of lunations in a year 12.368267. The common scheme was to have 12 months of 30 days with the arbitrary or calculated additional days or months to bring the system into accord with the solar year.

The Roman Calendar originally had 10 months. Martius named after Mars was the indicated time for resumption of war, Aprilis meant 'to open' is the beginning of Spring, Maius is for Maia who is the goddess of growth, Janius is after juvenus meaning youth, Quintilius, Sextilis, Septembris, Octobris and Decembris mean the fifth to tenth months. The Romans had a dislike of even numbers as these symbolized death. Therefore, the months were given 29 or 31 days. King Numa increased the number of months to 12 by introducing Januarius after the god Janus, the protector of doorways and hence the opening of the new year and Februarius is the time of sacrifice at the end of the year. The order of the months was later changed.

In order to reconcile the solar and lunar years, at the recommendation of Sosigenes Julius Caesar altered the length of the months and the change to our present format, which was completed by Caesar Augustus. Both claimed the names of one of the months and this gave rise to Julius and Augustus, which replaced Quintilius and Sextilis.


The number of days in one revolution of the Earth around the Sun is 365.2422 days. Not being a whole number it was impossible to keep the calendar in tract with the seasons. The calendar had to be varied in length.

Julius Caesar made the first attempt to reconcile the year with the seasons. He took a day from February which was then the last month and made his month, July a 31 day. This began the Julian Calendar. February was despoiled by Augustus Caesar who also despoiled a day so as to have a month, August also with 31 days. As some sort of compensation the leap day was given to February.

The Julian Calendar introduced a year of 365 days with a leap-year every four years. It moved the start of the year from March 25 to January 1, which is supposedly the longest day. The adopted length of the year, 365.25 days is only slightly different from the actual length, 365.2422 days but over the centuries the difference mounts up and by the 16th centuries had become noticeable. The effect is to move Spring and the date of Easter, which is related to the vernal equinox, closer to the date of Christmas.

The Gorgonian reform to the calendar altered the rule for determining if a year should be leap-year by stating that centenary years should only be leap years if they were divisible by 400. It dropped several days from the calendar so that the vernal equinox was brought back to March 21. The mean length of the calendar year is now 365.2425 days and the error compared with true value amounts to only 3 days in 10,000 years.


The leap year is defined as being the interval between two successive passages of the Sun through the vernal equinox. What really occurs is that the Earth is going around the Sun. The vernal equinox is the instant when the Sun is above the Earth's equator while going South to North. It is the time, which astronomers take as the definition of the beginning of Spring. The year as defined above is called the tropical year and it is the year lengths that define the repetition of the seasons.

In 46 BC, Julius Caesar established the Julius calendar, which was used in the West until 1582. The Julian calendar each year contained 12 months and there was an average of 365.25 days in a year. This was achieved by having 366 days. Leap years were not corrected until 8 AD. The discrepancy between the actual length of the year 365.24219 days and the adopted length may not seem so important but the Religious seasonal days were getting out of kilter. Pope Gregory XIII instituted the Gregorian Calendar in 1582, which has been used since. The change from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian involved the change in the simple rule for leap-year to the more complex one in which the century year was divided by 400 to become a leap-year.

The adoption of the Gregorian calendar was made in Catholic countries, which omitted 10 days in 1582. That year, October 4th jumped to October 15th. The Gregorian calendar stipulated that the year should start with January 1st in non-Catholic countries the change was made later; Britain and her colonies made the changes in 1752 when September 2nd was followed by September 14th and New Year's Day was changed from March 25th to January 1st.

The sequence of years going from BC to AD does not include the year O. The sequence of years runs 3 BC, 2 BC, 1 BC, 1 AD, 2 AD etc. This means that the first year of the millennium was 1 AD. The Science and Engineering Research Council of the Royal Greenwich Observatory contend that it is clear that the start of the new Millennium will be January 1, 2001.


Surely most will celebrate the coming of the year 2000 AD as is natural in any round number year. We will be celebrating the 2000th year or the last year of the millennium, not the start of the new millennium. This is only gives all the excuse to celebrate the coming of the millennium for a second time.

Information from the Science and Engineering Research Council of the Royal Greenwich Observatory as quoted in THE FRANKLINTONIAN, NEWSLETTER FOR THE Franklin County, Genealogical and Historical Society. Nov/Dec. 1999 & MCC-OGS Volume 20-6 pages 214-215


Some researchers have a harder time tracing ancestors than others simply because of the heritage of their ancestors. Here is an estimate of how far back some can expect to go, genealogically speaking:

Native Americans . . . . . . . . . . .150 years

African Americans,

Greek, Irish. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 200 years

English . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 300 years

Scots, Scandinavian . . . . . . . . . 400 years

French, Italian,

Germanic, Slavic . . . . . . . . . . . 500 years

Swiss . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 600 years

Spanish . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1,000 years



If you are lacking any of the first three items, the family may not be complete:

1. The marriage date of the parents. The first child should be born within a year or two at the latest of the marriage date.

2. Spacing between children should be two years average. Three years is acceptable depending on the next item. Four years or more should make you suspicious.

3. The total number of children should be around 5 - 6, before 1800 and around 8 - 9 after 1800. If there are more children than that, it is not unusual for there to be four or more years between the last tow children, especially if the wife is near the end of her potential child bearing years.

4. What was the age of the mother at marriage? How many childbearing years did she have left? Keep in mind that the average bride at marriage between 1600-1749 was 26, and in 1700 only 8-10% of the population were 60 or older. Hence, she would be lucky to have a child after 40, and she was probably deceased by 50. That would mean, if conditions were ideal, about 14 years for child bearing, and if the spacing rule in item 3 above holds up, about 6-7 children. The average bride at marriage between 1800-1850 was 23.

ADVANCED RESEARCH: Sources of Information:


Civil Registration 1837 - Poor Law 1662-1834

Census 1841 - Directories/Poll Books 1700 -

Church Records Land Tax 1780 -

Parish Registers 1538 - Tax on Apprentices 1710 -1810

Bishop's Transcripts Military 1660

Marriages Licenses/Indexes Newspapers/Period c1700 -

Nonconformists 1689 - 1837 Schools Records

Probates 1400 - 1838 University Records 1150 -

Manor Court Rolls 1400 - 1850

Guild Records 1400 - 1850

Taxes/Lay Subsidies 1216 - 1800

Quarter Sessions 1532 - 1888

Chancery (Bernau's Index) 1386 - 1875

Feet of Fines 1182 - 1834

Inquisition post Mortem 1216 - 1642

Visitations 1528 - 1687

Assize 1500 - 8175

Protestation Rolls 1641 - 42

Poll & Hearth Taxes 1377 - 1689

( Information from MCC_OGS Volume 20-4 page 204.)


When searching cemeteries, you should be aware that religion sometimes had a lot to do with the way people were buried. Here's a good example: In the Old Country, Lutherans were buried "in Order" of death. There was a row for children (with small stones), and one for adults.

When winter came, the church would dig six or seven graves and cover them with straw in anticipation of coming deaths that winter. That way, the church members didn't have to dig through frozen ground or go to several different spots in a cemetery.

When people died, they were buried in chronological order. So, if you're visiting one of these cemeteries and you can't read a stone that sits between two others that are legible, at least you'll know the person's approximate date of death.


If writing is too faded to read, use a 75 watt light bulb in any lamp that casts light directly on the written page. The writing will miraculously appear.

Information courtesy of Wanda Pohlman



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