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 Dates

Date Formats:
D MMM YYYY where "MMM" is the 3-letter month abbreviation
MMM YYYY
M/D/YYYY  where "M" is the 1 or 2 digit number for the month
M-D-YYYY
M/YYYY
YYYY
YYYY/YYYY

Though both numeric and text months are accepted, using the format "D MMM YYYY" is strongly prefered as it removes ambiguity for anyone accustomed to seeing month and day numbers in different orders.

To designate old and new style dates, single dates may also entered with an additional year, in the form:
M/D/YYYY/Y
D MMM YYYY/Y  where /Y is at most 1 year after the first year.

For more complex date formats, enter a simpler form in the date field, and spell out the details in the event notes or the person's main notes.

Date Shortcuts
Any date may be preceded with "abt", "bef", or "aft", or followed with "BC".  For typing efficiency, "abt" can be abbreviated to "c" (for circa), "bef" to "b", and "aft" to "a".  These will be expanded to the longer versions automatically.  Upper or lower case does not matter.  Also, typing a year followed by a slash will fill in a year 10 years later after the slash.

When using textual months:
-- Entering the day followed by F, S, O, N, or D will replace the letter with FEB, SEP, OCT, NOV, or DEC respectively.  (The other months do not have unique letters.)  Then you can continue on to the year.
-- Entering the day followed by a space and a number 1-9 will replace the last number with the corresponding month JAN - SEP.  Then you can continue on to the year.

Age: Below a person's dates, if both the birth and death dates are defined, don't contain "bef" or "aft", and don't contain a range of years, there is an automatic calculation of the person's approximate age at death.  One researcher mentioned "I am finding it really helpful to keep a perspective. I did not realize how young some people were when they died and how elderly some others were."

Is Date Speculative?
Check this when a date is purely speculative -- then the date displays differently to make it very clear that it's a speculative date.  Note that this is only intended for when the date is purely based on a guess, and not an approximate date that is based on actual sources.  In English, it's like saying "I know John was probably born around 1800 as his parents were born in the 1770's"

The benefits are that when you return to the person, it's immediately apparent to you that the date is a guess, and when visitors browse, they are alerted that your guess is not a date based on sources...  and it aids in feasibility checks.

Tip
: When an actual birthdate is not known, always try to define an estimated birthdate. This can often be estimated based on censuses and the birthdates of parents, spouses, and children. This will aid in the feasibility checks by finding impossibilities that would not otherwise be found, and will aid in duplicate checking and general searching.

Date Calculator
If you're transcribing tombstones, and you have a date of death, and it says something like "aged 55 years, 7 months, 28 days", you can have it calculate the approximate birthdate, and not have to do the math.

Enter the date of death, and then select a birth event, and then to the right of the date field, click the calculator icon . A window will come up where you can select the date of death, and enter numbers for the years and/or months and/or days. Then click "Save", and it will put the calculated date back in for the birth date.

If you leave out the number of days, it will only do month & year, and if you leave out the number of months and number of days, it will do only the year. 



Updated: 2-23-2015