Getting Started | Recording Dates
It is extremely important to adhere to genealogical standards when recording dates because the way you normally enter a date may differ from the conventional date format in another nation or time period.
According to the Julian calendar, March 25 was the first day of the year, and each year consisted of 365 days and 6 hours. In 1582, Pope Gregory XIII discovered that the Julian calendar was incorrect: each day was somewhat longer than usual, and the human calendar was falling behind nature’s calendar. To address the issue, Pope Gregory XIII established the Gregorian calendar. This new calendar moved the start day of the year to January 1 and advanced the calendar by 10 days to compensate for the lost time.
The method of double dating arose as a result of the transition from the Julian to the Gregorian calendars. This new calendar was not recognised by all countries and people at the same time and was not formally accepted by England until 1752. The difference between the calendars was eleven days by the time England embraced the new calendar. To correct the error, the government mandated that 2 September 1752 would be immediately followed by 14 September 1752. As a result of these discrepancies, many genealogists and historians put dates between January 1 and March 25 prior to 1752 with both years. For example: 1 January 1723/24.