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Date/Calendar Changes

     Polish Months to English
     Polish Days to English
     Recorded Date Formats
     Calendar Switch History
     When Countries Switched Calendars
     Adjusting Dates Between Calendars
     Watchout For Double Dating
     Marriage Banns/Intentions vs Wedding
     Death and Burial Dates
     Primary vs Secondary Sources
     How The Months Were Named

Polish Months to English:













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Polish Days to English:








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Recorded Date Formats: Exerpt from "The USGenWeb Project: Info for Researchers-Miscellaneous" When you look at records from other countries, you should be aware of the date format that they use. In the United States, we normally write dates with the month first, the day second, and the year last. For example, we write October 15, 1970 as 10/15/70. However, many other countries reverse the order of the month and day. They write October 15, 1970 as 15/10/70. They may also indicate the month in Roman Numerals and use a "dot" instead of a "slash" 15.X.70 Since there are only twelve months in the year it is often easy to tell which date format was used because one of the first two numbers is greater than twelve, as in the example above. If neither of the first two dates is greater than twelve, it is harder to tell which format was used. For example, April 3, 1970 can be written as both 4/3/70 and 3/4/70. If you run into this problem, take a few moments to look at other dates in that group of records. You should eventually run across a date where one of the first two numbers is greater than twelve, and then you'll know the answer to your question.
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Calendar Switch History: (Extracted from Encyclopaedia Britannica ‘99 CD) Julian (old style) to Gregorian (new style) calendar switch: In 46 B.C., Julius Caesar reformed the Roman Republican calendar, thus creating the Julian calendar. It calculated the year as being 365 days and 6 hours long, with a "leap day" every four years. This was intended to maintain harmony between the calendar and the seasons. The Julian calendar used January 1 as New Years, but since early medieval times most of Christian Europe regarded March 25 (Annunciation Day) as the beginning of the year. For Anglo-Saxon England New Years day was December 25. William the Conqueror later decreed that the year start on January 1, but later on (14th century), England began its new year along with Christendom on March 25. Somewhere along the way, the Christian new year of March 25, was incorporated into the Julian calendar. In 1582, Pope Gregory XIII determined that the Julian calendar was incorrect: each year was just a little bit too long and the human calendar was not keeping up with nature's. Resulting in an error of one day per century. To solve this problem, Pope Gregory XIII created what is known as the Gregorian calendar. For his calculations , he used a starting point of March 11, 0325(Julian), the time of the Council of Niacea, and determined the date was off by 10 days. The change was put into affect by advancing the calendar 10 days after October 4, 1582, causing the day following to be reckoned as October 15, 1582. At the same time he restored January 1 as the beginning of the new year. The Gregorian calendar differs only from the Julian in that no century year is a leap year unless it is exactly divisable by 400 (ie. 1600, 2000) except when it is also exactly divisable by 4,000.
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When Countries Switched Calendars: (Extracted from Encyclopaedia Britannica ‘99 CD) Immediately after Pope Gregory XIII implimention of his new calendar in October 1582, the change was adopted by Roman Catholic countries: Luxemburg, the Italian states, Portugal and Spain. France also did in 1582 along with the other Christian countries, but on October 5, 1793, during the French Revolution, it was replaced by the French Republican calendar. This calendar was then subsequently abandoned and the Gregorian was reinstated on January 1, 1806 by the Napoleonic regime. Most German Catholic states, Belgium, part of Netherlands by 1584 Switzerland beginning 1583, completed 1812 Hungary 1587 Scotland 1660 German Protestant states 1699-1700 Denmark 1699-1700 Sweden 1753 Alaskan Territory 1867, when transfered from Russia to United States Japan 1873 Egypt 1875 Albania, Bulgaria, China, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Turkey between 1912 and 1917 Soviet Union 1918, February 1 became February 14 Greece 1923 Muslim countries tend to still retain calendars based on Islam England and it’s colonies adapted the new calendar when the British Parliament changed the calendar from Julian to Gregorian by changing September 3rd, 1752 to September 14, 1752 thus dropping (jumping ahead) eleven days.
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Adjusting Dates Between Calendars: To adjust dates to our present Gregorian calendar from Julian dates prior to a given countries calendar switch over, add the appropriate number of days based on the Julian dates year:

Julian Year Days to Add



























8 - *








*- Therefore, for Julian date July 26, 1243, adding 8 days gives August 3, 1243 Gregorian.
Some people also added the appropriate number of days to their birth dates when giving it for other reasons/documents, thus reporting it in Gregorian/New Style (while their birth certificate would be in Julian/Old Style).
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Watchout For Double Dating: The practice of double dating resulted from the different new year days used by the Julian and Gregorian calendars. Not all countries and people accepted the new calendar at the same time. Great Britian and her colonies didn't officially accept it until 1752. Before that date, the government observed March 25 as the first of the year, but most of the population observed January 1 as the new year. At the time of the settling of New England in the Americas, the new year began on the 25th of March. Thus, March 24th was in 1599 and March 25th in 1600. A new form of designating the date was adopted and the first time used was in the General Court of Connecticut as "this 20th day of March, 1649-50". For this reason, many people wrote dates falling between January 1 and March 24 with both years, as in the following examples.

Julian / Old Style Gregorian / New Style Double Date

March 20, 1649

December 31, 1718

January 1, 1718

March 24, 1718

March 25, 1719

March 20, 1650

December 31, 1718

January 1, 1719

March 24, 1719

March 25, 1719

March 20, 1649-50

December 31, 1718

January 1, 1718-19

March 24, 1718-19

March 25, 1719

You should also be aware of dates that are recorded as double dates even after all calendars had
officially switched.  People sometimes accidentally wrote double dates.

Also during this period, sometimes the date may have been recorded with (OS) or (NS) to indicate
which calendar was being used, instead of a double date entry.
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Marriage Banns/Intentions vs Wedding: Exerpt from "The USGenWeb Project: Info for Researchers-Miscellaneous" Church records often list the date on which a couple makes the announcement that they intend to marry. These are called marriage banns. In addition, you can find marriage intentions, which were non-religious public announcements of the couple's intention to marry. Don't misinterpret the dates of marriage banns and marriage intentions as the actual wedding date.
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Death and Burial Dates: Church and cemetery records often contain the date of the funeral in addition to the date of death. Don't confuse the burial date with the date of death.
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Primary vs Secondary Sources: I (your author) wish to discuss what I call "Primary vs Secondary Sources" for dates. Other than date differences due to the calandar changes, you'll get different dates for events on different documents, from family members, etc. I consider any documents, etc in which the information recorded was not given by the actual person it pertains to, as a "Secondary" source...good for pointing you in the right direction. Many times I've been given a birth date for a deceased person from one of thier descendants. When going to verify it, I find it's incorrect. Turns out that thier records or "memory" got the birth date from the persons death certificate. Birth dates on death certs, grave markers, in obits/death notices, SS Death Index, etc. are subject to my "rule". In my research, I've been surprised by the number of children who as informants for thier parents deaths, reported incorrect information. They then put it on grave markers, etc. Also the birth dates, ages listed in censuses and immigration passenger lists fall here, but are usually more reliable because either the individual or thier parents most likely provided the information.
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How The Months Were Named: (Extracted from Encyclopaedia Britannica ‘99 CD) January - 31days from Roman Repulican calendar month Januarius, named for Janus, god of doorways and beginnings. February - 28 or 29 days from Roman Repulican calendar month Februarius, named for Februa, the festival of purification held on the 15th. March - 31 days from Roman Repulican calendar month Martius, named for the god Mars. April - 30 days from Roman Repulican calendar month Aprilis. The Romans considered the month sacred to the goddess Venus, and its name may derive from that of her Greek equivalent, Aphrodite. Another origin connects the name April with the Latin "aperire", meaning "to open" in reference to the unfolding of buds and blossoms at this season, spring in the Northern Hemisphere. May - 31 days from Roman Repulican calendar month Maius, probably named for the goddess Maia. June - 30 days from Roman Repulican calendar month Junius, probably named for the goddess Juno. July - 31 days from Roman Repulican calendar month Julius (formerly Quintilis), named for Julius Caeser in 44 B.C. August - 31 days from Roman Repulican calendar month Augustus (formerly Sextilis), named the emperor Augustus in 8 B.C. September - 30 days seventh month of the early Roman Repulican calendar, from Latin "septem", "seven". October - 31 days eight month of the early Roman Repulican calendar, from Latin "octo", "eight". November - 30 days ninth month of the early Roman Repulican calendar, from Latin "novem", "nine". December - 31 days tenth month of the early Roman Repulican calendar, from Latin "decem", "ten".
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08/2002 M.A.Leonard, Last Update-09/03/2007