Change in roman calendar dating

23 Nov

Dates in some English parish registers give two years.

For the Scottish Old Parish Registers, however, a date of 1 January 1700 means precisely that.

In many old English legal documents dates in the months of January, February and early March give two years, for example, 1 January 1699/1700, and this has been the cause of much confusion.

Scots legal documents of the period sometimes reflect this double-dating probably because contemporary lawyers were used to working with both systems.

This error had been accumulating over hundreds of years so that every 128 years the calendar was out of sync with the equinoxes and solstices by one additional day.

As the centuries passed, the Julian Calendar became more inaccurate.

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With the Union of the Crowns in 1603 he became James I of England but the calendar change did not take place south of the Border until 1752.

Therefore, an understanding of the change from the Julian Calendar to the Gregorian Calendar is important to genealogists.

If you had ancestors living under British rule in 1752 you need to be aware of the calendar change that took place that year.

The following article was written by my friend, Bill Dollarhide: If you have evidence that a man had died ten months before a certain child was born, it would seem to exclude that man as the potential father of that child.

But, if the calendar dates changed during the man’s life, it would be necessary to be very precise in determining the exact date of death — and he may qualify as the potential father after all.