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Some Notes on Various Calendars

JULIAN CALENDAR:
Calendar was instituted 46 B.C. by Emperor Julius Caesar. Initially the year began January 1st, but during the Middle Ages the Monarchs of Europe considered this date pagan. They changed the New Year, some to December 25th, others to March 25th, the Feast of the Annunciation. In Britain, the New Year alternated between these two dates until 1087 when January 1st was restored. In 1155, it was moved again to March 25th where it remained until 1752 when the Gregorian Calendar replaced the Julian.

GREGORIAN CALENDAR:
Calendar was established by Pope Gregory XII I in 1582 to replace the Julian Calendar, then in use. Adopted by America and Britain in 1752
(varying dates in other counties) when the 3rd of September became the 14th of September 1752.

DOUBLE DATING:
Used during period of change-over from Julian to Gregorian Calendars. January 1st to March 24th, Julian Calendar would be 1750, the same January 1st to March 24th, Gregorian Calendar would be 1751. Many scribes, therefore, used double dating, i.e., 11th February 1750/1. It should also be noted that eleven days were lost during the change-over to conform with the solar year. Therefore, when dating events prior to 1752 in Britain and America (year varies in other countries) the exact date will not be the same as the current Gregorian Calendar, regardless of time of year. e.g. John Jones recorded as born the 1st of June 1665 Ju1ian Calendar, was born the 11th of June 1665 Gregorian Calendar. There was a difference of ten days between the two calendars from 1582 thru 1700; in 1701 it was increased to eleven days difference. Prior to the 16th century, the difference would drop approximately one day every hundred years.

Old Style                                  New Style
Yr. Started            Month               Yr. Started
3/25 pre 1752                            1/1 After 1752
Mar ..................... 1 .................... Jan
Apr ...................... 2 .................... Feb
May ..................... 3 .................... Mar
Jun ...................... 4 .................... Apr
Jul ....................... 5 .................... May
Aug ..................... 6 .................... Jun
Sep .....................  7 .................... Jul
Oct ...................... 8 .................... Aug
Nov ......................9 ...................  Sep
Dec ..................... 10 ................... Oct
Jan ......................11 ................... Nov
Feb ..................... 12 ................... Dec

From: The Genealogist's Guide, Vol I, (c) 1997 Heritage Associates



The new year in the "old-style", Julian calendar was 25 March, so March was reckoned as the first month.  This is the reason that October, November, and December are named the way they are (the names mean eighth, nineth, and tenth).  So we add two to the month of a Julian date to get the value in the Gregorian, "new-style" calendar.  Thus month 8 (October) + 2 = month 10 (October).  Now we have to decide the year.  Dates between 25 March and 31 December don't require correction of the year.  But in 1750, January 1750 was the month FOLLOWING December 1750, in the julian calendar.  Inhabitants of the British Empire knew that most of the rest of the world reckoned dates differently from the way they did (They even used 1 January as the new year themselves for things like Almanacs), and developed the custom of double dating.  That is, the 1 January following 31 December 1750 was 1 January 1750, to them, but in France, they knew, it was 1 January 1751 (This oversimplifies, it was actually 22 Dec 1750 in France because of the date correction made when France adopted the Gregorian calendar.)  So they expressed the date as 1 January 1750/1751, giving first the year under the Julian calendar, then under the Gregorian.  This was done for dates from 1 January to 24 March.  The British empire finally changed over in 1752, when 2 September was followed by 14 September (and people rioted in the streets, demanding "Give us back our eleven days!")

The dates when various countries changed over varied, so this has to be figured separately for each jurisdiction.  England was relatively late.
Scotland, being more advanced culturally than England, changed the date of the New Year in 1600, though they didn't subtract the days for excess leap years until 1752.  Russia and Turkey changed to the Gregorian calendar in 1918, Greece in 1928.  by Dr. William Pratt



 



 


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