Claudia Davenport-Sullivan

Claudia Davenport-Sullivan

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"Genealogy without documentation is Mythology"

Regarding the virtual birth and death dates prior to Sept 1752, an understanding of the old style, historical, ecclesiastical, Julian calendar (established by Julius Caesar in 45 BC and used throughout the Christian world) is needed when studying genealogy.

It's actually more technical and detailed than this, but for lack of space, this is the easiest way to explain:

The Julian Calendar (45BC to 1582) was not just a 'Quaker" calendar, but a historical calendar used by the entire Christian world, named for Julius Caesar (certainly not a Quaker). The reformation to the Gregorian calendar took place in 1582 and three months were given hyphenated years during this long transition - 11mo/January, 12mo/February & 1mo/March; both years were correct, the 1st year representing the Julian and the 2nd year representing the Gregorian calendar. The Roman Empire, Spain & Portugal changed immediately in 1582, England and her colonies changed in 1752, Turkey in 1917, Russia in 1918, Greece in 1928, etc.

Per Act of Parliament passed in 1751, England decreed that Great Britain and her colonies convert all dates to the Gregorian (our current use) which was implemented by Sept 1752.

Under the Julian calendar the year began on 25 March (thru April 24) which was called the 1st month. Months were also written as 8'ber, 10'ber, etc. and the reference was to the Latin words for the numbers...8 octo, 9 novem, 10 decem, etc. Quakers, especially refused to use the nominal month, considering it "vulgar" and continued using the numerical date long after the change. Many of the old records have been erroneously converted by transcribers who were not aware of this historical fact.

It should be borne in mind by any one when changing a date prior to 1752 from the numerical to the nominal style and many discrepancies will be explained.

Regarding Colonial ancestry, see also William Penn's "Great Law or, the Body of Laws of the Province of Pennsylvania and Territories Thereunto Belonging" passed at an Assembly at Chester, alias Upland, the 7th day of the 10th month, December, 1682:

"XL. The days of the week and the months of the year shall be called as in Scripture, and not by heathen names (as are vulgarly used), as the first, second, and third days of the week, and first, second, and third months of the year, etc., beginning with the day called Sunday, and the month called March."


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