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 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 [11th, 12th and 1st] were given hyphenated years during this long transition by Britain in order to align her calendar with the countries who had changed earlier.

Under the Julian calendar the first day of the year was 1mo/Mar 25 and the last day of the year was 1mo/Mar 24, creating a system of 'double dating' for dates Jan 1 through March 24; then Mar 25 started the 'new year'; all over again. Both years were correct, the 1st year representing the Julian and the 2nd year representing the Gregorian calendar. The Roman Empire, Spain and Portugal changed immediately in 1582, England and her colonies changed in 1752, Turkey in 1917, Russia in 1918, Greece in 1928, etc.

*Religious significance: 25 Mar was 'Lady Day' or 'Feast of Annunciation' which was the day Archangel Gabriel announced to Mary that she would give birth to the son of God; 9 months later, 25 Dec, Christ was born.

*Non-religious significance: 25 Mar was the day Julius Caesar (Julian calendar-1582) set for the start of the new year based on the March or Spring Equinox when the length of the day is equal to the length of the night.

Per Act of Parliament passed in 1750, England decreed that Great Britain and her colonies convert all dates to the Gregorian (our current use) wherein 1751 ended 10mo/Dec 31 (at 282 days) and the new year began 1 Jan 1752. Quakers changed in Sept 1752 when England removed an additional 11 days in order to align her calendar with the rest of Western Europe.

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 Quaker 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'

Too often, dates have been transformed incorrectly in secondary sources and these dates should always be verified by the original records when available.

"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 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 [11th, 12th and 1st] were given hyphenated years during this long transition by Britain in order to align her calendar with the countries who had changed earlier.

Under the Julian calendar the first day of the year was 1mo/Mar 25 and the last day of the year was 1mo/Mar 24, creating a system of 'double dating' for dates Jan 1 through March 24; then Mar 25 started the 'new year'; all over again. Both years were correct, the 1st year representing the Julian and the 2nd year representing the Gregorian calendar. The Roman Empire, Spain and Portugal changed immediately in 1582, England and her colonies changed in 1752, Turkey in 1917, Russia in 1918, Greece in 1928, etc.

*Religious significance: 25 Mar was 'Lady Day' or 'Feast of Annunciation' which was the day Archangel Gabriel announced to Mary that she would give birth to the son of God; 9 months later, 25 Dec, Christ was born.

*Non-religious significance: 25 Mar was the day Julius Caesar (Julian calendar-1582) set for the start of the new year based on the March or Spring Equinox when the length of the day is equal to the length of the night.

Per Act of Parliament passed in 1750, England decreed that Great Britain and her colonies convert all dates to the Gregorian (our current use) wherein 1751 ended 10mo/Dec 31 (at 282 days) and the new year began 1 Jan 1752. Quakers changed in Sept 1752 when England removed an additional 11 days in order to align her calendar with the rest of Western Europe.

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 Quaker 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'

Too often, dates have been transformed incorrectly in secondary sources and these dates should always be verified by the original records when available.

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