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Standardizing Double Dates

I often need to put a double date; ie, 13 January 1613/1614–while that does work—if I need to put “Before 13 January 1613/1614” it will not standardze as 13 January 1614–but only gives me 13 January 1613 and leaves the off the word “Before” (I haven’t tried the word “After” with a double date.)

Thank you for your help with this.
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  • FamilySearch

    There is a similar problem/issue to the above when utilising "Words" within (1) ''Parentheses' or 'Round Brackets' ie. ( ); and/or, (2) 'Square Brackets' or 'Box Brackets' ie. [ ]; and, (3) 'Braces' or 'Curly Brackets' ie. { }; and, (4) 'Angle Brackets' ie. < >, when applying "from/to" and/or "between/and" with two (2) 'Dates'.

    Examples:

    OK with

    (a) ... From Enlisted 1 January 1914 to Discharged 31 December 1918

    (b) ... Between Enlisted 1 January 1914 and Discharged 31 December 1918

    But, NOT working with,

    (1a) .. From ( Enlisted ) 1 January 1914 to ( Discharged ) 31 December 1918

    (1b) .. Between ( Enlisted ) 1 January 1914 and ( Discharged ) 31 December 1918

    (2a) .. From [ Enlisted ] 1 January 1914 to [ Discharged ] 31 December 1918

    (2b) .. Between [ Enlisted ] 1 January 1914 and [ Discharged ] 31 December 1918

    (3a) .. From { Enlisted } 1 January 1914 to { Discharged } 31 December 1918

    (3b) .. Between { Enlisted } 1 January 1914 and { Discharged } 31 December 1918

    (4a) .. From < Enlisted > 1 January 1914 to < Discharged > 31 December 1918

    (4b) .. Between < Enlisted > 1 January 1914 and < Discharged > 31 December 1918

    Brett
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    • For a while the date field would not take brackets at all without the space. That is fixed and the spaces are no longer needed.

      One of the nice things about Family Tree is that families, whether just the one person working in the tree or extended groups have the liberty to decide how to be record the information for their relatives for best accuracy and clarity without the strictures of enforced, uniform, external, unnecessary rules but still have the underlying standard for the computer to use unambiguously.

      If "From (Enlisted) 1 January 1914 to (Discharged) 31 December 1918" works best for Brett's family then great! Go ahead. As far as Family Tree is concerned, there is nothing incorrect with this as long as it can be attached to an underlying standard. If David never uses anything similar, that is also fine and he will likely never see Brett's family so there is no need to be bothered by Brett's style of data entry.
    • Yes you are using it wrongly. Is (enlisted) a day of the week or a month of the year or some other time period? No. Is (discharged) a temporal adjective like after, before, on or between? No. So why are you trying to put them in a field designed for dates and temporal adjectives? Doing so is objectively misuse of that field and objectively wrong.

      So what are they really and where do they actually belong? Simply put they are facts and events. So the information belongs as the name of the event. Put it in that field and you are using the system correctly and will run into far fewer problems.

      I am not being condescending towards you at all. If I were I would lace my post with obvious, blatant snark and sarcasm. I am merely correcting you when you are objectively incorrect in your actions. Incidentally on the subject of condescension you could actually be accused of engaging in that due to your very widespread use of "scare quotes" and similar rhetorical devices. I don't know why you use " and ' as punctuation marks far more than is conventional. I am also not sure why you use such odd capitalisation in your sentences. You could improve the readability of your posts a great deal if you restricted capital letters to proper nouns and the start of sentences and dropped the widespread use of scare quotes.
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  • Possibly the problem relates to "before 13 January 1613/14" literally meaning just that. Double-dating standards only begin from the 1500s (I forget the exact year) so I imagine the problem is connected to that.

    I assume your actual 13 January 1613/14 date relates to a christening or burial date, in which case I would not bother too much about inputting anything to the birth or death fields. I used to complete these fields all the time, but decided there was no real point once the FamilySearch program began to substitute the christening / burial dates wherever births / deaths were missing. (For example, in the Watch List there were blanks against the individual's data if these had been omitted, but the alternative dates are now substituted.)
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  • From the programmer's point of view, "not working" is kind of vague, so if I may restate things:

    This works as one would expect:


    Adding parenthesis or other characters that might be needed for clarity changes the standards offered:


    so that the date range is not incorporated in the standard as in the first example:


    To take the double dating example:

    A single day standardizes with what I assume is considered the form that would be consistent with our year usage today when converted to a modern calendar:


    Using "before" without a double date keeps the "before":


    But with a double date, the year shifts back a year and the before is dropped:


    "After" has the same problem:


    All appear to be reasonable requests for consistency of function.
    • Gordon

      'Yes' ... You are correct.

      As it was a couple of hours to the 'Bewitching Hour' in my time zone, I was tired; and, thought that the "Programmers" could test and work it out for themselves.

      Your images regarding the use of the ''Parentheses' or 'Round Brackets'; and/or, (2) 'Square Brackets' or 'Box Brackets'; and, (3) 'Braces' or 'Curly Brackets'; and, (4) 'Angle Brackets', were exactly what I got when testing while I was preparing my "Reply" - I was just a little too tired and equally busy too make and save the appropriate images.

      It is now well past the 'Bewitching Hour' in my time zone; and, I am being kept awake by our 17 Year old Dog who is getting on, with a few issues, with not much time left; and, he just happens to also be a 'night owl'.

      Brett
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  • 1
    Until 1752 in the UK the new year occurred on Lady’s Day March 25. The convention in UK genealogy has always been to show dates between 1 January and 24 March with this double date. The first year represents the actual year as shown in the record and the second year how we would compute it if the new year had fallen on 1 January. (Very necessary to show the date is correct and two babies were not born 5 months apart to the same mother.)

    And yes, I am using these dates in a burial field. To get the date 13 January 1613/1614 I imput 13 January 1614 then go in and add the 1613/ in front of 1614.

    But it does not work if I also need to use the word “Before”. Then, instead of “Before 13 January 1614” being the standard I only get “13 Jan 1613” as the standard and not the correct year nor the word “Before” in the standard.

    I have a marriage for Aaron ab William to Catherine ferch Griffith.

    In the burals I am working with it tells me Catherine ferch Gruffith is a widow but I cannot find a burial for an Aaron ab William until 1687 which has to be a later Aaron ab William. To show that I need to indicate in Aaron’s burial field the fact that he died before his widow. Thus the need for a standard like “Before 13 January 1614” which I can modify to look like “Before 13 January 1613/1614” and have the standard stick.

    If necessary feel free to talk to any of the British experts on B2 in the FHL-SLC.

    It wasn’t that long ago the engineers modified this for me in the old interface. And, thank you, for all your hard work!
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  • I've captured two defects for these (one for the before dual date and one for the parenthesis in date ranges). We'll get these fixed. Note, though, that they won't get fixed before the new year (sorry, developers are on vacation over the holidays).

    Thank you for reporting these. If you see other date parsing issues like these, please let us know.
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  • I was very surprised to find I can now record dates prior to 1582 with double dating. I believe this was not always the case, because I'm sure I tried to have a date of 11 February 1571/72 displayed and the system would not allow me to do this.

    However, from my understanding, for most of Europe it is only correct to show a double date format from 1582 (when the Gregorian calendar was first adopted).

    English parish registers display a lot of inconsistency, with some showing 1 January as the first day of the year prior to the 1750s and others beginning the new year on 25 March (or even July!) well after that period. Also, some show the double/dual dates, whereas I've found most do not.
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  • I've just found this thread (I created the topic about a year ago) that deals with similar issues:

    https://getsatisfaction.com/familysea...
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  • Double dating is not necessarily linked to the Julian-Gregorian switch. It often is, but it is fundamentally about using a different calendar year starting date than 1st January.
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  • I ditch the double dates from Julian-Gregorian calendar system by checking the ORIGINAL record to find exact year, regardless of later years (the double-dates show up in republished records or records years after the fact.).

    Even my Quaker friends say to get rid of it and stick to the original record.
    • Your desire to match the original years in the source has a lot of sense behind it. The trouble is that there are lots of original records with contemporary double dating. It was a scheme developed before the move of the New Year to 1 January (in England & Wales - that's all I can talk about).

      And the problem with just showing a single year is that people all too often assume it's pre-changeover and "standardise" it by adding one - except it had already been converted (or perverted if you prefer) to the new arrangement!

      Hence, regardless of what the original dating scheme is (and it's not always possible to decide that!), I've taken to putting in a double date for Jan-March dates, just to make it clear.
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  • Another issue with standardizing double dates:

    When I tried to add the date a will was created and the date it was probated to the death date and place for Anne ferch David ap John G9DQ-16L

    Familysearch will only allow me to put:

    from 22 March 1633 to 10 April 1633

    but, to be accurate, I need to put:

    from 22 Mar 1632/1633 to 10 April 1633

    Thank you so much for your help with this!
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    • "from 22 Mar 1632/1633 to 10 April 1633"
      On the Beta Site, I've just managed to enter a Display Date of "from 22 March 1632/33 to 10 April 1633" with a Standardised Date of "from 22 March 1633 to 10 April 1633".

      I did it by entering "from 22 March 1633 to 10 April 1633" into the Display Date, let it standardise to that and then stuck "32/" into the middle of the first year - I managed to do that without disturbing the standard date by clicking outside the list.

      That's the Beta site...

      Of course, the real question is why we have to use "from ... to ..." and can't use "between ... and ... " - or am I missing something?
    • If double dating is not used; it can be very hard to sort out which children belong to which couple—especially in areas like Wales where there are so many living in the same small area with the same name.

      My mother happened to have 5 children in 4 and 1/2 years—as did some of our ancestors historically—it’s important to be able do the math; but if you do not have double dates—this becomes impossible.

      In Llangollen Parish there were 3 babies born in 1628–whose father is listed as John ap William; in the same year there are 3 babies born to an Edward ap Robert. None of the entries list a mother’s name or a township or occupation (which can help sort out men of the same name.) Yet, Obviously there were more than John ap William and more than one Edward ap Robert alive and having children in that Parish that year.
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  • Another parsing issue:

    At times I do not have a day—just the Month and year:

    When I add Feb 1611/1612—instead of making the standard Feb 1612–it only gives me the choice of February 1611.

    See Occupation for John ap David ap John G9D3-PC1
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  • 2
    To clarify, if I enter a date like 21 February 1722/23 in Family Tree I am always ("correctly") presented with 21 February 1723 as the standard date. As long as you type one date (including the day of the month) I believe Family Tree does a good job in allowing you to standardise a double-date entry correctly.

    (If such an entry has been indexed multiple times I usually find half the indexed versions would show 21 February 1722 and the other half 21 February 1723, hence my preference for the unambiguous double-date choice of input when I'm using Family Tree.)
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    • Could be and (the Julian Day Number) certainly was for many systems. I don't remember the first computer family tree management system that I used that finally could accept dual dates and display them as such, but it goes back before Windows.

      I'm not working far enough back in history on my family to see what Ancestral Quest does, but it is a successor to the old PAF program. Early versions of PAF were all text based and so anything that was entered remained as a text number. Later versions started using tables and the dates were based, iIRC on a number.

      In many cases, those early family tree systems used a number that started with the beginning of the modern era (A.D.) Later, it was realized that they needed to support BCE dates as well...
    • An aside: Yes Gordon - if you guessed that I just had to find out why 4713BC, you were right. See https://www.hermetic.ch/cal_stud/jdn.htm for one explanation.
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  • I am not asking what is correct, I am asking the Engineers to fix these new parsing issues—like they did 5 months ago.

    I enumerated two new ones.
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    • Hinting is geared at 19th and 20th Centuries—although I am getting hinting for records this early from records labeled from Findmypast—unfortunately Findmypast has labeled Wrexham, Denbighshire records as Minera. Minera did not become a Parish in its own right until 1844–it was part of Wrexham, Denbighshire until then—yet all hints for Wrexham Parish are labeled Minera Parish. Findmypast earlier had Llangollen marriages labeled as burials.

      Also I do not like the fact that all I get from them is an arrow moving left and right through a record set—I do not have the images numbered nor do I know the number of images in a record set. Nor can I jump to one image but can only move one page at a time—page by page.

      I know, I should be complaining to Findmypast not here ;)
    • At least it's a reminder that images sometimes exist and are there to be looked at! (expenses permitting)
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  • And here is a third where standards did not behave correctly:

    See residence in Other for Lieutenant John ap John ap William G9BL-FDC
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  • 1
    I was told by my cousin that the engineers admit to not reading this feedback. I am starting to fear that he is correct.
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  • A Standards update was done as of late last night. 13 million places were fixed and 8 million dates.
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  • This reply was removed on 2019-06-15.
    see the change log
  • 1
    Cherie, Thanks for bringing these additional examples to our attention. We will look at your additional examples and see what can be done.

    Phil - the updates you you reference would likely have not been touched.
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    • Jeff

      I have come across this before, a number of times; and, in the majority of cases (all but one) the persons have been able to do what I have requested.

      In the situation for the person who could not; and, was having problems/issues, they would have if they were able; but, after changing their e-mail address in their "FamilySearch" Account; then, for whatever reason, "GetSatisfaction" dropped their "Employee" 'Badge' and has not allowed them to access their profile. Obviously, a 'hiccup'. Hopefully this can be addressed/fixed, eventually.

      As far as I am aware, they can contribute, in "GetSatisfaction", as, either, (1) "FamilySearch" Personnel; and/or, (2) just another 'lowly' User/Patron, like ourselves, depending on the situation (which way they choose).

      Brett
    • Interesting. So I wonder how one gets onto the "Official Representatives" list at the top of a topic. I have seen on new topics with only a bit of discussion that no "Official Representatives" had been assigned yet. And yet it seems that as soon as someone with the "employee" badge posts in it, their name shows up in the list.

      I haven't watched this real close, but this is what little behavior I have observed. I have no idea whether it is automatic somehow, or someone at FS formally assigns someone to the list based on the topic.
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  • Thank you, Jason!

    I found another one yesterday. Apparently, if I do not have the full date; i.e. the record only has the Month and Year in it (day not legible); and I am trying to standardize it--I get the previous year as the standard and not the year it would be currently.
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  • Here is a PiD for the problem described directly above GSCJ-255 Thomas ap John ap Thomas
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