[APG Public List] Julian to Gregorian in source citation

LBoswell laboswell at rogers.com
Sun Dec 20 10:48:26 MST 2009

I took a run at this off list, suggesting the use of double year notation 
for the overlap period in dates expressed in Julian format is the 
traditional approach, but Debbie points out that there's also the shift in 
days (12 by 1923) that has to be accounted for because the Julian calendar 
by 1923 had become 12 days ahead of the Gregorian. (by 1752 it was 11 days 
out of whack).

Because the Julian calendar year (new year) starts 25 Mar in any given, 
while of course the Gregorian new year begins 1 Jan, traditionally we'd use 
the double notation system in the overlap period between when the Gregorian 
new year began, and when the Julian later begins that same numbered year 
(where the Julian year 'intrudes' into the new Gregorian year before 
entering the same year after 26 Mar).

So if the birth was 6 Feb 1680 in Julian calendar we'd record it as 6 Feb 
1680/81.  But that doesn't take into account that the Gregorian date is 
actually 10-12 days earlier (depending on the time period).

I don't know where this idea of double notation came from (historians?), but 
isn't it actually redundant given that we should be listing the julian date 
*and* the fully corrected gregorian date?

If Greece changed to Gregorian on 1 Jan 1923, and was in Julian calendar to 
that year, then that would mean a birth previous to 1923 in the Julian 
calendar (and in the overlap period of 1 Jan to 24 Mar) would be listed by 
double year notation.  For example,  say 4 Jan 1920 would be written 
normally as 4 Jan 1920/21.  But the actual Gregorian equivalent date for 4 
Jan 1920 in the Julian calendar would have fallen 12 days later in Gregorian 
calendar month of December, but in *1920* not 1921.  If you saw only the 
double year notation, you could think the Gregorian date is 4 Jan 1921.

Given that sometimes later on  sometimes only the Gregorian birth year 
format is adopted, with the Julian dropped in a family file mistake of years 
could be a problem.  The double year notation in the above case doesn't get 
even the year right.

Maybe all Julian dates should be shown   Julian date  /  corrected Gregorian 
date.   The double notation serves no purpose.

But this is all from meandering around,  is there anything I've messed up in 
the above?


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Debbie Petrides" <petrides at hotmail.com>
To: <apgpubliclist at apgen.org>
Sent: Sunday, December 20, 2009 7:29 AM
Subject: [APG Public List] Julian to Gregorian in source citation

I was hoping to understand how to express Julian dates in my newspaper 
sources.  I have too many such documents because Greece switched to the 
Gregorian calendar late (1923).

A. In certain wills, dowries, etc. what I currently do (feel free to correct 
me if this is wrong) is something like this:

Last Will and Testament of Stamatios Stephanou Casanova, 9 June 1905 (22 
June 1905 NS); bk. 919, pp. 66r.-66vº, document no. 274; Notarial Codex of 
Dafnonas (1862 - 1914); Genika Apxeia toy Kratoys (General State Archives), 
Chios, Greece. In the narrative I use the NS throughout and allow the 
citation to speak for the date conversion.

 B. If this same source refers to an event occurring on another Julian date, 
I also express that as NS in the narrative but include an additional note 
after the citation explaining why.

For example: Stamatios died before 4 Aug 1906.

Last Will and Testament of Stamatios Stephanou Casanova, 9 June 1905 (22 
June 1905 NS); bk. 919, pp. 66r.-66vº, document no. 274; Notarial Codex of 
Dafnonas (1862 - 1914); Genika Apxeia toy Kratoys (General State Archives), 
Chios, Greece. Notation states will probated on 22 July 1906 (4 August 1906 

What do you all think of this? It is ok to do this?

The wills and those types of documents have been dealt with in this manner.

Now I have newspapers pre Gregorian.

Can I handle them the same way?

The reason I’m in a quandary is because of two reasons. The date given in 
the citation for the newspaper is meant to help the reader relocate the 
article and maybe noting the NS version is unnecessary in the same manner? 
Would it be better to use method B and put all explanations at the end of 
the citation?

I’m sure there are many issues that have escaped me but the newspaper 
citations seem so much more inflexible and before I work on them I needed 
some advice.

I’ll just keep the questions coming as long as they inspire debate.

Debbie Sideratos-Petrides

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