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Ask a Genealogist: Calendar use in Eastern Europe.

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Question:

What is the proper way to record a date in my database? I have a relative born in Lithuania in 1860. I've found his birth record online, which is in Julian (and Hebrew) format. Should I change the Julian date to Gregorian, or just note it's Julian, and show Gregorian as an alternate?

Answer:

 It would be easier to simply note the date as indicated in the record, making sure to document that the date is as of the Julian (or Hebrew) calendar.

As you probably know, what was the Russian Empire, which included the present Lithuania, did not adopt the (modern) Gregorian calendar until 1918 (when Russia had become the Soviet Union). Translating dates from the Julian to the Gregorian is complicated by the fact that over the centuries, the two calendars have gradually diverged. Because of recalculation and the adding and subtracting of certain leap-year days to the Gregorian calendar, the divergence between the two had reached 11 days by the 19th century, and is now 12 days.

Posted by David Lambert at 05/29/2013 04:43:19 PM | 


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