FAMILY-HISTORIAN-USERS-L ArchivesArchiver > FAMILY-HISTORIAN-USERS > 2010-02 > 1266444909
From: "Paul \(Yahoo\)" <>
Subject: Re: [FHU] Missing birth dates
Date: Wed, 17 Feb 2010 22:15:09 -0000
Interesting thread. Here's my half-penny's-worth...
Having an approximate date assigned to all inexactly-known births has become
the norm for me, principally to help in one-name studies where disparate
sources can refer to the same person. In the records window there is a
sporting chance of finding these entries within a few lines of each other.
This raises the question of how to use "app" and "est".
My own rule for "app" is that it implies some kind of calculated deduction
from known (or, rather, reported) dates and ages. The precision is not
terribly important to me, but could usually be expected to be within a year
or two. For comparison, if i use "Q3 1901 (app)" this implies Q3 plus or
minus one quarter - more-or less. If i use "May 1911 (app)", i'm implying
not more than about a month either way.
"est" i reserve for cases where there is no definite - ahem - estimate.
Instead i have a rule-of-thumb where a man's birth is estimated as 25 years
before his known marriage year (or birth of eldest known child). For a woman
i use 21 years. Obviously these estimates can be very wide of the mark at
times, but it is astonishing how often they are close enough to spot
The method of using approximate or estimated birth dates is especially
productive if (going one step further) a conjectured birth location has been
assigned too (say, "Chichester???" if the person was known to have been
married there). Scanning the records window, keeping in mind the possibility
of nearby locations (e.g. Bognor) will often lead to a successful line of
enquiry that confirms a match.
|Re: [FHU] Missing birth dates by "Paul \(Yahoo\)" <>|