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Archiver > TMG > 2000-01 > 0949355233

From: Bobbie Hall <>
Subject: TMG-L: Re: Questionable Dates - Which To Use
Date: Mon, 31 Jan 2000 15:47:13 -0600


A further question then, since I've hit several of these types of
'date snags' lately.... I note that some of the articles in the NEHGR
seem to go with the wording of "probably" and chose one of the two
dates, include the second date, and then explain why they chose one
over the other. Is this the preferable method?

Elizabeth wrote responding to Donald (I've edited much) :

Donald wrote:

>> When I run into these situations . . . unless I
>> have sufficient evidence leaning me one way or the other, I pick what I
>> believe to be the correct date, but use "circa", and explain in the memo
>> field what I have found.

>Can I add a suggestion, Donald? This is fresh on my mind, because I've just
>edited the chapter on writing family history which Christine Rose, CG, CGL,
>FASG, wrote for the forthcoming _Professional Genealogy: A Manual for
>Researchers, Writers, Editors, Lecturers, and Librarians_.

>From the time of Donald Lines Jacobus, at least, those who write on the
>subject of writing family history have used "circa" with a rather explicit
>meaning. I'm pasting in below a portion of Christine's chapter. . . . .

>- ----------------------

>(ProGen, p. 465)

>The dates we have estimated for research purposes are just as essential in
>the writing stage, when we must place ancestors into a clear time frame.
>However, all estimated dates have to be clearly identified as such. Within
>family history two established conventions help us describe more precisely
>the basis for our estimations:[12]

>*About, circa, or ca.*
>These terms are appropriate when the estimation is based on a record that
>states at least two figures from which we may approximate a third.
<<snipped examples>>
>* Say.*
>This term is conventionally used by genealogists when an estimate is
>extrapolated from less explicit evidence.
<<snipped examples>>

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