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Archiver > TMG > 2011-03 > 1301270444

From: "Teresa Elliott" <>
Subject: Re: [TMG] re irregular date
Date: Sun, 27 Mar 2011 19:00:44 -0500
References: <> <2011327194822.162864@Terry>
In-Reply-To: <2011327194822.162864@Terry>

I tend to agree with Rick here. I'd record the date as it was recorded with
the source. HOWEVER, I would also put in the memo that 1767 was not a leap
year and therefore this date is most likely incorrect. I'd look for evidence
that this priest made other errors in copying data. Perhaps this record was
not made when the child was born, but rather at a later date, say when the
family entered the community and it's a transcription error. Perhaps the
dates are in columns and he did what a lot of us tend to do when we are
bored. He copied the months, then the days, then the years and got off one
row. Or perhaps I am looking at a transcription and the person transcribing
it couldn't read the text. I tend to put that into the memo field because I
tend to at times not attach sources to information. I know printed reports
with endnotes, tend to get separated from each other, and finally because I
know my family does not bother to move from text to footnotes and back. I
know this because they often ask me how I know this or what do these little
numbers mean?

Terry records this same information in the citation and there is nothing
wrong with that. I think the issue is that we record that we conclude that
this date is wrong, and why. We've seen a lot of discussion today on the
calendars in use, something even we genealogist couldn't agree on, so how
would a layperson even know about the different calendars and the dates they
were used?

-----Original Message-----
From: [mailto:] On Behalf
Of Terry Reigel
Sent: Sunday, March 27, 2011 6:48 PM
Subject: Re: [TMG] re irregular date

Rick Van Dusen wrote:

> In the present example, though, your approach has a big
> problem: We simply do not know, and therefore have to
> guess, what the actual date is; it's only recorded as Feb
> 29, 1767 which we know is incorrect. Only if other
> documentation comes to light would I feel at all
> comfortable in recording a different date.

Rick, I see a big problem entering Feb 29, 1767 in the date field, because
we know it is wrong. You are right that we don't know what is correct. If
there is no other evidence from which to draw a conclusion, I'd probably
enter c. Mar 1, 1767. I'd then enter in the citation that the source shows
Feb 29, 1767, but there was no Feb 29 in that years. I would do that because
I regard what is entered in tag data fields as conclusions, supported by the
citations. If one regards the data entered in tags as evidence, they you
would use a different approach. Neither approach is inherently wrong, as
long as one is consistent.

But in my view a report that says "[name] was born Feb 29, 1767 ..." is a
problem because we know that can't be true. It seems to me if one is going
to enter what a source shows even though we know it cannot be correct the
output should be changed to something like "[name] was reported to have been
born Feb 29, 1767 ... but there was no Feb 29 that year."

> I hold to my view that documents should be cited as
> saying what they say...

We don't disagree there at all. But we would appear to disagree about
whether what is entered in the data fields is citing a source. In my view
citations are in the Citations fields, and conclusions drawn from the cited
sources go in the data field.

Terry Reigel

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