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Archiver > TMG > 2011-03 > 1301275580

From: "Darrell A. Martin" <>
Subject: Re: [TMG] re irregular date
Date: Sun, 27 Mar 2011 20:26:24 -0500
References: <2011327194822.162864@Terry>
In-Reply-To: <2011327194822.162864@Terry>

Terry and Rick:

Regarding a source that says a death occurred on "Feb 29, 1767" I did
not specify what I would do in the event that a careful examination of
the original provided no new clues. We all agree that in the end, anyone
viewing our data must be able to see that the original says, "Feb 29,
1767". Anything else is misinformation.

My choice would be to enter the date into the Tag date field as

ca Feb 1767

Here is why.

- The original source says Feb., so if the choice is truly balanced
between a February date and a March date, I would go with the one that
matches the source text more closely. I readily admit it is not
mathematically more accurate.

- I think a qualifier of some kind is required. In my data (which I
make explicit in all my output for public consumption) "ca" is an
approximation based on at least some direct evidence; but "say" is
limited to placeholder dates used for identification and derived solely
from circumstantial evidence.

- I would not include the day of the month because to me, the
ambiguity of the records suggest the possibility of a larger error. To
say "ca 28 Feb 1767" would hint that the actual date was within,
perhaps, a week either way. Consider that the writer may have written
the wrong MONTH instead of the wrong DAY.


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