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Standardize Your Dates

You've been working on your family history for years and have gathered a lot of information.

You keep careful notes and are consistent in putting down full bibliographic citations so that others may quickly know where you found each of your facts.

How are you entering the dates of birth, death, etc., of your ancestors? What style are you using?

Photo:Petaluma and Santa Rosa Railroad Calendar. Source: Wikipedia.

Here in America it is common for people to abbreviate dates and to use varying styles of entry.

Here's a tip.
The accepted style for writing dates is: day month year.
Do not use abbreviations or punctuation.

For example, if you are writing the date April 3, 1915 you should write it as: 3 April 1915.

You never want to use:
  • 4-3-1915
  • 3 Apr 1915
  • or even worse, 3 Apr '15

If you write the date using only numerals, such as 4-3-1915... or in the European style of 3-4-1915 — it will be easily misunderstood.

Abbreviations for June: Jun and July: Jul can also be easily misunderstood. That is the same for March: Mar and the month of May.

Make sure that all of your dates are completely written out — day month year — always spelling out the name of the month.

Take the time to go back through your genealogy and make sure that your dates are all standardized.

Leave a clear record that everyone will easily understand.