Saturday, April 25, 2009

Saturday Night Fun - Date Calculations

For this Saturday Night Fun, Randy has challenged other genea-bloggers to post on the use of their genealogy software's date calculator to find a birth date, and I thought I would participate in this challenge.

I have two genealogy programs on my computer: Family Trees Quick and Easy, version 5 that I use to keep track of my ancestry and Family Tree Maker 2005 trial version, so that I can open any gedcoms e-mailed to me. (I cannot successfully open gedcoms with the other program for some reason.) So, for this challenge I will use the date calculator in the Family Tree Maker version.

For this challenge, I have decided to calculate the birth date of my ancestor, Irene Havens. My only record of death happens to be her tombstone which states that she died on March 16, 1876 and was 35 years, 5 months and 25 days old at the time of her death. (I have not been able to find a record of her death, but it is quite possible that it never got recorded. I have a couple of other female ancestors whose deaths do not show up in the Saint Joseph county, Michigan death records either.)

To calculate the date of her birth, I opened Family Tree Maker software and selected the date calculator under the tools menu. I then entered the date of death and age of death as recorded on the tombstone, and the calculator came back with the date of 20 September 1840, although it mentioned that the calculation result was ambiguous. I'm guessing that the calculator does not know if the year was a leap year or not, so I'll have to do a little bit more research to find whether or not that is the case for 1876. So, I might have the right day of birth, but I won't know for sure until I uncover a baptismal record. Hopefully, I will find one for her.

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