JewishGen Discussion Group #JewishGen Double dates on Vital Records written in Russian #general

R Gerber <beccamd@...>

I just wanted to know if there is a way to let everyone know why there are
two dates listed on some Vital Records, perhaps in a FAQ on JewishGen
somewhere. I have been translating Russian records for people on ViewMate,
and I often get asked why there are two dates.

The reason is because of the switch >from the Julian to Gregorian calendars.

The Gregorian Calendar was adopted immediately upon the promulgation of Pope
Gregory's decree in the Catholic countries of Italy, Spain, Portugal and
Poland, and shortly thereafter in France and Luxembourg. During the next
year or two most Catholic regions of Germany, Belgium, Switzerland and the
Netherlands came on board. Hungary followed in 1587. The rest of the
Netherlands, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland made the change during 1699 to
1701. By the time the British were ready to go along with the rest of
Europe, the old calendar had drifted off by one more day, requiring a
correction of eleven days, rather than ten. The Gregorian Calendar was
adopted in Britain (and in the British colonies) in 1752, with (Wednesday)
September 2, 1752, being followed immediately by (Thursday) September 14, 1752.
In many countries the Julian Calendar was used by the general population
long after the official introduction of the Gregorian Calendar. Thus events
were recorded in the 16th to 18th Centuries with various dates, depending on
which calendar was used.

To complicate matters further New Year's Day, the first day of the new year,
was celebrated in different countries, and sometimes by different groups of
people within the same country, on either January 1, March 1, March 25 or
December 25. January 1 seems to have been the usual date but there was no
standard observed. With the introduction of the Gregorian Calendar in
Britain and the colonies New Year's Day was generally observed on January 1.
Previously in the colonies it was common for March 24 of one year to be
followed by March 25 of the next year. This explains why, with the
calendrical reform and the shift of New Year's Day >from March 25 back to
January 1, the year of George Washington's birth changed >from 1731 to 1732.
In the Julian Calendar his birthdate is 1731-02-11 but in the Gregorian
Calendar it is 1732-02-22.

Sweden adopted the Gregorian Calendar in 1753, Japan in 1873, Egypt in 1875,
Eastern Europe during 1912 to 1919 and Turkey in 1927. Following the
Bolshevik Revolution in Russia it was decreed that thirteen days would be
omitted >from the calendar, the day following January 31, 1918, O.S. becoming
February 14, 1918, N.S. (Further information can be found in The Perpetual
Calendar --

In 1923 the Eastern Orthodox Churches adopted a modified form of the
Gregorian Calendar in an attempt to render the calendar more accurate (see
below). October 1, 1923, in the Julian Calendar became October 14, 1923, in
the Eastern Orthodox calendar.

-credit to various websites on the switch >from Julian to Gregorian calendar

-Rebecca Gerber

Glenview, IL

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