Colonial dating

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By that time, the discrepancy between a solar year and the Julian Calendar had grown by an additional day, so that the calendar used in England and its colonies was 11 days out-of-sync with the Gregorian Calendar in use in most other parts of Europe.England's calendar change included three major components.Although current historical scholarship calls for retention of Old Style dates in transcriptions, historians and genealogists need to be aware that some people living at the time converted the date of an event, such as a birthday, from Old Style to New Style.George Washington, for example, was born on February 11, 1731 under the Julian Calendar, but afterwards recognized the date February 22, 1732 to reflect the Gregorian Calendar.To avoid misinterpretation, both the "Old Style" and "New Style" year was often used in English and colonial records for dates falling between the new New Year (January 1) and old New Year (March 25), a system known as "double dating." Such dates are usually identified by a slash mark [/] breaking the "Old Style" and "New Style" year, for example, March 19, 1631/2.

Under the "Old Style" calendar and legal new year, 1636 began on March 25.

Finally, 11 days were dropped from the month of September 1752.

The changeover involved a series of steps: Out of context, it is sometimes hard to determine whether information in colonial records was entered "Old Style" or "New Style." Some examples: In the Public Records of the Colony of Connecticut, "A Corte at New Towne [Hartford] 27 Decr.

Between 15, not only were two calendars in use in Europe (and in European colonies), but two different starts of the year were in use in England.

Although the "Legal" year began on March 25, the use of the Gregorian calendar by other European countries led to January 1 becoming commonly celebrated as "New Year's Day" and given as the first day of the year in almanacs.

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