1752 and all that

Just something for the amateur genealogist to remember.

1752, the year Britain and Ireland finally adopted the Gregorian calendar, started on March 25th and ended on December 31st. Not only was the year a short one, officially, but it also “contains” the famous missing eleven days as September 3rd was immediately followed by September 14th.

It’s something to bear in mind when checking those parish registers as prior to 1752 the year effectively ran from April to March and the old records will still show the old way. As an example, someone born in February 1741 to our mind would themselves say they were born in 1740. This can lead to confusion when researching so it is useful to be clear and record these dates as either (in this instance) February 1740 (O.S.) [old style], February 1741 (N.S.) [new style], or double date it thus: February 1740/1 to show we acknowledge the difference for any ancestors born January to March prior to 1753.

In Scotland, although the Julian calendar was still used up until 1752, the New Year changed to January 1st in 1600. Catholic European countries had made the change to the Gregorian calendar as far back as 1582.


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