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Proformat News
No: 82
December 2012
December seminars
There are no seminars planned for December.

January seminars
There are no seminars planned for January.

See the seminar program for more details and bookings.

New Irish website
The National Archives of Ireland has launched a new website which will initially host the 1901 and 1911 Censuses, Tithe Apportionment records from 1823-37, and Soldiers' Wills from 1914-17.
There are plans to add other records in the coming years, including Calendars of Wills and Administration from 1858-1922.

More Scottish Wills online
ScotlandsPeople have added wills and testaments from 1902-25 to their website; the collection now includes 1 million wills covering the period from 1513-1925.
ScotlandsPeople offers pay-per-view access to millions of images that are not available online anywhere else.

Graham Jaunay wins award
It was recently announced that Graham Jaunay was a winner of the TT Reid Award for the best family history book published by a South Australian or written about a substantially South Australian family. The book titled, A proud heritage: a history of the Foord family (ISBN 978-0-646-55792-2) received very favourable comments in the recent South Australian Genealogist Vol 39 No 4 Nov 2012 p17:
"... hard to fault. While taking research through to publication is always a triumphant accomplishment, this book is exemplary: superbly readable, easy to follow, well researched, written and presented. Every single page of A proud heritage is a joy to read. The layout allows the content to be presented at best advantage and takes the reader from quaintly named villages in England to locations such as Findon, Noarlunga and Gawler in South Australia. The detail, quality of research, clarity of writing and level of referencing and indexing are all excellent."
Graham previously won the award for A toast to the future; the story of George Johnson and his family in 1988. He has written numerous books in between these two publication but no others were submitted to the judges! Graham is the first author to win this award twice.

Adelaide Proformat will be closed 15 Dec 2012 to 21 Jan 2013

In this issue:
December seminars
January seminars
New Irish website
More Scottish Wills online
Graham Jaunay wins award

Feature article
Quakers and the calendar change

Graham Jaunay wishes all subscribers a happy holiday period and an enjoyable Christmas


Graham Jaunay

Glandore SA 5037

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Quakers and the calendar change

Users of Quaker records can find that the way in which dates were used can pose problems. While very few readers may have Quaker ancestry, the problems depicted in this article just demonstrate the hidden pitfalls waiting to entrap the unwary researcher regardless of the field of research being undertaken.

With dates Quakers refused to use those names of days (Sunday to Saturday) and months (January to August) that owed their origins to paganism. To avoid these names they used numbers with Sunday being deemed the First Day of the week. What is less known is that Quakers had no problems with the months of September through to December that came from the Latin words for the numbers seven to ten in any case. They did ignore the pagan names for the other months recording them as First Month, Second Month, and so on. They sometimes used Roman numerals (i-xii) for these, and sometimes Arabic (1-12) for the months.

Up to the end of 1751 the British Empire (and others) used the Julian calendar meaning that the year officially began on 25 March (Lady Day) and ended on the following 24 March. So, confusingly to us, 24 March 1750 was followed the next day by 25 March 1751. In 1752 the adoption of the Gregorian calendar that brought the Empire into line with much of Europe changed New Years Day to 1 January. Thus the year 1751 began on 25 March 1751 and ended on 31 December 1751, which was immediately followed by 1 January 1752. Even this was not all that straightforward because while legislation changed New Years Day, widespread practice amongst the population meant that many had already adopted the change meaning that researchers have to take great care in this period to determine the actual date format of the document they may be working with!

After the calendar change Quakers dropped the use of the month names for September through to December because they were no longer the seventh to twelfth months and thus their names had become untruthful. So, for example, October, formerly the eighth month was now the tenth month and so the name October was dropped in favour of Tenth Month.

Old Style (Julian)QuakerNew Style (Gregorian)
March1st MonthJanuary
April2nd MonthFebruary
May3rd MonthMarch
June4th MonthApril
July5th MonthMay
August6th MonthJune
September7th MonthJuly
October8th Month or OctoberAugust
November9th Month or NovemberSeptember
December10th Month or DecemberOctober
January11th MonthNovember
February12th Month December

When transcribing material one should record the material exactly as written, errors and all but when it comes to Quaker records it is appropriate to clarify dates using the following formats: Transcribe 16 iii 1749 as 16 iii [May] 1749.
Transcribe 25 10 mo 1750 as 25 10 mo [December] 1750.

January, February and March before 1752 may prove less straightforward for researchers. As previously mentioned some were aware of the difference between the two calendars and indicated this by double-dating documents giving both their own and the Gregorian calendar year to avoid confusion, so that 25 10 mo. 1750 may be written as 25 10 mo. 1750/1. This in fact demonstrates best practice because it alerts modern readers to the fact that the writer is aware of the two calendars and since in modern times we use the Gregorian calendar it proves helpful to us. In fact family historians should adopt this best practice whenever recording dates between 1 January and 24 March prior to 1752 back to the first introduction of the Gregorian calendar in Europe in 1582. This will make the actual date in today’s terms clear to any reader. The modern researcher has to take great care in this process when using secondary material because this may have already converted to the modern date. For example, when using the LDS FamilySearch material these dates have all been converted to Gregorian although they fail to use the double-date system and fail to tell the reader of the conversion. Thus a date from FamilySearch, and other material with the same shortcomings, such as 22 Feb 1732 was in reality at the time of writing 22 Feb 1731 and should be recorded as 22 Feb 1731/2 to clarify the matter.

The first 24 days of March present even greater complications to researchers. Even though the last day of the year in the old style calendar was 24 March, some, including most Quakers, treated all of March as the first month of the year. Where the researcher finds the month recorded in original documents as a single date, there is no indication as to whether the writer is anticipating the year to begin on 25 March or not!

Finally in reading Quaker dates remind yourself that the American practice of putting the month before the day, when giving a date in numerical form was also widely used in Britain. Quakers advocated using plain language and writing as it was spoken and thus 3.7.1921 could equally represent 7 March 1921 as 3 July 1921 and it rather depends on how the writer spoke the date!

Newsletter 75: Earl Grey's scheme and its impact

Trevor McClaughlin, author of Barefoot and pregnant writes…
Some of the information in your recent newsletter about the Irish female orphans who came by the Earl Grey scheme 1848-50 is inaccurate. For example you list the Mohamet Shah and the William Stewart as part of the scheme, but they carried orphans from foundling hospitals not from the newly constructed workhouses. Most likely the young girls had been there since a very tender age. The orphans by the Earl Grey scheme were only from workhouses and most likely but not exclusively were destitute victims of the Famine. A pedantic point but an important difference nonetheless. Similarly, mea culpa, I put the Ramillies as part of the scheme in the first volume of my 'Barefoot' but removed it in volume two. From memory, it carried young women mainly from London workhouses not Irish ones. And the Calcutta and Beulah to Hobart, whilst I included them in volume 2 of 'Barefoot', it was at the behest of the Victorian genies. But as you will note from my intro to those two boats in 'Barefoot' vol 2 they were not part of the Earl Grey scheme.
Great to see the young women getting recognition.
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