13 October 2012

Recording Dates and Places in Genealogy Work

The date of a genealogical event needs to be spelled out so that it is clear. A date written as "Dec. 8th '56" , although rather common in manuscript materials is not clear.  Does it mean "1756," "1856," "1956"?  Who can truly tell - unless the age of the document is readily apparent.  Why continue to cause confusion?  Just write the date in military style: "8 Dec 1956." Most experienced genealogical practitioners do.

Similarly, the standard practice in genealogy work is to start with a smaller jurisdiction and move to a larger one when recording the name of a place.  For example, a person's place of residence from a US census record should be listed as the Census does: "Hilton Head Township, Beaufort County, South Carolina" with the year (1900, 1910, 1920, etc.).   Doing so will help prevent confusion in the future.

Accurate and tidy records are always the goal.   

No comments: