Dates before 1751

Until 1751 the legal and ecclesiastical year ended on 25 March. References to dates before 1751 can appear confusing and even experienced genealogists can be led astray.

To give two examples:
– The day after 25 March 1645 was 26 March 1646
– A child baptised on 18 February 1677 and buried on 30 May 1678 would have lived for only three months, not fifteen.

Genealogists use various systems to highlight such dates and to make it easier to compare dates with each other. The most widely used form of notation for dates before 1751 is to use a double year for any dates between 1 January and 25 March – for example, 9 March 1677 is written as 9 March 1677/8. This style of notation is even found even in some sixteenth-century parish registers.

Please use the Contact Us page to comment on or ask questions about how pre-1751 dates are shown on this site.