I have been reviewing the pre-1752 Lancashire Non-Conformist Registers. I am concerned that none of the ones I have been working on have changed the dating to the Gregorian Calendar. Should the reviewers make these changes, or should they be sent back for reindexing? What will happen to the registers where this change was not made and were submitted.
- England adopted the Gregorian calendar in 1752. Prior to 1752 in England, the year on the Julian calendar began in March and continued to the next February. This would mean that the 3rd month in 1730 would be May. In the Gregorian calendar adopted in 1752, the 3rd month would be March. When indexing records for this project, please convert the Julian calendar dates to their Gregorian calendar equivalents. Click here for help converting dates.
You are not the first person to raise this issue with these records, and there have been several questions about it in Community and even more answers and comments.
The problem lies with the fact that the basic principle of indexing is 'Type what you see', as we are not here to speculate. expand or change anything that we think could make more sense - that is left to the person searching the indexed records. Unfortunately, the instructions in this project run counter to this, and as you have discovered, some indexers have changed dates to Gregorian, some have kept them as shown, and others have got into a bit of a muddle.
I think that there are two options for you: the first is to return the batch for someone else to review, or follow the project instructions, however you understand them - which are presumably what the client specified when the project was set up.
Sorry that I can't be more help.
If it's any help, the majority of records in this project seem to have the months recorded by their names (which were the same in both calendars), meaning that the year date recorded for the first three months is probably all that you would need to change to comply with the project instructions. If you have records where each month is recorded as a number, then there would be more work to do and having the batch re-indexed by another indexer might be a better use of your time.
Do we ignore the 10 day difference when we change the dates?0
There have been lots of discussions on this topic as to why on earth we should be required to change the dates on historic records. If you follow the instructions, yes, you would need to change the day as well as the year (and month if those are recorded by number rather than name). The end result is that the date you index will vary quite considerably from that listed in the register and be no help whatsoever to the researcher. The object of indexing is to make records searchable by entering information from those registers into a database. The maxim always advocated by @Jim Hawker was that we act as a photopier and enter exactly what is written on the original - even if we can see that is wrong. The aim is to guide the researcher to the actual record and let them decide what is right and what wrong. By entering a different date from that on the record, we are definitely not doing that and making it more difficult for the researcher to find the proper record. Sometimes we can go directly from the index to the actual record, sometimes it takes us into the batch and we have to scroll through lots of pages to find the correct one; sometimes the record is not available through Family Search online and we have to go to a centre or pay to view the record on another site. Thus, the researcher would be looking for an entry on the wrong date and may well just give up and go away.
It really saddens me that I now feel I can't index or review these records as I will not deliberately enter incorrect information.