What should I do when I encounter made up dates?

+13 votes
I have encountered dates consistently chosen as June 13, xxxx.  There are times when one must guess a date and then give only a year and indication that it is approximate.  When I see a birth date  June 13, 1729 and a death date as June 13, 1797, and I have sources that contradict these dates, I would like some help as to what I should do.
WikiTree profile: Samuel Gabrielsson Salin
in Policy and Style by Norm Lindquist G2G6 Mach 5 (53.6k points)
retagged by Ellen Smith

3 Answers

+9 votes
Best answer
It is a sad fact of life that some programs required a full date of month day and year. For that reason when I uploaded my GEDCOM it had "made up dates" because I used a program like that and it would not allow just a year when that was all I had. I think I have removed all of those dates and for the most part added sourced dates but I can't be sure. That is one reason I always search for records a couple of years in each direction even when I am positive that the date I have is the correct one. In your case if you have a source, change the dates when they are in error.
by Dale Byers G2G Astronaut (1.4m points)
selected by Jillaine Smith
Thank you Dale.  If I had such software I would hope I was wise enough to always pick June, 13.  So this becomes a flag saying "this date may be wrong".
I agree, but at the time I was not that smart.
This phenomenon may not be limited to recent times. I recently documented a husband and wife among my ancestors whose 19th-century gravestones show that they both died on the same month and day on which they were born (i.e., they died on their birthdays). That could be an amazing coincidence, but I suspect that some of those dates were guesstimates.
+9 votes

I can see the dilemma but one needs to find the sources for these dates and husbands. The Finnish names and surnames are different too so one needs to pay attention with merges.

I think the two Samuels are the same guys.


by Maggie N. G2G6 Pilot (820k points)

Oh, they are the same.  I am concerned by June 13.  This same contributor often gives this date for births and deaths.  Check the HEERMAN Genealogy page. Link

+7 votes

Take away the date and add the DateGuess template if you are sure you are unsure and a citation is needed

{{Citation needed}}

See also



by C S G2G6 Pilot (274k points)

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