Date error suggestion for database errors project

+10 votes

Hi All,

Today I found a record where the marriage date hadn't made it through ged import (this was in 2013) it had a note in the auto generated bio of Could not interpret date in Marriage Date (21/09/1834). To say wiki couldn't work out the date,  29/09/1834 so wiki had been trying to make the 29th September into the 9th of the 29th month and failed back then. Because of this error I checked the birth date and wiki had mis-interpreated it back then so something like the 2/4 which should have been 2nd of April had become the 4th of February.

As this error message was in the biography not the fields, so I'm not sure the db_errors project would be able to find these faults, but certainly something for people working on English records to watch out for. And maybe someone will have an genius idea of how to find them all.

Though maybe looking at how many records have a full birth or death date below the 12th day in a month ?(cause if it was over 12 days it would have rejected it as thinking English way of writing days were months) and ,ENGLAND in the place and have a spouse but no marriage date and place might find them but it would likely also find thousands of others I think.

I will try to find an example that hasn't been corrected, but seems to be quite a few of these on the Blakey records from Newcastle England.

in WikiTree Tech by Paula Dea G2G6 Mach 6 (67.8k points)
retagged by Maggie N.
That "Could not interpret date" error can mean many different things. It is associated with old Gedcom imports. When that error appears in a profile, typically either no date was imported to the data fields, or a date was imported and marked as "about" or "uncertain." In many cases, a human subsequently edited the date field (this may have happened during the merge of duplicate profiles) but did not remove the notes that were generated during the Gedcom import.

2 Answers

+8 votes
Best answer
In new.database dump it.could be done. Remind me after Chris makes it.

For now you can use find such profiles..
by Aleš Trtnik G2G6 Pilot (622k points)
selected by Paula Dea

I already started to do some bio checking (Wikipedia), so this can be the next thing. I ran it with searching for Could not interpret date in and got cca 70K profiles out of 10M. it appears in different date fields and mainly entered text is not the case described above. Here are some random examples.

Could not interpret date in:

  • Marriage Date (19 Feb  1908).<br>
  • Death Date (On 13 Jun 1688).<br> 
  • Birth Date (2 JAN 1649 OR 1650).<br>
  • Marriage Date (20 May 1687-20 May 1688).<br>
  • Death Date (AFT JAN 1684/5).<br>
  • Birth Date (22 sept).<br> 
  • Death Date (DEC).<br>  

This looks to me like it is worth checking them and removing this line from the Bio.

I can make 3 errors for each date field.

+1 vote
Since this hasn't been a massive issue with English profiles, I think there must be a specific reason, eg somebody in England running their PC on US settings and entering English dates and living with the results (I've seen it done) will probably generate a confused gedcom.
by Anonymous Horace G2G6 Pilot (570k points)
This is a significant problem for Canadian Genealogists. We are variously influenced by the American and British styles. Some Canadians will use mm/dd/yyyy while others use dd/mm/yyyy, and do not always question their interpretation of dates where dd and mm are both between 01 and 12.

Using the ISO 8601 standard date, such as 2011-10-09, is unambiguous.

Other date formats like dd mon yyyy (09 Oct 2011) and dd month yyyy (09 October 2011) also have less risk of misinterpretation.
Old school genealogy method of using dates was DD Month YYYY

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