Help:Date Fields

Search WikiTree's help pages:

Categories: WikiTree Help | Profile Editing Help | Styles and Standards

Language: en | de | fr | nl

Here are tips on using WikiTree's date fields.

See also: Name Fields.


Input Formats

For inputting dates, any of the following are acceptable:

  • Month DD, YYYY (e.g. December 12, 2012)
  • Mon DD YYYY (e.g. Dec 12 2012)
  • Mon. DD, YYYY (e.g. Dec. 12, 2012)
  • DD Month YYYY (e.g. 12 December 2012)
  • DD Mon YYYY (e.g. 12 Dec 2012)
  • YYYY-MM-DD (e.g. 2012-12-12)
  • MM-DD-YYYY (e.g. 12-12-2012)
  • Month YYYY (e.g. December 2012)
  • YYYY (e.g. 2012)

Other formats (e.g. 12/12/12, 12.12.12) will be rejected.

Some family tree software isn't as strict about date formats as WikiTree, but usually this is because they don't store the information as a date in their database. It's simply a string of text. This gives you more freedom on the entry but restricts the utility. Forcing dates to be "normalized" enables many of the features and functions on WikiTree.

Date Status Options

Each date fields has a status indicator next to it. You can generally select one of the following:

  • uncertain/estimated
  • certain/exact
  • before this date
  • after this date
  • intentionally blank

If you know a person has passed away but you don't know their death date, select "uncertain/estimated".

If you know a person is living, select "blank because living" by their death date. This will help make sure that the profile stays private.

Estimated Dates

Don't be afraid to estimate dates. Just use the appropriate status indicator and explain how you arrived in the estimate in a Research Notes section.

Days and Months Without Years

Sometimes you know a date (e.g. December 12) but not the year. Unfortunately, it is not possible to enter a date without a year.

If you have a decent guess at the year, you could enter it and mark the date as uncertain. Be sure to explain it all in the text of the page.

Date Ranges

Unfortunately, our system does not have the capacity to store date ranges, e.g. "1980s" or "Between 1981 and 1989."

The best you can do is choose one date, use the "before this date" or "after this date" status indicator, and explain the issue in the text of the page.

BC/BCE Dates and Dates before 1000 CE

Years before 1000 should be entered with the zero, e.g. 0100 for the year 100 CE.

BC/BCE dates cannot be entered. All dates are assumed to be CE and will be misinterpreted if they're not.

Nobody born BC/BCE can be entered on WikiTree.

Julian vs. Gregorian Calendar

We attempt to use the modern Gregorian calendar in all cases, i.e. "New Style" dates.

It doesn't matter if the Julian or another calendar was in use at the time the date was recorded. Of course, this can be very difficult in practice. If you're unsure of something, write an explanation in the bio/text space of the page.

See Wikipedia:Old Style and New Style dates for more explanation, and this page has some tips for conversions.

Here is a simple rule of thumb for the most common case: If you see a date from the 1600s or 1700s that has a slash in it, e.g. 1718/19, use the later of the two dates, e.g. 1719.

Output Formats

The way dates appear on WikiTree is contextual. If space is not a problem, they appear in long form (e.g. December 12, 2012). If space is an issue they are abbreviated like DD Mon YYYY (e.g. 12 Dec 2012) or just a year is listed.

On Private profiles, birth decades are listed instead of full dates.

See also:

This page was last modified 20:19, 8 October 2021. This page has been accessed 220,814 times.