A previous post on the Research Forum (‘Mystery of Sarah Cardingbrook’) raised an interesting example of what date and in what year a marriage took place. Surely the answer should be obvious, you say – the date entered in the Parish Register. However, the complication is that up until the mid-18th Century New Year’s Day wasn’t as we now consider it. Below I try to explain my understanding of it – hopefully I have this correct, but I’m sure someone will comment if not…
Before 1752 the ‘legal’ New Year began on 25 March. This means that in parish records 31 December 1749 (for example) is followed by 1 January 1749 (not 1750 – as we would describe it) and the year 1749 continued right up to 24th March, which was then followed the next day by 25th March 1750! The same pattern is true in any year prior to 1752. Our current New Year’s day of 1 January was finally adopted in that year (1752), when Government ruled that 31 December 1751 should be followed by 1 January 1752. This means that you have to be extra careful when you look at any records in parish registers covering the January to March period before 1752. The two different dating systems are often described as ‘Old Style’[OS] or ‘New Style’ [NS] and generally any date you see for the period 1 January to the 24 March in any year prior to 1752 needs to be corrected ‘forward’ by one year to be equivalent to our modern use.
A slight complication is that even before the new ‘legal’ date of New Year was formally changed in 1752 there was a period of years when people started using two calendars – with an increasing recognition of 1 January as the start of the ‘civil’ year. So, you may see this reflected in Parish Registers, where double dating of the dates between 1 January and 24 March can often be found. In this form a date like 1 January or 24 March may appear as 1749/50 or 1749-50. In modern terms, in which we take 1 January as the start of the year, this would mean that we would consider both these dates to be in the year 1750.
Suffice to say there is a further calendar complication – if one is being pedantic – that in September 1752 the legal calendar was shifted again and 11 days dropped to conform to the modern Gregorian calendar rather than the previous Julian calendar. This means 2 September 1752 was followed by 14 September 1752…..some thought that the Government was robbing them of 11 days of their life! But it is too complicated (for me at least) to amend a date (as written in a historic document) from (by way of example of George Washington’s birthday) from 11th February 1731 to 22nd February 1732…. I do correct for the year in my family tree, but don’t attempt to amend the date. Is that what others do?
Winscombe Parish records show marriage on 21 March 1723 of John HANNAM yeoman to Sarah CARDINGBROOK. She was 27yrs old and a spinster.
A John HANNAM jnr was buried 26 December 1728.
Abraham THAYER of Loxton married Sarah HANNAM of Winscombe widow in Bedminster St John's on 5 March 1728. (9 months before possible death of 1st husband).There were 3 children of this marriage all baptised in Kewstoke.
I can't find any baptism of a Sarah CARDINGBROOK or variants anywhere, although there was a family in Winscombe of that name at the same time.
Looking for advice on how to preserve certificate,letters etc. I have accumulated a quantity of papers relating to my family history and some are in a fragile state. Would laminating them be approprate, and if so would I be able to subsequently photcopy them?
Thanks for the opportunity to post my query, I have already spoken to some very helpful members. Basically, my surname is Brooks, and I am looking for any information that anybody might have about Whitecross Nursery in Walliscote Road. I know that my great grandfather owned the Nursery from late Victorian times until his death in 1924. I have one picture of the building at the time, which is sadly out of focus. I have already been sent some of the press adverts for Whitecross which were great, but I am really looking for pictures of the Nursery or of my ancestor William Brooks, or recommendations of people or sources from where I might get help. Many thanks, Graham.