Representing dates is an important part of genealogy. Exact dates, date ranges, approximate dates, partial dates, and text dates are all supported. You can choose to enter each date in the Gregorian, Julian, Hebrew, French Republican, Persian (solar Hijri), Islamic (lunar Hijri), Coptic, Egyptian, Ethiopic, Armenian or Old Icelandic calendars. Each calendar supports two calendar eras: Current Era (CE) and Before Current Era (BCE). Dates can take values between the first day of the year 9999 BCE through the last day of the year 9999 CE in any supported calendar. Remember that 1 BCE is followed by 1 CE in all the supported calendars (i.e. there is no 'year 0'). Where the date is before the calendar epoch, the prolepic version of the calendar is used. By default dates are displayed in the preferred format for the current display language, using the Gregorian calendar. You can customise the date display format and the calendar used to display dates in the Options dialog.
To enter a date you must normally input a day, month, and year. Upon loading the date entry popup, the day field is automatically focused. The day can be any whole number between 1-31 or be left blank. The month can be any valid month for the selected calendar. You can type the month number or at least 3 characters of the start of the month name to automatically look up the month from the list of available months. The year can be any whole number from 1-9999. The day, month, and year fields support use of the and keys and the mouse wheel to quickly scroll through possible values. To clear a value, use . You can use to move to the next field. The default date type and input calendar are 'Exact' and 'Gregorian' respectively. Defaults for new dates can be set in the Options dialog. The default calendar era is Current Era (CE). You can be toggled between Current Era (CE) and Before Current Era (BCE) by clicking the era button. The time field is optional and defaults to midnight.
Exact dates are normally used to repesent dates where the day, month and year are all known. If a date is partially known, it can still be entered using an exact date type - simply input only the parts which you know. Alternatively, you can choose the approximate, range, or span date type to store the information.
Fig 1. Entering a single exact date.
Date ranges, date spans and approximate dates
Sometimes it is only possible to narrow down an event or state to a particular decade, year or month so My Family Tree has built in support for date ranges and date spans. To input a date range or date span, select the "Range" or "Span" option from the date type box. A date range is normally used to suggest an event happened on a single date between two other dates. A date span is normally used to suggest a state or condition which existed on each day from the first date to the second date.
Fig 2. Entering a date range.
Some dates may need to be interpreted from text. To input an interpreted date, select the "Interpreted" option from the date type box. You can store the original text along side the interpreted date. At a future time, the original text will be available incase the original interpretation needs to change.
Fig 3. Entering an interpreted date.
You can input a text representation of a date. This is best used for only for recording dates in unsupported calendars. To input a text only date, select the "Text only" option from the date type box.
Fig 4. Entering a text only date.