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The GEDCOM standard has defined the format of dates to allow this information to be passed between Family History Software programs or Analysis Tools like FTAnalyzer.

Even though there is a standard, most FHS allow users to add any date format they want to.  This might make sense to the users as they enter the dates but makes it very difficult if you ever need to transfer your tree to another FHS or to use Analysis Tools like FTA.

 

Here is a list of the date formats from the GEDCOM Specification. All formats in blue are the preferred option and should be used before creating a non standard format.

In the following examples DATE can be in any of the following formats

1885     Year only
APR 1889   Month and Year
22 NOV 1873 Day, Month and Year

 

To build up a range of dates, the following are used

BEF DATE       Event happened before the given date
AFT DATE       Event happened after the given date
BET DATE AND DATE   Event happened some time between date 1 AND date 2
FROM DATE       Indicates the beginning of a happening or state
TO DATE       Indicates the ending of a happening or state
FROM DATE TO DATE   Indicates the beginning and ending of a happening or state

 

Because FHS programs don’t enforce users to adhere to the GEDCOM standards, FTAnalyzer can detect and interpret the following date format variations.

1885         Year only
APR 1889       Month and Year
22 NOV 1873     Day, Month and Year
19 NOV       Day and Month
BEF DATE       Event happened before the given date
AFT DATE       Event happened after the given date
BET DATE AND DATE   Event happened some time between date 1 AND date 2
FROM DATE       Indicates the beginning of a happening or state
TO DATE       Indicates the ending of a happening or state
FROM DATE TO DATE   Indicates the beginning and ending of a happening or state
UNKNOWN         Date has not been specified
1747/48         Double date year, 2 digits
MAR 1747/48       Double date year, 2 digits, with Month
11 MAR 1747/48     Double date year, 2 digits, with Month and Day
1747/8         Double date year, 1 digit
MAR 1747/8       Double date year, 1 digit, with Month
11 MAR 1747/8     Double date year, 1 digit, with Month and Day
11 MAR 1747/1748     Double date year, 4 digits, with Month and Day
Q3 1947       Quarter and Year
1Q 1945       Quarter and Year
QTR2 1941       Quarter and Year
QTR 4 1939       Quarter and Year
SEP QTR 1947     Month, Quarter and Year
JAN FEB MAR 1908   3 Months and Year
JAN / FEB / MAR / 1908   3 Months with / and Year
BET JAN-MAR 1966     Quarter Range and Year
BTW 1914-1918       Year only Range

Last edited Apr 23, 2015 at 6:54 AM by nichotj, version 9