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Overview

The Dates Section controls the display of dates and lifespans. In this context, a date refers to a single date value, and a lifespan refers to the combination of the date from the primary birth event and the date from the primary death event.

A single date field may contain two dates for "Date1 or Date2" dates, "From-To" dates, and "Between Date1 and Date2" dates. In those cases, GedSite will format both dates using the chosen date format.

GedSite provides several pre-defined date formats you select from the pull-down menu, and you can also key a custom date format in the textbox. Date formats control how dates appear when converted from the internal date format to output text.

GedSite provides several lifespan formats that control how GedSite formats a lifespan. The lifespan format determines whether the lifespan appears inside parentheses, whether it includes abbreviations before each date, etc.

Properties

Subject Date Format

The Subject Date Format determines the format of the date in the person entry summary text that is typically near the top of the person entry. The default value is "aaaa d Mmmm yyy".

Subject Lifespan Format

The Subject Lifespan Format determines the format of the lifespan in the person entry summary text that is typically near the top of the person entry. The default value is "b. birth, d. death".

Family Section Date Format

The Family Section Date Format determines the format of dates that appear in the Family Section and Parent Section of the person entry. The default value is "aaaa d Mmmm yyy".

Family Section Lifespan Format

The Family Section Lifespan Format determines the format of lifespans in the Family Section and Parent Section of the person entry. The default value is "(b. birth, d. death)".

Person Entry Date Format

The Person Entry Date Format determines the format of dates that appear in a person entry other than dates that are formatted by more specific properties in the Dates section. The default value is "aaaa d Mmmm yyy".

Person Entry Lifespan Format

The Person Entry Lifespan Format determines the format of lifespans in the person entry other than dates that are formatted by more specific properties in the Dates section. The default value is "(b. birth, d. death)".

Name Index Date Format

The Name Index Date Format determines the format of dates that appear in name indexes. The default value is "aaa d Mmm yyy".

Name Index Lifespan Format

The Name Index Lifespan Format determines the format of lifespans in name indexes. The default value is "(b. birth, d. death)".

Chart Date Format

The Chart Date Format determines the format of dates that appear in charts. The default value is "aaa d Mmm yyy".

Chart Lifespan Format

The Chart Lifespan Format determines the format of lifespans in charts. The default value is "(b. birth, d. death)".

Predefined Date Formats

GedSite has multiple predefined date formats. You may choose one of the formats below from any of the date format properties listed above.

The example output shown in the table below is based on a date field value of "BEF 3 JAN 1970".

Choice Example Output
aaaa d Mmmm yyy before 3 January 1970
aaa d Mmm yyy bef 3 Jan 1970
aaa d MMM yyy bef 3 JAN 1970
aaaa d Mmm yyy before 3 Jan 1970
aaaa Mmmm d, yyy before January 3, 1970
aaaa Mmm d, yyy before Jan 3, 1970
aaaa d-Mmm-yyyy before 3-Jan-1970
aaa d-Mmm-yyyy bef 3-Jan-1970
aaaa d. Mmmm yyy before 3. January 1970
aaa d. Mmm. yyy before 3. Jan. 1970
aaaa Mmmm yyy before January 1970
aaa Mmm yyy bef Jan 1970
aaaa yyy before 1970
Aaaa yyy before 1970
aaa yyy bef 1970
Aaa yyy bef 1970
aaaa yyy Mmmm before 1970 January
aaa yyy Mmm bef 1970 Jan
aaaa yyy Mmmm d before 1970 January 3
aaa yyy Mmm d bef 1970 Jan 3
aaaa d.m.yyy before 3 Jan 1970
aaaa dd.mm.yyyy before 03.01.1970
aaa d.m.yyy bef 3.1.970
aaa dd.mm.yyyy bef 03.01.1970
aaa m/d/yyy bef 1/3/1970
aaa mm/dd/yyyy bef 01/03/1970
aaa d/m/yyy bef 3/1/1970
aaa dd/mm/yyyy bef 03/01/1970
aaa yyyy/m/d bef 1970/1/3
aaa yyyy/mm/md bef 1970/01/03

The example output shown in the table below is based on a date field value of "BEF JAN 1970", no day number. These date formats use the uppercase symbols for digits; they produce underscores when the value is missing.

Choice Example Output
aaa MM/DD/YYYY bef 01/__/1970
aaa DD/MM/YYYY bef __/01/1970
aaa YYYY/MM/DD bef 1970/01/__
aaa YYYY-MM-DD bef 1970-01-__

Special Rules for Date Ranges

When a date is a date range such as "BET 1 JAN 1902 AND 31 MAR 1902", the results will vary based on the date format and whether the month and year are the same in both dates.

Date Date Format Output
BET 1 JAN 1902 AND 31 MAR 1902 aaa d Mmm yyy bet 1 Jan 1902 and
31 Mar 1902
aaa Mmm yyy bet Jan 1902 and Mar 1902
aaa yyy 1902
BET 7 DEC 1941 AND 14 AUG 1945 aaa d Mmm yyy bet 7 Dec 1941 and
14 Aug 1945
aaa Mmm yyy bet Dec 1941 and Aug 1945
aaa yyy bet 1941 and 1945
BET 1 JAN 1903 AND 31 JAN 1903 aaa d Mmm yyy bet 1 Jan 1903 and
31 Jan 1903
aaa Mmm yyy Jan 1903
aaa yyy 1903

Lifespan Formats

GedSite supports the following lifespan formats. The lifespan format does not determine the format of the dates that appear in the lifespan, so the table includes the date format used to format the date shown in the example. The labels "b.", "born", "d." and "died" are replaced with the strings defined for those terms, so users may change the labels and also so labels use the correct values for non-English sites.

Choice Date Format Example Output
b. birth, d. death aaa d Mmm yyy b. 1865, d. 3 Jan 1905
born birth, died death aaa d Mmm yyy born 1865, died 3 Jan 1905
(b. birth, d. death) aaa d Mmm yyy (b. 1865, d. 3 Jan 1905)
(born birth, died death) aaa d Mmm yyy (born 1865, died 3 Jan 1905)
(birth - death) aaa yyy (1865 - 1905)
(birth-death) aaa yyy (1865-1905)

GEDCOM Dates

GedSite supports the GEDCOM date specification for Gregorian dates. GedSite supports some additional date capabilities including sort dates and non-standard date modifiers such as "circa".

Date Modifiers

GedSite supports the following date modifiers. Modifiers appear before the date and modify the meaning of the date. The list includes the standard GEDCOM date modifier keywords such as "BEF" as well as a description to indicate what the keyword means ("Before"). GedSite accepts some keywords that are not included in the GEDCOM specification. They are indicated with + in the list. GedSite also supports variations of each keyword when parsing dates, so CA, CIR, and CIRCA are all valid in GedSite and mean the same thing.

Modifier Description
BEFBefore
TOTo
ESTEstimated
ABTAbout
+CACirca
+SAYSay
CALCalculated
INTInterpreted
(none)Exact
AFTAfter
BETBetween date1 and date2
+ORdate1 or date2
FROMFrom date1 to date2

Date Range

GedSite handles dates from 1 Jan 9999 BCE to 31 Dec 9999 CE. Dates are always considered Gregorian dates, however, so age calculations for dates spanning any calendar change will not be accurate to the day.

Date Sorting

When two dates are the same except for the date modifier, the dates will sort by the modifier and the sequence is as shown in the modifier list above. Here is an example of how some events would sort if they each had the date 1 JAN 1900 modified by a keyword as follows:

BEF  1 JAN 1900
TO   1 JAN 1900
EST  1 JAN 1900
ABT  1 JAN 1900
CA   1 JAN 1900
SAY  1 JAN 1900
CAL  1 JAN 1900
INT  1 JAN 1900
     1 JAN 1900
AFT  1 JAN 1900
BET  1 JAN 1900 AND 1 JAN 1901
     1 JAN 1900 OR  1 JAN 1901
FROM 1 JAN 1900 TO  1 JAN 1901

When sorting a date with missing parts, such as a year with no month or day, GedSite uses zero for any missing date parts. There is one exception: for an After date, GedSite uses 99 for a missing month and/or day. That leads to this sequence:

BEF 1900
    1900
BEF JAN 1900
    JAN 1900
BEF 1 JAN 1900
    1 JAN 1900
AFT 1 JAN 1900
AFT JAN 1900
    FEB 1900
    DEC 1900
AFT 1 DEC 1900
AFT DEC 1900
AFT 1900

GedSite supports date sorting for BCE dates, i.e., "100 BC" sorts before "99 BC".

Sort Dates

GedSite supports sort dates for names and events. The sort date determines where the name or event will sort chronologically, and the sort date may or may not be the same as the tag's date. Sort dates are not part of official GEDCOM, but several programs include sort dates in GEDCOM files and GedSite loads them. If a program does not include a sort date, GedSite will use the date as the sort date.

RootsMagic and The Master Genealogist use the GEDCOM tag "_SDATE" to specify the sort date, and that GEDCOM tag is the default used by GedSite. GedSite can be configured to accept a different GEDCOM tag.

Date Text and Invalid Date Values

The GEDCOM specification allows dates to include a date phrase, i.e., text that is not an acceptable date value, "but which gives information about when an event occurred." The GEDCOM rules specify that date phrases must be enclosed in matching parentheses. GedSite supports date phrases.

Whenever GedSite encounters an invalid date value in a GEDCOM file, it treats the date value as a date phrase.

For example, some programs allow text to be included in a date field, and a user might specify "Unknown" as the date for a death event. The resulting GEDCOM would be:

1 DEAT
2 DATE Unknown

For the above records, GedSite will issue a warning because the date value is invalid. However, GedSite will store "Unknown" as a date phrase and it will appear in the output for the Death event.

Valid GEDCOM for the above case is:

1 DEAT
2 DATE (Unknown)

GEDCOM Date Handling

The table below describes how GedSite treats certain GEDCOM date input examples.

GEDCOM Text GEDCOM Comment Notes
2 AUG 1917 Valid day, month, and year date.
AUG 1917 Valid month and year date.
AUG 2 1917 Invalid: The day number should precede the month. If a date contains two numbers, and the lower number is less than 32, the first number will be treated as a day number. GedSite handles this case because older programs sometimes have dates in "month day year" format.
Aug 1917 The GEDCOM specification is ambiguous about whether or not month names must be all-uppercase. Mixed-case month names are allowed, no error or warning issued.
1917 Valid year-only date.
BEF 02 AUG 1917 Valid "before" date.
BEF AUG 1917 Valid "before" date.
BEF 1917 Valid "before" date.
EST 02 AUG 1917 Valid "estimated" date.
EST AUG 1917 Valid "estimated" date.
EST 1917 Valid "estimated" date.
ABT 02 AUG 1917 Valid "about" date.
ABT AUG 1917 Valid "about" date.
ABT 1917 Valid "about" date.
CAL 02 AUG 1917 Valid "calculated" date.
CAL AUG 1917 Valid "calculated" date.
CAL 1917 Valid "calculated" date.
AFT 02 AUG 1917 Valid "after" date.
AFT AUG 1917 Valid "after" date.
AFT 1917 Valid "after" date.
BET 02 AUG 1917 AND 15 AUG 1917 Valid "between" date.
BET 02 AUG 1917 AND SEP 1917 Valid "between" date.
BET AUG 1917 AND SEP 1917 Valid "between" date.
BET 1917 AND 1919 Valid "between" date.
FROM 02 AUG 1917 TO 15 AUG 1917 Valid "from" date.
FROM 02 AUG 1917 TO SEP 1917 Valid "from" date.
FROM AUG 1917 TO SEP 1917 Valid "from" date.
FROM 1917 TO 1919 Valid "from" date.
FROM 02 AUG 1917 Valid "from" date with no "To" date.
TO SEP 1917 Valid "to" date.
INT 1917 (3 years after marriage) Valid "interpreted" date with text comment.
INT (3 years after marriage) Invalid: There must be a date after the INT and before the date phrase. The date is treated as if it had a date phrase only, i.e., an irregular text-only date; no error or warning.
(3 years after marriage) Valid date phrase (text-only) date.
3 years after marriage Invalid: Date phrases must be enclosed in parenthesis. The date is treated as an irregular text-only date; no error or warning.
(3 years after marriage following the birth of their first child) Invalid: The date phrase in GEDCOM is limited to 35 characters. No defined limit; no error or warning.
(3 years after marriage Invalid: Date phrases must be enclosed in parenthesis. The date is treated as an irregular text-only date; no error or warning.
11 FEB 1750/51 Valid dual-year date.
AUG 1917/18 Valid dual-year date; month and year are not validated.
1917/18 Valid dual-year date; year is not validated.
2 AUG 1917/19 GEDCOM does not specify that the dual year must be one year higher only. Invalid date: dual year must be one year higher only, and month must be JAN, FEB, or MAR.
@#DGREGORIAN@ 02 AUG 1917 Valid Gregorian calendar date.
2 AUG 1917/18 Valid date; GedSite does not check the year range.
@#DGREGORIAN@ 02 AUG 1917/18 Valid Gregorian calendar date.
100 B.C. Valid BCE date.
100B.C. Valid BCE date.
BEF 100B.C. Valid "before" date for BCE date
100BC Invalid: Periods are required, i.e., must be "100B.C." Periods are not required, no error or warning issued.
2 JUL 100B.C. Invalid: BCE dates may not have a month or year. Day and month are optional, no error or warning issued.
@#DJULIAN@ 02 AUG 1917 Valid Julian calendar date. No support for Julian calendar dates, error issued.
@#DJULIAN@ 02 AUG 1917/18 Invalid: Julian dates cannot have dual-years. No support for Julian calendar dates, error issued.
@#DHEBREW@ 02 TSH 1917 Valid Hebrew calendar date. No support for Hebrew calendar dates, error issued.
02 TSH 5250 Invalid: The calendar type must be specified for Hebrew dates. Gregorian calendar assumed, "TSH" is not a valid Gregorian calendar month, error issued.
@#DFRENCH R@ 02 VEND 1917 Valid French calendar date. No support for French calendar dates, error issued.
@#DFRENCHR@ 02 VEND 1917 Invalid: "DFRENCHR" is missing a space before the final R. Unrecognized text error issued.

Custom Date Formats

You may type a custom date format into any of the date format properties in GedSite. Use the symbols listed below to format the parts of the date.

Other characters that appear in the format, including spaces, dashes, slashes, periods, etc., are considered separators. Separators are omitted if the data associated with the preceding symbol is empty. So, for example, in the format "aaa yyyy", the space character is a separator that will only appear in the output if the "aaa" symbol produces output. The "aaa" symbol is used to represent the lowercase abbreviation of the date's modifier word such as "bef", "aft", etc.

Symbol Value
aaa A lowercase version of the abbreviated version of the modifer word, so "bef", "aft", etc.
Aaa A mixed-case version of the abbreviated version of the modifer word, so "Bef", "Aft", etc. GedSite does not capitalize the first letter of the modifier string, it inserts the abbreviated modifier string into the output as-is.
AAA An uppercase version of the abbreviated version of the modifer word, so "BEF", "AFT", etc.
aaaa A lowercase version of the modifer word, so "before", "after", etc.
Aaaa A mixed-case version of the modifer word, so "Before", "After", etc. GedSite does not capitalize the first letter of the modifier string, it inserts the modifier string into the output as-is.
AAAA An uppercase version of the modifer word, so "BEFORE", "AFTER", etc.
d The day value from the date with no leading zero, "1", "2", through "31".
D The day value from the date with no leading zero, "1", "2", through "31". If the day value is missing, GedSite inserts an underscore.
dd The day value from the date with a leading zero, if necessary, "01", "02", through "31".
DD The day value from the date with a leading zero, if necessary, "01", "02", through "31". If the day value is missing, GedSite inserts two underscores.
m The month digit(s) from the date with no leading zero, "1", "2", through "12".
M The month digits from the date with no leading zero, "1", "2", through "12". If the month value is missing, GedSite inserts an underscore.
mm The month digit(s) from the date with a leading zero, if necessary, "01", "02", through "12".
MM The month digits from the date with a leading zero, if necessary, "01", "02", through "12". If the month value is missing, GedSite inserts two underscores.
mmm The abbreviated month name, lowercase, "jan", "feb", etc.
Mmm A mixed-case version of the abbreviated month name, so "Jan", "Feb", etc. GedSite does not capitalize the first letter of the month name string, it inserts the abbreviated month name string into the output as-is.
MMM The abbreviated month name, uppercase, "JAN", "FEB", etc.
mmmm The full month name, lowercase, "january", "february", etc.
Mmmm A mixed-case version of the full month name, so "January", "February", etc. GedSite does not capitalize the first letter of the month name string, it inserts the full month name string into the output as-is.
MMMM The full month name, uppercase, "JANUARY", "FEBRUARY", etc.
yyy The year value from the date padded with leading zeros to a minimum of three digits.
YYY The year value from the date padded with leading zeros to a minimum of three digits. If the year value is missing, GedSite inserts three underscores.
yyyy The year value from the date padded with leading zeros to a minimum of four digits.
YYYY The year value from the date padded with leading zeros to a minimum of four digits. If the year value is missing, GedSite inserts four underscores.

You may also use the following characters to add prefixes and suffixes to symbol values.

  • Use [ and ] around text to specify a prefix. A prefix will only appear if the symbol that follows the prefix is not empty.

    Example: Aaaa [Day=]d [Month=]m [Year=]yyy

  • Use { and } around text to specify a suffix. A suffix will only appear if the symbol that precedes the suffix is not empty.

    Example: Aaaa d{ (day)} m{ (month)} yyy{ (year)}

You may use a prefix, or a suffix, or both, with any symbol in the table above.

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