The topic of dates and how to estimate or calculate them has been addressed in NGS Monthly before. In Laura Murphy DeGrazia’s “Calculating Dates and Date Ranges,” qualifying terms like “about” and “calculated” are referred to, but the article appropriately focuses on the actual calculations. Now we revisit the topic, but with a focus on how to express those calculations.
The case study at the end of this article revolves around Mary (–?–) (Adams) Ryan of late eighteenth- to early nineteenth-century New York City. Research has revealed a fair amount about Mary, her family, and her life, but as of this writing no record of birth, baptism, first marriage, second marriage, death, or burial has yet been discovered for her. In the absence of those records, we can make educated estimates and narrow down date ranges in order to relay vital information about Mary.
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