Monday, December 16, 2013

Abbreviating Months of the Year

Computer Classes every Sat. mornings 10-12. "Open House" Whatever you need. Drop in anytime during those two hours.

Genealogy tip for today: Abbreviating Months of the Year

A question often asked is – is it okay to abbreviate the months when writing dates. The answer is not so simple. Using the numerical equivalent is the best method – especially if you use what-I-call the “Dimmie” method: dd/mm/yyyy. 

But humans that we are, we have our habits. Abbreviations are okay up to a point. The problem is in regards to the ones that are easily confused! January abbreviated is “Jan.” June when it is shortened is “Jun”. With sloppy handwriting, a “Jan”, with an “a” that is not closed can easily look like “Jun”. So, is it January or June?

Now let’s throw in July. The shorthand for that is “Jul”. Here we have two months right in a row that start with “Ju”… Again, it is the handwriting that will determine how easy it is to read the correct month. Hopefully we can tell the difference between an 'n' and an 'l'. But mistakes are made and writing misinterpreted.

Here is a couple more: March and May. When you abbreviate March you get “Mar”. May is always just “May”. You can’t use “Ma” because you wouldn't know if it was March or May. If you do research on you often see where folks have interpreted dates differently, because of the confusion over the month and the day, and sometimes over which month is correct.

So, clearly, the months can easily be confused, leading to inaccurate information. It is recommended that if you want to write out the words for the names of the months, that you do not abbreviate, especially the 5 in question, mentioned above. 

However, if you get in the practice of always using the “Dimmie” method (dd/mm/yyyy), your consistency will give folks the confidence of always being able to interpret your dates correctly. When you always use the numbers, there will not be any misunderstanding. Course, on the other hand, if you are writing your numbers out by hand, make sure they are legible, also!

In the end information is only as accurate as the person giving it.

 “History – it’s who we are; Genealogy – it’s who I am” sg

If any of these posts are helpful drop us a line in the comments section below. We just want to know if the information we provide to you is helpful in anyway.

Henry VI
Crowned King at age 9 months.

Henry VI of England is crowned King of France.
Oliver Cromwell takes on dictatorial powers with the title of "Lord Protector."
To protest the tax on tea from England, a group of young Americans, disguised as Indians, throw chests of tea from British ships in Boston Harbor.
A fire in New York City destroys property estimated to be worth $20,000,000. It lasts two days, ravages 17 blocks, and destroys 674 buildings including the Stock Exchange, Merchants' Exchange, Post Office, and the South Dutch Church.
Confederate General Joseph Johnston takes command of the Army of Tennessee.
Union forces under General George H. Thomas win the battle at Nashville, smashing an entire Confederate army.
In Spain, a general strike is called in support of the revolution.
The National Women's Party urges immediate congressional action on equal rights.
British troops carry out an air raid on Italian Somalia.
Germany mounts a major offensive in the Ardennes Forest in Belgium. As the center of the Allied line falls back, it creates a bulge, leading to the name–the Battle of the Bulge.
Chinese Communist leader Mao Tse-tung is received at the Kremlin in Moscow.
President Harry Truman declares a state of National Emergency as Chinese communists invade deeper into South Korea.
President Jimmy Carter appoints Andrew Young as Ambassador to the United Nations.
Cleveland becomes the first U.S. city to default since the depression.
The United States launches a missile attack on Iraq for failing to comply with United Nations weapons inspectors.
President George W. Bush signs the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003, which establishes the United States' first national standards regarding email and gives the Federal Trade Commission authority to enforce the act.

Catherine of Aragon

Catherine of Aragon, first wife of Henry VIII, who bore him six children; only one, Mary I, survived to adulthood.
Ludwig Van Beethoven, German composer best known for his 9th Symphony.
Jane Austen, novelist (Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice).
Arthur C. Clarke, English science fiction writer (2001: A Space Odyssey)
Sir Quentin Saxby Blake, illustrator and children's writer; received the Hans Christian Andersen Award (2002) and was Britain's first Children's Laureate (1999–2001).
Morris Dees, activist; co-founder of the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Liv Ullmann, Norwegian actress and director; won Golden Globe for Best Actress–Motion Picture Drama for The Emigrants (1971).
Steven Bochco, TV producer and writer (Hill Street Blues, L.A. Law).
Billy Gibbons, sinner, songwriter, musician with ZZ Top and Moving Sidewalks bands.
Prince Lorenz of Belgium, Archduke of Austria-Este.
William Perry, pro football defensive lineman nicknamed The Refrigerator because of his size.
Benjamin Bratt, actor best known for his role of Rey Curtis on the Law & Order TV series.
Adam Riess, astrophysicist; shared 2006 Shaw Prize in Astronomy and 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics for providing evidence the expansion of the universe is accelerating.



(verb: des-KANT, dis-, noun: DES-kant)


verb intr.: 1. To talk tediously. 2. To sing or play a descant.
noun: 1. A comment on a subject. 2. An ornamental melody sung or played above a basic melody.


From Latin discantus (refrain), from dis- (apart, away) + cantus (song), from canere (to sing). Ultimately from the Indo-European root kan- (sing), which also gave us hen, chant, accent, enchant, incentive, recant, cantor, and charm. Earliest documented use: 1380.


"These disappointments were descanted on, bitterly and frequently."
John Gross; Lessons of an Immoderate Master; The New York Review of Books; Jun 26, 1997.

One of the oldest human needs is having someone to wonder where you are when you don't come home at night. -Margaret Mead, anthropologist (1901-1978)

Today’s Recipe

Holiday Cooking


1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup butter
1 egg
1 cup molasses
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup hot water


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9-inch square pan.
In a large bowl, cream together the sugar and butter. Beat in the egg, and mix in the molasses.
In a bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves. Blend into the creamed mixture. Stir in the hot water. Pour into the prepared pan.
Bake 1 hour in the preheated oven, until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool in pan before serving.


Now You Know!