Saturday, February 28, 2009

Saturday Night Fun - Leap Year Day Events

It's time for Saturday Night Fun - or perhaps Sunday Morning Fun, since I didn't get this written until bedtime in the EST zone. Whatever fits your schedule, I say.

Thomas MacEntee suggested to me that since this is 28 February and tomorrow is 1 March, that checking your database to see if you have any ancestors who were born or married on 29 February - Leap Year Day. Since it only comes every four years, we should expect fewer of our ancestors to be born or married on Leap Year Day, notwithstanding the Sadie Hawkins shenanigans.

The Saturday Night Fun challenge is:

* Go into your genealogy database software program and determine which of your ancestors, if any, were born on 29 February.

* Do the same and determine if any of your ancestors married on 29 February.

* If you don't have any ancestors born or married on that day, are there any persons in your entire database born or married on that day.

This sounds like a lot of work at first, but if your software can do this, it's a piece of cake. The problem is figuring out how to do it in your software. Fortunately, I posted a summary about this in Searching for birth dates in software. There are step-by-step directions there for several software programs.

My own results show NO ancestors born on 29 February, and NO ancestors married on 29 February. I have about 2,200 ancestors in my database, so this looks a little fishy to me. There is 1 birth and two marriages of ancestors on 28 February, and 4 births and two marriages on 1 March, but none on 29 February. The law of averages says that there should be about 6 births and 3 marriages on each day (although my database has some births and marriages without a day noted, assuming 2,200 persons).

Okay, what about persons in my database? There are 8 persons in my database with a birth day of 29 February, and 3 marriages on 29 February. That compares with 33/7 for 28 February and 30/6 on 1 March. Since 29 February occurs only every four years, the 8/3 number is not inconsistent with the other dates.

I used Legacy Family Tree 7 to create a list of birth and marriage dates for all of my ancestors. I used Legacy to list all persons in my database with a birth or marriage date in February and March. These lists take just seconds to create once you know how to do it.

Either submit a comment to this blog post, or write your own blog post about what you found out. If you have an ancestor born or married on 29 February, tell us something about him/her or them. Enjoy the challenge!

Thanks to Thomas for the idea...


Anonymous said...

The real fun is finding Swedish ancestors born on 1712 Feb 30 - and trying to enter that in your genealogy program. Seriously.

Kathryn Doyle said...

This one's an easy one for me, Randy. I don't have to check my database. My maternal grandfather, Takashi Okamoto, was born 29 Feb 1891. He was an officer in the Japanese army during WWII (yes, the other side). He and his men were killed on 13 Jun 1944 at Truk Island.

Bill West said...

I don't have a single person in
my database for Feb. 29th! Strange,
I would think there would be at least one!

Thomas MacEntee said...

I can't believe out of over 7500 people in my database, not one was born on, died on, or was married on February 29th!

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Another exercise that helped me learn a few things and chuckle some. Here's my post

Debbie Blanton McCoy said...

I found 2 people with Feb 29th birthdays. See my post at Blanton Roots

Anonymous said...

My wife has an ancestor John H. Dudley, whose birth in Pittston, Maine, was recorded as Feb 29, 1803. I have seen the microfilm. The editor of Vital Records of Pittston, Maine, added a [sic] after the date. When his parents moved to Orono, Maine, John H.'s birth was included with the other children, this time as Feb 29, 1804. It was one of the first proofs I had that these people were the same family as in Pittston.
-- Ed H.

Greta Koehl said...

I had five hits ("and a little bit over" - you'll see what that means in the article), though only one was a date of birth; three were dates of death and one was a date of burial. They are at