Saturday, April 25, 2009

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Where's Your Date Calculator?

It's Saturday Night again - time for a little Genealogy Fun. My readers waxed very poetic last week both in comments to my SNGF post and on their own blogs. Well done!

This week, let's do something quick and easy in your genealogy software program. Are you able to calculate an age at death from a birth date and a death date? I usually can. Are you able to calculate a birth date from a death date and an age at death (in years, months, days)? I usually cannot.

Here's the challenge:

1) Open your genealogy software program and search for a "Date Calculator." You could go exploring in your Tools or Options menu, or you could use the Help menu to find it.

2) Open the "Date Calculator" and put in a death date for one of your ancestors and put in an age at death (use the one you know, or just make one up - we're just testing this feature today). Do the same thing by entering a birth date and a death date in the "Date Calculator" and see how old someone was when they died.

3) Tell us what software you're using and where you found the "Date Calculator." Tell us the information you found out from using the "Date Calculator."

You can get extra credit if you ask a genea-blogger for a date and calculate how many years... um, maybe not.

For my first example: Elizabeth Horton (Dill) Smith died in Leominster, Massachusetts on 28 November 1869, at the age of 75 years, 6 months, 9 days (according to the information on her death certificate in Leominster). I opened RootsMagic 4, found the "Date Calculator" in the Tools menu, entered the death date and age, and found that she was born on 19 May 1794 according to the available information. In RM 4, I had to click on the "Calculator" icon to the right of the blank Birth date box in order to obtain the result.

For my second example, I wanted to know how old Elizabeth (Dill) Smith would be today. So I blanked out the age at death, used the birth date 19 May 1794, and the current date of 25 April 2009 and clicked on the "Calculator" icon next to the Age box and found that she was born 214 years, 11 months and 6 days ago.

Go play in your database and have some genealogy fun!


Diana Ritchie said...

[sorry if this comes through twice - I'm not sure it "took" the first time]

I've posted my findings over on my blog.

This is 2 weeks in a row I've managed to participate actually ON Saturday. I always looks forwarding to seeing what you will come up with next ~ THANKS!

Lori E said...

I know the challenge is to use the date calculator but if people don't have one they can try this.
The 8870 formula. I'll show it on yours.

Start with death date and subtract age (both done as year,month,day)

Now subtract the constant of 887017940519-8870=17931649 or
1793 + 16 months + 49 day You count a month as 30 days.
1794 05 19

There you have it easy as pie. By the way I make lousy pie crust.

Chris said...

I've used the RM3 and RM4 date calculator numerous times, but figured I'd play with it today for grins.

I decided to see how old my Dad would be, but as soon as I looked at his record I realized I didn't need the calculator.

He would have been 101 today!

Chris said...

Just to add, he's been gone for 49 y 7m 6d

Bill West said...

Hey Randy!
Posted mine at I went a little further,
figuring out ancestors' wedding
anniversary and the age difference
when they married.

Thanks for a fun challenge!

Cousin Russ said...


Thank you for the challenge. I was up to it and completed the assignment, on time. (for a change)

Thank you