Sunday, March 4, 2012
Days and Dates...More Family History Fun
So why bother with taking the time to use the Day of the Week Calendar (http://www.searchforancestors.com/utility/dayofweek.html) when doing your family history or researching a specific person in your past?
Glad you asked!
First, it can be useful and instructive to determine precisely when an event happened. For instance, today we normally see weddings taking place on weekend days – Fridays and Saturdays. But in earlier times weddings were family affairs, not elaborate social events, and as such were held at home on whatever days was convenient for all involved. Thus I discovered great-grandparents’ wedding days on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. It gives us a different perspective, doesn’t it?
Second, the day of the week can sometimes explain why an event happened on that particular day. Discovering that the reason someone was so hell-bent on getting a deed recorded or other court document recognized by a certain date makes sense if you discover that date is a Friday and therefore the last “business” day of the month.
Another reason that uncovering the day of the week rather than settling for the date is that it might lead to surprises, verify legends, or settle disputes. My mother always said that each of the four of us girls was born on a Monday, and sure enough! I did my research and we all were, indeed, Monday’s children. Discovering that an ancestor’s adult baptism occurred on a Thursday and then noting that the Thursday in question was just before Easter suggests a desire to be “within the church” by this holy weekend.
Finally, it is just plain fun to know more about the “when” of events. Dad was born on a Friday, Mom on a Wednesday. They married on a Sunday. You can note dates on letters, postcards, and photos and include the day of the week that they were written or snapped or recorded.
I like having those little details available to add to my stories of my family members. It makes things seem more “real” if you will.
Now if there was only an easy way to discover the weather on a specific day, too……