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á la recherche du temps perdu



This web site represents an ongoing project by which to document a system of kinship that exists among some families which, for the most part, were settled in British North America and in its succession by the United States of America during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Because this system of kinship is rather extensive and, at some points, is traceable into the European Middle Ages, the completion of this project, which was begun 11 November 1998, will yet require a number of years. Accordingly, the data provided at this web site are incomplete. Information at this web site is believed to be accurate but accuracy is by no means guaranteed. The user is advised to check with other sources before relying on information provided here.

The system of kinship, which is illustrated here, is demonstrated through masculine succession and with branching through females. In general, the method of illustration is chronological and analytic.

Although this project may seem like an experiment in passéisme, it is devoted to the species of research that Miguel de Unamuno y Jugo called 'intrahistoria,' that is, to history writ small.

This web site is always under construction. For entries preceded by an asterisk (*), further information is forthcoming. Persons wishing to contribute information to this web site, or who wish to make inquiries, may do so by addressing their email to:

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Editorial Remarks: On Neopuritanism

John Caldwell Calhoun and Jefferson Finis Davis: Portraits

Editorial Remarks: La verità effettuale della cosa

Lois Green Carr: Margaret Brent

American History: Presidential Administrations Before That of
George Washington, the Seventeenth

The War of Regulation: John Harvey versus David Robinson

Debates in the Legislature and in Convention of the State of South Carolina on the Adoption of the Federal Constitution

Morris House, Philadelphia

Tmothy Crumrin: Jews in Early Indiana

George William Featherstonhaugh

Dallas T. Herndon: A Little of What Arkansas Was Like a Hundred Years Ago

The Oaks: The Home of Whitmill Phillips Allen

Sam Houston as Caius Marius

Texas Ordinance of Secession

L'oriflamme de St.-Denis

Some Alphabetic Characters Found in English Manuscripts
and in Early Printed Books


The Julian and Gregorian Calendars in British North America

While converting dates between the Julian and the Gregorian calendars, it must be remembered that, under the Julian calendar, New Year's Day was celebrated in Great Britain and her colonies, including British North America, on the Feast of the Annunciation, that is, on 25 March. Thus, for example, the day following 24 March 1626 was 25 March 1627. What this also means, to take the example further, is that dates on the British Julian calendar between 1 January 1626 and 24 March 1626 correspond to the range of Gregorian dates between 11 January 1627 and 4 April 1627. Accordingly 25 March 1627 on the British Julian calendar corresponds to 5 April 1627 on the Gregorian calendar. Under the Gregorian calendar, New Year's Day, of course, is 1 January.

The British continued to use the Julian calendar with New Year's Day as 25 March until 1752. The British Calendar Act of 1751 for 1752 specified that 2 September 1752, under the Gregorian calendar, would be followed by 14 September 1752, under the Gregorian calendar. Accordingly, in Great Britain, 25 March 1752 was celebrated as New Year's Day under the Julian calendar and the following New Year's Day was celebrated on 1 January 1753 under the Gregorian calendar.


Adapted from Karl T. Hagen: History of the Western Calendar:

Country/Region Last Julian Date

First Gregorian Date

Alaska [Russian North America] 1867.10.05 1867.10.18
Albania 1912.12 1912.12
  Carynthia, Styria


  Spanish Provinces
  Liège [diocese]


Bulgaria 1915.11.01 1915.11.14
Czech Republic [Bohemia, Moravia] 1584.01.06 1584.01.17
  Færø Islands
Estonia 1918.02.01 1918.02.15
Finland 1753.02.17 1753.03.01
Germany, Catholic Regions
  Baden [margravate]
  Bavaria [diocese]
  Cologne [archdiocese, including Aachen]
  Münster [city and archdiocese]
  Strasbourg [diocese only]
  Würzburg [diocese]


Germany, Protestant Regions
  Hildesheim [diocese]
  Neuburg [palatinate]
  Osnabrück [diocese]
  Paderborn [diocese]
  All Others


Great Britain
  British Colonies [including British North America]
Greece 1916.07.14 1916.07.28
Holy Roman Empire, Imperial Court
  [see Germany, Austria, Hungary, Czech Republic]
1584.01.06 1584.01.17
Iceland 1700.11.16 1700.11.28
Italy 1582.10.04 1582.10.15
Latvia 1918.02.01 1918.02.15
Lithuania 1918.02.01 1918.02.15
The Netherlands
  Holland, North Brabant
  Gelderland, Zutphen
  Utrecht, Overijssel
  Friesland, Groningen


Norway 1700.02.18 1700.03.01
Portugal 1582.10.04 1582.10.15
Romania 1919.03.31 1919.04.14
Russia 1918.01.31 1918.02.14
  American Colonies
Sweden 1753.02.17 1753.03.01
  Lucern, Uri, Schwyz, Zug, Freiburg, Solothurn
  Zürich, Bern, Basel, Schaffhouse, Geneva, Thurgovia
  Appenzell, Glarus, St. Gallen


Yugoslavia 1919.03.04 1919.03.18

Birthdate Calculator
By Benjamin D. Buckner, Ph. D.

This utility calculates birthdates from death dates and age of death in day/month/year format. It assumes, in all cases, that the New Year commences on 1 January.

Discussion of Birthdate Calculations from Date of Death and Age at Death
By Benjamin D. Buckner, Ph. D., edited by Bill Hayes

This version of the birth date calculator uses the first two of the three different computation methods:

  1. 30-day fixed-length month (the "8870" system is a variant of this)

  2. Calendar month

  3. 28-day fixed-length month (uses a 13-month year)

Despite many vehement claims to the contrary, all three of these methods are to be encountered in historical Y/M/D or Y/M/W/D age (or time-elapsed) calculations. Based on limited evidence, it appears that 30-day-fixed is probably more likely to have been used in later times, but the 28-day month seems at least to dominate arithmetic texts from the early 1800s on back in the US. The calendar-month method seems to have coexisted with both systems, considered to be more correct but little-used due to its relative complexity. It is best to compare the results of the three calculations for known death date, age, and birth date combinations which approximate the context of the unknown date as closely as possible.

Subtraction Order

There has been some concern as to whether subtraction order (low-order place to high-order place vs. high-order place to low-order place) makes a difference with these calculations. It apparently does not with fixed-month calculations. For real-month calculations, it can, depending on how the borrowing is done. When borrowing days from months (in the low-high), the number of days should probably be the length of the month before the month which is borrowed from. If the high-low calculation uses this same length, as it probably should, then the low-high and high-low should give the same result. Note, however, that I haven't proven these propositions rigorously so some doubt does still linger. Such a low-high implementation is used in the birth date calculator, and a similar high-low function is also provided in the source code, though it is not used.

Borrowing Approximations in Fixed-Month-Length Systems

The fixed-month systems, despite being mostly free from concerns over subtraction order, have conceptual difficulties in the way they borrow. While year lengths in fixed-month systems are typically given in terms of months and days, the actual calculation of time elapsed in these systems usually seems to neglect the left-over days when borrowing (see The American Tutors' Assistant , J. Crukshank, Philadelphia, 1813 -- Early American Imprints, Series 2, #27718). Since neglecting the days seems to be a common (though mathematically questionable) practice, my fixed calculation functions always drop this term as well, but it is entirely possible that the calculation of age in some instances may have preferred to take the extra days into account.

The Curious 28-day Month

I have no direct evidence of the 28-day-month (with 13-month year) having been used in Y/M/D ages on tombstones yet, but 17th ( Cocker's Arithmetick , Edward Cocker, London, 1691.), 18th ( The American Youth's Instructor, Daniel Fenning, Dover, New Hampshire, 1795), and early 19-century British and American sources indicate that it was definitely the preferred method for Y/M/W/D time-elapsed calculations and generally preferred for Y/M/D calculations. The use of a 30-day month for calculations in contrast is unattested until the late 1800s so far as I can tell (and I have yet to see any attestation personally, though I've been told they exist). For an age given with weeks, the birth date calculator can still be used by multiplying the number of weeks by 7 and adding this to the number of days, and then using the 28-day calculation result.

Daniel Fenning notes in his late 18th-century American Youth's Instructor (see above, p. 49):

Though 13 months are said to make a year and servants commonly reckon a month 28 days: yet you are to observe, that in trade, and transacting business by a month is meant a Calendar Month , that is from any day of the month to the same day of the next month: Thus, from the 5th of February to the 5th of March , or from the 18th of April to the 18th of May is a month.

(Fenning's italics - long-'s' and ligatures transliterated.)

This note tells us two extremely significant things:

  1. The 28-day month was then in "common" use, apparently due to its comparative simplicity.

  2. Though the 28-day month was common, "Calendar Months" were considered to be more technically correct, at least by Fenning. However, the frequency of the 28-day month in arithmetic books aimed at practical calculations and the fact that Fenning's own examples use it as well suggest to me that the technically preferred calendar month was probably not used very often, except perhaps in such trivial cases as he cites.

It should also be said that a few of the works noted mention in passing a "solar" year of 12 "solar" months and a "lunar" year of 13 "lunar" months, but these terms are little-used outside the context of simple definition and the lunar month (approximated to 28-days) is still the only one used in computation examples where "lunarity" and "solarity" are denoted. Generally, the arithmetics at least mention the actual length of the year in days and hours but they do little with it. One might perhaps see a glimmer of the 30-day month in the guise of a "solar" month, but none of the sources are really clear whether this is to be considered 30 days or 1/12 of the 365 days and 6 hours in a year.

The identification of the 28-day month in old record beds should be easy though. Approximately 1 in 26 ages in such records should indicate an age of 12 months (1/2 borrow from the years place and 1/13 of those give 12 mos.). Neither of the other systems would be expected to give this result as a matter of course. Ages in weeks, as mentioned, are a good indicator too. Unfortunately, it is not yet clear when the common preferred method changed from the 28-day to the 30-day approximation system. The best evidence so far seems to indicate this would have been in the mid-to-late 1800s in the United States. Data for other regions is so far lacking.

Julian and Gregorian Calendars

The calculator also now allows Julian calendar dates, but you cannot mix Julian and Gregorian dates or ages in the same calculation. Generally, the Julian result will be identical, but there are a few exceptions, namely for certain date combinations which cross century years which are not divisible by 400 (e.g. 1400, 1500, 1700, 1800, 1900, ...). None of around ten pre-1820 sources which I examined even acknowledged the existence of the slight year-length difference, including the usually pedantic and meticulous Fenning, so the chances that people at the time remembered to account for it are small.

Real-Time Accuracy

Interestingly, the 28-day method is the most accurate of these three in terms of its ability to get time-elapsed. The calendar-month method of course gives a result that is really rather useless for measuring how much real time has passed between two events since the month is not a fixed unit of time in that system. The 30-day does have a month that is fixed, but it normally neglects 5 and 97/400 days while the 28-day only neglects 1 and 97/400 days. Of course, the fact that month units are so inconsistent probably explains why no one uses them for measuring real time anymore. Even the most modest computer systems routinely measure time and date in seconds if not milliseconds (converting to Y/M/D only for the user's convenience). However, this accuracy concern is of no real bearing on the question of historicity.

Why Bother?

Aside from the more general question of "why bother with history," certain people have raised the question "why worry about the calculation method if there is already error from other sources?" When phrased more thoughtfully, this is a good question, but a sad fact of life is that all data contains some degree of error. This does not mean that trying to reduce error is pointless or that all data is useless. The question really should be "how much error is introduced by a wrong choice of calculation method compared to error arising from other sources ?"

I can't answer this exactly. For one thing the "other sources of error," which I'll call "inherent error" are likely to vary in frequency and magnitude from source to source. From the few record beds I've seen evidence for, I would roughly guess that the error rate tends to be something on the order of 10% and the magnitude in root-mean-square-error over all samples is around 1 or 2 days (if you don't know what this means, just figure that this is about the size you would expect in a "typical" error). Now the difference between 30-day and calendar month-systems is actually fairly close to this (which also makes me worry that some of the error quoted above may be due to some as-yet unconsidered calculation method) so choosing the correct method between those two is roughly (I know this is far from exact) only a matter of cutting the error in half. The 28-day method is the real joker because it commonly comes up with a month's difference from the 30-day and calendar results and very often shows at least a small difference. I haven't rigorously computed its error contribution, but I feel very confident that it overwhelms the inherent error rate and may be significantly larger than the inherent error magnitude in all but the most error-prone data sources. Therefore avoiding this calculation error can be expected to yield large improvements in the accuracy of calculated birth dates.

This JavaScript utility uses tables, the forms interface and, of course, JavaScript.

Script by Benjamin D. Buckner, Ph. D.


Month Length:

Please enter date of death and age at death. In order for the calculator to operate, the Days, Months, and Years fields for age at death must each contain an entry, even if the value of the entry is zero.

  Day Month Year
  Days Months Years


To perform your calculation, click on this button: .



United States National Archives and Records Administration
Library of Congress: American Memory: Historical Collections for the National Digital Library

Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System
The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies (1880 - 1901)
Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion (1894 - 1922)
A Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation: U. S. Congressional Documents and Debates, 1774 - 1875
Journal of the Confederate Congress
[Provisional Confederate Congress: 4 February 1861 - 17 February 1862
First Confederate Congress: 18 February 1862 - 17 February 1864
Second Confederate Congress: 2 May 1864 - 18 March 1865]

Maryland State Archives
Maryland Historical Society: Library
Exploring Maryland's Roots: Library
St. Mary's Families

DeBow's Review (1846 - 1869)
Southern Literary Messenger (1835 - 1864)

Cornell University: Making of America
Louisiana State University Digital Library
The Perseus Digital Library: American Civil War
University of Michigan: Making of America
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill: Documenting the American South
The Library of Virginia

Louisiana Archives Index: Orleans Parish: Directories
Louisiana Archives Index: Orleans Parish: Cemeteries
New Orleans Marriage Index: Daily Picayune (1837 - 1857)
New Orleans Death Index: Daily Picayune (1837 - 1857) + 1870
New Orleans Public Library: Louisiana Division
New Orleans Public Library: City Archives

New Georgia Encyclopedia

The Handbook of Texas Online
Southwestern Historical Quarterly
Texas Monthly

Encyclopedia Britannica (1911) [The last "literary" edition.]
The Avalon Project at Yale Law School: Documents in Law, History, and Diplomacy
Liberty Library of Constitutional Classics
Virtual American Biographies

English-America: The Voyages, Vessels, People, and Places
The Family History Society of Cheshire
The South Cheshire Family History Society



Geographic Names Information System (GNIS)
Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
United States Gazetteer
United States Atlas: 1895




Halifax County, North Carolina:
Cox Genealogy - Western North Carolina:
Cox Genealogy - Western North Carolina:
Cox Genealogy - Western North Carolina:
New River Valley Historical Notes:
Pat's Genealogy Links:
Sloan Surname Researchers:
Frank Mitchell's Sloan Connection:
Escutcheons of Science:




This site is always under construction.

    This motion picture is a sample from the photographic study of animate motion that was commenced by Eadweard Muybridge (1830 - 1904) at the University of Pennsylvania in 1884 and 1885 and which was published in 1887.    

The author and designer of this web site is an alumnus of the
University of Toronto

Crescit occulto velut arbor ævo . . . . Horace, Odes 1.12.45


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  United States Code, Title 17, Chapter 1:

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Reference: Cornell University, Legal Information Institute: United States Code []



As a founding father of antiseptic medicine, George Humphrey Tichenor (17 April 1837, Ohio County, Kentucky - 14 January 1923, New Orleans, Orleans Parish, Louisiana) was about sixteen years behind the very unfortunate Ignác Fülöp Semmelweis and two years ahead of the very fortunate Joseph Lister. About Tichenor, the following account is from Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia:


Dr. George Humphrey Tichenor (1837 - 1923) was a surgeon, and a pioneer in the use of antiseptics.

Tichenor was born in Ohio County, Kentucky, on April 17, 1837. Tichenor served as a surgeon for the military of the Confederate States of America during the American Civil War, and experimented with the use of alcohol as an antiseptic on wounds. He was badly wounded in the leg in 1863 and amputation was recommended, but he insisted on treating his wounds with an alcohol based solution of his own devising, and successfully healed and regained the use of his leg.

His potential reputation as a humanitarian was no doubt clouded by his fierce regional loyalty; Tichenor insisted that his techniques be used only on injured Confederates, never on Yankee prisoners.

After the war he started bottling Dr. Tichenor's Patent Medicine in New Orleans, Louisiana; the formula, consisting of alcohol, oil of peppermint1 and arnica, was originally marketed as useful for a wide variety of complaints, to be used both internally and externally, for man and beast. The company producing this liquid was incorporated in 1905 and is still in existence, though the recommended uses are now more modest, principally as mouthwash and topical antiseptic.

  1. oil of peppermint: Oil of peppermint seems not to have been a component of the original formula. It was added, for flavour, at some time after the War Between the States.

Also about George Humphrey Tichenor, the following is from Louisiana: Comprising Sketches of Parishes, Towns, Events, Institutions, and Persons, Arranged in Cyclopedic Form (volume 3), pp. 430 - 431, edited by Alcée Fortier, Lit. D. and published in 1914 by Century Historical Association:

  Tichenor, Dr. G. H., 214 Canal street, New Orleans, was born in Ohio county, Kentucky, April 17, 1837; son of Rolla and Elizabeth (Humphrey) Tichenor, both of whom were natives of the State of Kentucky. The father was a merchant and steamboat owner, and continued in these pursuits throughout life. His death occurred at Columbus, Kentucky, in 1853. The mother died at Rumsey, Kentucky, in 1851. To their union 2 children were born, the subject of this sketch being the eldest. G. H. Tichenor received the usual public school education of that time, which was somewhat limited in most sections of the South, at Rumsey, and after leaving school devoted considerable time to the private study of chemistry. Shortly after the beginning of the Civil war the young man was commissioned by the Confederate government to manufacture gun cotton. Later he was appointed an assistant surgeon in the army, and some time afterward passed the required examination by the army board and was commissioned surgeon at Okolona, Mississippi. Following this commission, it is said that Dr. Tichenor introduced the first use of antiseptic surgery in the Confederate army, and by so doing saved the lives of many soldiers and made amputation of limbs unnecessary in frequent cases. After the close of the war the doctor resumed the study of chemistry, and a little later made a special study of the subject of antiseptics, this ultimately resulting in the perfection of the preparation since known as Dr. Tichenor's antiseptic refrigerant. In 1884 he located at Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and remained there about four years, following which, in 1888, he removed to New Orleans, formed a partnership with J. M. Sherrouse, and located at 230 Canal street. This partnership continued about five years, when the business was merged into the Sherrouse Medicine Co., and by lease Dr. Tichenor continued to control the manufacture of the antiseptic until the year 1905, when the Dr. G. H. Tichenor Antiseptic Co. purchased the unexpired lease of the Sherrouse Medicine Co. The officers of the Dr. G. H. Tichenor Antiseptic Co. are: A. D. Parker, president; W. R. Irby, vice-president; Dr. G. H. Tichenor, manufacturing chemist, and T. A. Lipscomb, secretary and treasurer. The personnel of the officers has remained the same since the original organization of the corporation. The business is now located at 214 Canal street, in a building owned by the company, and this fact testifies largely to the substantial growth of demand for the preparation there manufactured, which is said to increase with each succeeding year. The marriage of Dr. G. H. Tichenor and Margaret Ann Drane of Kentucky, was solemnized November 12, 1863, in Canton, Mississippi. Mrs. Tichenor is a daughter of Rev. T. J. and Margaret (Thurman) Drane, both of whom were natives of Kentucky, but now deceased. To Dr. and Mrs. Tichenor 3 children have been born, namely: Rolla A., an attorney and notary public of New Orleans; G. H., Jr., a practicing physician in the same city, and Elnore Drane, a practicing physician of Detroit, Michigan. The latter is a graduate of the University of Michigan, having graduated from the last-named institution with the class of 1911, following which he served some time in the Harper hospital infirmary at Detroit. For two seasons the young doctor was assistant bacteriologist at the University of Michigan.1 The father, Dr. G. H. Tichenor, is a member of Amite Lodge, Free and Accepted Masons, and affiliates with the Baptist church. He has practiced medicine and surgery more than 45 years.
  1. University of Michigan: This account of the children of Dr. George Humphrey Tichenor is in error. Rolla ("Rollie") A. Tichenor was born in Mississippi in September 1865. George H. Tichenor, Jr. was born in Mississippi in January 1876. "Elnore Drane" was not a son but a daughter, Elenora, born in Louisiana in November 1883. There was also another daughter, Sallie, born in Mississippi about 1868. Previous to moving to Baton Rouge, the family of Dr. George Humphrey Tichenor made its home in Liberty, Amite County, Mississippi.