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English New Year Was Mar. 25 Until 1751

In a message dated 12/26/2002 11:07:50 AM Eastern Standard Time, 
labehotiere@wanadoo.fr writes:

> "During the Middle Ages, the Church remained opposed to celebrating New
> Years. January  has been celebrated as a holiday by Western nations for 
> only
> about the past 400 years."
> The Julian Calendar proclaimed by Julius Caesar was largely replaced on the 
> European continent (some exceptions in Protestant northern Europe) by the 
> Gregorian Calendar, proclaimed in 1582.  England and its colonies did not 
> get around to replacing the Julian Calendar until 1752, following the 
> British adoption of the Calendar (New Style) Act of 1751. Under the Julian 
> Calendar the English celebrated New Year on March 25!

For this reason genealogical researchers run across dates like this: "Feb. 
11, 1731\2," for the dates before 1752 in the part of the year Jan. 1 to Mar. 
25.  Feb. 11, 1731\2 was the birthdate of George Washington.  Under the 
present calendar he was born Feb. 22, 1732, and his birthday is celebrated 
then. When the Gregorian Calendar was adopted in 1752, eleven days had to be 
dropped to get right with the sun.  (Not having made the change the Russians 
celebrated the Bolshevik Revolution of Nov. 7, 1917 as "the Great October 

In Scotland January 1st was adopted as the New Year from 1600, according to 
an act of the Privy Council of 1599. This is a fact of some importance for 
legal documents executed there before 1752.

Susan Sinclair Grady
Alexandria, Va.


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