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Although current historical scholarship calls for retention of Old Style dates in transcriptions, historians and genealogists need to be aware that some people living at the time converted the date of an event, such as a birthday, from Old Style to New Style.George Washington, for example, was born on February 11, 1731 under the Julian Calendar, but afterwards recognized the date February 22, 1732 to reflect the Gregorian Calendar.Finally, 11 days were dropped from the month of September 1752.
Protestant countries, including England and its colonies, not recognizing the authority of the Pope, continued to use the Julian Calendar.
By the ninth century, parts of southern Europe began observing first day of the new year on March 25 to coincide with Annunciation Day (the church holiday nine months prior to Christmas celebrating the Angel Gabriel's revelation to the Virgin Mary that she was to be the mother of the Messiah). However, England did not adopt this change in the beginning of the new year until late in the twelfth century.
Because the year began in March, records referring to the "first month" pertain to March; to the second month pertain to April, etc., so that "the 19th of the 12th month" would be February 19.
By that time, the discrepancy between a solar year and the Julian Calendar had grown by an additional day, so that the calendar used in England and its colonies was 11 days out-of-sync with the Gregorian Calendar in use in most other parts of Europe.
England's calendar change included three major components.
Today, Americans are used to a calendar with a "year" based the earth's rotation around the sun, with "months" having no relationship to the cycles of the moon and New Years Day falling on January 1.