Finally, in the newest free update to RootsMagic 6, they have fine tuned the date calculations so it can understand, reformat, convert and sort an entry in the old Quaker date format.
If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, you’ll have noticed that I’ve had my trials when looking for a software program that will handle, understand and convert Quaker dates (both old and new style) within the program.
For the longest time now, up until recently, RootsMagic was the only software that would accept the custom date format, but it didn’t have the capability of converting it to the modern format for the sort date. This meant that every time I entered a Quaker date, which could be written one of a number of ways, I had to manually calculate and convert the date and enter it in the background sort date cell so events would sort correctly.
For example, while transcribing data from a source in which the date is noted as “22 11th mo 1724″, I would type it exactly as seen in the source. Then I’d have to calculate the actual date in modern terms using a confusing and complicated formula that I won’t go into here because with RootsMagic 6 there’s no need to know it. RootsMagic 6 now magically reformats the date I’ve typed, “22 11th mo 1724″, to show as 22da 11mo 1724 in the main date field. Meanwhile a few cells lower, the sort date has automatically converted the Quaker date to the modern equivalent for accurate sorting and timelines, “22 Jan 1725.”
I love this! Several times now, I’ve corresponded with the staff at both Family Tree Maker and Heredis, hoping they would update their software to at the very least, accept and show custom date formats as entered and allow the user to manually enter a sort date. My correspondence with Heredis was just a few months ago and I must say they were interested and emailed me right away, asking for a copy of my gedcom and RootsMagic file so they could take a look at how it handles custom date entries. I’ve heard nothing since. Then, a week or so ago, I received an announcement that they were releasing a new version and I was so excited, hoping it had been changed to use custom date formats.
I immediately downloaded the trial and entered a gedcom that has custom dates entered, but alas, no such date management feature had been set up.
I’m hoping this was because they heard RootsMagic 6 was improving its date handling and wanted to see it first, not that they shelved it. Since the Heredis software maker is in France, it’s been difficult to convince them just how prevalent Quaker ancestors are in American ancestries.