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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.During the Middle Ages, it began to became apparent that the Julian leap year formula had overcompensated for the actual length of a solar year, having added an extra day every 128 years. By 1582, seasonal equinoxes were falling 10 days "too early," and some church holidays, such as Easter, did not always fall in the proper seasons.In that year, Pope Gregory XIII authorized, and most Roman Catholic countries adopted, the "Gregorian" or "New Style" Calendar." As part of the change, ten days were dropped from the month of October, and the formula for determining leap years was revised so that only years divisible by 400 (e.g., 1600, 2000) at the end of a century would be leap years.
The changeover involved a series of steps: Out of context, it is sometimes hard to determine whether information in colonial records was entered "Old Style" or "New Style." Some examples: In the Public Records of the Colony of Connecticut, "A Corte at New Towne [Hartford] 27 Decr.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.