I do not know the exact date to put in Family Tree

If you do not know the exact date, you can leave it within the day or time of year based on other information.

Incomplete dates

If you do not know an exact date, you can enter incomplete dates like this:

  • 1988
  • August 1988

Calculated or estimated date

If you don’t know a date, maybe you can calculate one. For example, you can calculate a birth date based on the person's recorded age at the time of an event. So if an 1860 census lists a person as two years old, you can calculate the birth year as 1858. In Family Tree, you can enter the calculated date in one of these ways:

  • 1858
  • Calculated 1858

Death dates

You can also estimate the year of an event based on other information. In Family Tree, you can enter one of the following words with the estimated year:

  • Before
  • After
  • About

Following are examples of how you can estimate a date.

  • You have information that an ancestor died during World War I. The death date could be approximated as About 1914 (the starting date of the war; you could also list another year of the war if you knew the person died toward the middle or end of the war).
  • ​You have information that an ancestor died just prior to the start of World War I. The death date could be approximated as Before 1914.
  • You have a marriage date but not a birth date. You can approximate birth years from the year of marriage. The general assumption used for such instances is that a man married at age 25 and a woman at age 21. Thus, if you have a marriage date of 1875, you can list the husband’s birth date as About 1850 and the wife’s birth date as About 1854. (These are general rules and vary slightly based on culture, time frame, or country.)
  • You know a marriage date but not the birth dates of the couple’s children. You can use an approximate year for the birth of those children. Estimate birth of the first child as one year after the parents’ marriage and that subsequent children were born every two years after that. For example, if a couple married in 1800 and had two children, the first child’s approximated year of birth would be About 1801 and the second child’s approximated year of birth would be about 1803.
  • You can use family knowledge or tradition as sources for dates. For example, if family tradition says that an ancestor was 16 years old when she married in 1876, you can approximate the birth year as About 1860.

Date ranges

You know that an event occurred within a specific time period. In this case, enter the earliest date and the latest date, as in this example: From 1860 to 1870.

No death date

You know the person is deceased but do not know the exact date of death. Click the Deceased option and either leave the date field blank or enter an estimated year.

If the individual shows a death date and you try to delete it, a save failed error can occur. Use one of the formats for an estimated date instead.

Estimated and partial dates affect the birth order of children

  • The standardized dates determine the order of children or multiple spouses in Family Tree.
  • If you use an estimated or partial date for a child or spouse, they can appear out of order. See Related Articles for more information.

Why are my ancestor's siblings listed out of order?
How do I enter dates and places be into Family Tree?
How do I fix data problems in Family Tree?
Shortcuts for entering dates into Family Tree
How do I enter dates from classical Chinese texts into Family Tree?

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