Today I updated my Birth Dates. I do this every so often (probably about twice /year). In People>Tree view I ran a filter and included all individuals, next I excluded those whose birth date existed. This left me with a filtered list of individuals without birth dates. I then went down the list and for each individual I checked to see if there was a birth date for their spouse. If so, then I subtracted 2 years for males or added 2 years for females. I made sure to include the prefix ‘abt’ so that I will know that it was an estimation. If there isn’t a spouse then looked at the birth dates for the mother or father. I generally go with the mother’s birthdate and add 20 years. Be sure to look for a marriage date as generally children are born after the marriage date. For siblings I just add 2 years for each as this is a general rule for birth order.
Why do I do this? First, it gives me a general timeframe in which to look for a person. Second, it helps me determine individuals that should be deceased so that I can search for sources. It also allows me to create a more accurate list of individuals to post online – I really don’t want to post records of deceased but I do want to post on as many records as possible.
To mark individuals as deceased I mark the death date field for all individuals that were born 110 years before the current year (i.e. 2015) as ‘Deceased’. So if I am looking at someone that was born about 1905 or before then I can be reasonably sure that they are deceased (I don’t think there are many 110 year olds out there) and can mark them as ‘Deceased’. I can then filter to search for deceased to search for sources easily.
Does this make sense to you? Do you estimate dates? What are your reasons?