Last Updated:  1 Sept  2003

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Bessarabian History continuted......

Calendar Used In Russia Till The End of World War I

In Russia [accept Finland] the Julian Calendar, which was established by Julius Cesar in 46 B.C., was adopted by the Council of Nicrea in 325 A. D..  From that point in time up and through World War I (1918), the Russians continued to used the Julian Calendar.  However, the rest of Europe  and most of the world had adopted the use of the Gregorian Calendar.  This meant Russia's calendar was behind the rest of Europe by 12 or 13 days.  For example, Jan 1st  in Russia was the 14th of Jan in Europe. Therefore, when a person is reading a record of a birthday  before World War I in the Russian record, according to this fact, the date can be changed to the 14th of July and be correct.  Many of our ancestors who migrated to the USA before World War I may or may not have changed their birthday to be correct with the Gregorian Calendar after they migrated outside of Russia up to 1918. Then, again, some may have.  When you have a birth date of a grandparent who should know his own birthday, and,  it's written on records, but,  your parent remembers his birthday was never celebrated on the 14th of July but the 1st,  you can, now, understand how this could have occurred.  Dates found in records in the German-Russian colonies should be marked  1 Jan_____ (O.S.).  O.S. refers to Old Style or the date used with the Julian Calendar.  14 Jan (N.S.) refers to New Style and the use of the Gregorian Calendar. To confuse you farther,  in leap year the difference is just 12 days....

More examples:

 1 Dec  1885  [O.S.] in  Russia = 14 Dec 1885  [N.S.] in Germany or USA [outside of Russia]

31 Dec  1885  [O.S.] in Russia  = 13 Jan.1886 [N.S.]  in Germany or USA [outside of Russia]

Even the year can change if an ancestor was born in late December and if 13 days are added then the ancestor who was born in 1885  in Russia who  then migrated to  USA or Germany [outside of Russia], the date is changed the 13 days which means the ancestor wasn't born in 1885 but 1886.

The Russian Orthodox Church, who has never changed because of anything the communist ruled, continues to use the Julian Calendar, not the Gregorian, therefore, they still, in 2002, celebrate their holidays 13 days after the rest of the world which has adopted the Gregorian Calendar.





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Hubert Sym