Calendars, Dates and Research

A couple of nights ago I was hugging and kissing my girls goodnight…a practice, I’m sure an 11-year-old and 13-year-old wish I would drop…when my youngest asked for something. I can’t remember what it was, but she wanted to know if I would buy her something.

“Sure,” I said, “as soon as I get the money.”

“Sunday?” She asked, knowing payday is Friday.

“Maybe,” I said.

“This month?” She asked.

“How about Feb. 29 or 30?” I inquired.

Both girls chuckled, and I grinned.

“Ok,” the 11-year-old said, “how about this year. Will you get it for me this year?”

“I’ll do my best to get it by Dec. 32,” I said.

We all laughed, I said goodnight, then it was lights out.

It’s funny to think of February having 30 days, but it wasn’t very long ago that the second month of the year did indeed have that many days. It happened in the year that the calendars were changed. In that year, 1752, September lost 11 days. Folks went to bed on Sept. 2 and woke up on Sept. 14.

It must have been difficult to change from the Julian calendar, first implemented by Julius Caesar in 46 BC. Pope Gregory XIII introduced his calendar in 1582, but it took about 270 years for the Gregorian to make it to England and the American colonies.

Y’all know I have a new book coming out real soon called, “You Belong to Me”. It’s set in 1748. I came across the info about the Julian calendar when doing research for it. I was afraid I would run into some conflicts of dates.

You could say, I go overboard when it comes to researching history for my stories. LOL

Even though “You Belong to Me” doesn’t take place around Easter, back in 1748 Virginia, my characters would most likely have celebrated on March 25. They do celebrate Christmas in the story, but I didn’t provide a date. It very well may have been on Dec. 25, as it is now. However, it may have been Jan 6, or Old Christmas, as it was called here in Appalachia. Dec. 25 would have been New Christmas. Clear as mud? LOL

Sometimes the research involved in writing one of my books catches me up and sends me down countless rabbit trails. I guess I just love to learn. “You Belong to Me” didn’t require as much research as my last historical, “His Yankee Wife”, but it’s a story that is dear to my heart, and I’m looking forward to sharing it with you. 

In the meantime, hop on over and follow the launch page for it on Facebook. fb.me/YouBelongtoMeBook


One thought on “Calendars, Dates and Research

  1. Wow! Amazing job on that research! I don’t think many people have thought about something like that at all, much less when researching for a novel.


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