Quarter Dates

This article has been written after discussion on the FH Mailing List.


Births, Marriages, and Deaths have been registered centrally in England and Wales since 1837 in Quarter Years. The Quarters are January to March, April to June, July to September, and October to December.

Each registration is given a reference by the General Register Office such as 1P 315. To obtain more details the document referred to must be ordered.

How To Record This In Family Historian

Family Historian recognises quarter dates. Either enter the year and then using the three dot icon, choose the Quarter Date tab and amend or include the quarter date in the date based field e.g. Q2 1962.

The GEDCOM standard doesn't support the Quarter format for dates and so if, for example:

Q1 1970

is entered Family Historian records the date within the GEDCOM file as 'BET JAN 1970 AND MAR 1970'. This ensures that other applications that follow the GEDCOM standard are able to interpret the quarter dates correctly. This also works the other way round so that if you record a date in Family Historian as:

btw Oct 1970 and Dec 1970

You will see that it is displayed as:

Q4 1970

Those quarter date modes are governed by Tools > Preferences > General > Use quarter date display format.


Service ~ FreeBMD (UK GRO BMD Index) - This is a volunteer based project who's aim is to transcribe the Civil Registration index of births, marriages and deaths for England and Wales and to provide free Internet access to the transcribed records.

In FH for any Date field click the […] button on the right to open the Date Entry Assistant dialogue and see the Quarter Date tab and also the Range tab.