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1636" is immediately followed by a court held "21 Febr.
1636," which is followed, in turn, by "A Cort att Hartford, Mrch 28th, 1637".
During the Middle Ages, it began to became apparent that the Julian leap year formula had overcompensated for the actual length of a solar year, having added an extra day every 128 years. By 1582, seasonal equinoxes were falling 10 days "too early," and some church holidays, such as Easter, did not always fall in the proper seasons.
In that year, Pope Gregory XIII authorized, and most Roman Catholic countries adopted, the "Gregorian" or "New Style" Calendar." As part of the change, ten days were dropped from the month of October, and the formula for determining leap years was revised so that only years divisible by 400 (e.g., 1600, 2000) at the end of a century would be leap years.
The changeover involved a series of steps: Out of context, it is sometimes hard to determine whether information in colonial records was entered "Old Style" or "New Style." Some examples: In the Public Records of the Colony of Connecticut, "A Corte at New Towne [Hartford] 27 Decr.
To avoid misinterpretation, both the "Old Style" and "New Style" year was often used in English and colonial records for dates falling between the new New Year (January 1) and old New Year (March 25), a system known as "double dating." Such dates are usually identified by a slash mark [/] breaking the "Old Style" and "New Style" year, for example, March 19, 1631/2.
Occasionally, writers would express the double date with a hyphen, for example, March 19, 1631-32.
Between 15, not only were two calendars in use in Europe (and in European colonies), but two different starts of the year were in use in England.
Although the "Legal" year began on March 25, the use of the Gregorian calendar by other European countries led to January 1 becoming commonly celebrated as "New Year's Day" and given as the first day of the year in almanacs.
When first implemented, the "Julian Calendar" also moved the beginning of the year from March 1 to January 1.