Naval Biographical Database

Dates and Sources






Every piece of information held in the database is acompanied by the appropriate date.  When conflicting dates for an event are found, these are invariably recorded and the most logical chosen as the 'master date' - which appears in all the standard reports.

To avoid the confusion and mistakes which often accompany earlier dates, pre-1752 format has been used - e.g. 5 Jan 1695/6.  See 'conventions' for more information.


As with dates, every event recorded on the database is automatically tied to the source of the information, stored under such generic headings as Primary Manuscript and Secondary Printed.  In many instances, when the whole source has been entered it is only necessary to record the source and folio/page.  In other instances, more detail has been recorded when, for example, an isolated list is encountered in a ‘multi-subject' source.  This additional information can be made available but does not appear in the standard reports.  See 'conventions' for more information.

For certain serial publications it is more practicable to enter edition rather than page information.  A typical case might be information about a ship extracted from a Navy List. In this instance, the edition and year are recorded, e.g. 01/18 for January edition, 1818, the century being obvious from the event date.  Likewise, entries from paybooks refer to the line number rather than source page.

Standard abbreviations are used for location of sources, such as BL for British Library. 

© CHD 2010