Quick tip – Handbook of dates

In the course of my Family and Local History studies at the University of Dundee, I purchased a recommended book: C.R. Cheney, ed., A Handbook of Dates for Students of British History, revised (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004).

While the title indicates it is meant for students of British history, most of the content is usable in the Netherlands too. Some of the topics I find especially useful for research in the Netherlands are:

  • French Republican calendar, with the names of the months, start dates, years, etc.
  • Easter day calculations for different calendars
  • names of Saints Days, especially useful for medieval research
  • Explanation of the Julian and Gregorian calendar
  • adoption dates of the Gregorian calendar for different provinces of the Netherlands.

I find myself using the book at least once per week for my research. A few weeks ago, I used it to determine the date for a ship’s departure, the week before Easter in 1633. It has quickly become one of the most-used books in my library.

If you want to buy the book, please use the affiliate link below. I will receive a small commission that helps to support the website.


About Yvette Hoitink

Yvette Hoitink, CG®, QG™ is a professional genealogist in the Netherlands. She holds the Certified Genealogist credential from the Board for Certification of Genealogists and has a post-graduate diploma in Family and Local History from the University of Dundee. She has been doing genealogy for over 30 years and helps people from across the world find their ancestors in the Netherlands. Read about Yvette's professional genealogy services.


  1. Yvette,
    I just ordered A Handbook of Dates. I am looking forward to getting it. My roots are Dutch and English, mostly. My maternal grandmother was born in Almelo in the Netherlands and immigrated to Canada. She married an Ayers, who’s line I can follow all the way back to England, and I am a direct descendant of royalty in England. The Ayers family married into the Plantagenet line and I go back to William the Conqueror, my 25 X great grandfather. Eleanor de Aquitaine is my 22 X great grandmother. Her son John was my 21 X great grandfather. I love being able to find any resources that help me learn more about my ancestors, Dutch and English. Thank you! Can’t wait to get this book.

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