The dates given in the short histories are taken from the individual sources used. Inevitably I get mail noting incorrect dates. The reason is not inaccuracy, but the calendar. Before 1752 Great Britain used the Old Julian Calendar - whose year began on 25 March and which overestimated the solar year. The New Style Calendar went into effect in 1752. The New Style Calendar adjusted the year adding 10 days through 1699, 11 days beginning with 1700 and leaving out 11 days in 1752 (thus September 3 became September 14). It also began the year on January 1. Due to both the eleven day difference and the difference in the month the year began, under the Old Julian Calendar, George Washington was born February 11, 1731/2. The New Style date would be February 22, 1732.
Most sources do not state whether they are using Julian or New Style dates. To simplify my life I have used the date as given in a source.
History is subject to many interpretations and these are often controversial. Clearly a history of Scotland written by a Highlander would differ from one written by a Lowlander or someone from England. You may disagree with my interpretations. If so, I encourage you to send a suggested reading list. History is a living subject and no interpretation is the final word.
I have also learned that history is a very personal subject, particularly to genealogists. You may have an ancestor, or someone you feel strongly about, portrayed in a short history in a way you do not find flattering. If you write I will correct any factual errors for which there is a printed source and add verified information that I find appropriate or interesting. I will also accept for review any link submissions to websites that provide additional information and a differing point of view. If they meet my standards they will be added to the appropriate history page.
The short histories are meant to be an introduction to a subject rather than comprehensive. I have put other links and listed sources on the pages so that, if you wish, you have an opportunity to "study" further.
Who is the Contemplator?
In case you are wondering about my qualifications, I have an M.A. in History from Shippensburg University. My biography is here.
I have done my best to gather information from academic and reliable sources and to be as accurate and objective as possible. I have obviously not followed any style manual in regard to footnotes - this is, after all, a hobby, but one of the difficulties with the internet is misinformation and lack of information accountability. I feel it is important to document sources as much as possible. Therefore, I have documented where each tune comes from and where the information came from.
Please remember that all things in print are not necessarily correct. There are a great many legends regarding many of the old songs. There has also been a great deal of research into ballads and folksongs since some of my sources were written. It is impossible for me to keep up with the research. When a correction is brought to my attention, I note it.