21 November 2012

Ult. Verus Inst.---At Least I Think

Organizing what I've gotten on Rufus D. Stephens reminded me of the difference between "ult" and "inst." At least I thought I knew what the difference was between the two abbreviations that one encounters in items from the 19th century and beyond.

These two clippings located on Genealogybank.com discuss a manslaughter case in which Rufus was involved. I'm trying to "fix" the date of the event and that's where I noticed a problem. Both papers were printed in February and one refers to the event as the "2d ult." and another refers to it as the "2d inst."

6 February 1805--refers to the date as "2d ult."

Date: Wednesday, February 6, 1805  

Paper: Democrat (Boston, MA) 

obtained on 


14 February 1805-refers to the date as "2d inst."

Date: Thursday, February 14, 1805  

Paper: Northern Post (Salem, NY)-

obtained on 

One of these has to be incorrect. The question is, "which one?"

ult. stands for the Latin "ultimo" meaning the preceding month.
inst. stands for "instant" meaning the current month.

We're working on a longer post explaining what I think happened.

[link to update]
Reminder--we don't include complete citations on blog posts--just our personal preference. Complete citations are always included in Casefile Clues or you can learn about citations in Elizabeth Shown Mills' Evidence Explained. We always do include enough background information in blog posts that readers can find our original sources.If you think we don't, please fire off an email to me at mjnrootdig@gmail.com

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