DATE FORMATTING from the 1600s

Occasional Visitor

Hello!  I'm helping a friend who handles genealogy records for the entire island of Malta.  We have date conversion issues.  I learned how to reformat and strip cells of TEXT formatting.  The problem I am having is that, once I did get the formatting done the way that I need it (i.e., 3 Mar 1980), when it comes to the very old records (i.e., 5 April 1683), the efforts I made to amend the format stop working.  Is there a limitation on the date spread we are allowed to use on Excel, or is a date a date? Thank you so much!

2 Replies


Date is sequential integer number where 1 is Jan 01, 1900 (for Windows). Applying format you only show such number in user-friendly way. For the early dates there are some workarounds, but in any case these will be not dates in terms of Excel.

Perhaps you may share small sample file to illustrate the question.


HI Just joined looking for another subject but am interested in info from your data base. Great, great Grandfather was registered as born in Malta. Perhaps you could send me your link so I can give your more detail. thanks.