Thursday, February 11, 2016

The 8870 Formula

Out at St. Marks church in Ralph is a number of tombstones.  Included in the tombstones is one for Stephen Ellis
a little closer look at the tombstone will show
Stephen Ellis died June 25 1857  at 52 years 9 months 6 days of age
What is missing is the year that he was born
An approximation of the birth year, month and day can be made by using the 8870 formula

The Stephen Ellis Problem:

1857|06|25     Died June 25, 1857

–  52|09|06
     Age 52 years, 9 months, 6 days

–         88 70
     Subtract constant formula of 8870
1804|08|49     Person was born August 49 1804, obviously August does not have 49 days so subtract 30 and add one month to the birth date giving us September 19, 1804.

It happens that the birthdate of September 19 1804 is consistent with other known data on Stephen Ellis but if you use the 8870 formula you should always refer to the birthdate as about Sept 19, 1804 as you can never be sure.

There are online calculators for the birthdate for those who won't do manual math.
Photos were made by Terry Phillips Seitz


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