I was posed this question recently and wonder how others would approach this issue:

We often are told someone died in (for example) December 2018, but no day. The system won't let me enter it without a day. I don't like to just put 31st or whatever, because we do get queries from people looking up ancestry info. Is there any way to set it so it will take just a month/year combo without the date?

Thinking out loud: I could set up a custom date field that only shows month and year (but then what about the case where they are only told the year, not the month...). I suppose I could do separate fields, a dropdown for month and a text field for year. And then maybe if I use the new contact layout editor extension, I can even move these fields into more logical places than usual?

  • Not really a full answer that covers all your scenarios but at civicrm/admin/setting/preferences/date you can set the date preference to only take year and month. But if you only ever need to display this info and not process it in some way, could it just be a custom field with freeform text?
    – Demerit
    Mar 21, 2019 at 22:45
  • Good point. I think I need to find out whether they need any search/search-by-range capabilities.
    – Laryn
    Mar 22, 2019 at 14:44

1 Answer 1


In this case the organizational needs were indeed for a simple custom text field attached to Individuals.

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