One of the difficulties with this, however, is that genealogists frequently need to record dates before 1900, and many spreadsheet programs can't handle them.
If you are using Microsoft Excel, however, there are some workarounds.
How to Work With Dates Before 1900 in Excel:
If you work with dates prior to the year 1900, Excel's standard date-handling system will be no help. However, there are several ways around this problem. Excel stores recent dates as a date serial number, which allows us to sort those dates and perform date arithmetic. Unfortunately, Excel's serial number begins on January 1, 1900; and negative serial numbers aren't recognized.