What's New

September WotM – Albus Dumbledore


The Wizard of the Month calendar on JKR.com has changed to display the new WotM for September 2007 to be:

Albus Dumbledore
1881 – 1996
Brilliant and often controversial headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Albus Dumbledore is most famous for his 1945 defeat of Grindelwald and his steadfast championing of Harry Potter, the Boy Who Lived. Dumbledore’s self-proclaimed proudest achievement, however, was featuring on a Famous Wizards Chocolate Frog Card.


Pensieve (Comments)

  • CAM

    Congrats on being right on the horocruxes! You are never far from what is correct!

  • Ashley

    Well, it about time that he got the reconition that he deserves!

  • did we know his birth year before? if not, yay for new info!! 🙂

  • No, we didn’t Michelle… and we’re very excited!

  • roonwit

    No, we didn’t know his exact age. Jo said in an interview he was about 150, so it seems she changed it a bit, but the slightly younger age is consistent with what Auntie Muriel says in DH – she seemed to be alive during some of the more notable bits of Dumbledore’s early life and she is 107.

  • El Cronista de Salem

    JKR could have changed her mind about Albus’s age.

    But his death date IS a mistake. He died in 1997, not 1996. I hope she could fix it soon ^^

  • El Cronista de Salem

    Ah! And remember that he turned years on holidays 😀 sometime between June and 31 August, knowing he was very close to turn 18 years-old when he left Hogwarts (DH). I passed this info in my firt reading >_

  • I wonder when he began teaching, and how his defeat of Grindewald affected it.
    Although it probably doesn’t matter at all!

  • ballet

    I don’t know where to write this, but here people are talking about time inconsistancies. If Sir Nick died in 1492 and wizards live about 100 years give or take then Hogwarts had to be founded at the latest in 1200

  • MarauderSandi

    I see I’m not the only one who noticed that his date of death was wrong, LOL.

    But a nice tribute from Jo, nonetheless.

  • ben

    ooh, I picked that Dumbledore was 150 from evidence in DH, and I was right. Possibly for the first time, but I was right none the less 😀

  • I love it–there is someone who is worse at math than I am. I thought that JKR told us once that Dumbledore was around 150 years old, but that doesn’t work out–even fixing the error of his date of death. Born in 1881, died 1997, means he was 115 or 116, depending on when his birthday was. That means he was only a mere 100 when Harry started at Hogwarts, and not that much older than Tom Riddle. Interesting, indeed, but always nice to have new canon.


  • Whoop! Whoop! Right or wrong in our minds, we now have canon for Dumbledore’s birth and death dates.

  • John

    This is awesome!!!! I have always loved Dumbledore, but, hpboy13, you were right, but still, this is really weird. I thought he was much older than that. But, new canon squeee!!

  • Yupz, his date of death is definitely wrong, because the Horcrux search was after the Apparition test and Ron was old enough to go (his birthday was in March)

  • hpboy13

    Yes, John, for once I was. Anyway, if this is a valid date, then my world has just been turned on its ear! For one thing, this makes the DD/McG ship (the one I most detest) actually valid, being he’s only 40 years older than her, and not 80. And frankly, Voldy has some nerve calling DD “old man” if DD was 110ish and Voldy was 70ish. However, since the death date is wrong, I’ll assume that the birthdate also is. My money’s on Harry for October.

  • Patrick

    Umm…Dumbledore died in 1997, not 1996!

  • I am so glad to get a confirmed birth year *before* I embarked upon my Albus/Gellert fic. Although I am sad that he’s not as contemporary with Phineas as we had all supposed. Jo’s math skills make me want to tear out my hair sometimes.

  • Oryx

    So, if we take birthdate sometime in the summer of 1881 then we have:
    Sometime in 1890-1891 moved to Godric’s Hollow following attack on Ariana
    September 1892 – entered Hogwarts, age 11
    June 1899 – left Hogwarts, age almost 18
    Summer 1899 (age 18) death of Kendra, friendship with Grindelwald, death of Ariana, nose broken by Aberforth

    ?? – started teaching Transfiguration

    (1925 – Dippet replaces Black as Headmaster – is that when Dumbledore became deputy Headmaster, at age 43-44?)

    Summer 1938 – visits Riddle at the orphanage, age 57
    Summer? 1945 – defeats Grindelwald, age 64
    Becomes Headmaster (and interviews Riddle) – earliest possible date is December 1956, Dumbledore is 75. (This would also be when he started serious research into Riddle’s past, IMO)

    1971-1978 The Marauders at Hogwarts, Dumbledore is 90-97
    1979 or 1980 at age 98 hears Trelawney’s 1st prophecy
    1981 at age 100 places Harry with Dursleys
    1991-1997 ages 110 to 116 Harry’s Headmaster and mentor.

  • me_potter_fan

    people must have heared 115 as 150 acidentily

  • flamingo

    Ever since book 6 came out I’ve been wondering when Dumbledore was going to be the WotM. Now he finally is!

    I’m a little disappointed that he is a little younger than Jo prevoiusly said, but it’s not that huge of a detail, I mean, age is age. He’s old. The end.

    Was anyone else a little thrown by the picture accompanying the card? I picture Dumbledore differently.

  • Reader2

    A funny detail in the picture is that Dubledor seems to be reaching inside his sleeve.
    Is this to suggest that he always had something up his sleeve?

  • Mulvaney

    Also, this is Dumbledore before he put the Peverell ring on. I wonder when the portrait was made?

  • char

    yah! Dumbledore *finger crosses October brings The-Boy-Who-Lived*

  • Here are my notes on dates for Albus and his family. Sources are in parentheses. I have updated the pages already. BTW, unless the webpage date is a typo, I think Jo may be dating Albus’s death to when he put the cursed ring on.

    1) Albus born July or August (Rita) of 1881 (JKR)

    2) Aberforth born in 1883 (11th birthday after September) or 1884 (11th birthday before September) (see #4)

    3) Albus began Hogwarts 1892 (firm if Rita is right about time of birth)

    4) Aberforth began Hogwarts in 1895 (firm); therefore he was born 1883 or 1884 to have been 11 in September of 1895. (Doge)

    5) Albus left Hogwarts in 1899 (firm) when he was “approaching his 18th b-day” (Rita, DH18) Aberforth would have just finished his 4th year and been 15 or 16. (see #4)

    6) Kendra dies early summer 1899 the day before Albus and Elphias were about to leave for tour. (firm; see #5)

    7) After Kendra’s death Albus cares well for Ariana until Grindelwald comes “a few weeks later;” (Aberforth) Albus is still 17 (Rita). Grindelwald is traveling after being expelled at the age of 16 from Durmstrang so he’s roughly the same age, perhaps a little younger.

    8) When it is “nearly time” to go back to Hogwarts (August?), Aberforth confronts Albus (Aberforth), and Ariana is accidentally killed — she is 14. Rita says that Grindelwald had been there less than 2 months.

    9) If Albus was 17 when Ariana died she was 3 years younger than he when she died.

    10) If Albus was 18 when Ariana died (I think he was) she was 4 years younger than he when she died.

    11) Ariana was born 1884 (birthday Sept-Dec) or 1885 (birthday Jan-August) to have been 14 in August of 1899

    12) Contradiction! Doge says that he left for his tour after Kendra’s funeral and that “toward the end of a year” of travels, he learned that Ariana died too. Did he just hear of it late? If so, how would there have been time for the correspondence Doge speaks of?

  • I bet Snape’s up next! And why isn’t Dumbledore moving at all, anyway?

  • Krabat

    snape next month would be interesting! i agree with flamingo! also pictured dumbledore differently! for me lightmaker don’t really gives us a good idea of his appearance (important for me as a dumbledore fan)!

  • El Cronista de Salem

    I’ve checked Abus’s page of the Lexicon and I don’t agree the timelines: Dumbledore’s birthday could be any day from end of June to 31th August, not August necessary.

    And the 1996 deathdate… I think it is a mistake. If it is not, ¿Dumbledore was an inferi during all the 6th year? Despite he was going to die in a year, it is not enough to put his obituary when he touched the ring!

    I hope Jo updates the card with the mistake fixed ^^

  • Haltiamieli

    What has happened to the Lexicon news before July 29th this year and after 2006? I was going to check how this birth year for Dumbledore matches to my calculations from Auntie Muriel’s age, but I can’t find the news item where it was posted as a comment :/

    Anyway, I suppose the birth year fits quite well with the info from DH, better at least than the previous 150 – which can’t have been a mistake like me_potter_fan cleverly suggested, as it was mentioned in a webchat interview. Maybe Jo’s miraculous skills at math shined again, or maybe she just changed her mind when writing the history of Dumbledore and Grindelwald to the last book.

  • aillinne

    Dumby! You’re the greatest! But yes… you’re dead since 1997, not 1996. Speaking about dates: since WOMBAT Test Three comments Pensieve is closed I will write my confusions here. In DH, chapter “Godric’s Hollow”, page 261, british children’s edition we see a few lines from Bathilda Bagshot’s “History of Magic”. It states: “Upon the signature of the International Statue of Secrecy in 1689 (…)”. That one makes me really confused, because in first WOMBAT 3 question we are told the Statue has been signed in 1692, not 1689. So… which one is correct? Answer 4a also says it was in 1692, not 1689…

  • Marco

    @Lisa-Marie and Kabat

    Snape will not be there next month, since his birthday is confirmed at 09. January 1960.


    I´m currently also not able to check the archieve 2007, but Aunt Muriel was 107 in summer 1997 and so born 1890 or late 1889. That means, the was approx. 9 years younger than Albus Dumbledore and so approx. 9 years old, as the fatal accidents had happened in Godrics Hollow. This makes her surely old enough to eavesdrop her mothers conversation with Bathilda Bagshot and and to have had an already adult cousin named Lancelot (in his mid20s?), who was healer in St. Mungo.

    But there is still the mistake of mentioning Adalbert Waffling in the book. Dumbledore is supposed to have hat correspondence with him during his time at Hogwarts, but according the FWC Waffling was just born, as Albus Dumbledore had finished Hogwarts.

    We knew, that Phineas Nigellus Black was born in 1847, so he was 45 years old, as the young Albus was admitted to Hogwarts. That means, that P.N.Black was most likely teacher of Albus, if not already headmaster.

  • Haltiamieli

    Yeah, I found among my papers my notes on the Dumbledore’s birth, then I estimated that Dumbledore could not have born earlier than something like 1876 (thus Muriel would have been about 4 years old when Ariana died). 1881 fits fine with that, as Marco said. 🙂 Waffling remains a problem, but it must be a mere mistake (but Jo can always say Elphias was the one who made the error).

  • El Cronista, I based the month of birth on that fact that Rita says that Dumbledore was “nearing” his 18th birthday when he left Hogwarts in June, but was still 17 when he met Grindelwald. Basically, at some point during Grindelwald’s stay at Godric’s Hollow Dumbledore turned 18, so the month had to have been July or August.

  • Rhona

    Aberforth is 3 years younger than Albus. So Aberforth is born in 1884. Ariana is at least 4 or 5 years younger than Albus. So she is born around 1885/1886.

    The death date is idd wrong. Albus died in 1997, not 1996. And he was not that old. 115 is not an old age in the wizarding world. I thought he was 40 years older.

  • El Cronista de Salem

    Oh, Good point with that info, Lisa. So the circle is now between July and August, June is eliminated ^^ thanks for the info.

    With the deathdate I still think it is a Jo’s mistake.

  • Rhona, We can guess Aberforth’s birthday because we know he started Hogwarts in 1895, three years after Albus. So Aberforth was born in 1883 (11th birthday after September) or 1884 (11th birthday before September).

    All along we have thought that Dumbledore was 150-ish in the stories because of a statement Jo made in 2001. I can only guess that she changed her mind in the six years since then. Here is the quote from 2001: “Dumbledore’s about 150 years old… Wizards have a longer life expectancy than us Muggles. Snape’s 35 or 36” Note that this was a chat so there is no chance that someone mis-heard Jo. Source: http://www.accio-quote.org/articles/2001/0301-bbc-rednose.htm

  • SGBG

    This would make the professor only 7 years older than my great-grandfather, lol. Wish we had more dates, like when he started teaching.

  • kamion

    Dumbledore says somewhere in three first three books to Harry, that he is an old man even for a wizard. And that now shows to be somewhere at his eleven-and-elftied birthday( which he did not celebrate as grand as Bilbo Baggins) this new information serious lowers down the life expectancy of wizards, as our concept is entirely based on the spoken evidence of 150. We have broken our head over the supposed young ages of the Black family, but compared with Dumbly’s 116 they died a little younger but not that much.

    But surprices nevertheless its good to see Dumbledore as wizard of the month and he doesn’t look one bit as Micheal Gambon…. next month Snape, or will he be delayed till january?

  • Taj

    With the 1996 death date, its definitely a mistake but, given the evidence from “Deathly Hallows” (Dumbledore was approaching his 18th birthday when he graduated from Hogwarts in June 1898), Dumbledore was born during the summer. So maybe he died right before his 116th birthday, and Jo (don’t blame her for getting a date wrong, people, because she gave us the Harry Potter world for crying out loud) simply said in her mind, “Well, he was 115 when he died, and since he was born in 1881…” and then wrote down 1996.

    How fitting is it that the greatest Headmaster of Hogwarts is September’s WotM, seeing as how this is the month Hogwarts student begin the school year!

  • Taj

    Also, since Dumbledore was born in 1881, this means that Griselda Marchbanks was born at the latest in 1880 – she had to be at least 17 when she examined Albus for his NEWTs.

  • TomMarvoloRiddle

    You were wrong, Albus Dumbledore. I had another Horcrux besides the boy… No one will ever find it! NEVER!

  • TomMarvoloRiddle

    Muahahahaha. Muahahaha No one will ever find it! NEVER!!!

  • Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore

    Oh, Tom, will you never learn from your mistakes? You are quite as dead as I am. You have failed in your quest for immortality, a quest which I too once sought. The world is at peace, and, as says Peeves, “Voldy’s gone moldy.”

  • Oryx

    The 1881 birthyear places Albus in overlap at Hogwarts with at least three, maybe four, of Phineas Nigellus Black’s children:
    Sirius, born in 1877 (3 or 4 years ahead of Albus)
    Arcturus, born in 1884 (3 or 4 years after Albus, maybe in Aberforth’s year)
    Belvina, born in 1886 (5 or 6 years after Albus)
    And maybe Phineas Jr, birthdate unknown (blasted off the tapestry for supporting Muggle rights) – a likely time for him is somewhere in the relatively large gap between Sirius and Arcturus, making him the one closest in age with Albus himself. Wouldn’t it be fun if during their Hogwarts years Phineas was very pro-Muggles and Albus somewhat anti-Muggle?

  • Grace has Victory

    I think it’s safe to say that JKR cannot be held to something she mentioned in a chat. If she changes her mind later, it’s what we find in the books or on her web site that is canon. So Dumbledore is only 115, not 152, when he dies.

    This works better, since we know that at least living four wizards are significantly older than he is (Marchbanks, Ollivander, Gregorovitch and Bagshott). If they are around 130, that probably pushes the absolute limits of how old a wizard can live to be. I must say, I admire Ollivander for surviving torture and privation, and apparently preparing to live and work for at least another decade!

    I agree, however, that 1996 is a mistake for the death-date, and perhaps we could POLITELY request JKR to fix it?

    Further, I am not convinced by what I read in canon about 1960 as the birth-year for the MWPP cohort. I think JKR simply copied this date from the Lexicon, even though the Lexicon had by this time revised the date to the more plausible 1957-9 period!

    I also think that Dumbledore did not become headmaster until 1969-70. He apparently resigned from Transfiguration in 1956, but perhaps he taught something else in the intervening years … maybe DADA?

  • Sotaru

    There’s really nothing that says that Nick was around at the founding of Hogwarts, does there? Just because the Grey Lady and the Bloody Baron were, that doesn’t mean all of the ghosts were. Additionally, since Nick was killed and did not die of old age, the point behind the question becomes kind of lost.

  • i think jk or joe is right about the time of death. we know that harry started his first year at hogwarts in 1991 and so ended it in 1992. there fore, dumbledore died in 1997 at the end of harry’s sixth year which started in 1996.

  • DA Jones

    Oryx said: ‘And maybe Phineas Jr, birthdate unknown (blasted off the tapestry for supporting Muggle rights) – a likely time for him is somewhere in the relatively large gap between Sirius and Arcturus, making him the one closest in age with Albus himself. Wouldn’t it be fun if during their Hogwarts years Phineas was very pro-Muggles and Albus somewhat anti-Muggle?’

    I love this idea. Thanks for the fanfic prompt. But let’s keep in mind that Dumbledore had reason to be anti-muggle since muggles nearly killed his sister and were the cause of his father being in jail.

    I wonder if its Godric’s Hollow itself and the towns seemingly cordial relations with the muggles, that slowly turned Albus around.

  • John

    hpboy13, I also hope that it’s Harry for October, and it would be fitting seeing as Harry defeated Voldemort the first time on halloween night. But, I would still like to see Aberforth, Mad-eye, or at least McGonagall for WotM eventually!!!
    also, I have another theory, possibly a Perevell brother?

  • Oryx

    To Grace has Victory:
    I agree Dumbledore may have become headmaster some time after 1956-7, but I think a date too close to 1970 would be way too late, as that implies Riddle was in his 30s when he visited Hepzibah Smith (before disappearing for 10 years) and that it took him some 15 years to figure out she had one or two of the artifacts he was looking for. Also, I don’t think Voldemort went overnight from being a little known Dark Wizard to a major threat to wizarding Britain. I think there were quite a few years in which he gradually recruited supporters andperformed anti-Muggle terrorism sporadically until he had enough critical mass to start all out war.

  • Reader2

    The idea that Pheneas Black Jr. was about the same age as Albus is interesting, but look who else falls in the same era.
    The same age as Dumbledor is ptions expert Hesper Starkey.
    Seven years older than Dumbledor -another potions expert Sacharissa Tugwood.
    Seven years younger than Dumbledor – a tragic hero Norwel Twonk.
    We also know that in the period of Dumbledors youth the minister of magic was Farris Spavin, the head of Law Enforcement department was Justus Pilliwickle, and breazing down their throats was Oswald Beamish, the defender of all goblins.
    Albus had plenty of sources for his ideas.

  • Reader2

    A question for Grace has Victory:

    Why do you think that Ollivander is older than Dumbledor?
    I didn’t notice any evidence to that.

  • El Cronista de Salem

    I don’t know who is older, if Ollivander or Albus, but if Ollivander had solt Albus his wand when he was eleven, Ollivander would have noticed he was using a new wand when he defeated Grindelwald. Other wizards could have missed it, but we know that Ollivander remembers so well all his wands. And Albus appeared often in the news… so I think Albus is older than Ollivander.

  • Guybrush

    I think the revised birthdate on Dumbledore helps clarify everyhing. For instance I never liked his ‘young appearance’ when visiting Riddle’s orphanhage – if that was in the late 1930’ies, it means he would’ve been nearly 100, based on the old birthdate. Also Phineas Nigellus (1847-1925) would’ve been headmaster several decades before Dumbledore, despite behing his junior !

    Also – I always thought an age of 150 seemed rather extreme, when most other wizards and witches, doesn’t seem to live that much longer than muggles.

    I don’t think I ever heard evidence that Ollivander should be older than Dumbledore

  • MarauderSandi

    *sees Lisa’s posts*

    Hi, Lisa! *waves*

    Very interesting points in your posts.

  • John

    El Cronista de Salem,
    I think that Ollivander wouldn’t have said anything if he had sold Albus his wand because Albus ended up owning a phoenix and according to FB they are very difficult to find and domesticate, so in exchange for phoenix feathers, he would keep his mouth shut.

  • Taj

    I’m not sure some people are too correct in thinking that 150 is too extreme for a wizard…Bathilda Bagshot, for instance, was a famous magical historian by the time Dumbledore was a child (making her, I would guess, at least 30 year older) and she lived until 1997. And even though Dumbledore was old in wizarding terms, who knows how much longer he would have lived had it not been for the wearing the ring? Lord Stoddard Withers lived to 127.

    And I dont’ think that Jo simply changing how old Dumbledore was really effects the fact that wizarding life expectancy is longer than that of Muggles.

  • Reader2


    That’s just it, if Dumbledor was 150, how old would Bathilda have had to be?
    Or Griselda Marchbanks? Or Gregorovich?

    Indeed, wizards still live longer than muggles, but not THAT much longer.

  • Brightcomet

    Perhaps Dumbledore really was 150 years old because he was secretly using time turners all his life. Bless him.

  • Literature Goddess

    To Grace has Victory, Dumbledore could not have taught DADA all of those empty years beacause, isn’t the job curse by Voldemort? Yeah, Dumbledore!

  • Jinx

    If Dumbledore became Headmaster in the late 60’s, say 67-69, then that’s when he interviewed Voldemort for the DADA job. This would also mean that Hokey’s memory that we saw in the HBP occured 10 years earlier, 1957-59. So Voldemort would’ve been working at B&B for 12 to 14 years.

    In the COS (page 329 US edition, Dumbledore says this about Voldemort. “He disappeared after leaving school…traveling far and wide” This makes it sould like he left England right after school but we know he spent some time working at B&B, but I don’t think he spent 12-14 years there. I think he spent about a year there then left in 1946, comes back 10 years later around December 1956. Dumbledore had just became headmaster and McGonagall was hired as the transfiruation teacher to replace Dumbledore.

    However this is a question that can’t be answered definitively thru the books. Hopefully JKR can shed more light on this.

  • SGBG

    LiteratureGoddess, it was cursed after Dumbledore became headmaster.

  • Hopping_Hessien

    Jo has said many times that math is not her strong suit. Just look at the ages she gave for the Weasley children.

  • Marco

    @Grace has Victory, Literature Goddess & Jinx

    If Dumbledore was actually promoted headmaster not before the late 60s, it could have been Prof. McGonagall as well, who had taught any other subject than transfiguration in the meantime.

  • TomMarvoloRiddle

    But you were quite wrong, Albus. I faked my death! You are wise enough to figure it out, are you not? I have made many, many more Horcruxes. Muahahahaha!

  • Blue_Wizard

    Everybody was talking about the long life expectancy of wizards, so I decided to take a quick look. I took the wizards where we knew the birth and death dates and calculated the average (60 in total). I left out the ones killed in the two Voldie wars (except Dumbledore, because he was already very old). I got an average of 90.22 years. The life expectancy at birth in the UK is 76.6 for males and 81.0 for females with average of 78.8 for both (statistics.gov.uk). This would indicate a wizard or witch lives on average eleven and a half years longer. Though this is not fair, because the average of the muggles was for 2003 and most Wizard that died where born around 90 years ago (at the latest) when this average was much lower for muggles. In 1901 muggles in UK had a life expectancy of 47, thus a difference of 43.22 years. Which means they lived almost twice as long. So perhaps life expectancy for wizards have increased like with muggles or not and muggles have steadily gained on the wizards trough their technology and now the difference is minimal.

  • Oryx

    To Hopping Hessien – I don’t think there is a problem with the ages of the Weasley children – it is entirely possible to create a consistent timeline for their ages, including the information on Charlie’s Quidditch and dragon care careers.

  • Reader2

    I’d like to here more details on your research.
    My guess is that you had to heavily rely on the Frog Cards and WOM, but for many of those the cause of death is stated.
    Some died in accidents or were killed for reasons other than wars.
    Did you include those?
    Also, I assume that you did not include Flamels, those are definitely special cases.

  • John

    Reader2, I’m working on a similar thing right now, but, I’m having trouble with the stats, it’s either my addition or the calculator I am using, and math is not my strongsuit. I have tried to use the ones who died of natural causes, and if anyone could offer some help, it would be nice.

  • Phantom

    Was I the only one who knew that it was downright ridiculous for Dumbledore to 150 when he died? There are a couple of obvious discrepancies with that theory. Firstly, how could so many of his contemporaries (Elphias Doge, Bathilda Bagshot, Griselda Marchbanks, Gregorovitch) manage to outlive him? 150 years is a long time to live, even for a wizard. More importantly, Dumbledore has red hair when Tom Riddle is at Hogwarts. However, if he was 150 at his death, he would have been 90 when Riddle started at Hogwarts! Whose hair would not turn white after 90 years?

  • But he died in 1997!
    shame =/
    Anyway, new canon! That’s always good! And Aberforth’s and Ariana’s birthdates can be sorted out now

  • CAM

    The job is not cursed by Voldy until after he interviews for the job, so it is possible for Dumbledore to teach DADA. I think that it is more likely for Dumbledore to teach Transfiguration.

  • jeff

    Should we expect Harry Potter to be the next wizard of the month?

  • kamion

    @ Oryx
    Cygnus the 3th son of Phineas Nigellus was probably 10 years older then is written in the Black tree.

    When eliminating the 13-year old fathers you get these years of births:

    Bellatrix 1951
    Cygnus 1929 ( age 22 )
    Pollux 1902 ( age 27, 23 when Walburga was born )
    Cygnus 1879 ( age 23)
    Phineas 1847 ( age 32 )

    and as Phineas Jr. is placed as 2nd son he was likely born in 1878
    when he entered Hogwarts his father in theory could have been Headmaster, but that is still a bit early at 42.

    It is very very unlikely that Dumbledore teached DADA ever, because when Voldemort requested the job it was after the retirement of Galatea Merrythought ( with such name she must have been expert on Patronus spell) who had the job for 50 years.

  • John

    I think that there is a good chance that it might be Harry, but, on the opposite hand, it is entirely possible that it might be someone like Aberforth or McGonagall. Another person I would not doubt is Severus Snape.

  • Oryx

    kamion, I disagree Cygnus should be taken back 10 years. Rowling likes 2-3 years spacings between siblings unless plot demands otherwise – hence the spacing of the Weasley brothers, the Creevey brothers and it seems the 2 sets of Black sisters, and most other Black siblings (if one is blasted out the sibling before and the one right after theblasted off one are 4-5 years apart). Thus I do not think Sirius, Phineas and Cygnus were born in consecutive years. Also note that Belvina and Arcturus are listed in reverse order of their birth. IMO Rowling’s intent was to have Phineas Nigellus Black’s children as follows:
    Sirius b 1877
    Phineas b 1880 or 1881
    Arcturus b 1884
    Belvina b 1886
    Cygnus b 1889

    As for Dumbledore and the DADA job – I think he could have had it either after Merrythought’s retirement in 1945 and until Dippet’s death, or between the time McGonagall was hired in December 1956 and Dippet’s death. Both scenarios mean that when Dippet died and Dumbledore stepped up from deputy headmaster to headmaster the DADA job became vacant, thus giving Voldemort a reason to seek an interview for that job. If Dumbledore became headmaster directly from the Transfiguration job it is unclear why he would be conducting an interview with a claimed candidate for the DADA job.

  • Reader2

    I don’t think Voldemort would care whether the job was open when he applied for it.
    He is not the kind of guy who takes normal procedures into consideration.

    On the other hand, why would Dumbledor switch to teaching DADA, when he was doing just fine teaching Transfiguration?

    As for the Black kids, your scenario suggests that after Blacks had one kid, they took a 6-year break, but afterwards had 4 more.
    Why would they do that?

  • Oryx

    Reasons for Dumbledore to take the DADA job – to make sure Dippet does not have a reason to offer the job to Tom Riddle any time soon. After all, Dippet’s official reason to refuse Tom was his age, and he did invite him to try again a few years later.

    As for ages of Black children – please look again. I have them spaced 2-4 years apart each. (3 or 4 years, 4 or 3 years, 2 years and 3 years)

  • John

    According to the memory in Dumbledore’s office in HBP, Tom said, “I have returned, later perhaps than Professor Dippet expected… but I have returned , nevertheless, to request again what he once told me I was too young to have.”(Ch20)which meant that he had not returned for the job of Defense Against the Dark Arts.

  • Oryx

    John, since the job Riddle requested in 1945 was the DADA job vacated by Merrythought then obviously the job he came for in his later visit was the DADA job as well. The question is whether the job was vacant at the time or not. And if not, how was the meeting set, under what pretext?

  • Reader2

    As I said, it would be very much like Voldemort to demand that Dumbledore kicks out whoever had that job at the moment just to make room for him.
    It would also be very much like Dumbledore to play along for a while just to take a closer look at Voldemort and get a better idea of what he is up to.
    As for Black kids, you are right, my mistake.
    Your scheme puts Pheneas and Albus in the same year.
    May be they had some influence on each other.

  • John

    In that case, I think the job was occupied by a string of substitutes or else a long term subsitiute.
    I do not think that Tom Riddle would be so ostentatious as to ask Dumbledore to kick out anyone who was in the position at the time, if there was a permanet teacher. He would be casual, and try to get on Dumbledore’s good side, then start giving orders, like he did with Slughorn, but Dumbledore was different, and he didn’t fall for Tom like Horace did.

  • hpboy13

    Going back to the ages, my theory was always that wizards live twice as long. That’s why McG’s a “spritely 70” and Voldy’s so nimble at 70 – they’re like muggles in the mid-thrities. If DD was 150, that would put him in the mid-seventies – not that young, but young enough to get things done. Marchbanks and Bagshot and the rest would be about 200 – which is about 100 for muggles, which is really quite old. I think it all makes sense.

  • Reader2

    Let’s face it, the real reason Voldemort was appling for the job was to ask: “are you with me, or against me?”
    I think he simply wouldn’t bother to ask if the job was available.
    In turn, Dumbledore would instantly understand what this was all about and invite him to talk without any explanation.
    As for who taught at the moment, would they really be running on substitutes waiting for Tom Ridle to come back?
    Even Dippet could not be that thik.
    He had to have hired someone the year Merrythought left.
    Most likely, that teacher was the first victim of the jinxed job.

  • Oryx

    Ahem, the job only got jinxed after Voldemort’s second attempt to get it. They had at least 11 years of unjinxed DADA teaching by whoever was hired after Merrythought.

  • Reader2

    Exactly, the person who got hired after Merrythought left was teaching just fine until the year Voldemort came back for the job, got rejected and placed the jinx.
    Thus, that year became the last for that unfortunate teacher, and all those who folled only lasted a year each.

  • Grace has Victory

    call us on 0845 600 2290 quoting reference HK2

    Oryx, the reason I think Dumbledore became Headmaster in the 1960s is that Lupin clearly states that Dumbledore was not yet Headmaster at the time he was bitten, which was probably in the period 1962-1966. Dumbledore clearly had become Headmaster by the time Lupin started Hogwarts in September 1970, by which time the first war had already begun. That is why I think Dumbledore’s fateful interview with Tom Riddle was probably in the winter of 1969-70. The war would have begun publicly fairly soon afterwards, leading to Arthur Weasley’s elopement with Molly Prewett (which cannot have been later than February 1970 if Bill was born the following November).

    You are right about “quite a few years in which he gradually recruited supporters” etc. But this had clearly already happened at the time of his DADA interview, since Dumbledore refers to the Death Eaters who are waiting for him in the pub. Wizards are already frightened of Voldy – it’s just that the war is not yet official.

    McGonagall began teaching Transfiguration in December 1956, so Dumbledore cannot have been doing that job between 1956 and becoming Headmaster. There is no evidence that he left Hogwarts, which is why I suggested he was teaching some other subject. We have canon precedents for teachers changing subjects in Snape and Quirrell.

    I agree that gives us a contradiction in dating Tom Riddle’s visits to Hephzibah Smith. I have the impression that this was in the late 1940s, so twenty years before he applied for the DADA job, not “ten”. However, given that we have yet another arithmetic problem, I feel the easier solution is to say that JKR carelessly wrote down the wrong number (which we KNOW she does frequently) rather than that she had the wrong “feel” for who was doing what at the same time as someone else.

    Reader2, doesn’t it state somewhere that Ollivander made Dumbledore’s wand? I had the impression from DH that Ollivander was Gregorovitch’s contemporary, i.e. notably older than Dumbledore and Grindelwald. But I can’t remember any more why I had that impression, so perhaps I’m wrong.

    In general, if the problem is simply that the wrong number appears to have been written on the page, then the solution is probably that JKR did indeed write the wrong number. But when the whole “feel” is wrong – such as Dumbledore being 115 versus Dumbledore being 150, which is a difference of an entire generation – then we need to look at other clues, such as what fits the overall story, or what she states in canon versus what she scribbled in an early draft.

  • SGBG

    In PoA, I don’t think that Lupin made a direct reference to Dumbledore’s appointment of headmaster. He says “It seemed impossible that I would be able to come to Hogwarts. Other parents weren’t likely to want their children exposed to me. But then Dumbledore became Headmaster, and he was sympathetic.” Lupin makes no mention of another Head’s oppinion on the matter of whether he should be aloud to go to school, which makes it seem that while he thought he wouldn’t be able to go, his parents had not even consulted the Headmaster. When Lupin says ‘But then Dumbledore became Headmaster,’ I dont think he meant ‘but then’ as chronologically coming after his bite. It was probably more along the lines of saying ‘but then again,’ referring to the fact that under any other Head, he would not have been allowed to enroll. It may even be possible that Lupin just thought that Dumbledore became Head after he was bitten. When his parents told him that he was indeed able to go to Hogwarts, he thought logically that the reason was that there was a new Head, when the fact is that the parents had never spoken to the Head previously. All other evidence points to Dumbledore becoming Headmaster in 1956, when Riddle supposedly returned to Hogwarts after 10 year of disappearence and when McGonnagle got her first job.

  • Oryx

    Grace has Victory, this won’t be the last time when Lupin can’t be taken literally. He is good at giving intentions and atmosphere, shaky on the finer details. In any case, the job interview took place immediately after Voldemort returned, which is why Dumbledore’s knowledge of his acts is from rumors. Also, this happened after the third time Dumbledore refused the position of Minister. In DH he said he already refused it several times before facing Grindelwald. We know there was a new Minister in 1962 and 1968 (from the W.O.M.B.A.T. Grade 3). This also supports an early headmastership.

  • El Cronista de Salem

    I think it is more easy than we think: Jo is mistaken with the dates and we are becoming mad with the numbers. At least with the death date (I can’t believe she considers “dead” to terminal ills, moreover they have one year still of life). Maybe she changed her mind with the borndate, but with Waffling it is causing more problems. But she had had to made Waffling older, not Albus younger.

    Oh, I explain so bad in English XD sorry.

  • Taj

    I think we have more evidence against Dumbledore becoming Headmaster around 1969/1970 than we do for a 1956 date. 1956: This is the year McGonagall becomes Transfiguration teacher (a post we know Albus held earlier), and this is also the year we deduce from info in “Half-Blood Prince” (just because Jo gets some of the dates wrong doesn’t mean we can call into question all the dates). As for the idea of 1969/70: all we have is Lupin’s one phrase, which I think SGBC explained well.

    Also: Why are so many people assuming that Dumbledore was Deputy Headmaster before becoming full Headmaster of Hogwarts?

  • Oryx

    because who else would be made headmaster in the middle of the year but the previous deputy head?

  • Albus Dumbledore

    Yes, but Tom, you still have not learned from your mistakes. Learning is what man has survived from, Tom. *Sigh*

  • Reader2

    I’d like to believe that Dumbledore was deputy Headmaster under Dippett, but fact-vice. I am not certain.
    Snape did not need to be a deputy to become a headmaster.
    I know those were not normal circumstances, but then there is Dyllis Derwent. She went from being a healer to being a headmistress, there is no mention of her even being a teacher.

  • John

    I think that Dyllis Derwent was headmaster because she was an excellent witch, not because she was an excellent teacher. It shouldn’t matter whether you are a teacher or not, it should matter whether you are competent enough for the job.

  • hpboy13

    Oy vey I feel like I’m in over my head. Widl idea: has anyone asked Jo yet? Ya know, just print out the Pensieve and show it to her, or email it? Who here is on speakign terms with Jo, please ask her to rectify. We cna argue in circles here all day, but we know that Jo’s math was faulty at some point and we have to ask her at what point.

  • Oryx

    You know what, hpboy13? I’d love to have Dumbleodre’s full CV and list of publications. I bet there were quite a few in wizarding journals both in Britain and on the continent. If he spoke Mermish I bet he also spoke several European languages. I’d love to have the titles of his works on Transfiguration and Alchemy. But for now I am willing to limit myself to knowing when he started teaching and when he became headmaster.

  • Marco

    There is other evidence, that the statement of Remus Lupin in the last chapter of PA is entirily wrong (He would be not the only Mauruder, since the statement of Sirius Black, that Snape had hang around with future Death-Eaters including Bellatrix Lestrange has also to be considered wrong now).

    1. Fenrir Greyback might have actually attended Hogwarts with Dippet as headmaster. At least he had a wand and was capable of apparation.

    2. Prof. McGonagall was hired in December 1956, what is in the middle of term, rather than at the begin of term. This indicates acute occurence of staff shortness, probably due to the death or incapacity of a staff member, and that could have been Dippet.

  • sstabeler

    I always thought Dumbledore would have been deputy, as he did become headmaster in the middle of term. that would indicate that the Deputy Headmaster stepped up, like McGonagall did when Dumbledore was suspended & when Dumbledore died. I think that the reason why we dont see an emergency transfiguration teacher apppointed in HBP was because there were no more lessons after Dumbledore’s death, and McGonagall was returned to her transfiguration and HOH posts ( although was stripped of her Deputy head post). actually, i also highly suspect Dumbledore to have been Gryffindor HoH. another very interesting thing would be who got Deputy Head between Dumbledore & McGonagall, if anyone. and if there was, what happened to them. ( or maybe it was old slughorn? McGonagall becoming deputy after Slughorn’s retirement)

  • JJB

    Fenrir could have been home-schooled since attendance was not mandatory until Thickness’s Ministership. He could have stolen someone’s wand and had another Death Eater teach him Apparition. Such schooling is risky but who better than a werewolf to take chances

  • Blue_Wizard

    Reader2: I just did a quick glance at the years and yes unfortunately I had to rely heavily on the Frog Cards. I also included deaths by accidents because part of life as a wizardwitch.
    I didn’t include the wars, because it would over represent these people seeing as harry new a lot of them or heard about them. I did not include Flamels, because of his special case.

    John:I wouldn’t exclude those who died because of accidents or murder. Just in the two wars. This because what I said before. Accidents and murder (less so) are part of life in the magical world. Voldermort was just a ones in a century happening and where not expecting a new one soon (Grindelwald was probably terrorizing Germany more that Britain). So leaving out the victims of war seemed prudent. The math is not that hard. Year of death – year of birth and violla. Use excell it is easier.

  • Reader2

    Blue Wizard and John,
    I don’t see how we could include victims of the war, see as we simply don’t know the birth dates of most of them.

    There are only three real sources:
    Frog Cards, WoM and the Black Family Tree. I’d say those are representative enough. They do cover many eras.

    Now that I think about, excluding those whose cause of death is stated would not make that much difference.

    Just beacuse we don’t know the cause doesn’t mean it was natural.
    Take Gifford Ollerton for example, we don’t know how he died, but he only lived to 51, and in his line of work one is not likely to die in bed.

  • JJB

    12) Contradiction! Doge says that he left for his tour after Kendra’s funeral and that “toward the end of a year” of travels, he learned that Ariana died
    too. Did he just hear of it late? If so, how would there have been time for the correspondence Doge speaks of?
    Doge is apparently an unreliable reporter because he admits to Muriel that he attended Ariana’s funeral where Aberforth broke Albus’ nose so he should have written in the obit that he heard of it at the the end of his world travels rather than the end of his yeas travel. Doge is still the one I’d rather share champagne with rather than Muriel.

  • kamion

    I broke my head over the question why it was Dumbledore, who went visiting young Riddle in the orphanage when first reading. I wondered seeing in the line of attention Dumbledore had given the previous Riddle appereances in the serie, if he was already at that stage keeping close watch on this peculiar child, which had already some ill rumour reputation thanks to his precocoius use of magic…. the Ministry must sense that….
    But then it occured to me that Dumbledore was doing what McGonagall was doing from book one; nl it’s the Deputy-Headmaster’s task to invite, inbtroduce and help new students getting to Hogwarts. I think that the orphanage scene is the clearest indication Dumbledore was Deputy Headmaster under Dibble and most logical took over when Dibble died or resigned.

    It is also not that clear when Merrythought resigned, at a stage she is teaching for 50 years the same subject and maybe her thoughts about it weren’t that merry any more. She could have told the staff that: “as soon you find replacement I am out” for years before she actually retired. I think Dumble dore went straight from Transfiguration to Headmastership as MCGonagall did after him.

  • SGBG

    Maybe Merrythought was deputy headmistress. Afterall, she had been there for 50 years. Maybe Dumbledore became deputy after her retirement.

  • Bethany

    I thought he died in 1997…if you think about how the books went…you know? But Dumbledore you rock! You should be Wizard of the Year!

  • Reader2

    Bethany and Sstabeler,

    There is a muchsimpler answer to your questions.
    The Black Family Tree gives us the birthdates for all three Black sisters.
    JKR had mentioned Luciuses age in an interview, saying that he is only one year older than Narcissa.
    Now that we have the birthyear of the Marauders, the picture is complete.

    Closer to the subject:
    There is a simple way to expalin the mistake in Dumbledores deathdate.
    Reading the Rowling books it is all to easy to attach each book to one year and forget that the year ends in the middle of the book.
    Either Rowling herself or one of her site dezigners thought: “He died in book #6, that would be 1996.”

  • Reader2

    To get closer to the original subject, I’d like to point out another consistency that Dumbledores birthdate has with the BFT.
    It seems like there was an Arcturus Black in the same year as Aberforth.
    Remeber how Dodge said that Aberforth used to resolve his problems with classmates by dueling.
    A proper Black (destined to disown his daughter for marrying a Waesley) sounds like an ideal dueling partner for a hotheaded Dumbledore.
    They might be one of the reasons why Pheneas Nugelus hated his job so much.

    Also, when the Lexicon staff starts updating timelines, I recommend starting with Albus Dumbledore.
    His timeline is going to include everyone elses.

    All the other characters were in some way his projects.

    In fact, the time line will even include the Events of DH, since even in the afterlife he could not sit still.

  • Clock_maker

    has anyone noticed that we havn’t had any what’s new updates for some time.

    Im not complaing or anything. i just like to be informed about whats goingn on

    Well yes, Clock_maker, we’ve noticed. But its only because we are very busy behind the scenes with not much to report yet. You’ll see exciting things very soon.

  • JJB

    In trying to narrow the possible time of birth for Aberforth I noticed that when describing the photo of the Dumbledore family Albus and Ab were referred to as “boys” who were beginning to resemble each other. Ariana was newborn so Albus had to be four or a little less. Up to age fifteen months–his age when his parents were killed–Jo uses the term “baby” to describe Harry. Given that we may assume Ab was closer to two than to one or he would have been described as a baby also, and rightfully so. The complication is that Albus was sad to look several years older than Ab, usually meaning more than two. When I first read this description I thought the boys were closer to six or seven but the facts presented later didn’t fit. Ariana being only four years younger than Albus cramps the timeline a little given other descriptions but we have the canon and that’s that

  • Reader2


    May be Abe was already big at two.
    Dumbledores in general seem to be really tall, may be they also grow fast.

  • sstabeler

    that, and the identical hairstyles probably help them look similar. hairstyles can have a surprising bearing on the face.

  • Clock_maker

    Thanks for that Belinda. Can’t wait to see what it is.

    I had a far out thought, What if the wizard of the month becomes a new character (ie. Hogwarts teacher/student) each month. Would we then get the 2 unknown griffindors?

  • Reader2


    We can hope that in a very long run we’ll get all the undeveloped characters, but unfortunately so far the background info for WOM and Frog Cards never included the most interesting bit of information: the Hogwarts House.
    Not once!

    I also wish it included the wand cores and patronuses, but that’s way to much to ask for.
    The blood status was included only once (for Bowman Wright).

    Alas! The WOM will never tell us EVERYTHING we want to know, but at least it can give us something.

  • Darcy

    Happy Belated Birthday to Dumbledore
    I love ya

  • Clock_maker

    Oh Reader2…
    How much i deeply share your thoughts.
    As you said: Alas! the WOM will never tell us EVERYTHING.

  • aillinne

    I don’t want be too picky but… You state Gellert Grindelwald’s year of birth as 1842 and that he’s two years younger than DD. Think dear HP Lexicon staff: if that’s true then he’s nearly fourty years ELDER than Albus Dumbledore (1881-1997) and couldn’t have been friends with our beloved DD in their youth.

  • Ben F.

    This ruins is, but I find it ironic that there were 116 thoughts about his birthday until now. One for every year of his life. I’ll include my 117th as Harry seeing him “alive”.

  • Oryx

    Just realized that Merrythought started teaching in 1895, when Albus was a 4th year student. No wonder he thought of her as old.