Sorting Children, Spouses & Facts into Date Order


When you enter children of a marriage, Family Historian  will retain the order of entry unless you tell it different; it does not automatically adjust the order, if each child Birth or Marriage is entered with a Date.

For example in diagrams that contain a number of siblings (e.g. All Relatives Diagrams) the siblings appear in the order of entry. Similarly, spouses and facts will retain the order of entry unless you adjust them. Don’t be fooled by the Facts tab that by default lists facts in Date order regardless of their database order.

Methods for Reordering

  • To re-order all out of sequence data in the Project including children, spouses & facts, use Tools > Re-order Out-of-Sequence Data
  • To do just one person’s family select them in the Focus Window or Records Window and press F9 key or use Edit > Re-order Events by Date
  • Alternatively, in their Property Box use the Menu   button and choose Sort Family and Events in Date Order.
  • To manually re-sequence Children, use the curved up/down arrows  top right of the Children list near the bottom of the Main tab of the Property Box, especially useful if you know the birth order, but not the dates
  • To manually re-sequence Spouses, use the curved up/down arrows   top right of the Spouse section in the middle of the Main tab of the Property Box, especially useful if you know the marriage order, but not the dates
  • To manually re-sequence Facts :
    • Use the curved up/down arrows  top right of the All Tab of the Property Box
    • Use the Move Up/Down black arrows   on the toolbar at the bottom of the Facts list on the Facts Tab Facts within the same Normal Time Frame, (V6 and later) but those arrows only become active after the Facts have been re-ordered using the commands above
    • Beware that the automatic re-ordering commands above may disrupt such manual re-sequencing especially for dated Facts

What is the Normal Timeframe for Facts?

In many cases the ‘Normal Timeframe’ (version 6 and later) will improve ordering.

Each fact is associated with an approximate time frame. This time frame is used for various purposes.
First, it is used to check for possible errors when dates are entered. Suppose, for example, you added ‘Conception’ as a custom fact type and gave it the time frame “Pre-Birth”. If you then entered a date of conception for a given person, which was after their recorded date of birth, you would be warned that the date looked inconsistent with the person’s birth date.
Some of the checks that are done when dates are entered make use not only of the known time frames for the relevant facts, but also estimates of the maximum likely life span for people, and their likely age at childbirth etc. These estimates can be altered in the ‘Estimates’ tab of Preferences. For example, if a given fact has a time frame of ‘post-marriage’ (e.g. divorce), a warning will be given if you enter a divorce date for a person, that – taking their known date of birth into account – would mean that they would have to have got married at an age which is less than the estimated minimum age for marriage. For example, a warning would be given if the divorce date would mean that they got divorced aged 10, say. These warnings can be safely ignored if the dates, however unlikely they may appear, are in fact correct.

Time frames may also be used when Family Historian orders events and attributes – for example, in reports, or in the Facts tab of the Property Box. Where ordering can be determined by dates alone, these will always be given priority. But suppose there is no date, or none that determines the ordering? For example, a person’s baptism, birth and death might all be recorded simply as 1910. Time frames will be used to ensure that the birth is listed first, followed by the baptism, and then death.

Finally, time frames are also used in the Facts tab of the Property Box, to determine whether or not age information should be calculated, if not provided. Age information is always calculated unless the Time Frame is Birth, Pre-Birth, Post-Death or none.

Last update: 23 Feb 2024