Export Gedcom File ~ Sort Date Details

Introduction

Family Historian only offers Fact Date fields, and sorts facts using those explicit Dates and the Tools > Fact Types definitions for Normal Time Frame. When exported to other products that sorted order may not be preserved.

Some products offer a Sort Date in addition to the Fact Date to specify the order of facts, especially for undated facts and facts with the same date. The advice below explains how best to apply such features.

Sort Family Historian Facts

The Tools > Re-order Out-of-Sequence Data and related commands will automatically sort facts according to Date and Normal Time Frame, but facts with the same Date or no Date do not sort reliably.

That can be overcome in the Property Box on the Facts tab and All tab by using the up/down arrow keys. Alternatively, the Order Facts by Sort Date Plugin employs LMO Sort Dates to sort the facts.

Beware that the All tab allows the usual Date and Normal Time Frame rules to be overridden, but the Facts tab will still display facts according to those rules, and thus may give a false impression of the actual fact order. Also Tools > Re-order Out-of-Sequence Data and related commands will undo any All tab adjustments that violate the usual rules.

There are further complications due to Individual facts and Family facts being held in different records, and their order depends entirely on the usual Date and Normal Time Frame rules. Any LMO Sort Dates, or the labelled Note feature described in the next section, will impact exported Sort Dates.

Exported Sort Date

By default the Plugin uses the fact order shown on the All tab of the Property Box, but handles Individual facts and Family facts independently. However, any LMO Sort Date, or a labelled Note such as [[Sort Date: 1 Jan 1900]], will set the exported Sort Date explicitly. This provides an override mechanism for special cases, such as where undated Individual facts and Family facts are involved.

To cater for initial undated Facts, the Sort Date is set to 1 Jan 1000 for Individual facts and to 1 Jan 3000 for Family facts. Otherwise, it is usually derived from any actual Date recorded in each Fact. However, for each successive Fact with the same Date or no Date, the Sort Date is incremented by one day, such that the Sort Date order reflects the order of the facts.

For Period and Range dates, the leading simple Date is used in the above process. A Before date uses the preceding date, and an After date uses the succeeding date.

The Sort Date is exported in a 2 _SDATE custom tag recognised by certain products.

By default, if all the facts shown on the All tab are in chronological order, then that order will be reflected in the Sort Date of each fact.

However, if facts with an explicit Date or LMO Sort Date or Sort Date: label are not in chronological order, the Sort Date is reset to the explicit date, which allows the fact order in the target product to be precisely defined regardless of the Family Historian fact order.

Every LMO Sort Date is removed from the exported GEDCOM file.

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