Customized reports: Sorting by date and notes

I have recently started to teach myself about customized reports. I think I have the basics on how to set up the report. Specifically I am trying to organize early American tax lists’, using information that I can put into a report and a customized fact, “Tax List”. What I have been doing is adding the people around the individual and other information into the note portion of the fact. When an individual is on multiple tax lists, I am using the date field and the place field, with the information about other people in the note.
There are two problems:

  1. The notes do line up with the date/place of the tax list. The notes all run together, even tho they are added on the appropriate fact.
  2. The first individuals’ dates-are appropriately sorted by date. But the subsequent individuals on the list do not sort by date? and the dates are in various orders–not sorted the same way as the first individual on the list?
    I think, in the case of #2, I might not have the sorting correctly picked? -but haven’t been able to figure that one out.

Is it possible that this feature still has some bugs? or what am I missing?


I cannot reproduce the symptoms you describe, neither in RM7 nor in RM8. I don’t have much in the way of military facts in my database that I can use as an example. But I do have an Obituary fact which has extensive notes.

I’m posting the first page of an Obituary report I just made using RM8’s Custom Report feature. Is this what you are talking about? The report has two rows and three columns. In row 1, column1 is the name of the person, column2 is the date from the Obituary fact, and column 3 is the description from the Obituary fact. In row2, column 1 is blank, column 2 is blank, and column three is the note from the obituary fact.

Here is mine. If you look at Martin Gibson, he is the one-so far, that I have multiple tax lists for… the sort on the left is not in numerical order? -they are the correct dates for the third column-which is the county they are found. The notes on the 4th column are all the notes of the 3 records, but there is no delineation or matching the same row as the dates of the first column. The bolding-was done by me, to help me distinguish which tax year the note was from… so my two problems, people with multiple tax years-don’t sort numerically and the notes attach to each year-run together… I am trying to put together data to trace a group of individuals and their movements with the tax list.

I see what you are saying. Let me just clarify - Martin Gibson has three separate Tax List facts in three separate years?. It’s the same sort of thing you might have with census where someone was enumerated in 1850, 1860, and 1870 so you have three different Census facts, except you are doing tax lists instead of census enumerations in this case. Is that correct?

Given that, I will try again to reproduce your problem. It appears to me that RM8’s Custom Reports are merging the rows for multiple facts of the same type for the same person. Or at least that’s my first guess.

Yes… the same as for census, but custom fact of “tax list”. Yes, the are merging the notes.

I can now confirm, that’s the way it works. It worked the same way in RM7.

I use Custom Reports a great deal, but I confess I never before used Custom Reports in this exact situation where there were multiple facts of the same type for the same person. I actually kind of like the format up to a point. That is, I like that there is one box for the person’s name and one box for all the tax list years and even that there is one box for all the notes. But what doesn’t work is the alignment between the years and the notes. The failure of the years and notes to align greatly diminishes the value of the report.

Back to census for a second, I almost never have two census facts of the same type for the same person. That’s because I don’t use the standard Census fact. Instead, I have custom Census facts for each Census year - “1790 Census”, “1800 Census”, etc. The reason has to do with doing queries and making groups and that sort of thing. For example, suppose John Doe was enumerated in the 1850 census in Tennessee and was enumerated in the 1860 census in Texas. And further suppose that I want to find people who were enumerated in the 1850 census in Texas. If I do a search for Census => Date => Equals => 1850 and Census => Place => Contains => Texas, the search will find my John Doe who was enumerated in the 1850 census in Tennessee because he was also enumerated in the 1860 census in Texas. That’s why I made separate Census facts for each census year.

You could do the same thing with your Tax List fact. The report wouldn’t look quite the way you wish because the person’s name would be listed multiple times, but at least it would get the name and the tax year and the tax note lined up.

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Thank you-I will try that :slightly_smiling_face:

Here is one more thought. You could include the date and place in the Note. In fact, you kind of already do. Then just print the report with two columns - person’s name and the Note. The date and place will then be printed as a part of the Note.

I think you might like the effect and you could continue using just the Tax List fact type without making a separate one for each tax year. One effect is that your Note column will be much wider and your report will be much shorter.

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