Organizing the Narrative Report

When the RM9 Narrative Report is generated, the order of events doesn’t make sense to me. IMHO, the order of events should be Birth, marriage, children, death, burial. It appears that the default report order of events is birth burial, death, marriage, children. Is there a way to reorganize the order of events? Or is this standard practice?
TIA for any advice.

Paul Veltman

Cannot be overridden. Follows a genealogical society’s standard.

You can however get the Burial after the Death if you put the Burial date 1 or 2 days after the death date or abt Dec 18 ( died the 17th)–some fact that do not have a date/ sort date such as a Census fact seems to show up after birth and before all the other Census facts— other facts without a date/ sort dates show up at the end

Ah Ha! That may be a solution. In my research, often the burial date is not explicitly stated, but making a date a couple of days after the date of death makes sense. Thanks for the comments

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Sorry, my reply missed the burial out of order. What I was referring to is all the focus person’s individual events first in SortDate order, then their family (couple) events ordeted by SortDate, then Children.

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I would not give the Burial fact a possibly false date just to get it into the correct order. Rather, I would give it a sort date that’s after the Death date while leaving the main Burial date blank.

One nice way to do this is with “dash” sort dates. Suppose somebody died on 12 Dec 1903 and you don’t have a Burial date. You could make the Death sort date 12 Dec 1903-1, leave the Burial date blank, and make the Burial sort date be 12 Dec 1903-2. Note that sort dates don’t print in reports. They serve only to get facts into the correct order.


Here is a follow-up on the Marriage fact not being in the “correct” order in RM’s narrative reports.

Standard narrative reports usually list the first spouse’s facts in order, then the couple facts in order, and finally the second spouse’s facts in order. Couple facts include such things as Marriage and Divorce. Unless you are used to this system, the couple facts appear to be out of order with all the rest of the facts.

You can get Marriage and Divorce facts into the list of facts for each spouse as follows: share them with each spouse. When you share facts, you are really sharing roles that are assigned to the facts. For example, you might share the Birth fact with the Midwife or Doctor who attended the birth. So you wouldn’t be sharing the Birth fact. Instead, you would really be sharing the Midwife role or the Doctor role. That’s because it wasn’t the Midwife or Doctor who was born that day. Rather, it was the baby who was born that day and the Midwife or the Doctor had the role of attending the birth.

In the case of the Marriage fact, you can create a role called something like Individual Marriage. It really doesn’t matter exactly what you call the role because it’s not the name of the role that is printed in reports. Rather, it’s the sentence for the role that is printed in reports. So it’s the sentence that’s important.

I use point form sentences so my exact sentences may not work for you. But let me list them anyway as an example.

Sentence for the Marriage fact for the couple:

<b>Marriage:</b>< [Date:Plain]><<, [PlaceDetails]><, [Place:Plain]>>, [Person:full],< age [Person:Age:plain]> to [Spouse:full]< age [Spouse:Age:plain]>.

Sentence for the Individual Marriage role for each spouse.

<b>Marriage:</b> <[Date:Plain],><< [PlaceDetails]>< [Place:Plain],>>< age [ThisPerson:Age:plain],> to <%[Wife:full]|[Husband:full]>.

Since you probably aren’t using point form sentences, you might want your Individual Marriage roles sentence be something like the following.

[ThisPerson:Full] was married to <%[Wife:full]|[Husband:full]><[Date],><< [PlaceDetails]>< [Place]>>

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Hello again from Norway!

Wouldn’t that then mean that when Death 12 Dec 1903-1 is used, death will also disappear in a report?

Jerry uses the sort date of 12 Dec 1903-1, not the actual death date. The only thing the sort date does is arrange facts in some order. It doesn’t impact the actual fact date.

Correct. The Death date would be fine. Here is what you would have.

Death date: 12 Dec 1903
Death sort date: 12 Dec 1903-1
Burial date: (blank)
Burial sort date: 12 Dec 1903-2

The Death date and and Burial date are printed in reports. The Death sort date and Burial sort date are not printed in reports.

The order of facts is governed by the the sort date for the facts, not by the date for the facts. The default sort date for a fact is the same as the date for the fact. For most facts most of the time, the default for the sort date will place your facts in the correct order. But if necessary to get facts into the correct order, you can override the the sort date for a fact and doing so will not change the date for the fact.

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OK, thanks for the advice guys. Now I just have to figure out what the sort date is and adjust the database.


Thanks for the Unique way of handling an unknown Burial date–appreciate it-- unfortunately when I first started out a long time ago, I had more Burial dates than the actual death date— most I have found but still have some and a whole bunch of new early English lines with just Burial dates-- so what do you do in a situation like this? I normally just put the person died in Aug 1832 if the burial date is Aug 19 1832…

Not sure where you are from or what country your Ancestors were in BUT there are a lot of ways that MIGHT help to find a burial date–newspapers, obits, death certificates-- you can also contact the Funeral home or Cemetery ( these 2 sometimes have more info then the death certificate), possibly Find-A-Grave etc if they have pictures or Church records–unfortunately that isn’t always the case when you only have a burial date especially in early England and want the death date …

Sort date is right side under the fact–usually what ever you put in date at top will show up in sort date which is wh Jerry said to leave the Burial date blank and just enter Burial sort date: 12 Dec 1903-2