People List view - date sorting results in empty dates at top & bottom w/non-empty dates in the middle. Why?

Also, from RM’s Help facility:
Date formats (
includes such things as:

Even if the date you enter is not converted to a standard format, such as “the first Wednesday after the big fire in 1808”, RootsMagic will still accept the date as you typed it into the Date field. However, you must enter your own sort date to tell RootsMagic where to locate the fact in relation to the other facts.

And the previously mentioned Quaker Dates, though Quarter dates aren’t delineated there.

I must have missed refreshing the People List because in a further experiment tonight, changing a SortDate both using SQLite directly on the database and through the UI wihile leaving the Date field unchanged did affect the order so my conclusion is wrong. It seems more likely that SortDate is the key for the sort order in the People List.

That SortDate would be the key to ordering an event date sort in the People List seems illogical to me because it can be disconnected from Date. However, maybe someone can make a use case for it.

I checked the RM7 Help file and don’t see mention of it there, either, but it was publicly announced in 2008 and @rzamor1 was explaining it last year. Maybe it’s in the book!

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It’s clearer now: SortDate, not Date. I erred in my operation that led me to the false conclusion that it was the first yyyymmdd string in the EventTable.Date field. Rather it is the EventTable.SortDate field that must be the key to sorting Dates in People List as it is for other lists.
Note the bottom 4 records in the descending sort above. Jun Q 2000 and Apr 2000 have the same SortDate value and it is smaller than that of 1 Apr 2000.

Likewise at the top, the SortDate of Dec Q 2000 is less than 1 Oct 2000 and, surprisingly, the date range starting Dec Q 2000 is lower still. Logically, it should be the same as or higher than Dec Q 2000.

To clarify my original inquiry, can the individuals without applicable events for sorting be depicted at the same outer ends as those folks with applicable events but no dates entered?

Well, I have to say I feel much better knowing that the Sort date is being used for sorting, at least in “People View”.
That’s the way TMG does it. It seems so utterly natural to me.

Too bad about the quarter dates. But I wonder how many have ever been entered in RM. I not worrying. Maybe it will get fixed.

Events having an empty Date field get the highest SortDate value of all even though the UI displays nothing so that’s why they are at the bottom of an ascending list. I suppose that when the event type is absent for a person, the value returned to the sort routine for SortDate is null or 0, putting it at the top of the list.

I’ve no idea what can be done to change that outcome.

If you ever find an ancestor in the United Kingdom, you will definitely run across Quarter dates in the BMD Indexes- once I know abt when, I usually try to find another source for the actual date such as an obit,/ probate records, actual Parish record for the marriage or Baptism for the birth BUT doesn’t always happen-- not a big fan of the BMD index BUT at least the UK realized early on the need for recording this info some where besides the Parishes