Sequence of cats inconsistent

Having imported data from TMG, I am going thru my list of married women and flag their alternate names as married (with the marriage date), and flag their primary name as maiden, with their birth date.

I find that the place of these facts is inconsistent. Sometime the primary appears before the birth record, other times after the birth record (which I prefer).

Same with the alternate name. sometimes appear before the marriage record, and sometimes after the marriage record (again, my preference).

Am I doing something (or not doing something) to cause this? Is there anyway to make this consistent?


The “sort date” field helps define where you want a fact to appear in the Edit Person window timeline. It sounds like some of your name records have a sort date defined and not others do not. The “sort date” field is visible when you click on any fact, including a Primary or Alternate name.

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That is not the case. I am usually very careful about that. But just to be sure, I checked my records, and in all cases, the sort date was the same as the event date.

hmm. It might help if you post a few screenshots that show the problem along with the date fields. Also, have you tried forcing the sort date with -1 , -2 suffixes? If you have 2 identical dates, that’s a way to specify the desired sort order.

I am away from my RootsMagic machine, but I am pretty sure I recall all recent versions have performed in the following way:

If a fact is already entered and a Sort Date exists for it… Any subsequent fact added with a matching Sort Date results in a screen display update that may change the order of facts presented by placing the most recent fact entered with matching Sort Date higher in the order (above other existing facts with the same Sort Date). It may land above all or some (perhaps either alphabetically or by some sense of fact type order).

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This appears to describe my situation exactly. It’s a minor disruption to my sense of order so I can live with it. Be n ice if the Rootsmagician could fix this.

@RobertL in one of the post @kevinm said

In this post Organizing the Narrative Report - #10 by thejerrybryan
theJerryBryan explains it more but basically when you add a marriage of say Aug 15 1982 go down to the sort date and add a -1 so that the sort date says Aug 15 1982-1.
then when you add the date of Aug 15 1982 to the alternate name, in the sort date put Aug 15 1982-2 and they say it will put it in the order you want–same should work for primary and birth…