Sort order of children with no birthdate

Hi there. I’m wondering if the sort order can be improved for lists of children (in profile and in trees) when there is no birthdate. It appears it sorts on birthdate only but for earlier generations it would be helpful if christening date were used if available. While this isn’t 100% correct it is more meaningful than sorting what appears to be randomly. ie something like sort by if empty(birthdate, christening date, else birthdate). Family search appears to use this logic and it makes a much better tree or family list.

I’ve called it a bug even though you might think it feedback. If I have 7 children all with christening dates and they don’t appear in a meaningful order, I think that’s a bug :slight_smile:

I’ll call it a bug as well, and it’s a relatively easy fix. I’ll take care of it by the end of the week.

Fantastic. Will make a huge difference.

Also helpful in displays of (birth year)-(death year) if similar logic applied to burial dates where death dates are missing, ie use death year if available, else burial year

I just did a test where I added christening dates but not birth dates to several children in a family. It looks like they got sorted correctly for me, so it must be something deeper. Can you send me a URL showing children that are not sorted correctly? (Is it in one of the reports?) That will help me fix this. Thanks.

This is my family but I can’t figure out how to get to my tree, family, anything.

Have a look at

Edmund chr 1793
Diana born 1796
Harriet and Lucy both chr 1803

In my mind should be in this order.

On Lucy’s page, siblings are listed as


On the tree, siblings are in the order

On the descendant report for Lucy’s father Samuel

Lucy Pitman; d…
Harriott Pitman; d. on 15 April 1804.
Edmund Pitman; b. in Trowbridge, Wiltshire, England
Diana Pitman; b. on 1 June 1794 in Taunton, Somerset, England, United Kingdom; d.

I’m wondering whether in your test case you happened to enter them in the order of christening, or if you had all christenings and no births. Did you try some of each? And enter them randomly?

If I could chime in with an additional suggestion: for those of us who most often use the event title “Baptism,” could that be thrown in to the “sort by” command in cases where there is no entry in the Birth or Christening date fields?

I think I found the problem. It has to do with whether or not the christening event is labeled as the “preferred” event in the person’s profile. If it’s not, then it wasn’t considered in sorting children. I changed things to always fall back to Christening, and then to Baptism, even if they aren’t explicitly checked as the “preferred” event. This fix will be out in about 10 minutes. You’ll need to refresh your RootsFinder tab in case you already have one open.

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This change has the side-effect that the christening/baptism dates will show up in the year-ranges in the family and the pedigree. I think that’s a good thing overall.

I agree that’s a good thing (and is consistent with the way FamilySearch displays year ranges).

Looks like it is working on the profile page but not on tree? Example

You’re right - I missed that one. The fix should be available in a few minutes. If you already have a rootsfinder browser tab open you will need to refresh it to get the latest update.

Thanks. Much better now :slight_smile: