Is it possible to sort by exact date instead of appr. when the field "before" has been ticked?

+11 votes

Would it be possible to sort by exact date instead of appr. when the field "before" has been ticked?

For example, if someone has been baptised a certain date in June (exact) the date of birth is almost always certainly before that date. But in sorting as well as can be seen above after the new tweaking, it states before the year and not before the exact date.

I have noticed that this is a contributing factor in the creation of duplicates when a search is made ....

Johannes Cornelis Basson (bef. 1727 )

but Born before July 13, 1727 ....

WikiTree profile: Johannes Basson
in The Tree House by Philip van der Walt G2G6 Pilot (160k points)
I asked about this same thing at

See Chris Whitten's responses. Maybe you have a better idea about how to resolve the quandaries raised!

Thanks Ellen, I did not see your question and no - I saw this long before this new bold issue and the responses of Chris did not come to my attention ... and my suggestion is to simply put the exact date of birth when that field is ticked off and bef. when that field is ticked off ... I do not know of any quandaries ....

I keep on typing "off" and it still shows up as "of" even though there are 3 f's already ... My mistake ... two "off's"...

Now I'm having trouble determining the context of your question, Philip. When I list profiles on a search results list or a surname list, prefixes like "before" don't show up in the display (I see the full date without the prefix), and when I sort the list, the sort process appears to treat dates with qualifiers the same as dates without qualifiers.

That's just my point. Searching on a LNAB and then filtering on date of birth (oldest) one get's to see "Born before" a certain year and not a certain date. Therefore, someone born in August of a certain year (but of which the exact date of birth is not known) and baptized on let's say 3 December of that same year) certain, but the date of birth is "ticked off" as "before" this date of baptism, is shown as having been born in the previous year or years .... This is always the case unless the exact date of birth (and not baptism) is known and also ticked of as "exact" ....

1 Answer

+5 votes
Best answer
Hi Philip,

As in the discussion with Ellen, the quandary is that all information can't be shown in all contexts. Compromises need to be made to shorten things. Whether the right compromise was made in this case is debatable and if members feel strongly it can be reconsidered.

by Chris Whitten G2G Astronaut (1.4m points)
selected by Philip van der Walt

Thanks Chris. You make the quandary clear, and indeed, I agree - that is just the essence of context - that it changes with what information (filter if you will) one views it with or perceives it through, besides the fact that it [context] is the result of the filter through which meaning is only partially with any semblance of intended succes to be deternined. I also understand that less is more depending on what the context is. This is for me an issue that is different from the font - field issue (of which I must say my eyes have now gotten used to and it is actually quite helpful ...) or the issue of what is presented at the top of a profile.

It is simply the fact that if one looks at an index (LNAB search, sorted on birth) one can also see the exact dates but the exactness of the date of birth (or baptism) is determined by a simple field one ticks off - exact / before this date. I understand that less is more but the choice between the two can also influence the "truth" of a fact by 12 months or more ...

I do not just see this as a problem, only as an issue to be improved on. I'm amazed to see how well WikiTree can at times through algorithms solve genealogical issues that has baffled researchers in the past - I was bad at maths (algebra) at school but got a A in bookkeeping (later in life, at school I found it plain boring), and working on this huge DCC project I have seen how accurate profiles and data can be collated through even the unwanted duplication through GEDCOM - it gives a thrill when "things" just balance out ....  In this bigger picture of succes small details such as a first name field containing more that one name and this particular issue of exactness of dates can determine how accurate a search (for duplicates) go, the spelling and phonetics aside.

All in all I understand we are still a work - a succes story - in progress ...

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