I have a weird column of start dates that I have to sort according to earliest to latest.
However, I don't know how to interpret the current numbers.
Here are a few examples:
They look like Unix time stamps. You can convert them to a readable format. before putting them into a DB or just use them that way and convert on viewing. Sorting smallest to largest will give you older to newer.
To convert them with Ruby use
Time.at(1441584686) => 2015-09-06 17:11:26 -0700