What I do in this situation is create a 'name' field (calculation = first name & "(space)" & surname) then use that calculation field as the value list. If you have more than one 'John Wilson', also use their middle initial (first name & "(space)" & MiddleInitial & "(space)" & surname to lessen the chances of duplicate names.
For what it's worth...
What you should do in this situation is set your value list to use values from field: CustomerID, also display values from second field: FullName.
CustomerID is a number field that auto-enters a serial number;
FullName is a calculation field = FirstName & " " & LastName
A drop down list is ok for say…. 25 entries or less, but our customer list is well over a thousand and a drip down list is not very efficient. I have adopted a technique from Scott Love at Soliant using a popup window to filter the list. The original article and file link is: http://www.soliantconsulting.com/blog/2009/02/picture-perfect-filemaker-pro-pop-up-pickers/
I have added alphabetic filters and for a vendors list product filters.
I understand the id number gives it an individual identity. I should of thought of that when I created the database. the problem i see is how do i assign the already 2000+ names i have and auto-entering the future numbers will mess up the sorting on the names. Im not sure which direction I should go.
how do i assign the already 2000+ names
Add the CustomerID field and place it on the layout. Click inside it and select Records > Replace Field Contents… > Replace with serial numbers (Update serial number...).
Next, you need to add a CustomerID field to any child tables of Customers, and populate it with the value from the matching record in Customers, using your existing relationship.
Finally, switch the relationship/s to match on CustomerID and delete the redundant fields. Make you sure you have a backup before you start.
auto-entering the future numbers will mess up the sorting on the names.
I am afraid I didn't get this part.