As mentioned at On- and off-topic questions: an attempt to reach consensus (please read first) this is one of a set of questions attempting to reach consensus on the scope for this site.

This question focuses on questions relating to

Locating records and documents

i.e. advice and guidance on locating specific records and information

Please up-vote answers you believe are on-topic, down-vote answers you believe are off topic and add your own suggestions for what should be in or out (with your view made clear).

Related questions:

What is "Genealogy," "Family History," and "Microhistory"?

On- and off-topic questions: Application of technology

On- and off-topic questions: Research processes and methodologies

On- and off-topic questions: Interpreting records

On- and off-topic questions: Researching specific ancestors

On- and off-topic questions: Other specialist related topics

4 Answers 4


How can I find records about X event in P place around time T


ColeValleyGirl, Fortiter, Luke, CRSouser, PolyGeo


  • Edited as an example of an alternative voting system to illustrate my suggestion elsewhere.
    – Fortiter
    Commented Dec 7, 2012 at 4:31

How can I locate a named record/document


ColeValleyGirl, Luke, CRSouser, PolyGeo



How can I find information about a specific topic

Example question: How did the lives of Worcestershire nail-makers change 1840-1880?

ColeValleyGirl view: On-topic as long as the topic itself is within the scope of this site

  • 1
    Not a helpful category.
    – Fortiter
    Commented Dec 4, 2012 at 3:15
  • @Fortiter, genealogy.stackexchange.com/q/1902/104 was what I had in mind when I generated this category.
    – user104
    Commented Dec 4, 2012 at 9:04
  • Making me vote against my own question is "nasty"! This does show the importance of real examples in defining categories.
    – Fortiter
    Commented Dec 7, 2012 at 4:28
  • @fortiter, I didn't mean to be nasty. It's a questions that I genuinely think is on-topic (perhaps because it's relevant to my ancestors as well).
    – user104
    Commented Dec 7, 2012 at 9:31
  • 1
    It was meant as a flippant comment. I am not all offended. My genuine concern is that obviously I think the specific question is good but I did not recognise it in that very general descriptive category. I will think about an edit.
    – Fortiter
    Commented Dec 7, 2012 at 11:44
  • 1
    @Fortiter -- thanks. I wish more people would edit -- these should be our categories.
    – user104
    Commented Dec 7, 2012 at 11:50

How to find modern records for one's own self-interest:

Example: How Can I Investigate if I Inherited a Real Estate from My Relative?



  • Jan Murphy: Looking to see if you are in a will of a recently deceased person would also reveal the other heirs. Does this violate our policy of not aiding people to track down living people?

    Finding details of recent Will in California?

  • Helen Wright

  • CRSouser (See Comment below)
  • I am having trouble on exactly how to interpret this one. I agree with @JanMurphy's comment, but also it is about tracking down say the secondary family of a recently deceased individual I think we need to watch out for. So maybe update the rules to state no possibly living or having deceased in the last 20 years (1 generation rule) as I could use this recent info to locate a living individual.. even if deceased.. which could then be used for personal gain, pursue inheritence, child support, etc.
    – CRSouser
    Commented Mar 24, 2015 at 23:58

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