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

Other specialist related topics

i.e. advice and guidance on topics generally considered to be related to genealogy and family history

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:

12 Answers 12


Origin and meaning of surnames

  • ColeValleyGirl view: On-topic
  • PolyGeo view: On-topic but often low value - better to veer asker towards finding where their ancestors came from using genealogical research methods
  • 2
    Including surname distribution (as an aid to locating origins and records) might 'add value' – bgwiehle Mar 25 '15 at 12:42


ColeValleyGirl view: on-topic


Government policies relative to genealogists (e.g. pricing, access to government records)

ColeValleyGirl view: Undecided.

  • 2
    Questions about what is or isn't available to genealogists per government policy is definitely on-topic. However, discussions about how to change such policies is not. – efgen Dec 5 '12 at 17:41

Academic and other studies of genealogists and their networks

ColeValleyGirl view: On-topic


Discussions about the origins or etymology of given names (note: surnames have already been discussed).


Ethnicity calculations and assessments (other than by DNA)

  • ColeValleyGirl view: Off-topic
  • Jan Murphy: Off-topic (I would also include assessments that include DNA, unless the question involves working a specific genealogical problem)

Genealogy of Royalty, Celebrities and other Famous People

  • ColeValleyGirl view: Off-topic (unless it's being used to illustrate a research process question)
  • PolyGeo view: On-topic (as long as the Privacy Policy is observed)
  • I have a person in my database whose case illustrates both of these situations at the same time (might be related to someone in my research and is an interesting research process question). The only other exception I would make is asking a question related to a person featured in one of the celebrity-based TV shows like Who Do You Think You Are, where the question is a follow-up about a record group or research process that was mentioned in the show. On the other hand, WDYTYA and other shows have the celebrity's permission to go digging and we do not. – Jan Murphy May 14 '15 at 15:46

Entitlement to wear a specific tartan (or other lineage-specific clothing)

ColeValleyGirl view: On-topic (if heraldry is)

  • Expand to include lineage society qualifications? - didn't see that mentioned elsewhere, and seems to be along the same lines. – bgwiehle Mar 25 '15 at 12:40
  • @bgwiehle Not sure about that -- at least qualifying for a lineage society needs some genealogical input, whereas wearing a specific tartan almost never does. – user104 Mar 25 '15 at 14:40

Modern naming practices, e.g. Choose a name for my baby, or How do I change my name?

ColeValleyGirl view: Off-topic


History trivia and crossword puzzle questions

ColeValleyGirl view: Off-topic


Discussions about Biblical genealogy

  • Pointing to the FAQ section two, line one here: "You should only ask practical, answerable questions based on actual problems that you face." – American Luke Dec 21 '12 at 15:29
  • What if my hobby and research is biblical genealogy? Do the questions come here, or is some other StackExchange site better? – lkessler Dec 21 '12 at 16:44
  • Stack Exchange does not guarantee to have a site for every question. However, in this case, Biblical Hermeneutics is your site. – American Luke Dec 21 '12 at 16:49
  • @Ď€Luke - 14 search results there for "genealogy"! – lkessler Dec 21 '12 at 20:12

Appearance or health-characteristics determined by genealogy e.g. I'm red-headed; am I Scottish. Or: my grand-father had X; will I inherit it?

ColeValleyGirl view: Off-topic

  • However, I think genetics as related to genealogical determination of biological parantage, and similar characteristic among family members as a clue to determining relationships would be on topic. – lkessler Dec 21 '12 at 16:50
  • @Lkessler is that the same as meta.genealogy.stackexchange.com/a/1381/104? – user104 Dec 21 '12 at 16:51
  • Yes. That's the same thing. – lkessler Dec 21 '12 at 20:14

You must log in to answer this question.