The question at Finding out where someone who died in England during 20th/21st century is actually buried? has been closed. Although it was badly phrased, it was obvious what was being asked. I have tried to re-phrase the question, and even provided one of the responses it got.

What is it now waiting for?

Yes, it might be good to have a relevant date range, although that's not essential. I don't see the OP coming back to this, which is a shame because it's an excellent question.

  • 1
    You did a really good job fixing that question.
    – user47
    Commented Feb 25, 2013 at 16:40

2 Answers 2


I really liked this question, but no matter how it's worded I think it's a "list question" and from reading policy on list questions I don't think it belongs on SE. (Personally I love list answers because they help me find information when I don't have a good grasp of the available research - sigh)

  • Sorry but that's not true @Jeni. The person is looking for a way to proceed. Presenting a list of avenues to explore is what we're all about. It is not requesting a list of software tools just for the hell of it. The question can (and has) been answered already, I absolutely disagree with that assessment.
    – ACProctor
    Commented Feb 24, 2013 at 14:54
  • I didn't think it was a list question, either.
    – user104
    Commented Feb 24, 2013 at 15:13
  • OK - you both are way better at figuring out this site than I am! I thought a good answer to this question would be a list of places to look for burial information (Find-A-Grave, death certificates, funeral parlors, etc) which could then be used to help anyone looking for burial information. If a list of avenues to explore is valid, then why was the question determined too vague?
    – Jeni
    Commented Feb 24, 2013 at 18:20
  • IMO, a good answer would lay out a detailed search strategy with explanations of why each step is included. That's different from a list of possibilities that invites a scattergun approach to the search.
    – user104
    Commented Feb 25, 2013 at 9:43
  • "good answer would lay out a detailed search strategy with explanations of why each step is included." - thank you!!!! This would be a great addition to the FAQ concerning answers (and sadly 'scattergun approach' describes my own research so far)
    – Jeni
    Commented Feb 25, 2013 at 11:59
  • 'Scattergun approach' is close to what I do too ;) Sometimes, you don't need to know everything you could do... You just need to be pointed in the direction of one next step in your genealogical adventure ;) Commented Feb 27, 2013 at 5:37

As worded, I think the question falls into the "vague and overly broad bucket" -- it needs something as long as this to answer it: https://familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/England_Research_Guidance:_Death,_1837-Present (which is why I moved the link to a comment when the person who posted it deleted the link-only answer that included it) plus possibly another set of guidance linked from that site for pre-1837 deaths. To make it more bounded, it does need a date range and ideally details of what sources have already been consulted about the death.

It's worth noting that it received the most negative votes of any question on the site to date (although that's not a reason to close it).

  • Does everyone appreciate the delicious irony in the comment that was attached to the "offending" answer {We're not keen on link-only answers as they're prone to link-rot (getting less useful as time goes on) -- see en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Link_rot.}
    – Fortiter
    Commented Feb 25, 2013 at 1:18
  • 1
    @Fortiter, glad to amuse you, even though the comment would have been deleted if the OP had improved their answer. All comments are transient in theory, so link-rot is less of a concern for them.
    – user104
    Commented Feb 25, 2013 at 8:37
  • @ColeValleyGirl, those negative votes were cast before I attempted to improve the question. Although it may be missing a date, it does give a functional description, a country, and a county. IMHO, there are good answers that can be provided here. I have been asked questions like this on several occasions (different counties) and see nothing wrong with it. I'm afraid I can no longer support a site that is this confused about who it is trying to help.
    – ACProctor
    Commented Feb 25, 2013 at 16:12
  • @ACProctor, I don't believe we're confused about who we're trying to help. I do expect the questioner to put in a little more effort than is apparent in this question, if they're asking me to put effort into helping them. The answers are very different for a 20th century death and an 18th century one, for example, and I'd rather not waste my time giving a very detailed answer for all possibilities. Incidentally, I've just realised that the original wording (burial of a friend's father) was better than the current version, because it at least give a timescale clue -- prob. 20th or 21st century.
    – user104
    Commented Feb 25, 2013 at 16:21
  • @ACProctor, I've edited it to include the implicit timescale.
    – user104
    Commented Feb 25, 2013 at 16:30

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