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As I was writing up the Topic Challenge for this week, I noticed that we currently have these tags relating to burials and cemeteries:

  • has 9 questions and no usage guidance
  • has 3 questions and this description "For questions about finding or interpreting records of burials."
  • has 10 questions and no usage guidance
  • has 10 questions and is for "Artifacts or symbols that denote the burial of someone."

I think all of these tags could be useful, but at the moment, the questions attached to each of these tags aren't necessarily questions that belong together.

Here are my initial thoughts on what kind of tagging might be most useful, assuming we want to keep all three of these tags.

Proposal one: reserve for questions that pertain to entire cemeteries:

Proposal two: reserve for questions about how to interpret parish records of burials and the records about individuals created by cemeteries and undertakers

The tag is straightforward enough and is useful for questions that discuss the actual stones or other markers.

Other questions that don't fall under these three tags, including finding records of burials, could be tagged with the more generic . (We also have the tag which could apply to those questions.)

At the moment, the tagging of questions is nothing like the proposal I've outlined above. We have problems like this question:

which is currently tagged and along with its place.

It makes more sense to me to have a on this question along with , and to make a synonym of . And I see from the suggestions given by the site that we already have a prior question on that topic from 2013:

I would like to see the tags bring together the questions which are functionally the same -- with noting the questions pertaining to research about cemeteries, for individual burials, about the stones, and so on.

Please look over the questions we have, and post your suggestions below.

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    I took care of part of the problem by just editing two of my questions. I'll leave you to either remove the parts now struck out, or to use another example :-) – PolyGeo Oct 31 '15 at 0:51
  • I suppose that means you agree that they needed to be retagged? ;-) – Jan Murphy Oct 31 '15 at 6:33
  • Yep - instantly. – PolyGeo Oct 31 '15 at 7:17
  • There seems to be no dissenting views on what you propose so I think you should go ahead and implement, so that this can get to status-completed. – PolyGeo Jan 12 '16 at 23:41
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Having thought about this for a while I think it is confusing how for many events we have a sort of "general" tag as well as a "records" tag. While it is simple to re-tag questions with the right tag, it would be better if we could have some clearer names and usage guidances so that questions are tagged correctly in the first place. Therefore I propose the following solution of tag names and usage guidances for these four tags, the main change being that should be renamed :

  • : For questions about customs, traditions, and laws associated with interment, including funerals.
  • : For questions about finding or interpreting records of burials, such as burial registers and cemetery deeds.
  • : For questions about burial places, including churchyards and municipal cemeteries. If the question pertains to an individual burial or headstone and not the cemetery as a whole, use either the burial-records or grave-marker tag.
  • : For questions about headstones, memorials, monuments, and other artifacts that commemorate the death of a person.

I think generally a question should be specific enough that it only requires one of these tags, however there may be questions in the future that, for example, can have both the and tags.

It's possible that there will be questions about burials that do not easily fit into "practices" or "records", but I cannot see that there have been any to date, and in the case such a question arises then perhaps it merits its own type of burial tag.


I think that in the future an associated tag that may be useful to create is (though only to be used for questions specifically about that practice, not for questions generally looking for a burial or cremation record).


This same principle could be applied to and which I think would be better renamed to and . This would remove some of the ambiguity of not knowing whether to tag vs or both.

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