The question is very sensitive, and I will try to explain: SE is about questions and answers, so I can ask:

  • Does anyone know the Machtingers from Kielce, Poland around 1750's?

This maybe a valid question, but asking the same question as:

  • I am looking for information on Machtingers from Kielce, Poland in 1750's - That's not a valid Q&A

And to my point: will we allow questions that have a "private scent" (can't even describe the issue I guess)

There are many sites that provide such "personal" information, but it's all on how you ask the question.

So, do we allow questions like that? (the first one ofc)

  • 1
  • Actually, I like the way this question is posed better than the one it is a duplicate of, so I'm going to answer it and not vote to close it.
    – lkessler
    Commented Oct 10, 2012 at 13:14
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    And now, no I don't think this is a duplicate at all. The other question is regarding brickwalls. This question is to see if there's anyone out there researching the same family.
    – lkessler
    Commented Oct 10, 2012 at 16:07

2 Answers 2


No. I don't think we should.

SE is not about questions and answers. It is about questions for experts and answers from experts. The goal is to attract the experts and get them to answer the questions of the others. (Note: experts will often have their own questions as well, since no one is really an expert at everything)

When you ask questions like the one you posed, those are not for the experts. They are for yourself, to try to find someone in the general populous who may happen to have heard of the people you are researching.

That question will not attract experts and will very much dilute the quality of questions at this site.

However, genealogy roadblock questions, expressed as you would to an expert, should be allowed and encouraged. See my answer in "What should our FAQ contain?"


I'm including my answer from the original Genealogy Proposal for reference:

… A question along the lines of "Help me find person [X]" would have to be closed as off topic.

Genealogy SE would be about the subject of Genealogy. If folks are looking for direction when they are stuck, that would likely be on topic (techniques), but this site should not be used to solicit folks to do genealogical searches.

The best analogy would be Stack Overflow. You certainly wouldn't allow a question like "I need a programmer to write a program about [X]", but if you have a chunk of code and can show your work, it is often okay to say "here's where I am stuck; what can I try next?"

  • +1 - I actually just asked the community if we should say what research we've done so far. Genealogy appears to me to be a technical field very similar to programming. We're not writing code, but we are going through a series of steps and solving mini-problems along the way, building flow-charts in our minds to get from point A to B, Explaining what research we've done so far leading up to the roadblock would make really awesome, interesting questions on this site, IMHO.
    – jmort253
    Commented Oct 13, 2012 at 4:19

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