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Updated community guidelines (6 April 2020)

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Updated community guidelines (6 April 2020)

Postby Rosemary Collins » Mon Apr 06, 2020 8:43 am

Whether you’re a longtime ‘genie’ or a brand new user, please take some time to read our community guidelines.

As well as making the forum a friendly place for family historians of all abilities, sticking by these rules should also help you get the very most from your posts – particularly when posting research queries.

If you think we’ve missed anything out, just drop me an email at

Happy hunting!

Aim for clarity

If you’re posting a query directly related to your research, get straight to the point by telling users what you know and exactly what you’d like to find out. Double-check that the information you’ve provided is correct, just as you would when emailing a distant cousin for help. For example – have you written 1774 instead of 1747?

To prevent your topic from drifting down the list unanswered, you should think carefully about its title. It ideally needs to contain three key details – the name of the individual or family, a date and a location (Eg. 'Searching for birth of John Jones, Manchester, c. 1850'.)

However, please don’t duplicate your posts across the forum. It’s confusing for other users and doesn’t mean that your query will be answered sooner.

Please try to place your query in the specific category on our forum it refers to, eg. do not post Military history queries in General research queries. This is to increase the chance of your query removing a helpful answer. The Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine team may move a post to a more suitable forum if necessary.

Be courteous

Always remember to thank fellow family historians for their contributions. Nothing is more frustrating than to search for hours, find information and receive no further reply! Plus, replying to your own thread (even if you haven’t made any progress) will push it back to the top of the list and ensure that it’s visible to others.

Just as you would do in the real world, please refrain from using abusive language. As family historians, we strive to keep the forum family-friendly. You can alert the forum administrators to an offending comment by clicking the ! button on the top-right of the post itself.

Avoid offence

Members are forbidden from using obscene, offensive or aggressive language, making political or religious statements, making comments about specific ethnic groups, nationalities, genders, people with disabilities or similar, and harassing other members.

Respect people’s privacy

While web users need to register on the forum to add their contributions, please remember that each topic is publicly accessible (and searchable by Google). To protect the privacy of living individuals, posts should only name ancestors or family members who are no longer alive. We shall remove any posts that we believe name living individuals and therefore contravene our community guidelines.

If you end up in conversation with a distant relative and would like to share contact details, it is best to move your chat to a private message – just click on the PM icon by their username.

Post your feedback

Whether you have a technical question about the way the forum is displayed on your computer, or want to discuss something that you’ve read in the magazine, it can be posted in the Feedback category. The boards here are checked by the editorial team on a daily basis, and they will do their best to respond to your queries as soon as possible.

Professional genealogists

The Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine forum is a space for amateur genealogists to help each other discover more about their families. Professional genealogists (anybody who is gaining financially by researching for somebody else) may not post queries on this forum as part of client research. Anybody suspected of doing this will be banned from the forum and their posts removed.

Report spam

Occasionally, spam posts can crop up. It’s important that you don’t click on any of the links and instead report them straight away on the Spam messages board.

If you’re a brand new member, you may find that posts containing links or certain words will be automatically rejected. The restrictions preventing these sorts of posts only remain in place for the first few days of membership and will be lifted after you’ve created a handful of ‘safe’ posts.

If a forum user breaches any of these rules, we reserve the right to delete the offending post and message them with an explanation. Repeat offenders will be banned from the forum. Spam posters are usually banned straight away.
Rosemary Collins
Staff Writer
Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine
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Rosemary Collins
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