Monday, October 22, 2012

Genealogy Stack Exchange Q&A Site is Up and Doing Well!

I posted Genealogy Q&A Site Proposal Needs Support on 28 August, requesting reader support of a Genealogy and Family History Q&A website started by Louis Kessler.

The site is now approved and working -

You need to register in order to ask questions and to answer questions or make comments.

There are two menu lines on the screen above.  The top menu has the user's name, Chat, Meta, About and FAQ.  The FAQ page is at  This page provides basic information about how to work on the site itself.

The second menu is next to the website title, and includes Questions, Tags, Users, Badges, Unanswered and Ask Question.

I clicked on the top question on the screen above, and saw the detailed question submitted by Ben Griffiths on 17 October, and comments made or answers provided by contributors - the last one was 26 minutes before I made the screen below:

Registered readers can post questions and answers to questions.  However, you have to have "Reputation."  The FAQ says:

"Reputation is a rough measurement of how much the community trusts you; it is earned by convincing your peers that you know what you’re talking about. Basic use of the site, including asking questions, answering, and suggesting edits, does not require any reputation at all. But the more reputation you earn, the more privileges you gain on Genealogy and Family History - Stack Exchange ."


answer is voted up+10
question is voted up+5
answer is accepted+15(+2 to acceptor)
question is voted down-2
answer is voted down-2(-1 to voter)"

So, a user who wants to gain "Reputation" is to post good questions and offer useful answers.  The "Privileges" you achieve by earning "Reputation" is:

"A maximum of 40 votes can be cast per user per day, however, to reach the maximum you must vote on at least 10 questions. You can earn a maximum of 200 reputation per day. Please note that votes for posts marked “community wiki” do not generate any reputation, while accepted answers and bounty awards are not subject to the daily reputation limit.
The other way to gain reputation is by suggesting edits to existing posts as a new registered user. Each edit will be peer reviewed, and if it is accepted, you will earn +2 reputation. You can only earn a maximum of +1000 total reputation through suggested edits, however.
Amass enough reputation points and Genealogy and Family History - Stack Exchange will grant you additional privileges:
(note that reputation requirements have been relaxed slightly for the duration of the public beta)
This system seems complicated, but it's probably needed in order to keep negative activity from occurring.  In order to leave a Comment, the user needs 50 Points, which can be gained by asking a new question or answer an existing question.

I haven't asked any questions, or answered any questions yet, but I'm about to start.  Then, eventually I can Comment or vote up items, earn "Reputation," and gain more "Privileges."

What kind of Questions are asked on the site?  Some of the current questions are:

*  Is there an automatic way to import sources from Ancestry or FamilySearch into GRAMPS?

*  Where to find Panama/Columbia records of British subjects born/died there mid-19th century?

*  How can I determine what an old document with illegible handwriting says?

*  What is the earliest age a boy in England could the married in the 1800s?

*  How do I identify the location and cause of death of a person who died in 1992?

There are currently 139 Questions on this Q&A site, and many of them have multiple comments and some have answers.

Obviously, the more this site is used, the better it will be for genealogy and family history questions.  I hope that my readers will register, gain reputation and privileges, and contribute.

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver

Updated: 2 p.m. to correct some statements

1 comment:

Louis Kessler said...

+1 for you (10 reputation points) for this post, Randy.

One correction, though.

Credit goes to Justin York for proposing (i.e. starting) this site, not me.