Ask an Expert

Have you got a question about your family history research? Need some fresh ideas or places to look? Help from the Society of Genealogists is just at the end of the phone, in the Library and on your computer. Non-members can seek genealogy advice from the Society via the telephone help line or through face to face consultations in the Library. Details can by found by clicking on the advice panels on the right of this page. However, SoG members may also consider joining our online Community Hub in the members area. Log into the members area and follow the link to the Community Hub

The Community Hub is open to all members of the Society. The aim of this list is to provide a forum for members to exchange opinions on genealogical matters, to help each other by sharing information and experience, advising on the use of Society resources, or the discussion of Society issues. Hopefully, those with expert or technical knowledge will join in to assist others.

However, this list is not an official line of communication to the Society, simply a method for members to contact each other. For queries or problems with Society administration then please use the appropriate address in the back of Genealogists' Magazine or use the Contacting the Society links below

Please note that, whilst professional genealogists, indexers, and researchers in archives who are members of the SoG are most welcome to join the list, they must on no account use the hub as a means of touting for business or obtaining information from other subscribers to further their commercial activities. Likewise, authors or distributors of books or software are not expected to use the list for direct promotion of their publications.

You will find more detailed hep and guidelines on using the members Community Hub when you log on but the information below may be of help.

Please read the rules and guidelines for getting the most from the Community Hub.

DOs and DON'Ts

We wish to keep this hub as free for members use as we can and free from rules. However, the administrator will remove members who use the list to advertise services or products, for abusive behaviour and for persistently posting messages outside the scope of the forum.

•Don't use the list as a medium for asking for help from officers or staff of the Society although such members may independently respond to general queries. Please contact the relevant Society staff via the published e-mail addresses for such matters.

•If you receive a virus warning from another party, please don't forward it to the forum under any circumstances. The majority of these warnings are hoaxes (even if they do appear to come from a reliable source) and can cause a lot of unnecessary alarm.

•If you receive unsolicited offers of help from any professional genealogist resulting from this list, please notify the list administrator, including copies of the mail and any other evidence.

Guidelines: for those not familiar with forums

•Reply to queries directly to the Community Hub so that others my benefit from and join in the discussion, unless your reply is only relevant to the originator of the query.

•It is beneficial to give your proper name in the message.

•It is helpful to say where you are from, especially if outside the UK.

•Be brief, but also ensure that you give enough details to allow others to identify with your query.

•Quote sources for information given in replies if applicable; if you are making an informed guess then say so

•Reply to messages within the thread. Informative subject headings are more likely to bring informative replies.

•Don't use long signatures or sign-offs, spread over several lines, at the end of your message. This can irritate other members who have to download it, and it can become boring through repetition.

•Wherever possible, use CAPITAL LETTERS for surnames.

•Don't ask totally vague questions such as "seeking John Smith in London", identify the period and area as precisely as possible.

•Don't expect every request for help to be answered, especially if you are seeking particular names. If nobody has the answer, then there may not be a response.

•Don't be afraid to ask questions - we all have to learn

•Please be polite and considerate to other members.


Technical queries regarding the use of the  Community Hub or with problems connecting etc. may be sent to the SoG IT support 



Need some help with your research? We offer help by phone, face-to-face or online.

Family history advice service

Help Getting Started


The Society's Record Guides introduce the sources that will help you with your family history

View all Record Guides

Hints & Tips


The Society of Genealogists hints and tips help you get the most out of your family history - explaining how to use and find records and resources.

View all hints and tips