Archive: May 2011

Posted by Ancestry Team in Family Research

Interview Relatives to Discover Your Family History

17 May 2011


Interview Grandma

Interview Grandma and other family members

Do you want to discover your family history, but are not quite sure where to start? One of the best ways to learn about your family history is also the most often overlooked. Interview your relatives!

You’ll be amazed by the wealth of information you can discover about the colorful personalities in your family simply by asking the right questions. Take the list of questions below to your next family gathering and start interviewing your relatives.

You can go through the entire list in one sitting or break it up into many sessions. You might even consider audio or video taping the sessions. Such tapes make a priceless record of your family and their stories for future generations.

Family History Interview Questions:

  • What is your full name? Why did your parents choose this name for you? Did you have a nickname?
  • When and where were you born? Where you told any stories about your birth?
  • What is your earliest childhood memory?
  • What were your brothers and sisters like?
  • What was school like for you as a child? What were your best and worst subjects? What school activities and sports did you participate in?
  • Did your family have any particular beliefs or traditions, or did you celebrate any special holidays?
  • Do you remember any fads from your youth? Popular hairstyles? Clothes? Music? What were your favorite things to do for fun? ?
  • What would you consider the most important inventions that have been made during your lifetime?
  • What world events had the most impact on you while you were growing up? Did any of them personally affect your family?
  • How old were you when you left home and where did you live?
  • Did you receive any further education or training?
  • Did you do military service? How long did you serve? What units or regiments did you belong to? Did you ever serve abroad?
  • What occupations have you had and where have you worked?
  • How did you meet your spouse? When did you get married? Did you go on honeymoon?
  • When and where were your children born? Do you have any stories about their births?
  • When and where were your parents born? What where their occupations?
  • Did your parents tell you how they met?
  • Of all the things you learned from your parents, what do you feel was the most valuable?
  • Do you remember your grandparents? Do you recall any stories about them, or details about their lives?
  • Did you ever hear stories about your great-grandparents? Did you meet them? Do you know where they lived or died?
  • Are there any special heirlooms, photos, bibles or other memorabilia that have been passed down in your family?
  • What do you know about your family surname?
  • Did you know of anyone in the family who migrated? Why did they leave their native land?

In closing, it’s always a good idea to ask if there is anything you haven’t asked that they would like to comment on. You’ll often be pleasantly surprised by the answers!

The questions above are intended as a guide so be sure to personalize conversations with your own questions as well. Have fun and don’t forget to update your Mundia family tree with your new discoveries and family stories.