Category: | Genealogy

Questions To Ask Relatives About Your Family History

50 Questions to Ask Relatives about Your Family History

A great way to preserve information from your relatives is to interview them while they still remember things. You can easily use your mobile device to record the sound or even video. These questions are only designed to get you started. You can ask about experiences, thoughts, feelings, and more to get them to start talking. Consider playing some of their favorite music from their younger years to help get the memory juices flowing.

The more detail you can get, the better.

1. Can you share any family stories? 2. Did anyone change faith? 3. Did you get a degree? 4. Did you go to school? Which school? 5. Did you have a disease? 6. Did you serve in the military? 7. Did you win any awards? 8. Did you have a nickname growing up? 9. Did you have any hobbies? 10. Do you have an old family bible? 11. Do you remember any names of neighborhoods? 12. Do you remember prohibition? 13. Do you remember your great-grandparents? 14. Have you ever been hospitalized? When? Where? Why? 15. How many children do you have? 16. Were you married more than once? To whom? 17. What are your grandparents’ full names and dates of birth? 18. What are your parents’ full names and dates of birth? 19. What career did your parents have? 20. What is one thing that your grandparents liked to do? 21. What jobs did your grandparents have? 22. What organizations did they belong to? 23. What other places did they live? 24. What rank did they have? 25. What religious faith did they follow? 26. What schools did your parents attend? 27. What schools did your grandparents attend? 28. What type of political beliefs do you have? 29. What was it like meeting your wife/husband? 30. What was your greatest accomplishment? 31. What was your/your spouse’s profession? 32. What are your children’s names and dates of birth? 33. What were your favorite vacations? 34. When did your parents/grandparents die? Why? 35. Where were they born? 36. Where did they get married? 37. Where did they like to travel? 38. Where did you grow up? 39. Where did your parents grow up? 40. Where did they get baptized? 41. Were they drafted? 42. Were they in a war? Which one? 43. Were they injured in the line of duty? 44. Where was the first home they bought? 45. Were you named after someone? 46. Who are your brothers or sisters? 47. Who are their children? 48. Who did they marry? 49. Who is the oldest person you remember from when you were a kid? 50. What words of wisdom can you share?

When you set up a time to ask your relative questions about their history and the history of their family, try to make it a comfortable experience. Make sure everyone has plenty to drink and eat, as well as breaks – especially if it’s an elderly person you’re interviewing. Don’t interrupt them to move to your next question either; let them talk as they will when the memories hit them. That’s the best way to collect hard-to-find information.

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