How To Write A Family History-Part 2
While I am sure everyone knows this, I will repeat it anyway... When someone has been kind enough to share information with you remember to tell them "Thank you!"
- What is your full name and why were you named it? (Maiden name for females)
- Were you named after someone else?
- Did you have a nickname as you were growing up?
- If you did, what was it and why did they call you that?
- Have you had any other nicknames as an adult?
- What do your family members call you now?
- When and where were you born?
- When were you baptized, and what was your religion?
- What was the religion of your parents and your grandparents?
- What church if any do you attend?
- Describe your religious belief.
- Do you believe in an after life?
- Have you ever had an experience that you would consider to be super-natural or psychic?
- Did you ever know something was going to happen before it actually did?
What was it?
- What do you usually dream about?
- Where was your first home?
- What were your earliest memories of your home?
- Could you tell me a story or any memory of your brothers and sisters?
- What did your family do for fun when you were a child?
- Was there a chore you really hated doing as a child?
- What kind of books did you like to read?
- Do you remember having a favorite nursery rhyme of bedtime story?
What was it?
- Do you remember not having enough food to eat because times were hard for your family?
- What were your favorite toys and what were they like?
- What were your favorite childhood games?
- Were there any fads during your youth that you remember vividly?
- Where did you attend grade school?
- What were your schools like?
- How did you like school?
- What was your favorite subject in school and why?
- What subject in school was the easiest for you?
- What was your least favorite subject in school and why?
- Who was your favorite teacher and why were they special?
- How do your fellow classmates from school remember you best?
- Did you get good grades?
- Did you like school?
- What did you wear to school?
- What school activities and sports did you participate in?
- Did you and your friends have a special hang-out where you liked to spend time?
- Where was it and what did you do there?
- Were you ever given any special awards for your studies of school activities?
- How many years of education have you completed?
- Did you attend any school or training after high school?
- Do you have a college degree?
If so what was your field of study?
- As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
- What was your first job?
- How did you decide on a career?
- Did you make enough money to live comfortably?
- How long did you have to work each day at your job?
- How old were you when you retired?
- Describe yourself as a young adult.
- If you served in the military, when and where did you serve and what were your duties?
- Were you ever injured in the line of duty?
What were the circumstances?
- How old were you when you started dating?
- Do you remember your first date?
Who was your first date?
Could you tell me something about it?
- When, where and how did you first meet your present spouse?
- Do you remember where you went on the first date with your spouse?
- How long did you know them before you got married?
- Describe your wedding proposal
- Where and when did you get married? (Include date, place, church, etc.)
- Describe your wedding ceremony.
Who was there?
- Did you have a honeymoon?
Where did your go?
- How would you describe your spouse?
What do (did) you admire most about them?
- How long have (were) you married?
- When and where did your spouse die?
- What advice would you give to a grandchild on their wedding day?
- How did you find out your were going to be a parent for the first time?
- How many children did you have all together?
- What were their names, birth dates and birthplaces?
- Why did you give them the names that you did?
- Do you remember anything that your children did when they were small that really amazed you?
- What is one of the most unusual things that one of your children did regularly when they were small?
- What was the funniest thing you can remember that one of your children said or did?
- If you had to do it all over again, would you change the way you raised your family?
- What did you find most difficult about raising children?
- What did you find most rewarding about being a parent?
- Did you spoil any of your children?
- Were you a strict or lenient parent?
- Did you find that you had to treat each of your children differently?
If so Why?
- How did you feel when the first of your children went to school for the first time?
- How did you first hear that you were a grandparent and how did your feel about it?
- What advice do you have for our children and grandchildren about being a parent?
- Where did your spouse's parents live?
- When and where did your parents die? What do you remember about it?
- What do you remember about the death of your spouse's parents?
- Do you remember hearing your grandparents describe their lives?
What did they say?
- Do you remember your great-grandparents?
What do you know about them?
- Who was the oldest person you remember as a child?
- Did you have any of the childhood diseases?
- Do you have any health problems that are considered hereditary?
What are they?
- What to you do regularly for exercise?
- Do you have any bad habits now or in the past?
What were they?
- Have you ever been the victim of a crime?
- Have you ever been in a serious accident?
- Has anyone ever saved your life?
- Have you ever been hospitalized, If so, What for?
- Have you ever had surgery?
- What would you consider the most important inventions made during your lifetime?
- Do you remember the first time you saw a television; a car; a refrigerator?
- How is the world now different from what it was like when you were a child?
- Do you remember your family discussing world events and politics?
- How would you describe yourself politically?
- Are you Conservative or Liberal and why?
- Do you remember what you or your parents thought about income tax when it began in 1913?
- Do you remember anything of the days of prohibition?
How did it affect you and yours?
- How did the depression affect you?
- What US. President have you admired the most and why?
- What did you think of president Franklin Delano Roosevelt?
- How did you react to the death of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt?
- How did you react to the death of President Kennedy?
- What wars have been fought during your lifetime?
How did you feel about them?
- What were you doing when you heard the news of the Pearl Harbor bombing?
- How did World War II affect you?
- How did the Korean War affect you?
- How did the Vietnam War affect you?
- Name a good friend that you have known for the longest period of time?
- How many years have you been friends?
- Has there ever been anyone in your life that you would consider to be your kindred spirit or soul mate?
- Who were they and why did you feel a special bond with them?
- What were the hardest choices you ever had to make?
Do you feel like you made the right choices?
- Who was the person that really changed the course of your life by something they did?
- Who were they and what did they do?
- Do you remember someone saying something to you that had a big impact on how you lived your life?
What was it?
- If you could change something about yourself, what would it be?
- Was the most stressful experience that you ever lived through?
What helped you get through it?
- What is the scariest thing that has ever happened to you personally?
- What kinds of musical instrument have you learned to play?
- Would you consider yourself to be creative?
- What things have you made that others have enjoyed?
- How would you describe your sense of humor?
- What is the funniest practical joke you ever played on someone?
- What activities have you especially enjoyed as an adult?
- What are your hobbies?
- What did you like to do when you were not working?
- What is the most amazing thing that has ever happened to you?
- Have you ever met any famous people?
Describe what happened.
- What organizations or groups have you belonged to?
- Have you ever won any special awards or prizes as an adult?
what were they for?
- Describe a time and a place you remember feeling truly at peace and happy to be alive?
- Where were you and what were you doing?
- What is the most beautiful place you have ever visited and what was it like?
- What is the longest trip that you have ever gone on?
Where did you go?
- What has been your favorite vacation?
Where did you do and why was it special?
- What was the favorite place you ever visited and what was it like?
- What pets have you had?
- Do you have a favorite story about a pet?
- Is there anything you have always wanted to do but haven't?
- Have you ever been to the world's fair?
- What is the single most memorable moment of your life?
- What or who is your favorite:
Flavor of ice cream?
Style of music?
- If you had to pick a label for your family members (spouse, children, mother, father, brothers, sister...) Who befits the following descriptions?
Best story teller;
Most politically active;
At the end of the interview remember to say something like, "Let me thank you again for your time and your cooperation. I will preserve this record and make it available to other members of the family."
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Copyright © Linda Lucier Hubble 1997