20 Family History Questions You May Not Think to Ask Your Relatives
When getting started on your family history research, one of the best places to begin is your family. Your living relatives are an incredible resource for your family’s genealogy. While it’s important to make sure ask basic questions about names, birth dates and locations for the person you are interviewing and for other relatives, it’s also just as imperative to get them to open up with stories about their lives or your family history.
Image: Powerhouse Museum, Flickr
Some of the best family stories come from open ended questions. Here are some questions you can ask to bring out those unheard of family stories:
1. What is your first childhood memory?
2. Who is the oldest relative you remember from childhood?
3. What did you want to be when you grew up?
4. What was your greatest challenge in your life?
5. Growing up, who was the person you admired most?
6. How did your parents meet?
7. How dd you meet your spouse? Was it love at first sight?
8. What was your first job? What did you like best/least about it?
9. What is the most surprising technological advancement you’ve witnessed in your lifetime?
10. What’s the happiest place you’ve ever been?
11. Where did you grow up?
12. What are your favorite memories in your childhood home?
13. Did other relatives live nearby growing up? Did you spend time with extended relatives?
14. What was your favorite holiday as a child?
15. What is your favorite family recipe that you hope to pass on to the next generation?
16. What did you do for fun growing up?
17. When you were a child, what was was your favorite family activity?
18. What is the most memorable gift you have ever received?
19. What do you consider to be your greatest achievement?
20. If you could meet an ancestor, who would it be? What questions would you ask?
Don’t forget to keep notes and have a recording device handy so you can capture every detail.
What questions would you ask? Share them with us in the comments below!