Interviewing Your Relatives

Posted July 16, 2013 by Hiromimarie | 2 Comments

Are you starting your family tree on Geni, but you don’t know a lot about your family history? Whether your goal is to simply create a small tree, or find a way to connect to the World Family Tree, one of the best things to do is to interview your relatives. Your relatives can share their knowledge of your family history with you and help you build your family tree. Plan some time to meet with your family.

Here are some tips from a great family interview guide created by Kimberly at

Prepare a list of questions beforehand and either share them with your relative, or give them an idea of what you want to cover.

   Bring several notepads and pens to the interview. If you plan to make a recording, be sure to have a tape
   player, microphone, extra tapes and batteries.

Start with a question or topic about a story you may have heard your relative tell in the past. 

   Use your prepared questions as a guideline, but don’t be afraid to let your relative go off on a tangent.
   They may have many things to say that you never thought to ask!

Keep the interview length to no more than 1-2 hours at a stretch. It’s tiring for you and for the person being interviewed. Remember this is suppose to be fun!

You can then add the information in your relatives Geni profile for the rest of the family to enjoy. Providing as much information as possible for the profiles that you manage will benefit the entire community as branches continue to be merged into the World Family Tree. And don’t forget to take pictures with your relative to add them to your Photo album on Geni!

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