20 Questions for Interviewing Relatives – Family Tree Magazine #ask #a #lawyer #online

#ask history questions

Use these questions as a springboard for planning your oral history interviews.

The best tactic for oral history interviews is to ask open-ended questions (rather than ones with yes or no answers), and to focus on people’s memories and experiences. It’s much more interesting-for you and the interviewee-to talk about the stories and emotions behind the events in your family’s past. Use these questions as a springboard for planning your interview:

  1. What’s your first memory?
  • Who’s the oldest relative you remember (and what do you remember about him or her)?
  • How did your parents meet?
  • Tell me about your childhood home.
  • How did your family celebrate holidays when you were a child?
  • How did you meet your spouse?
  • Tell me about your wedding day.
  • Tell me about the day your first child was born.
  • What were your favorite school subjects?
  • Tell me about your favorite teacher.
  • Tell me about some of your friends.
  • Describe your first job.
  • What did you do with your first paycheck?
  • What was your favorite job and why?
  • Who are some of your heroes?
  • Where were you when you heard that President Kennedy was shot? (Add or substitute other important historical events.)
  • What is your experience with or opinion of computers? (Add or substitute other modern conveniences, such as television, microwaves and cell phones.)
  • Tell me about some of your favorite songs (also books, movies and television shows).
  • Tell me about some of the places where you’ve been happiest.
  • What haven’t we talked about that you’d like to discuss in the time we have left? (This is a good way to begin wrapping up the interview.)
  • For more advice on interviewing family and friends, see The Everything Family Tree Book: Research and preserve your family history . available from ShopFamilyTree.com .

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