Family History Interview Questions to Help You Capture Your Family’s Story

family history 200x300 - Family History Interview Questions to Help You Capture Your Family’s StoryWhen we talk to our customers about their photo scanning projects and why they are undertaking the project now, we are privileged to hear loving stories about family members, friends, trips, events, and all of those precious, irreplaceable memories of small moments that are captured in photo collections.

Photos only tell part of the story, though. As anyone interested in genealogy knows, capturing your family history via interviews is just as important. Digital recording devices are not very expensive and can be quickly purchased online, so buy one today and set aside time to interview your family members.

Here are some family history interview questions to get you started:

  1. What is your full name? Why did your parents choose this name for you? Did you have any nicknames growing up?
  2. When and where were you born? Why did your family live there?
  3. Where else did you live growing up? Why did your family move?
  4. How did your parents meet?
  5. How many siblings did you have? What were your age differences?
  6. Did you have relatives living in the area? Who?
  7. What was your home like? How many rooms did it have?
  8. Were there any special items in the house that you remember?
  9. What is your earliest childhood memory?
  10. What was your family like? Describe their personalities.
  11. What kind of games did you play growing up? Who did you play with?
  12. What was your favorite toy and why?
  13. What was your favorite thing to do for fun?
  14. Did you do chores? What were they? What did you hate doing?
  15. Did you receive an allowance? How did you spend it?
  16. Where did you go to elementary school, high school, and college? What were your best and worst subjects? What was different about school then compared to today?
  17. What school activities and sports did you participate in?
  18. What clothes, hair styles, and trends were popular when you were young? What was your favorite music/songs?
  19. Who were your childhood heroes?
  20. Did you have any pets? What kind and what were their names?
  21. Did you attend church? Where?
  22. Did any world events have a big impact on you and personally affect your family?
  23. What were your favorite foods growing up? Who prepared them?
  24. How were holidays and birthday celebrated in your family? Did your family have special traditions?
  25. How is the world today different from when you were a child?
  26. Who was the oldest relative you remember as a child? What do you remember about them?
  27. What do you know about your family surname? Is there a naming tradition in your family?
  28. Do you have any stories to share about your parents, grandparents, or older generations?
  29. Are there any stories about famous or infamous relatives in your family?
  30. What was the full name of your spouse? Siblings? Parents?
  31. When and how did you meet your spouse? What did you do on dates?
  32. What was it like when you proposed (or were proposed to)? Where and when did it happen? How did you feel?
  33. Where and when did you get married? What memories stand out from your wedding day?
  34. How would you describe your spouse? What do (did) you admire most about them?
  35. What do you believe is the key to a successful marriage?
  36. How did you find out your were going to be a parent for the first time? How did you choose your children’s names?
  37. What was your proudest moment as a parent?
  38. What did your family enjoy doing together?
  39. What was your profession and how did you choose it? If you could have done anything career-wise, what would it have been? Why didn’t you pursue it?
  40. Of all the things you learned from your parents, what was the most
  41. valuable?
  42. What are the hardest choices you had to make in life?
  43. What person really changed the course of your life by something he/she did?
  44. Do you remember any advice or comments that had a big impact on how you lived your life?
  45. If you could change something about yourself, what would it be?
  46. What is the most stressful experience you ever lived through?
  47. What is the scariest thing that ever happened to you?
  48. What is the most amazing thing that has ever happened to you?
  49. Have you ever met any famous people?
  50. What accomplishments in your own life are you the most proud of? What is the one thing you most want people to remember about you?