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# Monday, 24 November 2014
17 Family History Questions to Ask Your Relatives at Thanksgiving
Posted by Diane

Happy Thanksgiving! Will you be spending part of this tradition-filled holiday with family? Perhaps you can turn the occasion to your genealogical advantage. All that nostalgia makes a great setup for talking about family history.


Baltimore and Ohio Employees Magazine, 1912, Internet Archive

You can use the holiday and the food as an opener, then delve deeper into family history. Here are some questions to get (and keep) the conversational ball rolling: 
  • How did your family celebrate Thanksgiving?
  • What was your favorite part of the Thanksgiving meal?
  • What was your childhood home like?
  • How did you get along with your brothers and sisters?
  • What did you do for fun as a child?
  • Did you have any pets?
  • What did you want to be when you grew up?
  • What was your school like?
  • What was your favorite subject in school?
  • What was your first job? How did you get it?
  • How did World War II (or the Great Depression, or another significant event) affect your family?
  • Was your family religious? Where did you go to church (or synagogue)?
  • How did your parents meet?
  • What do you admire about your parents?
  • How did you meet your spouse?
  • Tell me about getting your first (insert any technological innovation—radio, telephone, television, dishwasher, computer).
  • Who's the oldest relative you remember (and what do you remember about him or her)?
It might be fun to bring some old photos to spark memories, or even a family tree if you think people would be interested in seeing how the folks in the photos fit into your family.

Download our Oral History Made Easy e-book for more questions and prompts to interview relatives about family history, experts' secrets to interviewing success, help getting reticent family members to open up about the past, tips to use the information you learn, and more. 

Be ready for family history interview opportunities with our Instant Oral History Interview Kit, which contains a digital recorder, the above ebook and our Family Interview worksheet.

However you're spending Thanksgiving, and especially if you're away from loved ones, I wish you a day of warmth, contentment and much to be grateful for.


Oral History | Research Tips | saving and sharing family history
Monday, 24 November 2014 10:16:48 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]