Genealogy Do-Over: Family interview questions

Genealogy Do-Over Week #2

A Thomas MacEntee GeneaBlogger Community
A Thomas MacEntee GeneaBlogger Community


Because of the private information in my self interview I decided that I would post the questions I use for the interview. I plan to use these questions for when I interview family members. Before doing my self interview I completed the Family Data Sheet with the facts as I know them to be. Documentation will follow later to support those facts.

The goals for week #2:

1. Setting Research Goals (based on interviews)

2. Conducting Self Interview (done using these questions)

3. Conducting Family Interviews (scheduled for future dates)


Compiled from various sources: Parenting Magazine, the Book of Me, and a few of my own thrown in.

  1. What is your full name? Why did your parents select this name for you? Did you have a nickname
  2. When and where were you born?
  3. How did your family come to live there?
  4. Were there other family members in the area? Who?
  5. What was your home like? Was it an apartment, house, duplex, farm, a tent, etc.? How many rooms? Was the more than one bathroom, did you have indoor plumbing, telephones, electricity? What type washing machine did you have?
  6. Whether any special items in the house that you remember?
  7. What is your earliest childhood memory?
  8. Describe your family members. What personality traits did they have? What did you like most about them? What did you like least about them? Why?
  9. Kind of games to play growing up? Cards, board games, outdoor games, or were you the one that like to read?
  10. Did you have a favorite thing that you’d like to do for fun? Movies? Camping? Hiking? The beach?
  11. What was your favorite toy and why?
  12. Did you have chores? What were they? Which one did you like the most? The least?
  13. Did you receive an allowance for those chores? If so, how much? Did you spend it or save it?
  14. What was your school like as a child? Did you go to more than one? What was your best and worst subject?
  15. Did you participate any school activities or sports?
  16. What fats were popular when your child? Clothes? Hair?
  17. Did you have any childhood heroes?
  18. Did you have a favorite type of music? A favorite song?
  19. Did you have any pets? What type? What were their names?
  20. Did you have a religion when you grew up? Did you attend church? What type?
  21. Were you ever mentioned in a newspaper? For what?
  22. Who your friends when you were growing up? Are you still friends with any of them?
  23. What world events had an impact on you when you were growing up? Did they affect your family and anyway?
  24. What was a typical family dinner? Did you have certain foods on certain nights? Did you eat is a family at the table? Who did the cooking? Did you have a favorite food?
  25. Did you have any family recipes handed down? Would you care to share them?
  26. Did you celebrate holidays? Birthday’s, Christmas, etc.? Were there any family traditions?
  27. How is the world different today than when you were a child?
  28. Who is the eldest relative you remember as a child? What do you remember about them? Who is the youngest?
  29. What you know about your family surname?
  30. Whether any naming traditions and your family? Marriage traditions?
  31. Were there any traditions or stories handed down in your family? Where they about close or distant relatives?
  32. Do you have any famous or infamous relatives?
  33. Are there any physical characteristics that run in the family?
  34. Are there any special heirlooms? Photos, Bibles, journals, handmade items or other memorabilia?
  35. Did you have any siblings? What were their names?
  36. How close were you to your siblings?
  37. Were you ever engaged? Married? Divorced? Annulled?
  38. What was the full name of your spouse? Parents name? Siblings?
  39. When and how did you meet your spouse? What did you do on dates?
  40. Who propose to who? Where and when did it happen? How did you feel?
  41. When and where did you get married? Church? Outdoors? Justice of the peace? Common law?
  42. What memory from your wedding day stands out the most?
  43. Describe your spouse or significant other? What you my most about them?
  44. What do you believe is the key to a successful relationship?
  45. How did you feel when you first heard you were pregnant with your first child? Subsequent children?
  46. How did you name your children? Family tradition? Look at the baby book of names?
  47. What was your proudest moment as a parent?
  48. What family activities did you enjoy?
  49. What was your occupation, if any? Did you choose it or did it choose you? Were you influence by a family member in your choice?
  50. Looking back now, would you choose the same profession? What profession would you choose? Why?


Bonus questions:

What lesson did you learn from your parents that you feel was the most valuable? Why?

What accomplishment in your life are you most proud of?

What one thing you want people to remember most about you?

We had one do over, what would it be?

What would you put in your memory box for future generations?

Family Reunion Trip 2012
Family Reunion Trip 2012

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