Friday, August 21, 2009

Stories are the changing colors of your family tree.

Stories are the changing colors of your family tree.
A glimpse into the lives of relatives helps you understand how your family became who they are.

Plan visits to grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins with the mission of gathering
reminiscences of earlier years and any information on the family background. It’s a good idea to tape-record these sessions. (My suggestion is we video tape the interview with the child asking the questions and the older relative answering the questions.)

Every family has fascinating stories that make a real connection to history — the depression, World Wars, civil rights, etc. Some relatives need a little coaxing, but here’s where the kids come in handy.

People are more willing to open up to a child. Other than genealogy questions about dates and names, you will want to ask some of these to help spark some good stories.

What’s the favorite thing you remember about your mother/ father when you were a child?

What were your grandparents like?

How were birthdays celebrated in your family?
What was the best present you ever received?

Were you in the military?
What did you do?

What is your favorite family recipe?

Tell me about your first car.

Did you share your room?

What was your house like?

What chores were you responsible for?

What was your school like?

Who was your favorite teacher?

What was your favorite book as a child?

Tell me something you got in trouble for.

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