So often in the pursuit of family history, we focus solely on the past. We’re so wrapped up in preserving history, we don’t think to preserve the living history.

As the new year begins,  I spent some time thinking of a few resolutions. What are some things I want to change? My genealogist resolution is to focus on preserving the story of those who are still living. I’ve taken so much time to learn about my ancestors, but there’s still so much that I don’t know about my parents, aunts, and uncles.

As with most questions in today’s internet-age, I took to Google for some research. There are many wonderful articles out there related to preserving today’s history for future generations.

With the help of the internet, I put together a few quick questions to get the ball rolling:

  1. What is your full name? Did you have any nicknames?
  2. How did you get your name?are you named after someone?
  3. When and where were you born?
  4. Did you have any siblings? (This one may sound silly, but it wasn’t until my grandfather was in his 80s that we learned that he had another brother that we had never heard about)
  5. Did you have any pets? What were their names?
  6. What is your earliest childhood memory?
  7. What is your favorite memory of your mother? And your father?
  8. What was school like for you? What was your best and worst subjects?
  9. What sports or extracurricular activities were you involved in?
  10. What did you want to be when you grew up?
  11. What special treats, meals, snacks, or other food did your family eat?
  12. Who was your childhood best friend?
  13. Tell me about when you learned to drive. Who taught you? What type of car was it?
  14. What was your first job? How old were you?
  15. Where did you meet your husband/wife?
  16. What was it like when you proposed/were proposed to? Where and when did it happen? How did it feel?
  17. What was your most memorable family vacation?
  18. Were you ever mentioned in a newspaper?
  19. What world events had the most impact on you while growing up? Did any of them personally affect your family?
  20. What’s one piece of advice your parents gave you that has always stuck with you?

What other questions would you ask? Leave some more ideas in the comment section below 🙂


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