Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Family History Interviews

In my quest to research my family, I've been trying to track down living family members and talk to them about family. I'd like to hear their stories, share any information I have, and I always hope that there will be a few special treats like photos, letters, documents etc. So far I've been pretty lucky. The few people I have reached out to have been more than happy to help me. Today I reached my father's cousin who has agreed to let me interview him! 

This is my very first interview and there are lots of lists of questions out there. I’m putting together my own list, but I’d like to hear from all of you if you’ve ever conducted an interview like this, what did you ask? What do you wish you’d asked that you didn’t ask? What would you suggest that I avoid asking?

I'm hoping to get a recorder app working well on my phone so that I can transcribe the conversation. I've learned that sometimes little tidbits can get lost if you aren't paying close attention. 

He also mentioned to me that he still lives in his grandparents house and that there are some things that my grandfather made around the house. Apparently he was a budding potter in grade school and made some charmingly awful vases! I hope one day someone looks at my terrible art and thinks it worthy of keeping around for future generations!

1 comment:

  1. Good for you to interview these relatives. A couple of suggestions: One - read Just a Hint of a Smile at Marion's Roots and Rambles, which has some good suggestions.

    Also, do you have any old photographs? I've found that having a family member look at old photographs can trigger memories and then you can go from there.

    I blogged about the strategy of looking at online resources while talking with my mother-in-law on the phone. See Tuesday's Tip-Another Interview Strategy.

    Good luck and I look forward to reading about what you find out.