Stories to treasure for your family history interview albums
Have you ever sat with a grandparent or older member of your extended family and listened to stories about their life?
As a child, I was given a school project to interview a grandparent. Even simple things about how they bought their groceries or how they travelled to places seemed so different to what I was experiencing growing up. I can only imagine how strange it must be for our children these days to learn about how we grew up and even further back than that for their great grandparents. No internet, mobile phones, and even TV was relatively new.
I still remember watching the 2nd tv in my parents bedroom after dinner – such a treat having a 2nd tv even if everything was in black in white! Our main TV was only 14” with a huge box behind it and we all watched it together in our large living room – how we could even see it properly is hard to comprehend.
My Great Great Grandmother travelled on one of the 1st four ships that arrived into New Zealand from England in 1882. She kept a handwritten diary of her time on board the ship. Her diary was eventually transcribed into a typed version so that copies could be made and handed down throughout our family. Through reading it I automatically felt a connection to her and her family – my extended family.
Family History Interview Albums
Imagine if you had a book with a detailed interview from each member of your family that could be handed down through your future generations. This album could be filled with handwritten letters, photos and even videos stored on USB sticks. The beginning of the book could start with a family tree so that the person looking at the album can get a sense of where everyone fits in.
Stories Told In-Person
With a lot of people being in isolation lately due to Covid19 this is a perfect time to reconnect with family members. You could record your interview on a video call or even just a voice recording like a podcast so that future generations can hear the stories being told by the person themselves.
What questions would you ask?
- Tell me about where you grew up – locally? Abroad?
- Who was in your family?
- What sort of house did you live in?
- Where did you go to school?
- What was your favourite subject?
- Who was your favourite teacher?
- How is life different today than it was when you were a child?
- How did you celebrate holidays?
- Tell me about some of your friends
- What was your first job?
- What was your favourite job?
- When did you learn to drive and what car did you learn in?
- Where did you meet your partner?
- Tell me about when your children were born
- Who are some of the people you admire?
- What are some of the happiest memories you have?
- What was it like with computers / TV’s / microwaves / mobile phones
- What are your favourite TV shows or movies?
- Who are your favourite actors and singers?
- What is your favourite book?
- What else do you want to talk about that we haven’t mentioned yet
As well as the questions above, you can also record their details such as the date of the interview, full name, date of birth, place of birth, parents names, siblings names. This will give a good overview if anyone wanted to create a family tree in the future.
Download our free Interview Template to use when you do your Family Interviews:
Photo Safe Scrapbooks are perfect for Family History Albums:
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