Tuesday, May 29, 2012

This is Me

My Grandmother was the keeper of family history. Her love of genealogy joined with her love of history compelled her to record everything that happened in the town of Lead Hill, Arkansas. Births, deaths, marriages, divorces, those who moved in and those who moved away... it's all there in notebooks, clippings from the paper, and documents.If you've thought about searching for family history, it's as easy as getting on the Internet these days. Lots of sites out there to guide you. One of the best ways to start is by asking your oldest living relative, before it's too late, to help you fill in the blanks. I found this list last week with 50 Questions for Family Historyan easy to fill out "form"... kind a Cheat Sheet for you! Questions that will help you to make your own family history. Sit down with your Grandparents, or an Aunt or Uncle and just start, don't put it off any longer! 

  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 the house (apartment, farm, etc.) like? How many rooms? Bathrooms? Did it have electricity? Indoor plumbing? Telephones?
  6. Were there any special items in the house that you remember?
  7. What is your earliest childhood memory?
  8. Describe the personalities of your family members.
  9. What kind of games did you play growing up?
  10. What was your favorite toy and why?
  11. What was your favorite thing to do for fun (movies, beach, etc.)?
  12. Did you have family chores? What were they? Which was your least favorite?
  13. Did you receive an allowance? How much? Did you save your money or spend it?
  14. What was school like for you as a child? What were your best and worst subjects? Where did you attend grade school? High school? College?
  15. What school activities and sports did you participate in?
  16. Do you remember any fads from your youth? Popular hairstyles? Clothes?
  17. Who were your childhood heroes?
  18. What were your favorite songs and music?
  19. Did you have any pets? If so, what kind and what were their names?
  20. What was your religion growing up? What church, if any, did you attend?
  21. Were you ever mentioned in a newspaper?
  22. Who were your friends when you were growing up?
  23. What world events had the most impact on you while you were growing up? Did any of them personally affect your family?
  24. Describe a typical family dinner. Did you all eat together as a family? Who did the cooking? What were your favorite foods?
  25. How were holidays (birthdays, Christmas, etc.) celebrated in your family? Did your family have special traditions?
  26. How is the world today different from what it was like when you were a child?
  27. Who was the oldest relative you remember as a child? What do you remember about them?
  28. What do you know about your family surname?
  29. Is there a naming tradition in your family, such as always giving the firstborn son the name of his paternal grandfather?
  30. What stories have come down to you about your parents? Grandparents? More distant ancestors?
  31. Are there any stories about famous or infamous relatives in your family?
  32. Have any recipes been passed down to you from family members?
  33. Are there any physical characteristics that run in your family?
  34. Are there any special heirlooms, photos, bibles or other memorabilia that have been passed down in your family?
  35. What was the full name of your spouse? Siblings? Parents?
  36. When and how did you meet your spouse? What did you do on dates?
  37. What was it like when you proposed (or were proposed to)? Where and when did it happen? How did you feel?
  38. Where and when did you get married?
  39. What memory stands out the most from your wedding day?
  40. How would you describe your spouse? What do (did) you admire most about them?
  41. What do you believe is the key to a successful marriage?
  42. How did you find out your were going to be a parent for the first time?
  43. Why did you choose your children's names?
  44. What was your proudest moment as a parent?
  45. What did your family enjoy doing together?
  46. What was your profession and how did you choose it?
  47. If you could have had any other profession what would it have been? Why wasn't it your first choice?
  48. Of all the things you learned from your parents, which do you feel was the most valuable?
  49. What accomplishments were you the most proud of?
  50. What is the one thing you most want people to remember about you?


  1. Great questions. My Dad's sister is the oldest relative I have left. So many questions left unanswered.

    1. We bought books for our parents years ago for them to fill in for our daughters. Questions about their childhood, their dreams, their life. It's a priceless gift now to our grown daughters.

  2. What a wonderful list to fill in, tuck into a safe place, and hopefully, one day, your descendents will find a little treasure. I am fortunate to have a genealogist for a brother in law. He traced my fathers history back all the way to Tiberius Caesar, with at least 60+ British, French and Nordic rulers along the way, some quite famous, others, never before heard of, like, "PEPIN THE FAT". Hah! it is so fun to be able to look up your ancestors online!

    1. "Pepin the Fat," you are so funny! British, French and Nordic makes you a stiff lipped, strong woman... I'm English, Irish and Cherokee Indian~ proper unless I've had too much to drink and I'm a bit of a hippy! I guess that's the Indian part! Grandma used to try to tell me about the relatives who had accomplished much but I didn't pay any attention. It wasn't until after she was gone and I inherited the family history that I realized the importance.

  3. Joycee...You just rang my chimes! I love family history & have done a lot of genealogy research, but mostly online. I have found tons of information on my family through others that have done the leg work & have so willingly shared. There is even a website on my mother's family! My parents are gone now but before they died, my dad tried to go over what family history he knew. And now all of my aunts & uncles are gone. You are so right about asking questions...do it while your parents, aunts or uncles are still with you & able to recall the past! Ancestry.com is a wonderful sourch also. Happy searching! And I am printing off your list.

    1. There's so much online, just like a treasure hunt! Our family is getting so small that the importance of passing this on is getting more and more important to me.

  4. Replies
    1. Thanks Terri, just passing along my Pinterest Finds!


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