Genealogy: 150 questions to ask family members about their lives

Genealogy 150 questions to ask family members about their livesBy Barry J. Ewell

Well-crafted, open-ended questions can yield fruitful results when you interview family for purposes of family history. The following is an outline of questions you may want to consider. Take time to tailor the questions to the person you are interviewing.

When you are ready to conduct an interview, have the questions in front of you to make sure you are getting the information you desire. Conversations about family can go many directions. When possible, record the interview on audio or video.

  1. What is your full name and why were you named that? (Maiden name for females)
  2. Were you named after someone else?
  3. Did you have a nickname as you were growing up?
  4. If you did, what was it and why did they call you that?
  5. Have you had any other nicknames as an adult? Continue reading

1000-plus Questions to ask family members about their lives

Guide to Writing Family HistoryBy Barry J. Ewell

Conduct oral interviews to uncover important clues and forge relationships that will dramatically speed research. Learn the easy to follow steps in writing, researching, and publishing your personal and family history. Over 1,000 questions across 95 topics organized so you can easily begin a conversation and explore a topic.

  • Price $3.99
  • Pages: 294 pp.
  • Published: 2016

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Genealogy: Organize your research #4— Questions to ask that can yield treasures

Genealogy: Organize your research #4— Questions to ask that can yield treasuresBy Barry J. Ewell

Remember you’re conducting this research because you’re not able to acquire these records from home. Make sure you ask your libraries, archivists, and clerks questions such as the following:

  • What indexes or collections are unique to your facility?
  • Do you have card files, newspapers, original records, computer databases, networks, or compact discs that can only be searched at your repository?
  • Have your records been microfilmed? If yes, where else are they located?
  • Are any of your collections accessible online?
  • Does your collection have records such as church records that have not been microfilmed?
  • Do you have records from (time period)? If not, do you know where can I find them? Note that many countries are consolidating rare records to a common depository.

Family History: Preparing interview questions

Family History Preparing interview questionsBy Barry J. Ewell

Some of the best things you find out will be unexpected. Once you get started with the interview, you are likely to be told some things you had not previously thought about, so it is essential to give the person you are recording plenty of space to tell you what they think matters. But you should not let the interview drift: it is your job to guide it. For this, you Continue reading

Family History: Story themes and Ideas for writing your history

10-16-2014 1-38-27 PMBy Barry J. Ewell

Do you want to write you own history but don’t know where to begin? The following themes are some of the many threads that weave through our lives. Think of each theme in relation to the different stages of your life: Early childhood, teen years, young adult, middle age and retirement years. What stayed consistent? What changed? And maybe this is all you write! What story do you have to tell? Story themes and Ideas The following themes are some of the many threads that weave through our lives. Think of each theme in relation to the different stages of your life: Early childhood, teen years, young adult, middle age and retirement years. What stayed consistent? What changed? And maybe this is all you write! What story do you have to tell? Places Lived List addresses and descriptions of places you’ve lived. Include unique features you remember about each.

  • The tile in the bathroom.
  • The fabric on the living room drapes.
  • The end table Grandpa made.
  • The chandler your son broke playing Tarzan.
  • The secret fort up in the tree.
  • The lime green colored cabinets of your first basement apartment together…… Continue reading