Genealogy Oral History Questions – Step #2 To Beginning Your Family History Research

Starting your family history research is made a lot easier with a few simple steps. In this series regarding steps to begin your family history research, I’ll address what the steps are and how to carry them out so that your path to finding your ancestors is smoother than mine was.

Step #1 to begin your research into your family history, start with documenting each and every name you can think of as far as relatives are concerned. To read all about how to get started researching your family tree, step #1, click here.

In this segment of the series, step #2, we’ll discuss another key aspect of researching your family history. Step #2 is to begin documenting family history by means of completing oral history interviews with loved ones through the use of genealogy oral history questions.

Oral History Interviews

Oral history interviews are just what they sound like. They are oral interviews used to document facts, stories, memories, and whatever other information you can glean from someone else through an interview held orally. With genealogy the intent is to document family history from family members, or even close family friends, prior to their passing in order to preserve the information for future generations. The information is a building block for your genealogy family history file.

This information is key to unlocking family secrets and can be more valuable than anything else you could inherit from a family member. Our family history defines us. It is a part of who we are as individuals and can help us know where we are going.

Preparing For Oral Interviews

It is important to prepare for your oral interviews. Preserving your family history is one of the most important things you can do in your life and should be given the utmost respect. Each oral history you complete for your genealogy research is a part of a legacy you are creating for future generations and by preparing you ensure the best possible interviews which will provide the greatest amount of information.

Some things you may want to consider in preparation are having plenty of paper, a recording device (smartphones work great!), a couple of pens or pencils and a list of questions to ask. You’ll want to make sure the list is as complete as possible because you don’t want to forget anything. These stories and memories you record will answer questions about your heritage and will connect your family members for generations to come.

Memorygrabber A Downloadable Life Story Workbook

Memorygrabber A Downloadable Life Story Workbook is a great idea for any genealogist. It is a compilation of 1001 questions to answer or have answered in order to record family history. What better way to prepare for your oral interviews with relatives than by using a memory life story workbook?

With a Memorygrabber Downloadable Life Story Workbook you’ll have a road map to fully document your relative’s memories and family information in their perspective. You’ll be able to preserve the authenticity of the memories and your relatives’ voices by utilizing these workbooks. These memory workbooks contain 1001 questions which will surely be more than you would ever think of to ask.

How To Use The Memory Life Story Workbook

The best way to use the memory life story workbook is to ask the questions orally to your interviewee and record as you go. This will preserve your loved one’s voice, as well as your own, and it will be a great keepsake for generations to come!

Researching your family history can be very exciting and rewarding. Finding articles on your ancestors and records you find are like piecing together each ancestor’s life and giving you a glimpse into the life each one led. With the memorygrabber downloadable life story workbook and a recording device combined, you can preserve your relatives voices for future generations to literally hear!

But it isn’t just their actual voice you are preserving! By utilizing the memory life story workbook and a recording device, like a smartphone, you will also be recording their figurative voice as well. By this I mean you will be preserving the thoughts, expressions and feelings of your relatives which you interview. You’ll be able to capture the essence of each interviewee which is not something you could preserve through asking questions and writing down answers alone.

Connections To The Past, And Present

Why do people research their family history? What makes people seek out the past? I believe it is a need to connect with our roots that drives us humans to look into our ancestors. It is a need to understand who we are as individuals and how we came to be that leads us to seek out our ancestors and document our family trees.

With smartphones and the internet we are all way more connected than ever before and we have at our disposal the greatest ability to record our heritage for generations to come than any generation before. We have the ability to not only record the voices of our relatives, but we can record videos to share and keep for future generations to hear who our relatives are from their own voices!

Could you think of any more than 1001 questions to ask during your oral interviews? I doubt you could think of half that many. I am sure I would not be able to come up with that many. Having a workbook that gives you a comprehensive set of oral history interview questions is a great way to set yourself up for getting great oral interviews to help further along your family history research and also to give you mementos that will be priceless to future generations!

Click here to read all about a great way to keep your research collection together.

What are you waiting for? Pick up your copy of the Memorygrabber A Life Story Workbook today!

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A Walk Down Memory Lane

Having your very own Memorygrabber A Downloadable Life Story Workbook is a great tool for documenting your family history. It gives you a comprehensive set of questions to utilize during your oral history interviews to set you up for success.

Using this workbook will allow you to focus on what is truly important, getting the best interview, documenting those precious family moments and memories, preserving the voice of aging/ill relatives, and continuing to create the legacy that will be handed down for generations to come. Give it a try today!

 

Get your Memorygrabber A Downloadable Life Story Workbook today!

Thank you for reading my post on Genealogy Oral History Questions – Step #2 To Beginning Your Family History Research. I appreciate you greatly for taking the time out of your day and hope you have found the information useful. Please leave any comments or questions below and I would be happy to get back to you. If you enjoyed the post, please like and share with the links below!

Chas Guevara

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Custom Genealogy Supplies – Take Your Family Tree Research To The Next Level!

I don’t know how you feel, but I for one like a clean, organized look to my home. I like things arranged in a certain way and I like nice things to look at. I love the way old books look and I absolutely love books and bookcases! I know, I’m weird.

I recently wrote a post about a free printable family tree chart which had some pointers on storing your research, but here I’ll add some new twist to that idea. I stumbled upon some really cool products online one day and since they are also genealogy related, I was so excited! Customized binders for storing your genealogy research in! With custom genealogy supplies, your genealogy research stays super organized, protected and best of all, can be displayed proudly in your home!

Shop Personalized Binders on Zazzle.com

Organization Is The Key To Success!

As genealogists, we spend a lot of time tracking down birth certificates, death notices, marriage licenses, other historical documents and other pieces of our family history. We spend a lot of time researching and piecing together our family histories, and having functional storage for the research is a must!

But wouldn’t it be great to have a way to store your research and have it beautifully and proudly displayed in your home? I personally feel like the best art is art that includes my family and interests. I am currently creating several art pieces which are pictures of my parents and in-laws. You know the large canvas art pieces you can have done from pictures?

Methods Of Storage

There are a lot of different ways you can store your hard sought after family history, but the key is to find what works for you. For me, I choose a multi-tiered system. I am a product of the digital age and always back up everything I do onto a portable external hard drive which I already posted about. Check out my posting on external portable hard drives here.

Another storage method is to utilize a filing cabinet or a filing storage box such as one like I posted about in my post regarding a free printable family tree chart and useful tools for genealogy.

Other storage methods are storing everything online with a site like WikiTree. I personally do not recommend this method because anything could happen. The site, not saying this has happened or will happen, could get hacked or system failure could result in the loss of your data. The worse possible thing that could happen is to lose all of your research!

You could store your materials in a box or photo keepsake boxes. You could use file folders or binders. There are countless ways to store your data, but like I said before, I use a multi-tiered system because I want to make sure I always have my data!

Multi-Tiered System For Genealogy Storage

What exactly do I mean by a multi-tiered system? Well, I mean that I utilize several storage methods for varying reasons, but the primary reason is first and foremost to protect my family history research!

So many problems could arise by using one system or another. Using only a method where your research is kept with physical means like paperwork could result in a complete loss through natural disasters such as a fire or flood. Using only an online storage in a genealogy website could result in loss of data or data corruption by system failure or hacking. Having only a portable device for storing digitally could result in loss of your information by device failure or you could lose your device.

The only sure way to go is to develop a system where you are covered from multiple angles. I use several means for storing my hard sought after family data. I have boxes of information, a portable external hard drive which I take everywhere with me, I have information stored in online genealogy websites, and I have plastic storage boxes full of documents and family tree charts I have collected!

I am covered if any one of my systems fail. Having all the methods fail simultaneously is not absolutely out of the question, but is highly unlikely.

Exciting New Storage Method!

Recently though, I came across a great new way to store all of genealogy data. I found a great system for storing documents, interviews, family tree charts and whatever else I come up with during my research.

Custom genealogy supplies like the binders I am writing about are an awesome way to not only store your family research, but to display it all proudly and prominently in your home! These beautifully designed binders created by Amelia Carrie have the look of old books. They actually look like leather bound books and fit so nicely into home decor!

They hold a lot of data and the pages do not bend like typical binders do. You personalize them with your family name and you can add additional volumes for weddings, new births, baby and bridal showers, birthdays and more! I haven’t personally seen anything else like them.

They look so great on bookshelves and with these binders, your research becomes a prominent display in your home. Your friends and family will love to look at all the great information you have gathered about your family!

Custom Genealogy Binders

Custom genealogy binders are the best way to display all of your research prominently in your home. Your family will love to see all the information you have gathered and will enjoy looking over each volume! Spend hours of quality time with your relatives recounting the good old days with these binders.

Each binder is personalized with your family name and come in a variety of beautiful designs and colors. Get yours today!

Shop Black Friday on Zazzle

Order your custom genealogy binders and proudly display all of your genealogy research! Custom genealogy supplies like these binders are hard to find which is quite the oddity considering genealogy is a booming business. These are absolutely beautiful gifts for those special ones in your life that are into genealogy or perfect gifts for yourself!

*********Pick up your personalized genealogy binder today!*********

Thank you so much for reading my post.  I hope you enjoyed it and look forward to your comments and/or questions below.

Chas Guevara

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A Free Printable Family Tree Chart – Useful Tools for Beginning Your Family Tree Research!

I’ve written a few posts on getting started with creating your family tree, but something I haven’t really touched on yet is what to actually use for starting your family tree. I started my family tree with notebook paper, which is effective, but does create a bit of confusion particularly when you do not know exactly how everyone is related.

In this post I want to go over some useful free tools, like a free printable family tree chart, which can help you organize your family information to limit the confusion. This way you don’t have to keep asking “how is this person related again?” Sometimes I feel I annoy my mom by asking her the same questions!

Free Printable Family Tree Charts

Family tree charts are available in multiple places online and are mostly all free. In this post I’ll point out where to get some of them from and also how to utilize them to your benefit.

First of all I’ll discuss the importance of having your family tree information on something concrete. We all know that the Internet is not 100% safe and the information we store online is not absolutely secure either against hackers or against man-made and natural disasters. Computer systems fail, people can hack into the files and steal information or corrupt it, natural disasters can occur, and as a result information can be lost.

It is important to safeguard your family tree to prevent having to redo any of your hard work. I recommend backing up your file both electronically and physically. The genealogy websites do allow files to be printed out and at the very least I would recommend printing each family tree chart called a pedigree.

An alternative to this would be to print out one of the many free online printable family tree charts and manually filling the chart out with names, birth dates, death dates, anniversaries and children’s names included. This would save a ton of time when re-entering any lost data should a problem occur.

WikiTree Free Printable Blank Family Tree Charts

I recently wrote a post on WikiTree. You can read all about it here, but within WikiTree is a system for printing various family pedigree charts. I have not found a way to print a blank family tree chart out, but with WikiTree you can print a variety of family trees out in different generational levels.

I have created a new account for the purpose of showing you what it would look like and without adding information it looks like the following:

After you have added information about your family into your WikiTree account, other printable family trees are available including family profile sheets and multi-generational charts.

Other Online Printable Family Tree Sheets

FamilyTreeTemplates.net has a variety of free and low cost printable family tree charts available. Some go to as many as 12 generations and are all free unless you would rather have a customizable version. The website states there are 328 versions available so much to choose from! Below is a sampling of some printable charts available.

DustyDocs.com offers a free printable family tree chart which is also available on Pinterest. I have provided a link to print it out for your convenience.

Another available chart on Pinterest is a large tree chart.

There are many other printable charts available online for your every need. I chose these few to list because they encompass the most important aspects of beginning research. The simple pedigree chart is really great for easily jotting down names and dates to add to your online family tree at a later time. This will help with your organization and also it serves the dual-purpose of having a backup in case there is a problem with the online file.

Other Useful Tools for Family Tree Research

File box for storing your family tree information in
Click here to purchase on Amazon!

Once you have your system down for writing out your family tree information, whether it’s through the use of printable blank or filled out family tree pedigrees or simple paper and pen, you’ll want something to start filing these important papers in right away. I utilize the boxes you would use to store important papers in. File boxes you can get at any office supply store, green hanging folders and tabs.

For your convenience I have added a link to the picture of a file box which will take you to Amazon to purchase that particular box if you would want to.

The system you use for filing is whatever works well for you. I have my files set up by surname since I am researching my mom’s side, my dad’s side, my husband’s’s dad’s side and his mom’s side. I have surname files for all 4 names and break down the folders from there.

In the files you’ll want to store the pedigree sheets for each branch of your family along with any important documents you collect. Death certificates, birth certificates, obituaries, newspapers clippings, school records, church records, etc are all important pieces of your family puzzle you’ll want to collect and store for safe keeping.

Having these important documents will also help to restore your online family tree if anything happens causing a loss of information. These documents will help you to easily repair any damage.

Organization Is The Key To success

Staying organized will go along way to keeping your family tree gathering on track. Having printable family tree charts will help your family sections stay together and eliminate the confusion. It will also serve as a great backup system in case of natural or mad-made disasters or any other thing which could cause a loss of your long sought after information.

I also find the family tree pedigree charts help me visualize the connections in the family. For instance, I have multiple Addies in my family. Having the charts helps me to see which specific person I am researching at a given time so as not to confuse them and search the wrong information. This could lead to very frustrating results!

Whichever system you choose, it is just important to keep organization and maintain focus on what you are researching. Having some sort of pedigree charts will help you pick up where you left off when there are intervals between searches due to work, school, or other life activities. Let’s face it…We are all busy with life and remembering exactly where we left off could prove to be difficult. I make notes for myself as well as having all of my documentation. This really helps when I’m switching between branches of my family tree and my husband’s family tree as well.

I hope you have found this information helpful and look forward to assisting you with your journey to find your ancestors. Please leave any comments or questions below and I’ll be happy to get back to you!

Thank you,

Chas Guevara

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