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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6 thoughts on “Genealogy Oral History Questions – Step #2 To Beginning Your Family History Research

  1. This is an awesome article. To be able to go through your living relatives to find out you Ancestry. Great idea. But, that doesn’t Apply to someone like myself I’ve often wondered about my mothers side of the family. Which lived up North in and around NJ. Unfortunately, they are all deceased. Any idea how to go about the ancestry of my mother she won’t won’t talk about them at all?
    But, back to you article I think I am gonna try it on my dads side you give such clear, easy directions. And newly retired I have the time. And would love to know.

    1. Hi Scarlett,

      I have some problems with things like in my family as well. There are a lot of things that people either don’t know, or just don’t want to talk about. It makes the search more difficult, but certainly not impossible. If you know where your mother grew up then finding some information out would not be too difficult. It does take a bit longer, but the best way to proceed is to do a vague area search by last name. Look for anything that seems familiar. If you find something then narrow it down.

      I used this technique many times, but most recently for a relative my mother could not remember the exact name for. The way she pronounced it, and I spelled from her pronunciation, it was not finding any results. I tried the broad search with the specific location they would have lived in and actually found the correct spelling within a few minutes and was able to then start searching that branch of the tree.

      It is of course more difficult when you don’t have any other information to go on, but you have your mother’s name and I would assume location she grew up in. try a broad search first and look for census records from 1940. Not sure how old you and your mother are, but since you say you are recently retired I’m guessing she would have been around in 1940 which is the most current census available to the public.

      Another great way to research your relatives in a broad sense is by using online newspaper archives. I have an article you may be interested in which goes over old newspaper archives.

      Good luck with your search! Let me know if you need any help.

  2. Very nicely written and informative. This is something I thought I wanted to do but let it slip away. Reading your post made it sound interesting again. I know it takes a lot of time. The Memorygrabber notebook is an awesome thing to have when your researching. I never thought of recording the actual voice. Thank you technology! Your website looks great. Keep up the good work and much success. Thanks, Sandra

    1. Hi Sandra,

      Yes I felt the same way. I have done the research off-and-on for about 15 years now because life gets in the way. I have found in later years that it holds my interest more. As I get older and see relatives are aging and we are losing more and more, I get more interested in finding out about the family. It helps create a connection with those we have lost. Technology certainly does help. I love having the ability to record and wish it were available years ago so I could hear the voice of my grandparents I never knew.

      Best of luck to you in your search! If you need any help let me know.

  3. This is a well-documented article that involves a lot of research and accuracy finding of a family tree.
    The first step of researching family names in the last article and linking it up with oral history interviews as Step #2 is a very good strategy.

    After all, knowing what is your identity, originality and confirming your ancestors is going to be a HUGE advantage.

    Wishing you all the best.

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