A few interview tips and tricks can be used to record everything that you and your immediate family remembers. Now it is time to interview the oldest living relative in your family. Elders are a treasure trove of information. They may even supply the bits and pieces that you are missing from your timeline. You will also learn all kinds of things that you never knew when you interview younger family members.
How to Prepare For Interview
Be sure to be very prepared when you go to the interview, and leave plenty of extra time. Schedule a time convenient to everyone involved. Bring some form of a recording device, no matter how simple. Many people opt to record their interviews using a digital recorder or other recording device, but it is perfectly acceptable to use a pen and paper, if that’s what you’ve got.
As long as you have some way of recording the details that you are told, you will be okay. The last thing you want to do is rely on your memory alone, as that is how family histories get lost.
Interview Questions Tips
When conducting the interview, let them know why you want to interview them. Go prepared with a list of open-ended questions. questions. If you have specific questions, such as the middle names of your ancestors, nicknames, birth dates and locations, be sure to write that down so you do not forget to ask about them. You should also encourage your family members to tell stories when you interview them. Allow them the time to ramble a little bit; you never know what kind of information they are holding until you stop and listen.
Sample of Open-ended Interview Questions
- What is your full name? Do you have a nickname?
- What is your family surname (last name)?
- What was the full name of your Parents? Siblings?
- Do you know the names of your Grandparents?
- How old are you and where were you born?
- How long has your family lived here?
- Were there other family members in the area? Who?
- What is your earliest childhood memory?
- What did you do for fun as a child?
- Did you attend school? Where?
- What was your religious background? Where did you attend church?
- Describe your family life at home growing up.
- What “life lessons” would you like to pass on to the next generation?
I hope this articles on interview tips and tricks help you with recording your relatives and elders.
by Leonard Smith