You cannot make a record of your family history all by yourself. Your relatives have stories to tell, memories to share, and the backstory to old family photos. The best way to discover these valuable pieces of family history is to ask your relatives about them.
Not sure where to begin? MyHeritage can help you get started. They have put together a blog post called “25 Family History Questions You’ll Really Want to Ask” There must be at least a couple of questions in that batch that you haven’t asked your relatives about yet.
Typically, people tend to ask the same kinds of questions when they are interviewing their relatives about their stories. People ask their relatives where they were when a national tragedy happened. Or, they ask questions about the relative’s childhood, wedding day, or school days.
The best thing about MyHeritage’s list of questions is that it presents you with ones that it probably did not occur to you to ask. None of the questions can be answered with a simple yes or no. Each requires a person to take a moment to think about the question and to pick the best answer from the many that come to their mind.
There are two questions on the list that would appeal to genealogists. “Which ancestor would you most want to meet?” That question can best be answered by a person who knows at least a little bit about the people on their family tree. The other question also requires some knowledge of ones ancestors. “If you could ask your ancestors something, what would it be?” Save these two questions for the fellow genealogists in your family.
The most lighthearted question on the list is one that makes a relative recall a happy moment from their childhood. “As a kid, what was your favorite thing to eat?” Almost everyone is going to be able to come up with an answer to that question.
The answer to that question could easily lead to more questions. Was the treat connected to a holiday or special celebration? What other foods were served? Was the food something that was purchased from a certain store, or did a family member make it at home? Does your relative still enjoy that food as much as they did when they were a child?
Some of the questions on the list could bring up upsetting or stressful memories for the relative who is asked them. Be cautious with those kinds of questions. Your goal is to collect family history stories, and you won’t be able to do that for long if you scare away all of your relatives with uncomfortable questions.
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