Tell Your Mom's Story



Did you spend a nice day with your mother on Mother’s Day? One of the easiest relatives to document and tell their life story would be your mother. Not all individuals of course, but most will have their mother still alive or recently passed (using another person) making it easier to get their story.

Start by making notes of what you do know already about your mother’s life, leaving space for additions and corrections. If your mother is still alive, you then do an oral interview over several different dates — this week is a good starting date.

Have her answer any points in your notes you are unsure of — such as where she married. Provide some ideas that will help her remember, such as her school years. Either write everything down or do a reporting of the interview or both.

Make the notes in an outline format – a timeline. See if she has photos of her over the years or you might already have them, bring them for the interview. Any additional information she can provide about any photos, mark it down.  

If you mother has passed away but your father is living, interview him. True, he might not know about your mother’s childhood, but he might! Same thing, go over photos especially those your father are in.

No father available, next interview your aunts and uncles — those siblings to your mother. They can be an excellent source especially for those often long forgotten events and tales in one’s childhood. Do document the source for any information, which person stated what.

Do transcribe all parts of a recorded interview so you do have it in another format.

Reminder, do not put such an opportunity off … saying you will do it another day. Capture your mother’s life and stories now. I started getting my mother’s stories in 1998 and eventually had about 25 pages of typed notes.

Photos: Mother, Dad and first child in 1951; My mother, Nan, in 1982, sign about Mother’s Day and photo collections to review. 

Related FamilyTree.com Blogs:

Old Photos of Your Mother

Start Your Family Research

Middle Names

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