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Family Tree Research

Post Category Family Tree ResearchOne of the best ways to start off with your family tree research is through conducting interviews with your known family members. If you are just getting started with your family tree, or you want to start getting serious and organized in your research, this is a great idea for you.

The goal of a Family Tree Research Interview is to learn as much as you can about your relatives.  When I first got started in genealogy, I thought I could just say, “Hey mom, tell me about your family”.  It turns out that this question won’t get you far.

The more specific, thought-provoking, and thoughtful your questions are, the more likely you are to get really interesting, new information from your relatives.  A conversation-style interview is likely to trigger old memories, stories, and thoughts that have never been shared with you before.

How to do a Family History Interview

  • The first step is to have a plan of the type of questions that you plan to ask, and how you would like the interview to flow.  I like to start off with simple biographical questions, and then move on to more introspective, personal questions.
  • Second, make sure you take lots of notes.
  • Third, be respectful of your relative’s time.  Not everyone loves family research as much as we do, so we want to be considerate.  You can even conduct your interview in more than one conversation.

I have made a Family Interview Worksheet specifically for helping my readers talk to their families in order to learn as much as they can.

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