Tennessee Genealogical Society

Interviewing Questions

Interviewing for family history can be a rewarding and informative time. Try to stay in the one hour frame, as longer may tire the person being interviewed. The following are some basic facts you can try to gather:

Full name; include nicknames. Record maiden and married names. Names from previous marriages if widowed or divorced.

Where were they born; in a hospital or at home? Document if they heard what the weather was like, time of day/week.

List the names, dates and places of importance of parents, brother, sisters and all other relatives they can recall.

Education History: Did they finish elementary, high school or college? What are the names of the schools and where were they located? Are there any documents that reflect their school history available such as their report cards or annuals?

Organizations they may be associated with: Music, scouts, political, war, Daughters of the American Revolution, religious?

Marriages: Names, dates and places of marriages. Did they go on a honeymoon? Describe… What was the wedding like? Who attended? Was the wedding decorated?

Residence: Where have they lived from birth to present? What caused the moves if any? What mode of transportation did they use?

Employment: What type of jobs did they hold? What jobs did their parents and/or spouse have? What was their favorite job? Worse?

Have them share any lessons of life they may have developed over their lifetime.

List all their health issues for them and family members.

Photographs: Do they have any photographs to share. Where was it taken, is there a story behind the picture?

What is their favorite holiday? Worse? What made it special? Who was there? Favorite summer vacations.

Favorite/Worse foods, any allergies?

Don't forget to interview your older relatives as soon as you can!

Once you gather the information from an interview, organize it and update all your records.

Contributed by
Tina Sansone
TN Genealogy Society Member