Monday, November 9, 2015
Tips for Successful Interviews
Thanksgiving will soon be here. Getting people to sit down at the table isn't hard, but getting them to share their stories isn’t always as easy. That’s why family gatherings during the winter holidays are ideal situations for contacting relatives to set up times for interviews in the new year.
image: “Grandfather’s Stories” Wikimedia Commons
Some stories may arise spontaneously as two people stand side-by-side at the kitchen sink, one washing and the other drying the dinner dishes; but most come by following basic strategies for successful family interviews. Listed below are several websites you may consult to learn how to do family interviews, when to do them, and what to ask:
Family Tree Magazine: http://www.familytreemagazine.com/article/20-questions
Kimberly Powell at About.com: http://genealogy.about.com/cs/oralhistory/a/interview.htm
Ancestor Search: http://www.searchforancestors.com/scrapbook/interview.html
RESEARCH TIP: While you are at it, why not introduce yourself to future generations who may wonder about the person who gathered all of their family stories together? Answer the questions yourself, and include your write-up with the family genealogy that you are compiling.