Quick Story Gathering Ideas to Enrich Your Genealogy

Did you think you don’t have enough time to do family history? Maybe you don’t have enough time to push your pedigree all the way back to Adam and Eve (which by the way you can’t), but you do have time to gather stories from your living relatives. And honestly, you can’t afford to waste any time procrastinating the capturing of these stories.

Having lost so many of my relatives, don’t wait until it’s too late to ask the question you will regret not having the answers to when that relative has passed on. I can not go back and ask anyone the following questions:

  1. How did you meet your spouse?

  2. Why were you a roadie, and what did that mean?

  3. Why did you become an Aladdin Shriner?

  4. When did you leave Germany?

  5. Why did you pick Columbus? And when did you arrive?

  6. Did you know about Richard Townley’s second wife?

  7. Tell me what happened to the uncle who moved away from town and wasn’t named in the father’s will.


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Instead of missing your opportunities to capture stories, I’m going to share with you several family story gathering ideas that you can do in under 15 minutes.

  1. Schedule an interview with a relative

  2. Brainstorm 5 questions to ask a relative

  3. If you need help, check out the post: Categories of Family History Interview Questions

  4. Send a letter, email, or text to a relative

  5. Critically read a family history and write down additional questions that need to be answered

  6. If you need help, check out this post: How to Critically Read a Family History Story

  7. Send a photo to a family member asking for more information about that photo

  8. Corral answers to queries into one spot.

  9. Ask the story behind photos & memorabilia

Be sure to use these quick ideas anytime you’re gathered with your family.


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