October: Family History Month

Did you know all of October is Family History Month? As the weather turns colder, finding indoor activities is essential. Chilly autumn days are excellent for learning about your family history. Asking questions is one of the best ways to learn about your family. Visit or call your parents, grandparents, great grandparents, or other elder family members. Remember either record or have a pen and paper ready to take lots of notes.

Do you need help with the type of questions to ask? Go beyond simple dates and locations. Ask about family stories too. Check out the following areas for inspiration for finding out about your family.

Marriage

  • How did you meet?
  • How did Grandpa (or other elder relatives) purpose?
  • What was your maiden name?
  • Do you know how your parents or grandparents first met?
  • What was your mother’s maiden name for both sides of your family?
  • Is there any story surrounding your proposal?
  • What was your wedding day like?
  • Did you have a big wedding?
  • Where did you get married?

Family

  • How many brothers and sisters did, or do you have?
  • Tell me about them.
  • How many aunts and uncles?
  • If you had lots of cousins, did you stay in touch with them?
  • Did you have family reunions?
  • What was your family gathers like?

Childhood

  • What is your favorite childhood memory?
  • Describe an average day from your childhood.
  • Where were you born?
  • Where did you grow up?
  • Did you move around a lot or stay in one location?
  • Do you know where your parents grew up?

School

  • Where did you attend grade school? Junior high? High school?
  • Did you like school?
  • Did you attend college, vocational, or a trade school?
  • What was your favorite subject in school?

Religion

  • What was your religious upbringing?
  • Did you go to church regularly?
  • Where did you go to church?

Occupations

  • What was your first job?
  • Do you remember how much you made an hour?
  • How many different jobs did you have over the years?
  • What was your favorite one?
  • What was your parents’ occupation?

Military

  • Did you serve in the military?
  • What branch?
  • How long did you serve?
  • Were you ever in a war zone or other conflict?
  • Where did you attend boot camp?
  • Were you drafted?
  • Do you know any other family members who served in the military?
  • Describe a typical day for you in the military.

The more questions you ask, the better understanding you will have of your family history. Enjoy your time with older relatives. Their knowledge will be lost once they are gone.

Genealogy Series: Ideas for Writing Your Personal History

Writing your personal history is a great addition to your genealogy research. Your personal story will intertwine with the rest of your family’s history. As your own author, the subject matter is endless. If you need ideas for writing your personal history, consider the following areas for inspiration.

Names

  • Are you named after someone in your family? Who? Why?
  • Do you know the meaning or story behind your name?
  • Did you name any of your children after a family member? Who? Why?
  • Do you have a nickname?
  • How did you get the nickname?

Birthdates

  • When and where were you born?
  • Is there a story about your birth?
  • When and where were your children born?
  • Share your experience about their birth.

Significant Other

  • What is your current relationship status?
  • Are you married?
  • How did you meet your partner?
  • Describe your first date.
  • Describe your wedding.
  • What is your favorite moment with your significant other?

Parents

  • Where were your parent born?
  • How did they meet?
  • Favorite memory of your parents from your childhood?
  • What did your parents teach you?
  • Write any other information you would like to share about your parents.
  • Describe yourself as a parent? (or a pet parent)

Childhood

  • Describe your childhood home? Did you move around a lot? Did you grow up in the city or country?
  • Do you have siblings? How many?
  • Are you close to your siblings?
  • What was your favorite activity as a child?
  • Who were your childhood friends? Do you still keep in touch?
  • Did you like school?
  • Describe your holidays as a child.
  • What family traditions do you still carry on with your own family?
  • Describe your children at this moment in time.

Extended Family

  • Write about your grandparents include names, dates, and other important information.
  • Write about your aunts and uncles. Did you have a favorite?
  • Write about your cousins and other family members.
  • Were there people in your life that you considered family who was not related?
  • Did you spend a lot of time with your extended family?
  • Do your children spend time with extended family?

Every piece of information provides insight into your life. Remember when writing to keep your personal and families’ information private. Always be careful about publishing information online. Keep a journal. Using lined notebook paper is an easy way to continuously add information photos and other material to a 3-ring binder. Do not forget to have fun when writing your personal history.

 

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