Your living family members won’t be around forever. Preserving their stories and history while they are still alive is part of being a good family historian. Like learning to fill in a family group sheet, or learning to trace ancestors through print and online resources; so too, should every genealogist learn to capture their living relatives memories while they are with us.
Recording Your Family History: A Guide to Preserving Oral History helps genealogist record these living histories while they are still available. The introduction acquaints the reader with the “Life History Interview.” Effectively, audio or video interviews with family members, usually the older members speaking as though to a younger family member. The interview help capture, and thus maintain, family traditions, values, stories, beliefs, and experiences; passing these on to future generations. This book is a guide to capturing these family elements through the oral interview process.
The introduction also examines equipment the reader can use to record interviews, as well as interviewing techniques. These techniques will help the interviewer start and conduct interview with their family members. The bulk of the book provides suggested questions to use during interviews. The questions are broken into three major categories:
- Typical life cycle and “life crisis” events
- Historical events and your narrator’s experience of them
- Personal values, experiences, and life philosophy
Each chapter represents a major topic area and is broken down into sections and sub categories. The Youth chapter, for example, offers sections for school memories, first jobs, entertainment and interests, teenage conflicts, college, and more. Under each are subcategories like high school, friends, teenage dating, etc. The there are the actual questions; hundreds of them.
Table Of Contents
Narrator as Parent
General Questions, Unusual Life Experiences, and Personal Philosophy and Values
Special Questions for Jewish Narrators
Special Questions for Black Narrators
Special Questions for Hispanic-American Narrators
Recording Your Family History: A Guide to Preserving Oral History is available from Family Roots Publishing; Item #: C0132, Price: $6.97.