Yourself1. What is the name you were given at birth?
2. When were you born? Where? Hospital or at home?
3. Were you named after a relative or family friend?
Why was your name chosen?
4. Have you ever had a nickname? Who gave it to you
5. Did your parents or siblings like to tell any funny or
embarrassing baby stories about you?
6. What did you want to be when you grew up?
7. What is your mother’s name?
8. When and where was she born?
9. Is she still alive? When did she die?
10. What is your most vivid image of your mother?
11. What is your father’s name?
12. When and where was he born?
13. Is he still alive? When did he die?
14. What is your most vivid image of your father?
15. Where did your parents meet?
16. When and where did they get married?
17. What are your brothers and sisters names?
18. What is the most enjoyable memory of time
spent with your parents, your family?
19. What are some of the most valuable lessons your
parents taught you?
20. What were the names of your mother’s parents?
21. When and where were they born and where did
22. What did they do for a living?
23. Do you have personal memories of them? What
were they like?
24. What were the names of your father’s parents?
25. When and where were they born and where did
26. What did they do for a living?
27. Do you have personal memories of them? What
were they like?
28. What was the most enjoyable time spent with
29. Did they have a favorite story that you remember
30. What do you know about your grandparent’s
children, other than your parents?
31. What do you remember hearing about your
32. Did you ever meet them?
33. From what part of the world did your family
emigrate? Any stories told in your family about
the crossing? Did they become U.S. citizens? Do you
have any relatives in foreign countries?
34. Where did they settle in this country? Why?
35. Do you have any relatives who were famous?
Or who took part in well-known historical events?
36. How far back can you trace your family tree?
The family house
37. What type of house did you live in as a child?
Other buildings on the same property?
38. If you moved during your childhood, tell where and
when and what you can remember of each house and
the family circumstances and the reason for the move.
39. In what room did you eat? Kitchen? Dining room?
40. How was your home heated?
41. Did you have a fireplace?
42. What kind of kitchen stove did your parents cook on?
What fuel was used?
43. Did you have to buy the fuel or was this a chore, such
as cutting wood, with which you had to help?
44. Did you always have electricity? If not, when did you
get it? Was it a big deal?
45. Did you ever use candles or kerosene lamps?
46. Did your family have a cellar? Where did you store food?
47. Where did your family get water? Was it plentiful?
What methods were used to conserve water?
Family Relations, Responsibilities, Conditions
48. What was your position in the family? Oldest? Youngest?
49. What were your duties as a small child? Did you have
50. Who cooked the meals? Ironing, cleaning, etc.?
51. Did you buy or make your own clothing?
52. When did you learn to cook and who taught you?
53. Did you ever learn to sew? Crochet? Knit? Embroider?
And who taught you?
54. Did you ever learn the mechanics of a car and who
55. Did your family keep in touch with distant family?
Do you still keep in touch?
56. Did you visit relatives often?
57. How did you get your mail?
58. What do you remember about family pets?
59. Were you especially close to anyone in the family?
60. How did the family spend its evenings?
61. Did you get an allowance? How much? What did you
spend it on?
62. Do you remember your family discussing world events
and politics? What were some of the topics?
Family income and livelihood
63. What did your father do for a living?
64. Did your mother ever work outside of the home?
What did she do?
65. Did you contribute to the family income? How?
66. When did you get your first job outside of the family?
67. Did your family have a garden? Who did the work on
the garden? What kinds of vegetables did you grow?
68. Did your family have fruit trees? Who did the canning?
69. Did you raise chickens?
70. What kind of meat did you eat?
71. If you lived on a farm, what crops were planted? Who
did the work? Family? Hired hands? Did you keep a cow
for milk? Did you make your own butter and cheese?
Did anyone in the family sell eggs or butter?
Days, Seasons, and Special Occasions
72. What did Sunday mean to you (family dinner, etc.)?
73. Did you attend church on Sunday? Where did you
74. Were there any other special days of the week?
75. How did you spend Christmas?
76. What kinds of gifts did you receive at Christmas?
77. Did your family observe Easter?
78. How and where did you observe the Fourth of July?
79. Other special holidays?
80. How was your birthday celebrated? What kinds of
gifts did you receive?
81. Did your family entertain often? When?
82. Did your family attend picnics? Family reunions?
What do you remember about them?
83. How did you keep cool in the summer?
84. What did you wear in the winter to keep warm?
85. Do you remember any particular blizzards or tornadoes
Friends and Games
86. Did you have a favorite toy?
87. What were your favorite foods? What did you hate?
88. What did you do for recreation?
89. What kind of books did you read?
90. Did you or your brothers or sisters have any hobbies?
91. Who was your best friend?
92. What did you and your friends do when you got together?
93. Did you and your playmates play any organized games?
94. Did you ever learn to swim? Who taught you?
95. Did you participate in youth organizations?
96. What was the most mischievous thing you did as a
97. Whom did you admire most when you were young?
98. Has there ever been anyone in your life that you considered
to be your "soul mate"? Who was it and why did you feel