Last month, I read this great interview with D. Joshua Taylor, president of the Federation of Genealogical Societies, Director of Family History at findmypast.com and co-host of Genealogy Roadshow. The interview was written by Creastleaf for Family History Daily.
I was especially inspired by this question and answer:
Crestleaf: To you, what are the top three most important questions people should ask when conducting oral history interviews with their family members?
JT: First, who was the oldest relative you knew; make that leap from one generation to another while you can. Second, ask them about their childhood – these are the clues and tidbits that we cannot readily find in existing records. Finally, ask them about a memory of yourself – too often we fail to document our own stories.
I think those questions are brilliant! They’re informal, will glean great information, and, I think, spark more conversation.
I just spent some time with my elderly parents on a whirlwind visit to Walla Walla, Washington, with my niece and nephew, who live in Australia. I had hoped to try out those questions but ended up having precious little time for such conversations. When I go back in a couple of months for a more leisurely visit, I’ll be sure and ask the questions. I hope to be able to ask them of my aunt (my father’s sister) as well.
And when I do, I’ll report here. My thanks to Crestleaf, Family History Daily, and, of course, Joshua Taylor for such great information!