Monday, December 9, 2013
Oral history ~ the younger folks?
One of the most important aspects of genealogy is the oral history interview. But, sometimes preserving these memories can be a race against time.
Sadly, this is the case with my family. By the time I began this genealogy adventure, my mother was the only surviving member of her generation. So many stories lost!
Thinking about this raised an interesting concept. Why not oral history with the younger generation? Why not capture there very recent and vivid memories? Think of all the funny and interesting recollections!
It would be interesting to get their perspective on events that you yourself may have been a part. Endless opportunities.
How about ...
What was your favorite birthday present?
Who was your first best friend? Are you still bests?
What is the first song you remember hearing?
Do you have a favorite holiday tradition?
If they have a younger sibling ... what do you remember feeling when they were born?
What vacation memory makes you smile?
Which relative do you feel the most connected?
How do you feel your growing up years are different than your parents?
Think of all the current and "not so distant" memories you could discuss. Recording their young voice, as they share life experiences. Who knows? Maybe with their eventual grandchildren!
A wonderful side benefit ... this could be a great way to introduce family history to the younger folks. Sharing their memories could raise curiosity about previous generations. Learning how their lives are very different, but the same in many ways.
What would you ask the younger folks in your life?
Make time to record precious memories ... even the more recent.
Here are a few helpful tools for oral history interviews.
Fifty Questions for Family History Interviews by Kimberly Powell, About.com Guide
Free Genealogy Family Interview Questions by Ancestor Search
Oral History & Interviews by Cyndi's List
Oral History Video (YouTube) by Angela Y. Walton-Raji of the The Beginning Genealogist