Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Preserving Family History

Imagine being presented with the opportunity to interview an older relative, in the goal of preserving family history. The questions you ask have to be well thought out and not be irrelevant. This is your own family's history so you want to make sure to keep it so that you can continue to pass it on. The first thing you must do is thank them in advance for the time they are spending allowing you to question them. Then you should begin by asking, "where are we from?" This question will allow you to find out what part of the world you are descended from: Italy, Spain, Africa. Next is "How did we get here?" This will allow you to learn about how your family emigrated from their country. Ask "Why did we leave to come here?" This will allow you to find out if there was a war, famine, or if they emigrated just because they wanted to. Next is ,"What happened when our family first came to the United States? Did they have some place to go? Did they have relatives already here? Did we have to start from scratch?" These questions will allow you the learn your families struggles. If they are married ask "How did you meet your partner? Did you marry her because you loved her or was it an arranged marriage?" Ask "What are some of our traditions. What part of our culture has been lost?" More questions will come up based on what your relatives answers but these questions should keep the interview going smoothly and allow you to learn more about your family history.

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