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Questions to Ask Family Members When Trying to Find Family Tree Information

Who else has wondered: What are the best questions to ask other family members to get their cooperation as you trace family tree information. When gathering family information and talking with people, be thoughtful, kind and considerate. This will increase their willingness to help you find family tree treasures.

It will also make you a more likable and trustworthy person and significantly improve both the quality and quantity of help you get as you uncover your genealogy. If possible, use a tape recorder or video camera when interviewing a relative, but be sure you get their permission well ahead of time.

Tip: When asking questions: if the person doesn't know the answer, ask if they would give you their "approximation" or "best guess" . Usually that will get them thinking and help them remember information and events that will at least give you clues for further research.

Following is a list of proven and helpful questions to ask. Modify them according to your situation.

What is your full legal name, your nickname or the name by which you prefer to be called. What is your birthday and in where (specifically)were you born?

What is the maiden name of your mother? What name did she use or go by? Where was she born and what is her birth date and place of birth?

What is the full name of your father? What employment or occupation did he have? and what name did he go by? Where was your father born and what is his birthday and place of birth?

What are the names and birth dates and places for of each of your siblings? Note: check to see if there were half-siblings or step-siblings and if so, try and get the same info for them. Who and when did each of your brothers and sisters marry? What memories would you be willing to share about each of your siblings?

What are the full names, birthdays and places of birth for each of your own children? Whom did your children marry?

Whom did you marry and what are their birth details?

What can you share about your mother's parents and ancestors?

What do you know about your father's ancestors?

What do you know about aunts, uncles and cousins from your mothers side of the family? What about that same information for your father's side of the family? Where did they live? Do you know where any of them they are buried?

What are some of the memories you have about your childhood and life with your parents and other relatives?

What family members from your mother's side of the family are involved in genealogy or might be able to help find family tree treasures like documents, pictures or stories? What about on your father's side of the family?

Are there any of your relatives that you know about that served in any of the major wars or that immigrated from other countries?

Who do you know that might have an old family Bible or old family documents or photographs ? Do you have any old family photos that you could show me?

What are some of the best lessons in life that you've learned?

When you are finished with you interview, thank the person and ask if there is any of the information that you have that they might like to have. Strengthen your relationship with each person you talk with and many of them will come back to you later with additional family treasures. You older living relatives are a gold mine. Dig deep and watch as your family tree begins to sparkle.
About Author Ellis Keith :

People often come to Ellis' website at <a href="" target="_blank"></a> . When they wonder: how do I trace family tree clues and when they want to have more fun and be more fruitful as they find family tree treasures, they check it out here: <a href="" target="_blank"></a>

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Article Added on Tuesday, July 19, 2011
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