Thursday, October 15, 2015

Life story questions!

Family history is super important, but it's sometimes hard to know where to start. For me, I mostly focus on indexing and writing my own story. Today I found this article with some ideas about what we can write about when we're starting our personal histories. Why do personal histories matter? Well, someday our descendants will be trying to do family history, and wouldn't you like it if your ancestors had written things down for you to find? In my next post, I'll start answering the questions, and by this time next year, more or less, I should have a significant personal history. Here's the list of questions that I found on FamilySearch if you'd like to use them:
  1. What is your full name? Why did your parents give you that name? 
  2. When and where were you born? Describe your home, your neighborhood, and the town you grew up in. 
  3. Tell me about your father (his name, birth date, birthplace, parents, and so on). Share some memories you have of your father. 
  4. Tell me about your mother (her name, birth date, birthplace, parents, and so on). Share some memories you have of your mother. 
  5. What kind of work did your parents do (farmer, salesman, manager, seamstress, nurse, stay-at-home mom, professional, laborer, and so on)? 
  6. Have any of your family members died? If so, what did they die from? What do you remember of their death, and what were the circumstances of their death? 
  7. What kind of hardships or tragedies did your family experience while you were growing up? 
  8. Are there any unusual genetic traits that run in your family line? 
  9. What are the names of your brothers and sisters? Describe things that stand out in your mind about each of your siblings. 
  10. What were some of the family traditions that you remember? 
  11. Did your family have special ways of celebrating specific holidays? 
  12. Share a few memories of your grandparents. 
  13. Did your grandparents live close by? If so, how much were they involved in your life? If they lived far away did you ever travel to visit them? What was that like? 
  14. Who were your aunts and uncles? Do you have any aunts or uncles who really stand out in your mind? Write something about them (names, personalities, events that you remember doing with them, and so on). 
  15. Where did you go to school? What was school like for you? 
  16. What were your favorite subjects in school? Why? 
  17. What subjects did you like the least? Why? 
  18. Who were some of your friends in school? What were they like? What are they doing today? 
  19. If you went on to get a college or vocational education, what school did you go to? What did you study? What memories do you have of those years? 
  20. What do you see as your strengths? 
  21. What were some of the challenges you have had to deal with? 
  22. What medical issues have you had to deal with throughout your life? 
  23. Was religion an important part of your family life? If so, what religion did your family practice, and what did it mean to you? Is it still an important part of your life today? If religion was not a part of your life, why wasn’t it? 
  24. What foods do you like? What foods do you dislike? Did you have any food or medical allergies? 
  25. Were there two or three dishes your mother or father made that were especially memorable? 
  26. How did you meet your spouse? 
  27. How would you describe your spouse? 
  28. What was your courtship like? Describe your marriage day. 
  29. Share some stories about your spouse. 
  30. How many children do you have? What are their names? Share a few memories about each one. 
  31. What were some of the major community, national, and world events you lived through? 
  32. How did these events change your life? 
  33. What are some of your life philosophies or life views that you would share with others? 
  34. What are some of the personal values that are very important to you? What have you done (and what are you doing now) to teach these values to your children? 
  35. List at least five people who you would categorize as truly great men or women. What did they do to be great? 
  36. List 20 or more things about yourself. 
  37. List 20 things or more that you think the world would be so much better off without. 
  38. List 20 interesting things you’ve experienced in your lifetime. 
  39. If you could spend a day with any famous person in the world, who would it be, and what would you do during your day with him or her? 
  40. What scares you? 
  41. What makes you stop and go, “Wow!”? 
  42. What are some of the things you enjoy doing in your leisure time? 
  43. What kind of health challenges have you experienced? 
  44. What advice would you pass on about raising children that you learned by raising your own children? 
  45. What are some of your talents? How did you discover them? What have you done to cultivate and improve them? How have they affected your life? 
  46. What did you do for a career? Why did you choose that career? 
  47. What were some of the jobs you had throughout your life? What were some of the memorable experiences you had with these jobs? 
  48. List five significant events or experiences in your life, and explain what effects they have had on you. 
  49. What are some of the life lessons that you would like to pass on to your posterity? 
  50. In how many places have you lived during your lifetime? Provide a brief description of each place you’ve lived, why you lived there, and why you moved. 
  51. If you could go back in time and do things over again, what would you change? 
  52. When all is said and done, what do you want to be remembered for? What would you like your legacy to be? What are you doing now to make that happen? 

Extra Questions
  1. If a newspaper wanted to do a story about you, what would the story be about? 
  2. If someone gave you $100 and told you that you had to give it away but you could NOT give it to your family, what would you do with it? 
  3. Have you traveled to any place outside of your home country? What was the reason for the trip or trips and what memorable things happened on some of those trips? 
  4. What were some of the popular fads you experienced during your life? 
  5. How did you spend your summers? 
  6. What were some of your more memorable vacations? 
  7. How would you describe your personality? 
  8. Describe your philosophy about money. 
  9. Did you ever have pets? Tell about them.