Creating A Personal HistoryEdit This Page

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God made man because He liked stories (Hascidic Parable)

This article consisted of an extensive list of questions (about 1800) which are designed to help revive memories. The questions are detailed so as to revive specific memories which will often bring others relating to it to your mind. You will be surprised how memories of events long forgotten will resurface from the deep recesses of you mind.

Addition questions for:

This is only a sampling, feel free to add other religions to this list.

Contents

What Has Motivated You to Write This Personal History?

History will be kind to me for I intend to write it (Sir Winston Churchill)

Why are you are writing this personal history. Was it because your family or friends wanted you too? Or did you decide to do it on your own? If so, why? What may have motivated you to begin this project can be of help to others who may be thinking of doing the same thing themselves.

  • How old are you at present?
  • Where are you writing this history?
  • Why are you writing this history?
  • What benefit do you want this autobiography to have?
  • Whom do you hope will benefit from this effort?
  • What benefit do think it will have on you?
  • Whom do you dedicate this personal history too?
  • Other questions and notes:

Parent's Ancestry

Then Abraham gave up the ghost, and died in a good ol age, an old man, and full of years; and was gathered to his people (Genesis 25:8)

It’s always a good idea to tell what you know about your ancestry. You may be the only source of information. For example, you may be the only source of knowledge about your grandparents which your grandchildren will never know at least in this life. You are the bridge between these generations.

In addition, these questions give you a chance to not only pass on what you know about them but how they may have effected your life. Your descendents will be just as interested in these people as they are in you. Again, you may be the only source of information about them.
If you were not all that familiar with your family’s ancestry, you may want to go to other family members and ask them these questions.

Father's Ancestry

  • How far have you traced back your father’s ancestry?
  • What countries did your father’s ancestors come from?
  • Can you include a pedigree chart showing your father’s ancestry?
  • Do you know why each of your father’s immigrant ancestors came to this country or can you guess?
  • When did they immigrate to America?
  • Where did they first settle?
  • Where did this ancestor’s descendents travel in this country until they arrive in the area where your father was born?
  • Did your father have any famous ancestors?
  • What religions were practiced by your father’s ancestors?
  • What were some of the occupations of father’s ancestors?
  • How much education did your father’s ancestors receive?
  • Are there any physical traits that exist today that came down from your father’s ancestors?
  • Are there any medical conditions that seemed prevalent or chronic in these people?
  • Any interesting stories about any of your father’s ancestry that you know about?
  • Were there any miracles or spiritual events in their lives you can tell about?
  • Were there any strong ethnic influences or traditions that you have inherited?
  • Which of your father’s ancestors such as his parents, grand parents did you know personally?
  • What was your impression of them no matter how young you were?
  • How much education did your father’s ancestors receive?
  • Were they rich or poor?
  • Do you have any personal mementos from any of your father’s ancestors?
  • How did you come in possession of these mementos and what meaning might they have for you?
  • Tell of your experiences if you have you ever visited any of the areas where your father’s ancestors lived or the country from which they came?

Mother's Ancestry

  • How far back have you traced back your mother’s ancestry?
  • What countries did your mother’s ancestors come from?
  • Can you include a pedigree chart showing your mother’s ancestry?
  • Do you know why each of your mother’s immigrant ancestors came to this country or can you guess?
  • When did they immigrate to America?
  • Where did they first settle?
  • Where did this ancestor’s descendants travel in this country until they arrive in the area where your mother was born?
  • Did your mother have any famous ancestors?
  • What religions were practiced by your mother’s ancestors?
  • Were there any miracles or spiritual events in their lives you can tell about?
  • Were there any strong ethnic influences that came down to you?
  • Which of your mother’s ancestors did you know personally?
  • What was your impression of them no matter how young you were?
  • What were some of the occupations of mother’s ancestors?
  • How much education did your mother’s ancestors receive?
  • Were they rich or poor?
  • Are there any physical traits that exist today that came down from your mother’s ancestors?
  • Are there any medical conditions that seem to be prevalent in these people?
  • Any interesting stories about any of your mother’s ancestry that you would like to include?
  • Do you have any personal mementos from any of your mother’s ancestors?
  • How did you come in possession of these mementos and what might they mean to you?
  • Tell of your experiences if you have you ever visited any of the areas where your mother’s ancestors lived or the country from which they came?

Parent's History

The first half of our lives is ruined by our parents, and the second half by our children (Clarence Darrow)

Now I admit that these questions are very superficial. If you want to make a far more detail history of your parent’s then you may want to interview them using all the questions in this guide.

Father's History

  • Who is your father?
  • Where and when was he born?
  • Where did he grow up?
  • What was the makeup of his family?
  • Did he ever tell you about his brothers and sisters?
  • Any experiences he told you about from his early life that you would like to relate.
  • What kinds of work did he do as a young man?
  • What did he look like?
  • Give height, weight, color of hair and eyes, etc.What sort of disposition did he have?
  • Describe any chronic medical problems. (Would be important for you to know since some medical problems are genetic and you might have the same predisposition.)
  • How much education did he have?
  • What did he do for a living?
  • How did he meet and marry your mother?
  • If your parents were divorced, did he have custody of you?
  • If not, did you see him on a regular basis?
  • What were the religious views or religious practices of your father?
  • Was he an active church member and if so, what faith?
  • What was his attitude towards other faiths or religious philosophies?
  • How would you characterize his feelings towards you?
  • What did you learned from your father?
  • Any shared experiences you would like to relate?
  • What are your personal feeling towards your father?

Mother's History

  • Who is your mother?
  • Where and when was she born?
  • Where did she grow up?
  • What the make up of her family?
  • Did she ever tell you about her brothers and sisters?
  • Any experience from her early life that you would like to relate?
  • What kinds of work did she do as a young woman?
  • What did she look like?
  • Give height, weight, color of hair and eyes.What sort of disposition did she have?
  • Describe any chronic medical problems. (Would be important for you to know since some medical problems are genetic and you might have the same predisposition.)
  • How much education did she have?
  • What did she do for a living, if she worked?
  • How did she meet and marry your father?
  • If your parents were divorced, did if she have custody of you?
  • If not, did you see her on a regular basis?
  • What were the religious views or religious practices of your mother?
  • Was she an active church member and if so, what faith?
  • What was her attitude towards other faiths or religious philosophies?
  • If in addition, you were adopted or have a step-mother, use which ever questions apply.How would you characterize her feelings towards you?
  • What did you learn from your mother?
  • Any shared experiences you would like to relate?
  • What are your personal feelings towards your mother?

Your Beginnings

There is no cure for birth and death save to enjoy the interval. (George Santayana)

For the first years of your life, you will obviously have to consult with family. If you don’t like taking notes or afraid you’ll not remember all that you were told, you might think about using a audio recorder or camcorder.
Not only do you have a recording of what was said but you a recording of the person saying it which may be a bonus if they are a relative. If it is a parent or grandparent, it may be the only record your descendents have of them.

Birth

  • What was the date of your birth?
  • What was the day and time of your birth?
  • Where were you born?
  • Give City, County, State and/or Country. What happened in the world on that day? (Check the newspapers at the Library.)
  • What happened in your community on that date?
  • What was the weather?
  • Were there any abnormal circumstances that surrounded your birth (like being born in a cab)?
  • Who was present at your birth?
  • Were you healthy at birth?
  • If you were not, did you require any medical treatment?
  • If the condition could not be cured completely, does it continue on in to the present time?
  • Was this condition genetic?
  • How much did you weigh at birth and how long were you?
  • What was the color of your hair?
  • Who did you look like, Mom or Dad?
  • What physical characteristics did you inherit from your parents?
  • What was the makeup of your family when you were born?
  • How many more children followed you into your family?
  • Did you receive any kind of infant baptism or blessing.
  • Did your parents ever tell you about their feelings at your birth?
  • Here are some questions if you were adopted.

If Adopted

  • Why did your adopted parents want to adopt a child?
  • Were you living in an orphanage or foster home when you were adopted?
  • When did you learn you were adopted?
  • Was there any part of the adoption process that may be considered as miracles of spiritual.
  • How did the knowledge that you were adopted effect you?
  • Were you the only adopted child?
  • If there were other children in the family, did you feel like you were treated any differently from them?
  • If you were older when you were adopted, describe the adjustment to your new family?
  • Have you ever tried to find your birth parents?
  • Did your adoptive parents oppose this?
  • What was the makeup of your adoptive family when you came to join it?
  • How many more children followed you into your family?

Childhood (1-12)

There is no reciprocity. Men love women, women love children, children love hamsters (Alice Thomas Ellis)

Very Early Years

  • What was the name of the town or towns you lived in before the age of 13?
  • Describe them?
  • Were they big cities, small towns, or in the country?
  • Was the terrain flat or hilly?
  • What was the climate like?
  • What was the population?
  • Did you know many of the people where you lived?
  • Was there one town you considered home over the others that you may have lived in?
  • Why did you like your home town?
  • If you did not like the other towns, tell why.
  • Were there any special landmarks or monuments in the town?
  • What was the racial makeup of your town?
  • How were holidays celebrated in your home town?
  • Describe main street?
  • Describe the changes it has under gone over the years.
  • Were there areas that you did not go into? Why?
  • Any memorable characters in your town?
  • Were you in a foster home or orphanage as a baby or small child?
  • How were you treated by these care givers?
  • Any comments on your time in the orphanage?
  • How were your relations with the other children in this situation?
  • What was the address of the first house you lived in?
  • Can you describe it?
  • Who were your neighbors and tell a little about them?
  • What kind of child were you - curious, troublemaker, happy-go-lucky, serious, self-centered, outgoing, introverted, etc.?
  • Are there any stories that have been told about you as a small child?
  • When did you first walk?
  • When did you say your first words and what were they?
  • How was your health as a child?
  • Did you have any serious or life threatening illness and/or injuries?
  • How were loose teeth handled by your parents?
  • Do you remember any home remedies used on you when you were sick?
  • Did you have any childhood illnesses?
  • Measles, Mumps, etc.Were you the victim of accident such as a car accident, almost drowning, falling, etc?
  • Did you have any surgeries?
  • Did you come down with a major illness with required extensive medical treatment?
  • Describe in detail.Were any of these medical conditions hereditary?
  • What is the earliest thing you can remember even if it is only a fragment?
  • What was your height and weight at various ages?
  • Did you have a favorite toy?
  • Who was your first friend?
  • Were there anyone of the opposite sex you really liked?
  • What kind of games did you like to play?
  • Who were your playmates and have you stayed in contact with any of them?
  • Describe you religious training during these early years.
  • What denomination did your family belong too?
  • Was the entire family active in Church?
  • Did you attend Church with your family?
  • What feelings did you have about going to church?
  • Did you go on your own at some time during these years if your family did not?
  • Were there any church leaders that you remembered or admired?
  • Do you remember any of your Sunday school classmates or teachers?
  • What did you do on Sunday’s for worship if you attended Church?
  • What did you do on Sunday when you were not in Church?
  • Were you involved in any religious activities during the week?
  • How did you celebrate Christmas?
  • How did you feel about the minister or priest of your congregation?
  • Did you interact with other congregations in you denomination?
  • Were you satisfied with your religious convictions or gave it no thought?
  • Were you in the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, 4H, etc?
  • Can you remember any activities connected with these organizations?
  • Were you good at sports and which ones?
  • Did you win any sport awards?
  • What did your mother fix for breakfast?
  • What was your favorite lunch?
  • What was your favorite dinner?
  • What was your favorite dessert?
  • How many places did you live while growing up?
  • Why did your family move?
  • Did moving affect you?
  • Describe the houses you lived in?
  • How were they heated?
  • Describe getting up in the winter time.
  • Did you have your own room or did you have to share it?
  • Describe the general atmosphere in the home in your family?
  • Did both of your parents work?
  • Who took care of you?
  • Did you in “day care” did you like the care giver?
  • Was there anyplace you like to hang out?
  • Where did you like to play in your town - Parks, vacant lots, old houses, barns, corner store, school yard, etc.
  • Did your parents give you an allowance?
  • How did you spend it?
  • What were your hobbies at this time?
  • What did you like to read?
  • How were you disciplined when you misbehaved?
  • Who generally administered the punishment?
  • Did you have to help with raising the family?
  • What kinds of chores did you have to do around the house?
  • What did you do on the weekends?
  • What were your favorite Saturday morning radio or TV shows?
  • What sorts of things did you do with the family after school?
  • How did you generally dress for school and on the weekends?
  • Did you like the clothes you wore or had no choice?
  • Did your parents give you grief on the clothes you liked.
  • What kind of hair styles did you wear?
  • Did your parents give you grief over the way you wanted your hair cut?
  • How did you feel about your physical appearance, such as height, weight, hair color, etc?
  • Where did you meet most of your friends? In your neighborhood, youth groups, school, etc.
  • What did you typically do with your friends?
  • Did you ever get into trouble?
  • Was there one friend that seem to get into more trouble than the rest?
  • Who was your best friend or friends during these years?
  • What kind of language or slang did you use amongst yourselves?
  • What were your feelings about the opposite sex?
  • If you did like someone of the opposite sex, what has happened to them?
  • Was there any friendship that you cherish most during this period of your life?
  • What was your favorite things to do in the winter?
  • What did your family like to do together?
  • How were birthdays celebrated?
  • Did you have a family pet and describe him?
  • What kind of music did you like to listen too?
  • Did you take music lessons?
  • Do you remember any world or local events during your childhood years such as wars, assignations, famine, riots, etc.?
  • Were your parents or other family members involved in any of these events?
  • Were you a victim of any natural disasters such as fire, flood, lighting, earthquakes, hurricanes, etc as a child?
  • Where and when did they take place?
  • How old were you?
  • Did you have any warning of the danger?
  • Were you or any family members hurt?
  • Was your home damaged?
  • Any natural disasters happened to your town or neighborhood?
  • Were there injuries or deaths in your town or neighborhood in these disasters?
  • Did you try to help in any relief efforts?
  • Did other family members volunteer in relief efforts?
  • Did you lose any personal items?
  • Who helped you in your time of need?
  • How did you celebrate your 12th birthday?
  • What was your height and weight?
  • Relate any meaningful experiences that you would like.

Your Family

A family is a unit composed not only of children but of men, women, an occasional animal, and the common cold. (Ogden Nash)

Tell us about the family you grew up in. While you’re at it try to get audio or better yet, video recordings of them to pass down. Consider giving these records to your children too.

Brothers and Sisters

  • Name all your brothers and sisters and where and when they were born.
  • If you were an only child, did you wish for brothers and sisters?
  • Were you a twin, triplet, etc?
  • Were you identical?
  • Was your twin a boy or a girl?
  • Did you ever play the switching game?
  • If your parents were divorced, what were your feelings for your father and mother as you grew old enough to understand the situation?
  • Did the parent who had custody of you remarry?
  • Who did they marry?
  • As a result of this new marriage, did you have any step-brothers and step-sisters?
  • Tell something about each one of them and how they ended up in life.As time went on, did you have any half brothers and sisters?
  • Tell something about each one of them and how they ended up in life.
  • Were you were brought into the family as an adopted child?
  • How old were you when you joined the family?
  • How did you feel about being an adopted child?
  • Did you feel like an outsider or did you feel like one of the family after a time?
  • How did you get along with each of the siblings in the family?
  • Did you share a bedroom with any other sibling?
  • Did you ever feel you were in completion with any of your siblings?
  • Did you enjoy your position in the family as the oldest, in the middle, or the youngest?
  • How do you get along with them today?
  • Did you feel closer to one more than the others?
  • Did you look up to one and want to be just like them?
  • Did you feel that your parents favored one sibling over the rest?
  • Did you fight a lot?
  • What did you fight over?
  • What kind of trouble did you and your brothers or sisters get into?
  • Who seem to get into the most trouble?
  • Were you the one always being picked on or were you the one always picking on your siblings?
  • How did you treat each other when you were at school?
  • Did you all play together?
  • Did you tease each other?
  • Any private jokes that you could share?
  • Were you a protector of any of your siblings or were any of them your protector?
  • Did you borrow each other’s clothes?
  • When there were disputes between siblings, how did your parents settle the problem?
  • How was the health of your brothers and sisters over the years?
  • Did they have any serious or life threatening illness and/or injuries?
  • Do you remember any home remedies used on them when they were sick?
  • Were any of them victims of accidents? Car, fall, drowning, poison, etc?
  • Did they have a surgeries?
  • Did any of them come down with a major illness with required extensive medical treatment? Describe in detail as these may be genetic and could show up in your children even if you are not the carrier.
  • Describe them as adults - physical description and temperament.
  • How did they all turn out?
  • If some or all of them are dead, tell what happened.
  • Describe their families.

Vacations and Holidays

I once wanted to become an atheist, but I gave up - they have no holidays. (Henny Youngman)

  • What religious holidays did your family celebrate during the year?
  • Can you remember any gifts you received for birthdays, Christmas, Easter, etc?
  • What was your favorite gift?
  • Did you eat special foods on these special days?
  • Which holidays did you dislike and why?
  • How were state holidays celebrated such as Thanksgiving, 4th of July, Memorial, Labor Day, New Years Eve, etc?
  • How were birthdays and anniversaries celebrated in your family?
  • Was anything done special for such birthdays as the 8th, 12th, 16th, 18th or 21?
  • Describe family vacations?
  • Which was your favorite vacation?
  • What was any one vacation or outing that one you remember the most?
  • Did you do any hunting, fishing or camping as a family?
  • Did you keep on doing any of these activities after you left home?

Other Family Members

Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family. Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one. (Jane Howard)

  • Did you have any association with grandparents, great grand parents, aunts, uncles and cousins?
  • If so which ones?
  • Go through these questions for each relative you knew. And if you want to write an even more detailed personal history, use other questions from this guide.Where and when were they born?
  • Where did they grow up?
  • Did they ever tell you about their growing up years?
  • What did they look like?
  • Give height, weight, color of hair and eyes.What sort of disposition did they have?
  • How much education did they have?
  • What were their religious practice?
  • What did they do for a living?
  • What did they tell you about their spouses which may have passed away?
  • Did they ever tell you about their brothers and sisters?
  • What would you say was the important thing you learned from them?
  • How was their health over the years?
  • Did they have any serious or life threatening illness and/or injuries?
  • Do you remember any home remedies used by them when they were sick?
  • Did any of them come down with a major illness with required extensive medical treatment? Describe in detail.
  • Were any of these medical conditions hereditary?
  • How much education did they have?
  • What did they do for a living?
  • How did they meet their spouses?
  • What were the religious views or religious practices of these relatives?
  • Were they active church members and if so, what faith?
  • What was their attitude towards other faiths or religious philosophies?
  • How would you characterize their feelings towards you?
  • What did you learned from them?
  • Any shared experiences you would like to relate?
  • What are your personal feeling towards them?

Death of Family Members and Friends

The undiscovered country from whose bourn No traveler returns. (Shakespear)

  • Who were the family members and friends whose death you can remember that had an affect on you?
  • What was your age when this individual died?
  • What caused their deaths?
  • How long did the person live with the illness that carried them off or was the death a sudden one?
  • Who cared for the person if their illness was a long one?
  • Were you present at the moment of death?
  • What were your feelings at that moment?
  • Did you say good-by?
  • What were your first thoughts when you heard of the death?
  • Were you prepared for the death?
  • If you were young, did you understand the concept of death and its finality.Did anyone help you get through this difficult time?
  • If you have unkind feelings towards the deceased in the past, did they change after their death?
  • How did their deaths affect your life?
  • Was there anything would like to have said to them before they died if you didn’t have a chance?
  • How long did it take before you adjusted to the death?
  • Describe the healing process if the death was of a spouse, child, or parent.
  • Were you involved in the funeral arrangements?
  • Was the casket open and what affect did seeing the remains have on you?
  • Did you take part in the funeral service?
  • Who was in attendance at the funeral?
  • Was anyone missing that should have been there?
  • Who gave the eulogy?
  • Was anything left out of the eulogy you thought should have been mentioned?
  • Anything about the funeral service stands out in your mind?
  • Did this person leave you anything from their estate?
  • Use the above questions for each person’s death you want to describe.
  • Other questions and notes:

Teenage Years

The young always have the same problem - how to rebel and conform at the same time. They have now solved this by defying their parents and copying one another. (Quentin Crisp)

These are questions which deal with what you were learning in the teenage years when you were trying to find yourself and your place in this world.

  • Did you have a hobby at this time?
  • Describe it and you feelings about it.When did the opposite sex start to become important to you?
  • When was your first date and with who?
  • Describe your dating activities as a teenager - movies, sporting events, dances, etc.
  • How were some of the people you dated and what has happened to them?
  • When did you learn to drive?
  • Whose car did you use to learn to drive?
  • Who taught you?
  • A parent or did you learn in school?
  • Did you pass the driving test on the first try?
  • How old were you went you received you license?
  • How did you feel the first time when you drove a car with no one supervising?
  • Did you go around an showoff to your friends?
  • Did you have a car while in school?
  • Did you need to drive to go to work or any other reason?
  • Did you have an accident as a teenager?
  • What was the reaction of your parents to your accident?
  • Was the accident your fault?
  • What restrictions were placed on you because of the accident?
  • Did you get any traffic tickets?
  • Did your parents restrict your driving because of your tickets or accidents?
  • Did you ever have your driver’s license taken away and why?
  • Were you allowed to use the family car for dates?
  • When did you get your first car?
  • Did you pay for it or was it purchased for you?
  • What was the make and model?
  • How much did it cost?
  • Were you happy with it or not?
  • Did you try to modify it in any way?
  • Did you get gas money for it or did you have to get a job to pay expenses?
  • How much was your insurance?
  • If you never learn to drive, why not?
  • Did you regret not knowing how to drive a car?
  • What kinds of dancing were you doing at this time?
  • How did you learn them?
  • Did you go steady with anyone?
  • What has since happened to that person?
  • How did you generally dress for school and on the weekends?
  • Did you like the clothes you wore or had no choice?
  • What kind of hair styles did you wear?
  • Did your parents give you grief over the way you wanted your hair cut?
  • How did you feel about your appearance?
  • Did you parents like them?
  • What kind of hair cut did you have?
  • Did your parents approve?
  • What did you do for entertainment?
  • What was the most popular form of entertainment?
  • Who were you favorite entertainers, actors, TV stars, dances, sport heros, etc?
  • What were some of the pads of the day?
  • How did you get spending money?
  • What kinds of restrictions did your parents put on your dating activities?
  • Were you employed while in High School?
  • What did you do?
  • How may hours did you work per week?
  • What were your wages?
  • Did you decide what occupation you wanted to be engaged in for the rest of your while you were in high school?
  • When did you make your final decision and under what influences?
  • Are you doing today what you decided then?
  • Were you in the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, 4H, etc.?
  • Can you remember any activities connected with these organizations?
  • What were your hobbies at this time?
  • What did you like to read?
  • What were your favorite Saturday morning radio or TV shows?
  • What sort of athletic skills did you have?
  • What was your best sport?
  • Where did you meet most of your friends? In your neighborhood, youth groups, school, etc.
  • Who was your best friend at this time?
  • Name other friends you had.
  • What kind of language or slang did you use amongst yourselves?
  • What has become of them if you know?
  • What were your parent’s attitudes towards your friends?
  • What did you typically do with your friends?
  • Did you ever get into trouble?
  • Was there one friend that seem to get into more trouble than the rest?
  • Was there any friendship that you cherish most during this period of your life?
  • How was your health as a teenager?
  • Did you have any serious or life threatening illness and/or injuries?
  • How were loose teeth handled by your parents?
  • Do you remember any home remedies used on you when you were sick?
  • Were you the victim of accident? Car, fall, poison, etc?
  • Did you have a surgeries?
  • Did you come down with a major illness with required extensive medical treatment? Describe in detail.
  • Were any of these medical conditions hereditary?
  • Do you remember any world or local events during your teenage years, such as wars, assignations, famine, riots, etc?
  • Were your parents or other family members involved in any of these events?
  • Were you a victim of any natural disasters such as fire, flood, lighting, earthquakes, hurricanes, etc as a teenager?
  • Where and when did they take place?
  • How old were you?
  • Did you have any warning of the danger?
  • Were you or any family members hurt?
  • Was your home damaged?
  • What damaged happened in your town or neighborhood?
  • Were there injuries or deaths in your town or neighborhood?
  • Did you try to help in any relief efforts?
  • Did other family members volunteer in relief efforts?
  • Did you lose any personal items?
  • Who help you in your time of need?
  • What was you assessment of your parents attitudes and intelligence when you were a teenager?
  • How were you getting along with your parents as a teenager?
  • Describe any major conflicts you may have had with your parents.
  • Did they take any interest in your schooling?
  • Were they active in PTA?
  • Describe your parents looks at this time?
  • What were your parents doing at this time to make a living?
  • Did you consider yourself rich or poor?
  • What kinds of cars did you family have during this period?
  • What kind of house were you living in then?
  • How were you getting along with your brothers and sisters?
  • What sorts of things did you do in the evening after school with the family?
  • What did you do in the summers?
  • Describe family activities during these years.
  • How were you disciplined when you misbehaved?
  • Who generally administered the punishment?
  • Did you have to help with raising the family?
  • What kinds of chores did you have to do around the house?
  • What did you do on the weekends?

School Days

We all learn by experience but some of us have to go to summer school. (Peter De Vries)

Pre-School

  • Did you attend any kind of pre-school?
  • How old were you when you started pre-school?
  • Where was it located?
  • Who ran it?
  • What can you remember about it?
  • Can you remember any friends or teachers?

Grade School

  • How old were you when you started grade school?
  • What was the name of the first grade school you attended?
  • Where was it located?
  • Was it a public or private school?
  • If private who ran it and why do did you go there?
  • Did your grade school have a school mascot and school colors?
  • What other grade schools did you attend and where were they?
  • What did they look like?
  • How many students attended each of these grade schools?
  • Do you remember Kindergarten?
  • Did you adapted to grade school easily?
  • Did family members help you in the transition from home to school?
  • How far were your grade school from your home?
  • How did you get to grade school?
  • What kind of clothes did you wear?
  • Did you wear a uniform?
  • How were you as a student - cooperative in class, hated school, a talker, etc.?
  • What sorts of subjects did you study in grade school?
  • Do they study these same subjects in grade school today?
  • What was your best subjects, your worst?
  • Did you spend much time doing home work in grade school?
  • Was grade school easy or a struggle for you?
  • Did you win any prizes for scholarship, art, penmanship, science, etc?
  • What were your grades like?
  • Did your parents reward you with prizes for good grades?
  • Who were the teachers you had for each grade that you remember?
  • Who was your favorite teacher?
  • Who was your worst teacher?
  • Did you give any of your teachers nick names?
  • Did any of your siblings go to the same school?
  • Did that cause you any problems?
  • Who were your friends in grade school?
  • Did you go all through school with any of them?
  • Do you know what happened to any of these in later life?
  • Were you part of the “in” crowd?
  • Did any of them lead you into mischief?
  • Did you ever have to stay after school?
  • Did you ever receive any punishments at school?
  • Did you have to deal with any bullies?
  • What did you do for Valentine’s Day, Halloween, Christmas, etc at school?
  • What kind of lunches did you have in school?
  • What was your favorite kind of lunch?
  • What games did you like to play at recess?
  • Do they still play these games today?
  • Were you involved in school plays, choral, spelling bees, etc.
  • Did sickness affect your school attendance?
  • What did you do in the summers?
  • What grade school did you graduate from and when?

Junior High or Middle School

  • How old were you when you started junior high school?
  • Where and what was the name of the junior high school you attended?
  • Was it a public or private school?
  • If private who ran it and why do did you go there?
  • Did your junior high school have a school mascot and school colors?
  • What other junior high schools did you attend and where were they?
  • What did they look like?
  • How many students attended each of these junior highs?
  • How far were they from your home?
  • How did you get to junior high school?
  • What kind of clothes did you wear? Did you wear a uniform?
  • Was the transition from grade school to junior high a smooth one or a rocky one?
  • Did family members help in adapting?
  • How were you as a student - cooperative in class, hated school, a talker, etc.?
  • What was your best subjects, your worst?
  • What sorts of subjects did you study in junior high school?
  • Did you spend much time doing home work in junior high school?
  • Do they study these same subjects in junior high school today?
  • Was junior high school easy or a struggle for you?
  • Did you win any prizes for scholarship, art, science, etc?
  • What were your grades like?
  • Did your parents reward you like prizes for good grades?
  • Who were the teachers you had for each grade that you remember?
  • Who was your favorite teacher?
  • Who was your worst teacher?
  • Did you give any of your teachers nick names?
  • Did any of your siblings go to the same school?
  • Did that cause you any problems?
  • Who were your friends in grade school?
  • Did you go all through school with any of them?
  • Do you know what happened to any of these in later life?
  • Did you feel like you were part of the “in” crowd.
  • Did any of them lead you into mischief?
  • Did you have to stay after school?
  • Did you ever receive any punishments at school?
  • Did you have a nick names such as nerd, hulk, etc?
  • Did you have to deal with any bullies?
  • What did you do for Valentines Day, Halloween, Christmas, etc at school?
  • What kind of lunches did you have in school?
  • What was your favorite kind of lunch?
  • What games did you like to play at recess?
  • Do they still play these games today?
  • Were you involved in school plays, choral, spelling bees, etc.
  • Were you involved in after school activities such as school paper, sports, band, school plays, etc.
  • If not, why not?
  • Had you thought of what you would like to be when you grew up yet?
  • Did sickness affect your school attendance?
  • What Junior High School did you graduate from and when?
  • Do you remember any world or local events during your junior high school years?

High School

  • Name the High School you attended and where it was located?
  • Was it a public or private school?
  • If private who ran it and why do did you go there?
  • Did your high school have a school mascot and school colors?
  • If you attended more than one, name them all and where they were located.
  • How did you get to and from school everyday?
  • Was the transition from junior high to high school easy or rocky?
  • Did your family members help in this process?
  • How were you as a student - cooperative in class, hated school, a talker, etc.?
  • What sorts of subjects did you study in high school?
  • What was your best subjects, your worst?
  • Did you spend much time doing home work in high school?
  • Do they study these same subjects in high school today?
  • Was high school easy or a struggle for you?
  • What were your grades like?
  • Did your parents reward you like prizes for good grades?
  • Name and talk about your teachers.
  • Were you ever a discipline problem?
  • Did you win any prizes for scholarship, art, science, etc?
  • Who were the new friends you made?
  • Did you keep old friends from grade school or junior high school?
  • What has become of them?
  • Did you have any favorite places to hang out?
  • Did you have a nick name like nerd, hulk, etc.
  • Did you belong to any associations or clubs?
  • Did you go out for any sports?
  • Did you participate in drama, debate club, cheerleading, etc?
  • If you did not, why not?
  • Who was your high school’s rival?
  • Did feelings run high during games?
  • Was there any games that stick out in your mind?
  • Did your school win any championships?
  • What were some of the high lights during your sophomore year?
  • What were some of the high lights during your junior year?
  • What were some of the high lights during your senior year?
  • Did you go to any of the proms and with who?
  • What did you wear to the proms?
  • Did you run for or win any kind of school office?
  • Did you win any scholastic or sporting awards?
  • Who were your closest friends in High School?
  • What has happened to them?
  • Do you stay in touch with them?
  • What was your height and weight when you graduated?
  • How does this compare with you now?
  • Did you graduate from High School?
  • If you were not able to finish high school, did you finish later?
  • Why did you not graduate? Go into service, stayed home to help with family, work, etc?
  • Did you take equivalency exam or attend night school?
  • Where and when did you graduate?
  • What did you do to celebrate your graduation?
  • What was your saddest moment in high school?
  • What was your happiest moment in high school?
  • What did you learn from high school that was not taught from your books?
  • What sort of personal growth did you acquire in high school?
  • Do you hold the same views today that you had then?
  • What areas of knowledge do you wished now you would have paid more attention too?
  • What skills did you learn during these years?
  • What areas of strength did you find you had?
  • What areas of weakness did you find you had?
  • Had you made up your mind as to what you wanted to do after High School?
  • Did you ever attended any high school reunions?
  • What was your reaction to seeing old school mates?
  • Did they seem old or were they the “same old” person you knew way back when?
  • Did they live up to expectations or were their disappointments?
  • Other questions and notes:

Young Adult

When I was younger, I could remember anything, whether it had happened or not.(Mark Twain)

You may have by now made a career choice and were pursuing higher education or additional training in your field of interest. Maybe the military interrupted your plans. You probably were thinking about marriage, too. Here are questions that relate to these major life decisions.

  • How did you feel about yourself at this time?
  • How would you characterize your outlook on life at this time?
  • How would you characterize your personality and attitude at this time?
  • Were you active in any church?
  • What sort of activities did you get evolved in Church?
  • Did you participate in political activities?
  • What were your political ideals at the time?
  • What was going on in the world that the time that you followed with interest?
  • How did you dress?
  • How did you cut your hair?
  • Did you start to behave differently after you left home?
  • What kinds of music did you listen too?
  • How often did you keep in touch with your family?
  • What did you do during the summers?
  • If you had a chance to travel, where did you go and why?
  • Where did you met most of your friends?
  • In your neighborhood, youth groups, school, etc.What did you typically do with your friends?
  • Did you ever get into trouble?
  • Was there one friend that seem to get into more trouble than the rest?
  • Was there any friendship that you cherish most during this period of your life?
  • Was marriage and raising a family entering your mind at this time?
  • Had you decided what to do with your life after high school graduation?
  • What options had you considered?
  • College, military, travel, loafing, etc.What plans had you made to carry through on your decision?
  • Did anyone play a role in your decision?
  • Did you have your parents blessing?
  • Did they play any role in your decision?
  • Did you make a decision because of parental pressure or pressure from another source that was not necessarily what you wanted to do?
  • Did you rebel and end up doing just what you wanted?
  • If you had made plans for college, what was going to be your major?
  • What college did your want to go to?
  • Did you decide to go to trade school instead of college? If so, why?
  • Did you decide to go to work rather than any kind of after high school training? Why?
  • What did you do during that summer just after high school?
  • How was your health as during these years?
  • Did you have any serious or life threatening illness and/or injuries?
  • Do you remember any home remedies used on you when you were sick?
  • Were you the victim of accident? Car, fall, poison, etc?
  • Did you have a surgeries?
  • Did you come down with a major illness with required extensive medical treatment? Describe in detail.
  • Were any of these medical conditions hereditary?
  • Did your spouse have any serious or life threatening illness and/or injuries during this period?
  • Do you remember any home remedies used on them when he or she was sick?
  • Was he or she victims of accidents? Car, fall, poison, etc?
  • Did he or she have a surgeries?
  • Did he or she come down with a major illness with required extensive medical treatment? Describe in detail.
  • Were any of these medical conditions hereditary?
  • Do you remember any world or local events during these years such as wars, assignations, famine, riots, etc.?
  • Were you, your parents or other family members involved in any of these events?
  • Were you a victim of any natural disasters such as fire, flood, lighting, earthquakes, hurricanes, etc at this time?
  • Where and when did they take place?
  • How old were you?
  • Did you have any warning of the danger?
  • Were you or any family members hurt?
  • Was your home or apartment damaged?
  • What damaged happened in the town or neighborhood?
  • Were there injuries or deaths in the town or neighborhood?
  • Did you try to help in any relief efforts?
  • Did other family members volunteer in relief efforts?
  • Did you lose any personal items?
  • Who help you in your time of need?

Additional Schooling

A college education never hurt anybody who was willing to learn after he got it. (Author Unknown)

Trade School

  • Did you attend a trade school?
  • Which trade school did you attend?
  • Was it local or out of town?
  • What trade did you study?
  • Was this trade influence by relatives?
  • What skills did you acquire in trade school?
  • Were class easy or harder than you thought?
  • Was there a lot of hours of studying?
  • Were you working in the trade as an apprentice as you attended trade school?
  • What was the part of trade school you like the most?
  • What did you like the least?
  • What friends did you make?
  • How long did it take you to finish the program?
  • Did you find a job after graduation?
  • After graduation from trade school did you perhaps wish you had gone to college?

College

  • What college or university did you attend?
  • Was it a public or private school
  • If private who ran it and why do did you go there?
  • Did your college have a school mascot and school colors?
  • Did you go straight from high school to college?
  • If you did not, what did you do?
  • Did your home life up to this time prepare you for this experience?
  • If you hadn’t decided on a major when you first enrolled, when did you decided?
  • What influenced your decision as the major you selected?
  • Years later were you still happy with your decision?
  • Did you like the school you attended or did you wish you could have gone to another?
  • What did you notice in your fellow college friends that bothered you?
  • Did you go with any of your high school friends?
  • Where did they go to college or did they?
  • If you had to live away from home to attend this school, was it the first time you were away from home.
  • How did you feel about having your parents looking over your shoulder?
  • Where did you live - in dorms or off campus?
  • Who were some of the new friends you met?
  • Who were your room mates in college?
  • Where did the money come from to financed your college education?
  • Did you have to work to pay for your college education?
  • How much was your room and board?
  • How much was tuition?
  • What were some of the classes you took?
  • Where were you likely to be found, in the library, gym, movie, local hangout, etc?
  • Did you join a fraternity or sorority?
  • What crazy things did you do while in college?
  • Were you a good student?
  • How were your grades?
  • Did you enjoy studying or did you have to push yourself?
  • What classes did you like?
  • Which ones didn’t you like?
  • Were there any professors that stand out in your mind?
  • How did they impress you?
  • Did you go straight through to graduation or did it take longer?
  • Did you transfer from one college to another? If so, why?
  • What sorts of things did you do when not studying or in class?
  • Did you join any special interest groups on campus?
  • What sort of activities did you participate in with this group?
  • Were involved in any political activities or protests?
  • Did you go out for any sports?
  • Was there anything you did that you look back on now as stupid or childish that you wish to admit?
  • Did you date much in college?
  • Who were your friends of the opposite sex that you like to hang around with?
  • Were you serious with anyone in college?
  • Did you go to any campus events such as plays, concerts, etc.
  • Did you go the football games?
  • How well did your college do in college sports?
  • Did your parents give you any advise about college and being away from home?
  • Did you graduate from college?
  • How long did it take you to finish up your studies?
  • If it took more than four years, why?
  • What was your degree?
  • What was the subject?
  • What was you academic standing?
  • Did you go to graduation ceremonies?
  • Who was the commencement speaker and what was his topic?
  • What did you do to celebrate?
  • Did you have a job lined up following graduation or were you going on to graduate school?
  • Sum up how your college experience and how it effected the rest of your life.
  • What advise would you give to the reader about going to college?
  • What would you change if you could go back to school - change majors, pick better friends, etc.?

Graduate School

  • Why did you decide to go to graduate school?
  • Where did you go?
  • Why did you pick that particular school?
  • When did you start?
  • If you delayed going to graduate school, why did you?
  • What was your course of study?
  • Was it a continuation of your undergraduate studies or an entirely different topic?
  • Why the change?
  • What was the main difference between graduate school and your undergraduate college?
  • Did you have to work to get through?
  • Did you feel good about your efforts in graduate school?
  • Were there any professors that stand out in your mind?
  • Did you write a thesis or were you in a none thesis program?
  • What was your thesis about?
  • Did you graduate with a advanced degree?
  • What was it?
  • If not, why not?
  • When did you graduate?
  • How long did it take?
  • What opportunities did this advance degree give you over the years?
  • If you had it to do over, would you?
  • What advise would you give the reader in relation to getting an advanced degree?
  • Have your retained an interest in the topic over the years?
  • Were there any teachers you especially remember from graduate school?
  • Did you go to work right after graduation?

Military

I do not doubt that whatever misery He permits will be for our ultimate good unless by rebellious will we convert it to evil.(C. S. Lewis)

  • Were you in the Armed Forces?
  • Which branched did you serve in?
  • Did you enlisted or were you drafted?
  • If you enlisted, why did you?
  • If you were drafted, how did you feel about it?
  • Were you married before you went into the service did you have any children?
  • How did your spouse feel about it?
  • How did your parents feel about it?
  • What was the world situation at the time you entered the service?
  • How did you feel about the military in general?
  • Where did you go through basic training?
  • Can you describe what you went through?
  • How was the food?
  • How did you feel about taking orders?
  • What were you trained to do?
  • What special skills or trade did you acquire in the military?
  • What kinds of weapons were you trained to operate?
  • What was your rank after basic?
  • How did you feel about yourself after basic training?
  • Were you stationed overseas and where?
  • Describe your feelings about being out of the country if this was the first time?
  • Did you learn the language of the country where you were stationed?
  • Did you make any friends with the locals in the country you were sent too?
  • Did you keep any kind of journal of your activities?
  • If you were in action in wartime and if you feel comfortable about it, describe any of the engagements and your feelings at the time?
  • Did your religious feelings play any roll in your military experiences?
  • What was you church activity while in the Military?
  • Did you take any pictures while in the service?
  • Who were some of your friends you made?
  • What has been their fates?
  • What sorts of nick names did you or your friends have?
  • Who were some of your superior officers?
  • Was there anything particular to note about any of them?
  • Any funny stories you would like to record?
  • Any not so funny stories you would like to record?
  • Were there any other members of the family who were in the armed forces?
  • How long were you in the service?
  • What awards or decorations did you receive?
  • Did you suffer any injuries during your military service?
  • What were the most troubling experiences you had while in the service?
  • Are there any other “war stories” you want to record?
  • When did you get out or the military?
  • What rank had you obtained when you were discharged?
  • Were you happy to get out?
  • Did you enjoy military service?
  • If you had the choice would you enlist again?
  • How did the military change you?
  • What adjustments did you have to make to re-enter civilian life?
  • What advise do you want to give to the reader about going in the armed forces?
  • Tell your overall feelings about serving in the armed forces.
  • Other questions and notes:

First Real Job

If you have a job without aggravations, you don't have a job. (Malcolm Forbes)

  • What was your first real job after school?
  • What did you do?
  • What was the pay?
  • Was this job related to your schooling?
  • Why did you pick this particular company instead of another?
  • Who were some of the people you worked with?
  • Was there any characters you remember?
  • Who was your boss?
  • How did you feel about him?
  • How important was this job to your financial security or advancement in your field of expertise?
  • Could you afford to lose this job if you did not have another job to go to right-a-way?
  • Did this situation make you nervous?
  • What was your spouse’s feelings about this job?
  • What did you wear to work?
  • How did you get to work?
  • What hours did you work?
  • Did you think you would like to work here for the rest of your life?
  • Was there any other benefits other than the money?
  • Describe any satisfactions you got personally from this job?
  • Did you feel any personal growth either by the work or by the people you worked with?
  • What kind of contribution do you think you made to the company?
  • Did you stay with this company or in time move on?

Courtship and the Wedding

When you are courting a nice girl an hour seems like a second. When you sit on a red-hot cinder a second seems like an hour. That's relativity. (Albert Einstein)

Courtship

  • How old were you when you decided you wanted to get married?
  • Who did you marry?
  • How old was your future spouse?
  • Describe their family and a little about their background?
  • Where and when did you meet for the first time?
  • What was your first impression?
  • Was it love at first sight?
  • What attracted them to you?
  • Did you have any thought at this first meeting that you would marry this person some day?
  • What was they doing when you met - school or working?
  • When was your first official date?
  • Describe the situation and feelings you had?
  • How long did you date before the thoughts of marriage begin to enter your mind?
  • How did you religious convictions effect your courtship and proposal of marriage?
  • Were you dating anyone else at the time?
  • Did you have to compete for your future spouse with anyone else?
  • Describe some funny incidents during the courtship.
  • Is there any memory that especially stands out in your mind about your courtship?
  • At what point did it become obvious to the both of you that you would be getting married?
  • When was the official proposal of marriage made?
  • Describe the scene.How soon after the proposal was it excepted?
  • What was the reaction to your respective families to your announcement?
  • If there were objections, how were they overcome?
  • How did you feel about your future in-laws?
  • How did they feel about you?
  • Did any doubts creep into your minds after the announcements?
  • Do you think you were ready for marriage at the time?
  • When were you formally engaged?
  • Was a ring given?
  • Did you set the marriage date right then or did you set it later?
  • When it was decided, whose desires were met?
  • What was decided as far as where and when the marriage would take place?
  • Did the family members have any input on this decision?
  • Give a physical description of your spouse at this time?
  • What was his or her general disposition and personality?
  • What were his or her main interests in life?
  • What common interests did you both have?
  • Did you have any immediate plans for children?
  • Had you made any decisions on how many children you both wanted?
  • What were you doing at this time - school or working?
  • Were you excited at the prospect of marriage and future challenges?
  • Was there any doubts that you had about your ability to adjust to married life?
  • Did you get any advise from anyone that you felt was helpful in adjusting to married life?
  • Where were you going to live?
  • What did you both have in the way of possessions to setup housekeeping?
  • What advise would you give to the reader about courtship and the process of selecting a mate?

Wedding - Honeymoon

  • Where and when did the marriage ceremony take place?
  • Who was in attendance?
  • Who performed the ceremony?
  • Describe your feeling at being pronounced “man and wife.”How did your spouse react?
  • Where and when was the reception held?
  • Who was in the reception line?
  • Who were the best man and bride’s maids?
  • Who can to the reception that you can remember?
  • What kinds of wedding gifts did you receive?
  • Where did you go on your honeymoon?
  • Describe the honeymoon.

After the Honeymoon

  • How would you describe yourselves as newlyweds?
  • What was the biggest adjustment immediately after your marriage you had to make?
  • Where was the first place you lived?
  • Describe the place and what was in it as far as furniture, housewares, etc.How much was the rent?
  • What did you learn about your spouse that was not apparent during courtship?
  • What was the greatest adjustment you had to make as a married person?
  • Was marriage just what you had expected?
  • How much did it cost you to live?
  • Did you have a car?
  • Was money a problem?
  • Did marriage increase you awareness of the importance of careful money management?
  • Did you work together to manage the budget?
  • If you were still in school, was this a problem in the marriage?
  • If you or your spouse were still in school, did marriage change your attitude about it?
  • Did you feel as close to your single friends as before?
  • What advise would you give to the reader as far as how to adjust to married life?
  • Did the example of your parents help in your relationship with your spouse?
  • What do you wish you had known before your marriage?
  • What advise do you wish to give now?

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Adjusting to Married Life Before Children

Marriage: a book of which the first chapter is written in poetry and the remaining chapters in prose. (Beverly Nichols)

  • As time went on, what was the feelings you had for your in-laws?
  • What feelings did they have for you?
  • Were they close by?
  • Did you enjoy visiting with them?
  • How did your family treat your spouse?
  • Did you enjoy visiting with your family after marriage?
  • What did you and your spouse like to do together before the children came along?
  • Did you like to go to sporting activities?
  • Did you like to watch sports with your spouse?
  • Was there any recreational activities you like to do together?
  • What did you do for entertainment?
  • When did children start to enter the conversation between the two of you?
  • Did you try for children right a way or did you decide to wait? Why?
  • Had you talked about what kind of family you wanted before you got married?
  • When did you decide it was time to start having children?

Beginnings of Family Life

Marriage is the alliance of two people, one of whom never remembers birthdays and the other never forgets them. (Ogden Nash)

Discribing the beginning of your own family You can describe the birth of each child and tell them about their very early roll in the family. This can be of great importance to your children. Much of this material they will probably use when they get around to writing their own personal histories.

First Child

  • What did you want a boy or a girl?
  • Was the mother able to conceive or did you have to give thoughts to adoption?
  • What were your feelings when you found you could not have a natural child of your own?
  • When you found out that you had conceived or had news of a child that was available for adoption, what was your reaction and that of your spouse?
  • When did you know for sure you were about to become parents?
  • What was the reaction of various relatives on both sides of the family?
  • If you had to adopt, describe the process, events and people involved?
  • Was the experience in the adopting process pleasant or difficult?
  • Did you want a new born or an older child?
  • Was the child you receive a baby or older?
  • Did you tell you child he or she was adopted? Why?
  • Did they find out on their own?
  • What was their reaction to learn they were adopted?
  • Was the pregnancy a difficult or easy one?
  • Did mother suffer much morning sickness?
  • Was the child active in the womb?
  • Were their any complications during the pregnancy?
  • Who was your doctor?
  • What kinds of thoughts did you have during this time?
  • Did you have any premonitions or impressions about the child as time went by?
  • What did you want this child to be like as he or she grew up?
  • Did you do anything special during this time like listen to good music, read good books, etc.
  • What sort of advice did you get from relatives?
  • Did you have any cravings for unusual foods?
  • Did the pregnancy go the full term?
  • Did the mother experience any difficulties in the delivery?
  • Was it a natural birth?
  • What was the condition of the baby?
  • Were any extra ordinary efforts need to get the baby breathing or keep it alive because of complications?
  • What was the sex, size and weight of the baby?
  • What was the day and date of birth?
  • What time of day?
  • Where did the birth take place?
  • Who was present in the birthing room or in the waiting room?
  • Any special circumstances about getting to the hospital?
  • What name was it given?
  • Who did the child look like?
  • What was the color or hair?
  • What was your reaction the first time you held your first child in your arms?
  • Did you have any impressions at that moment?
  • What was the reaction of your spouse?
  • What was the reaction of the grandparents and other relative?
  • How many first cousins did this child now have?
  • What happened in the world that day? (Check the newspapers in the library)
  • What happened in your community on that date?
  • What was the weather like?
  • Describe each child briefly as a toddler, preteen, teenager and young adult? (To create a more detail personal history, create a separate history)
  • How was their health over the years?
  • Did he or she have any serious or life threatening illness and/or injuries over the years?
  • Do you remember any home remedies used on he or she when they were sick?
  • Was this child the victim of accident? Car, fall, poison, etc?
  • Did he or she have a surgeries?
  • Did any of he or she come down with a major illness with required extensive medical treatment? Describe in detail.
  • Were any of these medical conditions hereditary?
  • Was it christened?
  • Did you lose this child at birth or at some later date?
  • How old was the child when he or she died?
  • What caused this child’s death?
  • Was it a sudden death or the result of a illness?
  • Were you present at the moment of passing?
  • What was your reaction to the death?
  • What was your spouse’s reaction?
  • What was your family and spouse’s family reaction?
  • Describe the funeral service?
  • Was the casket opened and what were your feelings on looking at your child’s remains.
  • Did your religious convictions help you through this difficult separation?
  • What have you done to keep the memory of this child alive?

Second Child

  • What did you want a boy or a girl for the next child?
  • Why?
  • Was the mother able to conceive or did you have to give thoughts to adoption?
  • What were your feelings when you found you could not have a natural child of your own again?
  • When you found out that you had conceived or had news of a child that was available for adoption, what was your reaction and that of your spouse?
  • When did you know for sure you were about to become parents?
  • What was the reaction of various relatives on both sides of the family?
  • If you had to adopt, describe the process, events and people involved?
  • Was the experience in the adopting process pleasant or difficult?
  • Did you want a new born or an older child?
  • Was the child you receive a baby or older?
  • Did you tell you child he or she was adopted? Why?
  • Did they find out on their own?
  • What was their reaction to learn they were adopted?
  • Was the pregnancy a difficult or easy one?
  • Did mother suffer much morning sickness?
  • Was the child active in the womb?
  • Were their any complications during the pregnancy?
  • Who was your doctor?
  • What kinds of thoughts did you have during this time?
  • Did you have any premonitions or impressions about the child as time went by?
  • What did you want this child to be like as he or she grew up?
  • Did you do anything special during this time like listen to good music, read good books, etc.
  • What sort of advice did you get from relatives?
  • Did you have any cravings for unusual foods?
  • Did the pregnancy go the full term?
  • Did the mother experience any difficulties in the delivery?
  • Was it a natural birth?
  • What was the condition of the baby?
  • Were any extra ordinary efforts need to get the baby breathing or keep it alive because of complications?
  • What was the sex, size and weight of the baby?
  • What was the day and date of birth?
  • What time of day?
  • Where did the birth take place?
  • Who was present in the birthing room or in the waiting room?
  • Any special circumstances about getting to the hospital?
  • What name was it given?
  • Who did the child look like?
  • What was the color or hair?
  • What was your reaction the first time you held your child in your arms?
  • Did you have any impressions at that moment?
  • What was the reaction of your spouse?
  • What was the reaction of the grandparents and other relative?
  • How many first cousins did this child now have?
  • What happened in the world that day? (Check the newspapers in the library)
  • What happened in your community on that date?
  • What was the weather like?
  • Describe each child briefly as a toddler, preteen, teenager and young adult? (To create a more detail personal history, create a separate history)
  • How was their health over the years?
  • Did he or she have any serious or life threatening illness and/or injuries over the years?
  • Do you remember any home remedies used on them when they were sick?
  • Were any of theme victims of accidents? Car, fall, poison, etc?
  • Did they have a surgeries?
  • Did any of them come down with a major illness with required extensive medical treatment? Describe in detail.
  • Were any of these medical conditions hereditary?
  • Was the child given a name and a blessing in Church?
  • Did you lose this child at birth or at some later date?
  • What caused this child’s death?
  • Was it a sudden death or the result of a illness?
  • Were you present at the moment of passing?
  • What was your reaction to the death?
  • What was your spouse’s reaction?
  • What was your family and spouse’s family reaction?
  • Describe the funeral service?
  • Was the casket opened and what were your feelings on looking at your child’s remains.
  • Did your religious convictions help you through this difficult separation?
  • How did the other siblings cope with the lose of their brother or sister?
  • What have you done to keep the memory of this child alive?

Other Children

Use the above questions for each child to come into your family


Family Life with Children

  • How did life for you and your spouse change after the first child came along?
  • What was your attitude about family life?
  • How would you compare it with your attitude now?
  • What did you hope your children would be like as they grew up?
  • Describe a typical week during the early years as a family.
  • Where did you like to go and do for recreation as a family?
  • Did you have any favorite spots you like to visit?
  • Did you go to see relatives often?
  • How did you spend your first Christmas as a family?
  • Describe other Christmas’ as time went on.
  • How did you usually decorate your house and tree for the Christmas season?
  • What special activities did you do over the Christmas holiday?
  • How did you celebrate New Years, Fourth of July, Thanksgiving, etc.?
  • What family traditions were you now putting in place?
  • Were these traditions from your or your spouse’s family traditions?
  • Did you create any new ones?
  • What kinds of cars did you own?
  • When did you get your own home?
  • Where was it located and how long did you live there?
  • Did you like the neighborhood?
  • Where did you go to Church?
  • What sort of vacations did you take?
  • Did you have favorite places to go?
  • How did the children behave on these trips?
  • Did you go where you personally wanted to go?
  • Where did you really want to go and why did you not go there?
  • What other places would you like to have visited in the world if you have not done so yet?
  • As time went on, how did your attitude change about your spouse?
  • Did you feel closer as time went on?
  • What did you appreciate about your spouse then and now?
  • Other questions and notes:

Family Changes

We all have big changes in our lives that are more or less a second chance. (Harrison Ford)

Not all relationships go smoothly. Here are questions if you were divorce and if you remarriaged.

Divorce

  • Did you go through a divorce?
  • How long were you married?
  • When did the divorce take place and where?
  • Were you separated for a time before the divorce and for who long?
  • What was the reason for the divorce?
  • Who was the instigator of the divorce or was a mutually agreed upon?
  • Did you go through any counseling to try and work out any differences?
  • With who?
  • Was the divorce a friendly one or not?
  • If not, why?
  • Were there any major disputes?
  • How were the disputes settled?
  • What financial arrangements were arrived at?
  • If children were involved, who received custody rights?
  • What arrangements were made for visitation by the spouse?
  • Was the relationship between yourself and your ex-spouse a friendly one or not?
  • What was the reaction of your parents and other of your relations?
  • What was the reaction of your spouse’s family?
  • What was your relation with your spouse’s family after the divorce?
  • What was the reactions of the children if they were old enough to comprehend the situation?
  • Did they blame one parent as apposed to another?
  • If you did not have custody, how was your relationship with each of them affected?
  • Do you feel you should have had custody and was there animosity because you didn’t?
  • If you had custody, did your spouse make efforts to see his or her children on a regular basis?
  • If one spouse ran out on the family, how did that affect you and your children if you had any?
  • What happened to you financially because of the abandonment?
  • Did you seek help from family, friends, church, state, etc to help you?
  • Did you have to use legal means to get child support if spouse was required to pay?
  • Was adjusting to being single a difficult?
  • Was telling people you were divorced difficult?
  • Did you feel that you were a failure as a person because of the divorce?
  • If the divorce was years ago, are you over it or does it still bother you?
  • What kinds of dating activities did you engage in?
  • Was dating difficult or uncomfortable?
  • Did you find a person to marry later?
  • In hind sight, do you think you could have done something to prevent it?
  • What would you have done differently if you could or would you?
  • Do you consider the divorce was for the better or maybe a mistake?

Second Marriage

  • Where and when did the marriage ceremony take place?
  • How old were you?
  • Who did you marry?
  • How old was she?
  • Describe her family and a little about her background?
  • Where and when did you meet your future spouse for the first time?
  • What was your first impression?
  • Was it love at first sight?
  • What attracted him or her to you?
  • Did you have any thought at this first meeting that you would marry this person some day?
  • What was he or she doing when you met - school or working?
  • When was your first official date?
  • Describe the situation and feelings you had?
  • How long did you date before the thoughts of marriage begin to enter your mind?
  • Were you dating anyone else at the time?
  • Did you have to compete for your future spouse with anyone else?
  • Describe some funny incidents during the courtship.
  • Is there any memory that especially stands out in your mind about your courtship?
  • At what point did it become obvious to the both of you that you would be getting married?
  • When was the official proposal of marriage made?
  • Describe the scene.
  • How soon after the proposal was it excepted?
  • What was the reaction to your respective families to your announcement?
  • If there were objections, how were they overcome?
  • How did you feel about your future in-laws?
  • How did they feel about you?
  • Did any doubts creep into your minds after the announcements?
  • Do you think you were ready to remarry at the time?
  • When were you formally engaged?
  • Was a ring given?
  • Did you set the marriage date right then or did you set it later?
  • When it was decided, whose desires were met?
  • What was decided as far as where and when the marriage would take place?
  • Did the family members and children have any input on this decision?
  • Give a physical description of your spouse at this time?
  • What was his or her general disposition and personality?
  • What were his or her main interests in life?
  • What common interests did you both have?
  • Did you have any immediate plans for children of your own?
  • Had you made any decisions on how many children you both wanted in addition the ones you already had?
  • What were you doing at this time - school or working?
  • Were you excited at the prospect of marriage and future challenges?
  • Was there any doubts that you had about your ability to adjust to married life?
  • Did you get any advise from anyone that you felt was helpful in adjusting to married life?
  • Where were you going to live?
  • What did you both have in the way of possessions to setup housekeeping?
  • What advise would you give to the reader about courtship and the process of selecting a mate?

Second Wedding and Honeymoon

  • Where and when did the wedding take place?
  • Who was in attendance?
  • Who performed the ceremony?
  • Describe your feeling at being pronounced “man and wife.”
  • How did your spouse react?
  • Where and when was the reception held?
  • Who was in the reception line?
  • Who were the best man and bride’s maids?
  • Who can to the reception that you can remember?
  • What kinds of wedding gifts did you receive?
  • Where did you go on your honeymoon?

After the Second Honeymoon

  • How would you describe yourselves as newlyweds?
  • What was the biggest adjustment immediately after your marriage you had to make?
  • Where was the first place you lived?
  • Describe the place and what was in it as far as furniture, housewares, etc.
  • How much was the rent?
  • What did you learn about your spouse that was not apparent during courtship?
  • What was the greatest adjustment you had to make to your new marriage?
  • How much did it cost you to live?
  • Was money a problem with two families coming together?
  • What advise would you give to the reader as far as preparing to remarry?

Yours, Mine, and Ours

  • Did you have custody of your children when you remarried?
  • Did your spouse have custody of his of her children when you were married?
  • How old were the children of each spouse?
  • Did they adjust to each other easily or not?
  • How did each of the children feel about their new situation?
  • What sorts of conflict arose because of the combining of two families?
  • Did they feel like an outsiders or did they seem to feel comfortable with each other after a time?
  • Did you all feel like a family after a time?
  • What traditions that each family have that were combined or adopted by all?
  • How did you get along with each of your step children?
  • Was there ever completion the step child as who would dominate the others?
  • How do you get along with them today?
  • How do they get along with each other day?
  • Did you feel closer to one of the step children more than the others?
  • Did your spouse favor their own children over yours?
  • Did the step children fight a lot?
  • What did they fight over?
  • What kind of trouble did they seem to get into?
  • How did you treat each other when they were at school?
  • Did they all play together?
  • Did they tease each other?
  • Any private jokes that you could share?
  • Did the step children seem to look out for one another at school or on the playground?
  • Did they you borrow each other’s clothes?
  • Did any of them have any health problems?
  • Describe them as adults - physical description and temperament.
  • How did they all turn out?
  • If some or all of them are dead, tell what happened.
  • Describe their families.
  • Did you and your new spouse have any children of your own?
  • Use above questions on the birth of children for each of the ones you have together.
  • How did the step children feel about having a new half brother or sister?
  • What was the reaction of the grandparents to this new family member?
  • Other questions and notes:

Ages 30 - 40

Age is not a particularly interesting subject. Anyone can get old. All you have to do is live long enough. (Groucho Marx)

Life may be settling down to routine by now and you are playing the game of getting ahead in life. Here you can also describe your efforts to teach your children and watch them grow up. For many, thirty marks the end of youth and the real beginning of adulthood.

  • How did you feel on your thirtieth birthday?
  • How did your spouse treat you on your thirtieth birthday?
  • How did you celebrate the occasion?
  • How did you celebrate your spouses thirtieth birthday?
  • Did you feel you were starting to lose your youth?
  • Did start to feel estranged from the younger generation?
  • What were you now doing for a living?
  • Were you where you wanted to be at this point in your life?
  • If not, why not?
  • Describe any achievements that you want to tell about up to this point, whether in the Church, employment or avocation in the community.Talk about each of your children and your relationship with them individually. Describe their characters and the directions they seem to be heading in life.Describe your feeling for your spouse.Where did they seem to be in life at this point?
  • What goals did you in have in mind even if not specially written down?
  • What were some things you wanted to accomplish in the near future?
  • What were some things you wanted to accomplish in the long term?
  • Were you at this point thinking more in the short term rather in than in the long term?
  • What sort of books were you reading at this time?
  • Were there any authors you particularly liked?
  • What was your favorite topic to read about?
  • What kinds of clothes were you wearing?
  • What kind of music were you listening too?
  • Had your taste in music changed since you were a teenager?
  • Were there any movies that you liked?
  • Who were your favorite actors?
  • Did you have any interest in world and local events?
  • What was going on in the world that you remember from the time between the ages of twenty and thirty?
  • Were you active politically?
  • Were there any issues that you have strong feelings for?
  • Who did you support for president of the United States at the time?
  • What was your activity in local, school, state and national affairs?
  • Did our country’s leadership miss handle, in your opinion, any particular issues you felt strongly about?
  • What would you have done differently?
  • Where were you living now?
  • Describe the house and neighborhood?
  • Did you own the house or were you renting?
  • Describe how you came to chose where you were living?
  • Did you like where you were living?
  • If you didn’t, where did you want to live and why?
  • Did you move during this period of time?
  • Why did you move?
  • Where did you move too?
  • When did you move?
  • How did you spouse take to the move?
  • Did you miss old neighbors and friends?
  • How did your children react to the move?
  • Describe the homes you move into too.
  • Did you ever do any remodeling on your home?
  • How good were you with tools for work around the house?
  • Any emergencies with any fixtures or appliances tried to repair but finally have to call a repairman?
  • How did you decorate your home?
  • Any conflicts with spouse with decoration?
  • Did you use paint, wallpaper, paneling, etc.?
  • What was the color of the exterior?
  • What sorts of things did you want to do to the house but could not at the time?
  • Were you dissatisfied with the house and was always looking to move?
  • List all the places you lived and how long you lived there?
  • Did you have any pets?
  • How did the members of the family feel when they died?
  • Describe them and how they got their names?
  • How was your health as during these years?
  • Did you have any serious or life threatening illness and/or injuries?
  • Do you remember any home remedies used on you when you were sick?
  • Were you the victim of accident? Car, fall, poison, etc?
  • Did you have a surgeries?
  • Did you come down with a major illness with required extensive medical treatment? Describe in detail.
  • Were any of these medical conditions hereditary?
  • Did your spouse have any serious or life threatening illness and/or injuries during this period?
  • Do you remember any home remedies used on them when he or she was sick?
  • Was he or she victims of accidents? Car, fall, poison, etc?
  • Did he or she have a surgeries?
  • Did he or she come down with a major illness with required extensive medical treatment? Describe in detail.
  • Were any of these medical conditions hereditary?
  • Do you remember any world or local events during these years such as wars, assignations, famine, riots, etc.?
  • Were you, your parents or other family members involved in any of these events?
  • Were you a victim of any natural disasters such as fire, flood, lighting, earthquakes, hurricanes, etc during this time?
  • Where and when did they take place?
  • How old were you?
  • Did you have any warning of the danger?
  • Were you or any family members hurt?
  • Was your home damaged?
  • What damaged happened in your town or neighborhood?
  • Were there injuries or deaths in your town or neighborhood?
  • Did you try to help in any relief efforts?
  • Did other family members volunteer in relief efforts?
  • Did you lose any personal items?
  • Who help you in your time of need?
  • Any religious experience you would like to relate?
  • Other questions and notes:

Ages 40 - 50

A person is always startled when he hears himself seriously called an old man for the first time.(Oliver Wendell Holmes)

Your probably thinking about how your life as been up to this point. Here you can tell about your successes in your occupation and/or family.

  • How did you feel about turning forty?
  • Did it brother you as much as turning thirty?
  • Did you have any feels of panic that maybe you were not where you wanted to be specially, financially, or with relationships with your family?
  • How did you celebrate the occasion?
  • Did your spouse give you a bad time?
  • How did you treat your spouse when he or she turned forty?
  • What was your outlook on life at this point in time?
  • What goals did you in have in mind even if not specially written down?
  • What were some things you wanted to accomplish in the near future?
  • What were some things you wanted to accomplish in the long term?
  • Were you at this point thinking more in the short term rather in than in the long term?
  • What sort of books were you reading at this time?
  • Were there any authors you particularly liked?
  • What was your favorite topic to read about?
  • What kinds of clothes were you wearing?
  • What kind of music were you listening too?
  • Had your taste in music changed in the last few years?
  • Were there any movies that you liked?
  • Who were your favorite actors?
  • What were you now doing for a living?
  • Did you like what you were doing?
  • If not, what would you like to have been doing?
  • Had you gotten more education since graduation from either high school or college?
  • Did you feel you were using all the talents you possessed to do your job?
  • Did you secretly wish to be doing something else? Tell what it was even it sounds a little bizarre to you now.
  • Had you accomplished the things you wanted to in the previous ten years?
  • Was there anything you could point to that was a high point during the last ten years?
  • What sort of things did you want to accomplish in the next ten years?
  • What was your chief concern in life at this point? Family life, occupation, personal, etc.
  • Describe your daily routine?
  • Describe yourself physically - weight, amount of hair and hair color, physical strength, etc.
  • Were you doing any physical exercise?
  • Was there anyone in particular that stands our in your mind?
  • Described each of your children in detail as to character, spiritually, intellect, where they seem to be heading in life, etc. (You can start to create their life histories by using the questions that you used for yours.)
  • Describe your relationship which each of them.
  • Were there any particular issues that you had questioned in the past, but now through life’s experiences you found them to be true?
  • Describe your relationship with your spouse?
  • In what areas of your life could you say you now had gained complete control or maybe some control over?
  • Did you have a best friend?
  • Describe the town and your neighborhood.
  • If you still living in the same place as ten years ago, what changes had taken place?
  • Describe the house and neighborhood?
  • Did you own the house or were you renting?
  • Describe how you came to chose where you were living?
  • Did you like where you were living?
  • If you didn’t, where did you want to live and why?
  • Did you move during this period of time?
  • Why did you move?
  • Where did you move too?
  • When did you move?
  • How did you spouse take to the move?
  • Did you miss old neighbors and friends?
  • How did your children react to the move?
  • Describe the homes you move into too.
  • If you had moved, why?
  • Any experiences you would like to relate about your neighbors.
  • What was now your involvement in civic affairs?
  • Is there any events in the past ten years, either locally or in the world, you would like to comment on?
  • Any major world events that you witness or would like to give your impressions on?
  • Tell us of your political leanings and sympathies - conservative, liberal, independent or other.
  • What hobbies did you have at this time?
  • What did your family like to do for entertainment?
  • Were there any entertainment fads that were taken up by your children or yourself?
  • Any fashion fads that your children took up?
  • What clothing styles were you wearing?
  • What kinds of vacations were you now taking?
  • What was the attitude of the children to the places you travel too?
  • Did you go to any family reunions?
  • Was there any of them that stand out in your mind?
  • What sort of changes were taking place in your parents lives?
  • Describe what conditions physically, emotionally, spiritually, etc. they were in?
  • What sort of changes were taking place in your spouses parents lives?
  • How was your relationship with your in-laws at this time?
  • Were there any deaths in your family that had an effect on your?
  • Did you feel good about yourself?
  • Were you having fun in life?
  • Did you feel abilities you had when you were younger were starting to slip away?
  • Did you feel you were a better person now than when you were thirty?
  • What was your attitude about material wealth at this time?
  • Did you feel you were under any kind of stress?
  • What was the stress and what was the source?
  • What kind of car did you have?
  • What kinds of “toys” did you have?
  • What kinds of things did you now consider important that you may not have consider important at thirty?
  • How was your health as during these years?
  • Did you have any serious or life threatening illness and/or injuries?
  • Do you remember any home remedies used on you when you were sick?
  • Were you the victim of accident? Car, fall, poison, etc?
  • Did you have a surgeries?
  • Did you come down with a major illness with required extensive medical treatment? Describe in detail.
  • Were any of these medical conditions hereditary?
  • Did your spouse have any serious or life threatening illness and/or injuries during this period?
  • Do you remember any home remedies used on them when he or she was sick?
  • Was he or she victims of accidents? Car, fall, poison, etc?
  • Did he or she have a surgeries?
  • Did he or she come down with a major illness with required extensive medical treatment? Describe in detail.
  • Were any of these medical conditions hereditary?
  • Do you remember any world or local events during these years such as wars, assignations, famine, riots, etc.?
  • Were you or other family members involved in any of these events?
  • Were you a victim of any natural disasters such as fire, flood, lighting, earthquakes, hurricanes, etc during these times?
  • Where and when did they take place?
  • How old were you?
  • Did you have any warning of the danger?
  • Were you or any family members hurt?
  • Was your home damaged?
  • What damaged happened in your town or neighborhood?
  • Were there injuries or deaths in your town or neighborhood?
  • Did you try to help in any relief efforts?
  • Did other family members volunteer in relief efforts?
  • Did you lose any personal items?
  • Who help you in your time of need?
  • Any personal religious experiences you would like to relate?
  • Other questions and notes:

Ages 50 -65

I have enjoyed greatly the second blooming... suddenly you find - at the age of 50, say - that a whole new life has opened before you. (Agatha Christie)

Some go through “mid life crisis” at about this time. You may wonder if you should have taken a different course. You may feel deeply about some failures you have endured. Here is the place to tell about that.

  • How did you feel about turning fifty?
  • How did you celebrate the occasion?
  • How did your spouse treat you on your fiftieth birthday?
  • How did you treat your spouse on his of her fiftieth birthday?
  • Describe you family at age fifty.
  • Describe the relationship with your spouse.
  • Describe what your children are now doing and their families if they have one.
  • Describe them physically and your impressions of their character and where they seem to be headed in life.
  • What was your relationship with each one?
  • Describe the events as you saw each of your children were going through the courting process.
  • What did you go through emotionally?
  • Describe their weddings and your feelings as you saw each of them leave to start there own families.
  • Describe any grandchildren you may have had by this time?
  • Name each one, who there parents were and where you were when each was born.
  • How did you feel when you heard you were a grandfather?
  • What was your spouse’s feelings.
  • Who did they look like and did any of them favor you or your side of the family?
  • How was the outlook on life at turning fifty as compared to turning forty?
  • What was now your chief concern in life?
  • What were you doing for a living at this time?
  • Did you feel successful at what you were doing?
  • Did you secretly wish you could be doing something else?
  • Was there any high points between forty and fifty that you would like to relate?
  • Were there any signs of “mid-life crises” creeping in or had you past through the it by this time?
  • What seems to have been the main focus of your thoughts and concerns at this time?
  • Describe yourself physically at fifty.
  • Did you wish you could be a teenager again with the knowledge you now had?
  • Did you think you had opportunities at this time in you life that were not available in the past because of your age and maturity?
  • What were some of the opportunities?
  • Did you think of yourself as more creative now then in the past?
  • Did you think yourself stronger in temperament and character?
  • What did you now consider was your main task in life as far as other people were concerned?
  • Were these tasks different than between thirty and forty?
  • What did you think life held for you for the next ten years?
  • Had you lost any family members, friends, and work mates that you would like to go into detail.
  • Any events either locally, nationally or internationally you would like to comment on? Wars, civil conflicts, etc.
  • Had your political leanings changed in the past ten years? Why?
  • What kind of books were you reading now?
  • Did you have a hobby or an interest now that you did not have ten years ago?
  • Did your family get together for activities?
  • Describe some of them.
  • Describe any family reunions that you may have attended.
  • What did you do for entertainment?
  • What kinds of clothing styles were you now wearing?
  • What kinds of vacations were you now taking?
  • What sort of changes were taking place in your parent’s lives?
  • Describe what condition, emotionally, spiritually, etc. they were in.
  • What sort of changes were taking place in your spouse’s parent’s lives?
  • Describe the condition physically, emotionally, spiritually, etc. they were in.
  • Was there anything about any member of your or your spouse’s family that was notable or not so notable?
  • How was you relationship with your in-laws at this time?
  • Any deaths of family or friends that you want to relate?
  • Where were you living now?
  • Describe the house and neighborhood?
  • Did you own the house or were you renting?
  • Describe how you came to chose where you were living?
  • Did you like where you were living?
  • If you didn’t, where did you want to live and why?
  • Did you move during this period of time?
  • Why did you move?
  • Where did you move too?
  • When did you move?
  • How did you spouse take to the move?
  • Did you miss old neighbors and friends?
  • How did your children react to the move?
  • Describe the homes you move into too.
  • Describe any neighbors you have had during this period.
  • Did you feel good about yourself?
  • Were you having fun in life?
  • Did you feel abilities you had when you were younger were starting to slip away?
  • What was your physical condition at this time?
  • Any chronic illness taking hold of you or your spouse?
  • Were you doing any kind of exercise to stay in shape?
  • What sort of recreational activities did you like to do?
  • Any religious experiences you would like to relate at this time?
  • Other questions and notes:

Retirement

It is time I stepped aside for a less experienced and less able man. (Scott Elledge)

Some look forward to this time in their life. They think they can now take it easy and let the world worry about all the things it likes to worry about. But many find life even busier.

  • When did you retire?
  • What made you decide to retire?
  • What employment did you retire from?
  • Describe your last day?
  • What was your feelings on this occasion?
  • What kind of retirement party given for you?
  • Did you have regrets?
  • Evaluate your working career - was it fulfilling or was it just a paycheck?
  • What were some of the highlights during your career?
  • Did you feel like an 18 year old locked up in a 65 year old body?
  • What were you going to do now?
  • What was you and your spouse’s physical condition?
  • What was now your daily routine now that you did not have to go to work?
  • Did you do any traveling?
  • Where did you go?
  • Why those particular places?
  • Did you watch a lot more TV?
  • Did you read much?
  • Where were you living now?
  • Describe the house and neighborhood?
  • Did you own the house or were you renting?
  • Describe how you came to chose where you were living?
  • Did you like where you were living?
  • If you didn’t, where did you want to live and why?
  • Did you move during this period of time?
  • Why did you move?
  • Where did you move too?
  • When did you move?
  • How did you spouse take to the move?
  • Did you miss old neighbors and friends?
  • How did your children react to the move?
  • Describe the homes you move into too.
  • Did you go to visit the family often?
  • Describe you immediate family at this time - children, grandchildren.
  • How many grandchildren did you have at this time?
  • Did you have any great grandchildren by this time?
  • Describe the feelings you had at the birth of your first great grandchild?
  • When did you really feel you were getting old?
  • What was now your hobby?
  • What kind of home did you now live in?
  • Did you sell your home after retirement and move to something smaller?
  • Who were your friends now?
  • Had you kept in touch with friends from the past?
  • Tell about who you considered the most memorable character you ever met.
  • Had you decided to now take up something new that you had ever done before?
  • Did you think about taking adult education classes?
  • What were you going to do with the knowledge?
  • How did you now feel about the world in general?
  • What kinds of fears did you think your children and grandchildren would have to deal with?
  • What advise would you give them to lessen the negative impacts of life?
  • What are some things that life has taught you?
  • Is there anything would change if you could in your past? What was the best year of your life?
  • What was the worst year of your life?
  • How was your health as during these years?
  • Did you have any serious or life threatening illness and/or injuries?
  • Do you remember any home remedies used on you when you were sick?
  • Were you the victim of accident? Car, fall, poison, etc?
  • Did you have a surgeries?
  • Did you come down with a major illness with required extensive medical treatment? Describe in detail.
  • Were any of these medical conditions hereditary?
  • Did your spouse have any serious or life threatening illness and/or injuries during this period?
  • Do you remember any home remedies used on them when he or she was sick?
  • Was your spouse victim of any accidents? Car, fall, poison, etc?
  • Did he or she have a surgeries?
  • Did he or she come down with a major illness with required extensive medical treatment? Describe in detail.
  • Were any of these medical conditions hereditary?
  • Do you remember any world or local events during these years such as wars, assignations, famine, riots, etc.?
  • Were you or other family members involved in any of these events?
  • Were you a victim of any natural disasters such as fire, flood, lighting, earthquakes, hurricanes, etc during these years?
  • Where and when did they take place?
  • How old were you?
  • Did you have any warning of the danger?
  • Were you or any family members hurt?
  • Was your home damaged?
  • What damaged happened in your town or neighborhood?
  • Were there injuries or deaths in your town or neighborhood?
  • Did you try to help in any relief efforts?
  • Did other family members volunteer in relief efforts?
  • Did you lose any personal items?
  • Who help you in your time of need?
  • What do you find yourself thinking about when you don’t have too?
  • Is retirement fun?
  • Are you glad you are as old as you are?
  • What sort of personal possessions are the most important to you now?
  • What sort of sentimental value do they carry?
  • Is there anything now that you experience that you would say is nothing new?
  • Are you surprised by what you see happening around you locally and internationally now a days?
  • Do you see world events seeming to repeat themselves only with different actors?
  • Did you find yourself becoming more interested in your ancestors now?
  • Did you ever do any genealogical research over the years?
  • What can you tell the reader about any of the ancestors you research?
  • Were there any family traditions about any ancestors you can remember?
  • Is there any experiences in the Church you would like to tell about that you have not done so already?
  • Do you think the Second Coming is close or some time off?
  • Are there any scriptures that you feel have been fulfilled in relation to the last days?
  • Other questions and notes:

Summing Up

We don't receive wisdom; we must discover it for ourselves after a journey that no one can take for us or spare us. (Marcel Proust)

  • What personality traits do you admire most and why?
  • If you had your life to live over again, what would you do differently and why?
  • What was one of the most important days in your life and why?
  • What was the greatest joy in your life and why?
  • What was the greatest sorrow and why?
  • What was the biggest lesson you learned in life?
  • What trends or events have given you the greatest concern?
  • What do you see as the greatest danger to the future generations?
  • What gives you a feeling of optimism for future generations?
  • Predict how life will be in 50 years from now.
  • If you were in charge of the world, what would you change?
  • What would you council your children in relation to marriage?
  • What would you council your children in relation to raising children?
  • What do you consider your greatest achievement?
  • How would you like to be remembered?

Final Words

You may have deceived yourself, but experience is not trying to deceive you. (C. S. Lewis)

Here you can put any words of wisdom, sum up things learned and say something to each important person in your life.

  • Say something to each of your children individually.
  • Say something to each of your grandchildren individually.
  • Say something to each of your great grandchildren individually.
  • Say something to anyone else you would like too.
  • Say something to the world.
  • What you would you like to say to your family at your funeral?
  • Final words of wisdom?
  • Other questions and notes:

Questions for a Topical Personal History

I once asked a friend what he thought about a particular event and said he did not know as yet because he had not written about it. (C.C. Smith)



If you would rather write about topics rather than a narrative, here are a few topics you might consider writing on. These will give the reader great insights to your character and thinking processes. In addition, you will learn things about yourself that you may not have known.

  • What makes you happy?
  • What makes you sad?
  • Relationships - husband and wife
  • Death
  • Sadness and Sorrow
  • What affections have taught you
  • Idleness
  • Sin
  • Do you think of yourself as having good looks?
  • What you have learn from others?
  • What are your personal fears?
  • What are your greatest strengths?
  • Politics
  • Education of children
  • Education of adults
  • Scriptures
  • Travel
  • What are your passions?
  • What is a waste of time?
  • How to overcome weakness
  • Friendship
  • Who is in control of your destiny?
  • Government
  • Age
  • Moderation
  • Slicking your nose in other people’s business
  • Food
  • Money
  • Clothes
  • Hatred
  • Prayer
  • Scriptures
  • Customs
  • How we should speak to each other
  • Growing old
  • Eating practices
  • Physical looks
  • Favorite author
  • Favorite scripture
  • Being alone
  • Rich and poor
  • Laughter
  • Exercise
  • Armed Forces
  • War
  • Reading
  • Television
  • Nature
  • The Environment
  • Listening to Our Conscience
  • Judging others
  • Seasons of the year
  • Great men in your life
  • Great women in your life
  • Do ends justify the means?
  • Misbehaving children
  • Virtue
  • Thoughts
  • Honesty
  • Repentance
  • Revelation
  • Conferring with others
  • Vanity
  • Self control
  • Experience
  • Hobbies
  • Natural disasters
  • Roll of parents
  • Your general ignorance of subjects most people are expected to know.
  • Your lack of skills most people are expected to have.
  • Your physical weakness and disabilities.
  • Your financial status and past ups and downs.
  • Some situation in which you were defeated or failed.

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  • This page was last modified on 23 October 2014, at 02:04.
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