10 Family History Questions to Ask
I wish I had thought to ask my grandparents more about their lives. They weren’t always old, and they saw the world change in some pretty significant ways. I just didn’t think to ask as much as I wish now that I had. Sometimes, the generation gap–especially when it spans more than one generation–can seem extremely difficult to bridge.
I want my kids to know their grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc., as more than just relatives but as people. So how do you make them care to get to know them that way? And how do you take away the awkwardness that can often be present past, “Hey, Grandma, got anything to eat?”
Here are 10 family history questions to help you, your kids, your grandkids, or other relatives start potentially riveting conversations. The questions all lend themselves to natural follow-ups. I encourage you to also invite a recording device to the conversation.
Family History Questions To Kick Off an Inter-Generational Conversation
1. How did you get along with your brothers and sisters (as applicable)?
2. Who was best friend when you were a kid?
3. What books do you remember reading in your childhood?
4. What was your proudest moment in school?
5. What was your first job?
6. Where did you meet your husband/wife?
7. What inventions do you remember changing the world quickly?
8. What is the most inspiring thing anyone has ever said to you?
9. What are the moments in history that you can remember where you were and what you were doing?
10. What would you consider the high and low points of your life?
What family history questions would you add to the list? Add them in the comments below.
About Al Ainsworth
Al Ainsworth is a values storyteller. He works with individuals, businesses, churches, and other organizations to pass along their values through the stories they tell…and re-tell. Al is the author of Lines in the Gravel (and 52 Other Re-Told Childhood Tales), Stories from the Roller Coaster (of a Faith Life), and Coach Dave: Season One. Subscribe to his email list for more values storying.