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Genealogy Do-Over – Month 3 – March 2016

The Genealogy Do-Over - Month 3 Topics: 1) Conducting Self Interview and 2) Conducting Family Interviews

The Genealogy Do-Over - Month 3 Topics: 1) Conducting Self Interview and 2) Conducting Family Interviews

Click here for a list of ALL The Genealogy Do-Over Topics for 2016.

Topics: 1) Conducting Self Interview and 2) Conducting Family Interviews

Conducting Self-Interview

There are many different formats to use for your personal interview including a simple written narrative, a bullet point list of dates and places, or a family group sheet. Make sure you take your time and record the important data related to:

  • Birth
  • Marriage(s) and Divorce(s)
  • Religious events including bar/bat mitzvahs, baptisms, confirmations, etc.
  • Children

An additional option is to actually write out your own mini-biography in your own “voice.” You can then extract the data (next month) for your research log and you will have a nice memento to pass on to your family.

For my own Do-Over, I created both a personal interview and a family group sheet for my parents and myself. The interview is important; it is a “brain dump” of what I know in terms of dates, places etc.

Conducting Family Interviews

Once your interview is done, create a list of aunts, uncles, cousins and other relations who would have information about your parents, grandparents and other extended family members. Again, the format and method of interviewing is up to you. Some options:

  • Family Group Sheet: If you have a fillable form (print or online) have your family members complete as much information as possible about their own immediate families.
  • Record an Interview: With today’s technology, it is easier than ever to record an interview. Consider using Skype and one of the several Skype recording programs. Alternatively, download an app for your iPhone or Android device. Yes, you will have to transcribe or record the information, but what can compare to preserving the voice of a family member as they describe their family’s history?

Month 3 To Do List – Full Do-Over Participants

  • Conducting Self-Interview: Select an interview format that works for you and enables you to extract the necessary information to launch your initial research next month.
  • Conducting Family Interviews: Create a family group sheet for your parents and your siblings. One way to source these data points is to record an interview with each person and then complete the sheet, or have the interview subject complete the sheet and return it to you.

Month 3 To Do List – Review or “Go-Over” Participants

  • Conducting Self-Interview: Consider conducting an interview of yourself based on your memories of important life events.
  • Conducting Family Interviews: Review any copies of family group sheets in your files and check them for accuracy.

©2016, copyright Thomas MacEntee. All rights reserved.

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