family history questions to ask

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How well do you know your family’s life story? I created this list of family history interview questions to use for documenting your own personal life and to give some ideas for things to ask your own family members and relatives to help document your family’s past.

While most of these questions are very basic and common, you might just be surprised at how much you can learn about yourself and others when you ask these things!

This list of questions to ask grandparents and parents is a wonderful way to preserve your family’s story and important memories.

It is amazing how just a few good questions can become a great starting point to spark some interesting conversations and uncover stories from your living relatives that may have otherwise been unknown.

A list of family history questions can also be a very fun activity to bring along for family reunions and other gatherings – you never know what family stories you might discover! It is always fun to interview your living relatives to see what things they remember about your family.

There are many other ways you can use this list. You can use it for school projects, or even for documenting your own personal history.

Many of the prompts on this list could work as journal writing prompts for documenting your life story. This could be a great way to motivate you into finally getting started on writing that family memoir you’ve been meaning to write!

Download the Free Printable Family Memories Questions at the Bottom of This Post!


  1. What is your full name and birthdate? Is there anything special about how your name was chosen or your birth story?
  2. Where did you grow up? What do you remember most about your childhood home?
  3. Who were your parents? What are do you remember the most about your parents?
  4. Who were your grandparents? What are some of your memories of them?
  5. Who were your aunts, uncles, and cousins? Any other relatives?
  6. Did you have brothers and sisters? What are your favorite memories of your siblings?
  7. What types of things did you do for fun as a kid? Were there any toys or games that were popular at the time?
  8. What kind of clothes do you remember wearing as a child?
  9. What foods were common during your childhood? Does your family have any recipes that have been passed on from generation to generation?
  10. How did your family celebrate special occasions and birthdays? What traditions and customs stand out the most?
  11. Were there any special trips or vacations your family made while you were a child?
  12. What were the religious and/or spiritual beliefs of your family members? What church did you or your family members attend?
  13. What was school like for you as a child?
  14. What were your teenage and young adulthood years like?
  15. Did you attend college or any other higher education institutions? If yes, what school? What was your primary field of study?
  16. What are some of the jobs you’ve had during your lifetime? What do you remember from these experiences?
  17. If married, who is your spouse and how did you meet? What was it like when you first started dating?
  18. What details do you remember from your own or another relative’s wedding day? Were there any family traditions for weddings?
  19. Do you have any children? What were some of the things you remember from when they were young?
  20. Do you have any grandchildren? What are some of the things you enjoy about being a grandparent?
  21. What places have you lived in your lifetime? What are some of your favorite things about the different places you have lived?
  22. Do you enjoy travel? What places have you visited? What places would you would like to travel to?
  23. Were there any moments in history during your lifetime that stand out in your mind more than others? What do you remember from those times?
  24. Have you or anyone in your immediate family ever served in a war? What details do you remember from that time?
  25. What are some of the weather and environmental events you remember over your lifetime?
  26. Are you a member of any clubs or organizations? What are these groups? What do you enjoy about them? Are there any organizations you donate to or volunteer for?
  27. What do you find inspiring? Who are some of the people you have known who have inspired you over the years? How have they inspired you?
  28. What are some of your current favorite hobbies and activities? Do you share any of these interests with other family members?
  29. What is your favorite kind of music? What are some of the music artists you listen to? How have your tastes in music evolved over the years?
  30. What do you consider some of the proudest moments in your lifetime so far?
  31. Do you have any words of wisdom or life advice you would like to share with future generations?

What Questions Would You Like to Ask Your Ancestors?

I hope you enjoy this list of family history questions and that it helps you learn a bit more about the stories of your family members.

I know as I get older I definitely don’t remember as much as I used to. Even my younger brothers and I remember completely different things as kids. I also certainly appreciate that life is short and sometimes we don’t get around to documenting our memories.

How will you use this list? Do you have questions you would like to know about your family members? Any family history interview questions you think we should ask but might have overlooked?

As always I’d love to hear your comments, suggestions, and ideas in the comments section below!

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