Questions for Oral History Interview
Tell me about your childhood.
Where did you grow up? How long did your family live in the area?
Did you have any pets? How did your parents discipline you? What did
your parents teach you? When did you move away from home?
Tell me about your childhood home.
What was your home like? What kind of amenities did it have
(indoor plumbing, electricity or gas, phone, television, etc.) ? Do
you have photographs of your home? Describe your neighborhood. Did
the town have a railroad, a post office, a swimming hole?
Tell me about your childhood activities.
What kind of games did you play? What were your special interests
(sports, hobbies)? Do you remember any childhood pranks you took part
in? What did you do for fun? Where did the local kids hang out? Did
you have any childhood jobs?
Tell me about your education.
Describe your school. Do you remember your favorite teacher? Who
was your best friend? What education level did you achieve? What was
your favorite subject? Did you graduate from high school? Did you go
to college? Did you learn to speak a foreign language? What special
skills did you acquire?
Tell me about your spouse.
Have you ever been married? Where did you meet your husband/wife?
How long did you date? Where did you get married? Tell me about, the
wedding and reception. Do you have a copy of your wedding
Tell me about your profession.
Describe your first job. What was your profession (s) ? Did you
want to change professions? How did you decide on your
Tell me about your family.
Describe your parents, sibling(s), grandparents. What did they do
for a living? Describe their personalities. Tell me a funny story
about your family. What physical characteristics did you inherit? Has
anyone in your family served in the military, held a public office,
or played a musical instrument? What were your family's favorite
meals? Are there any special family recipes?
Tell me about your family traditions.
What was a favorite family outing? Did you attend family reunions?
Tell me about them. What kind of organizations did your family belong
to? What is your family's religious affiliation? Did you go to church
regularly? What were your holiday traditions?
Where were you when...
What historical events directly influenced your life? Did you
experience the Great Depression, natural disasters, war? When did
your family get its first television, car, telephone? How have these
conveniences changed your life?
Patti Jordan, "Fourth-Grade Historians: Strengthening Community
Roots." Ancestry, May/June 2001, pg. 17-20.