ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Interviewing Family Members When Creating a Family Tree

Updated on June 25, 2013
This is an example of a family tree that makes a wonderful gift.
This is an example of a family tree that makes a wonderful gift. | Source

Your Family Ancestry and Genealogy

One of the first priorities in creating a family tree is to interview your oldest surviving family members. Reaching out to the matriarchs and patriarchs in your clan will provide you with the best information possible in order to get started. These are the people with the oldest memories about the family and the historical times they lived in.

Questioning your relatives is extremely important in getting the most and best information possible. It is imperative that you know what questions to ask and find the most constructive answers to continue your research. Every family member will have something to add to your research, so be sure to talk to everyone in your quest to learn about your ancestry.

You will find that as you put the pieces together, there will be numerous pieces of interesting information. These stories will lead to more information and, in a chain reaction your ancestry will slowly come alive. Your heritage will appear in an exciting and interesting fashion leaving you hungry for more details.


Who to Interview

Call each of your eldest relatives including great grandparents, grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, siblings, and family friends. Everyone in your family will have something to offer. As I proceeded in making my family tree, I found that even the youngest of my clan had stories and additional information to contribute; information I was unaware of.

When you call your kin, tell them what you are doing and emphasize your appreciation for their contribution of what they know about your ancestry. Set up a mutually convenient time to call or meet to discuss your heritage and family history. Explain how important it is to you to know and pass on information in remembrance of those who came before you.

My Family Tree including Angels and photos of my ancestors
My Family Tree including Angels and photos of my ancestors | Source

Preparing for the Interview

Once you have set up a time and place to meet with your family members, you will want to be prepared to take a thorough and efficient interview. Let everyone know ahead of time the questions you will be asking so that they have enough time to think about each memorable incident, research with family bibles or other documents, and look for memory jogging pictures.

Before you speak with each person, be sure you have a tape recorder, notepad, computer, laptop, or i-Pad, to take notes. It will be impossible for you to remember the abundance of information you will receive, and you will regret not being prepared by losing much of your research right off the bat.

Create a Family Tree With Your Children

What to ask About Your Family History

  • Birthdates, marriage dates, death dates
  • Birth places, marriage places, death places
  • Occupations of ancestors
  • Holiday memories
  • Extraordinary stories
  • Places of residence
  • Religious beliefs
  • Immigration stories

Genealogy Research Quiz

view quiz statistics

Take the Quiz

This article should be a great start on your ancestry adventure. Be sure to take the short quiz for a little fun before you dive into the hard work and research that will keep you occupied for years or longer; happy hunting.

Thank you so much for your interest in my work. I certainly hope the read was helpful and encouraging. Please feel free to leave a suggestion, comment, or constructive criticism in the comments section below. Your feedback is always welcomed and appreciated.

"Be kind to one another" ~ Ellen

God Bless You ~ Margaret Sullivan


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      6 years ago

      I scored 100 on the quiz - your advice is wonderful! I wish we would have done this when my parents were both alive, now we have to resort on what we can remember.

    • Mmargie1966 profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Gainesville, GA

      Thanks so much for your comments, summerberrie and Millionaire Tips! I absolutely love genealogy research and have been actively involved for years.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Great informative hub, Margie. My sisters are getting into genealogy. They really enjoy sharing their findings and it is fun listening to long lost stories. Voted up and sharing!

    • Millionaire Tips profile image

      Shasta Matova 

      6 years ago from USA

      This is great advice for the beginning researcher. We often regret not talking to our older relatives while we have a chance. Voted up.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)