Tag Archives: ludlow

Old Bones on LCTV—Interviewing Relatives

Here’s the video of my interview with “Mrs Buttercup” for Ludlow Community Televisoion. I’m describing the value of contacting relatives for the purpose of learning about their childhood, where they grew up, what their family life was like, what games they played as children and dozens more questions. All of this in the interest of making the cold dry facts of genealogy research come to life by “putting some meat on the bones”, telling a real family story, give your family history some color and make it interesting.  Click this link and take a look: Old Bones on Interviewing Relatives for Family Research.  The sooner a good family researcher gets to their family members, the better the chance to capture the treasures of their memories.

Questions are tailored to trigger those memories.  Here are some examples: “Did you go to your grandmother’s for special dinners, Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc?”, “Do you have pleasant memories of the aromas in her kitchen?”, “Can you still “smell them at times?”, “Did your family eat dinner together at the table?”, “Did everyone have their own place to sit?”.  These questions should elicit more than a one word response; they should be the foundation of stories as the person you are interviewing begins to remember their childhood and how they interacted with their family.  Good or bad, you’re sure to get some great stories.  When I interviewed my Great Aunt Sarah, we got to talking about some of the mischief she was involved in.  She admitted to me (and I was the first to hear her “confession”!) that she was the one who painted the neighbor’s cat blue when she was about 7 years old.  She never really liked that cat!!

If you’re going to take on this as a project and get some interviews, I strongly recommend using a digital recorder.  Get permission to use it in the interview.  Some people can be very intimidated by a recording device and small digital recorders can just sit on the table without microphones and other recording technology.  Very soon into the interview, everyone will just forget that it’s there.  After you get permission, ask AGAIN after the recording starts.  You may be getting along just fine today, but you want to make sure that the person’s voice can be clearly heard agreeing to taping the interview .  Not that you’re going to publish the recording or put it in the public donain, but it’s a good idea to get approval!  Take your time…you’re probably not going to get this done in one session.

I’ll be hosting some classes in the interview process and possibly record a “lesson” to post on YouTube wich I’d link here.

Stay tuned!

Old Bones on YouTube!

Great news…I think!  I’ve finally figured out how to get my debut performance on Ludlow Community TV uploaded to YouTube.  Click here http://youtu.be/3GqKT2WEov4 to view. This one is about basics. But I just recorded the second session where we talked about interviewing relatives as a part of your family research.  I’ll be uploading that one later this week.  Comments are welcome!!  And don’t forget to visit www.oldbones.co where I try to keep up with all upcoming programs.

Introduction to Genealogy Sessions will continue at First Church in Ludlow

The fundraiser for the First Church in Ludlow that just completed was a very successful program. I believe that all the participants learned at least something and most picked up a lot of information regarding doing their own family research.  In some cases, the participants have asked me to help them along, which is, of course, my business!!

We covered a great many topics from simply getting started.  How?  Just write what you know.  The easiest tool to keep track of that data is a pedigree chart.  You start with yourself and build generations back as far as you know.  Names, dates, births, marriages, deaths, locations….whatever you can remember.

Then the verification process begins.  Did Uncle Fred come to the United States in 1893 or 1898?  Was great grandma married once, twice…or three times!!

In a nutshell, we filled 5 weeks with an enormous amount of information.  Everyone took notes and everyone left with more than they expected, I believe, because I tried my best to give everyone their own packets consisting of their own family’s census records, draft registration cards, birth, marriage and death records…whatever relevant documents I could find pertaining to each person.

So, now we begin again.  I’ve requested the opportunity to conduct another series of classes and the Church has given me the green light.

Who do you know that would be interested in spending about an hour and a half on Monday nights to learn about becoming a genealogical detective?

Contact me directly at dave@oldbones.co or check out the web site at www.oldbones.co.