Now that the holidays are in full swing, many of us will spend a lot more time with our family, close and distant. For those who love genealogy and family history, this can be a great opportunity to learn more about our family members’ lives.

Questions to Ask

Some of these are common questions you’d expect from family history. In other words, they’re the easy ways to get names, dates, and places. But there’s so much more to family history than just the basics! Some of these questions are actually very interesting and give you insight into someone’s personality or life.

  • What U.S. president have you admired the most and why? 
  • Name a good friend you have known the longest. How many years have you been friends? What’s special about them? 
  • What kind of work did your parents do? 
  • Are there any unusual genetic traits that run in your family line? 
  • What are the names of your brothers and sisters? Describe things that stand out in your mind about each of your siblings. 
  • What medical issues have you had to deal with throughout your life? 
  • Describe some of the major community, national, and world events you lived through. How did these events change your life? 
  • List five people who have had a memorable influence on your life. What did they do that had such an influence on you?
  • How did you discover your talents, and what did you do to improve them?
  • How have your talents affected your life?
  • Where is the furthest you have traveled? 
  • What animal are you most afraid of and why? 
  • What is your favorite animal and why? 
  • Where did you grow up?
  • What was your childhood house or apartment like? How many rooms?
  • What was your favorite toy? 
  • Are there any physical characteristics that run in your family?
  • Do any illnesses run in the family?
  • Did anyone in your family ever serve in the military?
  • Did anyone in your family ever hold a public office? 
  • Was there anyone in your family who sang or played an instrument? 
  • Were you ever mentioned in a newspaper? 
  • What is your favorite fairy tale and why?
  • What is your favorite book and why?
  • How long did you date your spouse before getting married? 
  • Where did you get married? 
  • Who participated in your wedding? 
  • What stories did you tell your children as they were growing up? 

Have Fun!

Since you’ve got the whole family together, make a game out of it! Take turns asking these questions, or choose a question and decide which of your family members will have to answer it. But be sure to write down their answers or record your game!