One of the greatest ways to generate family history information is to interview relatives and record their stories. In theory, this is an easy process, but there are several things to consider when planning on interviewing a family member. How should you go about these interviews? What questions are the most important? Should you keep your great-grandmother focused instead of letting her ramble on about who knows what? I can’t answer these questions for you; each situation is different. But I can give you some advice as you gather valuable and exciting information from your own relatives.
There is plenty to do to prepare for a family history interview. Of course you need equipment: paper and pen, tape recorder, smartphone or tablet—we recommend FHmedia!—etc. Then, you need a plan. Even if you don’t stick to your plan at all during the interview, it’s still smart to have a few topics you want information on and specific questions you want to ask. In many situations, it helps your interviewee to have a specific topic to discuss for this specific interview. You don’t want this discussion to go longer than an hour or two for both of your sakes, so narrowing down the scope of the interview will be helpful.
In the last post I explained how to set up some notebooks to help you organize your family history research in your FHnotebook account. Today I’m going to explain how you can use another FHnotebook feature, categories, to help you find what you need even more easily.
Before you can use your Family History Notebook account to store pieces of your family story, you’ll need to set up some notebooks in your account. Notebooks act as containers for the records, photos, videos, audio recordings, and tasks you put in FHnotebook. Each notebook has a name, so they’re easy to use for organizing your research.