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Creating a Family History Journal To Treasure
Do you know where your great-great-grandparents were born or how they came to this country? Can you describe how they lived, worked or died?

If you don’t know much, you’re not alone. Once our elders pass away, family histories and traditions are lost if they’re not documented and preserved by family members or friends.

Documenting family history is a great way to bond with your elderly loved ones, and it is truly a gift that can be passed down from generation to generation.

You don’t need to be an expert writer to get some great information! Grab a notebook, and jot down a few questions.

You can casually ask the questions and take down some notes, or, record the conversation using a recording device or even a smartphone to have audio records, too!

Ask a few questions about your older loved ones, or about family members in old folders. Researchers say when you age, you remember more about the past than the present. Great-aunt Mary’s emigration from Sweden may be fresher in your client’s mind than who won yesterday’s ball game.

Here are sample questions you can ask your grandparents or elderly loved ones to get some great stories from them:

  • How did you and grandpa/grandma meet?
  • Describe your wedding proposal.
  • What did you think of <insert relative name> when you first met them?
  • What was it like to live through the wars?
  • What do you think is the most valuable lesson you ever learned in life, and who taught you it?
  • What was your biggest struggle in life, and how did you cope with it or overcome it?
  • Were you named after someone?
  • Where was your first home that you remember?
  • What were your favorite toys and childhood games?
  • What was your favorite subject in school and why?
  • How long did you have to work each day?
  • Where is your favorite place you’ve ever traveled to and why?
  • What did you find most rewarding about being a parent?
  • How old were you when you started dating?
  • Were you ever injured in the line of duty?
  • What are you most proud of?
  • How do you want to be remembered?
  • If you could change one thing about modern society today what would it be?
  • What was your most favorite invention in your lifetime?
Through these questions, you can be the conduit for these memories, or set your loved ones’ off on a quest of their own.

Either way, if it’s true what they say about the journey being better than the destination, get ready for a fascinating trip.

Our caregivers often ask our clients these questions, and would be happy to write down the answers for your older loved ones!
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