Family History Questionnaire
01) What were the names of your mother's parents?
02) When and where did were they born? Where
did they live?
03) What did he do for a living?
04) Do you have any personal memories of them?
05) What were the names of your father's parents?
06) When and where were they born? Where
did they live?
07) What did he do for a living?
08) Do you have any personal memories of them?
09) Did you know your grandparents well?
10) What do you remember hearing about your great-grandparents?
11) Did you ever see them?
12) Did your great-grandparents, grandparents,
or parents come to the I.S. from
What stories are told in your family about the crossing?
Do you have any
relatives in foreign countries?
13) What traditions are still practiced in your
The family house
14) What type of house did you live in as
a child? Describe.
15) What other buildings were on the same property?
16) Did you have a yard? A fence? A
swing? Flowers? Trees? A lawn?
17) If you moved during your childhood, tell where
and when and what you
can remember of
each house and the family circumstances and reasons for
18) As a child, did you have a room of your own,
or did you share it with
If you shared, with whom?
19) Did you have a bed of your own?
20) In what room did you eat? Kitchen?
21) Where did you eat when there was company?
22) Did your house have a parlor? Was the
family allowed to use it?
23) How was your home heated? Was it warm
in winter? Explain.
24) Did you have a fireplace?
25) What kind of kitchen stove did your parents
26) Did you burn wood? Coal?
27) Did you have to buy fuel or was there a chore,
such as cutting wood?
With which did you
28) Did you always have indoor plumbing?
If not, when did you get it?
29) Did you always have electricity? If not,
when did you get it?
30) Did you ever use candles or kerosene lamps?
Whose job was it to fill
the lamps and replace
31) Did your family have a cellar? Where
did you store apples, potatoes?
32) Did your family always have a refrigerator?
If not, what did you use
did you get a refrigerator?
33) Where did your family get water? Was
it plentiful? What methods
were used to conserve
|Family relations, responsibilities, conditions
34) What ws your position in the family? Oldest?
Youngest? Were there
35) What were your duties as a small child?
Describe your responsibilities
as you grew older.
36) Who cooked the meals? Who did the ironing?
37) Did you buy or make your own clothing?
Who was the family seamstress?
Who repaired the
38) When did you learn to cook? Who taught
39) Did you learn how to sew? Crochet?
Knit? Embroider? Who taught you?
40) Did you ever learn the mechanics of a car?
Who taught you?
41) Did your parents keep in touch with distant
42) Did you visit relatives often? Near?
43) How did you get your mail? How often?
44) Did you have any childhood diseases?
45) What do you rememer about family pets?
46) Were you especially close to anyone in the
47) How did the family spend its evenings?
|Family income and livelihood
48) What did your father do for a living?
49) Did you mother ever work outside of the home?
50) Did you contribute to the family income?
In what way?
51) Did you get any allowance as a child?
Or did you have to earn your
own spending money?
If so, how?
52) When did you get your first job outside of
53) Did your family have a garden? For family
use or profit?
54) Who did the planting? Digging?
Cultivating? Weeding? Watering?
55) What kind of vegetables did you grow?
Who harvested them?
56) Did your family have fruit trees?
57) Who did the canning and what vegetables and
fruits were canned? How?
58) Did you raise hogs or chickens? Cows?
59) What kind of meat did you eat? How often?
Did you slaughter your
own animals? How
60) Did you keep a cow for milk?
61) Did you make your own butter? Cheese?
62) Did any of the family sell eggs or butter?
63) If you lived on a farm, what crops were planted?
64) Who did the work? Family? Hired
hands? On what occasions?
|Days, seasons, and special occasions
65) What did Saturday mean to you?
66) Was Saturday night bath night? Where?
67) What did Sunday mean to you?
68) Did you attend church on Sunday? Alone?
With your parents or familly
69) Where did you attend church or Sunday school?
70) Did you have special shopping habits at Christmastime?
Did you earn
your own money to
71) How did you spend Christmas? Describe.
Did you decorate a Christmas
you exchange gifts?
72) What kind of gifts did you receive on your
73) Did your family observe Easter? In what
74) How did you observe the Fourth of July?
75) How was your birthday celebrated? Did
you have a birthday cake?
76) What kinds of gifts did you receive on your
77) Did your family entertain often? What
were the occasions?
78) Did you family attend picnics? Family
reunions? What do you remember
79) How did you keep cool in the summer?
80) Did you go barefoot in summer?
81) What did you wear in winter to keep warm?
82) Do you remember any blizzards or tornadoes
83) How did these events affect the neighbors,
relatives, or town? How did
they affect you?
|Friends and Games
84) What did you do for recreation?
85) Did you or your brothers or sisters have any
hobbies? If so, what?
86) Who were your playmates?
87) Who was your best friend?
88) What did you and your friends do when you got
89) Did you and your playmates play any organized
Hockey? Kick the can? Describe.
90) Did you ever learn to swim? Where?
91) Did you ever attend a taffy pull? Pop
92) Did you participate in 4-H or scouting organizations?
093) Where did you go to school?
094) Did you ever attend a one-room schoolhouse?
095) How did you get to school? If you walked,
096) What do you remember about these walks?
Did you walk alone or
friends? Did you encounter animals that you befriended or that
097) Were these walks a hardship in winter?
In summer or hot weather?
098) How large was your school in the elementery
grades, first through fourth?
through eigth? Eighth throuh twelfth?
099) What recreation was provided or allowed during
periods of rest or recess?
100) Were you helped by older students or did you
help others with their
101) What kinds of grades did you get? What
were your favorite subjects?
were your favorite teachers?
|Transportation and surroundings
102) Describe the size of the town where you lived
103) Where did your parents shop? How often?
104) How large or how small were the stores?
105) If you lived in a small town or on the farm,
did you ever go to the city
106) What was the largest town you remember visiting
when you were young?
was the occasion? Where did you go and with whom?
107) Did you ever travel on a train while you were
young? What was the
Where did you go and with whom?
108) Were you ever away from home as a child?
109) Did you or your family own a horse?
A buggy? Were you able or
110) When did your family acquire its first car?
What make? How much
111) When did you learn to drive a car? Who
112) Where did your family go on vacations?
113) Whom did you most admire when you were young?
Within the family?
114) Did you choose someone to pattern your life
after? Who and why?
115) When you were small, what did you hope to
do when you grew up?
|HIGHER EDUCATION AND CAREER
116) What education did you get past high school?
Did you study in your
117) When did you finally settle into your career?
118) Did your family support, oppose, or encourage
119) While you were in college or in training,
did you live away from home?
120) Who influenced you most and helped you to
develop your skills?
121) How many different employers have you worked
for? What promotions
122) Would you choose the same career if you had
it to do over?
|MARRIAGE AND LATER LIFE
123) When and where did you meet your husband or
124) How and when did you get engaged? Married?
125) Where did you marry and who was present?
126) Did you go on a honeymoon?
127) Where was your first home?
128) What is your spouse's occupation?
129) How many moves have you made during your married
130) Where and when were your children born?
131) What can you remember of their baby days and
132) Did you or your spouse go into military service?
133) If your husband went into service, what did
you do while he was away?
did you live?
134) What memories do you have of war years?
135) How has your health been through the years?
136) Did you have animals or pets or recreational
137) Who have been your closest friends through
138) To what organizations have you belonged?
139) Have you been politically active during your
140) Which politcal party or parties did you belong
to, and why?
141) Which presidents have you voted for, and why?
|PHILOSOPHY AND OUTLOOK
142) Do you have a philosophy of life to share with
143) Do you have a favorite philosopher, teacher,
or writer who best expresses
144) Do you have religious leanings or strong religious
145) What are your lifetime biblical passages?
146) What do you have to say about all the changes
that have taken place
The proliferation of consumer goods? Freezers? Dishwashers?
Dryers? Electric stoves? TV sets? Radios? Cars?
The changes in men's and women's fashions?
The revolution in transportation and communication?
The struggle for the political and civil equality of minorities and women?
The technological breakthroughs in industry, medicine, and space
147) In your opinion, which have been the greatest
advances or inventions of all?
148) What things have given you the most pleasure
or satisfaction? Your family,
career, possessions, hobbies? Man's increased mobility and
concerning himself, the world, and the universe? The hope for
race relations and for world peace?
149) Is there anything that has caused you perpetual
concern? What events or
have disturbed you the most in your lifetime?
150) What things do you fear most in regard to
the future generations? Where
the greatest inherent dangers?
151) How do you encourage or counsel future generations
on the following:
Marriage and the home?
Obligation to country and society?
Traits such as honesty, humility, perseverence, diligence, thrift, loyalty,
reverence, kindness, faith?
Care of body, mind, and health?
152) What has been your experience in regard to
Answers to prayers?
Necessity and power of love?
Will power as opposed to being ruled by one's feelings?
Inner peace and tranquility?
153) What do you consider to have been your most
|CHECKLIST: BE SURE YOU INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION:
1) Your birth date, place, parents, surrounding
circumstances and conditions.
2) Your brothers' and sisters' names, dates of
birth, dates and places of
marriage, spouses' names and
3) Your marrage: to whom, when, and where.
4) Family moves: when, where, and why?
5) Your career: training for your job, promotions,
employers you worked for,
salaries, associates, achievements.