Sunday, July 27, 2014

An excellent talk at the History House....

   Despite the beautiful weather and lots of other local activities, the talk on getting started on your family history by Brian Bouchard of the Maine Genealogical Society was very well attended.

   Brian gave us a basic introduction to how to "climb your family tree".  He stressed the importance of talking to living members of your family before anything else.  As he said, "Your ancestors can wait, those living may not be with you for long...get their stories."

   Here are five questions you can use to start the conversation with a family member:

1. "What are your earliest memories?"
2. "Tell me some of your favorite family stories."
3. "What was the happiest time of your life?"
4. "Which person in your family had the most influence in your life?"
5. "What have you done that gave you the most satisfaction?"

   The most important thing to remember when interviewing people is to keep the questions open-ended and focus on the positive.  You can always ask more specific questions once the stories start, like "What year did that happen?", "Do you remember where you were when that happened?"/

   Brian also emphasized the need to not rely solely on internet searches but to visit local historical societies (hint, hint!) and most importantly, talk to people.  You can visit the Maine Genealogical Societies website, Maine Roots, for more information.

Word for the day:  AHMENTAFEL - a German word for an ancestor chart, something you can make after a bit of research.


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