Free Downloadable Template Questionnaires for Beginners to Family History Research

When I first started researching my family tree I jumped right in at full speed! I gathered information as I went along but I did not collate it into an organised manner. I have paper in various different locations, certificates, military records and pictures scattered all over the place.As I am beginning to run a fine tooth comb through my family tree and gather all my information together, I decided to create questionnaire forms to help others who are starting on their own journey.

These can easily be opened, downloaded and printed if you have a PDF viewer, any problems let me know! I would recommend taking extra paper and marking the questions which are most applicable to the relative you will be speaking with. Some questions may not be appropriate or they may not wish to answer / go into detail as it is important to remember not all history is good history! Sometimes people like to forget certain things from their past! I’d also remind anyone that a lot of information given may not be fact and will need to be backed up later by use of certificates (for example birth, death dates etc.) Your uncle Bill may have actually be called William and so forth!

Please see below an overview for what each document contains. To download click into the link and click again once the page loads. Feedback welcome! If you find this helpful please do like and comment. 🙂

Document One:Family History Research Interview Page 1

  1. What is your full name and do you have any nicknames? (Include Maiden name if a woman.) Were you named after anyone?When and Where were you born?
  2. How did your family come to live there?
  3. Were there any other family members in the area and if so who?
  4. What was your childhood home like?
  5. What are your earliest childhood memories?

Document Two:Family History Research Interview Page 2

  1. What were your parents names and birthdays? What were/are they like?
  2. What were your grandparents names and when were they born? What do you remember about them?(Maternal Side)
  3. What were your grandparents names and when were they born? What do you remember about them? (Paternal Side)

Document Three:Family History Research Interview Page 3

  1. Who were your aunties and uncles, what did you know about them?
  2. Are there any other older relatives you would like to mention?
  3. Where did you go to school and what was it like? What jobs have you worked at?

Document Four:Family History Research Interview Page 4

  1. Were you baptised and what was your religion? Did you attend church?
  2. What houses have you lived in?
  3. Who are your brothers and sisters and what can you tell me about them?

Document Five:Family History Research Interview Page 5

  1. What did your family do for fun when you were a child?
  2. Was there anything you disliked as a child? (chores etc?)
  3. What kind of life did you have as a family (rich, poor, balanced etc.)

Document Six:Family History Research Interview Page 6

  1. What do you remember about school? (Classmates, Teachers, Subjects you liked/disliked? )
  2. Have you ever had any special awards or been in the paper?
  3. What hobbies have you had over the years?

Document Seven:Family History Research Interview Page 7

  1. If you served in the Military when and where did you serve? Have you any memories you would like to share? What position did you have?
  2. When and where did you meet your spouse / partner? When/where did you get married (if applicable)
  3. Who attended the wedding, who was the best man and who were the bridesmaids?

Document Eight:Family History Research Interview Page 8

Have you ever been abroad and if so where to? What did you enjoy / dislike?

Are there any interesting events you have from your life you’d like to share?

Document Nine:Family History Research Interview Page 9

  1. How did you find out you were going to be a parent for the first time?
  2. Were you married more than once? How would you describe each spouse, how long were you married?
  3.  How many children did you have and what were their names and when were they born? What were they like growing up? (Characteristics, interests, talents etc?)

Document Ten:Family History Research Interview Page 10

  1. What were you like as a parent (Strict, lenient etc?)
  2. What are the most difficult and most rewarding things being a parent?
  3. Do you remember your great grandparents? Or do you know anything about them?

Document Eleven:Family History Research Interview Page 11

  1. Are there any health problems that are hereditary?
  2. Have you got any bad habits?
  3. Have you ever been a victim of a crime?
  4. Has anyone ever saved your life?
  5. How is the world different to when you were a child?

Document Twelve:Family History Research Interview Page 12

  1. What wars were fought during your life time, how did these effect your life?
  2. What are the hardest choices you have had to make?
  3. Do you remember any advice or comments that had a big impact on how you lived your life?
  4. How do you feel about the choices you made in school? Career?

Document Thirteen:Family History Research Interview Page 13

  1. What or who is your favorite:
  • Animal? Artist? Athlete? Author?Board game?Book?Candy?Card game?Color?Cookie?Drink?Flavor of ice cream?Flower?Fruit?Meal?Movie star?Movie?Musical group?Musical instrument?Painting?Poem?Poet?Restaurant?Season?Singer?Song?Sport?Style of music?Tree?TV program?Vegetable?

I would like to link credit to an online article that helped with many of the questions.

Casual Ramblings on my love for Genealogy

I began researching my family tree when I was just 14 years old, my Nan had just passed away and in retrospect I think I found it a therapeutic way of dealing with the grief and loss. When she was alive we used to spend hours talking about her brothers, life growing up and events that were memorable to her. It pains me to think of all the things I have forgotten over time – I wish I could still remember all of those anecdotes. My Nan also loved History which is a subject I have always enjoyed, this may be an influential interest as we always used to watch anything historical on the television together and I remember how proud she was when I was awarded an A in an History essay at school.

I had no idea just what or quite how much I would find out on my journey, I simply remember trying to find out more information on my Nan’s direct relatives, which led to endless trips to the library to use Ancestry and the Microfilms – where most children my age would have been out having fun with friends I was in the library doing research! My tree seemed to grow and grow and any money I had would go towards ordering certificates.

I am in no means an expert in all areas of researching family history, but I have come a long way over the years and I am always looking to learn more. I have dived into and out of my family history research over the years and I have never found myself in the situation where I am bored and want to give up, quite the opposite, especially with the extensive supply of records that are constantly being uploaded onto websites such as –  Ancestry, Family Search, Genes Reunited and many more.

I enjoy the challenge and insightful reward of finding out much more than just names and dates but also digging into the lives that the individuals lived. Where did they work, eat, sleep? Who did they marry? It may be due to this that I seem to have an array of certificates, records, pictures and emails everywhere!

Over the next few months it is my aim to share some of the most interesting stories and information that I have gathered. I may even dig up a few things I have forgotten about! I will be looking at my family tree from scratch and organising my findings into a methodical order. I have always debated how to store my findings, but after much prolonged hesitation I think it is time to stop debating and get on with it!

It’s crazy to think that I have all this information on people who I never had the good fortune to know, but it’s an inspiration to see how so many people have lived their lives and did amazing things.

I hope my documents will be of interest to any other like minded people out there! I’d love to hear stories from anyone who has researched their own family line or who would like to!

My Nan.

My Nan, Doris Rolls Nee Draper