25 Family History Questions You’ll Really Want to Ask

Today, it’s easier than ever to conduct family history interviews with family. The Audio Recordings feature in the MyHeritage mobile app makes it quick and painless to have a relative sit down and document their story, allowing it to be preserved for the future.

How do you make sure that you’re documenting the complete story? How do you get those juicy bits of family history that you’re looking for?

We’ve collected 25 unusual family history questions that are sure to get your family members talking about the stories probably never heard before:

  1. What are some of your lifetime regrets?
  2. Growing up, who was the person you most adored or respected?
  3. What is the greatest change that you have seen in your lifetime?
  4. What did your parents believe in?
  5. How did your family celebrate holidays?
  6. What’s the most memorable gift you received as a child?
  7. What did you want to be when you were young?
  8. What are the values with which you were raised?
  9. As a kid, what was your favorite treat to eat?
  10. How did you learn how to ride a bike? Drive a car?
  11. What are some of your greatest achievements?
  12. If you could ask your ancestors something, what would it be?
  13. Which ancestor would you most want to meet?
  14. What will people say at your funeral?
  15. What was your favorite age and why?
  16. What was the greatest tragedy  in your lifetime (personal/community)?
  17. Are you happy with your career choice?
  18. How have people surprised you over time?
  19. Who has had the greatest impact on your life?
  20. What’s your favorite thing about every decade that you’ve lived in?
  21. What do you want to pass on to your children?
  22. What’s your most valuable possession?
  23. Where do you most want to travel, but have never been?
  24. What’s your favorite memory?
  25. Who would you want to be with if you were stranded on a deserted island?

What questions would you add to this list? Let us know in the comments below.


The email address is kept private and will not be shown

  • Mrs Barbara Ann Doshi

    June 24, 2016

    I feel that question number one is worded totally wrong. It seems designed to be between a confessor and their spiritual advisor.

    I would word it softer….perhaps like this:

    Is there anything you wish you could “do over” or change in your life?

  • Mrs Barbara Ann Doshi

    June 24, 2016

    I would add to the list:

    What is the one thing that only you know, that you want to share before you die or it will be lost forever?

  • Doris Moore

    July 1, 2016

    A question I used to ask folks when doing their oral life histories was: “If you knew for certain that today was your last day on earth, how would you spend it?” There were many interesting answers to this question as well as typical ones. It’s a good question to ask.

  • Adrienne Kernan

    April 5, 2021

    It is important to me that my family has what I know as someday they =be enriched by the courage and wisdom they find in the past