Where did your family originate? (Europe, Africa, North/South America, Asia, Australia)
What is your family’s nationality/ethnicity?
Did your family migrate to this country? What do you know about their migration? (e.g., timeframe, hardships, method of transportation)
What brought your family to this country? (e.g., work, opportunities, refuge)
What are the names of your grandparents?
Where did your grandparents live?
How did your grandparents meet? Describe their love story.
How many kids did your grandparents have?
What did/do your grandparents do for a living?
What were your grandparents’ hobbies/passions?
Describe your childhood memories of your grandparents.
Describe your grandparents’ home(s).
What do you remember most about your grandparents?
Where were your parents born? (town, city, state, country)
Where did your parents grow up as children?
How did your parents meet? Did they get married? How long did they date before getting married?
Where did your parents get married? (e.g., city, state, country, church, wedding chapel, eloped)
How long were/have your parents been together?
Were either of your parents an only child? Do your parents have siblings? If so, who preceded and who followed them? What memories do you have of your aunts/uncles/cousins?
What job(s) did your father have when you were growing up?
What job(s) did your mother have when you were growing up?
What were your parents’ hobbies/passions?
If your mother did not work outside the home, how did she spend her day?
Describe your mother. What did/does she look like? What was/is her personality? What talents did/does she possess? Was/is she a good cook? What were/are your favorite meals she cooked? What specific memories do you have of your mother?
Describe your father. What did/does he look like? What was/is his personality? What talents did/does he possess? What specific memories do you have of your father?
What lessons did you learn from your parents?
Were you raised by someone other than your birth parents? If so, who raised you? Describe that relationship.
Did your parents get divorced? How did you feel about your stepparents or your parents’ other partners if so?
Describe your relationship with your sibling(s) as a child and as an adult.
What are the age differences between you and your sibling(s)?
What memories do you have regarding your siblings?
Were you named after someone? If so, whom were you named after?
Where were you born? (town, city, state, country)
Were you born in a hospital? If not, where were you born—at home, in a car, at a store, or some other place?
How much did you weigh when you were born?
Did you have hair at birth? What color was it?
What stories do you know about your infancy and toddler years?
Describe your mother’s pregnancy with you. Were you born on your mother’s due date? Did you arrive early or after your mother’s due date—if so, how long before or after?
What was your nickname growing up? Who gave you that nickname?
Where did you grow up? (town, city, state, country)
Describe your childhood home(s).
Describe a family living room growing up; did you have a television?
Describe your hometown. What did you like most/least about your hometown?
Describe the neighborhood(s) where you grew up and the friends you played with. What activities were there to do in your neighborhood(s)?
Describe memories of your childhood bedroom(s). What did you like about that room(s)? Did you share your room with a sibling?
How far did you go to get to school? Did you walk, ride the bus, or did someone drive you?
Describe your elementary school.
Introduce your favorite elementary school teacher. What was his/her name? Why was he/she your favorite?
Describe a special hideaway, clubhouse, playhouse, or treehouse you had as a kid.
What did you collect when you were growing up? What sparked your interest in it?
Did you play dress-up as a kid? Describe your dress-up outfits.
Describe your favorite toy(s).
What was the first movie you ever saw at the theatre?
Describe a childhood experience of an act of nature (e.g., blizzard, tornado, hurricane, flood, earthquake).
What scent or sound takes you back to childhood? Tell about the memory associated with the scent or sound.
Describe your most memorable birthday.
What were some of the unforgettable books you read as a child? What made them memorable?
What did you want to be when you grew up?
What type of chores did you have growing up? Which chore(s) did you dislike the most?
If you got an allowance, how much was it?
Who was your childhood best friend? What experiences did you share together?
Tell about a childhood crush.
When did you learn to ride a bike? Who taught you? Did you have training wheels?
When did you learn to roller-skate and/or ice-skate? Describe the skating rink(s) you frequented as a child.
Did you enjoy bowling, miniature golf, videogames, or similar activities? What are some of your favorite memories associated with these?
What was your favorite meal or snack growing up?
What were the names of your childhood pets? What species were they (e.g., cat, dog, bird)? How long did you have those pets?
Did you learn to swim? Describe your memory of first learning if so.
Share your favorite family vacation.
Tell about a fun harvest or nature activity you enjoyed as a child (e.g., hayride, bobbing for apples, hiking, fishing).
What was your first job? Where was it? How old were you when you got your first job?
Were you rebellious, or did you follow the rules as a teenager?
Describe your middle school and high school years.
What were your favorite/least favorite subjects in school?
Describe your memories of favorite classes in high school.
Describe your driver’s education experience.
Did you do any vocational/tech courses, and if so, how did you like them?
What are your fondest memories of middle/high school?
Tell a story about a dance or prom you attended.
What crazy fads do you remember?
Describe your first vehicle. Where did you get it? Who paid for it (you, parents, someone else)?
Describe your best/worst memories as a teenager.
Describe your social life as a teenager. Who were your friends? What did you do on the weekends?
What extracurricular activities did you participate in during middle/high school?
Did you have a boyfriend/girlfriend in middle/high school? Share the experience.
Describe your best friend from middle/high school.
At what age did you leave home? Did you move away or stay in the same town? Describe how you felt about moving out of your parents’ home.
Did you go to college, start working, or do both after you left home?
Describe the job(s) you had after graduating high school.
Describe some of your best college experiences.
Once you were on your own, what the first place you lived in like?
When and where did you buy your first house? Describe the house. What did you like most about it?
How old were you when you met your spouse/partner? If you got married, how old were you at the time?
What attracted you to your spouse/partner?
Where did you meet your spouse/partner? How long did you date before you got engaged?
Who proposed, you or your spouse? Describe the event.
What did you both wear on your wedding day?
What is your anniversary date?
What was your wedding day like?
What did you love most about your wedding?
Where did you go on your honeymoon?
What was your first house or apartment together like?
What was one of the first meals you or your spouse cooked after you were married?
What do you love most about your spouse?
How many children do you have?
What is your most vivid memory of being pregnant/your significant other’s pregnancy?
How did you choose your child(ren)’s names?
Describe the moment you first held your child(ren).
Holidays & Traditions
What holiday traditions do you remember from your childhood?
What traditions have been passed down through generations of your family?
Which traditions are your favorite?
What family recipes have been passed down through generations of your family?
Describe new traditions you have as an adult.
What is your favorite holiday and why?
Describe a memorable Valentine’s Day.
What is your least favorite holiday and why?
What was served at Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner when you were a child?
As a child, did you open presents Christmas Eve or Christmas Day?
Describe an experience with Santa Claus.
Describe a new Easter dress/outfit as a child.
Tell about an Easter Egg hunt you went on.
What type of goodies were in your Easter basket as a child?
How did your family celebrate Mother’s Day/Father’s Day? Did you ever make your mother/father a handmade gift? If so, what was it, and how did you make it?
Tell about a costume you wore for Halloween.
Where did you go to watch fireworks on the Fourth of July?
Spirituality & Faith
Describe your experience of religion as a child. Did you attend a place of worship, and if so, what was it like?
What memories do you hold regarding church or Sunday School?
What were some religious milestones in your life (e.g., baptism, bar/bah mitzvah, confirmation)?
Describe a time when you had a spiritual experience. What was the circumstance?
What is the most important lesson(s) you have learned in life?
What is the hardest thing you have ever had to do in your life? What made it hard? How did you overcome?
Health & Wellness
Have you ever battled an illness? Describe your journey.
Have you ever been a caregiver to a loved one experiencing an illness? Describe the experience and lessons learned.
What is your favorite workout routine?
How do you unwind?
Describe a perfect summer day.
What hobbies do you enjoy?
Name a bucket-list item.
Have you ever been scared? What was the situation?
What is the strangest thing you have ever seen?
What is your most treasured possession and why?
What would be the most wonderful gift you could ever receive and why?
What would you like to learn to do?
What one thing would you do differently in life if you could?
What is your biggest regret?
What advice about life do you want others to remember?
Describe the vacations you took with your family as a child.
Describe your favorite camping trip.
If you could go anywhere for a vacation, where would it be?
What is the most beautiful place you have visited?
What states/countries have you visited?
What is your most memorable vacation?
Did/do you serve in the military?
What branch of the military did/do you serve?
Were you drafted, or did you enlist?
Were/are you a commissioned officer or a noncommissioned officer?
Describe your basic training experience.
How long did you serve? How long have you served to date?
Describe your retirement ceremony.
Describe your military career. Where did you serve? Did you serve overseas or stateside? Did you deploy?
Describe the relationships you had while serving in the military.
What are your most memorable moments while in the military?
What medals did you receive from your service?
How has your military career affected your life?
What are your experiences as a military spouse or military child? Describe military life.