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A Step-By-Step Guide to Your Genealogical Treasure Hunt

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Three women talking on bench

Relatives' Memories/Oral Histories


Nothing can capture the essence of your family the way your grandparents and other relatives can. They have lived through some great events, and can recall them for you first-hand. They may remember the smallest details of significant family moments that aren't recorded anywhere else. And these stories can bring ancestors to life.

Begin by interviewing your mom or dad, then move on to other relatives you know well. When you feel like you are an experienced interviewer, you'll want to talk with your oldest relatives. They know the most about the earliest days of your family. They are, in fact, a precious link to the past. Someone born in 1920 can not only give you clear memories of the 1930s, but he or she may have heard firsthand tales of the 1880s from someone who was 70 years old in 1930. You may connect 100 years in one conversation!

Next: Long Distance Interviews

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