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princesslala
03-06-2006, 05:58 PM
I'm hoping to begin 2 heritage albums this year. One is for my husband's father's family, the other is of my mom's family. Only problem is I don't know where to start. I'm going to be scanning photos like crazy- got the photo part covered... but what kinds of questions should i ask the family members? Anyone have a list they'd be willing to share? I would super duper appreciate any help i could get.

noralong
03-06-2006, 06:12 PM
When I started my heritage albums (which is how I found scrapbooking!) I would take a handfull of photos with me, and inteview one of the family members about those particular photos. I got tons of wild info like "that dog is Lady, she stayed longer than ------- did." and "Oh that's -------- he thougth he was a real stud." Those comments sound funny, and they are, but when they are combined with a photograph, wow!

When I asked Uncle Art to tell me about his parents, he thought and thought. After about 5 minutes he came up with "well, they were alright." But, when I showed him a photo of his dad with a cow, I got a whole story, starting with the cows name. Photographs of animals seem to bring out the best stories (not just my opinion, btw) and some of the most vivid memories.

All that was to say, asking generic questions for information can be often fruitless. Ask questions that are specific, and will generate conversation. It is the conversation that brings out memories that could be lost otherwise.

Oh, and where to actually start? Start with the easiest person to get hold of for the interviews, if you have them. If you have all the info that you want, and are just starting the books, start with the most recent, and work backwards.

Hope this helps! And, I hope that your project goes very well.

sinead
03-06-2006, 06:20 PM
I had similar experiences to Nora. I scanned in (and repaired in PhotoShop) some old pictures. I took the originals back to my parents to find out who they were. My dad was in an expansive mood, and I heard stories about all of the relatives. I found out that one great great aunt was a gun runner for the IRA (they were in Ireland, which is where I was born) and that another great great uncle was in trouble with the local government because of his politics. That particular uncle was run off to Canada, where he spent some time as a logger and was apparently as "nutty as a loon." I also heard fun stories about my dad's family because his dad was the youngest of 13. Apparently my dad always called his oldest sister Mrs. Clark because she was 22 years older than him and a mother before he was even born. I thought it was really funny to hear that someone called his sister Mrs. whoever.

Anyway--good luck to you! I really enjoyed doing the simple heritage albums that I did for my parents for Christmas. They didn't realize it when they were answering all of my questions, but I was putting everything together into albums for them. lol

princesslala
03-06-2006, 07:41 PM
I think my biggest road block is the fact that most of the family is scattered. The ones that are here near me, have very different schedules than i do. I was thinking maybe i could send them some questions either by mail or by e-mail and ask for a few more pictures, maybe the stories behind their favorite photos. I'll keep thinking about it. If anyone else has ideas, please chip in your 2 cents!

sinead
03-06-2006, 08:06 PM
I think that these things usually work best in person. Is there someone you could enlist to help you? Maybe a younger cousin or something? If not, you could always make a page with some of the pics on them and do a color copy and send them out with spaces for notes. Maybe that would work?

JennStar
03-06-2006, 11:01 PM
I'm so glad this thread got started. Awesome ideas here!

DebF
03-06-2006, 11:06 PM
as far as the distances go, if you have a good deal on long-distance calls, you could always send copies of a few photos (even snail mail them, your relatives would probably love copies anyway), then phone up and talk about each photo over the phone
just an idea

RachelS
03-06-2006, 11:25 PM
well deb just posted my idea.... so i will just agree with her!

princesslala
03-07-2006, 09:09 AM
I don't even have long distance service at my house! LOL! Great ideas though- thanks everyone!