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Writing a Personal History or Family History

A guide to conduction a personal history interview

What we do for work and how we earn our living plays a major role in shaping our personalities and identity. Knowing where you came from and what your family’s story is an invaluable treasure. If you make a point of recording and writing down you family story it is something that can be cherished for generations. These questions focus on finance and occupation. These questions also make excellent guide to conduct a interview with a parent, grandparent or anyone else.

40 question about work and money to write a family history or conduct personal history interview

How would you describe your occupation?  
Who did you work for?
How you arrived at that occupation.
What other jobs did you have?
What was your first paying job? How much did it pay?
What did you do on the side to earn extra money?
What was a daily activity like at work?
Were the working conditions safe?
If you had an opportunity to have a different occupation, what would it have been?
If you did not need the money what would you do for work?
Where did you live when you first moved out of your parents home? How much did it cost?
When did you by your first home? Why did you choose it?
How much did your first home cost?
What grown-up job did you want to have when you were a child?
What daily activity boars you?
What is your dream job?
What work did you do yourself to save money?
What job did you have that you would never want to work again?
Did you ever do any volunteer work?
If you were going to go into business for yourself what would you do?
What are the perks of your job?
Did you ever quit a job out of anger?
Where you ever fired from a job?
How did you earn extra money as a child?
How did your kids earn extra money?
Did you ever have your own business?
Did you ever work at an on campus job? What was it?
What is the thing you like best about your work?
How did you keep track of your money?
When did you get your first bank account?
How much did your first car cost?
What do you think is too expensive today?
What has climbed the least in cost?
What is the most money you have ever held in your hand?
Where do you think the best place to invest money is?
Is there an investment opportunity that you are sorry you did not take?
What is the best investment you have made?
When in your life was money tight?
When in your life was money plentiful?

These questions are not designed to be a check list they are designed as a starting point for a conversation. Please ask and answer what ever follow up questions come to mind. Remember that some questions may be awkward to ask or answer but if you do not get that information it may be lost forever.

You may also want to look at these other Personal/Family History pages:

General Information
Growing Up
Dating and Marriage
Work and Finances

Asking the right questions is more important than knowing the answer.                    home

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People forget; trade is ten times older than farming. - Matt Ridley