Sample Questions

Your Roots

  • Where does your family name come from?
  • If you don’t know, what would you guess?
  • Where did your ancestors come from?
  • If you could choose, where do you wish they had come from? Why?
  • Do people in your immediate or extended family have physical, mental, artistic or other characteristics similar to yours?
  • Do these characteristics give you clues to your ancient origins?
  • What were conditions like in the homes where your parents grew up?
  • How did your progenitors handle the problems they faced?
  • What did they do to experience happy times?
  • Were there physical or other challenges they faced? What did they do to endure or overcome their challenges?
  • Other memories?

Growing up

  • Who are your personal heroes?
  • Why did you choose them?
  • What have you learned from reading about them, or knowing them personally?
  • Who might be looking up to you as a hero?
  • Did you have any secret hideouts? Anything from a tree house to an old refrigerator box in the basement?
  • What games or sports did you like to play?
  • Did you build any of your toys? If so, what did you make them out of?
  • Did you have any secret code names or nicknames among you and your friends? If so, where did the names come from?Other memories?

Big decisions

  •  If you are married, deciding who, when, and how are certainly among the biggest decisions you will ever make. Not everyone is married, of course. Whatever your situation, what have been the five biggest decisions in your life, and how did you make them?
  • Some research indicates that even the most data driven, analytical, objective, non-emotional people still factor in hunches and gut feelings when they make important decisions. Do you?
  • Looking back, what percentage of your big decisions turned out the way you hoped they would?
  • How many turned out differently but better than you had anticipated?
  • Would you say you use more head or more heart to make a decision? Examples?
  • Other memories of decisions and how they turned out?

Calamities and Misfortune

  • Since we’re among friends here, would you care to describe some family calamity in which you were the instigator?
  • How does/did your family work through hard times and misfortunes?
  • What did you, and perhaps other members of your family learn or gain from going through these experiences?
  • Hard times can sometimes pull families apart or pull them together. What makes the difference from your experiences?
  • Did some of these calamities turn into humorous stories with the passage of time? If so, would you share some of those?
  • Other memories of times when things went wrong?


Leave a Reply