100 Questions About Your Childhood

October 1, 2014 Josiah Schmidt PublicationsResources

Front CoverHave you ever wanted to ask a parent or a grandparent about their life story, but not been sure what to ask? My new book, “2000 Questions for Grandparents: Unlocking Your Family’s Hidden History,” is designed as the ultimate guide to help you conduct family history interviews. You can even answer the questions yourself to write your own life’s story.

To get you started, here are the first 100 questions from the book, from the “Childhood” section. For more questions pertaining to childhood memories, and on other topics like military service, marriage and family, politics and spirituality, travel and migration, memories of previous generations, and memories of world events, purchase the full book here. The distributor, Lulu.com, is selling the book at an early bird discount, for only $13.49. Take advantage of the deal while it lasts!

  1. What is your very earliest memory?
  2. Are you named after anyone, or do you know the reason why your parentsgave you the names that they did?
  3. Did anyone ever tell you which people were present at your birth? If so, whom?
  4. Did you ever hear any stories about anything interesting that happened during or soon after your birth?
  5. Was anything memorable (and perhaps funny) said by someone during or soon after your birth?
  6. How many siblingsdid you have?
  7. Did you ever share a room with siblings?
  8. If so, how many siblingsdid you share a room with?
  9. If you shared a room with siblings, which siblings in particular did you share a room with?
  10. If you shared a room with siblings, how did you feel about doing so?
  11. Did you ever have to sleepin the same bed as a sibling?
  12. If so, which siblingin particular?
  13. If you slept in the same bed with a sibling, how did you feel about having to do so?
  14. If you had one or more older siblings, how did you get along with them?
  15. If you had one or more younger siblings, how did you get along with them?
  16. Which siblingwere you the closest with?
  17. Which siblingdid you quarrel the most with?
  18. How would you quarrel with your sibling(s)?
  19. How often did you spend time with your cousins?
  20. Who were your favorite cousinsto spend time with?
  21. Where was your first childhoodhome?
  22. Did your first childhoodhome have electricity?
  23. Did your first childhoodhome after indoor plumbing?
  24. Did your first childhoodhome have a telephone?
  25. Whom did your parentstalk to on the phone most often?
  26. What did your childhoodhouse look like?
  27. How big or small was your childhoodhome?
  28. What rooms were there in your childhoodhome?
  29. Do you remember any particular smells or scentsfrom your childhood home?
  30. Can you recall any familiar soundsor noises from your childhood home?
  31. What kinds of sounds and smells do you remember when you first woke up in the morning?
  32. Did everyone in your household speak Englishas their first language?
  33. Were you or anyone in your family able to speak a languageother than English?
  34. If so, when and how did they learn that language?
  35. Did you ever have any pets, as a child?
  36. What were your pets’ names?
  37. Who got to choose those pets’ names, and how were they decided?
  38. How and when did your family get those pets?
  39. Did you have to work to convince your parentsto get the pet? If so, how did you finally convince them?
  40. Did the pet(s) belong to you personally, or did the pet(s) belong to one of your siblings, or did the pet(s) belong to the whole family?
  41. Who cared for the pet(s) (fed them, cleaned up after them, took them for walks, etc.)?
  42. What was involved in caring for your pet(s)?
  43. What kinds of gamesor activities did you play with your pet(s)?
  44. How long did the pet(s) live?
  45. How did you feel when each petdied?
  46. How would you usually cool off during the summer, when you were a child?
  47. How would you usually warm up during the winter, when you were a child?
  48. What was your favorite meal, growing up?
  49. Who cookedthat meal the best?
  50. What was your least favorite food, growing up?
  51. What would your parentssay or do if you didn’t finish some of your food?
  52. What were family meals like, in your household?
  53. Did you all sit and eattogether for every meal?
  54. What kinds of topics were discussed at the family dinner table?
  55. Were there any topics that were off-limits at the family dinner table?
  56. If so, which topics?
  57. Did your family ever grow, pickle, can, or home-make any food?
  58. What kind of oven did you have in your kitchen, when you were a child?
  59. Did you ever cookor help with the cooking, as a child?
  60. Did your household ever have a cooking disaster, or a meal that turned out really badly one time?
  61. If so, were you responsible for it?
  62. What kind of refrigerator did you have in your kitchen, when you were a child?
  63. What would your parentsdo for you when you were sick? Any special remedies?
  64. What was the sickest you ever got, as a child?
  65. Who was your best friend, as a child?
  66. How did you and your best friend become friends?
  67. What kind of things did you and your childhoodbest friend do together, that you didn’t do with other friends?
  68. What kind of gamesdid you play as a child?
  69. What was your favorite game to play?
  70. Did you ever play any video games, arcade games, or carnival games as a child?
  71. If so, which ones?
  72. Which video, arcade, or carnival game were you the best at?
  73. What was your favorite toyto play with?
  74. How big was your yard?
  75. What kind of trees or flowersgrew on your property?
  76. What kind of critters (bugs, birds, small animals, etc.) would you find on your property?
  77. Did you ever catch any bugs or animals on your property and try to keep them as a pet?
  78. Did you ever have your own garden as a child, or did you ever help someone else out with their garden?
  79. Did you live in the city or on a farm?
  80. If you lived on a farm, what kind of produce and livestock did your family raise?
  81. If you lived on a farm, what kind of farm-related choreswere you responsible for?
  82. What was your favorite farm-related chore to do?
  83. What was your least favorite farm-related choreto do?
  84. If you lived on a farm, did you ever give names to any of the farmanimals?
  85. If your family farmed or made produce, did you sell it at a grocery store or a farmer’s market perhaps?
  86. If so, which market, and where was it located?
  87. Did you have a favorite treatyou liked to buy for yourself at the grocery store or the soda shop?
  88. What was it, and how much did it cost you?
  89. Did you have a piano or a pump organ in your house, as a child?
  90. Did you ever take piano lessons or try to teach yourself to play the piano?
  91. If so, how good at playing the piano were you?
  92. Who were your family’s next door neighborswhen you were a child?
  93. What were your next door neighborslike? Friendly, mean, sociable, reclusive, etc.?
  94. How old were your next door neighbors?
  95. How often did your family or your next door neighborsvisit with each other?
  96. Did you ever receive any giftsfrom your neighbors?
  97. If so, what were they?
  98. Who would babysit you when your parentsweren’t home?
  99. Who was your favorite babysitter?
  100. What kind of gamesor activities would your babysitter do with you?

Click here to purchase the full book.


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