I urge you to take the time to visit your elder family members and ask them about their memories of times gone by, before it is too late.
When you start, it may be difficult to get a family member talking, so it helps to have a list of questions to initiate conversation.
I find that old photo albums are a fantastic way to generate memories. Ask "Open" questions to generate a more detailed response (Why, How, What) or ask them to Describe or Tell you about the photo or people in the photo.
|My Great Grandparents, Mary and Ambrose Walker with Buzz & Silver|
Who is the child in this photo?
Where do you think it was taken? Where did they grow up/live?
How often did you visit your grandparents/did they visit you?
What did you do there?
What other animals were on the farm?
What do you remember the most about your grandmother/grandfather?
Tell me about your favourite memories about your grandmother/grandfather?
Describe their house.
You will be surprised that most will enjoy reminiscing about the past once prompted and the memories will begin to flow without your prompting. Your pen will be unable to keep up, so you may want to use a video or recording device so you can review your conversation later (always get permission first).
After many years of prompting, my grandmother wrote her memories in a notebook for me. Every day over a period of months, she would write for half an hour in the notebook. It is one of the my most valuable possessions.
Now I need to get started on my own note book of memories, for my children and grandchildren!
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