Voices from HOME Oral History Project

April 2019 Interview Guide | Theme: Roots

This month, we invite you to explore your family history and relationship to place. Use these suggested questions to help guide your interview, or come up with questions of your own. Remember, it’s okay to let the conversation flow naturally and lead you to other topics.

Suggested Questions:

  • Do you know any stories about how your family first came to the United States? Where did they first settle? Why? Did your family stay in one place or move around?
  • When did you or your family come to live in this area? What brought you here?
  • What stories have come down to you about your parents and grandparents? More distant ancestors?
  • What family heirlooms or keepsakes or mementos do you possess? Why are they valuable to you? What is their history? How were they handed down? Are there any memories or stories connected with them?
  • Describe your childhood home and the place where you grew up. What was it like? How has it changed over the years?
  • Can you draw a map of your neighborhood or local community? What places most stand out in your mind and why?
  • Why are you living where you are today? What does this place mean to you?

Questions adapted from the Smithsonian Folklife and Oral History Interviewing Guide.

Voices from HOME: Celebrating, recording, & sharing stories from one generation to the next in the heart of rural Maine.