Conducting Interviews & Setting Research Goals

For the Genealogy Do-Over Week 2, our topics are:

Conducting Self Interview

  • I had already written “my story”.  This week I pulled it out and dusted it off.
  • I have listed my life events in chronological order including birth, residence, education, occupation, marriages, divorces and children.  Wow, I sure moved a lot (27 times). Luckily, I had already done most of this work and have already documented most of the actual addresses where I lived.
  • There are many Family History Questionnaires online that can be used.  I looked at several of these and came up with my own list (not too different from the ones out there).  I’ve published it in a separate post, and completed it for myself. Although I covered many of these questions in my ‘story’, there were many that were not. So this was a good exercise for me.

Conducting Family Interviews

Before my dad passed away, he wrote a mini-biography about his war years. I was able to extract a lot of information from that. I’ve also been asking my brother, sister and step-mother questions. (I’m their pain in the neck genealogy relative.) My brother is 4 1/2 years older than I and has different memories.  He’s been writing his memories for me as he has time. 

Setting Research Goals

This one is more difficult for me.  My first instinct is to write “of course, trace my family roots”, that is my goal after all.  But Thomas says that’s too broad. We need measurable goals.  So for now, my goal will be to validate and prove vital information on myself and on my parents; and identify and prove their parents. This will include but not limited to:

  • Research both parents extensively, and extract, document and prove any information on their family using Thomas MacEntee’s Research Log. This should include but not limited to:
    • Verify location and birth date for me.
    • Verify who my parents are.
    • Verify my parents birth dates and locations
    • Verify my parents Marriage dates and locations
    • Verify my parents Divorce dates and locations
    • Verify their children names and vital information
    • Verify my grandparents names
  • Once information is documented and proven, add it to the Family Tree Maker Mac3 database with correctly written sources.
  • File documents in my new filing system as defined in week 1.


The Genealogy Do-Over journey is a 13 week challenge from Thomas MacEntee, of GeneaBloggers. 


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