7 People to Ask About Your Family History

Families document their history in family organisation books, recipe collections, scrapbooks, newsletters, heritage albums, family stories, and time capsules. 

However, despite the sources being close to you, it is not always easy to research your family history. 

First, you must identify the type of data you wish to gather from the exercise. Second, identify people who can supply you with the correct historical information. Finally, select the most effective methods to collect, analyse, and store this family history information.  

So, here are seven people to ask about your family history.

But first

Why Find Out About Your Family History?

Family history is a record of activities and life experiences of a family and its family members. This information can be crucial in the following ways:

7 Categories of People to Ask About Your Family History

1. Parents, Siblings, and Close Relatives

The immediate family members are the best starting point when collecting family history. 

Typically, parents and mid-life relatives have a wealth of information about the family’s past. 

This group of relatives has firsthand knowledge of family traditions, stories, significant events, and oral history. 

Since you can talk comfortably and freely with your parents, siblings, and close relatives, it is easy to ask them about your family history. 

2. Grandparents and Family Elders

When researching your family history, you must involve grandparents, great-grandparents, great-uncles, great-aunts, and all family elders.

 This category of older relatives possess unique family stories and peculiar family memories to share. These family members might have known and interacted with your ancestors. 

3. Aunts, Uncles, and Cousins

Members of the extended family, like aunts, uncles, and cousins, can offer an extra point of view and exclusive narratives about your family history. 

Extended family members could have a different version of your family history or unique knowledge about your ancestors that your immediate family does not possess. 

Involving the extended family members during family history research provides additional perspectives and memories of how they remember the occurrences. 

4. Community Elders

Community elders possess deep knowledge about all members of their communities. 

Some community elders know your family history because they lived with your ancestors. Since community elders are familiar with your family tree, they can offer valuable insights into your family’s traditions, culture, and history. 

Community elders can provide the best oral history of your family due to their vast experience and interactions with the members.

5. Family, Friends, and Neighbours

Family friends and neighbours who have known and interacted with family have plenty of information about your history.

Family friends witness most of your family events and activities. Listening to their stories can give new perceptions of your family. 

Family friends also aid in preserving memories from family stories you share with them.

6. Local Community Historians

Local historians understand religions, industrial activities, and migration patterns of regions. 

Local historians also know your family’s role within the community if your family has lived in that specific region for generations. They can access books, newsletters, records, and resources with your family stories. 

In addition, they can direct you to individuals with your family’s oral history.

7. Genealogist Specialising in Family history

Online genealogy forums provide a good platform for people researching their family histories to connect. 

The platform can help you see the previous research by other family members. Genealogy forums can link you with distant relatives doing similar research and facilitate information and findings sharing.  

The best way is to create and preserve your family history so your children and future descendants can have a point of reference and legacy.  


Any of the above individuals can help you when researching family history.

However, it is essential to note that each person will give a unique perspective according to their knowledge.

Therefore, you should inquire from multiple people to collect a comprehensive history.

Lastly, use the appropriate research tools and approach each source of information with respect and sensitivity.