Mrs. Lannert

Tracy Lannert
4-5-6 Language Arts & Social Studies

Sixth Grade Genealogy Project

The sixth graders will be starting a long term genealogy project at the beginning of the school year.  One of the elements of the project is to interview two family members over the age of 60.  If you are traveling to visit family members this summer, you may get this portion out of the way.  Choose any 20 questions that pertain to the person.  Another element to start thinking about is the family tree.  Again, this is something we will be doing in the fall but if you have access to this information or a lazy summer day, your child might want to consider doing some research.


You are to ask at least 20 of the following questions.  Choose those that would be most appropriate for your interviewee.  Encourage your interviewee to describe, explain, or discuss his/her response rather than simply answering the question.  If you are uncomfortable  with any of the topics listed, please speak to me, Mrs. Lannert, about changing or deleting those questions.  Feel free to add more questions if they are needed in the discussion.


  1. Which of your ancestors was the first to come to North America?  How? When?  Why did this person come here?  (Some hypothesizing or educated guessing may be necessary to answer these questions.)

  2. Has your family name been changed since your first ancestor came to America?  If so, why? What is your feeling about such a change.

Migration and Community

  1. How many times have you moved within this country?  Where have you moved?

  2. What caused you to move each time?

  3. Where was your favorite place to live?  Why?

  4. Which environment (farm, town, city, suburb) seemed most supportive of your family’s lifestyle, socioeconomic status, or culture?


  1. To what race/ethnic group do you belong?

  2. Has being a member of this group significantly influenced your life?  If so, how?


  1. Are you a member of a particular religious group?

  2. What led to your affiliation with this religious group?

  3. Did your parents’ heritage of faith significantly influence your childhood experience? How?

  4. Has your faith ever caused you to be in conflict with the society or culture in which you live?


  1. What is, or was, your occupation?

  2. Was it, or is it, satisfying?  Why?

  3. Are you happy with the American economic system?  Why?

Government and Politics

  1. When has government most directly affected your life?

  2. How have you chosen to be involved in our political system?

  3. Which presidents during your lifetime have most captured your attention?  Why?


  1. Through which American wars have you lived?

  2. How intimately did any war touch your life?

  3. Were you changed in any way as a result of war?

  4. Do you sense that America has changed significantly through her involvement in any of these wars?  If so, how?


  1. How important to your personal identity are your ancestral roots?

Activities and Organizations

  1. What clubs, organizations, or other activities that you have been involved with during your life have been important to you?


  1. What is your educational background?

  2. Have you been able to obtain the formal education that you have wanted during your life?


  1. How did you meet the person that you married?

  2. Were courtship customs significantly different from what they are now?

  3. Were your courtship and marriage affected in any way by historical forces, such as the Great Depression, World War II, Korea, Vietnam, etc?

The Great Depression

  1. How vividly can you remember the Great Depression?  Did it change your lifestyle in any way?

Technology and Inventions

  1. What new inventions and new technology have you experienced in your lifetime?

  2. What would you say was the greatest invention in your lifetime?  Why?

  3. Do you recall any firsthand, unusual, or interesting experiences with any new invention?

Family Environment

  1. In what size or kind of house did you live when you were a child?

  2. How many relatives lived either in or near your home?

  3. Are you raising, or did you raise, your children the way you were raised?  If not, what caused you to develop your approach to childrearing?

  4. Did most of your values come from your family?  How do current values differ from the values that were instilled in you as a child?


  1. What has been the highlight of your life?

  2. Do you see any pattern, theme, or specific meaning in your family’s heritage?