I devised a set of interview questions that could be used as a jumping off point, with my hope being that during the interview process the exchange would be more fluid and I would not be held inside the box, but could work outside of that box. That said, the people I met on Twitter, by necessity, have been posed the full set of questions. Email doesn’t allow quite as much flexibility as a face-to-face encounter might.
The first questions were influenced by me revealing who I was, what I was working on, and that information might be posted on the internet and that a goal was to write an article for publication.
These are the questions I came up with:
- Do you still want to communicate with me or would you prefer not to?
- How do you feel about being quoted? Is it okay if I use your twitter ID in quotes? OR would you prefer to remain anonymous? OR would you like me to use your real name? —> completely up to you
- When did you first become interested in genealogy?
- How did you start out?
- Did you have much information from your family to start?
- Did you have any previous family stories and legends?
- Have you found family legends to be true? (I’ve heard that one of my ancestors on my mother’s side was shot in the abdomen during the civil war and survived – I’ll have to figure out how to verify that one)
- 8. Have you travelled much in your genealogy search, or were you able to find most facts online?
- How far back in your family tree have you gotten and how much more do you expect to research?
- Where would you suggest the beginning genealogist start?
- Are there any sites you would recommend for a beginning genealogist on a tight budget?
- What would you like to add that might be helpful?
- Is there anything that I should have asked that I didn’t think to ask?
Interviewees and interview schedule:
2 interviews in person: I will be interviewing the two Historical Society volunteers who put out the initial flyers regarding researching the family tree. The interview is scheduled for Thursday, March 11th – since I have not given them the heads up regarding the web page and publication, I can’t reveal their names here.
2 internet-based interviews: I met multiple people on twitter who had an interest in genealogy. Two of those twitter acquaintances agreed to be interviewed. When given the choice of interview techniques (twitter, email, instant messaging), both chose email. One of those interviewees got back to me right away, answered interview questions in great detail, and said it was okay to use her name – her name is Paula Hinkel (twitter ID: @scgsgenealogy). The other twitter acquaintance has promised to answer my email questions at the end of this week. I can’t reveal her identity until she gives me the okay to do so.