Memories To Memoirs Checklist
Questions to Consider When Writing Your Memoir
When you share your story, you are documenting a moment in time… a moment that is forever lost, yet still alive in the pages and in your archives. What better gift can you pass onto your family, filled with rich experiences, lessons learned and traditions made? As you begin writing your very own history, consider the various stages of your life and the questions that your great, great, great grandchild may have for you.
•What were the names of your parents, brothers and sisters?
•Were you raised by other members of the family, like your aunt/uncle or grandma/grandpa?
•What city and state are you from?
•What did your city look like during your early years?
•Did your parents work? If so, what did they do?
•What was a typical day like? Or, an atypical day like?
•How did you spend your weekends?
•Is there a birthday or celebration that gives you fond memories?
•Who was your best friend(s)?
•Did you have a favorite doll, collection or toy?
•What did you want to be when you grow up? Why?
•Did you have chores? What were they?
•Did you get an allowance? How much?
•Did you roller skate, play hopscotch, hide and seek, marble games, jump rope?
•How did you get to school?
•Did you have a family pet(s)? What kind? Name?
•What kinds of things did your family do together?
•Did you share your bedroom with anyone?
•Who was your favorite teacher?
•Did you have to relocate? What were your feelings?
•Did you have a favorite aunt, uncle, grandparent or cousin? And, why were they your favorite?
•Did you live in a house or an apartment? And, were there an attic or basement?
High School Memories- Teen Experiences
•What did you enjoy doing your teenage years?
•Who taught you to dance? What dances were popular in high-school?
•Who was your first boy/girlfriend?
•Where did you go on a typical date?
•What music was popular? What artists?
•Did you go to the movie theater? What do you remember seeing? How much did it cost?
•Did you have a job during your teenage years? If so, what did you do?
Genealogy and Lineage
•What is your ethnic Heritage?
•How far back can you trace your family tree?
•What were some of your holiday traditions?
•At what age did you have your first child?
•How did you decide on the names of your children?
•Did any of your children resemble you?
•What kinds of things did your family do together?
•Did you listen to the radio? What shows?
•What are your first memories of television?
•Do you have any special family heirlooms?
Old Family Remedies
•What are your memories of being sick as a child?
•Do you recall any remedies your mother used? Did you eat sugar to cure hiccups? What did you use for bee stings? Did you soak an injury in Epsom Salt?
•Did your doctor make house calls?
•Did you have a family doctor? Tell us about one time you were sick and had to see the doctor.
•Did you ever visit anyone in the hospital? What are your memories?
•Were you ever in the hospital? What was it like?
Lived on the Farm
•What kinds of chores did you do on the farm?
•Describe some of the sounds and smells on the farm.
•Did you have animals? Did you see them being born?
•Did you have a favorite animal?
•What were the advantages of growing up on a farm?
•What type of clothes did you like to wear?
•Did you have a choice or did you wear hand-me-downs?
•Did your mom ever wear pants?
•Tell about the first trip you took?
•What was the first car you drove? Who taught you to drive?
•What was the speed limit?
•How much did gasoline cost?
•How much did the first car you bought cost?
•What was the most difficult thing about driving?
Favorite People, Places & Food
•What was your most memorable vacation? What made it your favorite?
•How did you travel there?
•Have you been there recently? How has it changed?
Do you have any mementos?
•Did you have a secret hiding place when you were young? Alone time? Reading?
•Recall the names of childhood friends….
•Are any of them still your friends?
•Did you have a pen-pal?
•What are your most treasured memories of friendship?
•What kind of friend are you: Listener, Problem-solver, Just for fun, etc.?
•What did you do with your friends?
•How long have you known your longest friend?
•Describe this person.
Love and Marriage
•Tell about your first romance, your first dance, your first date:
•Did you write/receive love letters?
•What were Valentine’s days like long ago?
•How and where did you meet your husband/wife?
•What activities and places did you enjoy while dating?
•Who proposed? How did the proposal happen?
•Tell me about your first job:
•What was your first paycheck? How did you spend it?
•How did you choose your career? Did you have to go to school or training?
•Did you change careers mid-life? Why?
•What three scientific/health advancements that took place in your lifetime?
•Were there any technological changes that shaped society?
•Name some events that impacted U.S. History, while influencing your life.
•What events made you proud to be an American?
•Who were your heroes/heroines? And, why?
Memory Makers. See if you can locate any of the following:
•High school year book
•Birth and Death Certificates
Now that your memories are coming alive, start writing your story.
Article From Inter Valley Health plan