Tuesday’s Tip – Learn about the technology your ancestors used

This entry was posted by on Tuesday, 11 December, 2012 at

My family celebrates the Christmas Season by getting together on Christmas day, sharing a meal, playing cards and just spending time together. New Years Day is a time for gathering around the television and watching football. Whatever holiday your family celebrates provides a chance to hear stories about your ancestors.

This is another post in a series to help get you thinking about some questions to ask your older relatives at the holiday gathering. Before the family get together this holiday season do some homework and prepare some questions to ask your older relatives. Check out our new category of blog posts called “Genealogy Interview Questions”.

This post focuses on preparing questions for learning about the technology yous ancestors used in their everyday life. Ask your mom, dad, grandparents or older relatives and friends to learn more about the everyday items your ancestors used.

Technology and Your Ancestors

You may not think of a radio, television or a washing machine as a new technology. However it was not so long ago that these items were the new thing of the day. Learn about these and other “new” items your ancestor used.

  • How often did you and your family listen to the radio?
  • What shows did you listen to?
  • What types of music did you listen to? What was your favorite music group?
  • Do you or one of your relatives still have that antique radio? Take a photo if they do find out the brand, etc.
  • When did your family get a television?
  • Was it black and white or color?
  • What shows do you remember watching? What was your favorite?
  • How did you and your family do the laundry?
  • Did you have a washer machine? a dryer machine?
  • Did you hang your clothes outside on a clothes line?
  • When did your family get a home movie camera?
  • Do you still have the old home movies and projector? If so, see if you can get these movies digitized.

Use these questions or prepare some of your own and you’ll be sure to hear some interesting stories. If you have any additional questions on the day’s topic be sure to reply to this post to let other readers know.


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