My interviewing skills SUCK!

On 2 sheets of paper, is an interview with an knowledgeable family member. She is the granddaughter of my 3rd great grandfather. To me, that blows my mind. Let me say it again, she is the granddaughter of my 3rd great grandfather, Caleb Banks. This is his land that was divided after his death among his children. I had the best time talking with her during my trip. The amount of knowledge she has is amazing! She’s 85 years old and you would think she’s 25+ years younger. She’s is sharp, vibrant and active. Compared to some of the other elders that I’ve talked to in the family, she is a young woman. However, she may be the oldest out of everyone!

But anywho, back to my sucky interview with her. My 2 pages of notes that I have are only legible my me. lol. The 2 pages started off professional enough. Several questions listed, space for me to write the answer and space to add more. Easy right? HA..not for me. Apparently, I write as scatterbrained as I think. I have notes every were on the paper. Sure, the questions were answered, but she gave so much more information during the interview, I didn’t have time to find an appropriate place to write it. So, I have words jotted here, and names jotted there. Of course, it only makes sense to me.

For example from my notes:

Laura Mae Lowry & Hazel Lowry first cousins but brought up together
John Banks owned land on 158
Henry was William Henry Banks.
Almond Banks Jr. owns family land

This is an example of my scatterbrained interview. I’m going to try and transcribe it into a legible interview that will make sense in the future. I need a better interview strategy.

Maybe next time, I’ll try a recorder instead.

4 Replies to “My interviewing skills SUCK!”

  1. I was going to suggest a recorder, but looks like you already thought of that for next time. Just make sure you don’t accidently tap over your interview. The accidently tap over was done with a tape I had made of my grandfather.

  2. I think I need to go the recorder route, too. On top of that, I’m no good at “pulling out” more information when the people I interview just give a short, cut-and-dried answer.

  3. Greta, I’m the same way. I interviewed 2 other people that weekend and they both went short. all i could say is “uh huh”.

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