Before conducting the interview, explain to them what you are doing .The questions are merely to fill in the blanks and to aid you in your genealogical quest. You can begin with the basics – name, birth date, marriage date, parents name, place of birth, Education, employment, etc. Ask them about their earliest memories. Do they remember going to school for the first time.
Don’t be afraid to get specific, but be aware you may get a general answer and so you’ll have to cut through the answer to get your answer. Sometimes people cooperate sometimes people don’t. It’s much better to draw up a list of questions and write their responses.
Numbering is easy most genealogists use it. You are number 1 your father is number 2 your mother number 3. His father is 4 his mother 5. Her father is 6 her mother 7. What it boils down to is the male lines are even and the female lines are odd. To figure out what the next number is for their parents, take their number ex: 16 and multiple by 2. 32 is 16’s father and 33 is 16’s mother so 66 is the father of 33 and 67 is the mother and so on and on. It only seems hard because you haven’t tried it. Try it and then decide.
When you are done your interviews thank the interviewee. Tell them if they would like, you’ll give them, a copy of their page and if they are interested a copy of the genealogy. Ask them if it’s ok to do this again. Xerox what you received and file one of the copies away JUST IN CASE. Then while the information is still fresh in your mind transfer the information to whatever you are using – a computer program or a paper.