60 Questions to Ask Your Grandparent Before They Die

60 Questions to Ask Your Grandparent Before They Die

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The most important questions to ask your grandparents before they die include questions about their family history and traditions, cultural heritage, and significant life events. Others involve asking about migration, careers, and hobbies.

They’ll also be happy to tell you about their personal lives, how they found love, their outlook, and the most important life lessons they wish to pass on to the next generation.

Our grandparents have been a source of warmth, love, and happiness since childhood. We find comfort in their bosom when we’re down from the issues of life; they celebrate with us when we hit personal milestones and share their wisdom with us.

However, we can prompt them to share their life stories with us to preserve their memories; this involves asking the right questions about their lives and carefully documenting them.

You can document their answers as beautiful stories on Meminto.

This post will guide you in asking your grandparents comprehensive questions about the various aspects of their lives.

Key Takeaways

  • Documenting the lives and times of your grandparents is an important task you have to do while they are still around. This will enable you to preserve family history, legacies, and traditions for younger generations.
  • This will involve asking them about your family’s ancestry, significant life events, and philosophy.
  • Tools like Meminto, Pinterest, and Shutterfly will help you record their answers.

Questions to Ask Your Grandparent About Your Family History and Heritage

The answers to these questions will help you draw a comprehensive family tree and understand the childhood experiences that shaped your grandparents’ lives. You will also find some noteworthy people you might have in your lineage and the size of the family.

  1. What is the name of your parents? When were they born, and when did they pass away?
  2. What is the name of your grandparents? When were they born, and when did they pass away?
  3. Where did you grow up? How was your childhood?
  4. How many siblings do you have? How large was the family?
  5. Are there any famous people in the lineage?
  6. Who was your best friend in the family?
  7. What are some stories about our ancestors that you’ve heard?
  8. Can you share memories of your grandparents and what they were like?
  9. What are some traditions that our family has passed down through generations?
  10. How did our family come to live in this area or country?
  11. Are there any heirlooms or objects of significance in our family? What are their stories?
  12. How have our cultural or ethnic origins influenced our family traditions?
  13. What challenges did our ancestors face, and how did they overcome them?
  14. Can you tell me about the occupations or trades of our ancestors?
  15. What are some recipes that have been passed down in our family?
  16. What values are essential in our family, and why?

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Questions to Ask Your Grandparent About Your Family’s Traditions and Cultural Heritage

Discussing your family customs and ordinances with your grandparents will make you proud of your roots and bring a beautiful nostalgic feeling to your grandmother.

Some family traditions are lovely and strengthen the bond among family members. They are worthy of being passed down to succeeding generations.

  1. What essential holidays did your family celebrate?
  2. How were the holidays celebrated? What meals were shared, and what games were played?
  3. How frequent were family gatherings?
  4. What did you love about those gatherings?
  5. Did the family holiday traditions change over time? How has it changed? How do you feel about those changes?
  6. Who was involved in planning those family get-togethers?
  7. Were there any rivalries or conflicts? How were they resolved?
  8. Are there any beliefs peculiar to your culture? Any folktales?
  9. What are the traditional clothes in your culture?

Questions to Ask Your Grandparent About Significant Life Events

These questions can open up meaningful conversations and allow your grandparents to share their experiences, wisdom, and perspectives on the significant events that shaped their lives. Were they intelligent about hitting substantial milestones, or were they late bloomers?

  1. Did you hold any leadership positions in high school? What was it?
  2. Did you go to college? Which college did you attend, and when did you graduate?
  3. Can you describe any memorable moments from your education or academic achievements?
  4. What fraternity or sorority did you belong to? What were your experiences as a member?
  5. How did you manage financial milestones and decisions throughout your life?
  6. When did you get your first job, and what was the first investment you ever made?
  7. What were the adversities you have faced in life, and how did you overcome them?

Questions to Ask Your Grandparent About Ancestral Roots and Migrations

These will further reveal to you the origin of your people—the ethnic group you came from. Is your family native to the land, or were your ancestors immigrants or adventurers? If so, which generation of your ancestors migrated, and where did they come from?

  1. Do you know where our family name comes from and if there are any stories associated with it?
  2. Do you know if our ancestors were immigrants, and if so, what prompted them to leave their homeland?
  3. Do you know where our ancestors lived before they came to this area?
  4. Have you kept any documents or photographs that provide insights into our family’s history or migration?
  5. Can you describe any family heirlooms or artifacts passed down through generations?
  6. Can you share stories about how our family’s ethnicity or cultural background has influenced our lives?
  7. Do you know any other languages that our ancestors spoke besides English?

Questions to Ask Your Grandparent About Their Passions, Hobbies, and Interests

You should probe the passions and hobbies of your grandparents to gain a deeper insight into their personalities. You’ll also learn more about their motivation, what they cherish, and how they shaped who they are.

  1. What activities or hobbies did you enjoy most during your youth? Which ones do you want now?
  2. Can you share any stories about how you discovered your passions or interests?
  3. Did you have any role models or influencers who inspired your interests?
  4. Have you ever turned your passions into a career or pursued them professionally?
  5. How did you find time to pursue your hobbies while caring for other responsibilities like work and family?
  6. Do you have any favorite books, movies, or resources related to your interests?

Questions to Ask Your Grandparent About Love, Relationships, and Memories

Love and beautiful relationships make life colorful. Asking about the romantic lives of our grandparents and the friendships they’ve built throughout their lives will help you understand what they cherish and hold dear.

  1. How did you meet the love of your life? When and where?
  2. How did you know s/he was “the one”? How many times have you fallen in love before?
  3. How old were you when you got married?
  4. What do you consider the most critical marital advice for young couples?
  5. Who was your best friend in your youth, and who is your best friend now?
  6. What is the most essential quality to look for in a friend?
  7. What are your best memories of your children?
  8. What were your happiest moments in life? What was your proudest moment?

Questions to Ask Your Grandparent About Legacy and Advice

This will help you learn their wishes and desires for their descendants and how they would love to be remembered. You’ll also get them to share the wisdom they have accumulated.

  1. What are your hopes for future generations?
  2. What would you love to be remembered for?
  3. What advice would you give to your 20-year-old self?
  4. What principles or values have guided you in making important life decisions?
  5. What parenting advice will you give, and how did you balance work with parenting?
  6. What do you think is the key to a fulfilling and purposeful life?
  7. What advice would you give to someone starting a new career?

How to Record and Preserve Their Memories

You can record their memories with any tool you choose, as long as it is durable. Both audio and video formats are suitable, as they’ll preserve emotional components like their voices and facial expressions. Creating a book is an even more beautiful way of recording and keeping a great story about the lives of our grandparents with annotated images that can be done with software like Meminto


Documenting family history and memories is a beautiful way of preserving the stories of how we came to be and what binds family members together. It immortalizes our loved ones and allows future generations to meet their predecessors virtually.

It is also an effective tool for preserving family traditions and practices across several generations and fostering personal pride in current family members.

If you haven’t started having these kinds of conversations with elderly relatives like your grandparents, you might be running out of time. You really should do so. It allows you to bond with them and makes them feel important and fulfilled that people are interested in their life stories.

Just having these conversations is not enough. They ought to be recorded in multimedia formats for posterity. This ensures that the grandparents’ wisdom and experiences are passed down to future generations.

Have you already had these conversations with your grandparents? What was your experience? Please share your favorite questions, how Granny felt, and how you documented their shared memories.