Before interviewing relatives who were alive at the time of the 1930 census, try locating them in that record. Note the names of neighbors and ask your relative about these individuals. Giving your interviewee specific names may help to jog memories and get them to recall events they might not otherwise have thought about.

This is helpful even if the person was not alive in 1930. Neighbors might have been neighbors for decades and even if the person did not know the former neighbors personally they might remember hearing their name mentioned.

Anything that might help jog a memory is good.



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  1. This is a very good point! I’m fortunate that my father was alive in 1930 and I’ve been asking him a lot of questions lately. I’ll go back and look at those neighbors and get even MORE info. from him! Thanks for the good idea, Michael! By the way, your blog is new to me and I love it!

  2. I am glad you like it. I really wish I had done this with my grandfather before he died. Those name of neighbors would certainly have jogged more memories. Most of the last names are familiar to me and I was born a little while after 1930 (grin).

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