"History is not the exclusive property of the famous.  We all have a story and contribute to the fabric of history."

The H.E.N.R.Y. Family History Project (Helping Everyone Note & Record Yesterday) is a project which helps students record an aspect of family history through either an audio interview or a video interview.

Mr. Langhorst and his grandfather Henry C Langhorst - our family has over 6 hours of audio of him describing his life growing up in Germany and then immigrating to America - it is an incredible treasure for our family

Students will turn in a project each semester and each project is worth a potential 200 points.
  • The first semester project will be due on December 1, 2016.
  • The second semester project will be due on May 1, 2017.

Guidelines for the project:

Students will complete a planning sheet (available here) and will submit with the recording once the project is completed.

Students will interview any family member - father, mother, aunt, uncle, grandparent, etc. The student could also interview a family friend if appropriate. It is suggested that the person interviewed is an adult.

The interview should last at least 10 minutes but longer interviews are encouraged.

At the start of the interview please have the person say their name and the date.

The topic of the interview is up to the student.  A list of suggestions are provided at the bottom of the page. Be sure you collect the name of the person you are interviewing, the location of interview, the date of the interview and the topic of the interview.

Record an interview with a family member. You can use a cell phone or your MacBook.  Maybe they have an artifact or object they can use to help illustrate the story.  Bring your video in to class and we will help you edit and make 3 DVD copies that you can share with your family. We can also give you a copy for your USB drive to share.

Sharing the Story
Once students have the copies of the interview we would them to share the interview with other family members.  It is always suggested that you give a copy to the person you interviewed but also give to another family member.  We hope the student also saves a copy for themselves.  An additional suggestion is placing one copy in a secure location like a bank safety deposit box.

Topics for the Interview

The types of questions which can be included in the interview are endless but here are some suggestions to help students prepare for an interview:
  • Describe the day I was born.
  • What was I like as a baby?
  • How do you and mom/dad meet?
  • What was your favorite memory growing up?
  • What jobs did you have growing up?
  • What is your favorite memory of school?
  • Describe your favorite vacation?

The recording can also be the person doing something that you would like to record and save for history.
  • Cooking a favorite dish.
  • Playing a musical instrument.
  • Sharing a favorite artifact or family heirloom. 
  • Sharing a hobby.
Most of all think about how you can capture a piece of your family history using voice and images.