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Now you can preserve the precious, meaningful stories of your living relatives using audio, video and written formats. This book provides you with a simple way to capture the true life stories of important members of your family and preserve them for generations to come. It’s called “taking an oral history” and with this book anyone can do it.

This 180-page book is tested and proven!

Preserve the wonderful stories of your living relatives NOW before it’s too late. Buy and download the book from Amazon.com for only $3.99.



You will learn how to:

  • Know who, when and where to take an oral history.
  • Acquire and use the right equipment.
  • Interview like a pro.
  • Convince that special person to share their oral history.
  • Prime them for a comfortable and meaningful interview.
  • Properly start and end an interview.
  • Ask the right questions and in the right order.
  • Listen with an open heart and mind.
  • Deal with sensitive issues like divorce, family troubles, etc.
  • Keep yourself on track and your subject talking.
  • Move the story forward and not wander or leave out important events.
  • And most important, prepare YOURSELF for taking an oral history.

Begin NOW to preserve your family history

Buy this book on Amazon.com and download it to your computer immediately for only $3.99.



The heart of the book is the “Oral History Guide”, a multi-chapter section that features a categorized list of interview questions. In this section you are provided with questions to ask and the sequence for asking them. Here’s how it is done:

  • You start at their birth story, the easiest story for any person to tell.
  • At the right moment you will have them take you back as many generations as they can to retell stories of their ancestors. This fills many gaps in your family ancestry.
  • Next, you will help them walk through every significant event in their life.
  • As their life’s story ends, you will give them the opportunity to offer greetings and wisdom to descendants they will never know.
  • Hundreds of questions are provided for you in the Oral History Guide.

“This will be one of the most significant life-changing and
life verifying events you will ever be a part of.
I know. I’ve done it many times.”


Dr. Ron Ross


But once an oral history is taken, more is to be done. This book tells you how to:

  • Edit the audio, video or written files. An entire chapter deals with editing issues with a list of dos and don’ts so you end up with a truly valuable family heirloom.
  • Transcribe the oral history.
  • Prepare a manuscript for publication.
  • Publish the manuscript.
  • Preserve and distribute final documents, audio and video recordings, computer files, etc.

This book describes additional preservation techniques for photos, documents, and family heirlooms. More ideas are shared in 10 which give you “Eight Ways You Can Preserve Your Family History.”

Chapter 11, “The Easy Way to Write Your Family History,” is one of several unique chapters not found in many books on oral history taking. This is a real bonus for those who want to leave a legacy via the written word but are not professional writers. The author’s father created this unique way to write the story of his life, and his simple system is shared on the pages of this book.

Inside that special person you are thinking about right now beats a heart that desires to tell their story and to express their passions, feelings, and innermost thoughts. They want to do it for the benefit of the living and those yet to be born. They want to leave a mark on their descendants. They want their life to matter. This book will help them do just that.

The author, Dr. Ross, knows. First he wrote the manuscript then tested it on his parents and other willing participants. The experiences of interviewers and principals were considered, then it was finalized and published in 1987 under the title, “Your Family Heritage: A Guide to Preserving Family History”. Thousands of copies were sold and the author received broad acclaim for his work. For several years he lectured on a regular basis at the Colorado Historical Society where his book was introduced as “the seminal source for oral history taking.”

In this edition, Dr. Ross has re-written, updated and expanded the book so you too can preserve your family history.

Know the right questions to ask!



About the Author

imageHi, I’m Ron Ross.

Most people want to know why they should trust what I say about oral history taking and preserving family history. Sounds like a fair question to me.

First of all, I’ve done it. In the late 1980s I wanted to preserve the stories of my mom and dad’s lives using a video camera as they were becoming quite popular and user-friendly back then. I did many hours of research then created an oral history guide to use on Mom & Dad. Then one day we set out to record their family history starting at Dad’s birthplace – Deer Trail, Colo. It took us three days and over 1400 miles of travel through Colorado, Nebraska and Iowa, and resulted in 3.5 hours of stories on VHS video tape. Since then I have done a variety of oral histories.

This 180-page book is tested and proven!

Preserve the wonderful stories of your living relatives NOW before it’s too late. Buy and download the book from Amazon.com for only $3.99.



LloydLorettaSappSecond, I research and write about it. Using the research I did and the experience I had with my parent’s oral histories, I wrote and published a book on the subject titled, “You’re Family Heritage, A Guide to Preserving Family History,” now out of print. Thousands of people read the book and took action to preserve their family history, but much of the book is now out of date (It mentions arcane items such as cassette recorders and VHS tapes). So I updated the book with a narrower focus, a more modern (digital) technology, and a new title, “How to Record Your Family History.” I continue to research, write and keep track of trends and technologies via my blog which can be found at www.RecordYourFamilyHistory.com.

Ron-RossTeachingThird, I lecture about it. After the publication of my first book, I was invited to lecture on the subject by the Colorado Historical Society for several years. When I spoke, they introduced me and my book to the crowd as “the seminal source for oral history taking.” I’ve continued to speak on the subject over the years even when I didn’t have an updated book to sell.

That’s probably what you wanted to know when you turned to this page, but for those who like this kind of stuff, here’s a brief resume:

Ronald D. Ross, B.A., M.Div., D.Th.

Ronald D. Ross is a former missionary to Africa and Presbyterian pastor who has spent much of his life traveling, writing, teaching, and as the publisher of various periodicals.

He is the Author of Citizen Journalism 101, he writes a weekly newspaper column, is a featured blogger on the U.K. citizen journalist website www.The-Latest.com, and blogs regularly on www.RonRossToday.com. He is a Platinum Expert Author onwww.EzineArticles.com, an is widely read as a contributor to www.SelfGrowth.com and other websites. He has authored several e-books on motivational and inspirational topics.

Besides writing and speaking extensively on preserving family history and other inspirational and motivational topics, Ross is the publisher of a weekly entertainment paper called Tidbits, (www.TrustTidbits.com) and he is the “Dean” of Tidbits University, the training program for all new Tidbits publishers (www.TidbitsWeekly.com).

RononRadioHe is the host of the weekly radio show broadcast from Colorado’s oldest radio station, 1310KFKA – AM in Greeley, Colorado.

He is a husband, father, and grandfather residing in Loveland, Colorado with his wife of over 50 years.

Twitter: twitter.com/ronalddross
Facebook: www.facebook.com/ron.ross
Personal blog: www.RonRossToday.com
Family website: www.RonaldDRoss.com

Ron Ross Signature

Dr. Ron,

I want to thank you for the outstanding class on recording family history. It was so enlightening to hear your enthusiasm and your information on memorializing history and to pass it on to future generations. You did such an excellent job of impressing on me how important this effort is. Seeing the video that you had your father do was so very interesting and would have loved to have seen it to the end.

Please keep up your efforts, you are impacting so many people and I’m sure future generations will benefit.

Most all, I loved your enthusiasm! It is apparent that you are passionate about it!

Thank you,

Don A. Riedel

I love the video, well done!

Don A. Riedel




Chapter 1 Why Preserve Your Family History?

The Unraveling of Family Ties

The Demands of Pluralism: Fitting In

Hiding the Skeletons

Family Mobility


What’s In It for Me?

Family History is Edifying

Family History Connects You to the Past

Family History Can Prepare You for the Future

Family History Brings Families Together

Family History Provides Important New Insights

A Matter of Urgency

What is an Oral History?

Who Should Make an Oral History; and Who Should I Interview?

What Would You Like to Say to Your Great-Grandchildren?

You Are Your Family’s Historian

Chapter 2 Creating an Oral History

Prepping the Interviewer

The Physical Arrangements

Equipment Preparations

Helping Your Interviewee Prepare

Chapter 3 Tips for Conducting a Meaningful Interview

Listen With an Open Heart and Mind

Practical Tips for a Smooth Interview Process

The Golden Rule of Listening

Chapter 4 Record Your Own Oral History!

Chapter 5 An Oral History with Video

Preliminary Questions

Digital Video Equipment

Getting the Best from Your Equipment

Plan Your Production

Creative Tips from the Experts

What to Wear?

The Four Critical “DOs”

Chapter 6 Oral History Guide

Introducing Your Family Record

Part I. General Family Memories

Part II. Memories of Stories Told

Part III. Childhood Memories (Ages 5-12)

Part IV. Teenage Memories (Ages 13-19)

Part V. Courtship and Marriage

Part VI. Married Life

Part VII. Married Life and Children

Part VIII. Married Life- The Middle Years

Part IX. The Retirement Years

Part X. Pride and Wisdom



Concluding Your Interview

Chapter 7 Editing, Transcribing, and Publishing an Oral History

All About Editing

Audio Editing Resources

Video Editing Resources

Ideas for Audio Editing

Ideas for video editing

Duplicate all recordings multiple times

Transcribing Your Oral History

Transcribe the Interview Verbatim—and Accurately

Convey the Conversational Quality

Pausing, Crutch Words, Stammering, and False Starts

Stammering and stuttering, on the other hand, need not be transcribed.


Other Sounds and Actions


The Interviewer’s Words

A Final Word about Editing


Preparing the Oral History Manuscript for Publication

Publication: Copy, Bind, Distribute!

Chapter 8 Preserving Other Important Family History Items

What Should I Preserve?

Some Final Rules for Preservation

Chapter 9 Handling, Organizing, Documenting and Preserving Photographs

How to Handle Precious Family Photos

More tips for handling your photos

Damaged Photos

Antique Photographs

How to Organize Your Family Photo Collection

Chapter 10 Eight Ways You Can Preserve Your Family History

Chapter 11 The Easy Way to Write Your Family History

You can do the same thing

Lists that inform your descendents about your life:

Interesting stories about your life:

Where to begin

Editing your stories

Don’t worry about absolute accuracy

Chapter 12 Give the Gift of Preserving Your Family History

So what can be done? It takes a little planning, but here’s what I suggest:



This 180-page book is tested and proven!

Preserve the wonderful stories of your living relatives NOW before it’s too late. Buy and download the book from Amazon.com for only $3.99.



Contact Dr. Ross


To contact Dr. Ross email him at:

Dr.Ross@RonRossToday.com or call him at 970.475.4829
(Loveland, Colorado, USA – Mtn. Time)

    This 180-page book is tested and proven!

    Preserve the wonderful stories of your living relatives NOW before it’s too late. Buy and download the book from Amazon.com for only $3.99.