Back in December, I wrote about collecting oral history -
New Game for Christmas Day ? and Exchange Family Recipes as Part of Your Oral History.
Some weeks ago, the Family Search blog suggested that people might not have considered asking about their family’s health history.
In Scotland, death certificates give the cause of death and this can be an important clue, but 19th century certificates can also be misleading, or state the obvious.
The Utah Department of Health has developed a free toolkit to help people talk about their family health history, write it down, and share it with their doctor and family members. Although it's aimed at residents in the American state of Utah, many of its suggestions are applicable here.
Their website has a fascinating quote from the Washington Post newspaper in 2002: "The family tree has become the most important genetic test of all. The more you know, the more tools you have to practice preventive medicine."
The toolkit lists the diseases that might be inherited, suggests 10 questions to ask, and provides a template to record information. When you’ve collected the information, it recommends you talk to your doctor about what you’ve discovered. Access the toolkit at http://health.utah.gov/genomics/familyhistory/toolkit.html.