When documenting your family story, how do you want relatives to remember you, and most importantly, how do you want future generations to know who your family is? These questions are pertinent to determining how to document your family memories. If you need a guide on different ways to record family memories, start here!
Write Down Elderly Family Members’ Stories
Your older relatives have valuable stories to tell, which you need to document. Spend time with every elderly relative to record their stories, from childhood through adulthood and up to now. Live vicariously through them as they reminisce on memories that may surprise you.
These stories, when fully recorded, share lots of lessons and just as much sorrow and joy. Consider placing these stories into a digital book for the family to read and enjoy for generations. Don’t forget to write down your stories, too; every family member also needs to know about the family researcher.
Examine and Repurpose Old Photo Albums
Look over old photo albums. The albums your family owns are memories that you need to document. Instead of letting them sit, consider digitizing them. Digitizing old photos retains the original quality of each image.
Additionally, you can try and repurpose those photo albums. Examine the binding and quality of the images. Some family members don’t want digital versions of these photos, but you could do them a favor and create extra copies. Additional copies are fantastic gifts to hand out to family members that may not have access to a computer or other digital devices.
Move Old Videos to Digital Files
A common mistake families make with old videos is sending them straight to DVD. The issue is that the files might be too big to fit on a disc. In that case, you take it to a professional digitizer who can transfer your files safely without cutting anything or losing the files. Before sending your files, make sure to name them so that you know what each file is.
Don’t Worry About Making Photos Perfect
Making photos perfect is not the goal—and it never is. Perfect photos don’t show as much as candid images. Consider prioritizing those candid photos, such as pictures of siblings holding a baby and meeting each other for the first time, as these photos mean the most.
As you create memories today, try to make the photos natural. Photos with messy backgrounds are preferred over pictures of a family member standing against the wall posing because it shows them living their life. It’s fine if your photos aren’t perfect. Even though photos say a thousand words, “This looks bad” is not in a photo’s vocabulary.
Many families have troves of photo collections they aren’t always sure what to do with while sorting through old things. Preserving these memories is necessary, so keep the family tree updated by supplying curious family members with old family records. Start gathering your family’s story today, and keep these ideas on documenting family history in mind as you work.
Dianne Pajo is a writer based out of the Chicagoland area with a passion for music, combat sports, and animals. She enjoys competing in amateur boxing and kickboxing, but in her other leisure time, you can find her performing music around the city. She is also a dog mom of 2.