Last week, I shared some tips for conducting family interviews. This week, we’ll talk about other ways to preserve family memories.
There are so many different ways to find and preserve family stories, it can be a daunting task to figure out which way is best for you. Below are a few ideas:
Disclaimer: I have not personally used these services, nor am I receiving any compensation from any of the companies. I’m just including these as examples of the types of products that are out there. Please draw your own conclusions.
This is a wonderfully unique concept. The company emails your relative a question about their life each week, and they can reply with the story by email, or they can request a phone call that is recorded. All responses are saved on a site that is private so you can share it with your family. You can choose the questions from the StoryWorth library or create your own.
Benefit: The company appears to take privacy very seriously, and everything is private by default. You have total control over who can see your stories.
Drawback: If your relatives are elderly, they may not have email or know how to use it.
This appears to be primarily an online family tree site (because we totally need another one of those) with access to “90 million records” (read: the social security death index) to help flesh it out. However, it seems to also be trying to double as a photo-based memory preservation/timeline creation app. The site allows you to store up to 250 family photos for free, just for signing up. After that, you might have to pay … but I can’t find any mention of prices.
Benefit: Makes it easy to share photos with your family … if they’re online.
Drawback: It’s another online family tree site.
Saving Memories Forever
This is one that I actually played with a few times at one of the national conferences last year. Saving Memories Forever was the winner of RootsTech Developer Challenge in 2014. The premise is that you have an app on your smartphone that you can use to interview your relatives, then you upload those stories to the website. With the free account, you can have 2 storytellers. And that pretty much sums up the benefits of a free account. With a paid account ($3.99/month or $40/year), you can have unlimited storytellers, add photos or documents, search feature, and free backup.
Benefit: From what I remember, the app was pretty easy to use, so the non-tech folks in your family won’t have a problem.
Drawback: Unless you only have 2 people in your family, your only option is to go with the paid version. Also, I really think the backup feature should be a freebie – because if my stuff’s not secure on the site, why would I take the chance of leaving it up there?
These rooms provide a private, soundproof environment in which to interview family members or record your own family stories. Audio and video recording equipment are available. I’m not sure how many of these rooms have been created or the locations, but I know that the St. George and Riverton, Utah, and the Colorado Springs, Colorado, locations have them. Check your local Family History Center to see if they have one.
Benefit: Convenient, foolproof, and free way to preserve family stories … if you live nearby.
Drawback: So far, I only know of 3 of these rooms in existence. So unless you’re local to one of them, it will be difficult to get much benefit from it.
- DIY Legacies (their site will be launched during RootsTech)
- Pictures and Stories
- Preserved for Posterity (interviewing service)
How do you preserve YOUR family stories?
Do we share ancestors? Email me: lostancestors AT gmail DOT com
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