Every person will wonder about their family history at some point in their life. Too often, there’s either no one to ask, or not many physical reminders left from the past. Check out these tips and tricks for preserving your family history so future generations will always know their roots.
Interview Family Members
There’s something incredibly precious about having someone’s life story told in their own words. Ask family members to write down their memories and collect them into a book of family history.
If your family members are unable to write, you can always ask them to tell their stories while you record them. This can also be an amazing tool for preserving records of people speaking endangered languages.
Make a Family Cookbook
Too many Americans have little to no understanding of their cultural origins. Thankfully, food can sometimes provide necessary clues. Gather all the favorite family recipes and record them in one place, including the dates they were in use and the names of the people who created them. You can even print copies to give to your family members as a gift.
With all your family recipes in one place, why not make some of them? Cooking is one of many fun hobbies to do in retirement, and you can invite your family members to join!
Digitize Old Photos and Videos
If you have a bunch of old photos and tapes stashed away in the basement, there’s a good chance they’re starting to deteriorate. While the physical items might fade over time, you can ensure the memories survive by digitizing your photos and videos. Just remember to follow the basic dos and don’ts of photo preservation.
Visit an Important Family Site
There are plenty of places that could be important to your family, such as previous homes, ports of entry, and cemeteries. For that matter, entire towns might be full of places that were important to your ancestors. You can experience some of the history yourself by visiting and taking new photos and videos of these locations and adding them to your digitization project.
While some people worry about the risks of giving their DNA to a private genealogy business, it can be a useful way to gain information when you don’t have other options. Genealogy companies also have extensive networks of users, which makes the process of figuring out your ancestry easier. Just remember that DNA tests can sometimes reveal family secrets some people may find upsetting, like affairs and adoptions.
We hope you enjoy these tips and tricks for preserving your family history. Remember, it’s always better to get the information now instead of waiting until it’s too late.