Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Recording family histories

As the holidays tend to draw family members together, why not take the time to record family history interviews?

In fact, don't wait to get together. Use the "speakerphone" option on your telephone to pull in the voice of a distant relative!


  • Use your computer's microphone or a hand-held digital voice recorder.
  • Use the free Audacity (for Windows) free software to record and edit sound.
  • Use your cell phone's video recording option for a short "clip".
  • Bring your digital video camera to the family get-together and editing using the free movie editing software than came with your Mac or PC.


  • Obviously the "oldest" ancestor.
  • Recall the "olden days" with your siblings.
  • Your children.
  • Your grandchildren.



Ol' Myrt here recommends bringing a few old family pictures to get the conversation going. Focusing on the pictures during a video interview can take the pressure off of those you are interviewing.

Plan to keep your questions "open-ended" to encourage more than a yes or no response. Rather than ask an elderly woman her birth date, why not ask about her earliest childhood recollections.

Have fun, and cherish the differences of opinion and the generation gap. You'll treasure the moments you manage to catch on tape.

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
Your friend in genealogy.

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© 2008 Pat Richley All Rights Reserved.
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