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How Do You Tell a Family Story - Video

How Do You Tell a Family Story: Video

Last week, I asked, "How Do You Tell a Family Story?"  In that article, I focused on a book-length treatment of your family history. Thanks to everyone who commented on how they tell their family story. Keep those comments coming because we will revisit them in a future blog post.

I focused on the written word, but there are other ways to tell a story. With today's technological advances, you can skip the book and tell a story using video. Depending on length, videos can be uploaded to YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, or Facebook or saved as an MP4 file to be placed on a computer or mobile device.

Your mobile device can be used to take videos for your family story. Additional accessories such as external microphones, tripods, and ring lights can help but aren't mandatory. You can make your video as simple or more complex (adding music and subtitles) as you want. However, keep in mind that a family history video should be short (ideally less than 15 minutes). Why? People (your family) are likelier to watch a short video than a long one. Consider making several shorter videos if you have a long story to tell.

To help get started in creating a family video, consider the following Legacy webinars on the topic for best practices:

What could you create a family video about? Just like the book-length treatment, the possibilities are endless. Some examples include:

  • A recreation of a family recipe
  • An interview with a family member exploring one question
  • Asking several family members to share their memories of an ancestor or an event
  • An overview of a family reunion
  • A "field trip" to a family home, a burial place, an ancestral town.
  • An heirloom and the story behind the heirloom

Will You Tell Their Story With Video?

The benefit of sharing family history via video is it can be easier and quicker than writing a book or a long narrative. Those who don't feel comfortable writing might find this alternative preferable. A brief interview with grandma (or yourself) can start you on the route of providing your shared family history with your descendants.

Have you told a family history story via video? Share the link with us in the comments below. Also, feel free to share your ideas and best practices.


Gena Philibert-Ortega is an author, instructor, and researcher. She blogs at Gena's Genealogy and Food.Family.Ephemera. You can find her presentations on the Legacy Family Tree Webinars website.



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