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How Do You Tell a Family History Story – Audio

How Do You Tell a Family History Story – Audio


We've explored possibilities for telling your family story in the last two blog articles. We've looked at the written word and video. In this article, I want to focus on another way to tell your family story: audio.

How Can You Tell Your Family Story Via Audio?

Most genealogists are familiar with conducting and recording oral interviews. With mobile devices, capturing audio recordings is easy. Most mobile devices have the built-in ability to record audio files, but you can download a recording app and even add an external mic, though it's unnecessary. If you'd rather not use our mobile device, you can use Skype, Zoom, or other programs to record audio from your computer.

How can you conduct an oral interview? It can be as simple as asking a few questions to start a conversation. The Legacy Webinars, Capturing their Stories: Best Practices for Recording Family History Interviews by Colleen Robledo Greene, MLIS and Nicka Smith's The Ultimate Family History Interview can help you with preparing and conducting your interviews.

Audio recordings don't have to be only interviews. You can record yourself talking about memories or stories. Is your family musical? You could record some of the music your family creates. The type and topic of the recording are only limited by your imagination.

Once your audio files are recorded, you can either upload the files to a cloud software program to be available to other family members or edit the files and create your family podcast. Articles online can help you through the steps of creating a podcast, including How to Record Your Own Family History Podcast from Family Tree Magazine.

If you create a family podcast, consider using a blog to add the link, transcription, and any records or images accompanying the episode. That way, your family can listen to the podcast and see any images you are describing or help tell the story.

Other opportunities exist for recording interviews. Programs like Story Corps encourage families to record stories in their studios or with the Story Corps App. The Story Corp website includes "great questions" to ask to get the conversation started.

For those planning a trip to Salt Lake City, The FamilySearch Library (previously known as the Family History Library) has a recording studio where you can record in audio or video. Some FamilySearch Centers also offer a recording studio.

What Story Will You Tell?

Can you utilize audio files for your family history story? Yes! Sometimes, you can use text, video, and audio files to tell the story your family is waiting for. Take some time to consider what family stories you want to tell and how to best do them. I'd love to hear your ideas. Please post them in the comments below.


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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