BYU Family History Technology Labs has created a variety of online games that will test your knowledge about your ancestors. Try them out as a family! Click HERE or on the image to the right to go to their website. You will need to sign in with your FamilySearch account.
Games on this site include the following:
FamilySearch has a new "fan chart" view where you can select to show all the stories available for your ancestors. The darker the color "orange" means more stories available to view. White means no stories.
If your parents or grandparents have no stories, then it's time to write quick stories or memories about them, and then SHARE them with your family.
Go to FamilySearch.org, sign in, and click on the Tree icon to pull up your family tree.
Reading old letters gives us a great idea what their thoughts were about, what life events were of interest to them, feelings for their family and friends, or their feelings that were expressed through letters. There is also the experience at looking at family letters that are old and date into the early 1800s.
I REALLY wish that I had a lot more information about my great-grandparents. Actually, I wish that I also had listened more about the stories that my parents and grandparents had told me over the years growing up. Many of those stories have now been lost to my memory, and also to my posterity.
Luckily my father had spent some time writing down some stories that he remembered about his grandparents and parents. He was an only child, and so there is no one else to pass on that heritage of stories about my dad's family.
"Memories" are NOT long histories, nor even long stories. They could be only one paragraph long. Can you imagine if every child and grandchild of a grandfather began writing a short memory about their grandfather, there would be lots of "remembrances" of who he was, what his life may have been like, etc.
It does NOT take a long time to write a memory, 5-10" tops. Take some time to write about a family member. FamilySearch makes it so easy to create these stories and even attach photos to them. Don't just let those stories sit in FamilySearch for others to find them. SHARE them with your family members. Yep! It's very much like Facebook or other social platforms, except far more interesting, right?
A "Memory" is NOT a long history or story! Think of a memory as a "soundbyte" (storybyte?) for family to quickly read about an event that happened in your life. You can create memories of your life in just a few minutes. Put photos with them if you have them. They say that a picture is worth a "thousand words". How much better though is a great photo that has a fun short story attached to it?
I try to create a "photo/story" once a week about something that happened in my life, and then SHARE that memory or story with my children & grandchildren right from Family Tree. These "memories" will be what my posterity remember me by.
One story I wrote was about being a shipboard medical officer aboard a ship, rescuing a boatload of Vietnamese refugees out in the South China Sea. After I had shared this with my posterity, two of my sons messaged me that they had never heard that story before. I had forgotten that it happened in my life years before they were born.
View a couple of examples below that I wrote and shared to my posterity.
Stories are a great way for your posterity to get to know you.
Time to get those old photo albums out! Many of those photos may have mold growing on them, or the colors may be changing, or there is no name associated with the photo. Don't let those people become "nameless faces".
Begin by identifying the people you know in the photos. Those that you don't know? Time to begin asking other family members for help!
Photos can also give clues about when the photo was taken, by the clothing styles worn, and such. Did you know that little boys were often dressed in dresses around the 1900s? How can you tell a boy or girl apart? Boys had their hair parted on the side and the girls down the middle. Fun Fact.
Don't forget your own immediate family photos. Where are they located? Do you have them all digitized and safety backed up? Are they labeled? Can you find them easily?
The big concern that many folks have talked about in the media is that the current generation of youth and young adults are storing their photos on Facebook, Instagram, and other social media sites. They are not stored in full quality, and will be vulnerable to being lost when accounts close, etc. When this happens, their heritage will have been lost.
Review with your family how they might better protect and ensure that their photos, scrapbooks, etc are safely stored for generations.
Here are two handouts to review if you like to help you:
#1) Organize Your Files
#2) Develop a Safe Backup Strategy
Family photographs connect us with our ancestors and family members. They "will live forever in our memories" if we keep them safe, protected, and share them with other living family.