Genealogy research is not just about past generations. Saving your personal history is crucial for connecting future generations to their pasts.
Genealogy Research,  Oral History

How To Save Your Personal History for Future Generations

Today, I’m welcoming Mike Tapia , CEO of RecordaLife. He’s sharing about a topic near and dear to my heart!

At this time of year, with Christmas and Thanksgiving very much in our minds, we focus on family and on birth and on life. These are the times when some of our most important memories are formed, in childhood and as adults and parents. As genealogists, it is easy for us to focus completely on the past, on history, and to forget that we ourselves are making history today. We are making memories, we are achieving, we are having amazing experiences, with our family, with our friends, with our community, and indeed alone. Researching family history is a wonderful thing, so how about with think of our children and grandchildren, of future family historians, and make sure our own memories are saved and that they can access our life story easily?

So how can we go about capturing our most important memories today in an easy manner? How can we capture our own life stories right now?

How To Save Your Personal History for Future Generations

There are four main ways we can do this, using modern technology or using traditional formats, or somewhere in between.

  1. A Traditional Diary
    Many people still keep a diary, recording their main thoughts every day. If you can get used to doing this, which is also very therapeutic, it can be a great way of capturing your life. However, diaries are often very personal – it is you writing about your own thoughts, not writing for someone else. Also, it’s very hard to maintain writing your diary throughout your life, especially into adulthood, and so it’s very difficult to capture your life story using diaries.
  2. Family Photos & Video
    Those Thanksgiving and Christmas photographs and videos are wonderful aren’t they? Digital cameras and phones means that modern technology makes it so easy to capture those moments, the carving of the turkey, the opening of the gifts. But they don’t provide a narrative, they don’t include your thoughts or words on what was happening. Also, they are not always properly preserved, since many photos might be stored electronically or in the Cloud with Google and Apple, and there’s no guarantee that in 30 or 100 years that people will still be able to view the same electronic formats (can you play a 78rpm record, or even an audio cassette, in your house?!). Genealogy research is not just about past generations. Saving your personal history is crucial for connecting future generations to their pasts.
  3. Social Media
    We could view social media as the modern diary, but this time it’s not written for personal use, but to communicate with friends, family and acquaintances. It is immediate and you always have a way of recording in the palm of your hand using you cell phone. But that convenience and its popularity also means there’s almost too much information and communication, a lot of things that aren’t important, and as it’s public, things you might not say that you’d like to your loved ones. Also, there’s no guarantee Facebook and the others will still be around for future generations to view your posts.
  4. Creating Your Memoirs in Books
    There is a reason so many memoirs and autobiographies are in printed books. They allow the author to concentrate on capturing their memories and thoughts and the details of their life. They are also the best way of storing these memories – we have books that go back hundreds if not thousands of years. And they don’t need batteries! With modern technology, you can have both high quality printed colour books printed on demand in short runs, and electronic books in many formats to work on many devices.Writing your memoirs is not an easy task, but it is nowhere near as daunting as you might think. People often put it off because they think it is much more laborious and difficult than it actually is. There are books and online guides available to assist you. They will tell you the areas to focus on, ideas on questions you could ask yourself. But you would still have to get it formatted and created into a book and then printed professionally.

Genealogy research is not just about past generations. Saving your personal history is crucial for connecting future generations to their pasts.

There are also companies that will guide you through this and take care of not only the printing of your memoirs, but also record your voice onto CDs and electronic audio files. They make it easy – they interview you over the phone or Skype so that it’s convenient. They then take the interview audio and create the text of your amazing life story as well as recording it onto professional CDs. The text is then taken and edited and proofread, put into a professional hardback book format, and they can even include colour photographs of you, your loved ones, and your wonderful life experiences. These high quality books are private and printed just for you and your family, but can also be published publicly if you wish.

I started Recordalife to provide just this service, having developed it as a hobby from capturing the stories of my own family members. Our Recordalife Life Story System really captures your personal story or those of your loved ones. We have developed a process and questions which make it easy, comfortable and enjoyable to tell the story of your life so that future generations can really understand who you are, what you’ve achieved, and how much you love your family and friends.

This time of year is about new beginnings, new life, a celebration of our lives together, a celebration of our history. What better way is there to celebrate than to capture the story of how we got here? We have many clients who gift Recordalife Life Stories to their loved ones – who give the gift of life recording. We don’t believe there is ever an ordinary life, every person we have interviewed has had an amazing story. We think we provide a wonderful for people to capture and preserve their life story for family, and family historians to come, in the years and centuries ahead.

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You can call us to discuss capturing life stories for yourself or a loved one on 844 278 4263 in the USA or in UK/Europe on +44 208 123 5470 or visit www.recordalife.com.

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