Making Memories of You
Most people think that family history is about everyone else. But perhaps one of the most important contributions you can make to your family history is documenting your own story. Even if you don’t think you have anything interesting to share, your present and future family will want to know a few things about you and your life. The following five ideas are things you can do to be sure those you care about the most have a way to remember you.
Task 1—Gather photos and documents that matter to you
Start with memories! Choose photos and documents that represent things you’ve accomplished or memories you have. An easy way to accomplish this might be to create a simple timeline of your life. Put 10 important events from your life on your timeline, and illustrate those events with photos and documents.
Task 2—Write a few stories
Once your memory has been stimulated, think of a few stories you could write. The easiest way to do this might be to look at the photos you chose and write about them. If you need help getting started, there are several good ideas for what to write about at the link below. As you write your stories, be sure to talk about some “life lessons” you learned. Some stories may be just a paragraph; others may be several pages. Don’t worry about the length of your stories—just write!
Task 3—Record your voice
Voices are a powerful way to remember someone. You may want to record yourself sharing a story. Or, you could make a video of yourself sharing an experience. Most phones have audio functionality built in. Some apps even let you leave audio comments on a photo. However you decide to do it, recording your voice is a great option for creating your personal history.
Task 4—Preserve your information on FamilySearch
FamilySearch is not just a tool to preserve information about those who have passed on. You can add your own memories to the website once you have a free account. FamilySearch supports the following file types: .jpg, .tif, .bmp, .png, .pdf, .mp3, .m4a, and .wav, up to 15 MB per file. You can add written memories or upload photos, stories, and audio recordings using FamilySearch.org or the FamilyTree app. Once you have added your memories, FamilySearch will preserve them forever.
Task 5—Share your memories
Memories have power when we share them. Studies show that knowledge of family stories can help children better manage stress. Other studies show that those affected by trauma can find healing through family storytelling. Those you love will want to remember you, and they will appreciate it more if you are the one telling the story. Share the personal history you’ve created with your family and loved ones. Sharing your stories with others will build and strengthen connections that can last forever.