Who doesn’t enjoy taking a trip down memory lane by looking through old photo albums and scrapbooks? With the increase in popularity of today’s technology, more people store photos on their smart phones than in scrapbooks. Technology is making it easier to record and preserve our family history for future generations. The next time you are at a family gathering, consider starting a project to record your family history. Holiday and family reunions are a great place to begin. Most projects start with the elder’s family members and work down through the generations. Have some topics to encourage conversation such as: early jobs and wages, world events, school days and holiday celebrations are all great conversation starters. You might also want to have some questions prepared beforehand to get the conversation rolling.
Encourage them to discuss their struggles and obstacles that they have faced and overcome as well as the happy memories. Many of today’s seniors lived through the Great Depression and WWII. They can share experiences that will make history come alive for their grandchildren. Younger generations enjoy hearing about “the olden days” and how people lived, especially without the modern conveniences of today!
Completing an oral history project will take time so don’t rush it. Plan for enough time and allow for set-backs. By recording your family’s oral history, you will be creating a valuable keepsake for all generations. Be sure to give a copy to family members and designate family members to maintain and add to the family history.
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