Genealogical research is a popular hobby all over the world and the Web has made the research easier, faster and more accessible. It’s a rewarding process, but hobbyists and professionals can find themselves overwhelmed by the bulk of information gathered, and how best to condense it into a palpable and transferable package. I’ve been involved in the research of my own family history for nearly 20 years. I’ve traveled to distant locations to explore the places my ancestors lived, worked and died. On these trips I always take photographs and video, and through the years I’ve compiled a good deal of material. Of course, the problem becomes, what do you do with this material once you have it? And how do you share it with family members?
Many people are turning to video professionals such as myself to compile their research into long or short form videos. The video may take on a documentary look, as if Ken Burns has finally set his sights on your family history with interviews of living family members recounting family lore; or, simply pictures set to music with graphics. Most valuable are the words and memories of elderly relatives who can recount the early days of their lives. If these stories aren’t recorded in some fashion, they may be lost with the passage of time. I know this all too well. Back in 2000 I scheduled a visit with my 92-year old grandfather in Wheeling, West Virginia to talk to him about his memories of his early life in Ohio and West Virginia. Sadly, he fell and broke his hip several days before my visit and died a day after the surgery to repair the break. The memories and stories were lost.
Video is a great way to share and preserve the information that you’ve spent years gathering for this generation and those to come. If you would like to pursue a video project of this sort, please give me a call. I would love to help you. You don’t have to live in the DC area to use my services. It makes a great gift, too!