By Ann Lewis

Here are some Family History ideas of things we can do to celebrate our family in a Virtual Reunion in two weeks, on Wednesday, May 15th.

In FamilySearch, there is a section called MEMORIES for each person who has graduated from this life. You can add photos, documents or stories about the people you knew and loved. Here is an example of how that looks:

Go to the “Family Tree” tab at the top (highlighted in green) and click FIND on the drop-down menu.  Then type in the name of a deceased family member with their birth date.  If I type in Charlotte Turley, the screen above will appear.  Under her name you will find the MEMORIES tab (underlined in green). 

Click on that and if anyone has added a photo, document or story about Charlotte, you can see it.

This is where it gets fun!  YOU can add a photo or document or story about your loved one or ancestor (or about yourself!).  A story might be what you remember about that person.  It might be an article or obituary you have about that person.  It might be a personal history you have in your files.  It’s pretty simple to upload a photo or document from your computer to FamilySearch.  To create a story, just click on “Create Story” and start typing or copy and paste something already written.  To add a photo or document, click on the Upload button and then browse your computer files to find what you’d like to add.  The last thing you need to do is tag the people in the photo or document or story.  It will guide you through this process.

If you have ANY trouble doing this, find someone younger than you to help you.  They get it!

Here are some good ideas of things you might want to write about your family members. 

(If a person is still living, you can still create a story, but it won’t be public until that person dies.)

My Mother
What I love most about her. . .
Ways that I take after her. . .
The best lessons I’ve learned from her. . .
What she looked like . . .
Words to describe her. . .
Favorite foods she fixed . . .
What makes me proud of her. . .
My favorite memory of her. . .

My Dad
The best lessons I’ve learned from him. . .
What he always says. . .
Ways that I take after him. . .
How he has affected my life. . .
Words to describe him. . .
What he liked to do in his spare time. . .
My best memory of him. . .

My Grandma
The role she has played in my life. . .
What she always told me. . .
What I have learned from her example. . .
The best advice she has given me. . .
How do I take after her?. . .
What are my favorite memories of her?

My Grandpa
The role he has played in my life. . .
What he always told me. . .
What I have learned from his example. . .
The best advice he has given me. . .
How do I take after him? . . .
What are my favorite memories of him?

When we record our stories, we are literally Saving Lives–the lives of those who live in those stories.  When the memory is gone, it’s as if those events never happened, or those people never lived.  We must save these lives, ours and those who have gone before us.

Ian Frazier, author of Family, captures the haunting feeling of loss as he describes his thoughts at his mother’s deathbed:

Soon all the people who had accompanied me through life would be gone, too, and then even the people who had known us, and no one would remain on earth who had ever seen us, and those descended from us perhaps would know stories about us, perhaps once in a while they would pass by buildings where we had lived and they would mention that we had lived there. And then the stories would fade, and the graves would go untended, and no one would guess what it had been like to wake before dawn in our breath-warmed bedrooms as the radiators clanked and our wives and husbands and children slept.

 Let’s each determine to preserve and save lives, so they are not forgotten.

In our recent Theodore Turley Birthday Celebration Meeting in SLC, Rick Turley encouraged us each to be involved in Family History in 3 ways:  Collect, Preserve and Share.  If every single family member added one Memory to FamilySearch this May in our Virtual Reunion, new family Memories will be preserved and shared!  What a treasure they will be to us and to future generations!  Thank you each for your contributions!

For more information on how to add photos and stories to the Memories section on FamilySearch, click here.

Prefer smartphones? Use FamilySearch’s apps (Family Tree and Memories) to add photos, stories, documents, and audio. Learn more here.

NEW! You can now add audio to pictures in the Memories secion on FamilySearch. For more information, click here.

We want to celebrate everything our family members accomplished on May 15th. Let us know what you added to FamilySearch! Contact us via the website or by email.

May 15th “Virtual Reunion”: Join Us by Uploading Memories into FamilySearch!

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