Sunday, 12 October 2014

Memories - How do we keep them?

Are you a Memory Keeper?

This photograph is a group of nurses? who worked at a military hospital near Southampton, Hampshire 
Who knows who they were?

As we get older and we start to lose the older members of the family we realise that much of what we want to know about our ancestors has been lost. The official documents may survive but what happened to those individual memories have they survived. In most cases the sad truth is that much of our oral history dies with each generation.

Whilst today's generations may be more literate than their ancestors with the advent of computers are we changing the way in which we record our memories and if so how do we capture them for the generations to come.
This blog post by author Steve Robinson illustrates what I am trying to say Technology, and its impact on genealogical research.

Many genealogists own or have created scrapbooks containing pictures and mementos from their family, others have albums of photos and cuttings and other documents in paper or digital format. 
The organised amongst us have them carefully catalogued, but for many this is a project in progress. 
Most genealogists will be like me and have a pile of unidentified photographs that we will probably never identify.

So we already have plenty to keep us occupied surely just getting on top of the photos and documents is enough. 

Is this really all that we want to pass on to the next generation? 

Will they be interested in a bunch of photos and papers?

We can interview the family we are in close contact with but what about the more distant family?

Devon Lee in her blog post from the 10th October discusses about how we might inspire the younger family members to preserve the stories of today which is part of what I am trying to do with a project I am trying to set up.

If you have not been involved with Julie Goucher's Book of Me then I suggest you take a look at it, and ask as many members of the family as possible to participate with as many of the prompts as possible.
Don't forget to ask them to either send you a copy or let you know where they have recorded their memories and thoughts. This way you can provide your descendants with the opportunity to connect with other members of the family and their reflections. 

As many of the younger members of my family are on facebook, I am going to set up a secret group there, so that our family can share photos and memories and post anything they want to about their memories of the family. I will provide links to the Book of Me and any other sites that may help with ideas, and also provide suggestions on where and how to record anything they want to leave as a record, but not share with the group.

If I am in contact with family not on facebook I will create a pdf file that I can email to them to let them know what I am doing and request that they send me anything they want to add to the group.

The ultimate goal is to get as many of the family as possible involved so the whole thing needs to be flexible and hopefully the technology will work for us.

We all have our own memories and see events in our lives from our own perspective. Knowing more about siblings and cousins and their memories of the family will leave much more of a legacy for everyone.


  1. A good idea Hilary - it will be interesting to hear the outcome over time. It often seems to me we struggle to get them to engage when they are in the throes of family and career, but at least if it's on FB it will be there in the future.

  2. I have been involved in a few family pages over the years. They can be very productive and fun. Good luck with yours Hilary.

  3. I am so glad that I persuaded my father to write down his early memories and then his wartime experiences. These now mean so much to me. Until I joined Geneabloggers I had never thought of recording my own memories of growing up, but have followed various prompts to create an ongoing journal of I Remember When...........- a nostalgic enjoyable exercise which I hope my daughter and granddaughter will ponder on in years to come.


Hello, thanks for leaving a comment on the World Wide Genealogy Blog. All comments are moderated because of pesky spammers!

Best wishes
World Wide Genealogy Team