Build a Legacy Through Sharing Family Stories

August 21, 2017  - by 
Build a family legacy by preserving your family stories today. Start now!

Every family has stories to share, whether the central characters are heroes or villains. Regardless of what color of hat they wore, most ancestors are worth remembering and their stories are worth preserving.

During RootsTech 2017, Hank Smith shared some moving stories about how his family stories have brought him strength and how he wants to ensure that that same strength is available to his children and his children’s children. As Hank reminds us, if those stories are going to get passed down, we need to commit to making it happen.

You can hear what he had to say about the importance of passing down family stories in the following video.



Download: Small (360p) | Medium (720p)


How will you make sure your own family stories are passed down? Here are some answers to common hesitations you might be having right about now:

Easy answers to your hesistations about recording family history.

Download infographic here.
  • “I don’t know what to write about.” Anyone can get writer’s block from trying to write on demand. Instead, capture ideas when they come to you, whenever they come to you. Write them down in a notebook or a notetaking application on your phone, tablet, or computer. Write or record the actual story when you have time.
  • “I am not a good writer.” Anyone can tell a story. You don’t have to be an experienced or award-winning writer to tell what happened in your own words, as you remember it. To make it simpler, consider using your phone’s audio recorder. The FamilySearch mobile apps are simple and free tools to help you record your stories and connect them with your ancestors in Family Tree. Learn more about how to use the mobile apps. If you do want to brush up on your storytelling prowess, a quick Google search can get you started.
  • “I don’t have time.” There’s no simple way to create more hours in the day. However, you can take advantage of little slices of time to capture a story here and a story there. Record stories on your phone while you are fixing a meal, walking to the bus, or visiting your parents or another relative. Don’t get hung up on the story being long or polished. Just focus on sharing the key moments that tell the story.
  • “I’m not good with technology.” If the idea of using a mobile phone or computer to preserve your family stories has you running for the comfort of your notebook and pencil, don’t fret. Just record your family stories in whatever format makes you the most comfortable. What you write can be shared and handed down to your posterity. Consider enlisting the assistance of a family member who is more comfortable with technology. It will be a blessing in their lives to help you preserve your stories and share them more broadly with family.

Take a minute today to make a plan for how you’ll make sure your family stories are told. You won’t regret it, and future generations of your family will thank you.

Seven tips to share and preserve your family story today.
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5 simple ways to start preserving your family stories today.
Discover and preserve your family stories that helped shape who you are.



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  1. After watching the video of Hank Smith telling about his father’s story I wanted to download that video to show my family. The video was not of Hank Smith but another presenter telling about the “Dash” referring to cemetery indexes and the names on headstones. I attempted to download a few additional times, and searched for Hank Smith’s video but have been unable to find it. I am very disappointed not to have found the recording.

    1. Just a quick update, while Hank Smith’s video was playing, I was able to right click on the video and download that video to my desktop. I just expected the download offer beneath Hank Smith would be of his video, not Elder Brdley R. Foster’s video.

  2. I came here to see if I could get a recommendation on a good on-line or computer-based journal for family history. I want to include pictures and keep it private for only our family. I am very grateful for any recommendations. Thank you!

    1. Kim: Did you find anything? I am looking for a structure for a network of stories online, and which can be useful for creating a downloaded document. So far, am dabbling with blog format but am not sure it is suitable. Did you get further with your search?