Preserving Our Family History


Image courtesy of Houston Defender

As I conclude this month’s theme of family, I want to share a few tips that I’ve found on the internet and have seen used, within my own family, that will help you and I preserve our family histories. Last month, while attending my family reunion, I was intrigued by the reading of our family history. I think it’s very important for all families to preserve their history. We need to make sure that every generation is educated on where the roots of their heritage, began.


At our family reunion, there were sections of different boards on the wall with the names of the descendants of the marital union that started our family tree, many years ago. Each representative of that descendant who were present, got up and introduced how they were a part of our family through that descendant. If you have a large family, stay connected as much as possible and share stories with each other throughout the years. Create a scrapbook or a time capsule and add to it, every so often. Create a Facebook group account with a brief description of the family’s history to have readily accessible to share with others.


Family means a lot to me, especially in my late 30’s. I feel like I’m knocking on the door of someday, having the torch passed on to myself and my generation of cousins to carry on our family traditions. I want to make sure that my children have access to our family’s history because someday, they will carry on our stories to their children. Technology makes this so easy for us to do.


Another suggestion that I found that will be helpful for us to preserve our family history, is to create more videos of the elders in our families, sharing stories that can be passed on throughout generations. You don’t need any fancy equipment either or be proficient in editing videos. You just need a quiet location to record the video from your phone or digital camera (i.e., Canon) and a few questions to spark the conversation and start recording. If you’re social media savvy, upload a 15 second video in that Facebook family group page inviting your family members to share their stories and that will definitely start a conversation about your family history.


Create a memoir for your family. That aspiring writer in your family should be given this task……for my family reading this, don’t even try it, I’m sticking to my new job of capturing all of the family photos lol. Make a digital family tree, or create a printed photo album. Just start somewhere if you haven’t already. It doesn’t have to be perfect or costly to preserve the history and memories of your family.


You can ask each family member to contribute to preserving the family history in some type of way. Again, if you have a large family, communicating via email or those beloved family group texts y’all love so much, will definitely help get the word out. If you have a budget for printed materials, maybe your family can invest in getting a scroll created that you can share with the family at larger family events like your family reunions, with the family history printed on it.


It is very important to preserve our family history. If we stop sharing our family stories, how can we grow as a family? Keep the memories alive of those who have departed from our family gatherings but never from our hearts. Use grandma’s recipe for that special dish she used to make every Thanksgiving, although she’s no longer living to make it herself. Tell the younger generations the stories behind that sweet potato pie that she loved to make every year. Just keep telling your family history.


How does your family preserve its history? Share your thoughts in the comments.

© 2018 by Kheiston Tilford. Kheiston Tilford Consulting and Services