"We will lose 90% of all our ancestor's stories after 3 generations, if those stories are not written down."
Family - Our Refuge from the Storm - Our Link to the Past - Our Bridge to the Future
Record keeping, including personal and family histories, is extremely vital for all of us. People who care nothing for the past usually have no thought for the future and are selfish in the way they use the present. When there is proper regard for the past and its people, we enrich the present as well as the future."
Spencer W. Kimball
“Stories have to be told or they die, and when they die, we can’t remember who we are or why we’re here.”
From the book, “Secret Life of Bees,” by Sue Monk Kidd
"Evidence suggests that the more children know about their family history, the less anxiety, less depression and higher self-esteem they exhibit."
By Natalie Merrill PhD
Stories (also called "memories") are not long histories. They may be one paragraph, or a few paragraphs. A story should be "catchy", describing fun details about an ancestor's experience or even one of your life experiences. It may also describe a personality trait, a strength, a success, a personal challenge or struggle, and so forth.
Don't be afraid to use your own writing style. Don't worry about grammatical details, spelling, etc. You own the story and you can tell it how you would like. If you think about it, most of these stories will have a "moral" or teaching lesson that you can attach to the story. These stories may help others who may be experiencing similar situations so they can also learn from the experience.
We all have had a rich heritage of life experiences, whether they are good or bad, that we can share with our posterity. Our posterity will better understand that the personal experiences of their ancestors may not be unlike their own.
Can you imagine if the 15-20+ grandchildren each wrote a few "memories" or stories about their grandfather and put those stories into FamilySearch? With 50+ memories about him, his posterity can begin to better understand his life and hearts will begin to connect.
Stories can be so easily uploaded to FamilySearch for all posterity to read. Would we not want to learn more about our ancestor's lives, accomplishments, challenges, talents, and so forth? Their lives may not have been too different than our own.
We also have our own heritage, our life challenges and successes that we need to share with our posterity. We should be active in preserving our thoughts, stories, and testimonies for our posterity to remember us by.
If you have trouble thinking of any specific stories, go through your old photos to help you remember some events in your life. Once you have a story in your mind, write it down and then SHARE it with your family. FamilySearch has a "Memories Section" where you can attach photos to the story and easily share this page with family. Along with the story, briefly share your feelings or life insights about that story with them as well.
From the main FamilySearch menu, click on "Memories", then "Gallery".
In the top middle part of the Gallery screen, you will see a large green plus button. Click on this button to add a story.
In the middle of the screen, there is a book icon and a "Create a Story" button underneath it. Click on that button.
You are now at the actual create story page. Near the top of the screen is the "Save Story" button and just to the left is a dropdown selection to make your story Public or Private. You will probably want to leave this option as "Public" so that others can see this story.
The next panel down allows you to upload up to 10 images that are associated with your story.
There is a "Title" line so you can title your story. You have up to 144 characters to do this.
The next area is the "Story" area. Start writing your story. You can always come back later after saving it should you need to edit parts of the story. This is where you also might consider using the "Private" option should you have to stop in the middle of the story before finishing it. Don't forget to change it back to "Public" after you have completed your story.
It's that easy to create a story and associate photos with it. Upload photos if you haven't already done so for the story, or use the "Select From Gallery" link if there are photos already stored in your Gallery that you want to use. You can associate a photo with many different stories.
This last step is VERY important. You must enter at least one name into the "Who is in this memory?" text box. If there is no assigned person, the story will remain in your Gallery, but not attached to anyone for others to see the story.
The example below shows 3 people to which a story was attached. Best practice: attach the story to all those that are mentioned within the story. In this way, your story gets "spread around" amongst many different folks thereby increasing the visibility of the story to others.
From the story page you would like to share with family, click on the "Share" link as seen in the image below. A dropdown list of share options appears. If you use Facebook, Twitters, or Pinterest to share items, choose one of these. More typically, you will either be Emailing OR Texting your family members.
Clicking on the Email link will open up your email client, like Outlook, Apple Mail, or whatever app you use. If you work from inside a browser like with gmail, Yahoo, etc, this link will not work for you.
The "Copy Link" option is often actually the easiest to use. By copying the link, you can paste it into EITHER a new email OR into a new text message, and send it off to your family.
You have just sent your family, children, grandchildren, etc the link by email or text message. What happens on THEIR end? When they click on the link, the FamilySearch webpage you shared will open up. They will not even have to log into FamilySearch. Isn't that great? Your grandchildren will not even need an account to see what you have shared with them.