Calling all Genea-Musings Fans:
It’s Saturday Night again –
time for some more Genealogy Fun!!
Here is your assignment, should you decide to accept it (you ARE reading this, so I assume that you really want to play along – cue the Mission Impossible music!):
1) Then and Now – Did you ever conduct oral interviews of family members or friends and neighbors about your ancestors over the years? Who did you interview, how did you record the interviews, and what did you learn from them? Please share your experiences.
While recording an oral interview can easily be done with an app on a smartphone today, that wasn’t the case when I first started doing genealogy. Since I started my genealogy journey in 1978, I would have had to use a cassette recorder to record an oral interview. If I would have done that, then I would have to have converted those cassette recordings to digital formats to have any hope of preserving them.
Even though I talked family history with my grandmother almost every time we were together, those conversations were not recorded as an audio file. However, they were ‘recorded’ using a different ‘technology’: pencil and paper. Not only did I take notes during those conversations, but my grandmother wrote about her memories in some of her letters.
While I don’t have any audio recordings from either of my grandmothers, I did interview my parents prior to my dad’s death. Those interviews were recorded onto a small digital recorder. Since I wanted those interviews to survive into the future, I uploaded them as memories to his profile on FamilySearch.
I also used those interviews to write up the various family stories. Those stories were ‘published’ in a Shutterfly book. Each of my siblings, nieces and nephew received a copy of this book.
What we all wouldn’t give if we could step back in time and record oral interviews for posterity!