The Digital Age and Family Reunions: How to attain the most out of a gathering

In 1932 when my ancestors took a family reunion photo, they did not have in mind our generation, inasmuch as they minded lunch. Instead, they would search for where little Melvin had vanished to and worry about when it was time to leave to get home. However, I am very glad for the time they spared as this photo has now become priceless for the whole family.

This Summer when there is a get together for family reunions, it is important that you ensure future generations can access family reunions that are considered important. Stories and FamilySearch photos offer tools that help in capturing, preserving and sharing memories for the family and future generations.

The following are useful tips and ideas for using stories and photos that may add some flair to reunions. You may try this out in case you haven’t had the chance of using stories and photos before. An automated search was recently added which is useful in finding your ancestors photos. On the photo page, you’re only required to click the blue button in order to log in and see the photos that others have added.

Family
Photo Credit: Christi Olerich (Humble) on flickr

General Ideas

At any family gathering, you will find several photos related activities that may happen. The following are some of the ideas.

Taking a Group Photo- This is a no brainer, and for purposes of generations to come, it is important to have all family members captured.

Photo slideshow- You may set up your television or laptop with a looping slide show of family members. Get as many people as possible to contribute to the slide show. Ensure that the photos are uploaded to FamilySearch.org in order for family members to see the photos on their arrival.

Photo name tags— From every attendee, obtain a headshot and for larger events get their ancestral origin placing a name tag on each photo in order to ensure that everybody remembers their names. Most get-togethers and family reunions are held in locations or other buildings that have Wi-Fi. Other family members may bring along some sort of Internet Hot Spot. Whatever the case is, take advantage of internet access, if available, for you document the family history on FamilySearch.

Story presentation and Photos- On FamilySearch.org when uploading the photo, tag and link it to your family tree. One can arrange for a projector for use in larger groups. A laptop would come in handy for smaller groups. All photos linked to the ancestors in the 4th generation pedigree chart will show up. Just to test it, one may visit the FamilySearch Photos page and click on the blue button.

Photo identification- In order to identify the people in these photos that have been uploaded, work with groups and individuals. The picture of my family reunion is a great example. I do not know everybody in the photo but the blanks can be filled by working together.

Offer time for exploring- In order for the Family Tree fan chart to be explored, it is important to have a few laptops together with stories of their own pace. Stories may be added to photos and other people who were previously unknown can be added to the photos.

Recording time- A video recorder together with a handheld digital audio recorder may be used in capturing individuals sharing memories and telling stories which can be cherished and preserved by future generations.

Nevertheless, you will be glad to share a reunion photo by use of this approach. The stories and photos of our ancestors may be useful in creating a connection that bridges generations.