Family History Family Records: Preserving oral history By Esther January 14, 2014 Share Share Copy Link One way to document and preserve family history is recording oral history interviews with relatives. This really brings our family trees to life, as it reveals the lives and memories of our family members in ways that dry facts, records or even photos cannot. You may learn the story behind a family event captured in a photograph, emotions surrounding life events, and the names of previously unknown relatives in photographs. Video recordings reveal how our relative sounds and what he or she looks like. We can get a genuine feel for their character. In a recent article in the Examiner, archives technician Aaron Holt at the National Archives Fort Worth (Texas), said, “It only takes three generations to lose a piece of oral family history.” Holt continued, “It must be purposely and accurately repeated over and over again through the generations to be preserved for a genealogist today.” Family history has to be passed down properly to younger generations, and recorded properly to save the legacy. Family stories are often altered over the years as they are passed down from parents to their children. There should be a strong oral history or a document to back them up. This is why it is so important to interview older family members, to record their stories and preserve family memories. It is vital to ask the right questions that encourage the older generation to open up and discuss the family stories. Start interviewing your family members today! Check out our 10 Tips for Interviewing Family Members. Have you learned anything new from interviewing family members? Let us know in the comments below!