Take a moment with an item handed down through your family and consider the story or stories behind it. If you think of photographs or other images to illustrate the story, you have the start of a video. Here are three types of artifacts offering ancestor story video ideas:
#1 — Books
Books passed down through the generations may carry dates, inscriptions, and possibly even a true love story between the pages. Our book collection contains two copies of A.A. Milne’s Winnie-the-Pooh, one from my mother’s childhood, and the other a gift given to my father as a young man. When my parents married, the two copies became a part of our household’s collective library.
My brothers and I grew up listening to and reading Pooh stories. I passed on that love for Pooh to my kids. It’s fun to show them their grandma’s name written inside the cover of her copy in her childish handwriting. Because he passed away when I was a child, I treasure my father’s handwritten inscription made in 1944 in his copy of Winnie-the-Pooh.
#2 — Tools — Kitchen, workshop, and other household items
At our house we serve up ice cream with a worn, heavy-duty Hamilton Beach ice cream spade, which belonged to my maternal grandpa. During the Great Depression in Ocala, Florida, my grandpa owned an office supply store featuring a soda fountain at the front to entice passersby. He used an ice cream spade for scooping milk shakes and ice cream sundaes for customers. My mother talks about going to the store as a child and ordering a banana split, a special treat in those lean years. Now, every time we dish up ice cream we usually talk about Grandpa’s store!
#3 — Mementos
Dictionary.com defines memento as “an object or item that serves to remind one of a person, past event.”
It only makes sense that a mementos supply us with remembrances of an ancestor or their experience. Click on the photo below to link to a video where I use my great-uncle’s Georgia Tech memento to springboard into stories about his time as a football player for Tech in the 1920s. The stories are especially meaningful because my oldest son now attends Georgia Tech, just like his great-great uncle, “Unk” did.
Take a look around to see what items around you remind you of a beloved ancestor’s story. And then take the first step in making a short, engaging family history video by downloading some free Ancestor Story Video Checklist Tools. Click here to get started.