Choosing How Far Back You’ll Go in Researching Your Family History

Researching your family’s history can mean different things depending on your interest level.

You can satisfy your curiosity about your family’s past by looking at old photos, home movies, slides, or other media and jotting down your recollections and understanding of what you’re viewing.

Or you can dig deeper and travel back farther in time.

Keep reading to learn your options in researching your family’s history and permanently safeguarding your current and older media files. You can see in this photo where I can access photos and stories of my parents and their history.

Keep reading to see the storage solution I use.

Shot of Digital Photo Album from Melody Whitehead's Parents
My parents’ digital album with their photos from childhood to senior years in one place

Researching Family Photos with Your Recent Past

What: Photos of parents or grandparents and old letters that you hadn’t seen or appreciated.

Significance: Are there photos, videos, or 8mm films letting you learn something new about your parents or grandparents?

How to research and what to write: Check with other living relatives on their stories and share photos. Jot notes about the year, if you know it, personalities, and why this memory is important. How did it affect you?

Storing: Preserve these memories and safeguard them for your children and grandchildren. You’re a link between the generations.


Researching Earlier Generations

What: Photos of your grandparents or other relatives when they were younger. Look for old letters and family mementos like a family Bible.

Significance: This helps you understand your identity more—and shows you pieces of your family’s story that you didn’t know existed. Discover their joys and the challenges they had to overcome.

How to research and what to write: Comb through archives of local historical societies and newspaper obituaries. Check repositories like the U.S. Gen Web project or, in Canada, the Library and Archives Canada.

Storing: You’re bringing in specific pieces to complete a family puzzle and share with future generations.



Researching Family Lines into an Earlier Century

What: Old stories along with birth and death records archived in local churches.

Significance: You’ll discover stories of distant relatives you never knew—and gain an appreciation for what they experienced and what you’ve become.

How to research and what to write: You may have to approach stories like the writer of a historical novel or biographer. Consider a professional family researcher and genealogist to uncover hard-to-locate snippets of information.

Here’s a peek at researching my family’s lineage using the services of FOREVER®.

Screenshot of family research
Compiling my family’s history with research help

Solutions for Storing and Sharing Family Research Media Files

I’ve been a photo coach for 27 years helping families organize and store their most meaningful memories. Our photos, videos, and other media are unique to our families—even older handwritten letters.

In the past, I showed families how to make the most of traditional scrapbook albums to organize photos and write brief notes or stories to share.

In the digital era, I’m using a solution that’s a complete memory-keeping system: FOREVER®.

Get out from being overwhelmed with today’s digital photos and videos while safeguarding the family history that you’ve researched.

FOREVER® makes it easy to digitize and upload everything from old handwritten letters to 8mm home movies and even recent VHS tapes. Of course, you can store photos from any era and digitize all of your existing scrapbook albums.


Benefits of Owning a Guaranteed Space

Social media sites and lower-cost storage sites charging a monthly rental fee aren’t permanent storage solutions.

I’ll be glad to talk more with you about that, but the main reason is the Terms of Service can be changed to their advantage at any time.

Plus, your data is used for marketing purposes.

Comparison chart from FOREVER
Compare the services you know with FOREVER

FOREVER® guarantees permanent storage that’s designed to last because the company is committed to staying up to date with the inevitable changes in technology.

And you can own your digital storage space so that you’re in control.

From your digital album, you set privacy settings to choose who you’ll allow to see your photos—or you can make the settings private so only you can see.



Friends of mine and I get together to learn from each other in writing our family stories—your FOREVER® gives you space to write brief notes or longer descriptions about photos, videos and documents. We also offer other online sessions to learn something new.

Check the Events page on my website.


Print is Still Useful

Digital albums are great places to digitize and store your old media files, your current photos and videos on your phone or tablets—and turn those into gifts like photo books.

Idea: That old family black and white pic you’ve discovered can be turned into wall art or other type of gift.


I’m Here to Help

Adult daughter with her senior mother
Me and mom today



I’m on a mission to help more families safeguard their most meaningful memories.

Contact me and let me know how I might be able to help.

I invite you to try FOREVER® for free with 2GBs of storage space. You’ll get a feel for how easy it is to upload, store, and organize all your media files.

Again, check the Events page of my website to learn how to write your family’s story and more.





If you’re interested in professional photo organizing as an income stream, then read this blog post to learn more:

3 Reasons to Start Professional Photo Organizing as a Full-Time or Part-Time Business



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