Those of us belonging to large, branching families know how chaotic and hectic things can be when dealing with our beloved extended household. It is easy to forget who is who and who did what, which makes it even more difficult to pass down these memories to future generations. Do yourself and your nuclear bunch a favor and take charge of building and organizing a database of your family’s history and memories. And let us guide you through!
It can be difficult - it certainly is - but someone must do it. Gathering memories and moments from a significant amount of people can be a mountainous task that requires patience and determination. Being tech savvy will be to your advantage, but you’ll see later that with Kumbu, technical expertise is not required.
It also helps if you enjoy pretending to be a detective because you will be scouring various sources to come up with as much useful information and media as you can. Communication is key, so being available to reach out to everyone and coaxing others into putting in effort will also go a long way. If you have several people willing to make a team effort of the collecting the information, the task will be much easier!
Many of the memories you are looking to collect are already online on the various social media networks and media sharing platforms that we use today. They could be on Facebook, Instagram, or Snapchat or they could be in messaging services like email, Messenger and WhatsApp. You will likely be able to pull years’ worth of memories in these places that will be a great addition to your family history.
Other physical memories may be held by many members of your family: in photo albums, in hand written letters or postcards. One great thing to do is to scan these memories so everyone can enjoy them. You don't need to actually use a scanning machine. You may simply take a picture of the memories with a recent smartphone and the quality will be good enough to capture the essence of the memory. Some like to use apps like Adobe Scan or Google Photo Scan that can be handy.
When it comes to putting together family memories, it is best to have more than enough. Online sites that offer surveys like Typerform are a great method to get engagement from your family members and to get the ball rolling. Do your best at contacting everyone to get them to participate by explaining the purpose and meaning of your end goal.
Ask them what it means to be in your family and what are some of their fondest memories of their experience with their family. It could be anything – favorite places to visit together, favorite foods and handed down recipes, or favorite family songs. Anything that has meaning to them that brings back the good old days and makes them happy will likely do the same for others in the family and future generations.
Use the information you gathered from conversations or surveys of your family to decide what format their memories should be compiled as. You will likely get a variety of responses, so be prepared to receive videos, pictures, documents, or messages. Some of what you might receive might not be digital either. If people send you things like letters, postcards, or physical pictures, we mentioned earlier to scan and upload them to your PC. Many libraries also will help you with digitizing your family history.
It may be a challenging task, but just remember that when it is all organized efficiently and correctly, these individual pieces can become a cohesive representation of your family’s history and memories.
Kumbu is the perfect place to put all the digital memories you gathered. It is secure and private, and everyone in your family may add their memories directly to Kumbu. Take what you have found and add it to what your family members provided you with to create an excellently organized family history full of wonderful moments and great memories. Having them all in a single place will make it much easier to share with everyone in your family.