My grandmother once stowed away in the back seat of her father’s Model-T while her sister went on a date. Then they crashed the car, into a pig. Now that she’s gone, I really wish I’d had her record stories like that one so that my kids, especially my daughter who’s named after her, could know her a little better. But thanks to Immortalia, a cool new family history app, we can start digitizing our family memories
I suggest starting with some of the guided questions on the app, which include basic genealogy-type facts about your birth and family background, as well as more specific questions about your adolescence, your love life, your career, and even your regrets.
It’s a good way to warm up relatives to being recorded on video — which can be awkward, we know. But it’s another wonderful feature of the app.
But I really like about the app is the ability to preserve those stories that are most full of personality. So after you answer the guided questions, you can scroll to the last category on the home page which allows you to create your own questions. And you can always go back and add more questions later.
This isn’t a project that’s completed in a couple of hours, or even a long weekend. But every time you visit a parent, grandparent, or beloved aunt, you can get a little more info each time.
The app is free, however a paid subscription allows you to store your videos in the cloud and share them via email. Maybe with with those kids and grandkids who will grow up to cherish those carefully preserved family memories that might otherwise be lost forever.
Download the Immortalia app for iOS before your next visit to Grandma and Grandpa’s house. Subscription fees are $2.99/month or $29.99/year.
Updated to clarify:
The way you access the videos once your grandparents record them is a little confusing, so we want to clarify. With the free version of the app, the videos are saved only on the device they’re recorded on. You can’t share them, unless you share your iPad too. With the premium version ($2.99/month) you share your videos to Immortalia’s secure cloud. Once they’re on the cloud, anyone you share them with can download them to their own devices to save forever. But a one-month membership may be all you need if you can get them uploaded (and then downloaded) quickly.