Here’s one history lesson you won’t get in school: the story of your family and where it came from, also known as your genealogy. But with a little research, and help from these apps, you can discover this information for yourself and can preserve your findings for your children and future generations. Unless otherwise noted, you can find each product in both the App Store for Apple and the Google Play Store for Android.
When beginning to dig into your family’s lineage, it’s best to start by consulting your living relatives. Facebook has been around since 2004 and has over 2.27 billion users, so it’s likely that many of your family members are on the site. Start by using the Search function to look for these folks. You can narrow down more common names by including locations and occupations in the search terms. If you find potential relatives, introduce yourself and tell them about your quest. If they’re interested in being part of your journey, you can start asking questions and possibly sharing some information of your own. Use Facebook Messenger for more private discussions as you may be disclosing some personal information.
Find a Grave
Cemeteries are ripe with family information, but how can you visit the plots of your ancestors if they’re located in a different city from yours? The Find a Grave app lets you tour cemeteries virtually so you can search for ancestors from over 120 million graves. If you happen to visit a cemetery in person, you can upload any information you find so that others searching for their own ancestors can take advantage of your findings.
Life’s Time Capsule
Once you start receiving photos, audio recordings, videos and text, you can store them in the Life’s Time Capsule app, which has a free 10-day trial, after which it charges a small subscription fee. The fee gives you 50 GB of storage and cloud space, which also includes a security guarantee. Because it is online, the digital memories can be accessed by anyone around the world who grants it permission. This allows you to collaborate and share information with family members based in different locations.
FamilySearch Family Tree
When you’re ready to start organizing and creating your family tree, the highly rated FamilySearch Family Tree makes that process possible. This is the mobile version of FamilySearch.org, where you can search for ancestors, store memories like stories and photos and attach records to your tree. You can also easily add Facebook and Instagram photos, locate relatives in the crowd around you and map out the main events of your ancestors’ lives. Preserving your family’s history can be a great way to bond with your known relatives, as well as a way to discover new family members. By using each app, you can create a thorough database which you can continue to pass down to the next generation to add to and enjoy.