Tips from the Pros: In Their Own Words, from Juliana Smith

Julia.jpgI am fortunate that my mother taped several interviews with my grandmother before she died. Several years ago, I transcribed one of those interviews and over the holidays I found the transcription very helpful. I was creating a family history book with MyCanvas for my grandmother’s sister who is now ninety-six years old. Her mother died when she was very young so she doesn’t remember her well.

In that taped interview, my grandmother had talked about her mother:

“She was very good to us. She never went anywhere–nor did my father–never went anywhere without bringing us a bag of candy and hugging us and kissing us. And our mother loved flowers, oh, did she love flowers. And she loved oleanders, and as a surprise, my father got her and on the porch we had two wash tubs, like this, and one pink and one white oleander. And my father says when they stopped blooming that something’s going to happen. . . And when they stopped blooming, my mother died.”

I included that quote (and another quote about her father) in the book.

If you have family interviews with stories or descriptions of family members, be sure to include them in your family history. They will give future generations a first-person look at your ancestors.

Click on the image to enlarge the page I created.

4 thoughts on “Tips from the Pros: In Their Own Words, from Juliana Smith

  1. I recorded a number of interviews with relatives when I was in my 20′s. I’m now 53, and I’ve recently transferred them to my computer and am in the middle of transcribing all of them. I’m so glad I took the time to spend time with these lovely people now that they’re gone. I plan to use Sound Soap 2 to eliminate the tape hiss and rumble, put the interviews and transcripts on cd and send to relatives. I’m sure they’ll bring hours of tears and joy. I encourage people to take the time to sit and talk to relatives in front of a tape recorder or computer.

  2. What is Sound Soap 2 and where do you find it?
    We need it for old family films we want to use
    for a 50th Anniversary of our Family Cabin in
    April. Thanks for any help.
    Doris Kelley
    Doris Kelley

  3. I have used a number of audio recordings in my work as a video biographer. I like to extract key parts and overlay a photo montage or even a map. Tape quality and recording conditions are sometimes problems, and accents can be hard for the following generations, so I usually add sub-titles just to be sure.

  4. Both of my parents recorded their life stories on audiotape. I have had them converted to CDs but would now like to have them transcribed. Does anyone know of a company that offers this service? Thank you.

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