Saturday, April 27, 2019

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun -- Family Home Movies and Videotape

It's Saturday Night, 

time for more Genealogy Fun!!

For this week's mission (should you decide to accept it), answer the question:

1)  What home movies and/or videotapes of your families do you have - either passed down from earlier generations, or your own?

2)  What have you done with them?  Are they still on reels, or have they been digitized?  Have you put them on a website, or in the cloud?  

3)  If you haven't, what do you plan to do with them?  Will you digitize them?  Who will you pass them on to?
4)  Put your responses in your own blog post, in a comment on this blog post, or in a status or comment on Facebook.

Here's mine:

1)  What I have:  I have about 100 home movies in my collection - about 70 from my grandfather Lyle Carringer from the 1940s to about 1960; about 8 from my father from the 1960s;  about 20 of our family from the 1970s and early 1980s.

I also have a videotape collection of family videos from the Massachusetts Seaver families from the 1940s to 1970s, and some of our family from the 1980s.  However, I cannot find this collection.  I need to search some more.

2)  What I've done:  Our movie projector and VHS player failed many years ago (perhaps around 2000?) and we did not replace them.  I did number and caption the home movies on a sheet of paper and stickie notes on the movie reels.

At RootsTech 2018, I bought a Forever box ( and in late February 2019 I selected 23 home movies (the "best ones" hopefully) and filled out the paper work.  The box came in the mail with FedEx with directions and a mailing label to send it back, and I faithfully followed directions and sent it back on 1 March 2019.  All I had to do was select the movies, put a number sticker on them, make a list of the numbers and desired captions, put them in the box along with my order form, and take it to Fedex.  

The Forever box got to Green Bay, Wisconsin by 5 March, and they sent it back on 5 April, and I got it from the FedEx truck on 11 April.  All of the movies were there, along with two DVDs and a USB drive that each had all 23 MP4 files on them.  The cost for all of this was about $330 (east 50 foot reel is $15, the DVDs cost a bit also, and there was a discount offer).

Finally, last Saturday, 21 April I had some free time and I watched all of them (they are each about 3 minutes long).  That was the most fun I've had in a long time.  Laughing, crying, trying to remember, and seeing my people moving and interacting with me and with each other.  What a precious gift.  Well worth the money.

I uploaded two of the movies to my YouTube channel.  The two I selected were my parents wedding in 1942 (Reel 21) and our wedding in 1970 (Reel 01).  

While I watched the movies on my computer, I made some screen captures of certain scenes of interest and saved them.  I need to make more of those, and then crop the images to just the movie frame.  The most precious one I did was my 91 year-old great-grandfather, Henry Austin Carringer, playing with me on my first birthday on his lap in October 1944.  I had never seen his smile!  It's beautiful!

3)  Plans?  Needless to say, I will upload more of the movies to YouTube, but probably not all of them, in the near future.

I am debating whether to buy another Forever box for at least one more batch of the home movies - my heart says YES!!!  If I find my videotapes, then I will do another Forever box for those too.

My plan is to use software to add a voice track to the silent movies and load them back on the YouTube channel, and also to the DVDs and USB drive for posterity.  I need to find a cloud home for all of them also.  

I will pass them on to my two daughters and five grandchildren on the DVDs and the cloud storage.  Hopefully they will enjoy seeing their mothers as babies and children, not to mention me and my brothers as babies and children.

4)  I did - now it's your turn!


Copyright (c) 2019, Randall J. Seaver

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Heather Wilkinson Rojo said...

Randy, you were an adorable baby! You take after your grandfather.

Seeds to Tree said...

It s fitting that this subject is part of your Saturday Night series. First, you've been converting many of your family's films. For me, the saga of family films did not go as well. I recently took a class on how to convert film to photos and asked my mother if I could borrow the many years of film my father had taken. Her answer was - Oh! Those! I threw them out years ago! Gone are scenes of my gr-grandfather visiting in his late 80's. Gone are is the Bastille Day parade in the 1960's including a waving Charles DeGaulle. So much time my father put into the filming, then editting, and splicing. Luckily, my brother had borrowed the films in the mid-1990's and made a one hour video of some key moments. The first 20 minutes is of a European trip my parents took. I don't know the places, no relatives included, just the two of them at unrecognizable locations. The rest of the film was very interesting. My brother did a great editing job. I took this video to my local library and saved it to a flash drive. Then added it my computer. I've made a paper index, so I know at minute 30, it's a birthday party and who attended. I plan to share this with family in the near future. Wish I could see the other 100 hours of film, that was tossed, but I do have a nice edited version. Thanks to my brother.

Lacie Madison said...

Here is my post.

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