“I live in Maine and have awesome century old relatives that love to share stories. Most are in nursing homes and have hours and hours available of awesome family stories. I am limited on traveling because most visits are five hour drives one way. They love talking on the phone. Is there any recommendation for an app that could record our conversations for historical preservation. I would love to share these stories with the Maine Memory Network before they are forgotten.”
Lucky you for having these relatives to gather stories from! You mentioned using an “app” so I’m assuming you want to be able to use your smartphone. Here’s a good article with some options for recording from a smartphone.
How to record phone calls on Skype
Another alternative is to get a Skype account, and call them from your computer using a headset with microphone. For about $2.95 you can call any phone number (calling another skype account is free) and then you could use the program “Pamela” to record the call. Pamela works seamlessly with Skype, automatically generating the recording when you call. The file is saved on your computer as an easy to use MP3 file. The free version of Pamela lets you record for up to 15 minutes at a time. You can always restart another recording after 15 minutes, or purchase the software for unlimited recording length.
Janice’s response to my advice: “Oh how exciting. I like the Skype idea. I have discovered so many relatives to that were orphaned this would be a great way to capture their lost stories. Thanks a million!”
More Tips for Interviewing Relatives
Episode 14: How to Contact Long-Lost Relatives. Connecting with someone who knows about our ancestors can really boost our research results—and even create new relationships among living kin. But it’s not always easy to send that first email or make that first call. In this episode, we chat with my cousin, Carolyn Ender, who has mastered the art of “genealogical cold calling” by conducting hundreds of telephone interviews.
Episode 15: More Tips for Contacting Distant Relatives. In today’s episode we talk more about “genealogical cold calling” with my cousin, Carolyn Ender, who has conducted hundreds of telephone interviews. Relationships are key to genealogical success and by following 14 genealogical cold calling strategies you will find your research relationships multiplying.