Creating Family History Videos Easily and for Free

Videos are a fun and effective way to share family history. Imagine taking an old photo album and creating a video where you tell stories about those people and places. It’s easier than you think – and you can do it for free – with a new program called Adobe Spark

Here’s a short (minute and a half) video I created using Adobe Spark. 

Videos give us another way to tell stories. Case in point: Until my daughter saw this, she didn’t realize that her grandpa first had a Texaco station and later changed to Gulf. Yes, she’s heard us talking about it over the years, but it never quite sank in.

The longest and hardest part of the video-making process was deciding what photos I wanted to include. (And looking up the address of the Texaco station because I couldn’t remember it.)

Imagine the uses for video in your family history. Instead of a map on a wall, you could have a video showing where your ancestors came from. You could walk through a timeline of your ancestor’s military service. You could make a virtual cemetery with photos of tombstones. With the voiceover, you can record your explanation of what’s on the screen.

Adobe Spark makes it so easy to create and videos. After you’ve made your video, you can upload it to YouTube or Facebook. You could make several of them and play them in a loop at a family reunion. (My mind is reeling with possibilities!)

Here’s how you can make your own family history video using Adobe Spark:

It took longer for me to explain how I made my video than it took for me to actually make the video!

Adobe Spark is also available for iOS as three different apps – Adobe Spark Video, Adobe Spark Page, and Adobe Spark Post. (I expect an Android version soon.) All three iOS apps are free. If you log in with your Adobe ID, the app with sync with projects you started on your computer.

I am very excited about this new program. I hope you’ll give it a try! What ideas do you have for a video you’d like to make? (And if you do make one, leave a link in the comments below. I’d love to see it!)

Creating Family History Videos for Free with Adobe Spark

Videos are a fun and effective way to share family history. See how you can create them easily and for free with Adobe Spark.

Videos are a fun and effective way to share family history. See how you can create them easily and for free with Adobe Spark.

35 thoughts on “Creating Family History Videos Easily and for Free

  1. Amy – Thank you so very much! I have seen similar videos and thought such a thing was beyond my meager talents. Your video changed my mind – I’m thrilled with the idea of making my own family videos – can’t thank you enough for the detailed tutorial. Can’t wait to start my own – thank you, thank you, thank you! – Pat

    • Pat — First, I’m sure you have more than “meager” talent 🙂 Adobe Spark is so easy to use. I bet you’ll have a lot of fun with it. Feel free to leave a a link to your video when you make one!

    • It really is a cool resource for us! I’m guessing a lot of people are going to be making more videos very soon 🙂

  2. I have been searching for a tool like this. Thank you Amy for sharing… stay tuned to watch my family videos.

  3. Oh, Amy, I just saw your video of your dad and the Texaco station! My dad had a Gulf station in Amarillo, Texas. My two sisters and I spent many an hour at “the station”. Dad went on to become the Gulf Oil distributor until his retirement some years ago. Incidentally he still owns the same building and property. I just had to comment!

    • That’s neat! If your sisters and you were like my sisters and me, I bet you *loved* being at the station!

      • We did! There was a penny gum ball machine that we loved. Someone would give us a penny to use. My middle sister always threw down the black gumballs!
        And I once got stuck inside the phone booth located on the corner of the property!

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  6. Hi Amy:

    Thank you for the Spark Video info and tutorial. I created a “test” video, but when I clicked the Share button nothing happened. Other people who experienced the same issue have posted the Adobe Spark Support and Facebook pages. Has this ever happened to you? If so, how did you resolve the problem?

    • Hi, Lynn. It hasn’t happened to me, but I have I have heard about it. I’ve heard two things that might help. First – turn off your popup blocker. Second — use either smaller photos (smaller in terms of file size) or fewer photos. If I find anything more concrete, I’ll post it here.

      • Hi Amy: I turned off the popup blocker in Firefox and the Share button in Spark is still inactive. Also tried to share using the Chrome browser. Unable to share from Chrome. I will try resizing a few photos and creating a new test video to see if it works. Thanks for you prompt reply!

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  10. Thank you so much! A great time of year to have something new and fun to work on when it’s cold outside. Like a lot of others, I thought videos were beyond my level of technology skills but once again, you have made it possible.

  11. Funny story, my dad was responsible for the phasing out of Texaco East of the Mississippi. My dad was on vacation, and his work contacted my brother and I at school (he was out on a tractor and couldn’t be reach), We had to leave and go find him in the fields so he could call New York immediately. It was a sad time for use as my dad worked to sell all the property and close stations. And of course he worked himself out of a job. Funny how things are connected.

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