Yes...It's Possible

Uploading Family Videos to FamilySearch

     Have you ever wanted to upload old family videos to FamilySearch? Though FamilySearch doesn't have a specific mechanism to do this, it is still possilble to "reference" them on FamilySearch. For example, I have converted some old 8mm film movies to a digital format and it would be fun to share them with other family members that probably have never seen them. It's great to watch old video clips of family, but only if you know who they are. There is no way to "tag" people in videos, like we do with photographs. There is a way though to make sure that each individual in the video clip can be easily identified. For an example of referencing ancestral videos, click on this LINK. An actual FamilySearch webpage will open up and display an example of how this works. This is a PDF file uploaded to FamilySearch with a couple of photos of those in the movie clips, a description about the video, and of course, the link to the video. So, although the video clip doesn't actually exist on FamilySearch, it can still be referenced there.

What is the Process to Upload Videos to FamilySearch?

Step #1 - Converting Your Video Media Into a Digital Format

     The first step of course is to have some video clips available to upload. You will need to go through the process of digitizing your old 8mm/Super 8mm movie films or VHS movie tapes. Converting your VHS tapes is actually quite easy to do. All you need is an "analog to digital" convertor that plugs between your computer and the VHS tape machine. The software that comes with the convertor will convert the signal comimg in from the VHS player into a digital file. To convert a 60" tape requires 60" of playing time. Click this LINK for a descriptive webpage that describes a little more how to do this. We also have 4 VHS tape machines at our local Idaho Falls FamilySearch Center that will convert your tapes for you, along with the help from great library staff.

     Converting old 8mm or Super 8mm movie film requires a movie film digitizer. Our local Center has a Wolverine Movie digitizer available for use. It can be a bit finicky for those new to using it, but available staff can help you get the film digitized.

     Your final digital video file is probably quite large. For example a 2 hour VHC tape generally produces a file size of about 1gb and even larger at times. You will NOT easily share that size of movie file with others. This is where some "editing" comes in. Windows 10 and Apple Macs have software that allow you to break your full movie file into small clips and then save each clip as a separate small digital file. For example, on your digital video file, you may have recorded "Jenny's birthday party", "Easter activities", "a Trip to Yellowstone", "the kids going back to school", and so forth. Break each of these separate activities into individual clips. Until I get a tutorial made about how to do this, you can always contact me at this LINK for help in how to do this.

Step #2 - Uploading Your Video Clips to a "Cloud Drive"

     There are many different "cloud drives" out there to think about using. Many folks use Google Drive, Dropbox, or Microsoft OneDrive. There are others as well with a less common name that work equally well. Once a file is in a cloud drive, it is a simple matter of obtaining a "share link". This is nothing more than a standard URL that points to that video clip.

     There is one more "cloud drive" that is probably the best option to consider and that option is "". There is a good reason to consider using YouTube in that it is free and will likely be around "forever". Consider your clips being hosted on Google Drive for example. One day, maybe years down the road, you decide that you no longer want to pay for the storage space that your videos are hosted on. Suddenly all those links you created for those video clips sitting on FamilySearch are no longer valid. It is for this reason primarily that I would recommend using YouTube as your hosting service.

     If you already have a Google account, then you automatically have a YouTube account as well. Click the LINK to open a brief tutorial webpage on how to upload a movie clip and assign the needed properties to the video. It's NOT hard at all as you will see.

Step #3 - Your Video Clips Are Now on YouTube. What Next?

     This is the fun part and can bring out the creativity in you. Do you remember how to capture screen shots? They don't have to be excellent quality, just good enough to be able to identify specific people in the video clip. If you need a "brush-up" on this, I have a blog page to show you how to do this at this LINK..

     Let's get some screenshots of the people in the video clip. Paste your YouTube video clip link into a browser and try to make the video window almost the full screen size. Play the video clip until you seen some people you want to identify in your video clip and then pause the video playback. Using the Windows Snipping Tool, screenshot the video window.

     Open up a Word type document. This will be the "container" that holds all your screenshots and text. Paste the screenshot into the Word type document. Contine to go through your video clip pausing on different sections of your video to try to capture all the people that are in the video. Grab a screenshot and paste into your Word document. You can paste the YouTube video link right into the document, but if you want to be more fancy, create a "hyperlink". Notice that you can not "SEE" the YouTube link as it is "hidden" inside the Click to Watch Video Clip words. This is called a "hyperlink" and when clicked on, the YouTube video opens in a browser window.

     Hopefully you are familiar with word processing documents and can resize and move the photos around to create a fun looking page(s). Once your photos are where you want them, go to the menu and click on "Insert Textbox". You will place a text box under each image and type in who the individuals are in the image.

     Here is another example of a video clip uploaded to FamilySearch via a PDF file. Click on this LINK to get a better understanding of what can be done with creating these PDF files. Creating these kind of mixed image and text documents can be a little tricky if you are not familiar with word processors. Once your word document has been created, save it as a PDF. You will probably also want to save the document as a Word file as well, in case you want to do some modifications at some point later.

     Another point to make here is that you do not have to limit your document to one page. You may have 5-10 pages. If you do add a lot of photo screenshots, your PDF file size may become too large to upload to FamilySearch. There are PDF compressors that you can use to shrink the size down. You can check out this LINK for websites that will do this for free.

Step #4 - Upload Your File to FamilySearch

     Uploading your PDF file to FamilySearch is actually quite easy. Log into FamilySearch, click on the "Memories" tab, then "Gallery". There will be a big green "plus sign" and when clicked on, a new upload page appears. You can either drag you PDF file onto the screen, or click on the "Choose Files" button to locate and upload your file. Once this is completed, the PDF file will be in your Gallery page. It may take a moment for FamilySearch to review and accept the PDF. Once this is done, double click to open the document page. In the upper right page, you will see a section called "People" with a textbox asking "Who is in this memory?". Enter all the people's names who are in the document. Notice that when you hover you mouse cursor over the hyperlink that you have created in the PDF, it will change to a "hand" indicating that you can click on the hyperlink to open the file in another browser tab.

     Hopefully you have successfully completed this process. If you run into any snags, please contact me. At the bottom of the homepage, there is a contact button. I will gladly help you with this process.

You Now Have a Document on FamilySearch That Allows You to Share a Video!