Genealogy Gems Podcast Episode 245 – Telling Your Family’s Story with Video

with Lisa Louise Cooke
September 2020

Don’t just gather genealogical information. Take the time to tell your ancestors’ stories!

Video is the perfect medium for sharing your family’s history. It captures the interest of the eyes and the ears.

In this episode my special guest is Kathy Nielsen. She’s a librarian from California who recently started creating videos. She’s going to walk you through the simple yet effective process she followed. Then I will share additional things to consider and strategies that you can use.

If you’re not interested in creating a video, that’s OK. Today’s episode will make you a better storyteller and will provide you with inspiring story examples by other genealogists.

Elevenses with Lisa Episode 14 – Creating Family History Story Videos

Watch the video and read the full show notes here.

Creating family history story videos

After listening to this episode, watch Elevenses with Lisa episode 16 How to Make a Video with Adobe Spark  to learn how to make videos quickly and easily for free.

Genealogy Gems Premium Members can download the handy PDF show notes for each of these Elevenses with Lisa episodes. Simply log into your membership, and then in the menu under “Video” click “Elevenses with Lisa.” Click the episode and scroll down to the Resources section of the show notes.

Genealogy Gems Premium Members can download the show notes PDF from the Resources section on that page.

Become a Genealogy Gems Premium eLearning Member

Premium Members have exclusive access to:

  • Video classes and downloadable handouts
  • The Genealogy Gems Premium Podcast
  • Elevenses with Lisa downloadable show notes PDF

Become a member here.

Genealogy Gems premium elearning

Click to learn more about Genealogy Gems Premium Membership.

Getting Your Family History Digitized

I use Larsen Digital and have been extremely pleased with the service and results. The folks at Larsen Digital have put together special and exclusive discounts for Genealogy Gems listeners and readers. Click here to learn more and receive exclusive discounts and coupon codes.

Genealogy Gems Podcast App

Don’t miss the Bonus audio for this episode. In the app, tap the gift box icon just under the media player. Get the app here

Sunday, September 27th. “The Irish philosopher and statesman Edmund Burke stated in 1790 that “People will not look forward to posterity who never look backward to their ancestors.” For those that do the looking forward, or those just idly curious about in their roots, today is Ancestor Appreciation Day. Census records play an important role in researching individual details, but the law mandates a 72 year wait for access. Annually, though, the Bureau’s American Community Survey compiles statistics for detailed ancestry or ethnic groups or populations in the nation. The largest reported ancestry is German, at over 41-million of our nearly 330-million population. The Irish of Edmund Burke come second, with nearly 31-million, or more than remain in Ireland itself.” Profile America

Stay Up to Date with the Genealogy Gems Newsletter

The Genealogy Gems email newsletter is the best way to stay informed about what’s available with your Premium eLearning Membership. Click below to sign up today.

Get Unlimited Photo Enhancement and Colorization at MyHeritage

Get genealogy records and unlimited Enhanced and Colorized photos as a MyHeritage PremiumPlus or Complete Plan Subscriber. Click here to start a free trial.

“I use MyHeritage to research my family tree.” Lisa Louise Cooke

Follow Lisa and Genealogy Gems on Social Media:

Podcast Resources

Download the episode mp3
Download the show notes episode 245

How to Make a Video with Adobe Spark

Episode 16 Video and Show Notes

Live show air date: July 16, 2020
Join me for Elevenses with Lisa, the online video series where we take a break, visit and learn about genealogy and family history.

How to make a video with Adobe Spark Video

Adobe Spark Video is a free mobile app and website that allows you to create videos quickly and easily. You’ll need to start by signing up for your free Adobe account at (click the Adobe Spark graphic.) By doing this you will also receive a free trial period

How to Start a New Project

In this example we are creating a video in the app on our phone. Features may appear slightly differently on a tablet and in the web browser. In preparation for creating a video, save copies of your photo and video content to Dropbox, other cloud service. Then save them to your phone.

Step 1

Tap the + button to begin a new project.

adobe spark create new project

Tap the Plus sign to create a new video project.

The Storyboard Editor is at the bottom of screen. Here you can select which slide to work on, add new slides and rearrange slide. Typically, you will add one piece of content to a slide such as a photo or video clip.

Step 2

Add Content by tapping the plus sign (+) on the selected slide.  You can add photos (or other digital images), video clips, text, and icons. Select these from your phone.

adobe spark video app

Tap the plus sign to add your content.


adobe spark video

Select from Photos, Videos, Text, or Icons.

Step 3

Edit Video clips as needed. You can trim the length and edit several short clips out of the same video. You can also continue longer video clips to the next slide (since the maximum video length per slide is 30 seconds), and also silence the audio as desired.

Adobe Spark Video Step 5

Edit the video length, extend video to the next slide, or silence video.

I use Larsen Digital to convert all my old home movies into digital MP4 files that can be used in Adobe Spark Video. Check our exclusive savings for my viewers at

Step 4

Playback your video as you create to see how it flows. Edit each slide length (Text or Photo Slides) as needed by tapping the time shown. Add or subtract seconds as needed by moving the time slider.


Step 5

Add additional slides as desired. You can remove a slide by pressing and holding the slide to reveal menu.

step 9 Add additional slides to Adobe Spark Video

Tap the plus sign to add additional slides.

Step 6

Change the layout for any slide by tapping Layout in the menu at the top of the screen. You will find options to have only a photo, a photo with text, split screen and more.

Layouts in Adobe Spark Video app

Select the desired layout for the slide.

Step 7

You can edit the theme of your video by tapping Theme in the menu at the top of the screen. The theme affects the entire video. Tap to select a theme, and then tap to edit the theme. Select a color by clicking through the options for each color.

Adobe Spark Video step 7 select theme

Select a theme for your project.

Step 8

Tap Resize in the menu at the top of the screen to select the appropriate size video for your purposes. Size options:

  • Square: Good for Instagram and Facebook.
  • Widescreen: Good for YouTube and viewing on a monitor or TV.


Step 9

Add music to your video  by tapping Music in the menu. All of the music included in the app has already been cleared for public use. There are many “moods” to choose from. Simply tap a song to preview view it. You can also save royalty-free music to your phone and tap Choose from Files to add it to your project.

Add music to a video in Adobe Spark Video app

Select a song from the list of “moods”.

Step 10

Each slide has a red microphone button. Tap and hold it to record narration up to 30 seconds. Press the small play button at the bottom left of the image to play it back. You can re-record by pressing and holding the button again.

Tap the microphone to record narration

Step 10: Tap the microphone to record narration

Step 11

Once you have played back your entire video and you are happy with it, it’s time to share.  Tap the Share icon in the menu at the top of the screen. Sharing options include:

  • Saving the video to your camera roll
  • Posting it to Facebook
  • Posting it to Twitter
  • Sending it via Email
  • Sending it as a text message
  • Copying the link for the video to your phone’s clipboard.

You can make an unlimited number of videos with a small Spark watermark with the free version. If you would like to remove the watermark and gain access to many more features you will need a subscription which will include all the Spark apps: video, post and page.

Sign up for your free Adobe Spark account and get a free trial of the subscription version: 

From You:

Shelley from Oklahoma: “I just wanted to share with you my genealogy project I have been working on for a few weeks. I was inspired by the one lady I think in England that made a wall display using pictures on canvas. Thanks for the ideas.”

Family history tree wall display


Upcoming Family Tree University course

Click here to learn more about the 4-week Google Search Success for Genealogy online course with Lisa Louise Cooke at Family Tree University. The self-paced course with Lisa as your guide starts July 27, 2020. 

Put a Smile on Someone’s Face with a Video

Put a Smile on Someone’s Face with a Video for a Chance to Win

Your task this next week:

  1. Make a folder on your computer, go through your digitized photos, and copy the ones that make you smile into the folder.
  2. Then go to and get your free Adobe Spark Video trial.
  3. Download the Adobe Spark Video app on your phone and log in.
  4. Start a new project and add the photos.
  5. Select some music – it will be super easy because you are going to look for the “Happy” mood.
  6. Save your video and share it with your family and friends. This is your chance to bring some ancestral happiness to your family no matter where they live. You can email it to them or post it on social media.

Email your video to me by Wednesday July 22 at 11:59 PM Central: genealogygemspodcast @

I will draw one lucky winner who will receive a free year of Genealogy Gems Premium Membership. (Value $49.95) I will announce the winner of Episode 17 on July 23 and play their video on the show. What are you waiting for? Go get happy and make others happy too.


Live Chat PDF– Click here to download the live Chat from episode. Includes answers to your questions about using the Adobe Spark Video app to make a video. 
Show Notes PDF – Genealogy Gems Premium Members can click here to download the show notes PDF for this episode. (Log in required.) Become a Premium Member here

Please Leave a Comment or Question and Give Us a Thumbs Up

If you enjoy this show and you want to keep them coming, you know what to do: click that Thumbs Up icon for me on YouTube. This helps our distribution tremendously. Simply click where it says YouTube in the lower right corner of the player above and it will take you to this video on YouTube where you can click the Thumbs Up icon.

You’re an important part of this show. Please leave your comments or questions below.

Pin It on Pinterest