Kiplinger

How to Preserve the History of Your Family

Retired lawyer Gene Watson, 84, of Mesa, Ariz., has never gotten around to writing his autobiography, as his three daughters often requested. So five years ago, his daughters hired a videographer to interview Watson. The finished product was a 90-minute documentary.

"It was a gift to me but also a gift to the entire family," says Watson. For instance, his seven grandchildren had never met their grandmother, who died in 1984, and knew little about Watson's parents or even Watson's two years of service in the Army during the Korean War.

Like Watson, many people are interested in passing down a legacy of memories to younger generations. Those memories,

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