There is nothing good about the COVID-19 pandemic. It has changed the way we do everything - eat at restaurants, go to school, go to church, and even hang out with families. I did a lot of hanging out with my family pre-coronavirus, but for the past six months, we haven't been getting together and instead rely on FaceTime or texting to keep up with each other. I have had a lot of contact with my folks because I do a lot of their shopping and just general running around for them. It has given me the chance to talk to them a lot about family history.

Back before cell phone cameras, every family took tons of photographs with actual cameras and got them printed. My family has tons of pictures that I've had the chance to go through. So many were of people I never would have known the names of if I hadn't had time to ask my folks. Here are a few things I've been doing to record family history:

1. Write things down - Get a notebook and take down birthdates of all your family. You might know your parents and siblings birthdates, but later generations won't. Record all everyone's birthdates, wedding dates, names of spouses, kids, grandkids. Some of the most treasured things my family has are little notebooks with important family dates jotted down. It's the way I know my grandparents were married in August of 1903. Write it all down. You won't regret it.

2. Label photographs - I went through some photos that had no notations on the back. My parents told me who they were and now their names and relation to the family won't be lost to time.

3. Make copies - There are a lot of documents and photos that I know my siblings want to have. We made copies for everyone so if the originals are lost, we all have a history of our family.

4. Record conversations - A lot of times I will set up my phone camera on video, ask a question of my parents and then record the conversation that follows. When my grandkids have grandkids, they can access those recordings of my dad and mom the way I can't of my grandparents and great-grandparents. Use technology to your advantage.

5. Don't overdo it - Going through all that history is tiring. You can't get it done all in one day. Do it when you have an hour or two and then start again another day.

The COVID-19 pandemic sucks, but if you use it to your advantage, you'll come out with a treasure trove of information about your family for yourself and future generations.