Aunt Alicia's videos

ACW Fire WaggonI have sometimes mentioned how much stuff I inherited from my mother and her family. Mother left it all to me with the cheerful instructions that I was to figure out what to do with it.

For years, decades, I have intended to catalog and arrange, describe, and account for everything, but enthusiasm for sitting down and making lists and logs was always lacking. Recently I have been watching YouTube videos about drawing and painting, and it struck me that visual learning is definitely more fun.

I have six surviving nieces and nephews, somewhere around 14 great-nieces and nephews, and I think half a dozen and counting in the great-great-category, most of whom I have never met, and who knows when I will go west or they will come east to their ancestral stomping grounds in New England. So I guess it is time to reach out to them.

[Visual] learning is definitely more fun

It has turned out to be surprisingly simple. An Iphone attached to a tripod is about all one needs, although I have some extra lighting in my “studio” (the master bathroom) that I also use for still photographs of items for the “archives.” As the now experienced videographer of nine three- to five-minute videos, I am certainly having fun and with about 30–60 views on each of the videos so far, somebody is looking at them (though I’m not sure how many are related). Feedback indicates viewers are enjoying their mini-history lessons, at least.

ACW China Dolls

Subjects of the videos so far show an eclectic mix: an antique cast-iron fire wagon (my favorite toy), two china-head 19th-century dolls, my great-grandmother’s Whitsuntide cup, a four-generations genealogy orientation, baseballs (my grandfather was the manager of a baseball factory), beadwork and fans, and family photos and really old glasses.

The videos are being uploaded to my Facebook page ( Let me know what you think.


Alicia Crane Williams

About Alicia Crane Williams

Alicia Crane Williams, FASG, Lead Genealogist of Early Families of New England Study Project, has compiled and edited numerous important genealogical publications including The Mayflower Descendant and the Alden Family “Silver Book” Five Generations project of the Mayflower Society. Most recently, she is the author of the 2017 edition of The Babson Genealogy, 1606-2017, Descendants of Thomas and Isabel Babson who first arrived in Salem, Massachusetts, in 1637. Alicia has served as Historian of the Massachusetts Society of Mayflower Descendants, Assistant Historian General at the General Society of Mayflower Descendants, and as Genealogist of the Alden Kindred of America. She earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Connecticut and a master’s degree in History from Northeastern University.View all posts by Alicia Crane Williams