Saturday, May 8, 2021

Kindred Roots YouTube Channel

I have had a Kindred Roots YouTube channel for a few years. When I started it, I wasn't sure what type of content I wanted to share. I had no experience in videography. I didn't have a good camera. I had no knowledge of editing videos...

I just knew that one day, I would be able to reach a bigger audience through YouTube.

Fast forward a few years and I have a decent camera, I have learned a bit about editing, I have more experience with genealogy, and I have friends and supporters who are interested in my work.

I was watching a few videos from various channels and really enjoyed what they did. I love how they showed historic sites, cemeteries, old houses, and explained the history behind the places and the people. 

I began binge watching. I wanted to know more. Would they ever mention a name that I recognized from my own research? The answer is no - at least not yet, anyway.

Jonesville Cemetery - Alachua County Florida
So, I  thought that I could take a stab at it and document some places near me that I know a bit about. Maybe there were others out there, like me, that wanted to see these places where our ancestors lived, worked, worshipped, died, and were laid to rest. I wanted to show the old roads that people seldom travel anymore. I wanted to show the "real" beauty of the South. There is so much more beyond the highways, buildings, concrete, and modern amenities that we are so used to seeing. I wanted to show what our ancestors saw.

I hit the road. Sometimes, I ventured only a few miles from my home and somedays I drove a few hours. I took lots of video (some, admittedly, not very good.) I began editing the videos to the best of my ability and knew that there needed to be more. I began looking at the people buried in the cemeteries I visited. One in particular, Ebenezer, I knew I had a lot of ancestors and kin who were buried there for many generations. I had pictures of these people! Why not show their faces in the video? I had the ability to put a face behind the name on a gravestone. These were real people - more than just a name! 

Now I had a goal! No one else that I saw was doing this. But this was just one cemetery and I knew about these people and already had their photos. Could I do this with other cemeteries? The editing process and adding all of the photos into the video was very time consuming. I spent hours working on the Ebenezer video. Now I had to find photos of people I had never researched or even knew nothing about. Is this even possible? Is it worth the time? The answer was - absolutely! If I didn't do it, perhaps no one would and I felt that these people needed to be recognized and the photos shared. 

Luckily, there is a website called Findagrave where many cemeteries are recorded along with the graves and sometimes, even photos. So, while I edit my videos, I stop at each grave in the video and see if I can find photos or information on the deceased by searching Findagrave and Ancestry. It is very time consuming and sometimes I feel over my head. But if I could find a photo, I wanted to share it. 

Jones Creek Cemetery - Long County Georgia

Many times I will arrive at a cemetery and I immediately know that I can't possibly film each grave. the cemeteries are too big, there are too many internments, and sometimes I'm short on time. Plus, I can't imagine videos of cemeteries that are hours long will get many views on YouTube. So, unfortunately, I can't always accomplish my goal - but, at least, I can document some. I can try to capture the serenity of the final resting place of so many. I can learn about these people and I can share with others what I know and what I have learned.

I am not the greatest speaker or narrator. I am not a great videographer or editor. I am not very photogenic and do not like showing myself in videos. I am a shy introvert. But I have a passion. I have a love. I have knowledge to share.

Backroad - Levy County Florida
So, my friends, if you bear with me as I learn - I will try to improve. I want to help you. I want you to learn about our history. I need your help too! If you have information to share, by all means do! You may be the person to bless someone else with a photo or knowledge about an ancestor that they have been searching for. I need your help to build the brand of Kindred Roots. To be recognizable. To be found by others. Without going into too much detail on the technical side of things, to be found in searches and to be able to be seen by others; videos and posts need to gain traction by being shared, being "liked," having comments, having Facebook followers, having YouTube subscribers. The more you have, the more that gets seen by the "powers that be" algorithms that Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube uses.

I hope to one day have the ability to monetize my channel. This would give me the ability to earn extra funds for my adventures, purchase better equipment, and also earn some residual income for me and my family. I am a single father and I still work a full time job. Do I expect to retire from my job and earn a living making YouTube videos about genealogy and cemeteries? No. It is an amazing thought and a dream that could possibly be achieved, but I am also a realist. So, if it happens by divine providence, then so be it. But until then, I will continue this path to share, educate, and maybe even inspire as others have inspired me. 

If you would like to make a monetary donation to Kindred Roots, you may do so through CashApp @$KindredRoots352

or on Patreon at:

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