18 January 2023
Kendall Hulet CEO and Brandon CampCMO, speak to Helen Tovey about Storied – the new website for creating, sharing, preserving and connecting your family stories
‘Come to the place where your stories can be enjoyed and shared,’ invites Kendall Hulet, CEO of Storied, the brand new family history inspired endeavour, launched January 2023. ‘It’s the place where you can give your research new life’, he continues.
The team behind Storied believe that stories are at the heart of family history and, over the past few years, have been working on a website to help you enjoy writing and creating the life stories that are important to you, your family and your friends. And this is the important point about Storied.
Making bonds through stories
Not only does Storied provide a space for you to write and share family stories and memories, it does so in a way that can put your ancestors’ lives in context - in a way that you can include the stories of friends of the family, neighbours, community, fellow veterans and so forth too.
Brandon Camp, CMO of Storied, explains why they took this approach - ‘It’s the stories, not just the facts, that make our family histories, that mean a lot to our families. It’s “The Stories That Bind”.’
“The Stories That Bind Us” was the title Bruce Feiler’s piece in the New York Times (2013) in which he explained research studying how children’s knowledge of their family history positively impacted their ability to overcome adversity in their own lives. This is something that Brandon, father of eight, feels is extremely important: “I can’t think of a better argument for doing family history than that it helps build resilience in kids – giving them a connection to something bigger than themselves.”
So, who is Storied aimed at?
Seasoned genealogists with many an ancestral tale to tell? Yes. Children, who would benefit from the life lessons learned by forebears? Yes, to them too. ‘Storied is also aimed at the cost-conscious family history enthusiast,’ adds Kendall. His thoughts are that by providing access to 290 million pages of newspapers and nearly 1 billion other records such as census records on Storied for both the US and UK, people can build their trees and grow their stories, making family history ‘more affordable’. ‘Storied is also aimed at the story-telling generation – today’s youth.’ continued Kendall. ‘The younger generation know all too well the value of stories, told and shared on social media, for instance. We think that Storied will help make family history more accessible to them.’
The Next Generation family tree
Built with a Next Generation family tree as its foundation, the Storied tree is built on a graph database. What is the significance of this? Not only does it allow you to create a ‘family’ tree, it also allows you to connect anyone together. Family, friends, colleagues, and even pets! ‘Imagine you have a D-Day veteran in your family, but you don’t know much about them,’ explains Kendall. ‘Our long-term vision at Storied is that you will be able to search Storied for all the other stories that have been written about D-Day veterans, about those that served in your ancestor’s company, and so learn about the events and the people they fought alongside.’
During his many years working in the family history data world, Kendall Hulet noted some key observations about the ways in which people curious about their ancestors interrogate a database in order to find information. In doing so he realized that people can find this a confusing process, and one that doesn’t always make best use of time even for more experienced family historians.
Instead, the best place for many people is to begin with the family tree, starting with yourself, adding the names of the generations before, siblings etc. To that end, Storied provides the ability to create a family tree, and this family tree is, effectively, a peg upon which you can hang your family stories.
Penning your first story
To begin writing your family stories register (free) at Storied. You will need to:
• Enter a few names, to create a very simple family tree (or if you prefer you can upload a GEDCOM of your research).
• Next simply click the story button, and begin tapping away.
• Once written you can add photographs, and opt to apply category tags to your story (tags range from memories to military, and more).
• You can choose to share your story publicly, or keep it private.
All this is possible with a free Storied account. To create your Storied account, visit Storied.com.
Create a group
If you wish, in addition, to begin creating a group with whom to share stories, subscribe from US$4.99 per month.
Kendall Hulet, Storied CEO
Brandon Camp, Storied CMO
Meet the team
The Storied team will be exhibiting at RootsTech 2023: visit their booth in the Expo Hall or their virtual booth.