How to Share Family History Videos By Using YouTube


Do you want to share family history related videos with your relatives? You can use YouTube as your video sharing platform, but there are a few details you need to consider before you press forward on this path.


You can set up a YouTube channel to help share family history related videos with your relatives. In this video, I talk about how to upload a public, private, or unlisted videos. Then I discuss the one setting that may make sharing your videos difficult.

Watch this video on YouTube.

Prepare to Share Family History Videos from YouTube

  1. Sign Up for a Google account. (If you need a Google account, click here for instructions.)

  2. Then set up your YouTube account following these instructions.

  3. After signing into YouTube, click on the icon of your face or the initial for your name.

  4. Then click on “Your Channel,” and you’ll see the page where you can share your public videos.

  5. Create a family history video to share. (For tips on creating videos, check out this post How to Create Family History Videos by my friend Lisa Louise Cooke.


How to Add Family History or Genealogy Videos to YouTube


When you want to add videos to your YouTube channel, you have a couple of options, but I’ll focus on one.

  1. Click the video camera icon with the plus sign in it in the top menu bar of YouTube.

  2. Drag and Drop your video from your device to the YouTube screen, or select the file from your device following the on-screen prompts.

  3. Set the Privacy Settings

  4. Public -- anyone on YouTube can find the video or have the video recommended to them

  5. Private -- only people you grant access to the video can view it.

  6. Unlisted -- only people you share the video link with may access the video

  7. Add Video Details

  8. A Descriptive Title --

  9. If I wanted to share a video publicly about Joseph Geisler, my German immigrant ancestor, I would type something like “Joseph Geisler, 1836 -- 1863, Columbus, Ohio.”

  10. If I wanted to share a private or unlisted video, I type “2011 Nativity display in Cedar Rapids.”

  11. A Description -- This tells viewers a little bit more about the video (relevant only if you are making your video publicly available.)


Which Privacy Setting Should You Use for Your Family History Videos?


Per the recommendations of Lisa Louise Cooke of Genealogy Gems, sharing our family history videos on YouTube is a great way to connect with cousins and enrich the research of others. She discussed this topic in our video Using Google to Hack Your Way to Genealogy Gold.


If you plan on sharing your videos on your blogs, FamilySearch, Ancestry, Facebook, or other platforms, you have to make your videos either Public or Unlisted. To learn

HOW to embed videos in your genealogy blog, check out this video How to Embed YouTube Videos in Genealogy Blog Posts.




↪️ Are you looking for more genealogy resources?

Grab your copy of this FREE Genealogy Research Guide:



This One Setting Makes Sharing Family History Videos Difficult


In late 2019, YouTube began requiring us to identify if our videos are made for kids, or they’re not. General Audience videos do not appear to qualify as made for children. However, if you have videos that feature your young children or grandchildren, then you may need to check this ‘Made for Kids’ box.


Since I’m not a lawyer, I’ll refer you to this video produced by YouTube authorities about Complying with COPPA -- Protecting Kids Privacy/


Why does this matter?


Videos marked as “Made for Kids” must follow FTC guidelines to restrict access to and the collection of personal data from young viewers. As such, this setting does the following:

  1. Strip these videos of monetization.

  2. Reduces the discoverability of these videos. If required to mark my video as “Made for Kids,” my Joseph Geissler video might not reach all the potential relatives I want.

  3. Limits access of young viewers to videos. Videos marked as “Made for Kids” may be difficult to access even if you grant specific access to them.

Become familiar with the COPPA rules, so you don’t get into financial trouble even though you’re trying to share family history with a small audience.


Share Your Family History Videos


After uploading your videos, you should share it with your family. That’s why we’re doing this, right!??


To share a private video:

  1. From the video detail’s page, click on the three dots beside the save button.

  2. Type in the email addresses that you grant approval to watch your videos

  3. YouTube will then send messages to these emails and invite people to watch those private videos.

FYI: You’ll always have access to your private videos, but others will not unless they’re signed into an approved email address.


Note: If you want to restrict access, but you don’t want to approve emails, then use the unlisted option.


To share public or unlisted videos:

  1. Click the share link under your videos watch page.

  2. Copy that link (rather than the page URL)

  3. Share the link in blogs, social media, emails, FamilySearch, Ancestry, etc.


Share Your Family History Videos


Video is king, and we should take full advantage of this media to connect with your family members. If you have further questions, let me know, and I’ll do my best to answer them.

Continue Learning About Sharing Family History


Review the following blogs and videos for more tips about sharing family history.

  1. 10 Ways to Share Your Family History

  2. Sharing Family History (Playlist)

  3. How to Add Family History to Your Family Reunion

  4. Creative Ways to Showcase Genealogy In Your Home

  5. How to Add Family History to your Family Road Trip

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