Fisher opens this week’s show with David Allen Lambert, Chief Genealogist of the New England Historic Genealogical Society and AmericanAncestors.org. David congratulates Fisher on a special award he recently received. Listen to the podcast to hear what it’s about. David also talks about his ancestral discovery linking Moby Dick author Herman Melville with historian Nathaniel Philbrick, as well as Fisher’s wife and David himself! It all ties into the newly released movie, “In the Heart of the Sea.” David notes that a new Revolutionary museum will be opening in 2017. Listen to find out where! David also notes the discontinuation of Family Tree Maker by Ancestry.com, and clues you in on another free user database from NEHGS.
David then returns for segment two to talk to Fisher about how genealogy hooked him as a seven-year-old. Both then provide insight on how you can get your children and grandchildren on fire about family history, and history in general. Better listen up, because some of these tips have to do with the holidays!
Then (starts at 25:15), self-proclaimed “Jersey Girl,” Sue Wynne, talks about an astounding find she made concerning her fourth great grandmother, also from New Jersey. She’ll reveal the sources and how it came to be that her ancestor was viewed upon her death in 1845, and then again four years later! Only in family history!
Tom Perry, the Preservation Authority from TMCPlace.com returns to talk about audio problems after a video digital transfer. It’s a common problem, and Tom has several ideas on things you can do, and things that only professionals can do to save your overall video. Tom also talks about a “wowy” new 3D printer you’ll want to hear about!
That’s all this week on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show!
Transcript of Episode 117
Host Scott Fisher with guest David Allen Lambert
Segment 1 Episode 117
Fisher: Got to tell you, maybe we should interview Pearl Harbor survivors every week.
Hey, it’s Fisher, and welcome to Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show and ExtremeGenes.com. The program where we shake your family tree and watch the nuts fall out. And this past week of course after airing our interview with Lou Conter, a lot of people have been flocking to catch the podcast and hear the interview themselves, and it’s just been absolutely amazing. David Allen Lambert, the chief genealogist from the New England Historic Genealogical Society and AmericanAncestors.org is on the line with us right now. You’ve corresponded with Lou over the years, right David?
David: I sure have. Lou Conter and a few of the other ones are really kind of the last crew members we have from the Arizona. I mean there are well over a hundred or more known veterans. I mean, we just saw the Pearl Harbor Day event that took place and a good turnout was there. But I mean these guys are at the average age of 92, 93 or higher.
David: In fact I think the oldest one is 103, out in California.
Fisher: 103… unbelievable!
David: And one of the things I found is after the Pearl Harbor Association discontinued there was really no place to kind of get news. I’ve been corresponding with these guys for years. So on Facebook I created a group called “Pearl Harbor survivors, stories and memorials”
which has gone pretty viral, but we have children of the Pearl Harbor veterans, and grandchildren photos and links to videos and news stories.
David: It’s a great place to continue remembering these guys.
Fisher: I don’t think Pearl Harbor will ever leave us and leave our country, which is a great thing.
Fisher: Hey, glad to have you along with the show today! David’s going to stick around for an extra segment today, and I’m excited about that David. Talking about getting your kids involved and your grandkids involved in family history, and this is the perfect time of year to be talking about it because there are some great opportunities coming up in the next couple of weeks.
Fisher: And later in the show we’re going to talk to a lady in New Jersey, whose fourth great grandmother had two viewings after she died, four years apart! We’ll explain what that’s all about coming up a little bit later on. But what do you have for us today David?
David: First of all, I want to congratulate you on the Citizen Excellence award that you received… congratulations!
Fisher: Thank you! Yeah, that was kind of a surprise and out of the blue. A couple of weeks ago they called and said the Sheriff’s Department in Davis County, Utah, said, “We’re going to have an awards banquet at the end of the year. Would you come? We want to present you with a Citizen Excellence award for finding the next of kin of the murder victim Teresa Greaves back in the spring.” And it was very humbling David.
David: Well you know, well deserved. You really did that detective work that no one else had picked up on, and it’s definitely justly deserved.
Fisher: Well I appreciate that. I’ve got to tell you what was humbling about it is, you’re at this banquet and there are these people who are detectives and sheriff’s deputies and they bring them up for various awards. And they say, “Okay this guy had the biggest meth bust in the history of the state, and this guy over here he protected this person who was being shot at and went in the line of fire and got in a gun fight.” And I’m thinking, “Oh and they giving an award to me?” [Laughs] These people are just, I mean true heroes, and so I thank Sheriff Todd Richardson very much for the kind award. It wasn’t necessary but certainly very much appreciated, and very humbling again to be with so many heroes who protect us not only here but throughout the…
David: Very humbling to be on a radio show with someone who is a hero, so thank you for doing what you did!
Fisher: Oh stop it! What do you have for us today, David?
David: Well I’ll tell you the blockbuster movie “In the Heart of the Sea,” came out. Ron Howard directed, based on the book by Nathaniel Philbrick. I don’t know if you remember back in September we chatted about the genealogy.
David: Well the fun part of this is, I have a lot of friends that have been talking about this. It is because I did the genealogy for him and connected him to Herman Melville and also to Owen Coffin one of the sailors on the whale boat Essex. Now the fun thing about that is that they’re all cousins, including cousins with your spouse.
Fisher: Yes with my wife Julie and you!
David: And me.
Fisher: All through Tristram Coffin.
David: Correct. The one and only governor of Nantucket, and the funny thing that Nat had mentioned is that he’s been on Nantucket and he didn’t know a Coffin connection. So he always felt as an off islander making residence there. Now he’s a first family of Nantucket, technically.
Fisher: How cool is that!
David: It’s great. Nat Philbrick, cheers to you and congratulations on a wonderful job well done with “In the Heart of the Sea.” And it was an honor to give you your connection to Herman Melville and Moby Dick and of course to the boat.
Fisher: Yes! And the movie is out right now right?
David: And the movie is out right now, it came out last week.
Fisher: All right excellent. What else you got for us?
David: Well one of the exciting things for me obviously I love history museums and the museum of the American Revolution is being built in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I’ve listened to CSPAN event with Scott Stephenson, who is the director of collections there talking about the exciting museum dedicated to our famous part of American history in the 18th century. So if you have an ancestor in the Revolutionary War as I know you and I both do.
David: It’s something you might want to check out when you’re in Philadelphia next time.
Fisher: Wow that sounds great!
David: It opens in 2017.
Fisher: 2017, okay we’ll look for that.
David: Okay well moving on. You know Ancestry is discontinuing Family Tree Maker after all these years.
Fisher: Ooh a lot of people to carry that. I wonder what they’re going to do.
David: Well I mean luckily everything can be saved to a gedcom.
David: So you can carry it on to the other software programs that are out there. But it seems to be a trend now where people are putting online trees.
I mean, Personal Ancestral File from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter -day Saints. That’s been discontinued. Master Genealogists a very popular software product by Holy Genes, that’s been discontinued. So we’re seeing this trend and a lot of people are grumbling about privacy. I mean maybe you don’t want your tree online, maybe you’re writing a book or something. How do you save it? So this is going to be a growing concern and any of the people who are still in the market to sell software, one of the major contenders, Family Tree Maker is now out of the loop. So it will be interesting to see how this develops in the coming months and years.
Fisher: Oh that’ll be great for Ancestral Quest and Roots Magic.
David: Exactly. All of which are very good solid products and I’ve used all of them.
David: But like I said with the gedcom you can kind of carry your family luggage. [Laughs] To any door when it comes to software programs. The only thing that doesn’t crossover occasionally is your notes and your photos.
David: But the bulk of it, you can get it quite nicely. Bringing that into electronic terms, we have the exciting news of our free guest user database of the week, and that includes Welsh death and burials from 1586- 1885. You get to AmericanAncestors.org, they offer the free database to people who register as a guest every week, and you can check that out.
Fisher: All right David, we’ve kind of run the course here right now. But you’re going to stick around right?
David: I sure am.
Fisher: All right. We’re going to talk about getting your kids and your grandkids involved in genealogy. This is the perfect time of year to do it. We’ll talk to David about this coming up in three minutes on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show!
Segment 2 Episode 117
Host Scott Fisher with guest David Allen Lambert
Fisher: And we are back, Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show and ExtremeGenes.com. It is Fisher here, the Radio Roots Sleuth, with my good friend David Allen Lambert, the Chief Genealogist for the New England Historic Genealogical Society and AmericanAncestors.org. David, I was thinking this that between us, we have seventy four years of genealogical experience between us.
David: Ah, isn’t it amazing, all of the things we haven’t learned yet.
Fisher: Yeah, right. There’s always something new to learn.
David: Well, you know with that new pill that makes me live to be a 120, that’s giving me that added edge to get some more years of research in.
Fisher: Well, that’s the joy of diabetes, right?
David: [Laughs] If there is a joy of diabetes, knowing that Metformin might help me other than help my diabetes, is a good thing.
Fisher: Exactly. Now you started genealogy as a child, and I started in my mid-twenties. But as a child, what was it about genealogy and family history that hooked you right away?
David: Funny that you use the word ‘hook’. My grandmother had a genealogy book about her dad’s family that my uncle had borrowed. One day when I was home from school, sitting at home, he came in and took his jacket off and he handed me this ancient looking book. Of course curious, seven years old, I’m looking at it and inside was a tin type photograph. Now right away, the curiosity is, “This is a metal photograph, what’s this, never seen one of these before?”
Fisher: Of course.
David: So my grandmother came over and says, “Oh! It’s nice to see that picture. That’s my dad.” Well, at seven I didn’t know my eighty year old grandmother was even a child at any point.
Fisher: At any time. [Laughs] Yes!
David: Exactly! Being so innocent at that point in time of my life, I didn’t know about death. I mean, so I’m like, “So where does he live?”
Fisher: Yeah. [Laughs]
David: And she says, “Oh, he died in 1921.” And explained how many years ago it was to me. And she opened the book and said, “But this is my sister, my mom and my dad and this is our genealogy.” And explained that this is a story of her family, and then right away, because I could read, I said, “Nana, I don’t see your name in it.” She says, “Well, I wasn’t born yet.” Well, that would have just stopped there, but then she said, “By the way David, my dad was on a whaling ship for a couple of years.” Now and you know of course with the Nat Philbrick research I just did, this is really what just hooked me because now I saw our connection. Because in school we had learned an innocent G-Rated version of Moby Dick and about whaling and all that so that was an exciting little timeframe in my life. Now all of a sudden I had a personal connection.
David: So I said to my grandmother, I said, “Nana, we should go forward and write some more down and write a book that includes you.” I just started asking questions then, and I’m still asking questions.
Fisher: Yes, a lot of them to ask.
David: The sad thing basically is, you know, by the time that I was eleven, all my grandparents were gone, and by the time I was thirty, both my parents were gone. So I’m the older generation now. Even in my forties, and it’s like my cousins who are thirty years older than me, in some cases would be turned to as the elders of the family. And it’s funny, if I had waited to do this when I retired, they’re all gone. With genealogy, I find that this is the case. You either have a lot of free time when you retire, or for me, I was a kid, you know. I was out there climbing the tree in my backyard, not so much, but I was tracing the one in my living room, and I got a lot of enjoyment out of it. For me, and this is one of the things I tell parents when they come in with their kids, just last week in the event where we have parents and grandparents bringing their kids and grandkids in so they could come in and try genealogy. We had all sorts of projects and little things for kids to be very interested in genealogy and it gives them a greater sense of social studies and American history, and for that matter, world history. Because, you see, Fish, what I got out of genealogy is, I saw now, from my great grandfather being in whaling and connecting to Moby Dick and all that, was that I saw how I fit in American and world history.
Fisher: That’s exactly it. I hated history when I was in school. I couldn’t stand it. I found it to be boring. It didn’t make sense. What do I care what somebody did a 150 years ago. And then all of a sudden when I started doing history in my twenties, history became alive and it has changed my life. So I’m always telling people the same thing, you have to get your kids involved in interviewing folks before they’re gone. And part of the issue is, I think most of us do have family, extended family, older members, through our first twenty/twenty five years, and there’s always that sense as a kid or as a young adult that, “Oh well, they’re always going to be there.” Because you haven’t really lost anybody yet;
Fisher: And then all of a sudden you start losing them, as I did. I lost my dad at seventeen, all my grandparents were gone before I was twenty one, and suddenly it’s like, “Well, who were these people? What did they do?” I needed stories. So I reached out to older cousins and aunts and uncles, and that’s where that all started to come together, and I know them all now. All my dead ones better now than I did when they were alive.
David: I think I know more about my grandparents, than my parents knew about their own parents.
Fisher: Yeah. [Laughs]
David: And that’s kind of a story for another day, but there’s some really interesting things that you dig up, and sometimes things are better left buried. But as a genealogist, I think that we like the skeletons in the closet. I mean, what is whispered at the dining room table that the kids aren’t supposed to hear, becomes genealogical goodies, decades later.
Fisher: Yes, that’s right. [Laughs]
David: I mean and now with DNA, I mean, “Oh, Uncle Joe really isn’t Uncle Joe, it’s Uncle Charley who lives across the street.” [Laughs] We’ve got enough of those stories to fill a filing cabinet.
Fisher: Exactly. Well let’s go through some tips now as to how we can get kids more involved, for parents to help their children become more involved in family history while they’re young. Because it’s a gift that just keeps on giving.
David: It really is. I mean, it’s a never ending story. I mean, if you have an immigrant ancestor and you can’t get records further back, concentrate on telling them the stories, giving the oral traditions down, and writing them down, sharing photographs sessions where you sit down and have the photographs labeled. How many boxes of unknown ancestors every family has. Just as you said, we never expect they’re going to be gone. “Well of course I know who that is.” Then the person who knows who it is, is gone. So telling children who are in photographs, at a very young age, is important. My daughter, who is now twelve, can point at any photograph that’s in my living room of grandparents and great grandparents, and knows them by name. Because I started it when she four and five when she asked who they were.
Fisher: You know I’ve done that with my grandchildren and not one of them is five years old yet, and they love every time they come to visit the house to see these old pictures. They want to know who the father of the father of the mother of the father was. [Laughs]. It’s kind of a ritual we go through as they come and visit.
David: Exactly. For a kid, it’s a curiosity because you’re connected to somebody who is not physically there.
Fisher: That’s right.
David: I think understanding, whether in school and they’re learning about the American Revolution or the Civil War or World War II. Maybe when they’re doing their social studies or their homework, say to them, by the way, your connection to this is your grandfather who was in World War II at Pearl Harbor. And how many of these stories if you know them, pass them on. One of the things that’s always interesting, kids will start the genealogy and they’ll use forms like all of us to fill in their family tree, but there’s no spot in there for the stories. It’s so important to tell them, and that’s where the base root of genealogy is. Family history is the story.
David: My grandmother telling me that her father was on a whaling vessel, that didn’t come with the document. I had to know the story and then years later I did the research and found out the name of the boat. In fact a few years ago, somebody found in an attic, the log books of the vessel for the two and a half years that he was on it. I have a copy of it now. It’s like having a diary.
Fisher: Fantastic! And you know the family tree itself is just a guide to the stories, as far as I see it, you know. You could point to a name and there’s the name and the date, and that’s interesting, “Oh wow they lived a long time ago.” But when that name means something, “Oh yeah, that was the fireman in New York City.” “Oh this guy was the one who helped build the engine for Fulton’s steamboat.”
David: Exactly. I think one of those types of charts is an index.
Fisher: That’s right.
David: An index needs to be compounded with stories and facts and photographs. If you can’t do photographs, do documents, gravestones. For me, Memorial Day was meeting my ancestors. We went out to the cemeteries and put flowers on grandparents and great grandparents’ graves. Every time I travel, I like to go to the graves sites for great, great grand uncles that are buried up in the hinterlands of New Hampshire, that I’ve never visited, just so I can pay my respects, get a photograph of the grave, and get some information from it.
Fisher: All right David, we’ve got Christmas, Hanukkah, New Years, all happening this month, a lot of opportunities for people to get together and gather. What kind of recommendation would you make to parents about how they can get kids involved in interviewing their senior family members?
David: One of the things, it would be as basic as a tape recorder or a video camera or apps for your phone, that will allow you to record sound and video. Teach them to be the interviewer. You can go on the internet and get a list of questions. One basic question you can ask a grandparent, “How did you meet?”
David: It’s not on the marriage record, and it’s one of the key elements that always lead people to be curious, “How did someone from Indiana and Oklahoma ever meet to get married?” Well you know that’s where your stories come in and they lead to other ones. Let them talk. I mean when they say a grandparent gets rambling on about something, just let them go. Don’t interrupt them because you might miss out on a precious gem of a story. Ask them about employment. That’s one of the things we can’t find, employment. Where did they work? What was their first job? How about for kids, ask them what it was like to go to school. You’ll probably hear that story that, “I walked ten miles in forty feet of snow backwards, with no shoes.”
David: I mean those are the stories you get. For my dad telling me that, every year the snow got deeper and the distance got longer.” I said, “Were you moving all the time, dad?” [Laughs]
Fisher: [Laughs] You know I heard that from my dad too, and I finally got to visit his hometown in New Jersey, and found that the school was just around the corner from his house. [Laughs]
David: [Laughs] The thing I find that, if you get kids embracing the stories, they’re going to be the herald of that story years down the road.
Fisher: That’s right.
David: That pile of photographs that you sat down with the kids at the holidays and put names on the photographs, identified the, that’s going to be an amazing treasure to them when we’re gone. You watch the excitement at the family events that you’re going to have when you tell them a story. They were on a whaling ship. They were a firefighter in New York. That’s really where you breathe life into it and you’ve got to be able to pass it on to the next generation and they won’t be forgotten.
Fisher: Great stuff, David. Happy Holidays to you. Talk to you again next week.
David: Talk to you soon my friend.
Fisher: And speaking of stories, wait till you hear the story coming up next from Sue Wynne, from New Jersey. She’s got a tale about her fourth great grandparents you will not believe. In five minutes, on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show.
Segment 3 Episode 117
Host Scott Fisher with guest Sue Wynne
Fisher: And welcome back to America’s Family History Show, Extreme Genes and ExtremeGenes.com. It is Fisher here, the Radio Roots Sleuth, talking to another one of our listeners. This one in Clementon, New Jersey, Sue Wynne is on the line. Hi, Sue, welcome to the show!
Sue: Hi, Fish, great to talk to you.
Fisher: I am so excited to hear your story here. And having got a little peek at what you’re going to talk about. [Laughs] It is amazing the stories that can come from our past and you’ve got one. How did you get started in your research by the way?
Sue: Well, about twenty years ago, my father had passed away previously and my father’s cousin was still alive and he started telling me some of these family history names. Although he didn’t know a lot of the older stories, but he knew some names and, it was about fifteen years ago, because I’m a Jersey girl, been here most of my life… I said to my husband, “Why don’t we go try to see if we can find some of these gravestones down in Mullica Hill? So we went on a mission down there, and we were looking through a couple of graveyards and I’ll be darned if we didn’t come up with some of these gravestones. And one of them, well two of them, Hannah Agging, she was my fourth great grandmother and her husband Enoch, whose my fourth great grandfather were buried in St. Stephen’s’ Episcopal Church Cemetery in Mullica Hill. So I ended up contacting the pastor of that church, because I couldn’t really read the gravestones very well.
Fisher: Right, and maybe there’s burial records that he could help you with.
Sue: Exactly! And so I talked to him on the phone and he said, “Interesting story about your fourth great grandmother?!” [Laughs]
Sue: So it turns out that my poor fourth great grandmother Hanna died when she was about fifty five years old. And she was buried in the graveyard of the then St. Stephen’s’ Episcopal Church, which was a little bit further down the road from where the church is located now. Well, they decided after she had passed away that they were going to sell that church property. Well, they decided also at the time, dig up all of the remains of those who were in that little cemetery and move them along to the new church property to make it easier to sell the old church property, I would imagine.
Fisher: Yeah right.
Sue: I mean, I don’t think anybody wants to build their house on a graveyard.
Fisher: Makes it tough when you’re digging for the swimming pool, you know?
Sue: Yeah right. [Laughs] So apparently there’s this, I don’t know if it’s an element or exactly what it is, but it’s called marl and it’s something that’s found in the soil there, in the Mullica Hill area.
Sue: And they’ve also found quite a few fossils in that area. As you can imagine, after about four years of being in the ground, the coffin had disintegrated quite a bit, as well as the others. But what they didn’t expect to find, was that her body was so beautifully preserved after four years in the ground, and this was quite the news. It spread throughout the area, and there was so much interest in it that they actually held a viewing!
Sue: After four years of kind of being in the ground.
Fisher: Four years in the ground and a second viewing.
Sue: And not only that, my fourth great grandfather had remarried. So can you imagine!
Fisher: [Laughs] Well that’s a little awkward!
Sue: A little awkward. So apparently her hair was still pretty and curly, and her face was marbleized, and very interesting. So they held a viewing and they reinterred her. And she to this day, is in the ground in Mullica Hill at St. Stephen’s’ Episcopal Church. However, in Mullica Hill, being the old town that it is, and in the spirit of Halloween, every year in October they have something called, “The Ghost Walk.”
Fisher: Oh, no!
Sue: So, it’s about an hour and a half program.
Sue: You walk through the town. Well it turns out that my fourth great grandmother, Hannah, is one of the ghosts represented at the ghost walk.
Fisher: Oh, wow!
Sue: She stands out there in the cemetery, and someday, my aspiration is to be Hannah in the ghost walk. [Laughs]
Fisher: To play Hanna!
Sue: To represent my fourth great grandmother. [Laughs]
Fisher: What a great idea! So…
Sue: You know, I often wonder how she feels about that, being represented as a ghost, but it is what it is. Hopefully she takes it in the good fun that it’s meant to be.
Fisher: I think that is exactly right. So, where was this record by the way? I mean you obviously have a lot of details about this, including the husband and his remarriage and the whole story about how the body was preserved. What record did you find that in, so others might be able to do the same kind of thing?
Sue: Well, this particular story was found in the parish register of St. Stephen’s’ Church. So, they had kept pretty good records and pretty detailed. And you know, so often we go searching for our ancestors and there’s nothing but names and dates, because they haven’t written anything about themselves. Nobody’s written anything about them. And this particular church did a really great job of keeping records, because I know about my fourth great grandfather as well, Enoch, kind of the whole thing.
Sue: Yeah! It says that he was a small, wiry, athletic man, who farmed a small piece of twenty acres, and for many years kept one the village stores. He was a most estimable man and respected by all who knew him. Was a man of sterling worth in every way, of a gentle, kindly disposition, and left a memory that is lovingly, cherished by all who knew him. And he was a vestryman and warden of that church and one of the originators of the parish. So they wrote about him as well. So, this is all in church records.
Fisher: Wow! That’s an exceptional church record though, nonetheless. I mean, I don’t want to give the impression to people that you’re going to find records like this everywhere you go. In fact [Laughs] if you find out who the historian was who recorded those things, you ought to put a flower on his grave because he did a great job.
Sue: Yeah! I agree. And you know, I feel this connection to Hannah and Enoch because of those little excerpts of things from their lives that I know about them now.
Fisher: Right, right.
Sue: It’s a beautiful thing.
Fisher: You know anything about Hannah’s life? I mean you know about her death and what happened afterwards, but have you actually learned anything about her life?
Sue: Well that is the sad thing. I really don’t know a lot of details about her life. And I’m curious and would love to know. I mean, I know a little bit about her husband. I know where they lived. Right across the street from the church, there’s a house and it has a plaque on it that says “The Enoch Agging Home.” But no, I mean the only thing that I really know about them is that they had a couple of children that passed away when they were very young, because they are buried with Hannah. One was about eighteen months old, the other, about two years old. And they obviously had my third great grandfather, Carl.
Sue: Whom I descend from.
Fisher: Don’t you think that a lot of the women in the households from back in those times were actually defined by the family, obviously?
Sue: Yes, I’m sure they were. I’m sure they were. So, knowing what I know about Enoch, I’m assuming that she also was a lovely woman.
Fisher: Yeah similar nature, exactly. All right, so where are you going from now with all this?
Sue: Gosh, I’m hoping to go further back. Now, there’s a gentleman by the name of Hugh Agging who lived right next door to Enoch, and I’m guessing Hannah as well. And he has a Revolutionary War pension. So, my next goal is to try to link those two for sure, as father and son and who knows, maybe my daughters and I can join the DAR!
Fisher: So, what records have you checked to try to link Hugh to Enoch?
Sue: Well, one of the things that I looked at the Gloucester County Historical Society was land records. And from that, I knew that Hugh and Enoch had lived next door to one another. But other than that, I just have not been able to find anything.
Fisher: There’s got to be a will for him someplace.
Sue: No, I have not gotten that far yet.
Fisher: You might also want to look into letters of administration. Also go to Fold3, look into his military records. Often the military records will contain a family Bible record or a family Bible page that could list all the names of the people in the family, and pretty much give you the relationship as well.
Sue: Yeah, that’s a great idea, because he did. He was a Revolutionary War pensioner. So, would love to make that connection.
Fisher: Well, and to have the pension, you might also see some name patterns come up, unusual names; perhaps his father was Enoch as well. That would give you a good, strong hint. And certainly, being right next door, I think you’re right. You know what you’ve got to do and you know what the relationship likely is.
Sue: Yeah, that’s a great tip.
Fisher: All right.
Sue: I’ll definitely follow through with that.
Fisher: Well, great talking to you, Sue Wynne, from Clementon, New Jersey. And what a story about your fourth great grandmother, Hannah! Good luck, I do hope you get into the Halloween thing, getting the opportunity to portray her.
Sue: I think it will be a blast!
Fisher: I thing it could be a lot of fun, too.
Sue: It will be a blast. [Laughs]
Fisher: And coming up next, Tom Perry, our Preservation Authority from TMCPlace.com, on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show.
Segment 4 Episode 117
Host Scott Fisher with guest Tom Perry
Fisher: It is preservation time on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show and ExtrmeGenes.com. And we do this every week, where we go through some of your questions, and we also mine the great mind of Tom Perry, from TMCPlace.com, our Preservation Authority. Hi, Tom, how are you?
Tom: Is that a different Tom Perry that you’re speaking about?
Fisher: [Laughs] Well this is a great email we got from Dusty. Dusty says, “I have a VHS tape that has a family interview that was done in the late 1990’s with a family member that is no longer with us. I transferred it to DVD, but the audio is so bad, I have to turn the volume on the TV all the way up in order to hear what’s being said. I still have the VHS. Are you able to transfer the VHS to DVD and fix the audio?” Good question, Dusty. What do you say, Tom?
Tom: We have that come up quite often. There are a couple of different things… is the audio bad because it’s low? Is the audio bad because there are noises in the background? What exactly is the problem? So the first thing you need to do is, send it to us, and we’ll load into our computer and we’ll listen to the audio. And if it’s a volume thing, that’s not that big of a fix, so it’s not going to be that expensive. If it’s something really bad, like there’s pigs oinking in the background, refrigerator’s humming, then what we have to do is, we have to write what we call an algorithm, which basically finds those tones and pulls them out. And then if it’s consistent through the entire tape, we just set up the algorithm, run the audio through it, and then it’s pretty much gone.
Fisher: Now, those algorithms I take it, do not hit the same frequency as the human voice, right?
Tom: Exactly! That why you have to be so careful. If you just look at the part that’s bad and do an algorithm to remove that, and we it crosses the human voice, you’re going to have a lot of problems. A lot of sounds are either below or above the normal human voice or even people that are talking, because if you’re talking about somebody whose interview is almost kind of monotone, then it’s really easy, because they have such a small range in their voice. So there’s a lot of technology that’s into this. If you’re a DIY person, you can get Adobe Audition and you can kind of do it yourself, because it takes these different wave lengths in their different colors.
Tom: And so, you can sit and listen to it and kind of while you’re watching Adobe Auditions and say, “Oh, his voice is a blue part.” so you don’t want to mess with a blue part. So, then you basically, with a stylus pencil go and remove the yellow and the green and the orange and maybe some of the light blue and some of the really dark blue. And then when you remove that, it’s going to bring the volume down, but yet his voice is still pretty much preserved in the way that you know Uncle Ted talks or whatever. So, then you can take that part and actually amplify it, and then some of the little parts of the refrigerator noise or whatever crosses his voice are going to kind of get drowned out by bringing his voice back up. And so when you do this it sounds so much better. And a lot of times these new TVs have the bass and the treble, they have all kinds of different adjustments you can make. But if this is something you want to do for your family, it’s pretty much too late for Christmas now. However, if you want to do things for them in the future, you can take these things and clean them up and make DVDs, because you don’t want to send it off to somebody in your family and say, “Oh, by the way, make sure you turn your volume up to this, to this, to this.”
Because then they’re not going to listen to it. There’s a lot of things you can do, and like the cost as he mentioned, it depends on the length of the tape. If it’s a long one, it’s usually about twenty five dollars. And to actually do the transfer and then the audio, we’re guessing it’s a simple thing like a volume thing, so it’s probably going to take about fifteen minutes to do it, so about twenty five bucks or fifty dollars for the whole transfer.
Fisher: And that’s typical of places throughout the country.
Tom: Yeah. Just about any place you go that’s about what they’re going to charge you. Walk into a place, most people are pretty flexible with what they’re doing and pretty compatible with prices. If you ever run into somebody, and I’d had people complaining about this all the time, you see people on the internet that’s doing something that’s like half price of everybody else. The person knows what his work is worth, so be really, really careful. Read the reviews on the internet and see what people have said, if they’re happy with him or if they’re not happy with him and that will help a lot. Unless you’re on such a tight budget, it’s like, “Hey, I have to do it at this cheap rate or I don’t get it done.” It’s better to do it at the cheap rate than not do it. However, always remember, keep your tapes, keep your video, keep your film, keep everything. Don’t throw it away! Coming up in the next segment, we can teach you how to have your unborn children…
Tom: …and all other relatives love family history. You’ll start a whole new generation of people that love family history!
Fisher: All right, coming up in three minutes on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show.
Segment 5 Episode 117
Host Scott Fisher with guest Tom Perry
Fisher: And we are back! Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show and ExtremeGenes.com. Fisher here, the Radio Roots Sleuth. It’s our final segment, with Tom Perry, from TMCPlace.com, our Preservation Authority. Now Tom, you were talking before the break about how we can get future generations of unborn children and grandchildren to love family history forever. What have you got?
Tom: This is back to the science thing, like we talked about quantum physics a few shows ago, about how to store your stuff on the cloud to make sure it’s taken care of and it’s not taken by other people that have access to it. Well, this is something really, really new the scientists are now able to do. You know how your genes work. If you have blonde hair, your husband has dark hair, blue eyes, green eyes, some of your kids will be blonde, and some will have blue eyes.
Tom: It’s just kind of a…
Fisher: …random thing.
Tom: But with the master gene, if you go and change the sequence, then that is permanent. For instance, fruit flies, which is what they always start with, because they’re easy to…
Tom: … you know, breed!
Fisher: And nobody gets mad about them.
Tom: Exactly! And they breed so fast, you can get a new generation a couple of times a week.
Fisher: Yeah. [Laughs]
Tom: So what they did is, they went, took black fruit flies and they put a blonde sequence in the master DNA, and so every single one of their offspring were blonde. There are no blacks at all, a hundred percent blonde so if we take the same thing with us and put the family history gene.
Fisher: Oh, stop it! Now wait a minute!
Fisher: We’re going to program it into everybody, they’re going to preserve and share and discover?
Fisher: Stop it!
Tom: You don’t have to worry about anybody losing your stuff down the road. Everybody’s going to have it. It’s going to be wonderful!
Fisher: Yeah. Move on! What do you have? [Laughs]
Tom: The next thing I want to talk about, we talked about 3D printing before.
Fisher: Yes. Very cool!
Tom: And the biggest problem with people have with 3D printing is it’s really, really slow. And we’ve talked about family heirlooms. So you can take them and make 3D copies of it, so everybody has a pseudo copy of it.
Tom: But they’re slow, they’re cumbersome, etc. Well, there’s a new one that they’re working on right now that works out of a polymer type thing. So, what happens is, it has this liquid polymer that the 3D printer actually goes down inside the polymer, and as it pulls it out, there’s kind of like a photo, a picture that is done with light and oxygen. The light and the oxygen mixing with this polymer, causes it to harden and liquefy, and harden and liquefy as it’s coming out of the vat. It’s almost like sci-fi, like you see this human form come out of this liquid mass.
Tom: This is exactly how this 3D printer works. It pulls up this polymer and it zaps it with this light from this photograph that’s in the vat and says, “Okay, this goes here. This goes here. This goes here.” So it’s so much faster and it’s a lot better. Once the form comes out, all you do is basically hose it off and it’s ready to rock and roll! You don’t have to get down and sand it. It is absolutely incredible.
Fisher: How much faster?
Tom: Over 100 times faster.
Tom: They’re going to be expensive. However, they’re working with different businesses that this will be a part of their cache, so to speak. So we could have one of these in our place. People could bring in an old watch, any kind of an heirloom, and we could actually photograph it, put it in the vat, and they could pick it up the next day.
Fisher: [Laughs] That’s insane!
Tom: So many times when somebody dies in your family and everybody wants this. Well, with something like this, we can actually take it and make you another pocket watch. Make you whatever. It won’t be functional, however, it’d be a replica of the original one, and you could go in and paint it. Do all kinds of cool things with it. It’s just absolutely amazing. Because like I say, one of the biggest problems the old kind, say you’re making a round ball, it’s not perfect. You’re going to have to kind of sand it down, because it takes out these strips, turn them into liquid, forms them really, really slow, doing one layer at a time. With this one, as the thing is coming out of the vat, it’s just shooting it with oxygen and with light. And if you want some more information, get the latest copy of Popular Mechanics. Super fun stuff!
Fisher: All right. Interesting! Boy! Where are we going as we approach 2016?
Tom: A mad scientist.
Fisher: Great stuff! Thanks, Tom.
Tom: Thanks for having me.
Fisher: That’s what we call in the biz”a wrap.” Thanks once again to David Allen Lambert, from the New England Historic Genealogical Society, for doing an extra segment today, talking about kids and how to get them involved in family history over the holidays. Also to New Jersey’s Sue Wynne, talking about her fourth great grandmother, who had two viewings after she died, four years apart! If you missed it, catch the podcast. Talk to you next week.
And remember, as far as everyone knows, we’re a nice, normal, family!