Fisher opens the show with David Allen Lambert, Chief Genealogist for the New England Historic Genealogical Society and AmericanAncestors.org. The two talk about using the “Skywalker” family tree as a great teaching moment for children. Fisher & Lambert then talk about the Christmas traditions of England’s Royal Family. (Just what do you give the Queen?!) David then discusses the oldest remains found showing evidence of tattoos. You won’t believe how far back we’re talking! Plus, hear the value of those ancient coins found on British farmland this past October. David will also have another Tech Tip and the NEHGS free database.
Next up, Fisher visits with renowned genealogical blogger, “The Legal Genealogist,” Judy Russell. Judy has some terrific year end observations on dealing with various views of the same documents and how you can avoid misinterpretations. She’ll also discuss the genealogical trap best known as an “obituary!”
Fisher’s next guest is a Connecticut woman named Marjorie Adams, a descendant of Daniel Lucius “Doc” Adams, a baseball pioneer who played for the New York Knickerbockers in the mid-1800s. Most importantly, Doc was the man who led the way to standardizing rules by which we know the game today. Listen to hear which rules Marjorie’s great-grandfather fought to standardize, and why she thinks he should now be part of the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Tom Perry of TMCPlace.com, the Preservation Authority, then talks about the challenges of conversion of digital video files. What do you need to know to save, view, or edit your files? Tom’s got the answer… as usual!
It’s all this week on Extreme Genes- America’s Family History Show!
Transcript of Episode 118
Host Scott Fisher with guest David Allen Lambert
Segment 1 Episode 118
Fisher: And welcome genies to Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show and ExtremeGenes.com. It is Fisher here, the Radio Roots Sleuth on the program where we shake your family tree and watch the nuts fall out. And I’m so excited, Christmas is about here! I’ve got guests at the house in fact… my daughter, son in law, three grandkids showed up three days early this morning, and so I was like, “Oh! Well, we don’t have everything wrapped. We don’t have all the beds made. There’s so much to be done.”
But we have some awesome guests today; Judy Russell is back, the Legal Genealogist, with some great genealogy observations in about nine minutes. Then later, I’ll be talking with Marjorie Adams, a great granddaughter of the man who back in the nineteenth century set many of the rules we know in the game of baseball. She wants him in the Hall of Fame.
David Allen Lambert’s on the line with us from Boston, the Chief Genealogist for the New England Historic Genealogical Society and AmericanAncestors.org. How are you, David?
David: I’m doing fine! My shopping’s practically almost done. So, greetings from a happy guy in Beantown!
Fisher: Oh, and I’ve got to give a shout out to a couple of people I heard from this past week… crazy stuff… Mary Williams in South Australia, listening to Extreme Genes. Mary, thanks so much for reaching out and saying hello. Love to hear from you. And from Ukraine, Miroslav Caban. I was just shocked to hear from him and so excited to know that they’re listening to us in all the four corners of the universe. Well at least the world.
David: Hello to them from Beantown.
Fisher: Yes, and let’s get into our family histoire news for today. Where do we start, my friend?
David: I think we need to start in a galaxy far, far away.
Fisher: Of course. [Laughs]
David: Well, in the latest Star Wars, one of the things that I thought to myself, I said, ‘You know, the movies are a little confusing. They come out four, five, six, then one, two, three. Now we’re doing seven!’
David: So, we need a family tree and I thought to myself, I said, “Let me just do Google.” So, I did a simple Google search “Star Wars Genealogy” and on the Wookiepedia…
David: That’s the first hit. I kid you not!
David: There is the genealogy of the Skywalker family. So, if you ever wanted to know who Darth Vader’s kids really are without a DNA test, go there. [Laughs]
Fisher: Well that’s great and you know what’s fun about that? In keeping what you talked about last week, about inspiring kids to be interested in family history. What a great tool!
David: Absolutely is!
Fisher: Hey, speaking of people on a different planet or at least a different world, the royal family, have you heard about this?
David: Oh my goodness, yes! The gifts exchange?
Fisher: Yeah, the gifts exchange. The Royal family in England, Queen Elizabeth has set a budget limit. Because you know, you don’t want to break the budget on exchanging gifts when you’re worth how many billions of dollars. And apparently, there’s a tradition that was set, back in the nineteenth century by Prince Albert, Queen Victoria’s husband, of course. What would they be, grandparents or great grandparents to our current queen? At least greats, right?
David: I believe it is her great grandmother.
David: Great grandparents.
Fisher: Well, they set it up where the gift exchange with the royal family is always on Christmas Eve, and so, they’ll be doing that this year, and Princess Kate apparently, is interested in making homemade gifts, and she has been making jam for each family member to give out. Isn’t that fun?
David: That’s amazing, and by the way, it is actually her great, great grandmother.
Fisher: Great, great, okay.
David: Yeah, I had to visualize the family tree in my head.
David: [Laughs] Well everybody today if you walk around and there’s so many people with tattoos and facial tattoos.
Fisher: It’s like twenty five percent now.
David: Yeah, it’s amazing, but it’s not a new thing. I mean, obviously we can’t look at bones and say, you know, who had a tattoo. But Smithsonian had to settle an argument, who is known to have the oldest tattoo, and if you remember the alpine glacier that receded, and the iceman that showed up out of it?
Fisher: Yeah, Otzi.
David: Yeah, Otzi. Otzi is our man. He has sixty one tattoos across his body.
David: On his left wrist, lower legs, lower back and torso and he dates back to dying around 3250 B.C.
David: That’s a long time to make a mistake on a tattoo.
David: And have it preserved for posterity.
Fisher: [Laughs] Good point!
David: [Laughs] Well, you know, I’ll tell you, every so often, especially when you’re shopping, you reach in your pocket, you drop something like money or in this case maybe loose change. If you do it all together and you bury it in your yard, and some metal detector guy comes, it could be a millionaire.
Fisher: Right. That’s true.
David: So, think about burying a little time capsule in your back yard for future metal detectors. Like the gentleman in Oxford, New England, who back in October came out with a metal detector on his sixtieth birthday, went out and found over 180 coins.
David: Bracelets and pieces of gold dating back to 870 AD from the time of Alfred the Great. The values out on the coins for instance, one of the Alfred the Great silver coins alone, are commercially valued at $2500 apiece.
Fisher: And how many does he have?
David: Over 180.
David: So, needless to say, this is going to be split between the landowner and metal detector or whatever deal that they struck, and of course, the British museum find them.
I mean they find these Saxon hordes and Viking hordes once every so often, but it’s amazing when they find them and they’re just not found by archeologists.
Fisher: Right. All right tech-tip. What have you got?
David: The tech tip, well, I’ll tell you. I did see the new movie, “In the Heart of the Sea,” liked it very much. And then I thought to myself, “My own great grandfather was the inspiration for my genealogical interest.” If you might remember from the episode, I talked about him, was on a whaling ship. I have a copy of the whaling log and I thought, “How fun!” After watching the movie to plot where my great grandfather went from 1871 to ’73 with the longitude and latitude in the book, and I thought to myself, “Well I really don’t have mapping skills to do this. I don’t need that.” Google maps, I can either click on a place and it shows up as a location. When they went to the port and get the longitude and latitude and then follow it day by day by the longitude and latitude that’s recorded in the log book. I’ve done the same thing for my grandfather. In the 1920s when he was on the USS Galveston, in the 1920s and trapped for three years, where he was all over the Caribbean and Central and South America. It’s fun stuff and it’s free. So, if you have a person who is sea worthy in your family tree and you want to know where they were and you get some longitude and latitude, you can visually show your kids where your family was.
Fisher: Great stuff.
David: And of course, NEHGS and American Ancestors brings you a guest database every week and this is no exception. For the holidays, we have for you this week, the New York Evening Post death notices from 1801 to 1890.
Fisher: Saw that!
David: 100,000 death notices. And that’s right up your genealogical alley. So, hopefully you’ll find a couple of family members.
Fisher: Yes. Found one the other night. Very excited about it!
David: Genealogical gifts for Christmas. Got to love it! Merry Christmas my dear friend and a Happy New Year! And I’ll talk to you soon. Ho Ho Ho.
Fisher: [Laughs] Thank you, David! Talk to you soon. Coming up next, she’s the Legal Genealogist, and she’s got some great observations to wrap up the year. Judy Russell talks to us in three minutes on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show!
Segment 2 Episode 118
Host Scott Fisher with guest Judy Russell
Fisher: Well, here we are getting ready to wrap up as we approach the end of the year, and I am so excited to get my good friend Judy Russell, The Legal Genealogist, back on the line.
Because she’s always got some interesting observations; Often things I just would never have thought about before.
Judy is in New Jersey with us. How are you Judy? Happy Holidays!
Judy: Happy Holidays Scott. Although I have to tell you that we are having such a heat wave here, it doesn’t feel like December at all!
Fisher: Well, go to the malls you’ll see, you’ll feel it.
Judy: You see it, yes. When you walk out to your car and its 65 degrees, it’s a little hard to be feeling like December.
Fisher: Yeah, you’re absolutely right. Well I’m so delighted that you’ve come on, and you know I was looking at your site the other day and you have so many unique observations.
Part of it I’m sure is because you have a background in law and ethics, but I love some of your observations, for instance, the thing you did about different copies of the same records and how they appear in different websites. What made you think, “Hey wait a minute, this would make a nice column”
Judy: Well in fact what happened in that particular instance, Scott, was that I got a reader question about one column on a passenger record, for her ancestor who had come into the United States very early, and everybody else on this passenger record, the country that they were a citizen of pretty much matched the hometown.
Judy: But with her record, the town said Schonwald which is Germany, and the country said Russia. So I popped on over to FamilySearch to look at the document myself, and it was quite clear to me, on the FamilySearch record it said Prussia, and not Russia.
Judy: So it’s Germany not Russia.
Fisher: Yeah, a little bit different.
Judy: Well, except when you look at the records she looked at, the exact same underlying document, but a different microfilming on Ancestry, it absolutely does look like Russia. It was even indexed as Russia, on Ancestry.
Judy: But there was a much clearer, probably newer microfilming done by FamilySearch, and on FamilySearch there was no question at all, it was Prussia not Russia. So that just reminded me of all the circumstances, I have come across in my own research.
Fisher: Umm hm.
Judy: Where, depending on where you find the document, you may really come to different conclusions. So when we as genealogists get told and boy we are told over and over and over, you’ve got to cite your sources.
Judy: And that includes saying what website you saw it on. There are a lot of people who say “Well I don’t need to do that that’s not important.”
Judy: Oh but it is. Because if you’re looking at it on Ancestry, you say this family came from Russia.
Judy: But if you look at it on FamilySearch you see that they were really German.
Fisher: And you gave a demonstration of that. You showed illustrations of both pieces from both sites, and there’s no doubt, it says Russia on one and Prussia from the other. But it’s the same record, the same underlying original record. It was really quite an eye opener.
Judy: Yeah, and the other example that I used out of my own family research, there’s an entry in the 1850 census of my family in Mississippi, and looking at the census record everywhere I’ve ever been able to find it. I was never entirely sure how old the second child was. It could have been three months, or five months, or six months, or eight months, because the outline of the top number over the slash and then the twelve just wasn’t clear.
Judy: So I was in Mississippi in June, had a chance to go out to the libraries in the local areas and somebody had actually done a physical photocopy, printed, believe it or not, not digital. You could hold it in your hands…
Judy: … of the original census record and it was crystal clear, it was five months. No room for doubt at all. So, getting as close to the original document as possible. Looking at all possible websites, checking any source, and checking to see if perhaps there’s a newer version of the microfilming, can make all the difference in the world.
Fisher: Right. Don’t you think it’s also true and maybe of even greater value to recognize that people index them differently? There have been different indexing efforts on the same records and people come to different conclusions. Even though you’re supposed to have all these people double and triple checking what the original person came up with. It’s amazing to me that you can look in one record of census indexing for instance and not find who you looking for and then go to a completely different place and find exactly what you looking for, quite easily.
Judy: Absolutely. I mean, start with the fact that a lot of the older census records were indexed by local genealogical societies.
Judy: So they knew the people in their community. They knew the families that were there. They’re not going to misread Catullus Cattrall; they’re going to get it right.
Judy: Then you have some of the commercially prepared indexes. The 1910 index on Ancestry for example, I think was outsourced to China or some other place where clearly they didn’t speak English.
Judy: It is brutal in the number of mistakes. The only time you get the double and triple checking realistically, is the crowd sourced indexing at FamilySearch.
Judy: So yeah, lots of different possibilities on the indexing, which is why we don’t rely on indexes got to get to that underlying document if it exists.
Fisher: It’s funny sometimes to look at that original and go, “How in the world did they ever come up with this?”
Judy: Exactly. You look at it with a, “That’s a joke. You can’t possibly be serious.”
Fisher: [Laughs] Exactly.
Judy: It happens.
Fisher: All right, what else do you have that’s on your mind? I saw this thing about obituaries… an incorrect obituary. That kind of lit me up because it’s so true.
Judy: We have to understand, and I do really understand, that obituaries are often written or the information is provided by somebody who is grief stricken.
Judy: Not focusing. Giving the best information they have on the spot, but it just turns out to be wrong.
Fisher: Umm hm.
Judy: And the example that I used is a first cousin of my mother’s. So a first cousin once removed to me. It’s a perfectly lovely obituary they ran in two or three South Dakota newspapers after she passed away there. Some of the information was terrific, and some of it was just totally wrong. It had her born in the wrong state. It had her born in the wrong year.
Things that you would think people would get right, and they were simply 100% wrong.
Fisher: [Laughs] Yeah, birth years off, birth dates off, age.
Judy: It happens.
Fisher: It does happen all the time. You know we had an ancestor on my wife’s side, he was a cattle rustler. He ran off with his farmhand’s wife and then he actually absconded with twenty five thousand dollars under the guise that he was going to buy more cattle. But he kept the money then sold the cattle he had for more money. Changed his name, set up house with this woman and then got caught. Well 28 years later he was an upstanding member of the community when he died and he’ll be missed and mourned and it’s like, “Really, you’re kidding?”
Judy: You just have to love it.
Judy: The fact of the matter is that it’s the winners that write the history or the survivors who tell the story the way they want it to be told.
Judy: And that I think is the key to some of the mistakes and errors that are in obituaries.
This is where we tell glowing stories of people where everyone who knew them looks at it and says, “Are we talking about the same person?”
Judy: But it’s interesting that errors like that, because I think either of grief or because of just not knowing creep into even records that we tend to think of as “Take it to the bank accurate.” Case in point: death certificates;
Judy: We all, particularly when we’re baby genealogists we think, you know, “If it’s in the death certificate it’s got to be right.” The problem is what has to be right in a death certificate is the identity of the deceased, the date and cause of death. Those are the legal attributes of a death certificate that you know, whoever signs that death certificate better be right or there’s a possible penalty of perjury. Everything else is up for grabs.
Fisher: Right and you know really what we’re talking about here Judy, is the idea of, “Are we going to be name collectors or are we going to be real name detectives where we take all the clues and analyze it and come up with our best conclusions.” Don’t you think?
Judy: You are absolutely right! You know we talk about the elements of the genealogical proof standard and the one that is the most important is reasonably exhaustive research.
Fisher: I love that. Yes.
Judy: And then we go on to the analysis and correlation once we have all of the evidence pieces. But if you took my father’s death certificate, you’d have his father’s name wrong. You’d have a misspelling of the city in Germany, where he was born. You’d have his mother’s maiden name wrong. My stepmother simply didn’t know those facts. So when she put in the information she put in what she thought. Fortunately I also had a chance to get his original birth certificate from the city of Bremen.
Judy: So I know what all the details are. We need to broaden our horizons and keep in mind that no one record is always right.
Fisher: You know this is the thing Judy… we’ve got to help people to understand we don’t want to be just name collectors. We want to gather everything and analyze it and really it’s much more fun this way.
Judy: Oh it is so much more fun! If it were easy, why would we do it?
Fisher: Yeah. [Laughs] Well said. Hey my friend, have a great holiday season! Thank you so much for coming on the show! She’s Judy Russell the legal genealogist. Go to LegalGenealogist.com. You will see insights there that you don’t see any place else. Thanks Judes!
Judy: Thanks Scott! Take care.
Fisher: And coming up next, her great grandfather basically made baseball what it is today! We’ll talk to Marjorie Adams about her quest to get Daniel “Doc” Adams into the baseball Hall of Fame, coming up in five minutes on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show.
Segment 3 Episode 118
Host Scott Fisher with guest Marjorie Adams
Fisher: And welcome back to Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show
Fisher here, the Radio Roots Sleuth, and always excited to talk to people with a fascinating family background, especially when it affects them to this very day after generations.
My next guest fits that bill to the “t.” Her name is Marjorie Adams; she’s in Connecticut, not far from my old stomping grounds where I grew up in south western Connecticut. Marjorie, welcome to the show!
Marjorie: Thank you so much Scott, it’s nice to be here!
Fisher: Well Marjorie, a few years back, within the last 10, started getting involved with her family history because you grew up with this story in the background and you didn’t even know that lots of other people were aware of who your ancestor was. Let’s talk about him a little bit Marjorie, what was his relationship and what was his name?
Marjorie: His name was Daniel Lucius Adams, MD.
Marjorie: He was my great grandfather. He was born in 1814 and died in 1899.
Fisher: And as in “MD” that’s where he got the nickname “Doc…” Doc Adams.
Fisher: And Doc had an interesting side passion, and what was that?
Marjorie: That was baseball, in New York City.
Fisher: And that’s really where baseball originated, with the New York Knickerbockers. Especially creating the game and creating the excitement around it that drew lots of crowds and eventually led to professional baseball and to this day the major leagues.
Marjorie: Well yes. Except I need to clarify baseball in some form existed long before his team.
Marjorie: There’s so much evidence of a form of baseball being played in New Jersey.
Marjorie: Before that in Massachusetts, where it was sort of a different form.
Fisher: Town ball.
Marjorie: There are even prints from France, in the middle ages of people hitting a ball with a stick.
Marjorie: So it’s really a very old game. But what Doc’s team did was make it really important.
Fisher: Yes that’s right and he made it popular, and he also took the rules from their little league and made it kind of the standard for the game and this is what makes him very important. And let’s go through what some of these rules are Marjorie.
Marjorie: Sure. Well first of all he created the position of “Shortstop.”
Fisher: Wow! Derek Jeter, are you listening?
Marjorie: Yes I hope so, and a whole lot of other people.
Marjorie: Yes, he created the position of shortstop. It first shows up in the team records in late 1849, and he made all the balls for the team as well. But the balls were very light so you could hit it quite a distance but you couldn’t throw it very far.
Marjorie: So the shortstop position became a “relay position.” And as the equipment improved, the shortstop position moved in where it is today.
Fisher: Right, an extra fielder other than the basemen.
Fisher: Got that. Okay what are some of the other rules he created?
Marjorie: He was the first head of the first three rules committees in New York City. Starting with his own team in 1848 and then three other conventions that were held between 1853 and 1858, and he was the one that set the bases at 90 feet, he did that calculation.
Fisher: [Laughs] Wow! He’s the genius we all always heard talked about, “Wow, whoever came up with 90 feet was perfect!”
Fisher: It was Doc Adams.
Marjorie: That was right. That was Red Smith back in the 1950’s said that.
Marjorie: 90 feet between bases is the closest man has ever come to perfection.
Fisher: That’s right.
Marjorie: And that was Doc.
Marjorie: He did preside over the convention that passed the rule for 9 men, 9 innings. He was an advocate for that, a very early advocate for that. He also tried very hard to change the game to exclusively a fly game.
Marjorie: In those days an “out” would be counted if a ball was caught on the first bounce.
Fisher: That’s right.
Marjorie: He didn’t like that. He didn’t think it was very manly.
Fisher: In fact, there were certain games, particular games that were played just with what they called the “Fly Rule,” as an exception from the usual rule which was one bounce.
Marjorie: Yes and the two rules existed side by side mid to late 60’s. It did not pass while he was involved with the game, and he always was very sorry about that. And he did predict in his last speech before the convention to the rules committee that eventually that fly game would pass, and it did.
Fisher: It did, and it’s the standard to this very day.
Fisher: All right. Now let’s talk about your involvement. You grew up knowing the stories about him. You have some of his memorabilia, some letters. You have pieces of his uniform. Did that mean much to you as you were growing up?
Marjorie: Hmm, yes and no. I love American history so from the American history stand point, yes it meant a great deal. But I never really delved into it until four years ago. We do have an essay that my grandfather, Doc’s youngest son, wrote in 1939. His memories of his father. And in 1980 you might recall someone by the name of Nelson Doubleday purchased the New York Mets.
Marjorie: And that brought the Abner Doubleday myth to the surface again.
Fisher: Which is just that a myth.
Marjorie: It is a myth indeed, and my nephew Nathan Adams Downey who was about 12 years old at the time and he wrote a long letter to the New York Times. Completely dispelling the Doubleday myth and quoting from this essay my grandfather had written, and God bless the New York Times they published the entire letter.
Fisher: And that kind of brought Doc into the public knowledge at that point.
Marjorie: Yes, that was probably the real kickoff. But then it sort of lay dormant at least as far as we were concerned. Then in the late 90’s I went to a vintage baseball game here in Connecticut, with my late mother and my nephew Nate and I met these two lovely baseball historians and they knew all about Doc Adams. I was astonished!
Fisher: I’ll bet. [Laughs]
Marjorie: I didn’t know anybody would know the name. I didn’t think anybody would care.
Fisher: Yeah, I understand. Baseball people though are unique as I know you know now.
Marjorie: Oh, I do!
Marjorie: They’re wonderful.
Marjorie: Particularly those who play vintage baseball.
Fisher: Well because they understand the ancient history, the 150 years ago thing. Well, let’s talk really quickly here about the Hall of Fame thing. Doc was up for a Hall of Fame vote, just a month or so ago if that.
Marjorie: A week and a half.
Fisher: He needed 12 votes out of 16 and he wound up with 10, which to me as a baseball fan was very disappointing because I feel he should be in the Hall of Fame.
Marjorie: Well thank you, Scott, so do I. So do a lot of other people but it was his first time on the ballot and he got more votes than anybody.
Fisher: Yes, that’s right.
Marjorie: So I’m very grateful, but believe me in 2018 when this committee meets again, he’s going to get more than the 12!
Fisher: Well Doc Adams was born in 1814, it is now 201 years later and you are still out there talking about your ancestor. He’s changed your life. Talk a little about that.
Marjorie: It’s all I’ve done over the last four years, is study Doc Adams. I’m very blessed that my great aunt, Doc’s eldest daughter, transcribed all the letters written to Doc by his father. We have very little in what Doc wrote in response, almost nothing. But you can learn a lot about the man by the letters that his own father wrote him.
Fisher: Right. And that has been a wonderful resource for understanding the man… learning what he was about even though I have almost nothing written by him.
Marjorie: I’ve spent the last four years reading and re-reading those letters.
Fisher: And promoting Doc for the Hall of Fame.
Marjorie: And promoting Doc any chance I get.
Marjorie: And I’m positively shameless about it.
Fisher: And you know what Marjorie? God bless you. I’m sure he’s up there looking down on you and saying, “Go get them Marjorie!”
Marjorie: Well he was not a man to promote himself. But it’s the right thing to do because Doc should be in the Hall of Fame.
Fisher: He absolutely should be. What a delight it is to chat with you and I wish we had more time to get into this not only for the family history side of it, but you know I’m a big baseball nut myself.
Marjorie: We have a website, DocAdamsBaseball.org
Fisher: And baseball aficionados can check that out, and Marjorie, good luck with your quest to get him into the Hall and we’re going to be keeping an eye on this in the years ahead.
Marjorie: Thank you Scott, so much. I appreciate it!
Fisher: And coming up next, we’re going to talk to Tom Perry from TMCPlace.com, he is our Preservation Authority. Talking about how you can preserve your precious heirlooms on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show.
Segment 4 Episode 118
Host Scott Fisher with guest Tom Perry
Fisher: And welcome back to Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show. And every week, we do a segment on preservation, so you can figure out how you can preserve your old videos, your old home movies, old photographs, pretty much old anything. And so, we have a really old guy here to help us out! His name is Tom Perry with TMCPlace.com, he’s our Preservation Authority. Hi, Tom, how are you?
Tom: Hi. I was fine, but now, I don’t know!
Fisher: [Laughs] Well, we got a listener email, Tom… a little confused about some advice you gave in recent weeks, talking about MP4s and MOVs and AVIs. And he said, “I’ve got all my stuff in AVI. I want to convert it, but I don’t see any button I can push to convert it to MP4s.” What do you have to say about that?
Tom: There’s a lot of different options. If you want a free program, you can go to download.cnet.com and they have one that’s really highly rated. They’ve had over half a million downloads and it’s like five stars, so it’s really, really high rated, and it’s free.
Tom: So, that’s one that you can use there and it says on the website that it’s a Windows version, but generally, when there’s a Windows version, there’s also a Mac version. So you can try that. If you want to do something that’s a little bit more robust, they can give you more options. There’s another place called MOV AVI, but it’s spelled kind of weird. It’s M O V A V I.com, and they have PC versions and they have Mac versions. They’re really inexpensive. They normally list for forty dollars. However, if you use your tablet or your iPhone and go and order it that way, they do a half off special, so you can get it for like twenty bucks.
Tom: So, for the twenty dollars, it’s a really good program. I would suggest going to that. There are some other options that it gives to you, is you can edit all kinds of file formats. So, if you want to go the opposite, if you want to go AVIs to some other kind of form, like MOV, because you want to send something off to a family member and they want to edit it on their Mac, you can do that. One of the biggest problems when people want to turn stuff from AVIs to MOVs to MP4s and they keep going through all these changes, the quality goes down.
Fisher: Oh, okay.
Tom: So, they need to edit it this way, the quality goes down, they send it off to somebody else, and after it’s gone through so many incarnations it’s starting to look like your old VHS tapes. You make a copy send it out, Aunt Martha, she makes a copy, sends it to Uncle Ted and they get really degraded. They have a program that’s called “Super Speed Conversion” which you can get for like twenty bucks and this will allow you to do some basic editing without doing a conversion, which makes it really, really nice. So, if you want to end up with an MOV, however you want to burn it at the end, its fine but you’re not having to change between all these different formats while you’re editing. You can edit it in its existing format and then when you’re all done, say, “Okay, now I want an MOV or an AVI or an MP4.” or a whole bunch of other kinds of things. So, all you need to really worry about most of our people are, your AVIs, your MOVs and you MP4s. And like I say, things have changed so much; it used to be AVI was like saying PC. MOV was like saying Mac. MP4s was like saying, “What? What’s that?”
Tom: But they’re all good in their own way. So, just remember, do what you want to do. Like one of the programs that I’ve talked to people about that’s a real good editing program is called Power Director. The only disadvantage is, it’s only a PC program, but it’s really, really good. It’s only fifty dollars. You can do some pretty major editing and in that you can use MOVs, AVIs, MP4s, so if you don’t have that and you do a lot of editing. I’d really suggest you get that if you’re a PC user and if you go and download Power Director, you can go to NewEgg.com or whoever you like to buy things from and just download Power Director and it’s a great program and for fifty bucks, it’s really, really inexpensive. And the thing is, whenever you get shareware programs, not always, but generally you get what you pay for. So, a lot of those programs are going to drive you nuts trying to figure them out. They don’t have tech support. So, you kind of figure out what’s more important to you, if you have all kinds of time to sit and mess around with the program, then fine, save a few bucks. If you’re really tight on time, the money’s important, but not as important as your time then get something like Power Director. Because it’s easy to use, it’s rated really well. And by the time you’re done editing, the other people on their freeware programs are still trying to figure out what the heck is going on.
Fisher: That makes sense. Good stuff. All right, what are we going to talk about in our next segment?
Tom: In the next segment, we’ll go over a little bit of other ideas to help you with your editing. You can get all this stuff and start putting it together.
Fisher: All right, coming up next in three minutes on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show.
Segment 5 Episode 118
Host Scott Fisher with guest Tom Perry
Fisher: We are back! Final segment of Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show and ExtremeGenes.com. It is Fisher here, the Radio Roots Sleuth with Tom Perry from TMCPlace.com. All right, Tom, what have you got?
Tom: I just got a text about MP4 editing. And he talked about, “Hey, I’ve got all this video on my iPhone, on my iPad, what can I do with that?” Well, almost the same thing. That software that we were talking about in the earlier segment, which you want to go to M O V A V I.com. They have programs, also, where you can take your iPads and your iPods and take the video and edit them, put them in a cloud or whatever you want to do, which we highly recommend. Whether you use Drop box, whether you use Google, whether you use LightJar, whatever cloud you want to use, it’s a good way to store and some people have also said, “Well, I have AVIs, I have MOVs” like we talked about, “Do I need to MP4s also?” You know what, if you’re going to do a few videos, AVIs and MOVs are fine to put on the cloud, however, they’re so big, especially AVIs, AVIs are really huge. So, the nice thing about converting them to MP4s is, you’ve got them safe and secure, but they’re so small, they’re not going to fill up your cloud. So, keep the AVIs and MOVs on your hard drive, have BluRay disks, DVDs, so you always have your disk, your hard drive and at least one cloud. So, that’s the best way to do it, however, I wouldn’t be putting all your AVIs and MOVs up in the cloud because of the size, unless you have like I said, a very few of them. Do them as MP4s, because they’re really good quality. If something happens, you lose everything you can still view your MP4s and do some basic editing. So, that’s a good way to go. You need to figure out exactly what your goals are, because you’re looking at all the stuff. You might have hours and hours of Thanksgiving stuff you’ve shot, Christmas things that you’ve compiled. Maybe people sent you videos, gave you DVDs and you’ve got this two hour DVD with ten seconds on your family.
Fisher: Right and maybe an interview with grandma and grandpa.
Tom: Exactly! So, what you need to do is, sit down and look at these DVDs and the best way to do this, this is what we tell people in our store is, put them in your DVD player or your BluRay player and hit display. Because when you hit display it’s going to show you up at the top how many minutes you are into the segment, what chapters you’re at. So, what you want to do is, get a legal pad and start writing down, “Oh, here’s Aunt Martha’s interview, I want to keep this.” “Oh, here are my kids at a birthday party, I want to keep this.” Write down what parts you want and then get a good program like we’ve mentioned before and just extract these segments and make your own DVD. Keep it on your hard drive. Put it in the cloud. Don’t wait till, “Oh, I’ve got everything done. Now I’ll make disks. Now I’ll put things in the cloud.” Don’t do that, because everybody procrastinates unfortunately.
Fisher: Right and then you could lose a lot of stuff.
Tom: Exactly because you never know when you’re going to get hit by an earthquake, a tornado, or a hurricane, whatever. There’re so many options that can come out there. So, what you want to do is, every day backup, like I have a backup drive on all my computers. Every night when I’m done, I close down my computer, I unplug the hard drive and I put it in a fireproof safe. So, worst case scenario, if something happens, I’ve got my hard drives in my fireproof safe. I’ve got this stuff on my cloud. I’ve got stuff on DVDs and BluRays which I’ve sent out to family and friends. So, don’t wait till a project’s done to take care of it. Take care of it in every step that you’re going through, and don’t assume, “Oh, Aunt Martha has it, everybody else has is, I don’t need to worry about it.” Trying to get stuff from people is like trying to get your nephew to finish editing your videos for you.
Fisher: [Laughs] Right. Yes.
Tom: We have so many people come into the store who say, “Hey! My nephew has had this for almost a year now. He’s supposed to edit it for me. I don’t want to deal with that anymore, I just want to get it done and be able to enjoy it.”
Fisher: Yeah, I go through that with members of my own family.
Tom: So, just everyday as you do stuff, you know, just take a few minutes, back up to the cloud. In fact, there’s a lot of programs that you can get that will do the backup for you automatically. You walk away from your computer to go have dinner, and when you come back, it’s already backed everything up to your hard drive or to your cloud and the neat thing with these small drives, they’re so tiny. Pop several of them into a fireproof safe, something happens to your computer, you buy a new computer, you plug that in and it puts all that stuff on your brand new computer just like it was your old one, magic!
Fisher: I love it! Thanks so much, Tom.
Tom: Thank you.
Fisher: See you again next week.
Tom: Sounds good.
Fisher: Well, that is it for this week. Thanks so much to the Legal Genealogist, Judy Russell, for coming on the show this week with some of her yearend genealogy observations, great stuff as always. And to Marjorie Adams great granddaughter of Daniel “Doc” Adams, who created many of the key rules that have standardized the game of baseball and her quest to get him into the Hall of Fame. If you missed it, catch the podcast. Merry Christmas all! And remember, as far as everyone knows, we’re a nice… normal… family!