Fisher opens the show with David Allen Lambert, Chief Genealogist of the New England Historic Genealogical Society and American Ancestors talking about naming patterns, and how they can often reveal the names of the parents’ ancestors. Are clues to your ancestor’s ancestors sitting right under your nose? Fisher and David will tell you how to break the code. David then talks about the revealing of the identities of remains from the old Jamestown settlement. Might one of them be your ancestor? David then reports on the controversial reduction of assets at the genealogy library in Phoenix, and shares another Tech Tip of the Week, and NEHGS free database!
In segment two, Ancestry’s Jennifer Utley, lead researcher for “Who Do You Think You Are?” talks about the celebrities in this season’s episodes. Who was most interesting to work with, and where did they film? Jennifer will provide the inside story.
Then, Stan Lindaas of HeritageConsulting.com returns to talk about criminal ancestors and why they shouldn’t be hidden from your children and grandchildren. Stan’s got some crazy stories from his own lines and from others.
Then, Tom Perry from TMCPlace.com, the Preservation Authority, talks about Fisher’s problem with old slides that have slipped out of their protective cardboard holders. How can those images be digitized or even viewed? As always, Tom has the solutions. (If you have a preservation question, email Tom at AskTom@tmcplace.com.)
It’s all this week on Extreme Genes- America’s Family History Show!
Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show
Host: Scott Fisher with guest David Allen Lambert
Segment 1 Episode 98
Fisher: And, welcome back to another edition of Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show and ExtremeGenes.com. I am Fisher, your Radio Roots Sleuth, on the program where we shake your family tree and watch the nuts fall out. Boy, do we have a good show today! I’m so excited! We have Ancestry’s Jennifer Utley. She is the lead genealogist for “Who Do You Think You Are” and as you know, the season has resumed! We’ve got some great guests that are going to be on that show, great subject matter. And she’s going to fill us in on what to expect, who the guests are for the entire season. That’s coming up in about twelve minutes. Then later in the show, Stan Lindaas is back from HeritageConsulting.com. He’s going to talk about the benefits of sharing the stories of your criminal ancestors, and he’s got some amazing stories to share with you about some of his, I’ll throw in some of mine, because we’ve all got them. But right now, it’s time to check in with our good friend the Chief Genealogist for the New England Historic Genealogical Society and American Ancestors, David Allen Lambert. Hello David, how are things in Boston?
David: Oh we’re doing wonderful here in Boston.
Fisher: Except for your Red Sox.
David: Oh exactly. [Laughs]
Fisher: Yeah. You know, I’ve been working on this one family recently, and I thought I’d bring this up to you, and I’ve posted some of this on our Facebook page. It’s an ancestor who was born around 1757, and he served in the Revolutionary War. He’s kind of one of those dead ends, but there’s enough clues to hook him into a family back in Connecticut. But the guy we think would be his father would have been like 57 years old in New Jersey. That doesn’t quite work. And then we come across this naming pattern thing. They had a big family. We know the names of the parents of the wife, and so we’re looking at all these children. If you’re not familiar with this, the way it works is we see families where they name the first son after the name of the father’s father. And then we go to the second son that would be named after the mother’s father. And so on and so forth. And so you get this naming pattern, and sometimes they can exactly tell you who the parents were of the parents. Well, if I went by the naming patterns, my ancestor’s father should be John and the mother should be Abigail, based on the names in the family. But I don’t have any record of any John Pease marrying this Abigail, and so it’s a little bit complicated. But I thought we’d talk about the patterns because they can really point out a lot of directions you can go when you’re stuck.
David: That’s true. In fact, in the Irish naming patterns it’s exactly as you just said. The first son is named after the father’s father, second is named after the mother’s father. And it even goes forward too, of course Dad wants to get his own few cents in there, so the third son is typically named after the father, fourth son is named after the father’s oldest brother.
David: And the fifth son is named after the father’s second oldest brother.
Fisher: And sometimes the mother’s oldest brother. [Laughs]
David: Exactly. And that’s entirely true. Of course if you have all daughters you just scratch the entire thing.
Fisher: Right. [Laughs]
David: But it’s through the mother’s side as well. The first child after the mother’s mother, second child is the father’s mother, and they go forth with the third child being named after mother, etc.
David: Now this isn’t always true.
David: And then with my family I’ve looked at proofs and patterns. I know the ancestry and I know all the children to the best of my knowledge. And it just doesn’t make sense. For instance, one of my ancestors, his father was a captain in the Revolutionary War and he was a well known person in the community. But my ancestor left very soon after he got married from the town and moved to Boston. So there may have been some love lost there, and not so much in the probate given to my ancestor, so none of his kids were named after his dad.
Fisher: Right. And sometimes you’ll have a situation where the dad’s name is the same as the grandpa’s name, and so now what do you do with that?
David: Exactly. And then the other thing is a name pops in there, all of a sudden it’s nobody. Is it the doctor, the local minister?
David: Or in some cases, the real daddy.
Fisher: Ooh! And sometimes you’ll have a case where an infant child will die, named after the grandfather, then the next one will come along and they’ll give it the same name.
David: Exactly. And sometimes you luck out. By the time in the late 18th century, early 19th century, middle names that sound more like surnames may be a clue as to who the parents of the mother are.
David: And maybe the same for her dad, or her mother. So you may have some clues there. So don’t forget to look deeply into those middle initials to find out who the middle name might be.
Fisher: I mean think about it, you could use a naming pattern to come up with a theory and sometimes a pretty strong one about who you’re looking for, and then you go to DNA and you can confirm that.
David: That’s true. And DNA has unlocked so much for us these days. I know just what I found with 23andMe, just looking at where my ancestors are kind of spread around the world. It’s just fabulous.
Fisher: Yeah it’s a great new tool especially when used with the records. All right, let’s get on with our Family Histoire News for today. What do you have to start with?
David: Well, I was digging into some news, and actually this has been pretty popular in both historical and genealogical sense…. that four burials that were found under what was the original church at old Jamestown in Virginia, have been identified.
David: This is between scientific research and obviously DNA analysis, and genealogy. But they’ve identified the four people that were buried under the church as Reverend Robert Hunt, he was the chaplain of Jamestown, who died at the ripe old age of 39 in 1608. Captain Gabriel Archer who died in 1609 at the ripe old age of 34 during the starving time when it was the food storage and everything, it was a horrible time.
David: Fernando Wayneman who was the first cousin of the Governor of Virginia, who died in 1610, and Captain William West who died in 1610 during a skirmish with the Powhatan Indians at the ripe old age of 24.
David: It’s fascinating. The Smithsonian website has some archeological based images. You can see the remains that were found, and sort of a rundown on what artifacts were found with them. In fact, one of them is a silver rectory box, noting that one people there was Catholic. So I’ll have all those links to these stories that we’re talking about on both the Facebook page for Extreme Genes, my own, David Allen Lambert, and on our Twitter @DLGenealogist on Twitter for me and Extreme Genes Twitter. So you can get to all these links and not have to write them down, but there’s some exciting photos and archeological and for this matter, genealogy. So hopefully one of our listeners is a descendant.
Fisher: I was going to say, do we know that any of them have descendants?
David: I believe that they’ve tracked down people of the same surname, and maybe have had to go to the point of looking for descendants of the siblings.
David: This is sometimes the forensic way of digging into this. I know many of the listeners we have are out in the Arizona area and I know that there’s some concern of the genealogical library that they have there, right at the old state capital, is being downsized. Now this is kind of typical these days. I know we’ve chatted about this in the past, Fish.
David: There’s just some material that becomes outdated. And taking that off the shelves is not always a bad idea. The records will be moved soon to the genealogy center at the Polly Rosenbaum Archives and History Building, which are a few blocks away. And hopefully the decisions that are made will not remove things that the researchers have used on a daily basis. I would imagine there are going to be some smart academic decisions.
Fisher: Right. It’s always an emotional thing but hopefully they’re going to work this out in a way that really nothing is lost that’s significant.
David: Exactly. I mean sometimes weeding is needed to be done anyway within a library, and you may not even realize it. But there may be other options, online versions of the books or sometimes now a clickable link on a library catalogue, versus just have to pull the book off the shelf, or maybe in too fragile a condition to use.
David: So sometimes downsizing is necessary.
Fisher: All right. And it is time once again for David Allen Lambert’s Tech Tip of the Week! What do you have for us this week, David?
David: Well, this one is going to be a two parter. Because I was told by a friend, a lot of people who use Macs, I’m a PC person, but Mac users love “Reunion” and I love what I’ve seen what Reunion has done. And for a lot of times it’s not been the only show in town but it’s the only one that I hear a lot of buzz about. There’s another software called, “Heredis” and I’ll provide you the link right to the site that has a downloadable trial version, it’s both for PC and Mac. But it claims to be more user friendly than a lot of the other programs that are out there. So I’m going to give it a test drive and report back next week, and see what I think about it. And of course speaking of online, our guest user database on AmericanAncestors.org this coming week will be the American, Canadian Genealogical Society Index of baptisms, marriages and burials, 1840 to 2000. You simply become a guest user on AmericanAncestors.org and you get to use this database for free, and also many more.
Fisher: All right. Great stuff, David Allen Lambert, thanks for joining us!
David: Always a pleasure my friend.
Fisher: All right, and coming up next, its Ancestry’s Jennifer Utley, the lead genealogist for “Who Do You Think You Are?” about the new season that is underway. On Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show.
Segment 2 Episode 98
Host: Scott Fisher with guest Jennifer Utley
Fisher: And welcome back to America’s Family History Show, its Extreme Genes and ExtremeGenes.com. Fisher here, you Radio Roots Sleuth with my good friend Jennifer Utley. She is the lead researcher for “Who Do You Think You Are?” The new season is underway. Jennifer welcome back to the show!
Jennifer: Thanks for having me. I love to have an excuse to talk about “Who Do You Think You Are?”
Fisher: You know it’s interesting because I was looking at the history of the show before we got started and of course it rolled out on NBC four/five years ago and its moved over since to TLC, and so they call this season seven but it actually looks like more of a continuation of season six which was earlier this year. Would you agree with that?
Jennifer: [Laughs] I actually wouldn’t. From our research point of view, the beginning of this show was season five and this is the beginning of season six for us.
Fisher: So it’s just the way they’re listed in Wiki?
Jennifer: You know, it’s really kind of crazy and I think that they way they’ve done it has made it confusing. But honestly I’m just glad that there are more episodes to be on air.
Fisher: Exactly. And you’ve got a great line up for the next five shows. Its five shows this season, right?
Jennifer: So there are six shows.
Jennifer: There are five new celebrities, but the sixth show is actually a clip show, that we can talk about too.
Fisher: A clip show? All right, well we just had Jennifer Goodwin on this past week, the TV star. But I’m excited, this week we have JK Rowling coming up! How did you arrange that one?
Jennifer: Well, actually JK Rowling was on the BBC version of the show and we had actually reduced research schedules this year, and so one of the things we did is we wanted to bring one of favorites over from the BBC. So we have the JK Rowling episode coming for the first time here in the west.
Fisher: Oh that’s fantastic. What a great idea. You guys could swap shows and everybody could see everybody, couldn’t they?
Jennifer: Yeah. We love to gather around in the office and have parties where we watch the different shows from the different geographies.
Fisher: And of course JK Rowling is so world renowned she’d be a perfect fit here.
Jennifer: Oh yeah, she’s amazing. You can really see in her episode what a smart woman she was and how engaged she is. I really enjoyed watching her episode.
Fisher: Yeah, unbelievable energy there. All right, who else do we have this coming season?
Jennifer: After JK, we will have Alfre Woodard. She’s a television and film actress. She’s African-American so we’ve got a really amazing African-American story. She’s got a show on television right now, I don’t remember what it’s called, but she used to be on Hills Street Blues. You’ll recognize her. She’s amazing.
Fisher: All right. And tell us a little of the story and what you found out. What was your role in that?
Jennifer: When we finished wrapping it, one of the things that we thought was really amazing is as we did the research for this tree, what we did is solid African-American research. The land records were super useful for us and the Freedman’s Bureau.
Fisher: Oh boy, and those are coming out more and more now and that’s very exciting stuff.
Jennifer: Yeah. So it was just an episode that was begging to be told and the research just laid itself out for us.
Fisher: Excellent. Who else is on the line up this year?
Jennifer: Okay so after Alfre we’ll have the clips episode.
Fisher: Okay, and what is that? What is that about?
Jennifer: You know when they first told me that they were going to do a clips episode I was a little bit sceptical. I was like, “I don’t understand it.” But when I watched it, I was so thoroughly entertained. They do it in sections. So like the first section is why these celebrities would be coming on “Who Do You Think You Are?” to tell their story and to learn about their family history. You know, what motivates them. So you get a bunch of celebrities telling you, “This is what motivated me.” And then there’s a section about going to these different locations and how fabulous that is and to dig in the research on location, and also the power of walking where your ancestors walked.
Jennifer: Then there’s a section like on doing the research. They talk about census records or they talk about newspaper records. So they’re grouped, and honestly almost every celebrity we have had on “Who Do You Think You Are?” over the six seasons, appears. And actually there are a few never before seen scenes from past episodes. And there’s actually some places where we kind of poke fun at ourselves.
Jennifer: And there’s a section of outtakes. So I was wildly entertained by that side of the screen.
Fisher: Now you appear on some of the shows, are you in this season, Jennifer?
Jennifer: You know, I don’t appear with any of the new celebrities but I do make a quick appearance on the clips episode. And that’s largely because I was with Kelsey Grammer. He’s a funny man, so I appear laughing at one of his jokes.
Fisher: Excellent! Something to say, “There’s some family history for you to preserve” Right?
Jennifer: That’s right. Three colleagues from Ancestry ProGenealogists appeared this season. Kyle Betit, he appears with Tom Bergeron and Joseph Shamway. He appears with Alfre Woodard and Brian Schellenberg, and helps out Jennifer Goodwin.
Fisher: All right, all great researchers there. Tom Bergeron, let’s talk about him. Of course everybody knows him from “Dancing With The Stars.” What did you find out about him and what’s the storyline?
Jennifer: Yes, or my son who loves him from “America’s Funniest Home Videos.”
Fisher: Ah! That’s true too.
Jennifer: Tom Bergeron’s tree was just a joy to put together. It really convinced me that I wish I had French/Canadian ancestry.
Jennifer: Those records are so amazing. So this is one of the trees, it is one of the biggest, longest and oldest trees that we’ve ever done. So we tell a really amazing French/Canadian story. You learn some interesting things about the Filles du Roi, the daughters of the king, and he’s got one of those in his tree. When they were settling Canada, the men were being adventurous but they needed wives. So in order to get women to come to marry these settlers over in Canada, they were called “daughters of the king” which means they were sponsored by the king and the king would pay their dowries.
Fisher: Oh! Okay. I didn’t know any of that. Fascinating stuff and Tom Bergeron is a product of this?
Jennifer: Yes, uh huh.
Fisher: All right who else do you have on the show this year?
Jennifer: The other one is Bryan Cranston.
Fisher: Oh yes, from Breaking Bad.
Jennifer: From Breaking Bad and Malcolm in the Middle.
Fisher: Malcolm in the Middle! I wouldn’t even have thought of that because everybody knows him from Breaking Bad now, but that’s true.
Jennifer: Yeah he’s a really interesting story. I kind of think the theme of this season is… When we start doing family history research, you start with what you know, right? So you know some facts about your family but you also go and you look and see what legends and family stories have been told to you about your family.
Fisher: Sure, because they almost always have a foundation in truth even if they’re twisted.
Jennifer: Totally. And I think what we found this season is they’re twisted.
Jennifer: Everyone thinks they know these stories and they really getting this taste of the family history showing, “Oh, it wasn’t exactly how you thought.” And so really there’s a lot of surprise and shock and that’s one of the fun things about this season.
Fisher: And we’re seeing that with Bryan Cranston?
Jennifer: Yes. I haven’t seen his yet. Usually when you and I talk, I’ve seen all the episodes. But there’s three I haven’t seen yet. But what I was told was when he was filming it we put together these outlines because we know where we want the story to go. But the celebrity doesn’t know anything about the journey they’re going to be on so you don’t know how they’re going to react. So we kind of have to make predictions on how people are going to react, and what they say is that Bryan Cranston totally was unpredictable.
Jennifer: His reactions were unique and thoughtful and really interesting. So I just can’t wait to see what he does in his episode.
Fisher: All right. In all these episodes, which is the most emotional?
Jennifer: I don’t know, I think I’ve cried the most in Jennifer Goodwin’s because it was really touching.
Jennifer: You know she was so excited to go on this journey. She’s done a lot of family history research herself when she was shooting a television show here in Utah. On her days off she would go to the Family History Library because there was a story in her tree and she was trying to build out the tree but she just couldn’t. She kept hitting this brick wall. And so she did all this research and never got anywhere, so she was really excited to come on the show. And in the first couple of weeks we broke through her brick wall and it just opened up and it kind of tells a really sad story but it explains to her why there was a brick wall there. So I think I got teary eyed the most in her episode.
Fisher: She’s Jennifer Utley. She’s the lead researcher for “Who Do You Think You Are?” It’s back on TLC on Sunday nights. Jennifer, always great talking to you and keep up the good work!
Jennifer: Thank you so much!
Fisher: We look forward to seeing it.
Jennifer: Okay great.
Fisher: And coming up next, why in the world would you want to tell your kids and grandkids about your criminal ancestors? Stan Lindaas has a little insight on that and some incredible stories, too, coming up next on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show, in five minutes.
Segment 3 Episode 98
Host: Scott Fisher with guest Stan Lindaas
Fisher: And welcome back to America’s Family History Show, Extreme Genes and ExtremeGenes.com. Fisher here the Radio Roots Sleuth with my good friend Stan Lindaas from Heritage Consulting. Welcome back to the show, Stan.
Stan: Thanks, Fish for having me.
Fisher: And you know, this is one of those times where we’re actually going to get a little bit uncomfortable or maybe even make you a little bit uncomfortable, because we’re going to talk about some of our more “nefarious” ancestors. And why would we want to do this, Stan?
Stan: And my question is, why wouldn’t you? My kid brother died. I read his obituary. I didn’t know who they were talking about.
Fisher: [Laughs] Really?
Stan: This obituary talked about an angel. He was a pain, considerably lower than the neck. I didn’t know him. So when we tell our ancestral stories, it’s important that we include the things that are…
Fisher: Weren’t so pretty.
Stan: The skeletons in the closet kind of a thing.
Stan: We’ve kind of moved out of the era or secrets.
Fisher: Yes, we have, long ago.
Stan: Yes, which was a real problem for many people, but there’re real practical reasons for sharing the darker side of life experiences. Emory University several years ago did a study where they looked at and talked with adolescents and young adults. And those individuals who had an understanding and awareness of their ancestors, who they were and what their stories were, especially those who had stories of problems that they overcame. They found that these adolescents had, I believe it was 72% higher success rate at dealing with the problems that beset them today.
Stan: The social problems.
Stan: Yeah, that blows my mind, but what greater gift can you give your kid or your grandkids than the “dark stories of their ancestors.”
Fisher: Yes, and how they can overcome the same things, yeah. Good point.
Stan: You’ve got some of those in your family, don’t you, Fish?
Fisher: Oh no! Not a single one! No, they were all fantastic people! [Laughs]
Stan: Ah, you’ve been reading the biographies and the obituaries, haven’t you?
Fisher: Now, let’s see, I have a thief who was in New York City and I don’t know why he started up thieving. Maybe he started getting caught, he got a little slower, he’s like forty years old when he starts showing up as a thief. And I kept thinking, “Maybe this is another person of the same name,” but when I found out the neighborhood, it’s like “Well, he’s the only one of that name there.” And he once escaped from the jailor and they hadn’t seen him. It was published in the newspaper that they were looking for Samuel Downs. And he stole a saddle at one point from somebody and was trying to sell it on the open market. So there were all kinds of issues going on there.
Stan: It makes you wonder, what triggered all of this?
Fisher: Right. I don’t know, I don’t know. There was, of course, there were lots of affairs and things like that and people running down one another, we all see that. And my wife had one where the great, great grandfather in 1875 ran off with the wife of a farmhand, after absconding with like $20,000 from creditors, because he had a big ranch. So he left his wife and nine children behind and set up house with this young thing and took on his mother’s maiden name before he was finally captured and brought in. But he never had to face any legal consequences for some reason. He just paid everybody back and they went on. Oh, by the way, his obituary? Fabulous! One of the outstanding citizens of the county!
Stan: Yes! [Laughs]
Stan: Yes, yes.
Fisher: How about you?
Stan: I personally don’t have any knowledge of any…
Stan: No, no, no, no, the reality is… but my wife on the other hand.
Stan: Her grandmother, they lived in Indianapolis at the time. My wife’s father was about five years old. The grandmother sent him to the store several blocks down the street to get some vegetables. And when he returned home with some tomatoes that didn’t suit her fancy, she grabbed him by the ear and drug him back down to the store and confronted the storekeeper with these less than desirable tomatoes. And as she was leaving, his recollection was that she picked up a counterweight for one of the scales and threw it and hit the man in the head and he died shortly thereafter.
Fisher: Ooh! The storekeeper?
Stan: The storekeeper!
Stan: No, I’ve tried to find record of this, but I can’t find anything.
Fisher: That’s oral tradition at this point.
Stan: Yes, yeah, it really is. It’s not just the guys that mess up. I mean obviously this is Grandma Doris went nutso in the grocery store!
Stan: Long before postal was the thing to do. Two other stories that I have. One is about a woman who was married to one Joseph Flanagan in Malone, New York. What got me onto this was, we were trying to figure out what happened to this woman and nobody can find her. I haven’t been able to find her. But what happens is, and I find this in the newspapers, she and her husband had had a rather tumultuous period of time and they were in the middle of divorce proceedings. She goes in front of the judge with her attorney seeking alimony and custody of the children. She got seventy five bucks a month and the judge said the two girls will be placed in the convent here in Malone. And so they were and the next thing you know, a carriage pulls up behind the convent in the middle of the night, and lo and behold, the older of the two daughters is with one of the nuns and woman in the carriage jumps out, pulls the veil off of her face and its mom!
Fisher: Oh wow!
Stan: And mom says, “Get in the carriage! Come with your mother.” The nun tries to intercede, the mother pulls a pistol and demands that the nun go and retrieve the younger daughter, Alice, and they jump into the carriage and head for the Canadian border. In the meantime, the nun goes and contacts Joseph Flanagan who owns the biggest, most luxurious hotel in all of the area. And he commandeers a car in… 1909!
Stan: And chases down this carriage before they cross the Canadian border, retrieves the children and nobody has heard from or of this woman, the mother, since.
Stan: Who knows, you know?
Stan: I’m thinking, you know, buried someplace in the woods.
Fisher: Yes, I know what you’re thinking.
Stan: I’m not sure.
Fisher: Right. Wow! What else do you got?
Stan: I’ve got another one. I was helping a young man just recently and he knew nothing of his family. Found his great grandmother and great grandfather in Texas where we expected to find them.
Fisher: There’s a lot of things that go on in Texas.
Stan: Yeah, yeah, especially the neighbor’s pigs and chickens getting into the ancestral pea patch. Well this caused a little bit of consternation shall we say. Frank, the great grandfather went next door and read the riot act to Mr. and Mrs. Fountain. And a few days later, Frank and Jessie, the great grandmother with their three children were walking their cow past the Fountain’s house to use the water in another lot. And on their way back, Mrs. Fountain was sitting on the porch and Mr. Fountain, well he had a tire iron in his hand and he hit Frank upside the head, Frank dropped to the ground. Jessie, as the family said, was red haired and had a bit of a temper and she was carrying a butcher knife, sliced Mr. Fountain’s arm. Mr. Fountain yelled to Mrs. Fountain “fire.” Mrs. Fountain shot, hit Jessie in the chest. Jessie goes to the ground and lying next to Frank is exhorting Frank not to get up again, because somebody has to raise her children. Frank goes ahead and gets up and Mr. Fountain says, “Shoot again! Shoot again!” And Mrs. Fountain had point blank range, puts three more bullets into Frank’s head.
Fisher: Oh my goodness!
Stan: Jessie dies instantly. Frank dies several days later. This all goes to trial. Well, it only took about four years and Mr. and Mrs. Fountain were acquitted.
Fisher: Really?! Because?
Stan: Because Mrs. Fountain had just given birth to a baby boy and they were in court with the baby, so the judge took mercy on them.
Stan: So, I just dug it up a few weeks ago. And the family is just, “Wow, that’s kind of cool!”
Fisher: [Laughs] I was going to say, how did they react to that?
Stan: And I’m thinking, “That’s rather morbid!”
Fisher: Is that the right reaction to have?
Stan: Exactly! Exactly!
Fisher: I mean, some people get very emotional about some of the things, but obviously not these folks.
Fisher: What year are we talking about?
Stan: This was in the 1920s.
Fisher: And knowing these stories can help your children and your grandchildren to know how to handle difficult situations.
Stan: Yeah, Doc Severinsen. We did Doc’s research years ago.
Fisher: From the Tonight Show?
Stan: From the Tonight Show. Johnny Carson. Yeah, we had done Johnny’s and Ed McMahon. We did Doc’s and we went back and said, “We’ve got your ancestors.” He says, “Well, do I have any horse thieves? Any murderers, any bank robbers?” I said, “No, Doc, but you do have five generations of preachers.” And he said, “Don’t you tell a soul!”
Stan: And so, you’re not a soul.
Stan: I’m sharing this just with you. Just with you.
Fisher: Ah ha, there you go. Stan Lindaas from HeritageConsulting.com thanks for joining us. And great advice and great stories, too. Love them.
Stan: Thanks, Fish.
Fisher: And coming up next, Tom Perry from TMCPlace.com, our Preservation Authority. He’s going to be giving me a little advice about what to do with those old slides, some of which have actually come out of the cardboard case. That’s in three minutes on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show.
Segment 4 Episode 98
Host: Scott Fisher with guest Tom Perry
Fisher: Welcome back to America’s Family History Show. It’s Extreme Genes and ExtremeGenes.com. It is Fisher here, the Radio Root Sleuth with Tom Perry from TMCPlace.com. He’s our Preservation Authority. Welcome back to the show, Tom.
Tom: Great to be vertical.
Fisher: Yes! I’ve got these slides that I inherited from back in the 50s and 60s. And I haven’t really looked at them in a long, long time. And I started going through this box and found that some of them had actually slipped out of the cardboard case. You know, that cardboard goes around the image?
Fisher: I don’t know if that’s a negative or a positive. I guess if it’s a slide it’s a positive, right?
Fisher: Yeah. Anyways, some of these images are lying out of the cardboard, which would mean, I would assume, that we can’t actually look at them because they won’t fit into a slide projector. What do you suggest I do with this?
Tom: You know that’s really good you brought that up, Fish, because there’s actually two parts of this. We’ve had people bring stuff in to us that had been in that situation. They haven’t looked at them for 30 or 40 years. And we open them and you can see the negatives are falling out of either whether they’re in a box or whether they’re in a carousel, the negatives or the positives, depending whether they’re slides, have fallen out. And what the problem is, back in the day everybody was making glue. Whether it was 3M or other places, and they had no way to really know how it’s gonna be in the future until the future came.
Fisher: Right, whether it would hold together or not.
Tom: Exactly. So there’s several different ways you can do this. If the cardboard still looks nice and clean, it’s not rippled or anything, hasn’t had a lot of humidity issues that the adhesive has given up, the best thing you can do is go and take the positive and set it back in the frame, because you’ll see where the little holes are that goes away from the frame. Just make sure it’s set exactly how it’s supposed to. I’d get a little teeny piece of good quality Scotch tape.
Tom: And just tack it down a little bit at the corners so it’s not gonna move. And then I would get something like some Super Glue. You don’t want to use rubber cement because rubber cement is thick.
Tom: And the slide’s not gonna go together, might get caught in your carousels. Use something like Super Glue or something that’s really, really thin. And then glue the piece together. Hold it if you have some leather clamps or set a book on it, or something, until it’s dry, and then you should be fine. Another thing you can do, I have seen 3M makes a type of double sided tape that’s really, really super thin. Cut it to size. Make sure it’s not gonna go into the window, it’s gonna touch the negative, and you just put that on the top and the bottom and then that will hold the two pieces together. Make sure you get them square, because if they’re off-square or anything, they’re gonna get caught in your slide projector. You’re not gonna be able to scan them. You’re not gonna be able to view them. So you want to be really, really careful. Or send them to us and we go through and fix those before we ever scan them, so then you don’t have a problem.
Fisher: So once we have them working in the carousel again, I mean, the ultimate object here is to get them digitized. Because who’s gonna look at them through a slide projector anymore if you even have one.
Fisher: So the goal would be to get these things in a good position so that somebody can digitize them.
Tom: Right. Exactly, and one thing that I recommend to people all across the country and in fact in other nations when they write to us and want some slides transferred, don’t take them out of the carousels. Leave them in the carousels. Leave them in the box. They’re a little bit bulkier but send them to us like that, already in the carousels, because the carousels are better at protecting them than about anything.
Tom: So send them full in the carousels. And in the next segment we’ll talk a little bit more about some different ways we can preserve the slides.
Fisher: All right, when we return in three minutes on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show.
Segment 5 Episode 98
Host: Scott Fisher with guest Tom Perry
Fisher: Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show. Fisher here, the Radio Root Sleuth with Tom Perry from TMCPlace.com, talking preservation, talking about slides today, and I was mentioning how some of the cardboard slips that my old slides were held in and how some of them have fallen apart, and we talked about that. But Tom, some of them have been damaged, obviously by water that I ran into, and so they’re all crinkly. They’re not gonna fit in there either. What do we do with that?
Tom: Oh yeah. Basically what you have to do with those, you have to find replacement sleeves. And the best thing to do is go on Amazon or eBay and find them. And if you’re going to go through the time of replacing your sleeves, what I would do is I would go with the plastic ones, because you won’t have that problem anymore.
Fisher: Oh. I didn’t know they made those.
Tom: Oh yeah. Watch for them. If you’ve got some like that, I’d start searching right now. And they make several different kinds. They even make aluminum ones which I don’t really like. They used them back in the old days.
Tom: Oh yeah.
Tom: They were actually aluminum slides back, I guess, before they figured out how to do good cardboard and plastic, or something. But the problem with those is they’re kind of thicker than the standard ones, and they can get caught on your carousels because they were made back before there had carousels. When they had the, you drop one in, watch it. Drop one in, watch it.
Fisher: What era are we talking here?
Tom: Oh, way before my time. [Laughs]
Fisher: [Laughs] ‘30s maybe?
Tom: Yeah. Probably ‘20s or ‘30s, right when slides were first coming out.
Fisher: Okay, gotcha.
Tom: In fact, some of ’em even have glass in ’em. They’re actually aluminum with glass.
Fisher: Wow, never seen that.
Tom: Oh yeah. We’ve had quite a few come in. They’re usually so old they’re almost like black and white positives. They’re really, really old. But I’d shy away from those. I would try to get the plastic kind. And there’s two different kinds of plastics ones. Some of them they just snap together. Which means if you ever have a problem, you can un-snap them and move it around. The other ones, once you lock, they’re permanently locked. In fact, if you got your slides transferred back in the ‘60s by Kodak, they usually came in the plastic sleeves which you can’t get those out. You have to actually cut it open. So the kind I like, they’re usually gray in color. And they will snap together and then they’ll come apart.
Fisher: But the plastic sleeves, I mean if you have to get them open they’re probably in pretty good shape. They’re probably the best ones, right?
Tom: Right. Yeah. The only time you’d have a problem with a plastic sleeve is if you’d been around a fire and they had warped.
Tom: And then you’re gonna have to cut them out and put them together. But usually the problem that you have with your slides is not only do you have the dampness, you can get mold that can actually damage the image itself too. So the first thing you want to do is inspect them all. If all the images look fine, there’s no mold on them, then just go ahead, take them apart and put them in the plastic sleeves. And like I say, I recommend the snap together kind. If you have any problems with the film itself, you want to be really, really careful. If you look at each little frame, whether it’s a negative or a positive, there’ll be usually a shiny side and a dull side. The dull side is a brain side, so to speak. That’s your emulsion, that’s where all your dyes are. The other side is just the other side of the coating that is put on. So you can get a q-tip. Get the real good q-tips. Don’t go to the dollar store and get the garbage ones. And usually with some isopropyl alcohol, and the higher the alcohol content the better it is, and very gently clean the shiny side, not the dull side.
And if you look and can’t see which is shiny and which is dull, generally you can tell by getting the negative or the positive and set it flat on a table top, and if it’s curling up, then that means your emulsion side is up. If it’s curling down, then that’s your glossy side which should be the side that doesn’t have your emulsion on. Just like they tell you to test clothing for certain kind of cleaning materials, just get the q-tip with a little bit of isopropyl alcohol on it and just do a little teeny corner of it. And then if you see some emulsions smearing, then you’ve got it the backwards way. But 99% of the time it’s kind of concave by the emulsion side. The emulsion side will be down it’ll kinda look like the mountain. If you have questions, write me. I’m more than happy to answer you at AskTom@TMCPlace.com and help to walk you through it.
Fisher: All right. And it’s important to do this too because these images as small as they are, you can digitize them and make them as big as a billboard, you’ve mentioned that before.
Tom: Oh, absolutely. We’ve done that for a lot of clients.
Fisher: All right. Great stuff, Tom, thanks for coming on!
Tom: Thank you.
Fisher: I cannot believe another show is in the books. Thanks to Jennifer Utley from Ancestry, lead genealogist for “Who Do You Think You Are,” talking about the new season. To Stan Lindaas from HeritageConsulting.com, explaining why stories about criminals in your ancestry should be shared with your kids and your grandkids. If you’ve missed any of the show, be sure to get our free podcast app for iPhones or Android. You can download it from your phone’s store. Talk to you next week. And remember, as far as everyone knows we’re a nice, normal family!