Fisher opens this week’s show with David Allen Lambert, Chief Genealogist of the New England Historic Genealogical Society and AmericanAncestors.org. David begins by sharing great news from FamilySearch.org. The Freedmen’s Bureau records have been completely digitized and presented to the African-American Museum. David has the details. Next, the alleged “Canal Killer” of the 1990s in the Phoenix area has been caught thanks to the help of a California genie. You’ll be amazed by the details. Then, cremation ain’t what it used to be! Learn about a company that’s doing more with ashes than just spreading them around. David then shares his Tip of the Week, and another NEHGS Guest Member Database.
Next (starts at 10:39), Fisher opens the next segment with a West Virginia woman who was determined to find her Slovenian ancestry. Nancy Moore went with a Slovenian genealogy group to her ancestral home armed with an ancestor’s address. She and a translator knocked on the door and learned?. Well, you’ll want to hear it all from Nancy.
Then (starts at 24:16) Fisher visits with Bernice Bennett, host of a podcast on research in the National Archives. (blogtalkradio.com/bernicebennett) Bernice shares her insight on preparing for your trip to the Archives and what you might expect to find there. She also talks about her latest genealogical “passion project.” The techniques she uses are something we can all learn from.
Tom Perry, the Preservation Authority, returns to talk about what appears to be the introduction of Virtual Reality to family history! How will it work? Tom explains. In Tom’s second segment, he reminds us the rules of copyright when it comes to reproducing commercial disks. Can it be done, legally? No. And Yes! Tom will explain.
That’s all this week on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show.
Host: Scott Fisher with guest David Allen Lambert
Segment 1 Episode 169
Fisher: Well ho, ho, ho and welcome to America’s Family History Show Extreme Genes and ExtremeGenes.com. It is Fisher here. I’m your Radio Roots Sleuth on the program where we shake your family tree and watch the nuts fall out. This segment of the show is brought to you by LegacyTree.com. And guests today… very excited to have Nancy Moore on. She’s a West Virginia woman who recently completed a trip to Slovenia. Slovenia, where is that? How do you research there? You’ve got to hear one of her techniques involving actually knocking on doors and asking if they know of any relatives. I mean, it’s an unbelievable story. You’re going to love what Nancy has to tell you, coming up in about 8 minutes. Later in the show, Bernice Alexander Bennett is on. Now, she’s got her own podcast we’ll be telling you about, plus she visits the National Archives all the time. And she’ll give you some tips on how you want to go there and what you could expect to find as you research in Washington DC. (There’s) a lot of material there that escaped the fires of the south and the Civil War and other parts of the country as well. So she’s going to have some real nuggets for you if you’re heading east anytime soon. Oh by the way, just a reminder, don’t forget to sign up for our Weekly Genie newsletter, it comes out every Monday. No, we don’t spam you, and it’s absolutely free. All you have to do is go to ExtremeGenes.com and just up in the little box in the upper right hand corner of our home page. Right now, let’s head out to Boston and our good friend the Chief Genealogist of the New England Historic Genealogical Society and AmericanAncestors.org. It is David Allen Lambert! How are things in Beantown, my friend?
David: Oh we’re doing good! The streets are hustling and bustling with packages and people scurrying from store to store getting ready for the holidays.
Fisher: Sounds like a song.
David: It probably is.
Fisher: Yes. [Laughs]
David: Well, I’ll tell you, exciting news from FamilySearch this month, about the work that was done on the Freedmen’s Bureau database. We talked about it a few months ago.
Fisher: Oh boy. Yes. In fact, people were scrambling to get this thing done before the museum was open that this was connected to. But tell us the rest of this, this is good stuff.
David: Well, over the past year over 25 thousand volunteers participated in this project. People discovered more than 1.8 million names of the 4 million people that were enslaved, that were mentioned in these records. It’s amazing to think of how much genealogical historical evidence has been uncovered just by volunteers.
Fisher: Well, and this is one of those things that could break through that brick wall of slavery and get you back even further, and this is very exciting stuff.
David: Yeah, the Freemen’s Bureau records in general have been a definite boost to the genealogical work of African American researchers and having this material on top of it from the Bureau, these records add to what was already out there. It’s great that they’re indexed and all you have to do is go to DiscoverFreedmen.org, which is a totally free website.
Fisher: Unbelievable, great.
David: The next story comes from Phoenix, Arizona where a cold case has been solved by a forensic genealogist. A colleague of mine by the name of Colleen Fitzpatrick is known in the world of forensic genealogy. She’s actually a PhD in nuclear physics. She’s helped the Phoenix police solve a case that’s been cold for over 20 years.
David: Sadly, two women were murdered over 20 years ago and they have now identified through DNA Brian Patrick Miller as the killer. And he is now scheduled to go on trial in April of 2017.
Fisher: The amazing thing about this story is David she actually went out and compared databases of DNA from around the world and matched it to the DNA that they believe came from the killer and came up with a last name comparing Y DNA, of who they thought that person might be, and then they went to the database of potential people of interest from back in the day and found that surname on the list and were actually able to prosecute the case, unbelievable!
David: It really is. And hopefully this will get some closure for the families of these two young women that were murdered so long ago.
David: On a lighter note, you know, if you’re thinking of what you might need to put under the Christmas tree this year, how about a wax figure of President William Howard Taft?
Fisher: [Laughs] Well, he is a cousin of mine. You know, I think we’ve talked about this before that you have like 14 presidents that you’re related to. I think I’m related to 9.
Fisher: But wouldn’t that be fun to take one of your presidents and actually have a wax figure of them in your home? Your cousin William Howard Taft or whoever it might be!
David: Well, it’s amazing and all you have to do is go to the auction on January 14th in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania where they’re closing down the wax figure collection of the President and First Lady’s museum. So if you want a First Lady in a ball gown, one third scale, you can also have that you know, if a Barbie isn’t good enough for your daughter this year, then why not?
David: Speaking of gifts, I mean we’ve talked a lot about what people have done with their dearly departed over the course of the last couple of years. Now, this is a company headed by Justin Crowe, they offer alternatives to regular cremations. So you can have your mom or dad made into a mug…
David: … beads or into some form of jewellery.
David: So you can carry them with you for as long as you want.
Fisher: Okay, a couple of thoughts here. First of all, if you made mom into earrings and you lost an earring, how much worse would that be?
David: That’s true.
Fisher: Right? The other thing is, if you’re going to drink from a hot chocolate mug, a coffee mug or whatever. Would you really want to put that to your lips? I mean, that’s really a strange story.
David: Yeah it’s….
Fisher: What happens when the mug breaks, it falls, or a grandkid knocks it to the floor? I mean, this could be a disaster.
David: Talk about breaking up of family!
Fisher: Yeah. [Laughs]
David: I just hope that nobody makes me like a door stop or something like that, and kicks me to the side when they don’t want me around!
Fisher: I’ve got to get this guy on the show. We’re going to see what he’s about. [Laughs]
David: I think that would be wonderful. My tip for the genies of Extreme Genes this week kind of ties in with something we all have a burden with, holiday card. What do you do with them after the holidays?
Fisher: Throw them out usually.
David: Well, are we throwing out a genealogical treasure? I mean obviously we save the letters and the photos that may be tucked into the card and a lot of cards are sent virtually. So these are becoming rarer and rarer as the decades move forward.
Fisher: That’s true.
David: So of course it comes down to are you now a genealogical pack rat and save everything? Or do you save certain cards from aunts and uncles or older relatives? That this may be the only form of written correspondence you have. So it’s a real tough call. American Ancestors wishes everyone, Happy Holidays. And speaking of gifts, a free guest member database of the week from AmericanAncestors.org is the United States 1920 census now with images.
Fisher: All right David always good to talk to you, and we’ll see you again next week. And coming up next in three minutes, I’ll be talking to a West Virginia woman who recently went to Slovenia in search of her ancestors and you won’t believe some of the experiences she had. That’s coming up next on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show.
Segment 2 Episode 169
Host: Scott Fisher with guest Nancy Moore
Fisher: And we are back! It’s America’s Family History Show, Extreme Genes and ExtremeGenes.com. It is Fisher here, your Radio Roots Sleuth. And you know, one of the things I like to do during the weeks as I get this show ready for you, is to go out and find unique stories about family history. Incredible stories of discovery, interesting techniques, amazing finds, and just try to capture for you some of the excitement of those discoveries, and of course some of the techniques people use. And one of the techniques I found in this next story is one I don’t think I’ve heard too much of, going to Slovenia and knocking on doors, and my next guest Nancy Moore is on the line with me right now. She’s from Charleston, West Virginia. Hi, Nancy! Welcome to the show.
Nancy: Hi. Good to be here!
Fisher: Tell me about this Slovenian background. First of all for people who aren’t aware, where is Slovenia?
Nancy: Slovenia is directly south of Austria and east of the top of Italy.
Fisher: So it’s way in the heart of Europe, and you have ancestry there that goes back how far? When did your Slovenian ancestors come here?
Nancy: Oh, to the States?
Nancy: 1905 is when my grandfather came over and 1920 is when my grandmother came over.
Fisher: So fairly recent in the big scheme of things, right?
Fisher: And so you knew you still might have some cousins over there to find and some places to see, and some records to discover. You know I’ve never done any Slovenian research. What does that take?
Nancy: Well, there’s not a whole lot on like Ancestry.com or even on FamilySearch.org. There’s not much from Slovenia unless there’s another family that is doing research and then you can peek into their family tree.
Nancy: For my grandfather, I had nothing on either grandparent expect the father of my grandfather because he came over at the same time, too. But somebody contacted me on one of the genealogical sites and said,” Hey, I know a lady that wrote a book about the Oblaks, that’s my maiden name, in the region that you’re talking about. So he gave me access to this lady’s family tree. I think she has passed away just recently, but I was able to take the Oblaks back to about 1670.
Nancy: Now I’m interested to see where they came from. So I might have to hire somebody to find that out.
Fisher: Sure, but what a breakthrough for you. I mean that had to absolutely blow your mind.
Nancy: Yes and this happened only about a week before my trip otherwise I would have gone over there with nothing but names, you know.
Fisher: Sure. But you had the name of the place they were from I would assume, right?
Nancy: I had the name of the section of the capital where my great grandfather had moved to but I didn’t know where his birth place was until I got that email from another Slovenian who knew the woman that wrote the book.
Fisher: But you’ve obviously done a lot of homework. You did that before you went over there which is the right thing to do. Were you finding they were helpful to you when you got to the archives there?
Nancy: Yes. I belong to the Slovenian Genealogical Society International, and they gave me some hints. They had nothing on either the Matums or the Oblaks but they let me know the name of the lady in the Ljubljana capital’s archives. And I wrote to her and the birth certificates started coming in, and I’ve got that family back to great, great, great grandparents.
Fisher: Boy, that’s really impressive for Eastern Europe. I mean that’s really unusual. You’re doing a heck of a job. So you met up with a translator there and you wanted to go places. What was that experience about and how’d you set that up?
Nancy: Oh that was awesome, totally awesome. He showed me all the highlights as we went to the different towns. We went to the one town that my grandmother was from which was called Random Lake and I had the old house number and he knocked on that house door, and there this man’s grandfather was my great grandfather’s brother. So that’s pretty close!
Nancy: And he called another lady in town whose name was Terezija Mecun and she and her sister were the nieces of my grandmother and they had letters from her. They knew her you know, and they had a lot of questions.
Fisher: I bet they did. But I mean, that’s an amazing close find for going back that far, and to be on that side of the world and have that experience.
Nancy: Right. My translator spoke excellent English and he didn’t have a shy bone in his body.
Fisher: [Laughs] Well that helps a lot. So how did he find this? He went knocking door to door?
Nancy: Right. But it only took one door.
Fisher: It only took one door? Okay. So you were just looking for that one address.
Nancy: Well I actually had two. I knew that the next generation back, I knew their house number too.
Fisher: Okay. So you had the house numbers, there’s still family members living there, tell us about your experience with them. Did they wine and dine you? Did they want to take you to lunch? Feed you dinner? Get your stories? Exchange information? What did they do?
Nancy: Well, the first day we talked. They asked some questions and then they invited me back the next day for lunch, which was really awesome.
Fisher: Oh it had to be.
Nancy: Yeah. And my translator came too and we had pork and gravy and I think they call them smash potatoes. They still have chucks in them. The one sister grows herbs in her garden including carnations. I guess they put those in salads too.
Nancy: And the salad was just wonderful.
Fisher: So you had this cultural experience. What did you learn from that? I mean from the things that they shared with you that you didn’t think about or you hadn’t known about.
Nancy: Well, my mother told me, my mother is not Slovenian but she told me that my Slovenian grandmother made stews a lot and I was surprised to see it was more pretty much meat, potatoes, gravy, vegetables, of course salad, and I learned that they love, and I do too, pumpkin oil.
Fisher: Pumpkin oil? Okay.
Nancy: Yeah. You make your salad, and I even put some ranch dressing on it and then you put a dash of pumpkin oil and a dash of maybe pomegranate vinegar, and it’s pretty good.
Fisher: So did they have photographs for you?
Nancy: They showed me a picture of my grandmother’s mom and dad and all the children. My translator took the picture and I’ve lost it somehow.
Nancy: I’ve got it on a thumb drive and I’m hoping it turns up at the bottom of a bag someday.
Fisher: Oh dear, yeah.
Nancy: But if not, I can write them and ask them to email it to me.
Fisher: And maybe your translator has a copy of that too, right?
Nancy: I don’t know. We took pictures of the tombstones in two cemeteries and I donated that to FindAGrave.com which is the site that actually helped me find my great grandmother from Slovenia.
Fisher: Um hmm.
Nancy: She was buried in the town where my dad is buried. But dad didn’t talk too much about his family, you know.
Nancy: Well what does it matter? It’s over.
Fisher: So you were in the same house though that your ancestors actually lived in, right?
Nancy: Right, uh huh.
Fisher: What was that experience? What was that feeling like as you went room to room?
Nancy: I didn’t really go room to room. But the house was very solidly built. I mean it would have to be, though I didn’t go into the old ones that had been in the family forever, because they were pretty much closed up. But I went in to two that had been remodelled and they were nice and sturdy. They had a lot of wooden furniture.
Fisher: What was the one thing that really struck you about this trip as absolutely magic?
Nancy: Absolutely everything, but just the fact that I was able to speak to members of my family. I think they knew I existed but they had no idea that I was coming. It was like, “Here I am.”
Fisher: Yeah. I think that there are people who are well aware that there might be second or third cousins on the other side of the pond, and they know maybe that you must be there. But to know specifically who you are and that you come looking for them, that’s got to be quite an experience for everybody involved, right?
Nancy: I would think yes, if that happened to me here I would be really shocked.
Fisher: [Laughs] And it would be fun wouldn’t it?
Fisher: You know I love what you mentioned about the Slovenian organization, the association that you belong to because I think that’s a great tip for anybody looking to go especially into Eastern Europe and do some research. Because there can be an awful lot of resources that they can share with you. Are you aware of other organizations for different countries in that region?
Nancy: There is one for Hungry, I found one for Austria, and they might be helpful in the future. You just do a search on the internet and say Hungarian ancestry or something like that and all those will pop up.
Fisher: Yeah, and it’s a great thing to join and associate with other people trying to do the same thing. Because Eastern Europe is a bit of a challenge for anybody who has ever tried to do this and it sounds like you had an extremely successful trip.
Nancy: Right. Now, the trip was organized by the Slovenian Genealogical Society International through Kollander Travel. K-O-L-L-A-N-D-E-R I believe.
Nancy: And they had done this a handful of times in the past.
Fisher: So there was a group of you?
Nancy: Yes. And that was another neat thing. I mean, we all knew the same Slovenian song that grandparents and parents used to sing to us.
Fisher: Oh how fun.
Nancy: Everybody knew Omlesh Kapegla.
Nancy: And we sang it on the bus.
Fisher: Well I love hearing these stories because it really reminds me that there are a lot of adventures out there for people to have that maybe they just haven’t considered is doable or how to go about it, and I think you’ve given people a lot of great ideas for that. Are you’re going to be able to extend some of those lines that you found or is that something that’s going to have to wait for another trip?
Nancy: No, I did some last night actually. My great grandmother, I knew nothing about her background and I found some notes that told me her sister and her mother and father.
Fisher: Oh wow! Well that sounds like a world of fun Nancy, and I wish you all the success in the world as you continue to extend what most of us would consider very difficult lines to extend.
Nancy: Well thank you.
Fisher: She’s Nancy Moore from Charleston, West Virginia, just back from Slovenia. And this segment has been brought to you by FamilySearch.org and coming up next, we’re going to talk to my friend Bernice Alexander Bennett. She is a genealogy podcaster plus a researcher at the National Archives, and if you’re thinking of going there, she’s got some great advice for you. It’s coming up in five minutes on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show.
Segment 3 Episode 169
Host: Scott Fisher with guest Bernice Alexander Bennett
Fisher: And welcome back to America’s Family History Show, Extreme Genes and ExtremeGenes.com. It is Fisher here, the Radio Roots Sleuth. And I’m going to talk to a friend of mine, and let you listen in on this conversation, Bernice Alexander Bennett. Now she is a podcaster, she’s got a show called Research at the National Archives and Beyond. It’s on Blog Talk Radio, and we’ll give you all the info so you can connect with her podcast as well. But I’m so jealous of Bernice, because, well, Bernice, you live in Maryland. You’re so close to the National Archives. And you just go down there anytime you want and go through and thumb through those original records and smell them and know that your people touched them. I mean, that is the coolest way to research ever!
Bernice: It definitely is the coolest way to research. And for me, I feel like I’m in the genealogy candy store!
Fisher: Yeah! [Laughs]
Bernice: Just to be in the Maryland area.
Fisher: Well, and the point is of course, well, the National Archives records are finding their way online, finally! There’s so few of them, percentage wise. I mean, most of the stuff is right there, you have to go to it. And you are an expert on that. And one of the reasons I wanted to have you on, Bernice, is to fill us in on what’s on your mind right now? What is lighting your fire in your research world and what are you into and what can we learn from it?
Bernice: Well, what’s lighting my fire are the Homestead Land Entry papers. And I have been tracking a group of homesteaders from Louisiana, specifically Livingston Parish, Louisiana. And they’re African Americans. And my ancestor, my great, great grandfather, Peter Clark, owned 159.33 acres of land.
Bernice: And I was told this by my grandmother. And so, I couldn’t imagine, how could he obtain that much land, and discovered that he applied for a homestead. And with that came the names of witnesses. So, what has been really driving me right now is to track the witnesses.
Fisher: Are you finding that they’re related or they’re just close friends? What’s the story that you’re finding is the common thread with these people?
Bernice: The common thread is that they’re in the same community. The common thread is that they supported each other, and this is one of the kinds of theories I had that they were very close friends. And when I first saw the names, the question I raised was, “Well, how do they know each other?” And I discovered some of them were living next door to each other.
Fisher: Um hmm.
Bernice: Others were related to some of the others, if that makes sense to you.
Fisher: Sure. Yes.
Bernice: And so, by pulling their records, and when I say pulling their records, I actually went to the National Archives and ordered the records of each of the witnesses, because I discovered that they were also homesteaders. I could then see how they were there to support each other, because they would state, “I have known this person for the last 22 years.” or “I have known this person. I saw him yesterday.” And it’s stated in the homestead record, because they had to prove that there was knowledge of that claimant applying for that land and then living on that land for a period of time.
Fisher: And I’m sure you’ve come up with some stories that relate to this that kind of blew your mind. Tell us one of those.
Bernice: One of those stories is that I looked at my grandmother’s 1913 marriage license, and on her license, it had the names of witnesses. One of those witnesses was also a member of the United States Colored Troops. Well, I pulled his USCT record, but I also found out that he was also a Homesteader. And so, I was just so excited because I just pulled the Homestead record for this particular man two weeks ago. And I compared his signature on my grandmother’s marriage license to his signature on the United States Colored Troop record, and the Homestead record is the same person all the way through. So I was just jumping up and doing the happy dance! [Laughs]
Bernice: I was so excited to see that he served as a witness for my grandmother. It was my grandmother as I said earlier who told me that her grandfather owned land in the first place.
Bernice: So she kind of put me in that direction to go search for the truth on the facts to support her statement, that her granddaddy owned a lot of land.
Fisher: And that’s often a challenge, isn’t it, because the stories that are passed down tend to get twisted a little bit, just like a game of telephone.
Bernice: Yes, they do. They do get twisted, but sometimes you do have to follow the hint. You have to follow it because there may be some truth to it, and this what I discovered. There was definitely truth to what she was saying. It wasn’t just a fallacy.
Fisher: And so, do you start getting into the actual military records of the witnesses as well to just kind of understand the overall, the community, I guess is what it would be really, right?
Bernice: Yes, I do. I mean, that’s why I would pull and that’s why I did pull the United States Colored Troop record, because I wanted to see what was in their story and what could they say about themselves, where they were born, why did they enlist, what battles, if any, they were in?
Fisher: There you go.
Bernice: This is all the information that’s in the file.
Fisher: And so, most of these records survive, where many, especially in the south do not to this day, right?
Bernice: Well, they survived, because they’re at the National Archives, okay? So that’s why. These are federal records, so yes they are at the National Archives. They were not records that are found at the local level.
Fisher: You know, we have a lot of listeners in the south and radio stations throughout the south that this can apply to, and certainly from all cultures as well, because, you know, when you’ve lost records in the south, burn courthouses, a Civil War and all this, the Federal Archives have a lot of things that you might not even think of, yes?
Bernice: Absolutely! And it’s something for people to think about. I mean, that’s why you have the National Archives. That is the repository for Federal records. And so, you definitely want to follow up to determine if your ancestor’s records are at the National Archives.
Fisher: And a lot of that might have to be done by actually filling out forms online, because a lot of this material isn’t yet digitized, as we talked about a little bit ago.
Bernice: Right. A lot of it isn’t digitized, even when you look at the Homestead entry papers, you have Nebraska, which is digitized, but the other records you would have to put in a request for that original document. Also, with some of these Civil War invalid and widows pensions, about 175,000 have been digitized, but think of the million records that have not been digitized that are still there and waiting for someone to request them.
Fisher: Yeah. That’s what I’m always trying to drive home is the idea that, you know, ninety percent probably of all the material we’re looking for is not online yet. And we have to do it the old fashion way and actually go someplace and smell the records and handle them and request them and maybe pay for copies, just kind of the way it used to be done, what, twenty, thirty years ago.
Bernice: That’s right. I mean, if you want that record, that’s what you’ll have to do or get somebody to do it for you.
Fisher: So what’s the best advice you can give to anybody as far as dealing with the National Archives goes?
Bernice: Well, I certainly would advise individuals to review the website, TheNARA.gov website, just to see what resources are available there. And then, if they have an opportunity, send them to Washington DC to visit some of the regional archives just to get a feel for what’s available there, but certainly I wouldn’t tell anybody, just show up at the door!
Fisher: No! [Laughs]
Bernice: Without having an understanding on what you’re coming there for.
Fisher: She’s Bernice Alexander Bennett. She hosts the online blog, “Research at the National Archives and Beyond” You can catch it on BlogTalkRadio.com/BerniceBennett. And it’s a great show! And Bernice, it’s so great to have you on the show finally after all this time.
Bernice: Well, thank you so much for having me on your show.
Fisher: And this segment of the show has been brought to you by 23andMe.com DNA. And coming up next as we talk preservation with Tom Perry, he’s going to tell you about virtual reality possibly coming to family history, in three minutes on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show.
Segment 4 Episode 169
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 and it’s time to talk preservation with my good friend Tom Perry from TMCPlace.com. This segment is brought to you by RootsMagic.com. How are you, Tom? Good to see you.
Tom: Hey, it is so totally awesome right now. We have a software alert we’re going to get to, and we’re just telling everybody, “Hey, you still have time to get your VHS tapes into your local Transfer Duplication Center. Most of the good ones I’ve been in contact with have room, can still do it for you. Get hold of your local guys and get your stuff done. You still have time to get your video tapes done.”
Fisher: That’s great!
Tom: Now this is really, you want to hang on, put your seat belt on, you want to be careful. You know how we love Wondershare?
Fisher: Yes! [Laughs]
Tom: One of my techs was telling me last week Wondershare now has a new download for virtual reality!
Tom: Virtual Reality! You can take your old super 8 movies we’re envisioning and reach out and touch your dead relatives!
Fisher: No! Come on!
Tom: This is absolutely incredible.
Fisher: Wait a minute. So this means it’s got to have some kind of 3D element to it, right?
Tom: Oh, it’s got to. And the thing that’s so crazy is, I’ve been telling people as a joke, I said, “Oh, don’t throw away your old film. You always want to keep things that’s optical, negatives, films and things like that, because who knows what’s going to happen next generation? I kind of jokingly say, “Hey, one day they may try to do it in 3D.” I don’t know if you want your home movies in 3D, but hey you know hahaha.
Tom: And then last Saturday I find out, “Oh my goodness, it’s actually coming!
Fisher: Yes, virtual reality. Wouldn’t that be something? So essentially you turn around with your goggles and you’re kind of scanning the videos as it’s happening.
Fisher: That’s so weird.
Tom: I don’t know all the technicalities of how it’s going to happen. And they’ve been promoting it a lot on TV, not Wondershare, but people that have those big black things you put over your head that looks like you’re going scuba diving.
Tom: And you always see the people reaching out because they think this is real. I mean, how cool would this be to be going back to when you were a little kid and there you are as a little six or seven year old and your parents, and you’re trying to reach out and pat yourself on the head!
Fisher: You know that this reminds me of Ebenezer Scrooge being taken back in time, and seeing himself as a child, as a school boy and his little sister, remember?
Tom: Exactly! Exactly, that’s what’s so cool about this. It’s because people are always dreaming, “Oh I’d like to go back and do this over again or I’d like to be able to go back and see this.” And with this virtual reality coming out, they’re probably going to be able to do scenes in history. In fact, we were watching a JFK special the other day. Well now they went and scanned the old JFK footage whereas in the old days they just projected it. And you can see more of the car, more things that are happening because you can see the little hole there so you know they scanned the film. And can you imagine taking these kinds of things and however these 3D things are going to come together, this virtual reality, and actually go there and witness something like this?
Fisher: Are you talking about the assassination?
Tom: Exactly! You can witness something like that. You could be in the Apollo 11 that landed on the moon and be looking out as you’re going down the stairs and maybe even be on the moon. I mean this just opens so many possibilities, not just family history stuff, but all kinds of history. Go back you know, before we even had video cameras in animation and do these kinds of things.
Fisher: Sure, absolutely. So the question is what’s the timeline on this? What are the costs? Do we know any of that?
Tom: Not really. All I know is Wondershare, they’re wonderful because all their updates are free. You know if you buy the Pro package whenever they come out with something new you can update it. And my technician Joshua was showing it to me the other day where, “Hey, they’ve got this new thing.” And when he first said it, I go, “Excuse me, what are you talking about?” He says, “Oh you know the 3D goggles you can…” And I go, “You’ve got to be kidding me.” He says, “Oh no they’re making that. That’s a new download so you’ll be able to go in and do it.” So I don’t have all the specs but I guarantee you I’m going to be getting into this because I would love to do something at RootsTech where we can do something for people to reach out and touch their dead relatives.
Fisher: Right, right. Well they would have to bring their own digitized video I would imagine, if that’s how they would have it.
Fisher: But we certainly could get some demos together for them.
Tom: Oh yes, that’s what we going to try to do. Find out what it is, see if we can do some demos and tell the people about it. If you want to get into this then we’ll know more information. But this is so exciting.
Fisher: Oh yes it is. And of course it’s coming up at RootsTech in early February, so we’ll be sure to be on top of that. All right, what do we have coming up next?
Tom: We’re going to be talking about copyright issues, which we talked about last week and didn’t really get in to, about what you can do, what you can’t do, and what you shouldn’t do.
Fisher: All right, that’s in three minutes on Extreme Genes America’s Family History Show.
Segment 5 Episode 169
Host: Scott Fisher with guest Tom Perry
Fisher: Tom, I’m thinking it is not much fun for you when you have to tell people that they can’t use music in their videos, because it’s copyrighted!
Tom: It is. It’s really sad, you know, but I understand it’s coming from that kind of a background. You have to realize that this is somebody’s livelihood. It’s like you know, if you go to your supermarket and say, “Hey, they’ve got all these apples out of here, and they always have more than what they’re going to sell because they want the display to look good, so if I take one, no big deal.” Well, it still is a big deal. You know, what’s your own integrity worth? So you’ve got to think about things like this. In fact, let me tell you a couple of stories. We had somebody recently that came into one of our stores that brought in a compilation CD, wanted it copied for their wedding, 200 copies made. They wanted the couple printed on the front and everything. When I saw all this artwork and stuff, I started thinking, “I hope this isn’t a compilation CD.” So I popped it in, and it was a compilation CD, and had, you know, major artists on it. And so I called them and said, “Hey, you know, we’ve got a problem here. This is copyrighted music. You can do this however you need to get a hold of the Harry Fox Agency.”
Tom: … because they handle all this kind of stuff…
Tom: … and say, “Hey, these are the songs I want to use. This is how many copies I’m going to make. This is what I’m doing it for. What’s it going to cost?” So you just go to HarryFox.com and fill out all the information, and then they’ll send you back a thing that says, “Okay, this is what it would cost.” And you can say, “Whoa! Well, this song’s a little bit too high. Let me take this one out. Let me replace this one.” And this is what really hurts me is, we talk to the people and they say, “Oh yeah, we’ve got that thing. My son will bring back the license soon. We’ve got it all done. It’s all taken care of.” Great! And so he says, “Hey, you know, if you need them, when’s the wedding? We’ve got to get this thing done.” And kept pushing them and they say, “Oh, didn’t he drop it off yet?” Long story short, what they were doing is they were in Illustrator or whatever making their own licensing thing!
Tom: They were going to bring it in to us!
Fisher: No, they were going to forge it to bring to you?!
Tom: Exactly! And then when I started kind of feeling this, I called them back and said, “Hey you know, your son hasn’t brought it back yet, but make sure you get it to us quick so we can call Harry Fox and make sure everything’s verified on it.” Then the whole story did a 180, and then it was, “You know, this is just too expensive. We’re not going to do that now. If you’ve already printed the disk, that’s fine. We’ll buy them.” I’m going, “Oh, we haven’t printed the disks, but you can come pick up your thumb drive and everything.” Because what they were going to do is, they were going to make their own copies with our printed disks, which even if I had printed them, once I found out about something like this, I would stop, because you know, whether it’s going to hurt that musician or not is irrelevant. It’s a wrong thing to do. And what’s your integrity worth, you know, what’s the value of it? So you need to be careful. You want to be fair to people. You don’t want people ripping you off. You don’t want people stealing UPS packages off your porch. You shouldn’t be stealing music from somebody. This is their life’s work, and they should be getting a fair commission for it.
Fisher: Boy, absolutely. So, the Harry Fox Agency is great for music. Are there other places for video?
Tom: Usually, you have to contact the copyright person. I don’t know of a single video place that does that, but the one nice thing about video is, there’s a lot of public domain video out there, so you can go and check into that. And it will surprise you how much video is available for free or really, really inexpensive, because so many of these young kids are like, even teenagers in high school, are creating content that is so absolutely incredible. And they’re just excited to have people use it. And a lot of time, they give it away free or it costs you five or six bucks and it’s a great way to get fun footage.
Fisher: And in that same vein, Tom, there is royalty free music available through all kinds of sites. All you have to do is Google “royalty free music” and you’ll find places where they’re happy to give you free downloads or charge you a very small amount of money, that you can use appropriate music for background, for videos or old home movies.
Tom: You know, this has been around for a good ten, twenty years, and back then it was kind of sketchy, but so many people are getting into it now. There are some major creative artists that are famous that are making this kind of thing, because they just love making their music. And you can go in and listen to a little piece of it, and say, “Oh yeah, that’s what I want.” And then download it for two or three bucks. And it is really good stuff.
Fisher: Very good, yes.
Tom: It’s not the old elevator music stuff. It is really good quality. It’s awesome!
Fisher: All right. Well, great to have you, Tom. And of course, if you have a question for Tom, you can email him at AskTom@TMCPlace.com. See you again next week.
Tom: My pleasure!
Fisher: And this segment of our show has been brought to you by MyHeritage.com. Well, that wraps up our show for this week. Thanks for joining us. If you missed any of the show or you want to hear segments of it again, of course listen to the podcast, you can find it on iTunes, iHeart Radio or ExtremeGenes.com and other places as well. Don’t forget to sign up for our Weekly Genie newsletter. I know, like you need another task during the holidays, right? And next week, we’re going to get the full rundown on RootsTech from FamilySearch.org. Take care. Thanks for joining us. And remember, as far as everyone knows, we’re a nice, normal family!