Host Scott Fisher is joined by David Allen Lambert, Chief Genealogist for the New England Historic Genealogical Society and AmericanAncestors.org. The guys open the show with Family Histoire News including the recent experience of a friend of David’s who actually was under Trinity Church in New York as his ancestors’ remains were being moved! Next, Fisher and David talk about the recent discovery of a “priests hole” in an old English manor. What does it mean and what is the significance? They’ll explain. Then it’s a new discovery concerning Abraham Lincoln, a veteran of the Black Hawk War. Hear about Mary Todd Lincoln’s government request concerning her husband’s service. And finally, David begins his spotlight on genealogical blogs. This week’s is Melanie McComb’s “The Shamrock Genealogist” https://theshamrockgenealogist.blogspot.com/ David also shares a new youth blog for young genealogists, The NextGen Genealogy Network http://www.tnggn.org/
The guys are fresh off the four day RootsTech conference in Salt Lake City, Utah, so David sticks around (starts at 10:38) as they cover some of the things they learned there, including at least one major announcement by a major company, the new FamilySearch Discovery Center at Salt Lake’s Family History Library and David’s take on Living DNA among many other highlights.
Then (starts at 24:16), Kate Eakman, Senior Researcher for LegacyTree.com visits with Fisher about your immigrant ancestors and what you may find in their Social Security records. It’s a source you may not have thought about!
Then it’s Tom Perry from TMCPlace.com, the Preservation Authority, reviewing the Innovators Showdown at RootsTech and this year’s winning entries. Every year it’s something new!
That’s all this week on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show!
Host: Scott Fisher with guest David Allen Lambert
Segment 1 Episode 179
Fisher: And welcome to America’s Family History Show Extreme Genes and ExtremeGenes.com. It is Fisher here 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 MyHeritage.com. And this is so fun because today we’re going to be talking all about RootsTech, what happened in Salt Lake City, Utah February 8th through 11th. There were so many things, so many new tools that have come out, so many new concepts, great keynote speakers as well. And we’ll be talking to David Allen Lambert and Tom Perry about the experience a little bit later on in the show. And coming up also in about 15 minutes or so, we’re going to talk to Kate Eakman from LegacyTree.com. We’re going to talk about Social Security and your immigrant ancestors who came to this country and what those records might be able to tell you, so that should be pretty fun stuff. Right now, let’s check in with Beantown and my good friend David Allen Lambert the Chief Genealogist of the New England Historic Genealogical Society and AmericanAncestors.org. How are you David? You recovered yet?
David: I’m back to normal in Beantown. How’s things with you, Fish?
Fisher: Very nice, very nice. By the way, a lot of people signed up at RootsTech for our Weekly Genie newsletter so we could share a lot of our thoughts through that and we appreciate that. Anybody can sign up anytime of course at ExtremeGenes.com and on our Facebook page. So, what do you have for us today in our Family Histoire News?
David: Well, you probably saw the movie National Treasure with Nicholas Cage a few years back like we all did, and they went under Trinity Church in New York City and they found the Templar’s treasure?
Fisher: Yeah, any genealogist would love that show, right? [Laughs]
Fisher: It’s incredible. [Laughs]
David: Well, I can tell you there’s a genealogical angle to this. My friend Jim Boulden out in England who works for CNN let me in on a story that he just wrote in regards to going under Trinity Church. It turns out that his family is buried there. The Bleeckers and the Morris family, they are all buried under there in a tomb. But, sadly workers destroyed a lot of the tombs and the caskets in 2002. So, this effort to go back and restore the tombs and talk about what’s under there, and there are some photographs… makes a really interesting article. So, talk about digging for your ancestors!
Fisher: Yeah, no kidding huh? Did he actually see where his ancestors were?
David: He actually did. And in the article itself it shows the coffin plates were torn off the caskets that were down there, and he talks about Trinity Church putting up new signage. But, to go down into the church you had to go under pipes and through a hole. So it was almost an Indiana Jones adventure it sounds like to me.
Fisher: Wow! [Laughs] I’m jealous.
David: I really wish I could have been there too. Shame he didn’t have like a camcorder or something. But anyway, so that’s a great story. Going to hidden rooms. Let’s go across the pond to Warwickshire, England where they found a hidden set of rooms called a “priest’s hole,” which is something new to me. During the failed Gunpowder Plot to assassinate King James I back in 1605, these types of rooms were used to hide priests. Have you heard about these before yourself?
Fisher: Yeah absolutely, I have Catholic ancestors from England and many of them involved with these folks. But right after the Gunpowder Plot, of course, the king was trying to round up instigators and they were executing Catholic priests. So their wealthy parishioners would actually create places within their manors where they could hide them when the King’s people came. And in this case it was a double room. So one was to kind of decoy them and the actual place where they hid was hardly the size of a box, was underneath someplace. But how cool is that, wouldn’t it be fun to see?
David: It really would. And I’ll tell you, there are so many old hidden rooms in places in Europe. We’re probably just at the tip of the iceberg to finding out about more that exist. You know, I like to think of myself as a trained military historian and that I’ve seen a lot of things. But, today I looked at an article by Ken Nelson from FamilySearch called, “Serving with Lincoln: Finding your Ancestor’s Indian War Military Service in Pension Files.” I did not realize that Mary Todd Lincoln, five years after Abraham Lincoln was assassinated, applied for his military pension.
Fisher: Wow, I had no idea! I’d forgotten that he’d actually been in a war himself.
Fisher: That had to have made the Civil War even harder for him knowing how difficult war is.
David: And you know, the sad thing is that she did apply for this pension but of course her health was not well, so I’m that this pension file speaks volumes as to the later life of Mary Todd Lincoln. And the early part of Lincoln’s involvement in the soldiers during the Black Hawk War between 1831 and ‘32.
David: Now the interesting thing on most of these they’ll put an occupation, guess what he is listed as?
Fisher: I have no idea.
David: Commander in Chief.
Fisher: [Laughs] I guess she wanted him to know he was “The Abraham Lincoln.”
David: Exactly. Well, my next story is a 225th birthday anniversary. This goes out to those immigrants and knowing that their children and grandchildren could do something amazing. Well, William Thomas who immigrated in the early 1700s to Massachusetts from Wales, his grandson was “The Robert B. Thomas” who did the Old Farmer’s Almanac, published first in 1792. It’s amazing to think that it’s been out for that long and our relatives have probably been looking at it for weather forecast for years.
Fisher; Yeah, what is it now? We’re up to 225 years old? Unbelievable!
David: That’s exactly. And I want to toss something different out this year. There’s so much out there on the internet for genealogists to use, but sharing wisdom through blogs, and I’ve had so many bloggers. And I’d like to toss out this week a blog called TheShamrockGenealogist@blogspot.com. This is where the young genealogist Melanie McComb of New York caught my interest because her most recent blog is about cemeteries and how she found out more about a WWI ancestor that was killed, so right up my alley in two angles. So, I’d like to every other week or so toss out a new blogger and get you interested. And so it’s TheShamrockGenealogist.blogspot.com and check out Melanie’s blog.
Fisher: How cool is that!
David: Now NEHGS of course as you know if you want to become a member and save $20 you see. Check out using the code Extreme for our new databases if you want to become a guest member you can do so, and we’ll just put the entire run of 2016 NEHGS Register online. So you can check out the back issues of something we’ve been publishing now since 1847. A hundred and seventy years.
Fisher: Wow! All right David, very good. And hang on we’re going to talk RootsTech here coming up in three minutes. Some of the highlights and some of my favorite visits with guests talking about how they listen to the show, plus a little bit later we’re going to talk to Kate Eakman. She’s from Portland, Oregon. She’s with LegacyTree.com talking about your immigrant ancestors and Social Security records that may be of great help to you in your pursuit of your ancestors, coming up on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Radio Show.
Segment 2 Episode 179
Host: Scott Fisher with guest David Allen Lambert
Fisher: And we are back, Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show and ExtremeGenes.com. It is Fisher here, the Radio Roots Sleuth with David Allen Lambert, Chief Genealogist of the New England Historic Genealogical Society and AmericanAncestors.org. David and I, and Tom Perry the Preservation Authority who’s going to be on the show later on today, we’re all talking about RootsTech and kind of filling you in on first of all what it’s about because I know so many of you can’t be there or have never even heard of it. So let’s start with an explanation of RootsTech, David.
David: If you want to know RootsTech then cut it down to the bare minimum, it’s the largest genealogical conference in the world.
Fisher: Yeah. They had thirty thousand people there at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, Utah on Saturday alone [Laughs] which is insane!
David: That’s more than the population of my hometown!
Fisher: [Laughs] Yeah, and five times the population of mine right now. It’s just an incredible crowd and many of them kids. It’s a family day on Saturdays and that’s why I was dressing up like Lincoln. If you saw the Facebook pictures we did that last year too as George Washington and a lot of people wanted to pose for pictures. So it’s a lot of fun, but it was just an incredible thing to watch some of the children get excited about their family history.
David: The interaction of families, I mean really, a truly genealogy community event and with that many people. But I saw people that were World War II veterans right down to small families with little children interacting and I think there was a little girl that was learning how to paint Japanese symbols?
Fisher: Yes. I posted a picture of that on our Facebook page and you’ve got to see it, this little girl with a paint brush and it looked like a Japanese artist showing her exactly how to make the emblems and the mom just having a great time watching this. It was a real touching picture.
David: You know, even if you don’t go to any lecture, going around the vendor hall and hearing the sales pitch or leaning about these different companies and organizations is just a tremendous way to spend a day. And tactically you could do it two or three days and still not see everything.
Fisher: Right. Now next year it starts on February 28 and I suggest anybody who wants to come if it’s going to be your first experience, be prepared for it to be a mindblower. I ran into a lot of people who I know who were there and were just saying, “I’ve never been here before.” Well how are you feeling? “I’m overwhelmed.” Because you’ve got all these classes, all this new information, you’ve got all the booths, and so many activities and fun things to do. Every one of them loved it. So you almost have to go in there and remember that you don’t have to take it all from the fire hose on the first day. [Laughs] Take it all in slowly.
David: And I’ll tell you one of the nice things for me, I got to meet some of the celebrities that I admire, such as LeVar Burton and Buddy Valastro who went out there and talked to me about special needs kids and how important that is and being a father of a special needs daughter. It really touched my heart to chat with him. And I know that you met the Property Brothers.
Fisher: Yeah they were great and so was LeVar Burton. I talked to him backstage after his keynote. Because at the very end he was presented with his family tree back to 1815, which for many African Americans is very difficult to do, FamilySearch presented it to him through Thom Reed. And he was emotional up on that stage and there were a lot of tears flowing in the crowd and backstage afterwards I asked him about that and he said, “That is big. That is really big. I knew about my grandmother but I didn’t know about all this.” And he said, “I’ve already told my family and they cannot wait for me to share it.” What a touching moment.
David: It really was. And I think that seeing the scene from Roots where Kunta Kinte is being whipped by the overseer brought everyone to tears once again forty years later.
Fisher: Absolutely. You know, we talk about the celebrities but it was YOU the public, the genealogists, the Extreme Genes genies that came by the booth that I got a kick out of, especially when I started hearing some of the ways that you actually listen to the show, whether it’s on radio or through the podcast, listen to this…
Hi, what’s your name? “William Kingston.” William where do you listen to Extreme Genes? “Ely, Nevada, as I do my constitutional walk.” It must be a long walk. “Yeah, 45 minutes to an hour. [Laughs]”
“Hi I’m Aubrey Hemmingway from Salt Lake City, Utah.” And how do you listen to Extreme Genes? “I listen to the podcast. I download them from your great app and then I clean my house. And then I keep on listening and listening and hours later I’m clean and much more educated.” [Laughs] So why don’t you come over to my house and clean while you listen to the show? “[Laughs] Well, you don’t put your address out there so you…” Yeah you’re right. “[Laughs]
“Daniel Earl from Dewitt, Michigan.” And how do you listen to Extreme Genes? “I listen to it on the treadmill in the mornings before my son leaves for school, but because I only have 30 minutes I have to listen to it at double speed so this is the first time I’ve heard your voice not sound like you’re from Alvin and the Chipmunks.” (Fisher responds in double speed) I’m so glad you told us all that story. Thanks so much. “Thank you!”
So what’s your name? “Jack Duffy.” Where you from Jack? “I’m from Phoenix, and I listen when I go jogging.” No matter the weather? “Yeah well, if the weather is bad I do the treadmill.”
All right Joyce, you’re from Minneapolis. And how long have you been listening to Extreme Genes? “Oh, about a year now.” All right, and how do you listen to the show? “Well, every night at 10 o clock I go to a pool and I swim laps and I listen to you under water with my waterproof iPod shuffle.” Wow! “You sound really good under water, almost better than on land. [Laughs]” (Fisher responds as if underwater.) Well thanks so much for coming by and saying hello. “[Laughs] Yeah, that’s exactly how you sound! [Laughs]”
Fisher: Who knew?
David: You know, people said I’m all wet but now apparently if you can listen to us under water… that’s just new.
Fisher: Yeah we are, absolutely. All right, let’s talk more about RootsTech here because I think the Discovery Center thing and that entire experience was a mindblower for a lot of people, and that wasn’t actually at the Salt Lake Palace Convention Center but it was over at the Family History Library and it just opened in time for RootsTech.
David: It really was exciting. And you know, you can see how you’re related to American presidents, or presidents of the LDS Church, or entertainers, but what really got me, the two people beside me using the touch screen found out they were cousins.
Fisher: Yeah, talk about exactly how this thing works because it’s kind of unique.
David: You basically go on and login and create a FamilySearch account, I would suggest doing it beforehand or you can do it at their computers there. Put in your tree, and then it connects back to your tree to existing trees on FamilySearch that are with celebrities or with somebody that just happens to be in the room. It really is bringing the genealogy community even closer when you can be in the same room and find a distant cousin without even having to do a DNA test.
Fisher: I remember the first I did the Discovery Center and it took all these photos that I posted on my family’s page some time back. You know, you kind of put them up and you forget about them, and then you’re in this room and it’s like theater size pictures, things that were maybe just 3×5 in your home album, suddenly become life size. And there I am on the shoulders of my half brother who passed away when I was 8 years old, and there’s my dad and my mom, and my grandparents and my great grandparents. It’s almost like that life review thing you hear about when you die, right? [Laughs] They were just all right there.
David: Your life flashes before your very eyes!
Fisher: I literally gasped when I saw this thing. It was unbelievable and now you can do it when you come to Salt Lake City, Utah and go into the Family History Library.
David: Some big exciting new… MyHeritage.com this is the first time at a conference that they actually had their DNA autosomal kits, they’re part of the loop with that. FindMyPast.com like NEHGS we’ve just released the Boston Archdiocese Catholic record collection that we’re doing, they are now doing New York City, and Philadelphia.
Fisher: And overseas too, right, in Britain?
David: Exactly, overseas in Ireland and Britain. So it’s really exciting to get a new record set out there by, as far as I’m concerned, two great organizations. [Laughs]
Fisher: No kidding.
David: The other thing, there are other companies out there. New, Living DNA, a British company which is taking DNA samples in England which for me, grandfather’s from there I was want to fish in that pond for DNA matches. So, I took a test with them hoping they’ll share my results shortly. One thing I want to go back to, I got to sit in on a panel discussion with you, with Dr. Scott Woodward, CeCe Moore, and Angie Bush.
Fisher: Yeah, that was a great panel. Of course we were talking DNA. I was the moderator for it and what was fun was the room was packed. And I don’t think you can really talk DNA anymore without packing the room at a conference like this. And we went for 40 minutes of just questions that I had with the panel and they went through the rounds, each of them sounding off on what their thoughts were on those things. Then we did 20 minutes of questions from the audience, and that was really fun to hear how some people are making a lot of progress and understanding the different uses of Y DNA testing and autosomal and mitochondrial and how we still need all of them at this point. But the growth and where it’s going, and then if you saw CeCe Moore’s keynote speech a little bit later on which was Saturday, by the way, that’s online at the RootsTech.org website. You can hear CeCe’s prediction that there may come a day where we’re going to get so much DNA information we might be able to recreate what some of our ancestors looked like! Not just a name on a page! That’s just a mind-blowing thing to me, David.
David: It really is. And you know, going back to younger genealogists and how people are excited, you know I’ve been in the field for 40 years I started when I was seven. In one of the groups that I had a great conversation with is a group of active young genealogists called “The Next Gen Genealogy Network” So some of our listeners, if you don’t know about them, go to TNGGN.org it’s free, you can network with genealogists from kids, teens, and to the… I don’t know when young really borders ending because I’m 47.
Fisher: [Laughs] And you’re a man child!
David: I try to believe I am!
Fisher: Right. [Laughs]
David: So a great group, and they are really forging the next generation literally of genealogy, and they’re connecting and empowering young people, the future of the genealogy world. So a shout-out to them and I know many of them are Extreme Genes listeners.
Fisher: All right, one last tip, if you’re going to RootsTech next year, remember next year it starts February 28th. Bring some really well padded shoes. [Laughs] Boy I’ll tell you what, walking around on that concrete floor for four days was absolutely harsh on the feet.
David: You didn’t get a hover board?
Fisher: No. [Laughs]
Fisher: Love to have one of those. I actually did bring a pad for inside the Extreme Genes booth that I could stand on that was supposed to help but it didn’t do much.
David: It really was fun to hang out with you and Tom Perry at the booth and to meet so many of our listeners, and here’s to the next conference and another meet-up with our Extreme Genes genies.
Fisher: Yup, and congratulations to our friends at FamilySearch.org who put this thing on. It just gets more and more incredible every year so we’re happy to be a part of it. All right, David, thanks so much. We’ll talk to you again next week. And coming up in five minutes we’re going to talk to my good friend Kate Eakman she’s with LegacyTree.com. She’s a senior researcher there and she’ll tell you a little about Social Security and your immigrant ancestors. It’s on the way at Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show.
Episode 3 Segment 179
Host: Scott Fisher with guest Kate Eakman
Fisher: Hey, and welcome back to America’s Family History Show Extreme Genes and ExtremeGenes.com. It is Fisher here your Radio Roots Sleuth, and we’re talking to Kate Eakman. She is the senior researcher for LegacyTree genealogists, and you’re based in Portland, Oregon. Great to have you back on. Thought it would be kind of fun to talk about some of the things that you covered in a recent blog about Social Security records and your foreign ancestors. Because I think a lot of people never want to look in Social Security because they figure, “Hey, they came from overseas, they weren’t citizens they wouldn’t have such a record.” But you say that’s not the case.
Kate: Exactly! You’re exactly right. We still admit only US citizens could have a Social Security number. But when the Social Security administration was first begun, the purpose wasn’t to provide an identity card sort of what it’s been turned into today. The purpose was to just be able to track your earnings so that you could get the proper amount of benefits when the time came. And so nobody verified anything you put on your form SS-5 when you filled out the application.
Fisher: That’s crazy isn’t it? I mean you think of it today, how much we use through identify but things have really evolved over the years, right? Let’s take it back to the beginning. It all began in what? November of ’36?
Kate: Correct. The Social Security Act was passed in 1935 and then in 1936 people were asked to fill out a form. They called it the SS-5or their employers filled out the form for them, the SS-4. That listed the person’s name, date and place of birth, the names of their parents. All that information was just to make sure we got the right John Smith, when the time came.
Fisher: Right, yeah.
Kate: So it wasn’t anything… it wasn’t supposed to be intrusive, it’s just that we wanted to make sure we give you the credit for the work you did and don’t cheat you or give you too much money. And so anybody who was employed was asked to fill this form out so that they would be eligible for Social Security benefits.
Fisher: So, if somebody came over from say, eastern Europe and they worked here for five years, they would be contributing to the Social Security plan, right? Then they go back home where they later collect benefits from their time?
Kate: Well, I haven’t found any records of anybody who was able to do that. I think because they probably didn’t even understand they had those benefits available to them.
Kate: But, if they returned back home and then maybe their wife or their children came back later, they may have been eligible for widows benefits or benefits for orphans. I can’t even think of what that’s called now.
Fisher: Surviving children.
Kate: Surviving children! Yes, right.
Fisher: Sure, yeah. When my father passed when I was a teenager we got that benefit.
Fisher: But it is evolved over the years now or it’s used for all kinds of different things. So the idea here first of all is, if you do have a foreign ancestor who came over since 1936, you’ll want to check Social Security records, not only to see the SS-5, right?
Fisher: But also the fact they name parents on there, and when you’re trying to cross the pond, that could be pure gold, right?
Kate: Exactly, and don’t forget that you will also be able to find the mother’s maiden name on that form SS-5. They asked for the mother’s name, and then in parenthesis they requested it to be her maiden name. So for those of us who are trying to figure out who that person was, it’s a huge gold mine for you because now you have her name there.
Fisher: Yeah, absolutely. You know, I tracked down a descendent of my great grandfather. He had a child very late in life and I went looking for her, because we didn’t know about this side of the family. My grandfather had a half sister and when I figured out who she was, I applied for her SS-5 form, and of course she was a citizen, but it had his name on it and I was able to prove from that, yeah this is my grandfather’s half sister we didn’t know anything about. And from that, eventually we found descendents and now we actually have a really fun relationship with them.
Kate: That’s fantastic. And that’s why these forms are so useful. You want to make sure that just because your family were immigrants at that time, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t look for that form because you might still have one. One thing I want to make sure we keep in mind is that you don’t have to have your ancestor arrive here after 1936, they just had to have been here after 1936 and not been over 65 years of age.
Fisher: Right. What happens after 65?
Kate: Well after 65 you weren’t allowed to sign up for Social Security because you were the age to be able to start benefiting from it.
Fisher: Right, which meant you were actually supposed to be dead by then. So you were the walking dead, right?
Kate: Exactly! [Laughs] That’s exactly right. That was the assumption that you wouldn’t be alive for very many more years after that.
Fisher: [Laughs] So this is all extremely valuable information, Kate. Things started to change though in the 70s as I recall, right?
Kate: Yes, that’s correct. Because the government had begun using Social Security numbers as evidence or proof of identity for things like our tax returns, then for federal employees they began to want to prove… you needed to prove your identity. So in November of ’71 they started requiring people to prove who they were, birth certificates or whatever, prove their identity and prove their citizenship, or their alien status. So you could still get a Social Security card but you had to have some sort of documentation to prove if you were a foreign born resident here, an alien that you were here legally. And that continues through the 70s and the 80s, even up through today. Legal aliens upon arrival are immediately assigned a Social Security number.
Fisher: I guess one question, Kate, might be is somebody’s Social Security application real proof of their identity? Because I would think before people were demanding birth certificates and the like, people could fake them, could they not?
Kate: Yes, they could. And it’s interesting that you mention that because I recently had a probate case that I was working on where the Social Security application was very important in that whole process. The lady in question had applied for her Social Security card in 1941, back before you had to prove anything.
Kate: And we could never prove it one way or the other but it seemed as though she was simply claiming a family as her own, because there was no proof that she was the daughter of the people that she claimed for her parents. We actually think that she did know the people and so it may have been more a case of someone who just sort of adopted herself into the family.
Kate: You know, we know people like that where you’ve got somebody who… a neighbor or a friend who doesn’t really have anybody… and you kind of just, “Come on over for Christmas.” Then they sort of become part of the family.
Kate: And that may have been what she did, but yes technically that would be identity theft.
Fisher: Sure. Well, you know it’s not unusual. You think back through the history of the United States, we have a lot of soldiers who claimed to have fought, say in the Revolution, or the War of 1812, or the Civil War, and they would apply for pensions and many of them were filed fraudulently, or claimed to have served as a substitute or something for another person. I mean really this kind of thing, trying to get government money that really doesn’t belong to them, goes way, way back, right?
Kate: I think it’s one of the grandest American traditions that we have! [Laughs]
Fisher: [Laughs] Absolutely true! By the way, how much does it cost right now to get a Social Security record on one of your ancestors?
Kate: Just in the past few months things have changed, the price is now only $21, it used to be more.
Kate: And you don’t have to know their Social Security number. They ask you to provide as much information as you can, his name, date of birth, those sorts of things. Then they’ll look from there for you. It usually takes… I’ve had them arrive in as little as ten days.
Kate: It can take four weeks, but there’s a streamline to process a little bit I think is what happens.
Fisher: Right. Well, a lot of them are now online as well having been scanned, not all of them, but quite a few of them.
Kate: Right, and all the rules that we’ve talked about before, you have to be the age, a hundred years and all, that will apply and they are stricter than ever about those things.
Fisher: Right. To make someone isn’t still living and you’re stealing their ID.
Fisher: All right. Hey, great stuff, love it Kate! And good luck in Portland, I understand you guys are getting slammed with weather this year.
Kate: We are. We are just having crazy winter weather out here. So I’m ready for it to be spring time.
Fisher: [Laughs] She’s Kate Eakman. She’s a senior researcher for LegacyTree.com. Thanks for coming on.
Kate: Thanks for having me.
Fisher: And this segment of our show has been brought to you by RootsMagic.com. And coming up next, we’ll talk to our Preservation Authority Tom Perry, fresh back from RootsTech. We’ll answer your questions about preservation in three minutes on Extreme Genes, Americas Family History Show.
Segment 4 Episode 179
Host: Scott Fisher with guest Tom Perry
Fisher: And welcome back to America’s Family History Show, Extreme Genes and ExtremeGenes.com. It is Fisher here, your Radio Roots Sleuth. And this segment is brought to you by FamilySearch.org, the folks who just brought us RootsTech 2017 in Salt Lake City, Utah. Tom Perry is here, our Preservation Authority from TMCPlace.com. I’ve got to tell you, Tom… still tired.
Fisher: [Laughs] Yeah, there you go.
Fisher: You know on that last day, of course, I was doing the Abe Lincoln bit.
Tom: Uh huh.
Fisher: Somebody told me I was actually “trending” that day with this.
Fisher: But you know, last year, I did George Washington. They bring in all the kids of Saturday, so you know, it’s a good picture thing for them. So I did Abe Lincoln. And by the end, it’s like, “Okay, do I want to shred the hat first, rip off this beard that’s scratching my chin, or do I want to amputate my feet?” I wasn’t sure which was going to happen first, but they were all going to get done.
Tom: I’m still trying to recover. I’m still not back on the top of my game.
Fisher: [Laughs] Well, I’ll tell you what, there are a lot of people who were on the top of their game. And when we talk about preservation, this is where a lot of the winners came in when it came to the Innovator Showdown, which begins of course on Wednesday, the Innovators Summit, and then the judges announce their final decision on Friday. And there’s literally six figures worth of prize money out there for these people. And let’s start going through who some of the winners were.
Tom: Oh yeah, it was amazing. It was just absolutely incredible. You know, there’s a lot of neat things there. One of the ones called Qroma tag, which is really, really cool. You can have photos and go and tag it with your voice. So your people down the road from you, when they’re listening to, you know, grandma and grandpa, “Oh, this is a photo.” you’re describing the house, you’re saying different things about it. You can add GEO tagging, metadata, there’s so many different things that you can add to your photos to make them not only personal, but you can know exactly where they were taken. And it’s really good at like cemeteries and graveyards.
Fisher: Right. Qroma tag is spelt by the way, Q R O M A tag. And they came in second place. They were terrific. Then there’s this DNA one that really got me excited! It came in third place. It’s called Double Match Triangulator. And the best thing I can say if you’re not too familiar with DNA, when you’re trying to find who you might be actually related to. You know, we get all these matches from all three of the big companies that do DNA, but some of them, you’re getting a match from somewhere else. You don’t know that the match is coming from the one that appears to be the same on the tree.
Fisher: This one brings in other people and they can actually start to eliminate those that aren’t matches, even though they have similar names on your tree.
Tom: Exactly! It’s almost like an XY axis type thing.
Tom: You can see where the lines cross, and where they cross, chances are a lot better, that’s where your head is.
Fisher: And if you’re starting to map out your genome, this is a great way to do it.
Fisher: Double Match Triangulator, it’s something we’re going to watch in the future, for sure.
Tom: Oh, absolutely! It’s great. They had people that had new kinds of uses for QR codes. I saw this one where you could put a QR code sticker on your calendar or a photo, like if you had a photo of great great grandma, and when your grandkids come up and say, “Well, who’s this lady?” Instead of trying to explain to them, you say, you know, these are four year olds that have iPhones now, you take it, you get your QR reader, you scan it and it tells a whole presentation of who this person is, about their history. And the kids just love this, because they’re interacting in family history with their iPhones. It’s awesome!
Fisher: Yeah, in a way that they’re accustomed to.
Fisher: This is how the next generation of course is going to be doing things from here on out.
Tom: Oh yeah! They are wired totally different than us. If we try to put, you know, our rose colored glasses or whatever on them, they’re not going to be able to see. But you work with them with the technology that they understand and they love, that’s how you get them involved in family history, and they love it!
Fisher: All right, People’s Choice this year was Kindex!
Tom: Oh, that’s a great program, too. It does all kinds of word searches. So you can go through your different family history things you put together, find things that work for you. You can go in and add types, you can go in and narrate the different things and pull all these things together to make everything work together better.
Fisher: You notice, so far, everything we’ve talked about except Double Match Triangulator has to do with preservation.
Fisher: But obviously the technology is huge. We still haven’t gotten to the number one item, the big winner, $95,000!
Fisher: [Laughs] We’re going to talk about that, coming up for you here in three minutes on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show.
Segment 5 Episode 179
Host: Scott Fisher with guest Tom Perry
Fisher: And we are back for our final segment of Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show. We’re talking preservation with Tom Perry from TMCPlace.com. And this segment of the show is brought to you by 23andMe.com DNA. And we’re down to it, Tom. Here’s the number one pick, the winner of the Innovator Showdown at RootsTech in Salt Lake City a few weeks ago.
Tom: Drum roll, please.
Fisher: Drum roll, please. And the winner is OldNews USA! It’s the first mobile app that makes historical newspaper research possible on mobile devices. That’s one of their claims. And they won $95,000 for this thing.
Tom: Woo! I knew I should have entered!
Fisher: [Laughs] And I got to visit with the creator of this thing. And it’s an amazing device. Now, the limitation right now is, it only works with Chronicling America, which is the Library of Congress site. They’ve got like 10 or 12 million pages on there. You put into the name, for instance, of the person you’re looking for. All right, let’s just say it’s a real common name that makes it difficult, John Smith, right?
Fisher: And you can then put in dates that would be relevant to John Smith. And then you can put in a location for where this person is from, and maybe keywords, too, as to occupation, that type of thing. And then you can expand some kind of circle that basically tells you how far out you want to look and tells you what all the newspapers are concerning that area. You can go 50 miles out, 100 miles out and then limit your search to those places, which for common names is a huge boon.
Tom: Oh yeah! And this stuff is really, really cool, because in the old days, basically all you had in newspapers you were searching was obituaries. But when you can go into these newspapers and find out that, you know, maybe they were present at the Rotary Club, involved in their community and just fun stuff, just human interest type stuff that makes that people come more alive than in a simple obituary.
Fisher: Yeah, no doubt about it. They’ve got automated search suggestions that minimizes the amount of data entry. They’re got every search automatically saved, which is a great thing. So you can quickly select any previous search and modify it without a lot of effort.
Tom: Oh, and that is so good, because so many times, you’re working on something, you come back the next day and go, “Oh, where is this?? I forget to save it!” Well, this will take care of it for you.
Fisher: And I like this too, automated source citation.
Fisher: So you don’t have to type that in yourself. Automated research logging and support for multiple research goals.
Tom: So you can just sit on your couch eating potatoes, watching TV and run this app.
Fisher: [Laughs] Yeah, during commercials.
Fisher: From your favorite show, whatever it might be. And the fun part about it is, we know that they’ll be expanding this to other newspaper sites in the future. They’re just getting going, and that’s why this money is going to help them out. It’s going to be a big thing for all of us.
Tom: So they’ve got $95,000 now, so they can go in, add more things that this app can do that takes money to happen. And it’s going to spread like wildfire, because this is one of those must have apps.
Fisher: Yeah. And a lot of states now have their own sites for newspapers, digitized newspapers. Indiana has it, for instance, Utah has it, New York has their own site. In fact, FultonHistory.com we’ve talked about many times on this show, they’ve got actually three times more digitized pages there than the Library of Congress. And it’s been done by one guy who makes all these available to you for free!
Tom: Wow! Isn’t that amazing when people really step up and do things like this that they’re not in it for the money, they’re in it because they love the preservation, they want to help us.
Fisher: OldNews USA is the site we were just a talking about, the winner of the Innovator Showdown at the Innovator Summit at RootsTech 2017. And they’ve got an iOS version coming this year, and apps for other sites as we mentioned, including other countries, not just the states.
Fisher: So this is going to be a good thing moving forward. Tom, that’s all we can cover about RootsTech right now.
Tom: Hey, we have so much more to do!
Fisher: I know. We’ll do that over the coming weeks. Good to see you again. Talk to you next week.
Tom: Good to be here, thanks.
Fisher: Hey, that is a wrap for this week. Wow, we’ve covered a lot of ground! Of course, RootsTech gives you plenty of material to talk about for weeks and weeks on end. Hey, if you haven’t signed up for our Weekly Genie newsletter, do so at ExtremeGenes.com or on our Facebook page. It’s absolutely free. We love to share all kinds of links and columns and information that hopefully you can use as you go about researching your ancestors. Also, if you missed any of the show today, all you have to do is pick up the podcast, you can download our free Extreme Genes app through your phone’s store, you can go to iTunes, iHeart Radio or ExtremeGenes.com and catch it there. The new podcast comes out every Monday. Talk to you next week. Thanks for joining us. And remember, as far as everyone knows, we’re a nice, normal family!