Host Scott Fisher opens the show with David Allen Lambert, Chief Genealogist of the New England Historic Genealogical Society and AmericanAncestors.org. David begins “Family Histoire News” talking about the recent organization of a descendant organization for one of the passengers on the Mayflower. Find out who this group is about and if you might want to be a part of it. David then reveals major record release announcements from two major companies. Hear what’s coming your way! Then, word is that the 2020 census is in trouble. David explains the issue and who has taken action to call attention to the problem. Fisher and David then talk about the nightmare of a two-month-old baby whose identity was stolen decades ago. Hear how the situation was uncovered by a persistent genie. David’s blogger spotlight this week is focused on Leland Meitzler and his blog at genealogyblog.com. Leland reveals where you can read digitized newspapers from the Japanese-American internment camps from World War II.
Fisher next (starts at 10:38) visits with Brenton Simons, President and CEO of the New England Historic Genealogical Society. Brenton and Fisher talk about the upcoming Project 2020, celebrating the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the Pilgrims in Plymouth, Massachusetts. Over the next several years there will be a ton of activities and travel opportunities you won’t want to miss. Find out what they are on the show.
Then (starts at 24:16), Fisher visits with Deanna Bufo Novak from MyHeritageBook.com. Deanna creates customized books celebrating the heritage of individual children at places such as Disney World. Hear what Deanna has to say about what you can do to hook your kids and grandkids on family history. Also hear Fisher share a couple of snippets of his visit with his four-year-old granddaughter, Hailey.
Tom Perry, the Preservation Authority from TMCPlace.com, then joins the show talking about the “anti-iPhone” camera. What kind of camera should you be using for family history? As usual, Tom has his suggestions.
That’s all this week on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show.
Host: Scott Fisher with show regular David Allen Lambert
Segment 1 Episode 191
Fisher: And welcome to Extreme Genes, it’s America’s Family History Show and ExtremeGenes.com. Fisher here your Radio Roots Sleuth on the program where we shake your family tree and watch the nuts fall out. This segment of our show is brought to you by LegacyTree.com. Nice to have you along! We’ve got some great guests today. We’ve got the CEO, the President, the Grand Imperial Poobah of the New England Historical Genealogical Society. It’s Brenton Simons. He’s going to talk about a special thing coming up that may relate to some of your ancestors. It’s called Project 2020. It’s going to involve, potentially, travel to where your ancestors were from in the 1600s in England, in Holland. What’s going on with that? What’s that about? You’re going to find out in about eight minutes or so. And then later in the show I’m going to talk to Deanna Novak. She’s with KidsHeritage.com and she talks about how it is that you can get your kids involved in family history. And it is so much fun once they start getting hooked and asking questions and wanting those stories. She’ll have some great tips for you there. And then later on in the show Tom Perry… talking about the anti-cell phone camera. What’s that about with our Preservation Authority Tom Perry from TMCPlace.com? But right now, wherever you are this week, David Allen Lambert is here with us. He’s the Chief Genealogist of the New England Historic Genealogical Society and AmericanAncestors.org. You’ve been on the road for like the last three months I think David.
David: Yeah, I’m going to have to have these wings removed eventually and settle down and actually see my own family. [Laughs]
David: Well I’m on the road right now. I’m actually at the National Genealogical Society’s conference in Raleigh, North Carolina and meeting a lot of our listeners. So it’s been lots of fun and you know you always hear about new organizations to join. I’ve got one for your listeners and this actually ties into our President Brenton Simons’ talk with you later. There is now the Society of Miles Standish Descendants.
Fisher: Ah hah, Miles Standish, of course. He was the military guy amongst the Pilgrims. Well, he wasn’t a Pilgrim himself, but he was their military man. He was the guy with the big head as I recall reading, right? [Laughs]
David: I think I’ve heard that mentioned before. In recent years actually they have found a portrait which they believe is him. So now at least they have a couple of images of real Pilgrims other than the fanciful ones that artists have made up over the past couple of years.
Fisher: Right. And you know there is a John Howland Society. For instance, if you join the Mayflower Descendants Society there’s one for him and I’m sure there are many others as well, John Alden Society, right?
David: Oh I believe the Alden kindred have been around for probably as long as the Alden family has been here. That’s one of the more active ones.
David: Well one of the exciting things I learned at the NGS conference is a new announcement from MyHeritage.com, one of our sponsors. They have now put out records from the Netherlands. They go back to the 16th century.
Fisher: That’s fantastic! And you know there are so many that are coming out right now. I’ve been researching my wife’s Dutch line. She’s one quarter Dutch. And I recently found this document where her ancestor changed his name. If you’re not familiar with the history, when Napoleon was conquering Europe, he found that too many people had the same name because it was patronymic, meaning they were named after the father’s name. So it was really fun, a signature at the bottom and this is going to be a great resource through MyHeritage.com.
David: It really is. In fact civil registration’s very early. It was back to 1811 but again the church and population schedules were included as well and some of the church records go back to the 1560s. So this is tremendous.
David: It will most definitely help our genealogists. Another bit of exciting news is with Findmypast.com where they have announced six counties in six months, so they’re going to be putting on early church records from the 1500s on, that includes Warwickshire, Wiltshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Somerset shire, and Nottinghamshire, England.
Fisher: That’s a lot of shires!
David: It sure is.
Fisher: It’s shire David, it’s shire. That Bostonian thing, it just gets in the way all the time.
David: Sorry about that. Well, recently in the news the Director of the Census Bureau John Thompson has resigned. And this is in light of a recent controversy that the 2020 Census is underfunded. We’ve talked before about how for the 2020 Census they want to make it more automated so you can go online fill in your information and submit it that way.
David: Well this new system originally was going to cost X amount of millions is now up to $965 million. So it’s going to cost more than they thought so it’s now totally underfunded. My question is, does this mean we are not going to get a 2020 census or are we going to do it with the old paper folded method that we’ve been doing for years and knock-on-door enumerators which has worked since 1790.
Fisher: That’s true! Absolutely, it will be interesting to see how they work this out.
David: Well they’ve got a couple more years to iron out the details and hopefully they will get this worked out. You children’s identity has always been a concern. Now when people have lost children, they die in infancy and whatnot. You don’t think you’re going to do genealogy and find out that someone had stolen your identity. Well this is actually the case that happened for a family from Pennsylvania. Back in 1972 an infant by the name of Nathan Laskoski died and another person assumed his identity for years. You may have heard the story. He escaped from a correctional institution?
Fisher: Yeah, and he went right to a cemetery to find somebody who had died and who was born around the time that he was and then went out and got that guy’s birth certificate. A two month old, and then used that identity for twenty one years without getting caught. Something’s wrong with our system.
David: You know, I’ll tell you, I love to talk about our bloggers out there and on our blogger spotlight this week, someone who is very well known in the genealogy world, Leland Meitzler. And Leland has a blog happily called Genealogyblog.com.
Fisher: Boy, that’s a good one to get, isn’t it? [Laughs]
David: Kind of catchy.
David: Leland put a blog out on May 9th, which is an interesting thing. Because with all of newspapers, I know you and I both had very good success using the newspapers. And now the Library of Congress, he announces on his May 9th blog the WWII internment camp papers for the Japanese Americans internments. Well, at NEHGS we like to toss out the idea, if you’re not a member, why not consider membership at AmericanAncestors.org? By using the check out code “Extreme” you will save $20. And we hope that some of our listeners will also become a free guest member of NEHGS. Go to AmericanAncestors.org to find out more. Well, next week I’ll be back in Beantown at least for a couple of weeks before I head out to Seattle, Washington. So I get to rest my wings a bit.
David: Always a pleasure to talk to you my friend.
Fisher: All right David.
David: I’ll go back and talk to some more of our listeners.
Fisher: All right very good, have a great time at NGS and we’ll talk to you next week. And coming up next… He’s the president and CEO of the New England Historic Genealogical Society and he’s got an amazing project coming up that you’re going to want to hear about, that’s in three minutes on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show.
Segment 2 Episode 191
Host: Scott Fisher with guest Brenton Simons
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. And, I’m excited to have the president and CEO of the New England Historic Genealogical Society and AmericanAncestors.org, Brenton Simons on the line with me right now. Brenton, it’s the first time, great to have you on the show!
Brenton: Well, I’ve really been looking forward to it. Thank you for having me.
Fisher: You know, I’m looking at what we’re going to talk about here, and it’s of such national importance. Actually, international importance, and will affect anybody with ancestry from New England, way, way back, but that can mean descendants in the south and descendants in the west, and who have actually left the country over the years. Let’s talk about the 2020 celebration that’s coming up and what your role is in it.
Brenton: Well, we’re really excited about this. 2020 will be the 400th anniversary of the landing of the Mayflower, and as you say, that is a really national or international story, and we are working together, we’re partnering with a number of other organizations, including Plymouth 400, The General Society of Mayflower Descendants, Plymouth Plantation, several organizations in the United Kingdom, and are planning a huge number of events, publications, tours. There will be an important ceremony in Plymouth where we expect probably the president of the United States and a senior member of the royal family from England. But, more particularly for genealogists, this is important because we are going to publish a number of books. Robert Charles Anderson, our Great Migration author is going to publish four books, and that will be a great resource to family historians everywhere, so there is a lot underway.
Fisher: I’m thinking of Robert Charles Anderson. It’s like the man never sleeps, he doesn’t eat. He certainly doesn’t go to the movies! [Laughs]
Brenton: Well, you’ve got it. You’re exactly right, and I met with him about a week ago and said, “Bob, you’re going to have to put off retirement several more years.”
Brenton: And he’s happy to do that because he understands the importance of this milestone.
Fisher: Well, it is. And there are so many of us who are Mayflower descendants. I’m a John Howland descendant, as I understand you are.
Fisher: And if you look back, that means we descend from at least four people who were on that ship. Two who died the first winter and two who survived, and then had a lot of descendants. So this of course has spread throughout the country, and for those who have not yet linked in to the Mayflower, there’s a good chance you are a Mayflower descendant whether you know it or not. It took me 30 years to find that out. I had no idea. But, there’s what, 20 to 30 million direct descendants I think, is what one estimate is.
Brenton: Yeah. That’s right. It’s a huge number. Most people don’t know it. It’s waiting to be discovered, and whether or not you happen to be a Mayflower descendant, there’s a lot of inspiration in this story, and the Mayflower compact is one of the great foundational documents of our democracy. So, it’s very important, whether or not you happen to be descended. But, this will give occasion for a lot of people to look into that and make connections, whether to the Mayflower, or to the period, or to another place that will be personally meaningful to them.
Fisher: Exactly. And we could point out by the way that the Society of Mayflower Descendants actually has the first five generations pretty much mapped out and documented, so all you have to do is plug back to about, what would you say, 1700, Brenton?
Brenton: Yeah, it’s the fifth generation, so I’d say mid18th century. And if you happen to connect to one of those lines, then as you say, it’s very fully documented.
Fisher: It just shoots right back.
Brenton: Yeah. And our Great Migration series by Robert Charles Anderson covers all the other people. Because if you have one of those lines, you’re going to have many, many other lines in the period and those people have now been documented and he has gone through records to give the most detailed account of every person who came here to New England between 1620 and 1640.
Fisher: Now, we’ve had Bob on the show and he’s talked about it. I mean it’s one of the most prolific series ever out there, and it affects so many Americans throughout the country and people around the world. Now, next year you guys are planning a trip as a start of this 2020 celebration. So in 2018, we’re talking about people going back over to see where their ancestors came from who were on the Mayflower. Talk about that a little, Brenton.
Brenton: Sure. Well, the first event, even before that, actually occurs here in June when we’re going to be auctioning off early number license plates for Plymouth 400, and so, I’ll just bring that to everyone’s attention.
Brenton: Because that’ll be a very special event. But, we are planning three tours overseas and then a tour here in this country, associated with the Mayflower story. And, in 2018 we’ll go to Scrooby Manor. We’ll be staying in Nottingham, in England, and Robert Charles Anderson will guide us in Scrooby Manor and environs, and will be following in the footsteps of William Brewster and William Bradford, and our mutual ancestor, John Howland and others, and learning what motivated these people to leave England. The following year, we’ll go to Leyden in the Netherlands, and we’ll visit the location where the congregation lived between 1608, when they formerly asked for permission to live there in 1609, and then left in 1620. So there’s a lot of Pilgrim history in the Netherlands. And then, in 2020 we’ll go back to the United Kingdom and visit. We’ll go to Harich in the east where Captain Jones was from and John Alden was from, and Mayflower was probably built and probably launched, through London and then down to Plymouth and visit sites associated with the embarkation of the Mayflower. So, these are really going to be amazing trips led by the experts.
Brenton: So, it will be the world’s authorities on these topics with us, and we’ll have it open not only to our members, but members of Plymouth Plantation and the Mayflower Society, and really anyone else who wishes to come. And these are going to be so popular, we plan already to be able to repeat some of them so that everyone, I hope, who wants to go can walk in the steps of their ancestors.
Fisher: Okay. We’re going to just stop for a moment. Would you put my name down for next year?
Fisher: I don’t know. It just sounded really good, Brenton [Laughs]
Brenton: Well, now you’ve got me on the air saying yes, so I guess you’re in.
Fisher: Yes, that’s correct. I’m in! Yes!
Fisher: [Laughs] All right. Well you know, this is fun, because I know a few years ago, Virginia had their 400th celebration, and they contributed so much as well. In fact, it seems to me there was some time back in the last couple of years where we had one of your people on, who actually descends from both Jamestown and the Mayflower at Plymouth. And it’s kind of a rare combination.
Brenton: That’s right. Well, you know, and we’re inspired by what Jamestown, how that anniversary was celebrated. The queen came over. It was a big deal. It is a national story and that’s why, one of the reasons we have our website as American Ancestors, because we serve the whole country and have resources like the Virginia Genealogists, is on our website, or the Pennsylvania Genealogists, or the American Genealogists. So I do want to get a plug-in for those who are doing research in other parts of the country, and the importance of their stories, and Jamestown is high among them. So, yes, it’s something we want to emulate. How that anniversary was celebrated, and hope to give Plymouth as much fanfare and attention in 2020 as Jamestown rightly did a few years ago.
Fisher: Boy, isn’t that great? And you know, the New England History Genealogical Society has been around now since what, 1840 something, is that right, Brenton?
Brenton: Yes, 1845.
Brenton: We’re the founding genealogical organization in the western world, and now serving more than 225,000 members with, what is it now, 1.4 billion records, and a manuscript collection with almost 30 million items in it growing every day. And so, we consider our role as the nation’s genealogical society to be very important, and we serve people all over the country and all over the world, and it’s a great honor to follow in the footsteps of the people who made this happen and who had the inspiration in the 1840s to put together a genealogical society. Every genealogical society, the hundreds of societies that are out there now, spring from and root back to this organization, and we’re proud of that history.
Fisher: Well, and you should be. You know, you were mentioning your membership. Isn’t the majority now outside of the New England area?
Brenton: That’s right. We’re spread out all over. We have a huge number of members in the south, and the west coast, California. We almost should have branch offices. We have so many constituents outside of the region, and that’s one of the reasons we’re always traveling and always having programs in other cities and other parts of the locations, because we want to connect with genealogists in their home towns.
Fisher: And that’s why you use the website, AmericanAncestors.org, because you want to make sure that people understand, it’s just not a New England-centric organization any longer.
Brenton: That’s right. We have a regional name for the institution, but we picked a national name for our website, because it does indeed serve a national audience, and the funny thing about it is, really since 1845 we were collecting for the whole country.
Fisher: All right. Real quick, because we’re running out of time, Brenton, what else is coming up from New England Historic Genealogical Society that we can all get excited about?
Brenton: Well, the main thing I wanted to announce was all the books and special events for 2020, but we’re also expanding our headquarters and I’ve just announced our cornerstone project. We’ve bought the building next door, and in the next five years, we’re going to be expanding into it, developing a discovery center, a learning center. We’ll have an expanded retail operation, and we hope everyone will have the opportunity to visit us in Boston and come see our amazing headquarters.
Fisher: That’s incredible. And, where can people find out more about the trips?
Brenton: At AmericanAncestors.org. As tours are finalized, we will post them. We’ll have announcements in our weekly e-newsletter, and on our Facebook page, and don’t hesitate, the minute you see it, sign up. I’m embarrassed to say most of our tours go to wait list situations, so it’s important when you hear of one to sign up as quickly as you can. You’re already in.
Fisher: All right! There we go. I’m counting on it. Looking forward to it [Laughs].
Fisher: He’s Brenton Simons. He’s the president and CEO of the New England Historic Genealogical Society and AmericanAncestors.org. Hey, thanks for all the exciting news Brenton, and great talking to you.
Brenton: Well, my pleasure, friend. Thanks so much for having me on.
Fisher: And, coming up next in five minutes, how do you get those kids and grandkids to get excited about stories about people they’ve never even met? You’ll find out on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show.
Segment 3 Episode 191
Host: Scott Fisher with guests Deanna Bufo Novak and Little Hailey
Fisher: Tell me about the castles that you saw when you lived in Heidelberg and around the area?
Hailey: Well, they were very fun and then at this castle, there was like this little trail and we went there.
Fisher: It was really old, wasn’t it?
Hailey: Oh yeah!
Fisher: Worn out.
Hailey: Trying to keep it clean, maybe building things.
Fisher: That was my incredible granddaughter Hailey, with me in the studio this past week as I attempted to get her excited about family history and particularly about recording some of her own. Hey, it’s Fisher here, your Radio Roots Sleuth on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show. And this segment is brought to you by 23andMe.comDNA. Speaking of all this, about getting kids interested in family history, I’ve got my friend Deanna Bufo Novak on the line with me right now. She’s with Kids Heritage. Deanna and I met at RootsTech a couple of years ago and you’ve got to see what she does with books. Deanna, welcome to the show, nice to have you!
Deanna: Hey Scott, thank you so much for having me.
Fisher: So you’ve been involved in this whole thing for a long time. You actually do a lot of these books that you create for Disney World, right?
Deanna: Disney World, right, yup. I’ve been doing it for thirteen years, trying to get children excited about their heritage at a much younger age than what we’ve seen in the past. It all started when my daughter was born, and I said, how do I teach her about her heritage when I realized she was more than just Italian, like I am.
Fisher: Yeah, that’s right because every time you get another generation in there, there’s more and more flags that get stuck on the map.
Deanna: Absolutely, and I said, I don’t want to buy three books. I want to buy one book that can teach her about both sides of her heritage. So that’s really how it all started. She was my inspiration. But yes, since then we now do them in Disney World and a lot of other places and love getting involved with RootsTech and all the great people there, to really get that next generation involved and how do we do that.
Fisher: So let’s talk about that a little bit. You’ve learned a lot over the last thirteen years. The books that you create obviously are on a commercial level where you can put them together very quickly for people and assemble them. What would an individual do if you were to give them some advice about getting kids to understand their legacy, their heritage, and where they’re from, their ethnicity?
Deanna: Well, first understand really how important that is. Again, this started as a very personal project of mine, just because I wanted my daughter to know and be proud of her heritage. But it really has a much broader implication. The more that they understand about their own heritage and about their own family and about those roots, it increases their self esteem and their confidence, and it gives them that strong foundation of how much this stands. I believe that when you have that kind of confidence and self assuredness, you’re much more likely to understand that there is a broader perspective out there. That their friends have different heritages, that they all come from different places and are proud of it. So rather than making judgements, maybe asking questions or wanting to learn more and I think that paves the way to a much more open society and things that we really need today. So I think it’s more important than ever right now, and there are so many ways to do it. From cooking a traditional recipe with a child, to looking at old photos and talking about the country itself and topics that they can relate to. Making scrapbooks, tons and tons of activities that you can do with your child or grandchild, obviously it would depend on the age level but there’s lots that can be done to get them excited and started at a younger age.
Fisher: Boy, you’re absolutely right about that. I was sitting with my 4 year old Hailey, the other day at the computer and showing her, first of all, we’re on a ball. [Laughs] We’re on this great big ball in outer space and here’s what it looks like from a satellite. And she was living in Germany up till recently and I was showing her where on the map Germany was. And then the flight map when she came back to the United States recently and the countries she went over.
Deanna: Oh that’s great.
Fisher: And then some of the places that some of her people are from. She came into our home and immediately recognized a picture of my great grandfather, a New York fireman from back in the 1800s, and said, “Ahh, it’s Grandpa Andrew the fireman!”
Fisher: And that of course lights me up right away that she is getting a sense of deeper roots. More than just parents and grandparents that type of thing. Going even further back and it does make a big difference.
Deanna: I love it. I love it. My son now calls my great grandmother, so his great, great grandmother, Rose. So he tells me he wants to invent a time machine, which is a whole other story. But he says when he gets the time machine he is going back to number one, see Frank Sinatra because he loves Frank Sinatra.
Deanna: And number two, go visit with Rose [Laughs] which is his great, great grandmother. That’s exactly how he’ll refer to her it’s just a part of his every day conversation. It’s not like some big mystery…
Fisher: That’s right.
Deanna: because I’ve taken steps from when they were very, very young to talk about them and to make it a part of the family and to show them these pictures and ask them questions. But it is important to look at it from their perspective. Like you said, you’re showing her a globe and saying, “Okay this is where we are and this is where you just were and this is that country.” You know, another interesting thing he had said to me, my son, was, “when did the world get color?” I just wrote a blog on this.
Deanna: Because it was just so interesting to me. You know all these pictures that I’m showing him are black and white and a lot the other things he’s seen are black and white. So to him sure the world was black and white, “when did we get color.” [Laughs]
Fisher: That’s funny you said that because I just posted a video recently that somebody put together, showing modern places in New York City and what they looked like back in the 19th century, same place and it would morph from one to the other. And somebody posted there, “Well, everything was black and white back then!” You’re absolutely right! [Laughs]
Deanna: Yeah. [Laughs] But it’s interesting. First it was just really cute and then I thought about it and I said, you know we’re telling our stories from our perspective and our views and our photos, and our this and our that. But if you take it a step back and look at it from a child’s perspective, again depending on their age level really try to ask those questions and listen to what they’re saying. So, we are understanding it from their perspective and seeing what they’re getting out of the conversations, because that’s really important. You want to make it fun for them, if it’s not fun they’re just going to tune out and go do their thing. I think they’re really getting so much out of it, if it’s approached in the right way.
Fisher: Well, and think about some things you can do. Show them how for instance you might be able to restore an old photograph. And all the time you spend focused on that person while you’re correcting cracks or fixing tears, or whatever it may be and maybe actually going in them and colorizing that picture.
Deanna: Um hmm.
Fisher: And what a difference that can make in helping somebody say, hey they’re studying the face the entire time and getting that sense that they really were a person and not just a name or an old piece of paper.
Deanna: Exactly. And who loves electronics more than our children and grandchildren?
Deanna: They love that stuff.
Fisher: It’s speaking their language.
Deanna: Absolutely. So, being present I think is huge, no matter what we do, whether we’re talking about family history and heritage or anything.
Fisher: Soccer, yeah. [Laughs]
Deanna: You know, put the electronics away unless you’re doing something like that where you know, the activity involves using the computer together and work on some activities. And of course incorporating the electronic part as well because that is a part of their lives and it’s a part of our lives now and there is so much there that we can use.
Fisher: How about Google Street Level? “This is where I used to live and this is what it looks like now.”
Fisher: We never had anything like this.
Deanna: No! [Laughs]
Fisher: I mean, we have more tools right now to reach out to a child at a very basic level, to get them excited about the fact that, “Wait a minute, grandma and grandpa weren’t always old.” You know?
Deanna: Um hmm. [Laughs]
Fisher: I was talking to Hailey the other day about this as we were coming to the radio station to record it. And I said, “You know, when I was growing up there weren’t any computers, Hailey.” Her comment was, “Well, how did you find out about things?” [Laughs]
Fisher: I said, well it was called books. She said, “Ohh.” [Laughs]
Deanna: Books and libraries, yeah. But they don’t know any different, you know.
Deanna: It’s up to us to help them see that because… what a change! You know, where it comes in with these activities and the book and the purpose of things is to give them something they can grasp and identify with and get excited about, as a step, as an introduction get them to that level.
Fisher: She’s Deanna Bufo Novak. She’s with Kids Heritage. What’s the website for your books, Deanna?
Deanna: It’s MyHeritageBook.com. Nice and easy.
Fisher: All right, very nice. Thanks for coming on, enjoyed it!
Deanna: Thanks so much, great talking to you!
Fisher: All right and here’s a little more with my visit with Hailey, my granddaughter, this past week.
Fisher on tape: Was that fun?
Hailey: Yeah, it was kind of long.
Fisher: Long? Well that’s how we learn about each other, right? As we talk and visit.
Fisher: You’re a broadcaster now huh?
Hailey: Um hmm.
Fisher: Well we’ll save this and share it with everybody, all right?
Fisher: All right, thanks for visiting with me, Hailey. I love you.
Hailey: Okay. I love you too, Pop Pop.
Segment 4 Episode 191
Host: Scott Fisher with guest Tom Perry
Fisher: And welcome back to Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show and ExtremeGenes.com. It is Fisher here, your Radio Roots Sleuth. It is preservation time with Tom Perry from TMCPlace.com, he’s our Preservation Authority. And this segment is brought to you by RootsMagic.com. Hi Tom, how are you?
Tom: Super duper!
Fisher: So we’re talking phones today or maybe the anti-phones, is that where we’re going?
Tom: The anti-phone, exactly. We’ve had a lot of people to us, say, “Hey, I love my iPhone. It takes great pictures, however, when I’m really doing some family history things, I want something a little bit better where I can adjust the depth of field, do it in darker situations, do where I’ve got more control over the camera.” And so they say, “What kind of camera do I get?” Well, I love Canon, I love Nikon. Sony makes some great cameras. What you need to do is, see what your end product is going to be and work backwards. So if you’re shooting large groups, you might want to get a wide angle lens. If you’re shooting things far away that you actually can’t get to like maybe an old homestead that you used to live at that you can’t really get on the property anymore, then you want a telephoto lens, or if you’re going to do both, you can buy a zoom lenses that do both, they go wide, all the way to telephoto.
Fisher: But you’re saying you can’t do that with a phone? [Laughs]
Tom: If you get a Beastgrip which we talked about a few weeks ago that’s also on our Twitter page and get something like that, that adds some options, because you put lenses on it.
Tom: But if you want a purist…
Fisher: But it won’t get exactly to where we’re talking about.
Fisher: You’re talking somebody who wants to be really artistic. They want very high quality, very large photographs right, with a lot of dpi.
Tom: Exactly. Stuff that they might to go in and edit or they just say, “I don’t want to deal with editing. I just want to get a good picture.” And the thing is, you can go to places, one of my favorite websites which we talk about all the time is, VideoMaker.com. They have a magazine you can subscribe to or just subscribe to their free newsletter. And every week, they’ve got something really cool to talk about that’s really awesome. They have good reviews. If there’s a camera you’re looking at, you can go in there, type it in and nine out of ten times, you’ll actually find a review on that camera. And then if you want to talk to somebody, actually physically talk to somebody and you’re out in the middle of Dothan, Alabama and don’t have a place you can go to, you can call BHPhoto.com. Call them any day except Saturday, they’re closed on Saturdays, and talk to one of their technicians. And they really know their stuff. They’ve been around for a long time. They’re in New York. I buy my really high end gear from them and I’ve never been disappointed. So that way, you can call and say, “Hey, I’m looking at this and looking at this. What do you suggest?” or call them and say, “Hey, this is what I want to do. What do you suggest?” and they give you a lot of options. But one thing you want to be really careful with is, a lot of times the camera packages advertising will say things on there, which you don’t need, like it says “digital zoom.”
Tom: Digital zoom is absolute garbage. X it out. Don’t pay any attention to it, because all that’s doing is, that’s taking your picture and zooming in on the picture you just took, not on the product. So all its doing is, like you can go onto your phone and like swish it with your fingers and make it bigger.
Fisher: Sure. Yeah. [Laughs]
Tom: It’s not doing anything. In fact, it’s actually gives you a degraded copy.
Fisher: Sure. Well, you know, I think this is something that most people aren’t going to be really going into, but I would assume that if you’re one of those folks who’s really into photography, even more than family history, that wouldn’t be an option, right?
Tom: Right. And the thing is, now that camera prices have come down so much, you can get a good decent camera that isn’t that expensive and you know, I suggest if you’re doing something that’s really important, get a little bit better camera. You don’t have to spend a lot of money. There’s nothing worse than having a group of people stand and when you get the picture back, you can see a stop sign coming out of grandma’s head.
Fisher: Right. [Laughs]
Tom: So, with a better camera, you can go and adjust what’s called your depth of field, so your group that you’re taking pictures of are all in focus, but everything behind them is not in focus. And some people say, “Well, I understand that. I’ve got this shallow depth of field, but what do I do?” What you always want to do is, whoever’s on the back row, go in really tight as you can on their eye and focus on that and then back out, because then everything from them forward will be in focus and everything behind them would generally be out of focus, depending on where you f/stops are. So what I’d really suggest that you do is, like I said, make a list of what you’re going to be taking pictures of. One you get that list together then it’s going to tell you what kind of a camera’s best for you. You know whether it’s a one shot thing. But anytime you get into SLR lenses, which are single lens reflex, you can adjust them, do whatever you want.
Fisher: All right, Tom. What are we going to talk about in the next segment?
Tom: We’re going to talk a little bit more about cameras and a little bit about some new conventions coming up.
Fisher: All right, in three minutes on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show.
Segment 5 Episode 191
Host: Scott Fisher with guest Tom Perry
Fisher: And we’re back. It’s our final segment of Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show and ExtremeGenes.com. Fisher here, your Radio Roots Sleuth talking preservation with Tom Perry from TMCPlace.com. Talking about moving up a little in your skills in dealing with cameras instead of relying on the iPhone or your Android, you’re talking about upgrading your cameras and some other interesting tools.
Tom: The thing is, nowadays there’s not this big learning curve or this stupid manual you have to read. You know, between going to Video Maker and watching their free videos, going to YouTube, there’s just so much content out there that can help you pass it real easy. Sit and watch a video, and you’re almost a pro in a half hour video.
Fisher: Absolutely. And then there’s the editing, too, that can come with this.
Tom: In fact, that’s another thing that people ask me about, “Should I use Adobe or should I use Apple?” Well, Adobe Premiere is an awesome program. And if you buy the cloud, they just came out with a new cloud which is called Cloud 2017. I guess they didn’t like 2016, because they skipped it.
Fisher: [Laughs] Okay.
Tom: It went from 2015 to 2017. And the cloud is great because it gives you Photoshop for editing your stills. And you also have Adobe Premiere for editing your video, plus some other really cool, fun things.
Fisher: You mean that’s all part of the storage process?
Tom: Oh yeah. If you buy the cloud, you have access to all Adobe programs, so whatever you want to use. Some of them you never use, but when you buy the package and pay like a monthly price, it really doesn’t matter, because it’s cheaper than buying two programs. So if you’re just using Photoshop and you’re just using Adobe Premiere, you’ve saved money and you’ve got access to all the other Adobe things. And some people like Final Cuts Pro. And people say, “Well, which one should I use?” Well, if you’re familiar with one, stay with it. If you’re not, go and try them both out, go and watch the YouTube videos and say, “Oh, this is more my style.” or “Oh, this one’s more my style.” and then buy that one, because they’re equal.
Fisher: Well, you know, you’re saying what I’ve always thought, and that is stay in your comfort zone if you’re working on something you’re familiar with. But if you’re not familiar with anything or you want to really upgrade, then you have to step out of your comfort zone and try something new.
Tom: And that’s one thing I love about Apple. We have a lot of people that come into our store and write to us or tweet us and say, “Hey, I really like this program. I like this, and I love my Mac, it’s so much fun, but I’m just so much more comfortable with my PC.” Well then, get Adobe. Knock yourself out! That’s great. If you’re at the place where, “Hey, I use them both, I’m a quick learner. It doesn’t matter.” then I always suggest to go with Apple, because Macs are more created to do that kinds of stuff.
Tom: And so it’s going to help you a lot. And you know, if you want to learn more, go to YouTube, go to these different places, there’s always seminars. In fact, there’s one coming up in Austin, Texas on May 22nd through the 25th, there’s one in the Ozarks on May 17th, and Lamar, Texas is later in the month, too. And just go to my Twitter page @AskTomP and I’ll always put links on there, so you can go and check out what’s in your neighborhood. And if you know of something that’s not up there, let me know and I’ll post that as well. So one thing you want to remember, whether you’re buying cameras, whether you’re buying iPhones, make sure you understand what you’re buying. If the salesman if telling you things that you don’t understand, write them down, go back to your computer, do some research, and don’t ever buy anything on impulse! Always wait at least twenty four hours, study it out. If you have questions, ask us at any time, you know. Call B&H Photo, look at Video Maker’s website and you’ll find the answers to most of your questions.
Fisher: Boy, you described me right there. “I like it! I want it now!” And my wife’s like, “No. We’re going to go home. We’re going to study it. We’re going to find the best price. We’re going to find out if this is what we really need.” She’s so wise.
Tom: It is great. There is nothing worse than buyer’s remorse.
Tom: My pleasure.
Fisher: Well, it has been fun and as always, way too short. This segment has been brought to you by MyHeritage.com. Thanks to our guests, Brenton Simons the president and CEO of the New England Historic Genealogical Society, talking about their project 2020. If you have Pilgrim ancestry, you’re going to want to be a part of it, because it involves travel to England and Holland over the next few years and all kinds of fun celebrations of the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the Pilgrims. Thanks also to Deanna Bufo Novak for coming on and sharing some of her insight into getting your kids and grandkids excited about their family history and their heritage. If you missed any of it, catch the podcast iTunes, iHeart Radio, ExtremeGenes.com, TuneIn Radio. Talk to you next week. And remember, as far as everyone knows, we’re a nice, normal family!