Host Scott Fisher opens the show with David Allen Lambert, Chief Genealogist of the New England Historic Genealogical Society and AmericanAncestors.org. The guys begin by comparing notes about their new “Ancestral Birth Year Coin” projects. (Fisher’s grandkids have gone nuts over these!) David then talks about two projects that the Smithsonian is now involved in. The first is in helping Texans affected by Hurricane Harvey to restore their damaged family heirlooms, pictures, and records. The second is a dig at Jamestown. It seems the remains of some of the earliest Europeans in American history may have been found and may soon be identified. David next talks about an amazing project by which technology is being used to restore crumbling wax recordings of indigenous people. Hear how it’s being done and the significant material that is being saved. In a related story, you can also now hear the voice of Alexander Graham Bell? from 1881! David then shines his “Blogger Spotlight” on Daniel Duncan’s historicalgenealogy.blogspot.com site. Hear what Daniel’s talking up these days.
Next, Fisher wades into deeper DNA waters with DNA specialist Kitty Munson Cooper. Kitty explains a developing DNA technique called Chromosome Mapping. Why would you want to do this? And how would you even begin? Pay close attention (and maybe even follow the transcript of the show below).
Then, The Hipster Historian, Becky Campbell, joins the show. Becky is a passionate young genie with green hair and tattoos and works in a funeral home. Oh, yes! She has stories! Hear what Becky has to say about hanging with genie buddies who are decades older.
Then, Tom Perry, the Preservation Authority, talks about deadlines for getting your materials digitized in time for the holidays. What should you be worried about first? And, if you’re interested in getting into the digitizing business in your area, naturally Tom has some ideas for you.
That’s all this week on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show!
Summary Episode 214
Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show
Host: Scott Fisher with guest David Allen Lambert
Segment 1 Episode 214
Fisher: And you have found us, 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. And this segment of our show is brought to you by 23andMe.com/DNA. And DNA is going to be a key part of the show today because we have as our first guest coming up in about nine minutes Kitty Munson Cooper. She is a DNA Specialist and we’re going to talk about a thing, I think it’s kind of like a college 404 course, chromosome mapping. Why would you want to do that? I mean, if you’ve done DNA and you’ve gotten your ethnicity report and you’ve gotten who your matches are, and you figured who the matches to your matches are, this is the next step. I, myself have not gotten into this yet, but I’m thinking it’s something a lot of people are going to be doing and hopefully, it will get automated somewhere down the line. [Laughs] But, it’s incredible stuff. I want to hear what it’s about. She’s going to tell both of us, coming up in just a little bit. Then, later in the show, a woman we featured in our blogger spotlight some time back, we’re going to talk to Becky Campbell. She is known as the “Hipster Historian” for a very good reason and she’s a lot of fun. We look forward to getting her on the line as well. I want to give a little shout out to our Patrons Club members by the way. These are people who support the show and we support them back of course with free bonus podcasts a couple of times a month, our live YouTube “Ask Us Anything” session and of course, early access to podcast after their release. So, if you want to sign up it’s easy to do. Just got to Patreon.com/Extreme Genes or go to ExtremeGenes.com and click on Patrons Club. It’s real simple stuff and really, it’s cheaper than like buying a pair of men’s socks. So, it’s a lot of fun. Hope you’re going to join us. Right now, let’s check in with my good friend in Boston, David Allen Lambert the Chief Genealogist of the New England Historic Genealogical Society and AmericanAncestors.org. Greetings David, how are you?
David: I’m doing great because I finally finished up the major part of the manuscript for my new book, the third edition of “The Guide to Massachusetts Cemeteries.” It’s like delivering a child sometimes when you think about it. [Laughs]
Fisher: [Laughs] It is. I think when you write a book or even when you make a breakthrough it feels like that. Congratulations. It’s great and I look forward to seeing the first copies of it. David, I’ve been working on this little brainchild you came up with a few weeks ago, which I’m calling “Ancestral Birth Year Coins” and collecting them back to second grades in this past week off of eBay. I picked up an 1812 and an 1819 coin from Sweden commemorating my second great grandfather Johan Malmstedt and his wife Amelia Hellstrom. And I picked up a Barber dime from 1833 for my great grandfather, Andrew Fisher, who was born in New York City and an 1886 Swedish coin, so they’re starting to fill up.
David: That’s amazing. You know, I’ll tell you, for me it’s getting worse.
David: Because the other day I got a really good price on an Elizabeth I, 1594 sixpence and I couldn’t pass up. And I do have a colonial New England ancestor who fits into that year, so now I’m back to tenth great grandparents. Chances are I won’t get them all!
Fisher: No, chances are you won’t be filling that up!
Fisher: Lets got on with our Family Histoire News today. There’s a lot to cover.
David: There really is. Where I want to start off is Hurricane Harvey which touched the hearts of many Americans and unfortunately has destroyed many homes. And one of the things that has been really amazing is that the Smithsonian Institute has reached out and visited three disaster recovery centers helping families learn how to clean and preserve what is left that they may have lost or got damaged from the hurricane.
Fisher: This is such a great thing because it’s one thing to replace a house or replace a car, but how do you replace your memories?
David: That’s really true. I’ll tell you, I really hope that they’re able to help these families preserve their family history and these heirlooms that mean so much to them. You know, the Smithsonian has also been very actively involved in much of all of our history for the past 170 years and that even includes Jamestown where at the Jamestown Rediscovery Center, not long ago they actually rediscovered the fort. But now they’re digging in the old remains of the church that were at Jamestown. And they’re finding there are four layers of burials, but in the burials was the former governor of Colonial Virginia, George Yeardley, also, Thomas West who was known as Lord De La Ware where we get the name Delaware, but for a lot of people to know that the husband of Pocahontas may be unearthed shortly, is pretty exciting.
Fisher: And the Smithsonian’s involved in that too?
David: Yes, they are. They really do own up to the term “America’s Attic,” don’t they?
Fisher: They really do, collecting all types of stuff. That’s exciting stuff! And there might be some of the ancestors of people listening to the show right now!
David: That’s very true. And the next story may also deal with some of the ancestors of some of our listeners. UC Berkeley has over 3,500 wax cylinders from between 1900 and 1938 of indigenous languages of over 78 tribes. And they’re using 3D mapping, Fish, to actually go through and preserve them and make them digital.
Fisher: This is kind of a light laser thing right, to take it off the wax? So, they don’t actually even have to put anything on those grooves. And they’re recapturing these languages, many of which don’t even exist anymore.
David: That’s very true. In fact, they’re calling the project IRENE which really made me wonder what the acronym stood for. And it stands for Image Reconstruction Erase Noise Etcetera.
Fisher: Yeah and there’s another story connected to this, too by the way, Alexander Graham Bell from 1881.
David: You can hear him recite numbers. Well, this week I want to mention on our blogger spotlight… someone who I actually worked with. But Daniel Duncan has a great blog called historicalgenealogy.blogspot.com. He talks about serendipity in genealogy which I’m sure we’ve all touched upon, but his story in honor of Halloween talks about how Vincent Price was related, ready for this, to Rebecca Nurse of the Salem witchcraft trials!
Fisher: [Laughs] Isn’t that weird? I mean, from acting horror to real horror!
David: Exactly. You can’t get much more scary than the Salem witchcraft trials. Well, NEHGS always loves our listeners from Extreme Genes to become members. And if you decide that you want to be on AmericanAncestors.org use the checkout code “Extreme” and save $20. Take care my friend.
Fisher: All right, and coming up next we’re going to be talking to Kitty Munson Cooper. She’s a DNA Specialist about something that’s becoming much bigger and you might be a part of it at some point. You might want to be after you hear this. We’re going to talk about chromosome mapping. Why would you want to do this? Why would you want to get involved in it? Kitty will explain, coming up next in three minutes on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show.
Segment 2 Episode 214
Host: Scott Fisher with guest Kitty Munson Cooper
Fisher: Everybody’s talking DNA these days but have you heard of chromosome mapping? It’s like a 404 course and we’re going to get into that in just a moment. Hi it’s Fisher. It’s Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show and ExtremeGenes.com. This segment is brought to you by LegacyTree.com. And my next guest I only met a couple of years ago but I feel like [Laughs] we’ve become very good friends. She’s in San Diego, California, she’s become quite the blogger on DNA she’s Kitty Munson Cooper and Kitty welcome back to Extreme Genes. Good to have you again.
Kitty: Great to be here Scott.
Fisher: You know we’ve been talking a lot lately because you were helping me with the buddy of mine trying to identify his birth father. You’re the one who helped me figure out that his parents were actually first cousins and we got to talking about chromosome mapping and the benefits that can be when you’re trying to break through a brick wall like I have on a couple of lines two sets of second great grandparents that I have been stuck on for thirty five years. But with chromosome mapping this can change. So if you’re looking to get from, oh, what’s my ethnicity? To, hey who are my matches? To who are my match’s matches? The next step is this. So let’s talk about it a little bit. Try to keep it at a 101 level here Kitty, and explain exactly what it is and how we go about doing it.
Kitty: Well, we are all very visual. That’s part of being a human being. So, looking at a picture where your DNA matches of relatives can often be very illuminating but more illuminating is seeing where all your relatives are all matching each other and you. So how do you do it? Well, Ancestry doesn’t have the ability to look at your chromosomes. So what you have to do is upload your DNA or take a copy of your DNA from Ancestry and put it on a site that will show you the chromosomes.
Fisher: Like Gedmatch.com?
Kitty: Gedmatch.com or FamilyTreeDNA.com either of those will show you the segments where you match somebody. Now personally, I can look at a spreadsheet and see it. But that doesn’t work for most people.
Kitty: So what you do is to get that spreadsheet of where you match all your cousins and you plug it into one of my mappers and you can then see a picture of where on your chromosome you match your cousin.
Fisher: Now I’ve got to say, you’re very good at your graphics, Kitty. I’m very impressed with it. The various colors, the way it’s mapped out, and all this material you have available for free for people or they can make a contribution to support you because you put a lot of time in creating these tools for people, and by the way, if you’ve looking to find out where they are, it’s easy, just go to Blog.KittyCooper.com. And I’ve been going through this stuff for the last couple of weeks as I’ve been pondering getting started in this, Kitty. It looks kind of time consuming to me.
Kitty: [Laughs] Time consuming? Yes. I don’t even want to tell you how much time I spend on this every day. [Laughs]
Kitty: But I find it really rewarding. One of the very fun things to do is, I’ve taken all my relatives from one set of great grandparents and compared them all to each other and built a picture of the DNA that’s been inherited from that set of great grandparents.
Fisher: So you can separate those out then and just show them unique from say a different branch of the family, right?
Kitty: Right. And that’s because that particular set of great grandparents aren’t from a particularly endogamous group. So when I match a cousin who’s related from those great grandparents, I am pretty confident that if we share a piece of DNA it’s from those great grandparents. However, in a more endogamous group I like to triangulate to be sure which is, have three cousins who share a piece of DNA that all share ancestors then I know it’s from the shared ancestors..
Fisher: Okay. So for people who aren’t familiar with the term “endogamy” it basically means a lot of intermarrying within a community that can cause, I guess you call it “false matches,” right Kitty?
Kitty: Yes. Or what happens is, it’s hard to separate it out because you share more than one set of ancestors in common.
Kitty: You know, I work on my Norwegian line the most because it’s the easiest, but there’s one line I have in Norway where they all lived around this lake and I don’t know what they did in the winter but they all married each other so many times that I had someone who came up as a third cousin to my dad with all this DNA, and when I looked into it carefully I discovered she was his sixth cousin three times and a fifth one.
Fisher: Wow! Okay, so the charts are a little bit different.
Kitty: So that’s four pairs of ancestors they had in common on different lines from that area. So I haven’t worked as hard on mapping from that area because it’s too confusing. I have one Jewish grandparent and that’s a really endogamous group. And also there aren’t that many cousins left alive. You know a lot of them were offed in the ‘30s, ‘40s, so there isn’t enough comparisons really, although I did do some. But what it is about the mapping is, say you take a new relative who you match in the DNA and you look to see if they match you and a cousin anywhere.
Kitty: And then you know which line they’re from.
Fisher: Okay. And that’s easy to do pretty much on any chart.
Kitty: Charting just makes it easier to visualize.
Fisher: And so I’ve looked at some of these charts and basically its twenty two chromosomes, obviously you leave the sex chromosome off the twenty third at the end because not everybody has that. [Laughs]
Fisher: And then you start mapping out exactly where within that bar I guess you have the shared DNA, is that right?
Kitty: That’s right. You and a cousin share a segment, we call it segments, where you have a lot of DNA that’s long enough that’s fairly sure there’s a common ancestor somewhere. Often you know the common ancestor. If you have two grandparents tested and a grandchild, there’s actually a feature over at the Legacy Tree people where you can, and yes I did help with the coding of that based on one of my tools, where you can map the DNA the grandchild has from each of those four grandparents and the percentage from each grandparent.
Fisher: Yeah you can find out actually which grandparent gave the most DNA.
Kitty: Exactly. The surprising thing to many people is that they don’t get 25% from each grandparent. It can vary widely. Now because I have one Jewish grandparent, it’s really easy to see in the ethnicity charts there in the visualization. I know I have 28% from my Jewish granddad whereas my poor brother only got 23%.
Fisher: And so you determined this basically through matching up your cousins and see who they match and then trying to find out through places like Gedmatch.com, which is free by the way for most of the tools available there. And you see where on these particular bars you match. So if you know that a certain second great grandparent is the person you share, you’re going to be able to start seeing exactly what material came from that particular ancestor. So if you find somebody you don’t know that goes a little bit further back and you’re able to see that oh you share a piece of that, then you know what ancestor that person came from.
Fisher: And this is the way of the future as far as breaking down a lot of the brick walls that we’re all dealing with out there.
Kitty: Another brick wall got broken by a Norwegian relative who, I found his DNA, and he told me I had the wrong Anna Knutsdatter in my genealogy. And I said, “What do you mean?” There were two of them born in Telemark, Norway in 1801 and I had the wrong one.
Fisher: Wow! So he got you back on the right track
Kitty: And since then I have found shared DNA with people descended from her parents and grandparents and you know, not really be able to build a beautiful chart there.
Fisher: Kitty do you see the day where this becomes much more automatic and easy for people to do that some of sites will provide all the tools at once and you’ll automatically be able to see chromosome mapping?
Kitty: Yes. 23andMe does beautiful chromosome mapping at the get go. Family Tree DNA also does chromosome mapping, Ancestry has been totally resistant to showing their chromosome data, and they’re doing fine without showing it because you look at who you’re in common with, you look at trees, they’ve done the best job of connecting DNA to trees. It’s really awesome.
Fisher: Um hmm.
Kitty: But yes, I look forward to the day. It’s such a new field, Scott. We’re still figuring it out. And of course the question I often get is, “Oh I match on chromosome 1, does that mean we have the same nose?” [Laughs]
Fisher: [Laughs] No, people don’t say that.
Kitty: Yes they do!
Fisher: Oh my gosh.
Kitty: But the thing is, I understand it. Another is, “If I share DNA, what does that DNA do?”
Kitty: And the answer is, we don’t know yet.
Fisher: Right, right, right.
Kitty: The DNA that’s been heavily studied is the defective DNA.
Kitty: The ones that causes diseases. Okay, maybe they know about eye color and hair color, but there has been some work done on noses and there’s the ability to reconstruct faces now, possibly from DNA. But this is in its infancy.
Fisher: Yeah. It’s really, really, early.
Kitty: When we talk about DNA matching and chromosome mapping, what we’re looking for is figuring out how we’re related to people we share DNA with and learning more about our ancestors from mapping their DNA.
Fisher: Well, I’m looking forward to the day where they automatically match up the trees and the chromosome mapping so we don’t have to make spreadsheets to do this and we could find exactly who’s related to us, and exactly where on the chromosome and perhaps then start tying in. And maybe get more trees up there among our matches, right Kitty?
Kitty: Right. That would be wonderful, and more ability to relate the tree to the DNA. MyHeritage also has really improved their DNA offering and they’re relating the DNA to the trees better. Also, FamilyTreeDNA and 23andMe offer beautiful chromosome mapping to you.
Fisher: She’s Kitty Munson Cooper, blog.kittycooper.com. You can find all the tools that you want right there to start your own chromosome mapping project. Be patient with yourself there’s a lot to learn. Kitty thanks so much for your time, and look forward to having you on again.
Kitty: You’re welcome, Scott. I really should have mentioned the ISOGG Wiki. they have a whole article on chromosome mapping there.
Kitty: Just go to Google ISOGG Wiki, chromosome mapping. You’ll find it.
Fisher: It’s an unbelievable new world we’re moving into and of course this is going to develop over time as Kitty mentioned. By the way, you can follow the transcript of this whole conversation if you want to pick up more of it on our website with the podcast at ExtremeGenes.com. And coming up for you next, we’re going to talk to Becky Campbell. She is known as the Hipster Historian. She works at a funeral home! She’s a little bit different. You’re going to love it. That’s on the way in five minutes on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show.
Segment 3 Episode 214
Host: Scott Fisher with guest Becky Campbell
Fisher: And welcome back! It’s 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 MyHeritage.com. You know, everybody’s being drawn into family history these days, and, my next guest, she made quite the entrance when she went to a local genealogical club. Walked in with her piercings, and her tattoos, and her pink hair, [Laughs] sitting down with a group of, shall we say, a little older research team, who took a look at her and immediately accepted her as she accepted them. She’s Becky Campbell, she’s the Hipster Historian. You can go to TheHipsterHistorian.com. Hi, Becky! Welcome to Extreme Genes. How are you?
Becky: I’m doing great, thanks for having me on.
Fisher: I can just picture that scene. That had to be a little bit different for some people.
Becky: It is, you know, it really was, and people kind of looked at me and took me in, and now I go in and everyone’s like, “Hey, how are you?” I’m like, I’m doing great, doesn’t matter what color my hair is, or how many tattoos I have, they just love me.
Fisher: [Laughs] As they should, absolutely. Well you’ve been doing genealogy now for how long?
Becky: I’ve been doing it about 10 years really seriously, but, my mother’s been a genealogist all my life, so I would say since I was a little kid I’ve been wandering in and out of cemeteries.
Fisher: Ah! And that’s how you wound up working at a funeral home, now you’re in Bellingham, Washington. What do you do there?
Becky: I am a removal tech, which means that I go and get the bodies, and I bring them back.
Fisher: Wow. You are a unique individual. Now, tell me, you’ve got to have a story from the funeral home that, when anybody asks, you share this. What’s yours?
Becky: It’d probably have to be my first day. They’d hired me, and they said, “All right, come in on Monday.” You have your job. I said, great, that’s awesome. So I come in Monday, I’m like, “All right, where’re we going?” They’re like, “You’re going to Seattle.” I’m like, “Excuse me?” They’re like, “Oh, you’re going by yourself to Seattle.” “Oh, okay. What do I do?” They’re like, “You just go, you pick up the body, and you come back. Any questions?” And I said, “Can you show me how to use the car again, please?”
Becky: I drove all the way down to Seattle. You know, it’s about an hour and a half’s drive for me. The whole time I’m just muttering to myself, “Okay, I got this, I got this.” And, you know, I ended up at the Seattle Veterans Hospital, got lost, ended up getting the individual, bringing the individual all the way back to Bellingham, I got to the funeral home, and they walked in and they said, “You got this.” I said, “Yeah.” And, as a removal tech, you had to do certain things, like tag the body, fingerprints, all that kind of good stuff. And, as I was doing that in front of them, to make sure I was doing it correct, the funeral director, he got really excited when I unzipped the bag, and he goes, “You brought me the best body.” And I said, “Excuse me? What?” And it’s a funeral home director tradition, that if you see the body with crossed ankles, you are going to have good luck, and that is what I brought him for my very first body.
Fisher: [Laughs] I had no idea. I’d never heard anything like that. Crossed ankles?
Becky: I had neither.
Fisher: What’s the meaning of that?
Becky: I honestly have no clue, he just said it, and every time I would bring him a body with crossed the ankles, he’d get really, really excited.
Fisher: So you did a three hour round trip with a hearse?
Becky: Yep. It was a very interesting experience. People on the freeway gave me a wide berth. It was great.
Becky: I even had one individual like race around me, and then, realize what I was driving, and then I could see him in his rear-view mirror kind of waving a little, “oh my gosh, I’m so sorry, I’m so sorry.” And I was like, “That’s right, you are sorry.” You don’t race around a hearse.
Fisher: [Laughs] You don’t race around a hearse. So let’s talk about some of the stories that you’ve picked up, either in your journey through the funeral home world, or in your own research that you talk about in TheHipsterHistorian.com.
Becky: Absolutely. I started out with the whole historian blog idea. It’s a small blog called Forgotten Women of History, in my research and in my talking about genealogy, I really want to focus on the forgotten stories and the forgotten people, and women, as me being one, came up to me first. And so, I focus on these stories on my hipster historian blog, probably about once or twice a month, and I came up a couple of ladies that I absolutely love. One of my favorites, one of my clients was this story, somebody told her that her great grandfather was a bootlegger.
Becky: They couldn’t confirm it. Yeah, they couldn’t confirm the story. You know, family legend, you have to confirm it. What we do as genealogists. So I started going through her family history, you know, putting the names on there, going through all the records, and all of a sudden these prison records keep popping up, and I was like, “Huh, that’s pretty interesting. I’m going to go read them.” And, one of them was a Montana State prison record with a picture of her grandfather, in which he was, in fact, arrested for bootlegging.
Becky: During the course of Prohibition, he was arrested about six or seven times.
Becky: I got all his prison records, and, I’m sure there’s more, but at least those ones I found. His picture was one of the most stereotypical looking gangster picture I’d ever seen.
Becky: That was one of my favorites.
Fisher: I’m thinking though, some of the pictures from that era, I mean, it’s just the nature of the cameras from that time, wouldn’t you say, that they all looked that way?
Becky: Oh, absolutely.
Becky: Absolutely. A lot of them, they didn’t smile, and so you know, that’s an added, “I’m not smiling.” This is an arrest picture.
Becky: And, it’s just, all of it is just made me smile because, I confirmed the family legend, and the rest is more family legend, I would love to confirm the story, because oh my gosh, it just cracks me up. The story goes that his wife knew about his bootlegging, didn’t have a problem with it, and to help him she got a 600 pound hog. And they had a flatbed that truck in which he’d go around bootlegging and try to get away from the cops, and they put the hog on the back of the flatbed truck to cover the false bottom, so whenever the cops came by and tried and said, “Oh, you’re bootlegging.” Like, “Sure, you can move my pig if you want.” And the cops are like, “Yeah, we’re not going to move the 600 pound hog.”
Becky: I would love to confirm that story, because oh my gosh, it just makes me laugh, and I love it.
Fisher: That would be a tough one to confirm unless you heard the same story through several different branches of the family, I would imagine.
Becky: Right, you know, that would be great for me if someone wrote it down in the police records. That would be my ultimate find, right there.
Fisher: [Laughs] Wouldn’t that be great. All right, talk about one of the women that you found in your research that kind of excites you.
Becky: One of the ones I found was another of my clients, her grandmother’s name was Philomena, and this was around the time of women suffrage, probably a couple of years previous. She got married to what she thought was the love of her life, and you know, things were okay for a couple of years, but this was quite a jealous man, and this was a story written down from her, her own hand. I found her autobiography. And, when he would go away on his trips, because he was a salesman, he would lock her in the house.
Fisher: Oh, wow.
Becky: Yeah, yeah, and, I’ve seen pictures of her, and she was a beautiful young woman. And so, he became more and more jealous. Well, over time, they had eight children, and with each successive child, he became even more jealous, that, she wasn’t spending time with him. She started to see this that he was verbally and emotionally abusive, and she said, “If you ever hit me, I’m getting a divorce.” So one day, he gave her a black eye. She went to the judge with a black eye and two of her small children, and said, “I want a divorce.” The judge granted the divorce right off, which was very rare at that time.
Becky: And you know, she raised the rest of the eight kids the rest of her life. Never got remarried. She told her daughter, “All right, by the time I die, I’m going to have a diamond ring for every finger on my left hand, for all the travails and troubles that I’ve been through.”
Becky: Well, by the time she died, she had four large diamond rings that she had bought herself.
Becky: I want to write about these women who have been through these things, and some may not be as strong. I have other that wandered off in the middle of the night and their bodies were found in the Mississippi River. But I want to write about these women, because their stories are lost and we don’t care about them.
Fisher: Yes. That’s right. It’s not as easy to get stories on the women, especially the further back you go, but there are records on quite a few of them.
Becky: Oh, absolutely. There are records and you can find, and you can kind of almost not fictionalize, in so many words, but you can kind of say, “Oh, this is what happened.” You know?
Fisher: Yes, that’s right.
Becky: To kind of give an almost first person perspective, which I do in some of my stories.
Fisher: She’s Becky Campbell, she’s The Hipster Historian. You can go to TheHipsterHistorian.com to read some of her stories, and, Becky, it’s been a joy to have you on the show. Thanks for coming on.
Becky: Thank you so much, I really appreciate it.
Fisher: And, coming up next, we talk preservation with our Preservation Authority, Tom Perry from TMCPlace.com. He may be answering your question. That’s on the way in three minutes, on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show.
Segment 4 Episode 214
Host: Scott Fisher with guest Tom Perry
Fisher: I cannot believe how the holidays are bearing down on us right now! And if you’ve got a preservation project, you’re going to need to hear what Tom Perry has to say. Hey, its Fish here. It’s Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show and ExtremeGenes.com, this segment is brought to you by FamilySearch.org. Hello Tom, how are you?
Fisher: You are super busy right now, I’m thinking.
Tom: Oh yeah.
Fisher: Being in November and all the things that are happening. I mean, we’re just a few weeks away from the holidays.
Tom: In fact, our big season actually starts in September, so we’ve been gearing up for like two months now.
Fisher: What are most people bringing in at this point?
Tom: You know, it’s real funny, it used to be more tapes than anything, but we’re getting more and more slides. Every year we think, “Wow, there’s no way there can be more slides the next year!” We do so many slides and film, and we’re getting a lot more of 16mm film.
Tom: So it’s everything, VHS, Video8s, we even get some of the weird stuff people are finding, like where they had a Video8 tape, but its audio, its digital audio, and just really, really strange stuff. More wires are coming in, so it’s like a plethora of everything!
Fisher: Well it sounds like it. So what do you need right now? If somebody had something they’re sitting on, what medium do they need to get on instantly?
Tom: Well, primarily you need to get film in, because film has so many processes it goes through, whether it’s 8, super8, 16mm, because we first have to take the film, we clean the film. If there’s bad splices in it, we fix those. If they’re on little 50 foot reels, we put them on the big 400 foot reels. So there’s a lot of steps to just get it to your hard drive, your USB, whatever kind of format you want it. Then if you want color correction and you want narration added to it, if you want all these kinds of things, you’re probably too late. I tell people, “You need to get film in before Thanksgiving to be safe. If you want these other things in it, you need to get it in yesterday.
Fisher: Okay. And then after that, if it’s later on, what kind of material can you still process as we get closer to the holidays?
Tom: Okay. The next thing would be negatives, because negatives take longer than most of your other things. Then slides would be after that. Then you want to get into kind of your older videotapes, like your Betamaxes, your VHSCs, some of the more obscure formats, because we don’t have as many machines. VHS we can usually do sometimes even a week before Christmas, because we have so many VHS machines. But then you need to recognize if you’ve got problems with your VHS tape and it’s going to have to be fixed, I don’t want people coming in to me, and I guarantee that people like us across the country don’t want people coming in a week before. Sometimes it happens, sometimes it doesn’t. And that’s if you’re going straight to disk, we can do it. If you want to go to the DVA cloud or different things like this or MP4s, then all its going to do is make it more delayed, because even though we have a lot of VHS machines, the specialized equipment that we use to do the MP4s, to do the DVA in the cloud where you can edit it, that’s even going to take longer. So Thanksgiving is really a push date. Anything after Thanksgiving, we’ll try and do our best. Last year we got so caught up, we were able to even do some last minute stuff. But two years before that, we totally cut stuff off by the middle of December.
Tom: And we weren’t even accepting anything for Christmas.
Fisher: So what about audio?
Tom: Audio is pretty straightforward. As long as, again, they’re not old tapes. And if you have the old tapes that don’t have screws in them and you bring that in even three weeks before and we pop it in our machine to rewind it and it comes off the hub, you’re not going to make Christmas.
Fisher: So you’re talking about cassettes mostly.
Tom: Right, audio cassettes.
Fisher: Audio cassettes.
Tom: Yeah, anything that’s going to need repairs is going to take a lot longer to do, especially if you have audio cassettes that are glued together, they don’t have screws.
Tom: That we have to cut the thing apart. And sometimes it can take three to four weeks anyway. But at Christmas time, pretty much forget it! So get those things in. Don’t assume that everything’s right. And please, whether you bring it to us or somebody else, be honest with us. When you bring it in, say, “Hey, I’ve been having some problems with this, it’s been jamming in my machine.” or “This is happened” or “This has happened”, because then we can get right on it. We don’t have it sitting there for three or four days, then we go to work on it and find out you thought, “Well, if I don’t tell them, then everything’s going to be fine.” Tell us any kind of problems you’re having with it whatsoever, so we know upfront so we can take care of those things before it has to get pushed back behind everybody else’s stuff.
Fisher: And then it winds up in 2018.
Tom: Exactly! Great New Year’s gift.
Fisher: [Laughs] All right, Tom. We’re going to take a break here, back in three minutes and we’re going to talk about how you might be able to start your own preservation business in your own neighborhood, coming up on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show.
Segment 5 Episode 214
Host: Scott Fisher with guest Tom Perry
Fisher: It’s our final segment of Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show for this week and ExtremeGenes.com. Fisher here your Radio Roots Sleuth, talking with Tom Perry, the Preservation Authority from TMCPlace.com. And Tom, this is interesting. Over the past year, we have talked a lot about how people can kind of setup in their homes their own little business for reproduction and for preservation.
Tom: Oh absolutely! Because you can get into it so inexpensively, it’s not like you’re opening up a subway sandwich shop where you’ve got all this inventory you have to hire and all these employees. Start it out of your house and start it really simple. And so what you need to do is figure out, “Okay, I know I have a whole bunch of slides to do.” or “I have a whole bunch of photos to do.” or “I have a whole bunch of this to do.” and start with that. Get yourself a decent scanner like we’ve talked about on many shows, whether you want the auto feed, whether you want to do negatives, all these different kinds of things. Go back to our archive, read our past episodes or listen to our past episodes again, either one, and find out what is going to work best for you and buy one of these machines. Tell your family and friends, put little flyers out for your neighbors, say, “Hey, you know, I’ve got this real good scanner. I’m going to be doing photos for Christmas projects.” And some of the ideas we’ve given you over the years of what to do for Christmas, tell people this, say, “Hey, I can scan your photos for you and we can make these cool books or whatever.” Get some decent software like Heritage Collector. And it’s just amazing how inexpensively you can get this thing started. And the neat thing is, if you get into it and find out, this is just not your forte, you really don’t like doing it, you can always sell your equipment on eBay.
Tom: So it’s easy to do. Or even buy used equipment on eBay to start with. And just go slowly out of your house. And if one day you have a storefront, fine. Like Home Video Studios, I think it’s like 75% are in homes! They’re not even storefronts. So start small and just grow and grow and grow. And we’re here to help you in buying your stuff. Great places like B&H Photo, they’re awesome to help you with equipment. But a lot of times, find out what you need, research it. And if there’s not a big difference between new and old, buy new. If it’s half the price, then buy old. And you can probably get all your money back if you decide you want to go a different direction, or “Hey, this is successful, I want to buy a brand new machine now.” And we’re more than happy to help you and hold your hand in getting your things going.
Fisher: Well I would think you could do all this sometimes for less than $5,000, couldn’t you? To get started.
Tom: Oh absolutely! No question about it. In fact, the scanner we talked about a couple of weeks ago, you can pick one of those up for about three grand. You can get a completely turnkey Kodak professional system for about $3,500, which will do all your photos for you. It will do photo books for you. If people have the old scrapbooks, you can do all these kinds of things on it. So just think, “What can I use? What do I know is going to be profitable for me right now? Because I know I have this. I know my cousin have this, my brothers and sisters have this, my neighbors have talked to us. I have a family history place in our neighborhood that doesn’t have any of this kind of equipment.” Put up flyers or just start doing things. And you’ll be amazed how fast your business can grow.
Fisher: Wouldn’t that be a lot of fun to see what neighbors have in pictures, and certainly some of your relatives, because you think of it this way, it’s just another way for people to come forward within your family with material you might not have ever seen.
Tom: Oh absolutely! I’ve had people bring in photos to us that we’re scanning and I start looking at these photos and think, “I have a copy of that photo at home!” And find out they’re second cousins or something, it’s just amazing! And it’s really a lot of fun.
Fisher: Boy wouldn’t that be great! All right, good advice as always Tom. Just a reminder to boil all this down, get your stuff to your local digitizer right now if you’re thinking of having anything for Christmas. Talk to you again next week.
Tom: My pleasure.
Fisher: Wow, we have covered a lot of ground this week! Thanks once again to DNA expert Kitty Munson Cooper talking about how to map your chromosomes. And by the way, if you haven’t heard this, we have transcribed this. It’s all associated with our podcast, so you can check it out at ExtremeGenes.com, iTunes, iHeart Radio, all those places, see the transcript with it so you can kind of follow along. It’s a complicated thing, it’s a time consuming thing, but if you’re really serious about breaking through brick walls in your family history, chromosome mapping may be the key for you. I’m just getting started in it myself. There’s a lot to it. But if you didn’t catch the segment earlier, make sure you listen to the podcast and read the transcript. Thanks also to the Hipster Historian, Becky Campbell for her contributions today. And if you want more, don’t forget to sign up for our Patron’s Club at Patreon.com/ExtremeGenes or just click on the Patron’s Club link at ExtremeGenes.com, all kinds of great stuff there. Talk to you again next week, and remember, as far as everyone knows, we’re a nice, normal family!