There have been several oral traditions in my family, all of which I’ve been able to resolve. And each had at least a kernel of truth to them. None were even close to accurate. Such is the case with most oral traditions. The New York Post shares a story of one woman’s pursuit of a tale of murder that was passed down through oral tradition for generations. Fisher
Host Scott Fisher opens the show with David Allen Lambert, Chief Genealogist of the New England Historic Genealogical Society and AmericanAncestors.org. Fisher begins, revealing David’s growing fan club, from which one member deemed him the “Paul McCartney of genealogy!” Fisher then delves into the ransomware attacks that are currently sweeping the world and gives advice on how to protect your data. (One item: Get rid of XP!) Then Fisher and David talk about a historic Jewish synagogue in New York that was burned by a teenage arsonist this past week. But it wasn’t always a synagogue. Hear about Fisher’s 19th century family ties to this now lost building. David then talks about a woman who found a 70 year old letter found in a stair in her house, some of the content of that note, and her lengths to find the family it came from. Then, it’s another birthday for America’s oldest living veteran, Richard Overton. You won’t believe how old he is, and to what he attributes his longevity. David’s blogger spotlight this week is on the writer who calls herself “Dear Myrtle.” Go to blog.dearmyrtle.com, home of “Monday’s With Myrt.”
Then, Fisher begins his two part visit with Elissa Davey, founder of “Garden of Innocence,” an organization dedicated to dignified burials for abandoned children. Elissa talks about the event in the 1990s that brought her to the realization that she needed to start a group to help in these situations. Then, last year, came the situation she never dreamed of. A small casket with windows was found buried in a back yard in San Francisco on the former site of a cemetery. The man who made the find peered through the window and saw the perfectly preserved body of a little girl. From there, the journey of the girl, assigned the name “Miranda Eve,” led to Elissa and Garden of Innocence, who not only went about reburying the girl, but also finding her true identity. Elissa describes all that went into both tasks.
Then, Tom Perry from TMCPlace.com, the Preservation Authority talks Viewmasters, 110 negatives, circular negatives, and other unique 1970s era items. Some were commercial (think Yellowstone tours) but some were used to preserve family images. If you have items such as these and want to scan them yourself, Tom will tell you how it’s done.
That’s all this week on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show.
Transcript for Episode 192
Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show
Host: Scott Fisher with guest David Allen Lambert
Segment 1 Episode 192
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. And this segment is brought to you by MyHeritage.com. Have we got a guest and a story for you today! We’re going to be talking to Elissa Davey a little bit later on from an organization called Garden of Innocence. It’s about dignified burials for abandoned children. And there was a child that was found in San Francisco buried sometime back in the 19th century, perfectly preserved and they were actually able to do something with this child to identify who she was and to get her that proper burial. You’re going to love this story, coming up in about eight minutes or so. Hey, just a reminder by the way. Don’t forget to sign up for our Weekly Genie newsletter. All kinds of great links to great stories there, and of course more how-tos to help you along as you make your journey into genealogy and a column from me each week. Right now let’s head out to Boston and talk to “the Paul McCartney of the genealogy world,” David Allen Lambert the Chief Genealogist for the New England Historic Genealogical Society and AmericanAncestors.org. How are you David?
David: How do I reply to that? But, thank you and it’s wowed me! [Laughs]
Fisher: And it’s not from me. It is not from me. That was actually a post on our Facebook page. Somebody posted up there, “David Allen Lambert is a Rock Star,” and then somebody put on, “Agreed. He’s the Paul McCartney of Genealogy,” [laughs] which is strange because your hair is definitely not his.
David: Well, I also don’t have the people to take care of my hair like probably he does. Well, I’m flattered!
David: I’m a big Beatle fan so that’s a good reference.
Fisher: Yes, yeah, I got to actually interview Paul McCartney once. Incredible time and it was a great honor for me, so to work with you is even better.
David: Well, I suppose it’s better than being referred to as the “Keith Richards of the genealogical world.”
Fisher: [Laughs] Absolutely. Hey, before we get going here, we’ve got to talk about this Ransomware attack David because it’s happening as we all know, all over the world, attacking mostly businesses. But, as it spreads out we are all in danger with this thing. Here are a few ways that you can protect yourself and your information. I mean, it kills me to think of any genie losing their life’s work if they haven’t taken some of these steps. So the first step anybody recommends as an expert is back up your files regularly. That’s why we have the cloud. That’s why we have all kinds of back up hard drives, because a ransomware attack holds your stuff hostage until you pay. They actually encrypt it. And when you pay then hopefully they will un-encrypt it. The second thing is pay attention to links and emails from strangers. Never, ever open them. If you don’t recognize it forget it. It’s better to miss something that’s good than to open something that’s bad. You will hate yourself the next day. Immediately install software updates when you get them and keep any virus updates current. Very important! And don’t forget to upgrade your Windows version. If you have XP, that is a prime target for hackers because Microsoft has not supported that in two years, I think it’s been now. So make sure you get rid of XP and keep your stuff safe. We would hate to see any of you lose your data from your research. It would be devastating, wouldn’t it?
David: Exactly, and I think Tom would probably echo the same sentiment. Back up, back up, print out, print out, not sure, sure way of having another way of getting your data if you do in fact lose it.
Fisher: Absolutely. All right, let’s get on with our Family Histoire News. What do we have today David?
David: Well, some sad news from New York City. I don’t know if you saw the news about that historic synagogue built in 1850.
Fisher: 1850… yes and it burned this past week. And here’s the thing about that. It wasn’t a synagogue when it was originally built. That was the Norfolk Street Baptist Church at 60 Norfolk Street. It was my family’s Baptist church at that time.
David: Oh gosh, I’m so sorry. That’s a loss of a historical site for your family.
Fisher: Yeah, for the family and it’s directly across the street from where my grandfather was born at 55 Norfolk Street. So it was just a real shocker to see this thing burn to the ground the other night. I’m sure for Jewish people who have a history at that place, it’s devastating. And it goes back such a long way, there are lots of people who are affected by it.
David: And unfortunately when we lose historic buildings like that then you know there is just the site.
David: I mean, now your grandfather’s house, is that still standing?
Fisher: No, that’s gone too.
David: Yeah, that unfortunately happens and I heard there was a teenager and there was an act of arson, so that’s a shame. On a happier note, sometimes what was lost can be found again. And Melissa Fahey out in Westfield, New Jersey was working on her house, and in a gap in the stairs she found a note postmarked from May of 1945 written by a woman named Virginia to her husband, Rolf Christoffersen, who was a sailor in the Norwegian Navy back in the time. And she wrote, “I love you Rolf as I love the warm sun.” So Fahey decided to try to track down the Christoffersen family and ended up finding Virginia and Rolf’s son in California. And now they have these letters. Well, wonderful thing to think that it slipped between the stair and someone had enough thought to return it to the right family.
Fisher: Isn’t that incredible? And Rolf is in his 90s now and his family read it to him which obviously pleased him. What an incredible find.
David: It really is. One man’s junk is another man’s treasure.
Fisher: There you go.
David: Remember when we talked about Richard Overton the oldest veteran. I knew obviously at 110 you’re always waiting to announce the obvious news. The obvious news here is he just turned 111!
Fisher: [Laughs] Isn’t that incredible? And he says the reason he lives so long is because of cigars and whiskey.
David: Oh, there you go. And they named a street for him, Richard Overton Avenue now in Austin, Texas. So Happy Birthday, Mr Overton, one of America’s finest veterans from World War II, and the oldest in America. This week’s blogger spotlight highlights Blog.Dearmyrtle.com. Check out “Mondays with Myrt” on her website where you can have a Google hangout and discuss topics of genealogy with her, so not just a blogger, but a place that you can go and discuss everything that’s going on in the field. As you know, NEHGS offers so much to genealogists through our American Ancestors website. And for those of you that aren’t members, you might want to take advantage between now and May 23rd our special on Pennsylvania Genealogy including resources for genealogists, a genealogical guide for research in Pennsylvania and the Pennsylvanian Genealogical Magazine, which is available as one of the databases on our website.
Fisher: All right, very good, David. Thanks for joining us. We’ll talk to you again next week.
David: All right take care, Fish.
Fisher: And coming up next, we’re going to talk to Elissa Davey. She is the founder of Garden of Innocence for dignified burials for abandoned children. And wait till you hear the stories she’s got to tell. It started with the recovery of a casket in somebody’s backyard. It’s a story you’re going to want to hear in three minutes on Extreme Genes America’s Family History Show.
Segment 2 Episode 192
Host: Scott Fisher with guest Elissa Davey
Fisher: You know, interesting things happen in the pursuit of the dead and family history. Hi, it’s Fisher, its Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show and ExtremeGenes.com. And one of the people whose life has taken a completely different direction than she ever expected, is Elissa Davey from Vista, California, the San Diego area. And she’s on the line with me right now. Hi Elissa, How are you?
Elissa: I’m doing great. How are you today?
Fisher: Great. Welcome to Extreme Genes, very excited to have you on the show. Elissa has started an amazing organization that is doing things for children who died and were not buried. Is that correct?
Fisher: And it’s called “Garden of Innocence.” Tell us about your organization, Elissa.
Elissa: Garden of Innocence I started in 1998 when I’d read about an article in the newspaper about a baby that was found in the trash in Buena Vista, and everybody reads those articles and think, “Oh my gosh! Who could do something like that?” And then your day starts and you’re off running your own errands and doing things and you just kind of put it aside. Well, for some particular reason I couldn’t put this one aside. And finally a month later I called the county coroner and I asked him for my own piece of mind, “Whatever happened to that baby?” And he said, “He’s still here and if nobody claims him he’ll go into an unmarked grave out at Mount Hope.” And so I asked him, “Well, how do you claim a baby that’s not yours?” And he said, “Show me you have a dignified place to put him.” So, I went to work, met some people, gathered a group to help and we build Garden of Innocence starting in San Diego. I got so many letters from all over the United States, all over England, and Canada, wanting to know, “How do I start a Garden in my area?” So I launched Garden of Innocence National and with that I got twelve Gardens in California now and trying to branch out to different states. Our goal is to have a Garden in every state because our covenant is no child should leave this earth without somebody who cared. And we’ve just buried our 370th baby.
Fisher: And how many states are you in now?
Elissa: Well, we’re in California but we have a sister site in St. Louis, Missouri.
Fisher: Incredible. And recently, your organization came in to play with an amazing discovery in the San Francisco area. A family is taking an old home built in the 1930s, they want to expand it, and they start digging in the back yard. Pick it up from there Elissa.
Elissa: The contractor was digging a new plumbing line and following the old one and his shovel hit an unusual object and he brought it up and it ended up being a very unusual casket called a Barston Metallic Burial Case. They were made between 1858 and 1880. And the contractor had little caps where windows would be and he took the caps off and looked inside and it was the body of a small child.
Fisher: And perfectly preserved.
Elissa: Yes. And that’s one of the selling points of the Barston Metallic Burial Casket was that it would keep your loved one preserved for a very long time. And she’s been there for a 140 years. She still has her blond hair, her eyelashes, her fingernails, she had flowers in her hair, long white dress and she looks like she was just put there by her mother yesterday.
Fisher: That is incredible. And so now you’ve got the problem of who is this child? You want to identify it obviously, and you want to do what you do with Garden of Innocence, give it a decent burial by someone who cares. First of all, let’s just go back to the house here. Why do you think that coffin was in this back yard?
Elissa: Back in the 1890s, the city of San Francisco decided that the dead were taking up the land for the living so they removed five large cemeteries from the city of San Francisco and moved all the bodies down to Colma, which is a city that they built. They actually built this city to bury people in. It was called “The City of the Dead” back then. No people lived in Colma at the time, it was just dead people. So, problem was those five cemeteries had over three hundred thousand bodies in them. So they moved three hundred thousand bodies down to Colma but they missed quite a few when they dug up the old cemeteries. And so, a number of bodies have been found over the years, in fact hundreds of them. And this little girl just got missed. She got left behind.
Fisher: Wow! And so we’re talking somewhere… because of the coffin you can tell that she lived and died somewhere between the late 1850s and about 1880.
Elissa: Well, I knew that the cemetery opened in 1865.
Elissa: So I thought okay, well, I know she was buried, I figured somewhere between 1870 and 1890. So I figured right in there must be her timeframe. And then by looking at her teeth, I’m not a dentist but I thought well, my little grandchildren you know, they look like that too so she must be somewhere between two and four years old, somewhere in there. The problem was when the homeowner’s contractor called her she didn’t know what to do. What do you do when you have a body in your yard?
Elissa: Gosh, I don’t know what to do.
Fisher: What a shocking thing, and I would imagine it would be kind of disturbing to the family.
Elissa: Yes. She wasn’t that upset about it because she knew the story on the land the house was built on.
Fisher: Um hmm.
Elissa: So, she called the county coroner. The coroner came out and he looked in the windows and said, “Yeah I would say it’s a body of a child.” So he called back to the office and his superior told him to open the casket, and that was the beginning of a long process of change for this little girl. So, they opened the casket and they said, “You know, we consider her a properly interred body and you can leave her under your house or you can bury her yourself down in Colma. And the homeowners go, “Wait a minute, this isn’t my child. The shifting of the body should be your job to take care of.”
Fisher: Um hmm.
Elissa: And they just said, “Well, we wash our hands. We’re not touching it because she’s properly interred.” And they left.
Fisher: Wow! [Laughs] Wow. Well, as a homeowner that would be a big wow for me, what do I do now? What did she do, the homeowner?
Elissa: Well, she’s actually living in Utah while her house is being renovated. So she’s not even home. So the contractor built a box to put the casket in because up till now the body was totally perfect. But now that the coroner opened it and exposed her to the elements, the contractor was having issues. So they put her in the corner until they could figure out what to do. The homeowners called down to Colma to find out you know, what are the costs to bury a person? And the price was getting close to $7000.
Elissa: And the homeowner said, “Wait a minute, I don’t have $7000.” And the coroner had also referred her to a company called Architect, and they said that they would come and remove the body for $3000 dollars but they want an open check because every time they do anything to her, like they’re going to examine her, they’re going to do testing on how she died, so it could come to twenty, to forty thousand dollars by the time they’re done testing this body.
Fisher: Oh my gosh, wow!
Elissa: And she went, “Wait a minute, I have two daughters I have to put through college, I can’t afford this.”
Elissa: So, the child actually laid in the back yard for ten days waiting for somehow for somebody to figure out what to do in San Francisco. And I happened to have a Garden of Innocence at the San Francisco columbarium.
Elissa: So, the county public administrator, Michelle Lewis, she called me and she said, “You know Lissa, I was just getting ready to call legal to find out what can we do because we’ve exhausted everything to help this homeowner.” And then she says, “And then I thought of you! “ She says, “Can you help me with this case? Can you help this homeowner?” I say, “Well, what’s the problem?” And she told me about the little girl and right away I said absolutely we’ll help. And so, I didn’t realize what I had gotten myself into because I now have a body that has no name and you can’t bury a body without a death certificate.
Elissa: So now I need a permit and I can’t get a permit from nobody.
Elissa: So because the homeowner was gone and the house was empty, I thought, “I’ve got to get her out of that backyard today.” So my general manager for Garden of Innocence, Enrique Reade, he owns a mortuary in Fresno and I called him and he says, “Oh my gosh, what have you gotten us into now?” [Laughs]
Elissa: And I told him and I said, “I need you to come get her today. I don’t want her left there overnight because if this gets out to the news and people find out about it, somebody’s going to break into that house and steal that casket.
Fisher: Ugh, wouldn’t that be awful.
Elissa: That would be awful. So, Enrique had one of his guys that got off work at you know 7 o clock, rented a special truck, he drove over to San Francisco and got there at midnight. I checked him into a hotel and then he got up first thing in the morning and was at the site at 8 o’clock in the morning and picked up Miranda.
Fisher: Now wait a minute, Miranda, where’s that come from?
Elissa: Well, every baby that comes to the Garden of Innocence we give them a name instead of a ward number or “Baby Doe.”
Elissa: So, every child, every human being deserves a name. That’s a dignity everyone deserves.
Fisher: That’s right.
Elissa: Not just a tag. And Michelle Lewis, the public administrator, she asked me, “Do I name her? Can I name her?” And I went, “Absolutely.” So she named her “Eve” and then I got to thinking about it while I was talking to the homeowner and I said, “You know what, the public administrator wants to name her Eve, but, she’s been under your house your whole life and she’s been with you your whole life, and I think you should be the people to name her.” So she said, “Well, I’m going to ask my daughters.” And so she asked her daughters, “If you had a pretty little friend, what would you like to name her?” And they piped up immediately with “Miranda.” So she became Miranda Eve.
Fisher: Miranda Eve. All right, we’re going to take a break and when we return we’re going to find out more from Elissa Davey about Garden of Innocence and what happened with Miranda Eve, who was she, how did they find out, you’ll hear the of the story in five minutes on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show.
Segment 3 Episode 192
Host: Scott Fisher with guest Elissa Davey
Fisher: And we are back Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show and ExtremeGenes.com! It is Fisher here, your Radio Roots Sleuth. This segment is brought to you by LegacyTree.com. And I’m talking right now to Elissa Davey. She is the founder of Garden of Innocence that helps bury unknown children, and we’ve got quite a case that we’ve been talking about here over the last segment. Talking about a little girl whose coffin was found in the back yard of a house in San Francisco that dates back somewhere into the late 19th century and the body is perfectly preserved. And the homeowner of course couldn’t afford to bury it and didn’t know what to do and so you Elissa, stepped forward and last we left it you were reaching out to your helpers there in the San Francisco area and they’re kind of like, “Uh oh, what have you gotten us into?”
Elissa: [Laughs] Yes. Enrique Reade, he’s from Fresno. He’s my General Manager for Garden of Innocence. He had one of his drivers come over and pick her up and take her back to Fresno to put her in storage until we could figure out what to do. So, while she was there the news broke that there was a body found in a house, and the house was inundated with reporters driving by taking pictures, coming out in front.
Elissa: I’m so grateful I removed her immediately. They wanted to come to Fresno. They wanted to take pictures of her, and we just locked her up because I didn’t want to see her pictures flashed all over the internet, because she was placed in that position lovingly by her family.
Elissa: And we needed to keep her protected just the way her family protected her. So, Enrique and I just kept her safe away from prying eyes so that she would be just kept quiet.
Elissa: We ended up laying Miranda Eve to rest on June 4th, 2016, but then the quest started. It actually started the day I found her, it was, who is she? How do we find out who she is?
Fisher: Right, exactly. Now you had the old maps of the cemetery. What was the name of the cemetery, by the way?
Elissa: It was called Odd Fellows Cemetery and the map we had was from 1870.
Fisher: Right, and so were you actually able to put the house where it would have been in the cemetery?
Elissa: Yes. The genealogists in Billings, Montana and Seattle, Washington and a gentleman that was an urban specialist in mapping, and between the three of us, them, myself and Tom Carey at the San Francisco History Library, we were able to tweak the map through coordinates of where Miranda was found and coordinates of where the house was and the cemetery was, to find the exact location in that cemetery where Miranda was found.
Fisher: Okay. So, with that then I would assume you were able to go into the records of the cemetery which must still exist, yes?
Elissa: We did find records online of one mortuary in San Francisco from that time. And that time there were probably ten or twelve, but we found one. And so my job was to search all the burial records in that mortuary record, while the other guys were working on the mapping.
Elissa: And, twenty nice thousand, nice hundred and eighty second record, I found Edith Howard Cooke.
Fisher: Edith Howard Cooke. Now how did you know that might be the person?
Elissa: I wasn’t sure, but in the burial records she was two years, ten months and fifteen days old. I know that checked. She was in a Barston casket. That checked. She died of the exact same disease that Miranda died of, which was marasmus.
Fisher: Now how did you know that?
Elissa: While we were doing our searching, Enrique had pulled hair so that he could send it to a volunteer Jelmer Eerkens at University of California Davis, who’s the professor of anthropology. He was one of the first ones to write to me to volunteer his services to try and do DNA testing on her.
Fisher: Okay, and through the testing you were able to determine the cause of death.
Elissa: Yes. We knew exactly what season she died in and what she ate just by her DNA. We knew quite a lot about her, and the disease that she died from.
Fisher: And so, this entry in the burial records from the funeral home matched exactly what you knew about her.
Elissa: Yes. And she was actually the fifth one that I sent to the genealogists. So once I found her, then I sent her name and all her information to the two genealogists in Montana and Seattle. Then Dave went to work to locate records amongst the cemetery records to see where she was buried.
Elissa: While Bob went to work tracing her family tree to try and bring it forward to find a living descendant.
Fisher: For a match?
Elissa: Yes, and we used FamilySearch right there in Salt Lake City because they were the only ones that had those Ingray Holston burial records on file.
Fisher: Ha, amazing! So as a result of that now the genealogist goes out and basically you’re doing the DNA to confirm what the paper tells you. You’d found four other candidates prior, and you want to make sure you’ve got the right one. And what a great tool we have today, right, in DNA? So you obviously had to get the hair from the roots because that’s where the DNA lives. But there’s not much at that point, right?
Elissa: No, there’s not much. Hair samples have to be cleaned and sequenced, and they went through a lot of work on that. And then at the University of California Davis, has got Ed Green who’s a biochemist in DNA testing at the University of California, Santa Cruz. So all the hair samples were sent down there to him who then put them through the testing, it’s all molecular.
Elissa: The way they were talking I had no clue. I just had to sign my name off because I’m going, “I don’t know what you’re doing.” But between them they were able to narrow it down.
Fisher: Was your genealogist then able to find a descendant from that family to try to do a match?
Elissa: He found a great grand nephew whose name is Peter Cook. He lives up in San Rafael. He’s 82 years old. When Jelmer called him to tell him we were working on this case, he was so excited because he had never known anything about his father’s side of the family. And because we had been searching her DNA we were able to present him with his whole family tree.
Fisher: Wow [Laughs] unbelievable!
Elissa: He said, “I’m tickled pink.” So yeah, in fact I went up to meet him last week. So it was pretty cool.
Fisher: I’ll bet.
Elissa: He was so excited you know that he was the one that we were able to match with Miranda and prove that Miranda was actually Edith Howard Cooke.
Fisher: Edith Howard Cooke. When was she born?
Elissa: She was born on November 28th, 1873 and passed away October 13th, 1876.
Fisher: That is unbelievable and perfectly preserved in a back yard in San Francisco. Now she’s properly buried. She has a name. Is there a stone that’s going to go up for her with her name on it?
Elissa: Well Miranda had a stone because we put just Miranda Eve on it. The child loved around the world, because we got letters from all over the world. But they won’t let us write on the back of the stone which is what I wanted to do is turn it around, and they said, “It’s a 120 years old, you can’t.” So I had to order a whole new stone and it’s going to have her picture on it because she only had a tiny bit of mold on her jaw line and a little bit on her mouth. We had all of that removed and her mouth closed, otherwise the picture that people see is actually Miranda, or Edith. I had a hard time calling her Edith because I called her Miranda for years.
Fisher: [Laughs] Well, you are one of God’s chosen, Elissa. Doing the things that you’re doing, and if people want to reach out to Garden of Innocence, where can they find you?
Elissa: We have a website, GardenofInnocence.org, and Miranda’s whole story is on there, plus all about the Garden too. You know, everyone deserves a happy family and there are times when it just doesn’t happen that way and Garden of Innocence will take care and step in to do what the family didn’t do. And lay them to rest with the dignity and the love that they deserve. And it’s really important to us to continue this mission. Hopefully our goal is to have a Garden in every state, and to keep growing so that there’ll be a spot there if anybody is ever needing a place to rest for these abandoned children, we’ll be there for them.
Fisher: She’s Elissa Davey. She’s the founder of Garden of Innocence. Thank you so much for sharing your time with us Elissa, and the story, amazing, absolutely astonishing thing! And I wish you the best.
Elissa: Well, thank you for having me today, I appreciate it.
Fisher: And coming up next, we’ll talk to Tom Perry about preservation and taking your old View Master photographs and digitizing them. That’s in three minutes on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show.
Segment 4 Episode 192
Host: Scott Fisher with guest Tom Perry
Fisher: And welcome back, its America’s Family History Show, Extreme Genes and ExtremeGenes.com. I am Fisher, your Radio Roots Sleuth. And this segment is brought to you by Roots Magic. Tom Perry is here from TMCPlace.com, he is our Preservation Authority. And we talk preservation every week Tom, good to see you again.
Tom: Good to be here.
Fisher: You know, I’m excited about this topic that you’ve told me about off air, this whole thing about View Masters. And I think for anybody who’s over the age of, what, fifty? They would remember View Masters.
Fisher: And for those who aren’t, basically it is a little round circle filled with photographs, very tiny ones, and you used to take this circles, it was about, six inches across?
Tom: Yeah, about.
Fisher: And you’d stick it in this view thing and you’d click this thing on the side and you would look inside and you could see the pictures.
Fisher: And they were a lot of fun. And people are still bringing these into you, because I guess folks used to make these and put their own family pictures in there.
Tom: Yeah. A lot of times you would buy them, like you’d buy, they had the GAF, different kinds of brands that you would purchase. They would have like little, short stories in them. A lot of people made their own, you know. You take your pictures, you send it off and then the disk comes back.
Fisher: Yeah, I had one that was a tour of Yellowstone or something.
Tom: Exactly. And so, people will say, “Hey, I’ve got these and I want to preserve them. What do I do with these?” Well, these kind of goes in the same categories if you have the old 110 negatives.
Tom: Which are those little, teeny ones about the size of your little fingernail.
Tom: They’re really small and hard to deal with.
Fisher: From the 70s.
Tom: Exactly. And then, you have those really nasty ones were the film disks. It’s just a round piece of negative that are probably about two, maybe three inches round and they have pictures all the way them.
Fisher: Ha! I don’t recall ever having seen one of those.
Tom: Oh yeah, they are crazy. One of the biggest problems with those is, they have the little gear in the middle of them so they won’t lay flat on your scanner. And there’s nobody that I know of in the country that actually takes those and scans them besides ourselves. If any of our listeners know of someplace that does that, a professional place or even somebody that does it for others, let us know, because we’ve taught our listeners to cut out the hub. So there’s a lot of things you can do with these, but the biggest thing you want to remember is, it’s going to take some work.
Tom: And if you are a do it yourselfer, you know, knock yourself out. If you want us to help you with part of it or any of your local places that have good quality scanning machines. And again, if you don’t have a good quality scanning machine, you’re scared to send it off, there’s always places in your neighborhood that make billboards and make big, huge signs, so they’re got like a kick butt scanner, so to speak.
Tom: And the thing is, even if they charge you twenty bucks to scan one negative, if you’ve only got one, it’s no big deal, or if you have several, they can scan them all at the same time, give you the file, then you go into Photoshop and you can go and segregate them into separate things.
Tom: And the easiest thing you want to do is, after you have the scan itself, make sure you make a copy on your hard drive, so you’ve got it on your hard drive, your cloud and then whatever device you originally had it on. And then you just take it, put it into Photoshop and then it’s very easy for those that aren’t familiar with Photoshop and can’t draw a straight line with a ruler.
Tom: There’s a little tool in there that’s a line, they call it “magnetic”. Photoshop’s so smart, it kind of figures out, “Okay, this is the edge of the negative.” which is pretty simple. So you click it on one corner, you go to the next corner and click it, you go to the next corner and click, click, click, and then when you get to the fourth corner, it will copy that whole square that you’ve made, then you take that out and do a save as and call it negative 1 or whatever name.
Tom: And so, then you just keep doing that through all of them. And then you can go in and rotate them, do all different kinds of things like this. There’s all kinds of tools. And the thing that we posted on the Extreme Genes website, on our website, on our Twitter page is going viral. People love watching to see how people use these different tools. And it’s not really that hard. And you were talking off air, you only use a couple of tools in the whole scam.
Fisher: Yeah. I use two tools generally with Photoshop Elements. So it’s the cheaper version. I use the healing tool and I use the cloning tool. And those two things alone plus a little adjustment in lighting and color tone, like four things basically on the entire program. And you can do some phenomenal work in restoring photographs.
Tom: And a lot of people, they get too overwhelmed. And so, after the break, what we’re going to do is talk a little bit about if this is your first time doing anything like this, it’s not really that hard, jump in and have a good time.
Fisher: All right, coming up in three minutes on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show.
Segment 5 Episode 192
Host: Scott Fisher with guest Tom Perry
Fisher: We are back! It is our final segment of Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show and ExtremeGenes.com. It is Fisher here, your Radio Roots Sleuth and Tom Perry, our Preservation Authority from TMCPlace.com. And we’re talking about the preservation of photos that are kept in little circles called View Masters.
Fisher: Boy, talk about going back! I hadn’t even thought about those things in probably decades, Tom. And you’ve got the 110 negatives. And what was this other one you were just talking about at the end?
Tom: They’re little disks. They’re about like the size, about two to three inches across, and it’s just a giant piece of negative. And then they just have all the pictures around them for when you put it in your little flat camera. And it just would go and, you know, shoot these different pictures on it. They had, I think about twelve to fourteen prints on them.
Fisher: Never saw one of those, ever.
Fisher: They must have been common though.
Tom: Yeah, they, it’s just when the economy kind of tanked years ago, it was a way for Kodak to change the price, instead of having 35mm film, which was so expensive, they made this little disk, which was a 4×4 piece of film with all these pictures, so people thought it was great. Same thing with 110s, they were so nice and small. They were about four times the size of an old 8mm reel of home movies, so you can see how small they are, which is great for a 3×5 print, but you want to make an 8×10 or something, you’re kind of really pushing the envelope. Remember don’t get overwhelmed by this stuff. If you do a save as, you’re never going to ruin your own thing. And you’ll just find out how easy this stuff is. It’s not rocket science, it’s really isn’t.
Fisher: No, that’s true.
Tom: If I can do it, anybody can do it.
Fisher: I’ll agree with that.
Tom: It’s really pretty simple when you go in and actually trace each one of the negatives and do a “save as.” Then what you want to do is, you want to put them each in their own file. Now a lot of times, this is getting more heady, but if you’re just starting out, what you want to do is, when you take these different pictures, go into your Photoshop preferences and set it up so it shows a grid, like piece of graph paper.
Tom: Because then it’s going to show you exactly where these little pictures line up, and so then just rotate it till its right along one of the graphs, then you know you have it nice and straight.
Fisher: Right. Okay.
Tom: And if for some reason you scanned it backwards, no big deal, because you can always flip and rotate them also, because the negatives are going to be the same no matter which way you scan it.
Tom: Words will be backwards, the clothes line in the wrong side of the back yard.
Fisher: Right. [Laughs]
Tom: And all you have to do is flip them. And once you do that, you can go get in there, make them bigger. And once you’ve got all these things done, then it’s easy to take a thumb drive and go to your local photo shop and make prints off of them if you don’t want to print them at home, which a lot of people are doing that.
Tom: And there’s a lot of places online, if you have tons of these, then you send them all your files, three days later, the pictures show up. And they’re really pretty inexpensive, because they’re just a big factory that does them. But always remember, read the fine print to make sure that you still own all your negatives and they don’t have any right to be able to use it or any of that kind of stuff. So it’s really not that hard of a thing to do. And we were talking about the St. George Expo that we’re doing in September. We’ll be there showing people how to do a lot of these kinds of things. Because remember, you know, it’s not rocket science. Start out small, play with a couple of tools, like you mentioned, you use two.
Fisher: Just two.
Tom: Tools in Photoshop. And that makes it real simple. And as far as shipping, some people just don’t want to do it and they’re scared of shipping, just remember one thing too, in all the years we’ve been around since 1973, none of our customers have ever lost anything shipping to us, we’ve never lost anything going back and forth. And the funny thing is, I looked at some statistics and it’s actually safer in a UPS truck than it is in your home when you look at how many home fires and floods and mudslides there are versus how many UPS or FedEx trucks burn or get in a crash or something.
Fisher: Right or something’s lost. That’s an interesting stat. [Laughs] And it makes sense.
Tom: And it’s important. And the thing is, like I say, just start out small, learn the basic things, see what you need to do, and if you have questions, you can always write to me at AskTom@TMCPlace.com or you can tweet me @AskTomP, and I’m more than happy to help you, send you in the direction, help you with software, whatever. We’re here to help you in any way we can.
Fisher: All right. Thanks so much, Tom. We’ll see you again next week.
Tom: We’ll be here.
Fisher: That is a wrap on this week’s show. This segment has been brought to you by 23AndMe.com DNA. Thanks once again to Elissa Davey from Garden of Innocence for coming on and talking about the remarkable recovery of the perfectly preserved body of a little girl who died in the 1870s and how they were able to identify her and give her a proper burial. Hey, if you missed any of it, catch the podcast on iTunes, iHeart Radio and ExtremeGenes.com. And don’t forget to sign up for our free Weekly Genie newsletter at ExtremeGenes.com. Talk to you next week. And remember, as far as everyone knows, we’re a nice, normal family!
Richard Overton entered the service in 1940 and served throughout the duration of World War II. Several years ago he became America’s oldest living vet. Recently, he turned 111 years old! See and hear Richard talk about his life in this awesome video.
Genies… As you well know, businesses around the world are being hit by “ransomware.” Still, it could very easily find its way to your computer. Ransomware is usually introduced through an email attachment being opened. This allows the virus to encrypt your data. Typically you’ll receive a notice that for a certain sum of money they will unencrypt it. There are ways to avoid this nightmare.
- Be sure to back up your files. Remember Tom Perry’s advice: TWO clouds and an external hard drive are the ideal. With backup, your infected computer can be erased and everything restored as before.
- Never open emails or links from strangers. It’s better to miss a legitimate email than open a bad one.
- Keep your anti-virus updates current, as well as software.
- Watch out for XP! Microsoft hasn’t supported it in two years which makes XP a common target.
Genies, our years of research and scanned pix, etc., are so important. Don’t take your computer security lightly! Scott Fisher
Have you ever dreamed of buying back your childhood home? A lot of people are actually doing it. Some ancestral homes, too. The Wall Street Journal tells us about a few of them.
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!
A census has been taken in the United States every ten years beginning in 1790. It is considered a crucial exercise in determining the growth, needs, and trends of the country for both government and business, and of course later (in 72 years) becomes a vital genealogical tool. But there is concern about what might happen with the census of 2020.
The Wyckoff family goes to earliest times in North America, beginning in New York in the 1650s. Still, they are mostly associated with New Jersey today. The immigrant Peter’s home is now the oldest in New York City. Take a tour!
Host Scott Fisher opens the show with David Allen Lambert, Chief Genealogist of the New England Historic Genealogical Society and AmericanAncestors.org. David shares some great stories this week, including one about a family that found a funeral home had dressed the wrong corpse in their mother’s clothes, a man who found his father’s and uncle’s letters homes from World War II on eBay, and the story of a Saxon king whose remains may have been found under a tennis court! (Here we go again!) David’s spotlighted blogger this week is FamilySearch.org/blog/en which discusses, among many other things, how to get started in indexing old records.
Next, (starts at 10:38) Fisher is going DNA crazy this week, having shipped out three Y-chromosome DNA kits to close and distant relatives. He’s pondering using a mitochondrial test for one of his wife’s lines. “Not so fast!” says LegacyTree.com’s Paul Woodbury. The DNA specialist shares some important insight on when you should and when you shouldn’t attempt to connect ancestors through this female direct line DNA method.
Then, (starts at 24:16) Carrie Christos of Cincinnati, Ohio talks about her “Big Fat Greek genealogical experience.” She shares the challenges she faced, the serendipity that (as is often the case) kicked in, and the new relationships she has developed. Carrie will tell you how it all happened.
Then, Tom Perry, the Preservation Authority from TMCPlace.com is geeked out over a remarkable time-lapse video he found. It will inspire you to learn how you can do the same. Tom also talks about some local digitizers that he feels will do a great job for you in several states.
That’s all the week on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show!
Host: Scott Fisher with guest David Allen Lambert
Segment 1 Episode 190
Fisher: And you have found us, America’s Family History Show, Extreme Genes and ExtremeGenes.com. My name is Fisher. I am your Roots Sleuth on the program where we shake your family tree and watch the nuts fall out. This segment is brought to you by LegacyTree.com. And coming up later on in the show today, some great guests, some great experts, one guy you’ve certainly come to know, Paul Woodbury from LegacyTree.com to talk DNA because this past week I sent out three Y-DNA chromosome tests for various cousins to try to work on certain lines. If you don’t know what that means we’ll explain some of that, but we’re really going to focus on mitochondrial tests and those are tests that follow down the female line. It’s got some problems, so it may be perfect for Mother’s Day and then again maybe not. You’ll find out all about those coming up in about eight minutes with Paul Woodbury. Then later in the show we’ll talk to another ordinary person with an extraordinary story about her “Big Fat Greek genealogy experience.” You’re going to love it. That’s later in the show. But right now let’s head off to Beantown and talk to my friend David Allen Lambert, the Chief Genealogist of the New England Historic Genealogical Society and AmericanAncestors.org. You’ve been on the road for the last month David. Where are you now?
David: Well I’m in Beantown today but next week I take off for the National Genealogical Society Conference in Raleigh, North Carolina from May 10th through 13th.
Fisher: You are such a scholar. Who knew?
David: Ah well, come by the booth and find out yourself if I am. [Laughs]
David: I look forward to always meeting our genies from Extreme Genes.
Fisher: All right David, let’s find out what’s happening with our Family Histoire News for today.
David: Well, this story comes from Mount Carmel, Pennsylvania where John Leczinski, while doing a Google search for his Uncle Mike who served in World War II found a link to eBay. Now on eBay he found a letter from his uncle. But not just his uncle… from his father, two other uncles, and another relative.
David: Sixty five letters in total that he just found by dumb luck!
Fisher: [Laughs] Well I don’t know that it’s dumb luck when you’ve got the internet anymore. You can find all kinds of stuff and we’ve done entire segments talking about how you can use eBay to find heirlooms. But I don’t think I’ve ever heard such an extreme edition of an eBay discovery as this one.
David: It’s amazing and for $283 he bought the letters and now he has insight into his family’s involvement in World War II. He said his father rarely talked about the war so this is almost like, you know, a gift that you would never expect to find.
Fisher: Something like a journal almost.
David: It really is. And the day by day letters usually account if they weren’t censured to death. They’re usually pretty detailed as to where the people have been in troop movements from the vessels they were on, so what a wonderful find on eBay. I only wish I could find my dad’s letters from World War II. [Laughs]
Fisher: Yeah, absolutely.
David: Okay, my next story takes us out to England where they’re searching for another lost king.
Fisher: Oh boy, is he under a parking lot again?
David: No, actually this one is Saint Edmund and he’s supposedly located under a tennis court.
Fisher: Oh, of course, of course! [Laughs]
David: [Laughs] You know, after the disillusion of the monasteries and many of the cathedrals under Henry VIII, the abbeys were destroyed. Well, he was buried there and had a little bit of a shrine but they believed the shrine may still be buried under this tennis court in Orey St Edmunds, England. So, who knows? We might have a king that was far earlier from 855 to 878 A.D, the royal Saxon King.
Fisher: Wow, that’s incredible!
David: Well, talking about older people in England, of course next month will be the 96th birthday of the Duke of Edinburgh and he’s been really active alongside the Queen for years. And actually since 1952 he’s had over 22,000 personal engagements that he’s attended. Here’s the catch. He’s going to retire.
Fisher: [Laughs] Wow, that’s really good. And I don’t think anybody’s going to get angry at him about this.
David: No, I mean actually it’s a little early when you compare to some of the stories we’ve talked about the past couple of years about people working into over a hundred or getting a new job at a hundred or start going back to where they first worked. So, my hat’s off to the Duke of Edinburgh for his longevity and his longevity in service to the Crown. You know one of the stories that I think is interesting is that occasionally we all make mistakes. And the family of Alice Dunn had to deal with her passing recently and of course it’s very tough and you have to go through the funeral. The problem is the Swanson funeral home in Flint, Michigan made a mistake.
Fisher: Ooh, what did they do?
David: Well, it was Alice’s clothes on anther deceased person in the casket.
David: Yeah, they put the wrong clothes on the wrong body and set it up for the wrong funeral.
Fisher: Oh. [Laughs]
David: They did get it correct. They didn’t lose Alice, but her family was a little perplexed because it looked nothing like her.
Fisher: Well it’s funny how that works though sometimes. And I can understand the funeral home saying, “Oh no, that’s her!” Because sometimes when somebody has been, shall we say, fixed up for the funeral they don’t look like themselves.
David: Well you know, I always would go to a funeral and I love when people look and go, “Oh they look so good.” My mother would say, “They’re dead.”
Fisher: Yeah. [Laugh] They’re still dead, it doesn’t matter!
David: [Laughs] Exactly. Our blogger spotlight is FamilySearch.org/blog/en, and this is a wonderful blog brought to you by Family Search. And recently they talked about how to get started with indexing online. As many of you know FamilySearch replies upon the volunteer help of thousands upon thousands of people to get all the wonderful images indexed online for free. So you can find out how to be involved in their FamilySearch indexing right there on the blog post from May 1st.
David: That’s about all I have for this week, but I do want to remind you that if you want to become a member of AmericanAncestors.org for the New England Historic Genealogical Society, use the check out code “extreme” and save $20 on membership. Catch you live from Raleigh, North Carolina next week everyone.
Fisher: All right David thanks for coming on. Good to talk to you, and just a reminder, if you haven’t done so yet, get on our website ExtremeGenes.com and get signed up for our Weekly Genie newsletter. We send it out every Monday morning. It’s chocked full of information, interviews, links to great stories and a column from me every week. So we’d love to have you as part of our community there, also of course on Facebook and our Extreme Genes website. And coming up next, I’m going to talk to Paul Woodbury from LegacyTree.com. He’s their DNA Specialist. This past week I sent out three Y-chromosome tests as I mentioned concerning guys and it occurred to me, “Wait a minute my wife’s in a mitochondrial line.” That’s where you could actually do a test of female to female to female, back to her second great grandmother. But Paul told me off the air that might not be the best way to go so we’re going to talk to him about some strategies involving DNA, coming up next in three minutes on Extreme Genes America’s Family History Show.
Segment 2 Episode 190
Host: Scott Fisher with guest Paul Woodbury
Fisher: Got to tell you, I love talking DNA. It is Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show and ExtremeGenes.com. It is Fisher here, your Radio Roots Sleuth and this segment of the show is brought to you by MyHeritage.com. And I have my friend Paul Woodbury on the line from LegacyTree.com. And Paul, we are talking off the air the other day, there’s a lot of stuff we’ve got to cover. First of all, welcome back.
Paul: Thank you. Thank you for having me.
Fisher: You know this past week I just sent out three Y-DNA tests to different cousins. One was a fifth cousin down one line, another to a fourth cousin down another line, and another to my wife’s uncle, to make sure, you know, as you mentioned, to preserve the older folk’s DNA. And that name line has always been something of a problem for us. But then as I was thinking about this, it occurred to me, well, wait a minute, my wife is in a mitochondrial situation. We have a second great grandmother in her line that we haven’t been able to connect the parents. We have a sister to this woman, we have a brother to this woman, but we could never find through any of these three kids the names of the parents. So I thought… hey, mitochondrial! We could have my wife do it, even my daughter could do it to try to link to it, but you had some great insight on it and I thought maybe today we would talk about that.
Paul: Yeah I’d be happy to discuss that.
Fisher: So, do you use mitochondrial DNA testing very often?
Paul: I don’t. I mean the reason why is because it’s kind of been put on the back burner to autosomal DNA testing and Y-DNA testing. And there are a few reasons for that. First, with Y-DNA testing you have a direct line paternal inheritance pattern, and that pattern often follows the same pattern as surname inheritance in a lot of western cultures. So, by doing Y-DNA testing, a lot of the times you can get insight into the origins of the surname and following that direct paternal line. So a lot of people use Y-DNA testing. With autosomal DNA testing you can connect with cousins within the last eight to ten generations and explore how you’re related that way.
Paul: With mitochondrial DNA there are a few things that make it a little bit difficult to work with. First, the mitochondrial DNA is inherited along that direct maternal line like you said and because of that, the surnames that you’re looking at change every generation.
Fisher: Every one, that’s right. [Laughs]
Paul: And so that can get really complicated quite fast. The other challenge is that traditionally in genealogical research as you get further back in the records, it just happens to be that there are a lot more times information regarding the men, particularly in the US and in some of the British colonies, because women did change their names to their husband’s surname. It can be really challenging to trace that maternal line. It’s a little bit easier in some of the Spanish and Italian and Latin cultures because a lot of the times the women did keep their names throughout their lives.
Paul: So it’s a little bit easier to trace them that way. But with mitochondrial DNA a lot of the times it’s hard to make those connections from mother to daughter, to mother to mother to mother. So it’s an underutilized source. Now, the other challenge with mitochondrial DNA testing is that currently the largest database of mitochondrial DNA samples is at FamilyTree DNA. But even then, that database is significantly smaller than the Y-DNA database and the autosomal DNA database. And I think that it’s an untapped resource in a lot of ways. I think if more people did mitochondrial DNA testing it could eventually get to the point where it could be really, really useful for these situations where we’re searching for potential ancestors and we’re looking for connections. That approach, I like to call it “Going Fishing.” [Laughs]
Fisher: Right, right, right.
Paul: …where you take your DNA tests and you see what you get back, right?
Fisher: Right, absolutely. But if there’s nobody else playing the game, and there are no other fish in the pond, you can’t snag them.
Paul: Yeah, and that’s part of the challenge. And that always is a challenge with Y-DNA testing and with mitochondrial DNA testing. You can usually have quite a bit of success in going fishing with autosomal DNA tests because the databases are so huge that you can usually connect with people through autosomal DNA. Even with Y-DNA, depending on the surname and the specific Y-DNA you have, you may get lucky and be able to go fishing and get some good fish from your Y-DNA test.
Paul: With mitochondrial DNA, I haven’t run across that too often where you take the mitochondrial DNA test and it helps to solve any genealogical problem or to extend that line back. I have found a few cases where we’ve taken a mitochondrial DNA test and it has served to confirm to a certain extent the family trees. So for example, they were trying to find out, you know, who was the mother of my four times great grandmother along the direct maternal line, and we took the mitochondrial DNA test and they got some matches and we confirmed that she was descended from the third great grandmother. But we weren’t able to go back the generation before that. In another case I ran into a similar situation where we were trying to connect an ancestor from Australia back to England, and we were able to confirm the descent line within Australia but we weren’t able to make that jump back to England with the mitochondrial DNA test results.
Fisher: Um hmm. So, largely then it’s a matter of there just aren’t enough people playing and it’s almost like a self perpetuating situation, where, “if there aren’t enough people there, I’m not going to do the test, right?” And when other people don’t do the test then fewer other people will take the test, right?
Paul: Yeah. It does make things difficult. I think with Y-DNA and particularly with mitochondrial DNA you can have successful research resolution when you have a targeted question.
Paul: So for example, there was a case where I worked on for a man who was trying to determine first of all was his fourth great grandmother the child of this particular couple. And we had another descendent of that couple that he had identified, so we tested them both. They both had the same mitochondrial DNA and that confirmed with the traditional evidence that yes, this woman his forth great grandmother, was a child of this couple. So it’s really in those types of situations where you can use mitochondrial DNA to its fullest advantage because you’re setting up an experiment.
Paul: You say okay, if I touch this person and I touch this person and they share mitochondrial DNA, it provides evidence of their shared relationship with these individuals.
Fisher: But you think about the money that has to be spent on these tests and I’ve never bought a mitochondrial test, what do they run around, do you know?
Paul: So there are two levels of mitochondrial DNA testing at FamilyTree DNA.
Fisher: Um hmm.
Paul: The basic level is $59 dollars and the full mitochondrial sequence is $199 dollars.
Fisher: Wow. Okay. So, basically if you were to look into doing this without essentially throwing your money away, it would be good to know that you’ve got somebody that you’re trying to match up to, would you agree with that? Either somebody whose information is already banked or someone you’re working with on the problem who’s agreed to do the test at the same time you do.
Fisher: And otherwise you’re basically saying, well, I’m going to put my information out there and hope that somebody comes along some day and matches me and we can figure this thing out.
Paul: Yeah. I would agree with that and I would also say though, that mitochondrial DNA testing can be helpful when it’s used in conjunction with autosomal DNA test results.
Paul: To narrow the possibilities of how you could be related to somebody. If you are sharing enough DNA to be a second cousin once removed, and yet you don’t share common mitochondrial DNA haplogroups, then that can help eliminate potential relationships within your respective family tree.
Fisher: And that would be where an expert like you would come in to help analyze it, right? Because I don’t think most people generally have that kind of knowledge.
Paul: Yeah, I could do that. [Laughs]
Paul: I do that sort of thing every day!
Paul: But yeah, that’s something you could hire an expert to kind of take a look and really identify what possible relationships could explain your shared DNA.
Fisher: Yeah. The bottom line is, you’ve got to be a passionate genie to do some of this stuff because it is expensive.
Paul: That is true. I will add that you can get some information regarding mitochondrial DNA through 23andMe and their test. So, if you’re interested in getting just the general of what are the haplogroups that you belong to, you can find that information by testing at 23andMe and then you also get the added benefit of having the autosomal DNA test results with that.
Fisher: Right. So you’d have to work through at least a couple of companies, right?
Paul: Yeah. So another thing that mitochondrial DNA can be really helpful for is looking at ethnicity. If you have a family story of your great, great, great grandmother being a Native American or possibly African American or being of a specific ethnicity, because mitochondrial DNA follows this direct inheritance pattern and goes intact from generation to generation, there are some mitochondrial DNA signatures that are unique to very specific ethnicities. For example, if you have mitochondrial DNA that belongs to haplogroups A, B, C, D or X, it could be indicative of Native American ancestry along your direct maternal line. Also, if you have a mitochondrial DNA haplogroup L that indicates that you have an ancestor along your direct maternal line that was from Africa.
Paul: So, there are some very unique sequences that you can use to explore the location where your ancestors may have come from. So, there are some really cool things that you can do with mitochondrial DNA in exploring ethnicity and origins along that direct maternal line. But for genealogical research right now it’s a little bit of a challenge to use.
Fisher: Wow. All right, lots of great advice as always Paul, always great to have you on. In fact, I do want to continue with some of those most common DNA questions that you’ve been getting, the next time we get you on the show, all right?
Paul: All right, sounds good.
Fisher: All right talk to you again soon. Thanks so much for coming on.
Paul: Thank you.
Fisher: Well, you know we have a long running tradition on Extreme Genes of finding ordinary people who are making extraordinary finds and having extraordinary experiences, and one of those people is Carrie Christos. She’s in Cincinnati, Ohio and she’s been working on her husband’s side and has been having a “Big Fat Greek genealogy experience.” We’ll tell you more about that coming up next in five minutes on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show.
Segment 3 Episode 190
Host: Scott Fisher with guest Carrie Christos
Fisher: And welcome back to America’s Family History Show, it is Extreme Genes and ExtremeGenes.com. It is Fisher here, your Radio Roots Sleuth and this segment is brought to you by 23andMe.comDNA. You know, it’s always fun to talk to people, ordinary people who make extraordinary finds and it’s amazing the things that happen in their lives. And I have one of those people on the line with me right now. She’s Carrie Christos. She’s been working on not only her own lines but her husband’s, and Carrie you’ve been having some real good experiences haven’t you?
Carrie: Yes, I learned so much about doing great research through my experience and it’s just been great.
Fisher: Now you’re in Cincinnati, Ohio. I used to work in Cincinnati, Ohio years ago on a radio station there, and the one thing that I took from it when I left the area was, it’s the only place in the country where if somebody misunderstands you they go, “Please?” I don’t hear that any place else except Cincinnati! [Laughs]
Carrie: You’re right!
Fisher: So how long have you been researching, Carrie?
Carrie: I started when my children were born. My oldest is eight, and right after that I became very interested in doing genealogy. I did a lot if it myself but I hired LegacyTree genealogists to do some of the harder stuff.
Carrie: They were able to help me with my mom’s side and my dad’s side and now my husband’s side.
Fisher: Yeah and this really kind of goes back now not as far as your husband’s line went. He didn’t go that far as I understand it to begin with. So you had to crack some fairly recent brick walls to get back there, but Greece is a fantastic place to research.
Carrie: Yeah, it is. So, my-in-law father was kind of a second generation and my husband, his father died about three years into our marriage. So I really didn’t get a chance to ask my father-in-law too much, and my father-in-law’s father died in 1955 and he left us almost no information. So I was feeling pretty disconnected from the Greek family situation. People would meet me and they would say, “So it’s like My Big Fat Greek Wedding.” And I would say, well no, not really.
Carrie: So I wanted to learn more.
Fisher: Sure, because you didn’t know any of the people. The Big Fat Greek Wedding was all about all the huge extended family that would attend, but you didn’t know anybody.
Carrie: Yes, exactly. My father-in-law had some older people but everyone died off, no one could answer any questions.
Fisher: So did you know where he was from in Greece?
Carrie: Yes, his family is from a town called, originally it was called Levetsova and then quite suddenly the town got named Krokees. I’m not sure about the reasons why but right now it’s called Krokees, Greece.
Fisher: And so how was the wall finally broken?
Carrie: When I got my project back from Caroline, our goal was to find out if my husband’s grandfather had any brothers or sisters and also confirm the names of the parents, and we were definitely able to do that. So when I got the names of the brothers and sisters, I didn’t really know what to do with that information. And I learned that some of the families had stayed in Greece and another one actually tried to come to America and got deported, and then that was the family that ended up in Australia. So I didn’t really know what to do with the information and I kind of just set it aside.
Fisher: And so eventually you went over to Caroline Tollman at LegacyTree, and she was able to help you do something with that?
Carrie: So I got my binder back from Caroline and what I did was, I had actually contacted a guy previously on Facebook by the name of Nico Christakos- that was one of the uncles of my father-in-law. I thought maybe he could have been the right person. He lives in the same area and in the same place.
Carrie: Yeah, I didn’t really hear anything back so I had set it aside for several months. I went back to Ancestry.com and I plugged in the names of the family, and I was really surprised to get an exact match of the date and birth of my father-in-law’s first cousin. It wasn’t the Nico Christakos but it was someone else.
Fisher: But that’s a different name than yours. Now your name is Christos, so it was shortened obviously.
Carrie: Yeah, actually I should have said that earlier, so that was the one piece of information I did get to ask my father-in-law before he passed. He was very certain that the name was Christakos, so I knew that kind of going in. It’s still kind of weird to think that our name was Christakos, but I did know that piece of information.
Fisher: Sure. Lots of people though, have had their named changed over the years, and sometimes many times in a straight line. So you reached out to make contact?
Carrie: And I didn’t hear anything back. Then, one day several months later Nico Christakos finds my message on Facebook and he’s not the Nico Christakos that I’m looking for but he actually knows all the people in the village. He said, “I’m not the right person, but I actually know all the people.” So I gave him some information so he knew I was for real. [Laughs]
Carrie: He came back a couple of weeks later and he gave me the phone number of my husband’s second cousin.
Fisher: Oh wow!
Carrie: I spent a month trying to find them in America, because Ancestry.com indicated that they might have been in America, and the reason why I couldn’t find them was because they had moved back to Greece.
Fisher: So you were able to reach him?
Carrie: Um, I called. I built up the nerve. I changed my calling plan so I could call Greece, and the phone was connected not once but several times. He kept answering. So I thought, well I’m going to not give up. He kept listening, I heard that he spoke English but we weren’t really connecting. So he handed the phone to his wife and we tried to collect email addresses and she asked me if I had a Facebook account. So we were able to connect and then eventually end up talking.
Fisher: Wow! That’s exciting. So you did some Facebook talks or just exchanging messages?
Carrie: Yeah just on messager. She was super nice and everything was like very piece meal. I couldn’t quite tell if it was a cultural thing. I don’t know what it was but I was just trying to be nice without being too pushy because I had a million questions that I wanted to ask.
Fisher: So what have you learned about the family in Greece and your history there?
Carrie: Well, I know that the third cousin, one of the fathers and the grandson lived in Krokees and they have an olive grove. When we finally did meet face to face, we got a bottle of olive oil which I thought was really very special because you know, it was some tangible, that could serve as a token of our new found relatives, if you will.
Fisher: Yeah, absolutely. How did they feel about this, where they excited?
Carrie: I thought that they were really excited, and actually I learned from the second cousin’s wife that her son had also at the same time trying to find out information. He is about twenty-nine, thirty, and he was also trying to find out information about the family. So you know, the whole thing was so coincidental and how we met. They came to the United States because he was trying to sell olive oil here in the United States.
Carrie: They were in Chicago, because the mom has relatives in Chicago. Not the dad’s side but on the mom’s side and he was visiting. But Chicago is like 5-6 hours away from Cincinnati. And she didn’t know that I had a trip planned to go to Indianapolis for spring break with my family. Just for a couple of days. I was humbled, because she asked if we could meet half way between Chicago and Cincinnati and I was just blown away by the whole coincidence of the whole thing.
Fisher: Yeah. [Laughs]
Carrie: And how it really worked out, it was amazing.
Fisher: I think we call that serendipity, in the business.
Fisher: Yeah, happens all the time. Are you going to go to Greece?
Carrie: I would love to. I would love to. Even for our honeymoon and I think when the kids are a little bit older we will do that. It will be very, very nice to know we have people there that we can visit.
Fisher: And you can get your “Big Fat Greek reception” there I would assume.
Carrie: Maybe. Maybe, that would be great.
Fisher: That’s awesome. Well Carrie, congratulations!
Carrie: Thank you.
Fisher: How long have you been researching now?
Carrie: For about, gosh almost nine years.
Fisher: Nine years, that’s great. And I know Caroline is a terrific researcher, so I’m glad she was able to help you. Hey, thanks for sharing your story with us. Good luck going forward.
Carries: Thank you.
Fisher: Hope you have a great experience over in Greece one of these days. Take the kids.
Carrie: We will. It was great to talk to you. Thank you.
Fisher: Hey, that’s what it’s all about and those kinds of coincidences happen all the time. Hey, coming up next we’re going to talk to Tom Perry from TMCPlace.com. He’s our Preservation Authority. He’s going to talk to you about repairing photos through instructional videos. We’ll direct you to a couple of them and a lot more coming up next in three minutes on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show.
Segment 4 Episode 190
Host: Scott Fisher with guest Tom Perry
Fisher: And it is time to talk preservation on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show and ExtremeGenes.com. It is Fisher here, your Radio Roots Sleuth. Tom Perry is in from TMCPlace.com, our Preservation Authority. Hi Tom, how are you?
Tom: Super duper, thank you.
Fisher: And this segment is brought to you by RootsMagic.com. And it’s time to talk about preserving photographs digitally, Tom. And you’ve got some great stuff here that I see you smiling already.
Fisher: [Laughs] He is the mad scientist. You’ve found some new things that are going to be of benefit.
Tom: Oh, it’s so cool. I mean, we’ve talked about Digital Darkroom and Photoshop, how those are great programs to get into to fix your pictures. And I just put up on my Twitter account where you can actually go to a link. I don’t want to try to give it to you over the air, because it’s a long link. [Check it out here.]
Fisher: Right. We’ll put it on ExtremeGenes.com.
Tom: That will be perfect. And what’s so cool about this is, you actually see somebody on the computer and they’re doing it, they have a picture I’m guessing from probably the late 1800s, you can see its periodized, but it’s been folded, it’s really damaged and you can actually watch what he’s clicking on. So he’s clicking on like a healer tool and you can see how he goes in and he heals.
Tom: Where it’s, there’s kind of like a crack through it. So what you do is, you take whatever’s missing and replace it with usually something right next to it.
Fisher: That’s right.
Tom: And its going to be gradient, so its fine, so it shows you how he takes the healer tool as they call it and goes in, you know, measures out what’s bad, oversamples a little bit, then moves it up to the top part, then copies that and puts it back in that area and then smoothes it out and it looks like it was always supposed to be like that.
Fisher: Exactly. And you know, I do this a lot. In fact, I do it for a lot of my family members who will send me something. And it’s one of those things you do at like six o’clock in the morning on a Sunday. You wake up, everybody’s asleep, “Oh, I’m going to fix that picture!”
Fisher: And I did this for some cousins in Connecticut not long ago with a really beat up picture. But the joy of it is, when you go and you learn just a couple of these tools, there’s the healing tool and there’s also one that’s a cloning tool. In essence, you find something nearby that’s the same color and texture and you just go over those areas with it. And even with just those two things, you can do so much. And if you make a mistake, it’s no big deal, you just do a ctrl-z and it undoes what you just did. And you can undo many, many times. So you can try something and if you keep going into it and trying to make it better and better and then it doesn’t work, you can undo the whole thing and go back and start all over again, right up to the point that you wanted to pick it up.
Tom: And that’s a wonderful thing that you mentioned that. So you want to make sure if this is your first time into one of these programs, you go into preferences and it will let you pick how many undos you want to do. And I always set mine to the maximum.
Tom: Because I like to experiment.
Fisher: Yes, you want to be able to do it all the way to the end, basically.
Fisher: I want to undo the whole thing.
Tom: Exactly. And that’s just so awesome to do stuff like that. And when you’re watching this video that we’re going to post up there for you, like you say, you only need a couple of tools. Like you can get in a great, big escalade and you can see all these buttons and all these things and it’s like, “Oh, my gosh! I can’t drive this, because I don’t know what all these buttons do.” Well, no. When you get into Photoshop or Digital Darkroom, learn two or three tools and just go in there and mess around. And the thing is, it’s not like, “Oh, I don’t want to do my good picture until I learn how to do this.” Why not? You can undo it. You’re not going to hurt anything. You always do a “save as” so you’ve always got your original.
Tom: And go in and play with the healing tool and the cloning tool. And as you’ll see on this video, then once he gets done, you think, “Oh, it’s all done. Now it looks so cool.” Then the doctor, mad scientist really comes out and he colorizes it!
Fisher: [Laughs] Right.
Tom: So you can see how he goes and chooses the whole face and uses different tones and textures them and go step by step by step by step. And just watching him in a slower motion is going to teach you so many things.
Fisher: And I haven’t learned to colorize yet. That’s something I haven’t gotten to, but the point is, you can grow with this. And watch these videos, they’re available all over the place, and we’ll share that at ExtremeGenes.com, so make sure you check that out.
Tom: So, go watch this video, learn a lot of things from it. And as you just mentioned, go to YouTube and download a whole bunch of training things too that they’re all free.
Fisher: All right. Coming up next in three minutes, Tom, what are we going to talk about?
Tom: We’re going to talk about some upcoming events at some places that might be in your backyard where you can get your film transferred properly.
Fisher: On the way on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show.
Segment 5 Episode 190
Host: Scott Fisher with guest Tom Perry
Fisher: And we are back, final segment of Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show and ExtremeGenes.com. Fisher here, your Radio Roots Sleuth with Tom Perry the Preservation Authority from TMCPlace.com. And, Tom, you’re talking about some local places that do it right. And you’ve been searching a little bit. What did you discover?
Tom: We talk about the questions that you need to ask. This place I’m going to recommend for you right now, we’ve asked them questions, they’ve answered them correctly. I haven’t actually sent them anything to test them, but it seems like they really do your film properly. It’s called Roots Family History, is the name of the store. And they have one in Boise, Idaho and one in Brooklyn, New York, which are awesome places. And then I found another one in a suburb of St. Louis called Cintrex, C I N T R E X A V that’s super, super wonderful. So if those places are close to you, go and support your local businesses. If not, we’re still happy to do it for you. But just make sure you always ask the right questions, because we really recommend you stay local as much as possible. Keep your money in your area, because that’s the way to do things right. And also, there’s a couple of genealogy conventions coming up. There’s one in St George, Utah, in the first part of September to start looking forward to. And there’s also one called the Western Pennsylvania Genealogy Society that’s going to be August 30th through September 2nd, it’s called, “Building Bridges to The Past” and it’s a good one to go check if you’re going to be in that area. If you have in your area one that’s coming up that you work with a little societies, let us know so we can put in on the calendars. We have people that say to us when we’re talking to them, “Oh, did you go to such and such a genealogy convention?” “Oh, we didn’t even know it was there.” And it’s in your own back yard. So let us know, we’ll do everything we can to help you promote it, because we’re all about preserving the past and helping people get into it and get started.
Tom: Exactly. And you can always ask me questions at AskTom@TMCPlace.com, but if you want it quick, you do the Twitter page, because then I can get back to you instantly, and it’s really been a lot of fun. I’ve never really been a big Twitter person till lately, but it’s amazing how many people have come on, they ask questions. They send us links to things. And so, please, if you have something going on, let us know on our Twitter page, so we can let the world know and let the people in your backyard know that there’s something cool coming up.
Fisher: Tom, I understand you have a little update on the solar panels we talked about recently. Fill us in.
Tom: Absolutely. They’re doing some drills right now where they’re starting off. They’re doing Go Fund Me projects to get their solar panels up and going. So what they’re doing, they’re offering right now up to 75% off if you pre-order. And if something goes south, you always get your money back. These guys that do the Go Fund Me accounts are really, really good at making sure there’s not fraud and stuff out there. So this is really good. I saw these people down at the CES shows, so I know they’re legit.
Fisher: And just to remind everybody, these solar panels we’re talking about are ways by which you can charge your devices out in the wilderness.
Tom: So you’re for the campout, like you’re at a big family reunion, say, “Oh, I’d love to be scanning, I’d love to be using my iPhone, I’d love to be sharing my things, but we’re in the middle of nowhere and I can’t plug into the pine tree.”
Fisher: Right. [Laughs] Well, now you kind of can.
Tom: Exactly, you can, because they make little, teeny solar panels that are the size of your iPad. They make ones that are a little bit bigger, but they’re very portable. And you don’t have to have all these different devices. They have like the USB ports right in the solar panel. So you take it out, put it out a little bit away from the tree, plug in your laptop whatever you want to do, plug in your friend’s thing, burn DVDs for people, share your stuff. So it not like we’re in the wilderness, we can’t do this anymore.
Fisher: Incredible stuff. Thanks so much, Tom. We’ll see you again next week.
Tom: My pleasure.
Fisher: Hey, that’s a wrap for this week. Thanks so much for joining us. This segment has been brought to you by FamilySearch.org. And by the way, if you missed any part of the show or you’d like to hear it again, don’t forget the podcast comes out every Monday morning. You can catch that at ExtremeGenes.com. It’s on iTunes, it’s on iHeartRadio, it’s on TuneIn Radio, it’s all over the place, so we’d love to have you join us there and catch up on some old episodes as well. Don’t forget to sign up for our Weekly Genie newsletter at ExtremeGenes.com, it’s absolutely free. That too comes out on Monday mornings, all kinds of great links to all kinds of great stories, techniques, past interviews and my weekly column. Hey, don’t forget to tell your friends about the show. Spread the word! We’ll have some more great guests next week. We look forward to talking to you then. Take care. And remember, as far as everyone knows, we’re a nice, normal family!
Tom Perry refers to this remarkable video taking you, via time lapse, through the restoration and colorization of a very hammered old picture. You can learn to do this!