Now that an accountant has been made a baron because his DNA proves his right, the doors are open for all kinds of issues for aristocratic families across the pond… perhaps even the Royal Family itself! The ruling concerning DNA could also affect land ownership, trusts, and investments of long standing. Here’s the story!
Dale Pearce of Kansas was one of thousands killed by the Japanese attack at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. Part of the crew of the USS Oklahoma, Seaman Pearce’s remains were mingled with many others and interred in a mass grave of “unknowns.” Then came DNA.
Pearl Harbor/ December 7, 1941. Courtesy of US Navy.
Fisher opens the show explaining his recent family history research discovery of the itemized invoice from the funeral of his great-great grandfather in 1907! David Allen Lambert, Chief Genealogist of the New England Historic Genealogical Society and AmericanAncestors.org, then joins the show from London where his genealogical tour continues. David tells about his remarkable evenings during low tide along the Thames where he searches for centuries old items. He’ll tell you what he has found… including some items that will make your jaw drop! David then tells the shocking DNA story that has rocked England concerning the Archbishop of Canterbury. He’ll have another Tech Tip, and NEHGS guest user free database.
Next up on the show (starts at 11:09) is Paul Woodbury, a DNA genealogist for LegacyTree.com. Paul shares with Fisher the remarkable story of how he helped a client identify the birth father and birth mother of her grandmother, who was born and adopted in Alabama in 1916! How was it done? Paul will explain, but you’d better keep a flow chart. What DNA testing can reveal continues to amaze!
Then, Jenn Utley, head genealogist for TLC’s “Who Do You Think You Are?” visits to give us some behind the scenes info about the 2016 episodes of the program every genealogist loves to watch. You’ll be interested in how the show prepares the celebrity guests for travel to foreign lands. Who knew?!
Then, Preservation Authority Tom Perry from TMCPlace.com revisits the topic of audio as we move into reunion season. The tips he shares could just save your recordings of the seniors in your family before the record button is even pushed.
That’s all this week on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show!
Transcript of Episode 135
Segment 1 Episode 135 (00:30)
Fisher: I cannot believe in all my searches, through all the years, that I’ve never run across one of these things, and when I finally do, it’s within my own family.
Hi, it’s Fisher here! Your Radio Roots Sleuth on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show. The program where we shake your family tree and watch the nuts fall out.
This past week I found this itemized invoice for the funeral of my great, great grandfather. Yeah, it talked about the cost of the carriages to carry the mourners, the cost to embalm him, by the way it’s like ten bucks to clean him and embalm him! The cost of his grave was five dollars and twenty five cents. I mean it’s insane stuff, and in thirty five years of researching I’ve never run into anything like that. Absolutely incredible.
Hey, I’m excited about our guests today! We’ve got DNA Day going on again today. Paul Woodbury is going to be here from LegacyTree.com. He is a DNA results analyst for them, and he is going to tell you about a recent case where they were able to identify the birth father and birth mother of a woman who was born and adopted in 1916. Unbelievable! That’s coming up in about eight minutes.
And Jenn Utley, the head genealogist for “Who Do You Think You Are?” is going to be here to give us some inside baseball on this season of the show, and that will be coming up a little bit later on.
And, Preservation Authority Tom Perry talks audio and microphones, as you prepare for the reunion season.
But right now let’s head out to jolly old England! And talk to my good friend the Chief Genealogist of the New England Historic Genealogical Society and AmericanAncestors.org, David Allen Lambert! How are your journeys going across the pond?
David: They’re doing great! It’s a little different, got that sleep deprivation going, but I’m caught up and I’m on England time now.
Fisher: [Laughs] Now you were telling me off-air a little bit, David, about some adventures you’re doing in the night time there along the Thames River. Fill us in on this, this is incredible.
David: Well, you know, I’ve been a lover of archaeology and I have a couple of friends of mine, they call it ‘mucking’or looking for pottery shards and things. Of course the Thames has had occupation for thousands of years, and as the tide recedes twice a day people will go out, and you can’t dig. You can’t use a metal detector, but you can surface hunt and you can find pottery there that goes back to the Roman era, and I thought to myself “There is no way”.
I’ve been there three times since. I probably have about 500 pipes stems from colonial pipes, some of the bowls still attached to them. Pottery that’s from the Roman Empire to the Tudor era, and a lot of little pieces of Victorian, but the really disturbing thing, and something I won’t be bringing back… are the bones.
Fisher: The bones?
David: The bones! Yeah, there’s probably a good share of animal bones, but I might be seeing some of the ancestors of our listeners!
David: We’re just going up to shore and going back.
Fisher: And this happens every day?
David: Every day.
David: Twice a day.
Fisher: So this remains have been in there forever?
David: They have! The bones are like chocolate brown and they are obviously not recent. I mean they’re water worn and stuff, but it’s been interesting.
David: But the NEHGS Tour to London has been great. We’ve gone to the London Municipal Archives, we just finished up two days at the Society of Genealogists, and we’ll be heading to the National Archives in Kew for the last two days of the tour. Then I take off on my own genealogical adventures. But there’s been a lot of adventures going on in the press in England, DNA related. Did you see the story about the Archbishop of Canterbury?
Fisher: Yes! Incredible story, and he’s been very open about it. Fascinating find for him.
David: It really is. I mean, obviously this DNA has opened up that, well his mother would admit, that there’d been a little liason after a little bit too much drinking, with Sir Anthony Montague Brown, who ironically was Churchill’s last private secretary.
Fisher: Right, and he only died what, in 2013?
David: Yeah, he was like about eighty nine years of age. So there was almost a chance he could have met him.
David: But yeah, it’s crazy. Another exciting story is a World War II veteran out here from England, at the age of a 100, took a 10,000 foot skydive! He was a veteran of D-Day and he decided for his birthday he wanted to go skydiving. So my hat’s off to Verdun Hayes.
Well, I’ll tell you, there’s a lot of things that are interesting, but when you get to meet our listeners at “Who Do You Think You Are?” thousands of miles away, and that included two listeners from Germany…
Fisher: Wait, you are talking about Extreme Genes listerners from Germany? That’s awesome!
David: Extreme Genes listeners from Germany. I didn’t think the antenna went that far. Those podcast listeners are finding us from everywhere.
David: Timo Kracke, he was there with another friend Sebastian, and they’re both listeners of Extreme Genes and I got to interview them. I also interviewed an interesting fellow by the name of Andrew Tatham. Andrew is an author of a book he worked on for twenty years called ‘A Group Photograph’. He found a WWI photograph for his great grandfather. A group picture, and researched everybody in the picture.
Fisher: What a great idea!
David: It’s great! I mean it’s absolutely great, because I tell people all the time “You have to adopt the regiment.”
David: In this case he’s adopted forty six individuals from this photograph and tracked them all down.
David: That’s kind of a Gen Tip, but my Gen Tip for this week is “Go out and have a portrait painted of your family.” Create a family legacy heirloom that you can pass on forever, and it doesn’t matter if it’s an amateur artist or a professional artist, someone who can capture an essence, something that a photograph can’t.
Julia Sterland, who is an artist in England, was painting portraits for free with a small donation to the Mary Curie Foundation, which is kind of like hospice here in the States.
David: And I got a portrait painted by her and I’m going to treasure it. It’s a great thing.
Fisher: Post it! We’ve got to see it.
David: I will. I looked at it and I was like “Oh my gosh, you did that in like twenty minutes!”
David: And of course the free database for NEHGS guest users till April 20th, is of a billion records that we have available for you. Search on AmericanAncestors.org just as a guest user.
Fisher: Hey, you extended the deadline on that. I love that. So till next Wednesday, April 20th.
David: Correct, and I just want to say a shoutout to all the listeners out there on this side of the pond, from the opposite side of the pond.
Fisher: [Laughs] They’re everywhere.
David: Exactly. So that’s all I’ve got for this week from London, and look forward to talking to you next week.
Fisher: All right, thanks David! And coming up next; We’re going to talk to Paul Woodbury from LegacyTree.com. He’s a DNA results analyst, and wait till you hear about the case he has put together concerning a woman adopted in 1916. Love DNA! It’s coming up next in three minutes on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show.
Segment 2 Episode 135 (11:10)
Host Scott Fisher with guest Paul Woodbury
Fisher: And welcome back to America’s Family History Show, Extreme Genes and ExtremeGenes.com
It is Fisher here, the Radio Roots Sleuth. We’re doing DNA day today with Paul Woodbury, he is a DNA genealogist, and Paul, you have to analyze an awful lot of tests don’t you?
Paul: I do, yeah. I probably do about 4 to 5 projects a week.
Fisher: And DNA results are so fascinating for what they do for families and typically it’s more about current living generations and once in a while you put some together that will go back and you’ll find a deceased birth parent from one side or the other.
But in your case, this was just an amazing case. I was excited to hear about it. You’ve actually identified the birth father and the birth mother of a woman who has since passed, who was adopted in 1916, using DNA.
Paul: Exactly. So after the decease of this adopted woman, her daughter Lauren wanted to explore her mother’s biological history. Her mother, Mary Stoddard, was adopted in 1916 in Alabama, and typically with adopted cases you can begin by looking for case files and documents that might reveal the parents.
But in this case the organization that handled Mary’s adoption was no longer existent and the records were destroyed. So really DNA was the only option that we had to really explore the biological parents of Mary Stoddard.
Fisher: And this time you not only did an autosomal, you were able to isolate the X chromosome. Now I don’t have a lot of knowledge of how this works, explain a little to us about X chromosomes and DNA tests, and by the way people, if you haven’t done one before, it’s a simply thing to do, you spit in a cup and you send it in. That’s all there is to it.
Paul: Very simple.
Fisher: You can analyze a lot of this and then if you need people like Paul at LegacyTree.com they can help you out.
Paul: So, the X chromosome is the female sex chromosome and it’s often confused with another type of DNA called ‘mitochondrial DNA.’
Paul: A lot of people confuse those two types of DNA because they do have a unique inheritance pattern that focuses on the female line. Now, mitochondrial DNA is located in a completely separate part of the cells and with your mitochondrial it’s your kind of powerhouses of the cells, and it’s passed along the direct maternal line. So it comes from your mother’s, mother’s mother….
Paul: The X chromosome meanwhile, is part of the nuclear DNA and it’s a sex chromosome. Males receive one X chromosome from their mother, and females receive one X chromosome from their mother and they also receive one from their father. So males, instead of receiving an X chromosome from their father, receive a Y-chromosome which is what makes them male.
Fisher: So how are you able to use this knowledge to actually isolate who a person might be if you’re trying to, say, identify a birth parent?
Paul: Okay. So the X chromosome, because it follows this pattern of, you know, males, will receive one X chromosome from their mother and females will receive one from their mother and one from their father. It means that we can limit the number of possible ancestors that shared X DNA may have come from.
So if you have an X DNA match, then that severely limits the possible candidates that could have contributed that common DNA. And that we’re interested in when we’re doing genealogy is we’re looking at that shared inheritance of genetic material.
So if you have shared inheritance of DNA on the X chromosome, then we can identify the possible candidates that may have contributed that DNA.
Fisher: So it acts as another elimination factor.
Paul: It does. And the X chromosome doesn’t require its own test, each of the DNA testing companies offers an autosomal of the DNA test and as part of that test they will test some markers on the X chromosome.
Fisher: I see. Okay, so what was the case here then? You had a woman born in 1916, sent out for adoption, then theoretically the birth parents disappear into time. So what did you have to do?
Paul: Exactly. So what we had to do, first we looked at the client’s genetic matchings. So Lauren, the daughter of Mary the adoptee, decided to take a DNA test and using her DNA test results we identified her closest matches based off the amount of DNA that they shared in common with her.
Using these genetic matches and then also being able to identify which genetic cousins were also related to each other. We were able to identify common ancestors of these genetic matches that had to have been in the ancestry of Lauren’s mother Mary Stoddard.
Fisher: So we call this ‘triangulation’ right? Where you identify the common ancestors of two people who were related to you, the assumption then is that, that ancestor is also your ancestor.
Paul: Exactly, and particularly when you’re able to see how much DNA you share in common with each of those individuals and how they relate to each other. That can be really helpful in recreating the trees of the ancestors beyond the brick wall of adoption.
Fisher: Now the problem is typically though trying to figure out ‘All right, we’ve got these cousins, but which side do they come from, the father’s side or the mother’s side?’ how’d you deal with that?
Paul: So what we did is, with Lauren’s test results we found that she had her closest match shared 240 centimorgans with her and that is the amount of DNA that you’d expect to observe between second cousins.
Paul: So we knew that, because we’re looking for Lauren’s great grandparents and for Mary’s grandparents, at the level of second cousins the common ancestors between that match and Lauren, would have been the parents of one of the parents of Mary. So they would have been the grandparents from one of the sides. We don’t know if it was paternal or maternal.
Paul: So Lauren’s closest genetic match was the great grandson of a man named Joseph Jones.
Paul: And he was the son of Levi Jones and Julia Rockwood, and Levi Jones and Julia Rockwood were the common ancestors between two of the client’s genetic matches. One was an estimated second cousin; one was an estimated third cousin. So based on that, we know that two of the grandparents of Mary were Joseph Jones and Laura Adams.
Paul: We next looked at some of her other matches and we determined that they were not related to the Jones or the Adams family, and so it was from a separate part of the client’s biological family tree and using those matches we were also able to follow a similar process to determine that one of Mary’s parents was a daughter or a son of Marian Smith and Alice Rogers.
Fisher: Got it.
Paul: Now Joseph Jones and Laura Adams and their family lived in Northern Alabama, in a town where Mary was supposedly born, and Marian Smith and Alice Rogers and their family also lived in the same town.
So our next step was to identify which couple were the paternal grandparents of Mary and which were the maternal grandparents of Mary.
Fisher: Right and this is a huge step because even if you couldn’t identify which of the children of these grandparents were the parents of your people, at least you had a line to work with right?
Paul: Yeah. So even within the first few hours of research we were able to identify each of the grandparents of this adoptee.
Fisher: Okay. Now you have to narrow it down among the children of these and figure out was it the father’s side or the mother’s side with these couples right?
Paul: Yeah, exactly. So in this case Joe Jones and Laura Adams had five children, two boys, Charles and Joseph were the two boys and then there were three daughters.
Paul: And we knew that Martha could not have been the mother of Mary because she was the ancestor of the client’s closest match. So if she was the mother then Lauren and her closest match would have shared a lot more DNA in common.
Fisher: Got it.
Paul: So we could eliminate Martha as a candidate to be Mary’s mother. We also suspected that it wasn’t going to be Lula because she would have been only about 13 years old at the time of Mary’s conception.
Fisher: She’s out. [Laughs]
Paul: She’s out. [Laughs] So that left us with three candidates, namely Charles, Joseph and Jenny. So either Charles or Joseph was the father of Mary, or Jenny was the mother of Mary.
Fisher: Got it.
Paul: So the other couple had ten children.
Fisher: Oh boy. Well, let’s not go through every one of them and how it worked out. But how do you figure than, the father’s side, the mother’s side, and who they were?
Paul: So we figured it out by transferring the client’s DNA test results to GEDmatch.com
Paul: It’s a third party site which allows analysis of the shared segment data, and through analysis of one of the client’s matches who shared a segment of DNA on the X chromosome, we were able to determine the identity of Mary’s parents.
So if Mary was the daughter of Lou Smith and Jenny Jones, then she could have inherited her X DNA from just three people, either she received it from Alice Rogers, Julia Rockwood, or Laura Adams. She couldn’t have inherited any of the DNA from Celesta Wood.
However, on the other side, if Mary was the daughter of Charles Jones and Betty Smith, then she could have inherited X DNA from Laura Adams, Celesta Wood or Alice Rogers.
Paul: Since we know that she inherited X DNA from Celeste Wood based off of her X-DNA match, we know that she had to have been the daughter of Charles Jones and Betty Smith.
Fisher: Wow! [Laughs] Does this stuff keep you awake at night?
Paul: [Laughs] Sometimes!
Fisher: [Laughs]We should mention by the way that we’ve been using pseudo names to protect the identity of the people involved. But what an incredible journey, not only for the clients, but for you to go through this. It’s mind wracking isn’t it?
Paul: Yeah, so it was a really exciting project to work on.
Fisher: All right, great stuff! Paul Woodbury with LegacyTree.com. He’s a DNA analyst. Paul, I appreciate it and I hope you’ll come on again sometime.
Paul: All right, thank you.
Fisher: And coming up next… we’re in the middle of another season of “Who Do You Think You Are?”
Whose on the show, what are some of the behind the scenes stories. We’re going to try and pry some of those out of Jenn Utley, head genealogist for the show. Coming up in five minutes on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show.
Segment 3 Episode 135 (24:50)
Host Scott Fisher with guest Jenn Utley
Fisher: And welcome back to Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show and ExtremeGenes.com
It is Fisher here, the Radio Roots Sleuth, and another season of “Who Do You Think You Are?” is going on right now on TLC.
And I have my good friend Jenn Utley from Ancestry.com on the line with me right now. She is one of the genealogists, well, you’re the head genealogist, not one of them, Jenn. You’re overseeing this entire operation. How’s the season going so far?
Jenn: Oh, it’s going really great so far. We’re pretty excited about it.
Fisher: Well, you’ve got a good list of people this season. Katey Sagal coming up this coming weekend, and of course, she’s in ‘Married with Children’ and has made her name doing that. And I bet you’ve got some incredible stuff to share with us about that episode.
Jenn: Right. So, Katey has always been known for her larger than life characters, like Peg Bundy and what she does on the Sons of Anarchy show, but it’s really interesting to see the contrast of what she’s like in real life, because she’s really a grounded down to earth kind of person. So, that makes a really interesting thing to see her and how she responds on “Who Do You Think You Are?” So, her episode that is coming up, it’s the very first episode that ever got me a little bit teary eyed before the first commercial break.
Fisher: Are you saying you’re a hard and crusty person? Come on now!
Jenn: No, I tend to get teary eyed on these things.
Jenn: But it’s never been that early in the program. It’s really interesting, because her mother died when Katey was really young, and so, there’s not a lot she knows about her mother and her mother’s family, so she really wanted to look into that. So, the very beginning of the episode was really just an investigation just one generation back, talking about her mother and that’s where I got a little teary eyed.
Fisher: And how far back did you manage to take it and where to?
Jenn: So, she’s going to start out in New York, talking about her mother, but eventually, she’s going to find herself in the middle of a tragic story in Pennsylvania, long before the Revolutionary War.
Fisher: Nice! Okay, Molly Ringwald is on the week after that, and everybody knows her, of course, started with ‘Facts of Life’ and went on to become a big star in movies, and probably the biggest name you have this season I would say.
Jenn: Ah, I think so, and I think that because it’s Molly Ringwald and she’s such an iconic figure, I think everyone wanted to fight to get to work on her geneaology.
Fisher: [Laughs] And did you win?
Jenn: Oh, I get to work on all the trees, so I don’t have to fight for anything.
Fisher: Oh, nice!
Fisher: Okay, well, what do we know about Molly Ringwald? She’ll be week after next, about the 24th.
Jenn: Yes. When we talk to Molly, there’s a family legend in her tree that her father is descended from Swedish nobility.
Jenn: So, when we saw the Sweden line, we wanted to jump right into that one. And the other thing that’s so great about Sweden is, the Swedes are such good record keepers.
Jenn: So, we use those parish records in Sweden to put together the tree and learn about the comings and goings, and once again, the stories of tragedy and resilience and these dangerous mining occupations these people had.
So, it’s really fun, because taking someone on a journey to a place is just as important as the research, because it’s all about having the celebrities take a walk where their ancestors walked, and usually, the celebrities don’t know where they’re going in advance.
All they know is, whether or not they need to bring their passport with them. So, sometimes, they end up in a place where they haven’t properly packed and they have to run out and buy a coat or boots or something.
Fisher: Wait a minute! You don’t even fill them in on what kind of clothes they should wear!? Or is that too much of a hint?
Jenn: It’s just all, it’s more fun when it’s a surprise, and they’re more engaged in the journey when they don’t know where they’re going.
Fisher: You know, I am 3/8 Swedish myself and I think about what you said about the records, and I think you know, it’s a darn good thing the Swedes are good with their records, because of the fact, you know… Sven Svensson, Yon Yonson…
Fisher: All those names that are all the same. If they didn’t have good records, it would be a real mess, wouldn’t it?
Jenn: Oh, it sure would.
Fisher: All right, now Lea Michele from ‘Glee’ is on this season. That’s going to be a great name, especially for younger viewers. Tell us a little about that episode
Jenn: Well, yeah, especially because she’s so used to playing a character, right?
Jenn: From her Broadway background and then on Glee, I’m really interested. This is the only episode I haven’t seen yet. So, I’m really interested to see how she responds when the story isn’t about her as a character, but she is one of the characters in the story.
Jenn: Her research is really amazing. We had to really call in some expert researchers on some highly specialized language to uncover the immigration story of her ancestors, which is fabulous. This is the one of all the six seasons that I have been the most excited to see, and so, it’s just killing me that I haven’t seen it yet.
Fisher: Now wait a minute! You’re talking about a very specialized language. Can you reveal what that is?
Jenn: I can’t. I can’t. You’re going to have to watch the show to see.
Fisher: Argh, you’re killing me!
Fisher: I’m thinking she had to have been from some northern Russian frontier or something.
Jenn: Yes. I learned so much just working on her tree.
Fisher: How far back did you manage to get it? You can tell us that much.
Jenn: Hers doesn’t go back super far. It’s more of an immigration story, somewhere only back, 100, 150 years, if you look at the tree as a whole.
Fisher: All right, and then the last one that I’m aware of is Chris Noth, right? From’Law & Order.’
Jenn: From ‘The Good Wife’.
Fisher: Yes, and that too, right?
Jenn: Yeah, and then he was ‘Mr. Big’ too, so I think he’s got a lot of fans out there. It was fun to see where his story was going to take him, because on The Good Wife, he’s a politician in Chicago. So, it’s really kind of fun when we get to start out his whole episode, we’re taking him to Chicago.
Fisher: Was he aware that he had a link there?
Jenn: You know, off the top of my head, I don’t recall. I think he knew that, but I don’t remember.
Fisher: Most of these people, they come in, really they don’t have much of a hint, do they? About their backgrounds or some of these stories.
Jenn: It’s really varied. Some people don’t know anything, for lots of reasons. A lot of them had parents who died when they were young and so there was no one to pass on the stories.
You’ll also be surprised how many come in and, like Bill Parkerson came in and he knew so much. Like he came in and he was like, “Here’re my Civil War ancestors, but see if you can help me out, because I’ve always wanted to know a Revolutionary War story.” So, it’s really a big spectrum about who knows what about their tree.
Fisher: Yeah, absolutely. All right, a little more about Chris Noth.
Jenn: Well, we’re in Chicago and his ancestors are going to find themselves in a devastating disaster, and then we’re going to take him to both Spain and Ireland, where we’re going to have an ancestor who fought in one of the fiercest battles of all time.
Fisher: Oh, boy! Well, that sounds intense. For most of these folks, it’s quite an impactful thing. I think people who are performers and actors are very in tune with their emotions, and when they learn these things, it’s pretty personal, isn’t it?
Jenn: It is, and I think they’re also quick to see how the lives of their ancestors parallel the experiences they’re having today.
Fisher: Yeah, I think you’re absolutely on board with that. It’s on TLC, Sunday nights. What are the times? Because I’ve got to keep them straight from coast to coast.
Jenn: So, I’m not sure exactly when it will be on based on your cable provider, but it’s usually 10, 9 central time.
Jenn: It’s usually on right after the show ‘Long Lost Family’.
Fisher: So, typically, you’ll see it say, in the Mountain Time zones, which would also be 9 o’clock and then 7 o’clock though on the West Coast. It’s kind of weird how that works out, isn’t it?
Jenn: Yeah. Like for my own personal provider, it’s been on at 8 o’clock and 10 o’clock on Sunday nights.
Fisher: And you had Aisha Tyler this year, Scott Foley. If you’ve missed it, you can go back and catch those right, on TLC, TLC.com?
Jenn: I think they put the full episodes on for a limited time after the run.
Fisher: All right, that is great stuff. Jennifer. You just keep going with this thing. How much longer do you think you can do this?
Jenn: I don’t know. I feel pretty fortunate. I think I’ve got one of the greatest jobs in the universe.
Fisher: [Laughs] I think you do, too. I’m very jealous. Get me a signed picture of Lea Michele, will you?
Jenn: Oh, that’ll be fun! I’ll see what I can do.
Fisher: [Laughs] Okay. Jennifer Utley from Ancestry.com and another great season of “Who Do You Think You Are?” Thanks Jennifer!
Jenn: You’re welcome.
Fisher: Hey, it’s exciting to see how interest in family history keeps growing and because of that, I’ve got a couple of shoutouts to do today. One is to Mark Jones and Tom Parker, they’re the guys that run NewsTalk 1490 and FM 107-7, in Vicksburg, Mississippi. They’ve just added Extreme Genes to their Sunday night lineup at 6 o’clock. We are thrilled and honored to be on your station, guys, so thank you so much.
We also want to give a shoutout to Victoria Holschevnikov in Dobrush, Belarus. I got an email from her the other day. She’s been listening to Extreme Genes via podcast for the last two years and just wanted to say, ‘hello.’ And Victoria, back at you! Thanks for listening to Extreme Genes, and we hope it’s helping you in Belarus.
And coming up next, Tom Perry, our Preservation Authority, talks about microphones and audio and how best to use it, especially with the reunion season coming up. In three minutes on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show!
Segment 4 Episode 135 (37:10)
Host Scott Fisher with guest Tom Perry
Fisher: It is preservation time at Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show and ExtremeGenes.com. Fisher here, the Radio Roots Sleuth with Tom Perry. He’s our Preservation Authority from TMCPlace.com. Hello, Tommy!
Fisher: And, last week were talking about transcribing old audio. Sometimes it’s very difficult to understand on its own, but if your spend some time playing it over and over again and trying to pick out the words and transcribing it, you can make it so it’s much easier for people to understand the tape when they hear it, because they can follow along with the words that you’ve copied.
Now, as a result of that conversation about audio, we’ve got a great email from Schenectady, New York, from Melanie Smith and she’s asking about microphones, Tom, and it’s been a while since we talked about them.
Tom: Back in the old days when I was back in college, I would hear all the times when I was working on different TV productions, “Oh, don’t worry about the audio. We’ll fix it in post.” And it’s like, don’t worry about it. We’ll fix it in post? Well, that’s what the TV engineers say.
Tom: So, I actually when to Full Sail University in Florida to learn more about audio, and found out it’s best to do it right in the first place than fixing the mix.
Fisher: Well, imagine a movie without the music behind it and how it would affect the mood and feel of the whole thing.
Tom: Oh, some of these B grade movies just drive me nuts when their audio’s bad. In fact, we actually did an experiment. We had a movie where we went in and tinkered with the sound track a little bit and had a focus group that we showed one movie to, had them review it. Showed the other movie too. The movies were exactly the same. The only thing that was different was the sound track. And the difference is rating it, one star, two stars, up to five stars. It was tremendous difference, and all we did was change a little bit of the background music and things like this, where the content never changed.
Tom: Almost everybody nowadays has an iPhone or some kind of a smartphone, and you can download some really good apps for a good recording, but one thing you’ve got to realize is, the microphone on your smartphones are made for you just talking right to them. It’s not really an Omni directional microphone. It’s not really that good.
So, it’s basically about your budget. We have people that call in and say, “Hey, you know, I want to do such and such, but I’ve got a limited budget.” Just remember, it’s better to do something now, then wait and maybe you’ll be gone tomorrow.
If you’re in a position where you’re doing a lot of this, you’re going to family reunions, you want to get some really good killer audio, there’s one microphone out there that’s really good, and I’ve mentioned these people before.
Go to VideoMaker.com, they have all kinds of good stuff. They have webinars that you can attend, but they have this one microphone that they review that’s really, really nice. If you want to go in and do an Amazon search, you just type in B, as in boy, 00TV90DX0, and it’s a great microphone.
It’s kind of pricey. It retails for about $600, but you can pick it up for under $400 on Amazon. And you think, ‘Wow! $400 is a lot of money’. Well, if you’re doing family reunions, you have a budget, and this isn’t something that’s a one time thing. You can set it up, different family members can check it out for when they’re doing their own family reunions on the other side.
It’s a good investment. It’s really, really nice. It’ll plug into an iPhone, it’ll plug into just about any kind of a recorder. If you have the old digital ones, even the ones that take the small cassettes, you can actually record all these things too. So, it’s a lot of money, but it’s a good investment if you’re really serious about doing family history and such. Like I say, do what you can do.
If all you have is your iPhone, go ahead and start doing your narration, because once you have it in your iPhone or in the cloud or you’ve burned it as an MP3, you can now go and take this and add it as an attachment in a PDF, or as we mentioned last week in Heritage Collectors, you can actually go and add these little audio parts to it, and then you’ve got this incredible, searchable document where you can find all these things.
So, it’s really important that, (if) you can’t understand grandpa; you want to make sure they can understand you when you’re doing your part.
Fisher: Boy! There’s so many assets now for putting together a multimedia display, essentially.
Tom: Oh, it is. That’s exactly what you’re doing. What we can do today, you couldn’t even conceive about it ten years ago. It’s just crazy!
Fisher: Right, and all the components are very important… the microphone, the video and the enhancement of the audio that you get.
Tom: Exactly. A lot of times, if you’re in a large city, you can go to a professional place and rent these microphones, you don’t even have to buy them.
Fisher: Boy! That’s great advice. All right, what are we talking about in the next segment?
Tom: I’m going to talk a little bit more about microphones, make sure you get the right kind of microphone for what your event is going to be.
Fisher: All right, coming up in three minutes on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show.
Segment 5 Episode 135 (44:20)
Host Scott Fisher with guest Tom Perry
Fisher: We are back for our final segment of Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show. It is preservation time. We’re talking with Tom Perry from TMCPlace.com. I am Fisher, your Radio Roots Sleuth, and, I am speaking to you through a microphone.
Fisher: And we’re talking microphones right now, because so many people who’re into family history, of course, like to do interviews with their loved ones, and sometimes it’s not appropriate… sometimes they get nervous, by the way, about being on a camera, and not only that, when you record them with video, sometimes the audio isn’t as good. So, a microphone right up in their face is often much better for your purposes.
Tom: Oh, absolutely! But what is your final objective? What are you going to do? Is this going to be one on one interviews? Is this going to be grandma and grandpa talking, being interviewed by you? Are you going to sit around the Thanksgiving table? All those require different kinds of microphones. What’re going to do?
Fisher: And I think if you’re sitting in a room that has a lot of bounce and echo to it, a video isn’t going to come out as well as far as the audio side of that is concerned.
Tom: Exactly! And we have said this so many times, and please engrain this into your head, whenever you’re using a camcorder, somebody needs to have headphones on that are hooked to that camcorder, because you will not notice the refrigerator, you will not notice the air conditioner coming on and off, you will not notice the cat meowing outside, because your ears are trained to tune into and to focus on what you want, and it will drive you nuts.
And you can do simple things like we’ve talked about before, get cushions off your couch and put it around on the walls, hang up blankets; throw them over the top of the blinds. You can do all kinds of things of what we call, ‘soften up the room’, so you’re not getting those echoes.
You won’t even know they’re happening unless you have your headphones on and you’re listening what’s coming from the camcorder.
Fisher: You know, oddly, a closet is not a bad place to do an interview.
Tom: Oh, yeah. Anything like that where you can shut off. Just make sure your closet isn’t right next to your heater or your air conditioner.
Fisher: Right. [Laughs]
Tom: Because that will cause problems. Another good reason to use the headphones is, if you’re using an external mic and you don’t have it clicked in just right, you might have just defeated your audio, because how it works is, when you plug the little apparatus in there, it turn off the mic that’s built onto your camera. And so, if you push it in far enough to disable that audio, but it’s not far enough to get the new audio, then you have nothing.
Fisher: That’s right. Even if you have video, if the audio is bad, then it doesn’t matter. It’s going to be very frustrating to watch it.
Tom: Absolutely true! I would rather have really good audio all by itself and no video, than video with really bad audio. So, make sure you get the right kind of microphones.
If you are sitting at a dinner table, the best kind of microphone is what they call a PZM, ‘pressure zone microphone’, because it basically turns your table into a giant microphone. So, no matter where somebody is sitting around the table, it’s going to pick them up.
And remember, you don’t have to buy all these microphones. If you’re in a major town, there’s got to be pro audio places that you can rent these microphones from. Even if you live out in the boonies, contact the big city, and microphones are really inexpensive to ship. Overnight shipping on a microphone that weighs under a pound isn’t going to be that expensive.
Go to VideoMaker.com, you can get some good tips there. Go to MixMagazine.com, you can get some good tips there, but make sure if you’re just doing an interview, you have a good lavalier mic.
If you’re doing a big group of people around a nice, hardwood table, use a PZM. There’s another microphone really quickly you can look into, that’s also talked about on VideoMaker.com. It’s called a Sennheiser which makes killer microphones. I love Sennheisers.
Fisher: Yes, yes, great brand.
Tom: It’s called a VR mic and it’s so small, you can actually put it on a drone. If you want to film some stuff on your family reunion, it’s a great way to get audio of everybody talking about what’s going on.
Fisher: All right, interesting stuff, Tom. I don’t think I’ve ever thought about it attached to a drone. [Laughs]
Tom: Oh, absolutely! It’s the best way to get good audio and video of your huge family reunion in the park.
Fisher: Thanks for coming on, Tom. Talk to you next week.
Tom: We’ll be there.
Fisher: Hey, that’s it for this week! Thanks for joining us. Hopefully you learned something that will help you with your family history research.
Thanks to Paul Woodbury from LegacyTree.com for coming on and talking about his recent DNA discovery on behalf of a client.
Also to Jenn Utley, head genealogist for “Who Do You Think You Are?” talking about what’s happening this season on the show. If you missed any of it, catch the podcast.
Talk to you again next week. Thanks for joining us! And remember, as far as everyone is knows, we’re a nice, normal family!
Fisher opens the show with David Allen Lambert, Chief Genealogist of the New England Historic Genealogical Society and AmericanAncestors.org. David shares a story about a man who solved his own missing person case, and was proven correct through… wait for it… DNA testing! David then gives details on the upcoming Ontario Genealogy Conference… what a list of speakers they’ll have in June. It’s well known that we all have Neanderthal DNA, but now we know what medical conditions we may also have inherited from them. David will tell you what you can now blame on the Neanderthals! Finally, an amazing data storage breakthrough has happened at the University of Southampton in England. You won’t believe how long they say they’ll be able to digitally preserve the recorded treasures of the world. David then shares a genealogical pet peeve (Fisher says he’s right!) and shares another NEHGS guest user free database and tip.
Fisher then visits (11:39) with Glen Meakem of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, founder of Forever, Inc., a company that may have solved our long term storage issues as individuals and genealogists, with security and data preserving upgrades as systems change. What does the model of a life insurance company have to do with all this? Glen will tell you and what his company is up to in this terrific segment.
Then, Extreme Genie Ann Allred of Centerville, Utah visits with Fisher about her long sought after discovery of her grandfather’s grave in Pennsylvania. But of course, that wasn’t the end of it… just a beginning. Talk about the ultimate “snowball” project. Ann’s story will inspire you.
Tom Perry, the Preservation Authority from TMCPlace.com, then joins the show and reveals some horror stories he heard about at his booth at the Roots Tech Family History Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah, two weeks ago. Naturally, Tom will tell you how to avoid similar issues and how to repair some of the damage!
That’s all this week on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show!
Transcript for Episode 127
Segment 1 Episode 127 (00:30)
Fisher: You have found us, America’s Family History Show, Extreme Genes and ExtremeGenes.com!
It is Fisher here, your Radio Roots Sleuth, your congenial host on the program where we shake your family tree and watch the nuts fall out.
Hope you’re having a great research week. I want to give a little shout out to my third cousin, Elaine, who just found me this past week. And we’ve been exchanging photographs and documents, and it’s always so exciting to connect with somebody who’s just far enough away where they have a lot of things that you don’t and vice-versa.
We have a great line-up of guests today; one is the founder of a company called, ‘Forever’. And this is a brand new thing that could very well change the way we view storage of our data for the long term, and I’m talking about multiple generations on end. Wait till you hear this model. Glen Meakem, the founder is going to have that for you in about eight or nine minutes.
And then, later in the show, we’re going to talk to a lady who finally through the use of some technology found the burial place of her grandfather, an overgrown cemetery in North Carolina, and what stemmed from this discovery, an astonishing story from Ann Allred, a Utah woman, coming up later in the show.
But right now, let’s head out to Boston and talk to David Allen Lambert, the Chief Genealogist for the New England Historic Genealogical Society and AmericanAncestors.org
David: Hey, Fish, Greetings from Beantown! How are things with you?
Fisher: Just awesome as always. You know, I’m kind of excited about this list of stuff we have to talk about today, because there’s a lot of news going on right now. Where do we start?
David: You know, sometimes we go to a place and we forget why we’re there. Well, Edgar Latulip has been reported missing for three decades. Apparently, this 21 year old, years ago was travelling on a bus to Niagara Falls, and because of an injury, ended up forgetting who he was.
David: So, all of a sudden, he has determined who he is. He had suffered a head injury, but now, police say the DNA results have confirmed that is who he is, and he will now be meeting up with his family for the first time in three decades.
Fisher: Now wait a minute! So, he’s in his fifties now and suddenly he remembered his own name?
Fisher: Oh, that’s nuts.
David: He remembered his true identity.
Fisher: And the DNA test comes in as always. And yes, it works for living people as well, doesn’t it?
David: It really does, you know. And on that Canadian slant maybe he’ll be one of the people that will want to go up to the Ontario Genealogical Society Conference, which is coming up in June. This is a big conference, June 3rd and they have some national speakers like, CeCe Moore and Relative Race, and our good friend, Judy Russell, many of them who have been on our show.
David: And it’s going to be great. Lots of technological brick walls and of course DNA, so who knows, maybe Edgar will go up there and find a little more in his family tree.
Fisher: Or give a little lecture about how it suddenly dawned on him who he was. Amazing!
David: You know, we’ve chatted before about the Neanderthal percentages that we all have. I found out about twenty-three Neanderthals that out of an average European, 2.7 percent of their DNA is Neanderthal, well, I’m 2.5.
Fisher: Right. So, you’re just a little below. I think I’m like 2.9, which explains my really furry eyebrows.
David: Well, that’s why we do radio, isn’t it? [Laughs]
Fisher: That’s right. [Laughs]
David: You know, it’s funny, I was reading an article, and I talked to you about it earlier this week, they’re saying that if you have a tendency to have more Neanderthal in your DNA structure, depression and also an addiction to nicotine.
David: Yeah. I didn’t know they had cigarettes back then, thousands of years ago. And apparently, you know, these depressed Neanderthals were smoking, chain smoking.
Fisher: No, David, I don’t think that’s what they were saying, I think they were just saying, if they were around today, they would have a tendency for nicotine, but it is a funny picture, isn’t it?
David: Yeah, it is the truth.
David: You know what? It’s funny, I don’t smoke, and maybe if my percentage was a little higher, maybe I would be the person that would be smoking.
Fisher: Who knows? Who knows? Fascinating find though!
David: It is. With DNA, it’s just amazing how more and more we’re finding out about our past. Do you know, we’re always thinking about how long our data is going to be around, and obviously, “Forever” is offering some wonderful solutions and a new technology, which isn’t commercially available yet, but the University in Southampton, England, has come up with a 5-dimensional data storage. Yes, 5-dimensional.
David: Yeah. It saves on it 360 terabytes of data, and can be safe for – get this – 13.8 billion years!
Fisher: And they’ve tested that, huh? [Laughs]
David: Well, I think they still have some in the works, and maybe they’ve got a time machine that they’ve tested it out, but apparently, this data storage has already been used to save the Magna Carta, King James Bible, Opticks, by Isaac Newton and the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights. So far, BluRay disks can store 128 gigabytes of data. A 5D disk can store 3000 times that amount. And again, it’s not commercially available, but just think of the possibilities of being able to store a complete library on one image.
Fisher: Wow! Insane!
David: It is. Now, when you are at the library, my tech tip or my pet peeve is that sometimes a genealogy program or when you’re writing up your genealogy and you’re looking at old English records, now, 1837 is when civil registration happened.
David: Well, they did have birth records.
Fisher: In England, yep.
David: If you’re looking at a 1712 date, chances are it’s not a birth date, it’s a baptism date. So, do put ‘bapt’ or ‘bpt’ or ‘baptized’ or whatever you’d like to put down, and don’t put it in as the birth date. The child probably was not born the same day, but countless genealogies have listed it as a birth date, and nowhere does it say in the original that the child was born that day.
Fisher: That’s a good pet peeve and I’m with you on that.
David: Just be a little bit more detail oriented and it’ll save frustration future generations down the line trying to figure out where you got that from. NEHGS, or of course, American Ancestors has a guest user database. And one of the data bases that we have, and I mean, this is specifically for Boston. It’s a Boston 1890 city directory, but I can’t stress to all of the listeners how important urban directories from 1890 are. With the loss of the 1890 Federal Census, urban city directories, our poll tax was or County tax was for the year 1889 – 1891 could successfully pin point where your family is, where we don’t have the 1890 for the majority of the United States.
Fisher: That’s right. That’s right. Good advice, David.
David: Talk to you next week.
Fisher: All right. And coming up next, we’re going to talk to Glen Meakem. He’s the founder of a company called, ‘Forever’, and he may just have the long term solution that all of us are looking for in family history to preserving your records. Coming up next in three minutes on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show.
Segment 2 Episode 127 (25:20)
Fisher: And, welcome back to Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show and ExtremeGenes.com
It is Fisher here, the Radio Roots Sleuth, and with all that’s going on with Roots Tech we’re starting to examine all kinds of new products and services that are available, that are going to make our lives as researchers and preservers so much easier, and I’m very excited to have on the line from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Glen Meakem, who is founder of a company called Forever.com
His Glen, how are you? Welcome to the show!
Glen: Hey Scott, what a pleasure to be here!
Fisher: This is exciting stuff because people who listen to this show regularly know that we’re always fretting over all the challenges that preservation brings to us, especially in the digital realm, and you may have come up with the ultimate solution… this Forever.com
Tell us about this whole thing because this looks like it may be the solution.
Glen: Basically, I’m a successful Internet entrepreneur; I’ve been at this for 25 years now.
Glen: I founded a company in the 90’s called “Free Markets” which was a very successful, and took it public and we did very well with it. But in more recent years… going back to the 90s early 90s, I’m a Gulf War Veteran, I got this before my whole internet career but I got back from the war and I spent some time that summer videotaping my then living grandparents, my wife and my grandparents.
We have six different grandparents who are still alive and we have incredible interviews and it was the best summer of 2012, and I’m trying to figure out “Okay, I’ve got these interviews,” and I had them on VHS when I first did them and I distributed them among all my family members but none of them know where they are anymore and of course I had the tapes and I was digitizing them and I was thinking “Really what I need is a permanent cloud storage solution.”
Glen: Where I can store these and know that not only myself in 10-20 years but my children and my grandchildren and my great grandchildren could all access these, find them even if there’s a break you know even if there’s some smucky grandchildren who don’t care about family history and family memory preservation, hey the great grandchildren will. I need to put them in the cloud in a way that I know that they’re going to be searchable and findable. So I went looking for a service that provided permanent cloud storage and sharing but it didn’t exist.
In fact, any major service including Google+ and Amazon cloud, and Dropbox and everybody else explicitly said “Don’t trust us, we don’t preserve your stuff long term, we can shut you off at any time.” And all you’ve got to do is go look at their terms of service to know that they explicitly renounce permanence.
Glen: So I realized there was no solution on the market. You know I’m an entrepreneur I start things, I try to solve problems for people and I said “This is a huge opportunity.” So I started the company and I was able to buy the URL, the domain Forever.com and it was the perfect name for what I wanted to do. So yeah, we are Forever.com, we are the world’s first and only permanent sharable cloud storage site. Basically it’s your permanent digital home. We give people full digital rights. They own everything they upload to the site. They have their own sub-domain within the Forever domain where they can keep all their stuff. Right now it’s just photos, within the next couple of weeks we’re releasing documents so you can save all your documents, PDF documents there.
Glen: And then we’ll be doing video and audio in the near future, I don’t have exact dates yet. But at this point we have thousands upon thousands of members already who are in fact… members of our service who are using Forever.com to store and share, and manage all their photos and soon documents and soon videos.
Fisher: This is very exciting because I’m thinking there’re also going to be changes in formats over time and I’m assuming that you’ve made some allowance for some of that, so that as things change just like you mentioned the old VHS, I mean people can’t even play them half the time anymore.
Fisher: There’s a way for you to deal with that upgrade to keep them relevant?
Glen: Right. For all of us you know, I’m in my young 50s so all of our age group know that “Okay you know the VHS to DVD is a great example of format change and of course before VHS tapes there were 8 millimeter video in your personal video camera.
Fisher: Super 8.
Glen: Yeah that was the Super 8 films. But even in the digital world we know that digital formats change. A great company was WordPerfect in its hey-day in the 80s of course it’s long gone. But if you’re like me and you wrote papers in college in WordPerfect, you can no longer access those files without very, very specialized software to kind of bring back to life old files.
Fisher: Right. Convert it.
Glen: Right. So the problem we’re all going to have is today’s digital photo formats, today’s digital video formats are not going to be viewable by tomorrow’s devices, and so here’s what we do. When you buy permanent storage with Forever, most of the money you pay for that permanent storage up front goes into the Forever guarantee fund. We’re not just an internet company, a software company.
Glen: We’re like a life insurance company. We’re like MetLife for your photos and your videos.
Fisher: Well, don’t cemeteries do that kind of thing as well?
Glen: Cemeteries do, do that kind of thing.
Fisher: A perpetual care fund.
Glen: Yeah. Yeah, so it’s a reserve fund, I like to think of it less as a cemetery fund and more like a long term life insurance fund.
Glen: We’re a privately owned company like a MetLife, in other words we’re private sector, and we’re not public sector like a university. So, like an insurance company most of the money goes into the Forever guarantee fund which is a restricted fund like an insurance reserve fund. In a diversified portfolio, stocks and bonds etc. It generates income every year that income is used to pay for the storage and also to pay for some bandwidth and to pay for the digital migration of the files, the maintenance of the files.
So over time part of our contractual commitment to our customers is that we will digitally migrate file formats so that your great grandchildren will really see all the stuff you’ve put together and all the stuff you saved.
Fisher: Down the line now what happens to your company? What happens is somebody just doesn’t want to maintain it anymore, how does it get taken care of?
Glen: Well, we all kinds of safeguards in place so with every single customer we have there’s a contract and that contract is available… just go to Forever.com and look at our terms of service and the investment policy for the Forever guarantee fund, it’s all publically available.
But with every single individual permanent member of our service there’s a contract with them and it says the money they’re putting into the Forever guarantee fund is restricted. It only can come out in these very small increments to pay for these specific storage and data migration and things like that. And we have thousands and thousands of these customers already, so basically the money that is in the guarantee fund just like if it was with MetLife, an insurance company. The money is restricted and it’s restricted by contract between the customers and the company, and if we go public, obviously I won’t live forever, I intend to be CEO of this company for at least 20 more years but there’ll come a point in time where you know there’s a management transition.
But the future management, no matter what, whether it’s public shareholders or private shareholders doesn’t matter whether we’re owned by another company eventually doesn’t matter. The new management will be restricted by the same set of contracts. You know at that point is will be millions of contracts with millions of customers and if any management ever tried to violate that there would be a massive class action lawsuit against them by all the customers.
Glen: So all these other storage companies have all these limitations and all the things they say they won’t do and they shirk responsibility, they shirk long term permanence. We embrace it all and we say yeah we’re taking on all those commitments. We do, and not only management today but future management would be taking on all those commitments and future management can’t walk away from those commitments because they’re contractual.
So, the secret to what we’re doing with permanent sharable storage is, yeah there’s a technology component but there’s also this financial component of the Forever guarantee fund and the way that’s managed like a life insurance company.
Glen: And then, in addition there’s this whole contractual infrastructure which again is precedence setting. No one’s ever had these commitments for cloud storage before, so we give a guarantee. We say to our customers “You become a permanent member forever, you put money in the Forever guarantee fund as a customer. We guarantee that we will preserve and maintain your photos and your material, your information for your life time, plus a hundred years.
But then it’s not just a hundred years, our goal is many, many generations beyond the hundred years.
Glen: We can’t legally guarantee past that 100 years because there are some laws in place, it starts to be not credible to offer a guarantee that’s out more than a 120-130 years.
Fisher: Yeah. [Laughs]
Glen: Our goal is many, many generations beyond and I keep mentioning life insurance for a reason. MetLife is a fabulous company, fabulous advertising.
Glen: And they were founded in 1864.
Glen: If you do a great job building an institution, when I say you, if one, if a person, if a manager, if a leader, if an entrepreneur does a great job building a great institution and it has that long term funding mechanism like a life insurance company, like a MetLife it can last hundreds and hundreds, and hundreds of years, that’s what my team and I are doing.
Fisher: That is an astonishing vision and very exciting in so many different levels because it is the problem. I was just thinking about all this, when I was a kid in the late 60’s and early 70’s the oldest pictures within my own family that I’d ever seen were 80 or 90 years old and we’re going to have descendents who are looking back at images of us 2,3, 4 hundred years from now potentially! Assuming we don’t blow ourselves all up by then.
Glen: Great, assuming that but you know, I am an optimist humanity makes a lot of mistakes we all know nobody’s perfect. [Laughs] We are all flawed individuals, right, and collectively we’re flawed but with God’s help we seem to muddle through and I think we’re going to muddle through just fine. I think that our descendents will be there in 2, 3, 4, 5 hundred years. I actually think that… you know I like to kid that there might be a colony on a moon of Saturn. The internet is going to be there too it will evolve and everything technologically.
Glen: But your memories in a physical book on a book shelf, it’s going to get lost, it’s going to get burned, it’s going to get flooded. Most of our family memories never get organized and are thrown out in dumpsters when… I’ve seen it in my own family.
Glen: There are Civil War pictures; I have an ancestor who’s an Irish immigrant who then served in the union army in the Civil War. My father when he was alive remembered photos of this man and those photos don’t exist. Where did those photos go? They were lost.
Fisher: Oh that kills you.
Glen: The only way it’s going to be there long term is if you put it in a long term cloud storage solution.
Fisher: Right. I see where you’re going with it.
Glen: And we’re the first in the world to do it.
Fisher: I love it. Glen Meakem, he’s the founder of Forever.com. You’ve got to look into it. Thanks for coming on Glen!
Glen: Thanks so much Scott! Have a great day.
Fisher: And, coming up next we’re going to talk to a Utah woman who finally made the discovery of her grandfather’s gravesite after many years of looking and wound up with a whole new project. Wait until you hear what happened to Ann Allred, coming up next in five minutes on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show.
Segment 3 Episode 127 (44:45)
Fisher: We are back! Extreme Genes America’s Family History Show. It is Fisher here, The Radio Roots Sleuth.
I’m always excited about finding your stories of discovery. The amazing things that happen on the journey to find your family history, and one of the people I found with an incredible story was at Roots Tech, Ann Allred. Ann where are you from?
Ann: I live in Centerville, Utah.
Fisher: All right, Centerville, Utah. You had a tale that went back to North Carolina, some time ago and all of a sudden it took on a life of its own. Get into this, how did it start and where did it go?
Ann: Back as a child, my mother and my aunt kept this family story alive, which taught me to continue and yearn and search for this sweet, great grandmother of mine. Her name is Marinda Ann Thomas, and her son Rudolph is my grandfather, and he was born and raised in Pink Hill, North Carolina. He died in 1967 and I was told that he was buried next to his mother in the Thomas family cemetery in Pink Hill.
Now fast forward, a lot of years we tried to figure out where that was, and in 2006 my sister-in-law made a trip to North Carolina. Through divine intervention she found this little cemetery which was in the middle of our family’s field, and it was an overgrown jungle. I mean I’m not exaggerating.
Fisher: Wow. Now wait a minute, when you say ‘Divine intervention’ what happened?
Ann: Well she asked all around town, she looked at the library and they said, “You know what, we’ve got to call so &so, he knows everything” and Mr so & so came and said, “Oh yeah, I know what you’re talking about” and he gave her some weird directions like over the river and through the woods, because this is how it is in the country and there are no directions to give for this.
Ann: So because of that he was able to find the place. But years later when I wanted to know exactly where it was, she said “I cannot tell you. I cannot retrace my steps.”
Ann: So now, fast forward again to 2014 Roots Tech and there was a booth called ‘Find-a-Grave’
Ann: And talked to the seller there and the gentleman says “We can find any headstone out there, provided someone took a picture of it” and I said alrighty, let’s put this to the test. I can’t find my grandfather’s headstone Rudolph Joseph Jefferson Humphrey. So I type him in, nothing, nothing comes up, and he said okay let’s put in someone else, so I said okay, he’s supposed to be buried next to his mother, Marinda Ann Thomas Humphrey, so I put in her name and voila! And included there was a picture of her headstone.
Ann: Thomas family cemetery
Ann: But this is what was cool this time Mr. Fisher, there were GPS coordinates connected to that site.
Fisher: Yeah, that would be helpful.
Ann: It was very helpful. So this was in February, I excitedly call my daughter, Marinda, who lived in Springfield, Virginia, and she said, “Okay we’ll do it mom” and so April 11th they drove to North Carolina. The next morning, using the GPS, they drive to this address. Well here they are on this country road surrounded by farms, and fields, and a few houses, and the GPS says “You have arrived”
Fisher: Uh, oh.
Ann: But where? You know. Here we are on this road. Fortunately my little grandson had to use the bathroom. They stopped the car, walked across the street and knocked on the door of a little brick house, and Mr. Ralph Cartel answers the door. Not only did he let my little grandson use the bathroom, but he was the man that they needed to talk to. He owns the land and knew exactly where that cemetery was, it was right in the middle of his cotton field!
Fisher: Oh that’s crazy [laughs]
Ann: So then he says “Follow me” he gets into his truck and just drives down the road. It was just a short distance, and sure enough they were close. They just didn’t think to go up to a field. They drove up a little lane, came to find out it was a cousin’s property, he had a pig farm, and then they walked across the newly planted cotton fields and there in the middle was a little tiny cemetery. It’s 85 feet by 60 feet, and it was indeed the Joseph Thomas Family Cemetery.
Now it was overgrown, so Mr. Cartel left them on their own, and my son-in-law climbed up and over, there a tinder block kind of a wall around it, he climbed up and over and ripped out the vines that had sewn the gate shut and tried to let the family in. Fortunately straight in, right in front of the gate, not too many feet, was an upright head stone of Marinda Ann Thomas Humphrey. The namesake of my daughter Marinda who’s there finding this, and they look around and she said “Mom, I could see headstones towards the back but the undergrowth was so thick I couldn’t even get back there.” and the children had on flip-flops and shorts and they were cut and bleeding from the thorns.
It was quite an ordeal. And after a little bit of time, I don’t know exactly how much time, they kind of just decided they were through but they couldn’t find grandpa. At the very last minute, my son-in-law Elijah, pulled out a wire which had been suggested he bring, and he started poking around in the ground and two or three pokes when all of a sudden ‘clink’
Fisher: Oh boy.
Ann: Digs, digs, digs, and under several inches of earth, there was the headstone of my grandfather Rudolph Humphrey. There he was, and Elijah continued to poke around and right next to him was his sister, my aunt Blanch, who I didn’t know was buried there. And as it turns out, there were five rows it turned out, of headstones and they were all children of Mary Susan Miller Thomas, who is the matriarch of this family. And the Find-a-Grave records had said there were 17 people buried there, or 17 headstones. All right. So this was in April. My daughter calls me and we are just rejoicing together as you can imagine, and I say “Okay I’m coming. I’ve got to see this place but, if you know me, I can’t just go and say, “There it is and yes it’s a mess.”
Ann: I knew I had to do something about it. So, although Ralph Cartel owns the land, he has a tenant who farms the land. And I got a hold of him and he said, “My cotton will be harvested mid-October and by mid-November, I will be planting winter wheat. So, there’s your window if you’re going to come in here.”
Ann: So, we had to wait, but in the meantime I read and studied about cemetery restoration, I talked to all kinds of people, I got in touch with an LDS ward there, called the Albertson Ward.
Ann: Alvin, spoke with the bishop and said, “Can you help me?” And they were so kind and gracious, this project never could have happened without them. And we were due to arrive October 29th. Saturday, November 1st we had a big work party organized, because I was bound and determined to clean this place up. Well, Mr. Gene, the man who I spoke with, called me a week earlier and said “There’s a big storm coming in, we cannot wait for you to come. If we wait we won’t get this equipment in there that we need to get these trees out of there.” And they were big trees that were pushing over these headstones.
Ann: Many of them were broke, cracked and tipped over. So the Saturday before I got there Gene and his work crew went in, they worked and worked I guess way longer than they had ever anticipated so when we arrived a few days later, it did of course not look like the pictures I had been given.
Ann: Because now the trees were out, I couldn’t believe it when I saw it, my initial thought was “Oh no! What have we done?” because it went from this neglected overgrown jungle to this barren lone and dreary world and I can never tell this story without feeling the emotion that I had as I stood there on the very ground that these people had walked on and I felt them, I felt them there with me and I sat down on the stumps and cried for about an hour and then my husband said “We came a long way and we’ve got to get to work.” Then we proceeded to clear the stumps and the underbrush and after we were done cleaning up… Find-a-Grave said there were 17 headstones… we found 37!
Fisher: Oh my gosh!
Ann: Those have all now been captured and Find-a-Grave now records it, there are 37 including my grandfather’s whose name was not even on the list.
Fisher: Ann Allred, what a great story! And what great service by the way, those people provided for you
Ann: Oh, Amen to that! Yes it could not have been done without their assistance .
Fisher: Thank you so much for sharing your story and I’m sure it’s going to inspire other people to think “Hmm I can do this too.”
Ann: That’s right!
Fisher: Thank you for coming on the show!
Ann: You’re welcome. Thank you!
Fisher: And, coming up next it’s Tom Perry from TMCPlace.com our Preservation Authority, with his stories of nightmares from Roots Tech, problems people came to him with at the booth, and he’ll tell you some of the solutions he gave. Coming up in three minutes on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show!
Segment 4 Episode 127
Host Scott Fisher with guest Tom Perry
Fisher: It’s Preservation time at Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show!
It is Fisher here with Tom Perry from TMCPlace.com our Preservation Authority, and Tom, I’m still just getting my voice back here after Roots Tech, trying to talk over the noise and fight a little bit of a cold, but wow what a time it was. What a party.
Tom: Oh yeah it was brutal. I was horse for a couple of days, which my kids loved because I couldn’t yell at them.
Fisher: [Laughs] All right, so let’s talk about some of the things we picked up there. A lot of people came to my booth wanting to go to your booth because they heard you on Extreme Genes, and one guy was talking about, “I’ve got everything taken care of for a long time because I listen to Tom and I put all my stuff, I digitized it on Taiyo Yuden disks” and I’m thinking, “Well, I know you say they’re the best ones out there” I guess the question is, how long will they last?
Tom: You know it’s really hard to say. I’m not a scientist by any stretch of imagination. I don’t play one on radio either, however, these disks, I’ve been using for twenty years as long they’ve been out, and no matter what you buy, you can buy Ferrari and you might get a lemon.
Tom: I have never had one come back. We tell all of our clients, “If one of your disks ever fails, bring it back, we’ll do the transfer for you at no cost. If it’s a duplicate we’ll make you a new duplicate” and knock on wood, I have never ever had one come back. They say they’re a hundred year disk, but I mean there’s no way to know. Like I say, we’ve had them for twenty years, we know they’re that good and from what I understand from the Geek Squad, it’s some kind of an algorithm that they can figure out by the quality of the dye, they do testing, like they do with cars, real hot conditions, cold conditions, different things and see how the dye itself breaks down. So it’s just like the thumb drives you tell people, all thumb drives aren’t created equal, all cars aren’t created equal, so like thumb drives have the better circuit tree, the better chipboards on it, they last longer.
Tom: So the dye that they use on a Taiyo Yuden disk is a higher quality dye and that’s why it costs a little bit more because it’s more expensive to make that kind of a dye, and that’s where I really get confused why everybody doesn’t use Taiyo Yuden disks. Because we’re not talking about one disk is thirty cents and one disk is five dollars, we’re talking about thirty cents to sixty cents.
Tom: And when you buy a whole bunch, it’s even a smaller deal. So the only thing I want to tell our listeners is, get Taiyo Yuden disks! There’s no reason not to use Taiyo Yuden disks, absolutely none. However, if you buying them online make sure you are buying them from a reputable dealer because some of the stinkers out there they know that everybody wants Taiyo Yuden. Taiyo Yuden won’t sell to them for reasons I don’t know, so they either get off brands or something like that and say, “Hey these are Taiyo Yudens.” So make sure if you buy Taiyo Yuden on the internet, make sure they come in a cake box and they usually have a label on them that say Taiyo Yuden or GVC by Taiyo Yuden.
Tom: And if it doesn’t say that, unless you totally trust the people, then it’s not a Taiyo Yuden disk. Sometimes a disk when we buy them, we buy them in such huge quantities they come to us shrink wrapped but we’re buying them from the main distributor so we know exactly what we’re getting. But if you’re buying ones or two’s in a hundred spindle, you need to make sure what you’re getting is really a Taiyo Yuden. You don’t want to be paying for a Ferrari and getting a Yugo.
Fisher: [Laughs] Yeah that makes a lot of sense.
Tom: So another thing you want to do, there’s a couple of different levels of Taiyo Yuden, there’s the econo Taiyo Yuden, and the regular Taiyo Yuden. I use both. I’ve never had a problem with them. One thing that I would suggest if you have a lot of kids that are going to be playing with your disks, get the disks that have what we call a white flood on the top of it.
So when you buy the disk it’s actually white instead of being silver. The silver ones have a coating on them as well, but that little bit of extra white on the top side makes them a little bit less acceptable to have damage to them plus if they do start getting lightly scratched you will see it a lot quicker because the white paint will kind of be scratched or dirty versus trying to see it on a silver one. Because like I’ve said, and most people don’t know this, when we talk to people they go “Oh I didn’t know that” when you’re looking at a disk, the label side is where your data is. It reads it from the bottom but that’s where your data is, and in the next segment I’ll kind of go do a little bit more information on that and get back to some more Roots Tech information.
Fisher: All right so there’s so much to talk about that we took away from the conference. We’ll get back to it in three minutes on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show.
Segment 5 Episode 127
Host Scott Fisher with guest Tom Perry
Fisher: All right… back at it, Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show.
It is Fisher here, The Radio Roots Sleuth, with Tom Perry from TMCPlace.com He is our Preservation Authority, and we’re talking about Roots Tech, we’ve already talked about disks and one of the things I’ve noticed Tom, at Roots Tech now for the last several years is that more and more people are bringing things to Roots Tech, either to be scanned or in your case to be digitized and for other treatments that they might receive like with photographs. There was a photograph I saw that was entirely yellow. There’s a product out there, one click fixed it.
Tom: Oh yeah, absolutely.
Fisher: It was an eighty year old picture. It was just absolutely astonishing. So people are bringing their things in to have work done on them, and I know you were telling me off air that you were getting horror stories being brought to your booth.
Tom: It’s really sad, and this is what I want to reiterate, my main goal is to help you get your stuff transferred. If you want to do it yourself that’s awesome, if you want to use a local company that’s great, if you want to send stuff to us that’s fine as well, you just want to be really, really careful and make sure you interview the people that are going to be doing your transfers, just like you would interview somebody if you were hiring to come work in your home.
Fisher: That’s right.
Tom: You don’t just say hey this is cool, yeah build me a new house or change my bathroom, you want to get references. You have to be really, really careful. A lot of people are really dropping their prices on transfers, and it’s like the old adjective, “If it’s too good to be true, it’s too good to be true.” You need to understand that a lot of these ‘Johnny come latelys’ they’re doing transfers now. Are doing what we call a ‘high speed transfer’ so whether it’s your video tapes, your audio cassettes whatever they transferring, they not doing it in real time, they doing it in high speed. And they do it in high speed to a computer, because we’ve talked before on the show, computers are not made to turn stuff from analogue into digital.
Fisher: Yes that’s right.
Tom: They’re made to take digital content and rearrange it, do magic with it. So what’s happening is if you’ve ever, ever in your life used your computer and you’re moving your mouse and it stops moving for a second, I don’t think anybody has not had that happen.
Tom: So you understand that this tape is going through so fast, if that cursor freezes for even a second, you could lose a minute, two minutes of your video and you’ll never know until you look at it, and you might think “Oh I don’t have a video 8 camcorder anymore, this must be a glitch in my tape. No it’s not a glitch in your tape it’s a glitch in the people that were transferring it.
We had some people that brought us weddings from back in the sixties and seventies that are on VHS that got rejected by the big box stores they said something was wrong with it. We had one customer that brought us in a VHSC that half the tape was in a zip-lock bag that came back from one of the big box stores that said “Your tape is blank.” Well your tape is in a zip-lock bag, what do you mean it’s blank? In other words, they messed up. They have no idea how to fix a VHSC to go and try it again.
So they dropped that off, we’re going to re-spool that on to another one and try to transfer it for him. But these big box stores, you’ve got to realize that it’s an assembly line and they’re only charging you these cheap prices so they’ve got to figure out what their cost is. Hey we’re not going to look at this for more than a minute and if something doesn’t play, we’re going to reject it because we’re not going to charge you because there’s nothing on the tape.
Fisher: And you got high school kids running it.
Tom: Exactly. Like I heard somebody joke about somebody in the meat department, he’s kind of slow in the meat department today so they had him working in the photo place.
Fisher: [Laughs] Right, and that’s a problem
Tom: How important are your personal things? And I tell people you need to ask the right questions; is this done high speed? Do you go directly from tape to disk? Do you go from tape to computer to disk? How exactly do you do this? And if they don’t answer right, you need to walk away and find somebody else, whether it’s local, whether you do it yourself, don’t go to people that do high speed. If somebody is charging fifteen dollars to do two hours of VHS tape and you figure they’re paying some kid minimum wage, seven fifty an hour and they doing it in real time, that tape is going to cost them exactly what they charging you, not counting the disk, not counting making profit or anything, so if it’s too good to be true on the price, I guarantee you it’s too good to be true.
Fisher: All right, great stuff as always Tom. We will continue all of this about Roots Tech next week.
Tom: Sounds good!
Fisher: Wow! We covered a lot of ground today. Thanks once again to Forever founder, Glen Meakem, talking about his company that might be the storage solution that we’ve been looking for, for years on end.
Also to Ann Allred from Centerville, Utah, for sharing her cemetery restoration story and the story about how she discovered her ancestors there. Catch the podcast if you’ve missed it, at iTunes and iHeartRadios Talk Channel and ExtremeGenes.com. Talk to you next week and remember, as far as everyone, we’re a nice normal family!
Dr. Kasia Bryc joins us on the show this weekend and in the upcoming podcast talking about research from 23andme.com into how couples are attracted to each other? Differences or similarities? Is there a DNA cause involved? Dr. Bryc will fill you in. Here’s the complete article on the topic:
With dozens of sets of remains of what are believed to be Roman gladiators having been found, aren’t we lucky to have a tool like DNA these days to tell us something about them! Here’s the story from WalesOnline.co.uk!
Fisher opens the show with David Allen Lambert, Chief Genealogist of the New England Historic Genealogical Society and AmericanAncestors.org. They talk about the news of the discovery of the very spot in Salem, Massachusetts where the accused witches were executed in the 17th Century. Hear where you can see it! David then explains how the 5,300 year old Ice Man continues to make headlines. He apparently left a prehistoric GPS of his movements. Hear how scientists can now tell where he traveled in his life. And, the guys then talk about how the last survivor of the San Francisco Earthquake of 1906 has passed. Catch his survival story.
Next, Fisher talks with guest Brent Ashworth, a Provo, Utah man who collects items related to his family history. He offers great advice on how you might do the same. He also shares how he, as a Mayflower descendant, was excited to obtain one of the two Bibles carried by Gov. William Bradford to the New World on the Mayflower! (Are you kidding me?!)
(25:16) Then, Fisher visits with Ken Krogue, founder of InsideSales.com, who will be a keynote speaker during the Innovator Summit on the first day of the Roots Tech Family History Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah on February 3. Ken offers sound advice on helping seniors get comfortable with technology to advance your family history efforts.
In the final segments, Tom Perry from TMCPlace.com, the Preservation Authority, returns with thoughts on how to get the most out of the Innovator Summit, whether you’re there in person or following the events on line.
It’s all this week on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show!
Transcript for Episode 122
Host Scott Fisher with guest David Allen Lambert
Segment 1 Episode 122
Fisher: Hello Genies! And welcome to another spine tingling episode Extreme Genes, Family History Radio, America’s Family History Show.
I am Fisher, the Radio Roots Sleuth, on the program where we shake your family tree and watch the nuts fall out. And we are in a countdown right now to Roots Tech, which is the largest family history convention in the world. It’s coming up in Salt Lake City, Utah, on February 3rd through 6th. We are going to be there and it’s going to be so much fun!
In fact, one of my guests today that we’re going to be talking to later in the show is a keynote speaker at the Innovative Summit, which is the first day, Wednesday February 3rd, talking about how to get your seniors comfortable with dealing with Facebook and other digital materials so that they can further your family history experience. So it’s going to be very valuable to hear what Ken Krogue has to say later in the show.
Earlier than that in about 8- 10 minutes we’re going to be talking to Brent Ashworth, he lives in Provo, Utah, and he happens to have the Bible of Governor William Bradford, of the Pilgrims. Yes, it was brought across on the Mayflower! If you’re a descendent of Bradford’s as many people are, or you’re a descendent of any of the Mayflower people, you’re going to want to hear what Brent Ashworth has to say about how he obtained it and what it means to him. Also, he talks about how to collect your ancestors, which is a great way to go.
But right now let’s head out to Boston, and talk to my good friend the Chief Genealogist of the New England Historic Genealogical Society, David Allen Lambert, of course you’ve got AmericanAncestors.org as well. How are things in Beantown, David?
David: Well we’ve got little bit of snow and winter’s here but Beantown is doing pretty well. How are things out your way?
Fisher: All right. Looking good, and you know we’ve got so much going on right now, we’ve got our cruise coming up in September, our family history cruise. It’s going to be out of Boston, going to Nova Scotia, and of course we’re going to be lecturing on there, talking about the history of the area, the Revolution, the patriots, the loyalists, you descend from both as I recall right?
David: Oh, I came on both sides of the battlefield that’s for sure. [Laughs]
Fisher: [Laughs] It’s going to be a lot of fun. Find out more about this of course on our Facebook page or ExtremeGenes.com, what kind of stories do you have to us for family histoire news for today, my friend?
David: Well, nearly 325 years ago the hysteria of the witch trial gripped Massachusetts, in the New England area and it took that long for them to finally pinpoint where Gallows Hill is.
David: Yeah! Some exciting news out of Salem, there’s a project called ‘The Gallows Hill Project’ and seven scholars spent the past five years using maps, and research and ground penetrating radar and over a thousand documents where the execution of the Salem witches occurred, and they now know where it is. Proctors Ledge is conveniently located near a Walgreens.
David: So if you need to get film when you’re going to go photograph your selfie at Gallows Hill you can go around the corner.
David: The thing that identified it was a crevasse essentially in the glacial rock formation that basically is where they buried the witchcraft victims and it’s hard to know what lies in the ground but I’m sure archaeologists are going to tear into it as soon as the ground isn’t frozen up here, to see what might be there.
David: So that’s exciting news.
Fisher: Oh it is. You know, so many people have ties to the Salem Witch trials. I run into them all the time, “Can we go there? What’s there to see?” You have ties to it, my wife has ties to it, I have ties to it, and I’m sure many, many people listening right now do, whether they know it or not.
David: You know, I have ancestors on both sides, I have accusers, I have an accused and I also have an ancestor whose brother was a judge.
David: And one of the people at RootsTech, one of the keynotes, Doris Kearns Goodwin, I did her genealogy a couple of years ago and sure enough, she has two people including my ancestor Mary Bradbury who was accused of being a witch as well as Roger Toothaker, who unfortunately died in prison after being accused of being a witch. So that’s exciting and I’m wondering when she is going to have some curiosity to go up to Salem to see the site as well.
Fisher: That’s going to be fun.
David: You know this time of the year people get the stomach bug and they’re not feeling quite well, so it’s interesting to know how long lasting that will be. I talked about doing diaries but the iceman who dates back to 5,300 years ago, found back in the early 2000’s they’ve dissected his stomach and done the genealogy, if you will…
Fisher: Oh boy.
David: … of the stomach bug by the parasites that are in his stomach and they can trace human migration based upon this.
Fisher: [Laughs] So they know where he lived and where he moved.
David: Exactly. They don’t have his mailing address yet.
David: [Laughs] But it’s interesting to think what you carry with you. If you become an archaeological treasure some day it might tell your descendents what you had for lunch or what ails you. It’s really fascinating to know that this man had so many problems with him; he had gum disease, heart disease, gall bladder stones, lime disease and now including parasites. But because he was frozen they’re using the stomach bug to trace ancient human migration.
David: Shocking news is, we lost somebody from a time that you wouldn’t even think would be anybody. An infant by the name of Bill Del Monte, 110 years ago as an infant, escaped with his family on a buckboard wagon, out of the burning streets of San Francisco, has just died. 110 years old Bill is the last survivor of the great San Francisco earthquake of 1906.
Fisher: That is just crazy. My grandfather was in that as well, he was on the Oakland side of things and then went into San Francisco to help with the recovery efforts, and it’s just amazing to think “Wait a minute there was a guy just of a week ago who was still living from that.” Incredible!
David: It really is amazing. Well I can tell you about some genealogy open source software you might be interested in. Recently I read on OpenSource.com a great little piece on three source genealogy tools for mapping your family tree. Essentially with open source you can manipulate the software and make it work for you in other than just a regular package software piece.
There are three of them available, one of them is called ‘HuMo-gen’, another one is called ‘Gramps’ and the third one is called ‘PHP Ged View and Webtrees’ and I’ll have all these hyperlinks available on the Facebook page for Extreme Genes, so check that out.
And of course talking about technology AmericanAncestors again is pushing your New Year’s resolution by helping you do genealogy, so try out our Massachusetts vital records, New Hampshire vital records and Vermont vital record databases I spoke about last week. All you have to simply do is go to AmericanAncestors.org become a guest user and check it out.
Fisher: All right David, take care, thanks for coming on! Coming up next; we’re going to talk to a man who somehow obtained the Bible of Governor William Bradford of the Mayflower. We’ll talk about his adventure in obtaining it, and how he collects his family history.
We’ll talk to Brent Ashworth, from Provo, Utah, coming up next in three minutes on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show.
Segment 2 Episode 122
Host Scott Fisher with guest Brent Ashworth
Fisher: And welcome back to Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show and ExtremeGenes.com. It is Fisher here, the Radio Roots Sleuth.
Always excited to meet my guests and introduce them to you, and this is a man I became acquainted with several years ago, who is a world class collector, and many of the things that he collects has to do, not only with his own family but with many others, Brent Ashworth is on the line with me from Provo, Utah right now.
Hi Brent! How are you? Welcome to the show.
Brent: How you doing Scott?
Fisher: Just great, and I’m excited to hear some of the things you’ve got because I’ve never ever really gotten totally under the hood with everything that you have, especially the things relating to families. Now one of the things I know you’re into, your family has a lot of Boy Scouts in them, right? All of them were Eagle Scouts. Your grandfather, your father, yourself, your kids, tell us about that collection.
Brent: My grandfather, Paul Ashworth, was actually too old to be a scout, but he really wanted to be on a scout member committee about scouting in 1913, and received a Silver Beaver Award in 1947. So he was an early scouter, but more a leader. My father was a first Boy Scout in his troop to receive an Eagle. I received mine when I was thirteen, it was when John F. Kennedy was president back in 1962, and all seven of my sons are Eagle Scouts. We actually opened a Boy Scout museum in 2000. We named it after the oldest living Boy Scout who was living in Arizona at the time and was on the late show with David Letterman, wearing his Scout uniform.
Fisher: How old?
Brent: We opened it on his 102nd birthday.
Fisher: [Laughs] So what do you have in this Boy Scout collection?
Brent: Well, we’ve got thousands of things actually. I probably have enough material to open a couple of Boy Scout museums. I’ve inherited some things from family such as the first US Jamboree. My grandfather had a set of the newspapers on the issue back in 1937.
I’ve got the journal of the very first Scout Master in Utah. The diary starts in the 1920s and runs up through 1935 when the first Boy Scout jamboree in the United States was to be held at the mall in Washington D.C.
Brent: One of the neat things about it is, one of the pages he put a sticker from the jamboree that was never held. So it’s kind of a rare piece.
Fisher: Oh, fun [laughs].
Brent: They held it two years later in 1937 in the mall. I have a book signed by several of the local leaders that went back to that jamboree and took troops and so on with them.
Fisher: So it has particular meaning to you because of the Boy Scout connection that runs through how many generations, four right?
Brent: That’s right, all our family history.
Fisher: Or is it five at this point? Your kids are having kids.
Brent: We don’t have an Eagle Scout grandson yet, but he is fourteen and I think he is on his way.
Fisher: Pretty darn close. Now you have a Bible, a couple of Bibles in your collection that I’m aware of. One in particular that I think could be of interest to many people listening because he has millions of descendants in this country and that’s William Bradford, the Governor amongst the Pilgrims at Plymouth. You have the Bible that he brought across the ocean on the Mayflower.
Brent: Well, I have one of two, there’s one in Pilgrim Hall, which is his Geneva Bible, and I have his Calvin Bible which he brought. I have an ancestor that came over on the Mayflower too, John Oldham. I’ve always been interested in the Mayflower so this Bible came up for sale, oh, it’s been fifteen or twenty years ago at the Christie’s Auction House in New York.
Brent: In fact, it was a frontispiece of their catalogue, and I didn’t think I stood a chance at getting it. The history of this book pretty ironclad because, Bradford actually listed the books he brought over in his will which we still have.
Brent: And that was published in Calvin on the Gospel as it was called, it’s a New Testament. Calvin and the notes are interspersed with the New Testament. I know the history of this book too. It was printed in Leiden, Holland, and that’s where they were, the Separatists, you know, the Pilgrims.
Fisher: Right. Are his family names in there?
Brent: No, he signed the book on the title page and then he signed it partly on the board. Back then the boards of the book were wooden, you know, they were boards.
Fisher: Right, yeah.
Brent: And so when I first got it, I got it at this auction, I was really shocked. It had been on display I found out at the New York Public Library in 1920. They did a big 300th anniversary for the landing of the Pilgrims in 1620 at New York Public Library in 1920.
Brent: Amongst the items that they had on display that they knew they could document was this New Testament that belonged to Bradford. The book itself has a history that we know a little beyond Bradford. One of the Separatists that was there, a friend of his, Jessie DeForest, actually owned this book originally. It was published there in Leiden, probably at a Pilgrim craft by some Dutch. It was published in 1602 and has Leiden on it, and it was all in Dutch and Jessie DeForest was going to bring it over but he was on another boat.
Fisher: The Speedwell.
Brent: The Speedwell that didn’t speed so well, you know.
Fisher: Right [laughs]
Brent: They had a leak back there.
Fisher: Yeah it leaked well [laughs]
Brent: Yeah [laughs] It leaked well, and they didn’t have a lot of places for these folks aboard the Mayflower, they tried to take a few, but can you imagine, the Mayflower ended up with 102 people on board crammed on a deck. The ship was shorter in length than my home.
Fisher: Right, yeah, I mean it’s not the Marriott!
Brent: No, it was not [laughs]
Fisher: What did that feel like for you the first time you held it?
Brent: Well, I was thrilled. I was just ecstatic when I got the thing. It was expensive, I didn’t think it would make it but it did.
Fisher: Your wife okay with that? [Laughs]
Brent: She’s been a great support over the years. She really has. She allowed me to do this, and it’s been a lot of fun. It’s something we kind of worked on together over the years, but she’s been a great sport.
Fisher: It kind of brings up a question I think a lot of people go through when they gather; I like to collect my family as well. I have a family Bible from the Fishers in the 1840s and I have a bunch of the daguerreotypes.
Obviously, most are not going to come across some of the things that you’ve talked about, but the Boy Scout thing, for instance, I think is typical for a family history interest. Do you have some advice for people who would like to collect their family in particular or around their family interest?
Brent: Well, I think there have been a lot of opportunities that have come up. I had just one recent example, family that you see once in a while, unfortunately mostly at funerals, you know.
Brent: They wrote me an email a few months ago about a photo album that she’d seen that had come up for sale, and I don’t know if it was on eBay or where it was, I can’t remember exactly, and it had some photos that we didn’t know existed of our mutual great grandfather and great grandmother that we’d never seen before.
Brent: And this photo album was in perfect condition. The guy wanted a small amount for it, really wasn’t that expensive, and she said it to me and I immediately wrote on it and was able to pick it up. In fact, I haven’t shown it to her yet. I told her I’d make copies and I will for the rest of the family, but there were four or five photos in there of our great grandparents that we’ve never seen. They were young, and my great grandmother, there was even one before she was married, you know, when she was a young girl in her teens.
You know its fabulous buying, occasionally you will get tips from a relative or if you’re just on top of it yourself, you’ll see things that might have something to do with your own family.
Unfortunately, most of my family’s papers were, at least on the Ashworth side, were lost.
I located one little group that belong to another family now. They gave me permission to copy them, but because they are owned by a bunch of people that couldn’t agree on themselves to sell it.
Fisher: Right, yes.
Brent: At least I got the copies. On my mother’s side, it’s really my grandmother that I need to blame for my collecting because she saved just about everything. This is my mother’s mother, we called her Nana.
Brent: She died a year after I was born so I’ve got a couple of pictures holding her, but I don’t remember her, but I feel like I know her because she was such a collector. She would save everything, a little invitation to a dance or this or that, and I guess that’s why the garage that we have is so full of materials. When she passed away in 1950, my grandfather, I remember him saying one day when I was a kid that he sure wished he could pull his car in the garage.
Fisher: [Laughs] Because she had that much stuff.
Brent: He didn’t have the heart to go through her things, and when he passed away in 1956, the family, the six children, including my mother who is the youngest, took all the stuff out of the garage and built a big fire outside and just started tossing everything in, and I was only seven years old at the time, and I remember thinking how crazy this is, because family history and all kinds of things are going up in flames. I can still remember my grandpa’s false teeth in the fire. That was weird. I asked my mother years later, I said, “Did you guys save anything of grandma’s?” And she says, “Yeah, there was one box.” It was up in the rafters of the garage, so when we move the next year, I’ll have your father go out and get it.” Then I pestered her until she let me go through it, and I found all kinds of family history.
Fisher: What do you do with it all? And what are you going to do with it all?
Brent: Well, good question. That’s the $64,000 question, we used to call it. You know, I’ve donated a lot of things to my church. There’s been 130,000 items I took up on two missions at our church archives and only kept about 33,000 or something.
I have them all together, including 9,000 documents. I’ve tried to give them to other libraries, university libraries here. As far as the core collection, we’re trying to find a home for it, honestly. I’d rather not have to go back to auctions and things, because I’ve got children that we’ve allowed to pick out favorite items.
Brent: But the collection is gigantic. We’ve over half a million items now in the collection.
Fisher: Oh my goodness!
Brent: Many of them are books. There’s 300,000 books alone in the collection.
Brent: So I’ve been trying to give away a lot of books and things. They don’t do much use in storage you know.
Brent: So, we’ve really been looking for a location where it could be put to better use, and we’ve been donating to big libraries too. So we’re looking for an eventual home for it, it may have to eventually be sold off. I certainly don’t want it ending up in a fire or something.
Fisher: No. no, you don’t want it behind somebody’s home with grandpa’s false teeth! [Laughs]
Brent: Exactly! Yeah. So we’re trying to find a better location than that. It’s been a labor of love over the years. We’ve learned a lot about our family as a result of it.
Fisher: Brent Ashworth, thank you so much for your time. What an amazing story! What a journey and what a collection! How lucky are you to be able to have some of these things in your lifetime.
Brent: Well, I feel really blessed, you bet! Thank you.
Fisher: Absolutely! Thanks for coming on with us.
Brent: You bet, anytime.
Fisher: And coming up next, we’re going to talk to a man who’s an expert at helping you get your seniors comfortable with social media and other communication to further your family history.
He’s going to be a keynote speaker at Roots Tech. We’ll talk to him in five minutes on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show.
Segment 3 Episode 122
Host Scott Fisher with guest Ken Krogue
Fisher: And welcome back to America’s Family History Show, Extreme Genes and ExtremeGenes.com
It is Fisher here, your Radio Roots Sleuth, very excited to be in the countdown, the final weeks until Roots Tech in Salt Lake City, Utah. It is the largest Family History Convention in America, and in fact, you’re going to be able watch it online or listen online.
There’s so much to follow there, and I’ll be one of the bloggers keeping you in tune with what’s happening, and I’m very excited right now to have Ken Krogue on the line with me right now. He’s going to be one of the keynote speakers there. Now, which day are you speaking, Ken?
Ken: You know, I’m going to be there the first morning, Wednesday morning, talking more to the business side of the crowd, those who are going to be digipeaters and so on, but I’m really excited, and it’s going to be a lot of fun.
Fisher: It’s going to be a great time and I know you’ve been to Roots Tech before because you are a family history nut even though you are a tech guy, in fact, you’ve written many pieces for Forbes magazine and I love your blog! I read about, for instance, how you mom passed this past year and all the things that she had taught you through the years, and the way you laid it out was very beautifully done.
Ken: Well thank you. Yes she’s my favorite cheerleader. [Laughs]
Fisher: Exactly! Well, let’s talk a little about this, because I think technology, especially for older people, is a very scary thing. In fact, I see a lot of people who, when I bring up the subject of just downloading an app for instance, they step back, “Oh no! I don’t do those kinds of things.”
So, I’ll often say, ‘You know if you really want to do this and you really want to be in tune with your kids, your grandkids, you need to learn how to do it, and stop being afraid and step up and learn!’ So, you have some great tips here on how to get involved in the technical side, to the social media side of advancing people’s family history. How do we get people comfortable with technology, just from the basics, Ken?
Ken: You know that’s one of my favorite topics, Scott. I love to start family history social media groups, and I’ll tell you what, those more senior folks who struggle a little bit, they’ve got the wisdom, they just don’t have the knowledge on the social site.
Well, the best place to do it is, go grab the kids and the grandkids and have them come over, shut the door and say, “Hey, I need some coaching here!” And I would say, start with Facebook. Get me on, help me try it and help me connect, first with my family and them help me reconnect with some of my old friends, and they just go to town.
I have found it never takes more than about an hour to at least get them started and feeling good about it, and here’s the key to all of social media in the family, and that is, have some fun content in the middle that they can use.
So, find some of the older pictures, have them pasted on there and then they can go out and start sharing that with family and friends, and what I’ve found is, the best way to build rapport is, find a picture with the other person you want to reconnect with in the picture with you.
What a fun way to get started and get people going! So, it’s family history but start with the current stuff, then work back, and that’s how I always get started.
Fisher: Right. Yeah, or you do it side by side. ‘Here’s how we were and here’s how we are’, of course, that might be too frightening for some of us, right? [Laughs]
Ken: Yeah, that’s true. [Laughs] I caught Chest of Drawer’s disease and it shows too much where my chest fell to my drawers!
Fisher: Yeah. [Laughs]
Ken: So, I don’t like the side by side.
Fisher: I understand that, yeah. I was listening to a blog that you were doing, an audio blog, and you were talking about 31 days to learn, and I really liked the concept of it. You know, I think many of us think of, ‘well, take a class!’ but really, since we can do so much of this now at home, putting aside a period of just, say, the entire month of March, and saying, this entire month I’m going to devote to mastering something. What do you think those 31 days would be best devoted to?
Ken: That’s what actually got me started. It was a guy who wrote “31 Days To A Better Blog,” when I started my blog way back when, and it starts with the very basics of making sure you get your name. In the early days, it was some handle, something you hide behind, but nowadays, it’s just, here’s my name, I’m Ken Krogue, and then you start filling out your profile. You move from profile to learning how to put your content out there which is your pictures and your write-up and your back story. That’s the human element, who you really are. That’s what people want to see, and then learn how to connect. Learn how to start a conversation through comments. A comment is where I make a comment on your site; a conversation is when you comment back.
Ken: And that’s probably the biggest single milestone I have found, is when you finally figure out how to get people to respond, and here’s sort of the secret, just ask a question.
Ken: They’ll start responding and now you’ll have a conversation, and those are the basics, like the core of social media.
Fisher: Well, I think the old word would be interaction.
Fisher: Right? I mean, otherwise it’s just a one-way conversation.
Ken: Exactly! And you know that when you get people interacting and commenting, you’re now official on social media, and then it gets really fun.
Fisher: All right. Now, how about preserving some of the things that your grandparents or your aunts or uncles actually obtained from other relatives? Is there a way to do that that’s simple?
Ken: Absolutely! And, it’s pretty funny; people think they need fancy scanners and everything else. I say, pull out the smartphone and just take a picture and pop it out there. Whether it’s a sculpture or photos or old documents, and that’s my favorite place.
The start is just with fun content that others in your community will be interested in, whether it’s your family community, your old friends from high school or whatever. My favorite place for high school is, go grab the yearbook.
Fisher: Yes. [Laughs]
Ken: [Laughs] And go scan all those pictures with little comments that people wrote when they were a kid, put it out there and say, “Do you remember when you wrote that?” and they say, “I didn’t write that!” and you say, “Yes, you did. It’s right here.”
Fisher: Yeah, and then there’s the picture of it. I mean there’s no hiding from it, but it’s good to preserve that for the long haul as well. Maybe, actually even printing it out or saving it in a special folder on a desktop, transferring it from the phone, so that ultimately, you can create histories or some of our seniors can create them for us, which is really the ultimate goal, is to preserve their stories, because as the old saying goes, that when an individual passes away, a library is burned.
Ken: It’s true. We found that with my mother, so many great stories. We captured some of them, but we didn’t get them all. I wish we had.
Fisher: Well and how do you ever get them all, right? There’s always something else out there.
Ken: True. [Laughs]
Fisher: We have very large libraries in these heads. Then there’s some hidden rooms in the back too that I don’t think anybody ever accesses. [Laughs]
Ken: And some we probably shouldn’t. [Laughs]
Fisher: Exactly! So, how do you get people to follow what you’re doing? For instance, if you want to start a family history Facebook page, and you want to attract more people, do you work from just the surname or you’re trying to just find cousins who you know or you’re trying to extend to many that you don’t know.
What’s a simple way to get going with it and then expand from there?
Ken: I was pretty blessed to have a unique spelling of my last name, K-R-O-G-U-E, and it was changed several generations back from the original spelling. So, I grabbed the domain name Krogue.com and then I started a Facebook group called, The Krogue Clan, and I did everything. I looked for the early stories, the early content and then I just started searching on the last name ‘Krogue’.
I found people all over the Unites States that were direct descendants of our common ancestors that we had never met, never run across each other, and we pulled together a face to face event.
So, the basic strategies go from social media, to digital media, to remote conversations which is a phone call, to a live interaction event where you get together, and we got an extended family reunion at the old homestead around Bear Lake, Idaho.
It was so powerful! We found stories that were phenomenal, we marched up to the gravesite of our common ancestors, and it was one of the most beautiful events that I’ve had in my life.
Fisher: That is great advice. I think really, it’s always been that way, whether it was sending a letter to somebody back in the old days to introduce yourself, to the phone call, to the face to face, to these experiences, but it’s so much easier to do now if you just make the effort to learn how to do it.
Ken: It’s so true, and like I said, tap those younger generations and get a little bit of coaching and it won’t take very long.
Fisher: Hey, thanks for coming on, Ken! It’s been great having you.
Ken: Thanks so much, Scott. I really appreciate sharing some time with you.
Fisher: Ken is going to be such a great speaker at Roots Tech! I look forward to seeing him there and you as well. All right, coming up next in three minutes from TMCPlace.com, Tom Perry, our Preservation Authority talking about the Innovator’s Summit Day 1 at Roots Tech.
Segment 4 Episode 122
Host Scott Fisher with guest Tom Perry
Fisher: Welcome back to America’s Family History Show, Extreme Genes and ExtremeGenes.com
It is Fisher here, the Radio Roots Sleuth with Tom Perry from TMCPlace.com. He is our Preservation Authority.
Hi Tom, how are you?
Tom: I’m super-duper!
Fisher: I am excited because we’re looking right down the barrel at Roots Tech coming up February 3rd through 6th in Salt Lake City, Utah, and the first day of course is the Innovator’s Summit, and as a techy-guy like you are, I mean that’s a big day.
Tom: Oh, it is! Some of the neat things that they’re bringing out there you have the opportunity to see some things may be coming out. You know, immediately they’re almost ready for release. Some of them won’t be out for a while and some of them are what I refer to as ‘vaporware.’
Tom: Because they just kind of evaporate. They never really show up.
Fisher: That’s right. A lot of them just don’t work out, but nonetheless, there’s some incredible ideas…
Tom: Oh, really!
Fisher: … that come up at the Innovator’s Summit, and we’re looking forward to that. That will be on the Wednesday of that week, and then on the 4th through 6th we’ll have all the keynotes, we’ll have the classrooms working and of course, everything on the show floor, and that is so much fun at the Salt Palace Convention Center, and of course, we will be there. You going to have a booth for your place, it’s going to be right next to mine hopefully.
Tom: Yeah, hopefully.
Fisher: For Extreme Genes and we look so forward to meeting so many of our listeners there. Now, speaking of preservation today, what do you have for us?
Tom: Okay, well one thing a little bit back on Roots Tech that we were talking about, one of the neat things about the Innovator’s Summit is, some of the stuff will actually be on the floor if you want to go and check out the stuff, see what’s available, and a neat thing about that also is, sometimes people like myself that go to these Innovator’s Summit, sometimes it triggers something, and you think, ‘Oh, hey, you know what… we can take that and do this with it and go do more and just knock the thing out of the park.’
Fisher: Yes, new applications.
Tom: Oh, absolutely! Absolutely, you really want to watch out and be careful, sometimes it’s like buying a new car, you see the shiny cool car and you don’t take it for a test drive. You say, “Oh, this is so cool! This is what I’ve always wanted!” You buy it and then you have buyer’s remorse.
Fisher: Yeah, that’s right
Tom: So, don’t be forced into stuff at Roots Tech. Don’t think, “Oh, this is what I really want! Oh, I better grab it right now because they say they’re almost out of them.” If they’re almost out of them, wait for the next run. Don’t jump in.
Fisher: They’ll make more.
Tom: Exactly! [Laughs] Exactly! And if they don’t make more, it’s good you didn’t buy one.
Fisher: Probably so.
Tom: So, just be real careful what you’re looking for and just always remember the basics, you know, like we’ve talked about on the show many times before. Your basics are, you want to take your old things, you want to find out how to preserve them, how to put them on disks, how to put them in the hard drive, how to put them in the clouds, different things like this.
You want to learn how you can start making memories for your family, for the people who are living right now to be able to extend into the future. So, you want to be really careful. You don’t want to get the cart before the horse.
You want to do things in order. The old stuff you have, let’s take care of those. Let’s get those things preserved. Let’s do what we need to with those, whether you want to buy a scanner, whether you want to buy something along those lines, that’s what we need to do. We need to take care of the old stuff first.
Fisher: Well that’s right, and the old stuff is going to be the rarest stuff, always.
Fisher: Especially because back in the day, we couldn’t just video everything everywhere and preserve it on a phone or some kind of device. Home movies, that was about it, and there’s a lot of junk associated with it too, a lot of bad shots, but things that you can actually edit down now and make into something very special.
Tom: You know, we’re just through Christmas, and Christmas is always crazy for us at all of our stores. People coming in, we just have tons of stuff. People find the bug, and then usually, January slows down, and as we’re going into Roots Tech, we’re not finding that out this year.
There are a lot of people that made New Year’s resolutions to, ‘Hey, let’s get this old stuff done.’ and they’re doing it, and it’s awesome. So, be really careful. Don’t leapfrog, like you said, over the old stuff and start just working on the new stuff.
You need to take care of that stuff, because your film is going to fade, your video tapes are going to wear out; they’re going to get dusty. If you live in a high humidity place, you can get mold on them, and there’s just so many thing that can go wrong. Get that old stuff and let’s get working on it now!
Fisher: Absolutely! That is great advice, and once again, it’s coming up February 3rd through the 6th in Salt Lake City, Utah, at the Salt Palace Convention Center. Roots Tech is the largest Family History Convention in the world by far, and of course, you’re going to be able to follow it online. There’s a lot of streaming video, from the keynote addresses and some of the classes as well. You can go to RootsTech.org and find out more about that. All right Tom, more when we return in three minutes on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show.
Segment 5 Episode 122
Host Scott Fisher with guest Tom Perry
Fisher: And welcome back to America’s Family History Show Extreme Genes and ExtremeGenes.com. Fisher here, the Radio Roots Sleuth, with our final segment with our Preservation Authority Tom Perry from TMCPlace.com. We’re kind of getting you ready for Roots Tech, coming up February 3rd through 6th in Salt Lake City, Utah. It’s the world’s largest family history convention, and there is some prep that goes into going to this thing because you’re going to be hit from all sides, right Tom?
Tom: Oh absolutely.
Fisher: From all the booths and all the new products that are out. Give us some more advice here.
Tom: Okay, one thing you really need to be careful no matter kind of tracer you’re going to, you need to have a plan of attack. Like we go to the CES show every year in Vegas and it just gets bigger and bigger.
Tom: And it’s physically impossible to get around to it. You need to put together a game plan. See what’s the most important thing to you, do you have some old cassettes that you need transferred, do you have some old VHS tapes, do you have some photographs, do you have them already digitized and you want to see how to put them together, how they are best to distribute them to your friends and family?
There are so many different things you need to put together, a game plan saying ‘This is my first priority, this is my second, third, fourth, however many priorities you have.” And then within each one of those get more specific, like say “Hey, I have thousands of slides, I want to do it myself.”
Great, let’s do that. So you want to say okay your priority is you want to scan your slides, so you need to say “Okay, what’s my budget?” you’re going to run into prices that are $200, you’re going to run into prices that are over $2000 so you need to see what your budget is and one thing that will help, you can call us, you can call other transfer places and say “Hey, this is what I have, what would it cost if I pay you to do it?”
And if you come back and find ‘Okay I can transfer all my slides for a $1000 and I’m done with it, and for me to buy a good scanner, I’m looking at, at least $1500” it’s probably not a good thing to do unless you’re going to pass around to other people in your family.
Tom: Or you want to rent one. Like the people we’ve talked to as guests on the show before, they actually rent them out to Florida, and you might think that might be a good way.
Tom: Yeah EasyPhotoScan. Stop by their booth and look what they have to offer, then you have all these things ‘Okay this is what it’s going to cost if I send it out to either TMCPlace.com or one of these other places and this is what it’s going to cost if I rent the thing. This is what it’s going to cost, this is my time frame.’
If I buy it, this is what it’s going to cost. If I get my family to invest in it to help us out, then you know what your budget is so when you go in there you’re not looking at something that’s… spending time talking to somebody about a $3000 scanner, you’re just wasting your time.
Fisher: That’s right. Good point, yes.
Tom: You want to be really careful, and then another thing on your scanner too ‘quality versus price.’ We have people that come into the store and say “I don’t care what this costs, I want the absolutely best high definition X, Y, Z, I can get.”
And that’s fine we’re happy to do it. Sometimes it’s overkill, so you need to find out what you want and if you don’t know give us a call and we can explain to you the differences what we think is the best way for you to go and then you make the decision on what’s going to be best for you.
Because that will take you like from the $700 price range, the $1500 price range to the $2000- $3000 one. We had a guy in our store the other day that came in and picked our brain, and he’s going to go out and buy one of those real nice scanners that do the slides and he’s going to pay about $4000, and it’s great because he enjoys sitting down scanning them, playing with them.
Where we have the other ones we mentioned that come in and say “Hey, my son’s been telling me he’s going to do this, for three years nothing’s happened. I want is done and I need it at a reasonable price. Here’s what my budget is.’ And then we work in what’s best for them.
Fisher: Right. There’s so much to really consider when you’re looking to invest in a product like that, the various price ranges, the quality and of course the quantity of material you have to work with, in fact some people don’t have a lot of stuff.
Tom: Oh exactly! And you know an important thing too is that you also want to look at ‘what’s your end goal?’ Do you want to put them in your cloud, do you want to make MP4’s, MP3’s, how do you want to do this?
So you make sure you get the right equipment so you don’t go at the end of it “Oh I got this cool software, I’m going to make MP3s and MP4s” and that software doesn’t do it. So do your homework.
Fisher: Great advice Tom, as always. Thanks for joining us.
Tom: Good to be here, and hope to see you at Roots Tech.
Fisher: I cannot believe how fast our time goes on this show! That is it for this week. Thanks once again to Brent Ashworth, from Provo, Utah, for talking about his experience in collecting his ancestors and for sharing with us the story of how he obtained the Bible that came across on the Mayflower with Governor William Bradford.
And to Ken Krogue, one of the keynote speakers for the upcoming Roots Tech convention, catch the podcast if you missed any of it. Talk to you next week, and remember as far as everyone knows, we’re a nice normal family!
Fisher opens the show with David Allen Lambert, Chief Genealogist of the New England Historic Genealogical Society and American Ancestors.org, sharing some of the great discoveries of the past year. David talks about the 1,000 year old skeleton found in the ball of a downed tree in Ireland, the beginning of the end of Americans being able to read handwriting, and preserving your social media posting history.
Fisher then shares what many listeners consider the listener story of the year from Steve Anderson, a Minnesota native. One of nine siblings, Steve and a brother decided to do some DNA testing on the family. And what they learned was far from what they expected! It’s worth another listen if you heard it earlier this year.
Fisher then visits with Leann Walker Young, daughter of late Chicago Cubs coach, Verlon “Rube” Walker. Leann lost him when she was just three years old and has spent years trying to find a sample of his voice. Hear about Leann’s journey and emotional breakthrough. Her determination will inspire you!
Plus, Preservation Authority Tom Perry talks about what questions to ask local digitizers to know that they are experts you can could on.
That’s all this week on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show!
Transcript of Episode 120
Host Scott Fisher with guest David Allen Lambert
Segment 1 Episode 120
Fisher: And welcome to Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show!
I am Fisher, the Radio Roots Sleuth, on the program where we shake your family tree and watch the nuts fall out. We’ve got a whole bunch of new radio stations picking up the show this week, so if you are a new listener to the show, welcome!
We are here to inform and inspire and hopefully entertain you as we talk to experts and ordinary people about the fun and challengers of discovering your family history, and preserving it and sharing it, and this week we’ve got some great guests from the past year.
The first coming up in about nine minutes; Steve Anderson, will blow your mind with what DNA testing told him about how he and his eight siblings came into this world. You will be telling friends about this.
Then later, the daughter of a Chicago Cubs Coach talks about her journey to know about her late father. But right now we head off to Syracuse, New York, to talk to our good friend the Chief Genealogist for the New England Historic Genealogical Society and AmericanAncestors.org… David Allen Lambert, what are you doing there buddy?
David: Well, the New York State Family History Conference that’s running through Saturday, and we’re looking forward to meeting a lot of our Extreme Genes and NEHGS friends out here at the conference. So I’m just here working the booth, selling books, shaking hands and meeting people. Hopefully I get some guests for us too… I’ll keep my ears peeled for some good stories.
Fisher: Oh there are always great stories to be found. You know what I’m amazed at is every week I think ‘Okay where are we going to find?” There’s always another one and it just leaves your jaw hanging. So I’m looking forward to that.
What do you have for us today in our family histoire news, David?
David: Well speaking of things hanging, hanging from a 200 year old toppled tree in the Irish village of Collooney, there was a 1000-year-old skeleton found recently!
Fisher: Hanging in the tree?
David: Hanging in the roots of the tree.
Fisher: Oh, in the roots.
David: Yup. Basically what happened, the tree toppled and the roots itself, in the ball of the tree, was found the skeleton of a male between about the age of 17 and 25 and they said he died between 1030 and 1200 AD.
David: But here’s a bigger catch, his body contained injuries inflicted by some sharp blade, so he died by some mysterious means.
Fisher: So we’re not talking war, we’re talking murder here.
David: Perhaps, and then buried hastily in the ground, yeah. So it wasn’t in a church yard or anything like that. You know if that tree didn’t topple who knows if they even would have thought to dig there to find such remains.
Fisher: Sure. Yeah.
David: So it’s just a fluke, but an interesting one just the same. The other thing I wanted to talk to you about is this interesting happened about three weeks ago. I’m always intrigued when people are having trouble researching their ancestry but this time it was somebody that came in because they couldn’t read handwriting.
David: A college student came in, had no idea about cursive hand writing and I’m not talking 17th century early Latin hand writing, I’m talking deed books from the 19th century that were handwritten, and I obviously worked with him and I understand it’s a complete learning curve. But then the following day another person came in with this same problem. I’ve done some investigating and I think you’ll probably see this as the case, a lot of schools are not teaching handwriting anymore.
Fisher: That’s actually most of the country right now, and it’s going to be a real problem for people who do research in the future there’s no doubt about it.
David: You think of the Rosetta stone, I mean, I would think that until there’s an OCR program that can read handwriting and translate it all over.
David: Everybody’s handwriting is different. I know that mine won’t be an easy translation that’s for sure.
Fisher: Well the good news is a lot of parents are getting very upset with this and a lot of other states now around the country are starting to teach it, if not in English, as actually part of their arts curriculum.
David: And that’s the best way to do it. I mean if you’re going to get it somehow, I guess it’s a lesser vision of calligraphy.
Fisher: That’s exactly right, yeah.
David: This has to be it. Well you know I’m out here in New York, but if anybody is out near Boston on October 3rd Saturday at the Sheraton Boston Hotel, we’re having a family history day out here, and that’s a full day of lectures and events and people can go to AmericanAncestors.org and find out, so maybe some of our listeners that are tuning in have some free time on October 3rd come on down.
Here’s my Tech Tip; this is kind of fun. I think we’ve talked about Facebook and how wonderful it is to network with people and capture family stories. There’s a place called ‘MySocialBook.com’ on the internet and for around $20 it will capture/ publish for you, your entire year on Facebook or multiple years if you wish, of course the price goes up, and what it does is it captures all your newsfeeds, all your photographs, everything you’ve shared, obviously it doesn’t show the videos.
But it’s a great way of preserving your social media history and I’ve often thought Facebook is a great tool but how do we preserve it for future generations. So this is a nice little Tech Tip.
I haven’t created a social book yet but probably will sometime by the end of the year and I’ll report back, so no immediate news one way or the other but it’s going to be an interesting program.
Fisher: But isn’t it great that you actually will be able to preserve this stuff that is right now pretty temporary.
David: Exactly. Exactly it’s sort of taking a year in review of your own life and recording it. Jumping out to NEHGS databases for our guest users, we’re going far afield and teaming up with The Family History Library, FamilySearch, and we have posted Norway baptisms, marriages and burials from the 17th century right down to the 1920’s.
David: And this is amazing! This has over 7.6 million baptisms, 3.8 million marriages and 740 thousand burials. Spanning the 17th to 20th centuries, it’s amazing.
Fisher: And all available to you in your home for the next week through NEHGS.
David: Right, just sign up as a guest user.
Fisher: And one other thing we’ve got to mention here David, we are working right now and this is so much fun, save the date September 13th to 18th 2016 leaving from Boston on a Royal Caribbean Cruise!
David: Exactly! The first of many I hope.
Fisher: Yeah I hope so! It’s our Fall Foliage, Extreme Genes Cruise. David Allen Lambert from the New England Historic Genealogical Society and AmericanAncestors.org and myself Fisher will be doing lectures on the cruise. We’re going to give people a chance to actually take a tour of the Freedom Trail in Boston and NEHGS before the cruise. We go up to Maine and Nova Scotia; it’s going to be so much fun. We’re going to have more of it of course on our Facebook page and on our ExtremeGenes.com website, so check it out and if you want to be a part of it, we’re going to have all the details ready for you in about another week. So this is going to be great stuff for next year, make plans to be part of it!
David: Excellent. It’s a year away!
Fisher: All right David. Thanks so much. Have a great conference in Syracuse New York, and we’ll talk to you again next week.
David: Talk to you then!
Fisher: Up next, a DNA story you’ll be telling to everyone you know. On Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show.
Segment 2 Episode 120
Host Scott Fisher with guest Steve Anderson
Fisher: Welcome back to America’s Family History Show, Extreme Genes and ExtremeGenes.com
It is Fisher here, your Radio Roots Sleuth, and once in a great while you run across a story that just leaves your jaw on the floor. I think this is one of those stories and I’m not going to give you any hint about it other than to introduce Steve Anderson, who I spoke to about it over the weekend.
Hi Steve, how are you?
Steve: Hey, I’m doing great. How you’re doing Scott?
Fisher: I’m doing great. Steve is a Minnesota boy who ran across some interesting history in his family some time back, let’s just go back to the beginning Steve, and tell about how this all came about.
Steve: All right. About 45 years ago my older brother was in an accident; he was crushed, needed some intense medical care, and needed lots of bloody transfusions. So the call went out asking for blood from family members. My dad came to donate and when he donated the doctor said “Well, sir… um, we appreciate your donation but we cannot use your blood for your son because it doesn’t match.”
Steve: So you know all these years that whole issue came into question. ‘Okay, if you don’t belong to him, who is your dad?’ Fast forward about 25 years and my older sister got into a big fight with my dad and bounced over to my mom and just said “You know, I just wish he wasn’t my dad.” So my mom said “Well, you know, I’ve got something to tell you. He really isn’t.”
Fisher: Oh boy.
Steve: You know that kind of created some issue. So through the years we kind of knew that there were a couple of the nine kids in our family that were not kids of my father that raised us. My younger brother and I have always talked about let’s get some DNA testing and find out who is and isn’t.
Fisher: Now how were you guys dealing with all this? I mean mom tells the sister that dad isn’t your father. You’re finding out that he doesn’t match from blood. You skip ahead 20 years; there are a lot of families that don’t last 20 years after news like that. I mean how did you all cope with this?
Steve: You know…. I don’t know, we just did and not only that, we really get along. We really after all these years we’re a very close family. We keep in touch with each other on a weekly basis. We come back for reunions and I love them. I don’t know how we did it but we did it.
Fisher: So let’s get back to this now, your brother was thinking ‘we’ve got to do some DNA we’ve got to find out something here.’
Steve: Yeah, so he has a friend and his friend owns a lab, a DNA lab that does paternity testing throughout the world. It’s in Southern California, and he talked to him about this and he say “Hey, if you just get some DNA, you need to get some from your dad, you need to get some from your mom and then one of your kids need to provide some DNA.” You know, I had the means to do it so I said “All right, I’ll pay for it and then that’ll create the base and then either the kids, and the family who want to can pay to have their own DNA tested again to this standard that we created with mom and dad.”
Steve: Well, when my dad died, my brother said “Okay, this is our last chance” because dad is in the viewing room of the funeral home!
Fisher: Oh no! [Laughs]
Steve: I went to the other corner of the room and created a distraction and my brother reaches in and pulls out a hand full of hair.
Fisher: From your father’s corpse?
Steve: So everything went fine after that.
Fisher: Now to do that by the way, I understand you need roots to get any DNA out of hair, there’s none in the follicle itself but it’s in the roots.
Steve: Right and we checked that to make sure that we had it.
Fisher: Okay. [Laughs]
Steve: And then with my mom, you know, my niece was doing some kind of research at school and so we just asked mom if we could get a cheek swab so that we could help this niece to get some data and she was fine with that.
Steve: So we got it from dad, we got it from mom and then I provided the cheek swab, and I knew my younger brother and I were dad’s sons because we look like him, our mannerisms are like him.
Fisher: Sure. So you were going to check out just fine.
Steve: Right, and I was fine with that. We get the results back and Tom’s friend says “You know Mr. Anderson; got your results back and you do not belong to your father.”
Steve: Yeah, ‘Ooh’ is right. Then my brother was so shocked by this he said “Hey, I’m going to get tested.” So we ended up testing him and he doesn’t belong to my father.
Steve: So then I talk to my sister, I’m very, very close to her and I need somebody to vent with. Eventually she says “Okay, I’m getting tested.” So she gets tested and she doesn’t belong to him.
Steve: And I thought ‘Okay, we’ve got a faulty match here.
Fisher: [Laughs] This can’t be.
Steve: Well, we found dad’s razor and it had plenty of hair in it and our friend in California, said “Listen, give me that, there’s skin sample flakes in there and I’ll use that.” He did the test again, ran it again and the results were all the same.
Steve: So she called another sister and says “I can’t believe that, this is impossible, I’m going to get tested.” And she’s not dad’s. Long story short, nine children eight different fathers, Tom and I found out that we were from the same father. So I confront my mother and say ‘Hey.’
Fisher: Now how old is she at this point when you confronted her?
Steve: This was 3 year ago, so she was 90 years old.
Steve: Yeah and her mind is very sharp so I said, ‘Mom, listen, we’ve had some DNA testing done and we found some surprises here.’
Steve: And you know, she denied it at first but the next day called and said “Steve, come on over we need to talk.” We talked and she gave me the names of all the fathers.
Fisher: For each of the children, each of the nine?
Steve: Yeah. And then Tom and I did one more test and found out that we are actually from the same father. But none of us 9 children were from the father that raised us.
Fisher: So, nine kids, eight fathers, one marriage, but none of the kids from the father in the marriage?
Steve: Correct, and you know my dad never ever said a thing about this to us kids. And I remember once getting mad at mom for something as a kid. I don’t know and dad just turned to me and he said, “Steve, you don’t ever talk to your mother like that. You show respect to your mother.”
Fisher: Now, he obviously knew right? Was this an arrangement, because perhaps he couldn’t have children?
Steve: After we heard about the other two siblings, at first many years ago. The joke in the family was ‘Wouldn’t it be funny if we found out dad was sterile?’ Well, I don’t think it’s a joke anymore. I think it’s pretty much what we concluded.
Steve: Because I mean they stayed together. They were married for 25 years and eventually did get a divorce but not because of this, because of something else.
Steve: But you don’t stay together for 25 years and not have children.
Fisher: So you think there was an arrangement?
Steve: I don’t know. If I had to conclude something I would say there was some kind of an arrangement. What was interesting was my younger brother Tom, was back only about seven or eight years ago in our home town. There was a fair there and my dad came up to him with an older gentleman and he said, “Tom, there’s somebody here I’d like you to meet.” And he introduced them and then he walked away and Tom thought, “That was so weird.”
Until we realized now that was our father that he had just been introduced to.
Steve: So dad obviously knew enough to tell this guy, “Hey, you want to see one of your sons?” and brought him to introduce him to him.
Fisher: All right, so here’s the question Steve, and I think the point of all this that’s very important to people listening right now is, I’m sure there are a lot of other folks out there dealing with family secrets. Let’s talk about how you all have dealt with it, and everybody knows at this point, yes?
Steve: No. there’s one still alive that does not know about it and we cannot let this individual know until our mother is gone and the wife of her [birth] father is still alive so we cannot do that.
Fisher: Ohh, okay. So complications right? ‘Do no harm, do no pain’ first, right?
Steve: Given who she is we know she will then go and confront the wife or somebody or our mother and it just wouldn’t be good.
Fisher: Okay. So how has this affected all your relationships, with mom particularly?
Steve: Yeah. You know with nine of us, there’s one who won’t see her anymore. There’s one who just says, “I’m done with her.” With me, it took me about three months. There was an enormous sense of betrayal up front. I finally was able to put it aside. This was about three and a half years ago. I still call my mother every Sunday night; others have handled it very well. Others you know just think this is a fascinating story. We laugh about it and when we get together it’s a great source of entertainment. But a couple of them are really struggling with it and one in particular really won’t have anything to do with her now. So we have varying degrees all the way from, “No. I’m not your son anymore.” To “Mom, we all make mistakes.”
Steve: Not quite like this, but we all do!
Fisher: [Laughs] So, has anyone reached out to half siblings from some of the other fathers?
Steve: No. we’ve consciously made it a point to really not do any of this until a few more people have passed on. We just need to make sure all of the spouses of the men are gone and even then I think we want to be extremely careful who we reach out to.
Fisher: That’s right.
Steve: Because some would be able to handle it well and some won’t. I know that one of the things for me that’s been a real blessing growing up is I’ve always seen on my father’s side, the father that raised us, which by the way as far as I’m concerned, he is my father and his posterity is my posterity.
Steve: And he will always be and I’ve talked to my siblings and they all agree completely that dad especially now seeing what he has done in raising us and never, never betraying that secret, has just raised him as far as respect. But we grew up seeing his siblings dying of cancer and his parents both died of stomach cancer, and his grandfather died of stomach cancer and when I hit 50 the doctor every year ordered a colonoscopy.
Steve: When I found out about this, it was the first thing to go!
Steve: I talked to him and said, “Hey, can we go to the five year checkup and he was fine with that.
Fisher: Steve, unbelievable story and I can’t thank you enough for sharing it with us and I think it’s a benefit to a lot of people who might be dealing with secrets like this, perhaps to learn from how you people have done so, and God bless and good luck!
Steve: Great. Thank you I enjoyed it!
Fisher: It’s a story that’s not over yet.
Steve: Oh, not by any means. Not by any means.
Steve: Thank you, Scott.
Fisher: And coming up next in five minutes we’ll talk to a woman from Charlotte, North Carolina, the daughter of a Chicago Cubs coach. She lost him at 3 years old and we’ll talk to her about the journey to know her late father better. It’s a revealing story on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show.
Segment 3 Episode 120
Host Scott Fisher with guest Leann Walker Young
Fisher: And we are back! Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show and ExtremeGenes.com
It is Fisher here, talking with Leann Walker Young, from Charlotte, North Carolina; she is the daughter of Verlon “Rube” Walker, the former coach of the Chicago Cubs, who passed away in 1971 when Leann was only 3 years old.
Just a few years ago, 2012, she decided ‘It’s time I got to know who my dad was.’ And she began a search gathering stories as we heard in the previous segment but also looking to find the voice of her dad.
And, Leann was it frustrating to you or were the stories fulfilling enough as you went along but you still enjoyed the journey?
Leann: I really did enjoy the journey. I tried to talk about it as putting a canoe in the river and just letting the current take me. I wasn’t really morose about it, I didn’t try to manipulate it, I allowed it to come to me and that has taught me a lot in life, the lesson of just things move really much more smoothly when I get out of the way.
All I did was just be willing and the journey built on itself. One person would give me, uh, “You need to call this person, here’s their phone number. They knew your dad.”
Leann: And so I would do that. I made the commitment early on, I would follow any lead. If someone emails me and tells me to do a library research, I would go there. So I did all of that. I did the footwork and it became really exhilarating and it energized me once I got started and it’s very exciting.
It really gets to the heart of the matter. You doing your personal journey and the mission of your soul and really finding out where you came from and the people that loved you and brought you into the world. It’s so important and empowering in a lot of ways.
Fisher: Yeah well I think so, and I think the fact is you get to know your father like you’ve never known him before and suddenly he is a figure in your life more than just a shadow.
Leann: Yes, and he had many layers. I wanted to know all of him. I didn’t want to know just what they wanted to tell me as someone who had died. I wanted to know it all. I thought, if he had a temper, I want to know it, if he cursed somebody out if he was mad, I wanted to know all of those things so I brought of all that to me and the last piece of the puzzle was the voice.
Leann: I kept looking for that. I was very hopeful all along. I really thought that I would eventually find something but I had no idea that I would find it in my own home town. I really had no idea.
Fisher: Isn’t that something. Well let’s talk about that a little bit. Now you started the search for the audio, obviously you were finding the stories as a result of that but the ultimate goal was to hear his voice and I would imagine still is. That you’d like to find more of him speaking, and I can’t imagine that you’re going to have that opportunity at some point with the effort you’re putting out. But you got coverage on ESPN and I’m just thinking, “This can’t be, how can a man as public as your father not have something out there for this woman to hear?”
Leann: It’s true and I’ve got a whole group of men, I think by nature are hunter gatherers.
Leann: So, where I don’t like to look on eBay, I have a whole gang, a gaggle, a team of men.
Leann: Who follow my blog and they search eBay and they’ll go to radio shows and all this stuff and collectors organizations and they will look for me. I have eyes and ears out there so that’s miraculous and amazing and the Keith Olbermann thing was just a watershed moment for me because it did put my story out there and much more came to me as a result. I do believe there’s still something else out there but the fact that it was the tapes that my mother had put away and forgotten about in her own garage and was recorded in my own home town when my father asked Bobby Richardson, the Yankee second baseman, to come and speak at a church. My father’s faith was important to him and so was Bobby Richardson’s and still is and he wanted him to come and I guess do a testimony of his faith at the church. So that was recorded because of the Yankee that was coming to town.
Leann: So that was recorded and my mom found it on cassette. The pastor who is in his 80’s now gave it to my mother years and years ago, and we found it on cassette and she had it put on DVD for me or CD so that it would be more preserved.
Fisher: What a gift. I’ve heard it on YouTube you had it there. It’s got a lot of noise in it and a lot of buzz but your dad’s voice cuts through well even though it’s kind of soft. So I’ve kind of enhanced it a little bit here. So everybody can hear what you found, it’s only about a minute long. Here’s your dad introducing Bobby Richardson at a church in Lenoir, North Carolina, back in 1969;
“We’re very fortunate to have with us this morning Bobby Richardson, a great second baseman for the New York, Yankees for many years.
“I told Bobby that this was great Yankee territory so he can feel at home. And also I’d like to introduce his daughter Christie, sitting down here in our church place.
“Could you stand up, please?
“Bobby was a great baseball player and this is Yankee territory. I guess I could be here all day trying to tell all the great days he had on the baseball field. And most of you Yankee fans would already know about it, so, I will not try to attempt to tell all the accomplishments that he did on the field.
“But Bobby also had many great days off the field. Bobby was a great leader on and off the field. He was very active in youth groups, religious groups, and in my lifetime, I guess Bobby was the most respected player in baseball.”
Fisher: Wow! What does that make you feel like when you hear that?
Leann: Really, the first couple of times I heard it, I was completely blown away. I still get a little teary eyed when I hear it because I still want more, I want to hear him talk to me, that’s kind of where it goes, that’s where it goes in my mind. I’m so grateful that I have that sound of his mountain accent, and he was made fun of so much for that accent, and being such a southern boy and simple man. It just really takes me cry to you know the heart of what I really want, which is him.
Fisher: I’ll bet, and you’ve probably played it a million times since you found it.
Leann: Yes I have.
Fisher: And I’m sure to some extent it does speak to you.
Leann: It does. I really am just mesmerized by it actually. I always thought his voice would be more gravelly and low. I guess because he was an athlete.
Fisher: [Laughs] Sure.
Leann: But the more I listen to it, it’s gentle and sweet and it matches who I’ve been told he was, and I’m glad I didn’t find the voice first off because I wouldn’t have gone on that beautiful, beautiful journey to search for it and the journey really was the treasure. It was what I needed to do to heal my soul.
Fisher: And then from this you went on to Chicago, and actually visited the hospital wing that is named after your dad. Now what was his illness?
Leann: He died of leukemia, and upon his death the Cubs donated money to Northwestern Hospital and they started a wing in the hospital called the ‘Verlon Rube Walker, Leukemia Center.’ And it’s now called “The Blood Center.’ ‘The Rube Walker Blood Center’ because they do more than just leukemia. They really focus on the blood diseases where they have these beautiful, incredible machines that can circulate the good, healthy platelets and all that stuff and separate it all out, and you can use your own stem cells to heal your body. It’s amazing work.
Fisher: Isn’t that great?
Fisher: And to think that forty some odd years after his passing, your dad’s name is on that wing and is being remembered as people go through that life saving treatment.
Leann: Yes. That simple boy that left high school, didn’t graduate high school because he wanted to go play major league baseball, has this legacy of this medical facility named after him, and he would probably laugh about that. And he would be so blessed to know that people get healing under his name. It’s something that maybe his death went to a good cause, he would love that.
Fisher: Well it’s been an amazing journey for your Leann and I so appreciate you taking the time to come on the show and talk to us about it, and to see that you’ve had such great success and fulfillment in what you’ve been doing.
Leann: Yes. I’m honored you asked me and I loved it. This is my favorite subject to talk about. I love it. I encourage anyone to take this journey of their own. It’s a beautiful way to honor your loved ones that have passed and heal yourself.
Fisher: That’s a great way to put it, perfect. Leann Walker Young, from Charlotte, North Carolina, thank you so much for coming on!
Leann: Thank you!
Fisher: And coming up next, if you’re looking to have your old home movies or videos digitized. What’s the best way to know if you’re local digitizer is the real deal?
It’s a great listener question, and of course Tom Perry our Preservation Authority will have the answer in three minutes on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History show.
Segment 4 Episode 120
Host Scott Fisher with guest Tom Perry
Fisher: And we are back once again on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show
I am Fisher, the Radio Roots Sleuth with Tom Perry from TMCPlace.com. He’s our Preservation Authority. He answers your questions about what you do to make sure you don’t lose your precious audio, your video, your photographs, your home movies.
There’s so much going on and so much to talk about, and Tom, this is a really interesting question that we got from Jack Smith. He’s in Indianapolis, Indiana, and he’s saying,
“I’m going to be going to a local outlet soon to get my materials transferred, my old home videos.” He said, “What questions should I ask to know that these people are going to do this right?”
Tom: That’s a wonderful question! Because there’s so many people out there, whether you’re buying a diamond ring or having your video tapes transferred, “How do I know that this guy’s legit? Because I know nothing about the industry, so I don’t know what to look for”.
One of the things you want to talk to the people about is, what kind of equipment that they use. You don’t need brand names. It’s just, “How do you transfer my video tape to a DVD or BlueRay or to a hard drive? Do I need to bring in my camcorder? Do I just bring in my tapes? If I have the old VHS-Cs, do I need an adaptor? What do I need to do?”
If you’re going to a reputable place, you won’t need your camera; you won’t need your adaptor. They will have all that kind of equipment and one thing you want to remember…
Fisher: Even the old ones?
Tom: Oh, absolutely! Oh, absolutely! Anybody that’s worth their weight in salt has to be able to already have VHS-C transfer machines. If they don’t have them, it’s like, what are they doing? Do they not do enough? Do they know what they’re doing? I’d be very, very skeptical about anybody that says, “Oh, no, you need to bring in your camera.”
The only situation that differs is, sometimes the camera gets shaken and it records a little bit off track, and it will play in your camera fine, however, it won’t play even on our equipment, which we have the best equipment you can buy, because our stuff is set to a certain standard, so you might get wavy lines and things like this.
But in the situation where it was recorded on a bad camera, then you would want to bring in your camera and tie it into our system.
Fisher: And how would you know that your camera’s bad or the video’s bad?
Tom: Well, generally you probably would not know if you don’t have a way to play it. So, what I would do is, when you take your tape in, if it comes back looking funky or something, then you’re going to call them and say, “Hey, why does my tape look like this? It plays in my camcorder.” And they say, “Well, I don’t know.”
Well, you probably shouldn’t have gone to that place, because what we generally like to do is, if we see that situation, we can generally tell and we will call you and say, “Do you still have your camcorder? Have you had it repaired since?
Because if you’ve had your camcorder repaired since you recorded your tape offline, it’s not going to do any good, because now your camera is back to what it should have been. So that’s the best thing. Find out what you need to bring in and what they have.
And another thing which, I take a lot of heat on this, but this is my opinion, the best way to transfer analog to digital is through a machine that’s made specifically to transfer VHS-C, VHS, High 88 to a DVD or Blue ray or hard drive.
You can buy these absolute kick butt Apples and even some PCs that are amazing on what they do. And so, people get these little squawk boxes, they pay less than a hundred dollars for.
Tom: And they plug their camcorder into it, and then plug that into a computer. A computer is not a device to turn analog into digital. So, you have this thousand dollar Apple computer that’s just absolutely incredible, and then you have this stupid little piece of hundred dollar equipment.
Tom: That’s in the middle of it, and you’re not going to get good transfers. You need to find a person that has equipment that’s specialized to transfer different media to hard drive in real time, BluRay, and hard drive, whatever you’re going to do, because if you don’t, you’re going to get all kinds of problems.
In audio it’s not so much, because the bandwidth of audio is so much smaller. When you get into video, you’re doing tons of stuff, terabytes, and gigabytes of stuff.
And so, when you’re transferring, if there’s the littlest glitch, if the computer just pauses for a fraction of a second, you might not notice until you looking at your DVD, you see these little artifacts that flash and stop and freeze, and it will drive you nuts, because it’s visual and most people are visual people.
So, that’s why you want to stay away from the computer if you can. So, I would really stay away from people that are transfering through their computer vs. having the hardware.
Right after the break, I’ll give you some more questions that you can ask your dealer where you want to get your memories preserved.
Fisher: All right, coming up in three minutes on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show.
Segment 5 Episode 120
Host Scott Fisher with guest Tom Perry
Fisher: We are back, final segment of Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show.
I am Fisher, the Radio Roots Sleuth, with Tom Perry from TMCPlace.com and we’re talking about this great question, about how do you know that someone is going to do a great job transferring your old family videos because there are so many different types of old videos, as we’ve talked about Tom, so what questions to ask and you’ve given some great answers on that already. What else should they be concerned with?
Tom: You know, I would ask the people, how long they’ve been in this business, how long they’ve been in this industry? Maybe they’ve only been transferring tapes for five years but yet maybe they’ve been videographer for twenty years.
Tom: So they’ve got the experience. There are people out there, and I’m not exaggerating, we hear horror stories about this all the time. They go to a place like ‘Goodwill’ buy some old VCR’s, buy some old camcorders, hook them up and say “Hey!..” You know, they hang the shingle that says “Hey, I can transfer your audio, video and film.” They know nothing about cleaning the machines; they know nothing about getting mould spores from one person’s tape, transferring to everybody else’s tape. You’ve got to be careful. You want to ask a question? Ask them, “How do you upkeep your equipment? What’s your experience on that? What do you use?”
Fisher: I want to go back to the mould spores there, because you’ve mentioned this before.
Tom: Oh yeah.
Fisher: Is this still pretty common and where?
Tom: Oh, it is! Especially places that are high humidity, like Florida.
Fisher: Yeah, okay.
Tom: Not so much in Arizona, because it’s so dry. And people that have moved around, these tapes may have been in boxes for ten, fifteen, twenty years, and there could be rodent damage, there could be all kinds of stuff.
And, I don’t mean to be gross, but you don’t want to be running a tape with rodent pee through your VCR and then put somebody else’s nice, clean tape in there and do the same thing. It’s nasty.
I mean, we know this stuff. If we see something, we know about it. And I’ve had situations where something snuck in that we didn’t catch, we didn’t see the mould spores or whatever.
There’s no white dots, but when we started running it we knew exactly what was going on and so, we threw the VCR away. We just didn’t use it anymore.
Tom: Oh yeah! Because when they get really, really bad, there’s no way you’re going to be able to clean them. We clean all of ours by hand. They make good quality tapes cleaners, but they’re kind of hard to find nowadays, but you can get them to run through your machine.
We don’t do that. We take our machines apart; we clean all the rubber parts, all the metal parts with 90% isopropyl alcohol. We use the right kind of tip cleaners and things like that.
We’re always cleaning our machines, because we don’t want somebody else’s tapes, even though they think. “Oh, it’s on DVD now. I don’t care.”
Well, you don’t know. Something down the road could happen to your DVD and you go, “Boy! I’m glad I still have that tape. I can retransfer it again.”
We’ve had people that have taken tapes into the big box stores that they get the DVD back and they look at it and say, “This isn’t good.” And they ask the big box store, we won’t mention names, “Oh, no, we did the best we can. We’re professional at this.”
They bring the same tape in to us, we run it and they go, “Oh, now this is how it plays on our VCR!”
You know, we guarantee our work. If something’s wrong with the tape, we’ll do the very best we can. A lot of the big box stores won’t be able to do that, and that’s a good thing too.
If you ever take your tape into a place to get it transferred, and they say there’s always things wrong with your tape, yada, yada, yada. You can play it or you’re pretty sure there’s not a problem, send it to us. Let us try it.
We get tapes all the time that are rejected from the big box stores, but these guys are an assembly line. All they’re doing is going, ‘Oh, this tape is not working. Let’s pull it out, let’s pull it out!’
Tom: And we can transfer it.
Fisher: And you’ve got a lot of young kids often working in these stores. They’re not specialists in this material.
Tom: Exactly! It’s a 9 to 5 job for them, if even that, or it’s a summer job. But we take the time to go through the whole tape, find out if we can transfer it and we do, and it makes me wonder, how many other tapes out there, that these big box stores reject that people throw away that we could have transferred for them?
Fisher: So, bottom line is, Tom, you’ve got to make sure you’re working with reputable, experienced people, right?
Tom: Exactly! If they don’t answer your questions, then go to someplace else. Check with your local guys, if you don’t feel comfortable with them, write us at askTom@TMCPlace.com and I’ll try to help you.
If you can’t get anybody in your area, send them to one of our stores. We’re more than happy to help you.
Fisher: All right. We’ll see you again next week.
Tom: Sounds good. See you then, bud.
Fisher: That is it for this week. And thanks once again to Steve Anderson, for sharing with us the wild tale of what DNA testing told him about his family, including his eight siblings He has dealt with the shock well. Also to Leann Walker Young, for telling us about her journey to learn more about the father she lost when she was just three years old, a coach for the Chicago Cubs. Join us on Facebook this week and at ExtremeGenes.com. Talk to you again next week, and remember, as far as everyone knows, we’re a nice, normal family!
Fisher opens the show with David Allen Lambert, Chief Genealogist of the New England Historic and Genealogical Society and AmericanAncestors.org. David talks about the historic "First Leftovers!" (It's true!) Plus, a flock of Russian birds that have gathered pieces of antique documents in their nests. What type of bird and what have they found? Catch the story on the podcast. Plus, hear David's latest family history pickup from eBay... for all of ten dollars. And if you're interested in having an electronic accounting of all the books you have in your home quickly and easily, you won't want to miss David's Tech Tip of the Week. And David has another free database of the week from NEHGS! Fisher then visits with Dr. Robin Smith from 23andMe talking about some of the new report features that are available. Health? Physical tendencies? Ancestry? Dr. Smith touches on them all. Whether or not you've spit in a cup yet, you're going to want to know where this exciting field is going. (Starts at 25:16) Fisher was recently surprised to run into Olympic Gold Medalist Apolo Anton Ohno who agreed to come on the show and talk about his research into his background... half Japanese and half who-knows-what. His Japanese research brought about some terrific surprises, and he's putting DNA to work to solve the problem on his mother's side. By the way... she was adopted. It's a great visit you won't want to miss! Plus, Tom Perry from TMCPlace.com, the preservation authority, talks about a listener question regarding audio for interviews. Tom is going to save you a lot of heartache and errors! Don't miss his segments. That's all this week on Extreme Genes, America's Family History Show!
Transcript of Episode 115
Host Scott Fisher with guest David Allen Lambert
Segment 1 Episode 115
Fisher: And you have found us! Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show 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. Well hopefully you had a fantastic Thanksgiving! You’re on the treadmill and you’re just getting ready for the next run at Christmas time. Have we got a show for you today! I’m very excited about it. Of course it’s our monthly DNA show and we have Dr. Robin Smith on from 23andMe talking about what’s going on with them because there have been a lot of changes lately on their reports, and it will be really interesting to hear what they’ve got going. Plus later in the show, very excited to have Olympic speed skating champion Apolo Anton Ohno on for a segment! And Apolo has been digging into his past trying to figure out some of his background. And you’ll be interested in hearing what the journey’s been all about for him. It’s going to be a great segment later in the show. So hope you’ll be here for that. Right now let’s check in with Boston and our good friend the chief Genealogist for the New England Historic Genealogical Society and AmericanAncestors.org, David Allen Lambert. Hello David!
David: Greetings from Beantown, and not far from the first Thanksgiving!
Fisher: That is true.
David: How are you?
Fisher: I’m feeling fat, I really am. A little too much pie but I am hitting the gym. I’m taking good care of myself.
David: Well that’s good. You know I always find if you’re going to go run on the treadmill you might as well have a piece of mincemeat pie or something to lead you on, to get that extra mile in.
Fisher: [Laugh] Yes! It is a quality of life thing.
David: That it truly is. I wanted to share a little story with you and wanted people to know, the first leftovers actually probably occurred during the first Thanksgiving. And I’ll explain.
David: Yeah back in 1841, Alexander Young published a book in Boston containing a letter from Pilgrim Edward Winslow. And it goes on to say the following. “Our harvest being gotten in, our governor sent four men on fowling that we might after more a special manner rejoice together. There were many of the Indians coming amongst us, and among the rest the greatest king Massasoit were some 90 men for whom three days we entertained and feasted.”
Basically what you’re caring about is a Thanksgiving that lasted for days. Well, isn’t that kind of what our leftovers are?!
Fisher: Yeah that’s true. I hadn’t thought of it that way. You are correct sir.
David: And I don’t know if they brought home doggy bags from the first Thanksgiving.
Fisher: [Laughs] I don’t know if they had a lot of dogs back there.
David: They did. I mean hopefully they were not part of the first feast.
Fisher: Right. [Laughs]
David: [Laughs] But sharing things doesn’t always have to be from humans. Apparently if you’re a pigeon, you’ve heard the term pigeon hole and putting things away.
Well in Russia, in a Catholic cathedral, in the Cathedral of Assumption in Zelenograd, 40 miles west of Moscow, they have found scraps of paper that had been put away in nests from birds since the 19th century.
David: Yeah it’s like the little mini archives. Of course you know birds will store away any piece of straw or string and what not, and build a nest to keep their chicks warm. In this roof that they were redoing in this 15th century cathedral, they found fragments of letters dating back to the 1830’s records that was written in calligraphy from the 1820s to ‘50s and these are all torn apart by birds.
David: But enough if they can get little fragments of them, including part of a calendar bearing the date of December 6th 1917 with a note that Emperor Nicholas the second, the last Czar of Russia, had been executed.
David: You think pigeons are historians? I don’t know.
Fisher: Apparently so. At least those are.
David: I guess. I mean selective news stories of historical interest. I think Family Histoire News may have been done by pigeons in Russia, at one point. [Laughs]
Fisher: At one time, yes. [Laughs]
David: You know I always love a touchstone of history, and of course for New Englanders, we never throw anything out. I think the term “hoarders” comes from the New England attic.
Fisher: I think that’s true.
David: My great grandfather was in the Canadian expeditionary forces in World War I. I have very few things that belonged to him for his service, including a postcard and a couple of photographs. If I was there, I’d probably want to bring back some sort of a souvenir you know, like maybe a German cannon.
Fisher: Right! Who wouldn’t want one of those?
David: Put it on your lawn. A captured German cannon. You can get one and I bought a small part of a German cannon on eBay this week for $10.
David: During the Liberty War Bonds Drive back in World War I, if you purchased a war bond for a certain amount of money, they gave you a token that was made from a piece of a German cannon captured during the war.
Fisher: Wow, really?!
David: So I now have a piece of a cannon that fits my pocket and it’s a piece of an artefact that could have been you know from a cannon on a battlefield, that my great grandfather was trying to attack.
Fisher: Who knows?
David: I mean I don’t know, it’s just a theory. It’s a great little piece of history. I have coals from the Titanic. I have wood from different vessels, The Constitution. So, in my shoebox I have my own Smithsonian.
Fisher: Very nice.
David: And I think for historians and people who are trying to get a touchstone, you know you pick up a rock from a battlefield or something from where your ancestor served or where they lived or a piece of a brick from an old house or a solavel, it allows you to have that three dimensional connection. And now for this piece of German cannon I have another piece of WWI history and not make my neighbors feel like I’m going to shoot up their home.
Fisher: Right. [Laughs]
David: [Laughs] Ok, my tech tip: As genealogists and historians, you probably noticed you accumulate a lot of books, or do you notice occasionally you buy duplicates or you get gifts of, “Oh thanks, I already have that,” and you end up regifting it?
Fisher: Right, yes.
David: This is a perfect app called LibraryThing. LibraryThing is a free app that you can download from the iStore. You can basically download it; it has a barcode reader if you have a camera on your phone; you can scan in that barcode; it automatically finds the book and adds it to your catalogue.
David: You can then search by the title; you can search by the author. Who needs a bookstore registry when you can have your own?
Fisher: What a great tip. I love it!
David: Another thing that’s free. As you know, as always, for our guest users that sign up, we have two data bases, Essex County, Massachusetts original public records from 1635 to 1681and birth, marriage and dearth, and German church duplicates from the 1790s to 1870s. Now these are all data bases at NEHGS at AmericanAncestors.org have done with the collaboration with FamilySearch and we’re very glad for that partnership. Talk to you next week my friend.
Fisher: All right buddy. Thanks for coming on. And coming up next is Dr Robin Smith from 23andMe talking DNA on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show in three minutes.
Segment 2 Episode 115
Host Scott Fisher with guest Dr. Robin Smith
Fisher: And we are back! Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show and ExtremeGenes.com. It is Fisher here, your Radio Roots Sleuth, with my guest, Dr. Robin Smith from 23andMe. It’s the first time having you on the show, Dr. Smith, good to have you.
Dr. Smith: Great to be here.
Fisher: You have quite an interesting background coming in from Canada, and you didn’t really start out in the field of genetics. What did you do?
Dr. Smith: Yeah, it’s been a pretty circuitous route started off studying spinal cord regeneration for grad school. Then I really got into genetics a lot. And then I did what it is called a post op at the University of California in San Francisco. There I was studying how genes are turned on and turned off. Primarily interested in how we respond to drugs, and how development works, how our limbs grow, how our arms grow. And since joining 23andMe, I’ve been working on a variety of products. I’ve been primarily writing health reports, writing wellness reports, trait reports and also on the ancestry team. So I’ve been working a lot on the new Neanderthal report and also on some of the tools we’ve been developing, for example the share and compare tool.
Fisher: Let’s go through some of these things a little bit of the time here. First of all, let’s talk about the Neanderthals report. I actually had rather high numbers on that, which may explain my forehead and extra facial hair.
Dr. Smith: [Laughs]
Fisher: Let’s talk about that a little. Where does this come from? Where does this number generate from and what is the normal range here?
Dr. Smith: Yeah. Well, you may know that Neanderthals were a sort of sister species. They went extinct around 35,000 years ago, 40,000 years ago. But they were around a lot longer before that. And they were similar to humans in a lot of ways. They were a little bit broader around the torso and had brow ridges and what not. And at some point they interbred with humans before going extinct. So basically most modern humans, present day humans that are outside of Africa have a signature of these Neanderthals in their genome. How much you have, varies person to person. In the old report we had around three percent, my mother was in the higher. In the new Neanderthal report we’ve chained it up a little because there’s been some new data coming out. So all this sequencing data has been published lately and so now we’re really able to pinpoint exactly where the Neanderthal ancestry is. And show you exactly, you know, on a chromosome 1 chromosome 2 exactly where to find it. We can also do something cool, which is basically trying to see whether those little bits of Neanderthal ancestry are correlated with any trait. So for example height, or back hair, or weird things like that.
Dr. Smith: You can kind of go in and see whether you have any higher likelihood having those things based on your Neanderthal ancestry.
Fisher: Well that’s amazing. You made me feel a lot better, because mine only came in on my 23andMe report at like 2.4 %. So maybe it wasn’t quite as high as I thought. So let’s talk about this because you’re always coming up with new tools. Let’s talk about the Share and Compare thing. Explain to our listeners exactly what it is that this does, and why it’s important to them.
Dr. Smith: Well, so in the old 23andMe experience, the reports would basically give you your results, but they would give you all of your friends and relatives, like all of your shared results as well. And it’s not exactly how we wanted to do it because if somebody had a lot of shares then they would have a lot of results. So now in the new experience, basically what we’ve done is, centralize all that information. So if you want to know anything about your relatives, your friends that you connected with, you can go to this one easy tool. On the right hand side you’ve got all the different reports that we offer. So carrier status, wellness, traits, ancestry, just click on that and you can see like in a pedigree view. So looking back to your parents and grandparents, your siblings, or just looking at your friends in general, and see what are their results for those reports. And so you can see for example; let’s say you are 5% Italian, you can go back one generation and say oh your father was 10% Italian, and then go back one more generation and see your grandparents were 20% Italian. So you can do that for any of the reports so it’s quite a useful view for looking at how things are inherited.
Fisher: Do we all actually get those kind of exact numbers where you know you’re divided in half with each generation coming down, or is that just an example you were using?
Because I’m aware that some people will show up with Greek ancestry when they are expecting Italian because their ancestors moved from Greece into Italy?
Dr Smith: Yeah, now that’s definitely a good point. That was an example. And I think that there definitely are some cases where you’ll see that but in other cases it’s not as simple as just a division. And when we’re doing these we are looking at ancestor composition, we’re sort of looking at large pieces of your genes and using statistical algorithm to figure out what it’s likely to be. But that said there’s a lot of variation in ancestry you know. If you look at people in Italy, if you look at people in Sicily versus northern Italy, there’s a lot of variation. So it all comes down to the reference operations that we use, these data sets, and we’re continuing to get more and more and make our algorithm better and better. Hopefully we’ll get more and more resolution as we go forward.
Fisher: So when you mention the grandparents and the great grandparents, do people actually need their tree on there to associate that with these results? Or does the report actually identify where this specific information came from?
Dr. Smith: It definitely helps to have some people connected, but we do have some tools that say, if you don’t have people connected yet, we have this feature called “Inferences.” Where in certain cases we can make predictions about what your parents or grandparents were likely to have had. Based on what your result is. We can’t do that for every single report, but for some of them we can.
Fisher: So talk about the sharing and comparing as far as the health traits go, a little bit more. So if I find I have a first cousin or a second cousin or even a third or fourth cousin that is on there, am I likely to see similar traits and then we can find exactly what ancestor we had in common? “Who to blame” basically for a negative trait or something positive?
Dr. Smith: It kind of depends, genetics are very complicated obviously. There are some things where there’s a single gene, you know, that’s passed down from generation to generation, and that is very informative about a particular trait. So for example: Lactose intolerance. You could probably trace that back and figure out exactly who gave you those variants. However, you know there’s other traits, such as dimples of all things, where there are lots and lots of markers, lots and lots of positions in the genome that seem to affect those traits. So trying to trace it back to a particular ancestor is a little more tricky.
Fisher: Got it. And of course we don’t want to blame any one person anyway because it could come from anywhere.
Dr. Smith: It’s true, yeah.
Dr. Smith: It can be fun you know. Like trying to figure out and I’ve heard lots of stories, CeCe told a story about how the perfect pets were passed down in her family line. And I know there are lots of stories like that so I think it’s up to customers to sort of fill in the gaps. What they know about their family history and what they can find on Gen X.
Fisher: Let’s talk about the future. Where are things going now? What can people expect down the line in terms of the constant development? You’re obviously privy to some things that may be happening down the line that are pretty exciting. What do you see in, say a year, five years, and ten years?
Dr. Smith: I think you’ll continue to see more reports from us. More tools and different ways to interact with your genomes. There’s a really good set reports there now. I think we’re going to be continuing to work on enhancing those, and trying to look at the literature and see what other scientists and finding and see how we can improve things.
Fisher: Do you think there’ll be a time where it’s more like focusing a telescope as we look back and we talk about, say, the Ethnic breakout. For instance, I had a friend whose grandfather was full Italian. When he got the results back, it was very small. It was like 3% Italian. Where we reached the point where we can say, “Okay, he was at this place.” Or your ancestors were in this place at this particular point in time, and then moved. Will you be able to follow that, do you think?
Dr. Smith: I think getting that particular ancestor…I mean you can obviously do that with some of the Haplo group features. Like you can link those back and get other people in on Genghis Khan or 909 hostages but when it comes to looking at the rest of your genome, autosomal part of your genome, I think going back to a particular ancestor is a little tricky. One thing I think that may be possible in the future is being able to get some time resolution on when a particular ancestry may have entered your lines.
Fisher: Um hmm.
Dr. Smith: So you can sort of tell by how big – I don’t know how much you know about looking at chromosomes and segments and all that, but you can learn a lot based on how much of a particular ancestry you have, but also the pattern of the segments in your chromosome. So if they’re really big, they likely came relatively recently into your line;, whereas if they’re really small and choppy they may have come further back. So you can kind of tell, for example; let’s say you’re 5% Italian, you might be able to tell based on the pattern of ancestry in your chromosomes. Whether that is likely to have come in seven generations ago, or two generations ago, or three generations ago.
Fisher: That’s fascinating stuff. It’s a new experience for me. I had my results come in a few weeks ago, and I’m starting to interact a lot with a lot of the other members on 23andMe. Cousins and people who wanted to compare certain chromosomes, and I’m learning how that works. What are some of the questions you hear most often, and what are the answers to those questions?
Dr. Smith: Well, I mean I do hear a lot about ancestry chromositions. So my wife is from Pakistan and some of her ancestors are from around that region. In her line there’s some European ancestry, so I get a lot of questions from other family. Like, “Where does the European ancestry enter the line?” We sort of tried to figure out where that was, and the best we could find is that maybe it came about from Afghanistan. Because there’s been sort of all this gene flow into that area over the years, you know Alexander was there way back when the Greeks were there. There have been lots and lots of upleash and movements in Central Asia over the years. So the best we could think of was, maybe there’s some ancestry in Afghanistan that look like European, even though maybe it’s not, you know. We wouldn’t necessarily call it European today. So there’s also some questions about Italian versus Northern African ancestry, and trying to get out those differences. So I get a lot of questions around that. I think it’s really exciting to be able to sort of help people answer those questions.
Fisher: Yeah. It’s interesting you brought that up. My wife came in with some North African ancestry, and I came in with some Iberian Peninsula, and have no idea where that would have come in, especially at a percentage of two or three percent. Because it doesn’t show up on my lines anywhere but it must have just come down through someone.
Dr. Smith: Yeah, I mean the whole area, there’s obviously been a long history of moving across the Mediterranean right? So figuring out exactly which population was part of your line. I think that’s where you can use 23andMe as a guide, but you also have to sort of fill in the gaps. What you know about your family.
Fisher: Right. As you’ve done your research and you continue moving forward. Dr. Robin Smith, with 23andMe. I’ve enjoyed it and we look forward to hearing more from what your research is showing, and all the progress that you continue to make in this exciting realm, and how it helps us with our family history.
Dr. Smith: Great, yeah. It was great talking to you too.
Fisher: And of course we do a segment on DNA every month, so if you have a question, you could email me or drop me a note on Facebook and we’ll see if we can get that question answered on the air. Not only for you, but for everybody else who listens. And coming up next… He’s a gold medalist and an NBC commentator, and he too is on a journey to find out about his background. We’ll talk to Apolo Anton Ohno the Speed Skater; next in five minutes on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show!
Segment 3 Episode 115
Host Scott Fisher with guest Apolo Anton Ohno
Fisher: And we are back, Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show and ExtremeGenes.com. It is Fisher here with my very special guest, Olympic multiple Gold, Silver Medalist, Apolo Ohno in the studio with me today. And thanks for dropping by Apolo. It’s good to see you.
Apolo: Of course. Of course. I love your guys’ show and what you guys do. This is awesome!
Fisher: Well, thank you so much. And I was thinking about this. You’re known around the world, but nobody can quite ever figure out what your background is. And obviously you’ve got an interest in family history. I want to hear a little about what you’ve done and what you know.
Apolo: Sure. I’ll break it down like this. I grew up in a single parent household. My father was Japanese. He migrated to the United States when he was eighteen years old. Was married to my mom, and then they got a divorce when I was very young. My father took custody of me, so he raised me my entire life. So obviously I’m very close to my father. I don’t keep in contact with my mom, so I never developed a relationship with my mother in the sense of got to know her and her background.
Apolo: And my mom was actually adopted.
Fisher: Oh boy!
Apolo: Yeah. So she doesn’t know her background ethnicity, because she doesn’t know her parents. I mean, you can kind of tell based on the way they look, but because I don’t keep in contact with my mom, I don’t know. So when people ask me all the time, “What’s your background ethnicity?” I say, “Well, I’m half Japanese.” And they say, “What’s the other half?” And I’m like, “I don’t really know.” So not too long ago, I did the 23andMe genealogy test.
Apolo: Just to figure out kind of, at least generally speaking, what my history was. And then before that I think there was this show called, ‘Who Do You Think You Are?’
Fisher: Right. No, it’s still around.
Apolo: It’s still going?
Fisher: Oh yeah.
Apolo: So a friend of mine was producing the show. I had always told him, “I really want to know what my background is.” At least on my one side like maybe on the Japanese side, like what does it look like, the tree?
Apolo: Because of the half Japanese heritage, what they did you know? And the Japanese keep this very strict catalogue of historical documentation of where the family and clans, I guess are from, right back to the Samurai.
Fisher: Right. Yes.
Apolo: And they started to dig deeper and deeper and deeper, and they tried to, they had to get like approval from my grandmother. At the time, my grandfather was alive and my father, and they were trying to just do all this research and using all these different translators. And they kept hitting a wall, because they got to a point where the Japanese just didn’t want to release the information. There was so much compliance and approval that my grandma was just like, “I don’t want to do this anymore!”
Apolo: So, I had the test results back from where I am and it shows that the other portion of my heritage and ancestry is primarily its northeastern European.
Apolo: Kind of like there’s some Irish there. There’s a little bit of like, British, maybe some Scottish. 1.6% is north African, which I was like, “Wow, that’s a bit interesting.”
Fisher: Isn’t that interesting when you get those trace elements in there and those…
Apolo: Yes, trace elements. People always say like, “What’s one thing that people don’t know about you, Apolo?” You know, and I’m like, “I don’t really know.” I’m pretty open to my public, you know like who I am. And then I started thinking the other day, “I do a lot of reading about some pretty obscure off topic things, and one of them is like ‘The origin of human species.’ I’m always interested in like, what were the first bones being excavated? What about this tribe? Where do we come from? You know, the other day I was reading about, you know, they found out this, they found this skull and some teeth in China. And they found that this kind of pre-dates what they normally thought of any human beings being inside China. They found like, “we know what their last kind of meals were based on the…” I was like, “How do you?” That is so crazy!!
Apolo: Was this guy eating like some Dim sum?
Apolo: It was incredible!
Fisher: It’s fantastic!
Apolo: It’s awesome! So really awesome!
Fisher: So did you get some stories out of Japan, about your parents, your grandparents, your greats?
Apolo: I did.
Fisher: What do you know?
Apolo: On my grandmother’s side, they found out that I actually have real Samurai blood.
Fisher: No kidding!
Apolo: Really, I’ve got those, Yasunaga Clan. It was something in Japan, real Samurai blood. And you know I haven’t done a lot of research into it.
Fisher: When did you find that out, at what point? I mean you were probably…
Apolo: Not soon enough, because I would have used that to my advantage.
Fisher: I was going to say
Apolo: Out there I was skating on razor sharp blades and like feeling “I’m fierce.” You know?
Fisher: Yeah, that had to affect you. So it wasn’t until after you’d retired?
Apolo: Well, I’ll tell you, it was something interesting, because my father didn’t really play sports. My grandfather didn’t really play sports. My grandmother didn’t really play sports. And so I have this like unique athletic ability that was sort of an anomaly in my family, but there has to be some genetic heritage that has passed down through generations. We found that there’s a relative in my family who was an exceptional runner, but never in a competition setting. But he would go visit his wife, and back then, you know, this is years and years and years ago, he would run to go see her. It was like sixteen miles one way or something.
Fisher: Wow! [Laughs]
Apolo: So he was like this incredible endurance athlete.
Fisher: Well you must have drawn something from him.
Apolo: Yeah. And then you know, perhaps from the Samurai bloodline, maybe there’s some fighter mentality there that is, you know. At least I like to think so.
Apolo: You know.
Fisher: So you found out about the Samurais. How far back are we talking here?
Apolo: I don’t know the exact date period, but it’s pretty far back. I think we’re going into like, you know, the 1400s, 1300s time. So this is pretty far back.
Fisher: And did you get some of your tree back that far?
Apolo: A little bit. It’s bits and pieces and some of it’s broken, because they were not able to really connect properly given the approval inside Japan.
Fisher: Right. Right.
Apolo: It’s going to take, what it’s going to take is, it’s going to take for me to fly to Japan with my grandmother.
Apolo: And then like basically just say, “All right, Obachan, I need you to kind of agree to this, this, this, this, and this.”
Fisher: So you need certain approvals from within the family?
Apolo: Every single step needs approval.
Fisher: No kidding!
Apolo: Yeah, it’s very cumbersome.
Apolo: And so she was just like, “Why does he have to know? It doesn’t really matter!”
Fisher: [Laughs] We’re talking to Olympic hero and idol, Apolo Ohno, about his family history background and some of his research. And you were saying you did the 23andMe DNA test. And since your mother side’s was adopted, did you find any cousins, first of all? Did you find any connection with some folks who might be cousins to help you open up that adopted side?
Apolo: Not yet. Not yet. But there’s been like some, I think they give you like some suggestions, right? In terms of like who might possibly be related.
Apolo: I always wondered why my goatee and my sideburns were red.
Apolo: Because Japanese all have black hair.
Fisher: Yeah, that wouldn’t be from there.
Apolo: And I’m like, this is, I’m either Irish or like, Native American.
Fisher: Scottish, yeah.
Apolo: Scottish. Definitely something in the north Eastern, European region.
Apolo: And it makes sense now.
Fisher: Well, a lot of people will do that. They’ll suddenly find a first or second cousin pops up or even a third.
Fisher: And then they can start coming down into what you know about your mother and start putting this thing together, reconstructing the tree coming forward. And that’s how that can get done.
Fisher: But you’re going to have to be paying attention to your results in order to get that to happen.
Apolo: Basically what it does is, it takes work, right? So you have to kind of sit down and you have to be committed and really kind of see what you can.
Fisher: Well, and like you say, you’ve got that natural curiosity…
Fisher: …about history and the human factor. I mean, this is something you can do on the plane.
Fisher: On your handheld device.
Apolo: That’s what I do. I do it on the plane.
Fisher: Yeah, all over the place. So what are you doing now?
Apolo: So you know, I retired in 2010 from my pursuit of the Olympic Games.
Fisher: You miss it?
Apolo: Every day. I miss the Olympic space every single day, but I get a taste of it every couple of years when I go to the Olympic Games. You know, I’m an NBC correspondent for the Olympics. I will be in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games as a commentator. I’ll be in the 2018 Games as a commentator. I’ll be in the 2020 Games as a commentator. ’22 and ’24 and beyond. So that’s what I do in relation to sports. Then I have my own serial entrepreneurial activities that I kind of focus on.
Apolo: I do some, you know, hosting and some acting based in Los Angeles. But those three are the main things that I really spend my time. And obviously the Special Olympics, and other different types of organizations that I’ve become partners with and try to lend my time to.
Fisher: Love the Special Olympics.
Apolo: Yeah, phenomenal.
Fisher: I remember the first time I was ever asked to host some event there. And I went there frankly, with kind of a bad attitude.
Fisher: It was like a Saturday and It’s like, “Agh, I’ve got to go host this other thing.”
Fisher: And I got down there. And it was the most fulfilling, heartwarming thing. And I drove home with just such a glow. And I was thinking back about how I’d felt coming down and how I felt returning. And I couldn’t do enough of that stuff for many years to come. And it was just a joy to do it. And I can see you feel the same way about it.
Apolo: Yeah. You know, its…
Fisher: It’s a revelation!
Apolo: You think it’s a giving experience, but you get so much in return. And that’s why I try to tell people, “Look, just try it. Just see what I’m talking about. I can’t explain it to you.”
Fisher: And the love!
Apolo: The love is so genuine!
Apolo: Yeah. I mean, the special Olympic athletes are so incredibly special and they’re just unique. And I love being part of an organization blessed to be able to represent them and always kind of take part. It’s been a big part of my life, you know. I’m excited about it.
Fisher: Apolo Ohno, thank you so much for your time. And good luck in your pursuit.
Apolo: Thank you. Thank you so much!
Fisher: Because I know this is going to be something that’s going to keep pulling you back, especially when you’ve got all those Samurais back there glowing at you, you know.
Apolo: Learn more about us!
Fisher: Well, don’t athletes ultimately use things, like anything they can use as a motivation, right? Some kind of slight, like the Koreans did with you, right?
Apolo: Yeah, I was their motivation. [Laughs]
Fisher: Yes, you were. [Laughs]
Apolo: Oh man! Yeah.
Fisher: He’s Olympic Legend, Apolo Ohno, on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show.
Segment 4 Episode 115
Host Scott Fisher with guest Tom Perry
Fisher: Hey welcome back to America’s Family History Show, Extreme Genes and ExtremeGenes.com. It is Fisher here, the Radio Roots Sleuth. That is Tom Perry over there.
Fisher: With his shining bald head in the lights.
Fisher: And [laughs] he is our Preservation Authority from TMCPlace.com. How’re you doing, Tommy?
Tom: Well, now that my secret’s out, not very well.
Fisher: [Laughs] Well, we have a question from somebody. And it seems to be a bit of a problem. This listener’s been following all of our advice about recording and videoing and dealing with audio. He’s been putting up pillows around rooms and yet he’s still getting a problem with hum in his audio. So, what do you say to that?
Tom: Well my suggestion is get a good external microphone, because what’s happening is, you have a tape transport system in your mini DV camcorder and it’s vibrating. It’s causing different things to happen. And as a result, your microphone is picking up these vibrations and there’s really nothing you can do about it, because it’s built into the camcorder. So you have these inherent noises.
Fisher: So he’s done the right thing. He’s got the room picked out. He’s got it all soundproofed, but it doesn’t much matter if the camera’s getting the vibration into the internal microphone.
Tom: Exactly! He’s reducing a lot of problems, but just like anything, the weakest link is going to be your problem. In this situation, his weakest link is his internal microphone. So get a good external microphone. Pick up a magazine like Video Maker or go to VideoMaker.com. And they have a lot of reviews. They have a lot of good articles of how to mic people to make sure you’re doing it right. But when you get an external microphone, if you’re shooting solo you’re not going to be able to hold your camcorder and the microphone, unless you have a tripod. So what I suggest you do is, go to BHPhotovideo.com and get a good mount that you can put on your camcorder, but it has rubber cushions so it will isolate your microphone from the vibration of your camera.
Tom: And that’s a real good way to do it. If you have a friend that can hold the microphone, make sure you get the right kind of microphone; if you’re using what we call a “shotgun” which is one of the best microphones, because it’s very, very directional. Make sure your buddy’s paying attention to what you’re doing. And paying attention to who’s talking, so they point it at the right person. So don’t use a typical thirteen year old, because they’ll be out in Never Never Land and pointing it wrong.
Fisher: [Laughs] Right.
Tom: So what you want to do is make sure he’s pointing it at grandma when they’re talking, pointing it at grandpa when he’s talking. If they’re very close together, you can still use a shotgun mic, just be a little bit farther away. If you’re going to mic them with like a table mic, then you’re going to want something that’s more omni directional, where it will pick up like two or three or four people sitting around the table. Or go to a PZM type microphone that actually uses the table as a sounding board. Now you’ll think, “Well, how do I get this into my camcorder?” I have never seen a camcorder that doesn’t have a mic in. So just run the cables into your mic. And if you’re going to use wireless, make sure you get a good system. In fact, generally you want to rent one, unless you’re going to be doing a lot of shooting, because you can buy cheap wireless microphones and you’re going to get exactly what you’re buying… something cheap. You’re going to pick up all kinds of sounds, from refrigerators getting plugged in and all kinds of things. They’re going to cause noise. So you want to get away from that. And most important, make sure you have headphones on. Whether you’re shooting with your iPhone, your Android, a nice camcorder, you always want to use headphones. Because you’re going to hear things that otherwise your head is going to tell your brain, it’s going to say, “Hey, don’t bother me with that.” And it’ll block it out. And you won’t even know it’s there. In fact, what I suggest lot of people do is, if you have even if it’s an old camcorder, set it up in the corner. Set it on a wide shot. Get a good external microphone and just turn it on and let it run. And set a timer on your iPhone that says, “Oh, sixty minutes I need to change the tape.” And let that just run. Use you iPhone or your Android to do little one on one interviews, because you’ve always got that way what we call B roll. So if something is bad, you’re moving to Aunt Martha or you miss something, the camera that you have over in the corner that’s shooting the whole room. And you have a good omni directional microphone on it, it’s going to pick up B roll. So you can cut to those things and that way, you’re not going to miss little Martha telling little stories that you missed.
Fisher: I love that suggestion. You’re turning us all into Hollywood people here, Tom.
Tom: Oh, absolutely! Absolutely! Just remember, the awards whether you’re getting an Emmy or an Oscar, you mention that you heard it on Extreme Genes.
Fisher: Right. [Laughs] All right, what do you have coming up in the next segment?
Tom: Okay, in the next segment, we’re going to talk about now that you’ve shot good audio with your video, we’re going to show you how you can edit your audio and even make it sound better.
Fisher: All right, coming up in three minutes on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show.
Segment 5 Episode 115
Host Scott Fisher with guest Tom Perry
Fisher: We are back, final segment of Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show. Tom Perry is here with us, our Preservation Authority from TMCPlace.com, answering a listener question as we’re getting you ready for the holidays and the interviews you’re inevitably going to do with some of your senior family members of course. And Tom, we were talking about the audio. And you’ve straightened out a lot of people on the importance of an external microphone to avoid the hum that you would get off of a camera. But what about the editing side of this?
Tom: Okay, there is a lot of good things to do with editing and there’s a couple of ways you can do this. Just because you shot really good interviews, doesn’t mean you always need the audio and video together. A lot of times, all you’re really concerned about is the audio. The video isn’t important. And so, what I suggest you do is get a program and you can just separate the audio from the video and make CDs which are easier for people to carry around. You can make the MP3s. And one nice thing about separating the audio, it gives you the opportunity to do what we call “sweetening” in the industry. Making it sound better. So if the camcorder that you had in the corner that got all these voices and there’s a hum from the refrigerator, from the air conditioning. You can’t take blankets and throw it over Aunt Martha and grandma and all these people to get better audio.
Tom: You know they’ll be very offended. So what you want to do is you want to get a good program like Adobe Audition. It’s my favorite. It’s wonderful.
Tom: It gives you the opportunity to visually edit. Audio’s one of the hardest things to edit. Video’s so much easier to edit. You can actually see a picture, “Okay, this is the pine tree. I want to edit after the pine tree.” You move your little edit mark past the pine tree. When Aunt Martha says the word ‘two’ and you want to edit after the word ‘two’, the word ‘two’ doesn’t stay up on your screen, so you can’t say, “Okay, I need to scrub just past this.” You have to go back and forth to find where she says the word ‘two’. That’s where Adobe Audition’s is great. It has color on the frequencies. And so, when you’re watching, you can say, “Oh, that’s the end of the purple.” So you can go back to the end of the purple. That’s where I want to edit Aunt Martha out. For those that want to just do a one off, don’t want to get into some real heavy audio editing. If you have a Mac, you have Garage Band, because it comes free with every Mac. You can do some pretty miraculous things in “Garage Band” you can get rid of hums. And basically everything like we mentioned before, has a wave form to it. So you can go in and say, “Okay, I can see this little band that stays totally straight no matter what Aunt Martha’s saying. Whether she’s excited or speaking low, this thing stays consistent.” That’s going to be your hum. That’s going to be the thing that’s causing the problem. So you can go in and isolate that. Find out what frequency it is by looking at your levels and seeing where the noise is coming from. And then in something like Garage Band, almost like an eraser tool, you can go and erase that and take that out.
Tom: So it makes it so much easier. Then when you play it back it’s going to sound like, “Wow! They did have the blankets over them.” And everything sounds wonderful.
Fisher: [Laughs] Now you’re saying that Garage Band comes with what?
Tom: Garage Band comes free with Macs. When you buy a Macintosh, it comes with a Garage Band, and it’s a great way to edit. There’s a lot of PC stuff out there. I’m pretty much a Mac guy. Go to Video Maker like I mentioned in the first segment, and listen to some of their reports on audio and different programs they recommend. But Macs are the best way to edit. They’re the easiest way to edit. If you have a PC, just see what they recommend. But I really like Garage Band because it’s free and Macs are easy to edit on. Adobe Audition’s wonderful, because it adds the visual part of editing in audio, which when I used to do music videos, that was always the hardest part to edit, was the audio. Well now with Adobe Audition, you can see the colors and see, “Okay, I need to do this where the blue is. I need to get rid of the purple. I need to do something with the green and the red.” And it makes it so much easier to edit. And once you do this, all your friends will thing that they’re such wonderful speakers. They’re such wonderful interviewers.
Tom: Because they had a good editor that made them sound wonderful. It’s just amazing. Just like you make me sound audible, so people can actually listen to me.
Tom: Well if they were in the studio, they wouldn’t stand it.
Fisher: Tom thanks for coming in. I think we’re putting a lot of ideas in people’s heads that these things are things you can do at home. And what treasures you can create. Thanks, Tom. Good to see you!
Tom: Good to be here.
Fisher: Wow! That was a lot of show this week. Thank you so much to Dr. Robin Smith from 23andMe, for coming on and talking about where we’re going with this DNA thing. And also to Apolo Anton Ohno, the Olympic Gold Medalist, Silver Medalist, Bronze Medalist, NBC commentator, for coming in and talking about his amazing background and his journey to discover more about it. Talk to you again next week. Thanks for joining us. And remember, as far as everyone knows, we’re a nice, normal family!
You can’t make this stuff up, but it’s all in here! Fisher