On this week’s show, Fisher visits with Senior Researcher for NEHGS, Andrew Krea, about his research into the identity of “Molly Pitcher.” “Molly Pitcher” was a nickname given to a woman who stayed with her husband at the Battle of Monmouth in the Revolutionary War and brought pitchers of water to the troops and even manned a cannon, according to legend. Was she real? Or was “she” a “they,” as there were several women who acted similarly on that hot day in New Jersey in 1778. Here’s Andrew’s blog on the possible identity of Molly Pitcher.
David’s recent trip to England yielded a remarkable experience… history in a restroom! David has written about it in his “Vita Brevis” for NEHGS.
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!
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To assist family historians of all levels in locating more pieces of the family tree puzzle, NEHGS is granting this unprecedented free access to its entire collection of genealogical databases from Wednesday, April 6, 2016, at 12:00 a.m. (EDT) through Wednesday, April 13, 2016, at 11:59 p.m. (EDT). Free accounts on AmericanAncestors.org ordinarily allow visitors only a sample of the vast offerings that NEHGS provides family historians of all levels. This unprecedented free access promotion by NEHGS from April 6 through April 13 offers the Society’s entire collection of online content for eight full days to anyone who registers for a free account.
About American Ancestors and NEHGS
Holding the largest collection of original family history materials in the country, the New England Historic Genealogical Society, founded in 1845, is the nation’s oldest and largest genealogical society. Our website, AmericanAncestors.org, offers access to more than 1 billion searchable records and leading scholarly resources to help you advance your family history research. Our expert staff helps researchers of all levels explore their past and their families’ unique place in history. Located in Boston, our research center houses millions of manuscripts, books, and original items to preserve the stories of families in America and beyond.
Fisher and David Allen Lambert, Chief Genealogist of the New England Historic Genealogical Society and AmericanAncestors.org, open the show with Family Histoire News… good and bad. They start with bad… The National Records Office in a major UK city has been hit by ransomware. People wishing to research their ancestors while visiting there will not be able to do so for at least a while. Listen to learn which one. The Daily Mail of the UK says many of us still sense the presence of deceased loved ones. David shares one story from the article, as well as one from his own family concerning this very thing. David then talks about the “Fat Man’s Club of America.” A hundred years ago, it was HUGE! (Pun intended.) Was your ancestor a member? David will tell you all about it. He then shares his Tech Tip… how to find millions of ancient London court records from a university in Texas. David wraps up his visit with another guest user free database from NEHGS.
Next (starts at 11:39), Fisher visits with professional genealogist Kate Eakman from LegacyTree.com. Kate has the inside story on the “SS-5” form… a government Social Security document we’ve all had to fill out, as have our parents and grandparents and other relatives. It’s a record that was filled out by hand in previous decades that gives the date and place of birth, and the names of parents, including the maiden name of the mother. But there are rules governing whether or not you get to see those important ancestral names! Kate will fill you in what those rules are, and how she got around them in one case. It’s a lesson that can apply to other problems dealing with government records.
Larry Gelwix, the “Getaway Guru” from Columbus Travel Agency pops in to talk about the Extreme Genes cruise, set for September 13th out of Boston, cruising to Nova Scotia. Want to join us? Larry and Fisher will share the details and tell you how to sign up.
Preservation Authority Tom Perry from TMCPlace.com then joins the show to talk about what to do when you find undeveloped film from back in the day! How do you get it developed and is it even developable anymore? It’s a great topic. Tom continues the subject at the back end of the show, talking about undeveloped home movies. Tom will help you avoid making mistakes that could permanently destroy your film.
That’s all this week on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show!
Transcript for Episode 133
Segment 1 Episode 133 (00:30)
Fisher: Hello, you! Welcome to America’s Family History Show, Extreme Genes and ExtremeGenes.com
I am Fisher, your Radio Roots Sleuth, on the program where we shake your family tree and watch the nuts fall out. Great guest today! Kate Eakman is here, with LegacyTree.com. She’s going to be talking about a very special record that has been left by many of your more recent ancestors.
Did you know that they actually wrote down when they were born, where they were born, the name of the parents, including the maiden name the mother? Yes! And you can actually obtain that record through the government. She’ll tell you about it and some of the tricks and rules involved, coming up in about eight or nine minutes.
Then, later in the show, Larry Gelwix, the Getaway Guru from Columbus Travel is going to be here talking about our Extreme Genes cruise that’s scheduled for September 13th out of Boston, going up to Nova Scotia, and it’s going to be a great family history cruise… fall foliage too.
So, you’re going to want to hear all the details on that and plan to join us in September. I’m very excited to let you know, by the way, that our shows are now being transcribed. So, if you hear something on the air, or you hear something on the podcast, and if you want to find where that was in the show, you can just search the transcription that’s posted along with the podcast. So, it’s a great help as you follow along with us at home, on Extreme Genes. And right now, it’s time to check in with my good friend, the Chief Genealogist of the New England Historic Genealogical Society and AmericanAncestors.org, David Allen Lambert is here from Boston.
Hi David, How are you?
David: Greetings from Beantown, Fish. How are you doing? I’m just great.
Fisher: Awesome! We got a lot of good news and bad news in our family histoire news today.
David: We definitely do. Going across the pond to Edinburgh, Scotland the National Record Office at New Register House in Edinburgh has a computer virus which has shut down the whole system.
Fisher: Oh my goodness!
David: So, you could go into Edinburgh, pay a fee and actually look up your ancestors. Not the case right now.
Fisher: Wow! That is really sad. And you know, that’s happening in a lot of places. This ransomware, it actually happened at the radio station I’m headquartered at, about a month or so ago. So, it’s very prevalent.
David: You know, it’s nice to know that ScotlandsPeople.gov.uk, which is the main website that people access from home, isn’t affected, so people shouldn’t be worried about their accounts. So, I won’t toss that out of there, just the in-house access. So, if you’re planning a trip to Scotland anytime soon, call ahead. You know, there’s a really interesting story that was in England’s Daily Mail. The story goes, basically six in ten people who have lost a partner will continue to hear them or sense them in some way, and then, you know, I think that’s true in a lot of senses. You have a family member that’s gone and some people are still seeing them and hearing them, but it’s not really reported so much. In fact, one of the stories talks about a grandmother mentioning that their granddaughter, who was very, very small, ran into the kitchen and said, “Come in here! Come in here! Grandpa’s in the other room!” And he wasn’t there, at least to their eyes.
David: I mean, Fish, have you had this happen to you, you know, where there are lost loved ones?
Fisher: No. My wife is very sensitive to that stuff, but not me.
David: I can’t speak for it the same, but I do share them. My daughter was a little girl, probably about three or four. We were driving and my daughter was looking, you know, to the seat beside her, and she’s just, “I have a question for you, mom and dad. When are you having another baby?” And we looked at each other and said, ‘Well, we don’t know, hon. but sometime.’ And I said, ‘Why?’ And she was, “Oh, well, papa just said that he can’t come back unless you do.” My dad had died when my daughter was about three years old.
David: Yeah. So, I mean, so young, why would she be making it up? And this is the only time she ever mentioned it, ever. So, and it’s nice to know that somehow they can still reach out there to us. On a lighter note, well, actually a quite heavier note, have you ever heard of the Fat Men’s Club of America?
Fisher: I have not. Tell us about it.
David: Well, I’ll tell you. Weighing in with this wonderful story, back in 1903, there was a local tavern in Wells River, Vermont, where this club was launched. And essentially, you needed to be a gentleman boasting over 200 pounds, pay a fee of $1, and you learned a secret handshake and a password. They had amazing events. The New England Fat Men’s club had over 10,000 members. They would have an Olympic size breakfast, essentially, where men would cram a huge breakfast into their stomachs, stumble outside, and work up a sweat in a friendly Olympic-style competition showing strength by leapfrog contests, broad jumps and races. And then, come back and have a nine-course meal with oyster cocktail, cream of chicken soup, boiled snapper, fillet of beef with mushrooms, roast chicken, roast suckling pig, etc, etc.
So, I mean, any of the workout that they had, obviously was counteracted by their large meal afterwards.
David: But this was an organization that was very big at the early part of the 20th century, but by 1924, they only had 38 members show up, and none of them met the 200 pound mark. Now I’m not sure if that means they had decided to diet or maybe they cut back the meal portions, but what a funny group to actually find in your family tree. I’ve never seen one in an obituary, but I’m going to look for them now.
Fisher: No. I’ve never heard of it. And the thing is it makes you realize what a different world we live in today.
David: Exactly. I think they’d have to say the ‘Robust’ Men’s Club, The Healthy Men’s Club. Well, my tech tip goes back quite a ways. Actually, it goes back to medieval and early modern England. As you know, next week I’ll be reporting from Who Do You Think You Are in Birmingham, England. And I’ll be over in England for a couple of weeks, but this tech tip is a free database from the University of Houston, Texas. And I’ll provide the link so you can post it, which is, aalt.law.uh.edu. What they have done there, over 9 million frames of historic documents from the National Archives in London. They’re basically going through 12th century court records, all the way from the time of Richard I, Richard the Lion-hearted, all the way to Queen Victoria, and they’re putting them online for free.
David: Yeah. NEHGS, as you know, always will offer a free guest user database. Just become a guest user at AmericanAncestors.org. And this week, we are offering early Vermont settlers with eleven new sketches added to the already comprehensive collection that we’re putting together for your Vermont ancestors in the 18th and early 19th century. Well, that’s all I have. Next time I’ll be talking, it’ll be across the pond, and talk to you soon, Fish.
Fisher: All right. Great to talk to you, David! Thanks for coming on and have a safe trip.
David: Thank you, sir.
Fisher: And coming up next, we’re going to talk to Kate Eakman with LegacyTree.com about a very special document your recent ancestors had to fill out, providing some very important information. That’s in three minutes on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show.
Segment 2 Episode 133 (11:10)
Host Scott Fisher with guest Kate Eakman
Fisher: We are back! Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show and ExtremeGenes.com
It is Fisher here your Radio Roots Sleuth with my guest today Kate Eakman from Legacy Tree Genealogist
Kate it is great to have you on the show. You’re in Oregon, and I love the tip you have come across here, ‘Working with the government’ that’s always a challenge isn’t it?
Kate: It is. Sometimes the government has very specific rules. They tell you what they will and won’t do, but they don’t always follow their rules and sometimes you have to find interesting ways to work around them.
Fisher: Well at Legacy Tree Genealogists of course is a collection of great professionals such as yourself and this is a great tip, I’ve actually worked with the forms that we are going to talk about today, the SS5 and of course SS stands for Social Security, and this was the form that people have used to actually become part of the system, especially back in the day, right?
Kate: Correct. The SS5 is the form that everybody uses. Even you and I filled out one when we applied for a social security number.
Fisher: I have no recollection of that [laughs]
Kate: Well I don’t either [laughs] but I’m going to assume that I did.
Fisher: Yeah right [laughs]
Kate: The form SS5 is really useful to genealogists because the person who is applying for a social security number is the person who is filling out the form and providing the information. So unlike a death certificate where you have grieving family members trying to remember who this person’s parents were, this is a person in full health who is saying this is what my name is, this is my date of birth, this is where I was born, this is my father’s name, here is my mother’s name including her maiden name.
Fisher: Yeah it’s really good, isn’t it?!
Kate: It’s a wonderful tool.
Fisher: And one of the few like it that actually take place in the middle of life, typically we can see a birth certificate filled out by somebody else or a death certificate filled out by somebody else, and even the marriage certificates sometimes are filled out by other individuals with reports from the bride and the groom and perhaps other family members, but to actually be filled out by their own hand, asking this very important information, that’s really what makes it unique.
Kate: It really is. As you said, it’s the prime of a person’s life, not anymore now that babies have to have it done at the hospital for them, but we use the ones that we ask for from the government. You can look at the person’s handwriting, you can compare it to other documents, and as you said, it’s not somebody else reporting it, it’s that person, and usually where somebody might fudge something with a census record about how old they are, it seems as though when they completing their SS5 they were being very honest and so to find out what their birth date really was or who their parents really were.
Fisher: That is interesting you mentioned that about the age. I mean the ages just do vary so much, especially on census records and elsewhere, and people thinking they were born in one year but they maybe were born in another. My own grandmother, her tombstone says she was born in 1880 but she was actually born in 1881. I wonder if she actually knew herself what year she was born.
Kate: You are right! And the reason for that is that it’s only been in relatively recent times that our age has allowed us and not allowed us to do certain things.
Kate: So your specific day of birth or year of birth wasn’t important, just knowing you’re about twenty five years was good enough. You didn’t have to prove your age to get a driver’s license or have a drink at a bar or get married.
Fisher: Yeah that’s a good point. I’ve actually only ordered one SS5 form in my entire life in thirty some odd years of researching and that turned out to be for a woman who turned out to be a half-sister of my grandfather, and I suspected that she might be but by the time I got to this, it was like okay she’s got to tell me herself. I want to know. And I remember checking the mailbox on a regular basis because they don’t email these things to you, they stick them in the mail and you have to run out and wait for the postman to bring it to you. They’re kind of pricey as I recall. This was only about eight or nine years ago, and I want to say it was like twenty five dollars or something like that. Do you know what they are now?
Kate: Yes, the base is $29 if you don’t know the person’s social security number, if you do know the social security number they give you a $2 discount and you get it for $27.
Fisher: Yeah somewhere in that area. So when it came it actually had her listing my great grandfather as her father, and this was quite a breakthrough for us because we had no idea that she existed. So it was a good find.
Kate: And that’s exactly why we want an SS5 for that reason. So many times for women especially, we don’t know anything about the woman because she’s listed as somebody’s wife the first time she comes into the family picture.
Kate: And we don’t know who her parents were, and all through her life she’s always Aunt Susan, Uncle Fred’s wife, and that’s always how we know her. We never know who her parents were or what her maiden name was.
Fisher: Now some of these records, though, because of the timing of them, are redacted right?
Kate: That’s correct. The Social Security Administration has two very clear rules, one is they say they use what they call the one hundred and twenty year rule, which means you have to be able to prove that the person has died if they are less than one hundred and twenty years old. They don’t assume that a person who is a hundred years old is dead.
Fisher: Right okay.
Kate: And so that’s the first thing and often times you have to send a long obituary which they’ll now accept that, they don’t have to have a death certificate but you have to send something to prove this person really is dead and then they’ll send you the document.
Fisher: How about the Social Security Death Register?
Kate: That’s what’s really interesting is, you can send a copy of that but they don’t necessarily check their own death registry for that information.
Fisher: Okay [laughs] that’s our government at work.
Kate: It’s like I said, it’s always so hit or miss about what gets done and what gets followed through on.
Kate: The other rule that they have, and these are all designed to protect people’s privacy, if you think about a family member that you may know who has passed recently within the past ten or fifteen years with identity theft on the rise, you can see where somebody who may have passed who is a relatively young person, their identity could be stolen and their name, address and social security number used by the bad guys.
Kate: So that’s what they’re trying to prohibit or prevent, which I can appreciate but it does make our job as genealogists very, very difficult sometimes.
Fisher: Well I love what you did though because you had this problem with this SS5 form, it came in and the names, the very names you were looking for were marked out!
Kate: That’s correct. One of our clients knew who his grandmother’s first name was but he wasn’t even certain of her maiden name, what her last name was. We knew who she married of course but we didn’t know anything else about Grandma beyond her first name really. So I requested her SS5 hoping to learn who her parents were, and after waiting four-six weeks whatever the time period was, I got a very nice copy of her SS5 with two big black boxes over the names of her mother and father, and a very nice letter from the Social Security Administration telling me that because of their privacy rules there was no evidence that her parents were not still living. I needed to prove they were dead in order to get an un-redacted copy of her SS5.
Fisher: But you don’t even know who they are so how do you prove it, right?
Kate: Exactly! And I was a little bit stymied for a few moments because I thought, just what you said, how can I prove these people are dead if I don’t even know who they are?
Fisher: [Laughs] “That’s what I’m trying to find out, hello!”
Kate: [Laughs] Exactly. But I started thinking a little bit, just trying to be really logical, what do I know? What are the facts? Well, I knew that grandma was born in 1916; common sense tells us that if she was born in 1916 that her parents probably were born in 1900 or even earlier.
Kate: So my next question is; that’s pretty old. I mean we’re in 2016 now so those are people that would be a hundred and sixteen years old or older, and I wondered how many people live in the United States who are at least one hundred and sixteen years old?
Fisher: Good question.
Kate: So the answer to that is of course you do a Google search.
Fisher: Yeah [laughs]
Kate: And you ask Google how many people in the United States are over a hundred and sixteen years old, and I was directed to a Wikipedia article about ‘Super Centenarians’ people who were more than one hundred and ten years old.
Kate: But there was only one person in this country that would be a 116 years old.
Fisher: And he wasn’t an Italian right?
Kate: No this was actually an African-American lady.
Fisher: Okay, yes, in Brooklyn.
Kate: Born in Alabama.
Fisher: Yeah, the one, she lives in Brooklyn.
Kate: Yes, she lives in Brooklyn. And my client’s grandmother was of Italian decent and so chances were good that an African-American woman who was born in Alabama, was not her mother.
Fisher: [Laughs] Right.
Kate: So I printed all those articles off, wrote a very nice letter back to the Social Security Administration, because as my grandmother always taught me, you catch more flies with honey than vinegar.
Kate: So this is just somebody who’s trying to do their job and they’re trying to protect people’s identity so I’m not going to get cranky with them and I just explained that I could not find any evidence of anybody who would be old enough to be her parents still alive.
Fisher: Good call.
Kate: And that’s the reason I was asking for this record was to learn who her parents were on behalf of my client. Then I sent it off with fingers crossed and then waited for the mail as you said.
Fisher: And it came back and…?
Kate: And it came back with the black boxes removed and I discovered the names of Grandma’s parents.
Fisher: I bet your clients loved you for that!
Kate: I think they were pretty excited because for years they knew nothing beyond Grandma’s first name.
Kate: They thought they knew what her last name was, but even that was not quite correct. So the SS5 told us her correct maiden name and the name of her mother and her father, which allowed us then to trace her family back to her parents in Italy. So we went from a woman born in 1916 back to her grandparents who were born in the 1850s in Italy.
Fisher: Unbelievable. That is great work. Now where do people order these things?
Kate: You can order the SS5 from the Social Security Administration. There are two ways of doing it; you can order it online, I would just do a search for an SS5.
Fisher: Perfect, and then you can also mail away for it?
Kate: Fill out a form and mail it and that’s a good idea if you have somebody who recently passed away and then that way you can send in copies of obituaries, death certificates, whatever you need to prove everything and you don’t have to waste the time sending things back and forth.
Fisher: She’s Kate Eakman, from Legacy Tree Genealogists, with an incredible research tip for breaking through brick walls, the SS5.
Thanks so much Kate! Good stuff.
Kate: Thank you for having me.
Fisher: Find out more about Kate and the team at Legacy Tree at LegacyTree.com
And coming up next; we’re talking about our family history cruise out of Boston this fall with Larry Gelwix, the Getaway Guru on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show.
Segment 3 Episode 133 (24:50)
Host Scott Fisher with guest Larry Gelwix
Fisher: And welcome back to America’s Family History Show Extreme Genes and ExtremeGenes.com
I am Fisher, your Radio Roots Sleuth, and so looking forward to this September as we’re getting ready for our first ever Extreme Genes Cruise and it’s going to be leaving out of Boston, on Royal Caribbean and going up to Nova Scotia, and seeing some of the places the Loyalists settled after the Revolution. And with me in the studio right now is my good friend Larry Gelwix, who is known to many around the country as the ‘Getaway Guru.’
Larry: Scott, nice to be here with you!
Fisher: I’m excited about this and your Columbus Travel is handling all the bookings for this incredible trip and it’s going to be so much fun! Have you been on this before?
Larry: Oh yes! This is one of my favorite cruise areas and as you mentioned Columbus Travel in Bountiful, Utah, just outside of Salt Lake City, is handling all of the arrangements. You can see the details even a brochure, not only on your website but on ours, ColumbusVacations.com
Now Scott, you’ve put together an incredible package here for family history enthusiasts.
Fisher: I think so! We’ve got David Allen Lambert, of course who you heard earlier in the show, he’s the Chief Genealogist for the New England Historic Genealogical Society.
Larry: Like the Godfather of… no you are the Godfather of family history!
Fisher: [Laughs] No, no, no I am the Mayor of Familyhistoryville, he’s the Godfather!
Larry: You’re one of the wise-guys!
Fisher: [Laughs] So, David’s going to be on the ship with us and of course we’re going to do lectures about Boston, during the Revolution in the colonial days. We’re going to talk about the Loyalists who went up to Nova Scotia and settled some of the very places that we’re going to see, and of course we’re only going to be talking on days that we’re at sea.
If you want to get off at the ports, we want you to be able to do that, we want to do that! It’s going to be a lot of fun.
Larry: Well, the cruise itself departs from Boston steeped in history so many Americans can trace their Extreme Genes, their genealogy, and their family history back to the New England area.
Larry: Where so many immigrants came from Europe, and we have a visit to the New England Historic Genealogical Society, with David Allen Lambert as you mentioned.
Larry: But the cruise itself will depart the afternoon of Tuesday September 13th sailing from Boston. Now catch this itinerary; we’ll visit Bar Harbor Maine,
Larry: Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Some relaxing days at sea, and then back to Boston, this is a 6 day, 5 night cruise. The cruise itself September 13th to the 18th but… and this is so incredible for your listeners Scott, is that you have an optional involvement before the cruise.
Fisher: That’s right. People can go before they get there or they could even stay after the cruise and walk the Freedom Trail, and if you get there a little bit early actually on the 13th we can arrange for a tour of the New England Historic Genealogical Society. It’s the oldest in America, in fact in North America and there are so many things there that David I’m sure would love to show you.
Larry: Right. So it’s my understanding that those who arrive early enough will be going with you and visiting with David Allen Lambert who will also be on the cruise to the New England Historic Genealogical Society.
Larry: Now, your listeners are family history enthusiasts.
Fisher: That’s it.
Larry: What are they going to see, experience, learn and know at the New England Historic Genealogical Society?
Fisher: Well it’s an incredible library; it’s an incredible research facility first of all, and you won’t have a lot of time to spend there but you can get an idea of what’s available in terms of resources if you want to do a little research, you could spend an hour researching right there among their facilities.
Larry: Right. Now are they closed on Mondays?
Fisher: They’re closed on Mondays that’s right.
Larry: So our visit will be Tuesday morning.
Fisher: Yup, before the actual departure of the trip. So you’ll have to get there Monday, we’ll also do a walking tour of the Freedom Trail, if you get there early and we’ll have a place to actually meet up.
Larry: Isn’t it a wonderful experience?
Fisher: Oh it’s incredible! I’ve done it before. I actually have some ancestors who are buried along the Freedom Trail and you can see where Paul Revere is buried, you can actually visit his house from back in the time when he went about warning everybody that the British were coming.
Larry: Right. You know what’s also exciting? This is fall foliage time. Now it’s always difficult to outguess Mother Nature.
Larry: Because as I see fall foliage sometimes we see it in early September, sometimes it doesn’t arrive till early October. But this particular cruise is nestled right in the middle. It’s a wonderful time to experience New England, the Eastern Seaboard of Canada, and Fall Foliage.
Fisher: When you go north it gets a little cooler.
Larry: Exactly! Now our first stop after leaving Boston, is Bar Harbor Maine, what’s interesting about Bar Harbor is you get up into Maine, what do you think, “Heavily wooded areas,’ which this is.
Larry: But Bar Harbor’s actually a community on an Island and the name of the Island makes no sense given the topography.
Larry: It’s about ‘Desert Island’
Fisher: [laughs] Yeah.
Larry: I mean what’s up with that?
Fisher: I don’t know. But that’s what we’re going to find out about when we get there, right?
Larry: Well, all of these stops caught my attention as a foodie. I mean if you love seafood, just fine dining.
Fisher: Ah, oh yes.
Larry: Not only does the ship, but Royal Caribbean, does a great job in the dining room, but the food in each Port…. Now Bar Harbor’s steeped in history, you’ve got a Canadian National Park; it’s a wonderful place to visit in horse-drawn carriages, atv’s, and bicycles. All of these things make for an incredible visit. We then move on to Saint John’s, New Brunswick, now these were where a lot of the Loyalists went after the Revolutionary War in Eastern Canada.
Larry: Well one of the things that I like is the ‘City Market’ now have you been to Pike Place in Seattle?
Fisher: Oh yes, many times!
Larry: Well it reminds me a lot of Pike Place, or the Ferry Building in San Francisco, where I just was with a group. You know the market and the shops and all of these things. So you’ve got this the City Market in Saint John’s, New Brunswick, but one of the most exciting places is Reversing Falls.
Fisher: What’s that?
Larry: Well, you’ve got waterfalls, rapids and whirlpools that change the direction that they flow depending upon the tide.
Fisher: Oh wow! [Laugh]
Larry: So when the tide is out it flows one direction, when the tide is in it flows in another direction. Of course National Parks Ivvavik and Fundy National Parks, and then again think of food, think of lobster and clams and salmon and fresh seafood, and finally back to Halifax, Nova Scotia, you think you’re in a bit of England there.
I like the ‘Waterfront Boardwalk’ the ‘Maritime Museum,’ again parks and outdoors and the walking along the shoreline, and then of course food.
Fisher: I’m not surprised that’s at the top of your list.
Larry: Thank you very much, as I’m wiping the clam chowder from my lips right now.
Larry: The Extreme Genes, Canada and New England Cruise, the cruise itself September 13th to the 18th, it’s a 6 day cruise. Catch this great start at just $699 that includes the Extreme Genes Seminar fee. Now, we can guarantee availability Scott, if cabins are booked no later than Wednesday April the 6th.
Larry: Can you book after April the 6th? Yes. But our group space will be returned to the cruise line on April 6th and we then sell out of general inventory. So for the preferred cabins, the best locations, book your cabin now with a refundable deposit.
Larry: No later than Wednesday April the 6th and join us on the Extreme Genes, Canada and New England Cruise.
Fisher: Well it’s going to be so much fun! Get on the phone because really the deadlines are right here now for guaranteed space.
Larry: Guaranteed space is April the 6th and that’s a refundable deposit so there’s nothing to lose. Hold your cabin now for the Extreme Genes Cruise!
Fisher: All right, it’s going to be a lot of fun. Thanks Larry for coming on!
Larry: It’s my pleasure.
Fisher: And, Tom Perry is coming up next, our Preservation Authority, he’ll be answering more of your questions from AskTom@TMCPlace.com when we return in three minutes on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show.
Segment 4 Episode 133 (37:10)
Host Scott Fisher with guest Tom Perry
Fisher: It is time to talk preservation with Tom Perry from TMCPlace.com, our Preservation Authority.
It is Fisher here, your Radio Roots Sleuth on America’s Family History Show, Extreme Genes and, welcome back, Tom, first of all.
Tom: Good to be back.
Fisher: Got a great email here from Melinda Lucas. She’s actually from my mother’s home town area, back in Oregon and she’s writing about all kinds of undeveloped films she’s found. And this is an unbelievable list of stuff, thirty-one of 110 millimeter film C41, seventeen of 110 millimeter film CN60, I mean, the list goes on and on, nineteen instant cameras that all seem to be thirty-five millimeter film, and she points out, “Hey, wait a minute! Kodak doesn’t exist for this kind of development anymore. What can be done?” What do you say to Melinda, Tom?
Tom: [Laughs] Uh, well, you should have developed your film when you shot it.
Tom: But you know people do that, they get all excited, they go and shoot all kinds of things, family events and whatever and then they just take the film out and put it in a drawer, and now they’ve got it, but they never do anything with it. We even had people that had eight millimeter super-8 film that they’ve fortunately developed, but then they’ve never ever watched for thirty years.
Tom: And then they bring it in and “I don’t even know what’s on here. All I know is that I found this in Grandma’s drawer or whatever.” And so, the sad thing is as she mentioned, Kodak is no more, as far as chemistry goes, so you’re out luck that way. However, there’re some different people I know that are chemists and they make their own chemicals.
Fisher: Oh, you’re kidding me.
Tom: No. I’ve got a couple of friends that actually make their own chemistry, because they still like to shoot on film. So, what you all need to do is, if you’re in the same situation like she mentioned that she went to Walgreens and they just kind of looked at her and pushed it back towards her off the counter.
Fisher: “Just step away from the desk please, lady!”
Tom: Exactly! Crossed her fingers and said, “No, we can’t do anything like that.” So, what you want to do email me at AskTom@TMCPlace.com
And give me the quantity you have, what type of film it is, like she had some 110s, she’s had some thirty-five millimeter and most importantly, look on the case and it will say something like what you just mentioned, C41 processing, C16 processing, and all these different kinds of processing, because then I’ll know if one of my friends has the chemistry where they can do a lot of these kinds and so the ones that they can do, I’ll have you go ahead and ship it to us, and remember what we teach you on all of our episodes, ‘you want to always double-box everything.’ You want to put it in a box. Seal it just like it’s ready to go with a label on it, but no stamps or postage and put that one inside another box with at least two inches worth of styrofoam all the way around it, to keep the heat in summer, the cold in winter from possibly damaging your film.
In fact, we had somebody just call us one day to send us some SD cards. Those you don’t have to double-box. If you put them in a padded envelope, then put the padded envelope in a box, it will do the same thing, so that’s good too and so organize your film, let us know how many exposures it is, any information you can see. It’s better to have too much information, so you send us something we don’t need, then go, “Oh, we need to call you and say, ‘Okay, particularly what was this? Was this a 24? Was it a 36?” In fact, we’ve even had people run in that they had some old film – like I used to do, I used to load my own film – but unfortunately, it doesn’t say on the case what it is, because I knew mine was always, you know, tri-x or plus x or whatever I was loading. So, you might even have some kinds like that, and so, we have to kind of experiment on your film to find out what it is and hopefully we can get it right for you, but that’s about the only thing you can do.
Fisher: Does this give you any hint as to when this might have been shot? Just by the names of these things?
Tom: Well, C41 fortunately which is what most of her film is, is a pretty standard type of film, so, I feel very confident we’re going to be able to do most of it. She has a couple of them that are little bit different, like the CN16 which is a little bit different.
So, what we’re going to have to do is find out what works. If you see yourself in the same situation as Melinda and you have some old film that hasn’t been developed, go ahead and send me what kind of film you have, what the processing is, and any information on the plastic cartridge or the little aluminum can to AskTom@TMCPlace.com
The eight and Super-8 come in at the same situation, so right after the break, I’ll tell you how we can preserve that as well.
Fisher: All right, coming up in three minutes on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show.
Segment 5 Episode133 (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 with Tom Perry from TMCPlace.com, the Preservation Authority.
Fisher here, and we were just talking about Melinda in Oregon, dealing with all these undeveloped rolls of film from back in the day and now what do you do to try and get them fixed? And now Tom, we’re looking at movies is that right, old movie film?
Tom: Oh, right, we get a lot of that. In fact, let me tell you what to watch for. In the later years probably more in the late 60’s and the 70’s usually the Super 8 film came in these plastic cartridges, they were kind of squarish but they had rounded corners on them.
If you have any of those, you can usually flip them over and there’s a little window in them and on the window if you can see film, if it’s been exposed all the way to the end there’ll be little white letters that says “Exposed” so you know “Okay that one’s been exposed.” If you see nothing in the window it’s probably been exposed and gone all the way off the edge of the cassette which is still fine. If it has film and it doesn’t say exposed. It’s either never been shot, or it’s been partially shot, so it’s kind of up to you whether you want to take the gamble and have us try to develop it for you and see if there’s something on it so that’s kind of your choice.
Now a lot of people that had it before that, they had the regular 8, they were little tiny round cans almost like a miniature tobacco can like they had back in the day. They’re approximately 1-inch across and usually silver, sometimes black. If there’s black tape around the can and there’s a little paper hanging out, it would usually say “Unexposed” which means it’s never ever been shot. If all you’ve seen is black tape around it or no tape around it at all, it’s probably been exposed.
If you measure the height of the tin, they say “Oh no this isn’t 8 millimeter.” Because this is 16 millimeters you know, or about three quarters of an inch. Well we did it in the old days when I was young. You’d put the film in the camera and it’s in these little round reels and so you put that in your camera and you load it and it’s actually the film that you’re seeing, there’s no lead or anything and then you shoot it. Once you’re done shooting it you take that cassette off, put it back on the other end of the reel and run it again. That’s why it’s 16 millimeters wide because you run it twice.
Tom: Now one of the problems is that some people run it three times.
Fisher: Uh oh.
Tom: And then you get double exposure which is sad.
Fisher: Of course.
Tom: Because some of my dad’s films, some of my favorite pictures are double exposed and there’s not a heck of a lot you can do about it.
But those that come in the raw, it’s just raw film. So if you see a can like this and it doesn’t have any tape on it but you can shake it and rattle something, I would suggest you don’t open it because if you do, you could expose your film and make all the edges foggy. If you say “Well I don’t know if there’s film in there or something else in there. Go into a totally dark room, you know no windows no nothing, something in your basement. Just take it and feel it and if it feels like film then you know it’s film, it’s not some knickknacks in there, then close it up, tape it and then send that to us.
Now one thing with those kinds of films, we have to kind of experiment because we don’t know for sure what they are but usually if they’re old they will be called a ‘Double Wide’ the only way we can develop them is in black and white because we can’t manufacture the chemistry anymore to do true color like Kodak, we can do it in black and white or nothing.
Fisher: This is like the idea that we can put a man on the moon in 1969 but we couldn’t today.
Fisher: Right? This is strange.
Tom: Exactly. I know a lot of wedding videographers and even some TV commercial people and film people that still like to use the old fashioned film and there are some places… like there is this place in Denver, that actually sells the film.
Fisher: So, bottom line is, you can digitize this potentially.
Tom: Oh absolutely! If you’re going to go through the hassle of developing all this you might as well get prints at the same time. With all these things we’ve talked about, we have some friends that can make their own chemistry that can develop a lot of these different things, so if you have stills like Melinda had, we can develop it then we can make prints for you or we can scan the negatives and send them back to you on a photo disk or email them to you however you want them.
If you have the 8, the Super 8, the 16 that hasn’t been developed, I have some friends that can do the developing.
Fisher: It’s kinda like ‘I got a buddy!’ ya know?!
Fisher: [Laughs] Thanks so much Tom!
Tom: Glad to be here!
Fisher: Address your questions to AskTom@TMCPlace.com
Hey, that wraps up our show for this week! Thanks once again to Kate Eakman from LegacyTree.com, for sharing with us a little tip about the SS5. Sounds like something from World War II right?
But no, it’s an incredible document that can help you in your research. If you missed it, catch the podcast. Also, thanks to Larry Gelwix, the Getaway Guru that’s helping us book our Family History Cruise out of Boston this fall.
Take care; we’ll talk to you again next week and remember as far as everyone knows, we’re a nice normal family.
This week, Fisher opens the show with David Allen Lambert, Chief Genealogist for the New England Historic Genealogical Society and AmericanAncestors.org, talking about the recent birth of a “Leap Baby” in North Dakota. What made this one unusual was that it is not the first Leap Baby in the family! Hear all about it on the podcast. David then shares some fascinating DNA news about the Aboriginals of Australia. Just how long have they been isolated from the rest of the world? Now we know. Plus, another family artifact has been found and returned to a family… only this one was from World War I! It’s a century old piece. Also, another Civil War vessel has been found. What kind was it, what did it do, and where was it found? David will tell you. David also has another Tech Tip, and guest-user free database from NEHGS.
Fisher then visits with host/creator/producer Dan Debenham of “Relative Race,” an incredible new genealogy based reality TV show that everyone was raving about at last month’s Roots Tech conference. Dan will tell you how it works, how his company came up with the idea, and what you can expect in the coming episodes on BYU-TV.
Then… who’d have thought a Senator from Ireland would appear at Roots Tech? Fisher talks with Senator Jillian Van Turnhout, who is a passionate genie who traveled too many time zones to count to attend the conference. Senator Turnhout shares a lot of good news about on line records from the Emerald Isle that are coming available for Irish Americans. Then, Fisher chats with Denise May Levernick about the grant her family has set up in her mother’s memory to award a cash grant to a young adult student for genealogy! Hear how to make your student eligible.
Tom Perry returns to wrap up the show to take on fears and offer advice on using “The Cloud” for storage of your digital material. Concerned about security? Usability? As always, Tom has insight you won’t hear anywhere else. Have questions about preservation? Email Tom at AskTom@TMCPlace.com.
That’s all this week on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show!
Transcript of Episode 130
Segment 1 (00:30)
Fisher: And welcome back to another week of “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! And I’m very excited, finally, to get on Dan Debenham today. H e is going to be a guest on the show in about eight minutes.
He is the host and producer of this genealogy family history reality show that everybody’s talking about. It’s called “Relative Race” and it is nuts! It is so much fun, and you’re going to hear right from Dan himself how this idea came about, how it got formulated, where you can see it, where you can catch it on demand. It is a great show and it was the talk of “Root’s Tech” by the way, when we were there, because they debuted the first program.
Plus, later in the show, since it is St. Patrick’s Day celebration this weekend in many places and, of course, formally in the coming week, we’re going to talk to an actual Senator from Ireland, and find out about what’s happening with family history records for those of Irish descent here in the United States.
Great stuff! And if you have a young adult student, somebody’s offering a free grant as they develop genealogy and family history. It’s like five hundred bucks if you want to hear how your young student can get into this. We’re going to have that for you too coming up later on in the show.
So, great stuff lined up! But right now it is my… I wouldn’t say you’re my cabin mate for the coming cruise in September, from Boston to Nova Scotia, but you’re going to be pretty close I’m thinking David. David Allen Lambert, the chief genealogist of the New English Historic Genealogical Society and AmericanAncestors.org
Fisher: Hi David.
David: Hey! Greetings from Bean Town, and we’re very excited because St. Paddy’s Day is around the corner but it means something more to us here in revolutionary war terms. Do you know why?
Fisher: Because what?
David: We kicked the British out of Boston!
Fisher: [Laughs] Yes you did!
David: A nice little Virginian named George Washington decided to stop by, and evacuation day is why we have closed schools in Boston, not for St. Patrick’s Day as many people think. [Laughs]
David: Nice to hear from you as always. You know I’ll tell you, we were talking about leap year week and I just want to say that the odds of this family and this might not be told, probably have the bookies scrambling for the next four years.
Did you hear about the Allison family, new baby?
Fisher: Yes! It’s insane a new baby on February 29th Congratulations! Pretty rare, but…
David: the strange thing is it happened four years before and both daughters.
David: You know it’s a 50/50 chance for a boy or a girl but the idea to be born on a leap year that is some pretty good timing.
Fisher: I know, four years apart, so I guess they only have a birthday every four years when they’re 16 they’re celebrate their fourth and the other one would celebrate the third.
David: What a happy first birthday for the sister of little Abigail.
David: My goodness! So Brandy and Abigail, happy birthday and happy birthday! [Laughs] Well you know, speaking of birthdays going across the other side of the world, the archaeological and anthropological work being done with DNA studies is just mind boggling.
In recent years they’ve always thought that South East Asians about four thousand years ago intermarried with the aboriginal families in Australia. Well, that’s not the case. New DNA evidence shows that they have had no contact for fifty thousand years.
Fisher: The Aboriginals?
David: The Aboriginals are isolated genetically going back fifty thousand years. So if we think about our ancestors coming up and going into Europe, we weren’t even into Europe yet.
Fisher: No [Laughs] wow!
David: That’s amazing. So it’s always exciting to hear this news. So a new aspect of genealogical DNA is unfolding. Digging a little closer to home we talked about that mess kit well I’m going to go….
Fisher: Right. That was a World War 2 story last week, right?
David: Exactly. Well, I’m going to go a war before. A gentleman named Michael Babin, who lives in France, is a retired banker, and collector of World War 1 ephemera. At a flea market recently he bought an aluminium dog tag that belonged to Frank L. Smith, of the U.S. army, and the thing about that is he’s tracked down through gravestone records and talked to this man’s 73 year old daughter, and this girl lost her dad when she was twelve. So, Dotty Wright has been reacquainted with an artifact associated with her father nearly a century ago.
Fisher: Incredible! What a great story.
David: I love what metal detectors find. I’m a metal detectorist myself.
David: Oh yeah! It is a lot of fun digging in the ground and finding what other people lost. I haven’t found any Anglo sacks and gold or coins, but I’m still looking.
David: That being said, if you were off the coast of North Carolina, in 18 feet of water, they have found the wreck of what they believe is one of three blockade runners. So this vessel was set up during the civil war to stop the running of the ironclads and to block the coast and the Union Army’s blockade, if you will, and this is fabulous! This is perhaps one of three boats, the Agnes Fry, the Georgianna McCaw and I’m really hoping it’s the third one, the Spunkie.
Fisher: The Spunkie! I hope it’s the Spunkie, yes!
David: I hope it’s the Spunkie too.
David: So while I waited for the Spunkie too, that will be the one name for the Spunkie.
David: In any event, so that’s really some exciting news. My tech tip for the week, I talked about it last week that I was going to give a test drive to Research Ties, which is researchties.com And this is a company out of Provo, Utah. And we all have our research logs where you may print one off and write it down or you might use a notebook. This is a professional program which you can even beta test for free. Our subscription annually is for $30. It gives you three logins and 10 gigabytes of space. I can put in the repositories I want to visit, I can put in the film numbers, I can create all the shopping lists so when I go to the family history library in Salt Lake City, the National Archives in Washington DC or my local public library, I can access it online by logging in. I don’t have to, “Oh I forgot my notebook” or “Why am I here?” This is a great program online to try out. It is a cheap service, but very efficient.
Fisher: What’s the website again?
David: The website is www.researchties.com
Fisher: All right.
David: And speaking of data bases, on americanacestors.org, every week we give a free data base to our guest users. And this week we have the Chatham, Massachusetts and Harwich, Massachusetts metal records to 1850 help you with your pilgrim ancestors. You probably have some Cape Cod family. If you have ancestors in the northeast then hopefully this will help you find it. Well, that is all I have from Boston until next time Fish.
Fisher: Alright. Thanks David, talk to you next week. And coming up for you next in three minutes we’re going to talk to Dan Debenham, the host, producer, creator of Relative Race an incredible new genealogy reality show on Extreme Genes, America’s family history show.
Segment 2 Episode 130 (25:20)
Host Scott Fisher with guest Dan Debenham
Fisher: Welcome Back to America’s family history show ‘Extreme Genes’ and extremegenes.com. It is Fisher here, your radio root sleuth and I will tell you, at Root’s Tech we were exposed to all kinds of new products and ideas and services, but I don’t think there’s anything that got a bigger reaction, a bigger positive reaction than the debut of a television show that they provided there called ‘Relative Race’ and the producer and host of that show, Dan Debenham, is with me right now.
Fisher: Hi Dan, Welcome!
Dan: It’s good to see you Scott! Good to see you again actually.
Fisher: I know! I haven’t seen you in a long, long time.
Dan: Fifteen years I think.
Fisher: Something like that. But this show, where did you get the idea for it? How did this thing get started? And look at where you’re going with it.
Dan: Great questions. BYU- TV who has a mantra of ‘Seeing the good in the world’ they approached us about a year ago and they said “We have a general concept and a need that we’d like to see created for our programming” and they talked to us about this idea, and I mean really from the fifty thousand foot level.
Dan: Just generically speaking about this idea of a show that would kind of hunt down relatives and gee, wouldn’t that just be great?
Dan: Now when we heard about this project we got pretty stumped and we came up with this concept where we would cast four couples. We flew them to San Francisco, and then every day we provided them with clues to run across the country and discover relatives that they never knew they had and had never met before, and they were racing from San Francisco to New York City, and along the way each day the last one to find their relatives receives a strike, three strikes and you’re off the show.
Fisher: Uh oh.
Dan: If you make it all the way to New York, you pick up twenty five thousand dollars and even that came with a twist and the twist was, now that you have really earned this money, congratulations! Because believe me, this trek across the country, this race, is full of ups and downs and highs and lows and happy and sad, and everything in between, but we then said “You can keep the money, or you can give a portion, or all of it, back to the relatives that you’ve met along the way”
Fisher: Oh how cool is that.
Dan: Yeah, so in fact, just this past…
Fisher: That’s easy; I’ll keep it all [laughs]
Dan: [Laughs] I believe you will. It was very interesting to see what these couples and those that made it to New York and ultimately the couple that won first place, what they were going to do with that money.
Fisher: Well you know people who are into family history are very giving people, they don’t only share of themselves but they share information, they find photographs, that type of thing. I’m not surprised that, that carries over in the financial side.
Dan: Well we didn’t know quite what to expect as we researched these couples. They submitted DNA to Ancestry DNA, and Ancestry DNA’s pool at the time was less than a million, so we had to find a route that went from San Francisco to New York City. We provided them with rental cars; we took away their cell phones, all GPS devises.
Fisher: So let me get this idea here; you took the DNA from them and then you had to literally track down descendants that fit the route so that they were all going to the same places?
Dan: Now that’s what we wanted to do at first was to go to the same towns.
Fisher: That’s crazy because it’s not possible.
Dan: That was impossible. So they were going to different towns, and what made the race fair is that every day they were given an allotted time, an allotted time to get to the different towns because they were all racing to different towns.
Fisher: You have to adjust it.
Dan: Yeah. And so it was the couple that came closest to their allotted time that won, and the couple that came furthest from their allotted time that received a strike, three strikes and you’re off the race.
Fisher: You guys must have been up till two, three, four o clock in the morning every day trying to work these little problems out.
Dan: It was wild. It was a wild ride, and the show is… you mentioned that episode one debuted at Roots Tech, and we received a standing ovation.
Fisher: Oh it was nuts! “Did you see it? Did you see it? It was great!” People were really enthusiastic about it. This is the thing about family history, if it’s entertaining the people who aren’t into family history, you know you’ve got something great, and that’s what it looks like to me. So tell us now, I was looking at this debut, now BYU-TV by the way is a cable station, available on a lot of markets
Dan: Fifty six million homes in America.
Fisher: And there are plenty of places that they do not get into, so I would assume you could watch online?
Dan: Absolutely. Binge watch the first two episodes right now because coming up, we just saw episode two this past Sunday, and every original episode is every Sunday night 8pm eastern time, and then you can back it up from there. 7pm central, 6pm mountain, 5pm pacific. You can watch it online at byutv.org, so anytime. Catch up episodes one and two and then you can watch it on either byutv.org or you can stream it at relativerace.com but again we hope as you get caught up that you’ll join every original episode airing every Sunday night.
Dan: It’s really fun. It’s wild.
Fisher: It’s just a good thing to set your recorder on no matter what you’re watching and catch the show.
Dan: Exactly, that’s what I do.
Fisher: I was just thinking. I’m looking at your bad luck, the first night you’re on against the Oscars, your debut night. The next week you’re on against the closing, the last episode of Downton Abbey
Dan: And the Presidential debate.
Fisher: Well that we can all skip to watch this, but still, I mean that’s your first two shows, your first two weeks, that’s a tough line-up to be up against.
Dan: You know what, we just filmed this past weekend episode 11 which we flew all the couples back and shot this episode 11 which is called ‘After the Race’ where the four couples come back and then talk about their experiences more and we toss them different vignettes, different parts of the episodes and we have them comment on them more, and there were representatives there from BYU-TV and I actually asked them I said “Can you explain to me what the thinking was here?” and they said “You know, it was a little bit of an error on our part when we put this in place, like eight months ago” and they said “But you know what they said, we’re finding that social media and the streaming is really peaking upwards already” so people are saying “I wasn’t able to watch it Sunday night against the Oscars, but I am streaming it and watching it online”
Fisher: So when you pick these couples, were these people who actually applied to be on the show?
Dan: Yes. We put out a casting call through a number of different mediums including a lot of the social media, and we created a website called ‘TRRCASTING’ which stood for ‘The Relative Race’trrcasting.com. Over a thousand people went to the site, and we asked them to submit a video, 1 to 2 minutes that explained who they are and why they should be on the show, and we gave a little bit of a premise of the show, they didn’t know the details in fact episode 1, which again we really hope you watch episode 1.
Fisher: [Laughs] it’s kind of important to watch episode 1.
Dan: Well it gives the back stories of all the couples, and you find out on episode 1, when they arrive in San Francisco, one of the very first things that is asked of the host, (me) so I’m standing there at peer 39 overlooking the ocean and I said “Welcome to Relative Race” I said “You’ve come from all over the country and you have four thousand five hundred miles in front of you. Now first thing I want to know is, how many of you like your phones and have brought them here?” They all raise their hands of course, and I said “How many of you think you could do without them?” Their jaws start dropping.
Fisher: Oh boy.
Dan: So we took away all of their cell-phones, we took away every GPS device. I then said “Welcome to your new GPS navigational device” and I raised it up and I said “This is what we call a map, a paper map” And so the age group is all over the map of our couples, we actually thought the youngest couple who were in their twenties, would just implode.
Dan: And they actually did pretty well. There’s much more than a dynamic here of discovering new family relatives. The interesting dynamic is that they have up to 8 hours together in a rental car everyday and they trying to figure out how to get to different…
Fisher: With a film crew.
Dan: Exactly. With six people around them, multiple cameras, Go-Pros inside their car, everything is recorded and it is fascinating to see how they get through this journey.
Fisher: So do you have each team basically have their own editing crew that puts together their package and then somebody else assembles the whole thing?
Dan: Yeah there is a media manager on site and then all that media comes back to us in our studios, and we’ve been spending about five months editing everything and we’re very close to editing the entire series. So again, now is the time to catch up and get hooked because… we’ve done a number of original television shows throughout the years and we feel fortunate to be able to do that, this is, I can honestly say, the best show we have ever created. It is really good!
Fisher: Well that’s what I keep hearing from everybody and I wouldn’t say it if that wasn’t the case. So give us one little hint of one story from this entire season that hits you most right here.
Dan: You know what it’s actually the next episode. Episode 3 happens to be my favorite episode. I got chills right now saying it. In this episode, one of the couples, it’s the husband, because you never know when you show up whom am I related to, is it the wife or the husband.
Dan: And the couple discovers a cousin, and it’s the husband that finds a first cousin that he never knew that he had.
Dan: Oh there are nieces that have never been met. These aren’t like sixth cousins; some of these people are first cousins and uncles that they never knew they had, one is a niece, in this case it’s a first cousin, and for me it was so poignant, it was so strong to see two strong, big, American men hugging each other and the moment they grabbed each other, they just broke into tears. They’re just sobbing and they say; and the statement is made by the couple that’s racing, they say “If we hadn’t done this, we would never know about our family” and he said “And here’s my cousin” and the moment I looked at him, I went “You’re my mother!” He said “Everything about you” his demeanour, the way he acted, was his mother who he lost fifteen years ago.
Dan: And he just looked at this man and they both just started sobbing and they said “The same blood is running through our veins.” And it’s a poignant moment, and these moments, the series is just riddled with them. But there’s also plenty of drama, there’s some compelling… it’s not all these incredibly emotional moments. There are some times when they met relatives where they were kind of like “Nice to meet you…can we get on with our race?”
Dan: Like all relatives.
Fisher: You’re not getting any of the twenty five grand. Okay, don’t like them.
Dan: It’s a good show.
Fisher: Well you know that’s what family stuff is all about.
Fisher: There’s politics even with this.
Fisher: So who knew? Well it’s ‘Relative Race,’ it’s the name of the show. It’s on BYU-TV which is on many cable networks throughout the United States. Otherwise you get it where?
Dan: Dish and Direct TV both have it nationwide. Everyone who has Dish or Direct or you can go online at byutv.org and stream it, or its own website at relativerace.com
Fisher: Dan Debenham, the host and producer, thanks for coming on!
Dan: Scott, it’s a pleasure, great to see you again.
Fisher: Alright, good to see you.
Coming up next; it’s a “two-fer,” we’ll talk to an Ireland senator who visited Roots Tech, and talk about what’s happening with Irish research… very important with St. Patty’s Day coming up, and another woman who’s offering a family grant to your student for genealogy, in three minutes on Extreme Genes.
Segment 3 Episode 130 (44:45)
Fisher: You have found us! America’s family history show, Extreme Genes and extremegenes.com
I am Fisher, your congenial host. And, are you surprised at how much we continue to pull out of the Roots Tech family history conference that was held in the Salt Lake City, Utah, last month? I’m not! Only because I was there, and I can tell you, we continue to have things that came out of it that we have to pass along in the course of the brief time we have each week.
And since a lot of places are celebrating St. Patrick’s Day this weekend, it felt like a good time to share with you a visit I had with a woman who came all the way from Ireland for Roots Tech and she wasn’t just an Irish genie, she’s also an Ireland Senator with a strange name.
So, I’m talking to Ireland Senator Jillian Van Turnhout. I’ve got to understand, Senator, how it is that an Irish Senator has the name, Van Turnhout?
Jillian: It’s not a very Irish name. In fact, you will only find two of them there, my husband and myself. He’s Dutch and apparently Napoleon gave them all surnames when he was doing the census.
Fisher: Right, which happened in much of Europe at that time. So, you’re here at Roots Tech. I’m just amazed to have you here, and pleased and honored to have a little time to talk to you. Tell us about what’s going on with family history in Ireland, because we have so many Irish-Americans who’ve had such a hard time over there over the years.
Jillian: Well, the records are really opening up and becoming online. Our national library and archive are coming on board with some of the subscription websites and some of the free websites. We do have the 1901 census and the 1911 census are free online. You can see the images.
Fisher: They weren’t burned?
Jillian: They weren’t burned. You can see the images. You can see where your ancestors lived. And because we’ve had so many records that were burned, we’ve had to be inventive. But the Irish, we are inventive, and we’ve found a lot of work arounds. Like, I have been able to trace my family to the late 1700s. And very substantial and they were farm labourers, they weren’t anybody of any means, or anything of such sort, that you’d say they’d have land records. So, you can do it. It takes a little bit of digging, a little bit of work, but it is a great achievement. We’re also seeing more records now coming online. In Ireland, we’re celebrating commemoration this year of the 1916 Rising, so a lot of public are digging out records out of their attics. Coming forward with information and resources and our government are seeing the value that that’s encouraging more people in.
Fisher: For travel?
Jillian: Travel. I might be saying, my point is, people don’t travel to Ireland to find out if they have Irish ancestors. You come to Ireland to walk where they walked, to stand on the land, to see where they were buried, to see where they were born, see why did they leave that area and the government are waking up to that fact, and the state is beginning to put more and more records online. We see the Parish records are now online on our national library of Ireland, and I believe shortly to be announced, two major companies are going to have an index to those records. So, that would be great, because that’s all the parishes around Ireland. You’ll really be able to see the births and marriages of your ancestors.
Fisher: Well, and I’m noticing also that there’s a lot of talk about hotels now bringing in genealogical consultants to help people find their people while they travel to Ireland.
Jillian: Yes. Many of the top hotels are having consultants online, and many freelance people, genealogists in Ireland if you go to the association of genealogists. They’re there to help you. We want you to come to Ireland, but we want your experience to be rich and rewarding and that you really can. I say there’s somebody who travels to Wisconsin, to see three generations of women in my family, who went to a small town in Watertown, Wisconsin. And, I went, because I was able to access the records at home. I was able to go out, meet the historical society, find out even more rich information, and I feel I have a special link, because this town, were very welcoming and I hope in Ireland, we’ll return that type of welcome.
Fisher: Oh, I have no doubt that that will be the case. Thank you so much Senator for coming on, and it’s exciting to see what’s happening in Ireland now. It’s been a long time in coming, but new days are ahead for genealogists with Irish ancestry.
Jillian: It’s the time to start looking when it’s suspected if you have a name that has a slight Irish twinge to it, or you’ve always heard stories in your families. I’d say to start searching, you will have Irish roots.
Fisher: Awesome stuff! Thanks for coming to Roots Tech.
Jillian: Thank you very much for having me on.
Fisher: How cool is that? That Senator Van Turnhout would travel however many time zones that is to attend Roots Tech. Unbelievable. You know, people are passionate about family history. Enough so to actually start a family grant, to encourage high school and college students to pursue genealogy.
Denise May Levernick is behind this thing and she’s on the line with me right now from Pasadena, California.
How are you Denise?
Denise: I’m great, I’m great. Enjoying some wonderful weather here in California.
Fisher: I’m so excited for what you’ve got going on. Back in 2010, you lost your mom who was a fabulous genie, even researching her cousins right down to the end and you’ve set up a scholarship in her name for student genealogists. You want to tell us about this?
Denise: Oh, I’d love to. Thanks for asking. Mom was…she called herself a genie, and she was very excited about discovering where she came from, and when she retired, she lived here in southern California, grew up here in Orange County. When she retired, she moved to Arizona and became very active there with the genealogy groups, but every June, she came out to California and we would go together to the Southern California Genealogical Society Conference, the Jamboree.
Denise: And mom just loved it. It’s a great conference. Three days and well over a thousand people attend. So, when she passed away, and we were looking for some way to honour her memory, it just seemed like a great fit. She always worked in volunteerism. She worked with students and young people. It just seemed like such a good fit, to set up a student genealogy grant, and tie it in with the jamboree, because, to be honest, I’m a little bit selfish, I get to meet the winner each year.
Fisher: Oh, how fun.
Denise: Yeah, it is fun, and we set it up in 2010, and we had five young people receive the award and each one of them have continued in their family history work and research. It’s just been so exciting to see them kind of grow in this field.
Fisher: Now, this is a $500 cash award, and it’s going to be awarded at the Jamboree, which be the way is going on June 3rd through 5th of this year so, it’s coming right up.
Fisher: And they have to be between the ages of 18 and 23?
Denise: Right. That’s it.
Fisher: That’s it, and a student? Okay, so they’ve got to be going to school.
Denise: Um-hmm and they have to also come to the jamboree to receive the cheque.
Denise: And, because part of it is, the whole conference will give them a free registration, so they get to attend at no cost, and we take them around, introduce them to people, and you know, they get to meet the genealogy guys, and David Lambert if he’s there from New England. It’s just a wonderful opportunity for them to kind of meet a bigger community of genealogists.
Fisher: Absolutely. Well, Lambert, you probably shouldn’t have mentioned that, I don’t want to discourage anybody, showing up there, but…hey, this sounds like a lot of fun. How do people get involved in this? How do they submit their application to possibly score this $500 cash award?
Denise: Well, send any students you know to the grant page, which is at my website, www.thefamilycurator.com/swf-grant
S.W.F. Suzanne Winsor Freeman, that’s my mom’s name and the whole packet is available there. We’re taking applications through March 20th, so there’s still time. I know students love to put these things off till the last minute, so we’re looking forward to that.
Fisher: Yeah, this kind of says right now, ‘Do it now or forget about it’.
Fisher: Absolutely. So the familycurator.com actually, you can find the links right there. We’ll link it on our page at extremegenes.com as well, so…
Denise: Great! Thank you so much.
Fisher: Great stuff Denise. Thanks for coming on, and we look forward to hearing who the winner is this year.
Denise: I will keep you posted. Hope you can win.
Fisher: And, coming up next, Tom Perry from tmcplace.com the Preservation Authority returns to talk about “The Cloud” Seems there’s some folks that have some concerns about preserving their digital family photos in audio and video there. Are they justified? Tom will set the record straight next in three minutes on Extreme Genies, America’s Family History Show.
MC Segment 4 Episode 130
Host Scott Fisher with guest Tom Perry
Fisher: And welcome to “Cloud Talk!” On Extreme Genes America’s Family History Show, and extremegenes.com
I am Fisher the Radio Roots Sleuth with Tom Perry from tmcplace.com
He is our Preservation Authority we have on every week and Tom we’re just talking about this off air. It is just amazing how quickly things are changing with the Cloud and how that is kind of confusing. You know what it really reminds me of? Going way back when fax machines first came out.
Fisher: Remember this?
Tom: Yup, absolutely.
Fisher: Fax machines came out and business immediately went to these things because it was a huge boon in communication and yet there were so many people that hadn’t even heard of them yet and they were already in all the businesses around the country.
“Wait a minute, what does the fax machine do, we can have this at home?”
Tom: Oh yes! Any place you had a phone plug they had a fax machine.
Fisher: Right. So everything has changed. Now that the Cloud has become, I think in some ways it’s very much the same thing as a 21st century version of the fax machine where it’s out there, everybody’s using it but there’s still a huge number of people left kind of scratching their head going “Wait, what do I count on, how to do I use it, what should it cost me, why should I use it?”
Tom: Oh exactly!
Fisher: All these things.
Tom: Oh you know, that is absolutely the best comparison I’ve ever heard of what the Cloud is. Even before this when there were copy machines which actually turned into fax machines, you’d go into the precursors to Kinko’s and they didn’t let you touch the machines. You’d hand them your stuff, they would run it and then started letting you do it. If you can power on your computer, you can store stuff in the Cloud, it’s really that easy. Not as hard as people think it is.
Fisher: Right and we’re addressing folks who are just getting started in this and in storage and preservation of their digital material. Scanning photographs, photoshopping them and making sure they’re not going anywhere.
Tom: Exactly, and some people they’re intimidated, they think “Oh I don’t want to learn this new software. I don’t want to learn how to fix my pictures up.” Storing stuff on the Cloud isn’t like that. It’s not something new you really need to learn
Anybody that’s even a virgin at computers can figure out how to do this. You have an icon on your desktop and you tell it that’s where you want to store it. Everything is on Lightjar, or Icloud, or Google Drive, or Dropbox, and once its set up it does it for you in the background. You just keep dropping it, dropping it, dropping it, and one of the neatest things about the Cloud that I love is whether I’m on the road, if I’m home, if I’m at work I can access any of my stuff.
I don’t have to “Oh make a backup of this drive, keep it on this thumb drive and haul it with me.” I can go any place where there’s an internet connection, even on the airplane and I can go to Dropbox and work on a photoshop document or work on my genealogy, or anything I want to and the neat thing about it is “Oh hey, my sister Diane might be interested in these photos that I just found.” So I send her an invitation, she gets an email, she has access to just that folder that I gave her permission to.
It’s almost like one of those too good to be true things. It is absolutely incredible and everybody needs to get some kind of Cloud storage. We had a friend that just lost her house just the other day burnt to the ground, and all her stuff was in it. They had nothing on the Cloud, so basically if their brothers or sisters or relatives didn’t have any copies of what they had just had in their house, they would have lost everything.
Fisher: That’s right. We just had a disaster at our home radio station of past storage. Now, fortunately of course everything for Extreme Genes is stored on a Cloud. So while it took some time to restore everything that had been lost locally, it was there and we were able to get back into business pretty darn fast. But this is such an important thing to understand if you’re just getting started in family history, that the Cloud is a simple thing that takes care of itself. In fact, I’ve got one that every fifteen minutes it goes through and looks for any changes I’ve made in my computer at all and makes those changes and duplicates them in this Cloud storage area. So, if I lose my computer, it goes down or somebody stole it heaven forbid. This is all available to me instantly to restore.
Tom: And like you say “instant” is what’s so important. In fact right after the break let’s talk a little bit about how instant this thing can be, but you don’t have to keep everything on every single computer. You can give certain parameters on what you want to keep on each individual computer.
Fisher: Alright. Great advice! We’ll get into it more, coming up in three minutes on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show.
MC Segment 5 Episode 130
Host Scott Fisher with guest Tom Perry
Fisher: We are back! Final segment of Extreme Genes America’s Family History Show in extremegenes.com
It is Fisher here the Radio Roots Sleuth. Tom Perry is in the house from tmcplace.com our Preservation Authority. We’ve been talking about, I guess you’d call this “Clouds 101.”
Fisher: Because like we talked about earlier, it’s a little bit like it was with fax machines. They came along very quickly and a lot of people were left scratching their heads going “Wait, do I have to have this, does it have to cost, is it hard to use, what do I do with it?” and this is a lot of folks who are just now perhaps getting into family history preservation.
Tom: Oh absolutely! Like we’ve done film transfers for people that we say “Hey, do you want us to put it on the Cloud? Then you have it instantly you don’t even have to come back in the store, we don’t have to ship it to you.” It’s like “Oh!” Like it’s this big haunting thing. “Oh no I can’t do the cloud, I don’t know a computer very well.”
I can spend ten minutes with somebody and show them how to use the Cloud. Because like I said in the earlier segment once it’s setup it rocks and rolls and the neat thing about having all your stuff in the Cloud, if you’re at home and you’re working on something and you say “Oh you know what, I was going to finish this thing for the report for the meeting in the morning, I’m going to work on that now instead of going in early. You go into the Cloud and you pull it down and there it is. Like I use one of those new mini ipads I use as a GPS in my suburban because that doesn’t have a GPS, it’s cheaper to do that.
Soon as I bought it, plugged it in and typed in my thing, boom! All my photos, all my apps, everything are right there, I don’t have to re-download them, I don’t have to go search for them, I don’t even have to pay for them again and because the way they’re set up. So this ipad I set up last night already has everything on it that I need and that’s the way it is with the Cloud. Sometimes I get a warning on my computer where it says “Oh you’re running out of memory.” So I go to my Dropbox and I say “Okay, well you know I don’t really need these things on this computer because I don’t access them.”
Tom: So, I go in and say “hey I don’t need this on this computer anymore.” So it erases them from the computer but it’s still in the Cloud. So now I have all this memory but yet if one day I go “Oh you know what? I really do need that.” Go back in, click on it and in 5-10 minutes it’s all back through again.
Fisher: Right, downloaded again. And the question always comes up about security.
Tom: Oh yeah.
Fisher: Everybody is kind of concerned about that and certainly there’s risk of security with anything you do. I would suggest that there’s the possibility that security on your home computer is probably riskier than a Cloud like Google Drive or Dropbox.
Tom: Oh absolutely. Somebody could break into your home and steal your computer, they’ve got everything that’s on your computer and even if you have it encrypted with passwords, most people unfortunately don’t change their passwords very often, or they have something really easy like their birth date or the name of their dog or their first born kid
Fisher: Or 1,2,3,4!
Tom: Oh hey, I’ve actually had customers call and say “Hey, I need you to download this stuff off my phone I want it on a video DVD.” In fact, we tell them “Change your password, send that to us and then change it back so that we don’t have it.” They say “Oh no, it’s easy it’s just 1,2,3,4.”
Tom: And I’m going “Okay you just gave me your password. What other devices do you have with the same password?”
Tom: So, security is important. I have never heard of a breach on the Cloud. I’m sure some day it will happen. But these guys, they’ve learned from all the mistakes from Target, Home Depot, that their stuff is so redundant now. Nothing’s perfect. But I mean it’s getting close to being there. But it’s just so nice that any time you need anything its right there on Dropbox. And like I mentioned in the first segment, if you have relatives and you’re working on things with that, you want to collaborate. You open up a Dropbox folder that everybody has access to.
So they can drop photos in, you can drop photos in. They can look at it instantly. There’s not “send” or not getting disks or mailing them. It saves you so much time, it’s just absolutely a must have. Everybody needs to have a Cloud and as you mentioned, it’s not expensive, a lot of Clouds are even free if you keep your memory under so much. We have tons because we do lots of video for people, but yet we spend less than $100 a year, that’s less than $10 a month for a terabyte worth of storage.
So it’s awesome if you can get two Clouds, make sure the Clouds aren’t related whether you’re on Google drive, Icloud, Dropbox, Lightjar… get them.
Fisher: Alright. Good stuff Tom, thanks for coming on.
Tom: Glad to be here.
Fisher: We’ve covered a lot of ground this week. Thanks once again to Ireland’s Senator Jillian Van Turnhout, for talking to us about what’s happening in Ireland with Irish research as we get ready for St. Patty’s Day. Also, to Denise May Levernick who is offering a family grant to students who are in genealogy, and to Dan Debenham host and producer of the “Relative Race” a great new reality show everybody is raving about.
Talk to you next week and remember as far as everyone knows… we’re a nice normal family!
Fisher and David Allen Lambert, Chief Genealogist of the New England Historic Genealogical Society and AmericanAncestors.com, open the show with news about a recently discovered World War II mess kit that has united a family. Then David shares great new for Midwestern researchers at the Allen County Genealogical Library in Fort Wayne, Indiana. David and Fisher then talk about finding your ancestors in the diaries of people who were involved in their lives… like ministers and doctors. Wait til you hear what David found for someone recently in a minister’s diary! Then David shares another Tech Tip, and this week’s NEHGS free guest user database.
Fisher then welcomes to the show, for the first time, Lisa Louise Cooke, host of the long-running “Genealogy Gems” podcast.
Lisa has written a book on Mobile Genealogy and shares some tips on how to maximize your research experiences while away from home. You won’t want to miss what Lisa has to say!
Next, meet professional genealogist Carolyn Tolman from LegacyTree.com. Some time back, Carolyn relocated with her husband to Pennsylvania where they moved into an old house. Wanting to know more about it, the house’s “genealogy” turned into a whole new adventure! You’ll want to hear how Carolyn did what she did, and what the result was!
Then, Tom Perry from TMCPlace.com, our Preservation Authority, joins Fisher for the final segments. Tom talks about a turn-of-the-last-century photo brought Tom at Roots Tech. It’s the earliest “selfie” he’s ever seen, and he coveted it! He’ll explain how it was done, as well as how to salvage a picture with “outlaws” (former in-laws!) in it.
It’s all this week on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show!
Transcript of Episode 129
Segment 1 – Episode 129 (00:30)
Fisher: Hello America! And welcome to Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show and ExtremeGenes.com
I am Fisher your Radio Roots Sleuth, on the program where we shake your family tree and watch the nuts fall out.
Exciting guests today! I’m really delighted to have Lisa Louise Cooke on, and if you’re not familiar with Lisa, she is the host of a podcast called “Genealogy Gems” and she’s put together a book called “Mobile Genealogy” so this is kind of a way to help you when you go do research on your family history somewhere where you don’t have to be transferring things from one computer to another, and she’s got some great tips for you coming up in about eight minutes.
Very excited to have Lisa Louise Cooke on the show!
Plus, later on from our brand new sponsor Legacy Tree Genealogists, Carolyn Tolman is going to be here and she has a great story too. She moved into a house some years ago in Pennsylvania and what a house it turned out to be! Some incredible history, it was going to be removed and she went to work to save it. With a history on a house, how do you do a genealogy on a house and what would that mean to you? Carolyn Tolman will tell you about that later on.
But right now let’s check in with Boston and our good friend the Chief Genealogist of the New England Historic Genealogical Society and AmericanAnsestors.org
David Allen Lambert, how are you sir?
David: Things are wonderful in Beantown. How are things with you Fish?
Fisher: All right. I’m excited we have a long list of things to cover here today. Let’s get started on it right away. First off in our “family histoire news,” there’s a mess kit that’s caused a lot of attention.
David: It did. And actually it’s amazing. Metal detectors are always finding amazing things on battlefields but this thing reunited a family. The mess kit for Hudson Funk of the 83rd 330th infantry who was over at Normandy and as you probably saw in the story the unfortunate thing, he lost part of both of his legs and never talked about the war to his children. But this mess kit simply had HLF, his initials and part of a serial number but it was enough to catch the imagination of the metal detector to start searching for it. He found the family out in Pennsylvania, in a town called Roxborough where his sons and one of his brothers have now been reunited with this wonderful artefact and it’s brought a family together.
Fisher: They came from all over the country, they hadn’t been together in years, and they’re celebrating, there are pictures of them toasting this thing and holding this mess kit with a big dent in it with their relative’s initials in it. In fact, the brother is still living at 95 years old.
David: That’s wonderful, it really is. But in Allen County Public Library out in Fort Wayne Indiana, I give a hats off to Curt Wicher and his staff. They have just finished a quarter of a million dollar renovation that has helped in creating both their Life Story Center, where people can come in and do oral histories and they also now have a new auditorium that seats over 240 people on a theatre style amphitheatre.
Fisher: Isn’t that great. The Allen County Library is the second largest library in the world and serves largely the Midwest, so this is a big move for them. Very exciting.
David: It really is. An interesting thing happened here in our library in Boston, I had a lady come in and she was looking for her ancestor but she had a specific question “Where was his diary?” Do you have any diaries of your ancestors?
Fisher: I don’t. I have like one paragraph of an autobiography by my great grandmother and that’s about it. But I do have a second great grandfather who hand wrote five pages of his autobiography by about 1905. I have that original but no diaries.
David: They’re great things when you can have it. But I don’t have one from any of mine. However, I can tell you that the brother of my ancestor was a judge at the Witchcraft Trials. Samuel Sewall, and he published a diary for decades but also lots of details.
David: But getting back to this lady’s query, I could not find a diary for her ancestor but I did find a diary for the minister in her family’s town.
Fisher: Oh, wow!
David: And the minister had some peculiar things to inform.
David: About good things and also the confessed sins.
Fisher: Oh! The naughty and nice list!
David: Exactly. So you just never know when doing genealogy what things you might find and will get you an interview on Extreme Genes.
Fisher: Now wait a minute, were the sins very specific in this diary about the ancestor?
David: Oh yes! They were very specific!
Fisher: [Laughs] All right. So the minister had a diary on the ancestor, anything else?
David: The other thing I told her is “Look for doctors.” Couldn’t find one for her but the town in Maine where my family came from, Westbrook, Maine, there was a doctor in town who actually recorded the birth of all the children he had attended, and I can tell you that my great, great grandmother in 1822, cost a dollar twenty five when she was delivered first thing in the morning.
Fisher: Really? I have never heard of something like that. Of course also there are a lot of the stores that kept a record back in Revolutionary times of people who came through and bought things and how much they paid for it and what they bought, and I found material there that’s really interesting.
David: A couple of years ago one of our members gave us the family store account books from Roxbury, Massachusetts during the Revolutionary War, that gave things that were sold to the British troops and the American troops.
David: I want to give a shout out to the followers of Extreme Genes and myself DL Genealogist on Twitter, and because I participated in my first ever hashtag “Gen Chat” it happens every other Friday. This coming week they’re talking on Civil War research, but it’s free, you’re on Twitter #genchat it’s a great tech-tip to go in and network and follow a genie as I say, on Twitter. What I am investigating hopefully for the next show or the show after, is the company in Provo, Utah called ‘Research Ties.’ They offer for free a basic version of their research log which you can create right online. They also sell a version for 30 dollars annually which has 3 logins and it has 10 GBs worth of space. Basically you have a research log. Fish, you can go check at any time. You can print it out, you can add to it, you can create certain criteria, great stuff.
David: And speaking of databases, for the guest users of AmericanAncestors.org, we are very excited to have the Annals of Barra Island which is the Robert O’Dwyer papers of the 3 volumes of the studies from the Barra Peninsula in West Cork Island that covers from 1776 to 1992.
Fisher: That’s all free, of course?
David: Free exactly from the AmericanAncestors.org. One of the many guest user databases we do. Well that’s all I have from Beantown, catch you next week. Fish, have a good one.
Fisher: Great stuff, thanks David. And coming up next in 3 minutes, we are going to talk to Lisa Louise Cooke, she’s the host of ‘Genealogy Gems’ the podcast about Mobile Genealogy, and why should it matter to you. On Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show.
Segment 2 Episode 129 (25:20)
Fisher: And welcome back to America’s Family History Show, Extreme Genes and ExtremeGenes.com. It is Fisher here, the Radio Roots Sleuth, with a legend on the other end of the line. She is the host of Genealogy Gems, a podcast. It’s been around, what, about ten years now, Lisa Louise?
Lisa: Nearly. We started in 2007.
Fisher: Yeah, a long time ago, Lisa Louise Cooke, whom I’ve admired, well, from not too far a distance actually, over the last several years. She’s a great teacher, very knowledgeable in family history and coming up with little nuggets. I think those are the gems you talk about in the name of your show, Lisa. And I’m excited about your new book that you’ve got out, called, “Mobile Genealogy”. And this really kind of takes things into the 21st century. What got you started on this?
Lisa: Well, thank you for having me on the show. It’s great to be here. And what got me started on this was actually, several years ago, when the iPad first came out, I got my iPad and I was sitting there and my husband was looking at me and going, ‘Oh my gosh! Did you just buy the most expensive email checker in the universe?’ You know? Because that’s all I was doing. I said, ‘No! I’m playing Angry Birds. What else do you want me to do?’
Fisher: “I’m balanced!”
Lisa: Yeah, exactly. And he says, “Yeah, you know, well, you said you were going to do your family history on this as well, right? So, he set the challenge for me to say, I’ve got to learn more about how to use this device. How to make the transition from a laptop to going mobile with a tablet, and of course, our Smartphone is just a small version of a Tablet.
Lisa: So, my first book was, How to turn your iPad into a genealogy powerhouse. Because I had an iPad, that’s what I was focused on. And that one came about four years ago, of course, it’s already so obsolete.
Fisher: It happens that way.
Lisa: You know, technology moves so fast, doesn’t it?
Fisher: Yeah, it really does.
Lisa: So, Mobile Genealogy came out of, it was time for a new book, and I wanted to expand, because there’s Android, right? There’s Android, there’s Apple, there’s everything in between and the key here is that it’s all mobile. And so, the book addresses all the different platforms, all the different types of devices, and really digs ever further into, how to get the most out of them for family history, which is awesome if you don’t have to lug your laptop around, you’re in good shape.
Fisher: Well, that’s really true. You know, the thing is, I think, for a lot of people who have the time to do this, they haven’t necessarily come up in the age of the devices that we’re in right now. So, it’s a scary thing, isn’t it? And I think, part of the challenge for all of us, is not only for us to get comfortable with these devices, but to help other people to get there as well. And I’m sure you’ve had some people who are seniors particularly who are catching on to some of these things right now or having some success as a result of your teaching. Tell us about some of that.
Lisa: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, for most of us, we didn’t grow up with all of this, and it can be kind of intimidating, but the way I kind of approach it is to say, you know, we have to get into what I call, ‘Tablet Mindset’ and stop looking at it as something that’s going to function like the laptop.
Lisa: Because they’re two different animals. When we start with that in the book, that’s where they kind of make the mind shift and then I talk about how to then approach it so that you’re using it from a Tablet Mobile perspective, and we’re really focusing on the tasks. What are the tasks that you do in your genealogy research? And if you’re focused on that, then the right apps will come to you, the right functionality, you’ll know how to move around, but if you’re going at it, first and foremost, how do I duplicate what I was doing on my home computer on this Tablet? You’re going to get snarled up.
Fisher: Oh boy.
Lisa: So, I find that people really like that approach. I think it makes sense and then we just in the book, dig right into a lot of the apps, and what I’ve been hearing from folks, is that they like the fact that, as geeky as I am, I don’t write techno geek, you know?
Fisher: Right, and that’s important.
Lisa: It is. You know, way back in the day, well, I’m dating myself now, but way back in the day when the TRS-80 computer came out, I was one of the only women working at RadioShack of all places.
Fisher: Oh, wow.
Lisa: And we had to explain what a computer was. What this device was supposed to do, and so, I’ve been kind of doing that for a long time and you know, if you’re not in the mode of trying to prove how techno savvy you are and smart you are, but you’re just trying to help people, then it goes a lot better, and that’s certainly my goal. I want them to feel like they’re getting the most use out of their Tablet. So, one of the apps that really has jumped out and that is new to this edition of this book, Mobile Genealogy, is Chrome Remote Desktop, and I think this one is like, changing people’s lives.
Lisa: Yeah, because it means that those limitations that the Tablet or the Smartphone has, and I keep saying ‘Tablet or Smartphone’ because they’re just pretty much the same thing.
Fisher: Right, yes.
Lisa: The limitations that you run into, like, it won’t play my flash video. It won’t let me use this form or whatever it is that you’re doing, or this app is kind of stripped down version of the full blown website or software. Well, Chrome Desktop just unleashes the power of your Tablet, because it gives you access directly into your full blown computer at home, which you can have open on your desktop and sleeping, if you want to. You can ping it. And now, you’re running your entire computer right from your Tablet. So, you have no limitations. You are back to being able to do all the functionality of a laptop.
Fisher: I love that.
Lisa: I think that’s one of the main chapters that’s just been blowing people’s minds.
Fisher: Well, it’s also, you save everything back to your home computer which is so nice.
Lisa: Yeah, and you put it in another app which we really go in depth in the book which is Dropbox or any other type of cloud storage. We think of those kinds of apps as being kind of Grand Central Station for our files. So if we are accessing our home computer with the remote desktop, and we’re making new files, but we want to access them back on our Tablet, how do we get them there? But we don’t want to email them to ourselves, we save them to Dropbox and then they show up in our Dropbox app on our mobile device. What could be better?
Fisher: Boy, I’ll tell you! What a great tip just right there. That’s make the whole thing worth it. All right, so that’s one great app, Lisa Louise. What else do you have?
Lisa: Well, I think another thing that we’re struggling with as genealogists is when we face the relatives in our family who get that ‘glazed over’ look when we start talking about family history. Does that ever happen to you, Scott?
Fisher: Oh, no, no. They light up like a Christmas tree!
Lisa: They light up like a Christmas tree? You have a special family!
Fisher: No, I don’t. There’s like maybe one person out of 17 at the end of the table during the holidays, maybe that one person. Like you say the geeks, you know? But it’s funny how it works, because usually by the end of a vacation visit or a holiday visit, everybody’s saying, ‘Hey, what was that story? Go ask Scott.’ you know? And they always come back. So, they have a lot of fun at our expense, but at the end of the day, they love what we do, don’t you think?
Lisa: I think they do, and the trick is to talk their language, right?
Lisa: To share a compelling story or do something – share is the key here – as one of my daughters says, if it’s not shareable, it doesn’t exist.
Fisher: Yeah, that’s right.
Lisa: To the Millennials, you know? It’s got to be shareable and that’s what’s enticing. And so, here’s an app that I love that I have in my photograph chapter, and it’s called, Retype, R E T Y P E, it by Sumoing LTD and it costs, I don’t know, $3, but I love this, because it takes photos and turns them into what we call ‘memes’ right? These are really fun, shareable images on Facebook or whatever. We see them all the time. It’s so easy to create your own, so I kind of walked the family historian through, let’s take some of your family photos, your old family photos, add the text and they’re really cool…it adds kind of a really fun font, there’s zillions of them to choose from and you can either use the saying that they offer up or you can give it its own caption yourself, but I’ve been using this constantly, not only personally, but on my Genealogy Gems website to convey ideas in really fun, shareable ways.
Fisher: And so, all these apps are coming along to basically take your family history and turn it into some form of art, and that’s what’s exciting too, because art tells a story in a different way.
Lisa: Exactly, and in a really quick way, don’t you think? That you can look at something and you get it. You get what that concept is.
Fisher: That’s exactly right. Yeah, exactly, and that’s the joy, but what’s the name of that app again for people who missed it.
Lisa: It’s called Retype, and like I say, it’s about $3. You’ll find it in the app store, and I’ve got loads and loads of other types of exciting apps like that. So, you can see, this book is not just, ‘These are the Genealogy apps’, but I’m really focusing on what are you trying to accomplish? If you want to snag and captivate those people in your family, here’s the app for you. We got to get outside that genealogy box and we’ve really got to focus on what we’re trying to accomplish and get it done, and that’s what I’m hoping that people will find that the book will do.
Fisher: Well, that’s the end game, it’s to get everybody excited about it and sharing and preserving at the end of the day, and in a way that is useable by future generations, because we all want…it sure beats writing in a tree, right? You know, carving your name someplace, because that’s about all there is otherwise. She’s Lisa Louise Cooke. She is the host of Genealogy Gems, a great podcast. It’s been around for a long, long time now and of course the Genealogy Gems website with all kinds of great things there. I’m just delighted to have you on, Lisa Louise. What do you have coming up on your show in the coming weeks?
Lisa: Well you, sir, will be coming up on our show in the coming weeks and we’re also going to have one of the couples from the Relative Race on the show, which is the NUBY, kind of DNA amazing race of genealogy TV show that’s come out and lots of good stuff. And if people are interested in more on mobile genealogy, we have a YouTube channel, youtube.com/genealogygems. You can also get to it from GenealogyGems.com, our main site, but I’ve got a class the we did at Roots Tech and I saw you at Roots Tech. We did it in our booth. We recorded it and they can watch it for free on video.
Fisher: I love the way you think. Great stuff! Lisa Louise Cooke, thanks for coming on. It’s good to have you finally.
Lisa: Awesome to be here. Thanks Scott!
Fisher: Lisa Louise always has tons of things going on at GenealogyGems.com. Hey, and just a reminder by the way, coming up in September, it’s going to be our very first Extreme Genes cruise! Yes, it’s a Fall Foliage Tour, but a lot of history mixed in as well. David Allen Lambert, the Chief Genealogist for the New England Historic Genealogical Society, will be joining me, giving lectures on days we’re at sea. Talking about the history of Boston, the Colonial Period, the Loyalists who settled in Nova Scotia, the area we’re going to be going to. So, if you want to find out more, go to our Extreme Genes Facebook page and you’ll see everything you’ll need to know. And coming up next, we’re going to talk to Carolyn Tolman from LegacyTree.com about the “Genealogy” of a house. That’s in five minutes on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show.
Segment 3 Episode 129 (44:45)
Fisher: And Welcome back to America’s Family History Show, Extreme Genes and ExtremeGenes.com. It is Fisher here, the Radio Roots Sleuth.
I am very excited to have a new guest on the show, someone we haven’t had on the show before. She is with Legacy Tree Genealogists, one of our new sponsors. Carolyn Tolman is here, Hi Carolyn welcome!
Fisher: It’s great to have you. I’m excited about what you’ve written on a blog here recently about doing the genealogy of a house. Now I’ve gone through this recently where I saw that the home my Dad and Mom built when I was 3 and we were in for 20 years, recently went on the market for only the second time since we sold it. And so all the MLS listings had all the pictures of what it looks like today, and I was able to actually create some side by side pictures, photos of us back in the day and what it looks like now, and it’s so much fun. But you actually went through – you moved into a home that you had never been in before, never even been in the neighbourhood before, and researched the house. What a great experience. Talk about this a little bit.
Carolyn: Yes my husband had the opportunity to go to the U.S. Army War College which is on the Carlisle Barracks Army Post in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, and because of the size of our family they assigned us to this old farm house that was on Post and no one could really tell me the history of it, and being a genealogist I just had to know.
Fisher: You just had to know. What year did it go back to?
Carolyn: We figured out that it was in about 1856, so before the Civil War.
Fisher: Wow, so Antebellum, yeah?
Carolyn: Uh huh.
Carolyn: And Confederate soldiers actually spent the night there, the night before they were called away to Gettysburg. They had invaded the town, and the mother in the home fed and sheltered them for the night.
Fisher: Now wait a minute, how’d you find that out?
Carolyn: There was a magazine that was from 1918, the author was the farmer at the farm house and he talked about a young woman visiting who had grown up in the house, who shared that story.
Fisher: So this was in the magazine, where did you find the magazine?
Carolyn: Okay, I found out that the house was going to be torn down and I visited the Cumberland County Historical Society, one of the great old historical societies in Pennsylvania, and they found out where I was living and they knew immediately that this was the Indian School Farmhouse and they brought out this magazine article and shared it with me.
Fisher: How cool is that.
Carolyn: Yeah. That’s what started the whole search.
Fisher: And so you decided you want to get into this a little bit more and see what had happened, because this place was going to be torn down after you left.
Carolyn: Uh huh. Once I visited the Historical Society, they said “Someone needs to document the history of this house” to convince the army that it does not need to be torn down.
Fisher: Well who better than a professional genealogist like yourself!
Carolyn: I felt like I was in the right place.
Fisher: So you started from there, you had a story from the very early years.
Fisher: What did you find and how did you do it?
Carolyn: Well I noticed that the street behind the house was named Parker Springs, and there was also a big spring behind the house, so I knew I was looking probably for a Parker family. So I went to the land index and found a deed of an Andrew Parker selling his land to the army, selling his farm. So I knew that it was the family of Andrew Parker. I then went to the Cumberland County Courthouse, and for me, I’m used to going to the Family History Library and dealing with microfilms, but there they pulled out their big dusty books and let me look through them.
Fisher: That is special isn’t it, and just the smell of it, I like that.
Carolyn: It was all I could do to keep from rubbing my cheek on the page [laughs]
Carolyn: I was able to trace the owners of the house from the Parkers back to the farm owners. So I have this list of names and dates of owners. I then went back to the Historical Society who housed the tax records and because I knew who owned the house and where they were living, I was able to find those records and notice what the tax man wrote on them, and I found out that in 1855, the house on the property was a stone house.
Carolyn: But in 1858 it was a brick house. So that’s how I figured out that they bought the property with a stone house and replaced it with the brick house that I was living in. So thanks to the tax records…
Fisher: So that’s how you got an idea of when the house was built, from the tax records.
Fisher: That’s awesome.
Carolyn: Yeah. So normally a genealogist would use those to trace people coming and going in a county, but I used it to trace the house and the condition of the house.
Fisher: Absolutely amazing. So where did it go from there? Now you’re back just before the Civil War, you know what happens during the Civil War with the Confederates taking over and staying in there before they head off to Gettysburg, then what?
Carolyn: Well, that house was right next to the army Post and the Post needed training ground, and in 1879 they had been abandoned after the Civil War, the army wasn’t using it, and Richard Pratt who had been a soldier had been out fighting the Indians, and he realized in his dealings with them that they weren’t savages, they were humans, and he wanted to teach them. So he managed to get the Post as an Indian school.
Carolyn: So in 1879 the Indian School began and they wanted to teach these Indian students how to farm, so they needed a real working farm and they bought the Parker farm. So the farm house became a place where the Indian students would sleep and get their meals and then work on the dairy in the morning, and they also had classrooms in the house where they learned how to run a farm because they were teaching them how to compete with white men in white society.
Fisher: Wow. Now how long did that go on?
Carolyn: That school lasted until 1918 when the end of World War 1 required the Post to be used as a hospital. So the school shut down in 1918.
Fisher: What a history though. Civil War barracks to an Indian school, to a hospital for the military.
Carolyn: Yes, and then the Medical school used the farmhouse also to teach the soldiers occupational skills in going back into civilian society.
Fisher: Now how did you learn this? That it had become at this time a hospital?
Carolyn: I visited the library in Carlisle and every library has a local history room, and that’s a favorite place for genealogists.
Carolyn: And there was a history of Carlisle Barracks in that room and thanks to that history I was able to trace what was going on with the farm in connection with the Post which also meant I knew what was going on with the farmhouse.
Fisher: Wow, this is amazing.
Carolyn: Yes. The house continued to run the farm until about 1930 when the Post took over most of the farmland, and the house became quarters for soldiers. From that point on the connection that the house had to the Indian school became forgotten and diminished and it didn’t matter anymore. So that’s how it came to be on the list to be torn down. People didn’t realize the significance it had, the history that it had.
Fisher: Right. So you did all this work, you used tax records, I would assume some census records. Some land records to determine who the people were who’d been there.
Carolyn: Yes I did. I did use the census to trace the family and then the soldiers who lived in the house.
Fisher: And so now, you’re facing the potential of your work actually saving this historic home that you’ve come to love now as a result of this.
Carolyn: Very much.
Fisher: What happened from there?
Carolyn: Well I published the history on just a free website, I wanted as many people to see it as possible, I shared it with the army post hoping that they would realize that this was too valuable to tear down, and they were already very set in their plans to build new housing. But the word got out to the descendants of the Indian students and they started a partition and the local newspapers picked it up, and at the very last minute when the demolition was supposed to happen within just a few weeks, there was a conference of Native Americans on Post about the Indian School, and the army knew that they were there and they chose that time to have a round table meeting when they announced that they were not going to tear it down after all.
Fisher: What a victory!
Carolyn: It was.
Fisher: Now were you there for that?
Carolyn: I was.
Fisher: Oh wow.
Carolyn: I couldn’t miss that.
Fisher: You were probably answering a few questions too, weren’t you?
Carolyn: Yes, and interacting with these wonderful Native American people who cared very much about having a landmark. There are not a lot of Native American landmarks in this country, and that one serves as a great landmark because it’s where the Pan Indian movement began, it’s where the National Congress of American Indians got its start, so there’s a lot of significance to it.
Fisher: Using genealogy to learn the history of houses and save them from demolition, how cool is that?
Carolyn: That’s right.
Fisher: Carolyn Tolman from LegacyTree.com. Thanks so much for coming on.
Carolyn: It’s been a pleasure. Thanks for letting me share my story.
Fisher: And coming up next: He is our Preservation Authority, Tom Perry from TMCPlace.com. Talking about the oldest ‘selfie’ he has ever seen and how he coveted it! He’ll tell you all about it coming up next on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show.
Segment 4 Episode 129
Host Scott Fisher with guest Tom Perry
Fisher: And welcome back to Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show.
It is Preservation time. I am with Tom Perry from TMCPlace.com our Preservation Authority.
Tom, you were having such a good time at Roots Tech and its fun, I mean we have stories that go on for weeks from what happened over just a few days as people were bringing things to your booth and asking for advice on some of these items, but the one thing that really lit you up that I noticed, what was it, a 19th century selfie?
Tom: Oh yeah, it was like late 18 early 19 hundreds, I wanted it so bad.
Fisher: [Laughs] Now have you ever seen anything like that before?
Fisher: And explain what this was. Because I think when we talk about ‘selfie’ most people picture a long stick, a little modern camera there, the remote control and the whole thing, but obviously back then that wasn’t the case. Who is the person? How old? How did they set this thing up in those times?
Tom: Yes, a pretty incredible fact. One of the things that made it so cool to me, I remember back when I started my career in photography back in junior high school, I remember they had this big mirror when you walked through the front door, and I did the same thing, before I had eye contacts, and I had the tripod set up, smiling in the mirror and pushed a little button, and it’s like flashback a 100 years earlier and here is this kid wearing the type of clothes they wore back in those days, the tie, he had his tripod set up, had a little brownie camera on top of it
Fisher: You saw that in that picture?
Tom: Oh yeah. Because what he’s doing is, he has his camera and he’s looking into the mirror.
Fisher: Oh I see, okay.
Tom: Yeah. So this mirror is on, I don’t know what they used to call them back then, kind of like a bureau, you could see the drawers, you could see the sides, because it’s back far enough, but he not only got the mirror, he got part of the surroundings of it, and he’s just standing there with his little tie on and his little period clothing, and just standing there smiling and took this picture. It’s so cool, and the thing that makes it so cool is that it’s not just a selfie, but you can see it’s not a fake selfie because you can see the things on the outside, the old mirror that it’s sitting on, the handcrafting around the mirror, and that was a cool thing. I saw this and I loved it.
Fisher: So that’s a mirror image of himself though, right?
Fisher: Which you could reverse and flip if you wanted to.
Tom: Exactly. So it was a selfie in the old fashioned way, because in the old days you didn’t even have timers on your camera so you couldn’t run and get into the picture, you had to have somebody else do it. So it truly was a selfie. Somebody took a picture of him and it was so cool, but then the one down side of the picture had a lot of spots on it, just from being old and wear and tear. The lady that brought it in told me the history that I believe, she said it was like an uncle or a grandfather.
Fisher: So it was a relative.
Tom: Right, it was definitely a relative and she told me a little bit about him, and this guy actually got into photography. There’s people who every once in a while do these selfie contests, send in your best selfie and they give away prizes and such. I told her “You need to make a copy of this and send it in because I guarantee this is going to be the oldest selfie anybody has ever seen!”
Fisher: It’s a winner.
Tom: Oh yeah, absolutely. But I wanted it so bad. It was awesome.
Fisher: What do you think something like that would be worth? Are you a collector? Do you collect photographs?
Tom: No I don’t collect stuff like that. I mostly just look for family things related to me, if I saw it on eBay and happen to run across it and it was a 100 bucks, I would have bought it without even thinking about it because it’s so special to me.
Tom: So I tried to bribe the lady, I said, “Give me all your pictures let me scan them for you and I’m not even going to charge you, I just want to have permission to keep one of these pictures and be able to use it on our store, it’s so cool”
Fisher: Did she agree?
Tom: Oh yeah, she’s totally on board with it.
Fisher: Oh that’s fine. So what are you having to do to fix it?
Tom: What we’ll do first is, we’ll scan it on a really deep hue since it is black and white, and we’re going to scan in color like we talked about last week because it gives you more information. Most of the spots on it are about the size or a little bit bigger than a pencil led, so they’re not huge, and so we go into Photoshop which is a great program to do editing, once we get all these things done it will look like the guy just took the picture and it will look awesome.
Fisher: Well isn’t that great. And Photoshop Elements too, a cheaper version with all those same tools on it for anybody.
Tom: You don’t have to get the full blown Photoshop like mentioned, if you’ve got Elements that comes free with a lot of scanners, you’ll be able to rock and roll just fine.
Fisher: All right. What are we going to talk about next?
Tom: We’re going to talk about what if my pictures got torn up, what if I got an a line on my picture that I want removed.
Fisher: Oh, boy! Coming up next in three minutes on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show.
Segment 5 Episode 129
Host Scott Fisher with guest Tom Perry
Fisher: We are talking Preservation with Tom Perry from TMCPlace.com, our Preservation Authority on America’s Family History Show, Extreme Genes. I am Fisher, your Radio Roots Sleuth. And Tom recently, of course we were both at the Roots Tech conference in Salt Lake City, Utah, and your had a lot of people bringing things to your booth for evaluation, for restoration and recovery, and talk about some those other items that you saw.
Tom: Oh, exactly, and the thing is, some people don’t want to give up their stuff, even though they flew in they don’t want to leave it. I understand that, so one thing that you need to do too if you’re in the situation where you don’t want to do yourself. You don’t want to ship it, you want to fly it in. I’m sure there are people in your area that can help you with this, and one thing you need to really do is look outside the box.
If you just want to go to a trasher place and you don’t think, ‘Oh they’re not really into photos they don’t know what they’re doing,’ go to places that do billboards. Go to advertising companies with good references and they might be able to tell you, oh yeah, there’s a color correction place that does billboards, and take it to them and say, hey here’s what I need done, and they can usually scan it for you right while you’re there, because they have their equipment set up always, to do things like that. Scan it, you can take the photo back with you, and they can do it for you.
Fisher: They can take a little tiny photo and blow it up to billboard size!
Tom: Oh, absolutely. So, these people definitely know what they’re doing.
Tom: And if you still don’t want to leave it, that’s fine. Just have them scan it. And even if they say, hey, we don’t do photo restoration, but we can scan it for you at a gazillion DPI, then that’s fine. Have them put it on your thumb drive or a disk, take it home. You can email it to us or anybody and get a quote. And the thing is, if you email it to us and ask us for a quote, you don’t have to have us do it. You can just say, okay, this is what it would cost and then take it to somebody local. And if they’re in the same ball park, you know they’re being fair with you. So, we’re just more there to kind of help you out. We had one this person who brought us a photo that was torn.
Fisher: Right in half, huh?
Tom: Yeah, torn right in half. So, half the face was missing, however, we’re like detectives. We need to get as much information as we can, which we kind of alluded to, last week.
Fisher: So, part of it was missing? It was in two halves?
Tom: Oh, exactly. A whole part of the guy’s face was missing. Kind of like the thumb print we talked about last week, but not as severe, because, if you have a person’s face, you know they’re not asymmetrical. So, you can kind of take things and kind of know what you’re supposed to do. But anything you can give to us, like, type of clothing it was, other photos, even if they’re younger, or older, it helps our artist say, okay, this is when he was eight years old. Here’s a picture of when he was twelve, based on that, I can kind of do these things to fix the photo. So, be like a detective. Get us any information you can. If it’s a color photo that’s faded, let us know, oh yeah, so-and-so used to wear this colour. They had this. This is what their eye color was, so we can make sure we get everything right. So, you had a little sister that had green eyes, we don’t make them blue or brown.
Fisher: Right, Right.
Tom: We want to be as authentic as we can, so bring us this information. Even if it’s a black and white photo, get us that information, because you think, who wants black and white? Why do I need to know eye color? Well, in gray scale, blue eyes, brown eyes and green eyes are going to be different shades of gray scale. So, if you want to be authentic, get us as much information as you can, so we as a detective can recreate this picture and make everybody look right. Also, they knew that there was supposed to be somebody else in that picture that wasn’t there, because that half was torn and nobody knew where it was. So, if you can get us a picture of that person, close as you can to that age, we can make a new family portrait and put that person in.
Fisher: That’s incredible.
Tom: Oh, it’s amazing what technology will do now. We’ve even had people bringing us photos they had of “outlaws”, like ex-in-laws, there was such a bad situation that they wanted us to take them out.
Fisher: I’ve done that.
Tom: Oh, you have to. And we can take people out, even if they’re in front and blocking people, we can remove them, and rebuild people shoulders or arms or hands or whatever, to make it look like they were never there. And as we just mentioned, we can take people and put them in. We’ve had people that had lost a child that was really, really young and they still wanted the person to be in there, and so, we can either put him in at the age that they became deceased or if they passed away when they were fourteen and this picture was taken when they would have turned sixteen, we can put him in as a fourteen year old or even kind of age him and make him maybe sixteen.
Fisher: Really? You can do aging?
Tom: Oh, absolutely.
Fisher: Oh boy! Great stuff as always, Tom! Thanks for coming on.
Tom: Good to be here again.
Fisher: I cannot believe we’re done for another week. Thanks once again to Lisa Louise Cooke, host of Genealogy Gems. A great podcast at GenealogyGems.com, talking about mobile genealogy and why you need it. Catch our podcast at iTunes, iHeart Radio’s talk channel or ExtremeGenes.com if you missed it. Also to Carolyn Tolman from LegacyTree.com, talking about doing “genealogy” on a house. 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 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 (starts at 25:16), Extreme Genie Ann Allred of Centerville, Utah visits with Fisher about her long sought after discovery of her grandfather’s grave in North Carolina. 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!
Fisher opens the show with David Allen Lambert, Chief Genealogist of the New England Historic Genealogical Society and AmericanAncestors.org. David’s “Family Histoire” news tells us about a Connecticut couple who have been married longer than any other couple in America! How long have they been married and who are they? Catch the podcast. We also hear about the passing of a woman who was America’s oldest surviving veteran. David will share with you where and when she served and her remarkable age. Then, the two talk about a new cruise ship, set to sail in 2018, that is the modern replica of another ship that sank in 1912. Can you guess what it is? Plus David’s “Tech Tip” has to do with an exciting new announcement by MyHeritage.com. And he shares another free database from NEHGS. Listen to hear what it is.
In the second segment, David returns and talks with Fisher about their highlights from the recent Roots Tech Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah, focusing first on new products, including those from the winners of the Innovator’s Summit. They also talk about a new data storage service that uses a life insurance company model to assure your data stays within your family’s control for generations! (Fisher talks to the founder next week.) David also reviews JRNL, a product having to do with keeping a digital journal, and a French company that serves as a social media base for your family and family history, only without the databases. Fisher then plays back an incredible family history discovery from Roots Tech. (Hint: She obtained an ancestral item dating back to 1812!) Fisher and David also talk visiting with keynote speaker, the renowned historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, backstage.
Then, Dr. Kasia Bryc of 23andMe joins the show to talk about what their research is saying about how we come together as couples! Are they the differences or similarities that bring us together? Is there a genetic tie here? Dr. Bryc has some Valentines Day insight.
Then, Tom Perry from TMCPlace.com, the Preservation Authority, returns with great advice on managing your various formats and bringing them together in a presentable way.
That’s all this week on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show!
Transcript of Episode 126
Segment 1 Episode 126 (00:30)
Fisher: And you have found us! America’s Family History Show, Extreme Genes and ExtremeGenes.com
It is Fisher here, The Radio Roots Sleuth, your host on the program where we shake your family tree and watch the nuts fall out, and it is our first show back since Roots Tech, the largest conference on family history in the world that was just this past week or so in Salt Lake City, Utah, and I’ve got to tell you it’s taken me just a little bit to get my voice back. Because it’s loud, I had a little bit of a cold working and so trying to talk through that I got a little bit squeaky there for a while.
But I’m back and in full health and excited to break down Roots Tech, with David Allen Lambert coming up here in just a few minutes, and later in the show we’re going to do our DNA segment with Dr. Kasia Bryc from 23andMe.com and we’re going to talk about what DNA says about people and how they come together. A little love thing going on with DNA as we celebrate Valentine’s Day weekend.
Let’s check in now with David Allen Lambert, the Chief Genealogist for the New England Historic Society and AmericanAncestors.org, in Boston, Massachusetts.
David: Greetings from Beantown Fish! I hope that you survived Roots Tech, I know that it was an amazing time for me from beginning to end, lots of fun especially at the ‘My Heritage’ after party.
Fisher: Oh yeah, watching you work the karaoke microphone sir, was something I’m still recovering from. I want you to know that right now.
David: [Laughs] Well, I hope that’s a good recovery.
David: When Thomas MacEntee, mentioned he was singing, I was like “Well if he can do it, I can croak!”
Fisher: You were good! I was impressed, I had no idea you had it in you.
David: Yeah well, it’s all that musical theater, I guess occasionally the windpipes are good for more than just radio.
Fisher: [Laughs] All right. What’s going on with Family Histoire News this week? Fill us in my friend.
David: Well, first off to you and your lovely bride a Happy Valentine’s Day weekend.
Fisher: Thank you sir.
David: How many years you’ve been married?
Fisher: This summer it will be 35.
David: Well for me it’s going to be 28. But we don’t hold a candle to a lovely couple out in Connecticut; this is John and Ann Betar’s 83rd Wedding Anniversary.
Fisher: Gosh 83! What were they married at like 6?
David: [Laughs] Well, he’s currently 104 and she’s currently 100. So it looks like he was a 21 year old and a 17 year old that fell in love and got married. They’ve known each other since the Great Depression, and fell in love. In fact, he used to give her rides to school in his 1932 Ford Roadster.
Fisher: [Laughs] And he’s still driving I understand by the way at 104.
David: It’s amazing, and it’s amazing thing to think that technology has embraced so many of our older friends and listeners. This couple this weekend have actually decided to tweet the secrets of their marriage.
Fisher: They’re on Twitter? Oh that’s insane!
David: So, definitely need to follow them. I’m sure they’re going to get more following than the U.S. President ever got on his tweets.
David: So that’s a great, great story. We tip our hats in remembrance of another person who was a centenarian, a gal from Boston, Massachusetts, Alice Dickson, who was born here in 1907. She was an African American veteran with the 6888th battalion in World War II and when she died on the 27th of January at 108, she was America’s oldest female veteran of World War II.
Fisher: Oldest living veteran period.
David: Yeah that’s true. But she’s definitely someone who’s seen a lot of history, and our heart goes out to her and her family and friends.
I can’t tell you the winter that we’re having. I know that the country is wrapped in cold weather all the way down to Florida. But I was thinking, I’m so looking forward to our cruise it just has a warm feeling.
David: Even though it’s in the fall.
Fisher: Yes in September. Find out about it on our Facebook page, by the way.
David: Absolutely. They can see both of us and hopefully they’ll have karaoke. [Laughs]
Fisher: [Laughs] Oh please spare us that!
David: I know about a certain person and their great singing is on the other end of this mic so I want to just let you know you’ll be in for a good surprise with Fish singing as well.
Fisher: [Laughs] Oh boy!
David: Okay. I had an idea. In 2017 hopefully we’ll have another cruise. 2018 I’ve already got a ship lined up for us.
Fisher: Tell us what it is.
David: Well, it is called… you may have heard of it before… the ‘Titanic’
Fisher: Shut up!
David: Yes the Titanic is not being raised from the ocean bottom and being refloated. A company out of Australia is building Titanic 2, this vessel is going to rival the size of the ship plus 13 feet apparently.
David: It’s going to launch and go from China to Dubai in 2018. So maybe we can convince them they need a genealogical talk.
David: And maybe our listeners by then will already be out in Dubai, into China, there’ll just be a demand that they want Fish and Dave Lambert right there on the cruise. It will be our third annual, taking the Titanic by storm.
Fisher: No, no, no wait a minute! Let me ask you this. Would you like to go on a cruise on the Titanic?
David: Hmm that’s a really good question. I’ll take about 10 seconds to answer it. Yes!
Fisher: You would?
David: Because I’ve been fascinated with the Titanic since I was 11 years old.
David: And I think that somebody’s going to the detail of trying to replicate it. Just to look at it docked would be interesting.
Fisher: That’s true.
David: But you know that the cruise that they’re taking from Southern China to Dubai is not really an iceberg territory.
Fisher: [Laughs] Good point!
David: If they didn’t recreate it in April of 2018 to go from South Hampton to New York, but hopefully when they do that it’s going to be in the much warmer weather.
Fisher: That’s true and they’re going to have better technology anyway. They’ll have wifi.
David: And more lifeboats, lifeboats on this boat will be adequate for every passenger, and it’s costing approximately five hundred million dollars to build.
Fisher: Wow! All right.
David: So we’ll see how that one develops. So that’s a really exciting one. You know with tech tips going on there’s so many things that we’re going to talk about what happened at Roots Tech. But I want to just give a shout-out to our sponsor ‘My Heritage ‘and the exciting news about the audio app that is available from MyHeritage.com, now you can record your stories and put it right on your ‘My Heritage’ account, so that’s going to be great.
Fisher: That’s great! That’s a great advance no question about it.
David: All you have to do to get to it is go to www.MyHeritage.com/mobile. Well talking about technology, NEHGS as you know, listeners of Extreme Genes get to go on as a guest user as anybody else, spread the word, and we have free database that lasts for a month and the new one that we’re sponsoring is the marital records of Lincoln Maine from 1829- 1890, so if you have some ancestors that lived up in Maine back in the 19th century check it out, and more exciting databases to come.
Fisher: All right. Good stuff David! Thanks so much, now you’re coming back for another segment?
David: I will.
Fisher: And we’re going to talk about some of the highlights from Roots Tech. We’re going to actually hear a story from a listener that I met. That will just blow your mind, its good stuff! It’s coming up in three on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show.
Segment 2 Episode 126 (25:20)
Fisher: And we are back! America’s Family History Show, Extreme Genes and ExtremeGenes.com
It is Fisher here your Radio Roots Sleuth, with my good friend David Allan Lambert, he is the Chief Genealogist of the New England Historic Genealogical Society and AmericanAncestors.org and this is our annual breakdown of Roots Tech, the Roots Tech Conference in Salt Lake City in Utah which took place last week. David I think for the most part I think the things we generally take away from this thing are the products that are out there. The new innovations and the new inventions in fact, that enhances our efforts to discover and preserve and share.
David: I tell you, Roots Tech is really the place for the innovators summit and all the new products by vendors that are already in the field and brand new ones that have just started. It never ceases to amaze me. Some great things, some really amazing things that I hope our listeners can try out and download. Most of them are free.
Fisher: Well let’s start with this one ‘Forever’. Now this is one of the gold sponsors that were there at Roots Tech, in fact I’m going to talk to the founder of the company and have him on the show next week, but this is a really interesting concept.
David: It really is, and what ‘Forever’ is it allows you to one, they offer a scanning service so you can box up your pictures and send them. They have software if you want to digitize them yourself and actually create online books etc. and online displays. You can invite your family to be part of it, but the biggest part of it is their data storage. Now I’ll tell you about this, Fish, it’s amazing.
David: You have the possibility of getting an account with them for your lifetime plus a hundred years.
Fisher: Now the question would be, that anybody would ask, is how anybody can guarantee that something is going to last in the cloud for a hundred years beyond your lifetime? And this is where it gets a little bit different.
David: It is, in fact they basing it on the model of an insurance company. I actually asked them “So how do I know whose going to be alive in a hundred years?” so your heirs assign heirs and it becomes your legal property. You don’t have to worry “Oh my goodness am I going to find somebody that’s going to be able to read my USB drive in a hundred years from now?” They going to refresh all that data, they going to keep it standard part of the operating part of the company and that will be to actually make sure that the date of transitions into your lifetime plus a hundred years. I think it’s amazing to think that this has so many applications both on the family history level and small historical societies and libraries have some great ideas that I want to talk to them about. I think it’s more far reaching then just genealogy.
Fisher: Sure. Also we had the innovators summit that was the first day that was on Wednesday, and that’s where all these people come in either with new inventions or something they have innovated and there’s a hundred thousand dollar prize money involved in this thing, and the winner was a company called Tap Genes.
David: They were very interesting indeed because a lot of people test their DNA to know about their family health history, but their concept is crowd sourcing and using your own social media connections to reach out to cousins to track family health history, fascinating and obviously big, big winner for innovative summit.
Fisher: Well it can affect your treatments.
David: Oh absolutely, and I think for instance, I am a type two diabetic, I mean I want to let my other cousins know. I mean some of them it may not come up because I don’t see them but their kids get diagnosed at least they know the route they may have followed through. There are so many different great people at the innovative summit, another one that I wanted to mention which was an intriguing new product is ‘JRNL’ and it’s pronounced journal but its spelled JRNL.
Fisher: Yeah just get rid of all the vowels.
David: Exactly! In jrnl.com I’ve encouraged people as one of my new year’s resolutions as I mentioned was to keep a journal to share. This is a way to do it electronically in a secure environment. You can invite people like your cousins and friends to participate, you can put in photos, videos, etc. and it’s an exciting new product and I’m looking to see that company grow and take off with what they’re offering and I’m going to give it a try. It’s free to start, and as everything else there is a premium level where you want more space for things, you pay, but I’ll give it a try and maybe it will give me a chance to remember to keep a journal.
Fisher: Right [laughs] good point.
David: Next one that I saw and I do chat with him a bit, is Family City, which is a French company all the way over from Paris, France, they came to Roots Tech. It’s sort of a .com for social media to connect your family and share what you’ve already done but with no data bases.
David: The price is free so famicity.com. Another thing, I don’t think anybody thinks about so much into technology but books, but on a very basic level.
Deanna Novak from Kids Heritage Inc. from Orlando Florida was there, and what she offers is the groundbreaking old technology, a book.
Fisher: Yeah that’s right. She was my neighbor actually in the neighboring booth, and it’s just absolutely astonishing because if you’ve got a kid and you want to introduce them to their family history, she basically has a template with countries for instance, if you can give her four countries that your family descends from, they’ll put that in there and it can go up to six, then they customize the book with the kid’s name and birth date in there and maybe a little greeting from somebody. It’s a hard bound kid’s book and it tells them about the countries and their heritage. How cool is that.
David: It really is. In fact I was lucky to get one for Hanna, and she’s already enjoyed it, my twelve year old, listens to Dad ramble on about pedigree charts and genealogy and DNA tests, but this is a real good way to get your kids interested and of course incorporate your own family stories, and there’s a spot in it that you can put in your own family tree. So they can have that and it’s really a nice little product.
David: You talk to a lot of people at Roots Tech did you get any interesting stories while you were there?
Fisher: You know I did and in fact one of them I got on tape because I just thought it was so uniquely special. You want to hear it?
David: I’d love to hear it.
Fisher: All right listen to this; this is Ellen from Idaho;
Ellen: My story is that I found a cross-stitch sampler that my third great grandmother made when she was eight years old, from the internet. So there was a lady in Canada that found it in an estate sale, didn’t know anything about it, fell in love with it, did a Google search on the name that my third great grandmother cross-stitched on there, her name, so she did a Google search on Mary Elsie Collinson, found some information that one of my distant cousins had put on the internet.
This distant cousin lives in Australia. The Australia cousin emailed my family and said “There’s a lady in Canada that has a cross-stitch that was made by your third great grandmother. So I emailed this lady in Canada, I said “This is my third great grandmother, I really want to have this” and she said “I knew that this was a risk if I did a Google search” she said “I don’t know, I love the piece so I’ll get back to you” I thought I’m never going to hear from her again. A couple of days later she emailed me back and she sad “I love this piece, but if you let me have it for two years and if you still want it, contact me and I’ll sell it to you for market value.” I wrote it down in my calendar for two years from then.
Fisher: Your two years are up.
Ellen: I wrote her back and said “I’m still here, I want it” and she said “I was hoping that you would forget but I figured that you wouldn’t” [laughs] so we made arrangements and she had sent me pictures, so we made arrangements for me to purchase it from her. So now I have this piece that was cross-stitched when my third great grandmother, Mary Elsie Collinson was eight years old, in England. I still haven’t tracked down how it got to Canada, there are two little branches of the family that go there but I can’t get it to the right place yet, but when she was eight years old she made this and now I have it hanging in my living room.
Fisher: And now what year are we talking about?
Ellen: It was made in 1812. Isn’t that incredible? It just brings me to tears every time I walk by it.
Fisher: Did you hear the dropped jaws from all the people around us as she was telling that story, David?
David: A 200 year old family heirloom found via the internet.
David: Doesn’t that make the internet all the worthwhile just for that?
Fisher: Well you know I found an original movie of my father playing in a big band in the 1930’s on eBay, years ago. It’s a treasure.
David: Unbelievable stuff. The things that are titanic in the industry are a lot of the .com names but a company that I’d never heard of before it produced something mammoth in fact this titanic or mammoth chart was the 30 by 100 foot long chart with over two hundred thousand names. Did you see it?
Fisher: I had a picture taken in front of that thing yeah [laughs] they even have pictures, they have life size pictures of people climbing up it, and it’s just astonishing. I’m sure it’s the largest in the world. It was from genealogicalwallcharts.com. Two hundred thousand names on there and these lines went back to Moses.
David: You know I was wondering how to get some of the stuff I got at Roots Tech back in my suitcase, that would be a little difficult.
Fisher: Yeah [laughs] how do they pack that up?
David: I don’t know but I bet you all the data fits in the USB drive.
Fisher: Right [laughs] that’s true.
David: We get so micro on some levels of our research and so macro on others.
Fisher: That’s absolutely true. We’re talking about the Roots Tech Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah that took place this past week. The largest in the world, twenty five thousand people attended over four days and another hundred and twenty five or so another hundred and twenty five thousand watched online from live streams, and of course the keynote speakers were very important there. We got to meet one of them David.
David: Oh we did, my good friend Vinny at NEHGS and I had the honor to do her genealogy for her.
David: Doris Kearns Goodwin, quite the lady and the historian’s historian as I like to say.
Fisher: And she’s so very pleasant too, just really nice to be around.
David: Well especially when you’re dressed as the first President of the United States, I don’t think she could say no to want to chat with you.
David: I mean there might be a book in the works just on that conversation alone.
Fisher: We did a photograph as if we were actually dancing the quadrille or something and she just loved it. It was really fun and you can see the picture. It’s on our Facebook page for Extreme Genes so check that out, and a lot of fun.
David: It really was and I’ll tell you there were just so many happy people at that conference. One thing that Roots Tech does besides the technology is the networking. Between sitting with people at breakfast all the way up to the after party with MyHeritage.com it’s bonding. I mean I have more Facebook friends now than I did when I went, and I’ve got a pocketful of business cards and lots of emails to send and phone calls to make, so it’s a really good networking opportunity to make no matter where you sit in the industry and genealogy and if you’re just a family historian. I think there are so many people that go to it every year now just like the national conferences that have been along for over twenty years.
Fisher: All right David thanks for coming on. It was great being with you last week.
And coming next; we’re going to talk to Dr. Kasia Bryc of 23andMe DNA and she’s going to be talking about what it is that they’ve learned through DNA about how we are attracted to each other over this Valentine’s Day weekend, on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show.
Segment 3 Episode 126 (44:45)
Fisher: And, welcome back to Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show and ExtremeGenes.com. It is Fisher here, the Radio Roots Sleuth, and it is so good to have DNA day. I always enjoy talking to the experts of 23andMe, about some of the things that they discover about us as people, and I’ve got Doctor Kasia Bryc back on the line. Good to have you on the show again, Doctor!
Kasia: Great to be here! Thank you for having me.
Fisher: I am very excited about this study you did about real world couples, 15,298 of them, and you did a little analysis on them and since it is Valentines weekend, fill us in on what you discovered.
Kasia: Yes, we looked at – like you said – fifteen thousand couples and their children together and looked at correlations amongst senior types. So, what that means is, we looked at whether two people had the same trait or hobby or whatnot that they’ve reported and found that the vast majority of traits that we looked at, couples were more similar. So, there was the correlation. For example, athletes were coupled with athletes, skiers hung out with skiers, hikers with hikers. We looked across a lot of different traits of people who spoke a second language.
Fisher: Now, wait a minute, wait a minute! We have always heard that opposites attract. You’re destroying this.
Kasia: [Laughs] So, we’re looking at the data and the data seems to suggest that for the vast majority of traits, people were more similar to each other. Of course there were a few exceptions.
Kasia: So, some things were different. So, opposites attracted, so night owls tended to be with morning people. If one of the couples attracted mosquitoes the other happily didn’t.
Kasia: And people with good direction were maybe partners with people without such great sense of direction.
Fisher: That’s funny you say all those things, because that is the case in my marriage. I am a…
Kasia: It’s certainly the case with mine.
Fisher: Yeah, I’m a late night person and my wife is very early. She attracts mosquitoes. She is my best mosquito repellent, because they all go to her and not to me.
Kasia: Same here.
Fisher: And then, she’s very good at directions and I’m not, of course I wouldn’t ask for them anyway, right?
Kasia: Well I, I happen to be the directions person in the relationship.
Kasia: But yes, I mean, it works out great. [Laughs]
Fisher: Okay. So, this is an interesting study, because you’re finding similarities have more to do with it than differences, although, obviously people do complement themselves often and that’s very useful in keeping people together, I think, right? If you all have the same skills, there wouldn’t be much to keep you going. Is there some kind of genetic predisposition to this? There’s obviously a correlation, but is there a causation that brings this about? What is DNA showing us?
Kasia: Yeah. So, the big question is always, does correlation imply causation, and in this case, we’re just looking at correlation, so we don’t know what’s causing what. We can certainly speculate and it’s certainly fun to do so around Valentine’s Day, but we don’t know which came first, but we definitely see that there’s definitely a lot of similarities among couples, you know, and that doesn’t necessarily tell us, you know, why they fell in love. Whether they fell in love because they had all these in common or maybe they grew these shared interests in common after becoming a couple. So, we don’t know which came first, but it certainly leads to couples sharing a lot in common.
Fisher: Do you notice the same thing with physical types?
Kasia: So, we definitely saw some interesting tidbits, for example, couples who had similar BMIs or happier.
Fisher: Yeah, that would make sense. I mean, you don’t usually see people who are really, really skinny with people who are really, really overweight. That’s not as common.
Kasia: And it’s very odd that there’s a correlation between that and happiness. So, I’m not sure what to read into that or how to read into that.
Kasia: So, luckily for me, my husband is very tall and there’s no such effects for height, so you don’t have to be similar heights to be happy, which is good, because he’s much taller than me. [Laughs]
Fisher: Well, so, the bottom line is it kind of makes it a little more difficult really, doesn’t it, to determine what sides certain traits came from if similar people are attracted to one another. It could come from either or both, right?
Kasia: Yeah, it’s hard to say, hard to say. We had this recent study on morning-ness, whether you’re a morning person or night owl, and we definitely saw lots of genetic variants that are associated, like whether you like get up early in the morning – like my husband – or whether you like to sleep in late, like me.
Kasia: And so, [laughs], there’s a lot of interesting variants that we found, some that were known previously, but also a handful that kind of makes sense but what hadn’t been seen before, and then, we can do things that take it a little bit further, so we can look at whether being a morning person correlates with other things, like Body Mass Index or BMI or insomnia or depression or how long you sleep. So we can ask all these interesting questions because 23andMe customers tell us so many interesting things about themselves.
Fisher: Right and this is something that there’s no names attached to the surveys that you do. It’s just among the customers in general, correct?
Kasia: Yeah. So, we’re looking at aggregated data on the back end so, there’s no names. We have no identifiable names, any sort of identifiable information on the customers when we’re doing research; we’re just using the correlation using genetic data and aggregate to make the inferences.
Fisher: Right. So, there’s no association with name or anything. So, it’s all private and it adds to this development of this amazing database. Now, I read somewhere in this article that you people put together, that there’s something about being almost like fourth-cousins.
Kasia: Yeah, so there was a study recently that looked at whether friends were genetically similar. So, whether there was any correlation between whom you called a friend and how they were related to you genetically.
Fisher: Right. Not necessarily related though, right?
Kasia: Not necessarily related, but the result was that individuals who were friends were more genetically similar than you would expect and there were something along the lines of, as similar as their fourth-cousins are more similar to each other than any two individuals at random. So, it basically shows that you’re more likely to be friends with people, who are more similar to you, something like that.
Fisher: It kind of makes you wonder then, how are we ever going to come together with our differences if our natural tendency is always to be together with people who are more like us and like-minded and look like us and think like us, that type of thing, doesn’t it?
Kasia: That is sort of the way that the world works in some cases but I think that there’s also a strong argument that people who are put in the same place at the same time also tend to mix, irrespective of background. So, one of the research we did, looking at individuals living across the U.S., it was that people who identified as European-American, African-American and Latino, you know, it’s clear that there’s been an ongoing process of what we call admixture, basically, people from different backgrounds, but DNA coming from different parts of the world mixing together.
Kasia: And I think that will be the case in the States, at least, that that’s been happening for a very long time, and you can definitely see the effects of that by looking at the DNA. You can see individuals with ancestry from Africa, from Europe, from the Americas. So, you can definitely see assorted mating, meaning mating like-with-like, but also different individuals coming together as well.
Fisher: Yeah. It’s a melting pot, isn’t it right now, going on, I mean two generations or so, most families will be mixed families in the United States, wouldn’t you say?
Kasia: I don’t know the latest research on that, but I’m definitely looking at the genetics and see that there’s individuals who carry bits of ancestry, even when they may not realize it. So, there’s a large proportion of individuals – especially in the South – who identify as white, who carry bits of African or Native-American DNA.
Kasia: And they may not know about it.
Fisher: Okay, and likewise, the African-Americans who find they have European blood and Native-American blood too, right?
Kasia: Yeah, so you see African-Americans – especially from Oklahoma – who carry appreciable amounts of Native-American ancestry, and that sort of traces back to historical migration. Oklahoma was formerly Indian Territory where the trail of tears migration ended, and you can sort of see the historical migration in the DNA of people there today.
Fisher: Wow! It’s just a fascinating field, and of course you do so much there, not only to determine more about how people are alike or unlike, but also to match up cousins, so that we can extend our family tree lines, and that’s why it’s so much fun. Doctor Bryc thanks. We’re out of time. I wish we had more, but we’re going to get back with you people again next month and have another DNA day and find out what’s on your minds.
Kasia: Great, thanks, looking forward to it!
Fisher: All right, I am too, and we’ll talk to you then. Coming up next, it’s Tom Perry from TMCPlace.com, our Preservation Authority on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show.
Segment 4 Episode 126
Host Scott Fisher with guest Tom Perry
Fisher: It is preservation time on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show and ExtremeGenes.com
Fisher here, the Radio Roots Sleuth with Tom Perry from TMCPlace.com
Hi Tom, how are you? How’s our Preservation Authority?
Tom: I’m really, really good. Roots Tech was awesome! I’m trying to put things together so hopefully by next week’s show I can answer some of the questions that came to me at Roots Tech.
Fisher: Yes so much. So much stuff to cover but it was an amazing show. Hey, we’ve got another question here and this one comes from Olympia Washington, where they listen to us on KMAS, 1030 AM and the question is this “Tom, I have all kinds of different files on a flash-drive and I want to make a compilation video, how do I do this mixing and matching all these different formats?” Great question.
Tom: That is. That’s an awesome question. That’s kind of little bit what we talked about last week. But since they’re all kinds of different formats, again you’re going to need to find out what your end result is. In this case you want a playable DVD.
Fisher: So you have to somehow standardize all these into one format and decide what it is yes?
Tom: Exactly! We have people bring us in a disk and say “Hey, I played this on my DVD player, it won’t play.” We look at it and go “Well this is a BluRay disk that’s why it won’t play on your DVD player.” Or they give us a DVD and say “Hey, you know this plays on my computer why won’t it play on my DVD?” so I pop it into my computer and look at the file types to see what kind they are, so if you’ve got all miscellaneous kind of file types what you need to do is organize them… okay I’ve got all these AVI’s, I’ve got these MOV’s, I’ve got QuickTime’s, I’ve got MP4’s, whatever you have if you can get them to play on your computer you can save yourself a lot of money.
If you’re on a MAC, just open them into QuickTime, if you’re on a PC usually the Windows’s program that comes with it will open it, and if you look down in the corner usually it will automatically pop up a little time code like a little clock and it will say ‘okay, you’re on chapter 1, there’s 8 chapters.’ You’re at :00 and there’s 3 minutes and 14 seconds long or whatever.
Tom: And what you’ll do is just make a track-sheet like a professional editor would make for a movie and you write ‘okay, I’m on file X, Y and Z, it’s a .MOV and I want it to start at 13 seconds and I want it to run to 2 minutes and 14 seconds.
Tom: And then we’ll say okay and I want this next one that’s an .MP4, and it’s A, B, C and I want it to start at 14 minutes and go to 32 minutes. Write down all this information in the order that you want it to be. A lot of people come in and they say “This is what I don’t want.” A computer doesn’t understand ‘I don’t want this or take everything else.”
Fisher: [Laughs] Right.
Tom: You need to tell the computer I want to start here and I want to go to here, and we’re the same way so we’re entering all these different edit points and then let the computer basically do all the work for you which will save you a lot of time and a lot of money that way.
Fisher: So what you’re going to do basically is, take these different things in different formats edit them to what they’re supposed to be and then standardize the format. I would assume to an MP4 yes?
Tom: Right. That’s what I would suggest. The neat thing about MP4s is they’re universal, they’re like QuickTime, they’ll play on about anything. Most wide screen televisions will play MP4s.
Fisher: Apple and PC?
Tom: Yup. Windows Machines, MAC machines, OSX machines, anything pretty much that you have will play MP4s and QuickTimes, it’s a great standard, good quality video and it’s ultra compressed without losing quality. So what we’ll do as you mentioned is standardize all the things because like if you have MOV’s, AVI’s and these different kinds of things probably what we’ll do is edit them in their native format. So we’ll get out this piece, we’ll get out this piece before we combine them and change them.
Because there’s no reason to go change everything to an MP4 and then edit it, so we’ll edit in its native format because it’s going to be a lot cleaner edits and better quality.
Tom: Then once we have some MOV’s, some AVI’s, some QuickTime’s or whatever then we can turn them all into the MP4 or the AVI or the QuickTime whatever you want, and some people bring us these same thing and say “Hey, I’ve got this old VHS, I want to turn it into BluRay.”
Tom: They think we have a magic wand that can take this poor quality VHS and make it better by burning it on a BluRay disk. We need to go back to what we talked about quite a while ago. You want to look at storage devices as boxes and after the break I’ll explain to you the difference between a data disk and a playable DVD for instance.
Fisher: Oh boy, it sounds complicated but you know, if you’re going to save your stuff you’ve got to learn how this works.
Tom: Take notes.
Fisher: Tom’s got more answers coming up in three minutes on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show.
Segment 5 Episode 126
Host Scott Fisher with guest Tom Perry
Fisher: We’re back! Final segment of Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show, talking with Tom Perry from TMCPlace.com, our Preservation Authority, and Tom, I’ve got to tell you I can feel people’s heads swimming right now talking about converting formats and editing videos and assembling it all together. But you know at the end of the day this is what has to happen otherwise your stuff goes away.
Tom: Oh absolutely. In fact, at Roots Tech, we talked to more customers that came up to our booth about this exact subject. “I’ve got all this stuff I’m just overwhelmed.” Wait, wait, wait don’t be overwhelmed. Just take one box off the shelf and take one videotape and start there and just do one at a time, one at a time.
Tom: But the biggest question we got at Roots Tech is, people get confused about “Hey, I have this DVD that says DVD on it but I put it in my DVD Player, why won’t it play?”
As in the first segment that we talked about, we have different kinds of boxes. Storage things whether it’s a DVD, a CD, a BluRay, a Flash-drive, an SD card. Whatever they are, they’re just storage devices. Different sizes of boxes, they’re all boxes of old stuff.
When you hear DVD people think video DVD, well there’s also data DVD.
Tom: So the disk itself doesn’t care whether there’s a video on it, whether it’s data on it, it doesn’t matter it’s irrelevant.
Fisher: It’s a type of box basically.
Fisher: It’s a storage thing.
Tom: Right. Exactly and they think of CD’s as just audio especially in Africa, we get a lot of disks from Africa that are CD’s that have video on them.
Tom: And they’re really major compressed in a kind of a weird format that’s really not very good quality. But I guess they have more access to CD’s than they do DVD’s or it’s just their culture. But we get these CD’s that have ultra compressed video on it. So that CD is still a box, it’s just a smaller box than the DVD.
Tom: Where the BluRay is a bigger box and when you get it in the Thumb-drives and SD cards they’re Terabytes or Gigabytes, all different kinds of sizes. So what you want to do is decide “Okay I’ve got all these files, this is what size they are this is going to fit on a DVD or it needs to go on a BluRay because it’s so big not because of the quality.” Now one thing we’ve talked about before when you’re transferring film or anything that’s optical it’s always best to go to BluRay because it’s going to look better because it gives us the opportunity to give you a bigger file that wouldn’t fit on a DVD, and again as a BluRay player plays a BluRay it makes it look better but it will also play DVD’s better than a DVD does because it has what is called an ‘up converter’ built right into it.
So that’s why when you get your new BluRay, you’re looking at our old DVD’s and saying “Wow these look so much better on this big screen!” well it’s probably not your TV that’s making them look better. It’s now you’re playing your old DVD’s on a BluRay machine and it’s ‘up converting’ them so that’s why it looks better.
So it doesn’t matter whether you’re using a CD, a DVD or a BluRay, if you want a disk it depends what size of information. For instance audio, we’ve had people that have this huge record collection that we transfer for them, there are so many we put them pm MP3’s but we have to put them on a data disk that’s a DVD or multiple CD’s and they go “No, no, no that’s fine put them on a DVD because I’m going to put them on my computer and load them on my hard-drive once you’re done compiling them for me.”
So it really doesn’t matter what kind of a device it’s on its again, what is your end product? Do you want to be able to play it in your car, do you want to be able to play it on your Mp3 player, or your iPhone, what do you want to do with this? Let us know so when we convert it we’ll do it the right way. We had somebody a year ago that brought in a disk for us and said “I want 10 copies of this.” So we made him 10 copies. He called us a year later and said “This won’t play on my DVD player.”
Tom: So we searched and found out what it was, he brought us in a data disk and said copy it, so we copied it. So he got exactly what he had before but it wasn’t a video DVD it was a data DVD. So be really careful whenever you contact us or whoever you’re working through, let them know what you have, what you need and what your end use is going to be.
Fisher: And get to know what you’re storing it on.
Tom: Exactly! You have to know these things and please, if you have any questions just email me at askTom@TMCPlace.com I’m happy to help you in any way I can.
Fisher: All right. We’ll talk to you next week Tom, thanks for coming by!
Tom: Yup. We’ll be ready with Roots Tech.
Fisher: Hey, that’s our show for this week! Thanks once again to Dr. Kasia Bryc from 23andMe.com, for coming on and talking about how DNA kind of effects how we come together as couples. Great stuff! If you missed it make sure you listen to the podcast at ExtremeGenes.com, iTunes, the iHeartRadio Talk Channel. Thanks also to David Allen Lambert, for helping me with the review of Roots Tech; we’ll have more on that coming next week.
Take care, we’ll talk to you again next week and remember as far as everyone knows, we’re a nice normal family!
It’s a 2015 rewind show for the holiday weekend, with a pair of Fisher’s favorite segments from the past year!
Fisher opens the show with David Allen Lambert, Chief Genealogist of the New England Historic Genealogical Society and AmericanAncestors.org. David talks about a nine foot idol discovered in Siberia in 1890. Only recently was it determined just how old this item really is. Listen to the podcast to find out! David also reveals some fascinating facts about his grandfather, who disappeared on the streets of Boston decades ago. He also shares a terrific “Tech Tip” that will change the way you manage your photographs.
Then, Fisher visits with Fran Jensen who is all over the War of 1812 Project. The Project is well underway, digitizing the pension records of the veterans of that war. Fran and some associates have been reviewing them and has pulled out some gems, found in the records, that she’ll share in this segment.
Linda Emlee (starts at 25:16) from Richmond, Missouri then talks about a night few people have ever heard of. It’s referred to as “The Night the Stars Fell.” It took place in 1833, and many of our ancestors were affected. Wait til you hear the details.
Then, Tom Perry, the Preservation Authority, talks equipment for Do It Yourselfers concerning digitizing and editing. It’s always great advice you won’t want to miss!
That’s all this week on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show!
Transcript of Episode 119
Host Scott Fisher with guest David Allen Lambert
Segment 1 Episode 119 (00:30)
Fisher: And welcome Genies to another action packed edition of Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show. I am Fisher, your Roots Sleuth, on the program where we shake your family tree and watch the nuts fall out. I hope you had an incredible holiday season, and that you took a ton of pictures of family members, that your descendents will be struggling to identify 100 years from now. You understand what I’m saying right? Of course, and I hope you taped interviews with your senior family members and got all kinds of stories that you’ll not forget in the New Year to store, share, record and all that good stuff.
There’s no better time of the year for family history than right now, and on the show today we’ll be talking with a woman who is up to her knees in the indexing project, involving veterans of the War of 1812. If you had an ancestor who was part of that little disagreement with Great Britain, you’ll want to hear what’s happening to make sure you have access to the records of your people. It’s a phenomenal effort.
Then later in the show, you’ll hear about a night that affected a lot of our ancestors, many of them even wrote about it. It was dubbed “The Night The Stars Fell.” And some crazy stuff happened that evening. But right now of course it is time to check in with our good friend, David Allen Lambert, Chief Genealogist for the New England Historic Genealogical Society, and AmericanAncestors.org. Hi David, How are you?
David: Hey Fish, I’m doing great! How about yourself?
Fisher: I am doing awesome, of course still refreshed from my little excursion up to Alaska.
David: That makes reference to an email that you sent me with a photograph of you with a totem pole.
Fisher: Yes! I didn’t even know that they put family history on totem poles until I was there. It was amazing.
David: Well it’s amazing… now that wasn’t an ancestor there by any chance?
Fisher: No! No, no.
David: Okay well, one thing that may be an ancestor is something that was found back in the 1890’s directly linked to the northwest totem poles. This is a 9 foot wooden idol that was found back in 1890 in a peat bog in Siberia. Now the thing about this is, this is older than you might believe. It is actually eleven thousand years old.
Fisher: Ooh! 9000 BC. really?
David: Amazing isn’t it?
Fisher: How they’d figure this out?
David: They’ve used radio carbon dating, and because of this we know its eleven thousand years old, which actually makes it twice as old as the great pyramids of Giza.
David: The nice thing about this is that, this actually gives a nice link between the time when the Native Americans were coming across the Bering Land Bridge into North America, and of course the traditions as you’ve seen recently of the northwest with totem poles ties perfectly with this tradition in Siberia, which is eleven thousand years ago.
Fisher: Boy that is just an incredible find! I love hearing this stuff. Every week there’s something new or old.
David: It really is exciting. It’s nice to know that old news becomes new, but nothing found that long ago.
David: Well, some new news is going on in Fort Wayne, Indiana, at the Allen County Public Library. You may have visited this wonderful facility.
Fisher: It’s like the number two biggest in the world, to the one in Salt Lake City.
David: That’s very true, and they are having a $100,000 plus renovation of the two thousand square foot downtown center. It’s going to make genealogists a lot happier. It’s going to go in November, so there’s probably going to be some disruption of service. So check out their website to find out what’s going on before you head down to Fort Wayne.
Fisher: That’s great news for midwesterners.
Fisher: Well you know it’s funny, I often don’t talk about my own dirty laundry but one of my black sheep ancestors… it’s time I talk to you about my own grandfather… and at NEHGS we just did a little video which is up on YouTube with a photograph.
Remember a couple of weeks ago we talked about the alien registration files?
Fisher: Yeah those are great.
David: Within that file I found the only photograph that we have of my grandfather.
Fisher: That’s fantastic!
David: Yeah it’s a little passport size photo, has a signature on it. But because I have no other photographs, I cherish this probably as much as anything I do in my genealogical collection.
But the ironic thing is I found it a year to the week after my father died.
David: It was his dad. He always said you know, “Dave, can you find what happened to my father? He disappeared.” Unfortunately I think this bootlegger and person who side stepped the law quite a bit, died on the streets of Boston.
Fisher: You think or you know?
David: I’m pretty sure.
David: He died as a John Doe; I mean he isn’t in any records that I found. But it’s a nice little video and you get to see how much I don’t look like my grandfather.
Fisher: Well let’s link that video to our Facebook page from ExtremeGenes.com that sounds great.
David: Yup, I’ll be glad to do that. We have some exciting news at NEHGS. We have our Labor Day experience for September 2nd to September 9th we’re offering to our guest users, census tax and voters lists over 40 separate databases.
Those are going to be free to our guest users, and that leads me to a tech tip that you may have never tried.
Have you…. well you probably have, have you ever drawn the floor plan of your childhood home?
Fisher: It is so bizarre you would say that. I was thinking about this just a couple of nights ago because I have all these photographs from around our house, indoors and outdoors and I thought, it would be kind of fun to take some of them and put them together and basically take a tour of the house. And then perhaps draw the layout of exactly how it all was and where the shelves were and where this was and where that was. It would be quite fun I think.
David: Well I think with graph paper but now with CAD programs that are pretty reasonable in price you could probably layout the floor plan like if you were going to do a renovation of your house. How about doing a recreation of your old house?
Fisher: Right or your grandfather’s house.
David: Exactly! Or interview somebody and have them sit down and draw where the kitchen was, where the bedrooms were. Who slept in what room, great stuff. And last but not least my weekly tech tip is… An iPhone, an Android app called ‘Photo Myne’ spelled P-H-O-T-O- M-Y-N-E. This goes for $4.99 is a great little app. I’m going to download it and I’ll give you a review next week. You can take pictures of your photo albums. You know the magnetic ones your pictures are stuck in and you’re afraid to lift out of.
Fisher: Oh the 70’s, yeah what a great time. Who was thinking when they made those things?
David: Not archivist obviously. But the one thing about it is, you’re able to scan the pages and then it does auto and color contrast corrections. So those faded pictures from the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s come to life again, and then you can use social media to post them and share them with your family.
Fisher: So we’re talking with the cell phone?
David: With the cell phone. A cheap app for $4.99, I have an album from the 70’s that I’m going to use and upload to Facebook and I’ll do it as my test.
Fisher: He’s David Allen Lambert, Chief Genealogist for the New England Historic Genealogical Society and AmericanAncestors.org. Thank you David! Talk to you again next week.
David: Very good! Have a good week yourself.
Fisher: And coming up next, we’ll talk to Fran Jensen who is knee deep in exploring the pension files of the veterans of the War of 1812.
It’s a project that numerous researchers are excited about. That’s in three minutes on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show.
Segment 2 Episode 119 (11:10)
Host Scott Fisher with guest Fran Jensen
Fisher: Welcome back to Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show and ExtremeGenes.com. It is Fisher here, the Radio Roots Sleuth, and on the line with me right now is Fran Jensen, and Fran was a speaker recently at a Family History Conference at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. Fran you had a fascinating story about your exploration of the War of 1812 files, and obviously you have way too much time on your hands [laughs]. Tell everybody what you’ve been up to.
Fran: Well, for the past year and a half we have been perusing through the pension files as they have been digitized and placed on Fold3, and actually viewing many of the files one by one. We were looking for some stories, some fantastic records and information that were contained in the files, and we were just blown away by what we found in the files.
Fisher: Who is ‘we’ Fran?
Fran: Myself and two other volunteers.
Fran: So we’ve seen things like numerous original marriage certificates, family Bible pages that had been ripped out of family Bibles and sent in during the process of applying for pension or bounty land, and in one case we actually saw that the entire Bible was sent in by the family, not just the Bible pages.
Fisher: [Laughs] How do they store that? That’s amazing!
Fran: [Laughs] I don’t know how they store that back there in the National Archives, but I’m sure it’s just sitting right there. All the pension files were originally stored in alphabetical order, so it’s probably just sitting in alphabetical order with the rest of the pension files. [Laughs]
Fisher: Oh, that’s funny, the Bible itself.
Fran: So that was just mind boggling to see that.
Fisher: Did they digitize every page in the Bible?
Fran: No. [Laughs] They only digitized the pages that were pertinent to history or family history.
Fran: It was actually a Bible. I believe the date on the Bible if I remember right was 1815.
Fran: If I remember right.
Fisher: Right from the end of the war.
Fran: Uh huh, yeah, and obviously numerous family members were actually documented in the Bible on those pages, their births, their deaths and their marriages. There was another pension file that we found, let me see, the soldier’s name was Fredrick D. Bolles. We were amazed at the information that was in his file. There was a really, really long obituary for the wife, and with that obituary that was in the file as well as the numerous other records that were in the file. We were able to find that individual on FamilySearch /FamilyTree, Fredrick Bolles and his wife, and they had one child in that record on FamilySearch. But in the pension file, we were able to identify the birthplace, the birth date, the death date and place. The file confirmed that there was only one spouse for either the husband or the wife. In other words the wife didn’t remarry after the husband died. It gave the marriage date, marriage place. It identified that the couple had twelve children.
Fisher: Oh boy!
Fran: And at the time of the pension, four were still living, and the couple had eighteen grandchildren and six great grandchildren. The file gave us all that information, including the wife’s father’s name and one of her sister’s names and where they were living. If it was my family, I would have been able to take that pension file and fill out all that information which was missing from the record on FamilySearch/FamilyTree.
Fisher: Isn’t that something…
Fran: So what we’re hoping is that people will find these records in pension file and fill in all the missing blanks they may have in their family records.
Fisher: Now what kind of military action stories have you stumbled across in these records?
Fran: Oh, military action stories, there’s been stories where either the soldier himself or the wife they will tell how they were injured or how they endured certain specific events in the war. In other words, they were exposed to extreme cold and it caused medical problems.
So we’ll see medical records in the pension file that were used in an effort to obtain either the pension or the bounty land, and it proved they were invalid and needed help through pension, through some kind of support, and so, being shot, losing a limb, and normal things you might see out of the ravages of war. You’ll see evidence of that also in the pension files.
Fisher: I’m talking to Fran Jensen. She’s been researching the War of 1812 pension files that are being released. How far along are we right now? I mean there’s percentages of them we see periodically going up 30%, 40%, what number have you seen lately, Fran?
Fran: I was on the Fold3 website this morning and it said 65%. They’re currently digitizing the soldiers’ names who began with the letter M.
Fisher: Was it all done alphabetically?
Fran: Yeah. At the National Archives the pensions are filed alphabetically, so they just started at the very beginning and now they’re working on the M’s. I don’t know how far they are into the M’s, but they’ve been working on that for a few months now. So we will eventually get to the W’s and X’s and Y’s. We will eventually get there. It’s just been amazing, the stories and information. Just the other day I was looking at one pension file, it had a little teeny tiny clipping from a newspaper. Well that newspaper clipping had nothing to do with that soldier. Nothing to do with the person who was applying for a pension which happened to be the daughter of the soldier, and the daughter was using that particular newspaper article to prove that she was the same type of a person, a living descendent of someone who served in the war.
Fran: And so therefore she needed a pension too like this other person did.
Fran: So I went and looked for that other pension and found it. But that other pension mentioned somebody else who was the same situation, a daughter who was looking for support and hoping to obtain a pension like another daughter had obtained. So it was actually one pension file that led to two other pension files, and interestingly enough, the very last pension file that the story actually linked to, is actually missing and is not in the pension files on Fold3. It’s probably not even sitting there in the stack of the pension files. It looks like, based on the information we saw on Fold3 in the pension, it’s probably filed totally someplace else, and that’s the file I actually expect to see quite a bit of evidence and information about the family in that file.
If it can ever be found because the daughter was very young, I think she was fourteen years old when her father passed away, and she was partially blind and that’s why she was able to obtain a pension on behalf of her father’s service. Because of her age and because of her disability, her pension file was actually an exception to the rule and it was an act of Congress that actually made it possible for her to obtain her pension.
Fran: We’ve seen several pension files where individuals have tried to obtain a pension under the current laws at the time, and was not able to but due to extenuating circumstances, bills went up to Congress and then in many cases when it was warranted obviously the pension was granted to the individual outside of the basic laws that were available at the time.
Fisher: Sure, exceptions at the time. Fran, how many files are there? How many pensions were actually applied for?
Fran: We don’t have an exact count, in the neighborhood of 100,000.
Fran: The other interesting story… just to point out that even if your ancestor didn’t serve in the war, you may find lots of information about your ancestors, multiple ancestors in the file.
For instance, I had an ancestor, he served in the war. His name was William Fuller Card, Card was the last name, and his son-in-law, his name is Benjamin Kingman Curtis. Well Benjamin Kingman Curtis was born fourteen years after the war. Well, guess what? Benjamin wrote a letter stating that he knew William Card and that he was there when he died, and he was there when he was buried. He wrote all that detail out about this person that he knew in the late 1840’s who had passed away. He had actually written that he was living in his home at the time, and so both people, William Fuller Card and Benjamin Kingman Curtis, they’re both my ancestors. But I would have never ever thought to search for Benjamin Curtis in the War of 1812 files because he hadn’t even been born yet. You know?
Fisher: Right. Why would you even look there?
Fran: In the Civil War.
Fisher: Isn’t that funny how that all works out, and then that can lead to other things. Now you can look in places and you can look for land records and start tying those things together.
Fran: Absolutely, yeah.
Fisher: It is just amazing the little pieces that come together. The Revolutionary records are pretty much all available now. Now we’ve got War of 1812. We’ve come a long ways with the Civil War records, although I don’t think there’s ever an end to those [laughs].
Fran: I know [Laughs].
Fisher: You’re not going to start going through those are you?
Fran: Um… Who knows? [Laughs]
Fisher: [Laughs] Well, it’s great things that are happening right now in our country with digitization and so many new stories coming out. Fran, thank you so much for your time! This is very exciting stuff and I’m glad you’ve been doing this. Is there a place where you are sharing any of your finds?
Fran: Oh yes, absolutely. The digitization project is actually sponsored by The Federation of Genealogical Society and since several others of the Genealogical organizations, Ancestry.com, Fold3, FamilySearch; they are supporting this effort to digitize these records.
They’ve never been microfilmed; they’ve never been so easily available to us. So just going online and being able to see something that normally in the past. We would have had to have gone to Washington DC in order to see it in person or hire somebody to obtain a file and copy the file for us. So to have them actually be online is fantastic. We have block articles of the Federation of Genealogical Society’s website for preserving pensions, and we also have a Facebook page and a Facebook group. During the month of July on the Facebook group, we shared one story from one pension, every single day during the entire month of July.
Fisher: Wow fun stuff.
Fisher: And that’s up there still probably?
Fran: Oh absolutely, yes.
Fisher: Great. She’s Fran Jensen. She’s been researching the War of 1812 as these pension records have been released. Still another 35% to go before it’s all out there and all available.
Great stuff, Fran. Thanks for coming on the show!
Fran: You’re welcome. Thank you.
Fisher: And coming up next, I’ll be talking to Linda Emley. She’s a midwesterner who has dug up all kinds of information about a night that took place back in 1833 that’s been dubbed ‘The Night the Stars Fell,’ and our ancestors apparently went crazy that evening.
All kinds of incredible stories, that’s coming up in three minutes on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show.
Segment 3 Episode 119 (24:50)
Host Scott Fisher with guest Linda Emley
Fisher: And welcome back to Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show and ExtremeGenes.com. Fisher here, the Radio Roots Sleuth. You know one of the ways to write a family history involves writing down your family’s dates and names and then noting historical events that were happening at the same time. Well many of these things are pretty well known, and many others are not. Like the event my next guest has written about that I’d never heard about. From the Ray County Museum in Richmond, Missouri, its Linda Emley, she is the museum manager. Hi Linda, how are you?
Linda: I’m good.
Fisher: I’ve got to tell you, I was excited about the article I found that you wrote for the Richmond, Missouri Daily News about, “The Night the Stars Fell.” And you hear about these things once in a while and we think about Mark Twain and the comet in 1910, and the one that came the year he was born. But this one seemed to affect a lot of people and you did a great story on it. First of all, what got you interested in it?
Linda: Well, we have a genealogy library here at the museum, and a lady came in and we were working on her family history and she said, “I don’t know when it was but my great, great grandmother was born “The Night the Stars Fell.” So a lady that was volunteering for me in the library, she goes, “Well that was 1833.” And we all kind of laughed.
Fisher: Huh. [Laughs]
Linda: So yeah, that’s one of those stories that are in all the old history books. So from there we started piecing it all together and found out what a magnificent event this was. Because it affected so many people. Everybody thought that the end of the world was here.
Fisher: Well, you know, you hear that a lot now, remember the comet that went through Russia a couple of years ago? That was pretty frightening.
Linda: Yeah. But this one happens every 33 years.
Linda: But in 1833, it was perfect because the weather was calm, the moon was low and it was a perfect example you could see so many more than you could the rest of the time. So it was one of those once in a lifetime or probably once in forever, the most perfect one that ever happened.
Fisher: How much area was covered by this? I mean, I would assume where you were you’ve got some quotes in your story from people who lived in the Missouri area at the time, obviously they got a great look. But what about the rest of the country, what do you know about that?
Linda: Well one of the stories in mind was the guy that was in Virginia, so it was all the way across the country. Elder Samuel Rogers, he was a circuit rider preacher and he was there. So after research all the newspapers everywhere were talking about it. So, it was definitely seen around the world but in those days you didn’t hear so much about it. But you go back to old accounts and everybody, every family has a legend about it.
Fisher: Now it started November 13th 1833, it went a few days they called it part of the Leonid meteor shower, and so this comes every 33 years. Which means the next time we see it will be around 2031 or something like that right, always in November?
Linda: I don’t have the actual turn on it but there was a place that gave you how often it came through. So it’s actually 32.5
Fisher: 32.5… Oh, that changes everything now!
Fisher: So we’re probably looking at 2029 or something like that. So tell us some of the stories of some of the people. You mentioned the circuit preacher in Virginia, who else did you run across?
Linda: Well locally here in Ray County, we had two families that were coming up the Missouri river from Kentucky, and Lexington, Missouri is on the other side of the river from us and they had to camp on the river that night. So we had the Jabez Shotwell family and his seven children and then Edward Wall and his eleven children. So they were all camping and waiting to cross over in the morning to come over to Ray County, and their family traditions as they passed it down. Bruna McGuire, she was a little old lady that was a local historian. She said, “As they could not cross the Missouri River on a boat that day, they camped on the Flusher farm the night the stars fell.” One of the families seeing the sparks called out to the squire, “Stop stirring up the fire, you might set the tents on fire!”
Fisher: Oh wow! [Laughs]
Linda: So he said, “Come here and look, the world’s going to come to an end.” So they were talking about some of the slaves that were there, that they all fell on the ground they all thought the world was going to end. It wasn’t until the sun came up the next morning that they all realized that life was going on. So it rained stars all night long.
Fisher: Now, was anything actually hitting the earth?
Linda: Well, they said some of them were like bigger than normal and then they would break up and two or three of them would come down and they’d go behind trees. But they all felt like they were hitting the earth, and I’ve always collected rocks and I’ve always looked for meteorites that might have come from that event.
Linda: I haven’t found any for sale but you know there had to be when that many had fallen.
Linda: There had to be meteorites that hit the ground.
Fisher: You would think so. But how would you know when they got here.
Fisher: So who else commented on this thing?
Linda: Well, there was a little slave girl, she was living in Tennessee, and there’s a great genealogy story out there about her descendant, Angela Walton. She found a quilt that Harriet Powers put together that had about the Nights the Stars Fell, had a panel on an old fleece quilt. So she said, “Oh, we heard the story about Amanda.” Then she finally found out how old Amanda was because they just gave a general idea that she was just a little girl. So they figured out that she was born around 1820’s. It’s a wonderful story there because Amanda said that all the slave owners thought the world was ending. So they came out and started telling all the people where they came from, who their families were, and where their mothers and fathers were. So they were all making-
Linda: They were getting ready for judgement day, is what it said.
Fisher: Uh huh, and so they just figured it’s not much point in freeing them, but here’s who your parents are and where they went. Unbelievable.
Linda: Yeah, and so the next morning all of them were happy because they finally found out more about their family history. So that’s what it’s all about. Can you imagine somebody knowing your family story and then they start telling it to you. It would just be like a miracle if somebody came along and offered all your information. I thought that was really….I would love to have somebody come up and tell me all of my history.
Fisher: Very special.
Linda: Then we’ve got Parley P. Pratt. Parley Pratt actually spent time in Richmond. When we were having the Mormon Wars in Missouri, he was one of them that came to Richmond and was here with Joseph Smith. So when I found the story about him, it touched close to me because of all the Mormon history we have here in Ray County.
Fisher: Hm hmm.
Linda: They were up in Jackson County and they were all being driven out of Jackson County and they were being pursued when all this happened. It stopped the pursuit and it was like a miracle. So everybody felt like, you know, this was a sign from God that they were going to go on and life was going to be good here.
Fisher: So it actually saved some lives that night.
Linda:Yes, and it affected the whole future. My biggest thing was to find out why this one in 1833 was the biggest one that was ever out there. So I went all the way back through history and researched one whole night. Then I found in 902 AD, and Plato was talking about a similar meteorite shower, so it had to be the same one.
Linda: It kept coming back over and over and over. It was interesting because when it comes around every thirty three years, it’s always out there. It’s just amazing the way the earth revolves around everything. You think of it shooting through the sky and just keep going straight forever, but it actually is revolving around. So the whole idea of how meteorites work is pretty amazing to me, and then I love the difference of a meteoroid just shooting through the air. When it starts to burn up, it becomes a meteor when its shooting through the sky, and when it hits the earth it’s a meteorite.
Linda: So you think of one rock and the name changes and what it’s doing at the time. So being analytical as I am, I thought that was really different, the meteoroid and the meteorite. [Laughs].
Fisher: Absolutely, and to think that this goes on every thirty three years. I’m trying to remember, I mean I remember Hale Bopp, the comet that went through back, I want to say in the 90’s, and it was the most incredible thing I’d ever seen in my lifetime. But I don’t remember a Leonid meteor shower quite like what’s being described here.
Linda: Yeah, and this week we’re in right now, there’s a meteorite shower going on. I’ve reposted the story on my Facebook page for the museum, and everybody is like “Oh, I’ve been out watching it.” So you know there’s so many different versions of it, but this is one of them that’s the most spectacular. If that thing is like Halley’s Comet, then everybody knows about it. But this is one of those that you don’t think about it until you start reading up on it and it’s just so very interesting. Think about 902 AD, and Plato, that’s the beginning of time.
Linda: So it all comes from the beginning of written history.
Fisher: She’s Linda Emley. She’s the museum manager at Ray County Museum in Richmond, Missouri. She’s written an article about ‘The Night the Stars Fell’ You can find it linked on our website ExtremeGenes.com. Linda, thanks so much for coming on!
Linda: Oh, you’re welcome. It’s always fun to share a little piece of history.
Fisher: Absolutely. Coming up next, it’s Tom Perry from TMCPlace.com our Preservation Authority, answering your questions on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show.
Segment 4 Episode 119 (37:10)
Host Scott Fisher with guest Tom Perry
Fisher: And welcome to the preservation segment of our program, Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show. It is Fisher here, the Radio Roots Sleuth with Tom Perry, from TMCPlace.com. Tom, welcome back! Good to have you.
Tom: Good to be back.
Fisher: We’re hearing a lot of people who are having trouble playing disks they recorded on one machine; they sent it to somebody who has the same machine and the disk won’t play. What’s going on there?
Tom: Okay. You run into this a lot, it’s an incompatibility problem. It’s almost common sense, but sometimes we put on blinders when we’re buying stuff. You know, like I tell people when they come into our store. We had a couple last week that came and said, “Hey, I bought one of these VHS to DVD machines.” Or, “I bought of these little boxes that I plug my VHS into or my Hi8 and then plug it into my computer and I go and burn these disks and there’s glitches in it.” Or, “It looks fine, but then I send it off to my uncle, he pops it in his DVD player and it won’t play.” Okay, the reason for this is the quality of the parts. You know, the same reason Maserati costs more than a Ford Fiesta.
Tom: You know? It’s the parts that are in it that make the whole, so to speak.
Tom: And so, what happens is, we’ve said this before; most computers are not made to turn stuff from analog to digital. That’s not what they’re designed for.
Tom: They’re designed to work with digital information that they’re given and compact them. Move them around, do whatever. So, what happens, you have these little boxes that are usually like fifty bucks, and the reason it’s fifty bucks is, the components in them are pretty cheap. And so, what happens, you plug your VHS into it, this little box is trying to turn all your analog stuff into digital and then put it in a format that the computer understands. It’s like we have too much earwax in one ear and it’s not hearing the conversation right.
Tom: So, it’s getting your zeros and your ones all mixed up, and there’s nothing worse in this world than getting your zeros and ones mixed up.
Fisher: Can’t have that!
Tom: Oh, absolutely not!
Tom: So, you’re getting glitches and all kinds of stuff, and then once in a while, in some of your machines which we mentioned that is actually a VHS to DVD machine that it doesn’t have the box in between, and you go and do stuff and you say, “Oh yeah! This looks beautiful! This is wonderful!” And then you send that out to Aunt Margaret, she pops it in and says, “You sent me a blank disk. There’s nothing on the disk. It says it can’t read it. It says I need to put a different disk in.” And she sends it back to you, you pop it in and it plays fine. The reason why these machines that Costco or Sam’s Club are a couple of hundred dollars is the same reason a Fiesta is as inexpensive as it is. The components are really cheap. Those machines are made for you to record television or whatever you want to do or transfer your VHS tapes to DVD for you to use on that machine.
Tom: So, it’s basically almost proprietary information that’s on that machine, and it’s so loosely written that this machine says, “Oh okay. This is stupid, but I know what it means, because it’s my machine.”
Fisher: [Laughs] Well, is there a way to copy that file, say, onto your desktop and then it’s playable on something else?
Tom: Usually not. Sometimes if you have a higher end computer and you have the right software, sometimes you can take this DVD that you’ve made, which if you ever take a DVD, a quality DVD and put it in your computer, it will say it’s a TS file. If you look at it where it shows you the thumbnails, you go, there’s a video TS and an audio TS. Why is that? Really quickly; in the old copyright days, they made this so it’s harder to copy DVDs. So, you have a TS file for video and TS file for audio and what happens is, these kind of get corrupted and don’t play together and if you separate them and try to put them back together, they’ll never work. But sometimes if you have a good program like Cinematize which we talk about constantly on the show, you can take the TS file and convert it to an MOV, and then take that MOV and make it into a QuickTime movie. Put it on your Facebook page then email that to Aunt Margaret, if she’s computer literate, and then she should be able to play it okay.
Fisher: Wow! I mean that sounds very complex.
Tom: Oh, it is.
Fisher: Challenging, isn’t it?
Tom: Oh, it is. It’s very much just like if somebody speaks Spanish, they might be able to understand some people in Portuguese and different languages that are close. But it’s not going to be really, really good enough to, you know, get by. And that’s the problem you’re going to run in with these machines, that’s the reason they’re so cheap. I tell people, if I could go and buy equipment for $250, I wouldn’t be spending $3500 on the machine because we have to guarantee our job. When somebody brings us in a VHS it had better work when they get their DVD home. And we’re going to do a little bit more of incompatibility problems concerning disks, why they might not work for you as well, in the second segment.
Fisher: All right, coming up next in three minutes on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show!
Segment 5 Episode 119 (44:20)
Host Scott Fisher with guest Tom Perry
Fisher: We are back! Final segment of Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show and ExtremeGenes.com. I am Fisher, the Radio Roots Sleuth, with Tom Perry, the Preservation Authority, answering a question about dealing with disks and compatibility. And it sound like its quite complicated, Tom, and most of it has to do with the fact that most of the equipment that’s available to us through Costco and other outlets is just not very good quality material.
Tom: Exactly! You know, you have to understand that when you’re buying something, nine out of ten times, you get what you pay for and the thing is, things have changed so much, even with camcorders. I remember my first camera situation, when I used to shoot NFL films; it was like a $30,000 system. You can go and buy for two or three thousand dollars, a Canon video camera now, that blows that thing away, and it’s a few thousand dollars. So, there’s real good quality equipment that’s getting into people’s hands, they have no idea what they’re doing with it. People are starting to be DIY people, Do It Yourself people; they need to be educated on this kind of stuff. So, just because you buy a machine, don’t just plug it in and start doing stuff. Read the manual! As much as everybody hates to read the manual, read the manual, do research online, find out what you need to do. And a lot of times, somebody will go and spend two or three hundred dollars to buy a machine, thinking they’re going to be able to do all this stuff, and they find out they can’t; now they wasted two or three hundred dollars. They end up sending their tapes into us anyway, to have them transferred. So, save yourself some of those problems, take it to us, take it to another good quality place and make sure that they get it right. Now, going back to the incompatibility problem that can happen even with your disks. People call me all the time and say, “Hey” and say, “I’m looking at these disks, there’s plus Rs, there’s minus Rs, there’s DL, there’s RWs. What do I buy? What should I go with?”
Fisher: Yeah. What does this mean?
Tom: Exactly! I always say Taiyo Yuden disks. If you forget what the name of it is, go to our website, TMCPlace.com and you’ll see on there the Taiyo Yuden disk is the kind that you want to use. The thing is, plus Rs were the first disks to come out, so it’s kind of like experimental. And when they first came out, Sony and Apple were kind of not interested in carrying them. They wanted to wait till the dash R disk came out, which is a better disk, but they’re still selling plus Rs even though they don’t need to anymore. But about three to four years ago, Sony and Apple started making their Macs and their Sony machines compatible with the plus Rs just because there were so many out there. But if you have the choice to pick between a plus R and a dash R disk, I would always go with a dash R. I have so much better luck with dash R disks then I do plus Rs, and they’re usually the same price anyway, it’s just the format they’ve used. So, basically back to the cheap equipment, it’s cheaper to make a driver that reads or burns a plus R disk, than it is a dash R disk. I can always buy plus R stuff cheaper then I can dash R. And just like the old VHS, BetaMax thing, “Oh, this is cheaper. This is what I’m going to go with.” Well, cheaper sometimes isn’t the best way to go. So, try to find a machine that burns dash Rs, because it’s going to last longer and it’s the better way to go, and, I really don’t like dual layer disks, because major incompatibility problems with them. Because usually people say, “Oh, I’ve got this thing that’s four hours long. I don’t want to go to BlueRay, but I don’t want to use two disks.” Go ahead and do two disks, because it’s going to be cheaper for you to duplicate two standard disks than one dual layer disk. Plus, a lot of machines have problems playing dual layer disks. If it’s not professionally done, I stay away from duel layer disks. I taught clients how to use them all the time. If you’re having a disk replicated, like a Disney DVD you’d buy in the store, so you’d buy like a thousand of them, they’re stamping them out, then doing dual layer disks are fine, because they’re all zeros and ones and they’re .in the right place. Everything is going to go well if you’re using a dual layer disk that is basically a professional disk that’s stamped out, not one that you burn at home. Now, about the RW disks, I don’t like rewriteable disks, because the same thing like we talked about a few weeks ago, about reusing a tape, they can get worse. Same thing with disks, as it erases the zeros rewrite zeros, the dye actually gets weaker. And so, the more times you write on it, the less compatible it’s going to be and disks are so inexpensive, even the Taiyo Yuden disks, you can buy it at a decent price. Don’t get RW disks; they’re just going to cause you all kinds of problems.
Fisher: All right! Great stuff, Tom! Thanks for joining us.
Tom: Glad to have been here.
Fisher: I cannot believe we’re wrapping up our final show of 2015. Thank you so much for all the support this past year! The growth has been phenomenal! And we’re looking forward to much more of the same, next year. Thanks once again to Fran Jensen for coming on and talking to us about the War of 1812 Pension Project, Linda Emley from Richmond, Missouri, talking about “The Night the Stars Fell.” Talk to you next week. Thanks for joining us! And remember, as far as everyone knows, we’re a nice, normal family!