Episode 12 – Stan Lindaas on World War II From A German's Standpoint

podcast episode Oct 10, 2013

Fisher fills us in on some exciting recent stories posted on ExtremeGenes.com.  He also gives six surnames that may mean you are descended from a pirate!  Fisher also reveals information on his own pirate ancestor, and how he escaped capture in Rhode Island. Guest Stan Lindaas then talks about World War II and a German soldier he once met while Tom Perry discusses another aspect of preservation.

Transcript of Episode 12

Host: Scott Fisher

Segment 1 Episode 12

Fisher: Hey, it’s Extreme Genes, Family History Radio and ExtremeGenes.com. Your Radio Roots Sleuth Fisher here and welcome back! Glad to have you! Brought to you by TMC the Multimedia Centers preserving your memories for over 40 years and this segment is brought to you by Heritage Consulting Genealogy Services your family history resource. Call 877 537 2000. You know, last week we had Jennifer Utley on from Ancestry.com. She is the Research Coordinator for “Who do you think you are?” and great response to that. If you missed the show, where were you? Hello? But, you can listen back to the podcast. We have it on our website ExtremeGenes.com. Of course, you can subscribe to our podcast at iTunes as well. Last week’s poll of course was on “Who do you think you are?” And I will just summon up to say this. There are a lot of fans of that show out there. Today’s guest is Stan Lindaas from HeritageConsulting.com. He is our Authority on all things research. He’s got a couple of great things to share today. Now, the first and unexpected treat that came his way while dealing with a car problem, yeah he met a man at the shop with a remarkable story and you’re going to love what he has to say. Stan will also fill you in on what he considers two invaluable tools when going about doing research on ancestors in big cities. What are they? We will tell you later on in the show, all right, news from ExtremeGenes.com. I’ve really been waiting on Richard III stories to start slowing down. I mean, how many can you do? Instead, they’ve recently actually been speeding up. We’ve actually had to create a tab for the website. I don’t know if it’s done yet. Just for Richard III stories because frankly there are too many of them and it makes it harder to find the other good stuff and there’s plenty of that as well. So, if he’s your ancestor or at least some kind of royal cousin hopefully, we’ll be able to sort these out, make it easier for you to find all the latest on the battle for where he will be reburied. So here is what we have for this week. We start out with Dame Judy Dench. Now Judy Dench, of course a famous actress, she has played a couple of them, Elizabeth I and Queen Victoria in film. So a lot of people actually think she is royal. [Laughs] Of course she is not. She is now supporting the public effort to get Richard III’s remains to be returned to the University of Leicester in order to be buried in York. Dame Judy Dench is actually asking for public support for Richard III’s remains to be returned from the University of Leicester in order to be buried in York, yes his home town. So she’s a Yorkie. This really is another battle of the Roses here. She was actually born in York, Judy Dench. And over 30 000 people so far has signed the online petition calling for the Government to bury the York King at York Minster. And then we have the other side of it, the Leicester side of this battle. They are moving forward with more PR to make sure that the body remains in their neck of the woods. They have come up with a new design for Richard III’s tomb. And they have revealed this is like a 3D art thing. It’s a plan for a raised tomb with a deeply carved cross on a floor inlaid with a large Yorkist white rose, [Laughs] throwing them a bone so to speak. It’s now going to be submitted to planning officials and it’s all set within the Chancel of the Cathedral. It’s a 1.3 million Pound Project which comes out to two million dollars American. And it will also see changes to the internal layout and the windows and the lighting. And basically this is what we’ve talked about all along. This battle for the body is really all about the money to come in from tourism. So, yes they’re putting up the signs. We talked about that last week, all around the town, different places where Richard III had been just before he died and now they’re creating a tomb and giving you a vision of what it will look like. They said, “Oh yes we know it hasn’t been chosen yet. Shall he be in York or shall he be in Leicester? Well, maybe someone will use this even if it doesn’t go our way. Well, of course this is just the PR campaign. They know this is going to be worth a lot of money for them down the line. But if you want to see what the stuff looks like you can check it out on ExtremeGenes.com

Meanwhile, it was just a few days ago, about a week or so ago it was “Talk like a Pirate” day.  I don’t know if you did that. I somehow passed on the temptation, although I might do it today, you never know. But, here’s a story out that comes from the London Telegraph and it says that if you have any of these six surnames you may actually be descended from a famous British pirate. Those surnames are, Morgan, Kidd, Teach, Rackham, Bonny or Read. That’s quite a payoff if you’re descended from some of these people. Abigail Baker of the genealogical researcher organization Achievements Limited asked the question, “Well, what could be more exhilarating than finding you’re related to Britain’s most colorful characters?” So here are the six most famous British Buccaneers according to the Telegraph. The first was Sir Henry Morgan. He was born in 1635 in Wales. He was a privateer which is basically a legal pirate. He eventually ruled Jamaica and the Caribbean Island became a safe haven for pirates especially the city of Port Royal which was a place of great wealth and debauchery in the 17th century. It was known as the wickedest city on earth. William Kidd is the second pirate born 1645 in Scotland, started out as an honest hardworking ship captain with a wife and two daughters but like Morgan, he was nominally considered a privateer. But that image changed and he found himself wanted in England for piracy and then he came back there from a voyage in the Indian Ocean. He was tried and executed for crimes on the High Seas. The first pirate to actually bury his treasure, here we have Blackbeard, Edward Teach thought to be born in Bristol in 1680, famous for his beard and this is funny. [Laughs] The beard was threaded with threaded with slow burning fuses that came out of each side to create the illusion of clouds of smoke circling his scowling face. Yeah, you can’t make this up. The legend says he had fourteen wives. He died in battle as his killers decapitated him and did more unpleasant things, so we’ll leave it at that.

Calico Jack Rackham, born in 1682 got his name from the habit of actually wearing brightly colored clothing and he died at age 38 after being executed in Jamaica. Then there’s Anne Bonny. Yeah, we had a couple of female pirates as well that you might descend from. She married Calico Jack. She’s down at the Bahamas. And there’s Mary Read born in 1695 in London that most of her life dressed as a man, became one of history’s most fearsome female pirates, died young, 26, in 1721.  I guess the question we would have to ask when we do on our poll today, “Are you descended from a pirate?” Yes, no or argh? You can answer any of those three. I actually do have a pirate on my family tree. He lived in Rhode Island. His name was William Downs and he married a great granddaughter of John Howland who came over on the Mayflower. And there’s a record on the Rhode Island State Archives that talks about how he actually escaped from the jailer. I think they call them the undersheriff.  And apparently Rhode Island in the 1600s was kind of a harbor refuge for pirates between voyages. And there was a lot of business going through there so they didn’t really do much to prosecute the pirates at that time. And in the case of William Downs, apparently he was kept in the jail and the under jailer let him out because he had to go to the little buccaneer’s room. Of course there was no buccaneer’s room. He just walked out and walked away. So, as a result William Downs disappeared and then everything kind of passed over and later we found his will. I want to say about seven or eight years later, named his family. So he was a local guy and he was never prosecuted, nor was any undersheriffs for letting one of these local pirates go, or privateers as they called them. So that was my story back in Rhode Island with my ancestor. Maybe you have something like that to share as well. You can certainly share it on our Facebook page. We’d love to see you do that. So coming up next, very excited to have Stan Lindaas on the show. He’s our authority of course on research. He’s got a couple of great things for you, great story of a man he met while getting his car taken care of. Wait till you hear this guy’s history. Unbelievable! And then he’s going to tell you some of the great sources that you can use when you’re researching big city ancestors and one of them is invaluable and maybe you don’t know about it. We’ll have it for you coming up on Extreme Genes, Family History Radio and ExtremeGenes.com.

Segment 2 Episode 12

Host: Scott Fisher with guest Stan Lindaas

Fisher: Hey welcome back to Extreme Genes, Family History Radio and ExtremeGenes.com. I am your Radio Roots Sleuth Fisher, with my friend Stan Lindaas from HeritageConsulting.com. Welcome back Stan.

Stan: Thanks Fish.

Fisher: Good to have you along. It’s brought to you by TMC the Multimedia Centers Preserving Your Memories for over Forty Years. Last time you were here we were talking about oral histories and oral traditions and now you’ve had a couple of run-ins just in the few short weeks since then and they’ve gave you some new things. I want to hear these stories.

Stan: Well, you get stories no matter where you go. I’m sitting at a car repair place, just sitting there minding my own business and here’s this older gentleman sitting in a chair and he tries to get up you know, he’s rocking back and forth trying to get up.

Fisher: [Laughs]

Stan: And he’s got his cane. So I get up and help him up and lo and behold he starts talking to me and I detect just a slight German accent. 

Fisher: Slight? 

Stan: Well, I couldn’t understand it.

Fisher: Okay. [Laughs] 

Stan: Okay. I don’t speak German.

Fisher: Okay.

Stan: At any rate, so I start talking to him and I ask him where he’s from? He tells me his born in Danzig, German. And I thought well, you know, that’s before the war because that’s Gdańsk, Poland. 

Fisher: Oh is that true?

Stan: Yeah. 

Fisher: Well you would know that because you’re one of the top researchers.

Stan: Yeah or addicted or something like that.

Fisher: Right. [Laughs]

Stan: Anyway, so I’m taking to him and I’m asking him about you know well, how do you come to be in the United States and such? What was it like living in Gdańsk during the war? Was he there during the war? 

Fisher: Was he a child or was he an adult at that time?

Stan: Well he, during the war, he was a young adult.

Fisher: Okay.

Stan: He was about eighteen years old and working in one of the shipyards as an apprentice electrician. And the draft came along and they bypassed him because he was considered to be a real asset in the making of U-boats. 

Fisher: Okay.

Stan: And so they passed him by. Told him he didn’t have to register for the draft. Well, 1944 comes along and the SS Waffen decides it’s time to do away with Hitler, you know, and they tried the assassination attempt.

Fisher: Right. I remember this.

Stan: It was kind of...shall we say blown? 

Fisher: Right. [Laughs]

Stan: At any rate, Adolf didn’t very much care for anybody who was left in the SS Waffen anymore and so he was cleaning house. So this man Hino was his name, he gets notice that he was supposed to report down at the naval yards because he’s going to be put into the navy. And he and about twenty other guys are down there and the naval officer comes out and says, “Oh, it is my honor to turn you over to the SS Waffen.” Prior to that he had been called in, he was an apprentice and he had been called in to be made a master electrician. The fellow that was going through his papers says, “Oh everything looks wonderful here but you don’t belong to the party.” And Hino goes, “No, I don’t. And I’m never going to.” And then he looked at me and he goes, “You know, that was pretty stupid.” 

Fisher: [Laughs]

Stan: A ninety one year old man telling me this was pretty stupid.

Fisher: I wasn’t thinking this right through. This was a family history, his personal history.

Stan: His personal history.

Fisher: Waiting to get your tyres changed or something? 

Stan: Well, just work on my car. At any rate, and so he goes on with his story that he was taken into the SS, was sent abroad for training and then ended up on the Eastern front.

Fisher: Wow as an electrician. That’s heavy stuff. 

Stan: He said, “It froze my tucus.”

Fisher: [Laughs]

Stan: I thought it was a German term okay. The unit needed somebody to string the telephone lines from battalion headquarters to wherever, and he got the job. 

Fisher: Being an electrician and all.

Stan: Being an electrician and all. So they are out marching through the snow and every time they moved they had to retrieve all the wires. And so there were four guys out. The group leader marching way out in front of the other three, a man with a harness on and a crank on the front of him, pulling up the wire. He says, “I just had a feeling he wasn’t going fast enough so I offered to do it because I was bigger and stronger. And I’m cranking along and all of a sudden a shell lands right next to them, and kills the two behind him. The group leader takes off on a dead run, no pun intended, but he goes back and tells them that everybody is dead.” He says, “What a liar. He was a party man himself.”

Fisher: Right. [Laughs]

Stan: From there he gets to go to the Battle of the Bulge. 

Fisher: Oh, one story after the next.

Stan: Yeah. Just like a vacation that will never quit. So I got the story about the Battle of the Bulge from the other side.

Fisher: From the German side. Wow.

Stan: Yeah from the German side. I’d never even thought about it you know? But really, in all life experiences, all stories, we were talking last time about how my brother has a different perspective of the story than I do. 

Fisher: Right.

Stan: Well, I mean, how much more different German, American, British.

Fisher: [Laughs] Yes.

Stan: Well he ended up surrendering to the British because he had been told, and all of his unit had been told, never give up to the Americans because they’ll kill you on the spot. And they believed it. And so he waited until they were close to a British unit and surrendered, was sent to Southern Italy. He says, “Oh, it was like heaven.” 

Fisher: Oh it had to be. Are you kidding me? 

Stan: They were in a prison camp. The war got over. But then they did not let them go for two years after the war was over.

Fisher: Um hmm.

Stan: I thought what a marvellous story. I mean, I just came in to...

Fisher: [Laughs] Change your fluids.

Stan: Yeah exactly. I mean no matter where you go you can get these stories. 

Fisher: That’s exactly right. That’s the beauty of it because that was time really well spent wasn’t it?

Stan: Oh yeah. I mean it sure made the wait a lot shorter for me. 

Fisher: Yeah but that wasn’t it for you in the last month since we last visited, you’ve had more. 

Stan:  Oh, there’s other stories, a little old lady in Central Michigan.

Fisher: Yes.

Stan: A teeny tiny woman stood about three foot nine.

Fisher: [Laughs]

Stan: And her husband was a postal carrier back in the 1860s and ‘70s. And for some reason he was not able to take the route and she volunteered to go do the job. And so she gets in the little buckboard and riding along down the road delivering the mail here and there, and she’s going down the road and there’s trees on either side of the road. You can’t see beyond the side of the road because the trees are so thick. And a man jumps out of the trees and grabs the harness on the horse.

Fisher: Hello.

Stan: Yeah exactly. He said, “Ma’am I believe there’s a rough spot in the road just up around the curve here and I think it would be prudent of you if you would allow me to navigate you past this rough spot. 

Fisher: [Laughs] Did she have much choice?

Stan: Oh she had a grand choice. 

Fisher: [Laughs]

Stan: The story is that she reached in her purse and produced a pistol, placed it squarely between his eyes and informed him that there was surely going to be a rough spot between his eyes if he did not turn her horse loose.

Fisher: Oh! [Laughs] 

Stan: Turns out it was my second great grandmother. 

Fisher: Where did you get this story?   

Stan: It was in the history, the county history.

Fisher: You just ran into this?

Stan: Oh yeah.

Fisher: First time you’d ever seen it? 

Stan: First time I’d seen it.

Fisher: Wow!

Stan: Great story. It kind of testifies to dynamite does come in small packages.

Fisher: Yes!

Stan: Little woman, lot of chutzpah.

Fisher: [Laughs] And obviously somebody you didn’t know, did your parents know her? 

Stan: Oh my mother knew her but she didn’t know the story. 

Fisher: None of that.

Stan: Yeah. I related the story to my mother. She had no idea.

Fisher: She had never heard that.

Stan: But it didn’t surprise her. 

Fisher: And this is really kind of in keeping with what we talked to Ralph Gates about a couple of weeks ago as well. He’s going around doing all these oral histories of service people with their war experiences whether it was World War II, Korea, Vietnam or Afghanistan, or Iraq, and they’re so important to get because as we said on the show many times before, when a person dies, a library is burnt. 

Stan: Yeah.

Fisher: And you don’t know when that library is going to go up so you’ve got to get them right now.

Stan: That’s right. 

Fisher: Are you in touch with this former German soldier now to maybe get that story recorded somewhere?

Stan: Well, I asked him about recording it. He said he’s already written it down. His family has it. I invited him to come on the show. He was a little bit reticent about being on the radio. 

Fisher: Um hmm.

Stan: I hate to tell you Fish, but he had no idea who you were.

Fisher: Shut up. 

Fisher: I’m sorry I told you that. 

Stan: You can edit this out. [Laughs]

Fisher: [Laughs] I don’t think so. I think it’s going to stay right where it is. All right, great stuff to start with Stan. Coming up next, you’re going to teach us a little about researching in big cities. 

Stan: Getting lost in the big city.

Fisher: Oh, and it’s easy to do that because there’s one big problem in the big cities, there’s sometimes too many records to go through.

Stan: Err... at least the folks who have money have too many records.

Fisher: [Laughs] We’ll tell you about that all coming up next on Extreme Genes, Family History Radio and ExtremeGenes.com

Segment 3 Episode 12

Host: Scott Fisher with guest Stan Lindaas

Fisher: We are back at Extreme Genes, Family History Radio and ExtremeGenes.com. It’s Fisher here with Stand Lindaas from HeritageConsulting.com, one of the premium consulting firms in the country. Brought to you by TMC the Multimedia Centers preserving your memories for over forty years, and this segment is brought to you by Heritage Consulting Genealogy Services, your Family History Resource. Call 877 537 2000. We were just talking a few moments ago about getting started in big city research.

Stan: Yeah and most people go, “Well, I don’t have ancestors who lived in the big city.

Fisher: Really? Oh, I think most people do, don’t you?

Stan: Um, no. Most people don’t.

Fisher: I mean, I had New York, all right? And New York has a big problem, too many records. 

Stan: You think they have too many records? 

Fisher: Yes.

Stan: There can never be too many records, Fish. 

Fisher: [Laughs] I’ll tell you what, I’ll take it back a little bit there. There were too many records before digitization came along, and it was very difficult to find where everything was. But it’s sure gotten better. 

Stan: Well, that’s one man’s opinion. I’d just as soon go back to the old days. Yes, I do like the immediate gratification of pushing the button and getting what I want. But there’s something to be said for doing it the old fashion way, cranking through line by line.

Fisher: Microfilms.

Stan: Discovering things that otherwise you never see. 

Fisher: Needing very aggressive librarians, “You want what?!” 

Stand: Yeah.

Fisher: “I haven’t an hour and a half. I’ll bring it up. Meet me over here.” 

Stan: Exactly, exactly. 

Fisher: [Laughs]

Stan: But you know, as far as big cities are concerned, most people think they don’t have somebody who is in a big city, and so why should I care? Well, I can’t think of very many people I know who don’t have an immigrant ancestor. 

Fisher: Right. They had to come through.

Stan: At some point. As a lady in the class the other day said to me, “Well, the only ones I have are, well I’ve got some Native Americans.” I said, “They immigrated at some point.” Just as the records sucked back then you know. 

Fisher: Right. [Laughs]

Stan: But you know, immigrants that came from Eastern Europe especially, they had to spend a lot of their “fortune” that they had when they made the decision, “We’re going to go live in America!” Well, you know when they crossed through one kingdom to the next and got to a port city or anything, they had to pay a tax. 

Fisher: Right.

Stan: The Germans, the Poles, the Czechs, they all knew how to make money out of every little thing that you did. And so by the time they get to America, they don’t have much money. And you know, most of them their destination was not necessarily New York or Philadelphia or Boston or whatever. 

Fisher: But they stopped.

Stan: They stopped because they didn’t have any money or they’re going to continue trip so somebody has to get a job. Well, the pay wasn’t so great and sometimes it took a couple of years to earn enough money to get on to Keota, Iowa.    

 Fisher: [Laughs] You’re telling my family’s story on my mother’s side, because the family came over from Norway. They stopped in Brooklyn.

Stan: Yeah.

Fisher: And they were there for several years. Great grandfather went ahead of his parents and his new wife and went west, and opened up a tailors shop and the rest followed a few years later.

Stan: Right.

Fisher: But in many cases they didn’t move. They stayed there.

Stan: And even in your family’s case, in that interim two years, life events happened.

Fisher: Right.

Stan: You know somebody’s having babies.

Fisher: Right.

Stan: Somebody’s dying. Somebody’s getting married, you know. That oldest daughter, she met that fine looking young man down the street. They’re up in the next floor in the tenement you know, and they get married. Well, you know the family didn’t stay there. They went on to whoever knows where, Slapout, Oklahoma or something like that, you know. But there are life events that occurred in the city. And most of my ancestors who were blowing through the big city didn’t have money. And so the normal records that were kept, you know the land record, the tax records, the probate records really didn’t apply to my people, and to a lot of others. We’re talking about people who lived in tenements, who were transient, you know from one year to the next they were bopping from this apartment to that apartment to this apartment. And the trick is how do I find anything about them in the big cities?

Fisher: Right.

Stan: And one of the things that people look past when they think, “Oh, it’s really not much of a record.” Our city directories can be extremely informative.

Fisher: Yes, absolutely.

Stan: There are city directories Fish that have lists of all the marriages that occurred in the year before, all of the births, all of the deaths, yeah.

Fisher: Really? Now what city does that?

Stan: Take a look at Hartford, Connecticut.

Fisher: No kidding.

Stan: Now some people might not think Hartford is a big city, but people from Slapout, Oklahoma would think it is.

Fisher: [Laughs] Yes.

Stan: Yeah.

Fisher: It’s really true. Stan Lindaas here from HeritageConsulting.com telling us about big city research.

Stan: Yeah, you know big city research is a challenge but it’s very rewarding because you can find things after you’ve struggled and there’s nothing more rewarding.

Fisher: Let’s talk about those directories a little bit because I’ve done a lot of work with them and I’m often surprised how little people really know about them. To most people now you say directories, “Oh, their phone number? How can you have something of the 19th century?                        

Stan: A phone book without phone numbers.

Fisher: Without phone numbers and that’s essentially what it is. But the listings would show often their occupation which also helps you to narrow down you know, if you have Peter Smith in your line. Which one is yours? Oh he’s the stonecutter.

Stan: Yeah, yeah. You want the stonecutter as opposed to the laborer.

Fisher: Right and it will also indicate typically a spouse, or if a man dies it will say widow of so and so. 

Stan: In medium size cities it does that. In most big cities the later in time you go the less likely you’re going to see the spouse’s name in the same line with the husband or the head of the household.

Fisher: Right. But the widow references were very common.

Stan: Exactly. However, Peter Smith shows up in the city directory. And when you do city directories, do every year. Don’t skip around.

Fisher: Right.

Stan: And create a spreadsheet or something, putting down all the information so you can compare it.

Fisher: In this year they lived here.

Stan: Right. 

Fisher: And they’re listed as this.

Stan: Right.

Fisher: And then the fun part to me has always been how you can start tying in other people of the same last name at the same address or right next door.

Stan: Or not even at the same address but working for the same company.

Fisher: Yes.

Stan: You get a great feel for who’s who in the zoo.

Fisher: Right. In New York a lot they’ll not only list their occupation but what company they work for.

Stan: Yes, and in many cases in a lot of city directories you’ll see “removed to.” In other words, they moved from this city to some other city and it will name it. There are even some directories that have a complete section that deal with removals and it will show thousands of people who have moved out of town. 

Fisher: Also occupational listings too.

Stan: Yes, yes.

Fisher: And that’s kind of fun when you go through all the nurses in the town and you can find your ancestor listed there. 

Stan: It’s not the American way to look at instructions or a table of contents, okay?

Fisher: [Laughs] Right, yeah.

Stan: But when you put on a city directory you need to look at the table of contents to see what items are included in the city directory. There are maps, period maps. You know, you’ve got an 1897 city directory. There may be a street map showing you all the streets. And I’ve got to tell you, most of the cities in the United States have changed the names of most of their streets at one time or another or changed the house numbers in Chicago, Cleveland, New York, Los Angeles, all over. They’ve changed the numbering system on the houses. You and I are accustomed to all the even numbers are on this side of the street and all the odd numbers are on that side. Well, it wasn’t so in Chicago and many other places. You’d go down one side of the street it could be 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 57 and you know, with skips. Well, in 1909 in Chicago they changed all the numbers, well, I should say about 75% of the house numbers. And you could see somebody in the city directory in 1908 and on a census in 1910, same guy and you’d think that he moved because his house number is several hundred numbers different. And he didn’t. 

Fisher: [Laughs]

Stan: They just changed the numbers. Well, in the 1909 city directory there is a list showing all of the house numbers, the old ones and the new ones. 

Fisher: Yes.

Stan: And the same thing in Cleveland and in other cities. So you need to be aware of these things because otherwise you’re not going to find your guy. He’s going to remain lost in the big city.

Fisher: And a lot of fun also to see when they change occupations.

Stan: Yes.

Fisher: It will give you a year you know if it’s not right on the census year. Oh, and in 1848 they went from being a cabinetmaker to being a real estate agent.

Stan: Right, right.

Fisher: What caused that? Well, in my guy’s case it was because of all the immigration that was going on in New York City at the time.

Stan: Right and that kind of stuff speaks to the social history.

Fisher: Right.

Stan: And it’s critical that you know that. One thing you have to be aware of where city directories is at, when you’re looking at the 1910 city directory, you’re looking at a snapshot of 1909.

Fisher: That’s right. And we’ve got to talk about the fact that the year begins May 1st which was in many cities. I know it was in New York and you can correct me and tell me what other cities did the same thing. It was called “moving day” and basically all the rents would be changed to match up on May 1st and then everybody would move at the same time and it was just a train wreck downtown with the movers.

Stan: But you have to be aware that the publishers of those city directories didn’t care that it was moving day technically in the city of New York. They could care less. They sent out their army of people knocking on doors to discover who’s living where and what their occupation was in 1909 and they brought back the information, they put it together, published it and sold it in 1910.

Fisher: Right.

Stan: They could care less about “moving day.”

Fisher: So when you see the directory as marked as 1909?

Stan: You’re looking at 1908.

Fisher: You’re looking at 1908. That’s right.

Stan: Exactly, exactly.

Fisher: And that’s typically something you’ve got to be aware of when you do this. Does that work that way in other cities?

Stan: Oh, it works that way in all cities. It just takes time to compile the stuff.

Fisher: Was May 1st kind of the day throughout the country or was it just in New York?

Stan: No, no just pretty much in New York.

Fisher: That went till the ‘40s by the way. The 1940s they were doing that from the earliest times. 

Stan: So my question is which government official was getting paid to maintain that?

Fisher: It’s a good question. [Laughs]

Stan: But then I can say that. I came from Chicago so I know about getting paid to do stuff.

Fisher: All right, we’ve got another few minutes so let’s talk about some other great resources in big cities that people might not know about Stan.

Stan: Maps.

Fisher: Okay.

Stan: City directories even have those maps and there are other maps that are available. You can look in library catalogues to discover what maps are available for the particular city of interest. But one collection stands out far and above all others and that would be the Sanborn Maps.

Fisher: Yes! I looked at these online. They’re unbelievable.

Stan: Yeah, they are incredible. They will show you whether the building was a single storey or multiple storey, what it was constructed of what kind of siding was on it. In the old days it shows where all the outhouses were, where the carriage buildings were, where the fire hydrants were.

Fisher: [Laughs]

Stan: These were maps that were put together by Sanborn, a fire insurance map company so that they could give that to the insurance companies and they could determine what the risk factors were in that neighbourhood. But they are so extremely detailed. Many of them will even have names on them. Most of them will have the house numbers on them.

Fisher: Right.

Stan: They are just incredible maps.

Fisher: And they’re for most major cities and we don’t mean the top five or the top ten but they go even deeper than that.

Stan: No, no. They come down to populations of about 2 500.

Fisher: Wow!

Stan: Yeah.

Fisher: And so if you’re writing a history these descriptions can give you detail for your history that is just so rich.

Stan: Yes.

Fisher: But the big problem is they’re not available in one big collection anywhere. They are scattered all over the place.

Stan:  Well, they are. They’re available in a collection for an outfit out of Ann Arbor, Michigan called ProQuest, but they do not provide individual subscriptions. They market to institutions and universities then you can work through the university to get to these things.

Fisher: Stan this was awesome stuff today.

Stan: okay.

Fisher: Thanks for coming by, big city research Stan Lindaas from HeritageConsulting.com, great to have you again.

Stan: Thank you so much.

Fisher: And this segment was brought to you by Heritage Consulting Genealogy Services, your family history resource. Call 877537 2000, and coming up next, Tom Perry from TMCPlace.com on Extreme Genes Family History Radio and ExtremeGenes.com.

Segment 4 Episode 12

Host: Scott Fisher with guest Tom Perry

Fisher: Its Extreme Genes, Family History Radio, ExtremeGenes.com. Fisher here, your Radio Roots Sleuth, brought to you by TMC, The MultiMedia Centers, preserving your memories for over forty years. Tom Perry back from TMCPlace.com, and Tom, glad to have you here.

Tom: Glad to be back. Last week we had quite a few calls after the show. And they had some more questions about, you know incompatibility and stuff about disks.

Fisher: Right. Yes.

Tom: And one thing people can do, when we're off the air and they can't get a hold of us, go to Extreme Genes, leave a voice note message there or leave a recording.

Fisher: Right, on the Find Line.

Tom: So, but a couple of questions that people did ask, they say things like, "Hey, I'm even having problems with my movies not being able to play on my DVD player anymore. What's the problem?" It’s probably your laser's dirty. Like the inside of your windows get dirty.

Fisher: You mean we have to go and we do laser cleaning, is that it?

Tom: Yep.

Fisher: How do you clean a laser?

Tom: It’s really cool. It looks just like a regular disk, but it has like little toothbrushes on it. And you pop it in your machine, whether it’s your computer or your DVD player, your CD player any of those things, the bristles actually clean your lens.

Fisher: Really?

Tom: Oh yeah!

Fisher: I had no idea. I've never done that. Why don't people give them to you like when you have your computer worked on and say, "Hey, you need this." or do they just do that as a kind of their business by not telling. Is this one of those things that they don't want you to know?

Tom: I don't think so, because people don't want to clean your lasers when they bring them in. In fact, a lot of times when you have your computer serviced, for some reason they don't clean your laser. And these things, if you buy the most deluxe one out there, it’s like fifteen bucks. They're not very expensive. And people throw away DVD players and stuff like that or throw away their readers because they think they don't work anymore and it’s just a dirty laser.

Fisher: So where do you get one of these and how much do they cost typically?

Tom: We sell them. You can probably buy them at any warehouse store. Just about anybody sells one. You know, get a good, you know, quality one. Like I say, the top of the line ones are fifteen bucks. We've had ones as cheap as $9.95.

Fisher: Really?

Tom: So they're not hard to find. Just go and look for them.

Fisher: [Laughs] So people are just throwing away like $1000 computers because they don't want to get a fifteen dollar disk cleaner for the laser.

Tom: Right. And I think it’s just, you know, they don't know.

Fisher: Right. I didn't.

Tom: Yeah, we get calls all the time on things that, you know to us are "Duh" questions, but people that don't do this for a living, they have no idea.

Fisher: Sure.

Tom: So if something's weird, give us a call and hopefully we have, you know, a fifteen dollar solution for you.

Fisher: That's a great idea. What else do you have today?

Tom: Okay, another thing they asked about, they asked, "What's the difference between +R and -R disks?" Well, as it was explained to me by the people that actually make the disks, +R disks less expensive to make and the equipment to make them is less expensive. So a lot of your cheaper systems, especially, you know, five and ten years ago always had +R disks, because they're cheaper, but they're not compatible. In fact, in the old days, Apple computers would not even read +R disks. They said, "Hey, we're not going to support the format. It’s an inferior format, so don't bother us about it." But now they are supporting it, you know, kind of begrudgingly.

Fisher: [Laughs] All right, we'll fix it.

Tom: Exactly.

Fisher: Sure.

Tom: So I tell people, if you ever buy a piece of equipment that says it'll only work with +R, step away from it and buy something that takes -Rs. Because in my opinion, -R disks are a lot better quality. The same thing we talked about last week about video to DVD recorders.

Fisher: Sure.

Tom: The home ones you buy.

Fisher: The difference between copying and duplicating.

Tom: Exactly, all those things.

Fisher: Okay.

Tom: Try and stay with a -R disk. Anytime something new is released, they always do it with a +R, whether it’s a +RW or whatever, because it’s cheaper, easier to make. And so they play around with it till they get the bugs worked out, then once the bugs are worked out, they take it to a higher level which is a -R disk and do it from there. So that's why I recommend buying equipment that had -R disks. And anytime you buy any equipment, whether it’s the disk itself or a disk player or a disk burner, make sure you read the owner's manual, because it will usually come on and say, compatible with these.

Fisher: Now wait, wait, wait a minute! Reading the owner's manual? Who does that?!

Tom: [Laughs] That's right. Get a second grader, he'll read it for you and tell you what you need to do with it.

Fisher: [Laughs] That's often the way it is, isn't it.

Tom: But seriously, I don't read owner's manuals, most people don't read owner's manuals.

Fisher: No.

Tom: So they get in, they figure out, why won't this play? The fine print says, "We don't guarantee every disk will play on this DVD player." And all the disks you buy, the fine print says, "We don't guarantee this disk will play on all machines." So that's why we use Taiyo Yuden disks, which we talked about several weeks ago, because they are the most compatible. We only buy -R equipment. We never buy +R equipment.

Fisher: Wow, all right.

Tom: And one other thing on that too is RW disks. People buy RW disks because they can use them over and over and over again. Disks are so cheap. You can buy the best DVD disks for a buck a piece. So you get the RWs and its like and eraser on a piece of paper. You keep erasing till you have a hole in your paper. You keep writing over and over and over again, and one time you're going to have something really important and it didn't record it to your disk.

Fisher: It’s gone.

Tom: Just buy -R disks. Use them once, you know, throw them away, make you know, hobby things out of them or something.

Fisher: [Laughs]

Tom: But stay away from +R disks and stay away from RW disks.

Fisher: So they question I would have is, if I'm driving along in my car right now and I'm listening to all this. I'm a little bit confused, I mean, you're sharing a lot of things, you're throwing a lot of things at us pretty fast here. Where can people get this information? Is this available on your site?

Tom: Oh yeah! A lot of stuff's available on our site, go to TMCPlace.com.

Fisher: Right. And that's linked by the way to ExtremeGenes.com.

Tom: Exactly.

Fisher: And they'll tell you all this stuff that wherever you may be, whatever business you might do business with, this is all good stuff to know.

Tom: Oh yeah! Yeah, go to ExtremeGenes.com, you'll see our little logo in the corner, click on it, you'll go right to our page. If you're on your cell phone, if you're driving, hand it to somebody else. You can go **Video2DVD. V I D E O, the number 2 DVD and it will pull up all the information about our website.

Fisher: Oh, perfect! All right.

Tom: It’s really easy.

Fisher: That's great stuff. All right, anything else?

Tom: Okay, one other thing you want to do is, if you play something and it doesn't play on your computer, it plays on your DVD player, we talked about last week, downloading your latest drivers.

Fisher: Right.

Tom: You know, do that. That's the most important thing to do. Second thing you want to do is buy a disk cleaner. And once you buy a disk cleaner, run it in your DVD player, your computer, your CD player, especially cars. Cars are the most notorious for not being able to play what we call a one off disk, where we’ve taken a vinyl record and turned it into a CD.

Fisher: Yeah, I've had that happen.

Tom: Exactly. Keep your laser clean, because the inside of your windows get dirty even if you don't smoke. The same thing happens to your laser. So clean it, you know, monthly, at least every couple of months.

Fisher: Is this a similar cleaner to the laser cleaner in terms of appearance?

Tom: It’s pretty much the same thing.

Fisher: Really?

Tom: Yeah. There's ones that, they have ones that do all of them. You can put it in anything you want. They make ones that are specialized just for the car cassettes and things like that, so play them. And it’s kind of cool. Let me tell you a little story that kind of a fun little tidbit. We had somebody that got one of our CD cleaners made specifically for cars. He put it in and it goes through this thing that tests your right speakers, you left speakers, your front. Your back. And he was sitting there listening to it and it says, "This is your right speaker." and he goes, "No, it isn't. This is my left." back and forth. He had a brand new Cadillac. He went to the dealership and told them what was going on. They go, "Oh, no, no, something's faulty with the disk. It can't be." He took him in the showroom, popped it into one of the Cadillacs there, it played fine. He says, "Okay, now come back with me." went, got in his car, put it in, they had got the trunks backwards on the wiring diagram.

Fisher: [Laughs]

Tom: So some cool stuff!

Fisher: Would that bother you if something's coming out of the right side instead of the left?

Tom: If you're a musician, yes.

Fisher: I suppose. Yeah, I suppose. People get fussy.

Tom: Oh yeah. And remember in the days when they used to have quadraphonic stuff where you could hear the sound going from the left to the right and stuff like that.

Fisher: Yeah. Sure, it was like having an orchestra in your room.

Tom: Exactly, exactly. So if you're a musician, you know that the toms on one side of the drum kit that the bass drum is right here, that the cymbals are this way, the high hats are this.

Fisher: [Laughs]

Tom: And so if you're hearing it too strong in the right and you're going, "Wait, I know stage left is where this is supposed to be. This is sounding weird." Most people don't pick it up, but it was kind of a fun thing.

Fisher: I get that. My dad was nationally known music arranger and he couldn't even listen to church choirs, because it was just that the ear was so sensitive.

Tom: The pain.

Fisher: Yes! He said, "I know how to do that! Thank you."

Tom: Oh, I know what you're talking about. I got my degree in audio engineering. And sometimes, you know, same thing, some choir, just it’s like, oh, it's too painful.

Fisher: [Laughs]

Tom: You know, and sometimes my kids start singing and its like, "Hey, you know I love you very much. However, you're hurting my ears."

Fisher: Tom Perry from TMCPlace.com. By the way, if you want to ask Tom a question, just email [email protected]. Tom thanks for joining us.

Tom: Glad to be here again. We'll see you next week.

Fisher: Well, that wraps it up for another edition of Extreme Genes, Family History Radio. And thanks to everybody who participated today. Stan Lindaas, boy he really stepped up to the plate today! Great stories of course about the former German soldier and all he had to endure to get through that experience, and of course the great information about city directories when doing your big city research. All kinds of great stuff in there, if you missed that segment, again, go back to ExtremeGenes.com. Typically it’s the Wednesdays after the show we have the podcast up, so you want to check that out. And get caught up in what you may have missed, not only this week, but last week or any other episode. Also, we had a lot of great response to the call, from Robby's call last week from Michigan where she shared with us her discovery of an ancestor who fought in the Revolution. An African American ancestor she didn't know she had and people had not been able to find. She had a lot of struggles with that. And if you would like to share any story that you've had in your research, we'd love to hear it. I mean, we love to share our discoveries and our excitement. You can call our find line, its 1-234-56-GENES. That's toll free number, 1-234-56-GENES. Its open 24/7, so even though the show's only on for one hour a week, that line is open whenever you have it in your mind that you want to share it with us. You can also ask us questions, we'll get back in touch with you. So make sure that you give us your contact information, because we'd love to share what's going on in your life with your family history research right here on Extreme Genes, Family History Radio. Also on the website, all kinds of polls, we've got the new poll up about pirates. We talked about my pirate ancestor earlier. We want to find out if you have one, at least one that you know of. So cast your vote on that as well. Take care. Have a great week. Talk to you next week on Extreme Genes, Family History Radio and ExtremeGenes.com. A production of Fisher Voice Works!

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