Episode 138 - Land and Court Records and Revealed Stories / Was Man's Birth Father A Nazi?May 09, 2016
Fisher opens the show with David Allen Lambert, Chief Genealogist for the New England Historic Genealogical Society and AmericanAncestors.org, checking in from the National Genealogical Society Conference in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. David notes the recognition given by NGS to two pioneers in genealogy, Dick Eastman of "Eastman's On Line Genealogy Newsletter," and Cyndi Ingle, famed for "Cyndi's List." Both have been at it for about twenty years and have made major contributions to genealogy. David then shares a story of the recent discovery of a curse left in a crypt some 2,400 years ago in Greece! Wait until you hear what it said. (David is quite dramatic.) David also has news of a new storytelling service to help you capture your family history, as well as an important new publication coming from the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society, and big news coming from Roots Magic!
In the second segment, Fisher visits with Katy Barnes from LegacyTree.com. Katy discusses the importance of court and land records and tells of how depositions found among such records led to a breakthrough in one family line. It also revealed a fascinating family story from the old South. Hear what it was and what Katy has to say about how you can find and benefit your research with court and land records.
Fisher then talks with Phoenix resident Grant Ringuette who explains his journey in seeking his birth parents. He found them... along with a story concerning his birth father's background he never expected. Hear what it was and how Grant obtained his information.
Tom Perry from TMCPlace.com ([email protected]) then joins the show to answer more listener questions on do it yourself video editing.
That's all this week on Extreme Genes, America's Family History Show!
Transcript of Episode 138
Host Scott Fisher with guest David Allen Lambert
Segment 1 Episode 138
Fisher: And welcome to another spine tingling addition of 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. And this week on the show, very excited to have Katy Barnes from LegacyTree.com, she’s going to be on to talk about land and court records and she has this incredible story from down south in the 1820s. All from the land and court records. She’s going to tell you how you can find stories like this as well. That’s coming up in about eight minutes. And then later in the show we’re going to talk to an Arizona man who discovered, shall we say, a somewhat frightening fact about his birth father. How did he find it? What’s the story? You’re going to catch it later in the show.
But right now let’s check in with our good friend David Allen Lambert, from the New England Historic Genealogical Society and American Ancestors.org. He is the Chief Genealogist. David is in Florida, at the NGS conference (National Genealogical Society). How are you David?
David: Hey, Fish! Yeah, I’m here live in the vendor hall at NGS, down here in sunny Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where people are actually going through the booths and going into lectures. Not sunning themselves on the lovely beaches of Fort Lauderdale.
David: So spring break for genealogists is a total different game!
David: Well you know some exciting things happening here and I’ve got to give a shout out to two long time friends that have received the presidential citation from NGS for unusual contribution in the field of genealogy. And that’s kind of a 20th anniversary. Both Cyndi Ingle, your listeners may know of Cyndislist.com, it’s sort of like the one stop shopping for finding anything on the internet on genealogy.
Fisher: All the sources for anything you’re looking for it’s a great place, Cyndi’s List.
David: Absolutely! And Dick Eastman, many of your listeners may know Dick has been a fastener in the genealogical crown, if you will, with his Eastman online genealogical newsletter, and Dick also received the award. So my congratulations to my two friends on their 20th anniversary and this wonderful citation. I wanted to share something with you, that genealogy can sometimes be scary.
David: I always said that I wanted to have in my grave the William Shakespeare curse. “Cursed be done who moves my bones, and blessed be the man who leaves them alone.” You know something along that line?
David: Well a 2,400 year old grave was found in Athens, Greece with curses in it. Someone wasn’t happy with a few tavern keepers in Athens. Because it basically was targeting four different husband and wife tavern keepers in Athens, Greece, 2,400 years ago, and one of the curses is called a, “Dog’s ear curse.” And it goes something like this, “Cast your hate upon Phanagora and Demetrios, into their tavern and property, and their possessions. I will bind my enemy Demetrios and Phanagora in blood and ashes with all the dead.”
David: Sounds like something out of a Christopher Lee line in a movie from the 70s.
Fisher: And it’s so far back you’ve got to think that there are some people listening right now who might be descended from the person who left that course.
David: It’s absolutely true. If you want to leave something interesting in the casket with you, here’s an idea; that isn’t my tech tip by the way.
David: I’ll give you one in a minute. So there’s a new company in Florida called, “TSO Life” and they’re a story telling company which you can get on and create a timeline and really tell your own story. You can put a connection with Google Maps, voiceover, video, whatever the case might be. And I had a lovely talk with David Soya, who’s originally from my home state of Massachusetts, down here in Florida. And that’s something new and exciting and it will be hopefully at Roots Tech next year. So that’s great. Hopefully we can have a conversation with them at some point. Other exciting news includes a new book for your New York City researchers that are listening. The New York Genealogical and Biographical Society, is coming out with a book very shortly called, “The New York City Municipal Archives.” And as you know, New York City records can be tough. I know you have a personal connection with the good old city of New York yourself, don’t you Fish?
Fisher: Yes, and I was in the Archives just last year. And it’s fantastic!
David: So this guide is supposed to help you with one stop shopping. Know what you need to get. It’s kind of like having a grocery list before you actually go to the archives. So that’s going to be a wonderful thing. The other exciting news is from Bruce from Roots Magic. If you have Roots Magic 7, you already know that you can use other data mining searchers that will go in. For your Roots Magic go onto the internet and find matches for you and databases across the internet. He’s got a new connection that’s going to be released so stay tuned for that. The other exciting news from NGS is to meet our Extreme Genes listeners, people like Danny and Ken and Jennifer who came up and said they love the show so much. I mean it’s so nice to actually put faces behind the names as you know Fish.
Fisher: Oh yeah.
David: It’s just great, great stuff.
Fisher: There are great genies out there!
David: There are definitely great genies out there. My Heritage has released as of last month, their book matches. Where they’ve taken over four hundred thousand genealogy and local history books and it’s better OCR, which you know is “Optical Character Recognition.” It reads the text searchable. But they’re doing proximity searchers which will allow you to get certain data with a name and a birth date. It will go and give it as part of your Smart Matches in My Heritage. So that’s exciting news too. Technology just gets better and better. It’s a wonderful database and another way of utilizing your research. Once you plug it in they do the work for you. So the other thing I want to say as my personal tech tip is “Charity starts at home.” You can talk about your ancestors but why not talk about yourself? Sit down in front of a digital recorder, a video camera, have somebody interview you but you pick the questions. As a genealogist what would you ask your great, great, great, great grandparents? And put yourself in that position now for the future. So interview yourself. And as always NEHGS has guest user databases for you to try out, so if you got to AmericanAncestors.org I would say, I can tell you that it’s great to be able to use the internet on the beach. And I’m going to try that later today from sunny Fort Lauderdale.
Fisher: [Laughs] Sounds like a plan David, and of course you can follow David Allen Lambert @DLGenealogist on Twitter. All right David thanks so much! I’ve been seeing by the way a lot of Facebook pictures of you having way too much fun at this NGS conference in Florida, so be careful and by the way make sure you keep your trunks all the way up.
David: I plan on making sure that stays put all week long!
Fisher: Thank you! [Laughs]
David: [Laughs] I wish you were here my friend. Talk to you soon.
Fisher: I do too. And coming up next we’re going to talk to Katy Barnes from LegacyTree.com. She’s going to tell you about land and court records and some of the incredible stories that you can find from them, and how she actually used that to break down one of her client’s brick walls. She’ll have a great story from the south for you from the 1820s. This is good stuff coming up in three minutes on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show.
Segment 2 Episode 138
Host Scott Fisher with guest Katy Barnes
Fisher: Hey, welcome back to America’s Family History Show, Extreme Genes and ExtremeGenes.com. It is Fisher here, your Radio Roots Sleuth. And you know we talk about brick walls a lot in family history. That’s the end of the line and all of us have them. It’s a really challenging thing to try to figure out exactly how to get around some of those things. And that’s why we’re talking to Katy Barnes today. She’s a researcher with LegacyTree.com. Katy, I love what you’ve written here in your blog about using court records, and land records, to break open some of these family lines, and you’ve got a great case here that goes back 200 years!
Katy: Yeah. This is definitely a prime example of what we’re going to be talking about today.
Fisher: Give us a little sample of this thing. Now it takes place in the south?
Katy: It does. It’s in South Hampton County, Virginia, and this is my client’s Boykin family. One of the interesting things about it that I should say right off the bat, is that, south Hampton County, Virginia is a little bit unique, in that, all of its court records are actually digitized online. And if you do much research in the south, you’ll know that’s incredibly rare.
Katy: So this was a unique case in which a donor went to South Hampton County’s courthouse, I think it was in 2008, and basically volunteered to digitize their entire collection. So they made it free online at brantleyassociation.com. So I wanted to put in a plug there and give a shout out thanking all those generous donors out there that make it easier on the rest of us for sure.
Fisher: Boy, no doubt. You know, volunteers make such a difference in our lives, and we don’t even know who these people are.
Katy: Absolutely. Yeah. I think that was a key factor in some of the success. Although, being able to find these records, is also definitely doable due to the Family History Library in the microfilm collection. And you know, just the old fashion going to the courthouse in general.
Katy: So I can jump into the case a little bit. This takes place in the early nineteenth century in like I said, South Hampton County, Virginia. William T. Boykin, he had married, just up the stage a little bit, he had married this young woman named Peggy Baisden in 1816. She was the only child of her father, Samuel Baisden. So as a wedding present to his daughter, an engagement present rather, Samuel had drafted a deed. Had the local J.P., Justice of the Peace, draft her a deed for100 acres of land that he owned and lived on at the time.
However, after a little bit of time, Samuel, for reasons unknown, changed his mind about this deed and decided that he didn’t want to give it to his daughter and his new son-in-law after all. However, quite literally the deed was done, and so he actually went to the Justice of the Peace to have the deed given back. The J.P. said, “No dice. It’s a legal transaction. It’s done.” And so Samuel resorted to threatening his new son-in-law with bodily harm.
Katy: Yeah. That went on for several years. Pretty terrifying, I’m sure.
Fisher: Was this in the court records that he was threatening?
Katy: Yes. So one of the key elements of these court records were deposition. Including the original Justices of the Peace, William’s brother, and a couple other individuals who were all testifying that this had been going on for several years. Eventually, William and Peggy had a couple of kids, and they were starting to really get freaked out obviously, about William’s father-in-law doing these things. And so he decided to give in, and he gave the deed back. On one condition though. Though William relinquished his claim on the land, he made his father-in-law promise that when the father-in-law Samuel Baisden died, he would leave the land to William and Peggy’s on Samuel Boykin Junior.
Fisher: That sounds like a great solution right, a good compromise?
Katy: It sounded that way, and so witnesses say according to the deposition, that Samuel Baisden said okay, that’s fine, and he threw the original deed in the fire and drafted up a new one that was in agreement with the accord that they had just struck. But, this court case later went down because Samuel again proved not to be a man of his word. He died in 1824, so about eight years later, after having remarried. And then, around the same time, his daughter Peggy, who was William Boykin’s wife, also died. When Samuel Baisden died, it was determined from his will that he had not left the land in question to his grandson Samuel Boykin Junior. He left it to one of his new children from his second marriage.
Fisher: Uh oh.
Katy: Yeah since then. So William Boykin sued his stepmother, his stepmother-in-law, on behalf of his deceased wife’s child.
Fisher: Wow! Get’s complicated, doesn’t it?
Katy: It does, and so that’s kind of just the meat of the story. That doesn’t actually help break through the brick wall. But the depositions were what ultimately solved this case.
Fisher: Yeah, but the stories are just so incredible. I mean, even if you didn’t have a brick wall breakthrough, those stories alone were fabulous. They’re gold.
Katy: Oh, absolutely. And everyone loves to find stories like this. Even when they determine that maybe their ancestors weren’t necessarily the upstanding people we would all hope they were.
Katy: It can still be very entertaining. So what we needed to do now… the ultimate goal had been to determine the father of William Boykin.
Katy: So this was, This flashes just some of the interesting stories we found along the way. But, the interesting thing was, one of the depositions was with the original Justice of the Peace. His name is Silas Summerall. He testified that he had been present at the engagement party of William Boykin and Peggy Baisden at the home of a person named Britain Boykin. And so that kind of gave pause, who is this man? They share the same surname.
Fisher: Ah ha!
Katy: Maybe they’re related. Well, earlier in the research, we had determined that William Boykin was witness at the wedding of a man named Solomon Boykin, in about 1816 as well. And so when you start finding all these people with similar surnames, or the same surname rather, you start really paying attention trying to connect the dots, especially in a small community in the south.
Katy: This eventually led, after we found the mention of both Solomon Boykin who was also a deponent in the case, and Britain Boykin. This led us on a search to try to find the will of Britain Boykin. As you know, wills usually will name heirs. And sometimes in the south, especially pre-1850s and colonial south and the rest of the United States, those can be some of the only records out there that state relationships directly, besides land records. But it can be very rare to find those. Smoking gun, pieces of evidence I suppose. So, we found the will of Britain Boykin who died in 1824, and sure enough, it named his two sons, William and Solomon Boykin. And so that tied everything up just perfectly. We determined all this kind of juicy history about William Boykin’s family and his in-laws, and the importance of land in that society. But we also used those court and land records to be able to tie up these loose ends and determine how exactly everyone was related.
Fisher: Now answer this for me because I’m sure people are wondering why didn’t your client actually look for the will in the first place? Or was that from a different part of the state?
Katy: The will of Britain Boykin?
Katy: That wasn’t done at first because we weren’t sure who all the candidates were. We were just trying to find evidence on William and himself. The Boykin’s were a very prolific family in South Hampton County. So we were just trying to gather as much information on William at first, to see if that would give us any clues rather than just starting in the will books, you know, and going through every Boykin individual to begin with.
Fisher: Right. So there’s just so many of them in that area. That makes a big difference and that explains that. Now let’s talk a little about these court records and the land records. They’re really important in the south. Not nearly as essential I think in the north where there are a lot more church records that have survived. Don’t you think?
Katy: Oh definitely, yeah. We always talk about why the south is difficult and that lack of vital and church records is an enormous part of it. The south is a lot more isolated and rural and so the priests, if you were Catholic for example, in Louisiana, but the priests, there were so few them that they would only able to get around every so often so there’s fewer church records. In addition, southerners tend to be less likely to be a member of a church that kept as neat and consistent records. They tended to be more Protestant, Evangelical, Methodist, Baptist, and such, where the Catholics, Congregationalist and Lutherans, tended to have established records to keeping practices. That was not the case in the churches that a lot of southerners belonged to.
Fisher: And then there was the loss, of course, through the Civil War, with so many places burning.
Katy: Absolutely. And that is especially the case in places heaviest hit with combat. Georgia is one of those states that can be very difficult, Virginia of course. South Hampton County, as I’ve been discussing here in Virginia, actually was a little bit more fortunate. It was a little bit out of the way of a lot of the typical Civil War combat. So they didn’t suffer nearly as much record losses as some other Virginia counties did.
Fisher: So Katy, if somebody is looking to get into court records in the south, where are the jurisdictions? Where can these records be found? You mentioned that these in Virginia are actually online, but that’s kind of rare. Where can people go?
Katy: Court records are often under used in genealogical research because they are a little bit harder to access sometimes. They found that the county level, a lot of the times they’ve been digitized by FamilySearch and you can get them on microfilm if you’ve access to the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, or you can order the films to your local FamilySearch Centers. So microfilm is one great resource. In some cases, not all of the records will be digitized, and you might either have to visit the courthouse in person, send a researcher to the courthouse, send a mailing request, maybe with a fee for the local courthouse employees to make those searches for you. And that can be a little bit time consuming and they not always indexed. Actually a lot of times they’re not indexed, and they not always the easiest records to get through and find what you’re looking for. So they take a little bit of patience, but they’re definitely well worth the effort.
Fisher: Boy no doubt.
Katy: I doubt you I could have solved this case without the court records.
Fisher: Well, there’s no doubt. And it could be a little pricey too. I mean sometimes they’ll charge you fifteen-twenty cents a page, and then you can get dozens and dozens of pages and it can add up pretty fast. But on the whole, the value of them is just incredible. And I’ve solved several brick walls in my family’s line, using court records too. So great little lesson there Katy! And a great story! I appreciate it so much.
Katy: You’re welcome, and we really enjoy doing work like this. It’s my bread and butter and it’s a lot of fun.
Fisher: There you go! Katy Barnes, from LegacyTree.com talking about how to break down brick walls with court records and land records. Thanks so much!
Katy: You’re welcome.
Fisher: And coming up next; we’re going to talk to a man from Arizona, who wanted to find his birth parents. He did. And a story that he had no idea was waiting for him. Wait till you hear what he found and how he found it, next in three minutes on Extreme Genes!
Segment 3 Episode 138
Host Scott Fisher with guest Grant Ringuette
Fisher: And welcome back to America's Family History Show, Extreme Genes and ExtremeGenes.com. It is Fisher here, your Radio Roots Sleuth. And you know this whole idea of finding out who you are is so universal in all of us. But never more so than for people who have gone through adoption. And so, many people we've had on the show have talked about that desire to know about the birth family. And sometimes, it turns out great. In fact, I would say, most of the time it turns out fabulously for the adoptee to discover their birth family. But once in a while, you find some surprises and things don't turn out that well. I've helped some people where I've said, "Look, I've got a phone number, but once you open this door, you can never close it again. Are you prepared for what might happen?" And some people will say, yes. Some people will say no. And kind of go from there. And on the phone with me right now is a man in Phoenix who listens to us on KTAR 92.3 FM, Grant Ringuette, and Grant you've been through this process. How are you?
Grant: I'm fine, thank you, sir.
Fisher: You were adopted at birth I assume, right?
Grant: I was adopted at birth, yes. I was born in Chicago, Cook County, Illinois in 1958. And I kind of knew at about twelve or thirteen, something was not right. I do have an adopted sister and an adopted brother. And we all have different mannerisms. It just, I don't know. But when I turned eighteen, my father gave me my original adoption papers, which gave me my biological last name, Tomanek.
Fisher: Was this the first you knew for sure that you'd been adopted?
Grant: I mean, I kind of knew, but my parents were very nice. And they let me know that, yes, you are. You are adopted. But they really wouldn't give me the records until I was eighteen years old.
Fisher: And so, you found out your birth name was what?
Grant: My biological last name is Tomanek.
Fisher: Tomanek. And so
Grant: It’s Czechoslovakian.
Fisher: It's an unusual name. Hey, it's not Smith, right!?
Grant: [Laughs] No.
Fisher: [Laughs] And so you wanted to go to work, finding out if you could locate your birth parents.
Grant: Right. I was about, I don't know, my mid twenties, when I really decided to, I don't know, think about it. So, I happened to be in a hotel in Chicago on business. And I looked in a white pages phonebook, which they had back then. They didn't have internet.
Grant: Sure enough, there were four names, Tomanek.
Fisher: And so, what did you do with that?
Grant: I found what I thought was my parent's name in the phonebook. There were only four listings for Tomanek in the phonebook. I called the one that I thought was my parents. And I reached what I thought was my father. A man answered the phone and said, you know, "Hello. How are you?" And I said, "My name is Grant Ringuette." I told him my birth date, and the next thing he said was, "What do you want?"
Fisher: Oh, boy!
Grant: And I said, "I don't want anything." And that's when I knew that he was my father, when he said that.
Fisher: Yeah, that's right. That's kind of a confirmation, isn't it?
Grant: Yeah, kind of.
Fisher: Now, was he married to your mother at this point?
Grant: Yeah, they had been together all their life.
Fisher: And why did they give you up?
Grant: He told me that he spoke German. And you know they had a bad look on people who spoke German.
Fisher: Oh, I see. So, he was having economic troubles at the time.
Grant: Absolutely, yeah.
Fisher: And so, you spent one day with them. And how did that go?
Grant: After I talked to my father, and he hung up on me. Later I called back, and I called back to the same number and it was my mother. And when she heard my voice, she started crying.
Grant: She had been waiting for two weeks, “for you to call me back.”
Fisher: She was afraid maybe she'd lost you again.
Grant: She told me that I should call back again.
Grant: As it turned out, a couple of days went by, but I guess she had talked to my sister, who I didn't even know existed. And my sister called me and said, "Hey, can you come to Chicago? I'd like to meet you. And I'll take you to tomorrow to our parents and we can talk about things." So I went to Chicago. I spent the night with my sister. We talked a lot that night. And then I went and met my parents that next day.
Fisher: And so, how'd that affect you, to meet them?
Grant: Oh, it was a shock! I mean, you know, it kind of filled the hole, but needed to fill it more.
Fisher: It wasn't what you'd hoped, right?
Grant: No, it never is.
Fisher: Yeah. [Laughs]
Grant: Never is. But I'm glad I did it.
Fisher: But there was a bigger shock that you discovered as you got into this.
Grant: Yeah, absolutely. My father told me that he was a POW in the United States.
Fisher: From Germany, during World War II.
Grant: Right. And I didn't think much about it, yeah, okay, whatever. And then, talked to them, found out what I wanted to know. I felt like I filled the hole. We're going to about twenty years later, and I started thinking about it and I wanted to do some research. So, I sent some letters out. I sent one to the National Archives in Berlin. I sent one to the International Red Cross. I got his actual POW number and found out that he was in the Luftwaffe. He had gone to a flight school in Northern Holland in 1943, well, I'd say 1940. And ended up serving in Italy, and then in Tunisia.
Fisher: Wow, that's quite a record!
Fisher: But the Luftwaffe thing, that's problematic, isn't it?
Grant: Yeah, actually it was formed in 1936 by Hermann Göring. So I believe he was a Nazi.
Fisher: So, your birth father was a Nazi?
Grant: I'm ninety percent sure, and I can quote from this: He was in Luftwaffe Jäger Regiment, Dresden. Usually formed from diverse elements, airborne engineer troops, for employment in Tunisia farm district. Following the allied landings in Morocco and Algeria.
Fisher: And so, when did you discover this, Grant?
Grant: I did a lot of research after. There's an Archive in Berlin, called WASt. And their records were limited on my father, but they gave me his regiment and his battalion and his rank and where he was captured. He actually was captured in Tunisia.
Fisher: How did that affect you, to get that news?
Grant: It was a shock. I was overwhelmed.
Fisher: You'd known for twenty some odd years that he'd been in the German military during World War II, as virtually all males had to be at that time. But to…
Grant: Oh yeah. He actually, you know, we had some intimate discussions and he told me that the truck came by his mother's home and pretty much took him away and said, "You're in the German army."
Fisher: So do you feel he was actually a party member or are you just feeling that he kind of was forced into service which was dominated by the party?
Grant: I think the latter. I know that he was in Tunisia. The British cut off their supply lines. He ended up at [Tunisia], which is, he had nowhere to go.
Grant: The Regiment was north, and the British cut off all their supply lines. They had no ammunition, no fuel, so they gave up.
Fisher: What would you say to people who are in your situation? They have that curiosity, that natural desire to know where their blood line came from. And you went through that door. You know, as we say sometimes, “you can't put the toothpaste back in the tube” once you know. Would you rather you'd never found out or has this strengthened your ties with your adoptive family? What's been the affect on your life?
Grant: Oh, no, I'm very happy with what I did. I love history, and this was. You know, I actually got a hold of the International Red Cross who sent me a couple of his POW cards. I have these. I have two assertations of these.
Fisher: And he had filled them out?
Grant: I have his writing here. Yeah, he filled them out. They're from 1943.
Fisher: And you know, I always maintain that the autographs and things like this, they're time capsules from that moment. What an incredible thing to have!
Fisher: And so, all this has kind of been a lovely education for you. Something you just don't get from a school book.
Grant: No, not at all. I did find my paternal grandfather, grandmother, my maternal grandmother and grandfather. I can't find a whole lot more, because I believe the war, there was so much destruction.
Grant: That it was pretty much decimated.
Fisher: A lot of the records lost. Well, Grant, an amazing story. And so appreciate your reaching out to us to share it. I’m delighted with all the success you had in finding him and his records and how it’s kind of filled the hole in your life, and also strengthened your ties with your adoptive family.
Grant: It has. And I'd like to thank my mother, my adoptive mother, who, they didn't have a problem with me finding my natural family. And I can't say enough for her.
Fisher: That's a great story. Thank you so much, Grant.
Grant: You're very welcome.
Fisher: And coming up next, we'll talk preservation with our Preservation Authority, Tom Perry, from TMCPlace.com. What is authoring and why does it matter to you and family history? Tom will explain the whole thing. Coming up for you next, in three minutes on Extreme Genes and ExtremeGenes.com.
Segment 4 Episode 138
Host Scott Fisher with guest Tom Perry
Fisher: And welcome back to America's Family History Show, Extreme Genes and ExtremeGenes.com. Fisher here, the Radio Roots Sleuth, with Tom Perry from TMCPlace.com. And it is preservation time, where we talk about how you preserve your precious heirlooms. And you want to make sure that they last for generations. Welcome back, Tom. Good to see you.
Tom: Awesome to be here.
Fisher: I hate to start with complaints.
Fisher: But I have an email from Port Richey, Florida. Amy is asking, "Tom, you teased us a few weeks ago about the software that's supposed to help us with editing video and home movies and whatever, and you have not spoken of it since. What's happening!?”
Tom: Well, the other episode must have got cancelled or something.
Tom: Must have got sidelined. [Laughs] I apologize for that.
Fisher: Oh, it was awful! I mean you teased us a couple of weeks ago. You gave us all this run down about it, then you wouldn't name it.
Tom: [Laughs] Exactly!
Fisher: So I think it's about time you came out with this, for Amy's sake.
Tom: This software, Amy, is absolutely wonderful. Every single one of my techs, it's become their favorite software. It's called Wondershare Video Converter Ultimate, and its version 8.6.0. And it is absolutely amazing what it does. The arrows in your quiver, so to speak, that it offers to you are incredible. It edits MP3s, M4As, WAVs, M4Rs, AIFs, APEs, doh ra mis, and xyzs!
Tom: [Laughs] It does everything. I mean every kind of audio and video you can imagine, this one does. This is the greatest software I have ever come upon that is so integrated within itself. So many times you get a software for this, a different software for that, a different software for this, to make things work. We have always had the problem over the last year about Cinematize going away.
Tom: This will actually take DVDs and convert them as well.
Fisher: So what are you saying here?
Tom: You don't need to worry about finding Cinematize, finding as old version anymore. It actually does the DVD conversions too. I mean, it's amazing what this does. We have people calling us all the time saying, "Hey, there's a YouTube I need downloaded." or "They put something on our corporate website and I need this video so I can put it on my iPhone." And people call us and we try to do it for them. This software will do it. So you can do it yourself.
Fisher: That's incredible! And how much is it?
Tom: It's about fifty bucks. It's pretty inexpensive.
Tom: And as long as you have the right OS that will work with this, you're fine. And most of the newer Mac and Windows will work, you know, seamlessly with this program. We have some computers, some of our Macs that are still on Snow Leopard, which is like, you know, years ago. However, we have to use it, because some software that has been discontinued, will only work on Snow Leopard. So we called the guy and said, "Oh, you really should have, you know, the next one up." And he actually gave us some workarounds that we were able to make it, work it on our Snow Leopard computers, as well as our, you know big ones that have all the new current stuff on them. So, basically it will work on our Snow Leopard, which is the old one, and then the new ones that are coming up right now, it will work on them as well, so it’s great. And it’s nice to have a place where you can call the people or email them and they get back to you really, really fast. And this isn't some small new software that only a few people are using, they have already had over 23,000 downloads of this software.
Tom: So, you know, people are loving it. It's got over four star ratings. It's just absolutely incredible. Now, some of the neatest things that you can do with this is like I mentioned, you can download video from online sites. So if there's something you need. If you're teaching a class and you want to show a video in your class to show, to show you something off of YouTube or whatever. And you have a closed system where you can't, you know get on the internet, because of viruses. You can actually download this, put it on a disk and play it in your class, or you can put it on your laptop or whatever, to hook up to your LCD projectors. It makes it really, really convenient. And the neat thing, if you want to do just the opposite, you can have a video that you create and you can actually steam with this software any way you want. On the internet, you can stream it to your own pages; you can stream it to YouTube, anything you want to do. One thing that's really, really cool about this software, which is very, very rare, most softwares, when you buy them, you do your editing, but you can't DVD authoring. You can do DVD authoring with this also. And after the break, we'll go into a little bit more detail about DVD authoring.
Fisher: All right, sounds good, a little education going here; coming up in three minutes on Extreme Genes, America's Family History Show.
Segment 5 Episode 138
Host Scott Fisher with guest Tom Perry
Fisher: And we are back for our final segment of Extreme Genes for this week, America's Family History Show and ExtremeGenes.com. Fisher here, the Radio Roots Sleuth; that's Tom Perry from TMCPlace.com, he is our Preservation Authority. And Tom, we were just talking about this incredible video editing software that's available so inexpensively now, that you've been reviewing. And you talked about authoring. Now, for the unindoctrinated talk about what authoring is.
Tom: You know, authoring is really, really important. In fact, most people that are even into editing, and a lot don't understand authoring, and it’s a very, very important feature. No matter what software you want to use, you want to make sure it has good authoring, because if you go in and make these wonderful edits and you did this beautiful presentation that runs on your computer. Now what do you do? How do you get it out to people? Yeah, you can always do MP4s, you can do streaming, you can do these different things. But some people, you know, like Aunt Martha, all she has is a DVD player. And, you know, she just barely upgraded from her VHS a few years ago.
Tom: So you need to send her a disk. So that's what authoring does. You go and take this content that you have and you put it on a disk that the computer will understand. So, what you do with DVD authoring, you go in and say, “Okay, here's my content. Here's the most important part that I've got.” Now I want to put in an opening title that when they first pop the disk in, it will come and say, you know, “Smith Family Films” or “Smith’s trip to Europe” or whatever you want it to say. But then your DVD might be two hours long. And most people don't want to sit down and watch, you know, two hours of something. They might say, "Oh, yeah I remember, you know, when we were in Venice. I want to go and look at that part again." So, what you do is, you put these little buttons, just like on any kind of DVD that you'd buy that's a professional movie. You can go to different scene selections. It's the same thing, but you can say, "Okay, here's when we were in Florence. Here's when we were in Italy."
Fisher: It's a table of contents.
Tom: Exactly! That's the best way. It's like opening up a book, a cookbook, and you don't read a cookbook from front to back. If you're making a cake, you go to the cake section. So that's exactly what this is. You want to check out the European trips, so go down and click on where it says Europe. And then there could be another drop down menu that says Venice and Switzerland and Italy and all these kind of things. So it tells you where to go. So that makes it really, really nice. And with this kind, you can also go in and add music when you're doing your DVD authoring. You can go in and add narration, whatever you want to do. So, basically what you are creating, you're creating the brain that runs your program. Like we have people all the time, they have Macs, and I'm a Mac guy as everybody knows, and they go in and create something in iMovie. They burn it to a disk and say, "Hey, I made this really cool thing in iMovie and it plays great on my computer. I burn it to a disk and I pop it any other computer or into my DVD player and it says bad disk." That's because it’s not an unruly disk like your bad dog, it means the disk can't be read. It doesn't know what to do with it.
Tom: So, what you do, if you're a Mac guy, you create an iMovie, then you export it into iDVD. And iDVD is where you do your authoring. A lot of people don't understand how the, you know, the two are related.
Fisher: So how do people master this?
Tom: It's not really that hard. If you go into Wondershare, it will kind of give you step by step ways to do these things go in and author them. There's a lot of YouTube videos that you can go and download that will give you instructions of how to do basic DVD authoring, because it's pretty much same across the platform. If you're trying to learn French, there's a lot of different ways you can learn French, but the basics are always going to be the same. Wondershare Video Converter Ultimate is 8.6.0, and it's great! It's got four stars. It allows you to download the software itself, then you can edit you MP3s, your MP4s, wave files, AIFFs, like we talked about, doh ram is, xyzs, it will do anything. It will let you stream stuff to YouTube. It lets you stream stuff to your own website, and most importantly, it has built in DVD authoring features.
Fisher: All right. That is great advice, Tom. And it's exciting news! Thanks for coming on.
Tom: You bet! Great to be here!
Fisher: Hey, that wraps up our show for this week. Thanks once again to Katy Barnes from LegacyTree.com, for coming on and talking about land and court records. Where to find them, what you're going to find in them? And that great story from the south back in the 1820s. Also to Grant Ringuette, for sharing with us the story of how he found his birth father and the incredible military story that went with him. If you missed any of it, catch the podcast. And of course, the shows are now searchable too! Thanks for listening. Talk to you next week. And remember, as far as everyone knows, we're a nice, normal family!