Episode 152 - Little Known UK Courting & Marriage Traditions / Finding the Family of An Adoptee's Murdered Birth Mother

podcast episode Aug 15, 2016

Host Scott Fisher opens the show with David Allen Lambert, Chief Genealogist of the New England Historic Genealogical Society and AmericanAncestors.com.  Fisher and David discuss the problem with the Australian census currently being taken, in part, on line. Listen to the segment to hear the issue that may plague the United States' next census in 2020. David then reveals that New York City is hoping you will soon better appreciate their historic figure statues by making them talk! How? Listen to the segment. Then the guys will tell you how your communications may find their way into the Library of Congress. (You won't believe this project!) David then shares another terrific tip and free guest user database from NEHGS.

Next, Fisher visits with Craig Foster from FamilySearch.org. Craig shares some of the United Kingdom's fascinating courting and marriage customs from the 17th and 18th centuries and how and why they started and ended.  Some of them came here to the United States. You'll want to hear this!

Kate Eakman of LegacyTree.com then returns to the show, sharing with Fisher the story of how she was able to identify several generations of the family of an adopted man's birth mother, who had been murdered years ago in Texas. The story is fascinating but the process should give you some ideas for your own research.

Tom Perry, the Preservation Authority from TMCPlace.com, then joins Fisher to reveal his full endorsement of a new product for editing your family videos. In the past Tom has lamented the demise of Cinematize which in its day had no equal. But according to Tom, this new product sends Cinematize back to the stone age! Listen to find out what it is, and how inexpensively you can obtain it.

That's all this week on Extreme Genes, America's Family History Show!

Transcript of Episode 152

Host: Scott Fisher with guest David Allen Lambert

Segment 1 Episode 152

Fisher: And you have found us, America’s Family History Show Extreme Genes and ExtremeGenes.com. It is Fisher here, your Radio Roots Sleuth, on the program where we shake your family tree and watch the nuts fall out. And welcome to the show this week. This segment is brought to you by LegacyTree.com and our guests today are going to include a couple of people with very different types of stories. First of all, Craig Foster is going to be here. He’s with FamilySearch.org and he’s got a great story for you, actually several little things for you to understand about customs in courting and marriage. One of these customs [laughs] is something I’ve never heard of before, and you are going to be amazed by it. That’s coming up, starting in about 8 minutes or so.

Later in the show we are going to talk to Kate Eakman from LegacyTree.com and she’s been working with a client on finding the lineage of his birth mother who was murdered many years ago… interesting tale. How did she find the links? It’s an interesting journey that you’re going to learn a lot from. So that’s later on. Hope you’re there for that. And just a reminder by the way, you can sign up for The Weekly Genie, our brand new shiny newsletter from Extreme Genes. The Weekly Genie is available through our Facebook page, and you can sign up also at ExtremeGenes.com. It is absolutely free, and when you do sign up, you’ll get the Top Ten Tips for beginning genealogist from my good friend David Allen Lambert, the Chief Genealogist for the New England Historic Genealogical Society, who just happens to be with us right now. Hello David, how are you?

David: Hey I’m doing great in Beantown. How about yourself, Fish?

Fisher: Awesome! Had an interesting experience this week, got an e-mail from a distant cousin who received an email from someone else, who had gone up into his late grandmother’s attic and recovered some real old family documents. Among them was a letter from 1815 from one of his relatives that tied into the family of us, and it referenced my fifth great grandfather not being in good health and he was gone within a year. But there was a lot of great content in it. So it was a lot of fun to see that.

David: Well that sounds like you found some family treasure recently then!

Fisher: Yes! Love it!

David: Excellent. Well, for Family Histoire News I have a very interesting story from the land down under. You know, with technology now a lot of the things that we do are online not through paper. And of course census is one of those things that’s been considered by the Federal government to do a lot of online registration. Well Australia is already doing it, problem though, hackers. They have now crashed the site four times, something offshore, they don’t know where they’re coming from but they’re definitely in Australia.

Fisher: But why? That’s the question. Why? I mean it’s so childish.

David: Maybe it’s someone who wants to change grandma’s age.

Fisher: [Laughs]

David: I mean, maybe its data mining or identity theft issues. So it really does put a little air of caution into the wind about what the United States and other countries might do if they’re going to do something like this online. Of course, you can follow Extreme Genes on Twitter @ExtremeGenes and you can follow me @DLGenealogist. All of these tweets that we’re both doing are now being saved by the Library of Congress. We’re part of a Library of Congress, Fish, so I thought.

Fisher: [Laughs] Because we tweeted?

David: Yes, exactly! So if you make a tweet and you’re really not happy about somebody, remember it’s being preserved for posterity, so we thought.

Fisher: [Laughs]

David: However, there are millions upon millions of tweets received everyday and now the Library of Congress is contemplating if they really could keep this data and preserve it.

Fisher: Well, as a taxpayer, David, let me just say, I hope not! Why do they need to create space in the Library of Congress for all these little quick tweets? Who cares?!

David: [Sighs] I know, I know. But apparently it’s one way to leave a record of the 21st century.

Fisher: Keep it online, that’s all.

David: Exactly. Something more permanent than Twitter are statues.

Fisher: Yep.

David: Now we take for granted when we walk through parks and what not, and we see a statue, occasionally stop and read them, maybe do a selfie with the statue, but now you can do so much more. There is an effort going forward called “Talking Statues” and this is going to go forth in New York. This already started in Copenhagen, Denmark in 2013. They apply a QR code to a sign or a statue, that’s that little digital black and white image which you scan with your phone, and now the statue will talk, or someone will narrate a little bit of a history or blurb about the person or maybe you’ll even hear a quote from the person, bringing the statue to life. I think it’s fascinating!

Fisher: No I think it’s great, and of course they’re doing that with graves already. You can get a QR code for your ancestors and put it on tombstones around the country.

David: My only concern about the gravestone QR code is that if people are buying them and putting them on stones and they don’t really know the story. Are we opening up the idea of genealogical erroneous material going out there permanently and then secured to a gravestone.

Fisher: Boy! How do you regulate that? I don’t know.

David: I don’t know. That’s one for other people to figure out greater than you and I, sir.

Fisher: Umm hmm.

David: Now, the weeks are approaching to go to the FGS conference in Springfield Illinois. I will be there August 31st – September 3rd. Giving a couple of lectures, but I’d people to swing by the New England Historic Genealogical Society booth and ask about Extreme Genes. And I can tell them; maybe if you have an interesting ancestor, some of a scoundrel you want to share, we would be delighted to talk to you.

Fisher: [Laughs] We do loves scoundrels, don’t we? They leave a lot more records.

David: They really do. And I’m finding a lot more about my scoundrels on my Facebook account, tracking down first, second, and third cousins. And I’m finding family members that haven’t talked to in over 80-90 years. And their generations blending back families that have been torn apart, they don’t even remember what they were fighting about which is scary thing.

Fisher: Yes. [Laughs]

David: My tip for the week is going to be using pension files a little different way. I want you to make a second copy of the pages that you’ve made from the archives or on an online site for Revolutionary War through Civil War. Take those pension files and put them in chronological order with your second copy. It will essentially give you a diary and a life story of the veteran after the war.

Fisher: That’s a great idea!

David: I find it’s an easier way to understand the whole process of what they’re doing in the pension too. Our NEHGS free guest user database for this week includes vital records for Dutchess County, New York, Jamaica, Vermont, and eastern Massachusetts, from the 18th century to the 19th century. Try them by becoming a free guest user on AmericanAncestors.org. Well, that’s all I have this week. I’ll be delighted to share more Family Histoire News next with you, Fish. Take care.

Fisher: All right. Always good to talk with you David thanks so much! And coming up next in three minutes we’re going to talk to Craig Foster. He’s going to tell you about customs from the U.K. concerning courting and marriage that actually came across here to North America, and you’re not going to believe some of these customs, that’s next on Extreme Genes!

Segment 2 Episode 152

Host: Scott Fisher with guest Craig Foster

Fisher: Welcome back to America’s Family History Show, Extreme Genes and ExtremeGenes.com. It is Fisher here, your Radio Roots Sleuth, and this segment is being brought to you by 23andMe.com DNA. And, this is very interesting. I went to a recent conference on family history at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. And, there are all kinds of great classes that are shared there, and one of them was taught by this man who’s on the phone with me right now, Craig Foster. He works over at FamilySearch.org in fact, one of our sponsors, and Craig, nice to have you on the show! And, you did a fabulous presentation on weddings and particularly from the British Isles, and some of the customs that were over there that might help us understand our ancestors a little better. And some of those customs that were actually brought over to the United States. I would imagine New England and probably Virginia in the south, yes?

Craig: Yes, thanks for having me on. Yes, there were various customs, both courting and marriage customs, that were in the British Isles and then obviously since so many British people immigrated to New England, Virginia, all along the eastern seaboard - they brought these customs with them, which would be expected, and sometimes the customs, while they eventually died out in England and Scotland and that they continued at least for a while longer over here in America.

Fisher: Interesting. And these don’t necessarily show up in records, right?

Craig: For the most part, no. Although you will find references sometimes, you know, in diaries, or even some local histories where they’ll talk about it to a degree, but not a great degree. So it’s a hint here and a hint there, and it’s a matter of piecing it all together.

Fisher: Sure. Now, one of those things that we’re going to talk about as far as courting goes was the consideration of what betrothal meant. Now, I think most of us today think of betrothal as being, like, engaged, right?

Craig: Right.

Fisher: But it was not that way in the 18th century.

Craig: No, absolutely not. It was considered much more binding. In fact, that’s why when a couple were betrothed, they were supposed to do it in a public setting, in front of a priest or minister of some type, and in front of male representatives from both sides of the family. And the reason why is because they allowed a degree of intimacy that was not allowed, or we would not expect to be allowed nowadays. And that is, they allowed right up to full sexual intercourse. In fact, that’s why we always tell people if you’re looking for a marriage because a child was born a certain date and you know that was the first child, then you’d better look right up to a week or so before the child was born, for the marriage to take place, because of this allowing this degree of intimacy.

Fisher: I actually found a record like that just a week or so ago, on a relative not a direct, but somebody who’d been married ten days before, and then the baby was born.

Craig: Right.

Fisher: But I don’t know if it had to do with this or not.

Craig: As long as the couple was married, that child was considered legitimate.

Fisher: Ah. Well, tell us some more of these things. This is kind of interesting stuff. What is this thing, “bundling”? Tell me about that.

Craig: Okay, so bundling was done mostly in pre-industrial Revolution times, and it took place mostly in the north of England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland. Not so much in England, particularly down in the middle and the south part of England. And this was done mostly with the agrarian, or “working class.” Where, they would work all day, they didn’t have time to really do much courting, except at night. And, so they would come and the parents and family would bundle them into the bed. Usually it was the guy going to the girl’s place. And they would bundle them together in the bed. They would put the covers over them, and then they would put a rolled up blanket between them, or a board, or something like that. Sometimes they’d even put the girl into a very large stocking type thing and tie it.

Fisher: [Laughs] Really?

Craig: With the idea that they could talk with each other. They would talk until they just fell asleep. But there wouldn’t be any intimacy, because this was still in the courting.

Fisher: Yeah, this was dating. This was dating, and we’re talking 18th century here, yes?

Craig: This was 18th century dating, among the more, you know, the agrarian class, and this was brought over to New England and was done in New England until actually long past when it was given up in Scotland and other parts of the British Isles. And ironically, some British publications even kind of looked down on the New Englanders, commenting that they still practiced something like that. Yet, that’s where they got it from, was from their original homeland.

Fisher: So what made them actually end bundling in the British Isles?

Craig: Well, it grew out of style for a couple of reason. One, particularly with the industrial revolution came better methods of heating, and so they didn’t have to bundle up into bed. They were able to heat the house.

Fisher: Ah.

Craig: You know, less expensively and for longer, plus there was a change in courting and all of that, particularly after what historians like Lawrence Foster and Peter Laslett referred to as the “first sexual revolution.” You know, everyone talks about the ‘60s being the sexual revolution, but they argue that the first sexual revolution actually took place in the 1770s, ‘80s. It started a little bit earlier in some places, but particularly 1770s and ‘80s. And they looked on it all in a different way, and they decided that bundling was just a little too risky, and that it encouraged illegitimacy a little too much. And, so that went and it was in reaction to this first sexual revolution.

Fisher: I’m talking to Craig Foster. He’s with FamilySearch.org, and we’re talking about some of the unusual customs in courting and marriage in the British Isles. Now let’s jump over to the marriage side of things here, Craig. And, you were mentioning to me off-air before we went on that there are a lot of records that just don’t show up, and this is really important for people to understand if they’re searching for ancestors in that part of the world.

Craig: That’s right, absolutely. And there are several reasons why the records wouldn’t show up. You know, usually when we’re doing research, we go to the parish where the bride was from or perhaps where the groom was from.

Fisher: Right.

Craig: And if we don’t find the marriage in the record right away, we decide “okay, they either were non-conformists, or they got married in a parish right nearby.” So we do the usual radius search, and of course we try to get access to non-conformists’ records, but you have to keep in mind that with marriage they had to get married in the Church of England. And, you know, up until 1837.

Fisher: Right.

Craig: So we sit there and we go, “Well, okay, I really don’t understand it unless they were Quakers or something like that.”

Fisher: Yeah.

Craig: But what happened was, there were some places where the marriages were performed, and so let me tell you really quickly, for example, “Fleet marriages.” There was a part of London that was within the sound or within the environs of the Fleet Prison, and these irregular and clandestine marriages took place in this area of London. And there were a couple of areas right around the same area all together where people would go, they would get married, and then the marriages weren’t recorded or they were put into another book. There would be a couple of books that would be available, or they would change the names. And so these were quick and irregular marriages that were technically… they were barely legal, if that and they were certainly not canonical. You know, in other words, the church really looked down on this.

Fisher: Sure.

Craig: There were also places out in the country. Some of these parishes where they were known as lawless churches, and they would be kind of the poor churches out there where the minister was happy to do anything in order to get a little bit of money, because they were barely making it, you know, economically. And so they would go to these churches and sometimes they were at least a number of parishes away, or even over into another county. And then of course after the laws were changed in the early 1750s, then of course you had the Marriage Act of 1753 changed it. People would go up to Gretna Green which lies across the Scottish border, because the Scottish laws were a little more lenient. And so couples wanting to get married and didn’t have permission from their parents, would rush up to Gretna Green for a quick marriage.

Fisher: [Laughs] Wow. Well, that sounds like another place we have to start looking. That isn’t the best news that I’ve heard here, Craig, because I think most of us hope that at some point something’s going to show up on a website somewhere, and you’re saying “maybe not,” in many cases.

Craig: [Laughs] I’m saying maybe not. Because there were thousands of marriages that took place each year in the area of the Fleet Prison, and a good portion of those marriages were never recorded. That’s just one example. So, sometimes you just may not be able to find your ancestor’s marriage, because of a reason like that.

Fisher: I don’t like hearing things like that. But Craig, I enjoyed it very much. Especially the thing about bundling, that’s absolutely insane! [Laughs]

Craig: Yeah, it really was kind of crazy.

Fisher: I’ve learned something today. Thanks for coming on. Appreciate it and hope to talk to you again.

Craig: Look forward to it.

Fisher: And coming up next, we’re going to talk to a professional genealogist, Kate Eakman, from Portland, Oregon. She’s with LegacyTree.com. Talking about a client whose birth mother was murdered, and what she did to track down her family. We’ll tell you about that in five minutes, on Extreme Genes!

Segment 3 Episode 152

Host: Scott Fisher with guest Kate Eakman

Fisher: Hey, you have found us, America's Family History Show, Extreme Genes and ExtremeGenes.com. My name is Fisher, and I'm always excited to help you understand ways that people research their ancestors and get you some great stories in the middle of it as well. And we talk about the fundamental of taking what you know and taking that to what you don't know. And my next guest is Kate Eakman. She's with LegacyTree.com. She's based in Portland, Oregon. Hi, Kate, how are you?

Kate: Hi, doing just great, thank you.

Fisher: And you've recently solved a case for a guy who had a very unique story because he was adopted, because his mother was murdered.

Kate: That's right. This gentleman, an older gentleman knew only the name of his mother who as you said after she was murdered, he was adopted by somebody else. And he had very little information and he came to us and said, "Can you please help me find out some more about my biological family?"

Fisher: And off you went. And what information did you have to start with?

Kate: We had very little information. We knew his mother's name as Bonnie Hicks. And we were told that she was born in Ohio and had been murdered in Texas and that she had a sister named Janet. And that's all we had.

Fisher: Well this is why sometimes we go to professionals. [Laughs] That's very little to go on.

Kate: [Laughs]

Fisher: But I do know that the real good ones can take the fuzz on a cat's tail and pull in the whole cat at some points. So, fill us in on where you went with this.

Kate: Well, because all this happened after 1940, we didn't even have a census to start with.

Fisher: Hmm.

Kate: Bonnie was born after 1940. Her murder, of course, happened after that. So we started out with a name. And he thought that she was born in Ohio. So we ordered the Ohio birth certificate. And while we were waiting for it, we checked out the Texas death certificate, which was no help at all. The Texas death certificate had "unknown" for the names of her parents. So that didn't help us in the least.

Fisher: Boy! That's unusual, isn't it?

Kate: Well, I suspect that when she died, maybe all she had on her was a piece of ID, like a driver's license or something, and that's all that the coroner or whoever completed the death certificate had for providing information. Because they had a date of birth, but they didn't have, you know parents' names.

Fisher: So you ordered the birth certificate, and what happened?

Kate: The state of Ohio said that "We don't have any record of this woman being born in this state." They checked for her name, they checked for the date, nothing matched up. So we were kind of stuck. We had no idea who Bonnie's parents were.

Fisher: Right. And so where did you go from there?

Kate: Well, we found some newspaper articles about her death they didn't have any more information either. And so finally, we did the old standby, I did a Google search.

Fisher: Oh! You're kidding me!

Kate: Yeah, Googled the name. [Laughs]

Fisher: Yeah. People ought to know there's this little known site called “Google.” And if you go on there, you can find lots and lots of things!

Kate: Well, it was a wonderful tool, because we had no idea where to look for her. So find you say, "I don't know where else we're going to find her, but there must be her name someplace out there in the world." And it was! We found an obituary for a man named Oswald Hicks and it mentioned he had a daughter named Janet and a daughter named Bonnie Hicks who had predeceased him.

Fisher: Now was this in Ohio?

Kate: No, this was in Indiana.

Fisher: Okay, so they had moved, or the family had at that point, or you had bad information, right?

Kate: Right. And that we eventually learned, and I'm not going to ruin the story, the client had been misinformed about that the fact that Bonnie was from Ohio.

Fisher: Okay.

Kate: But we learned from this that Bonnie's father was named Oswald Hicks, but we still didn't have her mother's name. So we did a search in the newspapers and we found a newspaper notice that grants the divorce to Oswald Hicks from his wife Betty and gave him custody of two daughters.

Fisher: Wow! So now you've got at least the full name of the father and the first name of the mother from a divorce record.

Kate: Exactly. It was one of those tiny little notices that you find in newspapers that just says, "Divorce granted to Oswald Hicks from Betty Hicks, custody of two daughters to Oswald."

Fisher: And isn't it great! I mean we take so for granted right now digitized newspapers, because they're just so much part of the fabric of family history research. And yet, they've only been around for six or seven years.

Kate: That's right. And otherwise your option is to either personally go to a local library or historical society or contact somebody there, some nice person at the library who's willing to do the looking for you.

Fisher: Yeah, that's often the case. I've often called different local county libraries and talked to people about what they may have available. And often, if you charm them, they're more than happy to go take a peek, see what they can find and maybe even scan and send that back to you in an email and you can have that information same day.

Kate: Exactly.

Fisher: So you had Oswald and you had Betty. Now you're trying to find her maiden name and who she was. Where did this case go from there?

Kate: Another Google search.

Fisher: [Laughs]

Kate: Google had been my friend so far, so I thought, I'm not going to leave it. I searched for "Betty" and I also included the name of their other daughter, Janet. And that brought me an obituary for Janet's son. And it mentioned that he had a maternal grandmother named Betty Kline.

Fisher: Aha! But the question was, you didn't know whether that was her married name or her maiden name, right?

Kate: Exactly! Did she revert back to her maiden name after the divorce or had she remarried? So, have to go looking again for some more records. And the Social Security Death Index, we found Betty Kline who died in Michigan. Wrong state, we're now out of Indiana, we're in Michigan. But it gave us a date of birth and a date of death which would allow me to continue doing some more searching. And so I searched the Michigan marriage index for Betty Hicks marrying Mr. Kline, but I got nothing. There was no Betty Hicks marrying anybody.

Fisher: Okay. So what did you do then?

Kate: So I reversed the search. I said, well, let's try looking for Mr. Kline marrying Betty anybody. [Laughs]

Fisher: [Laughs] Right.

Kate: See if we can find something there.

Fisher: Exactly! That's how you do it!

Kate: So, we all know that names can be messed up, things can be misread when you're looking at an online index. And I was hoping that was the case. So I searched for Mr. Kline marrying Betty any last name.

Fisher: Right.

Kate: And I found a record of a Mr. Kline marrying a woman named Betty Brown Ricks.

Fisher: Ricks, not Hicks, which told you right away that there's an error here.

Kate: Exactly! And you can imagine that, just think of how a capital, you know, letter R, letter H, it can look sloppy to anybody or printed it. So now I've got a potential maiden name, Brown, I've got her second married name, Kline, but there's still nothing to verify that that is the woman who was the mother of Bonnie. So I looked through, found some marriage notices about her marriage to Mr. Kline and used that information to track her marriage through and discover Betty living with her mother and her biological father, Mr. Brown in Indiana. Apparently what happened is, Betty married Mr. Hicks, they divorced, and she remarried Mr. Kline. And I found Betty's birth certificate as well, which proved who her father was. So by using census records, the 1930, 1940 census and Betty's marriage record and her birth certificate, I was able to prove that this was the woman who was the mother of Bonnie, my client's biological mother.

Fisher: … who was murdered in Texas, unbelievable!

Kate: Who was murdered in Texas.

Fisher: What was his reaction to that?

Kate: He was thrilled, because all he had was a really horribly say story. A mother murdered and nobody knew anything else about her. And he went from just a poor murdered mother to an entire family. We went all the way back to his great grandparents we had found in the process, and suddenly he had a huge family on his mother's side that he never knew anything about.

Fisher: Great example of how the process works in pretty much any case, but this one was pretty dramatic. Thank you so much, Kate. Great to have you back again and look forward to talking to you again in the future.

Kate: Thank you so much, Scott!

Fisher: And coming up next, we're going to be talking preservation with Tom Perry from TMCPlace.com, our Preservation Authority. You know, we've been talking the last couple of years about Cinematize and what a great program it is. Well, that was until it went away. Well a new program has come along to help you with the digitization of your old videos and home movies. You're going to want to hear what it is and how it works. We'll tell you about it in three minutes on Extreme Genes.

Segment 4 Episode 152

Host: Scott Fisher with guest Tom Perry

Fisher: And welcome back to Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show and ExtremeGenes.com. It is Preservation Time with our good friend Tom Perry from TMCPlace.com. It is Fisher here, your Radio Roots Sleuth and Tom, for the longest time we were talking about Cinematize in the early years of the show.

Tom: Oh, yeah.

Fisher: Because that was the thing for editing home videos. And then it disappeared. It was kind of taken off the market, at least as far as being made available for people to work at home on it. And we were really struggling to find something that might replace it, but you did find that.

Tom: Oh absolutely. I mean I was devastated. I wanted to try and see if I could get the rights for it because if this went away it was going to hurt a lot of people trying to convert DVDs to AVIs and MOVs. But this new program which you mentioned before called “Wondershare.”

Fisher: Yes.

Tom: Oh it’s like Cinematize on steroids.

Fisher: [Laughs]

Tom: It’s like Wondershare was an entire book, while Cinematize is one chapter.

Fisher: Well, and I got Wondershare because I took a whole bunch of home videos down to you and wound up with over a hundred DVDs of these things. And I got to edit them, because they’re too long. There’s a lot of trash in these things. So I got the basic Wondershare and even that has so many bells and whistles. I’m having a great time with it.

Tom: Oh it is. It’s amazing. And the main thing about this, it must be a young company because you call them, you email them and they get right back to you. You give them suggestions, they do stuff. So you give them ideas and they make things wonderful for you. As we’ve done lots of shows over the last few months across the country doing family history and symposiums and different things. And clients are always coming up and saying, “Hey, you know, we’d love to be able to do this. We’d love to be able to that.” And one of the biggest things I’ve heard a lot about, is now these new iPhones, Androids shoot such an incredible video.

Fisher: Boy, don’t they! [Laughs]

Tom: Oh it’s amazing! However, the operators still aren’t trained very well.

Fisher: Right. Because everybody wants to do this thing portrait style instead of landscape.

Tom: Exactly. That’s one of the biggest problems. And then they go, “Oh I can’t watch it on my TV!” Or “I shot something sideways, what do I do?” Well, because of some suggestions, our tecs made, Wondershare now has a module where you can rotate it 360 degrees, and you can also mirror it. So for some reason you shot something in the mirror and everything is backwards, you can actually take that and make it right again.

Fisher: Wow! That’s weird.

Tom: Yeah. I mean, it’s amazing. If you scan something in portrait mode like you just mentioned, you can transfer it to landscape or vice versa. So what I suggest people do is, they get this Wondershare, they can go in to make DVDs, MP4s, and they can even take some DVDs for instance that we made for them, and they can put family pictures, family movies right on their iPhones. So instead of open up your bill folder and all these pictures of your family, you go to a file on your phone and you actually show them the stuff on your iPod or whatever.

Fisher: Wow, from way back?

Tom: Oh yeah. There’s even some functions on there that I’m going, “What the heck is this?”

Fisher: [Laughs]

Tom: That’s why I had to go check out what these guys have done. But it’s amazing. And the opportunity it gives you is great. So what I suggest, if you have some real bad video that you need to change first, go in to Wondershare, rotate it, do whatever you need in there. And then when you want to go in and fix your colors, it’s great to go to Da Vinci, which we’ve talked about before, and if you get their baby module it’s free. It’s totally free to use.

Fisher: Right.

Tom: In fact I believe you even used it.

Fisher: Yeah I did briefly. You know the problem is, is that we have so many DVDs right now we’re just trying to figure out what’s on those. It’s going to be an early stage for a long, long time. Unless I find something I really need to do something with right away.

Tom: Exactly. And that’s perfect. We tell people “just do it in order” You don’t have to take one disc and go all the way through the end unless it’s something very important. And one thing I really suggest when you’re doing old film, a lot of people now want to do their own editing so all they want is the MP4s or AVIs or MOVs. I suggest you also get a DVD and a BluRay. Even though it might be out of order because none of your films are labeled properly, it’s going to take a while till you get it done, but these people are going to want to see their stuff now. And you’ve got older relatives that might not be around when you’ve done editing it. So coming up in the next segment we’ll go in to it a little bit more whistles and bells and Wondershare and how to prep some of your products before you even bring it in to us or whoever is going to do your transfers for you.

Fisher: All right, sounds great. This segment brought to you by Forever.com. We’ll get to that in three minutes on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show.  

Segment 5 Episode 152

Host: Scott Fisher with guest Tom Perry

Fisher: We are back, final segment of Extreme Genes, America's Family History Show for this week, talking preservation with TMCPlace.com, Tom Perry. It is Fisher here. And we've been talking about Wondershare, and this is the software that's kind of come along that replaced Cinematize as the best video editor that you can kind of fine out there. And, Tom, I'm very excited about the features in this thing, and it's also reasonably priced. And we should mention, by the way, we have no connection to Wondershare. We're just here to share products with you that we're excited about, and this certainly is one.

Tom: Oh, absolutely. It's just like you mentioned, Cinematize. When we find a product that really does what it's supposed to do and it's a decent price, you know, we want to run with it. And Wondershare is like, you know, it's a Wonder [laughs] it's so fabulous.

Fisher: [Laughs] Yes.

Tom: It's just amazing how many people come up to us and show us and say oh I've got this stuff and you know, my stupid kid took my mini DV camcorder and set it on the table sideways to, you know...

Fisher: Sure.

Tom: Do an interview or something like that. Not realizing that's not like a photograph that you can physically you know, move it and look at it different ways.

Fisher: [Laughs]

Tom: And so in the "old days" like, three months ago, we told her, "Well, all you can do is, you know, run it on your television, set another camera sideways and shoot it, and now that will be correct. Because it took your sideways thing, shot it sideways and now its right." Forget all that stuff. Drop it into Wondershare, it gives you the rotation things like we mentioned. And the neat thing about it too is once your product's done, it allows you to convert it to be able to be used on your Android or your OS device, with your iPhones, iPads, there's so many different ways you can do different things with it. You'll go through that and it'll just blow your mind.

Fisher: So go through some of the features that you've run across.

Tom: Okay. Some of the features that you can run across besides you take the photo and you can rotate it, you can do basic things too, like if you have some old film that you shot and it was indoors, really, really dark, it will allow you to change the luminance in it, so it makes it brighter and it becomes grainy, but that's the way it is.

Fisher: But that's the way everything is, right?

Tom: Exactly. Like I've got some old stuff that my dad shot of, you know, me on my birthday party getting things ready to take out to my guests, and I mean, you couldn't see anything. I could see it looks like a ghost, kinda. I was dressed as Casper, because it's an October thing.

Fisher: [Laughs]

Tom: But it wasn't that kind of a ghost. And I just took it and just really blew up the luminance on it, and I can see it's me, I can see what's going on. It's real grainy, but who cares?

Fisher: I had this video of my kids with Muhammad Ali.

Tom: Oh wow!

Fisher: And they were doing “Float like a Butterfly” for him and he loved it and he called them over and gave them each a kiss. And Eric was, I want to say, three, and Allison, our oldest, was about five at the time. And so this is incredible, but it's very dark in the room, and so we did the same thing but it looks much better. We got, you know, somewhere in between where it gets grainy, but it still looks better, you know?

Tom: Exactly.

Fisher: Just short of that.

Tom: Right. And that's what you have to do. You have to look at what your end point is. Is the most important thing to make this look, you know, nice and beautiful and feel good, you know, that's what you want Da Vinci for. If you want to be able to get in it so you can see who the people are, that you don't care that it's grainy, you want to see oh, there's grandma over there on the couch. This is, you know, great, great, great grandma so and so over here, that there's no other photos of her. It makes it really nice. We could talk on this for a solid week with one hour shows and we wouldn't even scratch the surface of Wondershare.

Fisher: [Laughs]

Tom: But just like everything else, if you're going to be able to need to do different things you need different software. Wondershare, basically, it's most important thing is converting things, converting it from MP4s to AVIs, or AVIs to MP4s. Or if you have a whole bunch of DVDs that have been done, you'll turn them into AVIs, MOVs or MP4s so now you can edit them.

Fisher: We've finally found what we were looking for.

Tom: We did.

Fisher: All right. Great stuff, Tom, thanks for coming on. We'll see you again next week.

Tom: See you then.

Fisher: This segment has been brought to you by MyHeritage.com and our friends at RootsMagic.com. Thanks so much for joining us today. That wraps up our show. And thanks again to Craig Foster for coming on from FamilySearch.org and talking about some very strange customs in courting and marriage in the UK back in the 18th century, customs that actually came to the United States. Also to Kate Eakman from our friends at LegacyTree.com, talking about tracking down an adoptee's murdered birth mother's lineage, an incredible story. If you've missed any of it, catch the podcast on iTunes, on iHeart Radio's talk channel and ExtremeGenes.com. Talk to you next week and remember, as far as everyone knows, we're a nice, normal family!

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