Episode 166 - DNA: War Father’s Son Discovers His Half-Sister / Quakers Leave Long Record Trail

podcast episode Nov 21, 2016

Fisher opens the show with David Allen Lambert, Chief Genealogist of the New England Historic Genealogical Society and AmericanAncestors.org.  The guys talk about Virginia’s ongoing challenge to Massachusetts’ claim of having the first Thanksgiving. What’s it about? Fisher and David will explain. David also talks about how President-elect Trump may be able to purchase a “white house” significant to his family’s history. Then, hear about a pair of twins whose birth order will be a point of contention throughout their lives. You’ll want to find out why. Virtual reality has become reality for a World War II vet in England who has been honored by a French town he helped to liberate. You’ll love his story. David then shares his tip for the week, and another NEHGS free guest member database.

Next, Fisher visits with Anita and her half-brother, John, who only learned about one another a few months ago after their daughters took DNA tests and discovered they were close cousins. It’s another fascinating DNA adventure that begins with World War II and a Polish girl forced to do labor for the Nazis.

Then, Fisher visits with LegacyTree.com researcher Katy Barnes about the amazing records of the “Society of Friends,” more commonly called “Quakers.” Perhaps no early religious organization or society left better records than this English Separatist group. Hear what’s in them, where to find them, and how far back you might be able to go.

Then, Tom Perry from TMCPlace.com, the Preservation Authority, talks digitizing deadlines for the holidays and great software gifts for the digitizing genie in your life.

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

Transcript of Episode 166

Host: Scott Fisher with guest David Allen Lambert

Segment 1 Episode 166

Fisher: And welcome, to America’s Family History Show, Extreme Genes and ExtremeGenes.com. My name is Fisher, I am the Radio Roots Sleuth and this is the program where we shake your family tree and watch the nuts fall out. Hey, today very excited to be talking to a couple of fascinating guests! First, we’re going to be talking to some people that just discovered each other. One was born in immediate post war Germany and has discovered his half sister here in the United States. We’re going to have them both on, coming up in about eight minutes, talking about that experience, good stuff. Plus, later on in the show I’m going to be talking to Katy Barnes from LegacyTree.com. We’re going to talk about Quaker records, and if you have Quakers in your background, oh you are in so much luck, because their records are absolutely fantastic! We’ll tell you what to expect from them, talk a little about the Quakers and where they settled and why they have so many descendents. This can affect a lot of us. But right now, let us check in with my good friend David Allen Lambert. He is the Chief Genealogist of the New England Historic Genealogical Society and AmericanAncestors.org. David, first of all, Happy Thanksgiving! How you’re doing?

David: I’m doing great. It’s nice to talk to you from the place where we always considered Thanksgiving to have originated.

Fisher: Yeah.

David: That brings me to my first news story for us this week.

Fisher: We do have a problem with this. Here I am a Mayflower descendant. Here you are in Massachusetts and we have to acknowledge it looks like the South can claim the first Thanksgiving.

David: By a year earlier Berkeley Plantation, known as Berkeley Hundred, was where a celebration such as a Thanksgiving was held in 1619. But I’m going to give you an historical angle on this. Thanksgiving was first adopted as a holiday during the Civil War.

Fisher: Right.

David: Abraham Lincoln’s ancestors came from Hingham, Massachusetts which is very close by to Plymouth, Mass. Abraham Lincoln makes it a national holiday and maybe it was another reparation against the South, to give us the holiday and forget about their connection to it. But I think, why not celebrate both?

Fisher: Absolutely. But the South does get the rights to the claim of first Thanksgiving, I think, with 1619. There’s no denying it.

David: Oh absolutely! It’s definitely a year before. I mean they weren’t even in Plymouth. If you recall, when the Plymouth Plantation occurred Thanksgiving wasn’t till the following year. So it’s actually 1621.

Fisher: Yeah, that’s true. So it’s a couple of years from that.

David: People always think Thanksgiving was in 1620. No they were just trying to survive.

Fisher: Yeah, that’s right.

David: They had no crops to be thankful for!

Fisher: Uh hmm.

David: Well, moving on to some political news with a genealogical spin. Before Donald Trump gets the new White House, he can actually buy another “white house” that was owned by his grandfather. As you know, he is Scottish and German. And on his German side in the village of Kallstadt, Germany, which is well known for their wonderful sausage called “pig stomach.” 

Fisher: [Laughs]

David: There is a white house.

Fisher: A white house, okay.

David: A white house that was once owned by Friedrich Trump, the grandfather of our president-elect. When he left from Kallstadt in 1885, that’s where his family had lived and it’s up for sale.

Fisher: You think he would want it?

David: Why not? I mean, just think that there’s a possibility that there could be a Trump hotel on that spot!

Fisher: [Laughs] Oh my gosh. I hope not!

David: Putting on a spin, I mean obviously, I’ll like to tip my hat to World War II veterans. And a World War II veteran in England, by the name of Frank Mouqué, was honored 72 years later by the French town of Armentières. He helped liberate this town and he was honored. Now, he couldn’t make it, being a 91 year old gentleman, over to the town in France. But “virtually,” they gave him a medal and honored him by virtual reality.

Fisher: Isn’t that incredible? And you can see this video, we posted it on ExtremeGenes.com. And he puts on the eye goggles and actually sees children singing to him and the mayor making a presentation to him. He gets a tour of the town he helped to liberate. It was a very touching scene and what an amazing thing, to have the past meet the future like that.

David: It really is. And you know, for people that are shut in, who can’t travel and all that. Think how family reunions can be done so much more easily with this technology. It’s really kind of fun.

Fisher: That’s right.

David: Well, I’ll tell you my next story is back here in Massachusetts, again. And this shout-out to Emily Peterson who gave birth to her first baby Samuel at 1:39 AM, before the clocks turned back the other week.

Fisher: [Laughs] No, no, no.

David: Now, here’s the catch. You know that siblings always have rivalry, especially with twins, “who came first” so they’re the oldest.

Fisher: Right.

David: So, Samuel is born at 1:39 AM. Then 31 minutes later she delivered Ronan. Ronan’s birth came after the time change, so his birth officially was at 1:10 AM instead of 2:10 AM. So, the second child on the clock becomes the first child.

Fisher: [Laughs] That’s so unique though. They’re going to have fun with that throughout their lives. That’s great.

David: Oh I think it’s wonderful! So congratulations to her two bouncing baby boys, no matter who came first. That brings me to my tip for the week. Nowadays you can do videos of ultrasounds and see the baby in the womb. You know, I have pictures and ultrasounds of my kids. I’m sure you have of yours.

Fisher: Sure.

David: How about your earliest photograph, Fish? What do you have of yourself, how old are you in that?

Fisher: I’m an infant and I’m assuming it was taken at home after I came back from the hospital a few days later.

David: Same thing with me. I was born on a Friday. The photographer wasn’t there when I came home on Monday. So I’m three days old and my parents are holding me. It’s a great picture. I love it. Now, then you go back to gathering these types of pictures for our ancestors, our parents, our grandparents. As for my parents, I have a picture of my dad as a toddler, not as infant. I have my mother as an infant. My grandparents, one of them I don’t have any baby pictures of, let alone any picture before he turned 60. Other ones they’re small kids. So, creating a family album that would include sort of the cute baby picture of your ancestors and your family tree might be a fun project to think about during Thanksgiving and holidays coming up.

Fisher: Everybody only has one first picture, right?

David: Until somebody finds an earlier one.

Fisher: [Laughs] There you go.

David: AmericanAncestors.org welcomes Extreme Genes listeners as always, to become guest members of NEHGS by joining AmericanAncestors.org. You can go on and try a free database. Since we have that connection with Abraham Lincoln whose ancestors came from Hingham and that whole story about Thanksgiving, let’s offer this week, the Hingham, Massachusetts vital records from 1637 to 1845. Maybe you’ll find out you’re a distant cousin with Abraham Lincoln as well. That’s all I have to wrap it up from the second home of Thanksgiving.

Fisher: [Laughs] Right! All right David, take care. Have a great feast this week and we’ll talk to you again next week.

David: Talk to you soon my friend.

Fisher: All right, and this segment has been brought to you by Roots Magic. And coming up, we’ll talk to siblings who didn’t know they had a sibling until DNA came along. It’s on the way in three minutes on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History show.

Segment 2 Episode 166

Host: Scott Fisher with guests Anita Smolik and Jim Sloma

Fisher: And welcome back to America’s Family History Show, Extreme Genes and ExtremeGenes.com.  It is Fisher here, your Radio Roots Sleuth, and this is so much fun to get my next guest on the show and I always love hearing about these reunions that seemingly pop out of the air, things that could not have happened maybe even five years ago or ten years ago. And I have on the line today Anita Smolik from Naperville, Illinois and her half brother Jim Sloma. He is from Ontario, Canada. And welcome to you both.

Anita: Thank you.

Jim: Thank you.

Fisher: You guys have known each other for a total of what, just a couple of months at this point?

Anita: October? Yeah. About two and a half months.

Fisher: That’s unbelievable. And what a story this is because this goes back some seventy years, actually more, it goes back to World War II when your father parented a child with a woman in Poland back in the day, and that was your mother, Jim?

Jim: Yes, it’s not quite correct. She was Polish, okay? She was taken as a slave laborer, and her father died in a concentration camp in Auschwitz. She had a sister also who was moved into another country and she was taken as a slave laborer in to Germany. So he met her in Germany and this is very, very early. Poland fell- end of September- started 1st of September. By end of September it was all over. And I think there was a certain period of time before they started getting into these programs. So she met him after the war in Germany.

Fisher: Okay.

Jim: My mother did not tell me his name. She was a Catholic. She absolutely did not say anything, the only information I had was that he was an American soldier and he took her to a dance. That was the only information and basically Amy got my DNA, then she got her DNA out there.

Fisher: Your daughter?

Jim: Yeah.

Fisher: Well, let’s get into that now. Anita, did you have any hint that your father might have had another child?

Anita: Not that he had another child, but he actually had told my mother, my son, and my biological full brother that he had a girlfriend in Germany during the war. I don’t even know if he knew she was Polish. He might have thought she was German.

Jim: I don’t think myself he would have even known that my mother was pregnant because these soldiers would be probably moving along at certain periods of time.

Fisher: Sure. So let’s talk about the process here. Anita you had no clue about this, Jim of course you knew you had a birth father out there somewhere, and in this case both of your daughters somehow started researching your family lines. Let’s talk to you Anita first about your daughter and what she was looking for.

Anita: Well, she told me that she wanted to test her DNA because a friend of hers had done it and it was mostly for finding her ethnic roots to confirm what she might have thought they were, and I didn’t realize that you could also find somebody that might be connected to you through DNA. But I guess that’s how Amy got in touch with her.

Fisher: Now let’s explain who Amy is.

Anita: Amy is Jim’s daughter.

Fisher: Okay. And so Amy was looking as well, Jim, right? And what was she looking for?

Jim: Right. I was on the database about five years ago, and she put her DNA, at that point I said, “Oh you’re not going to find him. That’s impossible.”

Fisher: [Laughs]

Jim: I do remember saying that to her.

Fisher: Sure.

 Jim: She put her DNA out and I think she got close with somebody, meaning she hit somebody that was a second cousin that was Anita’s niece.

Fisher: Okay. So who found out first, Anita or Jim?

Jim: I think Anita, your daughter got in contact with you that you might have a half brother, something like that?

Anita: Well, she emailed me, and she lives overseas so we talk on Skype once a week and it was early that Sunday so it must have been the Sunday of Labor Day weekend I think or the week before, where she emailed me and she said, “You’re not going to believe this mom. I got this email from a woman in Canada who says we may be related, and asked me if either my grandfather or my great uncle served in World War II?” And then she forwarded me the email and it had my maiden name on there. And I thought, well how would she know my maiden name because it wasn’t listed on the tests that my daughter took? So we knew that she knew about our family. And then my daughter said, “I’m giving her your email address.” And then Amy, who is Jim’s daughter, sent me an email with probably some of the same information, and within, I don’t know if it was that day or the next day, we arranged to talk on the phone, and then I also talked to Jim later that day. And this first cousin, Faith Smyle that I mentioned earlier had connected with them a week earlier I think are proven through the DNA. So she called me up. I haven’t spoken to her since we were children. So it was this one day of just a million phone calls. And at that point Amy said to me, “You know, would you be willing to take a DNA test?” And I said sure. So a few days later I took the test and it wasn’t supposed to come back for six to eight weeks, and it actually came back in about four weeks. I thought it was very soon that it came back. And Amy was the one that contacted me, and Jim was visiting his other daughter at the time so she couldn’t get a hold of him right away, but she emailed me. She said, “Did you get those results? You and Jim are half- siblings!” And I said, for some reason I don’t know why I missed it in my email, I went back and I saw it there finally.  

Fisher: [Laughs]

Anita: So it turned out the results came back on my birthday, which was really nice, a nice birthday present.

Fisher: Boy, I’d say. Now that’s probably an email you’d actually want to have framed.

 Anita: Yeah!

Fisher: [Laughs]

Anita: Well I printed it out. I printed it out because it lists all the relatives and Jim’s name was at the top and I don’t really know what the term “centimorgans” means, but his number was higher than anybody else on the list, and the second one listed was my first cousin that had also connected with them earlier and hers was even less than that. [Laughs]

Fisher: So you were the one most likely to be surprised by this because I’m assuming Jim, of course, you knew somebody was missing out there. You didn’t know who your birth father was. Anita you had no idea that you had another family member. How did you take this news?

Anita: I didn’t sleep for several nights after that. So many thoughts were going through my head.  It was shock, it was amazement, I immediately emailed my brother and told him and he was excited about the whole thing also, and it took me a while to either recover from the shock. It was really shocking. [Laughs]

Fisher: Yeah. [Laughs] Jim, for you this was the breakthrough you’ve been waiting for your whole life.

Jim: Yes. And a seriously more interesting thing, I was an only child. My mother did marry and I was the only child so hence, I thought, two months ago- whatever it was, that I do have a connection.

Fisher: Yes. And now you have several siblings and nieces and nephews. [Laughs]

Jim: Oh yeah. [Laughs] Everything changed.

Fisher: Yes. I would imagine so, and all for the good right?

Jim: Oh yeah.

Fisher: So Anita, when are you two going to get together?

Anita: We actually already have met. Jim and his wife came down to visit me Halloween weekend, actually it was for a few days, and we just got along so well. I mean it was as if I’ve known him my whole life. [Laughs] We just had a great time together. We went out for some meals, we walked around Napierville, I took him to my chorus rehearsal so they got to hear my chorus, and it was wonderful. I wish they could have stayed longer. I’m planning to go out there to visit them next summer, so hopefully it will be a longer time with them.

Fisher: How about a reunion though, the next generation? They’re the ones that did the work apparently?

Anita: Yeah. Well my son was in Napierville also, he came to dinner and lunch with us the few days that they were here. And he would like to go up to Canada. My daughter wants to come out here to Canada, and I think Jim’s two daughters might be coming to this reunion of cousins soon next summer. It isn’t definite when, but it’s tentative now.

Fisher: Isn’t it amazing to know that the answers to your questions, Jim, were in your blood, your DNA all along? Now you’ve matched them up!

Jim: And of course, anybody who comes to Canada, you’ve got to go to Niagara Falls.

Fisher: Right.

Jim: That’s sort of the plan and many other things. Amy is planning to bring her family. I have two grandsons. They’ll be there.

Fisher: Well, it sounds like the beginnings of a new family organization.

Jim: Um hmm.

Fisher: Herbert Smyle is the father. Have you guys started working on his history a little bit? From what you you’ve heard, especially his war years from both of your moms.

Anita: Yes.

Jim: Anita’s given me a lot of information about him. In that respect, our parents are dead of course. In a way I felt it was best that we actually did it this way because I know when I talked to my mother she did not want me to be looking for him. One of the reasons she didn’t give me his name is, she said, “I’m old. It would bring shame.” That sort of stuff, that way you had all the participants not there, nobody is insulted.

Fisher: Yeah. And yet it’s now a beautiful thing.

Jim: Yeah.

Fisher: Well congratulations to you both on the discovery and to your daughters for making this happen.

Anita: Yeah.

Jim: Yeah. They’re the ones that did the work and just submitted our saliva to be analyzed, and then we do meet. There was a little bit of concern how I’d be accepted, but I was accepted, and once they saw me, and saw similarities of their father.

Fisher: Sure.

Jim: I looked at his pictures, but you see I didn’t have any pictures, anything.

Fisher: And now you do.

Jim: Yeah. You’re looking for what are the similarities.

Fisher: Well, he’s Jim Sloma, he’s from Ontario Canada. She’s Anita Smolik from Napierville Illinois. Thanks both, half siblings, recently discovered, and a life changing event that’s going to carry you the rest of your days.  

Anita: Yes, let’s hope so. 

Fisher: Thanks for coming on!

Jim: You’re welcome.

Anita: Thank you. It was great talking to you.

Fisher: And this segment has been brought you by 23andMe.comDNA. And just a reminder by the way, if you haven’t signed up yet, go to ExtremeGenes.com, and up on the upper right side of our home page you will find a place where you can sign up for our Weekly Genie newsletter. It is absolutely free. We’ve got links to all kinds of great stories, great audio, I do a column in it each week, and we would love to have you be a part of our Extreme Genes community with the Weekly Genie newsletter. And coming up next, we’re talking Quakers... the religious sect and the records they left behind. I’m going to be talking to Katy Barnes from LegacyTree.com about the incredible records that Quakers left, what the group was about, and why so many of us descend from them. That’s coming up for you in five minutes, on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show.

Segment 3 Episode 166

Host: Scott Fisher with guest Katy Barnes

Fisher: You know, I think a lot of us growing up thought about Quakers as being those people in the odd hats that you'd see on the oatmeal box, but for many of us, they also represent some of our ancestors. Hi, it’s Fisher. Welcome back to Extreme Genes, America's Family History Show and ExtremeGenes.com. And one of the things you might run into when you start digging up your ancestors, are Quaker records. And to get into that just a little bit more, I thought I'd talk to my friend Katy Barnes, from LegacyTree.com. Katy, those Quakers came over awfully early in the game, didn't they?

Katy: They did. They were a small, perverse, significant group, a Protestant separatist group, dissenting from the Church of England that came over in the 1600s to Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Pennsylvania. In fact, Pennsylvania was actually founded by a Quaker, William Penn. He wanted a place where Quakers could thrive and worship freely, and for religious pluralism to exist in general.

Fisher: Right. And of course, many of them eventually started moving inland. North Carolina, in the 1700s, became quite a stronghold as well.

Katy: Yes, definitely. And then kind of through the mid-Atlantic and mid-western states, Indiana and Ohio obviously have large populations as well.

Fisher: And because we had so many early Quakers, we have so many descendants these days, of Quakers. So I thought we'd talk a little about Quaker records today, because they're really quite unique and special.

Katy: Oh, yeah. And part of that is based in Quaker religious practices as well. Unlike some of the top down, formal dominations like Catholics or Evangelical, Lutherans, Quakers didn’t then and still don’t practice sacraments like that, because they’re more communions. And so when you're booking into Quaker religious records, you're not going to find those. And that's a little bit surprising and different for most people who are accustomed to working with another Christian group. The other big thing to know is that their gatherings were called meetings. So the meeting records are what you're usually looking where they're listed.

Fisher: Right.

Katy: Both of the worship and also of administrative topics, covering, you know births, marriages, deaths, but also movements, disciplinary actions, all kinds of things like that. And they're extremely detailed.

Fisher: Yeah, you can get in a lot of trouble. You talk about the disciplinary actions. If you married outside of the faith, you were pretty much gone.

Katy: Yeah. And they would record that. And often in a lot of detail about, you know, what happened exactly. And if you wanted to come back later and found a way to do that, then they would probably record that as well.

Fisher: Yeah, they did. And I love the movement thing. They would say, "Okay, yes, this person has left this group and has gone over to this other meeting." And then, in the records of that meeting, you see where they were received, and it says where they came from, so you can really track them pretty well.

Katy: Yeah, and that's extremely useful in earlier eras when don't really have those detailed censuses, federal censuses and things like that to rely on.

Fisher: And the nice thing is, there were people who went out and actually gathered all these records and made some incredible big books on Quaker records, and Hinshaw was the one that comes to mind. I worked with it years ago because my wife has lot of Quaker ancestry. How many volumes? Do you know how many volumes Hinshaw did?

Katy: Oh, I think there are six.

Fisher: Six.

Katy: Don't quote me on that, but I think there are.

Fisher: [Laughs]

Katy: Somewhere around there.

Fisher: And I remember going to the family history library in those days. And those books were picked over. I mean, they were beat! They were in bad shape, because so many people had gone through them to find records. There are some issues though, with those records, in terms of how they're interpreted, don't you think?

Katy: Well, like anything else, they're a complied source, and you do have to be careful with accuracy there. There are mistakes that can creep in when somebody's making compilations of that size.

Fisher: Sure. Yeah. And also the fact that, for instance, the dates would get swapped, you know. For instance, was it June 12th or December 6th? And so, often we'll see things that are taken from those records and they get swapped, and you'll see half one way, half the other, depending on where you look, and you have to wonder, which one is right. And you've got to get back to that original source.

Katy: That is definitely a concern. Unfortunately also because Quakers used kind of a different date system to begin with which probably contributed to that confusion. They numbered months, instead of using the names, you know, May, June, July, as we do.

Fisher: Right.

Katy: That was a religious preference. And so they might say 16th of you know, month 3 or something like that instead.

Fisher: The original records, I don't think have been out there very much, although we're starting to see more and more of them. Most folks, I think relied on the Hinshaw books in the past when researching the Quakers. Are you aware of where the original records are now?

Katy: You know, I'm not really sure. There could be a lot of different places. I know that the Swarthmore College library in Pennsylvania has a lot of original records, both meeting records and, you know, more personal things, like diaries and personal papers. I'm not sure about most of the rest.

Fisher: Diaries! They have those at Swarthmore?

Katy: They do, yes. That was a very big Quaker hub there. And so they've had a lot of donations over the years and just collecting from local families and making those available in their special collections.

Fisher: Is that online at this point or yet to be digitized?

Katy: I think they're still only available archively. So I'm sure that you could submit a request or send someone to look at them for you.

Fisher: Yeah. You know, we've become so dependent on what’s online and we start to think, if it’s not there, then it’s not to be found. But I've always maintained, there's like 90% of what’s out there is in archives.

Katy: Yeah.

Fisher: You have to make the trip, right? [Laughs]

Katy: You really do. And some of those big genealogy sites, My Heritage, Ancestry, are doing a fantastic job of digitizing a lot of things, and especially Quaker records. There are a number of databases, mostly covering monthly meetings now online, but as with most topics in genealogy, it’s unwise to restrict yourself to the internet like you said, assuming that's all that there is.

Fisher: Right, absolutely! Here's something for you, Katy, how might somebody have an idea that their ancestors were Quakers?

Katy: That is a very good question. To begin with, there is the usual way, knowing something about the geographic area in which your ancestors lived and if there was high population of Quakers that lived there to begin with. You can also check traditional genealogical records, obituaries, local histories, especially in high Quaker areas. They'll often mention religious preferences. You can check in local cemeteries. And pay attention also to the military service of the men. Quakers religiously were pacifists and conscientious objectors, meaning that they didn't really believe in participating in the military and in warfare. And so, if you're noticing that you're not finding a lot of your male ancestors in those military records that might be kind of a flag for you. Of course that's not guaranteed, but it might be a clue, for sure.

Fisher: Sure. Now, a lot of these early Quaker families, because of the great records are more easily traceable back to England and the source of Quakerism, than other religious sects. Would you agree with that?

Katy: Oh, definitely, absolutely, yeah!

Fisher: How far back would you say it goes in England that you're aware of? I know George Fox was the founder, and I know that what we're talking about the 16th century, so it was really what, another hundred years before they started coming here?

Katy: Yes. Yeah, that sounds about right. So they started coming to the US or what would become the US in the 1600s, early 1600s. It was fairly early. But you're right, I mean, there was another entire, a whole century there before that they were still in England.

Fisher: And the names of the families within the groups also are pretty consistent. I mean, you can almost come to the point you can recognize, "Oh, that's a Quaker name." because they were early established in the continent.

Katy: Yeah, that's another fun feature in Quaker research. And it’s always great when that can happen.

Fisher: Let's talk about descendants, Katy. Are there a lot of famous descendants that come from these Quaker groups? Who can you name?

Katy: Richard Nixon was.

Fisher: Right.

Katy: And he really made a big deal about that.

Fisher: Yeah. [Laughs]

Katy: With his opponent, John F. Kennedy being Catholic. John Cadbury who founded the Cadbury chocolate.

Fisher: We can thank him!

Katy: Thank him, yeah, for sure.

Fisher: Yeah.

Katy: They argue, James Dean, actually, was raised in Indiana as a Quaker.

Fisher: I didn't know that one. James Dean! Really? He was the coolest of the cool!

Katy: Yeah, apparently.  He is buried at a Quaker cemetery.

Fisher: No kidding! I had no idea. See, there you go. Well, if you've got Quakers, you're lucky because this is the kind of research you can do yourself. It’s easily available in the Hinshaw books. And apparently other places as you've mentioned, Katy, where you can find diaries and other interesting Quaker pieces of memorabilia and records.

Katy: Yes. And as with everything else, the Family History Library is a great resource. There are numerous books, compiled sources, indexes there that you can use as well.

Fisher: Absolutely. So your next trip to Salt Lake City, Utah, could be very memorable. Well, very good. Thank you so much, Katy Barnes, from LegacyTree.com. Thanks for joining us and talking about the Quaker records.

Katy: Thank you, I appreciate it.

Fisher: And this segment of our show has been brought to you by MyHeritage.com. And coming up next, its Tom Perry, the Preservation Authority, talking about the deadlines that are coming upon us for digitizing, and software gifts you might want to look into for your genie, that's in three minutes on Extreme Genes, America's Family History Show.

Segment 4 Episode 166

Host: Scott Fisher with guest Tom Perry

Fisher: All right, we're back at it, Extreme Genes, America's Family History Show and ExtremeGenes.com. It is Fisher here, the Radio Roots Sleuth with the king of the road, Tom Perry, from TMCPlace.com, our Preservation Authority. You've been all over the place lately.

Tom: Oh yeah, I've been out of town the last three weeks traveling all over. In fact, our latest stop was Colorado, Springs which was a lot of fun. We had this great, big, Family History Expo in this humongous library. It was so neat, it was three stories tall. A lot of people came through. We had a lot of genies coming in to introduce themselves. It was really a lot of fun. Some new software that's out that's really exciting, and just all kinds of thing which is great because it's the holidays, so it's time to start getting holiday gifts and we've got some really good ones to tell you about.

Fisher: Boy, no kidding. But one thing we have to warn people about, you're almost out of time now to digitize film and video, right?

Tom: Exactly. Last time you can do film is usually about the first part of December. Video, usually we and probably most people out there can do it about two weeks before Christmas, two weeks before the holidays, so it just kind of depends exactly what all you're doing, how busy the people are around you. So don't wait until the last minute and go in some place on December 23rd and see if they can do your videos and your films, because it won't happen.

Fisher: Right. There is a line with this stuff.

Tom: Absolutely, absolutely.

Fisher: All right. So you went to this convention, this conference in Colorado, Springs, and you came back all lit up. I can always tell when you've found something new that turns you on. (He's such a geek!) So let's hear about some of the software.

Tom: Okay. Some of the software's been around for a while, but they've added new modules to it that can do really, really cool things. Anybody that's into family history at all, if you are digitizing your videos, your films, your audio, and anything like that, and you want more than just a CD or a DVD that you can hand out, if you want to go the extra mile and do some really cool things, you've got to get the software called Heritage Collectors. You know, we don't sell it in our store, but it is by far the best software out there. If you have any questions, just go to TMCPlace.com and you'll see our link to their webpage. As far as I'm concerned, if I can have one piece of software this would be it.

Fisher: Yeah, it's pretty unique, isn't it? Because there's so many things you can do, like, you can move cursor over somebody's face and then have some history come up about the person, or about the picture, or about how old they were, or something about them, at least their names, right?

Tom: Oh, exactly, it's unlimited. In fact, it is so cool, as you mentioned, you move your cursor over somebody and say "Oh, that's Grandpa Mod" or whatever, and then it'll have a drop down to say "Oh, we have some audio, we have some photos" and all these kinds of things, and you can go on the little carriers and go and find out all this cool stuff about them which is just absolutely amazing.

Fisher: Imagine putting the cursor over a picture, clicking a mouse and hearing their voice.

Tom: Oh, that's what's so special about this kind of software. You have the little AIFF or MP3 files, and as you say, you click it and there's grandpa talking to his great, great granddaughter that's never heard his voice, heard all these stories about him, but you're actually hearing his voice tell some stories, it's just priceless.

Fisher: Absolutely. All right, what else did you run into on this conference?

Tom: There's another new software out that's called Kindex.

Fisher: Yes, I've seen this. It's incredible.

Tom: For people that have, you know, old things that, you know, grandma and grandpa and different people have written down that's kind of hard to read, and they don't even teach cursive in school anymore, it's just really crazy, so what it does is it allows you to look at your monitor and scan in what you're transcribing, and then on the other side it shows you what you've typed in, so you can constantly go back and forth between them without having to open the window, close the window, see where you are, having notes on your desk, they're all right there in front of you.

Fisher: That is a great idea.

Tom: Oh, it makes it so nice because when you're transcribing things you're looking down the paper, you lose your place on the page, you go back and forth, where this isn’t, your eyes are just going right to left, so it's really easy. And you can just go onto Google and Google “Kindex,” and, you know, even if you don't want this stuff for yourself, you've got to have somebody in your family that you've dumped all your genealogy, all your family history on and say "You do it. I don't have the time." It's a nice gift, a nice way to just say "Hey, thank you for the extra mile that you're going for our family to do these things." And get him some, like, Kindex or Shotbox or Heritage Collector, which are really, really great.

Fisher: All right. What do we have coming up?

Tom: I'm going to tell you about some real cool things we discovered about Shotbox.

Fisher: And we'll tell you what that is too. This segment is brought to you by LegacyTree.com. We'll be back in three minutes with more from Tom Perry on Extreme Genes, America's Family History Show.

Segment 5 Episode 166

Host: Scott Fisher with guest Tom Perry

Fisher: And we are back, final segment of this week’s Extreme Genes America’s Family History Show and ExtremeGenes.com. I am Fisher your Radio Roots Sleuth. Tom Perry is here for TMCPlace.com. He is our Preservation Authority.  And we should mention Tom, last week you mentioned a company called Disk Savers?

Tom: Correct.

Fisher: And I had some emails about that. Tell us a little more about that company. What do they do?

Tom: Okay. It’s a great, great company. If you ever have a hard drive that goes down, or thumb drives or anything you can’t access, you’ve tried everything you can, don’t format it. Call these guys and lot of times we don’t give out phone numbers, but this one’s really, really important. It’s an 800 number. So it’s 800-440-1904. They’ll take your device or whatever and they go over it in one of these dustless environments. They actually take it apart. They go in and try to find it segment by segment, sector by sector. And the neat thing about this is, say you’ve got about 5000 photos that were on a hard drive that doesn’t exist anymore, you think you’ve lost them all. They may not be able to recover every single one, but instead of going over sector by sector, they’ll be able, “Okay here’s a picture, pull it out, here’s a picture pull it out.” And they might get three quarters of them back. They may get them all back. It’s a great place to send anything to. So just call them with your questions and say, “Hey, this is what I have. This is what my problem is.” And they can tell you usually over the phone, “Yeah, go ahead and send that in. That is something we can work with.” Or you’ve gone and reformatted it with Clorox reveal orange so it goes away so you can’t do anything with it.

Fisher: Ohh.

Tom: So they’re really good about that kind of stuff.

Fisher: All right. What else do we have that you found out about it in Colorado Springs on that convention?

Tom: This was so crazy. We talked a little bit over the last month about Shotbox. There are some people that are our genies that came in to us and one of them has a little bakery and she bought a Shotbox and she sends her cupcakes and different things that she’s made, and used the Shotbox  to take pictures of it and put it on her online store.

Fisher: [Laughs]

Tom: It’s just crazy. We have people, “Oh, we use it for eBay. We have a jewelry company. We make jewelry. We use it for that. We do jams and jellies.” I think, “Wow, these people are so creative.” Our genies are smart and they are creative.

Fisher: Well, and think about it in terms of like grandma, and what her recipes have been. And maybe she could make a pie or something and you could photograph it [Laughs] in the Shotbox.

Tom: Exactly! In fact, they have a deluxe model that has a green screen behind it, and everyone should know what those are. If you watch your weatherman where he’s pointing to the weather map that doesn’t really exist, it’s a green screen. So we had somebody along your lines. They had a plate.  They had a little boy from back in the early 1900’s, and so what they did, they shot that and they had his shoes bronzed and the old tag when he was in the hospital. These people kept everything. And so they green screened it and then they ran some old home movies they have of the kid in the background while the plate and the bronze shoes are fading in and out. And they made something so totally cool, it’s absolutely amazing. In fact, we even had one kid that borrowed her mom’s Shotbox and got her Barbie dolls and actually did still frame animation and posted it on YouTube.

Fisher: [Laughs] Who would have thought, right?

Tom: Exactly! This is a great gift for the holidays. You can get it for as little a hundred bucks and its money well spent. I guarantee your kid will figure out something cool to do besides family history or preserving all your old heirlooms. It’s just absolutely wonderful.

Fisher: All right, what else do we have? Running out of time,

Tom: Okay. Last thing I want to talk about. A lot of people have questions on scanning. Always scan at the highest DPI that you can, but always remember what your end goal is. If you’re just going to be scanning stuff for home photos, don’t go and scan it at 3000 DPI. You don’t need that. You’re going to have the big files. You don’t need TIFFs. You can do Jpegs. If you’ve got like thousands of pictures don’t go to Costco or some place and buy a $200 scanner. Rent one from E-Z Photoscan for like $300 for an entire week. You’ve got the high quality scanner that will take care of all your needs and in the long run save you money.

Fisher: All right. Great companies all. Thanks so much Tom, good o see you. And if you have a question for Tom Perry, you can email him at [email protected]. See you again next week.

Tom: I’ll be here.

Fisher: And this segment of the show has been brought to you by FamilySearch.org. Well that wraps up the show for this week. Thanks once again to Jim and Anita, the half siblings who didn’t know about each other for their entire lives, but it was their daughters getting into DNA that found the connection. Also, to Katy Barnes for talking about the Quaker records. If you missed any of the show, catch the podcast on iTunes, iHeart radio or ExtremeGenes.com. Talk to you next week. And remember, as far as everyone knows, we’re a nice, normal family!

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