Episode 173 - RootsTech Keynote Speaker CeCe Moore, The DNA Detective, On DNA Coaches & Foundling Research

podcast episode Jan 09, 2017

Fisher opens the show with David Allen Lambert, Chief Genealogist of the New England Historic Genealogical Society. David talks about his recent radio visit on WPKZ (FM & AM) in Fitchburg, Massachusetts, our newest Extreme Genes affiliates. The guys kick around all the new news the new year has brought with it, including new evidence concerning the sinking of the Titanic; three sets of twins born in both the old year and the new year; New York City moving centuries’ worth of documents from their Chambers Street home to the State Archives in Albany; and a firefighter who discovered a unique piece of memorabilia in his firehouse. David also shares his tip of the week.

Fisher then begins the first of his two segment visit with CeCe Moore, the “DNA Detective.” CeCe is a frequent guest on 20/20 and is a regular on “Finding Your Roots” with Dr. Henry Louis Gates. CeCe talks about the organization she has created to coach people, particularly adoptees, as they go about their journey to discover their birth families.

Next, Fisher and CeCe talk about the unique challenge of “foundlings,” people who were abandoned as babies. CeCe has had some unique experiences in reuniting these foundlings with the very people who abandoned them.

Next, Tom Perry talks preservation, legalities, and technology. He fields some great listener questions with his usual dexterity!

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

Transcript of Episode 173

Host: Scott Fisher with guest David Allen Lambert

Segment 1 Episode 173

Fisher: And welcome to America’s Family History Show Extreme Genes and ExtremeGenes.com. Happy New Year! It is Fisher here, your Radio Roots Sleuth on the program where we shake your family tree and watch the nuts fall out. This segment of the show is brought to you by RootsMagic.com. And coming up today very excited to have two segments with CeCe Moore, and if you’re unfamiliar with CeCe I bet you’ve seen her on “Finding your Roots” with Dr. Henry Louis Gates on PBS. She’s a regular on 20/20. She is the DNA Detective. And we’re going to talk about DNA, where it’s going, and also the issue of dealing with foundlings. Now, these are people who are not necessarily adopted, but were actually left on a stoop someplace or left in a garbage bin, so they have absolutely no connections. They don’t even know who they’re looking for. She’s going to talk to us on how they’re having success in matching foundlings with their birth families. Amazing stories coming up a little later on in the show, but right now let’s check in with Boston and my good friend the Chief Genealogist with the New England Historic and Genealogical Society and AmericanAncestors.org. It’s David Allen Lambert! How are you David?

David: Happy New Year from Beantown! I’m doing fine. How about you Fish?

Fisher: First of all, very excited to have a brand new radio station among our family of stations WPKZ / AM and FM in Fitchburg, Massachusetts, your neck of the woods there, David.

David: It is. In fact, my father-in-law lives there so he can tune in and listen to his son-in-law every Sunday now from 9 to 10.

Fisher: [Laughs] Right and they’re on FM at 105.3 and AM at 1280. You were actually on their morning show this past week as well.

David: I was. And a shout out to Travis, Stuart and Jack on the morning show, and we talked for a good thirty minutes on genealogy. Jack had some DNA questions and a couple of listeners even called in with questions. So we already have a listener base out in Fitchburg, Mass. I’m very excited about it.

Fisher: As am I! And let’s get started with our family histoire news for this week. What do we have David?

David: Well, I have three sets of twins that were born half in 2016 and the other half in 2017.

Fisher: [Laughs]

David: Talk about double dating genealogical headaches! How about ones that really are double dating and in this case born in 2016 on New Year’s Eve and then the sibling was born the next morning. This happened in Santiago, California; Atlanta, Georgia; and in Glendale, Arizona, and you would think that this is common place but in 2015- 2016, there’s only one recorded set of twins born.

Fisher: I wonder if that happened going from the 20th to the 21st century. I mean that’s a crazy one there.

David: That’s true. My hats off to these parents with children that can always say they’re a year older than each other.

Fisher: Yeah. [Laughs]

David: Well, I can tell you genealogical records are fun to look at as we know, but sometimes you need to go to museums. This time I would go to the Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago where they have found an eight foot long scroll from ancient Egypt. What makes it interesting? It’s a pre-nuptial agreement!

Fisher: Wow! [Laughs]

David: It’s actually a genealogical treasure, Fish. It’s amazing. It has on it that the bride will receive 1.2 pieces of silver for each year of her life, and 36 bags of grain. Of course, she and her family had to put this up front. But besides that, it doesn’t just give the details of the bride and the groom. It gives where they were from, the husband’s occupation, who drew up the contract, and the names of both sets of their parents.

Fisher: Wow, unbelievable!

David: So if you have an ancient Egyptian connection in your family tree, check with the University of Chicago, they may have a document for you!

Fisher: [Laughs]

David: Well, you know archives are wonderful things and I know that we’ve both been to Chamber Street Archives in New York City.

Fisher: Yes.

David: And they’re laying their hands on documents that haven’t been unrolled in hundreds of years. They’re now being rolled all the way to Albany, New York.

Fisher: Yes, which is the State Archives, of course. Hopefully this means that they’re going to get digitized down the line. But I mean the breadth of the material that they’re making available now is incredible.

David: It’s amazing to think that some of these documents that deal from the colonial period of the 17th century right on through into the 19th century. Mentioning people like Alexander Hamilton, and Aaron Burr, allegiance to King George the III and as we move further into the digital age their hope is that these documents will be available online for researchers to use.

Fisher: Absolutely.

David: Another New York story which is kind of fun... a fire fighter, when he was downstairs cleaning in his fire house, found an old crushed can with some old trolley tickets from 1917, a hundred years ago and an old pack of smokes.

Fisher: [Laughs] How crazy is that, wow!

David: It really is, but the best part about it is he wants to remain anonymous. But in the same basement are old fire house journals over a hundred years old that say when the particular fire fighters worked and what shifts they were on and whatnot. So he’s hoping to figure out who the tickets belonged to based upon looking at the journals from 1917. And in fact you have your own ancestor who was quite involved in fire fighting in the city, if I recall correctly.

Fisher: And I actually had one on the first fire fighting team... the Rattle Watch of New Amsterdam back in the 1650s. So that was an interesting find.

David: So you have fire bugs in your family all the way back to the colonial days. [Laughs]

Fisher: All over the place, yeah! [Laughs]

David: My tip for this week really is kind of like charity begins at home. I sit on the board of trustees for my hometown library, and the director of the library contacted me because we’re moving into a new space, some construction going on and they wanted to dispose of the original newspapers since the 1870s because they all are on microfilm.

Fisher: Ooh!

David: My argument there is showing them just a couple rolls of film and I’m sure you’ve seen microfilm where a scratch happens and it tears through the whole thing.

Fisher: Right.

David: The other issue is try to replicate a good image from a newspaper photo from microfilm.

Fisher: Can’t do it.

David: It’s almost impossible.

Fisher: Yeah, you’ve got to have them digitized. 

David: Digitized. So I told them let’s wrap them up, moth ball them for the time being because this is throwing away original history. So my tip to you is contact your public library and see if your local newspapers are in jeopardy. Now that many are microfilmed or in the digital age, you don’t want to see your history thrown away. Because those pages could be somebody’s ancestors and the only clue that they may find. AmericanAncestors.org every week offers a free guest member database and for you people with New England roots, the colonial vital records for Dedham and Springfield, Massachusetts are now on AmericanAncestors.org, and it includes one of your ancestors from Dedham, Mass.

Fisher: That’s right, Joseph Clark and Alice Fenn. All right, thanks David, always great to talk to you! And coming up next, she’s the DNA Detective you know from 20/20 and Finding your Roots with Dr. Henry Louis Gates. We’ll talk to CeCe Moore in three minutes on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show.

Segment 2 Episode 173

Host: Scott Fisher with guest CeCe Moore

Fisher: And we are back! It’s Extreme Genes America’s Family History Show and ExtremeGenes.com. My name is Fisher and I’ve got my good friend CeCe Moore on. She is the Genetic Genealogist. CeCe, welcome back! It’s been too long!

CeCe: Yes it has. Thanks so much for having me back.

Fisher: Everybody knows CeCe from Finding Your Roots and all kinds of other genealogy based TV shows. And before we get going CeCe, I’ve got to mention to you, the other night, because you deal so much with the tracing down birth parents and the like... I had a friend of mine who’s a neighbor and she had recently found her birth parents who provided her with names of her genetic grandparents. So she wanted me to give a little help in getting that grandparent line back. She wasn’t having much luck with it, so we worked with her paternal grandfather and went back into Germany. And we found a gal back there by the name of Charlotta Trump! And I said [Trump voice], “Well, isn’t this incredible? You’ve got a Trump right there in your line. It’s phenomenal! It’s fantastic! They’re dear friends of mine!”

CeCe: [Laughs] Hey, you never know what you’re going to find back there.

Fisher:  No, you don’t! And so she was kind of laughing about it and we went on and we had some really good success in getting back several generations, and then she left. And one of my Windows was still open and I was looking at that Trump name and I thought, “Well, I wonder where Donald Trump’s lines come from in Germany? I know he’s German on the father’s side. It was the same town! Kallstadt, Germany!

CeCe: No way! [Laughs]

Fisher: Yeah! So I found the site that had his ancestors going back. Bottom line, she has seventeen ancestors that I found that are in common with him. [Laughs] She is a fourth cousin twice removed to the President-elect! And I don’t know if she’s going to like that or not.

CeCe: Yeah, I mean, that’s a pretty close connection, too. You know we all probably connect back about ten generations or so, but wow!

Fisher: To most Presidents yes! This is a real close one; fourth cousin twice removed, so we’ll see how she takes the news, you know.

CeCe: [Laughs] I hope she’s happy.  Hey you know, she’ll have a friend in the White House.

Fisher: Exactly. Hopefully, she’ll have some access there.

CeCe: Yeah. [Laughs]

Fisher: Let’s talk about RootsTech! It is coming up in early February. You’re going to be a keynote speaker. I’m very excited to be able to see you!

CeCe: Yes, I’m so excited too. Ever since I first started speaking back at RootsTech, it was kind of a dream to get to do a keynote. I didn’t know that it would ever happen, so when they invited me I was extremely excited.

Fisher: I think frankly, it’s just a little overdue because you’ve got so much to say.

CeCe: Ohh. [Laughs]

Fisher: But let’s talk about this thing you’re doing with birth parents right now. You’re doing some great work with people, and filling in that hole that so many of them experience when they’re trying to figure out, “Who am I, really?” What are you seeing as you find people and get them connected with their birth parents?

CeCe: It’s pretty incredible. It’s a variety of people searching. Some people have been searching since they were children, at least in their minds. And some people only recently discovered that their genetic family tree is not what they expected, so we see a wide spectrum of experiences in that regard. But with all of them it’s this curiosity and this learn more about their heritage and their roots. So some people really do have preconceived notions of what they’ll find, and sometimes that’s because they were provided with information about their birth parents either from the adoption agency or was passed down with oral history from their adoptive parents. And sometimes it’s just great and we can use that information in conjunction with the DNA to identify the birth parents, and sometimes it is completely different than what we were expecting to find. Sometimes that information that was provided was completely erroneous, either mistakenly or intentionally. It’s hard to know. And so someone may grow up thinking they’re of a certain heritage. They do a DNA test and they find out completely different. In fact, like the one show I was on with you where Alice tested, not adopted, but thinking she was fully Irish and find out she was half Jewish.

Fisher: [Laughs] Yes.

CeCe: That is a very common occurrence, and a lot of people are discovering their social father is not their genetic father, biological father, and so they’ll take a DNA test and half of their add mixture or ethnicity results are very unexpected.

Fisher: I would think that that would be the biggest shocker is when people go through and find that their parents aren’t really their parents, and that does happen periodically. You know divorces of course have been up for the last fifty years basically, and so we see more and more adoptees and of course there was a sexual revolution as well. So this is just going to become more and more common, yes?

CeCe: Oh yes, absolutely incredibly common. But what’s happening is the data bases have gotten so large that a big percentage of these people can resolve their questions pretty easily. And you know, we used to joke that people would take a DNA test and think their family tree was just going to fill in for them. We’re going in that direction. Before too much longer that’s going to be at least partially true. And it’s amazing to see now when someone would get a half sibling match or a first cousin we would say, “Oh, lighting has struck.” But now lightning is striking multiple times a day.

Fisher: Yeah. [Laughs]

CeCe: My Facebook group DNA Detectives, every single day we see people posting who have found a close family match that was searching for birth family and in some cases weren’t searching for birth family and got a surprise. So it’s very, very common now.

Fisher: Sure. And are there support groups for people through your site where they find something that was completely unexpected and they need a little help?

CeCe: Yes. So almost two years ago I started a Facebook group called DNA Detectives and the purpose was to help people that were searching for birth family using DNA. Now that could be immediate birth family or it could be a great grandparent, so it’s not just adoptees or people of unknown paternity.

Fisher: Sure.

CeCe: It’s all types of people using DNA in order to resolve family mysteries or questions. And we’ve got thirty one thousand people now in just under two years which [Laughs] I would never have guessed.

Fisher: Wow!

CeCe: We’ve got volunteers there that are helping me answer questions, so professional genetic genealogists are there, helping, volunteering and now we’ve got people with a lot of expertise in different areas. And then another great thing that’s happened which is what I hoped would happen is when we help somebody to resolve their case, they’re sticking around and paying it forward and helping other people. And so it’s really members helping members’ forum and it’s intended to be a self-education forum because we use to just take the cases ourselves and solve them.

Fisher: Oh yeah. But that’s a lot of work.

CeCe: Well, and we can’t. There’s thirty thousand people in the group with the majority of them searching.

Fisher: Sure.

CeCe: And that’s just touching the surface of it. There’s many, many more, tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of people searching for birth family. And so we want to teach them how to do it themselves. And so they’ll come on, they ask questions, we guide them and hopefully that way they can resolve their own searches. And when they do, they seem to get a lot of satisfaction from that too rather than me take the case and solve it for them. And when they do identify their birth parents, it’s funny because they know their family trees better than the people that they find; much better. They know them inside and out. They can tell their new families, [Laughs] all kinds of things about their genealogies that they didn’t know.

Fisher: We’re talking to CeCe Moore. She’s the Genetic Genealogist. CeCe, the laws in most states are starting to open up when it comes to adoptive records and of course the records combined with DNA, that’s when it’s most powerful. What states are still difficult to deal with when you’re having to do end runs around?

CeCe: Well, the hardest ones are New York, Florida, and California has really strict laws, but we do have some good tools there so they’re not the worst. I would say when I groan the most is probably when it’s Florida or New York.

Fisher: Hmm.

CeCe: Arizona is also hard but there are some good confidential intermediaries there who can help out, but if you just trying to work outside the system, Arizona is very hard as well.

Fisher: Sure, but DNA is obviously the best tool to get around anything like that. What percentage of these reunions when there’s a living parent that can be found, would you say are positive experiences as oppose to the negatives?

CeCe: From my experience from the very beginning when I started doing this it’s an extremely high number that we see a positive outcome.

Fisher: Yes.

CeCe: Now it’s not always that it’s the birth parent. They might not be living or sometimes the birth parent doesn’t want contact but there is almost always somebody who does, a sibling, a first cousin, an aunt, an uncle, even a grandparent in some cases. You know, I have to estimate but I’d say 95% plus we see what is considered to be a positive outcome. It might even be higher, but it also depends on people’s perspective. I’d say for most people just knowing their family tree and their heritage is a positive outcome for them.

Fisher: Absolutely. You know, I’ve helped people over the years myself. Not nearly as many as you have obviously, but anecdotally it almost turns out positive all the time. So when I read the negative stories in all that, I’m always kind of surprised because I’ve just seen so much good that’s come from it. But I do always feel the need to prepare people that we don’t know how this is going to go and you can’t put the toothpaste back in the tube once we’ve squeezed it out, so are you ready to do this or not, you know?

CeCe: Yeah with adoptees they are generally very aware of that. They’ve usually considered pretty much every possibility already especially if they’ve been searching a long time. But the media likes to grab onto the negative stories.

Fisher: Yes.

CeCe: So in my personal experience, the cases that I’ve been closely involved with, a hundred percent of them have had positive outcomes. And that’s not to say it wasn’t a hundred percent positive, you know? Overall, it’s a hundred percent positive. But everyone’s family has, you know, strong points and weak points and everybody has family issues, and that’s going to be true with a birth family when you find them as well, just like the family you grew up with.

Fisher: Sure. [Laughs]

CeCe: You know we all have something in our family that’s not hundred percent positive. So I’ve been really fortunate that all of the cases that I’ve been closely involved with have turned out really, really well.

Fisher: CeCe this is all great stuff, especially for anybody who is dealing with this issue in their own families. We’ve got to take a break. You want to stick around for another segment?

CeCe: Sure, yes thanks.

Fisher: And this segment of the show has been brought to you by MyHeritage.com. And just to remind you if you haven’t signed up yet for a Weekly Genie newsletter, you can do that at our website ExtremeGenes.com. I should mention by the way, pardon our dust there. We’re going through a complete rebuild from what we did back in 2013 when we first started Extreme Genes, but the newsletter is going to give you all kinds of links to great interviews from the past if you haven’t caught them. We’ll have articles and guest columns as well and of course, links to current stories that are happening all the time, more with CeCe Moore, coming up for you in five minutes.

Segment 3 Episode 173

Host: Scott Fisher with guest CeCe Moore

Fisher: Hey we’re back, Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show and ExtremeGenes.com. Fisher here with my good friend CeCe Moore the Genetic Genealogist! She’s going to be a key note speaker coming up at Roots Tech in Salt Lake City, Utah in February and so looking forward to getting a little face time with you at that time CeCe. It’s going to be great.

CeCe: Yeah, I’m really looking forward to it.

Fisher: And what we were just talking about, all the work you’re doing to help people with their search for birth parents, birth grandparents, you’ve been dealing with people where their ancestors were switched at birth. You say you’ve come across a second case of that. So let’s talk about “Foundlings.”

CeCe: So, as adoptees as you mentioned, a lot of states are opening the records and letting them have access to their original birth certificates. And partly I think that’s happening because we’re able to resolve a lot of those cases with DNA anyway. So it makes sense for the states to start allowing access. I think it’s a more private way of handling it. So they’re starting to see that. But for some people that’s not going to help. And there’s a big group of people, much larger than I thought, called “foundlings,” people that were abandoned as either newborns or young children, there’s no records to open because nobody knows who their birth parents were except for those involved.

Fisher: Sure.

CeCe: So I really like working on their cases. They’re called DNA-only cases because they’re only going to be resolved with DNA. And so this has only been able to happen in the last couple of years. They really didn’t have any hope of finding their birth family unless someone came forward, which is very rare.

Fisher: I seem to recall there was a case not long ago of somebody who had had a baby stolen back in 1964 and then a baby turned up in New Jersey. They took the baby back, assumed it was their own and DNA proved no, this was not your baby. And so he took on the identity of that baby and has grown to be a man obviously, and now they’re just trying to figure all the stuff out. It’s got to be a much more difficult thing than just your standard adoption situation.

CeCe: Yes. You’re referring to Paul Fronczak.

Fisher: Yes.

CeCe: My team of DNA detectives and I identified his true identity, his biological identity and birth family last summer, not 2016, but 2015, and he’s writing a book that is coming out in the spring talking about that. So we still haven’t found the original Paul Fronczak, or the real Paul Fronczak, because that’s more like a needle in haystack. He needs to take a DNA test or one of his descendents, children or grandchildren. But we were able to use the man who was raised as Paul Fronczak. We just used his DNA to lead us back to his birth family.

Fisher: Sure. Now as I recall though, there were some complications with it, weren’t there?

CeCe: Well, it turns out he has a twin.

Fisher: No!

CeCe: His name is Jack, yes, and he had a twin named Jill. And Jill is missing. So at the time he was abandoned, he was older than most foundlings. He was about two years old. And so probably something bad happened to Jill and the parents had to abandon Jack because how do you have one twin and not the other?

Fisher: Sure.

CeCe: And they told the family that they’d been adopted out. And we don’t know what happened to Jill. I hope she turns up and she’s fine, but I suspect that that’s not going to be the case. So we solved one mystery and opened up a whole other mystery.

 Fisher: Yes. [Laughs] Which is the way the world in genealogy, right?

CeCe: Yes. And you know the same thing happened with the Benjamin Kyle amnesiac case that finally just went public. We also resolved that in summer of 2015. And when we identified who he was, we found out that he was already missing from his family much, much earlier. So in that case we also found the identity but it turns out there was another mystery involved with that identity. Those types of cases as we were just saying only DNA can resolve those. And so I take a real special interest in those, and we have a smaller off-shoot of DNA detectives called “Foundling Finders” and we only allow people that were abandoned as young children into that group, and we work with them very closely one on one. We’ve been able to resolve a huge amount of those cases in the last two years. 

Fisher: Now, foundlings obviously though have been given up or left somewhere. This is the typical “baby left on the stoop” situation or even in a trash bin sometimes.

CeCe: Yeah.

Fisher: So, when you find relatives, have you found any of the parents who actually abandoned the child and gotten them back together?

CeCe: Many actually.

Fisher: Really?

CeCe: Believe it or not. Oh there’s a biological bond there no matter what the circumstances are. What I’ve learned is that biological bond is not easily broken. And when we have found these birth mothers in particular, they have usually carried a lot of guilt and shame and worry all these years and decades since they did that. And when we’re able to reunite them, I have found that the foundlings, people that were abandoned, are incredibly forgiving. They just want answers, they just want that connection and they want to know the circumstances that caused that. The birth mothers in many cases have been really happy to provide because they needed to get past it too. So we have seen emotional healing and we’ve even seen physical healing. When we find these mothers, often times they have health issues. Not surprisingly from years, and years, and years of guilt and stress that have added to that. And we’ve seen a lot of that lift when they’re able to meet. Now back in May we had a 20/20 episode where one woman had abandoned three different children all within a small radius. And we were able to identify her, and they reunited with her on air and have continued their relationship with her.

Fisher: Wow, that’s fantastic.

CeCe: Yeah and we see it. The first father didn’t know of the child’s existence. So that’s a very different situation.

Fisher: Has there ever been legal consequences as a result of identifying these people?

CeCe: Not so far. Now there is a statue of limitations and so they would not be prosecuted except in very unusual circumstances. If it was attempted murder, it starts becoming more questionable whether they could be.

Fisher: Sure.

CeCe: So if somebody is found in a dumpster and then the mother was identified.

Fisher: It just matters how long the statute of limitations is, right?

CeCe: Right. So states would have different laws in different countries, so I can’t say it would never, ever, ever happen. But in my experience, it was never an issue. And it’s something that I have had to reassure the birth mothers in the past that they weren’t going to be prosecuted. You know, we just want them to come forward, we can get this resolved and everyone can get past it. None of the foundlings I’ve ever worked with were interested in prosecuting their mothers. It wasn’t about revenge, it was just about answers.

Fisher: Sure. Wow. What an incredible story. She’s CeCe Moore, she’s the head of the DNA Detectives, and you’ve got quite a group of volunteers who are helping all kinds of folks with the birth parents and the foundlings and just doing general DNA to try to connect families even further back. How do people get involved with you CeCe?

CeCe: You know, we’re so fortunate that we have such a strong supportive community. People can just join the DNA Detectives Facebook group if they have an area of expertise, they can feel free to jump in and start answering questions. If it’s something they’re interested in but they don’t really know a lot about it yet, they can just read along and learn. In fact, when I started in genetic genealogy I was self taught. I just read the fantastic mailing list and forums that we have always had as a community. And so that’s really the best way to get involved. People often contact me and want to be mentored and unfortunately I don’t have time to mentor one on one, that was one of my goals for the group, was it to be kind of a group mentoring place for people to learn the ropes and get better and better and more expertise at what we do.

Fisher: She’s CeCe Moore, the Genetic Genealogist. The DNA Detective. You see her on 20/20 on Finding Your Roots with Dr. Henry Louis Gates. CeCe, always great to have you on the show! We can’t get you on enough. She’s going to be the keynote coming up, one of the keynotes at RootsTech in February in Salt Lake City, Utah and I’m looking forward to seeing you there CeCe. Thanks so much for coming on.

CeCe: Thanks so much for letting me. I appreciate it!

Fisher: And this segment has been brought to you by 23andMe.comDNA. And coming up next in three minutes, we’ll be talking to Tom Perry our Preservation Authority from TMCPlace.com. In fact, he’s going to be at RootsTech as well. In fact, we’re trying to arrange a meet and greet so we can all visit with you, David Allen Lambert and myself and Tom at RootsTech, coming up in February. We’ll have the info on that coming up hopefully in the next couple of weeks on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show.             

Segment 4 Episode 173

Host: Scott Fisher with guest Tom Perry

Fisher: And welcome back to America's Family History Show, Extreme Genes and ExtremeGenes.com. Fisher here, your Radio Roots Sleuth, this segment is brought to you by FamilySearch.org. And its preservation time with our good friend, Tom Perry, from TMCPlace.com, who's usually in the studio here with us, but Tom, you've been snowed in.

Tom: [Laughs]

Fisher: How are things at your place?

Tom: Oh, it’s just crazy. You know, the weird thing is, in the fall, I was noticing my goats were eating a lot more than they normally do, and I'm thinking, "Oh, no!" Just like when squirrels are gathering nuts and stuff, they do more.

Fisher: Yes.

Tom: I thought, "Oh, no, it can't be!" Yeah, it is. I mean, it’s been absolutely crazy. You know, it’s nice that Mother Nature lets the animals know what's happening, but boy, did she mess us up this weekend! [Laughs]

Fisher: No kidding. Wow! Well, sorry that you couldn't make it in, but hope you’re surviving well back at the ranch.

Tom: Yep, exactly, back at the ranch. I've got about two feet of snow and I can't even get my 4 wheel drive suburban out.

Fisher: [Laughs] All right. We've got an email here for you with a question from Greg, and he said, "I'd like to get my negatives digitized, but I guess I was always under the impression that anything outside of 35mm is going to be around four to five dollars each, that's how much I've paid in the past at a local mom and pop shop. However, you mentioned that most will fall into a one dollar price range, as long as there's sixty five or more. I'd be happy to start by sending you 100. Thanks. Greg." So, is that a standard in the business then, Tom, if you've got more than 100, then it’s a buck a piece?

Tom: Yeah, it depends on exactly what size they are. You know, in most of those mom and pop places, they're doing a high scan dpi. It’s a good way to do them. Now one thing you have to be real careful about doing negatives, you can't do negatives in a regular flatbed scanner, because you have to have a light on both sides, so you have to have like a special Canon type scanner that has lights that go through both sides, the top isn't white or black, there's light on both sides in order to get a real good transfer. And the industry standard is about five bucks a piece, that's what's normal, but if you have a whole bunch of them, depending on what size they are, of course we can do discounts for you. And even your local place, I'm sure if you went in and said, "Hey, I’ve got 100 or 500 or 600 or whatever” and talked to them, and especially if it’s a slow time, you might be able to get them done for less money. And one thing that's important too is, if you're not in a rush tell the people, whether it’s us or a local place, say, "Hey, I want to get these done. I don't have to have them at a certain date. It’s no rush." And then a lot of times, we can say, "Okay, we can put a no rush on it." And so, we have the guys that are paying the normal five bucks a piece for the high end ones, and then when we're done with those, then we can jump on yours. And you could get them back in a week, you might get them back in four weeks, or if they're ones that you don't want to let out of your sight for that long, you can setup an appointment and say, "Hey, you know, I want to schedule this for this week, you know, I want to do this, da da da da da da." Then we can leave a spot open and then do them. Now if you talk about September to December, forget it, it isn’t going to happen!

Fisher: [Laughs]

Tom: But in January and February and places like that, sometimes you have down times. Your local mom and pop place can give you discounts. But that's one thing you want to really check and be careful on, when you take it to somebody to scan, say, "What kind of a scanner are you using?" And say, "Are you just using a standard flatbed scanner?" And if they are, then it’s not going to work. You need to make sure you're using a really high end, like a Canon scanner that will have the light on both sides. And a lot of times, if you have a lot of negatives to do, just rent them, like Easy Photo Scan rents scanners for photos, for slides, for negatives for all kinds of things. So a lot of times, if you have like a big thing of photos and negatives and everything you want to do at once, instead of going and blowing $400 on a cheap scanner at Costco, why not rent one for a week for $400 that's super high, a $3500 type scanner that you can use to your heart’s desire. And it comes totally in a package. So you've got the scanner, the computer, it’s what I call idiot proof. And trust me, I did it without reading the instructions to see if I could do it.

Fisher: [Laughs]

Tom: And if I can do it without reading the instructions, its idiot proof. And it was so easy to use.

Fisher: Real quick, Tom, you mentioned in there by the way about if people are nervous about leaving them for long periods of time. Is that a question you ask people about how they keep track of things to make sure they don't lose them?

Tom: Yeah, that's good too. But remember, just because they do that, it doesn't mean they do everything else well.

Fisher: Well, that's a good point. We'll be back in three minutes with more of your questions on Extreme Genes, America's Family History Show.

Segment 5 Episode 173

Host: Scott Fisher with guest Tom Perry

Fisher: All right, we are back for our final segment of Extreme Genes, America's Family History Show. It’s preservation time with Tom Perry, from TMCPlace.com. A lot of great emails to start off the New Year, Tom, and here's one from Toledo, Ohio, Brian Barkley, a Buckeye fan. He says, “Go Buckeyes!” “Tom, after listening to you for a while now, I was wondering if you could help me. I want to take all of my physical DVD movies and turn them into a digital version, then put them on a hard drive and watch them over my home internet network. What is the best program for accomplishing this? Is it technically legal to do this? I have the entire Adobe Suite. Is there a program in there that can get this done? Thanks for the time and advice."

Tom: Hey, Brian. That's a really, really good question. And I like how you put in there, "is this legal", because some people do things that are illegal, so it’s nice that you're asking, and that's a concern. As long as you're keeping them on your home network like you plan on doing, there's nothing wrong with that. In fact, a lot of time when you're download iTunes and even software now, it tells you, you can use these on four of five computers as long as they're in your home, you don't have like one in your office and one here and your neighbors have a copy of it and your three kids have copies of it.

Fisher: [Laughs]

Tom: You know, that's when you're getting into, “no” just because you bought it, it doesn't mean you own it, okay?

Fisher: Right.

Tom: It just means that you have a license to use it. So in that case, if you own Adobe Suite, what I would recommend you do is, you can go in and turn those into MP4s. And I'm trying to remember which one it is in Adobe that does MP4, I can't remember off the top of my head, but just go and do a search in Adobe for MP4 transfers, and it'll tell you exactly what software it is, where it works in your suite, and you'll be able to do that. For other listeners that are out there that wants to do something like this too that don't have the full Adobe Suite, because it’s expensive! Its, you know, absolutely incredible! I love it. You can get what we talk about all the time and we can say this is tandem… Wondershare!

Fisher: Yes.

Tom: We love Wondershare!

Fisher: [Laughs] Yes, we do!

Tom: It’s so awesome!

Fisher: And very easy to use.

Tom: Oh, it is! It’s just like drag and drop. I mean, it’s so easy that you're thinking, "Now wait, there's got to be another step in this." So you can take all your DVDs, movies, home movies, whatever you have, turn them into MP4s, then put them on your home server or whatever, whatever you're using. In fact, even, you know your Apple TV if you have it tied into that. And then what you want to do is just put them there. And you can even categorize them in folders by, you know, horror movies, Star Wars, Star Trek. And then, so whoever's in your house, like if your kids are in the kitchen and they're helping mom cook and they want to be watching an episode of Star Wars, you know, and you're downstairs and you want to be watching Lord of the Rings or something, you can do that by accessing your server with these MP4s. And the thing that I've talked about before, the reason I really like MP4s is because they're about half the size of a normal, you know, DVD and they're really good quality. In fact, that's why Netflix chose to use them. When you download Netflix, they're generally MP4s, so they're really, really good high quality. But just be really careful that you don't let other people have access to those. I would definitely put a password protection on it, because sometimes you might have some kids or some relatives over that don't have the morals that you do about copyright laws and they could download them to their phone, they could email them to them at their own address or whatever, and then you're going to run into problems, because if you ever get caught, what's going to happen is they'll be able to go back through the old URL license and find out exactly where you are and get you. Just like if you have an open WiFi, and your next door neighbor's looking at porno at his computer, but accessing your WiFi, you could go to jail or lose your job. There's so many bad things that could happen that you did not authorize.

Fisher: Yeah, exactly. That's a really good point. Well, what a great question! And of course, we take your questions all the time. You can email Tom at [email protected], and you might hear your questions answered on the air. Did you get through the holidays okay, all healthy, Tom?

Tom: Oh yeah! Holidays were wonderful. I just loved them. It’s just the last of this snow that just won't quit.

Fisher: Awesome! Well, we're looking forward to doing a meet and greet with David Lambert and Tom and myself at our Extreme Genes booth at RootsTech, coming up sometime during the three days, three, four days that are happening in February. February 8th through the 11th in Salt Lake City, Utah, so we hope you'll make plans to join us. Thanks so much, Tom.

Tom: Thank you!

Fisher: All right. And that wraps up our show for this week. This segment has been brought to you by LegacyTree.com. Thanks for joining us. By the way, if you missed any of our segments with CeCe Moore today, be sure to listen to the podcast, you can catch it on iTunes, iHeart Radio or at ExtremeGenes.com. Take care. We'll talk to you again next week. Thanks for joining us. And remember, as far as everyone knows, we're a nice, normal family!

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