Episode 175 - New Free DNA Tool Tells Which Grandparent Traits Come From / Relative Race Is Back… You Could Be On It!

podcast episode Jan 22, 2017

Host Scott Fisher opens the show with David Allen Lambert, Chief Genealogist of the New England Historic Genealogical Society and AmericanAncestors.org.  The guys begin with a warning about a new free genealogical site that may make you very uncomfortable. But there is something you can do about it. They'll tell you what that is.  Next there's news about the upcoming 2020 census. It won't be done as it's been done in years past. Found out about the changes and why they're being done.  Then, David shares the bizarre story of a place in Mexico that stores well preserved 19th century bodies. He'll tell you why they're there.  Then it's good news for people with ties to Cuba. Records long thought to have been lost are being rediscovered now that US-Cuban relations have changed. David is hoping to find a mention of his sea captain ancestor who sailed there.  The guys talk about the science behind why adults are constantly confusing the names of their own children.

Fisher next (starts at 10:39) visits with Paul Woodbury, the DNA guru of LegacyTree.com. Paul explains a new program that will tell you which grandparent gave you certain traits and which traits your grandchildren received from you. And best of all? it's all FREE!

Dan Debenham then (starts at 24:16) drops by to talk about the upcoming season of Relative Race of BYU-TV. The national hit begins its second season soon, with casting for the third season coming up as well. (Hint: It's very lucrative to be on this show!) Dan shares everything you'll need to know to be part of this television reality show adventure.

Tom Perry then talks more about the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas that recently wrapped up. What are the new toys you could use as you pursue discovering, preserving, and sharing your family's history? Tom has some answers.

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

Transcript of Episode 175 

Host: Scott Fisher with guest David Allen Lambert

Segment 1 Episode 175

Fisher: And you have found us! It’s America’s Family History Show Extreme Genes and ExtremeGenes.com. My name is Fisher, the Radio Roots Sleuth, on the program where we shake your family tree and watch the nuts fall out. This segment is brought to you by LegacyTree.com. And do we have guests today! This is going to be fun stuff. Paul Woodbury is going to be here, talking about this new process where you can find out from which grandparent you got which feature, and you can go the other way, which of your genes were passed down to say, your grandkids. Compared to, you know, some of those other grandparents. You know it’s a competition, right?! Paul’s going to have all the information on this coming up for you in just a little bit. And by the way, this whole process, it’s free! [Laughs] And then later in the show, Dan Debenham is back. He is the host of Relative Race on BYU-TV, a new series and a new season is coming up. He’s going to tell you all about that and how you can audition to be a part of season three. By the way, it’s pretty lucrative stuff. It’s a fun show and it’s going to be fun to be part of it too if you want to get in it. Dan will tell you all about it. But right now let’s check in with Boston and my good friend the Chief Genealogist of the New England Historic Genealogical Society and AmericanAncestors.org. It’s David Allen Lambert! Hi David, how are you?

David: Hey, I’m doing good. How are things with you Fish?

Fisher: Great! Closing in on RootsTech of course in Salt Lake City, Utah, coming up February 8th through 11th, we’re all going to be there and I’m looking forward to having people who are RootsTech attendees coming by the Extreme Genes booth, number 1325. Thursday from 2:30 to 3:30, and/ or Saturday 10:15 to 11:15 for a Meet and Greet with you and Tom Perry and myself.  It’s going to be fun to have the whole team together. A rare event!

David: I can’t wait to meet some of the listeners. I think we should put a gold path between your booth and my booth American Ancestors so that we can share the love. [Laughs]

Fisher: Absolutely yes! Hey, before we start with our Family Histoire news today David, I think we’ve got to start with a little warning that’s starting to get around the family history community, about a site called MyFamilyTree.com.

David: It’s one of those sites that it’s out there for free and you can plug in your name, but you’re going to be surprised what you can find.

Fisher: Yeah, this is one of those things normally you have to pay for all the information that’s out there. It’s all the public records that could be found usually for a fee, but you can find old addresses going back years and some cases decades, people you’re associated with. But you can opt out of it.

David: That’s true. But I think for researchers it’s probably a positive thing because you can find collateral associated people that may have lived with each other. My brother in law lived with my family for five years. He is listed there. My wife’s address from 28 years ago is listed there.

Fisher: Wow!

David: It’s amazing. But also, the year of birth, but you can opt out like you say and that merely is the positive thing. So you can pull yourself away from this database. But are you on the other side pulling yourself away from records that might help a genealogist find you.

Fisher: Right. And that site once again is MyFamilyTree.com.

David: Well you know I’ll tell you, we always use the census in our research. In 2010 it cost over twelve billion dollars and most of that salary was for people going door to door. That’s going to change for the 2020 census. According to John Thompson who is the director of the US Census Bureau, a lot of it will be done by computer.

Fisher: Yeah.

David: It’s going to be amazing. Hopefully people won’t put in typos, but I can tell you the 2010 census was kind of confusing because it didn’t list relationships to the head of the household like you would normally see in an old census that gave limited information. I don’t know the genealogy value of the 2010 census.

Fisher: That’s for another generation to decide I guess.

David: Exactly. So write a really long story about your family. [Laughs]

Fisher: [Laughs]

David: Okay, I’m a lover of horror movies and there was a movie I saw years ago, it was done back in 1970 called, “Santo VS the Mummies of Guanajuato” and it was based on these mummies of Mexico that went after this other person. Now this is kind of interesting because it’s based on a true group of mummies. Not Egyptian mummies but Mexican mummies. In this village of Guanajuato, by the 1860s the cemeteries being full, they go in and dig up the remains to move them, a lot of cemeteries do. But the remains were in great preservation. So they didn’t know what to do with them, so they put them in an ossuary.

Fisher: A what?

David: An ossuary underneath the cemetery like a tomb.

Fisher: Okay.

David: Essentially. The thing about this is they put a tax, so if you wanted to be remain buried you could stay there, but if you didn’t pay the tax... up you came!

Fisher: [Laughs]

David: So, you might have an ancestor on display in this museum, but I’m thinking DNA wise maybe they can identify who some of these mummies belong to and maybe they can get a proper burial again.

Fisher: Wow!

David: The other story I have goes a little further east. This is actually in Cuba. Of course in the news Fidel Castro passing away it’s been a lot of news with US relations. Colonial America had a lot of dealings with Colonial Cuba and historians now are getting access to these records, and they’re working to digitize and preserve millions of these documents that were once thought lost.

Fisher: That’s fantastic.

David: They’ll be more and more things online that researchers can find. I have ancestors that were ship captains that went down and dealt with Cuba, from Colonial New England. So, who knows I might even find my ancestor in one of the records.

Fisher: [Laughs] Yeah.

David: Now, memory is a wonderful thing. However, remember when you were a kid and your mom says, um, Joe, no, what name are you?

Fisher: [Laughs] Right, well we do that too. I do that with my kids.

David: But apparently now according to scientist Samantha Deffler, this is actually a part of the brain that stores in a folder called, “The normal cognate of glitch.” Essentially allowing people to remember family names, kind of melt together. It’s also the same place in the brain where there’s a folder for ex lovers.

Fisher: Ooh.

David: So if you call out someone’s name that isn’t your spouse and it’s from many years ago, that’s where it’s coming from.

Fisher: Yeah. That could be a problem.

David: Yeah it could cause lots of problems. So hopefully we can learn to shut off that part of our brain and enhance the other one.

Fisher: [Laughs]

David: But I just thought that was kind of interesting. At NEHGS we have our free guest member database and we have added to our large collection of American cemeteries. So we have the North American cemetery transcription collection and we’ve added ten new volumes that cover all different parts of the United States. So take a look at that on AmericanAncestors.org. I’ll tell you, I’m counting the days down to RootsTech. I look forward to seeing you and Tom real soon.

Fisher: All right, you too David. Thanks for coming on and we’ll see you real soon! And coming up next in three minutes, we’re going to talk to Paul Woodbury the DNA guy from LegacyTree.com, about a new technique that’s free, that can tell you which genes you got from which grandparents, coming up on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show.

Segment 2 Episode 175

Host: Scott Fisher with guest Paul Woodbury

Fisher: And we are back, its Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show and ExtremeGenes.com. Fisher here the Radio Roots Sleuth talking to my good friend Paul Woodbury from LegacyTree.com. Paul very excited to have you on by the way.

Paul: Thank you for having me. I’m really excited to be here.

Fisher: And this segment is brought to you by 23andMe.comDNA. Paul, you guys have started something new with DNA that I’m very excited about. It’s called ‘The Grandparent Inheritance Chart’ and the best part about it is it’s free. So tell us what this thing is and how you came up with the idea. Because you being the DNA guy over at Legacy Tree I know that you are just deep in the weeds with this thing.

Paul: Yeah. Recently several of my siblings and my cousins have been having children, and the common conversation starter that always comes up is, “Oh I think he definitely got Grandma Nancy’s nose. And look at those eyebrows, don’t they remind you of Grandpa so and so?” [Laughs] And I mean that happens all the time. We play this game where we look at little kids and we guess where their traits come from.

Fisher: Sure.

Paul: Well, coming from a background in genetics, really each of us inherits DNA from both our mother and our father in these packages of DNA called “genes” and it’s the interplay of those genes that results in the many characteristics that we have. The genes that you inherit from your dad for say... eye color, might be dominant to the gene that you inherited from your mom. So even though it appears you may inherit your dad’s eye color, in reality the genes for your eye color you inherit from both parents. So, as I was listening to these conversations talking about children and where they get their traits, I started thinking, what could we do if we could trace the DNA and the corresponding traits that we inherited from our grandparents and present that in a chart? And I started with myself and I thought how could I do that?

Fisher: [Laughs] You’re a mad man!

Paul: So I was thinking that and I thought well, at the time that I came up with this idea both of my grandfathers were already deceased, so how could I figure out what DNA  I inherited from them? How could I figure out what traits I got from them? Well, as I thought about it more, I realized you actually don’t need all four of your grandparents to do a DNA test to figure out what DNA you inherited from each of them.

Fisher: Really?

Paul: There are four types of DNA inheritance that human exhibit. And by touching two of your grandparents and applying those inheritance patterns you could figure out where most of your DNA came from.

Fisher: Ha!

Paul: Another way that you might think of this is, how much DNA did I pass on to my children and to my grandchildren? What is the percentage of DNA that I was successful in getting into my grandchild?

Fisher: [Laughs]

Paul: So it works both ways.

Fisher: Yes.

Paul: If you look at yourself and say, how much DNA did I get from my grandparents? You can also look at it the other way and it’s really exciting to think, I want to know if I beat all the other grandparents in my percentages.

Fisher: [Laughs] I love it. Good little competition going here.

Paul: Yeah.

Fisher: Okay so how does this work? I want to find out how much of my DNA has been passed along to my grandkids. What would somebody do?

Paul: You would need to test a grandchild, you’d need to test a paternal grandparent, so one of the father’s parents, and then you would need to test a maternal grandparent or one of the mother’s parents.

Fisher: Two grandparents then and one kid.

Paul: Yeah. And it’s important that the two grandparents are from opposite sides of the family.

Fisher: Right.

Paul: One from mom’s side, one from dad’s side.

Fisher: Okay.

Paul: And once you do that, then we can begin to look at the specific segments of DNA that a person gets from those grandparents. So, each of us gets 50% of our DNA from our parents and that DNA is organized into twenty three pairs of chromosomes, thus, 23andMe, unique, right?

Fisher: Yep. Yep.

Paul: So twenty three chromosomes from your dad and twenty three corresponding chromosomes from your mom. If you’re a male you get Y-chromosomes from your dad and he got it from his father, your paternal grandfather, that’s a given. In all humans, the mitochondrial DNA that we have comes from our mother who came from her mother, so your maternal grandmother, and that too is a given.

Fisher: Yeah.

Paul: It’s the X-chromosome and the autosomal DNA which poses a little more of a challenge for us in this situation. If you’re female, you inherit one X-chromosome from your father who got it from his mother, or your paternal grandmother.

Fisher: Oh boy, my head’s spinning now. Okay. Keep going “Captain Science!” [Laughs]

Paul: So let me get a little further in to re-combinations. So, as I mentioned before, each person gets twenty three chromosomes from each of our parents. But how does that happen when all the cells in our body have two pairs of chromosomes making forty six total?

Fisher: Sure.

Paul: That being said, at any given site on the DNA, if you look at any given base pair, those A, T, Gs and Cs, there’s only one of two possibilities; either the DNA came from your dad’s mom, or it came from your dad’s dad. It’s impossible that you can inherit DNA at a single sight from both of your grandparents. And that is the key for our tool.

Fisher: Ah ha! So what can somebody basically discover from this? I mean obviously they can say okay, grandma so and so or grandpa so and so wins the competition for most DNA passed down to this individual grandkid. I would imagine each grandkid is going to be different though, right?

Paul: Yeah. Because re-combination occurs differently in each round of that process, and so we each get a different mix of our grandparents’ genes and we’re going to get about 25% from each grandparent but that’s going to vary a little bit. Like you said, we can find out the exact percentage that we get from each grandparent. And I think the really exciting thing about this tool is that it will help us to identify the segments of DNA that we inherited from grandparents who we haven’t even touched. And that’s because anywhere where you match your tested grandparents from your mom’s side, you inherited that DNA from her but anywhere you don’t match her, had to have come from her husband.

Fisher: Right.

Paul: Just with three tests identifying, create a complete chromosome map of where each of your segments came from, from your grandparents. Now there are a few challenges in certain situations that your grandparents are related to each other in any way that can present problems.

Fisher: Sure.

Paul: There are some reasons of the DNA that aren’t even tested in any of the DNA tests, so we can’t assign those to any grandparent, but in our experience so far, we found that by testing yourself, a paternal grandparent and the maternal grandparent, you can determine the ancestral origin of about 95 to 97% of your DNA.

Fisher: [Laughs] That’s awesome. So we know who to blame for the nose or something, is that it?

Paul: Yeah.

Fisher: [Laughs]

Paul: That’s the cool part. That’s what you can do next. What’s unique about our tool is that it automates this process of inferring these segments. You could do this process before, but it would take you about a whole day to kind of figure out what was going on. And as we were developing the tool, we discovered that there are some regions of the DNA that you have to have caution with and its findings, and those regions aren’t commonly known to the average user. So this is a great opportunity for you to get a complete chart. It’s easy, it’s free, and the free portion is that you can get the chart and the percentages to identify all of the segments in the DNA that you inherited from each grandparent.

Fisher: That’s so cool.

Paul: I will also mention that although our tool is designed for data, for you and two of the grandparents, if you test more of your grandparents you can add that in and it improves the percentages.

Fisher: Wow! That sounds so much fun. You know that’s the thing about DNA. It just keeps evolving and newer and better opportunities keep coming along to use it and learn about ourselves and those who came before us and now those who are coming after us, right?

Paul: Yeah. That’s the really exciting part of this tool is you can also order a report with LegacyTree and we can take the information a step further and we can identify the genes that influence different traits that you inherited from each of your grandparents. So, I did this for myself and I found out that I got my eye color and hair color genes from my grandmother Laurie and from my grandfather Richard. Both of them had dark brown eyes and very dark hair.

Fisher: Is that from both sides of your family?

Paul: Yes, that’s both sides of my family. My grandma Laurie is my dad’s mom, and my grandpa Richard is my mom’s dad. And so those genes I got from both sides because we each get one gene from each side. And the combination of those resulted and my eye color. And I also found out that I got my hair shape genes from my grandpa Allen and my grandma Arlene, both of whom had wavy curly hair. So it’s exciting to see those things. You can also make some discoveries that are maybe a little bit less desirable. I found out that Arlene contributed to my balding pattern genes. It’s a little discouraging since her father was completely bald!

Fisher: [Laughs] Uh oh!

Paul: So I’m not really looking forward to that.

Fisher: Right.

Paul: But there’s lots of really neat traits that geneticists and scholars have been able to tie to physical traits and to genetic markers who had our genes.

Fisher: All right. Really quick here Paul, if somebody wants to do this, where do they go?

Paul: Okay. So in order to use our tool you need to perform autosomal DNA testing.

Fisher: Okay.

Paul: Autosomal DNA testing is available at many different websites and companies, and you need to do one test for the subject who you’re creating the map for, and then you need to do one test for a paternal grandparent of the subject and one test for a maternal grandparent for the subject. So the key element of this is being able to compare the DNA segments that you share with your relatives.

Fisher: Okay. And then you just go to LegacyTree.com and you can find a place to share that material. Is that right?

Paul: Yes. So what you’ll do is, you’ll upload a spreadsheet of the segments that you’re share in common. We have detailed instructions at our website at LegacyTree.com/inheritance after following those instructions you’ll upload your spreadsheet. It will create the charts for you and you can have at it.

Fisher: [Laughs] Unbelievable. He’s Paul Woodbury. He’s the DNA guy over at LegacyTree.com. Paul thanks for sharing. It sounds like a lot of fun and I’m already thinking of which grandchild is going to be my first victim!

Paul: All right. Sounds good!

Fisher: [Laughs]

Paul: And if you have additional questions about DNA, feel free to join us for a live DNA Q&A on the Legacy Tree Genealogist Facebook page on Saturday February 11th at 4pm.

Fisher: 4pm. Which time zone?

Paul: 4pm Mountain Standard Time.

Fisher: All right. Thank you very much Paul. Good to talk to you!

Paul: Thank you!

Fisher: And coming up next, I’m going to talk to Dan Debenham. He is the host, the producer, the creator or Relative Race back for season 2 on BYU-TV. It’s an incredible genealogy related TV show you’re going to want to hear about, coming up in three minutes on Extreme Genes.   

Segment 3 Episode 175

Host: Scott Fisher with guest Dan Debenham

Fisher: And welcome back to America’s Family History Show! It’s Extreme Genes, Fisher here, the Radio Roots Sleuth with my good friend Dan Debenham. He is the host, the creator, the executive producer, the Grand Imperial Poobah of the TV show Relative Race, and of course you can catch this show on BYU-TV. It’s all over the place. It’s all over the country. It’s on Direct TV and what else Dan?

Dan: Dish and any variety of cable providers. So just check with your cable provider or satellite provider and ask them if they have BYU-TV. And if they don’t for some reason, it’s seen in about 55 million homes, you can always go online to watch Relative Race. It’s relativerace.com. Just go to relativerace.com and you can always download the series as well and this is Season 2 right now that we’re getting ready to debut and casting for Season 3.

Fisher: Now, I remember last year at RootsTech, you guys were the talk of RootsTech because the show hadn’t even been aired yet.

Dan: That’s right.

Fisher: And so they were showing episodes there and everybody was coming and saying, “Did you see this show about family history as a game show, as a reality show? And obviously you’ve been renewed because you’re Season 2 and you’re casting for Season 3.

Dan: Yeah.

Fisher: First of all, for people not familiar with the show, fill them in on exactly how this works, Dan.

Dan: Relative Race is a combination of a number of show ideas out there, and really that’s what we’re settled on. When BYU-TV executives came to us and said we’d like you to create a show that involves family history, ancestry, genealogy, finding family, but we need it to be entertaining. And so we settled on this format that is a reality show. And when I say reality, I mean there is not single line in any of the ten episodes from each season that is scripted; not a thing. Our cameras roll and what they capture is what we put on the air. This is real. It’s a cool concept. So we cast four couples from anywhere around the United States each season and then we fly those four couples to a starting location. For Season 1 as you probably remember, that was in San Francisco. Season 2, this season that debuts in March, we start in Miami. Season 3 is undisclosed as of yet. But Season 3 will be a different starting point. Season 1we went from San Francisco to New York. Season 2 that’s about to air, we go from Miami to Boston. And Season 3 again, as of yet we have a number of routes that we’re considering. But part of the routes we have to wait until we get the DNA back from our couples that we cast for the show because that determines where we can go across America because we cast the four couples, we fly them to the starting location and then each day of the race is a separate episode. So it’s a ten day race, ten episodes of the show. Those couples, we strip them of all their technology, all Bluetooth devices, their smart phones and everything are taken away. We provide them with paper maps.

Fisher: [Laughs]

Dan: And then a flip phone that we have picked up for them with no GPS technology. We provide them with identical rental cars and then we provide them with clues that come via texts on these flip phones on where they’re going everyday and when they arrive in that city, they’re given challenges that they have to overcome. And when they overcome those challenges they’re given the address to a relative that they never knew they had and they had never met before.

Fisher: Wow!

Dan: And when they arrive at that relative’s door and they open the door their time is stopped. So this is a race, it’s Relative Race. If you’re the last one to find your relative every day, you receive a strike; three strikes and you’re off the race.

Fisher: Umm hmm.

Dan: If you continue all the way to the end and you’re the first and fastest one to find your relative you pick up $50 000.

Fisher: Sweet!

Dan: So it’s a fun, incredibly emotional show because you’re juxtapositioning from the race element every episode where they are. I mean there’s tears and there’s frustrations because they’re trying to navigate a map to when they knock on the door and all of a sudden they realize, “Wait a minute, this race has led me to…” and I can tell you this year the connections are even far closer than we found last year. We’re better off what we’re doing this year. There are, man I don’t know how to say this, but I can tell you this that the connections includes siblings that these people never knew existed, and we found them; they meet on Season 2 of Relative Race.

Fisher: Wow!

Dan: It’s just a fantastic show.

Fisher: Well if you are into family history, we all have that empathy for other people and theirs. And that’s why the show works so well. So, let’s see, shall we talk about how you can get signed up because you are getting ready for Season 3?

Dan: Yeah absolutely, casting for Season 3. So if you’re interested in being on Relative Race, okay one of our four couples, and you think you’ve got an interesting story, a family story or an interesting reason why you should be on Relative Race, we really encourage you to go to TRRCasting. That stands for the acronym The Relative Race. So TRRcasting.com and right there it tells you what to do. It’s very simple. You submit a one to two minute video that you’ve taken with your phone, or we have kids that shoot mom and dad and let us know who you are. We’re trying to find personalities with a good story that will make for great television that will make for a great adventure as we discover your relatives.

Fisher: Okay, are these people who are necessarily into researching their families?

Dan: They don’t have to be. It’s certainly a plus. And it’s not uncommon that the wife for instance, is really into finding family and then we’ll ask the husband, “Why do you think you why should you be on the show?’ and the husband invariably says, “It’s because I want $50 000!”

Fisher: [Laughs] Well they’re honest guys; they’re straight forward.

Dan: The wife is hitting him in the ribs and going, “Honey, it’s because of the relatives,” and he says, “And the $50 000!” So you have elements of both in the show.

Fisher: [Laughs] Okay, so then they sign up at TRRCasting.com and then of course they can watch Season 2 here.

Dan: That’s right. That debuts March 5th, Sunday March 5th on BYU-TV. Now again, if you don’t have BYU-TV please just download it. Go to relativerace.com, download it and watch it when it’s most convenient for you. But if you have BYU-TV the original episodes debut every Sunday night starting on Sunday March 5th.

Fisher: Right. And the times will vary depending on where you are around the country.

Dan: It’s 7pm Mountain Standard Time so that will be 6pmWest Coast and it will be 9pm East Coast.

Fisher: Do you have some of these people, who are a little callous like you talked about some of the husbands wanting the money, but they go and they actually meet a relative that suddenly the money isn’t the thing, their whole attitude is changed?

Dan: Absolutely. I can think of the green couple… we cast the couples by colors. There’s red team, green team, black team and blue team. Green team from Season 1 was all about the money. They made it clear.

Fisher: [Laughs]

Dan: “We’re young, we have a baby and we’re trying to buy our first house. It’s money!” And through the process of the show, in each episode you watch them change, and they honestly look at our cameras and say, and tears, they’re in tears in Season 1 and you can watch Season 1through. You can binge watch it, and they are in tears as they realize that the money doesn’t matter to them anymore.

Fisher: Right.

Dan: They are so taken by finding family all across the country that the money doesn’t matter and the only reason they don’t want to be eliminated is because they want to keep finding family.

Fisher: Wow!

Dan: So yes that happens. And it happens every season. There’s always somebody that was in it for the money and we watch them just melt away as money becomes totally unimportant. And meeting family, extending that family line, finding family, it becomes paramount.

Fisher: Isn’t that incredible?

Dan: It is really neat.

Fisher: All right. It’s the Relative Race. It’s on BYU-TV all across the country on Direct TV.

Dan: Dish, cable provider, just ask your cable or satellite provider do they have BYU-TV.

Fisher: And it’s on relativerace.com and of course you can possibly sign up to be part of it for Season 3 by going to TRRcasting.com.  So it’s about seven hundred bucks a day?

Dan: Seven hundred bucks plus we pay all of your expenses and if you win it’s $50,000 on top of that!

Fisher: He’s Dan Debenham the creator, the host, the executive producer. Thanks for coming on Dan.

Dan: I’m the Grand Poobah!

Fisher: [Laughs] Yes you are!

Dan: [Laughs]

Fisher: And this segment has been brought to you by MyHeritage.com. Coming up next Tom Perry to tell you how virtual reality may be coming part of the package when it comes to technology and family history. In three minutes on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show.

Segment 4 Episode 175

Host: Scott Fisher with guest Tom Perry

Fisher: Hey, it is preservation time on America's Family History Show, Extreme Genes and ExtremeGenes.com. Fisher here your Radio Roots Sleuth with Tom Perry from TMCPlace.com. This segment is brought to you by RootsMagic.com. How are you, Tom?

Tom: Super duper!

Fisher: You know, last week we started getting into what was at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas that could apply to family history. And you were, frankly, nerding out!

Tom: [Laughs]

Fisher: I was getting a little concerned that we'd have to call some medical help in.

Tom: [Laughs]

Fisher: But you only touched on just a couple of things, including some phenomenal drones, I mean that are so small, you could even just fold up the wings and stick them in your pocket when you're done, and how that could apply of course to family history. What else do you have to add to this, this year?

Tom: Okay, one of the funny things which we've talked about kind of jokingly a little bit in the past is virtual reality. And the new virtual reality systems that they had down there are basically catching up to WonderShare. So now you have this virtual reality. Can you imagine, you go in and take pictures of people that have go on, that have passed on, you can add audio too if you have audio, you can have somebody narrate their journals, then you can take these people and actually put them in a virtual reality type situation.

Fisher: Wow!

Tom: So you have these goggles on and you're looking at Grandma Edna talking to you and telling you things that are going on. And if you don't have their voice, you know, get your mom, get somebody. Nobody's going to know exactly what they sounded like. And have them read their journals to you. You can take these things and put them on YouTube so your whole family can see them. And these stories just come to life. Instead of just reading them on a piece of paper, they have become virtual reality that you're actually participating in it.

Fisher: Do you think they could eventually make these photographs of these old people, of these long deceased people into 3D?

Tom: Oh, absolutely! And this is growing so fast, I can't even begin to imagine what CES is going to be like next year. But they're going to be able to take these things, and we joked about it before, we said, "Hey, don't throw away your old film, because one day you might be able to do it in 3D. Ha, ha, ha, ha."

Fisher: [Laughs]

Tom: Well, that's not "ha, ha, ha, ha" anymore, it’s real through WonderShare and through this virtual reality type things. You can start creating this stuff.

Fisher: All right, what else do you have on that list?

Tom: Okay, after that, another thing that's really cool, which kind of helps you, more peace of mind more than family history.

Fisher: Say that again.

Tom: Another thing that they had at CES that is really cool that can help you personally, not just so much with your family history, but kind of keeping your sanity, with cell phones everyplace now, they're driving you crazy. They're at the kitchen table, people walk into the store, they're in the library, they're in all kinds of places. Well, there’s a new device now which was primarily designed to go in cars, so your kids can't be doing texting, they can't be answering the phone, they can't be doing anything.

Fisher: It blocks it?

Tom: Exactly! It blocks all the signals. So, my mind's sitting there going crazy! And I'm sitting there thinking, "Hmm, if you had this on your dinner table, none of your kids could access their text, they couldn't call anybody."

Fisher: [Laughs]

Tom: They couldn't say, "Oh no, pass the potatoes. Oh, wait, I need to finish this text." They can't do it. In your business, people walk up to your counter and they're like, "Oh, wait, just a sec, I've got to take this call." Put a little deal on your front counter, people can't get text, people can't call while you have that thing. There's so many things for this. You have a family history party going on and the kids aren't talking to each other, the younger kids, all they're doing is texting each other and texting their friends at home and say, "I'm at a family reunion, you know. Let's talk." Sit that thing at your family reunion and everybody is forced to interact with each other instead of with their iPhone. I mean, the peace of mind it’s going to give you is incredible.

Fisher: [Laughs] Well, it would make for a more successful event. How much are these things?

Tom: All these things, they haven't put prices on them. When stuff comes to CES, they don't even really test the market like the used to in the old days. They would put prices on them, talk to the people. So basically, what people now do is, they hire these consulting people that they go out and find people that are in your demographics, they bring them in, they ask them questions, they show them videos, films, all different kinds of things, and then talk to them about price and see what their reaction is. Because they have these cameras set up on their face that read their reactions, so they can't, you know, really lie about stuff. And that's the way they find these price points down. So they bring it out to see what interest is in it, then they go and invest money to have these special studies to find out what the price points will be. But as soon as we know, we'll let you know, absolutely.

Fisher: All right. And coming up in three minutes, we'll find out more from Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas with Tom Perry, during preservation time on Extreme Genes, America's Family History Show.

Segment 5 Episode 175

Host: Scott Fisher with guest Tom Perry

Fisher: And we are back. It’s our final segment this week of Extreme Genes, America's Family History Show. It is Preservation Time, and I'm talking with Tom Perry from TMCPlace.com. Tom, of course is the geek extraordinaire when it comes to Consumer Electronics Show at Las Vegas, Nevada, which happened earlier this year, the first week of the year. Tom, what do you have for us this time?

Tom: Okay. One thing a lot of people run into, which you wrote a book about is, hitting a brick wall.

Fisher: Yes.

Tom: And being confused. You don't know where to go from here. Stephen R. Covey wrote, The Seven Habits to Successful Living. And one of the things he talked about was sharpening the saw. So what happens is, you're sitting there trying to cut through this big log, and you're just at ninety miles an hour and you can't stop, and somebody say, "Hey, wait! Wait, wait, wait! Just stop for a minute, sharpen your saw, you'll be able to get through the log faster." You go, "Oh, no, no, I don't have time to sharpen the saw. I need to keep going.

Fisher: Right.

Tom: When in reality, if you've run into one of these brick walls, you need to find another way to circumvent the wall, to get around it. And your book's a good example of this. And so, this new software put out as a combination with family history expos. And you can take this, and if you have all your stuff in an excel spreadsheet, like some of our sponsors actually have software that's very similar.

Fisher: FamilySearch.org does this. They'll tell you, you know, that the mom is seven years old. This is too young. Or, she got married after she died, that doesn't work. So this is great, because it sounds like it’s something you could actually apply to your RootsMagic.

Tom: Oh, absolutely! All these things dovetail together. And this is one thing I really like about this industry, most of these companies are starting to dovetail together, to be nice, to work with each other and say, "Hey, you know, you have something that's very specialized that is wonderful. Ours is a little bit in a different direction. Let's get the two together and work, so the people that buy these different kinds of software are going to be able to access to all this information. And you mentioned the example of people being too young. You can go in and say, "Okay, I'm looking for these names." "Hey, these three names are identical. Which one is it?" Well, through this software, it'll go back through the excel sheets, it'' go through obituaries, it'll go through all different kinds of things and find out, "It can't this one, because he came from this area. It can't be this one, because he never lived here." And instead of you having to go and rack your brain through all these things, these software algorithms that they write will go through and find out all this kind of stuff and make everything match, just like a puzzle together, just like on the TV show, Survivor, and they get all the pieces together by these algorithms and you're going, "Oh!!" It’s like the light bulb going off and helping you.

Fisher: What fun is this, Tom?

Tom: [Laughs]

Fisher: I mean, for thirty some on years I've done exactly what you're talking about by hand. It fills my days and my nights. This is getting way too easy!

Tom: But see, we don't all have “The Life of Riley!”

Fisher: [Laughs]

Tom: Some of us have to work for a living. And we have just a little bit of time that we have to do these. So, every algorithm you can get is going to help me, just like these new BMW and these news cars that drive themselves, that actually drive. They have wifi hook ups. In fact, they had one of those at the CES show. This new car is driven by wifi.

Fisher: Yeah.

Tom: And I'm a little confused about it, but it is so cool. Who ever thought that this was really going to happen? It’s just amazing!

Fisher: Yeah. [Laughs]

Tom: And so, with this family history software, some people like to get in the dirt and dig like you do. You like to get in these and get your fingernails dirty.

Fisher: Yep.

Tom: And get your hands dirty and figure the stuff out. Where some people thought, "No, this has got to be easy. I want this the easy way. I want the BMW way. I don't want the Ford 150 way."

Fisher: [Laughs]

Tom: And so, this is great software for them, for the people that enjoy like you, it’s awesome to go through and dig, but some people just, that's out of their will house, so to speak.

Fisher: Hey, I'll tell you what, I love what the new stuff does. There's no question that for instance, when digitized newspapers came along, that changed everything. And yet, that's only about seven or eight years old really, where there was enough of it to make a difference for most people. And we take it so for granted now it’s just a normal tool, but what an advance! DNA continues to evolve, and CeCe Moore told us just last week about changes coming there as well. This is all exciting stuff. Anytime that can help us to break through a wall, then we can get to doing some of the other things we really like.

Tom: And hopefully at RootsTech, we'll actually have some names and some actual sample software that we can pass out to people that they can play around with.

Fisher: Sounds great. Good to have you, Tom. Thanks for coming on.

Tom: My pleasure.

Fisher: Hey, that is a wrap for this week. This segment has been brought to you by FamilySearch.org, the people who bring you RootsTech, which is creeping up on us real fast, February 8th through 11th in Salt Lake City, Utah at the Salt Palace Convention Center. Hope you're going to be there. Get signed up at RootsTech.org. By the way, don't forget to sign up for our weekly newsletter, The Weekly Genie. You can do that at ExtremeGenes.com on the home page. Talk to you again next week. And remember, as far as everyone knows, we're a nice, normal family!

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