Episode 176 - Organization Reunites Purple Hearts With Vets and Families / Oscar Hammerstein III On His Family Research And Rodgers & HammersteinJan 29, 2017
Fisher opens the show with David Allen Lambert, Chief Genealogist of the New England Historic Genealogical Society and AmericanAncestors.org. David shares news of the identification of a casualty of Pearl Harbor whose remains have finally been returned home. Next, the guys talk about the 125th anniversary of Ellis Island and tell you where to find a quick video history of the place that many our ancestors passed through in coming to America. Fisher then shares a fun and wonderful obituary written by the deceased herself… a great way to be remembered! Following up on last week’s show, Fisher and David tell you about how to opt out of sites that share way too much of your personal information, including FamilyTreeNow.com, Spokeo, and Instant Checkmate.
Next, Fisher visits with Zachariah Fike, founder of PurpleHeartsReunited.org, an organization that seeks out, buys, researches, and returns these medals of honor to the vets themselves, or their surviving families. Zachariah gives the background on the medal, and some amazing recovery and return stories.
Then, Fisher visits with Oscar Hammerstein III (who goes by “Andy”) whose grandfather was half of the team of Rodgers and Hammerstein, who redefined Broadway. Andy is quite the “genie” and is the go-to guy in his family when it comes to the Hammerstein family history. Andy will be a part of this year’s RootsTech Family History Conference in Salt Lake City, presenting background on his grandfather’s songs as they are sung by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.
In Preservation Time, Tom Perry of TMCPlace.com talks with Fisher about the most common (and most easily cracked) passwords. Do you use any of them? Listen and find out. Tom then tells you what to expect in the tech world at this year’s RootsTech.
That’s all this week on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show!
Transcript of Episode 176
Host: Scott Fisher with guest David Allen Lambert
Segment 1 Episode 176
Fisher: And welcome to another spine tingling edition of Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show! I am Fisher, your Radio Roots Sleuth on the program where we shake your family tree and watch the nuts fall out. This segment of our show is brought to your by MyHeritage.com. Our guests today, we’re going to talk to a guy named Zachariah Fike. He has put together an organization called “Purple Hearts Reunited” and this guy has become so passionate about discovering displaced Purple Hearts and reuniting them with either the veterans themselves, if they’re still living, or descendants. And he’s got stories to tell that will just touch your heart, you’re going to love hearing about that coming up in about eight minutes or so. Later in the show, we’re going to talk to Oscar Hammerstein the III. He goes by “Andy.” He’s going to be doing a special presentation at RootsTech the world’s largest family history conference in Salt Lake City, Utah, coming up in just a couple of weeks. He’s going to be doing this with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir performing Rodgers and Hammerstein music, and you’re going to hear all about his family history, amazing stuff coming up! Hey, just a reminder by the way, if you have not yet signed up for our free Weekly Genie newsletter, you can do so at ExtremeGenes.com and when you do, you’ll get the top ten tips for beginning genealogists from David Allen Lambert, the Chief Genealogist of the New England Historic Genealogical Society and AmericanAncestors.org. That’s a lot to fit on a business card David, how are things in Boston?
David: Things in Beantown are doing great Fish. Are you looking forward to RootsTech?
Fisher: Oh absolutely! We’re just a couple of weeks away now, February 8th through 11th in Salt Lake City, Utah. And of course we want to invite all the genies to come by the Extreme Genes booth. We’re going to do a meet and greet with you David, and of course myself and Tom Perry our Preservation Authority. We’re going to do two one hour meet and greets, one on Thursday from 2:30 to 3:30 and one on Saturday from 10:15 to 11:15 and that will be at the Extreme Genes booth 1325 at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, Utah. It’s going to be a lot of fun!
David: Well, you know I think we need to toss out a contest. From me to our listeners, come by the booth one of those two days and if you’re the 176th visitor to do a selfie with the three of us at the booth. I’ll give you a free one hour free consultation with me on genealogy on the phone, or perhaps if you’re near Boston, come on in and I can work with you there.
Fisher: Wow! That is quite an offer. Of course 176 because today is our 176th show!
David: Yeah, I thought it was a fitting way to do it. Well, let’s start off the Family Histoire news with some really touching news from Pearl Harbor. Of course last month we celebrated the 75th anniversary of the attack. The USS Oklahoma was one of the vessels that sank in Pearl Harbor, and of the 429 killed, only 35 were ever identified and brought home. So, a sailor from the USS Oklahoma from the State of Alabama named Henry Soley was never identified. But now, with technology they’ve been able to identify him and he is now brought home and he’s buried. Family members that never even knew him went to his funeral. They said it was a celebration of his life to welcome him home after all those years.
Fisher: Wow! DNA comes through again.
David: It really does. And on a happy note, 125th birthday month of January for Ellis Island!
Fisher: Yes! Now, did you have ancestors come through there?
David: I didn’t. But my wife’s great grandfather came through there from Scotland. Most of mine came either through Canada or New England earlier than that.
Fisher: Now I had a grandmother come through there and I think I read a stat where like half of all Americans have somebody who came through Ellis Island.
David: It’s an amazing place and the nice thing about it is you can experience the whole passenger arrival process right there at the museum and you can see the Statue of Liberty.
Fisher: And by the way, at ExtremeGenes.com we posted a great YouTube video somebody put together of a little history of Ellis Island, and even if you have an attention span somewhat less than a gold fish you can enjoy this thing and get your kids to enjoy it too and appreciate this important place in American history.
David: Well, you know it’s funny, my grandmother always told me if she got up in the morning and didn’t read her name in the obituary column, she could get up and go and do her daily choirs.
David: So I want to say that, I called you earlier in the week about that obituary. I think we need to share that one with the listeners.
Fisher: Oh yeah, this is great and someone wrote their own obituary which you’ve got to recommend, right?
Fisher: It was written by a woman in Madison, Wisconsin, named Kay Ann Heggestad. And this is what she wrote, “Kay Ann Heggestad, age 72, bought the farm, is no more, has ceased to be, left this world, is bereft of life, gave up the ghost, kicked the bucket, murió, c'est fini. She died on Friday, January 13, 2017, after a wimpy non-battle with multiple myeloma, after almost two years to the date of diagnosis. No one should say she fought a courageous battle, because she did not! What a whiner! She was ready to quit treatment many times but her family pushed her to continue, which was good since she then had time to have parties and say good-bye to friends and relatives.”
Fisher: She wrote this all herself and it just goes on and on, but what a treat and we’ve shared it. It’s on ExtremeGenes.com.
David: Last week we talked about FamilyTreeNow and you can opt out.
David: Well, hats off to Patrick Allen who has written an article and it’s linked on our Extreme Genes website, on how to opt out on a lot of popular people search sites. That includes, Spokeo, Peeq, Instant Checkmate, and one that you’ve probably heard of, White Pages.
Fisher: Wow! That’s great, step by step too, so that’s going to be really important. What I like about these sites, they’re great for us to research through, but what I don’t like about them is if we don’t want to be found, you know maybe you’ve got a crazy ex-boyfriend or girlfriend, that would be the place to opt out from.
David: That’s probably a good idea. I think I’ve got to do that after we finish the show today! [Laughs]
David: Well, every week I normally mention a free database, but I’ve got something better for our listeners. In honor of our 176th episode, NEHGS has a deal. If you’re not a member of NEHGS, you’ve been able to try as a guest member for a while now, for $20 off our regular $89.95 membership. You can now join, if you’re a new member by using the checkout code “Extreme.”
Fisher: Oh very nice!
David: This is a great way to experience all of AmericanAncestors.org if you’ve been a guest member for a while now. And I’ll send it so that we have it for the website and for Twitter as well. Look forward to seeing some of you at RootsTech, and I’ll talk to you next week Fish.
Fisher: Thanks so much David and we’ll see you soon! And coming up next, we’re going to talk to Zachariah Fike. He’s the guy who has put together a group called “Purple Hearts Reunited” and you’re going to want to hear some of the stories he’s got to tell about getting Purple Hearts back to the families of wounded vets, coming up in three minutes on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show.
Segment 2 Episode 176
Host: Scott Fisher with guest Zachariah Fike
Fisher: And welcome back to Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show and ExtremeGenes.com. It is Fisher here, your Radio Roots Sleuth, You know, one of my favorite family heirlooms that I very much treasure is a Purple Heart that came down into my family that belonged to my mother’s cousin, and very unfortunately he was killed in Europe May 1st of 1945 just a couple of weeks before VE Day. And it very much affected his mother who lived with that for the rest of her days. But it’s something I treasure and it’s always a shock to me to hear that people have let these get out of their families and people are finding them or they’re auctioning them off on eBay. That’s why this guy seems very important to me, Zachariah Fike. Zack how are you?
Zachariah: Good Sir. Thanks for having me on the show.
Fisher: Zack is the founder of an organization called PurpleHeartsReunited.org and you guys are out actually finding families to go with these missing badges of people who have really paid quite the... well really in some cases the ultimately sacrifice.
Zachariah: Absolutely. We’re a non-profit that exists to find lost or stolen military medals of valor and return them either to the veteran who earned them or their families.
Fisher: So how long have you been doing this Zack?
Zachariah: It first started in 2009 when my mom bought me a Purple Heart for Christmas. The organization itself didn’t start until 2012. So we’ve been going strong for four years now and to date we’ve returned roughly three hundred of these medals to families across the country.
Fisher: Wow! that is so cool. Now, you say she bought you a Purple Heart. Where did she get it?
Zachariah: She found it in an antique shop. Believe it or not these medals are turning up all over the country. They’re being found in old abandoned homes, vehicles, furniture. Metal detector enthusiasts are finding them buried in the ground. My favorite story last year... a dog was digging in the back yard and found a Purple Heart. That dog became the first dog in our history that I know of that’s found a medal and returned it to a family member.
Fisher: [Laughs] Yeah.
Zachariah: “Smuck” is the dog. It was beautiful. Wore the medal around its collar and walked right up to the daughter and took it off the collar. It was amazing.
Fisher: Wow! That’s an incredible story. Where was that?
Zachariah: Yeah. It was in Denver, Colorado. And overnight that dog became internet famous and people sent care packages, dog food, bones, everything, she lived really well until the last moments of her life.
Fisher: Wow! that’s an incredible story. Well yeah, these things do come up all over the place and it always seems like such a shame to me that they’ve gotten out of the family and I would assume that sometimes it’s through death, through divorce.
Zachariah: Yeah, it’s a little bit of everything. 50% of medals have just been found or located in some of the ways we’ve discussed. If you can envision a medal has been found that way, you know, airline, tarmac, baggage claim, taxi cab, Broadway show, it’s just amazing. Now the other 50% we have to essentially try to locate and rescue.
Zachariah: Some of these medals have made it to like you said, eBay, pawn shops. There are many, many medal enthusiasts or collectors. Some are really good, some are doing the right thing and attempting to rescue these medals so that these men could be honored. Some will however see it in a different light and are basically selling these medals for profit.
Zachariah: The average auctioned medal goes for roughly, these, days almost four, five hundred dollars on average. If you can tie historical significance, these medals can go for thousands of dollars, which we find very unfortunate and we do our best to buy those medals back and get them back to the families.
Fisher: Now, how old is the oldest Purple Heart that you’ve come across and have been able to reunite with descendents?
Zachariah: So the medal was first introduces as the medal we know on February 22nd of 1932. That’s when Congress led by General MacArthur, he pushed Congress to develop a medal that would essentially signify the soldiers from World War I that shed their blood or their lives. They had their first ceremony on August of ’32 at what they call “The Purple Heart Hall of Honor” at Newburgh, New York.
Fisher: Um hmm.
Zachariah: And they first issued roughly a 127 medals out to those soldiers, and we actually found one of those original 100 medals and were able to return it to a grandson. So we could say that we’ve returned one of the original Purple Heart medals.
Fisher: Wow! There were predecessors though to this, right? That goes back to like Washington.
Zachariah: Correct. Known as the Badge of Military Merit, it was a cloth patch, purple in color in the shape of a heart and hand shapes across the front was the word “merit.” That was first awarded August 7th of 1782. August 7th if you didn’t know, every year is national Purple Heart Day in our country. So if you know a veteran who served, please reach out to them and thank them for their service. It was awarded not for wounds that we know today, it was actually for fidelity and service. Much like the Medal of Honor and that’s essentially what it was initially. It’s our nation’s oldest medal and gave soldiers the right to come and go from the camp whenever they wanted and officers like myself would have to salute them as they walked by.
Fisher: Isn’t that interesting. Have you ever found any of those going back that far?
Zachariah: No, those are sure rare you know anything can happen. There’s a few that are in museums. They believe a lot of them were just destroyed over time. They’re not sure how many were issued. They know for a fact that it was awarded to the first three and they believe maybe a dozen more, but they’re really not sure.
Fisher: That’s incredible. Well, talk about some of the families you’ve reached out to. I mean they must have been absolutely astonished to get a phone call or a text or an email from you guys about their ancestor’s service or their relative who might still be living, right?
Zachariah: We just had a beautiful ceremony on Saturday in Fremont, Ohio. I have what we call a valor rescue team. I have volunteers that help me locate these medals across the country and we purchase them. This medal set was a very large set. It was from World War I. This thing was the most complete set I’d ever seen. It had his medals, it had his dog tags, it had his wallet with money from France.
Zachariah: It had his pocket knife, it actually had the shrapnel that he pulled from his body in this box, which is amazing, and it was with a collector. This collector had been collecting for many years. He had a large storage unit, so this stuff was kind of just piled up in this storage unit. We were able to locate it, pay for it. We believed that the family had someone connected to Florida that’s how some of the medals kind of ended up there, could have been like you said, in a safe still, something of that nature. But regardless, we did the historical research and we found the family and presented those items back to his four grandchildren. Not only were his four grandchildren there, but he had four great grandchildren and two great, great grandchildren in attendance.
Zachariah: And it was just amazing to see that history coming back to that family and they were just blown away by it.
Fisher: I can only imagine. Have you run into some cases of stolen valor before Zack?
Zachariah: We typically don’t deal with that. We do have friends in the community that concentrate on people wearing valor that they’re not supposed to wear. But that’s really not in our wheel house. Typically the medals that we rescue were within a medal enthusiast’s hands either for preservation purposes or in the purpose of selling them to make a profit.
Fisher: Okay. Right. And that would be most of them I would imagine. That’s the low hanging fruit, right?
Zachariah: We spent fifty thousand dollars last year to rescue roughly a 125 medals and that was from eBay, Craig’s List, and military collectors across the country.
Fisher: Wow! And where does the money come from?
Zachariah: We’re a non-profit. Honestly, I didn’t think this thing would grow as large as it’s grown. People started asking me how do we donate? How do we help? And so we established a non-profit to receive donations. 100% of the donations we receive from the general public goes back into returning these medals. You know, that’s rescuing the medal from perhaps eBay, we get them professionally framed free of charge, if you’ve seen any photos of our frames it’s absolutely beautiful. That preserves the medal, the integrity of it and then we travel to these hometowns and do these reuniting ceremonies for each family. So then we travel to your hometown and try to give you an amazing ceremony where we subject you to that history that you never knew about and teach people about the history of the medal, what sacrifice means and what a hero their loved one was. And for a lot of the families it goes beyond just the medal, that ceremony means a lot to them. It’s reuniting families. It’s connecting families. And for some families it’s bringing them closure.
Fisher: Boy, and when you think about that, I mean Purple Hearts go back to only about 1932, we’re really talking about the earliest recipients for World War I. I don’t assume they hit the Spanish American War, or did they?
Zachariah: There were some veterans that were issued Purple Hearts for the Civil War.
Zachariah: Yeah. Things had changed. Requirements had changed since then. But there were some families that followed through and processed the Purple Hearts for their Civil War veterans.
Zachariah: But yes, you’re correct. Primarily it’s for World War I and up to date. Literally just before you called me, I reunited our first Desert Storm Medal. You know there weren’t very many causalities. I think there were a 148 in Desert Storm.
Zachariah: We got a phone call from a man who found a complete medal set down in Georgia, and it belonged to a young marine who died in ‘91 during Desert Storm. He was actually one of four of the first casualities. Literally, I mean four names came across the wire. The Pentagon was trying to sort out who it was but he was one of the very first deaths of Desert Storm.
Fisher: Unbelievable. I was thinking, with these ceremonies, many of these people must have known the individual. In most cases because they’re so recent, yes?
Zachariah: Yeah. I mean they’re connected by blood. You know we try to find the closest relative available, but in some cases you’re dealing with maybe an only son so maybe his family didn’t exist and in those cases we call “Homes of Honor.” Let’s say you’re from Fremont, Ohio, I would reach out to their historical society or maybe town hall and get them to receive the medal and out it on display, that way that home town can recognize one of their own heroes and people will come through that museum for many years to come and appreciate that service.
Fisher: The service is PurpleHeartsReunited.org If you have a Purple Heart that’s the way to reach out to Zachariah Fike. He is the founder. Thanks so much Zack for your time and thanks for your service. I think you’re doing a great thing.
Zachariah: Hey, thank you for having us on and it’s our pleasure.
Fisher: And this segment of our show has been brought to you by Roots Magic. And coming up in five minutes we’ll talk to Oscar Hammerstein the third about how his ancestors created what we know as “Broadway” today, on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show.
Segment 3 Episode 176
Host: Scott Fisher with guest Oscar Hammerstein III
Fisher: And welcome back to America’s Family History Show Extreme Genes and ExtremeGenes.com. I am Fisher your Radio Roots Sleuth and very excited to have on the phone Oscar Hammerstein III, better known as “Andy.” He’s going to be one of our speakers, one of our featured people at RootsTech in Salt Lake City, Utah, coming up in just a couple of weeks. Andy, welcome to Extreme Genes. It’s an honor and pleasure to have you on.
Andy: Thank you for having me. It’s my pleasure too.
Fisher: Boy, what a background you’ve got, obviously. Basically, your grandfather was the guy who made Broadway what it is today.
Andy: Pretty much and then his father made Broadway, period. So, between the two of them they really stayed pretty busy in the theater.
Fisher: Now what about yourself? Are you in the theater world?
Andy: Now I’d be the first to say no, but then I find myself on stages in front of crowds of thousands, and I wonder maybe I’m not giving myself enough credit. Maybe I am in show business after all. I do a lot of talking about my family and it is some form of entertainment so I think I’m in show business.
Fisher: It’s worked out that way, hasn’t it? Now you’re the family historian at this point and I know there must be dozens and dozens of cousins out there because as you’ve mentioned to me off the air, you had obviously lots of siblings, your dad had lots of siblings, and his dad had lots of siblings. But, you seem to be the one who has taken the lead on doing the family history and written a book about it. Tell us a little about the family background and some stories you learned, about Rodgers and Hammerstein and how that all became such a big thing.
Andy: Ooh, when I think about the process of having collected materials for the book that I wrote, and learning something that I didn’t know before I started. There’s a lot of that when you go back in time, and try to research your family and you find out that your brother’s really your cousin and that your...you realize that families are as messy back then as they are today. And I have found that it explains a lot when you get right down to it. You get granular and you find out how things happened. It starts to make a lot more sense. It becomes more of a clear narrative. And that’s how it’s enjoyable. I really enjoy the process of discovery with something I didn’t know was going to be there, is going to be there.
Fisher: Yes. I think in the process of discovery, we often find that knowing something is not nearly as fun as finding it out, you know?
Andy: That is absolutely true! That is absolutely true. And sometimes answers will show up long after you stopped looking like, “Oh, I will never know the answer to that.” Then all of a sudden some military record or some birth certificate will reveal a piece of information that you just go, “Oh now that makes sense. He couldn’t have been that old. That couldn’t have been his kid.” That kind of thing.
Fisher: Right. [Laughs]
Andy: And that was very enjoyable. I mean, I’ll give away one of my great stories. One of my great stories is when I was just starting out and I was taking my little tape recorder, back then tape recorders, they were separate from your phone, you were taking it around to the oldest members of your family.
Andy: And I would go really far afield, second cousin’s wives just whoever was still alive. I would get it down on tape. I would start talking to them and I would be talking to one of these widows from the older Hammersteins and she goes, “Oh wait a minute, I think there’s a box in the attic.”
Fisher: Oh, yes!
Andy: And all of a sudden your hands go like sweaty and hot and you go, “Really? Let me help you get them down.” And she says, “Yes, go ahead.” And I open up the box and there’s like bound editions, and program guides from 1894, scrapbooks from 1890, photographs that no one has ever seen before. When you opened that box you didn’t realize that it was going to change your life.
Andy: You just thought it was a box.
Fisher: Yeah. It’s a time machine.
Andy: It’s a time machine, but it’s also like an enormous responsibility because it only regains its meaning by how much effort you put into that box. It changed the course of my life, actually.
Fisher: Oh, I can imagine, and of course you’ve got to share it with people, otherwise its value is minimized.
Andy: Precisely. You get to understand where it gets in a larger narrative, so that you can provide better data and information to what it is you’re trying to share.
Fisher: Is there a Hammerstein museum out there?
Andy: There isn’t a Hammerstein museum, but there’s probably going to become one very soon. My brother, Willie, is working hard to turn the old farmhouse in Bucks County, Pennsylvania into a museum for Hammerstein stuff. So, with any luck I’ll have the opportunity to give all the paraphernalia as it were, to him to display.
Fisher: Boy, that’s really important to have a plan on where this stuff is going to go.
Fisher: I think we all have that problem in any family. You want to make sure these things survive in one form or another. You’ve digitized them all I assume, by now?
Andy: Of course. I have digitized almost everything by now. That’s something of a relief, because for me it’s not really the ephemera itself, it’s the information contained in it.
Andy: It’s not the object. It’s the story of the object.
Andy: So being able to digitize it allows you to not feel so proprietary over the object. You got what you needed from it, now you can just give it away and share it with other people.
Andy: It’s not the important thing.
Fisher: Yeah, I tend to agree with you. Even an old family Bible record, it’s great to own the original pages, but more important than that is to have it out there for others who may have interest in the future to be able to access it. Are you musical?
Andy: I’ve been trying to be.
Andy: But, in this enormous transition from being a painter to being a writer, first, I was writing, of course, non-fiction. And, non-fiction tells you where it’s going to take you, you know. Like, “this is what happened.” You’re either going to follow this story, or you’re going to make something up, so follow this story… that’s non-fiction.
Andy: But fiction, it’s like, hey, you can make stuff up. And that’s what I’ve been working on now but trying to incorporate “semi fiction” into screenplays about my great, great grandfather’s vaudeville house at the turn of the century. So that's been a great challenge for me and I’ve been really enjoying it and I hope something will come of it. So, I do write and I do write about family history, but now I’m taking more liberties, which is very enjoyable.
Fisher: Well, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with a historical novel, because I think, to a great extent that makes this material much more accessible to people who don’t want just the facts.
Andy: I think maybe you would appreciate that right now, I’m building up a story where Jack Johnson, the black prize fighter meets Will Rogers, in a barn on the roof of a vaudeville house.
Andy: And they have a long conversation. And for me, to be able to take two people like that and make them have a conversation, even a fictitious one, is just so satisfying.
Fisher: Yes, yes!
Andy: So, I can say that this has taken over my life in a lot of great ways.
Fisher: Wow! How's your family take to this? Obviously it’s a whole different world for you.
Andy: Yes. Well, I'm sure my wife thinks I live in a world of my own, and that's, no question, true.
Andy: And my children are patient and loving, so they put up with whatever I do. I can't but say, I think its smooth sailing for my family.
Fisher: That's incredible. Let's talk about what's coming up at RootsTech.
Fisher: Thursday night, which would be February 9th in Salt Lake City, Utah, you're going to be doing a presentation about your ancestors and Rodgers and Hammerstein at the Salt Lake City Conference Center, with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Wow!
Andy: Yeah. I wish they would give me more time to speak. With the amount of time that I do have, my job basically is to provide something of a historical context to what it is you're hearing. So you can bring a little more meaning into your listening to Rodgers and Hammerstein music. You'll go, "Oh, yes, of course, that was during World War II." or "Yes, of course, that was because of this and because of that." So I hope I can give meaning or a little, tiny added richness to the music, though in truth, I'm sure it doesn't really need me.
Andy: But, here I am.
Fisher: I think it’s going to help out just a whole lot. And tickets are free! This is the thing. It’s so amazing! So you go to RootsTech.org, and you can get your tickets as they're still available. Andy, it has been a delight to visit with you. And we so look forward to seeing you in Salt Lake City, Utah, coming up in February.
Andy: The privilege is all mine. I can't wait!
Fisher: And this segment of our show has been brought to you by LegacyTree.com. And coming up for you in three minutes, Tom Perry is going to be here, our Preservation Authority from TMCPlace.com. We're going to reveal to you the ten most common passwords that get a lot of people into trouble. We've certainly heard a lot about that in the last few months, haven't we? It’s coming up on America's Family History Show, Extreme Genes.
Segment 4 Episode 176
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, with Tom Perry from TMCPlace.com, he is our Preservation Authority. Hi, Tom, how are you?
Fisher: Closing in on RootsTech, and looking forward to our meet and greets. We've got one on Thursday, one on Saturday at our booth, which is the Extreme Genes, booth 1325, in Salt Lake City, Utah. And, I have to bring this up before we get started talking about that, Tom, the list is out from Keeper. It’s the most used passwords of 2016. And listen to some of these. Okay, the number one most used password, 123456. [Laughs]
Fisher: That's a tough one!
Tom: So they're not just counting down. Somebody actually uses that as their password.
Fisher: Yeah, that's their password. And the number seven password is… 1234567.
Fisher: The number four password is, 12345678. Yeah, then you go to nine, that's the number two password.
Tom: Oh, wow.
Fisher: Then you go all the way and add a zero at the end, that's the number six password, 1234567890.
Tom: Do these people work for the DNC?
Fisher: [Laughs] Well, that word was “password,” right?
Tom: Oh, you're kidding!
Fisher: Remember John Podesta?
Tom: Oh, that's right.
Fisher: Yeah, and the password was, “password.” That is the number eight most common password out there. Qwerty, is another one, Q W E R T Y, you know, the top of the keyboard. The top line there on the left. That's the number three most common password. The number five most common password, 111111.
Fisher: Yeah. Number nine is, 123123. And number ten is, 9 through 1 backwards.
Fisher: So, you know, this is what we've talked about before… don't be ridiculous, people! You've got to make them longer. You've got to mix in capitals. You've got to have letters and numbers, and even better than that is something like an asterisk or an exclamation point mixed in there somewhere as well to make it really tough.
Tom: You know, it’s crazy that a lot of these different sites now are forcing us to be smart and not be stupid.
Fisher: Yeah. [Laughs]
Tom: I mean, that just blows my mind that somebody would have a password with those numbers that they would have their, you know, private things or family history, different things like that, that people would have access to.
Fisher: Or money! [Laughs]
Tom: If you're thinking, "Oh, I need to use the top row of my keyboard so I don't forget what my password is." You can do something like, say, you don't even have a cat, but you have dogs, and your favorite dog is Jeremy. So, on a piece of paper, put my password for site XYZ as "cat", so anybody that's going to see cat, they're not going to know what that means, but you know, “That's really my dog's name, ‘Jeremy.’”
Fisher: Right. And spell it backwards if you want.
Fisher: You know, something like that.
Tom: And make maybe the middle letter in a capital. So like when you write the word "cat" as your reminder of what it is, put it lower case C, capital A and then a lower T and then maybe an eight after it or a fourteen or whatever year the.
Fisher: But you're got to make it longer than that.
Fisher: But yes, put the name in or something like that.
Tom: Right. But that's just to remind you, so you have the clue when you see little C, big A, little T and eighteen after it, you know that's really my dog's name, and the third letter is capitalized, and then I have the year he was born. And as we were talking about that are safe, with RootsTech coming up, for all you listeners that are going to be coming to RootsTech, make sure you get all your stuff organized. And come to RootsTech with your questions, because there's going to be amazing people there that are going to be able to help you.
Fisher: Absolutely. One other thought, by the way, on these passwords, how about the name of an ancestor and split up their birth year, so it would be, 18 Elizabeth 74, or something like that.
Fisher: With an exclamation point. So it’s longer, and you mix in the capitals and the smalls like we talk about and make it really tough!
Tom: Oh, yeah. And you write down a codeword that you'll know exactly what that means, who Elizabeth is and how the years are. But you're going to do something different, like write down 00, maybe her husband's name. So you've written down his name, but you really know, it’s his wife's name. So if you forget it, you can look it up and you know what it is, but if somebody finds your cheat note, he's going to have no idea what it means.
Fisher: All right. This segment's been brought to you by RootMagic.com. We've got RootsTech coming up here real quick, February 8th though the 11th.
Fisher: We're going to be there, David Lambert's going to be there. We're looking forward to seeing you. We're going to talk more about that, coming up in three minutes on Extreme Genes, America's Family History Show.
Segment 5 Episode 176
Host Scott Fisher with guest Tom Perry
Fisher: And we are back. It’s our final segment of Extreme Genes, America's Family History Show and ExtremeGenes.com. It is Fisher here, with Tom Perry from TMCPlace.com, the Preservation Authority. All right Tom, RootsTech coming up in Salt Lake City, Utah at the Salt Palace. A lot of genies are going to be there. What can they expect to see?
Tom: There's going to be all kinds of cool things. In fact, somebody that's listened to our show has heard of Ron Fox.
Tom: He's actually going to be there. He's going to have his own little booth where you can bring him old photos and he can help you date them, tell even if they're worth things. It’s almost like that Antiques Road Show. And you don't actually have to bring your photo if you're really scared about that. Just make sure you take a good color copy of it, of both sides, so he can actually look at it.
Fisher: Well, I've known Ron for over twenty some odd years and this guy is absolutely killer when it comes to photographs.
Tom: He has, like you say, just this incredible mind. If you have a lot of photos you want to get scanned, we're going to be having scanning parties there. We're going to be working with EasyPhotoScan where you can scan stuff for free. We're going to have a new release. We've told people about if you want to rent a scanner, you can rent a scanner. We're going to start renting slide scanners now.
Fisher: Oh, hello!
Tom: Oh yeah, this is so cool! Because most people don't need a scanner forever, and nobody needs a slide scanner forever.
Tom: You only have so many slides.
Tom: So your family reunion or a get together, you can go in and rent this for a week and have everybody bring their slides, everybody chips in, knocks out their slides, instead of buying a cheap, old $200 or $300 slide scanner, you're going to get a $5,000 slide scanner for a week that's going to give you incredible pictures.
Fisher: Isn't that a great idea! And they're going to be displaying these at the EasyPhotoScan booth at RootsTech?
Tom: Uh huh, yeah. We'll have them and EasyPhotoScan will also have them, and our TMC Place booth, as well as a lot of other things, a shot box. We're trying to make this so people can get the best and latest technology without having to invest a lot of money or settling for second class.
Tom: This was… you can rent it for a week, whether it’s the EasyPhotoScan type things, which are the slide scanners, the photo scanners. It just makes it so easy to do everything. Just need to get organized. So if you have a lot of pictures, bring them with you. And we'll be doing free scanning at our booth and at EasyPhotoScan.
Fisher: And of course, if you have questions about this as you prepare to come to RootsTech, if you're going to make it out there, you can always send an email to [email protected], and he can give you more details.
Tom: This is going to be one of the best RootsTechs ever! The incredible things that are going to be there. A lot of associates we're going to be working with. We've got new software we're going to be displaying. It’s just absolutely incredible for you to be there.
Fisher: And of course, remember, Levar Burton is a keynote speaker.
Tom: Woo! Star Trek!
Fisher: Well, wait a minute, Star Trek!? Yes, I suppose. Do you think we're going to a see a lot of genies there dressed in Star Trek attire?
Tom: I sure hope so.
Fisher: Well, but he was the guy, he Kunta Kinte, though, in Roots. That's what I think most folks are going to think of and work from this.
Tom: Right, right. You're right, you're totally right. It’s just my son saw it and he just lit up.
Tom: Because he's totally a Star Trek nerd. He just loves it.
Fisher: Yeah. There's so many friends going, "Can you get me a signed picture of him? Can you get me this?" You know, we'll see how it goes.
Tom: Right. In fact, the Property Brothers, one of the number one shows on HDTV, they're going to be at RootsTech and that's going to be a lot of fun, too, doing their history, finding out about them growing up.
Fisher: And Andy Hammerstein, he is Oscar Hammerstein III, talking about his ancestor from Rodgers and Hammerstein.
Fisher: And how they created what Broadway is today essentially. That's going to be tremendous.
Tom: Oh, this is going to be so much fun. If you have any chance of coming, you've got to come to this one. This is a must do.
Fisher: And you can go online to RootsTech.org to get your tickets and find out everything else you want to do, including sign up for various classes. You're going to be teaching one, yes?
Tom: Oh, yeah. I'll be there doing all the different kinds of things on scanning. And also, remember, on Saturday is family day, so the kids get in free. So bring your family. They're going to have special things just for kids on Saturday.
Fisher: All right. It’s going to be a great time, February 8th through 11th, Salt Lake City, Utah at the Salt Palace. The web address again, RootsTech.org, to find out all about it. And we look forward to seeing you there, Tom.
Tom: I'll be happy to be there. It’s going to be my pleasure.
Fisher: And that wraps up our show for this week. This segment of Extreme Genes has been brought to you by FamilySearch.org, the people behind RootsTech 2017, coming up here February 8th through 11th. Find out more at ExtremeGenes.com. And while you're there, sign up for Extreme Genes free newsletter, the Weekly Genie, and when you do, you'll get the top ten tips for beginning genealogists from David Allen Lambert, Chief Genealogist for the New England Historic Genealogical Society. Thanks for joining us. And remember, as far as everyone knows, we're a nice, normal family!