Episode 18 – Gordon Remington of ProGenealogists.com

podcast episode Nov 21, 2013

On this weeks show, Fisher shares news from the week… starting with the coming remake of “Roots,” the 1977 mini-series that popularized family history.  He tells you who is doing it and what the plans are.  A Purple Heart medal was found at a flea market in Arizona where a veteran bought it.  Find out what he did with it. Guest Gordon Remington of ProGenealogists.com then joins the show to talk about the Pilgrims, their history, and how they differ from Puritans. Tom Perry wraps the show with talk about preservation.

Transcript of Episode 18

Host: Scott Fisher with guest Earl

Segment 1 Episode 18

Fisher: So after excruciating examination of both the local and national level I was accepted in the Mayflower Society. And what did they do? They made me their keynote speaker at the very first dinner. I mean, that’s almost like hazing, isn’t it? I mean there are little replica ships at every table. It was a good time but the keynote speaker was a little weak though. Hey welcome back! It’s Extreme Genes, Family History Radio and ExtremeGenes.com. I am your Radio Roots Sleuth Fisher brought to you by TMC, The Multimedia Centers preserving your memories for over 40 years. And this segment is brought to you by Heritage Consulting Genealogy Services your family history resource. Call 877 537 2000. We’re going to talk more about the Mayflower passengers tonight. You know Thanksgiving is so close and it is estimated that something like 10 million people all over the world descend from the passengers of that ship and most don’t even know it. So our guest tonight Gordon Remington from ProGenealogists.com will be sharing with us some hints that might lead you to believe that you might be a Mayflower descendant and he’ll give you some great tools out there that may mean you only have to get back to the mid 1700s to know if your line is a Mayflower line. And we’ll also tell you about the process of joining the Society of Mayflower descendants if that is your desire. Well the process is similar to most other lineage societies. There are some research tools unique to this group so you’ll want to stick around to hear from Gordon on this truly American line of research and that will be in about 10 minutes. And if you want to hear directly from people with the Society of Mayflower descendants in the DAR about just what they do, check out the episode 2 podcast which you can find with all the rest of them at ExtremeGenes.com. Got a story you want to share, success, disaster, otherwise, maybe just a comment, check in with us by calling toll free 1-234-56-Genes. That’s 1-234-56-Genes 24/7.  We’ll be happy to get back with you and maybe share what you’ve got to say on the show.

Now our poll from last week had to do with your veterans. “Did you have an ancestor in WWI or WWII?” 77 percent of you answered yes and of course we’re very appreciative of the sacrifice of our men and women in uniform as well as the families who sacrificed so much so they could serve. Naturally, since we’re talking Mayflower this week, our poll is on that special line of ancestry. “Do you have an ancestor who sailed on the Mayflower?” It can be a pilgrim, a so-called stranger or crew member. Answer yes or no at ExtremeGenes.com. Our top news this week from ExtremeGenes.com, it looks like Kunta Kinte may be making a comeback. Remember back in 1977 when Roots came on as a 12 hour miniseries? Well, History Channel has bought the rights to both the miniseries and the book written by Alex Haley. They’re talking about making an eight hour version this time. History Channel’s remake is being headed by Mark Wolper. He’s the son of the original Executive Producer of Roots David Wolper who’s passed away. History wants to basically reintroduce a new generation to the show that really started a national interest in family history research and the project is in the early stages. The Alex Haley Estate is on board. Writers will soon be meeting to discuss how this new version of Roots will go. Catch the link to the story on ExtremeGenes.com. In Tampa, Florida newsman John Wilson has rapidly been earning his “genie wings” [Laughs] His name line ended in the Blue Ridge Mountains with his Civil War great grandfather. The link on ExtremeGenes.com will take you to his video report on his investigation. And you should know this. Not many people have an ancestor who fought on both sides of the Civil War. [Laughs] Yeah! Check out this story. It’s definitely great stuff.

Next, have you ever had that discussion in your family about which State you’ve been in and which you haven’t? Then you can’t remember? Does it only count if you landed there and all that? Well, now there’s a website that can help you make a map of all that including color codes for each State to indicate just how much time you’ve really spent there, or even if none at all. And I’m thinking, “Is there any reason you couldn’t use it to create a map to indicate where certain ancestral families lived especially if they moved around a lot?” I think you could do that with this. The address is a little lengthy so just go to our website ExtremeGenes.com and click on it from there. Let me know what you think. We can add it to our helpful and inexpensive tools if you like. It seems like almost every week we have a great story about a War Vet and this week is no different. In Glendale, Arizona, Vietnam Navy Vet Matthew Carlson was at a swap meet. Some guy there was selling a Purple Heart right there in a box with some costume jewelry. Well, being a patriotic guy Matthew immediately made the decision to buy the medal and track down the family of the recipient who was of course the casualty in action to one degree or another in some war or another. Well, the back of the medal gave him a name. It was engraved Clarence M. Merriott along with the words “for military merit.” And by the way, it used to be illegal to sell medals like this, but last year the Supreme Court overturned the Stolen Valor Act on free speech ground so these things sell now for 50 to $500. Carlson took it home where it sat in his closet for several months. Eventually he came back around to it. Digging out the box he found the certificate that came with the medal. It stated that Merriott had been killed in action on June 19th 1944 just thirteen days after D-Day. And with the help of his son he found a website dedicated to honoring the 300th Engineer Combat Battalion of WWII. And from this site they learned that Merriott had been killed along with 89 others when their landing ship hit a mine just off Utah Beach in Normandy. Anyway, I’m not going to spoil it for you. Many more got involved in finding out where this Purple Heart belonged. You could see Clarence Merriotts picture and learn how this ends by visiting ExtremeGenes.com. Look under recent posts. And by the way, if you’re listening to the show on podcast some time after the fact, the best way to find stories you hear about on the show is to copy keywords on the site. So, even if a story is no longer featured by the time you look for it you should easily be able to find the keyword “purple heart” will certainly get you there. You know we’re always talking about how we want to hear your stories and we have one now from our Extreme Genes “Find Line” Toll Free 1-234-56-Genes. 

Fisher: Earl, welcome to Extreme Genes, Family History Radio. What’s your story?

Earl: When I was probably one or two my mother contracted breast cancer and at that point in time had a left lateral mastectomy, recovered from that, a year later contracted cancer again, had a right radical mastectomy plus all the lymph nodes and stuff like that.

Fisher: Oh boy that’s tough stuff.

Earl: Few years later she contracted cancer again in most of her female organs.

Fisher: Well she went through a lot, didn’t she?

Earl: It was brutal but the worst part of it is that once a month she had to go in and take hormone treatments and they would shoot her full of female hormones, and after that it would affect her mentally. It was just a terrible, terrible situation for her and so she decided to take her own life. She said she’s not going to go through this anymore and so she took her own life.

Fisher: Oh I’m so sorry.

Earl: But for me, mentally, physically, emotionally it affected me in ways that you can imagine when you lose your mother in those kind of situation.

Fisher: Sure.

Earl: And so I was constantly thinking about her taking her own life, those kinds of things that are natural thoughts when that happens. A little bit after she died I was in Cheyenne, Wyoming. I was there as a Missile Launch Officer in the Air Force and we lived in a 150 year old home there, a Civil War home that they’ve renovated and it has four floors. And so one night I couldn’t sleep because I was thinking about this and it just affected me. And so I went downstairs to sleep on the couch so I wouldn’t bother my wife. And as I’m laying there I was completely awake. I had not gone to sleep at all. My mother appeared to me.

Fisher: Oh my gosh!

Earl: And she conversed with me just as if you and I were face to face conversing.

Fisher: How did that go?

Earl: [Laughing] Now, I don’t get scared about much but as you can imagine I was very, very frightened. 

Fisher: I’ve heard some people have experiences like this and they say, “Oh it’s perfectly natural. And you know, they walked in the room and it’s like, “Well, hey how’re you doing?” I’d be like, “You? Are you kidding me?”

Earl: [Laughs] 

Fisher: So what happened? What did you do? What did she say? Where did you go?

Earl: Her countenance certainly wasn’t like a normal person. It was bright. You could certainly make her out. Her mouth was moving when she talked. She looked very nice, no wrinkles on her face, those kind of things. But you could certainly tell that you know, the appearance, you could tell right away it was your mother.

Fisher: Sure.

Earl: She conversed with me and told me she was okay, that she was happy, that she was now doing things. She felt wonderful, just happy and well and she could do whatever that she wanted. And then it went away. So it scared me so much, I ran up two floors of stairs and jumped in bed with my wife. And of course my wife woke up.

Fisher: [Laughs]

Earl: And she could see that I was really disturbed at this point in time. And so I went through that story with her and she never ever did question. And since that day I felt completely comfortable with the situation.

Fisher: Wow. Earl, thank you so much for the call and sharing that story.

Earl: You bet you. Thank you.

Fisher: Wow. I don’t know how well I’d do with an experience like that, but it obviously was very meaningful to Earl and I appreciate his sharing something that was clearly very personal and significant. Later on the show our Preservation Authority from TMCPlace.com will tell you about a new special disc that will allow you to store everything you have and then some, [Laughs] no matter the size. Wait till you hear this, and coming up, Gordon Remington from ProGenealogists.com on tools to help you find your Mayflower ancestors. If you have New England blood you’re going to love what he has to say. That’s next on Extreme Genes, Family History Radio and ExtremeGenes.com.

Segment 2 Episode 18

Host: Scott Fisher with guest Gordon Remington

Fisher: Hey, you’ve got it! Extreme Genes, Family History Radio and ExtremeGenes.com it is Fisher here with my guest Gordon Remington from ProGenealogists.com brought to you my TMC the Multimedia Center, preserving your memories for over forty years. Welcome back Gordon.

Gordon: Thanks Scott.

Fisher: It’s good to see you because you know, we’ve got Thanksgiving coming up now.

Gordon: Right.

Fisher: And I know you are a Mayflower descendent, as am I, and we’ve been talking off the air and on the phone with each other periodically about this stuff. For Thanksgiving coming up I thought maybe we do a little chatting about those who were qualified to join the Mayflower Society and those who came over on the Mayflower.

Gordon: You and I are cousins, we figured that out.

Fisher: That’s right. [Laughs] It goes back a ways though, what is it, like eleventh cousins or so? I mean, it’s ridiculous.

Gordon: Something like that. It’s to be.

Fisher: So, there were different people on the Mayflower and I think there’s a lot of confusion where some of these people tie together.

Gordon: Well, I think that the common term that came in to use was “Saints and Strangers.”

Fisher: Right.

Gordon: And the Saints were the members of the religious group we know as the Pilgrims who had settled in Lieden, Holland. And they finally decided to come to the English colonies because their children were becoming Dutch and they didn’t want them to be Dutchified.

Fisher: Right.

Gordon: So, they applied to get some land in what they thought was going to be Virginia from the Plymouth Company in England. 

Fisher: And wasn’t there some question about exactly what Virginia was? I mean, wasn’t New York’s area considered part of Virginia?

Gordon: Well, I actually knew Netherlands at the time.

Fisher: Well, I know it was, but there was some confusion about exactly where it was.

Gordon: Well yeah, and it was kind of vague, I mean that’s why they wound up in Massachusetts. 

Fisher: It was like Camelot! [Laughs]

Gordon: Yeah, well, they didn’t really... You know, they got this guy on the ship through the captain of the ship, and I think the story is, is that they just went the wrong way and wound up in what’s now Massachusetts. 

Fisher: Um hmm. 

Gordon: But on the way, so you had these religious separatists who were in Leiden, Holland and they decided that they wanted to go to America and establish a colony there for religious freedom. But they needed craftsmen and things like that.

Fisher: Right, skilled people.

Gordon: They picked up people along the way in England that were craftsmen and other people with skills necessary for building a colony.

Fisher: Do you know the number by the way for the actual pilgrims who were on the ship as opposed to the skilled people, the strangers?   

Gordon: You know, I don’t have that number. I know there were a102 passengers on the ship.

Fisher: Yes.

Gordon: And about half of them died the first winter.

Fisher: Right.

Gordon: But, John Alden for instance, was a Cooper, made barrels, and he was not a Separatist, he was not one of the Saints, he was one of the Strangers. But they needed somebody there to work with them. Myles Standish was their military commander and he was not a Pilgrim. 

Fisher: He was a tough guy.

Gordon: Oh yeah.    

Fisher: [Laughs] 

Gordon: One of my ancestors too.

Fisher: Was he? 

Gordon: John Alden, Myles Standish, yeah. 

Fisher: Okay.

Gordon: And so, it was a conglomeration of different people that wanted to get out of England for different reasons, you know.

Fisher: It was in everybody’s best interest then.

Gordon: Well, yeah, and some of them just wanted to start over. The Pilgrims, the Separatists, wanted to have a religious community. And, it’s a good thing to talk about them as Separatists because there’s a lot of confusion between Pilgrims and Puritans.

Fisher: Right. What is the difference?

Gordon: The difference is, the Separatists wanted to be totally out of the Church of England. They wanted to separate from the Church of England. 

Fisher: Sure.

Gordon: The Puritans wanted to purify from within the existing church.

Fisher: Okay.

Gordon: So the Puritans didn’t come to Massachusetts till 1630, ten years after the Pilgrims came to Plymouth Colony. 

Fisher: The Separatists?

Gordon: The Separatists.

Fisher: Right.

Gordon: And actually, Plymouth Colony was a separate colony from Massachusetts Bay Colony till 1692. 

Fisher: And there were some rivalry there.

Gordon: Oh, there was. There was, yeah. And so, even though they were both kind of against the established Church of England, the Puritans had a more codified way of doing things.

Fisher: Right, because they were still doing them within the means or the traditions of the Anglican Church. 

Gordon: Right, whereas the Separatists had their own ideas. And so, it wasn’t until 1692 that the two colonies were united under Massachusetts.

 Fisher: And under the Anglican Church ultimately. Really, the Separatists movement didn’t really maintain during that time.

Gordon: Well, actually, the established church in Massachusetts, what came to be known as Congregationalist, but it was essentially the Puritan church when they settled there.

Fisher: Yeah. So they want out. 

Gordon: Yeah. But, calling them Anglicans is a bit of a stretch.

Fisher: Okay.

Gordon: Because by the time they got here they maintained some traditions but they didn’t have bishops for instance. And the Anglican Church had bishops.

Fisher: Right. And they didn’t answer back to England. 

Gordon: And they didn’t have priests in the same way that England did. They had ministers. And the ministers in Massachusetts were actually public servants as governmental public servants. And you were taxed in Massachusetts.

Fisher: Even then. [Laughs] For paying?

Gordon: Yes, for paying. There was a religious tax. You paid your tax to pay for the clergy. It wasn’t until the late 1700s when people began to join other groups that they wanted to get out of paying that tax.

Fisher: Sure.

Gordon: But the Pilgrims, a lot of people confuse Pilgrims with Puritans.

Fisher: So that’s a very distinct difference.

Gordon: It is.

Fisher: Even though they’re still very close in many ways.

Gordon: Yeah. Historically, they are two separate groups of people. Eventually they became merged in the Massachusetts general Massachusetts population. But Plymouth Colony consists of the current day counties of Plymouth Bristle and Barnstable.

Fisher: And part of this was in Rhode Island.

Gordon: Some of it was, a little bit yeah. And so, if you trace your ancestor to Massachusetts, if you got any part of that South East part of Massachusetts which includes Barnstable County’s Cape Cod. 

Fisher: Sure.

Gordon: Cape Cod and the two counties on you know, closer end to Boston, Plymouth and Bristle, they were the heavy place where the Pilgrims, the so called Pilgrims, settled, and where most Mayflower descendents come from. Although there were some people that left Plymouth Colony and eventually in groups and went to other places where you’ll find a lot of Pilgrim descendents in certain other New England states, congregated. So basically, if you’re going to try to trace to Pilgrim ancestry, you want to hook into a family that was in certain areas of Massachusetts. That South Eastern part, Eastern Connecticut parts of Rhode Island where you can get, “Well maybe I’ve got some Mayflower ancestry.” And then once you get far enough back in your own ancestry, and you’ve got to document every generation to be able to say I’m a Mayflower descendent. 

Fisher: And as far as the Society is concerned.

Gordon: Yeah, and also for general genealogical principles.

Fisher: Sure, right.

Gordon: You want to be sure it’s right. You don’t want to be claiming something you’re not. 

Fisher: Yeah. 

Gordon: You will begin to recognise certain names like, Standish, Howland, Alden.

Fisher: Gorum.

Gordon: Gorum, yeah. 

Fisher: Because the names that married in.

Gordon: Right. But there’s some more common names you know when I think of them. Richard Warren was an ancestor of mine.

Fisher: Sure.

Gordon: And there were several Warren families in Massachusetts but the only one that goes to Richard is from that part of Massachusetts.

Fisher: And a lot of these folks spread up North too, right?

Gordon: Oh yeah.

Fisher: I mean they’re up in Maine and Vermont, which was all considered part of the Massachusetts colony.

Gordon: Right. In fact, there was a lot of migration in the later 1700s in the Cape Cod area which had a lot of Pilgrim people in it up to Maine. 

Fisher: So, have you actually joined the society?

Gordon: No I haven’t. I’ve never gotten around to it.

Fisher: [Laughs] I had never done it either and I finally decided, it’s like okay, what do they do there? And you know, back in episode two and you can hear the podcast on ExtremeGenes.com we had the president of the Mayflower Society from our area and we had also somebody from the DAR on and we were talking about the various societies and what they do. The one comment that sticks out in my mind is, “Well, we don’t just sit around in the meetings and talk about how swell our ancestors were.” [Laughs] It’s service organizations.

Gordon: Oh yeah, for sure.

Fisher: But I wanted to go through the process because you know, you want that certificate number one, because you know if it’s gone over and reviewed by the experts, then you know you’ve got the real deal. And so I went and made the application. [Laughs] But boy, it is complicated, it is lengthy, it’s interesting too and quite fun and then when you get to the end and you know when that acceptance comes through its pretty fun stuff. 

Gordon: And you get to stand up at the annual dinner when they do the roll call.

Fisher: [Laughs] That’s right. And the other thing is, is when you get in there and you’ve done all this work, your children and your grandchildren can get in like that because all they’ve got to do is tie back to you. Show them your birth certificate and then they link into what’s already been approved.

Gordon: Right.

Fisher: So that makes it kind of easy. So, already one of my sons is kind of interested like, “Well, what do I have to do?” I said, “You don’t have to do anything much because I’ve done the hard work.” 

Gordon: He’s got to fill out the forms to get to you. 

Fisher: Right, which is like one generation?

Gordon: Right. 

Fisher: So, what’s that you know? Otherwise it’s twelve or so. So, we’re going to talk about the process because a lot of things are changing for entering say, the Mayflower Society and maybe for others as well. And you can tell s about that. Different techniques and different sources that are now available that has never been around before. So we’re going to get to that coming up next when we return with Gordon Remington from ProGenealogists.com, next on Extreme Genes, Family History Radio and ExtremeGenes.com.

Segment 3 Episode 18

Host: Scott Fisher with guest Gordon Remington

Fisher: Hey, welcome back. It’s Extreme Genes, Family History Radio and ExtremeGenes.com. Fisher here, your Radio Roots Sleuth brought to you by TMC, The Multimedia Centers preserving your memories for over 40 years. And this segment is brought to you by Heritage Consulting Genealogy Services your family history resource. Call 877 537 2000. Gordon Remington from ProGenealogists.com, we’re talking about Mayflower, Mayflower ancestry as we get ready for Thanksgiving here. Back several months ago, of course in Episode 2 you can hear the podcast at ExtremeGenes.com. We talked a little about the Society itself, what it does, but there are so many new tools now for proving your lineage back to the Mayflower whether or not you want to join the Society. And that’s what we want to talk about in this segment Gordon. Now I’m excited about what you’ve got to share here.

Gordon: Okay, thanks Scott. 

Fisher: You descend from what, seven signers of the Compact?

Gordon: Seven signers of the Mayflower Compact and with their wives and children that I descend from thirteen people who were on the boat.

Fisher: Thirteen on the boat.

Gordon: On the boat.

Fisher: And I’ve got two Compact signers and four…and it’s fascinating when you tie into that because it’s an exciting “Oh wow!” moment when you realize suddenly that that story that you heard when you were a kid is no longer “a story” about the country. It’s part of your story and it’s very personal.  

Gordon: That’s right. When you think there were 102 passengers on the boat but half of them died the first winter.

Fisher: Right. And I was thinking about this because I was looking at these numbers the other day because I gave a keynote address at a Thanksgiving dinner for the Mayflower Society. And it was 47 people who have descendants now still living, of the fifty one who survived the first winter. That’s 29 heads of family. That’s how many people live on my cul-de-sac. 

Gordon: Wow.

Fisher: And you think about it that there are over 10 million Mayflower descendants now, not only in this country but around the world, most of whom don’t even know it. 

Gordon: Yeah a lot of them don’t. 

Fisher: So how would you go about it then Gordon? Let’s talk about that specifically because there are some new tools out there, not the least of which are the…what do they call it, the 5G? 

Gordon: The 5G Project. It’s been around for 40 years in process but it’s still going on. The 5G Project is sponsored by the Mayflower Society in Massachusetts and it’s an attempt to trace the five generations of descendants from all the Mayflower passengers. And they’re commonly called the “Silver Books” if you go to a library because they’re originally bound in silver.                             

Fisher: Right. Some of them look pretty old right now.

Gordon: Yes they do.                           

Fisher: They’ve been around a while.

Gordon: That’s right. And the work that goes in to producing this is intense. I mean, they have people on staff and people that they hire and they try to document every single fact to put somebody in that book. And they won’t put someone in that book unless they’re sure of it. And so if you’re in the course of tracing your ancestor you get back to a point where you think you might hook into one of these books. Now the fifth generation is the children of these books.

Fisher: Yeah.  

Gordon: And that’s probably about 1750s, maybe a little later than that. 

Fisher: Yes. That’s about right, yeah.

Gordon: Then you can check out these books and if you can prove your lineage back to that time and it’s in one of these books and the Mayflower Society has basically accepted that lineage back to the passenger.

Fisher: Right. So when you consider, okay I think a lot of people right now would be tenth or eleventh great grandchildren of the Mayflower. 

Gordon: Yeah.

Fisher: So you’re talking twelve or thirteen generations to get back there.

Gordon: Right.

Fisher: But the first five are taken care of. 

Gordon: That’s right.

Fisher: I mean, coming on down.

Gordon: That’s right. 

Fisher: So you really only need to prove about seven generations. 

Gordon: Yeah.

Fisher: That’s not the case for every Mayflower passenger. Is that right?

Gordon: No, just the ones that left descendants.

Fisher: Right, but I’m just saying to some of them we don’t have a full five yet on some of those lines. Is that right?

Gordon: Some of the books are still in progress.

Fisher: Right.

Gordon: And some of them are being updated and in fact the publishing is complete enough so that they’re now considering doing a sixth generation series.

Fisher: [Laughs]

Gordon: So the children who were the fifth generation in the 5Gs book are now the parents of the sixth generation in the next series of books. And some of those works has started on them but it’s going to be a while before you see them.

Fisher: Well the interesting thing about it is when you come down one more generation or a group that size that sixth generation may take up about as much as the first five combined.

Gordon: Sure, yeah.

Fisher: And so that would be another multi decade project to get that complete and fulfilled

Gordon: Well it keeps professional genealogists them busy.

Fisher: [Laugh] Yeah it does. Now, having just gone through the process and having just joined because I wanted to have that experience. It’s a lot because first of all, if there’s any questionable link you’ve got to find things to help strengthen your case.

Gordon: That s right. And you know from your own experience you have to submit your own papers to an historian general or an approver and they go over each generation meticulously and they tell you well we can’t accept this until you get this piece of information. And that is why the approval process takes a while because they want to make sure that every generation is documented to their satisfaction.

Fisher: Well, and not only that because future generations may use my line or your line, and if there’s something in there that’s weak or winds up being disproven you know you ‘re not going to eliminate people from the society once they’ve been accepted because there was an error. So they have to be very careful about that. 

Gordon: That’s right. And in some of the societies like the DAR, there are a whole bunch of people who got into that society back in the 1800s based on “say so, Grandma said so” you know.

Fisher: Sure. [Laughs]        

Gordon: And now a lot of lineages from the DAR for instance, they’re having people redo them. They say well, you know we need new evidence for this connection. You just can’t hook into this person because the answer that should be on there is not proven. And I think there’s some cases in the Mayflower Society where there are a few lines that have to be redone but not as many as the DAR.                   

Fisher: Sure. The DAR has a lot of problems with that.

Gordon: And then they have a wider base of people you descend from too, anyone who served in the Revolution, I mean versus 47 people that survived the first winter.

Fisher: Forty seven people, that’s right. And of course there were parents among those who died. You had to descend from them as well.

Gordon: That’s right.                                   

Fisher: In fact, that name was called on the roll call. Somebody who died the first winter, but you know you come through their children and then their children. 

Gordon: Right.

Fisher: As you’ve mentioned you can have multi generations on there, some who didn’t survive the first winter and some who are among the forty seven you know, it kind of went on from there.

Gordon: Right.

Fisher: So you were mentioning to me something I hadn’t heard of before is that they’re now accepting DNA evidence?

Gordon: Yeah, this is relatively new just in the last few years.

Fisher: For the Society of Mayflower Descendants?

Gordon: That’s correct.

Fisher: Okay. 

Gordon: There was a family in North Carolina named Hawes and that was a second or third generation from a Mayflower passenger. And that surname tied in. Someone married a Hawes. And this family showed up in North Carolina in the 1700s and circumstantial evidence pointed to possibly this is where this guy went to from Massachusetts.

Fisher: Okay.

Gordon: But, the paperwork was not sufficient because North Carolina records at that time period were pretty sketchy especially for things like births, deaths and marriages.

Fisher: Yes.

Gordon: But eventually they found a male descendant Y-chromosome DNA descendant of the Hawes family in North Carolina who tested positive DNA wise to be a descendant of this family that left Massachusetts. 

Fisher: Really?

Gordon: Yeah.

Fisher: So you got the proof there.

Gordon: You’ve got the DNA proof. Now that won’t do it by itself. 

Fisher: Of course not.

Gordon: And then they stress it’s a piece of circumstantial that can be added or much document evidence as you can possibly get.

Fisher: Well, isn’t that the case though for anybody?

Gordon: Well that is true, although you know they’ve been getting a little easier over the years. I actually had a problem I worked on years ago where the family name was changed and they wanted to prove it was the same family. You know the name was changed in the 1800s and there was an official record of it. And I was able to make a case to the Mayflower Society for this client that this was indeed the same family. And it was based on circumstantial evidence that was strong enough so my client came back and said they accepted it, you know.

Fisher: Well, it’s funny that a lot of people get surprised that circumstantial evidence is accepted but the fact is there are many court cases all the time that are determined by circumstantial evidence. I mean you put together all these circumstances till you reach the point you say there can be no other conclusion. Circumstantial evidence doesn’t mean it’s not hard evidence. 

Gordon: Yes.

Fisher: It’s just a compilation of different pieces of information that leads you to say, “Hey, there can only be one answer to this as a result of each of these littler things.”

Gordon: That’s right. And there are other phrases often used in circumstantial evidence as beyond a reasonable doubt.

Fisher: Beyond a reasonable doubt. Exactly right. We’re talking to Gordon Remington from ProGenealogists.com with Thanksgiving coming up. We’re talking about the pilgrims, the puritans, the strangers, the sailors. Who is eligible to join the Mayflower Society? You know, I know, I went in through John Howland and he was an indentured servant for the original governor who died that first winter. So I guess by definition he would have been a stranger.

Gordon: Yes, that’s right.

Fisher: But there are others and that being that he wasn’t part of the separatist group. But who on the ship is accepted for membership in the Mayflower Society?

Gordon: Well, I think basically descendants of those people on the ship who settled in Plymouth. You know one time they were limiting to the Compact Signers, the Mayflower Compact Signers. But there were other people around the ship too. There were some orphans. They were picked up in England.  They were kind of like the more children and they were supposed to have been sent off to Virginia by their guardian just to get rid of them so he could get the estate.

Fisher: [Laughs]

Gordon: And they survived. Some of them had descendants and those children even though they weren’t old enough to be Compact Signers were on the boat and they were accepted as ancestors who were on the Mayflower.

Fisher: Sure.

Gordon: So basically it’s anyone who was on the boat that left descendants. 

Fisher: Okay. Were there any sailors that left people here or did they all head back? Did anybody stay behind? I can’t recall. 

Gordon: Most of the sailors headed back. 

Fisher: Okay.

Gordon: They weren’t interested in settling here.

Fisher: Right. But were there some that stayed?

Gordon: There were some yeah, but I’m not sure of all the names. In fact, if you go to the Mayflower Website, the Mayflower Society Website they will give you that list of who’s acceptable and who was on the boat and who went back.

Fisher: You just got to wonder who’s not acceptable and why they wouldn’t be. [Laughs] I mean if they’ll take John Billington, they’ll take anybody.

Gordon: That’s right. Oh yes.

Fisher: He was the first man accused of murder this side on this side of the planet among the Europeans.

Gordon: I think he was hanged.

Fisher: He was hanged. He was absolutely hanged. And there are descendants of his in the Mayflower Society.

Gordon: That’s right.

Fisher: He was a very difficult man to get along with.

Gordon: Well it said saints and strangers.

Fisher: [Laughs] He was very strange. Now you have a lot of passengers. Was Billington one of yours?

Gordon: No, no, no, no.

Fisher: No? Okay good. I feel much safer then.

Gordon: Myles Standish was, yeah.

Fisher: Right. Well they write poems about your people, John Alden, Myles Standish.

Gordon: That’s right. Priscilla Mullins.

Fisher: Exactly. Since we are talking two different things here, one is proving your line back to the Mayflower and the Mayflower Society makes all their records very pubic so anybody can go to say, the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah and look through those Silver Books and make those connections.

Gordon: Right.

Fisher: And I would imagine a lot of that is online now as well. That’s just for proof for your own satisfaction.

Gordon: Right.

Fisher: Then there’s the actual process of going through and joining the Mayflower Society which actually takes I think an even higher level of effort and perfection in your documentation, but that’s all there as well. 

Gordon: Right.

Fisher: If you want to join the Society then you find the local Chapter. Every State has a chapter. And every state chapter is part of the National Association and then they are headquartered in Plymouth, Massachusetts.

Gordon: Right. I believe that you submit your papers to the State Society first and then they are sent on to the General Society in Massachusetts, a separate process.

Fisher: Yeah that’s correct. Absolutely, and it’s interesting you know because the State folks aren’t always so sure what’s going to be accepted back in Plymouth.

Gordon: Yeah.

Fisher: And when I went through this process because I had two generations where they were not married and there was that concern about well aren’t they going to question? Well here are the documents. Here are the facts. It wasn’t really difficult to prove or anything. So sent it on to Plymouth and they said well we’ll get an answer in about six weeks. And it was like clockwork. I was really impressed because I figured you know, these things can go on for a long time you know stacks of paper, who’s going to be reviewing it? Who’s going to look at the documents? How picky are they going to be? But I thought everything I had was really, really solid. And when it came back approved I was pleased because frankly I didn’t have anything more to give them. [Laughs] Everything I had was in that line. So it was an interesting experience to go through. And now I have my “wowee” little certificate that says it’s true. It’s true you know, your people were on that ship. But that’s very fun to have but it’s an interesting process and Gordon I think this was a lot of great information for people who just want to connect back to their Mayflower ancestor whether or not they want to join the Society.

Gordon: Yeah, and you know one of the things to remember as we come up to Thanksgiving and we’re celebrating the season of thanks  is that the reason for the first Thanksgiving dinner was because they had survived this first winter but not all of them. But they had survived.

Fisher: Well half of them did.

Gordon: Yeah and their colony was established. And that’s why when we give thanks today we think about those people. We think about being with a group of people and half of them died and you’re one of the survivors. Yeah you’re going to be thankful.

Fisher: Well, and put yourself  in a position where you go to a place where you’re the only people that look like you, that talk like you, that believe like you, and have to survive in that strange land. I mean, it to have been a phenomenal day to day, hour to hour experience some time.

Gordon: Yeah and you know we call it the first Thanksgiving and actually the first Thanksgiving was in Jamestown some years before that.

Fisher: Right.

Gordon: But the reason we celebrate the one in Massachusetts is because the North won the Civil War.

Fisher: [Laughs] That’s true. Though I think part of it is also that Plymouth was the first colony that really thrived. It’s pretty amazing what they accomplished just 400 years coming up their 400th Anniversary in 2020.

Gordon: That’s right.

Fisher: That will be a lot of fun. Gordon thanks for coming by again.

Gordon: You’re welcome Scott.

Fisher: Good to see you again and get caught up on the latest in Mayflower research. You catch up with Gordon on ProGenealogists.com. This segment was brought o you by Heritage Consultant Genealogy Services, your family history resource. Call 877 537 2000. And coming up next, Tom Perry from TMCPlace.com, our Preservation Authority. Imagine having a disc that can hold everything you own and then some. It’s coming. Tom’s going to tell you about it next on Extreme Genes, Family History Radio and ExtremeGenes.com.

Segments 4 & 5 Episode 18

Host: Scott Fisher with guest Tom Perry

Fisher: Welcome back to Extreme Genes, Family History Radio and ExtremeGenes.com. It’s your Radio Roots Sleuth, Fisher here with our Preservation Authority, Tom Perry from TMCPlace.com. And, Tom, last week you blew my mind with all the talk about the 3D scanners and how that might apply to family history memorabilia and how everybody can have grandpa's pocket watch or, you know, some other item. And that's just great stuff. And now you're telling me there's some new technologies that's coming along in the area of storage.

Tom: Oh, it’s absolutely incredible. It’s coming out of the University of South Hampton in Britain where these people have developed, they've developed a disk. It’s the same size as a normal CD or DVD, but it actually is what they call 5 dimensional data storage.

Fisher: 5 Dimensional? What does that mean?

Tom: It kind of sounds scary, but it’s pretty simple.

Fisher: [Laughs]

Tom: Our normal CDs and DVDs are basically 3 dimensions. That's how they get the storage on them.

Fisher: Sure.

Tom: That's how they work from the size of a CD to a DVD to a BluRay. Well, what they've been able to do with this new quartz disk, which is made out of quartz. You can imagine what quartz is. They've added two additional layers that they've created from the standard disk, by just changing the intensity of the laser on it.

Fisher: [Laughs] Of course!

Tom: And the thing that.

Fisher: Of course! What didn't they think of that years ago?

Tom: Exactly!

Fisher: Obviously!

Tom: Change your intensity. You get a few more dimensions.

Fisher: [Laughs]

Tom: You know. And this isn’t quite Star Trek, but it’s pretty close to it. The thing that's so amazing about this since its made out of quartz, it will last, you know, thousands and thousands of years, even longer than an M Disk, which when they came out a few years ago, blew our mind. So this quartz disk will be able to hold 360 terabytes.

Fisher: Oh my gosh! [Laughs] That's everything you could ever create, practically.

Tom: Oh yeah! I did not misspeak. This is 360 terabytes.

Fisher: Wow! Are they expensive?

Tom: Well, they don't know yet.

Fisher: [Laughs]

Tom: They're still developing the technology, they haven't released it. I'm sure, like anything, when it comes out, it’s going to be really, really pricey for the big boys.

Fisher: Right, right.

Tom: And after they get out and other people start getting into it, I'm sure the price will come way down.

Fisher: Dumb question by the host, yeah. Of course it’s going to be pricey to start with, but then the prices do come down, just like they're going to do with the 3D printers I think, eventually.

Tom: Oh, absolutely, absolutely. The technology's incredible. I mean, you can get into a killer 3D printer for, you know, $3000 and I would suspect in a year or two years it’s going to be half that, if not a quarter of that.

Fisher: Yeah, 800, 750, something like that. So these are coming along. We don't have the price on the storage items yet.

Tom: Correct.

Fisher: But when are you going to be able to have access to those and start giving people back their digitized material, with how many, 360 terabytes? And what do we call this thing?

Tom: Um, amazing.

Fisher: [Laughs] Is there a name for it?

Tom: They have a name as far as I'm concerned, but they might come out with some English name, since this is a college out of Britain. So, like the M Disk was come up with a name, because it lasts for a millennial.

Fisher: Right.

Tom: This even lasts longer than that. So, this is, you know, absolute cutting edge technology, that's why I want to let all our listeners know about what's coming down the pipe. But the thing that's so amazing is, this quartz is almost indestructible. It will actually take temperatures of 1800 degrees Fahrenheit.

Fisher: Wow!

Tom: Leave them in your minivan. It’s not going to ruin when your kids leave them in there and it gets too hot and your DVDs melt.

Fisher: Or send them to the moon.

Tom: Exactly.

Fisher: And, you know, they're there when the aliens start.

Tom: Aliens come.

Fisher: Yes! When they're here.

Tom: Yep, have them there and just say "push here."

Fisher: [Laughs]

Tom: They push a button and it reads the quartz.

Fisher: "This is what we're all about. Here's our history. Thank you very much. Take care of the planet."

Tom: Exactly.

Fisher: Wow!

Tom: I mean, this is so mind boggling and ground breaking, because we have customers that come in that do BluRays and they end up with a whole bunch of BluRays. And you get like nine hours of standard definition on a BluRay.

Fisher: Right. That's great.

Tom: But they bring in, you know, hundreds and hundreds of tapes and they've got, you know, all these, you know hard drives, all this kind of stuff. This one quartz disk will be able to hold anybody’s library, audio, video, film, anything, they'll have one disk.

Fisher: One disk for everything that you've ever done.

Tom: Yep.

Fisher: All the pictures you've ever owned, all the audio, all the home movies.

Tom: Everything.

Fisher: That is insane!

Tom: And your house burns down and it’s still recoverable.

Fisher: Yeah. [Laughs] Well, yeah, you could use that as your backup.

Tom: Yeah! Oh, absolutely.

Fisher: For anything, I would imagine. And then, you know, yeah, the house goes to burn down, you just stick it in your pocket and leave. You've got everything, you know. Wow!

Tom: Yeah, you leave it behind, if the house doesn't get about 1800 degrees, it'll survive!

Fisher: [Laughs] We're talking to Tom Perry, our Preservation Authority. How do you keep up with all of this?

Tom: It’s not easy, you know.

Fisher: [Laughs]

Tom: It’s not easy.

Fisher: Well, back in the day though, I mean, it used to be that you would, you'd have to change technology every few years, right?

Tom: Oh, absolutely, absolutely. You know, and the biggest thing like we talked about NAB last week and the Consumer Electronic Shows, we go to those every year. And it used to be, "Oh, hey, this is cool stuff, it'll be out in six, seven, eight months, maybe a year." Now the stuff, a lot of time you could buy right off the floor or put orders in. Back when we were younger, when computers were kind of new, we called vaporware, somebody would come out with software or something that never really happened. This stuff is so cutting edge and coming to the market so quick, it’s like, "Oh, we don't have to wait five years for this. It’s coming out now." So, this disk, I mean, it could be out in 2014.

Fisher: Do you have to ever get rid of machines? I mean, more than one time a year at this point?

Tom: Oh, constantly, constantly.

Fisher: The machine or you just upgrade it with software?

Tom: With some of the newer machines, you can upgrade with software. The older machines, they basically become doorstops or boat anchors.

Fisher: [Laughs] That's terrible!

Tom: I know! It’s really sad. We have become such a disposable society, and it’s not because, oh, we don't want to upgrade it, we don't want to fix it, it’s such old technology, we can't use it anymore. So, we take out, you know, certain parts, the metal parts, we send off to recycling and things like that. So, a lot of it can be recycled, but the stuff happens so fast. A lot of people have asked us about what kind of formats, different things are in. Like people come in and have slides done or photos done or they bought their own scanner, they want to do it themselves and they go, "Do I want a TIFF? Do I want a PDF? Do I want a jpeg?" you know, what do I want to do? And we've talked a little bit in the past about some things degrade, but it’s going to be so minimal, don't worry about it.

Fisher: Right.

Tom: Like right now, when we do slides for people or when we do photos for people, we actually do what's called a super jpeg. So it’s basically a jpeg on steroids. You can make a billboard out of it or whatever you want, things like this. When you're doing home scanning, the nice thing about PDFs is, anybody can read a PDF. You don't have to have any kind of photo reading programs or anything. Anybody can read a PDF. So if you make it on PDFs, you can put them on your website, you can email them to people, you can do all kind of stuff with them. So they're nice, they're convenient. And the nice thing about PDF, you can have like ten or twelve photos or 500 photos and you can combine them all into one PDF.

Fisher: Right.

Tom: So you can look through them just like a book and find the ones you want. If somebody wants to print out this picture, they can print them out. But they're so small, they're easy to email, they're easy to send out and stuff like that. If you want something kind of in between, a little bit more editable and stuff like that, I would go with a jpeg or a super jpeg. You can go into Photoshop, Photoshop Elements, you know, a lot of programs come free with the scanners. You can do a lot of things with your jpegs. And as long as you're not making copies of copies of copies, they're fine. Most people use jpegs. You'll never run into a problem. And then some people say, "Well, what about a TIFF? Do I want a TIFF?" Well, TIFFs are great, but they're really, really huge.

Fisher: Yes!

Tom: If you're not a professional photographer, I wouldn't deal with TIFFs, because you don't need it.

Fisher: I bought a photo from a college once that had to do with family history thing, and it came as a TIFF, and it’s huge!!

Tom: Oh, it is. They're really inconvenient.

Fisher: But, quality! I mean, I was able to zoom in on that picture and study each of the faces and it was in a huge group. But you can't do that with a jpeg.

Tom: Exactly. In fact that's a killer thing right there. If you have this big picture with a hundred people in it and all you want is this little person that's the size of a postage stamp or a penny, then go with a TIFF or something bigger, because then you can like you talk about, zoom in.

Fisher: The detail.

Tom: Exactly. If it’s a single picture, it’s not worth it. If you want to really get into stuff, you can go do what's called a RAW file, but then you have to have special software to read it. And you get into a RAW file and you can actually edit it pixel by pixel. You could take that little, teeny person the size of a penny and just amazingly, you could see, you know, the dimples on his face no matter how small they are, and go in and enhance them and stuff. But that's, you know, way on the far end of stuff.

Fisher: Right. Well, but that's, that's still coming, isn't it?

Tom: Oh, it is.

Fisher: And it always is, so we continue on, and in another week, you'll probably have some more breakthroughs to share with us and tell us about the latest machine you're getting rid of.

Tom: Exactly, exactly!

Fisher: [Laughs] He's Tom Perry, he's our Preservation Authority at Extreme Genes, Family History Radio. And remember, if you want us to cover a specific topic in our preservation segment each week, send in your suggestions or questions to [email protected]. And if we use your suggestion during the show, you're going to win the satisfaction of having your questions answered right here on the air and be admired by everybody for your courage in asking us. Anyway, thanks for joining us, Tom.

Tom: Good to be here.

Fisher: Wow, that's it for this week. We’re going a little long. Thanks for joining us on Extreme Genes, Family History Radio. Take our poll on our website, ExtremeGenes.com, and catch up with past shows on the podcast right there. It’s brought to you by TMC, The Multimedia Centers, preserving your memories for over forty years. And remember, as far as everyone knows, we're a nice, normal family! It’s a Fisher Voiceworks Production.

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