Episode 185 - FamilySearch Ready To Digitize Your Local Records / Utah Man Finds Family History Gold In New Zealand Book Case

podcast episode Apr 02, 2017

Fisher opens the show with David Allen Lambert, Chief Genealogist of the New England Historic Genealogical Society and AmericanAncestors.org. Fisher speaks briefly about his recent trip to Germany. David then addresses a 109-year-old Englishman who doesn’t want a card from the Queen. Hear why! Then, a Swiss Court has disallowed the naming of a baby. Hear what the name was supposed to be and why they nixed it. Then, David talks about making a company that is making a beer to match a DNA test. Also, a 16-year-old got the gift of a lifetime from her grandfather. Catch what it is. David then spotlights blogger Amie Bowser Tennant. Read her blog about the War of 1812 records at TheGenealogyReporter.com.

Next, Fisher talks with Steve Waters from FamilySearch.org. Steve is giving you the opportunity to point FamilySearch in the right direction in finding important genealogical records that have not yet been digitized. Listen to the interview, then call them with what you know at 844-326-4478, or email them at [email protected]

Fisher then visits with a Brigham City, Utah man, Barr Cannon, about a genealogical find that took him and his wife, literally, around the world! And it all began in New Zealand with an antique book case.

Finally, Tom Perry from TMCPlace.com, the Preservation Authority, answers another listener question about how to affordably digitize a massive quantity of materials, as well as how you may want to preserve the originals.

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

Transcript of Episode 185

Host: Scott Fisher with guest David Allen Lambert

Segment 1 Episode 185

Fisher: And you have found us America’s Family History Show, Extreme Genes and ExtremeGenes.com. It is Fisher here your Radio Roots Sleuth on the program where we shake your family tree and watch the nuts fall out. This segment is brought to you by Roots Magic.com. Hey, welcome to the show. Glad to have you along. We have a great guest coming up a little later from FamilySearch.org. His name is Steve Waters. He’s going to tell you how you can help actually get records in your area digitized. You know, the people from FamilySearch have been sending out photo teams for decades and decades. Before WWII they started this thing and now they’re going to give you a chance to get into some of the smaller archives that may be where you are. All they need to know is what have they got and where are they? So we’ll get into that in about nine minutes. Then, later in the show we’re going to talk to a guy from Brigham City, Utah. His name is Barr Cannon. And Barr was in New Zealand and ran across an interesting piece of furniture, and from that furniture was a secret compartment, yeah, with family records in them from England! Wait till you hear this story, you’re going to love it. [Laughs] That’s later on in the show. But, right now let’s check in with Boston and our good friend David Allen Lambert, the Chief Genealogist for the New England Historic Genealogical Society and AmericanAncestors.org. Hello David!

David: Hello, and welcome back to the New World.

Fisher: Let me tell you, this was like time zone whiplash for me. You know seven time zones to get from my place to Germany and then I was just getting adjusted when it was time to come back. So, it was a lot of fun though. Took my grandkids and my daughter to see the church where my third great grandfather, my only German ancestor who came to America, where he was christened in 1768, and that was an incredible thing. Visited the military cemetery in Luxembourg by the grave of General Patton and his people, very moving, and some other experiences that were just off the charts. Boy, it’s fun to go over there, isn’t it?

David: It really is. And it’s a great way to discover your past, but as we’ll find out next week, sometimes you’re not always going to find where your ancestor is buried.

Fisher: Exactly! This was a complete shocker to me the way things are done, and not only Germany but several other European countries. So we are going to do a whole segment on that next week because I think for many people listening it’s going to be a surprise what’s going on with graves over in Europe.

David: It really will. Speaking of going over to Europe, I want to wish a Happy 109th birthday to Robert Weighton who just celebrated his birthday in March. He was born in 1908 when King Edward VII was on the throne. Now that’s a great grandfather of the present Queen. Here’s the catch. Robert got a card from her when he turned a hundred but doesn’t want one from her now. Do you want to know why, Fish?

Fisher: Because… because what?

David: Because she always looks so miserable when she’s doing official duties!

Fisher: [Laughs]

David: And that’s a quote right from Robert himself, so an official Extreme Genes Happy Birthday to the oldest man in Britain who doesn’t want a card from his Queen.

Fisher: Very nice, very nice. All right, let us spin the wheel of wherever and see where our next story should come from. [Wheel spinning] And the answer is Switzerland! Do we have a story from Switzerland today, David?

David: Oh, we do. A Swiss court has just jumped in and prevented a family from giving their baby the name of Jay.

Fisher: What’s wrong with Jay?

David: Well, it’s not that it’s J-A-Y. It’s J, period, just J.

Fisher: J, okay.

David: And that’s because they want to honor the daughter’s great grandparents Johanna and Joseph. So they can not pick one or the other but the court said that it is not in the best interest of the child because the pronunciation would vary and there would be a problem for her later in life.

Fisher: [Laughs] What? Is this a first name, a middle name? What is it?

David: This is a child’s middle name.

Fisher: Middle name?

David: And then of course the judge says it will be a problem because people would then put a period after it.

Fisher: [Laughs] This is crazy. So it’s a middle name. They’re worried about the people putting a period after it and so the name court is saying, “Oh no, you can’t do that.” That’s kind of crazy. You know Harry S Truman, his grandparents had “S” for their names, both of them. So they gave him the middle initial “S” with no period, just so they each thought that the middle name was for them which is funny. I think he did okay.

David: I think he did. He did get into office after F.T.R died, but he did get re-elected. [Laughs]

Fisher: Yes, yes it seemed to work even on the ballot. All right, next story, what do you have?

David: Well, this story is going to bring us back to England again, to London at Meantime Brewery where the brew master Ciaran Giblin had a special thing done for him.

Fisher: Okay.

David: He was tested with 23andMe and his genetic testing showed receptors that indictate that he had an inclination to like bitter over sweet flavors. So, they’ve developed a beer that is based upon his receptors and his DNA that he would like, and sure enough, he liked it. So, cheers to the brew master and his autosomal DNA.

Fisher: There you go. [Laughs]

David: Our next story is about a teenager who has kind of gone viral on the internet. Some of you may have heard about Renn Blank who received a special gift from her grandpa which was three notebooks that he filled with memories about every time they hung out for the first few years of her life. You think about all the memories you’ve had with your own grandchildren, Fish.

Fisher: Sure. It made me think about that as soon as I read that. We should probably go and record everything we did in Germany last week with the grandkids, three of them.

David: Exactly. And it just really harkens back to keeping a journal.

Fisher: Yeah.

David: Our blogger spotlight this week is on Amie Bowser Tennant who runs a blog thegenealogyreporter.com. She has recently written about the War of 1812 pension files. I’m sure many of you have probably used them or heard of FGS’s efforts to raise money to actually have the pensions online. The money has been raised. It’s halfway digitized. It’s available on Fold3 for free, and Amie tells you how to best utilize these records for your genealogies. So hats off to Amie, and take a peek at thegenealogyreporter.com and follow her blog.

Fisher: Excellent!

David: I just want to toss out that if you had not been to AmericanAncestors.org, take a peek at our website. You can sign up as a free guest member but if you want to join, use the checkout code ‘Extreme’ and you’ll save $20 dollars.

Fisher: All right. Thanks so much David. And coming up next, we’re going to talk to Steve Waters from FamilySearch.org as we continue our march through the big three to find out some of the things that are happening right now And Steve’s going to tell us how you can get some of the smaller archives in your area to have their records digitized and put online for free. That’s coming up in three minutes on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show.

Segment 2 Episode 185

Host: Scott Fisher with guest Steve Waters

Fisher: All right, welcome back to America’s Family History Show Extreme Genes and ExtremeGenes.com. It is Fisher here, your Radio Roots Sleuth and this segment is brought to you by FamilySearch.org and oddly enough we got somebody from FamilySearch.org on the line with us right now, he’s Steve Waters. He is the Archives Relations guy for Family Search and this is a great opportunity for anybody interested in getting some local materials digitized in their own hometown. Maybe it’s in a barn, maybe it’s in a courthouse, wherever it may be. Hi Steve, How are you?

Steve: Good. How are you Scott?

Fisher: Great. This sounds like a great opportunity for people, in my experience, running around the country. I’ve run into places like in Fairfield County, Connecticut. They have a collection in boxes of these old documents relating to one of my families. I was able to actually hold the documents and take pictures of them myself but I was shocked to think that these have not been digitized. There are a lot of people who descend from these folks because some of those records dated back to the 1600s. So you know there are a lot of descendants but there’s got to be stashes of these things all around the country. What is your project? How does it work? And how can Extreme Genes “genies” help you?

Steve: Well, I’m going to give you a little bit of background on FamilySearch for those who don’t know who we are. We’ve been around a long time. We began in 1894 so we’re a 123 year old organization and we just happen to be the world’s largest non-profit family history organization in the world dedicated to preserving and providing access to historic records. People can’t go out and learn their family history or learn about their heritage without those records. We currently provide free online access to 1.2 billion, with a b, digital images of records and we add about a 150 million more every year. You can check us out at FamilySearch.org if you like. Right now we have about 300 full time digital camera teams around the world, and those camera teams are taking pictures of about a 150 million digital records every year.

Fisher: Wow! And then those in turn get indexed ultimately by other volunteers, right?

Steve: Some of them get indexed, some of them don’t. We’re taking pictures at a more rapid rate than we can index, but we’re putting those online and if they’re not indexed they’re at least viewable.

Fisher: Sure.

Steve: And my primary responsibility is to keep those cameras busy.

Fisher: Yeah.

Steve: So I’m got to go out and find genealogically significant record collections and then get the permission of the record custodian for us to come in and do the work.

Fisher: So could this include maybe a family that has a collection that goes back several generations of their own material?

Steve: We’re not in a position to do every single record in the world and so our current structure is set up to do these larger records sets that are tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of records.

Fisher: Right.

Steve: Typically these would be records that would reside in a courthouse or a museum of some entity like that, that has a large collection rather than a personal collection that somebody’s got under their bed. You’re going to see in the future for those kind of collections, in fact, we’re seeing it more and more that people can take pictures of them with their cell phones and other different devices and eventually they’ll be able to upload those and we’ll be able to use them that way.

Fisher: Oh wow! That’s exciting. Then you go from fifty cameras in North America to thousands potentially.

Steve: Potentially that’s kind of the vision. We can’t be all places and all things to all people so we’re trying to empower people to do it themselves. We’ve been taking pictures of records in the United States since 1938, so seventy nine years. And I think we largely focused on the low lying fruit. Go to the most obvious places, the State Archives and the larger municipal repositories and we’ve done a lot of the records there. No we’re finding that we need to concentrate more on the next level down. There are well over three thousand counties in the United States and I couldn’t even begin to tell you how many towns or cities there are. But many of these communities they have courthouses, churches, libraries, museums and other places where valuable records are housed, and we think there’s probably over twenty thousand record repositories in the U.S. that at some point level need assistance preserving and providing access to the records. And the problem is there’s only four people on my team.

Fisher: Right. [Laughs]

Steve: So we simply don’t know where all of these repositories are or who they are or who the record custodians are. So we need community help.

Fisher: Okay. So if I’m listening in Iowa or in Virginia or in Texas, how do I go about helping FamilySearch to do this?

Steve: Well, there’s a couple of different ways you can do it. One is if you know somebody in your network of family or friends that’s a record custodian or perhaps know somebody who knows somebody, or somebody who understands how decisions are made. A lot of these record permissions are done at a governmental level. So we’re looking to network with people who can give permission or can make a decision or influence, if you know any of those people in your circle or family or friends, providing an introduction or a tip may be very helpful to us. Another thing is if you know of a collection of records that is sizable and it’s genealogically significant and hasn’t been taken care of yet, perhaps like the one you mentioned in Connecticut, we’d like to know about it. Tell us about it. Or you could go one step further and actually create a simple inventory of what those records are. One of the things we have to do because we’ve been taking pictures of records for so long, is any opportunity that comes our way we have to check and make sure it wasn’t one we already did. Quite often I’ll find somebody has an exciting collection but we did it, we did take pictures of it thirty seven years ago or forty years ago.  So we have to do a check like that and that’s where an inventory of the records can be helpful to us as well. And then if we are so lucky as to get an opportunity in your area, have permission given to us to come in and do the digitization, there may be some opportunities to volunteer at that level. Sometimes documents need to be prepared before they can be photographed. Fasteners need to be removed or they need to be flattened or unfolded or organized, and local people can help do that. We’re even finding more and more local people that are helping to man our cameras. We provide the equipment, the knowhow, and the training and they’re volunteering their time and effort because of their interest in the records and their close proximity to the repository to actually man the camera and do the digitization of the records. So those are kind of three areas where somebody can get involved.     

Fisher: Sure. Now, I would imagine that you’ve had some experiences with this already, any stories you can tell me about this?

Steve: I could tell you a whole bunch.

Fisher: [Laughs]

Steve: But there’s one that comes to mind that I think is particularly interesting and illustrates kind of the point. There was a woman from a small town that I had never heard of before who contacted me and she explained that many of the historic records from her town had been stashed away in an abandoned high school auditorium.

Fisher: Ooh!

Steve: And these records had become wet because the building was not maintained so the roof leaked and kids that got bored walking down the street throwing rocks through the windows that made a nice little entrance for the birds to go in through the broken windows and they created nice nests in these records.

Fisher: Ugh.

Steve: And this woman from this area was, rightfully so, concerned about these records and it was just too big of a task for her to handle herself so she called us. And I visited the area and while I was there the woman walked me down to her local courthouse where there were even more records, and years earlier she’d been an elementary school teacher in that area, and it just so happens that she had actually taught the local county judge there when he was a boy.

Fisher: Oh, how convenient is that, right?

Steve: Yeah.

Fisher: Hello. [Laughs]

Steve: [Laughs] So she introduced me to the judge who just happened to also be the custodian of these records, and I began to explain to him how we would like to help him preserve his records. And watching the conversation, she could tell that the judge just wasn’t cooperating the way she wanted.

Fisher: What was his objection? Why was the wall up?

Steve:  I think he sees somebody come from across the country maybe in a shirt and tie, some high fallutin’ city boy that isn’t from around those parts and he was just a little standoffish.

Fisher: [Laughs] Yeah. Okay.

Steve: So she jumped in and took over the conversation and she said something along the lines of, “George, this young man’s come a long way to help you preserve your records and you best listen to him and cooperate.” And I watched this man just kind of cower and say, “Yes Ma’am” because he had the relationship and respect. This is the woman who had taught him in elementary school.

Fisher: Teachers do that, right? You know.

Steve: Yeah.

Fisher: Wow.

Steve: So the rest of the story is history. He gave us permission and we did the work, preserved his records and got them published online and so the two points I guess I would bring out in this story is that without this woman and her relationship with the judge, 1.) I would never ever have known about these records. Who would have ever thought to think to look for beautiful records in an abandoned high school?

Fisher: Sure. Yeah.

Steve: And 2) I never would have gotten permission to photograph them except for the rapport that she had with this good judge. So, I think that’s what we’re trying to replicate, is people who know records and have connections can really help with this work.

Fisher: Boy it sounds like it. What kind of records are we looking for specifically?

Steve: We can’t photograph every record in the world, there’s just too many, we’re best suited to photograph sizeable record collections. I’m talking probably tens of thousands or bigger.  

Fisher: Okay.

Steve: And we find that the people doing family history research need records that identify people and connect them with people, places, dates, events, and so for example, births, marriages, deaths, probates, wills.

 Fisher: Yeah.

Steve: Land, deed records.

Fisher: Um hmm.

Steve: Military, maybe naturalization and citizenship records, church records, and there may be some others, voter registration, tax records and so forth.

Fisher: Newspapers?

Steve: Newspapers, we’re not doing right now.

Fisher: Okay.

Steve: Not that they’re not incredibly important, but there’s so dang many of them we had to draw the line somewhere.

Fisher: Sure. So somebody fits this picture that you’ve just created what number should they call or what website or email? How do they get in touch with you?

Steve: So they’re welcome to go check out our website if they want to learn more about who we are, which is FamilySearch.org and again, that’s a free website, or they can contact us by sending an email to [email protected] or call toll free 1-844-326-4478.

Fisher: Okay. Then they can either talk to somebody or leave a message I would assume?

Steve: Yep. They may have to leave a message… but again, there’s only four of us so if we’re tied up we’ll be glad to call you back at the earliest convenience.

Fisher: You know, I’m thinking, I mean this could be a massive project, a great project for anybody wanting to get involved in preserving their community’s records, but they’re going to forget about this right? I mean they’ve heard a little visit that we’ve just had. I just want to remind everybody, these contact points are going to be on our website ExtremeGenes.com. Do not forget about this. It’s an important project that we’re all going to benefit from. He’s Steve Waters from FamilySearch.org. He’s their US Archives Relations guy. Thanks so much Steve for the time and good luck with the project, and keep us informed on what more we can do to help.

Steve: Thanks Scott.

Fisher: And coming up next, we go out to Brigham City, Utah to talk to a man named Barr Cannon. Barr was off in New Zealand and discovered a piece of furniture there that had a secret compartment with lots of family data hidden in the compartment concerning a family in England. You’re going to want to hear the whole tale it’s coming up for you in five minutes on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show and ExtremeGenes.com.  

Segment 3 Episode 185

Host: Scott Fisher with guest Barr Cannon

Fisher: And welcome to America’s Family History Show, Extreme Genes and ExtremeGenes.com. I am Fisher, your Radio Roots Sleuth and this segment of our show is brought to you by 23andMe.com DNA. And as you know, over the years I love to track down people’s stories of discovery and the adventures those things can turn into and we have another one of those adventures on the phone with me right now from Brigham City, Utah. His name is Barr Cannon. Hi Barr, welcome to the show.

Barr: Well thank you Scott.

Fisher: You had quite the adventure with just buying a piece of antique furniture some time back. Why don’t you get into that with us?

Barr: Well actually, before we bought that furniture, my wife and I had gone to New Zealand, as record preservation missionaries and we were digitizing New Zealand probate records. We digitized well over four hundred thousand images in those twenty three months.

Fisher: Incredible.

Barr: While we were there I had wanted a personal scanner, there was a new one out and I bought it, had it shipped to New Zealand. Two days after it arrived, I had a phone call from a Betty Riley. Betty was asking if I could scan a book that she had found through her children that was about Armenians that lived in Iran. She wanted me to scan this book. Took several months to get the book to me, I scanned it. I show up to deliver the book to her in another town several miles away, and as we walk in she says, “The most incredible thing happened to me yesterday at my daughter’s antique store.” So we walk in and on her coffee table was a whole pile of papers, there was pictures. She said, “Just yesterday my daughter unwrapped a bookcase which she had purchased in England. She had gone to England earlier in the year, bought a whole bunch of antiques, put them on a shipping container and sent them to Richmond, New Zealand, where she lived.

Fisher: Okay.

Barr: She had taken many of them off and put them out on the floor, but this particular day she put a book case out that still had wrappings around it. She happened to see some people back looking at this bookcase, so she went back to see if she could help and they said, “Oh we saw the top of this and if you look, it looks like you could pull the top up.”

Fisher: Ha!

Barr: And I pulled it up and lo and behold all these papers were in here.”

Fisher: From what era are we talking about here?

Barr: Well, I believe it was firmly sealed and the last time it was opened was probably in 1940.

Fisher: Wow! Okay, so it’s been 70 some odd years.

Barr: It’s been 70 years it’s been sitting. And has taken a long time to figure out what was in there. But she said, “What should we do with these papers?” and I said, “You know, I just brought by chance my scanner that I just purchased, just recently.” And so that night I scanned 120 pages.

Fisher: Wow! That’s a lot.

Barr: And that 120 pages, the part that was really exciting was the little card that was about 3x5 inches and it had a picture of the Savior and Moses, below it, it said that Samuel David had given this to his wife Harriet on their wedding in 1848.

Fisher: [Laughs] Boy that goes back.

Barr: It does. And on the back side of that card is in very beautiful handwriting five children’s names, birth places, dates and everything like that about those children.

Fisher: Unbelievable.

Barr: As we searched through the rest of the papers, I found the birth certificate of Samuel David, 1814.

Fisher: Birth certificate? Was it a church record?

Barr: We’re talking about civil records.

Fisher: Ha!

Barr: Made in 1814.

Fisher: That’s early. Unbelievable!

Barr: And there were pictures of grandchildren. The more exciting part for most genealogists is that there was evidently one of the five children had kept a lot of records and had recorded them back, their parents, grandparents, great grandparents and their families. Those pedigrees going back, goes back to 1747.

Fisher: That’s fantastic! So what did you decide to do?

Barr: Well, we didn’t know what to do with it so we said, “We’ve got to go back to work” So we went back to a town called Christ Church several hours away and we tried to figure out what to do with them and we had made a contact with our church and they said, “Well, you find somebody that cared about it a lot, you know, a descendant, we’ll be happy to work with them.” We got back and one of the great guys at their archives, a real genealogist, Allen Turncliff said, “Let me look at those.” The next night at two o clock in the morning, he writes to us he says, “I found these things about this family. And here is a possibility of somebody that’s still alive that might be a descendant.” But the descendancy of this couple, the five children, one dies at 3, one dies at 20, two never married, so only one child has any offspring.

Fisher: Wow! So you’re trying to look for the descendants of that child.

Barr: And that child has four. Two never marry, one has 2 daughters that never marry, one little thread going down that look like we maybe had a brother and a sister born in 1966/1968 in England that might be the only descendants to that family.

Fisher: Unbelievable. Were you able to find them?

Barr: For the next six months I searched much like you did on to another record that I’d read about. How do you find them? I bought subscriptions to different places in England. Finally I found two people that might be those. So we wrote to the man, Mark Calverts, no response. Three months later we had a friend go over and knock on his door.

Fisher: [Laughs]

Barr: And he said, “I’m going on vacation. I don’t have time to talk to you. I’ll respond when I get back.” He didn’t even say if he was the right person or not.

Fisher: Ha! That leaves you hanging, doesn’t it?

Barr: Another two months go by and I write again, “Are you the right person?” And he finally responds back and says, “Yes, I am the right person.” So we sent to him all 129 pictures two of which were his grandmother when she was like 3 and 13.

Fisher: Oh wow! [Laughs]

Barr: He said, “I have never seen pictures of my grandmother before. I know nothing of my ancestors on that side except back to my grandfather who was in the military. I know nothing beyond that.”

Fisher: Unbelievable.

Barr: So, we got ready to come back from New Zealand to the United States. Before we came I had found out about the book case that had the compartment went up for sale and I called and talked to him, I said, “Maybe I should buy that. Here’s what I can afford.” And he said okay, it’s yours. So they delivered it to us and that bookcase has gone from England to New Zealand to Utah and it sits in our home now.

Fisher: Unbelievable. Did you get to meet this guy at some point?

Barr: Well, that was the next fun thing. My wife said to me, “What are we going to do with the papers now? Because we now have all the papers.”

Fisher: So you had the original papers but you had sent him scans, is that what it was?

Barr: That’s correct.

Fisher: Okay.

Barr: We decided that if they were the right people and they were willing to let us come then we would deliver it personally to them.

Fisher: And did you have a good experience with them?

Barr: We had a tremendous experience with them.

Fisher: From one end of the world all the way around to the other. You never got a chance to rest.

Barr: No, that’s right.

Fisher: [Laughs] He’s Barr Cannon from Brigham City, Utah, made quite the discovery in New Zealand and took it all the way back to the United States and then on to England to the people it ultimately belonged to. Barr, so great to chat with you, thanks so much and keep up the good work!

Barr: Thank you very much. Appreciate it.

Fisher: Talk about a worldwide adventure. Tom Perry is next to talk preservation.  

Segment 4 Episode 185

Host: Scott Fisher with guest Tom Perry

Fisher: And welcome back to America's Family History Show, Extreme Genes and ExtremeGenes.com. You know, we've got so many people joining the show now with so many things still to be preserved, and it’s so great to have Tom Perry with us every week, the Preservation Authority. And this segment is brought to you by LegacyTree.com. Good to see you again, Tom.

Tom: Good to be seen.

Fisher: And we've got an email of course sent to [email protected]. This is from Grant Hurst, and I don't know what Grant's doing, but he's got quite the stockpile going here. He wants to know [Laughs] what it will take for him to do 485 negatives of odd sizes, 2x2 or 2x4 dating from the 1930s with several appearing to be silver nitrate, 890 35mm negatives, which could be actually double that number, 43 slides, 82 8mm and super 8mm 3 inch video reels or equivalents, 3 5 1/2 inch 8mm video reels, 7 7 1/2 inch 8mm video reels, 20 Mini High8 video cassettes and 54 larger High8 video cassettes, about the size of the old audio cassettes? What is this guy doing, Tom?!

Tom: I think he inherited a library or something!

Fisher: [Laughs]

Tom: Of old films. So this is crazy. I mean, he says he's got over 2000 negatives, and then the caveat is, he's got a limited budget.

Fisher: Right, a limited budget.

Tom: It’s like, okay, that's interesting. Like it’s, he has a limited budget and you're buying an F150 or a Cadillac.

Fisher: Right, right, and you're going to have to obviously have no sleep for, what, three months?

Tom: Oh, at least, at least.

Fisher: Yeah.

Tom: At least my staff, maybe not me.

Fisher: [Laughs]

Tom: I don't get sleep anyway.

Fisher: Okay, so how does somebody handle this? They've got all this material whether it’s just his or maybe from other members of the family, other branches or friends in the neighborhood, obviously that's a lot to take on for anybody, to say, "We know we need to get this done, but we can't afford to do all this." What do they do?

Tom: You know, this is an awesome question, and we've been doing this for years, but never talked about it on the radio show, so this is a good time to bring it up. If you have a lot of things like this gentleman does, and like you mentioned if its several families getting together, if you're just helping people in your neighborhood, if you work at a family history society and they have a lot of people bring stuff in, what you can do is, you can sign up for a wholesale account at Shop.TMCPlace.com and you can save like 30% if you got those kind of quantities. And the neat thing about that is, if you are a society, you have two options, you can charge your people the normal price, which is very acceptable and affordable and then take that money and invest into other things. Like if you've got a lot coming in then hey, put away some money and then one day buy a really high end scanner for either your slides, your prints or whatever and invest it back into the company. If you're an individual, take that money and put it into your reunion. So it gives you a lot of options where you can save a lot of money. Help yourself, help your neighbors, do whatever you're going to do. And when you get to that point, we're happy to give you some recommendations to professional equipment, because once you get to the professional equipment like what we rent out for people for like a week.

Fisher: Sure, right for a reunion or something.

Tom: Exactly! If you're going to have a reunion, and like you've mentioned before, you have several people in your family, it’s not going to cost that much, because it’s like, you know, $300, $400 a week to rent either the slide scanner or the photo scanner, but you can buy one for about $3000, $4000. So if you're in the big, big numbers, it’s going to be smart to do. If you're in just for a family reunion, there's no way you want to put out that kind of money. So you've got both options actually.

Fisher: Well, when you consider there might be, you know, 40, 50 families involved in a reunion, they kick in $100 a piece, they can get an awful lot done, and then the organization owns the machine. And after that, it’s pretty much free and clear, right?

Tom: Oh absolutely! In fact, a few weeks ago when we had somebody that called that their son wanted to do these kinds of things, this is a good way. Start out by getting a whole bunch of stuff together, rent a machine, and if you can see there's going to be a continuous income coming in from it, then you can go and buy a machine and you're not like, "Oh, I've spent $4000, now I need to get my money back." Just do it the right way. We can help you. And then, you know, start a business. And the most important thing is you're out in other parts of the country making preservation possible for the people that are closer to you, so they don't have to send it across.

Fisher: Yeah, the shipping problem is the issue for a lot of people.

Tom: Exactly.

Fisher: Coming up next, let's talk about how we keep the stuff, the originals that we've been digitizing, so that they don't deteriorate further as well, coming up in three minutes on Extreme Genes, America's Family History Show.

Segment 5 Episode 185

Host: Scott Fisher with guest Tom Perry

Fisher: Tom, you are going so 21st century here I can't believe it! You're going to a Twitter account?!

Tom: Yep, absolutely!

Fisher: For your questions, all right. Hey, we're back, its Fisher here. Its Extreme Genes America's Family History Show and ExtremeGenes.com.We're talking preservation with Tom Perry from TMCPlace.com. Of course you can still email Tom with your questions at [email protected]. And you can tweet out to him at @AskTomP. And of course that will allow people to actually, you know, share questions and answers and maybe get a community to actually contribute to answering some of the questions that come up.

Tom: And this will be great. If we have somebody out in the middle of, you know, Kansas some place that wants something done locally and they don't know where to do it and somebody else can say, "Oh yeah, I've used XYZ and I was really happy with their work." So you know, spread the word. We want to know about people in your community that have done good jobs for you, so then people don't have to worry about the shipping thing which we talked about in the first segment. They can go to a local place whether, you know, it’s a society that's doing it, if it’s a library or if you're doing it on the side, you've got a little storefront, it’s great because it’s all about preservation. I don't care where they take it, as long as it’s getting preserved and its getting preserved correctly, that's what matters.

Fisher: All right, let's talk a little more about preserving the originals once you've gotten done digitizing them. And this is really important, because I know a lot of people, don't they come into your place and say, "Okay, got it all done. I'm throwing them out now because I need the space!"

Tom: Yep, that really makes the hair stand up on the back of my neck.

Fisher: [Laughs] And you don't have much.

Tom: No, I don’t.

Fisher: So that's really quite a feat!

Tom: It’s very little. But so it’s really important, especially if anything's optical. If you have negatives, you have slides, films, things are always getting better. We've just upgraded our film scanner to a new universal system that's even sharper and better than before. It’s just amazing how these things change, and even though you're happy with your stuff, maybe your kids one day might want to update to, you know, virtual reality or something, so you want to keep it. And a lot of people like to keep the old photographs, even though they've got scanned, just because they're kind of cool or warm and fuzzy things to have around. And there's a lot of ways you can do this. The best way is to get some paper that's archival paper. And they have different kinds, there's buffet paper, there's standard paper, all different kinds, just go and Google it and you can read the different kind of papers that are available, the different ways you can store them. And then choose what fits both your budget and what your endgame is. And one thing that's really important that we've talked about before is, you want to make sure once you've got these taken care of, that they're stored in a good way. If you just put them in a cardboard box or something like that and seal it off, you've sealed it off from dust and weather and things like that, however, mice love to get into those.

Fisher: Ooh, don't even! That's awful!

Tom: They leave along bad presence that we don't like that can ruin things.

Fisher: [Laughs]

Tom: So I recommend a steel box. Even if you're in a high humidity area, I still recommend a steel box, but what you want to do is, you want to line it with Styrofoam, which will actually act as an insulator for both the heat and the cold and also from any corrosion, things like that.

Fisher: Right.

Tom: But you always want to still put it in a bag. And I don't want to go into details. You can find it by just going onto Google and put in, Extreme Genes and quotes, and then, you know, "rice" or "cheesecloth" and it will tell you how to prepare your box.

Fisher: Right. Because all of our shows are now transcribed, so you can search with “Extreme Genes” in quotes and then put in whatever the term is you're looking for. I think there are at least four episodes where we talked about this.

Tom: Absolutely. And I love telling people about this, because they come and ask me these questions, "Hey, I want some more information on these Taiyo Yuden disks." or whatever. Hey, just go Google it with “Extreme Genes” in quotes and you'll be able to find out what episodes we talked about it, go into more detail. And it makes it really, really good to go back and listen to some of those old episodes.

Fisher: All right. And once again, if you want to ask Tom a question, you can email him at [email protected] or you can tweet at @AskTomP, and of course that way questions and answers are shared and the community gets involved. So I'm excited about how this is going to work for us.

Tom: Yeah, this should be awesome. This should help a lot of us.

Fisher: All right, great to see you again, Tom. Talk to you next week.

Tom: Sounds good, my pleasure.

Fisher: And this segment has been brought to you by MyHeritage.com. Well, that's a wrap for this week. Thanks so much for joining us. By the way, don't forget to go to our website, ExtremeGenes.com. Get yourself signed up for our free Weekly Genie newsletter. We've got links to all kinds of fun stories, all kinds of great interviews you can link to there, all kinds of great information. And of course I'll do a column each week, once in a while we'll have a guest columnist, and it costs you nothing! And also follow us on our Facebook page. Talk to you again next week. And remember, as far as everyone knows, we're a nice, normal family!

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