Episode 187 - Michigan Woman Seeks To Join TEN Lineage Societies This Year / DNA Trends You’ll Want To Know About

podcast episode Apr 16, 2017

Host Scott Fisher opens the show with David Allen Lambert, Chief Genealogist of the New England Historic Genealogical Society and AmericanAncestors.org. David opens “Family Histoire News” with a story that Oregon is looking at reversing an 1845 law that outlaws dueling! Then, the Duchess of Cornwall is looking at buying back an ancestral home. Next, there’s woman who is apparently still receiving her father’s war pension… from the CIVIL War! And finally, David discusses his plans to honor those World War I vets who died in the “War to End All Wars.” Listen to find out how you can be a part of his special tribute during this centennial year of the US entering the War.

Next, Fisher visits with Karen Batchelor, a Detroit woman, best known as the first African-American to join the DAR back in 1977. Karen is still a passionate genie and is on to a new project. Wait until you hear what it is and why she is doing it!

Then, Thomas MacEntee from High Definition Genealogy in Chicago joins Fisher to talk DNA. National DNA Day is upon us, and Thomas talks about the latest trends in DNA, and how to take advantage of discounts on DNA tests that come at this time each year.

Then, Preservation Authority Tom Perry, from TMCPlace.com, talks about how you can digitize your own photo negatives.

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

Transcript of Episode 187

Host: Scott Fisher with guest David Allen Lambert

Segment 1 Episode 187

Fisher: You have found us! It’s 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 LegacyTree.com. How are you? Welcome to the show, very excited today to be talking to my friend Karen Batchelor. She is back on. She’s the first African American to join the DAR back in1977. This fall it’s going to be forty years since she did that. And now she’s onto a new project or shall I say multiple projects. And you’re not going to believe what she’s up to and why she’s doing it. We’ll talk to Karen coming up in about nine minutes or so. Then later in the show we’re going to get it an update from Thomas MacEntee from High- Definition Genealogy in Chicago talking about some of the trends he’s seeing in DNA these days. And of course later in the hour Tom Perry our Preservation Authority will be here talking about how you could scan your own negatives, what it would take and how you can do it inexpensively. It’s going to be good stuff. But right now it’s off to Boston for my good friend David Allen Lambert the Chief Genealogist for the New England Historic Genealogical Society and AmericanAncestors.org. How are you David?

David: Oh, I’m doing great! Back in Beantown after being out in Denver, Colorado where I gave a few lectures to the Colorado Genealogical Society out at the Denver Public Library, so back home for a little bit.

Fisher: Very nice! All right, let’s get going with our Family Histoire News today. And we’ll start out by spinning our “Wheel of Wherever.” [Wheel Spinning] And it says “Oregon.” Do you have any stories from Oregon today?

David: Well, the story I have from Oregon actually kind of starts when NEHGS did back in 1845 when the State Constitution banned settling disputes with a duel.

Fisher: [Laughs] Now didn’t the United States end that even earlier than 1845 as I recall, that whole pesky Alexander Hamilton situation?

David: Yeah, apparently Oregon didn’t follow suit on this. And the residents of Oregon will now be able to decide whether or not they will allow a person to accept challenges to fight duels to the death.

Fisher: [Laughs] I love that. What a great story. All right, what else do you have David?

David: Well you know, in the news, Prince Charles’ wife the Duchess of Cornwall had recently visited her great grandmother’s house in Florence and of course the Royal Family has the means to buy practically whatever they want. So she wants to buy her great grandmother’s house which I think is kind of sweet. It probably has multiple rooms. But have you ever gone anywhere in the United States here and said oh, I’d like to have my ancestral home back?

Fisher: Oh yeah, there are a couple of them. There’s my Dad’s ancestral home, the one he grew up in Bogota, New Jersey, the one I grew up in Connecticut and both have been on the market over the years at one time or another. One, it’s just too impractical to ever live there. The other’s too expensive, so I don’t know.

David: Well you know I’m going to go to Scotland in June and I’m bringing my oldest daughter and this is the first time her family has been back since the 1920s. And her great grandfather’s house is seventeen miles away from Edinburgh. It’s a stone house and currently up for a hundred and sixty thousand odd pounds for sale. Should we buy it? Should we have a summer place in Scotland? My wife hasn’t decided.

Fisher: [Laughs] She gets to make the final choice, of course.

David: Exactly. Well, my next story is kind of interesting, and this one I’m going to turn to our listeners. I can’t find if this lady is still alive, but up to a couple of years ago in Wilkesboro, North Carolina, there was a lady living named Irene Triplett who was collecting $73.13 from the US Department of Veterans Affairs. Now that doesn’t sound unusual, the connection on this, Fish, is that her father is the reason she got it. She is in her 80s and her father was in the Civil War.

Fisher: Oh how weird is that. So we still have somebody getting benefits from Civil War pensioners.

David: Exactly. So, when Irene was born in 1930 her father was 84 and her mother was 34.

Fisher: [Laughs]

David: It’s not unusual believe it or not. Well, every week I like to do a blog spotlight now and this one goes out to my friends with The In-Depth Genealogist, at the blog TheInDepthGenealogist.com/blog, you’ll find this interesting story by Cheri Passey, where she talks about fishing for your ancestors. She talks about the great industry that our ancestors may have been involved in in fishing. Mine were from Newfoundland, and it directly talks about Atlantic/ Canadian fisheries and what the life was like for our ancestors who made their living going out to sea. Well for World War I we are now celebrating the 100th anniversary of America’s entrance, April 6th, 1917. And I thought to myself on my Twitter account @DLGenealogist, I wanted to do something to remember the American servicemen who passed away, either killed in action or sometimes they died even before they went overseas. So I started a hashtag #WWI. So #WWIVetremembrance, and that hashtag, everyday I’m putting up a photo or a story or a link to an American serviceman who died in battle or they died in a hospital. And I’m going to do this, Fish, all the way to November 11th 2018 at the Armistice, the end of the war. So, this is my way of keeping the memory of some hundreds of soldiers alive for the next year or so.

Fisher: Boy, that’s a great idea David, and a lot of fun for people to participate and share the memory of their ancestor who died in World War I.

David: Exactly. And they can reach out to me through Twitter and share a link that they put on Twitter or on social media, or a photo, or a link to FindAGrave. You can reach me on Twitter @DLGenealogist on Twitter.

Fisher: And of course we’ll share that on Extreme Genes as well.

David: Well you know every week NEHGS offers a new database on the free guest member database you can sign up for on AmericanAncestors.org. And this week we have added more sketches into our western Massachusetts collection. These are people that are in the 1790s census in Massachusetts and these are sketches that are put together with people just like yourself writing about your early pioneering ancestors. And of course Massachusetts in the 1790s going west was just going to Western Mass.

Fisher: Yeah that’s right. The Berkshires, right?

David: Exactly. Well, that’s all I have for this week, Fish, from Beantown. I look forward to talking to you next week. Hitting on the family vacation to Colonial Williamsburg, to put my tri cornered hat on and get some miles on my Fit Bit.

Fisher: [Laughs] Sounds like a lot of fun, Dave. Have a great one. Thanks for coming on. And coming up for you next we’re going to talk to Karen Batchelor. She was the first African American to join the Daughters of the American Revolution back in 1977. She’s still at it and still joining societies. You’re going to want to hear her latest project. It’s coming up next in three minutes on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show.

Segment 2 Episode 187

Host: Scott Fisher with guest Karen Batchelor

Fisher: And welcome back to America’s Family History Show, Extreme Genes and ExtremeGenes.com. I am Fisher, your Radio Roots Sleuth and it’s been well over years since you first met my next guest Karen Batchelor. She is the first African American person to enter the Daughters of the American Revolution. It’s what, the 40th anniversary this year?

Karen: It is Scott. In October, it is continuous fun.

Fisher: That is fantastic. You’re going to have a big celebration?

Karen: Oh no, I don’t know about that.

Fisher: [Laughs]

Karen: But I’m really glad to have been a member of DAR for so long. It’s been a great experience.

Fisher: Absolutely. Well, it’s great to have you back on Extreme Genes, and I wanted to get caught up with you. First of all, I know that you are one of the most prolific researchers I know. You never stop. What’s a couple of your recent finds?

Karen: Well, just in the last month I found a Confederate 4th great grandfather and I also found an ancestor who was the first tavern keeper in Maine, and he was a Puritan.

Fisher: [Laughs] So, you’ve got a Puritan tavern keeper and you have a Confederate soldier, that’s crazy stuff!

Karen: It is crazy! It’s never what I expect.

Fisher: No.

Karen: That’s what I like about my family tree is, I never know what I’m going to find.

Fisher: Well, and you’re always in new directions and that’s one of the reasons I wanted to talk to you again on the show this week is because, you started off as a pioneer with the Daughters of the American Revolution but now you’re going crazy with these lineage societies. What is the plan here?

Karen: [Laughs] Well, I decided I wanted to join some other lineage societies as I done more research especially back into the 1600s. I realized that I was eligible for probably twenty or so lineage societies. So this past Fall I started applying to some other societies and it has allowed me to back my research and you know, it’s taken me back for a couple societies, thirteen generations of proofs and vital statistics and stories and it’s been an amazing thing.

Fisher: You know, you’re right about that. It gives you permanent preservation because you’re assuming at least that the societies are going to last. Secondly, you’ve got independent eyes looking at your research. Nobody looking at it going “Well, maybe” or “I really think…”  They’re saying it either is or it isn’t. When they approve that, that’s really helpful for you because you’ll know that your descendants can be very confident in that research.

Karen: Yes. My research will be in a variety of different places, so my family history is around the country now.   

Fisher: Now, I’m looking at this, I’m thinking okay, you’re going to join how many societies this year?

Karen: [Laughs] My goal is ten and I’m almost at six.

Fisher: [Laughs]

Karen: I’m waiting for approval on the sixth society that I applied to, so I’m on track and I’m only limited by time and money.

Fisher: Yeah, well you’re one of the few people I know with a 300 hour week. I mean, I don’t know how you do that and an endless supply of money.

Karen: No, no, I’m neither!

Fisher: [Laughs]

Karen: I’m up till three in the morning a lot of times.

Fisher: Well that’s how all of us do it. I was up till one thirty the other morning and I’m still recovering from that because I was researching and you just can’t put it down till you’re done.

Karen: Yeah, exactly.

Fisher: So let’s talk about how you’re going to schedule all the meetings for these things. Let’s see, you’ve got your ten organizations. Let’s see, Mondays will be which organization?

Karen: [Laughs] Well, as they actually don’t all meet every week or every month, there are a lot of societies that meet once a year in Washington DC. It’s like a lineage society week there and people will go to Washington and they’ll go around to the different meetings and they do it all in a week’s time. So I won’t have to go to meetings every week or every month, but [Laughs] I do participate in my DAR chapter every month.

Fisher: Well, let’s start going through now some of the organizations you’ve joined. Because some of them have really unique names, I think most of these societies. I’ve gone through the list, there’s like 300 of them out there. Some of them are a little bit crazy. What’s the weirdest name do you think on the list of the ones you’re joining?

Karen: Well, probably the weirdest one that I have joined, well I’m not going to call it weird but the name might seem to some people the weirdest it’s the “Associated Daughters of Early American Witches!”

Fisher: Yeah. [Laughs]

Karen: But it’s really a wonderful group of women who are descended from people who were persecuted for witchcraft during colonial times. I’m also now a member of women descendants of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company, and that was founded in 1637 and my ancestor became a member in 1638. There’s “Flagen and Trencher” which are the early tavern keepers, the first one. That’s a pretty interesting one, so I’m filling out my application for that one now. 

Fisher: So, that is for your guy you just found up in New Hampshire, right?

Karen: Um hmm, in Maine. Well, he actually got kicked out of New Hampshire, then he got kicked out of Massachusetts as a Puritan, then got kicked out of New Hampshire, went to Maine, was a first settler there and he was a tavern keeper and he also made wine.

Fisher: Do you think that your ancestor could have ever imagined that 300 years later his African American descendant would be joining a society based on what he did for a living after getting kicked out of the Puritan community?

Karen: Well you know, I’m probably a skeleton in a lot of family trees! [Laughs]

Fisher: [Laughs] I think you’re the gem in a lot of family trees, Karen!

Karen: Well I hope so that, too.

Fisher: So, what’s the hardest organization for you to join so far?

Karen: Well, I think the hardest one to do the purge for was Ancient and Honorable Artillery because I did the original research for my line and it took me back thirteen generations to get the proofs for thirteen separate generations. All the facts, all the vital statistics, and I can tell you, I had piles around my living room for each generation there was a pile of proofs, and my cat was sitting there wondering what was going on.

Fisher: [Laughs]

Karen: But I think for me that’s been the most challenging, but also the most rewarding.

Fisher: Yeah, absolutely. You know when it is difficult, that is absolutely the case. Even with a society of Mayflower Descendants, they give you the first five generations. You just have to plug in. So you only have to go about seven or eight but they are very demanding on their proofs, aren’t they?

Karen: That’s what I’ve heard. Now I have not, though… I have very early Massachusetts ancestors, I have not stumbled on a Mayflower ancestor yet. So, I’m not that hopeful. [Laughs]

Fisher: Right. So why are you doing this?

Karen: Well, I’m doing it for a couple of reasons. Number one, part of the legacy that I would like to leave to my family, I have two grandchildren now and I’d like to leave this legacy so that they know where they came from, and the other reason is that I’d like to be an inspiration to other African American family researchers so that they realize that there are other ways to document and preserve their family lineage and that’s through the hereditary Societies.

Fisher: Yeah, that’s absolutely true. Do you think there’s any interest? Have you seen that through your own children yet?

Karen: Oh, well, my son is a little more interested in our family history but for many years you know when I start talking about it his eyes roll back in his head and they glaze over, but now that he has children his interested for instance in his children becoming members of Children of the American Revolution at some point. So I think it’s something some people grow into. I was early in. I discovered genealogy and the obsession when I was twenty six, but for some people it takes longer but that doesn’t matter. It’s whenever you come to it you find a new part of who you are, and it’s an amazing feeling.

Fisher: Boy that is absolutely true. I also started at twenty six.

Karen: Really?

Fisher: Yeah. But I lost a lot of people by that time.

Karen: Oh me too.

Fisher: My dad, two uncles, a brother, all my grandparents, so by the time I got married and started having kids, suddenly I wanted to know who these people who had been in my life when I was a child, who they were and what their backgrounds were. And it’s certainly been an enriching part of my life obviously. So, you do ten this year, right? You’ve got a few more to go, four or five.

Karen: I’ve got a few more to go and I’ll pick up on those over the summer. I’m coming to Salt Lake City so I’ll be working on my applications while I’m there.

Fisher: Good call. Good call, lot of resources there.

Karen: Yeah.

Fisher: What about next year? What are you thinking about for then?

Karen: Well, one of the societies that I’m very interested in is the Guild of Colonial Artisans and Tradesmen, 1607 to 1783,and that allows you not only to join under, I think there are six different trades or different categories of trades and arts, but then you can add different ancestors, supplemental applications they call them. So I’m really interested in that because I now have ancestors who qualify in four of those categories.

Fisher: Four categories. This sounds like a very complicated organization.

Karen: Yeah it is but it’s a really great educational experience because you learn about the different trades and there are a myriad of different trades that our colonial ancestors were involved in, just in their day to day lives. You know, it’s like walking back through history. I love doing that. 

Fisher: Yeah, absolutely. You are an inspiration, I’ll tell you that, Karen. She’s Karen Batchelor. She’s from Detroit, Michigan. She’s been a researcher for forty years and you know what, we’ve got to get you to write a book at some point because you’ve got stories!

Karen: I do have stories! So that’s on my list. Yes it is.

Fisher: [Laughs]

Karen: If I could just tear myself away from doing the research which is my real passion. [Laughs]

Fisher: Well that and your cat.

Karen: Yeah, yeah, yeah!

Fisher: All right. Karen great having you on again and we look forward to catching up with you soon.

Karen: Oh Scott, it’s always great to talk with you. Thanks for having me on the show.

Fisher: Always a pleasure Karen. And coming up next, Thomas MacEntee from Chicago talks DNA in five minutes on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show.            

Segment 3 Episode 187

Host: Scott Fisher with guest Thomas MacEntee

Fisher: Well, here it comes, “National DNA Day.” Hi, it’s Fisher. It’s Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show and ExtremeGenes.com. And, here to talk about National DNA Day with me is my friend, Thomas MacEntee from Chicago, Illinois. Thomas, how are you?

Thomas: I’m doing great.

Fisher: This is a big day, it’s coming up on what, April 25th I believe? And what does it mean, National DNA Day?

Thomas: Well, it’s picked up speed over the past two years, I think, as more and more people are aware of DNA testing. April 25th is the anniversary of when the double helix strand was discovered in 1953. So, it’s been designated by many organizations as National DNA Day here in the US. And, it’s to build awareness about DNA, about diseases, things that are inherited traits, and in genealogy, we’re stressing “Get DNA tested.” Get some of your older relatives tested. It could really help you break down those brick walls in genealogy and family history research.

Fisher: Boy that’s so true, and you know, we talked to Paul Woodberry just a couple of weeks ago about the importance of testing the older people first and preserving their DNA, because it’s really hard to put together enough descendants to really reproduce what they had, so if you get them now before they’re gone, it’s another great thing to preserve along with their stories and their data

Thomas: Exactly. And then one thing that you want to realize too is that some of the tests, there are two different types of tests, where you either spit or you swab the cheek. I’m finding with my older relatives the spit test is more difficult for them. So you might want to gravitate towards the cheek swabbing test, with those vendors, rather than the spit test.

Fisher: Interesting, absolutely. Well there are a lot of trends happening right now in DNA, and let’s dive into those just a little bit. What are people doing from your point of view, Thomas?

Thomas: Well, I think mostly what we’re seeing in marketing on television and radio, they’re stressing the ethnic breakdown, what is your background, and unfortunately most people are stopping there, but they don’t understand that there’s a whole community online waiting for them to match and to find, you know, cousins that you never knew existed, help people with their research, but just because you test, don’t think that automatically you have to go onto these communities. But really it’s much more beneficial. It’s taking DNA testing to the next level.

Fisher: Well, you’re right about that, and I’ve run into an awful lot of people who, like you say, believe that the ethnicity test is about the end game of this whole thing, and I had a friend who was just like that a year or so ago, and she was adopted, and then came to realize, “Oh, wait a minute, I have a first cousin on here.”

Thomas: Right.

Fisher: And as a result, I was able to help her identify her birth mother, and later her birth father, just as a result of that test, and it has changed her life. She is in touch with these people, they have relationships, but she had no idea because the DNA test she took was a gift to her for Christmas.

Thomas: Exactly. Yeah. And the new issue of the Illinois State Genealogical Society’s quarterly is out right now, and there’s a genetic genealogist in Madison, Wisconsin named Mary Aberly. She wrote an interesting article about this whole adoption thing. She even found her client relatives that had been dead quite a while. So it’s amazing the matches that you can find if you’re adopted, or if you’ve ever had questions. And you never know what you’re going to find. It is almost like a box of chocolates when you do a DNA test.

Fisher: And we’re seeing more and more people now also wanting to start to piece together what part of their DNA came from who, and it’s something I haven’t got into yet but I’m sure a lot of folks have. Let’s talk about that a little bit and the benefits of it.

Thomas: Yeah, it’s interesting when you look at it. You think that you get almost everything from your mother’s side or your father’s side, but really there’s a term I’ve been hearing more and more, “It’s a dice roll.”

Fisher: Yeah.

Thomas: That’s why my brother and I look slightly different, because we have different traits. So if you have grandparents, you know, you’ve got four grandparents, you might get 24% from one and 23 from another, 27 from, see, it can add up to a hundred, so you are going to have differences. And also, certain traits are lost over generations because they just don’t get passed down.

Fisher: Yeah, and so when you start to trace this genome, and a lot of different companies now are able to help you to do that, and there are great tools that are available now for it as well.

Thomas: Right.

Fisher: But I think the privacy thing is holding a lot of people back, and I think the biggest evidence of that is if you go to any of your companies and look at the matches, you’ll see how many people match, but they wouldn’t post a tree, or they keep it private.

Thomas: Right, exactly. And the thing is, when you set up your account, if you’re new to the site, you don’t have to use your full name. You can use an abbreviated name. You do want to use a valid email address, so you get your alerts and matches. But the other thing is, always read the privacy policy before you take the test for the website that’s administering the test. Then the first thing I always say is, when you’re notified that your results are in, do a download of the raw data. Any credible DNA testing site will allow you to port your data, is what I call it. It’s portable. You should be able to download it to a zip file. That way you can upload it to another site or do what you want. You paid for that data, for that test. So you should make sure that you go and right away and get that.

Fisher: Yeah, that’s a good point, because when you can share it elsewhere you can often get matches for a lot smaller expense than, say, doing another test.

Thomas: Right. Exactly right. If you’ve done an autosomal test at AncestryDNA, you’re not really going to get many different results if you do it with MyHeritage, etc. So the thing is, you should be able to port that data, as I call it, and you should be able to put it where you want to.

Fisher: Exactly. So, let’s talk about this privacy thing a little further. I hear, especially from older men, it seems to me, I don’t know why that is, but they’ll often say, “Well, is the government going to be able to know?” And I’m thinking, “Well, what are they going to do with it?” You know. [Laughs]

Thomas: Well, yeah, well, also there’s, what if life insurance or health insurance companies were able to identify carriers of certain diseases and then red line them and not provide coverage?

Fisher: Right!

Thomas: I mean that’s one thing. You know, what if you had your DNA data on a smartphone, and it got hacked, or on a computer and it got hacked. What if someone new that Huntington's disease ran in your family or this or that, could an employer say, “Well, we don’t want to hire someone you know like that.”

Fisher: Right!

Thomas: Those are the basic fears.

Fisher: Right, but that’s not a legitimate fear because these companies really can’t provide that material to anybody who would take it.

Thomas: Exactly. No, no, no, they can’t. You know. So, the thing is also, the way that I look at it is, I know that my doctor and my health insurance company, they have certain information about me, and it’s part of getting treated and getting well, and so what I’m finding is, most of the millennials have a different view of privacy than I think some of us that are baby boomers on the older age there. It’s millennials are willing to trade off a perception of privacy in order for a certain benefit, to do connections, to do match-ups and things like that. So I think that’s why DNA testing is also taking off.

Fisher: I think you’re absolutely right. All right, we have very little time here, Thomas. We’ve got to talk about the benefits that are going to come up on National DNA Day that everybody needs to know about.

Thomas: Yeah, in the testing years it’s been a one day event, but the indications, you know, I do market research in genealogy, I’ve talked to a few vendors, I can’t say who’s going to have what price, although I do know that information. Most deals will probably start on Friday, April 21st, and run through Tuesday, April 25th, which is National DNA Day. I’m predicting prices will be at least $69 if not lower for some of these $99 tests. So, the last time we saw prices like that were around the holidays in December. So, I don’t think that you’ll see these prices again until the end of the year. So, what I’m recommending, if you have a family reunion coming up, why not set up a swab or a spit booth for DNA.

Fisher: Yeah. [Laughs]

Thomas: Especially with your older relatives, you know, and do that, and buy as many tests as you can, as you can afford, but also go to NationalDNADay.com and figure out what test is right for you. That’s what I’ve done by creating this site, is, I go through all the different vendors and explain who sells what test, what is your research purpose. And I also will have all the prices, all the sales, all the promo codes and coupons up there as well.

Fisher: Boy that’s great stuff. He’s Thomas MacEntee. Thanks so much for coming on and talking about this, Thomas. We’ve got to go there, that site one more time, “NationalDNADay.com” right?

Thomas: Right, NationalDNADay.com. We have a huge contest starting on Monday the 17th, and that you could win ancestry DNA kits, other kits from other vendors, books, webinars and more.

Fisher: Well it sounds like a lot of fun. Thanks so much for coming on!

Thomas: Great. Thank you.

Fisher: Tom Perry is next, talking about scanning slides, in three minutes on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show.

Segment 4 Episode 187

Host: Scott Fisher with guest Tom Perry

Fisher: It is time to talk preservation on Extreme Genes, America's Family History Show and ExtremeGenes.com. My name is Fisher. And this segment is brought to you by FamilySearch.org. Tom Perry is here.

Tom: Woo hoo!

Fisher: Our Preservation Authority from TMCPlace.com. You're not supposed to cheer yourself, Tom.

Tom: Oh no, I'm just excited. I just got back from Vegas from a great show. It was awesome!

Fisher: Really? What did you see there?

Tom: It was the Exhibitor's Expo. They had some of the coolest virtual reality stuff that you could imagine. I remember we were talking about how 3D printing was becoming so big and all this kind of stuff, and then it just kind of plateaued.

Fisher: Yeah.

Tom: And we were talking virtual reality about the same time and just thought, oh, it’s probably not going to go anywhere. Well, they have kind of passed. And virtual reality is becoming home grown. We talked about, kind of jokingly, about six months ago about taking some of your old movies and making them 3D.

Fisher: Right.

Tom: That's not a joke anymore. The reality is, you could actually take your old 16 or super 8 or regular 8 and go in and manipulate them with the right software, and actually, you know, be visiting with grandma, your grandkids that never knew who great, great grandma was and actually almost interacting with them. It’s just amazing what it’s doing!

Fisher: Oh, you're kidding! Wow!

Tom: It is incredible. You have to have a lot higher credentials than I do. It’s a little bit above my pay grade.

Fisher: [Laughs]

Tom: But these people that write the code and do these things with something like WonderShare, which we talk about all the time has options on that where you can go in and do 3D type stuff for virtual reality. It’s just absolutely amazing where the industry's going!

Fisher: So what other companies are involved in this?

Tom: There's so many of them. I don't even remember all of them. It used to be like just Sony and Panasonic, those were the main ones, but now everybody's going. They had walls bigger than a big dining room wall that's all LED, and not only is it a giant LED TV, its waterproof! You can have it outside right next to your pool. You can do anything with these things. Put them on the side of a bus, whatever!

Fisher: Wow! Well this sounds like great times and lot of segments up ahead to talk about this as it develops. When are we supposed to start seeing this on the market?

Tom: Pretty quick. Some of the things are already out there, they're very basic. Like I know Google is really involved with some things, the new Google glasses that you can get. So they're starting to wet our appetite. And then I would think this Christmas there's probably going to be a lot of new things that are going to come out that's just going to blow people's minds.

Fisher: So in time maybe for Fall.

Tom: Oh yeah, oh absolutely, I would think so for sure.

Fisher: Because that would be really fun to get for Christmas, wouldn't it?

Tom: Oh, it would. Go and get all your slides and photos and film scanned, and then get somebody in your family like one of the kindergarten kids that knows all this stuff really, really well that can take this stuff and turn it into virtual reality, you know, in 3D.

Fisher: Well, is it possible then to take this technology and then turn it into, say, 3D printing?

Tom: Basically, I guess you could do those. I think there's a way that you could tie these two technologies together which I've never heard anybody mention, I've never thought of it myself. But hey, maybe one of our listeners out there, a light bulb just went on and goes, "Hmm, I'm going to take Fisher's idea. I'm going to run with this, because this could make something really cool."

Fisher: That is very fun. All right, what are we going to talk about here today?

Tom: After we talked last week a little bit about scanning, we had quite a few people email us with questions about, "Hey, I've got all these negatives, I've got different sizes, I have postage stamp, I have 110s, you know, how do I scan those? What's the best way to scan those? Is that something I can send in or is it a DIY project I can do myself?"

Fisher: Well, scanning negatives, I've thought about that before, even tried it before on my scanner at home and it doesn't come out too well. Obviously I have no idea what I'm doing with that. Where do we start with this?

Tom: You've got to be really careful. A lot of people just think a scanner's a scanner. It’s like saying, any automobile's an automobile. You know, if you have a station wagon and you don’t want to be hauling tons of dirt to build a swimming pool with or something. You need to find a scanner that's made specifically for that. If you have a hybrid that you think, "Okay, you can use this because it can do negatives and prints." Usually, it’s going to be stronger in one and not in the other, and usually the slide part is secondary, so it’s just like, let's throw this in to get the market better.

Fisher: Sure.

Tom: You want to get a scanner that's specifically made for that. You can rent it from Easy Photo Scan. If you want to buy them, you want to go online and make sure you get one that's specific for that, a high quality one like that. If you have a ton of stuff to do, that's what you want to get, otherwise you want to rent one or send it in to us or somebody else that has the right equipment.

Fisher: All right, we will continue with talking about scanning your negatives, coming up in three minutes on Extreme Genes, America's Family History Show.

Segment 5 Episode 187

Host: Scott Fisher with guest Tom Perry

Fisher: We're talking about taking your photographic negatives and actually turning them into something you can use. Hi, it’s Fisher, its Extreme Genes, America's Family History Show and ExtremeGenes.com. Tom Perry is here, our Preservation Authority from TMCPlace.com. And you know, Tom, I think most people don't think about what they do with old negatives. I have an entire notebook filled with negatives from the '80s of photographs we took at that time. And the idea of actually taking them in my own home and scanning them and then taking them and making them into images, is incredible to me.

Tom: Especially when you have color ones, because in the old days when you had color negatives and there was a little technician sitting there at the Fuji machine looking at your things, he would think, "Okay, this grass is green. This is a blue sky, whatever." And you might look at it, "No, that's not the shade of green our grass was. In fact, our grass was dead."

Fisher: [Laughs]

Tom: And if there's not somebody in the photo that has flesh tones that they can use as a, you know, kind of a way to calibrate it, they don't have anything. And they don't know if you're really white like I am or you're tan or you're really dark skinned. They don't know these kinds of things. So sometimes it’s nice to go back to those negatives. And we have people all the time that come in and says, "Oh, I loaned out some photos to somebody and they say they don't have them anymore. I know they do have them, but hey, I found a box of negatives and the negatives are in there. So, now what do I do?"

Fisher: Sure.

Tom: And as we talked about, Nikon and Canon make great scanners. So if you want to go to something like that, but you need to get one that's specifically made for scanning negatives. I really recommend that. And then there's some people that have emailed us and said, "Hey, I've got 110s" or "I've got those old circular carousal type negatives. What do I do with those?" or "I've got the 3D negatives" or "The ones that went into the old GAF viewers. What do I do with those?" Well, those ones, you're going to have to have a flatbed scanner that's made for negatives, because there's not templates for them. We still have a template for a 110, so if you have those little, teeny 110s, the size of your fingernail, we still have ones for those, because we've just had them forever.

Fisher: Now those are for those little, teeny cameras from the '60s, right?

Tom: Yep. In fact, something you see on the old TV show like Get Smart or something, you know, that the secret guys would have what looks like a little gum wrapper when they'd be taking photos with it.

Fisher: The agents, yes.

Tom: Exactly, the secret agents. And there was actually 110 film, and a lot of people shot those, because back when the economy was kind of not as good, film was very, very expensive, and they thought, "Hey, let's cut these down, the little 110s, which are a quarter of the size of a normal size."

Fisher: Sure.

Tom: “And we can save a lot of money on the film.” And so, people started shooting them. And this is primarily in the mid '70s. And so, there's a lot of that stuff out there, but all the photos stores, the little corner one hour photo places are gone. They're not there anymore, because of the iPhones and the Androids and such.

Fisher: So there's a really need for this right now. And are you seeing more people doing this in their own homes or going through people like yourself around the country?

Tom: Well, we're getting a lot more business from all across the country, people who are sending us 110, they're sending us the old negatives from, you know, back in the turn of the century that were the size of postage stamps, all weird sizes, and we have to do those. And some people say, "Hey, I've got tons of these, I've got the mother lode and I really need to do those myself. What can I do?" And a lot of times, I tell people, "Hey, if you want to get a scanner, always check on eBay. Make sure if you do that you check and see that people have a lot of stars. And then buy it, use it for a week or whatever you need, and then resell it on eBay. And it might cost you a hundred bucks."

Fisher: What a great idea that is! The question, I guess in my mind is, you talk about the scanners for scanning negatives, is there software that goes specifically for dealing with negatives and adjusting the blue grass and turning it green and taking the yellow sky and turning it blue?

Tom: Absolutely! Digital Darkroom's a great program, and Photoshop's a great program. Digital Darkroom is made more for negatives, prints, where if you have Photoshop they use for designing things, you can use that as well. But Digital Darkroom is really, really good. It can take your negatives and do really fancy stuff.

Fisher: All right, great stuff. And of course, you can always ask Tom a question. You can email him at [email protected] or you can tweet him @AskTomP. Thanks so much, Tom.

Tom: Great to be here. My pleasure!

Fisher: And this segment has been brought to you by RootsMagic.com. That wraps up our show for this week. Boy, it was a lot of information in there for you to chew on. Hope you enjoyed it. Don't forget, if you missed any part of the show, catch the podcast, you can sign up on iTunes, you can get it from iHeart Radio, ExtremeGenes.com. Better yet, signup for the Extreme Genes app, it’s absolutely free in your phone's app store. And don't forget to sign up for the Weekly Genie newsletter at ExtremeGenes.com, its free. Talk to you again next week. And remember, as far as everyone knows, we're a nice, normal family!

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