Episode 2 – Heritage Societies, Mayflower Society, D.A.R., and Man from Midwest Shares Amazing DNA Discovery

podcast episode Jul 25, 2013

On this weeks show, Fisher shares the latest family history news including the discovery of long lost Jewish headstones in Vienna, which remained hidden from the Nazis. Also, Billionaire T. Boone Pickens was given family heirlooms, including 110 letters and Civil War memorabilia. Then Andria Cranney of the Mayflower Society and Sarah Hermans of the D.A.R. talk about heritage societies.

Transcript of Episode 2

Host: Scott Fisher

Segment 1 Episode 2

Fisher: Hey, welcome back to another episode of Extreme Genes. I am Fisher your Extreme Genes Roots Sleuth. Glad to have you along. And last week of course, we were talking about digging in cemeteries and I had an experience about a year and a half ago where I finally broke through on a guy I had been looking for, for 30 years. And of course, most of these big breakthroughs these days come through either digitized papers or through DNA. Well, in this case it was a digitized newspaper that helped me find an obituary of him. Found out that he had passed away in 1861in New York City and had been buried in a cemetery in Brooklyn. And as a result of that I’m thinking okay maybe I can find someone buried with him to know that it’s the exact same guy that I’m looking for, not somebody of the same name. And as a result I got in touch with the record keepers there in Brooklyn. The gal was great. It’s one of those people you call and she’s like, “Yes, I can help you with that. I mean, it’s almost like somebody from a TV show.” And she looked up the names and she found yes there was somebody buried there, but it wasn’t the wife who I knew of that might help me know that I had the right guy, but it was a little girl, 5 years old who had passed away 9 years after he had in 1870. Well, as it turned out it was a little girl who had been born to my great grandmother just a few years after the passing of her grandfather, the mother’s grandfather. And so, by the two of them being together that verified to me that I had the same person. Well, this is great stuff because it took me back now. Many more generations broke through that wall and I won’t bore you with all the details other than to say it got me back to the Mayflower. [Laugh] And that was quite a feeling because I had never done this before, never had any association or descent from that and found out that I came through a guy named John Howland. And I’ll talk a little about him later in the show because today we have on the show Andria Cranney of the Mayflower Society. We’re also going to be talking to Sarah Hermans of the DAR. What’s interesting about this guy I found was his father fought in the Revolution which would get any female descendent obviously into the DAR if you could prove the line, and then of course the Mayflower connection as well. So, we’re going to talk today about these particular heritage societies. I think many of us have the impression that these heritage societies are rather high-brow people who think they’re better than everybody else because they had ancestors who did amazing things. And in looking into this I haven’t found that to be the case at all. They’re involved in service, they do a lot for their communities and of course they do a lot to honor those who’ve come before us, which is what Extreme Genes and family history research is all about. So, we’re going to be getting with them a little bit later on in segments 2 and 3 today. One of the things I’m going to run by them by the way, is a list. When I was researching this whole thing, I was discovering that the number of heritage societies is longer than both my arms put together as well as my legs. It is unbelievable how many heritage societies there are! And I went through and I took a list of about six of the most odd names that I had ever seen. And then I went through and made a list of six, made the whole thing up, fake society names. And so later on in the show today, we’re going to run this list of these two groups by these ladies and see which one can tell which one is real and which one is fake. And the ones with the best scores at the end of course will honor their societies by being the winner of the whole thing. So, that’s going to be a lot of fun. I’m looking forward to it.

Thank you by the way, to so many of you who have come to our website ExtremeGenes.com, linked to our Facebook page and “Liked” us there. We’re staying in touch with you there and of course helping you to keep in touch with what’s happening around the world. There are stories happening everyday involving DNA, digitized newspapers and discoveries that take people back to times that no one could have ever imagined, breakthroughs like I had you know maybe after 30 years, finding things that you couldn’t have found before. And that’s the whole point of Extreme Genes, helping educate you on what’s going on in that area and what the new stories are that are happening this week. We had one that came in from Austria we’re going to start off with today. It’s from 1943. It goes back. The story begins in 1943 in Austria, in Vienna. The Nazi Overlords give the order to destroy the city’s oldest Jewish cemetery and they demand that it be levelled, the tombstones attesting the centuries of Jewish existence there be taken down. And this cemetery by the way goes back to the 1500s. Well, obviously the Jewish community there which already is very small as a result of the efforts of the Nazis during WWII. They are desperate to save their heritage, and they decided they were going to do something about it when this act came down. So, they defied the possibility of going to prison, being deported, maybe even being executed. So, in the dark of night they went down there and buried the gravestones and kept them from the Nazis’ hands. So, now here it is, 70 years later in Vienna, the Jewish leaders there, and they’re very few by the way in the population, say that they have found these long lost stones. And as a result of this, this could transform what has become a very small, obscured graveyard into one that could have as much significance as a Jewish cemetery in Prague which is the oldest known burial ground of its kind. No name on this cemetery, difficult to locate. If you’re traveling over in Austria you may not be able to find it. The only entrance is through a city home for the elderly in the ninth district of Vienna.  And what’s there is weathered but restored gravestones and you have to go through all kinds of weeds and grass and faded Hebrew inscriptions. But they say beneath the ground there are tombstones piled layer upon layer. Isn’t that amazing? This all goes back to the 16th century. They had about 900 tombstones there until about 1938. That’s when the Nazis came to power and that gave vandals the free reign to deface and destroy them. So, they are not exactly how many tombstones are there, but what an amazing story that these Viennese Jews risked so much to save their heritage from the bulldozers the Nazis were sending in to level the cemetery. That story is on our website ExtremeGenes.com. You can check it out. You can put in keywords “Vienna tombstones.” It will take you right where you need to be. Of course, you can look at it in the featured section as well and we have those on there every week. Another great story this week comes to us about a Billionaire! And I’m thinking, “Billionaires, they pretty much have everything they want.” If they want to hire researchers to find out their heritage they could probably buy whatever heritage they want. But that isn’t how T. Boone Pickens does things. He hired actual genealogists to go to work and when the word got out that this 85-year old billionaire from Dallas, Texas was looking into his heritage, he received a trunk one day at his office from a stranger in Florida. The trunk contains 110 letters and artifacts from his ancestors. She didn’t want anything for it. She just wanted him to have that. It included newspaper clippings from the Civil War, a dried out inkwell from the 19th century that belonged to his ancestors and Pickens said his mother’s dying wish when he was young was that he would go out and learn where he came from. And so, on her deathbed he made her that promise. And now [Laughs] he’s getting up there a little bit and figured, “If I’m going to fulfil that promise maybe I’d better get to it.” He’s traced himself back to a Revolutionary General named Andrew Pickens who is buried in an old stone church in Pickens County, South Carolina. He went back there in April and was absolutely awed by it. It’s just hard for me to imagine a guy who has achieved as much as he has who’d be awed by much of anything, but that is certainly the case. His genealogist has put together for him a 737 page book on his ancestry. And now that he’s got all these letters, he’s basically starting all over again. And you can see these letters, you can see some of the artifacts on a video that I’ve linked to the website ExtremeGenes.com and you can check it out for yourself. We do this every week. Whenever a story comes up we put it up there so keep up with us. Check it out and of course, “Like” us on our Facebook page, and we’ll let you know if something new is happening there. Also, on the website I’ve posted a couple of photographs I found of my great grandfather from New York City, a fireman from the 1850s, two photographs of him with his fireman hat on. I never had any photographs of him at all and it was an amazing journey to locate pictures of him starting at a place, [Laughs] hanging on a wall 2000 miles from where he lived and how it led me to a website for an antique store in Maine that actually had another photograph of him. So, this is an amazing journey that maybe you can model something after if you’re struggling to find photos of your ancestors. It’s on our website ExtremeGenes.com. Coming up for you in our next segment, very excited to be talking to Andria Cranney from the Mayflower Society and Sarah Hermans of the DAR. If you’ve ever thought, “What do they do in these societies and is it right for me? How do I join?” They’re going to have all the answers for that and of course tell you a little about what those particular societies are all about, how they spend their time, looking forward to talking to them, coming up next on Extreme Genes.

Segment 2 Episode 2

Host: Scott Fisher with guests Sarah Hermans and Andria Cranney

Fisher: We are back. Extreme Genes, Family History Radio brought to you by the Multimedia Center preserving your memories for over forty years, and very excited to have a couple of guests on with me today from the Daughters of the American Revolution, Sarah Hermans in New York. Hi Sara, how are you?

Sarah: How you doing Fisher? Good to be here.

Fisher: And Andria Cranney from the Mayflower Society. And Andria and Sarah, I could belong to both organizations, well, probably not yours Sarah. [Laughs]

Sarah: [Laughs]

Fisher: But I could to yours Andria because I have a Mayflower ancestor and I actually have four Revolutionary guys that I found back there. So, it’s interesting to me about these organizations because there’s so much to them but I don’t know much about them. I think a lot of people wonder first of all, what is it that you people do? Secondly, is this something that’s right for somebody to join? And how do you join? So we’re going to start with Andria. Tell us a little about the Mayflower Society.

Andria: Okay. I think our society the purpose is mostly one of education for us and to perpetuate the memory of our pilgrim ancestors. So, we meet twice a year, we have a banquet and we invite a guest speaker, we have displays, we share publications, we have a newsletter, it’s just a wonderful camaraderie I think that we share.

Fisher: You don’t wear buckled hats and shoes and walk around with blunder busts? 

Andria: [Laughs] No we don’t 

Fisher: Which to me is the best name for a gun that I’ve ever heard in my life. 

Andria: Well actually, I have to say some of us do dress up. We had a sailor from the Mayflower at our last banquet.

Fisher: Really? 

Andria: Yes.

Fisher: So there is a re-enacting choir that makes its way around the country? 

Andria: That’s right, yes. 

Fisher: Really? Okay. And they put on different shows about what?

Andria: Well, like this gentleman had done a model scale of the Mayflower that he brought and kind of explained it to us.

Fisher: Wow.

Andria: It was very interesting. And at this next banquet we’re hoping to get some of the people that help at Thanksgiving point, like a pilgrim program that they do every November.

Fisher: Okay.

Andria: Of course they have the music and the dancing. Anyway, so yeah, we do have some impersonations every once in a while who join us at our banquets.

Fisher: And which line do you come through on the Mayflower?

Andria: I come through John and Priscilla Alden.

Fisher: Ah! Okay. These are the lovers that kind of made the whole thing Miles Standish.

Andria: Speak for yourself.

Fisher: Speak for yourself John. Was there anything to that do we know? 

Andria: Yes.

Fisher: Really? And Miles wanted her too?  

Andria: Uh huh.

Fisher: Well I guess there weren’t a lot of choices back then really, were there?

Andria: Especially after the first winter.

Fisher: First winter.

Andria: You’re right. 

Fisher: There were only like fifty left back then.

Andria: Well, and only four adult women, so.

Fisher: Wow! It’s interesting because I’ve been reading this book by Nathaniel Philbrick called Mayflower, which by the way is absolutely unbelievable. And because we’re descended from John Howland of the Mayflower, my son was asking me well, how many people in the country actually descend from the Mayflower? Now maybe the Society has an official number. Philbrick was saying about 10%, thirty five million people. 

Andria: I would believe that. John Howland had many, many ancestors. 

Fisher: Well, are you familiar with John Howland, Sarah?

Sarah: I have heard the name, yes.

Fisher: Howland, he was an apprentice to the governor, who was coming over on the ship, and they were in the middle of a storm and of course they were all below deck at that time and they said, I love Philbrick’s quote on it, he says, “The ship was no longer a sweet ship at that point.” And there was a little lull in the storm so John Howland decided he was going hop up on the upper deck and get a little fresh air. And the moment he got up there, suddenly there was a big pitch and a shift in the wind and he was thrown overboard. 

Sarah: Um hmm.

Fisher: And so he winds up a fathom deep, which I understand to be ten feet. And everybody is thinking that’s pretty much the end of him. But no, he finds a halyard rope, I guess that pulls up the sails, grabbed on to that and wouldn’t let go. And he managed to get himself to the surface and then the sailors pulled him up. Then they couldn’t get him up the side of the ship and they used a boat hook to bring him back on.

Sarah: [Laughs]

Fisher: And then if I can really imagine the rest of the story they probably beat him mercilessly for being so silly. But he went on to marry Elizabeth Tilley whose parents and aunt and uncle also died those first few months. And they had ten children and eighty eight grandchildren. All ten kids lived, all ten kids married, and then eighty eight grandchildren. So it’s one of the largest branches of descent. The Bush’s descend from this. There’s got to be so many famous Americans that come through the Mayflower, Andria. 

Andria: Absolutely.

Fisher: Astronauts, writers.

Andria: Alan Shepard. Yes, yes we did a lot of the presidents of the United States, a lot of our celebrities, Bing Crosby, Dick Van Dyke.

Fisher: Right. And you have in fact on the Mayflower Society website there are a lot of those. 

Andria: Yes.

Fisher: Now let’s talk about DAR a little bit here Sarah. 

Sarah: Okay.

Fisher: You’ve been a member for how long? 

Sarah: Since 2007.

Fisher: Okay, 07. How many ancestors do you have who fought in the Revolution or I guess you didn’t have to just fight in it to become a DAR member, you could also provide patriotic service I think they call it. 

Sarah: Correct, yes. Anybody who gave aid to the cause and that would be from men who fought, to women who donated led shot, to freed slaves, to Native Americans, as long as there’s a proof for it, than we can prove you’re a patriot then that’s a patriot.

Fisher: Now, how many women are ancestors for the DAR?

Sarah: Oh you mean women patriots?

Fisher: Women patriots, yes. 

Sarah: I don’t know the number of women patriots but I do know they are extremely coveted.

Fisher: Oh I bet. [Laughs]

Sarah: [Laughs] 

Fisher: Especially in the Daughters of the American Revolution.

Sarah: It is a badge of honor yes, absolutely.

Fisher: Sure. And I would imagine you’re finding more and more all the time as the documents are revealed.

Sarah: Yes. The further you dig and the more women who join, every time we add another application or a supplemental application to the database it just grows and grows and grows.

Fisher: Absolutely. 

Sarah: I have twenty five patriots to answer your question.

Fisher: Twenty five! 

Sarah: Yes.

Fisher: Wow! 

Sarah: I haven’t proven them all. [Laughs]

Fisher: Yeah. [Laughs] I understand but that means that basically your immigrants where way before most of America to be that far back?

Sarah: Um hmm. I’m New Netherlands Dutch and I’m also a Palatine, so that tends to kick it back before 1710, before 1660.

Fisher: Wow! So you’re in all this different groups. Who is your most interesting ancestor? 

Sarah: Most interesting? Oh gosh, you mean of patriot ilk or did I understand wrong? [Laughs]

Fisher: Yes.

Sarah: Patriot ilk, gee, I’m not sure who had the most interesting story but the most prominent one I can think of is actually just a local captain who started off as a merchant I believe, and basically gave all of his money to the cause and died indigent. He left his wife with a window’s pension and they had nothing. So he went from being captain and being prominent to just giving all his money to the American cause and becoming completely bankrupt. 

Fisher: Wow. So he gave everything for the cause, and you couldn’t be prouder of anybody than that. 

Sarah: Well he was a Scott too, so. [Laughs]

Fisher: [Laughs] Now, do you know where he’s buried? Have you marked his grave? 

Sarah: I know where he is buried and the grave marking is in process because we are starting with Rhinebeck on this big project we’re doing, and he is just outside Rhinebeck, so he’s on his way probably, but yeah, he’s in the town of Mile End.

Fisher: Maybe and a little bit. Now the first one I ever found and my cousin went in and I should reveal, Sarah actually helped my cousin go into the DAR and I provided the information on this person Samuel Downs. Now the first one I’d ever found was a guy named Samuel Pees who had moved from New Jersey over to Eastchester, New York and he did not have a marker on his grave as a Revolutionary. So we were able to get that taken care of. And there was quite a scene there. They invited school kids, they had the Revolutionary War re-enactors come, is there a reunion for these people by the way? 

Sarah: [Laughs] They all seem to know each other. 

Fisher: They do seem to know each other. [Laughs] It’s a small group. People are very passionate about it and it’s a lot of fun to watch. I was, unfortunately, unable to attend that but I got the video of it and it was really very touching to think that here was a guy who was born 250 years ago, getting this ceremony for the grave. And now it’s kind of a regular stopping up place in that particular cemetery which is a historic landmark. 

Sarah: Yeah. Our chapter is currently going to be marking forty four patriot graves in one cemetery in Rhinebeck, New York pretty soon so in the next couple of years.

Fisher: What does it take to mark a cemetery grave? Do they first of all have to have a stone that exists or pre-exist?

Sarah: If there is no known stone, you can actually apply through the Veterans Administration to get a replacement marker.

Fisher: Okay.

Sarah: And that I believe still free. That is the white curved stone that you can get the cross on top and the name and the dates, and you can have that placed if there is no stone at all. If there is an existing stone, then what you can do is, you can order from just about any place that does these kinds of things. You can go online and search for them. It’s a Veteran circular about six inches wide bronze marker with a stake that goes in the ground, you’ve probably seen them? 

Fisher: Yes.

Sarah: You can put a flag in a bucket. 

Fisher: Sure.

Sarah: You can get one of those, depending on what kind of bulk you get them in, they can be anywhere from $25 to $50 a piece times 44. [Laughs] 

Fisher: All right. [Laughs]          

Sarah: So anybody can do that. Any organization can do that as long as you get permission from the cemetery you’re working with and work well with them. DAR has a different sort of standards for marking, so depends on what kind of project you’re doing because our insignia is very sacred to our organization and they will only allow that insignia to go on things that are documented very, very thoroughly. So that’s a whole different ballpark. 

Fisher: That is a whole different topic because that wasn’t always the case in some of the earlier years. And of course I would imagine that had to do with the fact that it wasn’t as easy to obtain the records back in the 20s and 30s.

Sarah: Yes. And I think that people coming back to them and saying, “You did that wrong” which is frequent, and now they’re like, “We want to make sure we’re doing this right.”

Fisher: Yeah that’s not fun. 

Sarah: And there’s a lot of people who are very genealogically minded in this organization and we want to make sure we have our I’s dotted and T’s crossed.

Fisher: All right. Sarah from DAR, Andria from Mayflower Society, we’re going to take a break in a minute and when we come back, I’ve gone through a huge list of all these societies and organizations, heritage societies, and some of them I’ve never heard of, and then a few I went along and made up and we’re going to do a little competition and see if you guys can figure out which ones are real and which ones are made up. We’ll get to it next on Extreme Genes, Family History Radio.  

Segment 3 Episode 2

Host: Scott Fisher with guests Andria Cranney and Sarah Hermans

Fisher: Hey, welcome back. It is Extreme Genes, Family History Radio. I am Fisher and it’s all brought to you by the Multimedia Center preserving your memories for over forty years. And we’ve got Andria Cranney here from the Mayflower Society and Sarah Hermans from the Daughters of the American Revolution. I bow at both your feet. 

Andria: [Laughs]

Sarah: [Laughs]

Fisher: I think you guys do so much great work and both organizations. We’ve got to talk about this really quickly before we get to the challenge, and that is you guys have amazing records for several generations down from the qualifying ancestors in both cases. Now Andria, the Mayflower Society, I mean it’s like Encyclopaedia Britannica times five. 

Andria: Right, absolutely. 

Fisher: And every single immigrant who came over on the Mayflower seems to have their own documented research, for how many generations? 

Andria: Five or six. 

Fisher: Five or six generations. 

Andria: Yes, depending on the...

Fisher: Depending on which line. 

Andria: Um hmm.

Fisher: So, if you were to link back you’ll only have to get back about six or seven generations and you can go right back to your Mayflower ancestry if you do research.

Andria: Right, then they can tie you back in to research that’s already been done. 

Fisher: And so if you have a fair amount of documentation then you can join the Mayflower Society pretty quickly through that, as a result of that. 

Andria: Yes. 

Fisher: And then same thing Sarah, with DAR you guys have phenomenal records and they’re becoming more and more available, a lot of it online. 

Sarah: Yeah. We have an incredible research library in Washington D.C. We have a database of all the applicants who ever joined DAR and their lines if you’re able to tie into those, similarly with Mayflower but because Mayflower has X amount of people to work with to find that number, they’re able to flush out those five generations solid. 

Fisher: That’s Right. 

Sarah: We, you know there’s so many different patriots they keep getting added all the time and some of them get disproven, as with one of mine. [Laughs] So, it’s a little more influx than that but we do have an insane amount of resources and it’s all like I said being digitized recently. So I can hit things with my keyboard and bring up tons of files and be able to say, “Oh yes ma’am, here’s how you can join very, very easily.”

Fisher: Well, let’s go through that process really quickly Sarah. If someone thinks they have an American patriot back there, how will they join the DAR? Where will they start?

Sarah: Well, they start by either hitting the national website DAR.org, or if they know somebody, they talk to them, someone who is in the chapter. They can put them directly in contact with someone at a chapter to start working on their application. A lot of times it’s the Registrar or the Membership Chairman or somebody’s helping out. And that woman will say, “Well, let me see what your linage looks like, and let’s see what we can do to link up to our database. If not, we can start from scratch.” I’ve done several where you have to source from that person who’s applying and do every single generation fully sourced, always and including the patriot, including their service. 

Fisher: Wow. 

Sarah: Not impossible. Somebody comes and says, “You know, I think I might have a patriot.” That’s kind of the hardest one to do. [Laughs]

Fisher: Yes!

Sarah: Aah, now I have to do your genealogy and sort out your application, but because we love that kind of thing and I think I’m preaching to the choir here, we love it. 

Fisher: Yes.

Sarah: So, please bring me your hard problems. But, you know, sometimes you can just link in. You say, “oh look, your great, great grandmother’s sister was a member and “ba boom” you’re in.”

Fisher: It’s not that hard, is it?

Sarah: Sometimes it’s not. 

Fisher: Typically though it’s about what, six months or so to get the final approval?

Sarah: It depends on from the point where you contact a chapter and you start working on your papers. It depends on the chapter, it depends on your line, it depends on a lot of factors but let’s say you have all the documentation ready to go, you mail it to national, at this very moment it’s about a two month turnaround. 

Fisher: Oh wow.

Sarah: Supplemental applications are about six months. That’s what you’re remembering from the one that we worked on together. 

Fisher: That’s right. 

Sarah: Supplementals take a little longer because they want to get their applicants in first.

Fisher: And I asked this of Andria for the Mayflower, what is a typical DAR meeting like? What do you guys do? 

Sarah: What do we do? Well, DAR nationally is a service organization. So when we have our meetings we are actually kind of like a Lines Club meeting or a Rotary meeting where you go when we say, “Well, what committee is working on what project for what thing?” We work on education. We work on literacy and things like that.  We work on historic reservation. We work on patriotism. So we do veterans things. So at any given moment any chapter could be doing you know raising money for a veterans project or marking a cemetery, or helping children read at a library. There’s just so many different things. So at a typical meeting you’re going to have your snacks and refreshments like you would at any other meeting of any other organization. And you’re going to be going through your officer reports or your committee reports and finding out what you’re going to be doing for the next month etcetera, etcetera. We’re all service members, we all volunteers, so people tend not to think DAR, oh you sit down and you have tea and you talk about how great your ancestors were. 

Fisher: [Laughs] There had to have been a time when it was like that, come on. 

Sarah: Oh gosh. Well it depends on the chapter. I’ve actually been going back to the minutes of my local chapter and I was amazed to see that it wasn’t like that. They were doing stuff when I thought they were just sitting around drinking. 

Fisher: [Laughs]

Sarah: They were marking cemeteries. They were giving money to the Native Americans schools half way across the country. They were having fundraisers for these things. To discuss our perception of what might have happened in the past is a little faded through time doesn’t mean that that’s the way it was. I was very pleasantly surprised. 

Fisher: Awesome. Great stuff! All right you guys, are you ready for this challenge? 

Sarah: [Laughs] We’re ready. 

Fisher: Okay. And the way this works is I’ve gone through and I’ve got to mention this one first before we get started here. I was going through last night just a list of how many of these heritage societies there are. I mean, you two represent probably the two biggest among them all. But there were many, many on there that I never heard of before. I was just astonished by it. One of them that just struck out was a place that started I guess only in 2007 it’s called, “The Bloodlines of Salem” and I guess if you’re descended from anybody involved in the Salem Witch Trials then you can belong to this organization. Well, in the process of putting this together they found out that Tom Felton, you know who Tom Felton is? Does it ring a bell?

Sarah: No.

Fisher: He was Malfoy in Harry Potter. 

Sarah: Oh geez. 

Fisher: He descended from John Proctor who was hanged at the Witch Trials in 1692. He was the first man to be named a Wizard at the trials. 

Sarah: Like the Crucibles.

Fisher: Yes!

Sarah: Wow! Well how appropriate. 

Fisher: Yes! So Tom Felton, Malfoy was descended from a wizard who was hanged at the Witch Trials in Salem.

Sarah: That’s amazing.

Fisher: I know! It’s just you know, you can’t make stuff up like that. [Laughs] So here we go. So what we’re going to do is, we’re going to go through a little list here. I’m going to do six for each of you and see which of you can figure out the most correct answers. Which are real orders and which ones are ones I made up? Okay, we’re going to start with you Andria.

Andria: Okay.

Fisher: Okay, you’re ready? “The Legion of the tall Scotsman.” 

Andria: It’s official.

Fisher: [Buzzer] It is not. I made that one up. 

Andria: [Laughs] Oh okay. That’s not a good omen. I can tell I’m already in trouble here. 

Fisher: Oh my gosh. 

Andria: Okay, okay. 

Fisher: All right, “The Children of the Order of the Doubloon” 

Andria: Oh my gosh, I’m going to say yes. 

Fisher: [Buzzer] No, I made that one up too.

Andria: Oh no! I thought they were all going to be trick questions. Okay I’m just getting warmed up, go again.

Fisher: “The Colonial Order of the Acorn.” 

Andria: Okay, now surely that has got to be made up. 

Fisher: [Buzzer] That is not made up. That’s a real one. 

Andria: [Laughs] 

Fisher: You are over things so far. [Laughs]

Sarah: You have to listen to this show to see how crazy these things sound. You really can’t tell the difference. 

Fisher: [Laughs]

Andria: Sarah you do not have stiff competition here. Okay here we go.

Fisher: Okay next one, “Descendents of Austin’s old three hundred.”

Andria: Okay I’m going to say yes. 

Fisher: [Bell] Yes that is correct. 

Andria: Oh yes! 

Fisher: There is such an organization. I have no idea what it is. So you’re one for four so far.

Andria: Okay. 

Fisher: Next up, “The Order of Descendents of Pirates and Privateers.” 

Andria: That’s a yes. 

Fisher: [Bell] Yes! There is such an organization.

Andria: Okay. 

Fisher: So you’re two out of five. 

Andria: That was the coveted position. 

Fisher: Yes and finally, “The Registry of the Descendents of the Lord of Lake Hallowak.”

Andria: [Laughs] I’m going to say yes. 

Fisher: [Buzzer] I made that one up. 

Andria: Oh! [Laughs]

Fisher: [Laughs] So, you’ve got two out of six.

Andria: All right.

Fisher: Okay, so Sarah representing the DAR you’ve got to beat that. Okay you’re ready?

Sarah: I’m doomed. Okay go for it. 

Fisher: All right the first one, “The knights of the Nobles of Ransaball.” 

Sarah: Hmm, that’s made up.

Fisher: [Bell] That is made up. You’re absolutely right. You’re one for one. 

Sarah: Okay. 

Fisher: Nice. “The Hereditary Order of the Signers of the Bush Declaration.”

Sarah: Not made up. 

Fisher: [Bell] Not made up. That’s right. That’s real. [Laughs]

Sarah: [Laughs]

Fisher: All right, “The Founders of Pukatronic Colony.”

Sarah: Wow. Hmm, I’m trying to think if there really is such a colony first of all. Um, I’m going to say that’s true. 

Fisher: [Buzzer] That is not. I made that one up. [Laughs]

Sarah: [Laughs] It could have been a Native American Colony, meaning small.

Fisher: It could have been. All right, “The Women Descendents of the Stand at Blarney Castle.”

Sarah: Um, that’s real. 

Fisher: [Buzzer] No, I made that one up too. 

Sarah: Ah geez. 

Fisher: [Laughs] “The Auxiliary to Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War.”

Sarah: Not made up.

Fisher: [Bell] Not made up. That’s right. It is the auxiliary to the sons. I mean, I don’t know how many times removed you can get from the people who actually participated in the event and still have an organization but that is absolutely right. 

Sarah: Well, I can probably tell you why it’s called auxiliary. It’s because it’s sons. The auxiliary is usually the ladies version. 

Fisher: Yes! 

Sarah: So that their wives can be members. 

Fisher: Right.

Andria: Oh, interesting. 

Fisher: All right and, “The Registry of Infamous and Famous Relatives in American Families.” What do you think?

Sarah: Um, oh my gosh. Not made up.

Fisher: [Bell] That is real. That is absolutely correct. The Daughters of the American Revolution have won over the Mayflower Society. Congratulations to you Sarah. [Applause]

Sarah: The crowd goes wild.

Andria: I’m ashamed.  

Fisher: [Laughs] The crowd does go wild.  

Sarah: [Laughs]

Fisher: Hey, it has been a delight to have you both on the show today. 

Andria: Thank you.

Sarah: Thank you. it has been fun to be here Fisher, really. 

Fisher: Thank you so much. And we look forward to hearing more about what you guys are doing and we hope we’ll have you back again sometime. 

Sarah: I’d love that, thank you. 

Andria: I would also love to do that. Thank you very much. 

Fisher: Extreme Genes Radio we’ll be back with Tom Perry coming up in moments. 

Segment 4 Episode 2

Host: Scott Fisher with guest Tom Perry and Caller Paul

Fisher: Welcome back to Extreme Genes. I am Fisher. And thanks once again to Andria Cranney from the Mayflower Society and Sarah Hermans from the DAR. There is on our website, ExtremeGenes.com an amazingly funny video you've got to check out. It’s called, The Mayflower Rap. It was put together by the BBC. And they did an excellent job with it. And I know you're going to enjoy seeing that. Also, we have a poll there, asking you, do you have any Mayflower ancestors? You can answer "not that I know of." "I have 1-2, 3-5 or more than 5." So cast your vote. We'll get a result on that next week's show. Back with our title sponsor, Tom Perry from The MutiMedia Center, preserving your memories for over forty years. And what's so amazing to me Tom is that every week you can come back and we have something new to share about how people can preserve their stuff, whether its home movies or recordings, photographs. What do you have to tell us about this week?

Tom: Well the latest development is in scanning your slides. We can now scan your slides at 16.2 megapixels.

Fisher: [Laughs]

Tom: That's crazy!

Fisher: Wait a minute! That, that's! How many pixels would a photograph be, you know, on photograph paper is they were able to measure that? Do you have any idea?

Tom: Well, basically the way this works, most people get confused by it. You know, a little 35mm slide, when we scan it, it’s the same thing as if that film would have been 16.4 inches x 11.4 inches.

Fisher: You've got to be kidding me.

Tom: No, it’s huge! You can make canvases, you can make a billboard, it’s just absolutely incredible what you can do.

Fisher: [Laughs] A billboard from a slide!

Tom: Yep, absolutely.

Fisher: Wow! And this is some of this new technology, because you've been saying the last couple of weeks that you used to see things change every four, five years. And then you were joking that it was every three or four months. And now you're literally are at every three to four weeks!

Tom: Oh absolutely! Two weeks ago, we could only do 14.2 megapixels. So we've gone up quite a bit and it’s just amazing what you can do. The quality's just absolutely incredible. And so, now some people just want jpegs, some people, they're professional photographers who want to go what's called an NEF file, which is 14bit data and they can go into those things in Photoshop or Light Room or something like that and just totally change it pixel by pixel by pixel. It’s just, it embarrasses Photoshop it’s so incredible.

Fisher: Really? And how long does it take you to do these projects?

Tom: Generally we can knock them out in a couple of days, sometimes it takes a week. If we have somebody bring in two or three thousand, it might take us a couple of weeks to do the job. It just, you know, depends on how busy we are at the time.

Fisher: How expensive is it to do stuff like that?

Tom: Oh it’s pretty cheap. You can go the high def ones right now, it’s on special for just 50c each, so it pretty inexpensive.

Fisher: Wow! I mean, that's almost less than it took to develop the film to begin with back in the day.

Tom: Absolutely.

Fisher: And you have to think about that.

Tom: Oh yeah, prices have come down. We can do slides for somebody that doesn't need to have that high resolution for as little as 19c, but people that want to have the real high def slides as we call them that's normally 75c, we're doing it for 50 now.

Fisher: And what are some of the people doing with these slides now that it’s so highly defined?

Tom: Well a lot of times people are just making things for their family that look, you know, really nice. They're doing a lot of canvases. We do canvases. You can do canvases online. And these little pictures that used to just look awful, it’s amazing what you can do. I had one my dad took back when I was probably about twelve of thirteen.

Fisher: Back in the '20s?

Tom: Yeah, back in the '20s. You smart!

Fisher: [Laughs]

Tom: But anyway, I was doing a picture that had me and my brother, and his birthday was the other day. And so I went up and had, you know some lines in it and some little goobers and stuff like that. And in Photoshop, in less than a minute they were all gone just by using a little healing tool. Because we're using such a huge file, it’s just amazing what you can do.

Fisher: So explain to people that don't understand Tom, you can actually scan slides at home, right, with a home scanner, but what you're doing is something way beyond anything that could be done at the house.

Tom: Oh absolutely! You know, and I joke with customers sometimes, I say, "If I could run down to Costco and buy a slide scanner for $200, I wouldn't just lay down 5000 for one."

Fisher: Right. [Laughs] Yeah, exactly.

Tom: So it’s just, you know, it’s what call you want. If you're happy with the hugo, you go park it in your driveway. If you'd rather have an escalade, you know, get that. So you know, we don't do the hugos, we only do the escalades. So if you want a really good product at a descent price, you can come in. But for some people that do a lot of photos and stuff like that, they can't afford spending five grand, so we can rent it to you for like a family reunion. You can rent it for a week or a month or whatever to do your photographs and is totally turnkey and includes a laptop and includes a scanner, all the software, gold disk the whole nine yards. It’s turnkey, so if you have a big family reunion, have all your family from across the country bring all their pictures with them. Sit down, have this big scanning party. And then when it’s over, everybody gets their disk they take home. Now everybody has the pictures. So in the advent that your house burns down or something, Aunt Martha's also got everybody's pictures.

Fisher: And you can all divide the cost of the machine as well then.

Tom: Oh yeah, it’s only like $375 for an entire week, for seven days. And that includes everything you need. And it’s turnkey.

Fisher: So if you have several hundred people at a couple of bucks a piece, everybody scans their pictures. Wow, what a great way to go!

Tom: Oh, it’s the neatest thing. It’s the biggest hit. You know, we have scanning parties which we're going to do in junction with some of your programs. Plus, if somebody wants to do their own scanning party for just their own family, you know, we can provide them with the equipment for the week or the month.

Fisher: And of course they can find out more at TransferDuplication.com.

Tom: Exactly.

Fisher: And of course the link to your website in on the Extreme Genes website as well, so you can go right there. It’s up at the top. Tom, always great to see you and hear all the new things you're doing. It’s still astonishing.

Tom: Yeah, it’s amazing. So probably next Sunday I'll have some new announcements.

Fisher: Thanks Tom. And you know, we setup a phone line for you to call in your questions, your comments, your stories, your experiences, whatever you want to share with up on the show anytime during the week, because we're only together for one hour, once a week. So we want to make sure you can get a hold of us. And just record it on our find line, the Extreme Genes Find Line at 1-234-56-GENES. Now I've had. [Laughs] I think a couple of people this week ask, "Now we're not talking about the jeans you wear on your, on the bottom part of your torso?" I said, "No! No, no, no, we're talking genetics, G E N E S." So its 1-234-56-GENES (43637) to leave your comment, and we have Paul on the line right now. Hi Paul, what's on your mind?

Paul: Hey, I was going to talk to you about a DNA result I just got back.

Fisher: You know, that is the most fun stuff right now. We have one working in our family right now, and have known many others who've had great success with it. I've had a little as well. What were you working on? Was it third of forth great ancestor trying to tie into?

Paul: Actually, no, it was my own father.

Fisher: You own father! You were trying to prove your dad was your dad?

Paul: That is correct.

Fisher: All right, so explain the background on this. Where are you from?

Paul: I'm from Illinois, Quad City area.

Fisher: Okay.

Paul: I was born in Texas and raised in Illinois. The story begins when I was twelve. I came across the birth certificate that had my first and middle name, but a different last name. Had my mom listed, but I knew her maiden name. But there was a gentleman to the left that I have never seen or heard before. And him and I shared a first and last name. And it caused some confusion there.

Fisher: [Laughs]

Paul: I looked at the birth certificate for a few minutes and then I realized something wasn't right. So I placed it back in the filing cabinet and just went on about my life.

Fisher: Then you kept your mouth shut. Now the other name on there, you're saying was another dad than the one that was raising you?

Paul: That is correct.

Fisher: And you were being raised by both the mom you knew whose name was in the certificate, but somebody else's, right? Somebody else was the father?

Paul: That is correct.

Fisher: Wow that had to throw you off a little bit! How old are you now?

Paul: Fifty one.

Fisher: Wow! So this has been with you almost forty years.

Paul: Forty years, yes, I dealt with this.

Fisher: Wow! And so what did you do?

Paul: Well, I did an autosomal DNA test.

Fisher: Okay.

Paul: And I waited for nine weeks. And when I got the results back, there was 84 pages of thirds, fourths and distant cousins.

Fisher: Wow! And this you're trying to see if they matched on dad's side or mom's side.

Paul: That is correct. I was trying to triangulate and trying to go through the back way there of figuring out who my father was biologically. And I started on page one and just started stared to go through each and every one. And it just kept coming back to my mother. Everything was linking back to my mother. And I got to page 76 and it was still coming back to my mother and I was so tired that night. And I was going to wait till the next day to finish it off, but something told me, "Just go one more page." So I flipped to page 77, and about two thirds of the way down, I saw a person's name. I clicked on it, and I'll be darned if we were not related to the same person 6 grandparents ago. And I left clicked on his name and our relationship it came all the way down to my father, who is my biological father.

Fisher: Whoa! Now is this the man who actually raised you?

Paul: It is. It’s the only one I've ever known. That same last name I've always known, yes.

Fisher: So this helped. [Laughs] Alleviate certain amount of anxiety I guess for you, after all this time.

Paul: Forty years of wondering. A few days before my wedding, I was actually approached by my mom's oldest sister who had told me that there could be a third man in the mix.

Fisher: Oh no! [Laughs]

Paul: It added to the confusion.

Fisher: Okay. So your mother was a very social butterfly is what you're saying.

Paul: I'm guessing so, yes.

Fisher: [Laughs] Okay. Well Paul, congratulations! That is a phenomenal story. And I can't imagine a DNA match that would matter more to anybody than that one did to you.

Paul: it does. It really does, Fish.

Fisher: Well, congratulations, and thanks for calling in to Extreme Genes.

Paul: Hey, it was my pleasure. Thanks for having me on.

Fisher: Wow! An hour goes way too fast, but we are done for this week. Thanks once again to Andria Cranney from the Mayflower Society and Sarah Hermans from the DAR for coming in and talking about the heritage societies! Very fun people, and look forward to talking to them again down the line. Just a reminder, if you have a comment, a story, whatever it is that you want to get on the show. You can do it any day of the week 24/7. Make sure you leave us your name and phone number in case we want to get back to you and have a full conversation. The number is 1-234-56-GENES. And of course you can find everything you need to know about the show. Keep up with the latest news in family history and what's going on around the world in development of new techniques, DNA, digitized newspapers and all that at ExtremeGenes.com. Like us on our Facebook page. Talk to you next week.

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