Episode 21 – Descendant Shares Recent Discovery of Recording of Ancestor at 103 years old in 1957!

podcast episode Dec 18, 2013

Fisher reviews his picks for stories numbers 10 to 6 in his Top Family History Stories of 2013.  Guests Brittany Chapman and Ron Fox join the show to talk about the discovery of a 56-year-old tape recording of Brittany’s then-103-year-old great great grandmother, Ruth May Fox.  Brittany has researched Ruth for years and had never heard her voice or known of the existence of the tape.

Transcript of Episode 21

Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show

Host: Scott Fisher

Segment 1 Episode 21

Fisher: I’ve got to tell you I had one heck of a year in family history discoveries. This week I found out that my eleventh great grandmother was King James’ wet nurse. [Laughs] Yes! That King James, the one of Bible fame. You never know what you’re going to find when you start digging deep, do you? Hi, it’s Fisher and welcome to another edition of Extreme Genes, Family History Radio ExtremeGenes.com. This show we have lined up, you are going to love it. Imagine researching your ancestor, writing reports for college degrees on her and then casually mentioning to a friend that, “Gee, if I could only hear her voice.” And then the friend goes out and finds that voice for you. That is what happened to Britney Chapman in just the past couple of weeks. Britney has really gone all out gathering material on her great, great grandmother who was born in 1853 and lived until 1958. Yes, she was 104 when she died. Fortunately, in 1957 her ancestor named Ruth May Fox sat down with a student working on a project of his own for an entire hour and talked about her life and memories. Yes, I am jealous! [Laughs] It’s awesome stuff. And as is often the case, friend of the show Ron Fox, no relation to Ruth May Fox, was right in the middle of it. How did he find the recording? How did she feel about hearing her ancestor’s words for the first time? We’ll find out when both Britney and Ron in just a few minutes. And here’s some of that tape. Talk about time travel. We’re all going to be doing that with Ron and Britney shortly. Today, this is the first of two shows we’re going to do with my Top Ten List of Best Family History Stories 2013. You know we gather these much the way the Drudge Report gathers political news, so everything family history funnels to ExtremeGenes.com with all the links. Every story we post stays there forever. So, even if you don t see something you’re looking for use keywords in the search box and they will get you where you want to go. So here we go. 

Story Number 10 [Crash Sound] The POW Ring! 

Yeah, in 1943 during WWII an American pilot named David Cox had been shot down and taken prisoner. He was held at Stalag VII-A near Moosburg for almost two years. As the war was coming to an end, circumstances of supplies left him near starving. He had a gold ring his parents had given him to celebrate his graduation from flight school and his wedding to his sweetheart on the same day in 1942. The ring had his name, home town, birthday and propeller and wings on it. Lieutenant Cox traded his special ring to an Italian prisoner for several chocolate bars. Once the war was over, David was repatriated and returned home. Very sorrowful for having traded that ring he had an exact duplicate made. And over time the original ring made a journey of its own! A Russian soldier wound up with it, who traded it to a German family on his march home. It eventually was passed down to a church painter who showed it to a friend, an American air traffic controller from a nearby airbase. The German felt the ring best belonged back with the family of the original owner. The American went online and found a thesis about the ring written by Lieutenant Cox’s grandson-in-law. Lieutenant Cox passed several years ago but this prized ring is now back in the hands of his son David Cox Jr. Love that story!

Story Number 9 [Crash Sound] The Antique Road Show Connection!

Imagine sitting at your television and watching a favorite program when on pops a friend. That’s what happened to Tom Bunton of Florida. What made his friends appearance on Antique Road Show particularly bizarre was that Tom Alyson of Myrtle Beach was having an appraisal done on a collage! A collage featuring the ancestors of Tom Bunton! [Laughs] The collage was valued at about $1 400, but when Tom Alyson learned the story of the collage from Tom Bunton it was immediately turned over to him. The prize was extra special because most of the Bunton family memorabilia has been lost through the years. You can see the collage with the link on ExtremeGenes.com

Story Number 8 [Crash Sound] Newscaster finds his ancestor who fought on both sides of the Civil War! [Laughs] 

News Anchor John Wilson of Tampa has become quite the Genie over the past several years. Facing something of a brick wall John received some assistance from Ancestry.com for a news piece he wanted to do on the family. Well, John learned that his great grandfather Alfred G. Wilson had fought for the South out of North Carolina was wounded in battle and was taken to a military hospital where he languished for a year, a horrible fate because they had so little in supplies. After he was released Alfred returned to the military only for the other side! Yes! He became a Yankee! Scouring the mountains to keep them clear of Confederates, Alfred was wounded again. He was shot in the left arm and surgery was unable to remove the bullet. Alfred spent the rest of the war keeping Union supply line clear. Of course, there’s more to this returning home, marriage and how he was received by his family and friends after going over to the “other side.” Read more at ExtremeGenes.com.

Story Number 7 [Crash Sound] Grandma names are making a comeback!

Yeah, I saw this one first hand this past year with the birth of my granddaughter Beverley May, named after her two paternal grandmothers. Hardly in response to all the crazy Hollywood names, some thirty old fashioned grandma names are reappearing and these include Gertrude, Esther, Lottie, Nannie, Beulah, Flossie, Gladys, Mildred, Mamie, Myrtle, Bertha, Dixie, Trixie, Kitty, Winifred, Edith, Irma, Betty, Ruth, Minnie, Ethel, Hattie, Fannie, Nettie, Agnes, Eula, Goldie, Delia, Everly and Bessie. And don’t tell me you don’t have at least one of those names in your lines. And our final top story of 2013for this week.

Story Number 6 [Crash Sound] A Bible donated to a Family Search Library in San Diego turned out it belonged to the ancestors of the man who received it from the donor! 

Mormon Missionary Ed Jones and his wife received a call from the wife of a Baptist Minister Gwen Whitlock. Well, she wanted to donate an 1815 Bible to the Library. Yes, it had family names in it, but “No, said Ed, we’re not really in a position to receive something like that that would really need special care. The Library was more about computerized records.” Well, fortunately Ed’s wife Donna jumped into the conversation. “We’d love to see it!” she told Gwen. Well, the next day diminutive Gwen lugged in the fifteen pound bible. It had been in her possession for some 40 years ever since someone who had found it in a San Diego garbage can brought it to her. Her husband’s church had never been able to find anyone with connections to the names in the book for four decades. When Ed and Donna looked at the names, imagine Ed’s shock to learn the family that had recorded the names in the Bible two centuries ago belonged in Ed’s own family tree! What a story! Read more about this. See the Bible and find links to all these stories through our featured section on ExtremeGenes.com. And next week, stories five through one in the Top Family History Stories of 2013. You will not want to miss it, and coming up next researcher Ron Fox with Britney Chapman. Fifty six years ago Britney’s great, great grandmother Ruth May Fox sat down for a one hour interview about her life at the age of 103. Until recently, no one in the family even knew it existed. Ron will tell us the story of its discovery and Britney will give us the background on this amazing piece of family history and her feelings on hearing her ancestor’s voice for the very first time. And you’ll hear parts of the tape too in three minutes on Extreme Genes, Family History Radio and ExtremeGenes.com

Segment 2 Episode 21

Host: Scott Fisher with guests Brittany Chapman and Ron Fox

Fisher: Welcome back! It’s another segment of Extreme Genes, Family History Radio ExtremeGenes.com. Fisher here, your Radio Roots Sleuth with our guests Brittany Chapman, and Researcher Ron Fox is a regular on the show. Good to have you both. 

Brittany: Hey, good to be here.

Fisher: And Brittany, you’re from all over the place.

Brittany: I am, yeah.

Fisher: So as a genie, a true genie and researcher here, you’ve been to these places you’ve tracked not only your... you’ve got to track yourself here, you’re born in Michigan, raised in Missouri and everywhere.

Brittany: Yeah.

Fisher: And so, the reason you’re here is because you had an experience here recently with the help of Ron that I think all of us are enormously jealous of.

Brittany: Yes.

Fisher: You want to explain what that was?

Brittany: Yeah, for sure. So, beginning in 2007 I started studying the life of my great, great grandmother Ruth May Fox. 

Fisher: And no relation to Ron, right?

Brittany: Right, right. Yeah.

Fisher: [Laughs]

Brittany: Amazingly so.

Fisher: His hands are clean.

Brittany: Right. [Laughs] So, I started studying her life and that was part of my master’s thesis. She had some writings, diaries and an autobiography that were really interesting because she became a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints while in England as a girl.

Fisher: Okay.

Brittany: And like many Mormons were doing at the time, they were coming to Utah to the Salt Lake Valley to settle and to be amongst like minded believers. And so, her and her father, stepsister and stepmother came over in 1867 and walked across the planes.

Fisher: Oh boy. I have a hard time sometimes walking around the rest stops when I’m driving somewhere a long distance.

Brittany: [Laughs] Yeah.

Fisher: You know, I hear about these things and I think these were amazing people.

Brittany: Yeah. 

Fisher: I mean it’s amazing those folks aren’t grading the super race. [Laughs]

Brittany: I know it’s true. Well, maybe they have. I don’t know. 

Fisher: Maybe they have. I don’t know. Well she was. I mean because she lived to be a 104.

Brittany: Yes. She was the definition of amazing and I loved learning about her life and exploring the world around her. She was really involved in women’s suffrage and in her community. She was really involved in her religious community.

Fisher: She’s a busy lady.

Brittany: She is, and had twelve children with all of that.

Fisher: Oh my gosh! 

Brittany: [Laughs]

Fisher: What year was she born? 

Brittany: She was born in 1853. 

Fisher: So you’ve researched her since 07?

Brittany: Uh huh.

Fisher: Last six years, and you got in a conversation with Ron?

Brittany: Yeah. Yeah.

Fisher: How did this go?

Brittany: Well, Ron Fox just has an amazing ability to dig up information from anywhere it seems like.

Fisher: He should have been in law enforcement that’s what I’m thinking.  

Brittany: [Laughs] Yeah. And I had been working on a book about Ruth May Fox during all those years, editing her diaries and autobiography. And so, Ron and I had talked about it. One day I mentioned how much I would love to hear Ruth May Fox’s voice. Because learning about someone in depth, you still never feel like you can put your finger on exactly who they were. 

Fisher: Right. 

Brittany: Even if you read their own words you still don’t know their intonation or how they would have carried on in normal life.

Fisher: Their personality.

Brittany: Yeah, exactly. And despite everything I knew about her life, five seconds in her presence would have taught me more about her than I could ever learn.

Fisher: Sure. Well, are you in touch with a lot of the other descendents to see if such a thing would exist?

Brittany: Yeah. I actually had lived with one of her descendents who had kind of a private archive of material but she didn’t know of anything that had a record of her voice or anything. There had been several video clips of her that were discovered and it was awesome to see her.

Fisher: Oh wow! Where did you find that? Was that on YouTube?

Brittany: [Laughs] No. Maybe I should put it there. But that was awesome. She’s this old kind of wizened lady and she’s I think at least a 100 years old in those clips, but they exist which is amazing.

Fisher: Um hmm. Right. And you can hear her speak?

Brittany: You can’t hear her speak.

Fisher: Oh you can’t. You can just see her.

Brittany: Yeah.

Fisher: Okay.

Brittany: So there’s silent video that was found.

Fisher: Ahh. Did you know people though who knew her? Because she lived till the late 50s, right? 

Brittany: Yes right, right.

Fisher: So your mother or your grandparents of course.

Brittany: Yeah my grandmother knew her quite well and other people my grandmother’s age who are rapidly passing away.

Fisher: Sure.

Brittany: But that’s awesome to have a link. She’s still in living memory which makes a big difference when you’re researching.

Fisher: Right, makes a big difference. Yes. So what did Ron do? What does Ron always do?

Brittany: Yeah. 

Fisher: [Laughs]

Brittany: One day I mentioned to Ron how much I would love to hear her voice and he said, “Oh, okay.” just tucking it away. And Ron, do you want to take the story from there?

Ron: Well, after our conversation that Brittany and I had, you know, it’s like anything it sticks in the back of the memory.

Fisher: It settles there and it starts to stir a little. See the thing about Ron, he’s not just a researcher for himself he just likes the process. And the process started working again as it always does. Then what did you do?

Ron: I’ve been pretty fortunate in the process and led to some things in the past that I think are kind of interesting. But in this, I was over visiting at our state history library and saw a book that kind of interested me, it talked about the first time an electric light was installed, the first advertisement in the newspaper, you know those types of things.

Fisher: Um hmm.

Ron: I went through the book and I actually photocopied it and I got to the very last page and on the very last page this gentleman who had written it as his master’s thesis said, “Some information was gathered from an interview with Ruth May Fox.” And then in parenthesis Oral recorded interview. 

Fisher: Ohh! Now where is that? [Laughs] That’s the question.

Ron: So I took it home and I looked at this gentleman’s name and so knowing that it was written in the 60s I just Googled him and from Googling him I found that he’d passed away I think 2001 but his obituary was in the local paper and he had... they mentioned the children’s names and so I called down... and it said that he’d worked at the library. He’d become a librarian. And I thought, you know normally the chances of this surviving are slim or none. And talking to the library down at SUU where he had been the librarian they said, “Well, we have his collection but there is no tape there. But his daughter is working on a history for him.” 

Fisher: Okay. [Laughs]

Ron: So, the rest of the story was, she was a professor at another university and so I picked up the phone and called her and she says, ‘Oh yes, I’m familiar with that interview that my father did in 1957 and it’s in his desk at home. I know exactly where it is.”

Fisher: Ah!

Ron: So, I called Brittany and I said, “Brittany, I found this thing and I think that this woman after having that conversation will probably donate it and I think we could all hear her voice.” But you know back then reel to reel recordings you don’t know whether it’s a three minute tape or a long tape and we can talk about that some more. 

Fisher: All right. We’re going to find out. I want to hear some of this though right now. And Brittany, how long ago was it that you actually heard this for the first time?

Brittany: I heard this for the first time last week. So it’s really recent, really exciting.

Fisher: Were you alone at the time? What did you do? Did you get friends?

Brittany: Okay so, not quite like that. I spoke with the woman who owned the interview on the phone to kind of make arrangements. We didn’t want to mail it. I mean this was some precious, precious tape. 

Fisher: No. [Laughs] Right.

Brittany: So she said she’d be willing to drive up all the way from Saint George, Utah and hand deliver it to me. So made a schedule and made an appointment, and I called Ruth May Fox’s granddaughter who had grown up with Ruth in her home. I knew that she would be super excited to hear her grandmother’s voice again. And then another descendent also came so there was a group of four of us. The scenario was ideal. 

Fisher: So what we’re about to hear then, Ruth May Fox born in 1853 and died in 1958. So this was recorded about 1957. Let’s hear the introduction. 

Interviewer: Your name? 

Ruth: Ruth May Fox. 

Interviewer: Your age?

Ruth: [Laughs] 103. 

Interviewer: Your place of birth?

Ruth: Westbury Wiltshire, England.

Interviewer: When did you come to Utah?

Ruth: In August 1867. 

Interviewer: How did you come?

Ruth: Came by Ox team.         

Fisher: Ox team?

Brittany: Um hmm.

Fisher: She came by ox team. 

Brittany: That’s right.

Fisher: So, what did you think when you hear that? 

Brittany: Inadvertently you kind of create a voice for someone in your head. 

Fisher: Sure. [Laughs]

Brittany: And the voice that I had created was different than what I heard, surprised. [Laughs] 

Fisher: Right.

Brittany: And what impressed me was well, her voice was deeper than what I had anticipated, and just the way she expressed herself. She was 103, still had a sense of humor, still rich life experiences that she could draw upon.

Fisher: Don’t hear much of the British accent anymore though.

Brittany: No, not much. 

Fisher: [Laughs]

Brittany: Different words you can, but that’s another interesting point is it kind of preserves this accent, Utah accent that no longer exists.

Fisher: Is that right. Yeah from the 19th century, sure.

Brittany: Right that you don’t hear anymore, the way that she says certain words.

Fisher: Interesting. Well then every state has their sounds. You’re absolutely right. 

Brittany: Yeah. 

Fisher: All right. We’re going to take a break. We’re going to come back. We’ve got more to hear about Ruth May’s first experience with an electric light bulb, and sharing a poem as well. When we come back with Brittany Chapman and Ron Fox on Extreme Genes, Family History Radio ExtremeGenes.com                 

Segment 3 Episode 21

Host: Scott Fisher with guests Ron Fox and Brittany Chapman

Fisher: We are back on Extreme Genes, Family History Radio and ExtremeGenes.com. It is Fisher here with researcher Ron Fox and Brittany Chapman who are our special guests because we have an opportunity here today to listen to something that is just so stupid rare and I am just so tickled to have the chance to hear this. Your great, great grandmother Ruth May Fox, born in 1853 in England, died in 1958 at a 104. 

Brittany: Um hmm.

Fisher: Was interviewed in 1957. Who was the interviewer?

Brittany: The interviewer was Arthur Thomas Challas, and he was a student getting his master’s degree at the University of Utah. 

Fisher: So he decided he was going to hit up your great, great grandmother for her stories and what a treasure he wound up leaving your family. And until last week you didn’t even know it existed.

Brittany: Not an idea at all. 

Fisher: Wow. And so a few moments ago we hear the introduction where she gave her name, her age is a 103. That she came from England, and came across the planes of the United States with an Ox team in 1867. 

Brittany: Um hmm.

Fisher: That is just unbelievable. Well let’s hear what she’s got to say now about her first experience with electricity. You remember the year that would have been?

Brittany: I don’t. 

Fisher: Ron do you have any idea when electricity came to Utah where she lived?

Ron: It would be late 1880s. 

Fisher: Somewhere in there. Because I know New York City was 1885. So I wouldn’t have thought it would have been before that. So it was pretty early on. So let’s listen, here’s Ruth May Fox at age 103 talking about electricity and the electric light and her first experience with it. 

Ruth May Fox: 

Ruth: I lived with my husband and children in quite a large house down on 44 where we lived. And one night when we came home he opened the door rather hurriedly and turned on the light. It was a surprise to me. He had it put in the house, so that’s the way he introduced it to me. 

Interviewer: He wanted to surprise you. 

Ruth: I guess so. 

Fisher: So basically he had set this up. He got her out of the house and somebody came in and wired the house while they were gone. Is that what we’re getting from this? 

Ron: Yeah I think it is. I think it’s clearly that as they moved from house to house they electrified these homes. And back then it would be simply a wire that would be strung down. 

Fisher: [Laughs]

Ron: A single wire with a single bulb and that would be your light. 

Fisher: So she walked in and your great, great grandfather flipped the switch and that’s how she met electricity. 

Brittany: Yeah and like Tom mentioned in the interview, he was one for surprises, Jessie Fox her husband. 

Fisher: And you got that from her writings I assume. 

Brittany: Yeah. It’s kind of a neat insight to see that personality traits come out in her interview. 

Fisher: Now, have you gone and transcribed this tape yet? 

Brittany: Not yet, no. 

Fisher: That’s next I would assume, other than making sure that there are copies all over the place. 

Brittany: Exactly. 

Fisher: So that it’s safe and can never be lost. 

Brittany: Right. 

Fisher: So tell us about the person who had this. Because I think this is very important, and Ron you have been doing this for a long time. 

Ron: The thing that’s important I think, is that a person like Joy Challas who was the individual who I contacted, who her father Tom had done the recording. She saw the value in A) the work that her dad did, but more importantly to preserve it, and that’s really important for people that have these types of things, to contact historical associations, libraries, universities because you really want to get this material to where you can share it with others. 

Fisher: And he did not do that because it had basically served his purpose at the time for writing his book, but he passed it on down and obviously she was swift to make it available but you would hope that people who have that would just get it out there so that we don’t have to have Ron Fox find us [Laughs] to rescue this great treasure. 

Ron: As things occur, and of course now this particular piece will be in an archive and it will be searchable so somebody can reach out whenever. Now thousands of progenitors could find that this exists.

Fisher: Now wait a minute, thousands? 

Ron: Oh thousands.

Fisher: How many people are we talking about here, Brittany? 

Brittany: She has over three thousand descendents. 

Fisher: Do you have reunions with these people? 

Brittany: No, but we should. 

Fisher: [Laughs] You don’t know them all obviously. 

Brittany: No.

Fisher: And how could you. 

Brittany: Right.

Fisher: Is there an association for her? 

Brittany: There’s not. 

Fisher: Uh oh. 

Brittany: But who knows maybe this one tangible record where people can really connect with her as a person will help spark greater interest in uniting family members.

Fisher: We are running a little short on time so let’s listen to another cut. This is your great, great grandmother in 1957, at age 103, sharing a poem. Did she write this? 

Brittany: She wrote this poem and it was kind of her parting poem to her family. So it’s very appropriate that she is reciting this and as far as I know it’s the only recorded poem.

Fisher: All right, let’s listen, Ruth May Fox.

Rush May Fox: If I should leave this mortal state, the while you think I’m sleeping. Do not I pray you be disturbed and lead yourselves to weeping. For I am in my Father’s care, His messengers will guide me. And I shall go quite unafraid with faith and hope beside me. 

Fisher: Unbelievable. Brittany Chapman, thank you so much for coming down and sharing that with us.

Brittany: You’re welcome. 

Fisher: I think one of the things about Extreme Genes we like is celebrating these amazing discoveries and inspiring other people to go on and do the same thing. 

Brittany: Right and who knows what else is out there for people to find. 

Fisher: Exactly! And Ron Fox thank you for coming by again, always good to see you.

Ron: Thank you.

Fisher: And thanks for bringing this to our attention. 

Ron: Go out there and find a bunch of different things whether they’re photographs or recordings that are in the trunks that are in the attic or in the cellar.

Fisher: And get them out there! All right, thanks so much. And coming up next, our Preservation Authority from ExtremeGenes.com Tom Perry from TMCPlace.com talking about special software that can help you with your preservation, great ideas for the holidays, coming up next on Extreme Genes, Family History Radio and ExtremeGenes.com

Segment 4 Episode 21

Host: Scott Fisher with guest Tom Perry

Fisher: Hey, welcome back to Extreme Genes, Family History Radio and ExtremeGenes.com. It is Fisher here, your Radio Roots Sleuth with Tom Perry our Preservation Authority from TMCPlace.com. Good to see you again, Tom.

Tom: Good to be here.

Fisher: And I tell you, you have been coming up with amazing stuff the last several weeks, especially when it comes to, you know, getting ready for family history things for the holidays. And there's a great way to get a hold of you, too, if people have questions, free advice from the man himself.

Tom: Absolutely. They can go to [email protected]. You know, give us any questions and we'll get back to you and do the best we can to answer your questions and maybe even get them on the air.

Fisher: All right. Now what do you have for us today?

Tom: Okay, first off, we've talked a little bit about Heritage Collectors, that's free software that's available on our website. Just go to TMCPlace.com, you'll see a thing that says "Heritage Collector" click on that, scroll to the bottom and it'll say "free download." This is totally free. There's no expiration date on it. There's no ads on it. It's totally no charge. And it’s great because it will help you organize your videos, your slides, your photos, all kinds of stuff, help you print out books, calendars, all kinds of things. And the neat thing for in December, we're going to be having free webinars.

Fisher: Free webinars? Now how's that work?

Tom: As long as you have access to a computer and the internet, we will send you a code, you can go to our webinar. There's no charge for it. And Marlo, who's the scientist, so to speak, behind all this software.

Fisher: [Laughs] He is a master, isn't he?

Tom: Yes, he's amazing. The stuff that he does is incredible. And so, you'll be able to go to the webinars and attend them for free. You can ask questions live, or, you know, if you can't get there if something comes up, then you can always go in and go to the website and download them and watch them again. But it’s nice to be live because then you can ask questions while you're talking.

Fisher: Sure. I think they're great assets, no question.

Tom: Oh, it'll be awesome! And there'll be very, very basic classes for, you know, just brand new people. You know, and if you get ahead of the game and really get into it deep, there’ll be other webinars you can attend, too. But the ones in December, I believe they're going to be on Thursdays are totally free. They'll be staggered at different times. So whether you're in Dothan, Alabama or, you know, south east Africa, you'll be able to listen to them at a normal time without having to get up at three o’clock in the morning.

Fisher: Well, that is a great offering, too. And it’s free. And you go to TMCPlace.com. When is it?

Tom: They'll be on Tuesdays. We'll list the exact time on our website and also on the Heritage Collectors website. So just go to TMCPlace.com, look on the left side, you'll see some blue tabs, go down to the one that says Heritage Collector, click on that and you can read all about Heritage Collector. At the very bottom of the page, there's a free download for the standard version. No charge whatsoever and the webinars are free.

Fisher: And can I tell you, the software is absolutely essential I think, for anybody who is serious about family history, because it’s really about collecting, isn't it? Collecting data, collecting photographs, collecting video and audio, and somehow making that interact, and Marlo's software does all that.

Tom: Oh, it does, and it’s amazing! Like we have people bring in shoeboxes full of, you know, slides, photos, then we go and put it all together for them on DVDs and CDs, but then, "Okay, I've got a DVD and CD with all this stuff, now what do I do?"

Fisher: Right. And I'm at that stage right now. There's a lot of it. I just haven't had time to go through and learn the editing process and to make something that, you know, maybe I do a voiceover with, with some music behind it, because obviously the old home movies, they're silent.

Tom: Exactly.

Fisher: And you can add a lot more to it and explain who were those people, where is this place, what was the circumstance of this particular event. And that makes it a lot more usable, because there's nothing worse than old movies or pictures where you don't know who the people are and you don't know what's going on.

Tom: Exactly. And we recommend to our customers, the best thing you can do is what you were just mentioning, go and narrate your film. You know who this people are, you kids might know, you grandkids probably have no clue whatsoever. So go in and narrate them. Not only will they be narrated so they'll know, "This is Aunt Beth, you know, in her 1952 model A Ford." or whatever it happens to be. But they'll be able to hear grandma and grandpa's voices talking to them, and it makes it really personal.

Fisher: All right. Now the software you were talking about from Marlo doesn't create that.

Tom: Correct.

Fisher: But there are other software pieces that you could go out and order or buy. What would you recommend?

Tom: Well, there's some different modules that Marlo's actually working on right now where you'll be able to make a PDF that has audio, video in it. It absolutely amazing! I was talking to him just the other day. This new module that's coming out, you'll be able to do a lot of that kind of stuff as a PDF. And as we discussed last week, PDFs, you can email them to anybody, they're small enough.

Fisher: Right.

Tom: And so, with this new software, it’s a module. It hooks into Heritage Collector. There will be a fee for that, but I don't know exactly what the cost is. But if you want to take that step, then you can buy that module and add it to the free standard version you already have.

Fisher: And then there are other software available.

Tom: Oh yeah!

Fisher: Elsewhere for various prices, all over the place.

Tom: Oh yeah!

Fisher: Some good ones,

Tom: Oh, absolutely.

Fisher: Some for Macs and some for PC.

Tom: Exactly. And we talked about some editing programs, like if you have DVD that you want to rip it into a format so you can add narration to it, you know, Cinematize is a great program. And its, the basic version, that's about fifty dollars. You can go into Cyberlink, which has the programs which we talked about a few weeks ago that you can download their software for like fifty dollars. And it’s the best video editing program. And it allows you to go in and add narration. And it’s made specifically for a PC. And then Adobe Elements and different things like iMovie for Mac. So there's tons of programs out there. Just go in and read the reviews and just be careful, because there's unfortunately a lot of bad stuff out there, too, that if you get that, all you're going to do is confuse. And a lot of these different programs have free videos, so you can go and watch, which really reduces its learning curve. That's why the webinars are so important, because you get up to speed so much faster by watching somebody actually run it.

Fisher: And isn't that, you know, learning these new skills with all the things you can do to help, you know, your family, your aunts, your cousins, your kids, your grandkids, whatever it is. And you've got these, the answers basically at TMCPlace.com.

Tom: Right. It is absolutely addicting. And the neatest thing is, we're seeing these younger and younger kids in elementary schools that are, you know, getting this family history fire underneath them and they're doing things that just blow my mind. It’s incredible what they're doing with iPhones and iPads and just little things like that, making videos, interviewing grandma and grandpa or mom and dad in the kitchen while they're cooking or washing the dishes. It’s just incredible the ideas these little kids are coming up with.

Fisher: So I've had a lot of questions from people, asking about photographs and making them into books. Now remember, I had a daughter who when to China for some time and was sending back emails with photographs, and my sister went and ordered online a book with the pictures from her trip and quotes from her emails that described what was going on there, and it was beautiful, it was fantastic! And as she walked off the plane getting back from China, the other daughter handed her the book! [Laughs] You know, you just can't imagine things like that from the past. Obviously it was never possible. And so, with that, we're going to take a break, and when we return, we're going to get Tom's recommendation on the best way for you to inexpensively and easily create your own books with your old photographs, next on Extreme Genes, Family History Radio and ExtremeGenes.com.

Segment 5 Episode 21

Host: Scott Fisher with guest Tom Perry

Fisher: Welcome back to Extreme Genes, Family History Radio and ExtremeGenes.com. I am Fisher with Tom Perry, our Preservation Authority from TMCPlace.com. And we were just talking about a book that was done. My daughter was in China, she was sending over pictures and some explanations of what they were about. She got off the plane and we handed her a book with all the information and all the photos from her trip, unbelievable! Tom, how can people do this with their old photos? Is this a simple thing?

Tom: Oh, it’s very easy. Just go onto TMCPlace.com and you'll see the blue tabs down the left side, click on the one that says Heritage Makers. Just click on that, it will invite you to join our team. You can join our team, which is free, there's no charge whatsoever, and you can go and create book right on this site. And the neat thing is, we have thousands and thousands of templates. So if you don't have a lot of time to create what you want, go and look through our templates, pick out the one you want, and all you do is just drop your pictures into them. And you can add, you know, words, you can put like these letters, emails, whatever you want. And it’s quick and easy to do. But for the person that's really creative, you can also start off with a blank sheet of paper, too. There's a lot of different companies out there that you can do the books through. The one thing you want to be really, really careful with, most people never read the owner's manual, the never read the software when they download it, they try and figure out. When you're going to go and upload your photos to somebody's site, take the time to read the fine print. We had a customer that came in that had something happen to them that they were at an Ikea store and they were looking around at the different things, and they noticed one of their neighbor's photos in the photo frame.

Fisher: [Laughs]

Tom: And she pulls out her phone and calls her and says, "Hey, this is so cool, you know. Your family here, you know, in the linen department. Yada, yada, yada”

Fisher: What're you talking about? [Laughs]

Tom: That's exactly what she said, "Huh, what are you talking about?"

Fisher: What're you talking about, Willis? Wow!

Tom: Exactly. So what had happened is, Ikea didn't do anything wrong. They buy this stuff from different people that have photos that are available. And they say, "Oh, this couple would look good in this insurance commercial." or "It would look good in this kinds of thing." or whatever, and then they sell them. And some of the sites that are out there, they say they don't own exclusive rights to your photos, but they do own the right to your photos, which means once you upload them, they can sell them to these different collectors and stuff.

Fisher: "As you could, yourself." is their claim, right?

Tom: Exactly!

Fisher: Okay. So that's why it’s not exclusive, but they claim rights.

Tom: Exactly. So be really careful. Read the fine print. And the end of the story is, Ikea did nothing wrong, but when they found out about it, they went and didn't buy software from these people anymore.

Fisher: Sure.

Tom: And took the pictures down. But they didn't need to, but they went the extra mile. But just read the fine print before you ever load up any of your music, photos, slides, anything to a website. Read the fine print!

Fisher: So here's a question for you then, is there a list anywhere that goes through all the companies that do that, that will claim rights to your pictures?

Tom: I think the reason I have seen it is because of liability issues. Because somebody could change it, then they could sue somebody saying, "Oh, you said we did this. We don't." But you can read it. I went to a website because a customer told me what had happened. I went to their website kind of being thinking, "It can't be." and I actually copied it and printed it out and it blew my mind that they do have the rights to use your pictures and sell them to these people that do clipart. So be really, really careful. On our site, we guarantee that will never happen, because you own the rights. We have no rights to your photos whatsoever. Just like when people bring stuff in or send it in to us, they ask us, "Now do we have rights to make duplicates?" When you use us as your transfer facility, you own all the rights. We have no rights to it whatsoever. We can't even show it in our store without asking your permission or showing it on our website without your permission.

Fisher: I bet you there's some good ones though that you'd like to show people.

Tom: Oh, there are!

Fisher: I mean, come on! [Laughs]

Tom: There are. There's some really funny stuff. Some of the stuff that we see is absolutely hilarious. And we've asked customers, and some of them say no, and that's fine, we totally respect that. Where other ones will be, "Well, yeah, fine." In fact, we have this one that we used to show on our store a lot that this one lady, whenever they go camping, these skunks knew her!

Fisher: Ugh!

Tom: And they would come up and they would follow her around like a couple of little kittens. And we played it in our store for years and it was just absolutely hilarious.

Fisher: With permission.

Tom: Yeah.

Fisher: Yeah.

Tom: Oh, yeah, she comes in the store all the time. And she would just giggle every time she came in and saw it playing in the store. And it was just hilarious.

Fisher: I love it. Tom Perry, he is the Preservation Authority for ExtremeGenes.com. And by the way, if you have a chance, you need to go back and listen to the past podcasts of the show and listen to Tom's advice covering so many different areas. And of course, if you have a question, definitely get in touch, [email protected]. Thanks, Tom.

Tom: Thank you.

Fisher: That wraps it up for this week. We're running a little long, so thanks for joining us. We'll talk to you again next week on Extreme Genes, Family History Radio. And remember, as far as everyone knows, we're a nice, normal family! 

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