Episode 218 - Genie Seeks Grandfather Through DNA, Discovers Brother’s Unknown Son

podcast episode Dec 17, 2017

Host Scott Fisher opens the show, speaking first with Gary Boyd Roberts, renowned researcher of American presidents and European royals. Gary recently discovered proven ties between Prince Harry, and his bride-to-be, American actress Meghan Markle. Fisher then talks about Meghan’s (possibly) challenging journey ahead to obtain British citizenship and the likelihood that some valuable memorabilia is sitting in a Southern monument to Robert E. Lee. 

Fisher then visits with LegacyTree.com DNA specialist Candace Camillo, who shares her recent adventure with a client who was hoping DNA would help her identify her grandfather. Indeed it did. But something else happened along the way.   Candace, tells about how she had to handle some delicate information.

Then, the client herself, Kelli, and her brother, Howard, join the show to tell about the experience from their perspective. It’s a life changing story for several people!

Next, Tom Perry, the Preservation Authority from TMCPlace.com gives his final thoughts on very last minute family history holiday gifts, and what you might plan for the new year.

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

Transcript of Episode 218

Host: Scott Fisher with guest Gary Boyd Robertson

Segment 1 Episode 218

Fisher: Welcome Genies, to 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. And this segment is brought to you by LegacyTree.com. And speaking of which, we’ve got an incredible guest this week from Legacy Tree. She’s one of the new DNA experts with the company. She is Candace Camilo, and she recently had an interesting case she had to deal with as DNA expert. And that is simply to help identify the grandparent of one of her clients. So, she went about that task and had some success with that, but then as often happens, a little surprise came along and you’re going to want to hear what that is. And you’re going to want to hear from the client involved herself and her brother because it involves all of them. So, it’s going to be a great segment starting in about 8 minutes or so. It’s another one of those DNA cases that’s changing lives. And of course at the back end of the show Tom Perry, our Preservation Authority is going to be talking about some of those last minute Christmas ideas that you might want to consider and some things you might want to consider for the coming year that you can start over the holidays. Good stuff later on with Tom Perry.

Hey, if you haven’t signed up for our “Weekly Genie” Newsletter yet, it is absolutely free. We’ve got great articles in there. We’ve also got some links to past shows and great interviews you’re going to want to catch up on, and some of the latest headlines too, stories of discovery and family history and things that are happening within the field. And if you haven’t signed up for our Patrons Club yet, we would love to have you there. It’s a great way to support the show and get some bonus features too, including early access to podcast, bonus podcast a couple of times a month in our YouTube “Ask Us Anything” segment with David Allen Lambert, the Chief Genealogist of the New England Historic Genealogical Society. And by the way, the cost of this thing... less than the cost of a book of stamps. Sign up now at ExtremeGenes.com, just click on the Patron Club or go to Patreon.com/ExtremeGenes. It’s really easy to do, and we sure appreciate your support. Well, David Allen Lambert is off this week, and on the line with me right now is Gary Boyd Roberts. He is the Senior Research Scholar Emeritus at the New England Historic Genealogical Society. And you’ve stirred up a lot of interest here Gary about the relationship between Prince Harry and his American actress fiancée Meghan Markle. Tell us what you found!

Gary: Well, the father is half Pennsylvania Dutch and half New England Yankee, partially New Hampshire and the area north of Boston. There’s a royal descent from a Reverend William Skipper, a descendant of Edward the First and Third. There is a connection to eight presidents, to three possibly or more first ladies. I think four have been found so far. The bulk of the New England ancestry has been traced. There is a descent from the husband of a Salem witchcraft victim. The royal descendants are of particular interest because she descends from a first cousin of Margaret Kerdeston, also descended from the grandparents of Margaret Kerdeston are Kate Middleton and Diana and the Queen mother and Meghan. So, all of the women that have married into the royal family are connected in these ways and then slightly more distantly to other royal families in Europe. This is typical and rather great fun, but millions of Americans have such ancestry. I rather think that millions of Britishers and Europeans do as well.

Fisher: So, what you’re telling me basically is that Meghan Markle has a lot of royal ancestry that she shares with Princess Diana, I’m assuming. And how far back do they go, and what is the relationship then between Harry and Meghan?

Gary: Well, they’re 17th cousins in one way. They’re 16th cousins once removed in another,

Fisher: It doesn’t sound like they’re very closely related or at least in terms of what can be proven at this point.

Gary: Well, these distant kinships can be proved. And I think there was a website that told us much about the remedial ancestry. We were able to confirm that with record sources. Then, we hit the books and the ancestry was pretty easily traceable. I would say that virtually any American with colonial ancestry is likely to have such kinship to the royal family. This isn’t unusual but it’s fun and that’s the whole point and it somehow re-enforces Anglo American kinship to some extent, to some extent British American diplomatic relations or relations generally. We’ve had enormous amount of confirming kinship. Winston Churchill’s mother, Harold McMillan’s mother were Americans. Diana was one eighth American, 1/64th New England Yankee. This is another one of those links.

Fisher: Gary, thanks so much. Gary Boyd Roberts, he is one of the world’s foremost experts on relations between royals and the presidents of the United States. Look forward to talking to you again Gary. Thanks so much.

Gary: Thank you.

Fisher: You know, it’s kind of a big deal obviously anytime a British Prince marries an American. There are a lot of people over there who are wondering if she’s going to have to go through the same citizenship challenges that they went through, right? First of all, there are a lot of requirements that come into play when this kind of thing happens. One is that the couple has to be married within 6 months of getting engaged and Harry and Megan are doing that. And the British person in the partnership has to be making at least $25 000 a year. I think Harry’s okay with that. [Laughs] And then they have to live for five years continuously in Great Britain. And so we’ll see how that goes, right? And then there’s a “Life in the UK” test, and an English language test. The home office has not yet commented on this. In fact, they say, “We do not comment on individual cases.” And by the way, speaking of Family Histoire News, this is kind of interesting. There’s an historian named Dale Brumfield and he thinks there might be treasure hidden in the monument to Robert E. Lee in Richmond, Virginia. He’s done some research on this. He thinks it’s worth looking into. He says it’s in the corner stone. It’s a copper box. It was installed 130 years ago, 1887, and supposedly there’s like sixty different things inside there, including an authentic picture of President Lincoln lying in his coffin that they think could be worth “a lot of money.” So, he says you don’t have to destroy the monument to get to the cornerstone. So, he’s hoping some officials are going to allow him to do that. So there you go. That’s your Family Histoire News. David will be back again next week. And coming up next, we’re going to talk to Candace Camilo. She’s a researcher with LegacyTree.com and what an interesting DNA case she just wrapped up. We’ll talk to her and her clients on the way in three minutes on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show.

Segment 2 Episode 218

Host: Scott Fisher with guest Candace Camilo

Fisher: It’s time to talk a little DNA on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show and ExtremeGenes.com. It is Fisher here, your Radio Roots Sleuth and this segment is brought to you by FamilySearch.org. And you know, anybody who has ever gotten into DNA knows that once in a while you look for one thing. Maybe you find it, maybe you don’t, and then sometimes you run into something completely unexpected. And that has been the case for my next guest Candace Camilo. She’s a genetic specialist with LegacyTree.com one of our sponsors, and Candace, this sounded like a straightforward case to me. Explain what happened.

Candace: Yeah. So, the client hired a LegacyTree genealogist to identify the client’s unknown paternal grandfather. That would be her father’s father. And we really thought it would be really cut and dry because her mother is from Korea, and her father is of European descent.

Fisher: So that’s great. It’s really easy to separate.

Candace: Exactly. Yeah... from the maternal and the paternal matches. So, we took a look at her closes matches and there was one match that stood out from the rest but shared about 1450 centimorgans of DNA so that could represent three different relationships, an uncle, a half sibling, or a nephew. This genetic match also had Asia East listed as a primary ethnic region, and in order for that to be the case in a full uncle, the client’s unknown grandfather and known grandmother would have had to have had a second child, from full European descent that somehow had a second child with Asian ancestry.

Fisher: [Laughs] That’s a little bit of a reach there I’m thinking.

Candace: Yes. [Laughs] So, we looked at the other two options, either a half sibling to the client or a full nephew to the client. Her family did live in Korea for some time and so for a half sibling to get his genetic match it could mean that her father could have had another child with another woman of Eastern Asian ethnicity unknown to the client.

Fisher: Right.

Candace: So that’s a possibility. The other possibility is the full nephew would require that the client’s only sibling, who is the brother, had a child who tested at Ancestry DNA. So this could have been that the client was aware of this nephew but just didn’t know that her nephew had tested.

Fisher: Wow. So this is one of those delicate moments for you as a professional genetic specialist, right, to reach out and say, “Hey!” and how do you do that by the way Candace?

Candace: Absolutely. [Laughs] Very carefully, very carefully, you know. Before we reached out to the client, I needed to dig around a little more about this genetic match. Specifically find his age, preferably his birth place, and his mother’s ethnicity.

Fisher: Right.

Candace: I wanted to try to get an idea of that.

Fisher: So did you reach out to him first then, to this match?

Candace: No. What we had for him was a username and we also had a family tree associated with his account but it only had private names. The tree though did have a title that was a name but it was also a common name.

Fisher: I see.

Candace: Common first name, Common last name. So, I did what every good genealogist has done when they’re stuck and I Googled his username.

Fisher: Yes. [Laughs] That’s right, Google the username.

Candace: [Laughs] And I found that this username was associated with an online video that had gone viral and also a Facebook account. And the name on that Facebook account was the same as the title as the family tree. So I was pretty confident that I had the right individual at this point. I reviewed his public Facebook profile and his public record searches, and I found that he was in his 20s, appeared to have some Asian ethnicity, and appeared to be named after his mother’s father, and carrying his mother’s surname. So he did not have the surname of the family.

Fisher: So you kind of had an idea what you were dealing with at that point?

Candace: Yes, exactly. I was pretty confident that we were dealing with a nephew and because it appeared that he was raised by a single mom, I suspected the possibly the genetic match, this nephew, was unknown to the client.

Fisher: So you knew that the client had a brother, right?

Candace: Yes. Yes we did know that she had a brother.

Fisher: Okay. And so this was going to be the question of whether or not she was aware of this child?

Candace: Right. Yes. And that he was aware. 

Fisher: [Laughs] Yeah there’s that too. So what happened?

Candace: So we sent that very carefully worded email to the client and tried to be very sensitive of the possibility that this was a surprise, and we actually heard back right away that he was in fact an unknown nephew, and that they wanted his contact information right away to get in touch with him.

Fisher: And so this was an unknown nephew to your client, but it was a son, right, to the brother?

Candace: Um hmm. Yes.

Fisher: Wow. And how did he take that news?

Candace: I don’t know the particulars of it but I do know that he recognized the nephew’s surname and instantly recalled that connection to the nephew’s mother.

Fisher: Um hmm.

Candace: They were very excited and very excited to get in contact with the nephew, which is always a relief.

Fisher: Well yes, absolutely. You know though, and I’ve said this many times on the show, most of these DNA situations and most of these surprises usually result in a happy ending.

Candace: I agree.

Fisher: I mean, I realize that, if it’s a result of an affair in a long running relationship, that’s often a different situation. But when there are people who find out that they fathered a child when they were very young, it’s often a great thing and most of them are pretty anxious to embrace that and meet their child.

Candace: Yes, that’s been my experience too.

Fisher: And so, when you run into a circumstance like this for other people who may be not as professional as you are, but still have some idea what they’re doing with DNA, they go out to help somebody and they come across a surprise like this, what would you recommend to them?

Candace: Good question. I do think it’s something that needs to be approached very delicately. And I think that when someone is contacting genetic matches through a testing database, often times it’s best to ask common names of grandparents and start out a little bit more distant so that they get comfortable with that idea...

Fisher: Of contact?

Candace: Yes. Yes. That says recent ancestry but maybe not quite as recent. This is my own personal preference. This is how I like to approach it. I’m sure that there are many different ways. But then letting the science guide is really what I like to see.

Fisher: Sure. Well, now how many times have you run into something like this?

Candace: This was definitely the closest that I have encountered while researching a full nephew. This definitely was the closest.

Fisher: And how did the nephew take this news?

Candace: You know interestingly, he has a public Facebook profile, that I mentioned earlier, and I looked at it a time or two and he seemed to have taken it very well, and very excited about it, and it appears from his Facebook profile that he didn’t know which Asian country this family originated from. He only knew that he was partially Asian, and so is very excited for him to learn about his family history, to learn those traditions. It sounded like he’ll be learning those traditions that his aunt and his dad can now give him.

Fisher: Unbelievable. Now he probably thought about this for a long time, right, because of the difference of ethnicity between himself and his mother.

Candace: Yeah. He was aware he did not know who his father was. And he mentioned on his Facebook profile that his mom offered to help him look but that they weren’t able to find him.

Fisher: And so that’s one of the reasons he took the test?

Candace: It sounded like he took the test for ethnicity reasons and again, this is all from his public Facebook profile. I haven’t talked to him. 

Fisher: Sure. Isn’t that what most people do too, you know, they go out and they say, “Oh we’re going to find out our ethnicity.” This is how a friend of mine found both her birth father’s identity and birth mother’s even though they’re both deceased, because she wanted to find out her ethnicity having been adopted, but it resulted in the full meal deal. She got everybody, you know, both sides of the family, the family tree, her heritage, her DNA heritage. It’s pretty good and I don’t think that’s too unusual.

Candace: Right. Yes. I think that was definitely the case in his situation as well where he was looking for his ethnicity and did not expect to find his father through the testing, but because his aunt now was looking for her paternal grandfather she was able to find him.

Fisher: Wow.

Candace: Very special.

Fisher: So how often have you run into that where you’ve looked for one thing and found something else?

Candace: I think it always happens to some extent. If you dig far enough on everyone’s family tree and genetic matches, there will be unexpected results. It just depends I guess on if a client finds what they’re looking for before they keep digging.

Fisher: Yeah. Yeah that makes sense. I’m working with a friend right now to identify his birth father and it turned out both of his parents were first cousins to one another.

Candace: Oh wow.

Fisher: [Laughs] And it turns out the birth father may also have come from an unexpected line. So we have two, what we would call non-paternal events, in a row!

Candace: Yes.

Fisher: And so it’s a little complicated but we’ve got a half-aunt in there and all these different lines so it’s getting interesting. We’ve almost put the lid on this whole thing but we’re just waiting for one more DNA test result to come in and I think we’ve locked it all down, and that’s the fun part.

Candace: Yeah, it makes for some fun math.

Fisher: So what’s the story with reunions and all that?

Candace: So what I understand, they’ve all met. I believe it was two weekends ago and they were able to meet and they were so kind enough to send us pictures. So I got to see the pictures of their reunion and again I took a look at the nephew’s Facebook profile and got to see his perspective there as well. Very useful that he’s in his 20s and posts a lot.

Fisher: Well that’s absolutely true and I think a lot of old time researchers might not think about some of the things you’ve mentioned, you know, Googling a username and trying to associate that with the Facebook page and see what you can see there and other family members. I’ve been collecting photographs of distant relatives off of that as a result of exactly the same thing. It’s a great method to go and it opens up a lot of doors and really it’s pretty simple. [Laughs]

Candace: Yeah absolutely.

Fisher: Well I’ll you what, I’m excited because we have your client ready on the line to talk to you in just a few moments. And as you mentioned, she’s pretty excited about it. The brother is pretty excited about it, to learn he had a son that he never knew anything about, and to get their perspective on this entire experience. I think a lot of people go do DNA tests or they hear about people doing DNA tests and they wonder how they’ll react. Well, we’re going to find out firsthand from these folk coming up here in just a few moments, so Candace, great to chat with you. Thanks so much for sharing the scientific side with this and keep us up to speed on some of your other cases as they happen. It’s always so much fun to hear about.

Candace: Absolutely. Thank you very much.

Fisher: That’s Candace Camilo. She’s a genetic specialist with LegacyTree.com. We’re going to talk to that client coming up next in five minutes on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show.       

Segment 3 Episode 218

Host: Scott Fisher with guests Kelly and Howard

Fisher: And welcome back to America’s Family History Show, it’s Extreme Genes and ExtremeGenes.com. It is Fisher at this end, your Radio Roots Sleuth and this segment is brought to you by 23andMe.comDNA. And we’ve just been talking to Candace Camilo, she is one of the genetic specialists over at LegacyTree.com talking about a unique case recently with a client who reached out and said, “Hey, look we want to do some DNA analysis here.” And I happen to have that client on the phone with us right now. She is Kelly. She is in Virginia. How are you Kelly? Welcome to Extreme Genes!

Kelly: I’m great. Thank you very much.

Fisher: So tell us about this experience at least from the beginning. What was your intent on doing the DNA test and then having Candace do a little analysis. What were you looking for?

Kelly: The story starts actually with my dad who was born in 1929 and he never knew who his real dad was. My grandmother, his mother and sisters all kind of kept this secret. My dad grew up never knowing who his real dad was. He had a stepdad that raised him for a little bit. And my mother is from Korea. So we kind of all know that portion of our background because my mother’s side of the family is kind of an open book for us. As I was a child and as I grew I’ve always had this fascination British, Celtic, Irish history and I never knew where that desire came from.

Fisher: Sure.

Kelly: So, a few years back I actually did a DNA test and it came back with kind of what we knew Eastern Europe, my grandmother’s side of the family was from Prussia, little bit of Western Europe and straight down the middle about forty seven percent East Asian which we knew was my mother’s side.

Fisher: Okay.

Kelly: So I just kind of sat on that for a little bit and then about six months ago/ seven months ago I told my husband, I said, “I know there’s some Celtic or British, or something in there. I’m going to do another test.”

Fisher: [Laughs]

Kelly: And lo and behold, it came back in December and it did come back about twenty percent British. So I was jumping up and down all excited, I knew, I knew, I knew. But then it also had me connected to somebody that they thought possibly was a first cousin and it gave me the person’s name. I didn’t know if it was a male or female. I tried contacting the person saying, “Hey, we’re looking for information now for my grandfather because all of this now tipped us off that this person could be a link to who our actual grandfather was.” So I tried contacting them but I never got any response back. So then it just piqued my interest and I contacted Legacy Tree and said, “I want to find out who my grandfather was.” So I gave them all the information I had, gave them all the links, gave them everything I knew about the background on my father’s side and grandmother’s side of the family. And after a few weeks they came back and they had recognized this contact that was recognized as a first cousin. They sent me a long email that basically said, “Your DNA markers are basically off the chart.” I think we had like 1600 markers that matched.

Fisher: [Laughs] Right. And that means you could be one of several different types of relationships depending on the age of your match, right?

Kelly: Exactly! Which is what they kind of broke it down for and they said, “Based on that we do not think he is a first cousin. We think you’re more closely related than that.” So they said,” We think he’s either a half sibling, an uncle, or a nephew. And based upon his age we’ve ruled out uncle, based upon what we know about your background and history we’ve ruled out half sibling. We believe he is a nephew.” Then in the next paragraph they talk about the last name Stevens so that possibly could be a link to who my grandfather was.

Fisher: Okay.

Kelly: So I got this email and immediately forwarded it to my brother because through this whole process I kind of kept him in the loop because whatever comes back for me is going to be pretty much the same for him.

Fisher: Of course.

Kelly: And he immediately called me that night and said, “What the heck does this mean?” and I said, “I don’t know.” And we’re going back and forth and we said, “Gosh did our dad like go on a business trip and have an affair and now this person has had a child.”

Fisher: [Laughs]

Kelly: I mean we were going through all these scenarios in our heads and I stopped and said, “Wait a second, could you have had a son?” And they gave me the information for who this person was. They said he was 28 years old from Nebraska.

Fisher: Right.

Kelly: And that his first name was David. So I asked Howard, “Could you have had a son?” and he said, “No, no, I’d know.” And I said, “All right, let’s backtrack here, if he’s 28, 29 years ago where were you?” and Howard said, “29 years ago I was in the Marine Corps, California. I was a dating a woman named Michelle Roberts.” And I said, “Okay.” he said, “But this kid’s name is David Stevens not David Roberts.” And I said, “No, no let me go back and look at the email because you’re mixing up names here.” And I went back to the email and said, “His name is David Roberts!” And then there was complete silence on the phone. [Laughs]

Fisher: Ohh. And we have Howard on the phone right now.  Howard, tell us about that moment.

Howard: Yeah, so I worked late that day and part of the reason why I kind of conflated the names was when she sent the email to me I was reading it in my car on my phone while I was in the parking lot getting ready to leave. I didn’t have my glasses on and I skimmed it really quickly, something about a nephew his name was David, 28, and the last name Stevens which I conflated with his name so I didn’t think much of it. And like Kelly had said, I was certain it had to be my dad had another child and they had a child.

Fisher: Hmm.

Howard: Because I was aware who I was involved with at the time in my life so I kind of doubted it at first because it didn’t seem normal to me, because I envisioned anyone I had been involved with would have told me something like that.

Fisher: You would think and hope, right?

Howard: Yes, exactly. So I just followed logic and kind of just disregarded it until we had the conversation on the phone later. And I happen to have been doing some grocery shopping on the way home and I was in the cheese department, I will never forget this.

Fisher: [Laughs]

Kelly: [Laughs]

Howard: I was in the cheese department when Kelly said, “His name is not David Stevens. It’s David Roberts.” There was a lightning strike at that moment.

Fisher: Oh boy. Did you drop your cheese?

Kelly: [Laughs]

Howard: [Laughs] I don’t know physically what I did but I remember a sound of some kind escaped my throat and I know some people kind of looked at me in the cheese department because I was not making a sound that was typical of somebody that was shopping.

Kelly: [Laughs]

Fisher: Wow.

Howard: In any case, it was at that moment when I knew without a shadow of a doubt that he was my son.

Fisher: And so you’ve had contact with him since, yes?

Howard: Oh yes. My wife and I have flown out to visit him and his wife. He lives in Missouri now. He is an Air Force vet and currently works at Whiteman Air Force Base as a civilian now. Married, just closed on a home, fantastic young guy. I mean, I could spend hours talking about the experience. It was phenomenal one.

Fisher: I’ll bet. And how’s his reaction to this?

Howard: Oh, well the way he was raised he is a very level headed guy, calm, cool, collected, thinker. And he comes from a very strong family. They’re very loving, very caring, very tight, so he had a great upbringing. And maybe out of deference to his mother, never really pursued the interest in who his biological father was. He was more or less curious about his ethnic makeup.

Fisher: Yeah, that often is the way.

Howard: Yes. As Kelly has mentioned we’re half Korean and David being at least a quarter Korean or somewhere near about, was raised in Nebraska and looks more Korean than I do.

Kelly: [Laughs]

Fisher: That’s interesting.

Howard: Yeah, so he was very curious about his ethnic background and he had done a DNA test just out of curiosity to kind of figure out what his ethnic makeup was, wasn’t seeking his father. And unfortunately, the DNA test told him that he was twenty one percent East Asian, which is kind of obvious if you look in the mirror.

Kelly: [Laughs]

Fisher: Yes, he could have saved the money, right. [Laughs]

Howard: Right. [Laughs] He was looking for something more specific. In any case, he got the results back and didn’t think much of it and then let it go.

Fisher: Well he got very specific information. He knows exactly where in Korea and he knows you.

Howard: Yes. But at the time he didn’t know and didn’t pursue any further interest in it other than his DNA test had been done and his results were now searchable. They were now able to make connection and that’s what Kelly’s LegacyTree researchers did, they made that connection and found him. And I like to phrase it like this, “We went looking for a paternal grandfather and found a son.”

Fisher: Congratulations, Howard. It’s a boy!

Kelly: [Laughs]

Howard: [Laughs] All grown up, married, has a home and ready to go!

Fisher: [Laughs] It doesn’t get any simpler than that! There you go.

Howard: Exactly.

Fisher: Well, thank you guy both for sharing your story.

Howard: Thank you very much.

Kelly: Thank you.

Fisher: What a different time we live in, neither side was looking for either side and it just happened. And coming up next, we’re going to talk about preservation with Tom Perry from TMCPlace.com, our Preservation Authority in three minutes on Extreme Genes.

Segment 4 Episode 218

Host: Scott Fisher with guest Tom Perry

Fisher: And welcome back! It’s time to talk preservation with Tom Perry from TMCPlace.com, your Preservation Authority on Extreme Genes, America's Family History Show and ExtremeGenes.com. Fisher here and this segment is brought to you by MyHeritage.com. How are you Tom? Good to see you. Merry Christmas!

Tom: I'm great. Yeah, I can't believe it’s just right around the corner.

Fisher: Yeah, here is comes. And it’s getting a little late now, a little long in the tooth for somebody to think they're going to get things digitized with so little time left.

Tom: That is so true. If you've got some simple things, like maybe some VHS tapes, or video8 tapes, or MiniDVs, you can probably get your local service to still take care of you. And we still have some spots open is you want to send it to us. Most of the big box stores, since they send it out, there's no way you can work with them now.

Fisher: Yeah, forget that.

Tom: So, you know, there's still a lot of good things you can do out there. If you're not knowing what to get for the family historian in your family or somebody that you want to get into family history, there's a lot of different things to do. You need to remember, we talked about several shows ago, the recording device called, the Olympus DS-2, which is an incredible device for recording families.

Fisher: Yep.

Tom: You have one, you use it.

Fisher: Oh yeah, I've done some of my best interviews for Extreme Genes on it, and it’s really clean, it’s like broadcast quality.

Tom: And it’s very inexpensive too. It’s a great way to go and you really need to get one of these for your sit down dinners, for your reunions, for your family parties, whatever you're doing. Just get one, keep it in your pocket, set it on a table whatever and just record whatever's going on, because it’s so easy to edit audio.

Fisher: Yeah. And the thing is, it’s like $50 or less. In fact, I've seen used ones on eBay for $25, $30.

Tom: And you don't always need new. These are built so well and they're such a good quality, buying a used one is no liability at all. It’s a great way to go. It will make you memories that will last forever. It’s one of the best gifts you can give.

Fisher: And we've got 19 people in our house over Christmas, so I'm thinking of doing an interview with each one of them, including the little kids.

Tom: Especially the little kids, because then five, ten years down the road, you go back and listen to them and they're just so funny, the kids will love them. You can put together all kinds of neat collages with your slideshows and your videos with these kinds of things mixed into it. It just makes everything so personal. And if you've got a big place, like you're renting a synagogue or a church for a big party, get a couple of them. And there's probably even some places in large cities where you can rent them if you don't want to go through the expense of buying one. Put a couple around, just leave them running, there’s such a huge hard drive in it, you can get hours and hours and hours on it. And it gets some really fun, cool stuff.

Fisher: And then at the beginning of the year of course, you can go out and start to process some of this material and make some either late holiday gifts or get ready for next year.

Tom: Exactly. And these will be great gifts to give people next year saying, "Hey, we did this at the holidays last year. Here's what we've done." And they're easy to edit yourself. If it’s above your pay grade and you don't want to do it yourself, we're happy to help you. There's a lot of people out there that are audio editors, because audio is pretty simple to do. And it’s fun when you mix them with different formats. And these are things that will last a lifetime.

Fisher: And of course there's a lot of do it yourselves on YouTube that can help you out.

Tom: There's some videos on there that are incredible that will take you step by step by step of how to do it. If you want to get it and put it in different kinds of formats so you can show it on your Smartphones or your tablets, get a really good program like WonderShare that we talk about all the time.

Fisher: Yes.

Tom: Where you can go in and make it compatible for anything or your videotapes, you can mix them with those, put them on a DVA, in the cloud where your other family can collaborate with you and do all kinds of fun stuff.

Fisher: Or create a YouTube channel for yourself and your family.

Tom: Oh, there's a lot of families doing that. And that's a fun way, because then everybody can have access to it, have a lot of fun, they can download it. Get a ShotBox. You can get the full blown ShotBox for under $200, the lesser ones for about $160. And they're great for getting your laptop in there and shooting YouTube videos. There's all kinds of good things. Tell your family that when you're having your big dinner or your get together, "Bring all your old photos." And have your ShotBox there and just shoot them all or rent a scanner and scan them all. And you'll have just great gifts to give to the people as soon as the party's over.

Fisher: Exactly. [Laughs] Very nice. All right Tom, when we come back in three minutes, what do you want to talk about?

Tom: We're going to talk about some other last minute gifts that you can get for yourself or give to others.

Fisher: All right, coming up in three minutes on Extreme Genes, America's Family History Show.

Segment 5 Episode 218

Host: Scott Fisher with guest Tom Perry

Fisher: We are back for our final segment of Extreme Genes, America's Family History Show and ExtremeGenes.com. Boy it’s been a fun show today! Lots of ground covered here. Its Fish talking to Tom Perry from TMCPlace.com, our Preservation Authority. And Tom, we're talking about last minute gifts. I mean, it’s really down to it at this point, but as you prepare for next year and you use materials that you may record over the holidays this year, you could really get ahead.

Tom: Absolutely! Get all your Christmas done by February.

Fisher: Perfect! I love the sound of that. And for the family historian, that's a doable thing.

Tom: It really is. And we talked a lot about audio in the segment before. Another thing you might want to look at, if you want to shoot a lot of video and all you have is like a tablet or a Smartphone and you don't have the greatest hands in the world, several months ago, we talked about a thing called a Beastgrip. Just like it sounds, B E A S T G R I P, go to their website. And they have the coolest thing. You can mount your tablet or your phone in and then carry it around like a regular camera. Your fingers aren't going to be in the way, it’s nice and steady. It is just so much fun to flip it on video mode or photo mode and just walk around and take live pictures. And like you said, when you're doing interviews, sometimes people don't like talking heads, where it’s just somebody yapping, talking about something.

Fisher: Right.

Tom: So you've got the audio, but then you're taking other pictures of things that are going on. So those pictures can be shown while the audio's going on. Like if you watch a good quality news channel, you won't see a talking head the whole time. They'll be talking, then they cut to photos or videos of other things to make it move along better. And so the Beastgrip is a great way to go. Once you get all these photos, then the best gift you can give to yourself or somebody else is, Heritage Collector software, because it will take all these that you're working on and organize them, make them fun, make calendars for next year, for birthdays.

Fisher: Yes. And it’s easy to handle too, that's what I like about it. I mean, I'm not the greatest in the world with tech stuff, better than some, worse than others, but I'm very comfortable with it.

Tom: It is so fun and it is so easy to use. In fact, they do free webinars so you can get all kinds of live information. You can talk to Marlo, get tips and tricks. And you can expand as fast or slow as you want and they're really great to hold in your hand and getting you through. The DNA test, all on sale right now. We were talking earlier, you know, who's your daddy.

Fisher: Yeah. [Laughs]

Tom: And these are great. You get into this DNA stuff and it’s awesome. I have an adopted son and we did DNA for him and found all kinds of things that we didn't know, he didn't know, and it makes it so fun to find these relatives. And you might find out some of your friends are related to you. I just love the DNA testing. You can do make it yourself gift cards. You don't have to go and buy some generic thing at the store. Make a gift card for somebody that's got all these slides they've been wanting to transfer them and say, "Hey Dad, here's a gift card for $100." or $50 whatever, "Go and make your slideshows. Go and do your VHS transfers. Go and get your photos scanned." We've talked about so many things that you can put together, last minute things we'll have on our website. And if you want to get something really done, really quick, you've got a little, teeny window. You need to move now!

Fisher: Absolutely. And the question is though, is it going to get done right with so little time? And people like yourself all around the country being so jammed and swamped with work.

Tom: Right.

Fisher: That would concern me a little bit. In fact, I would wait. [Laughs]

Tom: Yeah, that's fine. If you have something you don't need, wait. But the guys that have been around a long time, they know how to plan for Christmas. We plan stuff out far enough. So we say, "Hey, this is our last day for Christmas." But then people say, "Oh, drop it off." And we put, you know, try for "Ho Ho", which mean, "Hey, we can't guarantee, but we'll try to get it in." Every year we've had a little bit of extra time we've been able to do that, but we want to be careful, so if a piece of equipment goes down, we can still get everything that we've guaranteed. So there's still a possibility. But the big box stores, stay away from them now, stay away from them forever. Work with your local people.

Fisher: All right, great advice Tom. Thanks so much. Happy Holidays and we'll see you again next week.

Tom: My pleasure.

Fisher: Hey, that's a wrap for this week. Thanks so much to our guests, Candace and Kelly and Howard for coming on and talking about the DNA discovery that Kelly made on behalf of her brother, finding out that he had a son he knew nothing about from 29 years ago… unbelievable! If you missed any of it, of course catch the podcast. Getting the podcast early is one of the benefits of being a member of our Patrons Club. Just go to ExtremeGenes.com, click on the Patrons Club link or go to Patreon.com/ExtremeGenes. Hey, and you can also signup for our Weekly Genie newsletter absolutely free at ExtremeGenes.com. Talk to you next week. Thanks for joining us. And remember, as far as everyone knows, we're a nice, normal family!

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