Episode 22 – Fisher’s Final Five of His Top Ten Family Family History Stories of 2013

podcast episode Dec 28, 2013

Fisher recaps his top five stories of 2013.  Guest Marlo Schulte… a “mad professor” of family history software visits.  Get the free software he talks about at HeritageCollector.com. Marlo’s daughter, Kathleen Bitter, on her talking story books and calendars.  How you can make your own!  Find out more at HeritageCollector.com. Tom Perry from TMCPlace.com then talks preservation.

Transcript of Episode 22

Host: Scott Fisher

Segment 1 Episode 22

Fisher: I’ve got to tell you I like digitized newspapers. Just found out the other day that my wife’s fourth great grandfather’s death was the result of him falling out of an apple tree in 1881. Yeah, broke a lot of bones and lingered for five days. You know you couldn’t find stuff like that a few years ago. Hey, welcome back to Extreme Genes, Family History Radio ExtremeGenes.com. I am Fisher your Radio Roots Sleuth. The phone number to share your stories, ask questions, leave comments, complain, 1-234-56 Genes. That’s 1-234-56 Genes, G-E-N-E-S as in Genetics. We’d love to hear from you anytime and of course you can contact me at [email protected].Well, we’re taking a break over the holidays next week, so this is it, our final show of 2013. And we’re delighted you were able to join us no matter where you’re listening or how you’re listening. Of course, being on iHeart.com’s New Talk Channel it means you can listen to us on your “i-anything.” We have links now on ExtremeGenes.com that can show you what you can listen on and how to get to the shows, so make it easy on yourself and get the show the way you want it, get it when you want it. That’s through iHeart.com/Talk. Look under Games and Hobbies. Last week phenomenal show with the recently discovered tape recording of an interview with Ruth May Fox in 1957 when she was 103! Hope you caught it. We also counted down stories numbers 10 through 6 in our top family history stories of 2013. And this week we pick that up and count down all the way to number 1. How’s my Casey Kasem? Needs work, I know.

Also on the show today, my favorite nerd, Marlo Schulte! [Laughs] Yeah, he will be the first to tell you he’s just that, a passionate genie. This guy, very little sleep, always thinking and coming up with new ways to “take over the world.” Not quite like “Pinky and The Brain” but close. He’s always coming up with simple, typically free software that we will direct you to so you can have it today. Makes your organizing your ancestral records so much easier and immensely more useable, you’re going to love it. You’ve heard Preservation Specialist Tom Perry talk about him. People like Marlo, these are the people that rock our world and he’s going to be here in about eleven minutes. His head is so full of new ideas it’s amazing it doesn’t explode. So we’re going to try to ease the pressure in there by letting him share some of those thoughts with us and get you access to some free software that you’re going to love. All right, back to the countdown we began last week. These are the top stories of 2013. Numbers 10 through 6 already posted on ExtremeGenes.com. Let’s pick up with number 5! [Crash sound] Jewish tombstones hidden from the Nazis discovered in Austria! This is a story that wasn’t much talked about but I think it’s phenomenal. Back in 1943 word got to the small remaining Jewish community that the Nazis were going to go in and level the tombstones in Vienna’s oldest Jewish cemetery, dates back to the 1500s. With that word the locals snuck into the cemetery by night and buried every single stone. Obviously of great historical significance it’s believed there were 800 stones hidden and protected in the dirt that night. It was a small cemetery and recently it was undergoing renovation when the missing stones were discovered. It was the fact that they were found that also revealed the only way they could have ended up where they did. By the protection of local Jews who at great risk to themselves thought it worth the potential cost to honor their dead in this way. See pictures of the stones and cemetery on ExtremeGenes.com. Use the keyword “Vienna.”

Story Number 4 [Crash sound] What DNA told a 1964 kidnapping victim. This was a tough one to take. On April 26th 1964 Paul Fronczak of Chicago disappeared from the hospital in which he was born. At one day old, a woman dressed as a nurse took him from his mother’s arms saying the doctor wanted to see him. Witnesses say she took him down the staircase, got in a cab and was never seen again. After a long desperate search the FBI in July 1965 found an abandoned baby at a store in New Jersey. They took him to the Fronczak parents who emphatically identified him as their missing son. Well, since that could not be proven they sought custody of the child who they believed was their own and eventually adopted him. The happy ending of course made headlines. Paul Fronczak grew up in a loving home but in time came to recognize he looked nothing like his parents. In July of this year the college administrator who now lives in Nevada announced that he took a DNA test and the results confirmed his suspicions. He and his parents were not related. This of course means that the “real” Paul Fronczak may still be out there at age 49, not knowing that he actually belonged to a family other than one he may have known all his life. Meanwhile, the man who knows himself as Paul Fronczak has no idea who he himself is. His name, his birth date, his family, how and why he was abandoned, all these questions of his own identity remain for him. His DNA test tied him to a third cousin and indicates he has a mix of European and Jewish ancestry. Since the story first broke, the FBI has reopened the case to some solid leads and ABC’s 20/20 is working as well to not only help the Nevada man learn who he is, but also to find the son brought into the world by the Fronczaks of Chicago. We’ve given you a couple of links on this story at ExtremeGenes.com, keyword “1964.” The case has not yet been solved. Story Number 3 [Crash Sound] Ellis Island Reopens. Yeah, in 2012 Hurricane Sandy swamped Ellis Island where so many of our ancestors checked in after arriving in New York from their native lands as well as their immigration museum. The storm also destroyed their air conditioning and electrical systems. This meant most of their artefacts had to be removed. Well finally in late October, the main floor and the stairs to the great hall where doctors may have inspected your ancestors for contagious diseases reopened on the 127th anniversary of the dedication of the nearby Statue of Liberty. It’s costing $77 million to repair the damage. Many of the artefacts are still safely being held in Maryland and much of the place won’t reopen until the spring, but at least we can see progress.

Story Number 2 [Crash Sound] Ancestry.com and FamilySearch.org announced a historic joint venture. In early September it was announced that Ancestry.com and FamilySearch.org had agreed to work together to place one billion new records online digitally within five years. Ancestry.com is digging into their vault, providing over $60 million in funding while Family Search owned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Mormons is opening their vault dug into a granite mountain in Utah that contains millions of micro films of the records of mankind collected over many decades. Family Search will also provide thousands of volunteer hours in getting the records digitized and then available for public consumption. There’s never been anything like it attempted before to make available such a large number of documents in such a relatively short period of time. Earlier in the year the two organizations announced they would work to make available some 140 million American Wills and Probate Records plus indexes covering the years between 1800 and 1930. That project is expected to take only three years. Exciting stuff is happening. These two family history leaders and hopefully we’ll see some more joint projects like these down the line. Use keywords “Ancestry and Family Search” to find the link to the story on ExtremeGenes.com. And that brings us to the number 1 story of the year. The one that generated the most talk and in fact it’s really a continuation of a story that began in 2012. 

Story Number 1 [Crash Sound] The battle for the body of King Richard the Third. Sure he died over five hundred years ago, but when he was found under a British parking lot in 2012 and positively identified through DNA and other methods, a new war began, something of an extension of the “War of the Roses,” a battle for the body of Sovereign King Richard III. It’s all about tourism of course, but the arguments are cloaked in noble verbiage about what is right and what did the King want? All the folks in Leicester where he was found want his remains to stay right there. They even designed a new tomb where the public can pay their respects. “Pay” certainly being the operative word here. Richard’s home town of York wants him too. It’s where they say he planned to be buried before his life was cut short. Put in keywords “King Richard” in our ExtremeGenes.com search engine and you can find a long list of links. The headlines look glorious and more than a little entertaining. Here are a couple of them. King Richard the Third was infested with round worms while alive. Did we really need to know this? And King Richard the Third’s skeleton was almost destroyed protected by outhouse.  It’s the story that keeps on giving. Who knows what will happen and be decided in 2014 concerning this King who continues to make headlines 500 years after his death? So there you have it, our top ten family history stories of 2013. We hope you have your own top ten lists for your 2013 research, and coming up next, Family History Software Master, Creator and Inventor Marlo Schulte, with some of his latest creations and some free software for you on Extreme Genes, Family History Radio and ExtremeGenes.com.  

Segment 2 Episode 22

Host: Scott Fisher with guest Marlo Schulte

Fisher: Hey welcome back! It is Extreme Genes, Family History Radio and ExtremeGenes.com. It is Fisher here with my special guest Marlo Schulte The mad inventor, the professor, I don’t know how else to describe... well, like I said earlier, my favorite nerd, but Marlo, we’ve talked about you but we’ve never had you on the show before. Tom is always out there bragging about all the stuff you come up with to help people with family history. How long have you been doing this? 

Marlo: Oh, probably about eighteen years. 

Fisher: Okay. And do you have a background as an engineer or in software creation? 

Marlo: No. I have a flat side on the side of my head from banging walls that’s my expertise.

Fisher: [Laughs] 

Marlo: I was a clinical speech pathologist so it’s quite a stretch.

Fisher: It sounds like it. And then you got into this and started working on... I guess you would call it integration of all the various aspects of family history, especially when you involve videos, audio, things from the last fifty years perhaps. Let’s talk about that because you’ve created some free software and we’re going to share that with the listeners today, where to get this stuff. What do you have for them? 

Marlo: Well, we have a way for you to organize all of those video clips, sound files, text documents, all of the things that maybe had been lying around as you’ve done your research and you don’t know what to do with them. Plus, when you bring it all together you get a whole lot richer concept of what you’re seeing.

Fisher: Right. Because you not having to go, “Here is the pictures, here is the text, here is the audio, here is the video.” You can actually put that all together. So, without actually being able to show it here on the show we can obviously link to your site so people can see examples of that. Give a little description of what is typical. 

Marlo: Well, typically you’ll have some pictures of a mom, or a dad, or maybe a horse, or your duck, or whatever you have, then you’ll have some old files that have been typed as text files, then you might have some old video clips of which Tom converted for me, and you put all that together into a context. So, on my dad’s collection we have some pictures of a thirty three horse harvester, we have some 60s video of my grandpa. 

Fisher: Right.

Marlo: Then we have pictures and we have a homestead document, so it’s all together in one place.

Fisher: Okay. So how does that work? What do I see? Where do I go? I’m on my computer and I go on to what, the Schulte Page?

Marlo: You could.

Fisher: Okay. And I’m going to see one page devoted to grandpa?

Marlo: No, you’re going to see a whole bunch of thumbnails.

Fisher: Okay.

Marlo: So, they’re about one inch square, and as you go through that collection you’ll see a little picture of the Harvester and then grandpa and the combine, or the text file, and all you have to do is double click and then it goes full screen. 

Fisher: Okay. Now I’m on full screen, what do I get now?

Marlo: Well, if you got hotspots on there, which is something we pioneered eighteen years ago is, you move the cursor over the screen you’ll hear like my dad sing, or you’ll hear somebody talk or give a description, or my nephew singing Eency Weency Spider that he absolutely slaughters.

Fisher: [Laughs]

Marlo: It’s hilarious and embarrassing to his family.

Fisher: Well you know family history is embarrassing. That’s half the fun of it. So let’s give this a listen here. This is one tape of your dad, now he passed away how long ago?

Marlo: Oh man, 1976.

Fisher: ’76. And do you have a lot of audio of him?

Marlo: Not a real lot, but I have some old tapes that I converted and that was neat so that my kids and grandkids could get to know there grandpa that they never met.

Fisher: They never met him. That’s right. So you ran across this one, and so we’re looking now let’s just say we’ve gone now from the thumbnail to the full page on your dad and if we pass the cursor over it we hear this, “[Speaks in German] See if your German friend can figure that one out. It means, you’re out of money and tomorrow your aunt is coming and going to bring you a whole sack full. How does that sound? Ha? That’s something aint it? Your mother is sitting there giggling. She gets into some wild fits. She went fishing yesterday so she feels better today you know, she’s got that cabin crazy spell and I’ve got to watch her pretty close. She’ll go up in the snow banks.” 

I love that. Now that is only like 45 seconds but you get a real feel for what his personality is. He obviously knows some German background.

Marlo: Just his father. 

Fisher: So dad knew German pretty well, but as someone who never knew him, I learned a lot about him there. Also his language, his personality, his interaction with your mom and what life was like. So that’s on this page then. Now, this you could have on a tablet? 

Marlo: You could. 

Fisher: All right.

Marlo: The pages, me sitting on my dad’s lap, I’m about five years old and it’s really neat to move that over his face and to hear that song. 

Fisher: So you don’t have to click anything when you get there, it just automatically comes and goes as you move the cursor. 

Marlo: It’s great for kids. It’s like a discovery as they move the cursor you can have several sound files that play for a variety of different pictures. 

Fisher: So, your software then, does it create the thumbnails? 

Marlo: Yes.

Fisher: Okay. And then it creates the full pages or gives you the opportunity to fill in those pages, populate it, and then can it create the link where you can hear this kind of audio?

Marlo: Its automatic yes and it will work in a slideshow. So everything is there as a slideshow or as a manual selecting the things you want to see.

Fisher: And this is free software?

Marlo: That’s correct.

Fisher: Wow. And we can get it where? 

Marlo: From HeritageCollector.com.  

Fisher: Okay, that’s singular, HeritageCollector.com.

Marlo: And scroll down towards the bottom of the page, and it will say Free Resources and it says Software on it with a little man and a little boy.

Fisher: And that’s not the only stuff you have there, is it?

Marlo: Oh, there’s newsletters. There’s webinars. Newsletters are really fun because they’re written to help you understand, not to wow you with my lack of computer technology.

Fisher: [Laughs] No, I think you are way ahead than most of us, Marlo, and that’s the fun part is seeing what individuals can bring to all this, as well as small companies. I mean we have the giants. We have Family Search and we have Ancestry.com but there are a lot of others with great ideas bubbling beneath the surface and you’re certainly one of those. So, the newsletters, by the way, I got to tell people, I worked with Marlo at a family history fair somewhere and we spent some time and he showed me his newsletters. And I took him home, and the ideas, it was just wow stuff. And so you can get these newsletters free and you’ve got them backlogged for how many years now?

Marlo: Oh, there’s about thirty of them out there.

Fisher: Thirty okay.

Marlo: And they have a whole variety of topics. One of the newsletters that I would really love you to go look at is how to use your smartphone around that kitchen table after that big dinner when everybody is just kind of reminiscing and talking. 

Fisher: [Laughs] At Christmas, yeah.

Marlo: Yeah, or any other time, but at Christmas because everybody is there. So you’ll hear stories that you’ve never heard before and that you should record them either video or audio and then you can incorporate those things in your family history.

Fisher: Isn’t that funny how that works? You know, we records so much stuff and then we go back and we – I can’t think of how much video I’ve done, especially twenty years ago that I’ve never looked at. Not even then. And so now we have to go back, get it digitized, and then we have to learn how to edit it and you’ve got advice on editing as well do you not? 

Marlo: We will have some webinars in January on that exact thing on how to get the videos off your phone and how to edit it and its all free software. 

Fisher: This is great stuff because we’re coming right up. This is the last show of the year for 2013. Even with just a few days left till Christmas, there’s a lot of stuff people could do as a last minute surprise, could they not, using this software?

Marlo: They could. And we didn’t mention that you can use a Cloud like Dropbox or something and all of your family could share back and forth, and within minutes you could send all of these pictures and video with three button clicks anywhere in the world. 

Fisher: People don’t know that Marlo. He loses a lot of sleep thinking about things like this. How he’s going to create these things. That’s why we call him our favorite nerd.  Once again, the address to get hat from is HeritageCollector.com. And we’ve kind of just scratched the surface of what some of this stuff is that you have available and what it does. Thanks for joining us Marlo. We’re going to talk to your daughter coming up next about her take on some of this stuff and some additional stuff she can bring to the story about preservation, coming up next on Extreme Genes, Family History Radio and ExtremeGenes.com.   

Segment 3 Episode 22

Host: Scott Fisher with guest Kathleen Bitter 

Fisher: It’s Extreme Genes, Family History Radio ExtremeGenes.com. It is Fisher here, and now we’ve gone from the tree to the fruit. And that would be you Kathleen Bitter, daughter of Marlo Schulte who was just on with us moments ago, the mad professor of free software for family history. Glad to have you Kathleen!

Kathleen: Thank you. Glad to be here. 

Fisher: You bring a lot to the table too here. Does this just kind of run in the family that you guys are always thinking about this stuff?

Kathleen: I guess so.

Fisher: [Laughs] Now, you have talking calendars, ways to teach kids how to tell stories so you can record them on cell phones. You have a thing called “Story Book” with some of the same technology that Marlo was just talking about in the last segment, and you’ve got a blog. Where do you want to start?

Kathleen: Our talking story book pages. 

Fisher: Yeah, what is that about? I’ve seen a little sample if it. Tell us about it.

Kathleen: Well, a talking story book page is basically like a digital scrapbook page as most people would refer to them as. But the neat thing about our storybook pages is in the software, when you create a hotspot on the storybook page. When you move the mouse over that in the computer you can associate a sound file with that.

Fisher: Okay. 

Kathleen: So it can really bring that page to life and really tell the story. 

Fisher: Much like we just heard with Marlo moments ago. But you take this and you can add your own kids to it.

Kathleen: Absolutely. 

Fisher: Not just those who are long gone and old tapes from fifty five years ago, but something perhaps from this very year. 

Kathleen: Yes, yes. And the neat thing about that is one thing that I’ve discovered is, small children do not respond to a microphone at a computer. 

Fisher: But we have the same problem though when we’re interviewing the seniors too, you know.

Kathleen: Yes. 

Fisher: Great grandpa sit down with him, they just look at the camera and just stare at it and freeze up. 

Kathleen: Yes. 

Fisher: And even with a microphone. My grandfather did that in the 70s when my mother interviewed him with a cassette player, and she finally had to say, “Look I’m putting it down here, don’t even pay attention to that.” How do you deal with the kids in teaching them? 

Kathleen: Well at first I did try that method with the microphone sitting at the computer and they would just get really intimidated by it, they wouldn’t respond very well. And so the thought occurred to me, kids these days love technology. They love the cell phones. They’re all familiar with it. And so one day, my daughter was lying on the couch and she was really fascinated with bugs at the time. And she was just lying on the couch making up all of these songs about bugs. And I had my cell phone next to me, and I decided right to turn on my cell phone recorder.

Fisher: Right. You’ve got a little app for that. 

Kathleen: Yep, so I turned it on. And she just held it right up to her mouth and just performed perfectly.

Fisher: And do we have a little sample of that here? I think we do.

Kathleen: Yes. [Child Singing]

Fisher: [Laughs] That is stuff you could never replace.

Kathleen: So now they’ll both actually sits down with the microphone in front of the computer. Because now they know what the outcome is, is that they get to hear themselves and see the pictures associated with that.

Fisher: Now, it’s going to become very annoying though when you can’t take it away from them. They want to record everything!

Kathleen: And they do. They do.

Fisher: [Laughs]

Kathleen: I have actually spoiled my children because now they’ll look at pictures from several years ago and say, “Mom, why doesn’t this picture talk?”

Fisher: Right. [Laughs] That’s right. Why doesn’t this picture talk? Unbelievable. Well, now you’re taking this though to the whole new thing. And this is an Extreme Genes exclusive here because this is going to be a new possibility for this technology starting when, next year 2014?

Kathleen: Yes.

Fisher: All right, and what is it?

Kathleen: QR Codes attached to pictures or storybook pages, calendars, reading cards, anything.

Fisher: Okay, let’s take the calendar. Okay, so we have a calendar maybe with a family picture up there, maybe an ancestral one. You have all the birth dates on it with a picture of the child or the ancestor. I go over that. What happens?

Kathleen: Well, you download and there are free apps available. You can download a QR Code reading app on your phone.

Fisher: Okay.

Kathleen: And then you just scan over that QR Code on your calendar. Even if you don’t have their recording you can narrate about their story.

Fisher: I love that idea. So can talk about crossing the ocean, their careers, meeting great, great grandma, how they passed away, whatever it is. So that calendar becomes a great family history tool and really is easy to use too with a cell phone. 

Kathleen: Absolutely.

Fisher: So this is out this coming year?

Kathleen: Yes.

Fisher: Really soon? And is this going to be a paid for thing or is this a free piece of software?

Kathleen: Well, the QR Code aspect of it is free.

Fisher: Sure.

Kathleen: The calendar part of it is a module within the Heritage Collector software.

Fisher: Okay, because Heritage Collector as we know has a lot of free stuff and we’ve been talking a lot about that. But, you also have some available paid software which is terrific, and let’s talk about what you offer there, some of those things.

Kathleen: Well we call them modules and the two that we’ve been discussing were the calendar and the storybook module. And so those would be add-ons if you downloaded the free standard version. You could go onto our website and you could upgrade to whatever modules best suit your needs.

Fisher: And none of the stuff is particularly expensive. You want to give a price range on that?

Kathleen: Yes. The calendar module is 29.99 and the storybook module is 19.95.

Fisher: That’s great stuff. And you can use that for years and years and make one, and upgrade your calendar every year or as you add new ancestors. You make new discoveries. You can put them on the calendar. What fun!

Kathleen: Yes, yes. And it’s very easy because when you’re ready to go and then create a new calendar your information is already there, you move up with the year.

Fisher: This is just basically photographs then. The calendar is it a printed calendar or is this a calendar that’s online?

Kathleen: This would be both.  You could print this off or you could...

Fisher: And the codes would work with that?

Kathleen: Yes, and the codes would work or you can create a PDF and email it. You could create a CD and send it in the mail. So there’s several different ways that you can share this calendar.

Fisher: Wow, that’s great. And what a great start for a new tool, a new toy for family history for 2014. How long have you been doing this?

Kathleen: I’ve been doing this for about five years now.

Fisher: Okay. And helping Dad and kind of giving him the insight from a young mom. How many kids do you have?

Kathleen: I have four. 

Fisher: Okay. Age ranges?

Kathleen: I’ve got seven year old, five year old and three year old twin boys. 

Fisher: And part of retaining the history that’s happening right now, you are writing a blog!

Kathleen: Yes.

Fisher: And where’s the blog available?

Kathleen: The blog is heritagecollectorstorybook.blogspot.com. 

Fisher: Well Kathleen, this has been so much fun hearing what you guys are coming up with. I mean it is fun to go out and do the research but it’s great to know that there are still people out there who are finding new ways for us to integrate all this information we have. So that person kind of comes even more to live than just finding the stories. Great stuff! And of course, you can read Kathleen’s blog spot at heritagecollectors.com and find out more about the free software we’ve been talking about on the show. Thanks for joining us. 

Kathleen: Thank you.

Fisher: And coming up next, our Preservation Authority Tom Perry with some great last minute ideas for gifts, not only for this holiday, but for generations coming up next on Extreme Genes, Family History Radio ExtremeGenes.com.

Segment 4 Episode 22

Host: Scott Fisher with guest Tom Perry

Fisher: Hey welcome back, it’s Extreme Genes, Family History Radio. I am your Radio Roots Sleuth Fisher along with Tom Perry our Preservation Authority from TMCPlace.com. Tom, you’ve got some great ideas relating to family history and I love the fact, it’s so cheap. 

Tom: Oh it is. We call them Christmas gifts, the gift for generations. First, it’s fairly simple that anyone can do that takes minimal effort, is pretty inexpensive and the third best gift you could give for Christmas this season. All you need to do is go to your local bookstore or Amazon online and buy an appropriate book for all of your children, all of your grandchildren. Usually they aim for kids under eight, but you can get any age if you want to do something special. Then get out your old cassette recorder if you have one of those, if you’re my generation.

Fisher: [Laughs] Do they work? Who’s even got one that works? “Hello, is this thing on?” 

Tom: That’s right. We still have people that bring in tapes and I say, “When’s this from?” and they go, “Oh we did it last week.” 

Fisher: [Laughs]

Tom: So people are still using cassettes. 

Fisher: Okay. 

Tom: You know, it’s what you’re comfortable with.

Fisher: Sure. 

Tom: And if you don’t have that, almost everybody nowadays has a smart phone. Just go and download an app if you don’t already have it that turns your smart phone basically into a tape recorder. 

Fisher: Sure. 

Tom: And just dictate into it. You can also go and get one of those little voice recorders. They usually call them “Audio Hard Drive Recorders” and speak into that. Take this book that you purchased and just read it. Just read it to the kids, turn it into a CD, or give them an SD card or whatever with the book. And then they can grandma or mom and dad or whomever, reading whether it’s green eggs and ham or a fable haven book or a novel, poems, anything. And it’s just so special and so unique and it goes through generations and generations and generations. 

Fisher: Well that’s true. It could get passed down to your third great grandkids two hundred years from now.

Tom: Oh yeah. They can see pictures of you, they can see movies, but you are actually reading a story and they’re going along and reading along with you, and it’s great for kids that can’t even read yet, because it helps them to read. Ones that already can, it’s a great tie between generations. 

Fisher: What a gift. And think about new parents too, somebody who is in their early twenties, mid twenties and they’re reading to their child and then you can hear that same recording generations on down the lines, unbelievable. 

Tom: In fact, that’s an awesome idea to do. I mean even if you’re pregnant, they say you need to talk to your baby, read them a story and just put together a whole library of these stories. It’s easy and inexpensive to do. 

Fisher: All right, now you said that is the third best gift that anyone could do for the holidays. What’s the second best gift? 

Tom: The second best gift is basically the same except, you’re telling your story.

Fisher: Ooh. 

Tom: You’re going in and telling them, you know, who your best friend was in high school, how you met your husband, other people that you met or how you met your wife, stories about your grandparents. For people that want to do this, the biggest stumbling block, and Ralph Gates talked about this a few weeks ago, about doing interviews is, what do I ask besides the basics? There's two books that I recommend and there's many more out there, it’s called, The Book of Myself, a do it yourself autobiography in 201 questions, and its written by Carl and David Marshall, and its only like about sixteen dollars, very inexpensive. The second book is, The Book of Me, a do it yourself memoire by Nannette Stone, which is only 14.99. Pick them up at about any bookstore.

Fisher: I have seen that. It’s a little one, I think, right?

Tom: Oh, it is.

Fisher: It’s a tiny little book and something you can store pretty much anywhere. I haven't seen 201 questions, but you've brought one, and perfect. And look at this. Let's just go through what some of them are. "This was a particularly memorable vacation, reunion or gathering" and you have a whole page to write about that. "Some of the things I have loved doing with my family were?" "This health problem or accident was very scary for my family." And you get a whole page for each question to answer something in there. Imagine a whole book, 201 questions, and all these things you would write in it. What a gift!

Tom: You could be talking about hours. And so, it’s not like, "Oh, what am I going to ask?" Start at the beginning of the book and record it. And like you mentioned, you can write in it, too. But nowadays, what I would do is, I'd record all the stuff. Just read the questions and then answer the question. Read the next question, answer the question. There's very simple audio editing equipment if you want to go in and clean it up or just do it raw and give it to your kids. I mean, I would give anything if I had my grandma and grandparents do this. And there's probably listeners out there thinking the same thing. Well' if your grandparents and parents are still around, go and do it at your Christmas party or get together.

Fisher: That's right. There's only one grandparent that I have a voice recording of.

Tom: Wow!

Fisher: And what would you give to have the other three.

Tom: Exactly.

Fisher: You know.

Tom: I'm going to do it for Christmas this year when we have our Christmas party. I've got some old letters that my grandparents wrote to each other and different special stories they wrote. And I can't get it in their voices, because they're gone, but I still have my mom here. So I'm going to have her read it at second person and it'll still be that special thing for me to hand on to my kids and my grandkids.

Fisher: Okay. Now the number one thing that you think is the greatest gift for Christmas.

Tom: Well, the greatest gift is to really sacrifice, donating an organ.

Fisher: What? [Laughs] Yes!

Tom: I'm totally serious.

Fisher: No. [Laughs]

Tom: In fact, I saw a great story on the news the other night about that, about how people are not just doing it.

Fisher: There's preservation!

Tom: Oh yeah!

Fisher: Yeah. [Laughs]

Tom: Very preservation.

Fisher: Yeah.

Tom: It was really a neat story about this one guy just felt this need to do that. And so, he went, you know, called the number for the organ donation, said, "Hey, I've got two kidneys, they're both great. I'd like to donate one." And so, they had him come in, did the match, found somebody that needed one, and this girl that got his kidney, so happy. She'd been on dialysis almost her entire life, and what greater gift than something like that?

Fisher: All right, that's some amazing ideas. Kidney!? Organs!? Really? Erm, coming up next, we're going to talk about, are you stealing stuff? Copyright rules when it comes to digitized copies of various items, things you might want to copy for your family history. When are you breaking the rules, when are you not. Tom will give us some clarity, coming up next on Extreme Genes, Family History Radio, ExtremeGenes.com.

Segment 5 Episode 22

Host: Scott Fisher with guest Tom Perry

Fisher: We're back, final segment, Extreme Genes, Family History Radio. Fisher here with Tom Perry from TMCPlace.com. You know, this is something that I think worries a lot of people, I know its worried me, you know, at various times as to when can I take something, when can I copy something or when am I breaking a copyright issue? And, Tom, you're got a little clarity on that.

Tom: Yeah, it’s something that we have people call us about quite often. And some people are looking for excuses. Some people really want to know what the truth is. We have people that have come in that have made a compilation CD and they were planning on making copies and hand out to everybody at their wedding, and we say, "No, you can't do that. That's major copyright infringement." And they go, "Well, they’re songs that I purchased that I'm not charging anybody. I'm handing them out at my wedding." That's a major, major red flag.

Fisher: Sure, right.

Tom: That is absolutely copyright infringement.

Fisher: Music, yeah.

Tom: Exactly, exactly. There's a place called the Harry Fox Agency. They're basically licensers for most music. And what they do is, you send them, "And these are the songs I'm looking for by this artist. I want to make a compilation CD. I'm going to be handing them out on our wedding." And so then what they will do is, they will get the permission from these artists, because they're all in their company, so to speak, and then they will give you permission to make ten or twenty or fifty or whatever, and it could a hundred dollars, it could be a thousand dollars, depending on what your songs are, but then that way, there's no issue with copyright.

Fisher: All right. So music is probably the number one violation I would think for most anything, because often you want to use a popular song behind a video or with a slideshow or montage of photographs, but you want to make sure you're good with that.

Tom: You know, the thing is, there's the letter of the law and there's also the spirit of the law. Most manufacturers are not going to get mad at you if you make a little montage that's used at your home. When you start making copies and passing them out that's when you're going to get in trouble. Even though both of them are really illegal, the first one, they're not going to go after you, but they want to make the law totally to cover everything, so if somebody goes too far over the line, it’s not like, "I'm a little bit over line." well, no, you've totally broken copyright laws. And there have been people that have gone in and downloaded illegal music and they have been sued by the record companies, sued for millions of dollars. And these kinds of lawsuits, you can't take out bankruptcy and they go away. They stick with you forever. So these people are basically indentured to these record companies, because they went and passed out music CDs to people.

Fisher: Isn't that something! And they do it of course to make an example for the rest of the world.

Tom: Exactly.

Fisher: Because their income, their livelihood has been stolen by millions of people. And it’s a whole different model now for the music industry.

Tom: You know, and so many people I hear the excuse which they're just trying to make themselves feel better, they go, "Oh, well they're rich. They've got all this money. They don't need that." Well, what if somebody can into your house and stole presents under your Christmas tree, because you live up on the Upper East Side, "Oh, well they have plenty of money, they don't need all these presents." And it’s the same kind of thing. It’s like, you know, what if it happened to you? Let me give you an example, let's say you go into Best Buy and you steal a CD. Okay, basically you're stealing from the stockholders at Best Buy and everyone else, you know, in line that gets paid, you're not stealing from them, you're only stealing from Best Buy. If you go and borrow a CD from somebody that they bought at Best Buy and then you make a copy of it, you're not only stealing from Best Buy or whoever you would have bought that from, you're stealing from the recording company, you're stealing from the artist, you're stealing from the musicians, you're stealing from the songwriter, the lyricist, the people that grow the trees that make the paper that go in the thing.

Fisher: [Laughs] All that!

Tom: Oh, oh, you're stealing from everyone.

Fisher: Right on down the line. All right, that's great advice. And just a reminder by the way, if you put something on a video that you, say, post on YouTube that violates copyright, they're going to take that down.

Tom: Oh absolutely.

Fisher: You're going to get flagged. They do not like that. And that's a great example. Good advice. And hopefully that will help a lot of people as they're trying to make their decisions about what they're going to do, and the right way to do it and the wrong way to do it.

Tom: And if you have questions, you can write to [email protected], and I'm more than happy to steer you in the right direction, help you find somebody that can give you the permission to use a song if it’s that special. You know, just keep yourself good. Be honest and fair in all your dealing with your fellow man, and you'll be set.

Fisher: Have a great holiday season, Tom.

Tom: Thank you. Merry Christmas!

Fisher: Hey, and that wraps up our final episode of 2013. We'll be back on January 5th with a brand new edition, very excited about our guest at that time to talk about some unique discoveries among Hispanic Americans and Native Americans. You're going to love it! Take care. Have a great holiday season. And remember, as far as everyone knows, we're a nice, normal family!

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