Episode 23 – Researcher Henrietta Christmas Reveals Possible Jewish Ancestry for Mexican Americans

podcast episode Jan 06, 2014

On this weeks show, Fisher talks about how New Year’s was once celebrated on March 25!  And how it took the eventual victory of one calendar system over another to get us to a Ball Drop to bring in January 1. Guest Henrietta Christmas then talks to Fisher about the discovered source of Jewish ancestry for many Mexican Americans.

Transcript of Episode 23

Host: Scott Fisher

Segment 1 Episode 23

Fisher: Hello genies and welcome back! It’s Extreme Genes, Family History Radio and ExtremeGenes.com, our first edition of 2014. I am your congenial Radio Roots Sleuth Fisher and I was just thinking about this the other day. There was a time that the ball didn’t come down to celebrate a new year until March 25th. Okay, in reality at that time no ball, but I’ve just got to wonder were the parties just as big a deal back then? If you’re unfamiliar with the stories, centuries ago there were two calendars in play. The Julian calendar named of course for Julius Caesar, and that that been around forever, but in 1582 the Gregorian calendar named after Pope Gregory, took over in Catholic countries. Both calendars recognized the same days, but not at the same time. The Julian calendar had a bunch more Leap days accumulated, so when the 1582 conversion came along the calendar jumped in those countries to ten days later. England and America didn’t make the change till 1752 by which time the difference was eleven days. And that’s where you see the old style and new style dates written in genealogical records.  They should properly be written as by the way, 1 January 1700s/1701. That would reflect the Julian calendar year first, the Gregorian calendar year second, but of course it doesn’t reflect the difference in actual dates between the two systems. That would make it really complicated.

After March 24th only one year is shown in most records, but it can really mess you up if someone in their tree noted one year and someone recorded the same person with another year. That’s why it’s best to write it with both calendar years for the dates between January 1st and March 24th. By the way, when the switch from Julian to Gregorian came in 1752 in England and America, the dates leaped from Wednesday September 2nd 1752 to Thursday September 14th 1752, the next day. There was no September 3rd to September 13th that year. That made it tough on birthday celebrations for a lot of September babies, but later on everyone else too. Someone born before 1752 on, for instance, November 12th would have to decide whether or not to celebrate their birthday on the new November 12th or make it November 23rd from that point forward. George Washington’s birthday which we’ve celebrated and recognized in this country since it became a country is recorded as February 22nd 1732. But at the time he was born it was actually February 11th 1731/1732. I’m sure he got his birthday cards pretty well spread out over a couple of weeks every year, but enough on the history lesson. Our guest coming up shortly is Henrietta Christmas. She’s a 30-year Professional Researcher from New Mexico who has reason to believe that certain Mexican Americans and Native Americans may have some Jewish ancestry. She’ll be on our Extreme Genes “Find Line” 1-234-56 Genes in about seven minutes. 

Now, from the pages of ExtremeGenes.com here is this week’s Family Histoire News. We found a great story from the Dubbo Photo News in Australia which tells us about a third generation Pharmacist named Mike Anderson. As an Aussie genie, Mike went about tracing his roots to Lincolnshire in England. And from there his great, great grandfather migrated to Australia. Well Mike learned that his ancestor had had several brothers and it was clear to him that none of them had followed William Anderson Down Under. Well, curious as to what happened to the siblings, Mike uploaded his family tree information to American-based data base WikiTree. His info included family information from both Australia and England. And not long after Mike heard from some folks in Nebraska who said, “Hey cousin!” Well as he learned, five of William Anderson’s brothers went to the United States, all of them. To confirm their conclusions Mike and the cousins all agreed to take a DNA test. And as you might suspect, the ties were undeniable. The results predicted dead on that they were related at the third or fourth cousin level. And just this past year Mike’s daughter Tori found a school in Omaha she wanted to attend right in the backyard of the American Anderson cousins! Mike and his wife Cathy decided to take Tori over and then spend two weeks with the American cousins who have now developed strong ties with their Aussie kinsman. This is just another example of how powerful genealogical DNA tests are in bringing distant or missing family members together. You can find the link on our site ExtremeGenes.com. By the way, we just sent out my wife Julie’s spit this past week, so we expect some time in February to have an idea just what she’s all about. You’d think I’d know after some 30 years without a DNA test.

Next, Old Dog Tag/New Trick finding its way back to its owner from the Portsmouth New Hampshire Union. In January of ’44 WW II soldier Alfred Cabral survived the Battle of Anzio in Italy only to nearly lose his foot to a landmine buried in snow a year later. Alfred’s now 88 and still has a vivid memory of his experiences in battle. In a nursing home last week Alfred was shocked to learn from his family that his Dog Tag had been found on a beach just east of Anzio, and would soon be back in his hands. His son reports that Alfred was elated to hear the news and immediately recited by heart his military serial number which will be seen again on the chained tag that once was used to identify Alfred in the event he could no longer identify himself. The story’s that a man was walking the beach at Nettuno and spotted the tag, thinking it belonged to a soldier killed in the battle there. He turned it in to a local military cemetery. The American Battle Monuments Commission emailed the Cabral family about the discovery the day after Christmas. They are justifiably proud of their father who was awarded both the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star during his time in the service. And if you happen to be in New Orleans any time soon, be sure to drop by the WW II Museum there. Alfred’s story and the remarkable recovery of his foot with the help of a new medication called Penicillin is shown on video there near the entrance. And I really hope we’ll be seeing pictures of Alfred, his family and the recovered Dog Tag in the not too distant future. And if you have a family history story you’d like to share, email me at [email protected] or call our Extreme Genes “Find Line” 1-234-56 Genes. And coming up next, she’s a genealogical wizard from New Mexico who says some Mexican Americans and some Native Americans may have Jewish blood. Henrietta Christmas explains in three minutes on Extreme Genes, Family History Radio and ExtremeGenes.com.

Segment 2 Episode 23

Host: Scott Fisher with guest Henrietta Christmas

Fisher: Hey, welcome back to Extreme Genes, Family History Radio ExtremeGenes.com. I am your Radio Roots Sleuth Fisher with my special guest Henrietta Christmas. Henrietta, welcome to the show!

Henrietta: Thank you.

Fisher: Where’s the Christmas name come from?

Henrietta: It comes from early Virginia, about 1690.

Fisher: Really? I’ve never heard the name before used as a surname, but you’ve got it all tracked down. I have no doubt. Now, Henrietta is an Author, a Lecturer, a full time Genealogist. She lectures around the Southwest on topics related to Hispanic from as early as 1542 to the mid 1800s?

Henrietta: Correct.

Fisher: You know, when you talk about being a Native New Mexican Henrietta, you are a Native New Mexican. [Laughs]

Henrietta: I am Native, yes. [Laughs]

Fisher: You go way back. You descend from, what is it eleven soldiers who came up with that. Tell us the story of Oñate in 1598.

Henrietta: About 1596 Juan de Oñate asked the Viceroy if he could start an expedition that would come north, more north than Zacatecas or Mid Mexico and to a place they would call New Mexico because they were hoping to find silver mines and that kind of thing. And he got permission. He funded the expedition, got a whole bunch of families from the Zacatecas Mexico City area, and they made it this nine months track north and settled in a little village on the Rio Grande called Ohkay Owingeh and they called it San Juan delos Caballeros. And so to this day that village, Indian place, still sits. And they just lived there for a while then they founded Santa Fe. But with that came a number of Spanish soldiers who many of us in New Mexico descend from. And some brought wives and some didn’t bring wives, so they married when they got here. [Laughs] They brought Native American wives from Mexico City.  Kind of a fun tale because we can do a lot of research on our family pretty much just right into Mexico. 

Fisher: Well you were telling me off the air [Laughs] your maiden name is Martinez.

Henrietta: Yeah.

Fisher: And it’s like from one Martinez back in that group.

Henrietta: It is. He came. He’s my twelfth great grandfather Hernán Martin Serrano and he came as a Captain of the Artillery and came with a wife. And one of the things that he brought with him that I still haven’t quite figured out what he was doing with, were some fencing swords. But these are all military men so I’m sure it was just the afterhours hobby of fencing or something like that.

Fisher: [Laughs] Something to do, still looking into that. But you’re saying like every Martinez in New Mexico comes from the one guy?

Henrietta: Pretty much. We all descend from this man.

Fisher: I mean that’s a very common name, obvious. It’s like Smith.

Henrietta: It is. Everybody has the Martinez line.

Fisher: Right. [Laughs] In New Mexico.

Henrietta: [Laughs] And if you don’t that means you’re not from New Mexico. 

Fisher: So you’re all pretty much cousins down there?

Henrietta: We’re cousins. We’re called in Spanish. That would be primos. And so yes we’re all very closely related, some closer than others. 

Fisher: Well you’ve done a lot of research into Hispanic American Genealogy and have come to some fascinating conclusions. Let’s talk about that a little bit, especially those who came over in the mid 1500s.

Henrietta: Right. So we’re kind of back delving into history a little bit is the Inquisition of Spain and some of the people that were living in, let’s say, Jewish neighborhoods that converted over to you know, Catholicism. And some of those families ended up crossing the ocean into Veracruz, Mexico City and making their way up north into New Mexico. And with that brought a lot of Jewish customs basically that are still prominent today. 

Fisher: Now wait a minute. I’ve not ever heard this too much. Are most Hispanics aware of the fact that there’s Jewish ancestry in their lines?

Henrietta: If you’re in New Mexico, yes. We understand the cultural conversion and the inquisition and that type of thing. 

Fisher: Is that general to the Hispanic population of the United States? 

Henrietta: Not to the United States but to New Mexico and the El Paso area it would be.

Fisher: Okay.

Henrietta: And even some early Californian, Arizona families it would happen that ours is sort of unique in that when Family Tree DNA started their testing, obviously Bennett Greenspan did it so he could find his roadblock or brick wall. And one of his very close matches is to a family in New Mexico by the last name of Tenorio. And so Bennett has cousins that live here, genetic cousins. And he’s been here quite a bit. In terms of if we find the paperwork going back to Spain, maybe someday you know, we can find that two brothers that met and departed somewhere. And his family is more Eastern Russian came to New York and ours would be a Tenorio that came to New Mexico from Mexico City from Spain. 

Fisher: So you’re trying to link these together and find where they came from back in Spain?

Henrietta: Right.

Fisher: Wow.

Henrietta: Well Turkey or wherever it would have been and if it’s Moorish or whatever. 

Fisher: And you’re saying the DNA has actually gone and proved the link?

Henrietta: They’ve proved the link and when you talk to Bennett he’s just, you know...it’s surprising that his tie would be in New Mexico.

Fisher: [Laughs] Yes.

Henrietta: And this is funny but I’ve been with him before here in Albuquerque, and people will say, “Man, I thought that was my uncle Phil that you were walking with.” And I’m like, “No, that’s Bennett Greenspan” And they’re like, “He looks just like my uncle.” [Laughs]

Fisher: [Laughs] But we’re talking about a tie that goes back hundreds of years. It’s not really likely that there should be a physical similarity at this point, is it?

Henrietta: Right. But it’s just funny so yeah, we’re talking maybe a tie that could go back to the mid 1500s going back even further than that. We embrace DNA in New Mexico. We like to make it a really good compliment to our genealogical paperwork. We have great success with that and Bennett being one of them. We’ve taken that maybe a step further and have just done some really fun stuff with it.

Fisher: You know, I think the DNA has just rocked everybody’s world. [Laughs]

Henrietta: Yeah, it opens people’s eyes. One of the things I worked on last year was a man that came to New Mexico again with Juan de Oñate, his name was Juan Peréz de Bustillo, and he came as part of that whole expedition. He was the blacksmith. If you go back to the 1500s, blacksmiths pretty much throughout the world were highly regarded because they repaired horseshoes, equipment, swords, rifles, any of those things that you would use plus items around the house, locks and stuff, and so he came with two sons and seven daughters, quite a feat for somebody. And we know who some of the daughters were, but through DNA testing we’ve been able to tie three more lines to the other sisters and we have one daughter still missing. It’s actually been kind of fun because Juan Peréz de Bustillo and his wife Maria de la Cruz have kind of turned out to be like the Adam and Eve of New Mexico because again, we all kind of tend to go back to them as a couple because of all their nine children that came. They all lived. [Laughs]

Fisher: Wow! And so there’s obviously then a family DNA project going on, on this particular man?

Henrietta: Yes. And we have a large New Mexico DNA project and this is just one little tiny piece of it. But through our findings is that Juan Peréz de Bustillo married a woman in Mexico City and her DNA haplotype is A which would mean Native American, and makes perfect sense because the men from Spain didn’t always bring their wives with them so they came alone as bachelors and then would marry when they came to the New World. And so a lot of times when we do genealogy and somebody says, “I did my DNA and I came back an A, mitochondrial A.” And we kind of go, “And who are you matching?” And they show us, we go, “We know exactly where you’re headed. We don’t know how to get you there maybe but we know the dotted line goes to this family.”

Fisher: Isn’t that fun? You know I’ve kind of been involved in it a little myself over the last ten years as this thing has just started and grown you know, doing the Y test for the Fisher line to see where it goes, and I’ve seen great success with a son in law and some neighbors who have gone in different directions. DNA really brings the entire family of man together in so many ways I don’t think we could have ever imagined in the past. 

Henrietta: Right. And it’s just been a lot of fun. Again, we have an Achenbach line of some Brent sailors that crash landed in Galveston Beach in the late 1600s and one of the two men of Achenbach and Burleigh were captured by the Spanish, put in jail and ended up – they came back to New Mexico and lived amongst the Hispanics. They married Hispanic females and had large families. So every Burleigh in New Mexico goes back to Juan Burleigh but his name would have been Jacques and then Jean Achenbach, in Spanish we say Juan, and so again all the DNA that goes back to the Achenbachs is the G haplotype and they’ve matched people all over the world basically with the same surname. So again, people in France are going, “What’s an Achenback doing in New Mexico?” But yeah. [Laughs]

Fisher: [Laughs] Well, you know, it kind of sounds to me like New Mexico is like the Plymouth of the Southwest where so many families kind of broadcast out into that general area. 

Henrietta: Right. And so, because they were explorers and they loved the expedition kind of thing, people just kept coming through the early1600s. And again, later on they would bring their families. And in 1692 another huge expedition came from Mexico that brought people that were villages. Like, “Bring a village with you.” They were tailors and people that made shoes, and weavers, and all those, they weren’t just soldiers. And so through that second huge migration that came a hundred years later, again we’ve done some, I think, fantastic DNA testing and then also paper. The Spanish are known for having things written down in triplicate, so we have really good paper documents that we can go back to pretty much the 1500s to large part of the families. 

Fisher: Wow! All right. We’re talking to Henrietta Christmas. She’s an Author, Lecturer, full time Genealogist in the New Mexico area, and of course covering a lot of the broader issues of families in the Southwest. And when we return, Henrietta is going to talk to us about Native Americans and some of the things she has learned about their background that I think you’re going to find very interesting, on Extreme Genes, Family History Radio and ExtremeGenes.com. 

Segment 3 Episode 23

Host: Scott Fisher with guest Henrietta Christmas

Fisher: We’re back! It’s Extreme Genes, family History Radio and ExtremeGenes.com. Fisher here with Henrietta Christmas, she’s an author, a lecturer and full time genealogist out of New Mexico. She’s been sharing with us all kinds of fascinating stuff about some of the folks who actually settled in the New Mexico area and of course spread out from there. And you’ve also done a lot of work with Native Americans, Henrietta and you’ve learned some things that I think are kind of unique not only through a paper research, but through DNA as well. Let’s get into that a little bit. 

Henrietta: I was invited by the BIA to do a genealogy workshop DNA.

Fisher: Okay wait a minute, the BIA, we’re getting to the alphabet soup, which is?

Henrietta: The Bureau of Indian Affairs.  

Fisher: Okay. 

Henrietta: And New Mexico is blessed. We have twenty three Native American tribes fully functioning and we’re very proud of that. And they asked if several of us would come and do some lectures, and I did the DNA talk for them. People from all the different tribes and reservations in New Mexico attended. And it was just a lot of fun because a lot of them were starting to do some DNA testing. And some of the tribes are different, like the Navajo or Matrolinial and the Pueblos Indians they’re not, they’re both paternal and maternal. And so it was kind of fun to hear some of their excerpts of what they were finding. One of the things that they are concerned of is that they’re finding out auto immune diseases within their own tribes. And they know that had to come from some European influence. 

Fisher: Hmm.

Henrietta: Meaning, that somewhere in their background one of their ancestors married someone with European heritage. And kind of working with them I found out that the Acomas actually teach genealogy in school which is a lot of fun. Found out that the Navajos actually putting a lot of stuff on Ancestry. 

Fisher: Yes.

Henrietta: And using Facebook to do their genealogy. So I just found that very fascinating.

Fisher: Is there a lot of oral tradition within these tribes?

Henrietta: There is oral tradition and a lot of them can actually get back with oral tradition to maybe 1850- 1830. If you were a Pueblo Indian at the time when the Spanish were here after 1598, mostly after 1700, there were censuses taken of those places and so we can sometimes get some of the families back to the mid 1700s. 

Fisher: That’s impressive. 

Henrietta: Yeah that’s been kind of fun. I’ve actually worked with somebody that was a totter out of San Ildefonso Pueblo, trying to get the ancestry charts back. I think we made it to like 1735, so they were very happy with that. And again, just the way their charts look are different because they’re by clan name if you’re a Navajo. But the oral tradition also within the clans of the Navajo tell us that maybe the mother came from a Zuni clan, which is the Pueblo Albuquerque. And they may not be full blooded Navajo. They may have Pueblo ancestry and believe it or not is can be different because it could be A, B, C type of haplotypes. 

Fisher: Um hmm.

Henrietta: And just kind of working with that I talked to some people that know that their ancestor was European and that they were stolen by the Navajos to come and live in the Navajo areas. And the same thing happened with Europeans, they’d take Indians and they’d live near Santa Fe or whatever. I’m not trying to pick on anybody here. But he told me his type was R1 B and he’s part of the Navajo nation.

Fisher: Now wait a minute, R1 B that’s very European. 

Henrietta: Yes, but again his paternal line, let’s just call it a captured child.

Fisher: Do they know how far back that capture may have taken place? 

Henrietta: I’ve done the genealogy on the family and it’s probably early 1700s. Anyway, the fun part is we had this great conversation and before we hung up he asks, “Can I ask you one more question?” Then I said, “Absolutely.” And he said, “Do you think I’m Jewish?” [Laugh] I said, “No.” 

Fisher: Ha. Now why would he say that? 

Henrietta: I think because some of the auto immune diseases that are popping up, I think there’s some concern that they could come from being Jewish. I mean, I don’t know how else to say it but just that way. But R1 B is not by any means that at all. 

Fisher: No. 

Henrietta: So you know again just some of those types of things, but they’re very into doing the testing. Some of it is fun. They’re like every other group in the country though. They have brick walls, they don’t know where they’re going to end up, they don’t know what this means yet, they need more people to test. So they’re not really any different from any other group I’ve seen. 

Fisher: It seems to me like most every group has the same issue. You know, whether you’re Native American, You’re Hispanic American, whether you’re European American, it doesn’t matter it all seems to be the same solution, ultimately is getting more numbers to compare to in the DNA tests and find out where these populations came from and where they moved to and from. I know from talking to Doctor Scott Woodward from Ancestry on the show in the past. He says it’s just going to get better and better. And you know look where we’ve come in the past five to ten years. Where we’re going to be five to ten years from now is going to be very specific about times and places from any of these groups. 

Henrietta: Right and it’s really fascinating. And they’re very willing to share. I know from them that they’ve done enough mitochondrial testing that the B haplotype for us in New Mexico would come from the Pueblo end people culture. Those would be people who live along the Rio Grande River. And they’re just kind of matter of fact about it because they’ll be like, “We’ll be we know Pueblo and we know that something happened at that... you know someone moved or got married or whatever.” Just kind of interesting but one of the things that I’ve also learned from them that’s kind of been helpful for my research is that they tended to send the women off to other tribes to live. 

Fisher: Hmm. 

Henrietta: And they always kind of joke around the boys stayed near mama, you know.

Fisher: [Laughs]

Henrietta: So if there’s something like an odd thing that goes on and they didn’t know how to explain they would be like, “I bet you someone got married to some guy somewhere else and she went off to a different clan or a different Pueblo or tribe or whatever.” And that’s why we’re finding it over there. 

Fisher: She’s Henrietta Christmas. She’s an author, lecturer and full time genealogist, and Henrietta it’s been fascinating. And I hope you’ll come back again as we discover some more things about what’s happening in your neck of the woods, and we appreciate your time. 

Henrietta: Thank you! 

Fisher: And coming up next, our preservation specialist Tom Perry from TMCPlace.com with a little one on one course on using those different formats, TIFFs, Jpegs and PDFs. He’ll tell it to you next on Extreme Genes, Family History Radio and ExtremeGenes.com.

Segment 4 Episode 23

Host: Scott Fisher with guest Tom Perry

Fisher: Welcome back, Extreme Genes, Family History Radio ExtremeGenes.com. It is Fisher here with our Preservation Authority, Tom Perry from TMCPlace.com. Welcome back, Tom.

Tom: Good to be here.

Fisher: And Happy New Year!

Tom: Happy New Year you too and all our listeners.

Fisher: And you know, we've got a lot of people who have been getting in touch with you through [email protected], asking a lot of questions about preservation, because there's so many routes to go.

Tom: Oh, there are. There's all kinds of information out there that we're more than happy to get out to you, but you let us know what you need most and that's what we'll put on the show.

Fisher: And I love the offer you've got going for them right now.

Tom: Yeah, anybody that writes into [email protected]. And we've decided to give all of our listeners that email us, when we read their question on air, a $25 gift certificate to be used on our online store, which is Shop.TMCPlace.com, and twenty five bucks is twenty five bucks.

Fisher: Yeah, that's right. And I love this, too. We're going to talk today about the different formats, because there's a lot of confusion about when do you use PDFs and when do you use jpegs and when do you use lossy. Talk about lossy. I'm not that familiar with that.

Tom: That means something is basically lost, that’s why the name lossy comes up. For instance, on the compression of a jpeg, which is a data encoded method that compresses data by discarding or losing some of it, so you have all this information and some of it is not really that important.

Fisher: Right.

Tom: So it can take that out and then compress the file, so it’s smaller and it will fit a lot better. So basically, this procedure aims to minimize the amount of data that needs to be held, handles or transmitted by a computer or online or anything like that. So typically, a substantial amount of data can be discarded before the result is significantly degraded to be noticed by the user. It’s kind of like a CD player how it oversamples.

Fisher: Right.

Tom: So if you have a skip or scratch in your disk, it says, "Okay, I know we just play it. I know what's coming up next, so I assume this is what's missing." And so that's how it does it, it fills in the missing parts and does a pretty good job of it.

Fisher: So a lossy file we use how?

Tom: A lossy file would be if you want to send something off the internet or you don't want these big, huge files that are taking up several DVDs. You want to be able to compress all your stuff onto one DVD or into one folder. It takes out all the extra stuff that you don't need. Like a lot of programs, when you download them, you download the program, which is small and then it extracts it.

Fisher: Right.

Tom: It’s almost kind of the same kind of thing. It goes in and it find, "Oh, we don't really need this, we don't need this. This is redundant. This is redundant." As a good example, in the old mini DV camcorders, it would go through and it would read all your frames, there's thirty frames a second or sixty fields a second. And it would say, "This picture hasn't moved. There's still a tree here. There's still a water fountain here. There's still a seagull sitting here. I don't need to re write that in all ten frames, because that never changes, but yet the person standing in the middle is turning right and left, so I have to re write that part." So it just says, "Go back to frame one, go back to frame one, go back to frame one and read this information, then add this." So it’s not really something's actually being, you know, really lost, it’s just saying, "Hey, go back and look at this address to fill in where the seagull was and the tree was and water, because they haven't moved. Only the main thing in the middle of the frame has moved."

Fisher: That's amazing.

Tom: Jpegs are a good example of the lossy files, because when you do jpegs, they're really good quality, but they're not huge files. For instance, when we scan people's photographs and slides, we choose ninety percent of the time to go with jpegs, because jpegs are what's best for most of the people. They don't need huge RAW files, which we'll get into later and some of these other files. So when they're putting them on a DVD, we can get several, you know, sometimes thousands of pictures on a DVD. If we were doing TIFFs, we wouldn’t be able to. We'd need one of those old quartz disks that we talked about now that’s 360 terabytes. So they're getting a good quality, but on a smaller format, so they can email them to friends and do things like this. For an example, when we're doing slides, we do jpegs, but we give them two files. We give them what's called a fat file and a thin file. The fat file has all the information, more than what they'll probably need. But if something's wrong with the thin file, they can always go back to the jpeg and say, or the fat file and say, "Okay, let me re crop this myself. Let me do this myself." versus a thin file, which is cropped by the computer. It goes in and says, "Okay, this looks like the edge of the slide, let me crop it here. This looks like the end of this slide, let me crop it here." which works 99% of the time, but once in a while, you may get somebody that has a real dark area on one of the sides of the slide.

Fisher: Yes.

Tom: Like somebody leaning on a black fence. And it’s just such high contrast you don't see the black fence. So the computer thinks, "Oh." and it takes the black fence all the way up to their elbow, when you know there's really supposed to be something there. And so, if you want, you can go back to the fat file and re edit it yourself and not rely on the computer.

Fisher: All right, let's talk a little bit about PDF files now, Tom. They're the most universal. They're free, they're easy to use and access. For people who might be new to this or uncomfortable with it, when's the best time to use a PDF?

Tom: A PDF is an awesome file. It’s a file format generally used to do documents, you know, and it’s totally independent of any applications, software, operation systems. It doesn’t matter whether you’re on a UNIX system, on a Mac, just about anything at all that you can use this format, because everything that you need is contained right in the PDF. The way to run it, all the information to open it, do anything you want with a PDF, it’s right there and there's no cost to it, that's what's really, really nice. So it’s universal, as you mentioned, you can send them to anybody, they can read them. You can put them on, you know, your Android tablet and people can read them. In fact, when Marlo was in here a few shows back, he talked about how he has been able to take PDFs and embed audio and video in them. It’s a growing format and a lot of more people are using them. Like when we have somebody bring in a journal, it might be thousands of pages. They don't want a thousand jpegs. They would rather have one PDF. So we scan the entire document for them and give it to them as one PDF, so there's one file to move, there's one file to email, there's one file to put in Dropbox instead of a thousand jpegs.

Fisher: This is good advice. Very helpful for very common projects and things we might be involved with whether it’s the written word or photographs of slides or whatever. And coming up next, Tom, we're going to talk about the big files, TIFF, the RAW stuff and when you use that! It’s all coming up next on Extreme Genes, Family History Radio ExtremeGenes.com.

Segment 5 Episode 23

Host: Scott Fisher with guest Tom Perry

Fisher: Welcome back, Extreme Genes, Family History Radio and ExtremeGenes.com. It is Fisher here, your Radio Roots Sleuth with our Preservation Authority Tom Perry from TMCPlace.com. And we've been giving you a little background on various formats that you can use when you're considering how you're going to preserve an old photo or slide or films or the written word. We talked about jpegs and PDFs last segment. And Tom, we're going big this time now. We're going to talk about TIFFs, RAW files and super jpegs!

Tom: Exactly.

Fisher: They sound monstrous! So what are the differences between these and how do we use them?

Tom: Okay, for instance, a little bit on jpegs. Most people understand what jpegs are. That's how most scanners scan things is jpegs, but there's also a super jpegs. When we have people bring in photos to us, we use a super jpeg, because it gives them more detail, more things they can go in and edit it. If they want to make a large banner, a poster or something like that.

Fisher: So it’s more detailed then.

Tom: Exactly.

Fisher: Okay.

Tom: But they are also what we called in the first segment, a lossy file. So there are some things, they're lost, but they're not really lost. Its stuff you don't really need, you know, so they're pulled out. When you go and extract and look at them, they look fine, unless you go through multiple generations, which we were talking off the air about and we've talked in segments before about how people say, "Oh, no, no, don't do jpegs! They're going to, down the generations, they're going to disappear and go away on you." You know, that's.

Fisher: And we figured at what, that they were like, you'd have to get to maybe the 100th generation before you could actually see some of the deterioration in the jpeg.

Tom: Right. As long as you don't compress, decompress, compress, decompress, you're fine to use jpegs. That's what ninety percent of our customers, that's all they need. And it’s stupid for them to go to the big RAW files or the TIFF files or some of these other files, that the jpegs or the super jpegs are just fine for them, you know, especially in digital photography, because you're thinking it’s about a 10-1 compression ratio, so it’s not really that bad. You just have to kind of be careful between masters and duplicates. When we do masters and duplicates, we do true duplicates. The duplicate in essence is really a master it’s just on a different disk. Whereas, people copying things at home, a copy is different, whether you're using Mac OS or if you're using a PC OS or whatever, there's different stuff that's inherent in the program that's also going to get transferred to the disk. When we do a duplicate, it’s just the zeros and ones exactly the same for the master. So if you can go back to your master, you want to go to your master. We even have situations where people bring us in a master that's not very good, and just by putting it on a better quality disk, it improves the master. By going to like Taiyo Yuden disk which is available online. And a lot of the things we're talking about will be available on our website, plus you can go to Wikipedia and read a lot of stuff about it.

Fisher: All right, let's talk about RAW files. When would you ever use those?

Tom: Okay, if you have a picture from the 1800s that has holes in it or its torn or there's pieces missing, that would be a good time to shoot it with your Nikon or your Canon as a RAW file, because it’s totally unencrypted.

Fisher: Right.

Tom: So basically you decide in either Darkroom or in Photoshop to go and say, "This is the contrast I want. This is the color I want. This is how big I want the file." so then you can go in and replace the missing pieces, just like on that old photo that you had where you took some things that were missing off, I believe it was a watch.

Fisher: Right.

Tom: And you went and copied and put some pieces in knowing, "I know this is his chin. I know this is this."

Fisher: Yeah, it was very easy, because the lines of the side of his face, you could see where it went. You just fill in the line. You could see where the shadow went. And at the end of the day, I wound up with a beautiful picture that you wouldn’t have known had been so badly damaged previously.

Tom: Oh absolutely. We had somebody not very long ago that brought in a picture to us that was going to be used in the obituary of their mother, but she was actually at the son's wedding and he was kind of in the picture, too, but they didn't want him in the obituary. So we took the picture, we totally edited him out, rebuilt her shoulder, and you could never tell that was ever done, but we started off with a big RAW file to do that.

Fisher: All right. He's Tom Perry from TMCPlace.com, our Preservation Authority on the show. Thanks again, Tom. We'll see you again next week.

Tom: Thank you.

Fisher: Next week on the show, the New York Times Best Selling author, Richard Paul Evans is going to join us in the studio, the author of, The Christmas Box. He's going to talk about how family history has influenced his writing and his life, so we're really looking forward to that. We will see you then. And remember, as far as everyone knows, we're a nice, normal family!

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