Episode 250 - Ancestor “Changes” Race To Educate Kids / Tom Perry On Deadlines For Digitizing Before The HolidaysSep 09, 2018
Host Scott Fisher opens the show with Brooke Ganz, Founder and President of “Reclaim the Records,” who fills in for David Allen Lambert this week. Family Histoire News begins with the story of a baby who was abandoned in a phone booth in 1954. He’s all grown up now and recently took a DNA test. You’ll want to hear where it led him. Then, Brooke talks about the amazing “lost city” found beneath the fields of Kansas. It may have been one of the largest cities in ancient America. Catch some of the details. Then, an Italian woman is making up for a lot of lost time at a reunion of descendants of Leo Tolstoy in Russia! Find out about her connection and what she is learning about her family. Brooke then talks about an important new record set that may help you in your research that has been made available to the public for free through the efforts of Reclaim the Records.
Next, Fisher talks with Barbara Clements of Lombard, Illinois. Barbara had a longstanding family legend about her Native American ancestry. She recently learned how that story came down through the family and the “why” will amaze you!
Then, Dr. Andrew Millard, a Durham University professor visits with Fisher about the mass grave found on their campus in England in a few years ago and the remarkable research journey it took him on, along with several colleagues. It involves the English Civil War, captive Scottish soldiers, and many that came to New England… perhaps one of your ancestors.
Finally, Tom Perry is gearing up for the holidays. Yes, it’s that time again! He will share with you deadlines you will need to be concerned about if you are planning on sharing digitized family history material with your family in December. These are dates typical of digitizers like Tom across the country.
That’s all this week on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show!
Transcript of Episode 250
Host: Scott Fisher with guest Brooke Ganz
Segment 1 Episode 250
Fisher: Hello Genies, and welcome to another edition of Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show and ExtremeGenes.com. I am Fisher 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 Legacy Tree Genealogists. Great to be back from the Federation of Genealogical Societies Conference in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Had a lot of fun there. I was the keynote speaker on the first day of the conference on Wednesday, and met so many great genies there. It was a lot of fun. In fact, one of the people that I met at the conference is Barbara Clements, and she had an amazing story of discovery and she’s going to share it with you a little bit later on in the show. Then, we’re going to talk to a professor named Andrew Millard. He’s from a university in England where they discovered a mass grave when building a new building there. Well, he got involved and learned the incredible story behind these individuals who were buried there, and their ties to the United States. You’re going to want to hear that. Hey, don’t forget to sign up for our “Weekly Genie Newsletter” by the way. You can do that at ExtremeGenes.com or on our Facebook page and you can get all kinds of story links there, blogs from me, and links to past and present shows. It cost you nothing so we hope you’ll come and join us and be part of our group. But right now, in the absence of David Allen Lambert who has decided he’d much rather be in Disneyworld this week than on the show, we have a special guest host to help with our Family Histoire News. Filling in for David is the Founder, the President, the Troublemaker in Chief of Reclaim The Records, it’s Brooke Ganz. Hey Brooke, how are you?
Brooke: [Laughs] I’m great. How are you doing Fisher?
Fisher: Terrific! Now, if you’re not familiar with Reclaim The Records, she’s out there championing the recovery of records that government entities are holding back from us so that we can actually trace down our ancestors. They are supposed to be public records, a lot of them, don’t want us to get them, and Brooke and her organization go nuts, even suing some entities in some cases to make sure we can get access to those records. All right, it is time for our Family Histoire News, Brooke, and where do we want to start this week?
Brooke: Well, I was really interested in a story I read about a baby who was found who was found abandoned in the phone booth 64 years ago. Obviously, he’s now grown up and he, at the request of his daughter, started looking into his family history to see if there was any way he could figure out the puzzle of where he came from and how he wound up abandoned in that phone booth all those years ago. At his daughter’s request he took an Ancestry DNA Test as many adoptees do these days and he was very lucky he found a first cousin match who was able to help him figure out who his mother was. And his mother is still alive.
Fisher: That is crazy!
Brooke: And they’re getting reunited.
Fisher: Yes, she’s like 85 years old.
Fisher: They’re getting together pretty soon, aren’t they?
Brooke: They are. They’re planning to get together. His mother, it appears, she has some memory issues, but she’s starting to remember some of the details, and it sounds like she was a relatively young mom. She was not yet married to his father and his biological father was pushing her saying, “I will only stay with you if we don’t keep this child,” unfortunately. And they abandoned the child, but then the father turned around and abandoned his mother.
Fisher: Wow! You know, the DNA stories, they never end. And you think many of them are all kind of similar, but then you get some of the stories like this. I mean, found in a phone booth in 1954, and now he’s actually meeting his birth mother. Incredible! All right, what else do you have Brooke?
Brooke: Well, one of the other stories I noticed this week was about archaeologists who were exploring a field in Kansas, a sort of a suburban rural area, plenty of houses, developments. And they’re realizing the land was built on what was a lost city. A city that was probably the second largest urban area in North America prior to the arrival of settlers. It is a large city that probably had something like twenty thousand people living in this area for hundreds of years and that was known from some writings by Spanish conquistadors that was not really marked on maps, was not really mentioned that much in history books and it is only now that archaeologists are digging up land and realizing that this was a very large settlement right here in, I believe, it’s Southern Kansas.
Fisher: Isn’t that incredible? A lost city right there and they’re digging it up.
Fisher: I guess it’s turning into quite the tourist trap as they move forward with it, but it will be interesting to see what they learn about it very early, very large Native American population right there.
Brooke: Well, one of the other stories I was noticing actually comes from The Moscow Times, and this is, believe it or not, a story about a family reunion, but a very interesting family reunion. It is the annual meeting for the descendants of Tolstoy the writer. And he has a family estate in Russia, and more than a hundred people from all over the world come to this traditional gathering to get all family together. But, what was interesting about this year’s annual family reunion for Tolstoy’s descendants is that one woman who arrived, it was her first time joining the group, she actually is Italian. She grew up in Italy. She’s very attached to her Italian heritage, but she has this connection to the Tolstoy family. And it was very interesting for her as she talks about in this article, to go back and unite with the other parts of her family. One of the things she did was that she was able to find a suitcase of letters addressed to her mother from years ago that was hidden away because her family had some internal struggles and Tolstoy didn’t approve of some of the branches of her family which is why they were cut off for so long. And she was also able to find one of her ancestor’s diaries from covering the events when she was a teenager between 1917 and 1921. And it was just fascinating to look at that time period and what it was like. So, it’s very interesting to read other people’s family history stories especially when they’re from such illustrious parentage.
Fisher: Isn’t that amazing? I mean, you’d think she’s in Italy now. She certainly identifies as Italian and yet you couldn’t be much more Russian than Leo Tolstoy. [Laughs] And now she’s digging into the history and connecting with all these other relatives. That’s what family history is about. Amazing stuff.
Brooke: Yes, I’ve been united with all the other parts, which is great.
Fisher: And before we go Brooke, you’ve got to fill us in. What are some of the latest things that you’re targeting now through Reclaim The Records?
Brooke: Oh, Reclaim The Records is always busy looking for new genealogical and archival records that were not made available to the public even though they belong to us. They were created with tax money, but some of them have been locked away in various archives. And what we do is we work to get copies of them to put online for free use. One of the things we’ve been working on lately is New Jersey’s Death Index which is the index, just a list, to everybody who died in the State of New Jersey in the 20th century and we have a website to make it easy for people to look people up. It is NewJerseyDeathIndex.com.
Fisher: She’s Brooke Ganz. She’s the Founder, President and Troublemaker in Chief at Reclaim The Records, and now you know why.
Fisher: She’s awfully nice for someone who causes so much trouble. Hey Brooke, thanks so much for filling in for David this week. You did a great job. I think you have a future in radio.
Brooke: Thanks so much. This was fun. Thanks for inviting me.
Fisher: [Laughs] All right, and coming up next, we talk to a woman from Illinois who had always been told that she had a certain lineage. Didn’t quite turn out that way. You’ll be interested too in how she found out about it. That’s coming up next in 3 minutes on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show.
Segment 2 Episode 250
Host: Scott Fisher with guest Barbara Clement
Fisher: And we are back. It’s America’s Family History Show Extreme Genes and ExtremeGenes.com. It is Fisher here your Radio Roots Sleuth and this segment is brought to you by FamilySearch.org. And as you may know, I was recently at the Federation of Genealogical Societies conference in Fort Wayne, Indiana as a keynote speaker. And while I was there, I met a lovely lady named Barbara Clements from Lombard, Illinois who had a great story for us and I thought we’d get into that today because it’s pretty unique. Hi Barbara! Welcome to Extreme Genes. It was great meeting you at FGS.
Barbara: It was exciting to be there. What a great event.
Fisher: Yeah it really was and there was a lot to learn and a lot of stories being exchanged, and the amazing thing I think is often the tale of discovery itself is often even more incredible than the story we find, you know? And you certainly had a story kind of like that. Take us through your background a little bit.
Barbara: So, I’m the story-keeper in my family. My mom, my grandma, we’re always telling stories and one of the stories that both of them told me was that our ancestor John Drew was a Native American. My mom concluded that was true because she smoked corn cob pipe.
Fisher: Oh wait a minute, so this of the corn cob pipe, this was the symbol of Native Americanism, right?
Barbara: I guess so.
Barbara: To people in Kentucky. [Laughs]
Fisher: To people in Kentucky, all right.
Barbara: So, the Kentucky Historical Society, which is in Frankfort, amazing place if you want to do Kentucky research is in Frankfort. They host every summer an event called The Town Hall Meeting and they have a contest. So, last November I entered this contest and I said I wanted to know about my ancestor John Drew to find out if he was Native American, which was the family story, or which tribe, you know, there was this speculation.
Barbara: And kind of to find his story because we had heard that he was a minister and Eastern Kentucky is a rough place. It’s the Appalachian Mountains so lots of hills for people to hide in. Was he hiding there because he was a Native American, or what was his story? So, the Kentucky Historical Society asked me for my Gedcom file, my DNA, and in May I found out that I had won and that I was going to be on a TV program that they were sponsoring that was going to be on PBS in Kentucky about Kentucky ancestors.
Barbara: So, I was so excited and we went down to their big historical museum and they’d set up this art gallery to be like a TV studio. And ironically it was filled with photos with unknown black people throughout Kentucky, which was kind of cool to be there. And it was just like Henry Gates - Finding Your Roots programs. They had a moderator and they had a big reveal, and they had cards that I looked at. And then they had these little short clips the librarians had done on locations outside throughout Kentucky like the Berea College, so it was very exciting and I learned about John Drew my ancestor. It was the big reveal. I had no idea what they were going to say. I mean, I sat down and there were these 15 by 15 inch cards with a white one on top and that said “don’t peek.” [Laughs]
Fisher: Don’t peek. [Laughs]
Barbara: Don’t peek [Laughs] and I had invited other descendents of John Drew. I invited them and another John Drew descendant and we had like fifteen of John Drew’s descendants sitting in the front row, which was very cool. They drove in from Indiana and they had come to be there to learn about our mutual ancestor. So it was quite exciting. So, she started to tell me a little bit about John Drew.
Fisher: Now was this a research team then that was on it?
Barbara: They had four research librarians from the Kentucky Historical Society do all the research and at the end of it they gave me like a two-inch binder with all the documents and a hard drive with more documents that were too big to print off. So it was kind of cool.
Barbara: And they told me after, they kept coming after the program and saying, “We loved this guy. He was so cool. And he was such a great man.” They were grateful to me for sharing his story.
Fisher: Now what years did he live?
Barbara: So, he was born in 1832 in North Carolina, which at that time could have been in Kentucky as you know boundaries changed.
Barbara: But he starts showing up about 1840 in Eastern Kentucky, which is kind of the migration path for many people out of Virginia and North Carolina.
Barbara: And in the first census where his name is actually shown, he shows up as being Mulatto. And Mulatto is a term for being half black, half white. He shows up as Mulatto from 1850 to 1870 in all the censuses.
Fisher: Now was he a free black?
Barbara: He was a free black, but he was a farmer, but he was also a minister. So there’s this church organization called the American Missionary Association, it’s huge in the South, which was dedicated to helping educate black and Indian children. That was their goal, to have education for everybody, for all children. That was the future. And he, John Drew, was really well educated. They actually gave me letters that he had written, which was super cool to pick up the same letters and say, “Oh, he wrote these letters!”
Barbara: I mean, letters he wrote about his work in the church and his work to teach, his work to build schools.
Fisher: And they had these originals in the archives?
Barbara: They had found the originals through the American Missionary Association and they had some of them in the archives.
Barbara: It was unbelievable. I was like, wow! And then they had clips from various books because John Drew was an Abolitionist so he fought against slavery. And to do that in Kentucky during the Civil War was a very dangerous thing.
Fisher: Right. Risky.
Barbara: Very risky. He really fought against slavery and many of these abolitionists were taken out and they were shaved and tarred for preaching against slavery, so a very violent time in our history. And then he and his wife were considered to be, they showed me several clips from books, that they were radical. And I thought that was kind of funny because I was considered a hippie, you know? [Laughs]
Barbara: And I thought, “My ancestor was a radical too!” [Laughs]
Fisher: Yeah. [Laughs] Well now, when you use the term radical, it is because they were anti slavery?
Barbara: Because they were anti slavery.
Barbara: And to be anti slavery before entering the Civil War in Kentucky was a pretty dangerous thing to be.
Barbara: So, he was in the drafted in the Civil War. He was with the Union but he never served. He became a minister. And he was sent over to Camp Nelson which all the colored troops were sent to Camp Nelson South of Lexington to be trained, and John Drew was sent over there to be their minister.
Fisher: Now, they weren’t former slaves at that point, they were slaves at that point, were they not?
Barbara: They were slaves or they were freed or they were runaway. But Camp Nelson was quite a moving experience to see this huge camp that was set up. And John Drew would be their minister, and at night he would set up tent and bring them in to teach them how to read and write their name.
Barbara: When you think about that. That was his goal. To teach them so that they could write their name and they could sign documents. So, quite a story.
Fisher: And which state was this in now? He was with the Union side?
Barbara: Yes he was with the Union. Kentucky was spilt. The majority was with the Union and the Union had a huge camp South of Lexington, Kentucky where they trained all their soldiers. And ironically I had two other great grandfathers who went through Camp Nelson, so that was kind of cool.
Fisher: Amazing. But it got passed down now. Where did this Native American tradition come from in your family?
Barbara: So, after the war in 1874 there was a law passed that mandated segregation of schools. That the black children could not be educated with white children and that became the law. And John Drew having fourteen children was a little distressed over this so he gathered his large family together, this is what the librarians at the Kentucky Historical Society kind of presumed happened, and he said, “I want you educated. From this point forward we are all going to be Indian. And I’m an Indian, and you’re an Indian, and you’re and Indian. And if anybody asks you, on every document you are now an Indian.”
Fisher: Did that show up in census records through the years?
Barbara: It certainly did. Because in 1880 John Drew is no longer a Mulatto, he’s an Indian.
Fisher: Okay. [Laughs]
Barbara: And all of his children are half Indian. And from that point on they are Indian. And they carry this story with them, and their children and grandchildren all carry the story that we’re Indian. We’re not black, we’re Indian.
Fisher: And so was passed on down the line. And this was because of the fact that his kids weren’t going to be educated?
Barbara: The thing was his kids were not going to be educated unless he made the Indian. And that was so cool because he was such an educated man and he I guess saw the writing on the wall that he himself would at this point on take advantage of having his kids educated.
Fisher: And he is your second great?
Barbara: He is my grandfather’s grandfather, so I guess he is my second great?
Fisher: Yeah, second great grandfather. One sixteenth.
Fisher: Fascinating. So, was this a common thing then amongst blacks in this area at the time to get an education to say no I’m not going to be black, I’m going to be Native American?
Barbara: You know, I don’t know another’s story, but I know this is what he did. This is a very hilly region of Kentucky and the blacks and Native Americans they lived together in harmony.
Fisher: Um hmm.
Barbara: They kind of said this is a rough we have here and we’re going to be harmonious and live together. And our feeling is, with other descendents who I’ve met, that they did co-exist with the Native Americans on a great level.
Fisher: Sure. And probably had children with each other, right?
Barbara: I think they did. They certainly were educating the kids together.
Barbara: They were certainly focused on bringing their kids together to be educated and building schools. John Drew built the largest school in Eastern Kentucky at that time, which is ironic because then the state comes in and said, “Oh but your kids can’t go there. But thanks for building it.”
Barbara: So that’s why he said well, my kids and Indian actually so. The Kentucky Historical Society did a fabulous job of researching his life and his story and how brave he was. I mean, seeing his bravery to stand up against slavery, seeing his bravery to stand up so all children can be educated and blacks can be educated, was quite an amazing event, and learning about his life, that life was hard during the Civil War.
Barbara: He’s just a really cool guy, so. [Laughs]
Fisher: You’re happy to have him on your tree. Well I don’t blame you. She’s Barbara Clements. She’s from Lombard, Illinois and we met at the FGS Conference in Fort Wayne, Indiana a couple of weeks ago and I heard this story and thought we got to share this with the world. So Barbara thanks for coming on and telling us all about this.
Barbara: Well, thanks for sharing the story of John Drew the courageous Abolitionist slavery fighting minister. [Laughs]
Fisher: You are so welcome. And coming up, we’ll talk a man in England, where some construction on his university campus led to a discovery that has led to many more discoveries, maybe even something concerning your ancestors, coming up next in five minutes on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show.
Segment 3 Episode 250
Host: Scott Fisher with guest Dr. Andrew Millard
Fisher: Hey, welcome back. It is America’s Family History Show Extreme Genes and ExtremeGenes.com. Fisher here, your Radio Roots Sleuth and this segment is brought to you by FamilySearch.org. You know, it wasn’t that long ago, just a few years ago, on the campus of Durham University, they were going to work to build a new part of campus and came upon something that has led to an amazing project that actually has implications for people interested in their family history not only in England and Scotland, but also in New England. And the guy who got into this whole thing is on the line with me right now from Durham University in Durham, England, Dr. Andrew Millard. He is an Archaeological Science Specialist there. How are you Dr. Millard? Welcome to Extreme Genes!
Dr. Millard: Hi Scott, nice to be on.
Fisher: So, what were you guys building there at Durham University that led to all this?
Dr. Millard: So, we were adding a cafe to the library which is right in the heart of the historic town of Durham.
Fisher: Okay, and in the process of this your guys found something a little unexpected.
Dr. Millard: Yeah, the builders turned up human skeletons which turned out to be a mass grave. So, the archaeologists were called in and we’ve spent the last few years looking at the remains and analyzing them.
Fisher: And what did you discover about them? When did they date from? Who were they?
Dr. Millard: We discovered that this is a group of Scottish soldiers who were imprisoned in Durham in 1650, after the battle of Dunbar in Scotland.
Fisher: Okay, so this is your Civil War, towards the back end of it, right?
Dr. Millard: Yeah. So, the English parliament had captured King Charles I and executed him in 1649, and they decided they would have a republic in England. The Scots objected to the English having captured and executed Charles because he was their king as well, and they decided to support his son Charles the II as king.
Fisher: And so what happened to these soldiers?
Dr. Millard: So, it was clear that the Scots were going to invade England, so the English pre-empted it and invaded Scotland and they ended up having a battle on the 3rd of September 1650, just outside the town of Dunbar on the East Coast, which turned out to be a complete route for the Scots. So, the battle started about 5:30 am, and by 6:30 the English had defeated the Scots and captured ten thousand men.
Fisher: Wow, and so these were people who were part of that battle?
Dr. Millard: Yeah.
Fisher: So, what more did you learn about them? This is a pretty significant find right there on your campus.
Dr. Millard: Yeah, we knew that three thousand of these captured men had been imprisoned in Durham in 1650, and only 1600 of them had died but nobody knew where they were buried.
Fisher: And now you found them right there on campus. That’s crazy. [Laughs]
Dr. Millard: Yes. [Laughs]
Fisher: So, what did you do? You started researching these individuals and you’ve come up with this great book called, “Lost Lives, New Voices.” Who were the lost lives?
Dr. Millard: So, the lost lives are thee 1600 men who died in Durham and the 28 that were excavated that we were able to study, and the new voices are the 150 who survived the imprisonment and they were deported to Boston in Massachusetts as indentured servants.
Fisher: And so now you’ve got a story that goes to Scotland, to Durham, it covers the English Civil War, and to New England here.
Dr. Millard: Yes.
Fisher: That’s crazy. So, what did you learn? Did you start researching these people?
Dr. Millard: Yeah, so we started researching the people in New England and it turns out we know which ship they went on. We know that they departed London on the 11th of November and they were in Boston before the end of December but there’s no passenger list surviving which makes it really difficult to start tracing them.
Fisher: And so you actually went to Boston to research some of these guys, and did you have any luck?
Dr. Millard: Well, we went to Boston after we had researched them, remotely actually, but 63 of the men were taken on by the Iron Works at Saugus, which is just north of Boston.
Fisher: Um hmm.
Dr. Millard: It was one of the first Iron Works in the New World. In 1653 and 1654 that got into financial troubles which led to a whole series of court cases, and you know what court cases are good for?
Fisher: Yeah, lots of good records.
Dr. Millard: Yeah, so from those court records we have some lists of names of some of the men and some testimonies from them about their daily life working in the Iron Works.
Fisher: No kidding. So, you’ve got this testimony, you’ve got the names, and have you started to put together, did they have families?
Dr. Millard: Yeah, so most of them served seven year indentures and after that they were free to marry and to get land and become citizens. So, quite a few of them had families and there are thousands and thousands of Americans descended from them today.
Fisher: That is crazy. So, is this new material that you’ve discovered for people who might descend from them in New England?
Dr. Millard: Yes. We’ve been able to put together a list of men who were certainly prisoners and possibly prisoners and to start putting together biographies for some of them.
Fisher: And what did you learn about some of these guys and what their lives were like after they came over here?
Dr. Millard: Well, some of them ended up right out on the frontier. There’s a chap called Micum McIntire who’s quite interesting. He gets alloted the frontier lot, so he’s in what is now York, Maine but he’s lot is the last one, beyond that is just forest, Native Americans and then eventually the French in Canada. He had children and right towards the end of his life or maybe just after he died, his son built a house which is called the McIntire Garrison which is the oldest standing building in Maine today.
Fisher: Oh, is that right? Okay, so there are a lot of people who are aware then of the family but they might not know the actual source of where he came from?
Dr. Millard: Um, well actually we don’t know where he came from in Scotland, just that he came from Scotland.
Fisher: Just that he came from Scotland, and that he was one of these people who were sent over and then indentured. But, what was that part of the public record up to this point till your book?
Dr. Millard: Yeah, so it was known that he was one of these soldiers who were sent over. And then there were others and so he had a neighbor called James Warren, and if you go to the right part of the Longwoods in Maine you can see the site where his house was, which he went out and saw in the woods. He got into quite a bit of trouble because these Scots didn’t really fit into the Puritan New England lifestyle.
Fisher: [Laughs] I don’t think a lot of the Puritans fit into the Puritan lifestyle. [Laughs]
Dr. Millard: [Laughs] So, he keeps on being in trouble. He was told off using profane language, and being insolent to the militia captain. And then in 1689, a raid by the Native Americans, one of his daughters was captured, taken and sold to the French in Quebec.
Fisher: Oh boy, so was it still quite the adventure? Imagine that, leaving Scotland, going into battle, getting captured, then sent across the ocean to live with the Puritans, ending up out there in the wilderness and having your child taken captive by the Natives. I mean, that’s a movie.
Dr. Millard: Yeah.
Fisher: And so, have you had some contact now with many of the descendants of these people as you’ve worked on this amazing study.
Dr. Millard: Yeah, so there’s a whole Scottish Prisoners of War Society and they have a website ScottishPrisonersofWar.com with lots of information about the men, their lives and what is known about their descendants.
Fisher: Really? So, we’re talking now like 375 years or something like that, or close to it?
Dr. Millard: Yeah.
Fisher: So, how much new material is in there that was not previously known as far as the genealogy goes?
Dr. Millard: I don’t know there’s very much about the genealogy. There’s a lot about the biography of these men which is new, and going to gather the information from the court records about their various involvements with the law there.
Fisher: I mean, a lot of that material of course means that you apply it to one, it applies to many, right?
Dr. Millard: Yeah, so when you start writing a sort of connective history of them, see how they worked together, if they stick together, these Scots. They must have been sold into seven year indentures about the beginning of January 1651.
Fisher: So, they were fairly young men though at that point of course, obviously they were soldiers.
Dr. Millard: They must have been young men.
Fisher: Yeah. Yeah, yeah.
Dr. Millard: But exactly seven years later, or seven years and a week later and they’re free, they set up something called the Scots’ Charitable Society which is still based in Boston. They claim to be the oldest charitable society in western hemisphere.
Fisher: Oh, that’s crazy. [Laughs] I had no idea.
Dr. Millard: [Laughs]
Fisher: Well, the book is Lost Lives, New Voices. It’s by Dr. Andrew Millard, and I guess you’ve got several others who wrote this book with you if you want to give them a quote.
Dr. Millard: Yeah, four of my colleagues.
Fisher: Yeah, and all of them at Durham University.
Dr. Millard: Yes, we’re all at Durham University.
Fisher: And you can get the book on Amazon.com, yes?
Dr: Millard: Yes, like every other book. [Laughs]
Fisher: There you go. Exactly. [Laughs] Best place for it. That’s why it’s almost a trillion dollar company, right?
Dr. Millard: Yeah.
Fisher: All right, thanks so much. Really interesting stuff, and look forward to pouring through it.
Dr. Millard: Yes.
Fisher: All right, and coming up next, I mean, I’m just thinking about this whole thing. How convenient that a professor would have a mass grave found right on the university campus that spreads throughout the world. Unbelievable. All right, coming up next, we’re going to talk to Tom Perry. As you know he’s our Preservation Authority, and you’re not going to believe this, but we’re actually getting down to deadline time if you’re wanting family history preservation gifts for this year’s holidays. It’s on the way in three minutes on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show.
Segment 4 Episode 250
Host: Scott Fisher with guest Tom Perry
Fisher: Hey, we're back! And it is time to talk preservation on Extreme Genes, America's Family History Show. Fisher here, your Radio Roots Sleuth with Tom Perry from TMCPlace.com, he is our Preservation Authority. And Tom, that time of year is here once again. I mean, the leaves haven't really begun to change colors yet, maybe in some mountainous areas we're seeing some of that. But the kids are back in school and we're what, just 90, 100 days away from the holidays. And I know that people in your industry need to have enough lead time to get digitizing done in time for the holidays, and I thought maybe we'd go through some of those deadlines today.
Tom: Yeah, that's a really good topic, because we have our own deadlines. But there's people across the country that different deadlines based on what kind of equipment they have. Like a lot of people out there send us their stuff to actually do their transfers, and so they have to have time to take it, prepare it, send it to us and I'll send it back to them. So what you need to do is, if you have all your stuff, don't wait till you're ready to take it in. Call your local place and, you know, ask them the right questions, find out what their deadlines are for things. So we're going to give you some general deadlines what most people are going to be dealing with.
Fisher: All right, I realize every year it’s about the time we get to Halloween, you're saying, "Oh, too late!" for something.
Fisher: And it’s always, its like, "Wait a minute! It’s just Halloween!" I mean, we've got almost two months to the holidays, but let’s go through what are the things you need by Halloween to make sure that people get these things digitized in time for the holidays.
Tom: One thing that's really important you're speaking of the time that it takes to do it. We don't have a lot of equipment of floppy disks. And you think, "Well, floppy disks!? Who's got floppy disks?"
Tom: A lot of people have floppy disks. Not so much for computer programs, but mostly a lot of times people had their photos back in the day put on those 3x5 card floppy disks. And people have jpegs and different things on those and they have no way to retrieve them. So you send those to us, they take time to do, because we have to make a new data disk for you. So things like that you want to get in early. Get them in by Halloween. If you have odd size formats, like you have those old disk cameras where you've got one piece of film back that's a big, round saucer type thing.
Tom: Those things you need by that time. 110 film, pretty much any of the odd size films.
Fisher: That film with the circle and all the pictures around it that was the worst stuff! I mean, what were they thinking in the '70s between the photo albums and those formats and the 110 and the disk cameras? Somebody was just out of their minds.
Tom: Exactly. The biggest reason for the sticky photo albums, they were just ignorant.
Tom: They weren't looking at the future. They were looking for a day fix. And with the film, what happened is, you've got to remember, economy around the world was pretty bad at that time. So film was very expensive to purchase. So what they did, they thought, "Oh, instead of 35mm, we can make something a little bit bigger that's one piece that you can put all your pictures on." And then do these little, teeny 110 negatives and say, "Hey, we can do these little, small cameras!" And all it was, was a marketing thing to save money on film. But the quality is really, really poor, and they're a pain to do, they really are.
Fisher: Oh, I can imagine! All right, what else is on your list for a Halloween deadline to get digitized in time for the holidays?
Tom: If you have a lot of U-Matic, and what that is, if you used to work for a TV station or even in high school, if you made some cool videos and there's a word size shape to it that's as big as a paperback and a little bit thicker, it’s like about an inch thick and probably about four inches to eight inches wide.
Tom: Those are U-Matic, and they'll usually have like a big U on it.
Fisher: This is all weird stuff, Tom. I mean, most people don't have this, do they. But you still get this.
Tom: Oh, absolutely.
Fisher: All right, what else is on the list?
Tom: Okay. Any kind of weird video formats that you might have that are international type that don't play in the US, I would suggest those. Because we can do them, but I don't want to say, "Hey, you know, we're okay to Thanksgiving." on something like that, and then we get buried because somebody brings us in, you know, these great, big, huge tubs filled with some odd stuff and we have to do their job. So we can be filled up in one day.
Fisher: Right. And then you've got Betamax, right, video8, Hi8, Digital 8, all those would be in this category too.
Tom: That is correct.
Fisher: All right, so we've covered Halloween and that deadline, but we've got another one from mid November, right, that's the next thing. So we'll talk about that when we return in three minutes on Extreme Genes, America's Family History Show.
Segment 5 Episode 250
Host: Scott Fisher with guest Tom Perry
Fisher: Welcome back! Fisher here on Extreme Genes, America's Family History Show and ExtremeGenes.com, talking to Tom Perry, he's our Preservation Authority, about the deadlines that are coming up, doesn't matter that we're still quite aways out from the holidays. But we just talked about what you need to get in to have digitized in time for the holidays, by Halloween! So what is that next deadline, Tom?
Tom: Okay, your next deadline is going to be the middle of November to the end of November. Middle of November you're going to want to get anything done like 60mm film, especially if its sound on film, because it takes longer to do. Any other strange film formats that you may have that are like hard cases, aren't on the normal reels. We have to like rewind for you. Any of your formats as far as miniDVs and things like that, I can tell you to wait clear of Thanksgiving. Some of these formats that are really popular, the biggest problem is the availability of equipment. And if equipment goes down, you have to fix it. Sometimes you can cannibalize part, but the parts are getting slimmer and slimmer to be able to even get. So you need to get this stuff done. And I'm just scared that five, ten years from now, a lot of these formats, we won't even be able to do just because there's no more equipment to fix.
Fisher: Right. And certainly your counter parts throughout the country are experiencing the same problems.
Tom: Oh, absolutely. A lot of us trade it back and forth, you know. We get something and they talk to us and say, "Hey, if you ever end up with a Panasonic XYZ video8, let me know, because I've got one that needs such and such. If you have one that goes down that has another part." We switch parts back and forth all the time, but one day, the supply's just going to dry up, because Sony stopped making the stuff like ten years ago.
Fisher: All right. So we've got then odd shaped film.
Tom: Any of that kind of stuff. If you have the 2 1/4 squares, any of those kinds. Some of them are even being shot today, but when we're scanning big negatives, you've got to realize, a big negative all by itself at a high dpi could take 30 minutes to scan. If you've got 100 of them, you know, that's a week's work.
Fisher: [Laughs] Wow, and expensive, too! So it’s a good thing to get that in though, early, to make sure you have it by the holidays.
Tom: Like 35mm slides, anything like that we'll probably be able to do right up through Thanksgiving without a problem. But like I say, once we've had Thanksgiving, all bets are off, so don't take a chance. And another thing you have to think about, if you're going to want to do some of this stuff yourself and get the equipment, you'd better start watching for it, because some of it is like hen's teeth, you just can't find it.
Fisher: So what happens after Thanksgiving? Can you bring stuff in? Is there anything you can still get digitized by the holidays by bringing it in after Thanksgiving?
Tom: There is. Mostly there's a lot of weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth, because people missed their deadlines. But photos we can usually do right up to about two weeks before the deadline. Unless people try to buy their own stuff and they can't and they bring us a ton of them because it’s first come first served. And I've had situations where the week before Christmas, we were all caught up and could do stuff two, three days before Christmas. But then last year, two weeks before Christmas, we were so backed up, we just didn't have the manpower and the equipment to do anymore. So photos is one of the things you can wait till last minute too if you have to. VHS we can do really, really fast if you want them to DVD, because a lot of people don't understand, if we do VHS to DVD, it’s very quick and easy to do. If you want a digital file also like on a thumb drive, then there's another process that's involved that's going to take more. So if you wait too long, you might not be able to get that digital file that you want. And then if you want to take some digital files and merge them together and do editing in like Wondershare or Final Cuts Pro or something like that, you're going to have to have all your segments put together. And if you want us to do it or one of your local production areas, you need to have everything done usually at least 60 days before you're going to need it. So that stuff you have to have done by Halloween at the absolute latest.
Fisher: All right. And miniDVs I would assume would be in this category as well for after Thanksgiving you'd be okay.
Tom: Correct. We can knock those out pretty quick.
Fisher: All right. Tom, that's it. And by the way, this is our 250th show today, which is unbelievable. And you have been on every single one of them since we started this show in 2013. So, Happy Anniversary buddy!
Tom: It has been awesome!
Fisher: And continues to be. Thanks so much. We'll talk to you next week.
Tom: My pleasure.
Fisher: Hey, and that wraps things up for this week. Thanks so much for joining us. Hope you enjoyed the guests. Amazing stories this week, but of course! Thanks once again to Barbara Clements and Dr. Andrew Millard from across the pond in England for their tales. And if you missed any of it, be sure to catch the podcast on ExtremeGenes.com, iTunes and iHeart Radio and many other outlets. We'll talk to you again next week. And remember, as far as everyone knows, we're a nice, normal family!