Episode 255 - How You Can Become A Search Angel / Photo Restoration Ideas

podcast episode Oct 14, 2018

Host Scott Fisher opens the show with David Allen Lambert, Chief Genealogist of the New England Historic Genealogical Society and AmericanAncestors.org.  David opens Family Histoire News with the story of a German roofer who discovered, on a rooftop, a message in a bottle. The message, it turned out, was written in 1930 and had twist that will make your jaw drop! Then the guys talk about a parade that took place in Philadelphia 100 years ago, in 1918, that resulted in the deaths of thousands of people. Listen to hear what happened and why. Next, the identity of a 19th century woman whose perfectly preserved remains were found during construction efforts at a former church yard have been identified. David will have more of her story. And finally, a 100 year old woman who has been dating her boyfriend, now 74, for 30 years is finally going to marry him! Find out exactly what changed! David’s Blogger Spotlight this week shines on Canadian Lianne Kruger at ifamilyhistory.blogspot.com. Lianne writes some great suggestions for interviewing people, using Minecraft to create pedigree charts and writing your life history.

Next, Fisher visits with McKell Keeney, continuing some of last week’s conversation about “Search Angels.” McKell, an Arizona woman, has been training others in how to help adoptees looking for their birth families, and she will point you in the right direction if you feel the desire to do the same.

Then, Fisher talks with Rick Voight, co-founder of Vivid-Pix. Rick’s been in the photo industry for decades and talks about better ways to preserve your photographs. Rick also is giving Extreme Genes listeners the opportunity to fix ten photographs using Vivid Pix’s RESTORE software for free!  (You won’t be disappointed!) Here’s where to go to try it:  Vivid-Pix.com/ExtremeGenes.

In the next segment, Fisher talks with Jerica and Joe, the sister/brother team, Team Black, on BYUtv’s Relative Race. Hear their take on the first three episodes of Season 4!

Preservation Authority Tom Perry from TMCPlace.com closes out the show talking about preserving and eventually restoring audio, video, and home movies that have been damaged in fire, mud, or flooding.  In these times of perilous weather, you’ll want to hear what he has to say.

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

Transcript of Episode 255

Host: Scott Fisher with guest David Allen Lambert

Segment 1 Episode 255

Fisher: Welcome to America’s Family History Show Extreme Genes and ExtremeGenes.com. It is Fisher here your Radio Roots Sleuth on the program where we shake your family tree and watch the nuts fall out. And this episode is brought to you by BYUtv’s Relative Race. Well, welcome back! It’s nice to have you genies. We’ve got some great guests coming up today. A little bit later on we’re going to continue the conversation we started last week talking about “Search Angels.” These are people who get somewhat skilled in the DNA are, and are helping adoptees find their birth families and help solve similar situations. So, we are going to talk to McKell Keeney today. She’s an Arizona woman who helps train Search Angels and give you a better idea about how you might be able to do the same on behalf of other people. Then later in the show we’re talking photographs with the co-founder of a great company called Vivid-Pix, Oh, their software is so easy and make such a difference when it comes to repairing your faded photographs and those that are damaged. You’re going to love it. We’re going to talk to Rick Voight about that. He’s got some great tips for you, by the way, on how to preserve your photos, especially in the changing seasons that we’ve got coming up. Then still later in the show, we’re going to talk to Team Black. It’s Jerica and Joe from Relative Race on BYUtv. Yes. It’s the 4th Season going on right now and another episode is coming up Sunday night 9 o’clock Eastern, 6 o’clock Pacific. You’re going to find out what Team Black is thinking about the first three episodes of the show so far. All right, it’s time to check in with Boston and talk to my good friend David Allen Lambert, the Chief Genealogist of the New England Historic Genealogical Society and AmericanAncestors.org. How’s it going David?

David: Hey, things in Beantown are looking good, especially for our Red Sox.

Fisher: Yes, they are, aren’t they? Think it’s going to be a fun season for the playoffs in MLB. Where do we start with our Family Histoire News today my friend?

David: Well, I’ve got a real quick one just so to let you know I had a consult today with my fifth cousin. Didn’t know he was my fifth cousin until after the consult, but our fourth great grandfather, in fact, founder of the Revolutionary War lives in the same town.

Fisher: No kidding!

David: First time we’ve seen each other in 200 years, I told him! First time we took a selfie!

Fisher: [Laughs] There you go.

David: My first story for Family Histoire News is in Göttingen, Germany where a roofer working on a 12th-century cathedral found a message in a bottle, not on a beach but in a roof. The ironic twist to this Fish is, it was a note left by his grandfather 88 years ago.

Fisher: Oh wow. [Laughs] I love this.

David: So, Peter Brandt got this note out of a bottle left by his 18-year old grandfather back in 1930. Willi Brandt talking about the despair after World War I in Germany and wrote, “We hope for better times soon to come.” Well, World War II would come soon, none of them were better times.

Fisher: Yeah, I don’t think so, but what an amazing thing. I mean, he had to look at this and go, “No, this can’t be.” [Laughs] But they’re both in the roofing business and he knew his grandfather and I guess they overlapped a little bit and eventually took over the family business that’s been going on for decades.

David: Great little time capsule.

Fisher: Yeah!

David: Our next story talks about the consequences of war and disease. World War I of course. Many of us have ancestors that were part of that and many of our ancestors had influenza. In Philadelphia, in September of 1918, a return victory parade may have caused thousands of deaths to follow up all the people who had influenza are there in congested parade routes which would eventually lead to over 4,000 deaths.

Fisher: Wow! In Philadelphia yeah.

David: In Philadelphia

Fisher: It is something you just don’t hear that much about, but the reality is it is just not good to get together when something like that is happening.

David: No, in fact, they say the influenza that hit Europe was brought over by our soldiers.

Fisher: Yeah.

David: That they went over there. That may have been part of the reasons the Germans were not so strong because they were anchored down with the influenza we gave them. My next story is fascinating. Back in 2011 a backhoe digging in Queens, New York struck iron. Well, they thought they hit a pipe or a rock. They actually hit a casket. In it was a perfectly preserved body of a 150-year old African American lady who they now believe they found. Martha Peterson who was 26 back in 1850 seems like the likely candidate after doing some genealogical research into the people living in the area at that time. Where she was buried used to be a church, and with forensic imaging Fish, they brought her face back to life.

Fisher: That’s incredible. And she was very well preserved from what I understand, but her body was actually destroyed to a great degree by the backhoe as they were going about this construction project.

David: I don’t think they were expecting to find anything like that.

Fisher: No.

David: And of course we talked about a small child that was found in California, I believe last year. And these iron caskets that are still around in cemeteries have these preserved bodies. Civil War soldiers were often in these as well.

Fisher: Right.

David: Well, that’s a fascinating story and our next one is about a living person from 100 years ago. This is Nora Wick of Southern England who after 30 years of living together with “her man,” 74-year old Malcolm Yates, they’ll be getting married. They met at a dance.

Fisher: Wait, wait, wait a minute. So, he was 44 and she was 70 and they’ve been together now for 30 years? That’s crazy! [Laughs]

David: And here she says, “Yeah well, life went by kind of quick and Malcolm never mentioned it and I wasn’t going to ask him to marry me.” Well, they’re getting married next month in England. So, I hope you have many years, if not many months together at 100 years old.

Fisher: [Laughs]

David: Well, I don’t think we’re going to have much progeny from this couple.

Fisher: No, I don’t think so!

David: My blogger spotlight this week shines on Lianne Kruger out in Alberta, Canada where her blog called ifamilyhistory.blogspot.com touches on interesting aspects of genealogy. How about interviewing your family? If your children are into Minecraft, how about a Minecraft pedigree chart with those figures on it? Well, that might get the kids interested in genealogy. I’ll be out in Salt Lake City for the British Institute. So, if you’re out there, I’d love to see you. That will be October 14th to 21st but two weeks later I’m going out again. Our 40th year of going out to NEHGS’s Salt Lake City Research Tour on November 4th to the 11th. If you’ve never gone out to Salt Lake, sometimes it can be intimidating, maybe American Ancestors staff including me, can help you contact their education department here at American Ancestors. Don’t forget, if you don’t have a membership at American Ancestors, you can save $20 using the coupon code “Extreme” on AmericanAncestors.org. Well, that’s all I have from Beantown this week Fish. We’ll be out at Roots Tech soon.

Fisher: That’s right, we’re getting down to it. All right, thanks David, great talking to you. And coming up next we are going to talk to a lady who is training “Search Angels.” These are people who have a real good grasp on DNA and genealogy and they’re helping people such as adoptees find their birth families. McKell Keeney talks about what she’s doing, coming up next in three minutes on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show.  

Segment 2 Episode 255

Host: Scott Fisher with guest McKell Keeney

Fisher: Welcome back to America’s Family History Show. It’s Extreme Genes and ExtremeGenes.com. I am Fisher your Radio Roots Sleuth. And you may recall recently we talked to Alyson Gunner Johnson out of the Tempe, Arizona area (Chandler), and she was talking about how she became a Search Angel after she got a little benefit from other people’s knowledge, and located her own birth family. And that Search Angel that mentored her is on the line with me right now. She’s McKell Keeney from the Tempe area. Nice to have you on the show McKell!

McKell: It is great to be on the show.

Fisher: You know, I just thought this was a really interesting place to go because with so many more tests being done on DNA, and I check every day to see if there are new matches that come in, and they just don’t slow down. And this means there’s more opportunity for people to break through whether it’s for genealogy, or finding a birth family, or solving a crime, whatever it might be, there is really need for people to understand what’s going on in the DNA world. And McKell, I guess you have been at this for some time because you are now mentoring people in this direction. Tell us a little about your background.

McKell: Yes. I have been a traditional genealogist for most of my life, since I was a teenager. And I have a younger brother who was adopted. And so when he took his DNA test a couple of years ago, about two and a half years ago, that is when I learned how to build family trees from scratch for adoptees and found these are people searching for misattributed parentage. And it’s just an exciting time to give in to that. It’s a batch of traditional genealogy and what they call genetic genealogy. It’s not just one or the other. You need to have a background in both.

Fisher: You need both.

McKell: Um hmm.

Fisher: Yeah well, when you think about it really, that’s where the power comes from. It’s one thing to say oh, my ethnicity is three percent Irish, and I’m nineteen percent Spanish and all that, but when you’re getting down to figuring out you know, who’s really part of your family, it’s powerful stuff and you need both.

McKell: That’s where the gold is. It’s in the matches.

Fisher: Yeah. Tell us how did that go by the way, you found the birth family I assume?

McKell: Yes. Both his birth parents passed away decades ago but he was able meet some of his siblings on his mom’s side, and it was a great reunion. They all have this social anxiety to varying degrees, some very extreme. You know, panic attacks and so on. But when they met they just said it felt so comfortable. It just was like a natural thing they had going on. They’ve got each other.

Fisher: Sure. Yeah absolutely. So, you’ve been educating yourself and now you’re educating others. And there is a term for that as we mentioned earlier, it’s “search angel.”

McKell: Uh huh.

Fisher: And there are many people getting into this. CeCe Moore certainly has a huge group that are involved in helping other people and mentoring them as Blaine Bettinger is, and I know you have an association with Blaine. Tell us a little about how you go about mentoring people as search angels.

McKell: Well, I found out that it’s mostly learning as you go. You have to have a knack for it for one thing, and you’ll find out if you do or not once you try to do the detective work and build the trees. But, other than that, you do have to learn from the best in the world. And so you could do that online through Facebook groups such as DNA Detectives, or through Blaine’s Genetic Genealogy tips and techniques Facebook group just by reading posts, and there are so many people in those groups and so many posts that you would never sleep if you were to read them all. So you have to kind of just limit yourself to the most current things that are coming in and you will learn who are the top posters that really are doing ground breaking tools that will help you to learn this work and do it faster. So, that is how I learned. Then I started going to conferences, to i4GG in San Diego with CeCe, that’s Institute 4 Genetic Genealogy. And so once I was there, again you find out, people who have been doing it a lot longer than I have, how they go about this and what works and what doesn’t.

Fisher: Well, let’s go through that process here. You mentioned that you saw just lists and lists of opportunities basically to help people. Is it that there’s one person then that goes in and works with the individual who posted their case, or might several people be in there working on it?

McKell: It could be several people. On my part, I don’t usually get involved too much with helping people who are on the boards just because I have so many people here locally, and people that are actually related to me through my DNA matches who need help, and so I have a backlog. I’ve solved dozens of cases but there are also other ones who are in various stages waiting for new matches to come in or target testing people to solve the puzzle. So I don’t have time really to offer too much to help in the group. I will answer questions but to specifically help somebody, that’s not my area. Does that make sense?

Fisher: Yeah. You’re talking about working with people you know or been introduced to, or referred to locally. I get that.

McKell: Yeah.

Fisher: But you know the nice thing about this is, it does mean there’s opportunity for anybody to serve somebody else from anywhere, you know? From a little mountain cabin in Kentucky, to somewhere in Russia, it doesn’t make any difference.

McKell: Exactly. That happens.

Fisher: Does it?

McKell: A lot of people I collaborate with live in other states and I’ve never met them in person. But we trust each other’s work and we know how to work together.

Fisher: Do you find that there are people with specialties that you lack or vice versa where you have that collaboration ongoing?

McKell: Yes. When I was helping somebody who had Hawaiian heritage and Filipino heritage, I found out about endogamy in that part of the island and I had no idea how extreme it was. And so someone said, you need to talk to Killarney and so it’s, “Oh, Killarney, okay.” So then you find out who the specialist is in that area and find out more about it until you know the next step, same thing with the Portuguese Azores Islands. I had an adoptee whose father’s line came from those islands. And so Katherine was instrumental in helping me figure that out because that’s her specialty, Portuguese Azores Islands. And honestly, when I went to her class at the first i4GG in San Diego a couple of years ago, I thought, this has nothing to do with me. I don’t know exactly why I’m here. And then it was about a couple of months later that I met this adoptee who needed that specific help and so I was able to know who to reach out to.

Fisher: Isn’t that interesting? And that’s really true. I think a lot of people look to many of us who have been doing this for a long, long time as the “knowers of all things in the world.” [Laughs] And the reality is that nobody can know everything about genealogy, whether it’s, you know, you compare New York City records say to records somewhere in Montana, or to some place in the Netherlands. I mean they’re very different and you have to have people who know the territory, and the same really applies in genetics as well. Endogamy has got to be a real problem. And for those who aren’t familiar with the term, it means basically you share many of the same ancestors among your family. In other words, maybe your father and your mother are second or third cousins going back not too far.

McKell: Yeah. A lot of cousins in your ancestry married and intermarried. Yeah, so everybody is kind of interconnected more than you would expect.

Fisher: Yeah and that makes a problem because then as you try to figure out what your relationship might be to somebody else, you might have a little too much shared DNA and have to kind of sort all that out. How do you go about some of those tasks of sorting out endogamy cases, McKell?       

McKell: For sorting them out, well, you look at the shared matches and try to make categories and a lot of it I can do in my head. I know CeCe Moore said that she does that too and we use whiteboards too and different spreadsheets, sometimes lucid chart and things like that. There are other new tools like the lead color cluster method. So, it’s partly just being able to have that “Aha” moment where you see that line must go with this line, even though there is endogamy, you know. You see a connection between the two families and the right generation.

Fisher: Right.

McKell: And then partly just doing the groundwork. A lot of these cases take time, so if you don’t have a super close match like a first cousin or an aunt or uncle, or you know, grandparent, you know there’s not much work to do on a case like that. But, if you have a second, a third, a fourth cousin match as your closest match then it can take sometimes days, weeks, months. It just depends on the case.

Fisher: Sure.

McKell: They’re not always quickly solved.

Fisher: Right. Exactly and it’s really a very similar process to what they’re doing with some of the criminal cases right now.

McKell: Uh hmm.

Fisher: And are most of your cases involved with adoptees or is it just people trying to find a break through their lines?

McKell: Almost all adoptees and maybe about half and half with misinterpreted parentage, people who grew up thinking their father or their grandfather was one person, and then when they do their DNA they have no matches to those lines.

Fisher: Yeah.

McKell: And find out that their biological line is in a different line. And that should be devastating as you can imagine because people are very tight into their heritage. Part of being a search angel is learning how to have that connection, to be able to be part social worker and help people feel better to find someone was a criminal in their line, a close relative or something. You have to just let them know that doesn’t define their heritage to have people like that.

Fisher: Hey, we’ve all got them McKell. [Laughs] Right?

McKell: Aha, yeah.

Fisher: So, when you get into this, as you’ve progressed with this, what are you finding is the most fulfilling for you?

McKell: When the case is solved and you’re able to walk somebody through their tree a little bit and show them what had been found. Time and time again they feel so relieved just to have that closure, just to know the first chapter of their lives, even if they don’t want contact or desire contact, or the other party don’t desire contact. It’s not always about contact and about reunions. And so just see photos of people that you biologically descend from is very fulfilling to most people.

Fisher: Yeah. So, if somebody wanted to become a search angel, how would you recommend they get the proper training, not only in the process, but in the counselling side of it that often comes with it?

McKell: Okay. I would start on those two Facebook pages, either DNA Detective, and/or Genetic Genealogy Tips and Techniques and just read up on some of the posts and spend at least some time every day and see what’s being discussed because that doesn’t cost any money at all. You can see if that’s something you really want to pursue. Going to conferences takes time and investment of money, that’s important if can do it but I think that there are other ways. When I started there was no group “here’s how you be a search angel” you know.

Fisher: right.

McKell: And so what I’m doing now is a small group search angel training and working on writing that eBook for search angels. It’s to try to build that gap for people that are starting out and realizing they have a passion for this can have some place to go and know what the next steps are. Just to try to save that time of possibly making some mistakes along the way.

Fisher: Sure.

McKell: Because we do hear occasionally at search angels, you’ll have a hypothesis that it might not be the right one to start with but you have to get to where you’re certain you have the tree correct so that you’re not spreading any bad information.

Fisher: Boy. Yeah that’s a huge responsibility. You’re absolutely right.

McKell: It is a huge responsibility. You know, we do this as volunteers, but you also have to have safeguards and be able to follow best practices.

Fisher: Sure. Absolutely. She’s McKell Keeney from Tempe, Arizona. McKell thanks so much for sharing all your information about it. I think it’s going to be useful to a lot of people.

McKell: You’re welcome.

Fisher: And coming up next, I’m going to talk to a guy I got to know at the FGS conference in Indiana in August, his name is Rick Voight and he is one of the co-founders for a company called Vivid-Pix. It’s a software that is going to make fixing your pictures so much easier. And he’s got some great advice too on preservation. You’re going to want to hear it, coming up in five minutes on Extreme Genes.  

Segment 3 Episode 255

Host: Scott Fisher with guest Rick Voight

Fisher: And welcome back! It’s America’s Family History Show Extreme Genes and ExtremeGenes.com. It is Fisher here your Radio Roots Sleuth. It wasn’t that long ago I was hanging out at the Federation of Genealogical Societies with my next guest Rick Voight. He is the co-founder of Vivid-Pix and they’ve got this amazing product called “Restore” and I’m excited they’re going to be sponsors on the show because we’re going to see all kinds of expertise leveraged right here on your behalf to save your photographs. Hi Rick, welcome to Extreme Genes. Great to have you!

Rick: Hey Scott, a pleasure to be here. Thanks so much for having me!

Fisher: So, you’re been in the photo business for like 33 years and I know your partner has been in for like 29. He’s an engineer. He’s got 150 patents. And you’ve been doing this product from Vivid-Pix called Restore for like the last six years and this is really fun stuff.

Rick: Yeah, Vivid-Pix have been around for six years. We have been selling software to improve underwater photos since we began and we’ve sold that in over a hundred countries. Restore, which fixes old photos and documents has been selling for two and a half years and it’s starting to get a little bit of traction. So, we’re looking forward to sharing it with folks and having them give their pics a bit of success.

Fisher: Yeah. We’re going to talk about this little thing we’re going to do in just a little bit, but I want to talk about all the issues people deal with in preserving their photographs. Now, you’re in the process right now. You’ve been telling me off the air about downsizing and moving from Atlanta to Charleston, South Carolina, and this kinds of creates a little problem for you, doesn’t it, for your old photos?

Rick: So, it does a bunch of stuff. So, as you accumulate possessions through life and you go from a larger home to a smaller home, what do you do with all of that? And then we know from a photograph and document perspective that those need to be stored in a certain way. And I’m going from an environment of having a basement and a freezer where I kept everything properly stored, it wasn’t plugged in, but properly stored, and now I literally have a home on stilts.

Fisher: [Laughs] What?

Rick: Yeah! It’s on stilts. It’s five and a half feet off the ground.

Fisher: Oh that’s funny. Okay, no basement there.

Rick: No basement there. So, yeah I’m needing to make sure that I properly store my photos.

Fisher: Now you don’t have an attic there either, do you?

Rick: Well, we do and it gets mighty warm up there which is not very good for storing your photos unless you want them to turn all yellow and red and not look so good.

Fisher: Sure. Yeah, we talk about this on the show all the time. You’ve got light and humidity and then the big variation from heat and cold because we’re going into the cold weather now and this will cause another contraction of the materials and this applies to documents as well. And then the expansion in the heat, I mean it’s just a really nasty thing. So, what’s your plan now in Charleston, South Carolina, after what you’ve done in Atlanta?

Rick: That’s a good question. So, with the move I stored everything in one closet. So, at least I’ve organized my possessions into one place. Two, going through the full scanning process and making sure that they’re properly backed up in multiple locations.

Fisher: Right.

Rick: And then three, I am Cobbler’s son. I have not improved all of my photos and all of my documents, so I’ll run everything through Restore, and now I’ve got everything in good solid digital backup. And then I’ll purge some of the things. If you think about photos for so many years, we’d order double prints. Well, you know I’ve got tons of double print envelopes. Time to get rid of some of those. I’ve got tons of images that just weren’t that great, so now I’m able to get rid of the ones that weren’t so great. So, it’s a process, a process of love that gets rid of the memories along the way.

Fisher: You know, it’s true, and I must tell you, I kind of cringe when I think about the idea of throwing away any photographs. But the reality is, as time has gone on, we have gone from, oh, you’ve get a few pictures maybe in a lifetime right in the 19th century, and then it kind of picked up in the beginning of the 20th century and by the ‘40s and ‘50s a lot more pictures, ‘60s, ‘70s, ‘80s, wow, the duplicates like you mentioned, and the bad ones that just come out, those don’t need to be saved. There’s no benefit in that. And now of course we take photos digitally and we can take dozens if not hundreds in a day if we choose to.

Rick: Absolutely. And we are taking more pictures than ever before and we’re not having access to them because they’re trapped on our phone. Over 90 percent of our images that we are taking are on mobile devices. And then some of them we’re posting up on Facebook. Well, it’s really hard to be able to pull those things back down again. So, the organization is important for the current stuff and then yeah, really getting a handle on all the different photos through the years.

Fisher: Yeah it’s a real challenge. And then recently, you told me about this, you were visiting your mom who is like what, 87 or something now?

Rick: Yeah.

Fisher: And you did this great project that I think make so much sense involving a camera over your shoulders in a photo album. 

Rick: Yeah, so what I did is, I set up a tripod. I put a standard digital point and shoot camera pointing down at the photo album so it’s over our shoulders and then we just went through page by page by page, and she got to remember and relive all of those memories. And now I have all of that recorded. So, now when I go back into the photo albums, I know the stories behind the photos.

Fisher: Yeah, I love that. And it makes a lot of sense. You know, there are a lot of photos that have people who are not even related. They’re just old friends or college people, you know, somebody like that. It’s good to know who you’ve got in those photos.

Rick: Well, yeah and you’re able to get to know your mother better than you knew before. I mean, now it’s just really fun.

Fisher: Yeah, it’s a great time. All right, we’ve got to talk about this great deal you’re putting together for people to get ten free conversions on their photographs, improving them with a click of a button. And I’ve got to tell you, having seen this work at the Federation of Genealogical Society’s Conference in Indiana in August, it’s amazing! And it’s so nice to see how easy you’ve made it because even people who are, shall we say, “technically challenged” are going to find this a breeze.

Rick: Yeah. So, what we’ve done is we’ve designed patented software in order to improve color, contrast, sharpness and brightness all at once. So, there’s super great software called Photoshop in the marketplace, but it can maybe be a little bit difficult to know how to use.

Fisher: Yeah.

Rick: And what our patents do is, the way that we analyze all of our photos, is we understand what needs to be adjusted and in one click you’re able to adjust color, contrast, sharpness and brightness. And then in our trial what we’re able to do to provide ten free fixes so that people are able to pull down our software, fix ten photos, no credit cards required and it’s kind of like, “I’m from Missouri, you know, ‘show me.’ Let me see how the stuff really works.

Fisher: All right. Yeah.

Rick: And so, putting together a webpage so that the Vivid-Pix.com/ExtremeGenes and now folks are able to download the software and give it a try.

Fisher: Now this is fun and you can link to it also through our ExtremeGenes.com website and you’ll see links to it periodically on our Facebook page as well. And so once again, your address for it is Vivid-Pix.com/ExtremeGenes.

Rick: Exactly. So,Vivid-Pix.com/ExtremeGenes.

Fisher: All right, it’s very fun and they give you like nine different choices of improved pictures of the same one, and you could pick the one you like, and then you just move on to the next one. It doesn’t get any better than that. And Rick, I’m excited about it because I’m thinking, you know, with the holidays coming up, what a great gift to be able to take some of these improved photos and give them as gifts to your family members.

Rick: Absolutely. So, it’s an easy way for you to improve some of your photos and actually you can print them at Vivid-Pixprint.com. And you can make photo albums or enlargements or any number of things.

Fisher: Yeah, it’s great stuff, so check it out at ExtremeGenes.com or Vivid-Pix.com/ExtremeGenes and get your free ten pics fixed. It’s awesome! It’s great talking to you Rick. I’m looking forward to seeing what some of our listeners come up with in the improvements they get in the pictures. We’ll share them on social media, and of course on your side as well. It’s going to be a lot of fun and what a great project as we move into the fall with Vivid-Pix.

Rick: Scott, thanks for your time. Thanks to all of your audience.

Fisher: All right, thanks bud.  And coming up next we’re going to talk to Team Black from Relative Race. Relative Race is back. It’s in its fourth season and we’re going to get their take on the first three episodes of the season, coming up next in three minutes on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show.

Segment 4 Episode 255

Host: Scott Fisher with guests Joe and Jerica Henline

Fisher: Welcome back! It is America's Family History Show, Extreme Genes and ExtremeGenes.com. Fisher here your Radio Roots Sleuth. And as you know by now, Relative Race is back on BYUTV every Sunday night at 9 o’clock Eastern, 6 o'clock Pacific and whatever time in between, right. And we're up to episode 4. And we've got Team Black on the line with us right now. They're out of Cincinnati, Ohio, its Joe and Jerica Henline, the siblings. How're you doing, guys?

Joe: Hey!

Jerica: We're doing good!

Fisher: You are, aren’t you. You're having too much fun, I can tell. So who decided to go on the show and why?

Jerica: Oh, that would be Joe. Joe definitely decided for us.

Joe: Honestly, I was really just scrolling through on social media and I saw a link pop up that said "Audition for Relative Race." So I clicked on the link, and Jerica and I just kind of casually threw together a little audition video and we submitted it. And they called us the next day and we're like "Oh dear! What are we going to tell them?"

Fisher: Well, you got a shot at $50,000 and having some amazing experiences with your relatives. And what were you looking for by the way?

Jerica: You know, we weren't sure exactly what we were looking for. We know most of our relatives that are close to us, but we didn't know exactly what specifically we're looking for. We're just looking to find family and make new friends with our family members.

Fisher: Really? So you weren't missing anybody, there's no adoption situation in your family, you just wanted to get a little further out and see what was out there.

Jerica: Exactly, yeah. We just wanted to have an adventure together as siblings.

Fisher: Now obviously we can only talk about episodes 1, 2 and 3, because that's all that's aired right now. We don't want any spoilers for the rest of the season. But let's talk about one of those highlights in there for you that you were completely not expecting.

Jerica: Yes, absolutely. So, one of the biggest surprises for us was getting to hear our grandfather's voice for the very first time. He passed before either of us were born. And we knew he had been a musician, didn't realize he was actually part of a band in West Virginia. And they actually have recordings of him singing, and had never heard his voice before that moment, which was very emotional, but also just amazing that history had been preserved.

Fisher: Isn't that fun! Now this is your father's father or your mother's father?

Jerica: That would be our father's father.

Fisher: Your father's father, your name line, wow! And so, what caused him to pass so young?

Jerica: I believe he died of a heart disease of some sort. I don't remember all the details.

Fisher: Sure.

Jerica: But he passed early on.

Fisher: And so you met other relatives connected to your grandpa.

Jerica: Right, yes. We actually connected with our cousin, Don. I believe he was our third cousin, Don. And his mom knew my grandfather, remembered stories of him, and our cousin, Don played us a little bit of music on what could have been our grandfather's violin. It was definitely played in his band. So my grandfather probably played the very same violin we got to hear play. It was an incredible moment, one I wouldn't have traded for the world.

Joe: Especially leading up to the show and thinking like, "Who could we possibly meet?" you know, who would be all that interesting.

Fisher: [Laughs]

Joe: And its only day 2 and Relative Race has already knocked you out of the park.

Fisher: You've already had that kind of experience where you just go, "Wow!" Now you know what you’ve gotten yourself into, right?

Joe: [Laughs] Exactly.

Fisher: Amazing. So guys, has this gotten you interested in your family history in terms of, you know, researching it or writing about it a little bit more?

Jerica: We have definitely been more interested in finding out about our family's past or history, and we continue to look forward to learning something new every day. And our family that we've met is willing to help. And we've been enjoying conversations with them about that.

Fisher: Wow! This is fun stuff. These are the siblings, Joe and Jerica Henline. They're Team Black on Relative Race on BYUTV, Sunday nights at 9 Eastern, 6 o'clock Pacific. And you guys, continue on! And we look forward to seeing further adventures with you for the rest of the year.

Jerica: Absolutely.

Joe: Thanks so much. We're looking forward to sharing our journey.

Fisher: And coming up next, Tom Perry talks preservation on Extreme Genes, America's Family History Show in three minutes.

Segment 5 Episode 255

Host: Scott Fisher with guest Tom Perry

Fisher: Hey, we're back at it! It’s our final segment of Extreme Genes, America's Family History Show and ExtremeGenes.com. This segment is brought to you by FamilySearch.org. And it’s time to talk preservation with Tom Perry from TMCPlace. He is our Preservation Authority. And Tom, boy, we've seen a lot of natural disasters recently and in the most recent months as well. We had of course all the flooding from Hurricane Florence that's been taking place on the east coast, now in the west coast. It’s kind of strange. But in the south west, Arizona, Utah, getting the remnants of Hurricane Rosa, those things aren't usually pushed inland like that. But for areas where they had fires, you've got mudslides now and all these weather situations affect people and their family memorabilia, do they not?

Tom: Yeah, that's absolutely the truth. And you have to be really careful with these things, because the need immediately attention. However, you don't always have immediate attention to give it, because of all the things going on at the same time. So we're going to show you how to use a back to the future time machine to be able to preserve your videotapes, your audiotapes and things such as these, your old film and such.

Fisher: Okay. So let's talk about fire, first of all. Now people have material I'm sure lost in fire. But lost means what? How do you know film or video or any of these things are lost?

Tom: Okay. The only way they're lost is obviously if you can't find them or they're nothing but dust and ashes. If there's any kind of media still there, even if it’s really blackened, a lot of times it can be recovered, whether its slides or photographs, videotapes, audiotapes. I have had videotapes come in to us that the shells were entirely melted down. So you basically saw two hubs with plastic around them. We were able to take the plastic off piece by piece and recover the videotape and the audiotape that was inside the case. So if you can see something and hold it in your hands, there's a good chance there's some way to recover it. And whether it’s a professional like us or anywhere else in the country that's professionals or if you're a do it yourselfer, there's different ways on the internet you can read about of how to recover it yourself.

Fisher: Wow that is an amazing thing! To think you had that opportunity to salvage something like that. Now in fires, you've got that, but fires also leave the opportunity for mudslides in rain, right, because of the burn scars that happen. So what happens when you get material damaged by dirt or a mudslide or something like that? Have you dealt with that before?

Tom: Oh absolutely. The down and dirty way to do this if you're really pressed for time is, get the stuff out of the mud and get it wet as quick as you can. Spray it off, put it in the sink. I prefer distilled water, but if you don't have time to do that, just get all the mud and grime off of it, because that's going to cause mold to grow on it and its going to cause the items to be scratched and it won't transfer as well. So what you want to do is, get them as clean as you can as quick as you can, get them into Ziploc bags, get them in the freezer so you can store them and work on them in six months or a year or six years or whenever. And a lot of people think, "Well, this isn't going to fit in my freezer or my house." You can buy those chest freezers pretty cheap at any home improvement store. And just get one of those and put all your things in it, whether its artwork, whether its photos, slides, any of these kind of stuff, and stop the mold. Stop time, so to speak, in your time machine, and then when you can take your breath and get to it, then you want to do it the right way and do all the other stuff. But the down and dirty way, this is the way to do it.

Fisher: Wow! All right, great advice, and then the last thing we'd ask about, what about flooding?

Tom: Flooding, almost the same thing. You want to get any dirt and debris off you things. Wash them really quickly, put them in Ziploc bags, put them in the freezer. If you can get your photos apart easily, put wax paper between them, any kind of things that you have, you want them in separate Ziploc bags, so none of the damage from one goes to another. Get them in the freezer, get the mold stopped.

Fisher: Boy, what great advice. And this is a great segment to share, by the way, with friends who may be going though an experience like this. Tom, thanks so much. And of course, if you have a question for Tom Perry, you can email him at [email protected] or you can message him on Twitter @AskTomP. Tom, talk to you again next week. Have a great one!

Tom: My pleasure. Thank you.

Fisher: Hey, that's it for this week. I hope you enjoyed it. And if you missed any of it or you want to hear it again, of course catch the podcast version. It’s available through iTunes and iHeart Radio. And of course you can download the free Extreme Genes app to your phone to catch all past episodes. We'll talk to you again next week. Thanks so much for joining us. And remember, as far as everyone knows, we're a nice, normal family!

Subscribe now to find out why hundreds of thousands of family researchers listen to Extreme Genes every week!

Email me new episodes