Episode 266 - Dick Eastman On 2018 Genie Highlights And What Happens When We’re All Like IcelandDec 30, 2018
Host Scott Fisher opens the show with David Allen Lambert, Chief Genealogist of the New England Historic Genealogical Society and AmericanAncestors.org. David begins with an all too brief accounting of his recent astounding genealogical find in an archive. (We’ll get into detail in January!) Then the guys kick around (pun intended) the story of the 500-year-old skeleton found with his boots intact! Where was it and why was he there? The guys explain. Then, a new Holocaust Museum will soon be opening in Poland. Find out the historic anniversary the opening will be tied to. Then, a judge in Arizona, who had been adopted, took a DNA test and learned something about the meaning of family. David’s Blogger spotlight this week shines on Vera Miller and her site, LostRussianFamily.wordpress.com. Vera writes about recently declassified Russian documents that reveal her unknown family… and many others.
Next, Fisher visits with Dick Eastman, long known for Eastman’s On Line Genealogy Newsletter. Dick and Fisher discuss the year’s top story… DNA and privacy, and police work. Dick shares his insight from his background in security.
In a second segment with guest Dick Eastman, Dick asks an interesting question… what if we were all like Iceland? There, everyone is related, fairly recently, several times over, and ALL records of Iceland are complete going back to the 1200s, and almost complete going back to the 800s! Hear what Dick has to say about his visit to Iceland and how Icelanders feel about genealogy.
Then Rick Voight of Vivid-Pix talks about how you can create a phenomenal last minute Christmas gift… for free! He’ll have step-by-step instructions.
Then, Tom Perry, the Preservation Authority talks about useful apps for capturing family history over the holidays.
That’s all this week on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show!
Transcript of Episode 266
Host: Scott Fisher with guest David Allen Lambert
Segment 1 Episode 266
Fisher: Welcome to America’s Family History Show! It’s Extreme Genes 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 of the show is brought to you by Vivid-Pix. Take the Vivid-Pix Fix, ten free pictures with one click of a button. You’re going to love what it does for your old photographs that are faded and the color is gone, and all of that. Well, coming up a little later on today we’ve got a great guest on, one of the iconic people in the field of family history research and genealogy. His name is Dick Eastman. He’s been known for decades for his online genealogical newsletter. We’re going to talk about some of the big things that happened this year, what were the biggest topics of conversation, cover that, plus we’re going to talk to Tom Perry a little bit because this is our final show for this year. We’re going to take a break and share some classic “best of shows” for the next couple of weeks, so I know you’re going to enjoy that. Right now, let us check in with David Allen Lambert. He’s the Chief Genealogist of the New England Historic Genealogical Society and AmericanAncestors.org in Boston, Massachusetts. David, how’s your holiday shaping up?
David: I’ve already had my genealogical Christmas, Fish.
Fisher: Really? [Laughs]
David: Yeah! I went out to an archive I visited back when I was in my twenties, and back then you couldn’t use a digital camera, well, because I didn’t have them. I had to make notes, couldn’t photocopy this, and I revisited the Revolutionary War Diary of my fourth great grandfather, and I got surprise. They said, “Did you know that we’ve got his military commissions?”
David: I almost cried.
Fisher: Oh my gosh. And you got to hold these things?
David: I did, yeah, and one them dates from 1772 when he was in the Colonial Militia with Thomas Hutchinson, and the other two were when he was in the Massachusetts Militia during the Revolutionary War as Commissioner’s Captain.
Fisher: Wow. [Laughs]
David: And I thought they burned a long time ago.
Fisher: Oh, because his house burned at some point?
David: Um hmm. And they were squirreled away, and all of this plus over 500 photographs I took at the Archives.
Fisher: Oh my gosh. All right, we’re not going to have time to get into all of this right now. We’re going to have to do a whole segment on that when we get back after the beginning of the year, okay?
David: Sounds good to me.
Fisher: I want to hear about all that because it sounds like you struck gold, sir.
David: I did. Genealogical gold! [Laughs]
Fisher: All right, let’s move on with our Family Histoire News. What do you have for us today?
David: Well, this one is a little fishy. It might have to do with the fisherman, well, an old fisherman, in fact. Five hundred years ago, a gentleman with long boots fell into the Thames, and guess what? They just found him while doing excavations for a new sewage plant in London. Yeah, he’s wearing the boots that he had on him when he went down, and there he’s lying right in the mud. It’s fascinating because I think the DNA would be a good thing, and who knows, they may find a match in flushing New York!
Fisher: That’s terrible.
David: In Poland in 2023, on the 80th anniversary of the Jewish uprising at the Warsaw ghetto, there will now be a museum, a museum to the Holocaust right there in Warsaw, which I think is a fitting memorial to the individuals who were lost.
David: You know what? A fascinating story I saw on Extreme Genes is about an Arizona judge named Randall Howe. Randal was an adopted child, came from Oregon. Now, he knows percentages of how much Norwegian, Swedish, English and Irish that he is, but what he does talk about is that even though he has the genetics from his biological parents, what made him who he is today, and his personality really comes down to his adopted family, who shaped who he is.
Fisher: You know, isn’t it interesting? I know so many adopted people, and so many of them have different views of the whole thing as to what family they belong to. Some of them had a bad experience with their adopted family and then they connect with the birth family and they identify more with the birth family. And then there are others like Judge Howe, who just says, “You know, it’s great, I’ve met my birth family and I realize, wow, how blessed I was that my real family were the people who were there for me, who fed me, who paid for me to grow up, and got me an education and watched over me, and nurtured me.” That’s what a family is.” And that’s kind of how he feels about it. In fact, we talked to Scott Hamilton, remember, last year at RootsTech?
David: Um hmm.
Fisher: And he said the same thing. He was going to get his birth family revealed to him. He thought it was going to be interesting, but he said, “It’s not going to be life changing because my family are the people who raised me.”
David: And obviously it wasn’t because you don’t hear any follow up new stories about a reunion or anything.
Fisher: No. That’s right.
David: Yeah, and sometimes it is a private reveal as it was for Scott, and the public does not find out, which is probably fitting.
David: Well, exciting news from Boston is that New England Historical Society, as we close up one year, we open up a new chapter of our history. We have the Shamrock Genealogist under our roof. You remember Melanie McComb who we’ve had on the show before?
Fisher: Yes, she’s the Irish genealogist. She has great information for Irish research for people, and now she’s going to work with you guys?
David: She is, yeah. We adopted the Shamrock Genealogist as part of our crew.
David: She is now a genealogist on the staff of NEHGS, and I’m delighted that she is now with us. She also brings the knowledge of Canadian-Irish as well as half of her heritage which is Jewish. We didn’t have anybody on the staff that specialized in that until now.
Fisher: That’s awesome stuff. Congratulations Melanie!
David: Well, our blogger spotlight shines on Vera Miller, who has a really interesting blog called lostrussianfamily.wordpress.com. Now, Vera brought about an exciting topic. Apparently, the Russian government has declassified over 3 million records of political terror victims back under the days of Stalin when people were sent to the gulag. Yeah, one of her ancestors was, and she found the records and the government of Russia, through email has released the records to her.
Fisher: Wow! That’s incredible. How many is this covering in this file?
David: Three million people, plus.
David: So that’s interesting. It might be an interesting story for Extreme Genes to follow up on.
David: Well, that’s all I have from Bean Town. And to wrap up the year, don’t forget if you’re looking to NEHGS and American Ancestors, you can save $20 as always, by using the coupon code “Extreme” on checkout on AmericanAncestors.org.
Fisher: All right David, thank you so much. And before we go, we’ve got to mention this. Patricia Heaton, you know her from Everybody Loves Raymond. She’s been announced as one of the keynote speakers at the RootsTech Conference in Salt lake City, Utah coming up at the end of February, and hopefully, we can get her on the show, so we’re going to work on that as well. Thanks so much David. Congratulations on your huge find, and I look forward to hearing more about that in the New Year.
David: Happy New Year my friend and to all the listeners out there.
Fisher: All right David. And coming up next, we’ll talk to Dick Eastman about what he sees as “the big story” of 2018 in family history research.
Segment 2 Episode 266
Host: Scott Fisher with guest Dick Eastman
Fisher: Hey we’re back at it. It’s Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show and ExtremeGenes.com. Fisher at this end, your Radio Roots Sleuth and I’m talking to Dick Eastman. And in the field of genealogy he is one of the best known people because for almost 23 years now his online genealogy newsletter is kind of, what would I call it? “The Hallmark,” Dick, of genealogy newsletters. You have more stories than I think anybody, and I think a lot of people find a lot of materials through your newsletter.
Dick: Well, I appreciate the comment. I’m a little flattered you used the word hallmark. It’s not one I would use but it sounds real good to me. If you don’t mind, maybe I’ll steal that and use it in my advertising.
Fisher: There you go. Put it in. It’s a quote, right, from Extreme Genes.
Dick: [Laughs] There you go.
Fisher: You know, I wanted to get you on because you have a great background in privacy, and encryption. I don’t think a lot of people know that. I certainly didn’t until recently. But you actually do a blog, a separate one on privacy, and I think the number one story of 2018 is this whole debate about ethics and privacy relating to the police cases, and the Golden State Killer case, and GedMatch. Fill us in on your thoughts on this because I know you go way back with this.
Dick: Yeah, that’s true. And my thoughts are too many people are ignoring too many things. A little bit of background is that I started this genealogy newsletter or blog, whatever you wish to call it, almost 23-years ago. And I have a background in encryption when I was in the military, and various issues about privacy kind of upset me from time-to-time. I know there are solutions to many of these things. So, one day I decided I’d start a blog talking about privacy. Lo and behold, over the two or three or four years, my two interests on genealogy and privacy started to come together, which I had not planned on.
Dick: Now there are big issues in both of those, in both of the genealogy world and people who are concerned about privacy. So, with that I can say I certain have interest in them. I do publish quite a bit about it. In privacy world, I tend to talk more about ways to protect your privacy and there are some simple methods, that won’t protect it hundred percent but it certainly will reduce your exposure.
Dick: So yeah, I have a lot of fun with it.
Fisher: You know, with the GedMatch thing, this is a question I ask everybody about. Do you think first of all, because of all this we’re seeing a reduction in the number of people doing DNA testing out of fear of some kind of exposure with the police, or the authorities or whatever it may be tying into these cases, such as the Golden State Killer?
Dick: I think the quick answer to that is the combination of all of the above. Things tend to go in cycles. There’s been a lot of buzz on television lately about DNA and DNA testing, so a number of people get interested. But I think that certain types of people get interested. They move on it. Those who have a natural curiosity, they go out and they sign up for it, get the kits, they do it, and then who do you do after that? Well, there’s not as much. It’s not an ongoing thing like genealogy research. My belief is that the majority of people who have their DNA tested, they get their results back and they say, “Hey, that’s neat.” And then that’s it. That’s about all that they do.
Fisher: That’s right. I think it’s a good ninety five percent of them that just do it because of the ethnicity.
Dick: Exactly. So, the people who have that kind of curiosity, I think probably 50, 75, maybe 90% of them have already done it. And there are other people who really don’t care, or don’t have the funds for the test or whatever will probably never do it, and that’s just human nature. I don’t see that as being anything good or bad.
Fisher: It’s just what it is, yeah.
Dick: So, I’m not surprised. So that’s one of the factors. Now, on top of that there’s no doubt that people are afraid of cracking in by governments or corporations or whatever. I would like to use the example of the insurance company. Do I really want my healthcare providers to know what kind of inherited diseases I might be susceptible to? And I don’t know the answer to that, but it is a very interesting question.
Fisher: And how would they get that? You know, I’m just really curious about that, Dick. I know a lot of people have brought that up and I’m thinking, is this something where they could pass legislation that says we can access your…obviously it would be through 23andMe because none of the others really provide that kind of information.
Dick: Well, we tend to think about 23andMe, and Family Tree DNA, and the other people that deal with the genealogy world. But they are actually only a small number of DNA providers. There are many corporations out there who are tracking DNA or testing it for other trackers besides genealogy and particularly for inherited medical conditions. There’s one advertisement out that says they can recommend diets for you based on your DNA heritage. I’m not sure I really believe that but I thought it was an interesting advertisement.
Fisher: [Laughs] I don’t think so either.
Dick: I know we have the medical background to say yes or no, but it just made my eyebrows go up a little bit when I read that.
Dick: But again, we in the genealogy world tend to focus only on the DNA companies that deal with the genealogy world. And I fact, there are more of them. And there are more issues that many of us are ignoring these days, and I think we do need to pay attention to the big picture.
Fisher: So, from the genealogy standpoint then, do you feel that there is a way for instance, for insurance companies to get a hold of your information that you have on 23andMe?
Dick: I think the answer for 23andMe specifically is, no, not at this time, unless they or the insurance company but probably not. The government agency probably could get hold of it with a court order so there are those issues. Now, I lead a pretty public life. I don’t really have a lot of information that I want to hide and keep secret.
Dick: But it just irritates me some of the things that happens out here. And if I do happen to have an inherited disease, do I want that information to become public? But I will say I’m uncomfortable with it, yes.
Fisher: Right. And that might prevent you from actually testing or something if you were one of those who have not yet tested.
Dick: Right. But I’ll put a little side comment here. I tested so far by five different companies and so far I’ve got three different results. [Laughs]
Fisher: [Laughs] Oh, as far as ethnicity goes?
Dick: Yeah, well, in my case they all sort of agree but boy the percentages are way off. They are very different.
Fisher: Sure. So, what would you say was the biggest thing in DNA other than the privacy issues in terms of DNA testing itself, what was the big thing this year?
Dick: Well, in the news stories I think we have to very quickly talk about the use of DNA that are used by law enforcement to identify criminals.
Dick: This is a story that gets me very uncomfortable because I literally see two sides to this argument, and I think they both have a lot of validity and they both have some risk. When you can go into a publically accessible database, like I say you, but anybody who is law enforcement or working for a law enforcement agency, you go into a publically available data and search and find relatives of a criminal, and most of the cases that’s been in the news were very serious criminals.
Dick: We’re not talking petty theft here.
Dick: But it makes me wonder, can they also find people who have political beliefs one way or the other. If your relatives all live in an area that are known to be conservative or liberal or something, can they, the authorities, make an accurate determination of the likelihood of your political leanings and things of that sort? And we’ve got these issues of Big Brother. George Orwell was a little ahead of his time, but many of the things he wrote about are becoming valid.
Fisher: Yeah. I wonder if that would actually tie into DNA testing because I think they’re probably so many better ways to determine political stuff.
Dick: Okay, I see what you’re saying, but I think this conversation revolves more about the access to public databases. There are all sorts of databases out there. There’s a phrase that amicably we call Big Data, where corporations just simply record all sorts of information. Some of that information they will probably never use, but they record it anyway just in case. And then as the years go by, they start combing through it looking for certain patterns and likelihood of this or that. I think it’s become very invasive.
Dick: I think it really gets into a George Orwell situation. Big brother is watching you. Is that good is that bad?
Fisher: Well, I’m frightened by it because you don’t know what you don’t know, right, what can they ultimately do with it?
Fisher: But at the same time you don’t want to live your life in fear. When people know what it is we like and what we want and they offer it to us, is that a bad thing? You know what I mean? So you’re right, it’s really quite a challenge.
Dick: I’m in agreement with you.
Fisher: Yeah. And that’s kind of where the challenge is. What else? What would you say amongst the genealogical testing companies do you think was the biggest advance this past year?
Dick: Well, I think, I’m not too sure about specific companies, but the fact that their data can be combined into this thing called GedMatch, their results can be combined. And here is where I have really divided feelings about this. I’ll take the example of the first one. A well-publicized one was the Golden State Killer where they had DNA information about a person who had committed multiple murders, and they analyzed DNA information and these experts comb through some databases, primarily GedMatch, and found people who were closely related to the criminal. And with that, using traditional law enforcement research techniques, they went out and started interviewing all these people who were apparently closely related and eventually narrowed it down to the person who committed the crimes. That person was not listed in GedMatch himself, but some of his relatives were. So, through a process of elimination they found the criminal. Now, I have great admiration for people who can do that. And I think finding murderers, mass murderers, and other violent criminals is a great service. I am totally in favor of that. And in fact, if I thought there was a chance that one of my relatives was a mass murderer, I would be the first person to go out and volunteer my DNA information to the law enforcement to help them solve the case.
Dick: That’s the good side. Now on the bad side, the same techniques can go out and identify other factors. If you’ve got medical information available they can predict the people who are going to have medical problems. They are going to be able to find people who are mentally unstable, I think. And that’s a good thing and a bad thing. And there’s all sorts of sign issues there. You want Big Brother, be it a corporation, a government, be it your insurance company, to be able to figure out these things and identify who through the DNA of your relatives. I don’t know. I see good. I see bad.
Fisher: [Laughs] And the hard part is okay, the things that we’re really concerned about, how do we ever roll them back? Because all these other countries are doing this upon us as well. China, Russia, gathering information and I’m sure many others who we’ve never even really thought much about.
Dick: Yeah, that’s true, although many of the European countries have come together and realized the danger earlier that the Americans have, and they’ve come up with this thing called “right to be forgotten.”
Fisher: GDPR, yeah.
Dick: Yeah that’s GDPR and this wall legislation will be coming I suspect. So the Europeans are already kind of ahead of us in those thoughts and those considerations.
Fisher: All right, we’re going to get off the GedMatch DNA discussion here for our next segment coming up. [Laughs]
Dick: [Laughs] Okay.
Fisher: And talk about some of the big stories of the past year, some interesting discoveries, even some of the highlights from Extreme Genes, some of the guests we’ve had on, when we return, coming up in five minutes on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show.
Segment 3 Episode 266
Host Scott Fisher with guest Dick Eastman
Fisher: All right, back at it! It’s Fisher here on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show talking to Dick Eastman, he of the online genealogy newsletter. Talking about what’s going on in the field and what were some of the big stories of 2018. Dick, I will always remember 2018 by the way, for the fact that I actually discovered one of my ancestors was a blood thirsty murderous pirate.
Dick: Ah cool!
Fisher: And I really wasn’t expecting to find that but there it is. You just don’t know what you’re going to get like a box of Cracker Jacks, right?
Dick: [Laughs] Those are the valuable ones. We all have farmers and small merchants and so on.
Fisher: And kings.
Dick: And obviously we must have some but finding them and identifying them is difficult. It’s a very small percentage for most people. Certainly has been in my family tree.
Dick: So, when you can find somebody that’s unusual for some reason, to me that’s a valuable treasure.
Fisher: And we have quite a bit of history of him and the ship he was on.
Dick: Oh great.
Fisher: And the other ships that he raided and all that. It was just absolutely fascinating. I actually wore a patch for about two months this year. [Laughs]
Dick: [Laughs] One day a year you go around speaking like a pirate.
Fisher: Exactly. [Argh] And then I found a newspaper clipping from 1818 from Britain about how my third great grandfather abandoned the family and that was kind of interesting to share with some of the distant cousins I found through DNA matches. I mean, it’s really a fascinating thing about how different it is today than when we first started doing this because you can find articles in newspapers like that and then connect them to DNA matches and contact those people anywhere in the world. I mean, it’s just so entirely different from the beginning in the ‘80s and ‘90s for me that I’m just delighted in the world we live in when it comes to this kind of research.
Dick: Well, I have to agree with you. I started in the ‘80s myself and we did it manually and had to go look them up in books and the original records and write letters.
Dick: Ah, I remember writing letters in the day. And we get more done in a much shorter period of time than we used to.
Fisher: That’s absolutely true. One of my favorite interviews this past year for those following the podcast was episode 244 involved these two women who live right next door to each other. One moved in, the other had been there for many, many years and the one had been adopted and they ultimately found out that they were sisters and they share a driveway which is absolutely insane.
Fisher: I’m sure you heard that story as well.
Dick: Oh yes.
Fisher: That’s the beauty of all this that we can put these things together.
Dick: It is. Well, it’s exciting right now because it’s a new frontier for us. But, I’m going to say what happens as the technology improves and more and more data becomes available immediately. What happens when we can find all this information in a matter of minutes? Is genealogy still going to be as interesting as it used to be?
Fisher: You know, you’re right because I think much of the joy is solving the mystery, right?
Dick: You solve a puzzle and find how fascinating it is. It’s such a great thing to go through this total solving process. It’s intriguing to sit there and do the detective work.
Fisher: It is. But what happens like you say when it’s all put together. We have so much information that pretty much anybody can know immediately what their lines are. And you mentioned to me off-air that you’ve run into that situation in Iceland.
Dick: Yes. Iceland is a fascinating country for a whole bunch of reasons but for genealogists it’s really interesting in that they pretty much have their family trees traced back into the middle-ages. They have most all of the birth, marriage, and death records of everybody who lived in Iceland, most of them going back into the late 800s A.D.
Dick: They will admit from about 850 to around 1200 there were a few people that were missing.
Fisher: That escaped.
Dick: But after 1200 they have all of them. And they’re online.
Fisher: You’ve got to wonder, who back around 800 decided that this would be a good thing to do and obviously it has been.
Fisher: And this person’s idea here almost 1200 years later is still going on.
Dick: Right. Well, it was decided as I understand by the church because they only wanted Icelandic citizens to marry good members of the church and it’s very common throughout all the Scandinavian countries and of course the people who arrived in Iceland in the 850s came from the Scandinavian countries.
Dick: So, they brought that tradition with them. But the fun thing is not only are these records online, you do not have to go through and look at individual census records, or birth, or marriage records manually and put together your own family tree. The family trees have actually been computerized. All you have to do is go in and you don’t use your name because in Iceland almost everybody has the same names.
Dick: It is interesting their acronymic naming system. They still do not use their father’s surname. Your name is William and you are the son of John then your name is William Johnson.
Dick: And that’s the way it was written. And in many countries many years ago and it’s still that way today in Iceland. Anyway, you go onto a computer app and I’ve seen this thing run on a cell phone. You type in your identification number that’s sort of the Icelandic equivalent of a Social Security number. Then it comes back and there’s a number of options to display and then you tick off the things in the menus and you see your entire family tree going back to the 800s. It takes a minute, maybe two.
Fisher: [Laughs] So, there’s no mystery solving here?
Fisher: There’s no puzzle solving?
Dick: There’s no puzzle and in my mind that takes all the fun out of it.
Dick: So, if we look at the history of genealogy and then the technical advancement then we try to apply that to our thoughts of what’s the future going to be like. I’d say sooner or later probably not in my lifetime but eventually all the records will be pretty much identified. They will be tied together and I’m thinking fifty to hundred years from now people of the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and elsewhere will be able to just click on their personal digital assistant or whatever.
Fisher: Sure, some device.
Dick: Yeah, and they’ll say, “Alexa show me my family tree.” [Laughs] My electric device just woke up!
Dick: But I think in the near future, fifty or hundred years from now is near future as far as genealogists are concerned. I think this is going to happen. Now my question is, where’s the fun in this?
Dick: Will anybody care?
Fisher: Um hmm.
Dick: In Iceland they don’t seem to do it. I talked to a lot of people in Iceland. Almost every Icelandic citizen that I met and had a chance to talk with for a few minutes I asked them about this. Not one of them ever said that they were genealogist, not one of them could name a family member of theirs that was a genealogist in the family, it’s just common knowledge.
Fisher: Wow. And they have this new app, right for dating? What’s this thing called, Bump?
Dick: [Laughs] Bump. The title of it is an Icelandic word which I could not possibly pronounce. But I’m told the English translation of that word is bump. And the way this works is that two individuals who want to see if they’re related can bump their phones together. I should point out that in Iceland everybody is related to almost everyone else.
Dick: Because there’s only something like half or two thirds of people that’s been living on this small island for well over a thousand years. So, the family trees have a huge amount of pedigree collapse. The humorous story that was told to me was that over the years there have been cases where people have actually gone out, gotten married and started a family and then later found out that the husband and wife were a little closer related than they had realized.
Dick: Of course the families had all sorts of medical problems which is why the DNA experts like to use Iceland as a tester for everything. But the fun thing about this app is, the most common application is if a young man and a young women meet and they get kind of interested in each other and the relationship becomes somewhat romantic they are told to bump their phones. That is, they both load that same app into their cell phones and then they bump them together. The two phones bumped together the same instant come back and will display on the screen on both phones the relationship of those two individuals and there might be one.
Fisher: And there will be one.
Dick: Oh absolutely, in fact there’ll probably be five or ten relationships.
Fisher: Yeah. [Laughs]
Dick: I assume that they’re organized by the closest ones first. The interesting part of this to me is that the advertising for this company that produces the software they call the application Bump. And their slogan is, “Before you bump in bed, bump your phones.”
Fisher: [Laughs] I love it. He’s Dick Eastman. He’s the man behind Eastman’s Online Genealogical Newsletter. Dick thanks so much for your time. Have a great 2019.
Dick: [Laughs] I’m just trying.
Fisher: Aren’t we all? We’ll hopefully keep this thing growing and having a lot of fun with it. And we’ll talk to you again soon. See you at RootsTech!
Dick: All right, I’ll be there and I’ll look for you. Thanks a lot Scott.
Fisher: And coming up next, how can you create a free last minute family history Christmas gift? Rick Voight from Vivid-Pix has some ideas on the way in three minutes on Extreme Genes.
Segment 4 Episode 266
Host: Scott Fisher with guest Rick Voight
Fisher: Hey, it is time to talk preservation on Extreme Genes, America's Family History Show and ExtremeGenes.com. Very excited to have my good friend, Rick Voight from Vivid-Pix on the line right now. He and his buddy, Randy are long time photo geeks going back to their days at Kodak. And they've created this amazing product as we've been telling you about for a long time now called Restore. It’s from Vivid-Pix. And this is just, it’s a one click solution for fixing your faded, discolored, lack of contrast photographs to bring back those incredible memories. And Rick, here we are, you're traveling, you've been on the road. Now you're down in Florida visiting your parents, how's it going?
Rick: It’s going great. It was great seeing you a couple of weeks ago.
Fisher: And have you gotten all your holiday stuff done through all this traveling? That's my question. How do you do it?
Rick: [Laughs] I am trying hard, but in fact, the good thing with memories and with photos is you can do a lot of it on your computer. So yeah, I'm actually going to be giving my mom a very special gift this year for Christmas.
Fisher: Very nice. Is it anything we can talk about or is she going to listen in?
Rick: Well, I will try to keep her away. She does love you, but yeah.
Rick: What we did was, I took some of our old Christmas cards and I scanned them and had them pro bound with the Vivid-Pix Restore software, and I've made enlargements of the square smaller ones as well as enlargement of one of them for her to be able to remember what my sister and I looked like back 50 years ago.
Fisher: Wow! I had never thought about that. That would be a great thing to do, to create a card from your old cards from way back when, right?
Rick: Well, not everyone has thought about it. And I hadn't thought about it, so how would I help other people kind of have the recipe to do so. So, created a blog, we'll link it at Extreme Genes, and that way, we're able to have folks be instructed how to pull out their old photos, scan them, whether it’s on their all in one printer that they've got in their office or any other scanner that they have, download a free trial of the Vivid-Pix Restore software. So you get 10 free pictures, no credit card required. And then fix their photo and then print it. And they can print it on their home printer or walk into their local drug store or whatever is the easiest way for them to be able to have a great gift created here in just a few minutes.
Fisher: Well, I did see the blog. What I like about it is, it’s kind of like a recipe book, you know. I mean, it is step by step and it’s so stupid easy. And that's what I've always appreciated about the software just to begin with. You know, I'm thinking even as you talk, okay, what do we have? And I have one I think from like 60 years ago. [Laughs] Of my brother and myself.
Rick: Dating yourself.
Fisher: Dating myself. And I still have this ceramic Santa Claus that our picture was taken with back in the day. It would be kind of fun to do a “then and now” with the same piece, you know, because we haven't done our cards yet as of this weekend. So this is one of those last minute scrambles, and all our friends are going to be getting them in the mail late, but what a great idea. And it’s something I would have never thought of.
Rick: I'm glad that we're talking and we're sharing with others as well. That's cool.
Fisher: Yeah, well, it’s simple and inexpensive, too, and that's the thing. The other aspect is, then you can take that and work that through the various card companies, too, after you've repaired the picture and you put it up there.
Rick: Absolutely. So whether you walk into your local store or go online. And you know, we haven't talked about it much on this show, but we have Vivid-Pix Prints. So we have a processing lab that is a professional lab that we print very high quality stuff through. So we can do it pretty good.
Fisher: I had no idea about that. All right, great stuff. Well Rick, you have a great holiday season with your family. You've got your wife and kids coming down as well?
Rick: Well, actually we're going to be spending actual Christmas up in Charleston, so that will be nice. And so, wanted to make sure I was seeing the folks here for a few days and tied a little bit of social and pleasure together, and we'll be back in Charleston.
Fisher: Sweet! Well, great stuff. Best to Randy as well and thanks so much for all you guys are doing and make it so much easier for everybody to preserve their pictures and bring them back to life. It’s such a great piece of software. Thanks, Rick, and we'll talk to you again soon.
Rick: Scott, the best to you and your family. Take care.
Fisher: And we'll talk to Tom Perry, coming up next on Extreme Genes, America's Family History Show.
Segment 5 Episode 266
Host: Scott Fisher with guest Tom Perry
Fisher: Well, here we go, coming up on our final segment of our final episode of 2018. Over the next couple of holiday weekends, you'll be catching some classic episodes, some of our best of from 2018 on Extreme Genes. And Tom Perry is here, he is our Preservation Authority but of course. And Tom, you've got two special apps that are on your mind at this point with the holiday’s right upon us.
Tom: Yeah, they're really, really great. So many times we want to do things, we want to record things, we just don't do them. There's an app that's called Voice Memos, which is absolutely awesome. You can just turn it on and at your dinner table or just having some friends over, just lay it on an end table and let it run and record the stuff that everybody's going to be saying. You can turn it into mp3s, do whatever you want with it, edit it. And it makes it really, really easy to use. And a lot of times, people they want photos and they want to be able to get them out of somebody's albums. They don't want to let them go. They don't have extra copies. They have Christmas cards. You can get a scanner program that just an app that's called Scanner For, F O R. And just go to the app store or the Android store and download it. And you can hold it up to a Christmas card, a photograph, anything you want and make nice photos of it. And then you've got all these sayings without having to worry about, "Hey, you know, can I borrow the negatives? Can I take it down to the photo shop?" You can do these things, and with the new iPhones and Androids, the resolution is incredible. And this will so get things organized for you for Christmas. And then you can make it as a gift for them the next year.
Fisher: Boy that's a great idea! So we've got two of them, its Voice Memos and the other is Scanner For, F O R. You know, you were telling me off air how you save all your Christmas cards. Now, I don't know that I'd go that far. I do save a few of them physically, you know, from important people in our lives or special messages or if something's really exceptionally pretty. But most of them, you know, we have to move along with but what a great thing to do if you're looking to clear out old file cabinets, right? Lots and lots of old documents and records that you may not wish to keep physically and you can't find anybody to take, maybe even an archive isn't going to be that interested in them. Take these images with this particular app.
Tom: Oh yeah, like when I travel with bands and stuff and get backstage passes, if I get postcards, all kinds of stuff, I had boxes and boxes of the stuff. And I thought, "I never open these boxes." So I went and scanned them all and now I have them in my phone. I threw away several boxes. And now every once in a while, I just get nostalgic and go back and swipe through the photos, and it makes it so cool. And Christmas cards, there might be a nice, little message like you mentioned or there might just be a wonderful, beautiful photo on and you think, "Wow, this is nice! I'd love to use this as my screensaver during Christmas,” you know, and you've got it.
Fisher: You know, these are two apps. There are many, many others also that can apply for family history and preservation, Tom, and there are many others also for voice. The iPhone just has its own recorder, but I don't think it’s nearly anything as good as this one.
Tom: Exactly. And the best thing that I say to people is, go to your favorite app store and just do a search, I'm looking for an audio program, a recorder program, a scanner, a photo, and just go through and read the reviews, see what the people like and you'll find out which ones you like, which ones you don't. And go with what fits your lifestyle best.
Fisher: All right, Tom. I can't believe another year has passed here and we've completed another show. Thanks so much for all that you've brought to us this past year, and we're looking forward to doing it all over again in 2019 as things just continue to evolve.
Tom: My pleasure and Happy Holidays!
Fisher: All right, to you too, sir! Well, that is a wrap on our final show of 2018. And I want to thank everybody who's been a part of it this past season, David Allen Lambert, our Chief Genealogist with the New England Historic Genealogical Society and AmericanAncestors.org, to Tom Perry, who's always there with some great tips on preservation, all of you with your incredible stories. Keep them coming! Share them with us on our Facebook page. And of course to our Patron Club members who are so helpful in supporting the show as well. We love having you as a part of it and sharing those bonus podcasts with you and giving you early access to the podcasts as well. Hey, and for those of you who have not signed up for our Weekly Genie Newsletter yet, you can still do that. It’s absolutely free. Get online at ExtremeGenes.com or on our Facebook page, fill out the little block there and you'll get it immediately. And we give you links to past shows, present shows, a blog from me every week and links to stories that as a genealogy and family history researcher, you're going to love. Hey, we'll talk to you again in 2019. Thanks for joining us. And remember, as far as everyone knows, we're a nice, normal family!