Episode 267 - The Kindness Of A Stranger Yields Video Of Family Dad On 1952 Game Show / Milking The Max From Digitized Newspaper Sites

podcast episode Jan 20, 2019

Host Scott Fisher opens the show with David Allen Lambert, Chief Genealogist of the New England Historic Genealogical Society and AmericanAncestors.org. In the first new show of 2019, Fisher shares with David his first big find of the new year… a treasure trove of family newspaper stories from the 1920s and 1930s. David has also already had a major discovery. Hear what it is. David then shares a hilarious post he recently found… a parody of an ancestor from 1852 and his resolutions meant to keep any descendant from ever finding him. The guys then acknowledge the recent passing of the oldest living World War II vet, a Texas man. Next, David talks about a man who recently bought a building and discovered history newsreel footage in the basement. Hear the remarkable events they documented. David’s Blogger Spotlight this week shines on Chris Paton of BritishGenes.blogspot.com. The Genes Blog covers a lot about the release of recent Scottish Records.

Next up… Fisher visits with Chris Harry of Gainesville, Florida. Chris recently wrote an article about a Facebook message his family recently received from a stranger sharing a video of his father on a 1952 game show. Chris still doesn’t know the stranger’s identity.

Fisher then visits with Brenda Johnson of Legacy Tree Genealogists. Brenda recently blogged about digitized newspapers… “her passion”… and how to make the most of a journey to a digitized newspaper site. She and Fisher talk about various tricks to ensure you find all the articles that might be relevant to your family on the site.

Rick Voight is back this week from show sponsor Vivid-Pix. Fisher chats with him about a project he undertook over the holidays to upgrade some of his favorite family photos. He really put the RESTORE software through the paces. Hear what Rick has to say about how it works.

Then, Tom Perry, the Preservation Authority from TMCPlace.com, is amped up over the recent CES in Las Vegas. What new tech might be in store for us? Tom will surely have some ideas.

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

Transcript of Episode 267

Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show

Host: Scott Fisher with guest David Allen Lambert

Segment 1 Episode 267

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. Hey, some great guests for our first show of the New Year coming up in about ten minutes or so. I’m going to talk to a man who received a mysterious text from somebody who had found a video of his dad from 1952. And you’re going to want to hear this whole story because it’s crazy. It was an actual stranger who sent this on to him and it was just so much fun. We’re going to talk to Chris Harry in Gainesville, Florida, coming up in just a little bit. And then later on in the show, I am going to talk to Brenda Johnson, a Project Manager with our friends at Legacy Tree Genealogists, talking about some tricks to pulling out the most stories as you can through newspapers that have been digitized. Good stuff coming up in just a little bit. Hey, just a reminder, if you haven’t signed up for our “Weekly Genie Newsletter,” now’s the time to do it. First of all, it’s free. That’s the easy part. And I give you a blog each week plus the links to stories you’re going to appreciate as a family history researcher, and links to current and past shows as well. So, sign up at ExtremeGenes.com or on our Facebook page. All right, let’s check in with Boston right now for the first time in 2019. David Allen Lambert is standing by. He’s the Chief Genealogist of the New England Historic Genealogical Society and AmericanAncestors.org. That is a mouthful David.

David: It sure is. Hey, by the way, did you ever catch up on your sleep the other day I was talking to you? I think it was up to the wee hours of the morning during some newspaper research.

Fisher: I got in trouble. I did. You know, I don’t know about you, but I feel kind of like that Pavlovian dog, the Pavlov’s dog, right? You just keep pulling on this thing waiting for the little food bit to fall out.

David: [Laughs]

Fisher: So, just before I went to bed, this was January 3rd. It was like 10:30 Julie’s hitting the hay and I said, “I’ll be right in behind you.” I thought, let’s just take one look and try to find a digitized newspaper article. And I found one, and I thought, “Oh okay, well, good. There we go. I found something and now I can go to bed.” And I go to log out and just as the picture’s disappearing I caught a glance of what newspaper it was. And it was one of those, “Wait! What?” moments. And it turned out to be the Bergen, New Jersey Record, the Bergen County Record. This was my father’s hometown newspaper and I’ve been waiting for somebody to digitize that ever since digitization began. And I went through at 2:15 in the morning when my body said, “You will not search anymore.”

David: [Laughs]

Fisher: I had found somewhere around sixty four articles concerning my dad and my grandparents and my uncle, and wedding accounts and all kinds of stuff, and great aunts and great uncles. I mean it was a kick and I got in at 2:15, my wife’s a light sleeper and she goes, “What are you doing? Why are you up at this hour?” I thought, “Oh boy.” So I said, “Look, it was Christmas all over again, hon. Sorry. Goodnight.” [Laughs] And then the next day I found fifty more. So, it’s like somebody handed me a family scrapbook. It’s been amazing.

David: Well, it really is. Newspapers are amazing and sometimes looking at things again for the second time around. So, part of my new year’s resolution this year is to spend a little bit more time looking at ancestors. Well, I know they are published, but let me find all the primary sources. And for the guy that I had all the Revolutionary War documents for, I know he served in the French and Indian War, now I have more dates of service and places that he went that I ever had before because I reinvestigated an old ancestor.

Fisher: Hey, I think we both had a great start to the New Year my friend.

David: I think so, and I want to share with you something that a friend shared from Facebook. This is “supposedly” written in 1852 by a man by the name of Henry Hiddenwell.

Fisher: [Laughs]

David: So your ancestors leaving a resolution and this is a genealogist finding it. “I resolve to see that all of my children have the same name that has been used for six generations in a row.”

Fisher: [Laughs]

David: “I resolve to never list the same name, age or birth year twice on any document. My age is no one’s business but my own.” [Laughs] “I resolve to have my children baptized in a different church, even in a different faith or in a different parish. Every third child will not be baptized at all, or will be baptized by an itinerant minister who keeps no records.”

Fisher: [Laughs]

David: [Laughs] “I resolve to move to a new town, new county or new state, at least once every ten years just to keep those pesky enumerators from coming around asking questions.” A couple more of these that were really fun. “I resolve to make every attempt to reside in counties where towns keep no vital records or courthouses burn down every few years. And lastly, I will marry my beloved Mary, but should she die, I will make sure I marry another Mary.”

Fisher: Of course. Absolutely. That’s brilliant.

David: [Laughs]

Fisher: That’s really fun. I think we’ve all had ancestors who took those resolutions, you know.

David: Yes, I know. Well, Henry Hiddenwell, thank you for being “hidden so well.”

Fisher: [Laughs]

David: Well, I know one of our featured topics has been Richard Overton, but sadly as we’ve just learned, he has passed at the ripe old age of 112, the oldest American veteran from World War II.

Fisher: Yeah, he used to actually have all the town in Texas come and join him on his birthdays in the last few years, so it’s a real big loss in Texas. They’re really honouring him there.

David: The town is looking to convert his home into a museum.

Fisher: Nice thought.

David: So it should be kind of nice, yeah. Well, sometimes you find stuff you’re not expecting to find when you clean out a business or a house that you acquire. How about old newsreels films from the 1930s?

Fisher: Crazy!

David: That’s a great story.

Fisher: Yeah, we’ve got it on ExtremeGenes.com.

David: The Chicago World’s Fair from 1933 and 1934, footage of the dedication of Lincoln’s Tomb in Springfield, Illinois.

Fisher: Yeah! Isn’t that crazy?

David: It’s great!

Fisher: And it’s 35mm, so it’s very difficult for him to get digitized because it’s a commercial size, but they’ve had TV stations helping him out. And I think they’re doing some “GoFundMe” stuff to get all these because those aren’t the only ones. It’s quite a haul.

David: Well, I’ll tell you one of the things that I like to do is give a blogger spotlight. And the spotlight this week shines on Chris Patten, who has blog at Britishgenes.blogspot.com and it’s called the GENES Blog. Check out Chris’ blog, it’s pretty up to date with all the things going on in the UK side of genealogy. Well, that’s all I have this week, but if you want to become a member of NEHGS, go to AmericanAncestors.org, use the check out code “Extreme” for Extreme Genes and you can save $20. Catch you the next time around here in Beantown.

Fisher: All right, thanks so much David. And coming up next, we’re going to talk to a Gainesville man who got a mysterious message from a stranger that led to an amazing video of his father back in 1952. You’re going to want to hear this story, coming up on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show.

Segment 2 Episode 267

Host: Scott Fisher with guest Chris Harry

Fisher: Hey we are back it. It’s Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show and ExtremeGenes.com. Fisher here, your Radio Roots Sleuth, and you know, it’s always fun around the holidays when you get a little surprise, maybe a little gift that you weren’t expecting. And my next guest got that and so much more. His name is Chris Harry. He is the Senior Editor for FloridaGators.com down in my brother’s neck of the woods in Gainesville, Florida. How are you Chris? Welcome to Extreme Genes.

Chris: I’m doing well, Scott. How are you?

Fisher: You know, I’m doing great, and I’ve had this kind of thing happen myself and also sent some things other people’s way that is kind of similar to how this set up for you. But let’s just talk about this little text that changed your life and how it came about.

Chris: Well, what happened was, my brother lives out in California, and out of the blue one day he got a direct message via Facebook from somebody he did not know, and I think he had to take a double-take once if he did know this person. But it was an attachment, and he opened it up and it was a YouTube clip, and he clicked on it and it was a black and white video from 1952 from a game show called Winner Take All.

Fisher: Okay.

Chris: So, my brother was just looking at this thing, it had a date on it. It said February 28, 1952. He had no idea why this thing was there, and lo and behold, a couple of minutes into the thing Bill Cullen, if you were a kid growing up in the 60s or 70s you watched game shows because you had no choice because there were only three or four stations on your television.

Fisher: Yeah. That’s it.

Chris: And Bill Cullen was a guy that showed up on a lot of game shows. He was the original host I believe, of the Ten Thousand Dollar Pyramid even before Dick Clark. I know he was on The Price is Right.

Fisher: To Tell The Truth. He is did that show too.

Chris: To Tell The Truth. Yeah. Right there next to Kitty Carlisle really, really old people, right?

Fisher: Yeah [Laughs]

Chris: Anyway, so there’s Bill Cullen and he says, “Don Pardo introduce our next guest” and there’s the unmistakeable voice of Don Pardo, he steps up and says, “Let’s bring out SK3 Ralph Harry.” And SK3 Ralph Harry is my father.

Fisher: Wow.

Chris: And there, walking on to the camera in his sailor’s uniform from that year, was my father, about 130 pounds. I can only imagine, my brother was probably thinking the same thing I was thinking when I saw it for the first time, but it’s really hard to put into words and yet it’s something obviously I felt compelled to put into words and I wrote a story about it and submitted it to the Washington Post, which ran it in their Inspired Life section several weeks later which is why I’m sure is why we’re talking right now.

Fisher: Yes.

Chris: But the bottom line with this is, my brother sent it to me and I said, “Where did this come from?” And he sent back a message to this person, we’ll just call him Jeff, saying, “Where did you get this? And, I’m sorry if I don’t know you, but how do we know each other?” And this person answers back that they did not know each other and that there was no reason to apologize. But he had a hobby of watching old game shows, seeing people on old game shows, and I’m talking 1952, I don’t know where the heck this guy finds this stuff on the internet, but his hobby is to watch old game shows in the middle of the night. He’s an insomniac he explained and he would track down families of these people on these game shows and send them these videos out of the blue and we were the recipient of it, and it’s a 24-minute clip. My father won some bed sheets and two watches on this thing, and what’s funny about this is that he was in New York on shore leave, and some friend of his gave him some tickets to a game show. But it wasn’t this game show. It was another game show called The Big Pay Off.

Fisher: Okay. [Laughs]

Chris: And we knew he had been on The Big Pay Off in 1952 because he won $7000 on that and there’s a clip of an article from the Winchester Stars, Winchester, Virginia is where he and my mother grew up. There’s a little clip from how he won this $7000 prize package which included a trip to Europe. We knew about that, but as my mom would explain to us after she saw the video for the first time, “Oh yeah, I guess he left that show and the producers from this other show in this studio saw him in his uniform and said, ‘We want you to come on this.’ And he goes, ‘Well, I was just on this other one.’ They go, ‘It’s okay it’s a different network.’ And they shuffled him right into this show.”

Fisher: [Laughs] Yeah.

Chris: And lo and behold that’s where this video came. I would say it’s something that a) was unexpected, and b) it’s something that my brother and I will certainly cherish. Because it’s moving talking pictures of my father before both of us were born, before he married my mother, and it’s just not something that you would ever expect to see. Put yourself in that position for somebody who would be my age in my late 50s and have this sort of a thing fall into your lap, a treasure if you will, of a time in your parent’s life where you could not have seen them in this way.

Fisher: Oh no question. You know and I’ve had that kind of experience because 10 years ago, I discovered YouTube very early on, and found a video of my father playing in a big band in the Russ Morgan Orchestra in 1936. He was a professional musician his whole life but I had never seen him play, and so what a gift. And when I read your story, I’m thinking oh man, here’s a guy I got to talk to because [laughs] what an amazing find. Now what’s interesting is, this guy Jeff he’s kind of maintained his air of mystique, has he not?

Chris: [Laughs] That’s putting it mildly. So first of all, I went to pitch this story and I included in the story a couple of text of exchanges he had with my brother via Facebook messenger. But he wasn’t a guy who was answering back in timely fashion. He answered back whenever he did. And after this story ran on January 2nd, the Post tweeted it out. They have thirteen million followers on their account, I tweeted it and I got nineteen thousand in the job that I do.

Fisher: Wow!

Chris: And we put it on Facebook. I have a lot of friends from home and a lot of my friends knew my parents of course. They saw this, and the response both on Facebook and on Twitter, and even if you go on the Washington Post website and find the story, it’s approaching a hundred comments at the bottom of that, and I think what’s unusual about it, people aren’t used to people being overly nice on social media, and here’s this guy whose just, wherever he is, for all I know he’s in Sri Lanka.

Fisher: Right. Who knows?

Chris: I don’t. You’re not the first one to reach out to me. I have Scripps. The news service emailed me. Then we have Evening News with David Hartman. This producer called me and wanted very much to do a story on this person, and my brother sent him a message and told him that these people really were interested, and his response was, “I’m a private person. I do this for me, and thank you for everything. It’s a joy to do this for people.”

Fisher: Yeah.

Chris: And he doesn’t do it for the credit. And the note he sent back to me complimenting the story I wrote was almost as touching and as heart warming as the video I was able to see of my father. So, this whole experience obviously has been a blessing for me, for my brother in California, and for my mom who is still alive in Virginia at 86-years old. So, to come at the holiday season is the confluence of it all. It’s been extraordinary.

Fisher: Well, it is amazing first of all what people can find now online and track down folks like that. I watched the clip, and your father goes through this whole thing with Bill Cullen about having two first names.

Chris: That’s right.

Fisher: And then he asked the father’s name and asks his mother’s name. So now you have the grandparents. And that’s not that difficult to track down especially when you have websites like Ancestry and Family Search. And others for living people, which is FamilyTreeNow.com. That’s how it’s done. It doesn’t take that much effort to do it. And a lot of people are doing that. We see people doing it and helping folks for instance, solve DNA problems and they call them Search Angels.

Chris: Right.

Fisher: I think it’s just because there’s nothing that makes you feel better than just really improving somebody’s life with a find like that. I’m sure that has just pretty much hung with you now, what’s it been about six weeks? I mean, it’s not going to go away that glow any time soon, is it?

Chris: No. And he said that we were really easy to find. [Laughs] I guess he is maybe the person who is skilled with those websites that you’re talking about in terms that can track down families who don’t have you. But what’s funny is that in the days that followed the story coming out, something happened with the YouTube clip that was embedded into the Washington Post website version of the story, where people were clicking on it and it was saying video unavailable. And I guess my brother messaged back to Jeff and said, is there something with the video? Because we hadn’t heard from him since we had sent him the story. We didn’t know, maybe he was upset that I wrote this story.

Fisher: [Laughs]

Chris: We just hadn’t heard from him. We just didn’t know. He’s a mysterious person.

Fisher: Sure. [Laughs]

Chris: But at the same time he shot back he says that happens sometimes on YouTube where it will say that, and lo and behold another YouTube link pops in. He said, “I found it somewhere else.” And the second version he sent was in HD.

Fisher: Wow!

Chris: So, [Laughs] he goes, “I’m not a very technical person but I found this.” I’m like, you’re not a very technical person but you found these archive treasures for our family. And you didn’t find it once, you found it twice. [Laughs]

Fisher: Yeah, that’s pretty impressive. Well you know, there is a tool out there and I wish I could tell you what it was because I remember using it once some time back, but you can actually capture those videos off of YouTube or any other site that carries videos. So you can burn your own DVD off of it and have it so you never lose it in case it does get taken down at some point.

Chris: How about that, right. I was searching around for it, Scott, and did some searches for the Winner Take All, and actually one popped up and I started watching it. But Gary Morton was the host of it. And again, if you’ve been around a while you remember Gary Morton was the host of a lot of talk shows.

Fisher: Was it Gary Morton or Gary Moore?

Chris: Gary Moore. You’re right. Gary Moore. And he walks out, this 97-year old guy on I’ve Got a Secret.

Fisher: Oh yeah.

Chris: And he is saying right, this is so and so, his name was something Seymour, and the guy falling down, he had a patch on his head and everything, he’s got a secret. Let’s let the audience in on the secret. And they flash the secret on the screen that says, “I witnessed Abraham Lincoln being assassinated by John Wilkes.” That is out there on YouTube believe it or not.

Fisher: [Laughs] Yes.

Chris: A guy who was on an early game show who was 97-years old. And I guess at the age of five he was at our American cousin Honest Abe. [Laughs]

Fisher: And he died just a short time after. Within three weeks or a month or something after that show was shot. It was absolutely astonishing. Well, I am so happy for you, Chris and your family. And it’s a great piece of video and we’re going to link to it at ExtremeGenes.com so people can see what has lit up your life in the last six weeks. Thanks for sharing your story with us and good luck in the future.

Chris: Thank you very much Scott. I appreciate it.

Fisher: And coming up next, we’re going to talk digitized newspapers. If you haven’t looked through those yet, we’re going to give you some tricks for coaxing some of those stories out of those sites. Brenda Johnson is going to be with us from Legacy Tree Genealogists coming up in five minutes on Extreme Genes.           

Segment 3 Episode 267

Host: Scott Fisher with guest Brenda Johnson

Fisher: Oh, I’ve got to tell you I started the New Year on the right note. I went to go to bed. It was January 3rd, was a Thursday? And it was 10:30 and kind of like the Pavlov’s dog. I wanted to see if I could find one last something before I went to bed. And I found a little article on Newspapers.com. And then I thought, okay, I’ll go find it again in the morning, now that I know it’s there. It wasn’t anything of great significance, but I figured I’d capture it and I would save it because I love newspaper stories for family history. And as I was logging off I got a glimpse of what the paper was this was found on and I was like, whoa, whoa, wait a minute! What? It was the Bergen Record of Northern New Jersey. Now, this was my father’s hometown newspaper and I’ve been looking for that paper to be digitized for years. And so I went back to it and I started searching it and by 2:15 in the morning, the next morning, I had found sixty four new articles concerning my dad and his brother, and my grandparents, and great aunts and uncles. And finally my body just says, “Shut down! No more names. Go to bed.” At which point my wife was very upset with me because it was really late and the next day I found fifty more articles. So, it was absolutely incredible. And that’s why I figured we’ve got to talk to Brenda Johnson today. She is a Project Manager with Legacy Tree Genealogists. And Brenda, you just did a blog on this whole subject and it’s fantastic.

Brenda: It’s one of my passions.

Fisher: You think about all the stories that are in the digitized newspapers now and it keeps growing. And when you think about it there is a difference between genealogy and family history. Family history incorporates genealogy which is basically putting your tree together and making sure that it’s all accurate and documenting it. But family history incorporates so much more, the photographs, the audio recordings, and the home movies, and the stories. And so many of them come from newspapers and sometimes it’s a little hard to coax those stories out of those sites and I thought we’ve talk a little about that today, about when you’re not finding articles you know should be there.

Brenda: So, with the newspapers you’re used to going and looking for obituaries and most of that has been indexed by individuals for those obituaries and reading it and typing it in. But if you go to the newspaper sites that are out there, most of the indexing that’s done there is by character recognition rather than somebody typing it in.

Fisher: Yes.

Brenda: For example, I had an article on my great, great aunt who passed away in Australia, and when you look at what the text errors are next to what it actually says in the article, I would say seventy five percent of the words are not spelled right. So, you have to just keep trying different words when you do the search to be able to pull out some of these stories, especially the older newspapers.

Fisher: Yeah and that’s really true. I found a few tricks that have really worked for me and I bet you’ve done some of these too. First of all, I’ve tried to narrow it to a certain timeframe, certain year to year. And then I’ll put in for instance, in quotes just a street address and maybe the name of the town, right, on the outside of that.

Brenda: Um hmm.

Fisher: Because hopefully if they were living at that address it will pull up stories about them where the name itself might be too common and bring up too many, or maybe the name is not registering and it’s bringing up too few, or not bringing up some that it should bring up. So, I put in the street address and the town. Sometimes, I’ll put in just a last name and an occupation or an interest, or something that might make the news or I’ll put in misspelled versions of the name, commonly misspelled of course with Fisher you’ll have a C in it as opposed to not the C which is of course the way God intended it. [Laughs]

Brenda: [Laughs]

Fisher: So, anyway, that’s how I search and it brings out a lot more things but it takes a lot more time. And also, you’ll put in for instance the first name and the middle name initials instead of the full name. So, my dad William Hardy Fisher would be W. H. Fisher and put it in that way. There’s so many ways you can put in a name and get a result.

Brenda: They were actually setting the type back then so they wanted to take it and make it succinct as possible to try to just have the initials and not full names. For the women it was always Mrs. so and so. I would say one of the main things that you want to consider when you’re looking for things, also the address is a great idea, but you might also want to take a look at events that have happened in your family. So, a death is a good example. We had a client where there was a fire in their history so they knew that their relative had passed away from this fire. What they didn’t know and was found in the article was that this woman actually died a hero and that she stood between her children and this fire to protect them when paraffin lamps exploded. So it had more details. The details they had on what happened wasn’t what truly happened.

Fisher: What time period was this, and where?

Brenda: It was early 1900s in the US.

Fisher: Yeah, you know these fire stories are incredible, and often these things will just bring tears to your eyes as you read them, as if it just happened yesterday and you consider what people endured. And that’s the beauty of the newspapers. You know, we talked so much about DNA now, and properly so. However, newspapers to me is what really puts flesh on the bones as we figure out who our people are, and I found so many stories. In fact, in this recent haul of over 110 articles, I found the reference to my dad’s marriage to my half-sister’s mom back in 1935, even a birth announcement of my half-sister the following year which is really exciting to me.

Brenda: My best case came from my own great grandmother who passed away from suicide back in 1912, and the newspaper article actually had her suicide note in it. So, while nobody in the family through the years talked about it ever, and everybody’s gone by the time it comes to me, I had, in her words, what was going on. And so that just means the world to actually have that.

Fisher: That is really interesting, yeah. Well, I had found stuff over in Great Britain. I’ve mentioned recently about an 1818 article where a church parish there was looking for my third great grandfather because he had abandoned his family of five. And they were looking for him and were offering a reward because at that point the church was now taking care of them and it was obviously his responsibility, but he pretty much disappeared. We never saw him again, but it was fascinating to see that and understand why I saw his wife remarrying sometime later, but never found his death record.

Brenda: And it truly shows that he disappeared.

Fisher: Yeah.

Brenda: And it’s just that you couldn’t find death records and she was a widow like they’d actually known he’s moved someplace else.

Fisher: Yeah, you can understand a lot of the records you see. Well, you know, there are so many sites and I don’t know how many people consider that it’s really a good thing to subscribe to many of them as much as anything else that you subscribe to. There’s Newspapers.com. There’s Genealogybank.com, Newspaperarchives.com. With a real emphasis on New York there’s Fultonhistory.com and that one by the way is free.

Brenda: Well, there are hundreds of free sites all around the world and the best place to find that is Wikipedia. So, if you do a search on Google and search Wikipedia’s list as online newspaper archives, it lists by country. There are hundreds sites that are available unless you know which are free and which are pay sites. 

Fisher: And links to them also which makes it really easy, doesn’t it?

Brenda: It does.

Fisher: So, Brenda when you find an article, what do you do with it?

Brenda: I will clip it out for myself personally and save it on my computer with the name of the newspaper, the page number, the column so that one, if you ever have access to the actual newspaper itself you can go back and find it. Websites do tend to disappear through time, so just saving a link to where it was is not necessarily going to guarantee it’s going to be there a year or five years from now.

Fisher: Boy, you are absolutely right about that. Good advice, and great conversation. Thank you so much Brenda. She is Brenda Johnson. She is a Project Manager for Legacy tree Genealogists. To me, newspapers are right there with DNA as among your most important tools in the toolkit for family history research. Appreciate it Brenda and we’ll talk to you again sometime.

Brenda: Thank you.

Fisher: And coming up next, I have started the New Year with restoring some of my old photographs which I’m sharing with you by the way on ExtremeGenes.com. We’re going to talk about that process with Rick Voight from Vivid-Pix coming up next in three minutes on Extreme Genes.

Segment 4 Episode 267

Host: Scott Fisher with guest Rick Voight

Fisher: Hey, we're back at it, its Extreme Genes, America's Family History Show and ExtremeGenes.com. It is Fisher here, your Radio Roots Sleuth. It’s our first show of 2019. And as we've mentioned throughout the course of the show, it’s been a good start to the new show. Found a whole family scrapbook of digitized newspaper material in the first week of the year. And then you know, we've had so many of our listeners sharing pictures that they have fixed using the software, RESTORE, from our friends at Vivid-Pix. Just amazing restoration with one click of a button. And I felt, "Okay, wait a minute, why don't I do some of mine!" Because you know, when you get a little time off, that's the perfect project. And I've got to tell you, it just blew my mind. And you've got to see these posts that I've put on ExtremeGenes.com. We've got color pictures, some that are like 30 years old, some that are 130 years old, black and whites, even documents on there, and it’s astounding stuff! We've got Rick on the line right now from Vivid-Pix. I don't know how you come up with an algorithm, but I've got to tell you, Rick, I really put it through the paces and it did very well!

Rick: Hi, Scott. It’s great to speak with you. Happy New Year. And its fun looking at all these different images that you described. Whether it be from the photograph here of your wife or very old photos of you and her aunts. So, you couldn’t see their faces, that's for sure.

Fisher: Yeah, there's no question. It’s funny, I was doing that picture, the first picture in there is my wife with a couple of really old great aunts that she had met in Newtown, Indiana. We were on one of our very first family history tours of the country and we were introduced to these people. She got a picture taken with them. She was in her early 20s at the time. And the picture had really faded, and the color was disappearing and all this. And so, I had the Vivid-Pix version of it after we ran it through the RESTORE paces. And she was walking by the door to my office and she peeked in and said, "Wait a minute! Is that, that picture with the...?" "Yeah, come in and look at this."

Rick: I love it.

Fisher: And she was so excited and absolutely blown away by it, you know, of course lamenting the fact that a lot of time has passed since she looked like that. [Laughs] But nonetheless, it’s just an amazing picture. And the color restoration is the thing that kind of blows my mind, because there's a second picture there where we toured through one of her ancestral homes, and that picture had faded away as well. And Vivid-Pix and RESTORE really brought this thing out. So, how do you do this? I mean, how does this algorithm function?

Rick: So what we do is, we essentially image scan them, whether it be a photograph or a document, we analyze the image to understand what needs to be improved. And at one time, we adjust color, contrast, sharpness and brightness. And then we provide the final image, so that people are able to choose which image that looks best to them. And with one click, they’re able to have a before and after. And I love the photograph here of your wife, then the one that you just mentioned, the one underneath that, the big wall, which in the original is quite dark and quite faded.

Fisher: Yes, really dark and faded.

Rick: And all of a sudden, that wall is just this bright light. So, pretty pleased with that. And you know, if I look through all of these images, the next one of this gentleman here, it’s fun because you've got a photograph, an image of three people and then also text on the same image and that we were able to improve both the text as well the image, the photo of the men. It’s a very cool shot.

Fisher: And don’t forget too, we've got a newspaper in there. It’s one of my ancestral newspapers and it had really faded. And this actually restored that as well. So that's really fun. So you can get a sample of what it looks like for documents.

Rick: So, back to answer your question. We analyze the image, whether it be a document or a photograph, we understand what needs to be improved, the algorithm sorts through all that, and then with one click, the person gets the before and after image and then they're able to tweak if they want. But knowing that we went through this together, most of these were one clicks.

Fisher: I appreciate that, Rick. And certainly appreciate you being a sponsor on Extreme Genes. Proud to have you on, because it’s a great product and it’s a lot of fun to kind of show off what this amazing product can do. So, we'll talk to you again soon! Happy New Year, my friend!

Rick: Happy New Year to you.

Fisher: And coming up next, we're going to talk to Tom Perry, our Preservation Authority on Extreme Genes, America's Family History Show.

Segment 5 Episode 267

Host: Scott Fisher with guest Tom Perry

Fisher: Welcome back to America's Family History Show, Extreme Genes and ExtremeGenes.com. It is Fisher here, your Radio Roots Sleuth, talking preservation with our Preservation Authority, Tom Perry from TMCPlace.com. This man is busting at the seams! It’s our first show of course of 2019. And Tom every year at this time starts talking about CES, which was formerly known as the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada. And Tom, you're pretty excited about some of the stuff that was in the show this year.

Tom: Yeah, CES was awesome this year! In fact, I know this segment is pretty much about preservation. Well, I'm going to give you a little bit about preservation for your mental health. As all of you that have iPhones know that Apple made an announcement that why your phone keeps going slower and slower and slower with the updates is, because your battery is specially programmed to not ever just like die on you. So it goes down and down quicker than it should. However, there was a company there called, iFixit.com, just the letter I, and then F I X I T.com. And they were showing off these kits that they have that are less than $50. And even if you're a beginner in Do It Yourself type technology, you can replace the battery in your iPhone really, really easy, and as I mentioned, really, really cheap. And it will make your old iPhone just like brand new again. And so, like if you've had somebody like an older brother or an uncle or something upgrade and given you their old iPhone and its really running slow, you have to keep charging over and over again, all it is, is a simple battery issue. Replace the battery and it will be just like brand new again and it will run with the new OS, which is so totally awesome. Peace of mind big time. My son's always driving me crazy, because he always gets my hand me downs and they get slower and slower and slower.

Fisher: Sure. Well, that makes a lot of sense. And you know, this is good too, because so many people do their research on their iPhones, and if they are not functioning properly, that's a problem. So you've just tied it into preservation, there you go, Tom. What else was at CES this year we should know about?

Tom: Okay, now this one you're going to want to sit down and fasten your safety belt. For all those people that have those 55 inch televisions that just think, "This is not big enough for me."

Fisher: Yeah, yeah.

Tom: Well, there has been one announced now by Samsung that is 219 inches!

Fisher: [Laughs] 219! That's like a whole room.

Tom: It is! I mean, I remember, my first apartment wasn't that big.

Fisher: Yeah. [Laughs] You had a very small apartment. But that makes for a very big TV, I'll give you that. And what is Samsung charging for this beast?

Tom: Smartly enough, they haven't announced the amount, so there were not fainting on the aisles there at CES.

Fisher: Yeah. [Laughs]

Tom: I'll bet it’s going to be $3000 or $4000 at least when it first comes out.

Fisher: Oh, at least.

Tom: But I mean, this thing is huge! It’s bigger than most of your picture windows you have in your living room.

Fisher: [Laughs] Or a sliding glass door, right?

Tom: Right. So if you're in an apartment in New York and you know, your view is the wall of another building, put this thing up and run pictures of Manhattan on it.

Fisher: Yeah. [Laughs] Perfect, absolutely. Okay, we're running out of time. So what else was out there, Tom?

Tom: They have some new software coming out that are updates and things, some of them are in preliminary stages, but they are having do it yourself type apps that’s going to be able to help you find your pictures on your phone where you have multiples, you're always saving and saving and saving. It will go in and find every one that has the same code and say, "Hey, you have the same picture here five times. Let's get rid of four of them." or "Hey, you have the same file here four or five times and they're exactly the same, let's get rid of them." And we'll have some more information on those later on when we have more time, but they're really, really cool apps. It should be out probably within the next month.

Fisher: Wow! You know, every year it’s just something new, something fantastic. And always glad to catch up with CES with you, Tom. Thanks so much.

Tom: You bet. My pleasure!

Fisher: Well, that wraps up our first show of 2019, and talk about covering a lot of ground! A great story from an ordinary guy with an extraordinary find, of course that being Chris Harry from Gainesville, Florida. If you didn't catch it, listen to the podcast. You can find it on ExtremeGenes.com, also on iTunes and iHeart Radio and Spreaker, it’s all over the place. TuneIn Radio also has it. Also, thanks to Brenda Johnson for talking about newspaper research, having just found a big haul myself from my father's side. You're going to want to listen to this and find out how to get more out of your newspaper sites by how you go about searching them. Hey, great to have you aboard. Thanks for joining us. Don't forget to sign up for our Weekly Genie newsletter at ExtremeGenes.com. Talk to you next week. And remember, as far as everyone knows, we're a nice, normal family!


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