Episode 268 - The Great Migration Project Hits 30 Years / Fisher Visits With GMP Director Robert Charles AndersonJan 27, 2019
Host Scott Fisher opens the show with David Allen Lambert, Chief Genealogist of the New England Historic Genealogical Society and AmericanAncestors.org. The guys begin their “Family Histoire News” with the story of a family that has been in the same unique business for 400 years! Hear what they make and how many generations this covers. Then, it’s DNA again that reveals some unexpected ancestry in an entire people in Latin America. The guys will tell you what has been confirmed. Germany is now sharing more and more records from that country’s most shameful times… World War II and the Holocaust. One family has taken advantage of these records to learn many of the specifics of their family members’ final days. Then, David talks about an Irish woman who found a 19th century photo album on eBay. As a passionate researcher of such pieces, even she was shocked to learn who was portrayed in it. David’s Blogger Spotlight this week shines on MissingRoots.com, managed by Michael Lee Stills. Michael has been tackling Amy Johnson Crowe’s “52 Ancestors In 52 Weeks Challenge.”
Next, Fisher visits with Robert Charles Anderson, the man behind thirty years of the “Great Migration” Project. In two parts, Robert talks to Fisher about the Project as well as his new book, Puritan Pedigrees: The Deep Roots of the Great Migration to New England. The book explains why so many of America’s New England ancestors took the risky voyage across the ocean to settle here.
Then, Tom Perry is back with a great suggestion for a family history Valentines Day gift.
That’s all this week on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show!
Transcript for Episode 268
Host: Scott Fisher with guest David Allen Lambert
Segment 1 Episode 268
Fisher: And welcome to America’s Family History Show, Extreme Genes and ExtremeGenes.com. It is Fisher here. I am your Radio Roots Sleuth on the program where we shake your family tree and watch the nuts fall out. And if you’re new to the show, we are just thrilled to have you, and hope if you’re interested in discovering your family’s past and their deep dark secrets, just stick around because we’ve got all kinds of great stories, discoveries that people make, and how to do these things. That’s what we do here on the show. I’ve got a great guest for you today. His name is Robert Charles Anderson. He’s an iconic figure in family history research because he’s the guy behind an incredible series of books called The Great Migration and this covers the period from 1620 when the Mayflower showed up till 1640 when things really slowed down. He’s going to be talking about that with me coming up in a little bit and his new book out called Puritan Pedigrees: The Deep Roots of the Great Migration to New England. So, this will kind of give you the “whys” of why your ancestors came to North America back then. Hey, congratulations to my good friend Nathan Dylan Goodwin from England. He’s written another great book. And if you’re not familiar with him, he writes novels that are mysteries based on genealogical research. They are very clever. They’re a lot of fun. He’s written a short prequel to his book called Hiding the Past. It’s called The Asylum and it is 99¢ (cents) on Amazon.com, but there’s a link on his website which makes the book available for free. So you go to NathanDylanGoodwin.com and you can get it, and I’m sure you’ll absolutely enjoy it. Right now, let’s 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. Hello David.
David: Hello, and I see that you’ve got my good friend and mentor Robert Charles Anderson on this week, so I’m thrilled to hear that, and I hope that will go well.
Fisher: Oh, it will. He’s a good man and he’s got some great stories to tell. I’m really looking forward to it.
David: Me too. Well, let’s start off with our Family Histoire News with a story that kind of rings true. Well, if you’ve ever played the drums you may have heard of Zildjian, which is in Massachusetts based company with older origins. This company started back in 1623 in Istanbul, Turkey. And if you do play the drums, look closely at the symbols with the Zildjian on it. There’s a long family history which extends into Massachusetts later on.
Fisher: Isn’t that crazy? They started in 1623! They’ve had fourteen generations of this family keep making them. As I understand it the guy who’s kind of coming up in the family ranks with this says, “Look, you get this little piece of 400 years, don’t screw it up.” [Laughs]
David: Um hmm. Well, DNA never ceases to amaze me Fish, and I’ll tell you this new story which is also on Extreme Genes about the genetic legacy of the Spanish Inquisition with the people that ended up in Latin America and the New World. Fascinating that DNA is uncovering the past of people that, well, are descendents of those who had perished during the Spanish Inquisition, the Sephardic Jews from well over 500 years go.
Fisher: And you know there were rumors about this for years because apparently there were some customs that were carrying on in Latin America, and people were saying well, that’s Jewish. They must come from the Jews from the Spanish Inquisition. People were saying they were reading way too much into it and now the DNA has come out and shown that that is absolutely the case.
David: It’s amazing and like I say every time I get a new cousin match I’m hoping to uncover a piece of the past, but to uncover an entire origin of people is amazing!
Fisher: Yeah. [Laughs] It is. It never stops to amaze, right?
David: Well, you know, even without DNA, people are finding amazing things. Like a gentleman Gabriel Wolinsky who’s from Ottawa, Canada, who discovered, while doing a genealogy on his family after a family reunion, that there was a website that had information on his family being deported to a death camp out near Belarus in 1942, and he’s been able to research his family. More and more of these type of databases, the Nazis kept extensive records and for Jewish Americans or in this case Jewish Canadians or anybody who have had family that was lost or survived the holocaust they will be able to find these online databases to be useful. And this one is Bundesarchiv.de, so b-u-n-d-e-s-a-r-c-h-i-v.d-e. Of course, you can find this on Extreme Genes under News.
Fisher: Isn’t that amazing? And you know they actually found the train schedules for these people. And they know what train they went on, when it left, from where, and they can tie all this story together, so they know the tragic story of their family members that they lost in the Holocaust. Unbelievable.
David: It really is. I’ll tell you I’m on eBay all the time as well as you Fish and I can tell you that this lady in Ireland spending a thousand dollars found quite a prize. How about a photo album that had members of Jane Austen’s family, also people who were characters in her books. She bought this album of 1860s era photography and it’s probably worth a hundred times what she paid for it.
Fisher: [Laughs] Could be. And it’s her hobby to find these old photo albums and then research the people that are in them. You can imagine her shock at the plethora of family photographs of people tied to Jane Austen. Crazy.
David: Unbelievable. Well, this week’s blogger spotlight shines on Michael Lee Stills who has a blog at missingroots.com. He talks a lot about WikiTrees but he also talks about and is actively involved in 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge. Our good friend Amy Johnson Crow who’s been on the show before has this great challenge where you write about your ancestors on Twitter, on Facebook or a blog and remember your relatives and it’s a great way of telling their story and getting you to learn and writing about genealogy.
Fisher: And by the way David, this is going to be very fun. RootsTech is coming up. It is closing in very quickly at the very end of February, and there’s a new app I guess they’ve got out right now.
David: There is. RootsTech app. I already have it on my phone, but the best part of it is part of the app actually has a thing called Roots Crew. So, if you’re an attendee, a vendor or a speaker and you need help, no matter what, even if you need a person to help fix your glasses and come with a glasses repair kit, you can use this app believe it or not, it’s great. Well, I’ll tell you I’m always glad to meet people at RootsTech, also if they come out to Boston to the New England Historic Genealogical Society in Boston. We’ve been around for 174 years, going on 175th next year. And you can save $20 and become a member by using the checkout code “Extreme” on AmericanAncestors.org.
Fisher: All right, thank you so much David and we’ll talk to you again soon. And coming up next, the iconic Robert Charles Anderson, the man behind The Great Migration Project which is now celebrating 30 years. He’s written a new book called Puritan Pedigrees: The Deep Roots of the Great Migrations to New England. So why did your ancestors come over? He’s got the explanations for you coming up next in three minutes on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show.
Segment 2 Episode 268
Host: Scott Fisher with guest Robert Charles Anderson
Fisher: I’ve got to tell you, it’s a lot of fun to dig into a genealogical project and you think that maybe you’re going to be done in just a little short while, or maybe it’ll take you six months, maybe a year, but 30? Bob Anderson is on the line with me. Robert Charles Anderson, he is the man behind The Great Migration Project, and Bob, happy anniversary, 30 years of this project now and it’s still going!
Bob: Yes, thank you. It is definitely still going because we’re not yet half way done. There’s a lot more to be done by myself and others. It’s been a great ride, and a lot longer than I expected.
Fisher: And what a great service you have done for so many Americans who have New England ancestry no matter where they live, and there’s ten volumes of the original books which go for what, they cover like 1620 to 1635.
Bob: That’s correct.
Fisher: And for those who are not familiar with the Great Migration Project, explain exactly how this is set up.
Bob: Okay first of all, to define The Great Migration. The Great Migration is the immigration to New England, mostly from old England from 1620, which of course is the arrival of the Mayflower until 1640 when that migration slowed down. There was a slow period from 1620 to 1630 and then it built up faster and faster as conditions changed in England. And so, that 1620 to 1635 which is 15 of the 20 years, is less than half of the total number of immigrants.
Bob: So, it was really meant as a finding aid in reference. So I got frustrated in my early days as a professional genealogist by the amount of time I had to spend to find what other people had already done, what was published, what other people had done before I could even start doing new research. And so, I wanted to build a reference work that would tell you what the state of research was on each of those about 5700 immigrant families from England in those 20 years.
Bob: So, the ten volumes you spoke of covering those 15 years covered just short of fifty percent of those 5700 families.
Fisher: And I know as a New England descendant myself, actually as a New England native, when I first got into genealogy and researching my family, these books were invaluable to me, and I know they are to so many other people. But you never anticipated 30 years of this, did you Bob?
Bob: Not at all.
Bob: I thought that I would just spend a few years, three, four, or five years digging through the journals and the books and making lists and making little outlines and it just grew and grew and grew, and I think, to the better. And as you say, I’m always pleased when people say that they found them useful. So, I have made it almost halfway to my goal and we’re looking forward to the whole project being done some time in the distant future.
Fisher: Right, right, right. And I know last time we spoke, you were talking about somebody to work with you on this project to move it forward because well you know, age catches up to all of us at some point, although you sound fantastic.
Bob: [Laughs] Thank you.
Fisher: We still need you to keep going because there’s fifty five percent of the names still to be had between 1636 and 1640.
Bob: That’s right. Well, I still got some energy and I’m still enjoying it so I’m going to keep at it.
Fisher: You work on the treadmill a little bit?
Bob: Well, I kind of sit down a lot. [Laughs]
Fisher: [Laughs] Well, I’m grateful though that you don’t spend a lot of time shaving because you’ve got the best beard in the business at this point!
Bob: [Laughs] Thank you.
Fisher: And that’s really good. And so these volumes of books, they’re available all over the country and of course through the New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) and their library has them all. And you’ve got an appearance coming up here really soon to talk about and I’m excited about this, January 26th in Boston at NEHGS.
Fisher: They’re on Newbury Street at 3:30 p.m. So, if our WRKO listeners are interested in meeting Bob and getting a signed copy of his new book, this is a great thing. It’s called Puritan Pedigrees: The Deep Roots of The Great Migration to New England. What I like about this Bob, first of all, I know it’s kept you occupied the last few years.
Fisher: And you explain basically why these people came over. And there were really different reasons throughout those 20 years, right? I mean, it almost changed constantly because by 1640 it was pretty much over, and there were reasons for that as well.
Bob: That’s right. Well, there’s one general broad motivation with additional factors, but the precise application of that motivation changed and that’s very broad and general. It was religiously motivated in my estimation with some economic factors shifting that motivation. But the pressure in England that led people to leave England to go to New England changed dramatically over those 20 years from the latter years of the reign of King James through the first 15 years of the reign of King Charles, and the changing nature of the Church of England and the people who ran that and became the stronger enemy of the Puritans. So, it was a shifting anti-Puritan pressure coming from the Church of England and from the king that pushed people out.
Fisher: Yeah, and it wasn’t just the religious folks either though, right? I mean, you’ve got the ordinary laymen who were part of this as well because some of them needed jobs.
Bob: Other than the fishermen, I don’t see that. You have a population in the early New England that were strictly none-Puritans that did not come for religious reasons. But I think that was no more than ten or fifteen percent of the total.
Bob: And they were pretty much limited to some coastal fishing communities, such as Marblehead in Massachusetts, then working on upwards now to New Hampshire, and the Maine coast.
Fisher: Um hmm.
Bob: And they were a different population than the Puritans but they were a clear minority, and the other eighty five percent or whatever it is, and I include both in my book. I don’t discriminate. Whatever their reason for coming, they’re in my books in they landed in New England. But my fascination has become with not just the motivation, and this is what the Puritan Pedigree book is all about, but the network these people had built over the years that led to their migration. It wasn’t just that all of a sudden in 1632 they popped from being Church of England to being Puritan and came over. It was a process that had built up for decades.
Fisher: What does that mean in an actual network?
Bob: It’s not strictly a genealogical network. But it is still strong connections between people. The most obvious example is in the universities when you would have men who were converted from orthodox Church of England to a more radical reformist position, which is what the Puritans were by their tutor at college or university. And then that might be passed down from generations. You can build pedigrees of tutors converting students, and the students turn into tutors who convert students in other generations.
Fisher: So it grows?
Bob: It grows over time.
Bob: And so it’s not just that all of a sudden conditions changed in England and a whole bunch of people changed their mind all at once and jumped on ships. It’s a deep process. It took decades to build up.
Fisher: Really? So you’re talking about going back into the 1500s quite a ways?
Bob: Absolutely. I go back a full century from the time of the Great Migration to the beginning of the English Reformation under Henry the VIII.
Fisher: Wow, and all over England and parts of Wales?
Fisher: Did they communicate with each other? Was it well organized centrally?
Bob: Well, not centrally organized. It was a diffused network. And again, it was based to a great extent, on the ministers but also on well educated laymen, many of them merchants. People who were prominent in their communities and had occasion to travel, and so, they might be a merchant in a mercantile town in the hinterlands, but they might be elected to Parliament and would end up in London and could network with both ministers and other laymen that way. And the ministers moved around all over the country. They were professionals who sought work where they could find it. And so the enemies of the Puritans who state quite explicitly that these people all seem to know each other and they all seem to know what each other are doing in other parts of the country, so there definitely was an underground network at work for decades and decades. Sometimes it would bubble to the surface, and sometimes it would stay below the surface, and it’s those times when it stayed below the surface obviously, then it’s difficult to trace it. So it’s a period from the end of the reign of Queen Elizabeth to the end of the reign of King James when they were pretty much underground and you just find little snippets. But if you work hard at it you can trace these people over the twenty years or so back.
Fisher: Well, it was quite a dangerous position, wasn’t it, to be contrary to the Church of England in many of those times?
Bob: It was. Well, under Queen Mary of course when she tried to reverse the Reformation and take it back to Catholicism, hundreds of people were burned at the stake. And that continued to a certain extent under Queen Elizabeth, even though she was a Protestant, certainly not a Puritan but a Protestant. She returned to the Church of England and broke the ties with Rome again. But she continued to put people to the stake, really only the most prominent people, the most outrageous of those who offended against her sensibilities. But she burned her own Archbishop of Canterbury at one point in 1556, so.
Fisher: What a terrible way to go, you know. But you know, we think about our ancestors, I think generally we like to think back last few generations, three or four and all this, but boy when you get back to this and there are so many of them out there, to realize that you know, any one of them is different. We’re different people, right?
Fisher: And these are the experiences that they went through. One of the most famous cases of course is John Lothropp or Lathrop, who was imprisoned and then was released briefly and took that opportunity to come to America, as they were basically on his tail to put him back in prison.
Bob: That’s right.
Fisher: So, it was just an ongoing situation for so many of these people.
Bob: Right. And it was not always the fear of capital punishment or even imprisonment but it was an interruption with their lives and an interruption with their ability to worship as they desired. That was the driving force that was ratcheted up. It was the driving force in pushing many of them to go across the Atlantic which to me would have been a terrifying voyage in a little tiny wooden ship across that distance of water.
Fisher: Hey, I get terrified commuting to work. Are you kidding me?
Fisher: I mean, I can’t even imagine doing that.
Fisher: I am talking to Robert Charles Anderson. He is the author of the book Puritan Pedigrees. He is the man behind the incredible Great Migration Project that is such a great source to anybody of New England ancestry which covers people coming over from England 1620 to 1635. And Bob, could you hang on? We could talk a little more. I want to get into your book a little more and some of the people you cover in there because there’s a long list.
Bob: Yes there is. I would like to.
Fisher: All right, we’ll get back at it in five minutes on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show.
Segment 3 Episode 268
Host: Scott Fisher with guest Robert Charles Anderson
Fisher: Welcome back! It’s America’s Family History Show, Extreme Genes and ExtremeGenes.com. I am Fisher your Radio Roots Sleuth, and I’m continuing my conversation with Robert Charles Anderson from the New England Historic Genealogical Society. And he’s come out with a book for the 30th anniversary of the Great Migration Project. It’s called Puritan Pedigrees: The Deep Roots of the Great Migration to New England. Now, he’s not only telling you where you can find your ancestors who came over between 1620 and 1640, now he’s telling you why they came here. And Bob, I only got the book like two days ago, so I really haven’t had a chance to delve deeply into it. First of all, I can tell you it smells really good.
Fisher: It’s a good smelling book. And you know anybody who really is into libraries and all that, you know, there’s that scent and I’m glad to have it. I don’t know what chemical that is but I’m all for it and I hope you publish three more like them.
Bob: [Laughs] Okay.
Fisher: But let’s talk about some of the people. I mean, I was looking through the index here and I was seeing several of my wife’s ancestors mentioned in there, Bachelor and Hussey and you know some of these well known early New England family names and you kind of get deep into the weeds of these and I guess some of them have to do with your own family.
Fisher: My question for you is, where in the world have you had any time to research your own family for thirty years now?
Bob: [Laughs] Well, I really haven’t.
Bob: I have these nice charts and I have a little list of dead ends that I wanted to research and I just really haven’t had time to do much on them, except on those occasions when my ancestors happened to be the people I have to write about for my books.
Bob: And that happens in one of the chapters in this book, the chapter on Thomas Norton and Walter Norton. The premise of the book is that the people who came over in the great migration 1620s to1640s didn’t just decide at the last minute to become Puritans and hop on the boat. This great nationwide network of Puritans had been building since the beginning of the reformation in the 1530s.
Bob: And the story I’m trying to tell is specifically how the people who came on the great migration, even if they didn’t experience some of the events of the reformation decades earlier, they would have had the opportunity to hear about those events from a grandfather or great uncle or something of that sort. In other words, the network was building for the whole 100 years of the reformation. And so a man, say, born maybe in 1610 who comes on a ship in 1635 would have an opportunity to hear from maybe his grandfather who had been involved as a minister from the beginning of the reign of Queen Elizabeth in the 1550s.
Bob: So, it wasn’t just that they were hearing vague stories that they were hearing in books about the Puritans. They had stories right in their family about it, and so the one that relates to me specifically is this Thomas Norton who was a young man under the reign of Henry the VIII just getting out of college. And then when Queen Mary came to the throne and tried to reverse the reformation he was a tutor to a family that wasn’t Puritan, but a noble family that could resist Queen Mary, that could survive through her persecutions. And then when Queen Elizabeth came to the throne in 1558, through his connections, Thomas Norton got a job as a secretary for the Privy Council, that is, to the Ministers who were closest to Queen Elizabeth. And so, in that role in he became a member of parliament and so for twenty years 1560s and ’70s he was a leading member of parliament who brought bills to the floor, who argued bills for his ministers and that sort of thing. So, he became known as the parliament man. But, also in his spare time he wrote a play and it was the first play in blank verse in England. So it was in a sense an ancestor to Marlowe and Shakespeare, and so on.
Bob: And the empathize for that play in about 1560 was that once Queen Elizabeth came to the throne everyone was concerned that she should marry and produce an heir. So, at the time he was a young man in law school essentially in the so called Inns of Court, and he and a colleague of his put together this play but it was about the king producing an heir.
Bob: So, it was kind of a left-handed way of saying to Queen Elizabeth, you’ve got to marry and produce a male heir. And he also earned the title of Rack Master General.
Fisher: Of what?
Bob: Rack Master General. That is, he interrogated these Catholics and sometimes ordered them to the rack. So, that’s not something to be proud of.
Fisher: The Rack Master General. I’ve never heard that! [Laughs]
Bob: He’s the only one who ever held the title.
Fisher: That’s not usually on occupation lists in the genealogy space.
Bob: No, it isn’t. So, I’m not necessarily proud of that aspect of him but he was a very important man in that period and he had about fifteen children. One of his younger ones was a Walter Norton who got involved in the army and fought in the Low Countries during the various wars, the religious wars on the continent. But he was a cousin to one of the leading ministers who came to New England, so they came together to Charlestown in 1630, which is cousin Increase Nowell. And Increase Nowell was the founder of the town and he brought Walter Norton over, I believe, as a military man to help in the defence of the colony, just as the Pilgrims brought Myles Standish.
Fisher: Myles Standish, right, yeah.
Bob: So, he was the Myles Standish of Charlestown, Massachusetts, if you will. But then he, unfortunately, tried to found the town of York, Maine but he got enthralled in some coastal trading, ended up down in Connecticut shore and he and his crew got killed by the Pequot Indians, which was one of the distal causes of the Pequot War. And fortunately for me, he left behind a daughter who married and had descendants and so on.
Fisher: Ah ha.
Bob: So, that’s a case where I’ve spent a lot of time for this book researching not just the genealogy but the biography of that ancestor of mine.
Fisher: Sure, and that’s yours in particular. Isn’t that the joy of writing your own book? You can put in anything you want.
Bob: That’s right.
Fisher: But there are a lot of other ancestors of other people in here as well that you’ve done some work on. How many overall would you say you’ve written a bio on?
Bob: Specifically a bio on a couple of dozen maybe. We know that the ministers came over for religious reasons but I’ve tried to dig out information on the layman and laywomen as well who were not university trained, who were not ministers but still the migration for them was a religious migration.
Fisher: Um hmm.
Bob: And an example of that is a man named Isaac Heath who came to Roxbury, Massachusetts and he lived in the village of Ware in Hertfordshire north of London. And he got mixed up with a minister called Charles Chauncey who came some years later after Isaac Heath did. But one of the most pleasant bit of research I did for this book was to dig into the so called State Papers, the official records of the king and his ministers. I finally hired a researcher in Kew Gardens for the official records.
Bob: Essentially, the Royal Ministers brought in Charles Chauncey and asked him a whole series of questions. And one of the questions he said, “Yes, my church warden Isaac Heath was one who assisted me and so on in these Puritan activities. So, it wasn’t just Charles Chauncey as a minister. You have this educated minister who knew his theology inside and out. And so you just build these networks out, but the idea is to include not just the ministers but the laymen as well who were not the ones who’d be burned at the steaks or even imprisoned, but they would be brought before the church court, the ecclesiastical courts and excommunicated or forced to in public give a strong penance which could be a humiliating experience.
Bob: And so it was that process amongst the laymen that drove to the vast majority’s migration.
Fisher: He’s Robert Charles Anderson. He’s the writer of Puritan Pedigrees: The Deep Roots to the Great Migration to New England. If you’re a Boston listener you can meet him on Saturday, January 26th at 3:30 at the New England Historic Genealogical Society in Newbury Street. And you’ve got English tours also coming up here Bob.
Bob: Right. I’ve done five tours now starting back as early as 2008, sort of based on the books. English tours to locations where large numbers of immigrants arose. Of course, we’re coming up here 2020 on the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the Mayflower. And so we did a tour this last August to Nottinghamshire to the places like Scrooby and Austerfield and Babworth, the origin of the so called Scrooby congregation that included William Brewster and William Bradford. But then again, once they had to leave England in 1607 and ’08, they went first to Amsterdam and then to Leiden and became the Leiden congregation. And so in June of this year we’ll be doing a tour to Leiden, Amsterdam and some other locations that are relevant to that part of the migration. And then we have two more that are in the planning stage in 2020 and 2021that will go to places along the English Channel as the Mayflower made its way west to sea.
Fisher: And of course people can find out more about that at AmericanAncestors.org. Robert Charles Anderson, thank you so much for your time. Great chatting with you again and getting caught up and have a great event coming up on the 26th in Boston.
Bob: Great! Thank you.
Fisher: All right, we’re going to talk preservation with Tom Perry coming up next on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show.
Segment 4 Episode 268
Host: Scott Fisher with guest Tom Perry
Fisher: It is time to talk preservation on Extreme Genes, America's Family History Show and ExtremeGenes.com. Fisher here, your Radio Roots Sleuth. And this segment is brought to you by Legacy Tree Genealogists. And Tom Perry is on the line with us once again. How are you, Tommy?
Tom: I'm super duper. Getting ready for Valentines.
Fisher: Valentine’s Day! Now there's a thought, too. You know, there's got to be some kind of preservation project that would make sense for that day, yes?
Tom: Oh, absolutely. In fact, we have people do this from time to time. I thought, you know, people shouldn't just do this when they discover it, they should think about it. For your loved ones, whether it’s your wife or your mother or grandmother, someplace you've got some old videos laying around that was maybe when they were on a high school team or swim team or maybe they rode horses in competition or whatever and you know where that old dusty video is, go get it, bring it in to your local transfer center, get a DVD made, put it in a nice library case, put a cool cover with some photo collages on the front of it, and you'll have a gift that will get you a lot more than candy.
Fisher: [Laughs] Okay! That's good. Now, of course when I hear this, I'm thinking, well, people need some video skills, right?
Tom: Well, not necessarily, because a lot of people just have this stuff lying around. In fact, we had somebody bring in some old basketball films that were actually shot in film at their high school that one of their old coaches had passed away, and his wife said, "Hey, I've got all these old films. Do you want any?" And they divvied them up. And they went and got some pictures on the women's team and had it transferred and gave it to their wife as a gift. And it shows you're interested in their before you life also, and it brings back really cool memories that you can share with your other kids that may be that same age when your wife was, you know, the basketball star or something.
Fisher: Well, that's true. I mean, you could just do it in RAW video as well. And I would imagine there are digitizers who can make something a little more sophisticated than that if they so chose, right?
Tom: In fact, computers for video gaming have brought down a lot of prices, because of processes. But when you take that technology and move it into preservation, it is seamless and it’s awesome! So you can get a real good computer that you can use for editing for like under $1000. And you can take this video that somebody digitizes for you and put it in there. And in 30 minutes, maybe an hour, one night after she's gone to bed, go through and edit it, put some cool titles on it. It’s not that hard. And a lot of software's free or very inexpensive. But the prices of computers have some way down. There's one out there right now that's called an ROG Strix GL12, which is $1000!
Tom: And I didn't have this kind of processing power with my first system, which was $30,000 back in the day!
Fisher: Isn't that amazing! I have a son who works in LA and he's in the film industry, and he does all his editing in his bedroom! Yeah, it’s an amazing thing now where we are as far as video goes and how much easier it is to do. And you know what's interesting too, Tom, is now how this whole idea of vertical videos is becoming much more commonplace.
Tom: Don't get me started on that. [Laughs]
Fisher: Oh, I know, I know. You would think by now that everybody would know that when you shoot a video, you do it horizontally with your phone. But still, it seems like everybody's still doing it vertically. And now we're seeing professionals say, "Okay, if you're still going to do it vertically, then we're going to shoot vertically." And we're seeing all kind of film trailers and things being done with vertical videos, which is crazy to me.
Tom: In fact, it’s so funny, everybody's looking at the end content. It used to be, no matter what you shot, no matter what you did, you went home and watched it on a television, which is obviously horizontal. But now as you mentioned, more and more people basically live on their phone, they watch videos on their phone, they chat on their phone, they do everything on their phone. They hardly even use the TV anymore. And it’s just so hard to take that iPhone or that Android of yours that's vertical and turn in horizontal! It takes so much work!
Tom: Now, they're making you videos, even Netflix is doing it, where you can watch trailers in a vertical mode! They are just making it so much easier on your wrist!
Fisher: [Laughs] You're absolutely right. In fact, there was a story I read this past week where they say there's a new thing out called, selfie wrist. It’s almost like carpal tunnel syndrome from people taking so many selfies that there's now a new diagnosis for selfie wrist. You've got to put the phone down.
Tom: That's crazy!
Fisher: All right, we're going to continue more with Tom Perry coming up next when we return in three minutes.
Segment 5 Episode 268
Host: Scott Fisher with guest Tom Perry
Fisher: We're back at it! It’s our final segment for this week on Extreme Genes, America's Family History Show and ExtremeGenes.com. It is Fisher here. I'm talking to Tom Perry. He's our Preservation Authority from TMCPlace.com. And Tom, we were just talking a little bit ago about video editing. And I know in the winter, this is a great time, because you're not having to spend a lot of time outdoors taking care of the yard and all that, so you can really delve into new things at this time of year. And you talked about the cost of video editing dropping, I mean, ridiculously from $30,000 for a setup when you first got going, to about $1,000 today. And there's not just one version of this at that cheap price.
Tom: We'll talk about Apple and we'll also talk about Windows computers, because I know there are people that love and hate each other.
Tom: But so this one is really, really good. If you're want to get a computer for your family where you can use it for business or you can use it for your video editing, your wife can use it for her hobbies or whatever she does with her business or home life, you can also have one that your kids can game on. So the whole family can use it. So it’s an investment not just for you, but for the whole family to enjoy. And one of my favorite ones is the Apple 27 inch iMac. It’s all one big piece. It’s not made to be portable, but I take mine with me all the time. If I go on the road or something, I just put it in the back of the van or the suburban and take off with it. And it’s really great, because obviously it’s got a 27 inch screen, which is amazing. It’s really light. It has 64 gigabytes of RAM. It has a really fast processing card, so when you're looking at video and stuff, you don't have to wait for it to load. It’s got 8 gigabytes of VRAM. And so like 99 percent of people out there, they will love this program. It comes with iMovie, it comes with iPhoto.
Tom: It comes with stuff already built right into it that is ready to rock and roll. And it retail for about $1800. And you can go to your local Apple dealer and usually get it down a little bit cheaper or find somebody that's upgraded to the latest one and get one that's maybe a year old that's still awesome and get it for half that price.
Fisher: Wow! And that's for Apple, right?
Tom: Right, that's Apple. And you buy that, you don't need anything else. It has a keyboard, it has a mouse, it has speakers built in, it has a disk drive built in. It’s like ready to rock and roll. But in the future, if you want to do more and expand, it does allow you to do that also. So if you're an Apple person, this is the way to go. And then when you want to get iPhoto and add these other things, it’s free because it’s built right in. You don't have to worry about buying them.
Fisher: Perfect. Who would have thought of that? Okay, then if you're a Windows person, how would you do this?
Tom: Okay, the best one I would get into, which we kind of mentioned a little bit in the first segment is the best workstation for editors and it has incredible graphics cards for gaming. Your kids and going to love it, and not worry about ping time. It’s made by Asus, which is A S U S. And it’s called the ROG Strix GL12. And it’s amazing. And it has an 8 core processor. It has the Intel core 19 card in it, so it’s really, really fast. It has 11 gigabytes of VRAM. And this one like I mentioned is only $1000. And it is great for gamers. And it looks really cool. It’s got this transparent side on it, so you can see all these LEDs flashing and lights coming on. And it’s kind of a piece of art inside your house too. It’s really, really cool. I have seen those. They are absolutely amazing. And I should mention, as you go through all these technical things Tom that when the podcast version of the show comes out about a week after the radio broadcast, you can go to the transcript and all the information that Tom is sharing right there is available for you. So if you want to look into these, it’s really easy to get it done.
Tom: Oh, it is. It makes it really nice. I have people call me all the time and say, "Thank you so much for the transcript. I can go back and read what you were saying." And another thing I suggest people do, when you're ready to buy or if you're just kind of curious, go to VideoMaker.com. They have all kind of cool stuff, from the very beginners, all the way to the seasoned professionals. It’s a great magazine to subscribe to and their website's totally free.
Fisher: All right, Tom. Always great to talk to you and we'll chat at you again next week.
Tom: My pleasure.
Fisher: Hey, we are out of here. And thanks so much for joining us again this week. Hope you have some amazing discoveries in your own family history research this coming week. Check out ExtremeGenes.com to find all kinds of great stories. And don't forget to subscribe to 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!