Episode 27 – David Allen Lambert of NEHGS And How He Started

podcast episode Feb 03, 2014

Fisher gets ready for Roots Tech in Salt Lake City as an official blogger.  The audience has spoken concerning the 3D printer company offering to make 3D versions of couples' unborn childred!  Cool or creepy?  Fisher reveals the answer.  In news… an African American woman was shocked when her brother’s Y chromosome DNA test came in a little different than expected.  Then, meet the Chief Genealogist of the New England Historic Genealogical Society, David Allen Lambert.

Transcript of Episode 27

Host: Scott Fisher

Segment 1 Episode 27

Fisher: Welcome back genies! It is Extreme Genes Family History Radio ExtremeGenes.com. I am your congenial Radio Roots Sleuth Fisher and welcome to the show. Let’s start out with a reminder Roots Tech, North America’s largest Family History Convention is happening this week in Salt Lake City, Utah. I will be there and look forward to meeting you. Some pre-events happen this Wednesday. The Convention itself is going on Thursday through Saturday. Even if you cannot be there, you can follow live video feeds of many of the events. Just go to RootsTech.org to find out what’s available for you to see and hear. That’s RootsTech.org and I’ll be one of the official bloggers, so I’ll try to be your eyes and ears for what I think might interest you the most. You can follow that of course on ExtremeGenes.com throughout the Convention. Our guest today coming up in about eight minutes is David Allen Lambert. David is the Chief Genealogist of the New England Historical and Genealogical Society. He’s a fascinating guy who has researched some really interesting people, including celebrities and has researched for various television and online programs. David will give us some insight into some of those experiences as well as how he once had to inform a former Major League Baseball player that he was deceased. He’s got some great stories to share with you from the research trail, including one about a member of the band the Monkees that you will be telling your friends later this week, guaranteed. From last week on the question of the 3D Printer being used to make physical replicas of unborn children from ultra sounds, we asked. “Is it adorable or creepy?” By a slim margin the winner was creepy.  Seems a lot of people feel that we should just wait out the nine months and get the real thing. Kind of ruins the surprise party to get the little doll. Still, lots of people went the other way so maybe there will be a market for this thing.

Now from the pages of ExtremeGenes.com here is this week’s Family Histoire News. What happens when a DNA test comes back with an unexpected result? It happened to one woman who expected her paternal African American heritage to reveal her roots in Africa, and was shocked and confused when she found out she had Chinese blood. In the website The Root, New England Historical and Genealogical Society researchers explained what she was likely seeing. One possibility was of a direct line male ancestor from China. They said it was not uncommon for repressed Black and Chinese to work side by side on building the intercontinental railroads in the 19th century and so naturally it wasn’t uncommon for them to mix in the process. The other possible reason for the test results they say is because some African Americans mixed with Native American Indians who typically test Asian. They quote three different testing organizations as saying that today Native American blood in African Americans is very small with percentages of Native American blood ranging from 0.6% to 2%. Nonetheless, a fascinating story as we begin Black History Month. And of course, people of every race and culture get surprises when they do their DNA test. A friend of mine of only one fourth Italian based on his pedigree chart was shocked to learn he had only 5% Italian blood. But people like our Extreme Genes DNA authority Dr Scott Woodward will tell you that results such as that are sometimes because the matches pre-date the time your ancestors were in the lands you knew them to be from. For instance, a long Italian line may previously have been in Greece. Listen to the podcast of Episode 15 at ExtremeGenes.com to learn more about that and find the link with a lot more details on this story at ExtremeGenes.com as well. 

Our next story I think we can all relate to but still it makes you want to break out in hives. The Times Union reports that in Albany, the State Capital of New York, the State library people have a problem. Just like any of us who have ever moved after many years in the same place or cleaned out the home of the deceased relative, these folks are stuck with having to decide what to keep and what to throw out, even what to shred from deep in the bowls of the State Education Building. We’re talking about acres of items left behind when the library changed location back in the 1970s. There are ancient newspapers and antiquarian books, old journals, you name it. They’re on a subterranean floor in a non-climate controlled environment and they have to determine things like which of these items are of monetary value, of those with none, which have been digitized, of those not digitized which are copies of common publications found in other holdings. I mean it’s a nightmare. Some items they are donating to other libraries and some items they’re selling on eBay. Of course, it all has to do with cuts in staff and space over the years. And I don’t envy them their jobs in the least. Lots of purists aren’t happy that any of this is going on all. The link to the story with all the details is at ExtremeGenes.com

And finally, in late July we’ll recognize the 100th anniversary of the First World War, so we’ll be hearing a lot of stories this year about ancestors who were involved in the conflict. The National Archives of Great Britain is already at work digitizing official diaries of every British Unit that fought in the Great War. So far, about 300 000 of the 1.5 million diary pages they hold had been digitized as part of the WWI Centennial Project. Every Unit was required to keep these diaries and they’re loaded with amazing details about their daily happenings, from the mundane to the horrifying. The volunteers have been asked to tag names, places and events. Those of recent British ancestry have to be excited to know something about their brave soldiers could be found at a computer near them soon! And by the way, a lot of private diaries kept by individual soldiers are included in this digitization project. Hopefully, we’ll see more of this kind of effort on our side of the pond over the next few years of the WWI Centennial so we can learn about our “doughboys.” Growing up in Connecticut my neighbor was a man named Douglas Campbell. He fought on the skies during WWI and became America’s First Flying Ace. And I tell you, I wish I had thought to ask him a few questions back then, but it will always seems we don’t think of those things till it’s way too late, do we? I’ve read a lot about him since, coming up next, the Chief Genealogist for the New England Historical and Genealogical Society, David Allen Lambert. The man is loaded with family history war stories and one of them I guarantee you, you’ll be repeating to someone this week. Wait till you hear his story about a band member of the Monkees. It’s coming up next on Extreme Genes Family History Radio and ExtremeGenes.com.

Segment 2 Episode 27

Host: Scott Fisher with guest David Allen Lambert

Fisher: And welcome back to Extreme Genes, Family History Radio ExtremeGenes.com. It is Fisher here, and have you ever met somebody where there’s just so much in common with them it’s like you’ve known them your whole life? Well, that’s the story with me and my next guest David Allen Lambert. He is the Chief Genealogist at the New England Historical and Genealogical Society in Boston. How are you David?

David: I’m doing great, a little cold, but doing just fine. 

Fisher: Boy, you guys have been going through it a lot here at the last little bit. 

David: Ah, its New England weather I’ll tell you. I don’t understand why my family has stayed here for four centuries. [Laughs]

Fisher: [Laughs]

David: I guess we’re frozen to the ground not wanting to move.

Fisher: Well, in talking to David we found out that he is a baseball nut like I am. Loves baseball history, collects historic documents as I have for many, many years, and of course has this love for genealogy, but you really got started young.

David: I was seven years old. I was home from school one day and my grandmother’s oldest boy came over to deliver a book that he had borrowed my uncle Ralph, and my grandmother had lived with us. In the book, he handed it to me as he took his jacket off, I noticed a piece of metal sticking out of it and I opened the book up and it was a tin type.

Fisher: Which you probably had never seen before right?

David: I had never seen a photograph on metal in my life. And I turned it to my grandmother and she says, “Oh, that’s my father.” Now for me, realize my eighty years old grandmother could have been young enough to have parents let alone who’s this guy in hand painted photograph, I was just really awestruck. And I said, “Well, can I meet him?” Not having the idea that anyone dies at seven.

Fisher: [Laughs] Of course, that’s true.

David: [Laughs] And basically, she started telling me a story about him. That he was born seventeen years before the Civil War, and that he wasn’t in the war because he was too young, that he was a paper hanger, but when he was a young man, went off in a whaling ship. Well, we had just heard a cut down version of the story in school. Like from Moby Dick by Melville. And no pun intended, Fish, I was hooked.

Fisher: [Laughs]

David: I just wanted to know more about them. And I didn’t know any of my grandfathers, they were dead. So for me, to replace that loss of not having family, I researched to find out what I would have had, or who they were before.

Fisher: Um hmm. And off you went.

David: Oh yeah. I can still remember grabbing the world book encyclopaedia off my shelf and researching the genealogy before Queen Elizabeth the second and going back way in the Concord, and thinking that wow, I’ve got something really cool here. I’ll have to present this at school. Only to find out of course that this had been done ten times over. And I was in the fourth grade. A book report I did was “The Memoir and Genealogy of John Poor and his Descendants.” a book report based on the genealogy done in 1881. 

Fisher: [Laughs] Did people want to beat you up David? 

David: Well, let me put it to you this way, luckily I could climb trees as well as trace them. [Laughs]

Fisher: [Laughs]

David: And then as I got older, they were intrigued by the fact that I could actually find out they were related to interesting people. So I guess maybe that curbed the beatings a little bit. 

Fisher: There you go. Well you know, you were talking to me yesterday about some of the various TV shows that you’ve been working on. Tell us about that and where these are, and how you go about doing it.

David: Well, I can tell you that I started years ago with a TV show that was kind of a forerunner to the history and the genealogy shows which is “History Detectives” and I helped work on some research on Paul Cuffee, who was a former slave and very much involved in abolition. And, somebody had a muster role and they wanted to find out if this was Paul Cuffee. Well, when I found out right off, first off he was a Quaker, the age didn’t match, the height, all the descriptions just didn’t match. It was just another person named Paul Cuffee. 

Fisher: Right. All wrong.

David: And then they dropped the story. They weren’t going to research. They were going to tell the person, “Sorry, this isn’t right.” Well, about three months later they contacted him and said, “You know, we’re going to run with it on that other angle. That it isn’t him.” So, they came out here and we filmed all day and we did a variety of things that was with Jakoofu the host, and he and I had a great time. We went out to the state archives, we got documents pulled out that I had researched. So it’s essentially all the documents, all the behind the scenes research if you will, and I had on camera time. And then oh, nine seasons later they pulled me on again. Which is always fun because of course nine years I’ve aged, and I think they did some back to back and someone said, “My god David, did you have a stroke?” 

Fisher: Yeah. [Laughs]

David: Of course you know, they’ve got great makeup people and not what you know my teenage daughter gives me in a makeup case, so I don’t look too shiny on TV. And it was fun. I worked. Helping out with other things in the past, it was a show called “American Treasures” that was with A&E and unfortunately it went off the air by the 60th. On there I done another show “Haunted Collector” They had a place in the north end of Boston, a cigar bar now I believe, and essentially it was a baby farm. And basically what had happened was, unwed mothers or mothers that wanted to give up their babies would drop them off there, other than dropping them off at an orphanage or a church.

Fisher: Um hmm.

David: And they were sold on the black market or sometimes worse.

Fisher: Wow!

David: This is what the residents was and apparently it was haunted. Now, I never touched base in any of the haunting part of it. Now, I’m not going to say that I have an open mind on everything, but I basically did the research that they had a story that someone had died there and I found the death record and found the background story and figured out who the mother was. So, that was kind of fun.

Fisher: Yeah, remarkable. You know, you’re throwing out names of shows that I’ve never heard of before. Do you think they were just a little bit early maybe?

David: Just a little bit.

Fisher: I mean, because things are advancing so much now with family history and research and people getting more and more into it that maybe these shows were just a little too ahead of their time.

David: That’s quite entirely possibly that. I can tell you one that I’ve been involved with actually, doing some research. Because of an agreement I can’t go into the celebrities that they’ll have for the season, but it’s “Finding Your Roots”. I’ve been one of the researchers to track things down for Henry Lewis Gates’s TV show. 

Fisher: Well that sounds fascinating. Now, you’ve done a lot of background... what did you call them, reports for celebrities? Where you do a presentation?

David: Right. We at NEHGS have been trying to always have a nice keynote speaker at our annual meeting and it started... back track a little bit. This year Thomas Menino, our longest termed mayor of all time retired and had been in office for twenty years. And a few years back, I had done his genealogy. When I started working here in 1993 and I said well, I’ll do all the mayors of Boston genealogies as they come up. Just as a novelty, political thing. Well, he was in office the entire time up until this past month right now and I said, “Well, this is going to be an interesting thing, I’m never going to have any other mayors to research. Well, a few years ago at our annual meeting they said that they were going to have Thomas Menino and I thought, I’ve done his genealogy, why don’t we present a chart or something? Well, it turned into a book and I traced his Italian ancestry back to Avellino into the very early 1800s, late 1700s. And we presented a book which he kept in his office and he was very touched and moved by it because he didn’t really realize his ancestry went back that far. He’d been over there but never done any research. Another guest that we had was former presidential runner Michael Dukakis and his wife Kitty Dickson Dukakis. I did their genealogy which was a combination of Greek, Turkish, Jewish.

Fisher: Wow!

David: Real interesting mix of genealogy. 

Fisher: Greek, Turkish and Jewish.

David: Yes, the combining of both theirs. His is Turkish and Greek, and hers was Jewish and also had some Irish mixed into it as well.

Fisher: Okay.

David: And that was fun. You know, corresponding back and forth with the Duke as I got to know him, Mr Dukakis.

Fisher: [Laughs]

David: And you know, exchanging emails and firing off things. I said, “I’ve got a question for Kitty, can you ask her this?” And he said, “Oh yeah, oh yeah. I’ll get it back.” And like an hour later, “David, I got her on the phone here. And we started having these conversations. It was really nice. I mean, as a kid growing up he was our governor and then presidential contender. I thought to myself, “My gosh, I’m on a first name basis with him.” And so that was a thrill. I also did the genealogy for someone who I admire very much because of his film documentary work and also in two fields that we both love, the Civil War and the other one is baseball, and that’s Ken Burns. Ken Burns, for me, meeting him at our annual meeting after the book was presented to him, and being able to say to him that, “Your 7th great grandfather and Abraham Lincoln’s 3rd great grandfather were siblings.” To prove and show to Ken Burns that he was a collateral cousin to Abraham Lincoln, the man he most admired is from history. Ad obviously his love for the Civil War and everything that he had done meant so much. And I can tell you that I have plenty of Ken’s books and videos. And I said to him, “Do you know how great a thrill it is for me to know that a book with my name on it is on your shelf, while you have so many of yours on mine.     

Fisher: Absolutely. That would be a thrilling thing. Now, you mentioned to me yesterday when we were just chatting, about an experience you had with one of the Monkees, Davy Jones. 

David: Oh yeah. 

Fisher: And I love this story because you were actually named after him. 

David: Yeah. I was born in the late 60s and my sister is seventeen years older than I am. And when I came about, they decided to put names in a hat, some for a girl some for a boy. 

Fisher: [Laughs]

David: Well, my sister had a liking for Davy Jones of the Monkees and put down David. And thank god it didn’t stick and I didn’t get Davy, D-A-V-Y. 

Fisher: Hm.

David: But so, I think I was about seventeen years old and I had gone to a concert down in Cape Cod, it was a Monkees reunion when they got back together again back in the 80s. And being an autograph collector, I decided I’d stick around and try to get some autographs. Well, here comes Davy Jones and there were about three other people and I got the autograph and I said, “Incidentally I’m named for you.” And he said, “Hold on just a minute.” And signed the autographs for the other people and took me aside and said, “Can I ask you a question?” I said, yeah, sure. What?  “Am I your father?” 

Fisher: [Laughs]

David: And I said no. I said, “My sister had interest in your show and she liked the name and so I got my name you from that but no, there’s no genetic link.” [Laughs]

Fisher: Wow. 

David: Even though my grandfather was from England but no connected to the Jones family. 

Fisher: Was he deeply relived? Was he thinking you were going to hold him up here?

David: I didn’t know he was going to ask that question. [Laughs]

Fisher: [Laughs]

David: But no, I’m a non paternity event from the David Jones Monkees TV show. 

Fisher: [Laughs] We’re talking to David Allen Lambert. He’s the Chief Genealogist at the New England Historical and Genealogical Society. He is the researcher for the stars and we have another interesting tie in if you’re a baseball fan you’re going to want to hear this. It’s coming up next on Extreme Genes, Family History Radio and ExtremeGenes.com.

Segment 3 Episode 27

Host: Scott Fisher with guest David Allen Lambert

Fisher: Hey welcome back, it’s Extreme Genes Family History Radio and ExtremeGenes.com. Your Radio Roots Sleuth Fisher here, with David Allen Lambert, he’s the Chief Genealogist at the New England Historical and Genealogical Society. We have had more fun talking about stuff we have in common. I think the biggest one David, has got to be our love for baseball. 

David: Oh I think so too. 

Fisher: And the history of the game. 

David: Um hmm.

Fisher: And I sent you a few pictures of me with some of the greats from back in the day, hope you had some fun with that.

David: Oh I did. Willie Mays, Joe DiMaggio, I mean those are some great pictures.

Fisher: Lot of great stories, and I’m looking forward to seeing some of yours and hearing some of your stories. But I love this tale, you being from the Boston area naturally you’re a big Red Sox guy, as you should be. 

David: Um hmm.

Fisher: And you would write to some of the old players back in the day. And one of your favorites was a guy named Bill Henry. Now I’m not real familiar with Bill, what was his background? What year was he with the Red Sox and what did he do?

David: Well, Bill was with the Red. He started his rookie year in 1952 and stayed with them till ’55. Had a break in the Minors, went down to the Cubs from ’58 to ’59, then the Red ’60 to ’65. The Giants ’65 to ’68. The Pirates for a small stance in ’68 and lastly with the Houston Astros in ’69, so he had more than a cup of coffee in the game.

Fisher: Yes. And funny you mention that. I kind of remember him now with the Pirates. 

David: Yep, and the thing about Bill is that he was being a baseball collector of sorts. He was part of that famous ball man. I think it was the 55 series of the TV set card. 

Fisher: Okay, yes.

David: So I always loved those cards. I could always envision that. Well, one day in August 2007 I was going through the paper and I also checked the AP wire and I started a Facebook group called, “Baseball Player Passings” with the idea of to just kind of net all of the passings because I’d pass them on to Saberio and Cooperstown as we heard the old player’s passed away. So I got an obituary that came across the wire that said, “Bill Henry of the Red Sox died.” Well the problem with that is that they listed him as dying in Florida. 

Fisher: Hmm.

David: I had just written to him not long before and knew he was in Texas. So I didn’t give it much thought. But the thing about is something just didn’t feel right. So I decided to go one step forward and either call a dead man or embarrass myself to a living person and explain to him that he was really now announced dead.

Fisher: [Laughs] Hmm and you know this is the thing too, I think a lot of non sports fans don’t understand that these players become like family to you if they’re on your team. 

David: And they really are. I mean, obviously the Fenway Faithful here and Red Sox nation, it has always been a great camaraderie you know. You love them and you know you live and die with the Red Sox as my father would say. Heck, my father lived his entire life and never saw the Red Sox win a World Series.

Fisher: Uh hmm.

David: And he lived 74 years

Fisher: Very common.

David: And with Bill, I called him down in Deer Park, Texas and got Bill on the phone. He was just 79 at the time, and I got his wife and I said, “Hi, my name is David Lambert. I’m a baseball historian and I do research for Cooperstown and I’m a Red Sox fan. And I just wanted to ask how is Mr Henry doing?”

Fisher: [Laughs]

David: She says, “He’s always fine. He’s watching TV in the other room.”

Fisher: [Laughs] That was a very gently put question there David.

David: and I said, “Well, I’d like to chat with him if it’s okay, because the Boston papers are announcing that he’s dead. And she says, “What?” I’m like, “Yeah.” And I got him on the phone and basically what we had found out after I did more research is that this man down in Florida posed as Bill Henry. He was a Midwestern Baseball, probably Double-A (AA), made it down to Florida in retirement. He would go and speak to Sparky Anderson at the games, he would sign autographs for people at the games, claiming that he was the real Bill Henry and he even deceived his current wife.

Fisher: Now was this his real name?

David: Yeah. 

Fisher: So it was just another Bill Henry?

David: Just another Bill Henry, but all I can figure is that you know when somebody hears a name someone says, “Oh you must have been the Bill Henry that...and you know, it’s just...why not?

Fisher: Sure. [Laughs] What’s it going to hurt?

David: Exactly. Except for the fact that being a baseball fan, either at that point these players were alive like Johnny Peski and Joe DiMaggio. They already lost Ted Williams and you know people like Bobby Doerr. These were pet fellows that would’ve actually been in the game with him and other players they would see oh no another one has passed. Well, I wanted to set the record straight so I contacted Rick Riley down at Sports Illustrated and who I had worked with on another player. I’ll tell you about it if you want.

Fisher: Yeah.

David: And Rick basically wrote a column called the “Passing of a Counterfeit Bill.”

Fisher: [Laughs] Great title.

David: Yeah, it was in Sports Illustrated the end of September 2007.

Fisher: All right, we’ve got about four and a half minutes here. We’ve got to talk about your tracing down of the oldest professional baseball player ever, and who was he. 

David: Silas Joseph “Si” Simmons and this is a really quick story to tell you but a man lived longer than any professional ball player. And being a Red Sox fan to know that I debunked the Yankee message, I’ll wrap it with up it. It’s kind of funny.

Fisher: [Laughs]

David: So Si Simmons was someone I was on the list from Larry Lester, Larry Lester who’s on the voting committee of the Negro Leagues for the Hall of Fame voting. And if you remember a few years ago all the members of the Negro Leagues, a whole batch got into the game that were deceased. 

Fisher: Yes.

David: Well, he was researching people. He didn’t have the updates and logs. And I said, “All right Larry, I’ll help you out.” So I’m going through and going through and in the infancy of Google I found someone. I said, “Oh my God this guy has got the same name as a 105 years old having a birthday in Florida.” I did a research again, a birthday at 106, 107. I said, “Oh my God this can’t be the same person.” But one of the articles mentioned he had played baseball. So was the list from Larry Lester. This guy seemed to match up and sure enough Silas Simmons played for the Homestead Grays of 1913, the Germantown Blue Ribbons of 1915, the New York Lincoln Giants of ’26 and the Cuban Stars of ’29 and he was still alive living in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Fisher: Wow!

David:  He outlived his children. His grandchildren are in their 60s, so I called them in the nursing home because I wanted to try to put in the New York Times, I wanted you know people excited about this story. The oldest living professional ball player had lived three centuries, 1800s, the 1900s and now it was the 2000s and nobody knew about him. So I called down there. I said, “Is he in good health.” She said, “I hope so. He’s reading the New York Times, clipping things out and putting in folders because he doesn’t know when he might need them again.”

Fisher: [Laughs]

David: So in October of 2006 I flew down and presented a plaque on behalf of the Society of American Baseball Research (SABR).

Fisher: Right.

David: And claiming that he was the oldest professional ball player, now because he was on the Negro League. So this is a fellow that was out of the game 18 years before Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier, born in 1895 and he lived until the end of 2006. And I went up to him and gave him the plaque and he gave me a hug from his wheelchair and said. “Thank you so much. I didn’t think anybody remembered me.” And I choked up and I said, “Si, it wasn’t that no one remembered you, no one’s around to remember when you played.

Fisher: [Laughs]

David: There was a whole bunch of former semi-league Negro league ball players down there. In fact, we were supposed to have Monte Irvin, but unfortunately I think he had that hip surgery or something like that. He had an injury, but he couldn’t make it down. But to be there to say that I was quote, as someone said, “The scout for the negro league, finding the oldest of the old.” And the other thing, being a Red Sox fan, check twenty layers off...

Fisher: Oh yes, right.

David: In 1911 the New York Highlanders used to be 107. Yeah, so I kind of pushed their record aside. 

Fisher: You blew the Yankees record out with this guy. 

David: Exactly. And basically you know, it wasn’t a homerun record, it wasn’t a World Series record. It was a longevity record. And that’s going to be a hard one for them to play out. [Laughs]

Fisher: Yes. [Laughs] Well it could happen you know. People are living a lot longer, and you know the thing about sports, especially baseball, that is passion that is passed from father to son and my grandfather was a New York Giants fan in the 1880s and ‘90s and passed that on to my dad and then when the Giants left we became Mets fans. And I won’t mention ’86 David, but nonetheless.

David: Oh that’s okay, you can say Mookie Wilson.

Fisher: [Laughs] Yes, exactly right. But it has been a real pleasure to visit with you. I hope you’ll come on again. 

David: I would be honored.

Fisher: That’s some great stories, and David Allen Lambert is the Chief Genealogist of the New England Historical and Genealogical Society in Boston. And it’s been a lot of fun, hope to see you at Roots Tech. 

David: Well I’ll tell you, I’ll probably be at Roots Tech. If not, with NEHGS we’ve been doing an education program every fall for three decades now. And if not, come and visit us in Boston on Newbury Street. I’d love to give you a tour of our library. 

Fisher: Good to see you David. Thanks for joining us. 

David: Take care. 

Fisher: And coming up next, Preservation Authority Tom Perry, talking about Roots Tech, it’s on the way this coming week from Extreme Genes, Family History Radio ExtremeGenes.com

Segment 4 Episode 27

Host: Scott Fisher with guest Tom Perry

Fisher: And welcome back to Extreme Genes, Family History Radio, ExtremeGenes.com. It is Fisher here with Tom Perry. He is our Preservation Authority from the show, from TMCPlace.com. And Tom, this is a big week of course in the exciting world of family history research, because Roots Tech is going on. This is our fourth annual. And this is going to be in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Tom: Correct.

Fisher: So a lot of people are going to be there, you're going to be there with a booth.

Tom: Absolutely.

Fisher: As am I. And, let's talk about some of the things that are happening, because you've got almost a museum you're bringing with you for people who are going to be there to this. It’s going to be pretty amazing.

Tom: Oh, it'll be a lot of fun. I'm just excited. We've done Roots Tech all four years. We've gone to Salt Lake to put this on. We'll be at booth 131 if you want to stop by. We're going to have one of our old wax recording machines.

Fisher: Wow! Now we're talking going back to Edison.

Tom: Oh, absolutely. In fact, it’s called an Edison.

Fisher: What else do you have there?

Tom: We're going to have some of our reel to reel machines , we'll have some new technology, some of the new Kodak stuff that's come out, we'll have that as well, which I believe we're doing a segment next week with one of people from Kodak, which will be a lot of fun.

Fisher: Yes, that is going to be really interesting. Wait till you hear what they do!

Tom: Oh, it’s amazing, it’s really cool. You know, we had a listener call us, I believe it was last Tuesday that wondered that since we're going to be in Salt Lake for Roots Tech if they could bring their video tapes and their film and slides and stuff and drop them off there, versus shipping them. And we said, "Yeah, of course. Come by both 131 and drop off your stuff and we'll take good care of it, and then you can pick it up later or we can ship it to wherever you are." So if you're travelling from Florida or Washington or you're a local in Salt Lake and don't want to ship your stuff to us, go ahead and bring it to the show and we'll get it all written up and get it taken care of and transferred for you.

Fisher: And then there are other people who are going to be in the neighborhood as well, let's see, Marlo from Heritage Collectors, we had him on the show several weeks back, because he's kind of our "mad professor" who's always creating all kinds of unique software for free for people to use to enhance their family history.

Tom: Exactly. In fact, you can go to our website, TMCPlace.com and click on Heritage Collectors and download free software.

Fisher: Which is great, who doesn't want to miss out on that! And Doug's going to be there from Genealogy Wallcharts.

Tom: Exactly. In fact, we have a really cool thing in our booth. We're going to have a green screen set up, so you can by our booth, and it’s all free, we'll take your picture, you can pick what background you want behind you, and then Doug will put it up and give you a full color collector piece of it, no charge.

Fisher: Wow that sounds like a lot of fun. And there are more things too, $300 in gift certificates that are going out from this area.

Tom: Exactly. And Marlo’s giving away three of his deluxe version of his software. The book, the Whole Nine Yards, everything that you need to make some really cool stuff and then also, Chris with Easy Photo Scan will be there. They're giving away some scanner starter packs. Of course we mentioned all the stuff that Doug's giving away. We'll have a classroom set up, kind of a mini theatre, which we'll get into more in our next segment and tell you some more things that are going to be fun at Roots Tech.

Fisher: Now tell about these wax cylinders though, I mean, I'm seeing on this list you've handed me that, are you going to be able to actually digitize something off of one of these?

Tom: Oh, absolutely.

Fisher: Could it be done?

Tom: Oh yeah, oh yeah!

Fisher: Really?

Tom: Yeah, we have people bring in the old Edison wax cylinders and we transfer them to CD, just like we do the wires.

Fisher: Will you have examples of wires there that you could digitize?

Tom: We might have some wires there. We can't bring our machine there, because we're doing so many wires, we can't leave it out of our studio. We're just doing tons of them, so it probably won't be at Roots Tech unless we get some kind of a low.

Fisher: All right, and when we return, how you can be a part of Roots Tech even if you're not in Salt Lake City this coming week, on Extreme Genes, Family History Radio and ExtremeGenes.com.

Segment 5 Episode 27

Host: Scott Fisher with guest Tom Perry

Fisher: Hey, welcome back to Extreme Genes, Family History Radio, ExtremeGenes.com. It is your Radio Roots Sleuth, Fisher here. And Genies, I've got to tell you, this is the week everybody's been waiting for, Roots Tech is going to Salt Lake City, Utah. It’s the fourth annual. Tom Perry is here from TMCPlace.com, our Preservation Authority. And we've been talking about some of the things you're going to be able to see in your part of the, I guess the floor, because you've got several booths and several associates who are going to be there with you.

Tom: We have our own island, so to speak.

Fisher: Yeah, pretty much. And we should mention right away by the way that, if you're able to attend Roots Tech, you can do so remotely, because if you go to RootsTech.org, you can find a list of classes that you can follow online, video wise, live, and you can also find some of the talks that are going to be given as well. So it’s going to be a lot of fun to participate in, whether you're in Salt Lake City, Utah or somewhere else.

Tom: Absolutely. In fact, we've got a special for anybody that has some old video or film they need transferred. If you're not able to come and drop it off at Roots Tech, just go online, go to Shop.TMCPlace.com, fill out an order where is says "coupon code" type in "RootsTech" and we'll give you twenty five dollars off any order, so if your order's less than twenty five dollars, basically it’s free.

Fisher: And one of the things I think is interesting is, you go to all the different booths at this show. People are offering a lot of free stuff, including we mentioned earlier Doug from Genealogy Wallcharts. If you bring a thumb drive with a GEDCOM file, which you can make from pretty much any genealogical software, he can actually populate one of these wall charts for you and hand it to you right there!

Tom: Oh, exactly. He has one of these, I think its forty two inch printer. So he can make some incredible art. So if you have a fan chart or something like that, you can have him print it out for you, and I mean, this is beautiful art. This isn't some stupid thing you want to put in the back wall. Put it in your family room. It’s so interesting, especially for your kids, they can go and look at this chart and see these last names in your history and go, "Oh, I have a kid in, you know, one of my classes in 6th grade with the same last name. I wonder if we're related." And bring him over, maybe you are.

Fisher: It’s funny you said that, because when I got into my roots and I found somebody with an unusual last name, I realized that this kid that I beat in wrestling in 8th grade was a distant cousin, because he had that same unusual last name.

Tom: Oh, it’s amazing the people you run into. I've had the same thing happen, where I've run into people who had a genealogy chart and we find out, we've been neighbors forever, you know, and then often find out we have a second cousin that we're related through.

Fisher: Interesting, all right. So what else is going to be there that people can see and maybe some things we can see online?

Tom: Absolutely. One of the neatest things that we'll be showing at Roots Tech is our new scanner, where we scan slides at 16.2 megapixels.

Fisher: Whoa! So you could take a baby picture or snapshot and turn it into a billboard along the freeway.

Tom: Oh, exactly, exactly. You could have, you know, your eyeball would be the size of your normal head.

Fisher: [Laughs] Is it going to get any more detailed than this? I mean, this is about all we need, isn't it?

Tom: Oh, this is beyond what we need.

Fisher: It’s more than what we need.

Tom: It is, but technology, you know, these guys that sit in these ivory buildings, these engineers like Marlo come up with this incredible stuff and it just gets better and better and better. And once in a while, you come up with something, maybe you have an old photograph that's been torn in half, you can't find the other half of it or its been damaged, by going to 16.2 megapixels, it’s amazing how you can restore that and nobody will ever know that something was missing.

Fisher: Absolutely. Plus we're going to meet Chris from Kodak. Now, he's going to be on next week's show. And I tell you, these people are doing some amazing work in helping people restore lost photographs and home movies from disasters. And it is an interesting thing they're doing, it’s a great service. You're going to want to hear about that.

Tom: Oh, absolutely. Chris is just incredible with things that they've gone. They're going to be giving away some stuff in our booth as well. And you can come by and see their new stuff. Some other executives from Kodak will be there and they'll be talking about some of the new releases, which we'll get up on our website, too, TMCPlace.com. So come by after Roots Tech and you'll be able to see that. And if you can listen to any of the live shows, do that, too.

Fisher: All right. Now I'm going to be an official blogger for Roots Tech, so go to ExtremeGenes.com. You can see what we're posting up there. I'll try to be your eyes and ears for this whole thing, because it’s going to be a great week ahead. So that's it for this week. Take care. And remember, as far as everyone knows, we're a nice, normal family!

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