Episode 278 - Saroo Brierley From Lion / Fisher With New Found Cousin / Team Green Visits From Relative Race

podcast episode Apr 14, 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 with word of a tragic fire in Tennessee. Hear what was lost. Then, a recently article speculates over whether DNA evidence will follow the pattern of fingerprints. Hear more of what the author speculates. Then, it’s a big upgraded product from FamilyTreeDNA. David will explain what it is. Then David shares a story of his recent visit to DC and the Vietnam War Memorial.  Finally, the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower happens next year. Find out where you get a list of commemorative events.

Next, Fisher visits with Loren Smith of New Jersey. Loren showed up on Fisher’s DNA match list one day recently. As an unknown second cousin, Fisher reached out to him and a remarkable journey began for both of them. Fisher explains the experience from his viewpoint, knowing the family lines well, while Loren, an adoptee, talks about how his life was changed forever by the connection.  Hear how you might be able to help someone who appears on your match list.

Then, from RootsTech, Saroo Brierley, the man around whom the movie Lion was created, talks about miraculous finding his family in India, after an over twenty year separation after being lost alone on a train. Saroo was a keynote speaker this year.

Then, Keith from Team Green on BYUtv’s Relative Race, talks about the show and his experience in meeting family he never knew he had.

Tom Perry wraps things up with news of new apps that can help you restore old photographs.

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

Transcript of Episode 278

Host: Scott Fisher with guest David Allen Lambert

Segment 1 Episode 278

Fisher: And hello genies! And welcome to America’s Family History Show, Extreme Genes and ExtremeGenes.com. My name is Fisher. I am your Radio Roots Sleuth on the program where we shake your family tree and watch the nuts fall out. And this episode is brought to you by BYUtv’s Relative Race. Season 5 is happening right now and in fact, I’m going to be talking later on in the show to Keith from Team Green about his experience in the program. Of course, you can catch it every Sunday night at 9 o’clock Eastern, 6 o’clock Pacific. And this weekend it is Day 5 they’re going to feature, and it’s been an emotional season, but we’ll get into that a little bit later on as we talk to Keith. Also today, we’re going to talk to Saroo Brierley. He was a keynote speaker at RootsTech in Salt Lake City, Utah back in, I guess it was the last day in February, first day of March, somewhere in there. He is the guy of course that you may have seen featured in the movie Lion. Separated from his family on a train in India, wound up adopted in Australia and eventually, by using Google Satellite was able to identify his hometown from what he remembered, went back and found his family. It’s an amazing story and I’m sure you’re going to enjoy hearing from Saroo Brierley later on in the show. But, right now it is time to check in with my good friend David Allen Lambert. He is the Chief Genealogist of the New England Historic Genealogical Society and AmericanAncestors.org. Hello David, how are you?

David: I’m doing great. I’m back from the nation’s capital, and one of my new stories, I’ll tell you later for Family Histoire News, kind of ties into D.C. So, let’s start out in New Market, Tennessee where the Highlander Center, which is known for its great resources and civil rights has been lost. There was a fire in March that took out this building which had a large collection of civil rights speeches, artifacts and memorabilia, and it’s a terrible loss, Fish.

Fish: Ugh.

David: This is some place where Reverend Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks, Eleanor Roosevelt had workshops and training sessions that helped with the Civil Rights Movement and countless things has been lost. And I’m not sure how much has been digitized, but anytime we lose an archive like this, we lose part of a nation’s history.

Fish: Boy, and you really hit it on the head there. We really need to get things digitized, not only on a level with archives but with our own stuff.

David: Well, and it’s true. I think even your own family archive is so valuable. Mitch Goldstone did it with digitizing family photos. I mean, you just never know what disaster is going to strike.

Fisher: Yep, exactly.

David: Well, my next story really kind of ties in with the mythical figure of Sherlock Holmes. Fingerprints would have been something he would have used when working at Scotland Yard, but are now fingerprints not as reliable as say DNA, which is our internal fingerprint, if you will. A great story Fish that you put up there on Extreme Genes, I think, really touches on how law enforcement as well as genealogists have been using DNA to identify people from the past or solving crimes that they’ve done recently with the Golden State Killer.

Fisher: Well, this is interesting because they talk about some of the challenges in actually creating a standard for fingerprints to be useful in crime, and there have actually been convictions thrown out because of mismatches of fingerprints. And now they’re questioning whether DNA might turn out to be the same kind of thing eventually.

David: It just goes to show you that technology keeps on improving decade by decade, and what we’re getting now is a lot more science behind it. And you know it’s kind of hard to fake your DNA. [Laughs]

Fisher: Exactly.

David: Speaking of DNA, FamilyTreeDNA out of Houston, Texas, you may have used this company when testing your Y or your Mitochondrial DNA, and the big test was the Big Y-500, well, wait folks, it is no longer available because now they have the Big Y-700. This test is intended for their expert users to use advance tools and Y-DNA and it will analyze over one hundred thousand (100,000) snips in your DNA, and up to about 700 short tandem repeats. These are all ways of finding how closely you are related to your Y-DNA matches.

Fisher: Wow!

David: I’m sure a lot of people took advantage of the sale that they have. And now, if you’ve never done it before you can get it at the low, low price of $649.

Fisher: Ooh, wow!

David: [Laughs] Yeah. But, hey listen, if it can help you find where your family comes from in Ireland, to me that’s priceless. So, on March 29th the President signed into law Vietnam Veterans Day. Now March 29th historically was the end of the Vietnam War of 1973, and there were thousands of people that went to the Vietnam War Memorial. Well, I happened to be in D.C last week and I only stayed about two and a half blocks from it so that evening after I got done working I walked over and there were many, many bouquets, many, many remembrances, photos, candles lit and it was really touching. Well, that night I took some of the pictures and put them on my Twitter account @DLGenealogist and I got an idea. Does anybody have anybody on the Wall they never have been able to visit? I’ll pay your respects and do a rub-in. Well, I had two people respond Fish and that was great, but catch this. One of the ones that responded was Jim Lambert of Brooklyn New York. Well, Jim Lambert is my DNA cousin. In fact, with Y-DNA out of one hundred and eleven markers we share a hundred. Doesn’t sound like we’re kissing cousins.

Fisher: No. [Laughs]

David: [Laughs] Because our most recent ancestor lived twenty generations ago.

Fisher: Oh okay.

David: We have the same last name, same country of origin. Well, Jim asked me to do him a favor. I went out and found his cousin Dennis Michael Lambert. He died in 1969 in Vietnam. Now I have a family connection to the Vietnam Wall. Even though it’s many generations ago we have the same Y-DNA. So, when I go to the Wall now it’s personal.

Fisher: Yeah, absolutely. Good stuff David.

David: Well, the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower arriving in Plymouth, Massachusetts, is fast approaching with less than a year away now, and the celebrations are already gearing up. In fact, today I’m lecturing to Executives from KLM Airlines and the Ambassador to the Netherlands from the United States. But the celebrations are going on in England, all over America, as well as Plymouth and the New England Historic Genealogical Society is a proud sponsor of these events and to be taking part in the celebration.

Fisher: And what’s fun about this is there’s so many events happening starting this year and the Boston Globe recently published them and we’ve linked to it at ExtremeGenes.com. So, if you’re looking to participate that’s a great place to go.

David: All right, well, don’t forget, if you’re not a member of American Ancestors and anyone at the Historic Genealogical Society would welcome you to become a member and you can save $20 on membership by using the coupon code “Extreme” on AmericanAncestors.org.

Fisher: All right, thank you so much David. We’ll talk to you again next week. Have a great talk today.

David: Thank you Sir.

Fisher: All right, and coming up next we’re going to talk to a man who I discovered in my DNA matches and I had no idea who he was. It didn’t make sense. And we’ll explain the whole thing coming up next in three minutes on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show.

Segment 2 Episode 278

Host: Scott Fisher with guest Loren Smith

Fisher: And welcome back to America’s Family History Show, Extreme Genes and ExtremeGenes.com. It is Fisher here, your Radio Roots Sleuth and this segment is brought to you by Legacy Tree Genealogist. You know, many years ago when I first started doing my research, and long before DNA came along, I started doing databases of people who descended from my common ancestors going back to my first greats, my second greats, sometimes even my third, and my wife would say to me, “Why are you doing that? Why don’t you just focus on your direct lines and all that? Why are you spending all this time on that?” and I said, I don’t know. I think it’s kind of interesting to get a perspective from the ancestors say, had they lived to be 150-years old, to see what all the descendants did. And in fact, it turned into an interesting technique by going back and pulling forward, I found all kinds of information about the family in the hands of these various descendants. So, it turned into a technique that was very practical as well as being very interesting. So, I’ve had these databases and now with DNA when it comes along, if I find a match I can typically figure out who that person is, where they match from, what lines they come through.

So, back in February I was getting ready to go on a trip to Mexico and I was due to fly out the next day and I got a sudden match for a second cousin. Now, as you probably realized in DNA and in the family history research world, second cousin is pretty close. And it was a very high confidence level. So, I pushed on the button for shared matches and found that all the matches we shared were descendants of my father’s mother’s parents, the Waldron family. And so I thought, I don’t recognize this name. Who is this person? And I went through my database and thought yeah, there’s nobody here that fits the bill. So, I reached out and said, “Hey, I have this list of descendants and I know that you’re a descendant of this couple. Who are you?” And the response I got back was, “I can’t tell you. I was adopted. Can you help me?” And that man named Loren Smith is on the line with me right now.  And Loren, it was really quite a fun day that day, wasn’t it?

Loren: It was a great day. It was an absolutely great day for me. Thank you, Scott. A world opened up.   

Fisher: Well, it was fun for me obviously because I was prepared for something like this because I did have this database. And I wanted to have this discussion with you, not so much from saying oh look at all we were able to accomplish, but to talk about it from your perspective of what was going on in your life, and also how it affected me that day. Because there was a lot that we did together and of course we’ve never met. So, this was a really interesting experience. Let’s start with you. Your story is you were adopted.

Loren: Correct. I was adopted in 1953 with a closed adoption so I was unable to access any of those records.

Fisher: Yeah. And you were born in Brooklyn, which means you’re in New York where they’ve had those closed records laws forever. Now, hopefully they’re going to be correcting that this year in the state legislature. But it really meant you had absolutely no clue where to look.

Loren: Exactly, I had no idea. My parents had said, you know, you are English. And that’s pretty much all I knew. I didn’t know my parents’ names or anything. I knew a little bit and that was all.

Fisher: This really bothered me too because I was going to be leaving the next day. I’m packed and I’m trying to wrap up. I’m trying to get all my Extreme Genes things done and everything else to shut down the house and take off for ten days and suddenly here’s this match and it’s like oh my gosh, I can’t leave this guy hanging for a week and a half. And so, we were able to go to town and figure this out. And you were trusting enough when I asked you to let me see your DNA stuff. Now, this is kind of an interesting question a lot of people get when they’re asked to share their DNA, “Is this somebody I want to share it with?” Of course, you didn’t know me from Adam and I didn’t know you either, but you said yes and off we went. Why is it you felt that you could trust me to look at this material and have access to that?

Loren: Good question. Because Scott, I was so in the dark for 65-years and I could just tell on your voice that you were genuine and sincere. I just felt it.

Fisher: And we were a match. We weren’t just random people, right?

Loren: Exactly. We weren’t just random people. We were family. DNA proved that. And I was new. I mean, I really, when I first did this I couldn’t have imagined that it would have happened so quickly and so thoroughly. And when you called me, I was like, wow.

Fisher: [Laughs]

Loren: I saw the matches but I wasn’t ready for it. But I said let’s go with it, because I had been waiting 65 years for answers. And you came out and said, “Hey, let’s explore this. You’re a cousin. Where did you come from? All of a sudden you popped up.” And I’m like wow, yeah. That’s what I wanted. I mean, that’s exactly what I wanted.

Fisher: Which is why you did the test, right? I mean, you were encouraged by your kids as I understand it.

Loren: Exactly. My kids were saying this summer, do it. Just go do it. And I did and I have been overjoyed at the results.

Fisher: You know, and it’s so much fun to do this. And the reason we bring this up is because there are going to be people like you Loren, who come along and they’re going to connect with somebody and they don’t know quite what to do. And there are going to be people like me who may receive an unexpected relative showing up among the matches and have to decide well, how do I help this person? Do they want to be helped, right?

Loren: Right.

Fisher: And we have to kind of make decisions along these lines because you really have no idea. But that was the advantage of having that descendants database. I mean I knew that you weren’t on the list. It’s just not that far back. And it’s like wait a minute, who is this guy?

Loren: Yeah.

Fisher: And so just to summarize what happened that day very quickly, is, you Loren saw a DNA match that was very high and you said it was a first cousin.

Loren: Right. Well, that’s what they had said in Ancestry. They called it a first cousin.

Fisher: Well, up to a first cousin match. But when we looked at the number of centimorgans that you shared with this person, it was like “Oh no, no, that is a half sister!”

Loren: Which blew my mind.

Fisher: Yeah. [Laughs]

Loren: When you said that to me, I was like, “half sister?” You blew my mind. I was like this has gone now into the stratosphere well beyond what I ever thought or ever dreamed was possible. It’s just been an exciting journey.

Fisher: And what was fun was, she had her family tree up and attached to her DNA. The mother’s side was Midwest, and her father’s side was from Panama.

Loren: Yes.

Fisher: And as it turned out, your matches that did not tend to match to my side, to this branch of my family, tended to come from Panama, which told us you’d found your birth father right there.

Loren: Right.

Fisher: And what was fun about it was that there was such a clean separation. There wasn’t you know, a couple of people from the same area with the same background. There’s the Panama side, and then there was our side.

Loren: Right.

Fisher: So then it was just a question of figuring out okay, which side did who come from? And when we figured out okay, the birth father is the person from Panama because of the matches there that meant that your match to me came from your birth mother’s side.

Loren: Right.

Fisher: And because of the matches that you shared with my grandmother’s sister-in-law, we were able to identify okay, these were your grandparents. They had four daughters, and because of the fact that the one daughter happened to work in New York in the Brooklyn area for the airlines just like your birth father did at the same time, and then eliminating some of the other sisters for other reasons we were able to determine who your birth mother actually was within the same day.

Loren: And what really blew me away was that William Hardy Waldron, my grandfather, was a policeman in a town which is the county seat of my county, and is really only four or five miles from my home.

Fisher: In New Jersey. Yeah.

Loren: In New Jersey.

Fisher: But what was amazing to me is when I first saw your picture come up, I’m recognizing my great uncle, Bill Waldron. I’m going, wait a minute, this guy, I’m certain he has to come through this line. [Laughs] And then the DNA validated it because you also descended from the family of his wife so that made it really simple.

Loren: Right.

Fisher: So you know Loren, it was a great day obviously, but I think the lesson for both of us is for people who are researching and have their information out there, to be ready to jump in and help when the opportunity comes and have that descendant information available. And then from your side I guess would be to say hey, allow people to be part of it and get involved. Because you don’t have enough answers to do it yourself.

Loren: Well, exactly Scott. And for me, it was enlarging the circle. It was enlarging the circle that I knew was there for 65 years but I didn’t know it. So, for me meeting you was the first step in enlarging the circle and trusting the process.

Fisher: That’s right.

Loren: I’m new to this so I had no knowledge. I mean, I knew the centimorgans were a measurement but I didn’t realize until you and I started talking, what that meant. It was an eye-opening experience, just the whole it’s been an experience.

Fisher: And it was so fun when I heard that you actually made a connection with your half sister and she’s really invited you into her life in Miami, Florida. How cool is that.

Loren: Yes. That is great. I just was chatting with her online about two hours ago.

Fisher: Wow!

Loren: So, we’ve stayed in touch. We’re in contact and it’s a very warm and friendly relationship we’re developing, and I’m overjoyed. And again, the circle just enlarges even more.

Fisher: Yeah.

Loren: From you, to Susanna, and my other half-sister Christina, and her son and daughter I’ve gotten friendly with. And I’m so happy that this circle is enlarging, that I’m finding family that I didn’t know I had. 

Fisher: And this is all in addition to your adopted family that hasn’t lost an ounce of love as a result of it.

Loren: Not at all. It’s all good. They’re all very supportive. My family is very supportive of it.

Fisher: Well, I think it’s been a joy for both of us and an awful lot of fun too to put together the puzzle pieces, and hopefully that legislation in New York will pass this session so that you can get access to your original birth certificate coming up next January.

Loren: Yeah. The governor in New York says he wants to do it. And it’s been in front of the legislature for a year now and I think this year could be a good year.

Fisher: That would be awesome.

Loren: And it will open up. They will open up certain records on enclosed adoptions for folks.

Fisher: He’s Loren Smith from New Jersey. He’s my second cousin who I didn’t know till just a couple of months ago. Loren thanks for your time. It’s been great to get to know you and I’m looking forward to seeing what else we can develop on your family history.

Loren: Thanks Scott. I do too. I’m looking forward to doing more research.

Fisher: And coming up, it’s a man they made a movie about. Saroo Brierley. If you’ve seen the flick Lion you’ll know you’re going to want to hear what the interview is next coming up in five minutes on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show.     

Segment 3 Episode 278

Host: Scott Fisher with guest Saroo Brierley

Fisher: Hey, welcome back to Extreme Genes. It is Fisher here, and at RootsTech this year in Salt Lake City, Utah, Saroo Brierley was one of the keynote speakers. He was that young boy from India who got on a train at five years old and never saw his family again. He was adopted out to Australia, and then eventually using Google Satellite located his hometown from memory and reconnected with his family. It was the basis for the movie Lion. Here’s my interview with Saroo Brierley.

Fisher: Welcome!

Saroo: Thank you for having me.

Fisher: It’s great to have you at RootsTech and having to hear your story from you firsthand. First of all, what did you think of the actor that played you?

Saroo: Um, amazing. Dev Patel you’re talking about?

Fisher: Yeah.

Saroo: I honestly thought though they were going to choose Wesley Snipes to embody me!

Fisher: [Laughs]

Saroo: But I’m really happy and glad that is was Dev Patel because he did an amazing job. And I don’t think there’s a better person out there that could have enacted myself.

Fisher: Well, there’s a lot to capture in you because you have multiple backgrounds that you have to embody and what did your parents think? Your adoptive parents when they saw the film? Were they pleased with it?

Saroo: They were extremely happy. My mom, played by Nicole Kidman, she was wrapped in over the moon and dad was played by an Australian actor David Wenham and I think the balance between all those actors was just perfect.

Fisher: Yeah.

Saroo: And the screen time with those actors was perfect as well. And that’s something I don’t know much about but everyone did a great job. Kudos to everyone!

Fisher: Yeah, and you’re happy with that.

Saroo: And case to the point, everyone loved it.

Fisher: And you know, there’s not really much exaggeration they had to do to make this film more Hollywood, was there?

Saroo: Definitely not.

Fisher: It’s just an incredible miracle that you were able to pull this off.

Saroo: Yeah, it just speaks for itself. The thing about it is that I’ve never seen a movie especially the trailer when I see it that raises the hair on your arms as much as Lion. I’m not trying to burst my bubble here.

Fisher: No.

Saroo: But I’m speaking from the bottom of my heart, it’s like wow!

Fisher: Well, if you think, every human being on earth has a journey and journeys have different directions and bumps in the road and all this. For many people here at RootsTech it might be trying to find birth families.

Saroo: Yeah.

Fisher: Or to connect with earlier ancestors where they’re stuck, to learn their stories, which is part of their own story. I don’t think I’ve ever run into a story quite like yours.

Saroo: It’s a very colorful journey.

Fisher: Well, you made mention in your speech that you’re hoping maybe to help somebody in your same situation. I’m thinking, how many people could there be like that? Have you ever run in somebody who physically got separated from their family, raised somewhere else, and as a result of your story was inspired to go and find them?

Saroo: There was actually a story in China where a girl at the age of I think about seven or eight was kidnapped and she was taken to a family that was kilometers away from where she was originally and she saw my story, and she used my story to help herself finding her own family and it was in the papers, in the media in China. And that’s a good example amongst thousands of others out there and sometimes you don’t really hear them.

Fisher: Because they’re all over the place.

Saroo: They’re all over the place. The story is there to help people and to encourage and what you do with this is up to you. You don’t need to call me. You don’t need to send me a message. It’s simply there to help yourself and take advantage.

Fisher: Well, I bet you, when you hear a story like that it’s got to be enormously satisfying to you because of your decision to go public.

Saroo: It’s definitely fulfilling. Of course it’s good to hear that. It shows that people are using my story for the intentions as I originally intended, wanted it to be.

Fisher: Yes.

Saroo: And why would you not?

Fisher: So, we’ve all become familiar with your story of getting on a train as a five year old. Your brother apparently died the night you were separated, yes?

Saroo: Yes, correct.

Fisher: Which had to be tough for you to learn when you got back with your family, are you still in touch with them?

Saroo: Yes, definitely.

Fisher: Do you see them often?

Saroo: Yeah, I do, at least twice a year.

Fisher: Okay.

Saroo: And one of the things that I did was buy my mom a house which was something we couldn’t have ever done. And she’s absolutely wrapped. I do talk to my mom at least once or twice a month and she does all the talking. There’s been 25 years of separation and there’s 25 years of catching up and a lot to talk about. So, it’s a gradual process but going back to India, it’s my heritage.

Fisher: Right.

Saroo: It’s an amazing place. There’s never a dull moment there and in addition to that seeing my mom. She’s an amazing, poetically, eloquently spoken woman. I think I have a bit of her characteristics as well. She’s so fit she can run rings around me but at the end of the day I love seeing her and I wish one day I can bring her over to Australia.

Fisher: When you arrived in the village you talked about instructively knowing the way home. As I recall, when you got home she wasn’t at that home anymore. She had moved. Is that right, am I remembering that correctly?

Saroo: Correct.

Fisher: She was a little further down. Was she aware that you were in town?

Saroo: No, no, no. I went from the Metropolitan where I came in the cab and then my legs sort of did what they did to go to suburbia where I was born. And all of a sudden word spread like wildfire that there’s this foreigner wearing Essex shoes, Adidas pants with the five bird stripes on the side and a saucony sort of top, and a little bag on the side and he’s going around looking for this particular lady. And before you know it the whole village knew.

Fisher: Before you even got there?

Saroo: Before I got to the door of where I was born.

Fisher: Wow!

Saroo: So, I think it was a unique moment for my hometown that there’s a foreigner but he’s not a foreigner, he was born here. So, such a pivotal moment for that and so euphoric as well.

Fisher: What was the response of your friends who discouraged you as you’d worked so hard on this? You weren’t getting anywhere. I mean, India’s a monstrous sized country.

Saroo: It is. From three hundred and fifty thousand (350,000) cities, to eight thousand train stations.

Fisher: Yeah. But they said give it up. I mean, you’re here now and the future is ahead.

Saroo: Yeah.

Fisher: And obviously when you had that success were they elated for you or where they like, oh boy, now we’ve got the next phase of this? What was their response?

Saroo: [Laughs] I think they were quite elated. And you know what? You don’t have to let other people make your mind up because you’ve got a brain yourself.

Fisher: Right. Sure.

Saroo: And you should follow your heart, your dreams, and your thoughts. Friends are there just to help you because you know they sort of feel that you’re in a bit of dire straits and not sleeping well. And they just want to comfort you by saying, hey, why don’t you just give that up because we want to see you happy? But you’ve got your own journey.

Fisher: Right.

Saroo: And my journey was that I had to find closure which is something that I sort of never really talked about much to my friends. It’s quite personal. And you know my friends now like you said they’re extremely elated and they sort of commend me for what I have done.

Fisher: Sure. What is your life like now?

Saroo: Busy, extremely.

Fisher: What were you doing before you were doing all the speaking? What was your career?

Saroo: I was working for my family business, my adoptive family business which has to do with hose and fittings, hydraulics, and marine, sales, retail.

Fisher: Okay, and now?

Saroo: And now I’m doing a lot of keynote speaking to corporate companies’ majority of the time. Traveling to sort of domestic Australia to here in the US, which is amazing and also you know in the UK as well. So, that’s sort of my life at the moment, spreading the word out there almost feeling like the prophet! [Laughs]

Fisher: [Laughs]

Saroo: You’ve got to tell this story to the world to make people believe.

Fisher: Exactly. You’ve been given that gift, haven’t you?

Saroo: Well, I’m very sort of proud to be out there and spreading the word out there because you know we all need to be uplifted in a time where there’s so much negativity.

Fisher: Absolutely. The draw of family, it’s universal.

Saroo: It is, definitely.

Fisher: And it’s so strong.

Saroo: Yes. When it comes to family you should never give up.

Fisher: Well, Saroo thank you so much for your time.

Saroo: Thank you.

Fisher: What an incredible story and thanks for sharing it with the world and inspiring so many people.

Saroo: It’s been a pleasure.

Fisher: That’s maybe looking for something different than you were but still something just as compelling.

Saroo: Definitely.

Fisher: Wow! What a treat. And coming up next we’re going to talk to Keith from Relative Race from Team Green on BYUtv. It’s Season 5 going on right now and you’re going to want to hear what he has to say about his most emotional moments, in three minutes.

Segment 4 Episode 278

Host: Scott Fisher with guest Keith Breedlove

Fisher: And we're back! Its America's Family History Show, Extreme Genes and ExtremeGenes.com. It is Fisher here, your Radio Roots Sleuth. And of course we're right in the middle of Season 5 of Relative Race from BYUtv, Sunday nights 9 o'clock Eastern, 6 o'clock Pacific. And I've got to tell you, this has been a season, an emotional one! And right now on the line with me from Los Angeles, from Team Green, it is Keith! How are you, Keith?

Keith: Hey, I'm good, Scott. How are you?

Fisher: You know, I'm doing great. And it’s been really fun to watch you and your brother, Marcus both of you from L.A. We were talking earlier as you were taking your son off to school and you were talking about nicknames your grandmother had for you. What were some of those?

Keith: Oh yeah, well, growing up, my childhood name my mother gave to me was Lookylove, because she said when I came home, all she could remember was this big eyed baby who would just be looking around, you know, observing everything, just real nosy, a real nosy child. So they called me Lookylove.

Fisher: Oh, that's fun.

Keith: My grandmother, because I did gymnastics growing up, called me grasshopper, because I would always be flipping around the yard in the grass. So that was another nickname.

Fisher: Doing flips?

Keith: Yeah.

Fisher: [Laughs] Well, it sounds like you had a close family, and that's certainly shown in the show. Through these first four episodes, what has been the most emotional moment for you?

Keith: For me, I would say my brother finding his dad, because that was really the main goal if anybody can remember, you know, I was saying he would love to find his dad. So for me honestly, I would want to say, my brother finding his dad was the most emotional part for me.

Fisher: And for those who don't know, Marcus is your half brother. You share a mom. And in the very first episode, because you guys are from L.A., really no need to have a driver's license, they found Marcus' dad to drive you around, which had to be crazy that first day.

Keith: Yeah, that was definitely a surprise, a shocker that came for both of us. We never expected that. Now for the driver to be his dad also, that was even more crazy.

Fisher: And how's Marcus doing with that now? I mean, obviously the shooting for all this is done and I'm assuming that they're still very much in touch.

Keith: Oh definitely. I believe he's out there right now with his dad. Most likely enjoying seasons of the show, the first few episodes that we watched. I've seen him actually posting, showing me videos of him watching it at home. So I'm sure they're definitely enjoying their time together.

Fisher: How fun. That's awesome! So, how did you guys choose to get on the show?

Keith: Well, seeing how my brother here is a performer, he's with L.A. Casting, the casting agency out here in Los Angeles. He was looking for some gigs, you know, just to perform, make some money and stuff like that, and he came across Relative Race. He saw that they had put something up saying that they were looking for people who were looking for their blood family members or biological fathers. So he submitted his story and I want to say in less than 24 hours, we got a call back. They did the phone interview. And he was talking to him asking him if he’d be interested in going on the show, after of course getting his background, his story of who he was, where he came from, our mother passing and things of that nature. He wanted to know of Marcus had any relative who would interested on going on the show with him to find family members, and I was right there. So, I mean, it was an easy call.

Fisher: Wow, what fun! It’s been a life changing experience obviously for both of you guys. No matter what happens, obviously we don't know who wins the $50,000 at the end.

Keith: Right.

Fisher: But it’s fun to see the competition and obviously a great bond between you guys and the rest of the teams, too.

Keith: Oh, it definitely is healthy competition. It’s a lot of love between us and the other teams. We actually got connected personally outside of, you know, us being in a competition. We're actually friends on Instagram and, you know, they talk and stuff like that. So we actually became friends with people that we were competitive with at that one point in time.

Fisher: He's Keith from Team Green on Relative Race on BYUtv. And Keith, you have a great day, and we look forward to seeing how the rest of the season works out.

Keith: Thank you. You do the same Scott. I appreciate the call.

Fisher: All right. And coming up next, Tom Perry, our Preservation Authority talking about how to preserve your precious heirlooms on Extreme Genes, America's Family History Show in three minutes.

Segment 5 Episode 278

Host: Scott Fisher with guest Tom Perry

Fisher: And it is time once again to talk preservation on Extreme Genes, America's Family History Show and ExtremeGenes.com. I am Fisher. I am your Radio Roots Sleuth with the Preservation Authority, the one and only Tom Perry from TMCPlace.com. And Tom, we're going to talk about apps today, because there's some new ones out that were not there when we started this show six years ago. And boy is it going to save a lot of people a lot of money when it comes to restoring old photographs. What have you got?

Tom: Oh, it’s just amazing. Through apps and different programs you can buy on your computer, it’s absolutely incredible the algorithms that they have created. In the old days, somebody used to have to bring a photo to us. For an example, there was a funeral coming up and the best photo of mom that you wanted to use in the obituary had John, one of her sons standing next to her, because it was taken at his wedding. And so, he's kind of in the photo, his arm's over her shoulder in the photo and it just wouldn't look good. So they bring it to us, we take out John, we take out his arm, we rebuild her shoulder. We're rushed to do it in a week in time for the funeral, and it can cost several hundred dollars. Now with these new apps and this new software, you can do it at home yourself. A lot of them even have auto mode, where you click "auto" and it goes and figures out what you want. For instance, one that's really cool is, everybody had an old photo from the '50s that has Aunt Martha or Grandma Edna in it and there's a telephone pole growing right out of her head.

Fisher: [Laughs]

Tom: And you need to remove it. Not her head, but the telephone pole.

Fisher: Right. [Laughs]

Tom: And with this app, all you do it trace over the pole, push "automatic" boom, it’s gone! It takes the background and clones what it thinks should have been there. And if it’s not perfect, you can go in and touch it up yourself. But it’s amazing how accurate they are!

Fisher: You know, I've seen ads on this all over the place. For instance, is there are a group of people out on the beach and you want to take everybody out except one person, It will take care of that. And suddenly, the ocean looks just absolutely normal. And it’s an incredible algorithm.

Tom: And it makes it look like you're on the beach all by yourself. Or you have this beautiful photo of you, you take the background out and all of a sudden, hey, there's the Eiffel Tower in Paris, oh, there's the Taj Mahal in the background behind you.

Fisher: [Laughs] Yeah, exactly, you can do whatever you want. So how much are these apps and what are the names of some of them?

Tom: One of them, you can go into the Appstore or the Google Appstore and just type in "damaged photo" and the program's easy. It’s called Damaged Photo Restore and Repair, and its only $8.99.

Fisher: And it’s that good, huh?

Tom: Oh, it’s pretty amazing. If you want to get into the really detailed stuff, you need to go into one program which I absolutely love and this is going to be something we've talked about for years. Wondershare now has a partnership with an operator that makes software, it’s called Visme, V I S M E, and it’s absolutely incredible. Fotophire is the actual name of it. And if you want to go to it, you have to go to Photo.Wondershare.com. It’s not on Wondershare's normal page. And you can try it out for free. Then if you decide you want to buy it, you can get the year's subscription for like $100 or you can get a permanent subscription for a little bit more than that.

Fisher: You know, it’s funny you mentioned this, back in the 1980s when my wife and I were first starting to get involved in family history, we obtained a photograph of her great grandparents from Holland and all of their kids. And there was all kinds of problems with it. There were pieces of face that had lines through it. And we actually had to have an artist take a photograph of it and then physically correct the photograph. And it cost us about $200 to fix that picture. And I'm thinking, wow, what a long way we've come from that kind of thing!

Tom: Oh absolutely. It was painting and a brush what they did. I've seen exactly when they're doing it. When Photoshop came along, which we both use, it’s absolutely wonderful. But like this app that's only $9, you can go in, draw over where all the cracks are and boom, the cracks are gone! So it’s just absolutely incredible what you can do for nine bucks on an app!

Fisher: All right, Tom, great stuff as always, and we'll talk to you again soon.

Tom: My pleasure.

Fisher: Hey, that's all we've got this week. If you missed any of it, of course catch the podcast on iTunes, iHeart Radio and ExtremeGenes.com. And by the way, catch our top tips as well. We do them twice a week through those same places. And if you have a question that you might want to see us turn into a tip, just email us at [email protected]. Hey, and don't forget to sign up for our Weekly Genie Newsletter as well on our Facebook page and ExtremeGenes.com. Thanks for joining us. And remember, as far as everyone knows, we're a nice, normal family!

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