Episode 34 - What is a GenWeb site?

podcast episode Mar 24, 2014

Fisher talks about the latest science in following the migration patterns of our ancestors… “language family trees.”  Find out what these trees have taught us about the origins of Native Americans, and how this technique might teach us about the migration of other ancient groups.  Fisher also has the story of a Delaware man who lived a long life, but couldn’t resist leaving one final message to family and friends… his own hysterical obituary.  Fisher will share some of what he wrote.  Plus, what are the most disliked new baby names?  With the boys, especially… there’s a pattern!

Guest Karen Zach, a coordinator for two GenWeb sites in Indiana, joins Fisher to talk about just what GenWeb sites are.  They’re a gold mine of information, but cost you nothing.  This could be a valuable segment for you.

Fisher reprises his conversation with Robbie from Michigan, who, in 2013, talked about some major discoveries she made after listening to Extreme Genes.  Her finding was something descendants had sought for about three decades!

Plus, Tom Perry, our Preservation Authority, is back to talk about color correction when digitizing home movies and important things to know about digitizing videos at home!

Transcript of Episode 34

Host: Scott Fisher

Segment 1 Episode 34

Fisher: Welcome back genies to Extreme Genes, Family History Radio where we shake your family trees and watch the nuts fall. I’m your Radio Roots Sleuth Fisher and we’ve got some great stuff on the show today. First in about ten minutes, we will be joined by Karen Zach. She is a long time researcher in Indiana who also happens to oversee two county Genweb sites. Now if you don’t know what they are, Karen will be here to tell you all about them. GenWeb sites are all over the place, and just may be what you’re looking for to break down that wall or discover some unknown stories in your family history. I’ve found many over the years there. Oh, and she’ll remind you they don’t cost you a dime. Then later in the show a great call we first aired in 2013from a lady in Michigan who learned a few things here and went to work and wait till you hear the cool stuff she found about her Revolutionary War Era people. It is one of my favorite calls we’ve ever had. If you have a story you’d like to share, we’re always looking forward to hearing from you. Our toll free Extreme Genes “Find Line” is 1-234-56-GENES. That’s 1-234-56-GENES, G-E-N-E-S. If you forget it just go to ExtremeGenes.com. And of course, later in the show our Preservation Authority Tom Perry returns with great advice on preserving your family treasures, photos, slides, videos, home movies, you name it. Today he’s got great tips on questions about color correction for your home movies and converting your videos at home. As always, the man knows what he is talking about. It is time once again for your Family Histoire News from the pages of ExtremeGenes.com where you can find links to most all the stories we talk about. Just think of it as a drudge report for family history news and success stories. First up is a story that is somewhat above my pay grade. Okay, light years above my pay grade. [Laughs] It’s from Joseph Stromberg writing in Smithsonian.com. And I’ll try to give you the simplest version of it that I can for your sake as well as mine. Stromberg tells us of a fascinating new discovery concerning the ancestors of Native Americans. DNA studies some time ago led us to believe that American Indian Ancestors came from Siberia and made their way across a piece of land that connected Alaska with Asia thousands of years ago. The place is today referred to as Burinea which includes what is now called the Bering Strait. It was believed that they left Siberia twenty five thousand years ago. The problem was evidence suggested that people didn’t inhabit North America until about fifteen thousand years ago. 

Well, recently it was discovered that Burinea which of course has long been under water was an ideal place for people to live and the thought is Native American Ancestors from Siberia may have called this place home for about ten thousand years before changing zip codes. Here’s the real crazy part. A couple of language researchers named Mark Sicoli and Gary Holton have constructed a language family tree. They took languages of the Na-Dene family which is a traditional language in parts of the United States including Alaska as well as in Canada, and then compared that to the Yeneseian family (I hope I said it right.) which is spoken in central Siberia and determined through differences and similarities that they both came from an ancestral language that came from Burinea. In other words, the people who settled Siberia and the folks who populated North America were both descended from the same people, the long standing population of Burinea who may have come originally from Siberia. So they went back and forth. So now these linguists are going about studying as many of the Native American languages as possible to compare to ancient languages of other parts of the world. They say it’s a great challenge because the last native speakers of many of these languages are dying off. And by the way the article notes that it’s believed this area of Burinea was exposed because so much ocean water was locked up in glaciers. Then over thousands of years the ice began to melt, raising the sea levels and forcing the moves. So, from documents to DNA we can now add language as a possible indicator of the ancestry of specific groups. Wow, that is a new one. Read Joseph Stromberg’s much more intellectual take on it than I can give it, complete with maps through our link at ExtremeGenes.com. Next up, a Delaware man recently died and in so doing surprised his family as they learned that he had written his own obituary. And here is some of what he had to say. “Walter George Bruhl Jr of Newark and Dewey Beach is a dead person. He is no more. He is bereft of life. He is deceased. He has rung down the curtain and gone to join the choir invisible. He has expired and gone to meet his maker.” And this thing just keeps getting better. Walter wrote, “There will be no viewing since his wife refuses to honor his request to have him standing in the corner of the room with a glass of Jack Daniels in his hand so he would appear natural to visitors. His ashes he wrote are to be kept in an urn until they get tired of having it around. What’s a Grecian Urn? Oh, about 200 drachmas a week. Walt was preceded in death by his tonsils and adenoids in 1935, a spinal disc in 1974, a large piece of his thyroid gland in 1988 and his prostate on March 27th 2000. He’s survived by his wife of 57 years, the former Helene Sellers, who will quote, “Now be able to purchase the mink coat which he’d always refused her because he believed only minks should wear mink.” 

Don’t you wish everybody could write their own obituary this way? Walter Bruhl got a lot of attention over this and what a way to go out. Find the link to the story at ExtremeGenes.com. Next up, they are the most hated baby names in America. Every year of course, the Social Security people reveal the most common baby names for both boys and girls. Well as it turns out, many of those names also appear on the list of most reviled baby names. Basically, it’s because whatever becomes popular also has a backlash associated with it. You know, think New York Yankees. The number one most hated baby name of the past year is a girl’s name Nevaeh, which is Heaven spelled backwards. It was a name that wasn’t even around in the 1990s then shot up to number 31 most popular in the middle of the last decade, whatever we call that decade. Following Nevaeh on the girls’ list are Destiny, Madison, McKenzie, McKenna, Patterson, Gertrude, Katelyn, McKayla and Bertha. Bertha. [Laughs] I had no idea that had made such a comeback even to be the number 10 most hated girls’ name. On the boys list we have and you can see a pattern in this, Jayden, Braden, Aden, Cadin, Hunter, Hayden, Bentley, Tristan, Michael and Jackson. Yes, Jayden, Braden, Aden, Cadin and Hayden are all on the list. It’s kind of like the cheerleading squad when I was in high school, Candi, Mandi, Sandi, Randi and Brandi, and they all wrote their names with a little heart over the ‘i.’ They weren’t very popular either. And that is your Family Histoire News for this week. And coming up next, she’s an Indiana Hoosier who may have been gathering your ancestor’s records for her GenWeb sites for years. What is a GenWeb site? Well, if you don’t know, and a lot of people don’t, Karen Zach of Montgomery County Indiana will tell you about it, coming up in three minutes on Extreme Genes, Family History Radio and ExtremeGenes.com.

Segment 2 Episode 34

Host: Scott Fisher with guest Karen Zach

Fisher: And welcome back to Extreme Genes, Family History Radio. It is Fisher here your Radio Roots Sleuth and our guest today is [Laughs] somebody I met back when I don’t think I could even grow a moustache. Karen Zach from Montgomery County, Indiana, a dear friend and who actually I met when we were moving around the country back in the day my wife and I. How are you Karen? Good to talk to you again!

Karen:  I am good. Good to talk to you also. 

Fisher: And Karen was the person who helped us with my wife’s lineage back in the days. We were just getting started and now she runs a couple of sites which we call GenWeb Sites. And for people who are unfamiliar with these things I think sometimes those are a little more experienced tend to never mention them. And then when people hear about them they go, “What’s a GenWeb site?” And these are kind of important for anyone doing research and Karen you run two of them so first of all, let’s describe to people what is a GenWeb site.

Karen: Well, a GenWeb site is a site with genealogy on it and the best part about it is it’s free!

Fisher: Yes it’s free and it’s local for the area that you’re looking in.

Karen: Exactly. Like I live in Montgomery County so I do the Montgomery County GenWeb page. 

Fisher: Exactly.

Karen: Some of them do live other places but they at least have family members in that area.

Fisher: Well that’s true, but you handle also the one for Fountain County, Indiana so you don’t have to live there to be the coordinator for that particular GenWeb site. 

Karen: That’s true.

Fisher: Now GenWeb sites are created for every state in the country and every county in every state plus the United States itself has one And so there are volunteers at all of these different levels. How long have you been doing your GenWeb site Karen?

Karen: Well, I’ve been doing it since the inception of Indiana’s GenWeb sites. I’ve stuck with that one. I traded off some other ones and I’ve had Fountain County for several years. I started Parke and had it for several years. And I co-sponsored the one in Putnam County, so kind of the one around me is the one I’m interested in.

Fisher: Right. And these are areas that your people have come from?

Karen: Exactly, yes.

Fisher: So, do you have a staff of volunteers that work with you? How many do you have and what do they do?

Karen: Well, I do. I have a big group. I have probably a dozen who help me, and they type obituaries or send in pictures, just anything I kind of needed doing. One of those recent things that some of my volunteers did, was I had started trying to find all the towns in our county. I found a hundred to begin with and then my daughter Suzie and some friends, Jerry, Bill and Daley they decided they wanted to kind of have a little running contest to see how many more they could find.

Fisher: [Laughs]

Karen: And you’re not going to believe this, but we now have 322 towns that has been in our county at one time.

Fisher: Wow in your county!

Karen: That’s amazing. [Laughs]

Fisher: That is. See these are all such important stuff because those political subdivisions can make such a difference. And when you’re researching and trying to figure out who lived where because the town names aren’t always the name of the township, so it gets very complicated. When you started doing this several years ago and how long have they been around now, about ten, fifteen years

Karen: Oh no, they began in 1996.

Fisher: It’s a little longer than that then? 

Karen: Almost twenty now.

Fisher: Yeah, almost twenty years now.

Karen: Yeah!

Fisher: And so I guess the question would be, “Where was it when you started and where is it now would you say?”

Karen: My sites just tripled sold, probably more than that. And the thing with GenWeb is each county coordinator does what they can do I guess I’d say. And I spend about six hours a day on mine uploading photos and yearbooks and obituaries, marriages and that stuff. Some may only spend six hours a month so it just kind of depends.  

Fisher: Right. Well there are thousands of counties out there, and each one seems to have a different look, a different feel, a different amount of usability and that’s important for people to know gee, you may go to Karen’s and go, “Wow, look at all the stuff for Montgomery County, Indiana and then you might go to some place in Vermont and it’s like, “Yeah, not so much.”

Karen: Not so much, yeah. That’s just it in a nutshell but if you happen to hit a biggie like I have one in Northern Indiana that I’ve spent weeks and weeks on and I won’t go for a while when she’s added more then I can spend some more days on it. So it just depends on the coordinator.

Fisher: How are GenWeb sites funded?

Karen: Well...

Fisher: They’re not Government sites, right?

Karen: No. No, no. They’re just a bunch of coordinators and some of them pay for their own site. I have a friend, whether it’s about five of us on the one that I do, the User we use. There’s about five of us and one of them, it’s not that much a year and she said, “I’ll just pay for it.” And you know she does the background work for it and then there’s also a lot of them in Indiana who pay like $5 a year to the state coordinator and she gets one. So it kind of depends on each state and each county and how they want to work it.

Fisher: So really the only cost is probably just the website itself pretty much right?

Karen: Yes, exactly.

Fisher: And how deep you want to go with that. And so you’ve got not only volunteers but you also have people who want to contribute a little bit to it and it doesn’t need a whole lot which is what makes it so fantastic.

Karen: Amen.

Fisher: [Laughs]

Karen: [Laughs] And it’s free! 

Fisher: And it’s free. Did you mention that before? We’re talking to Karen Zach. She’s a coordinator for two GenWeb sites back in Indiana and has been doing this for so long and for so many people this is a real revelation to know that there is a site for every county. Do you know how many there are altogether? Have you ever figured that out?

Karen: No, but it wouldn’t be too hard. Just take each state and see how many counties. Like Indiana has ninety two, so yeah, ninety two sites plus the state one yeah.

Fisher: Right. Yeah, so there’s literally thousands of them out there you know when you include the state, the country and the individual counties. And actually some of the large urban areas have their own GenWeb sites as well. So you also have some city ones that are available. So it’s great stuff. What has been the biggest revelation to you about your site as a result of all your efforts there?

Karen: I think it’s been interesting to watch how some of the things are unique but others I’ve abandoned, for instance, the cemeteries. Because there’s FindAGrave.com, our local library also has all the cemeteries online and I began putting them online and I said well, I’m really kind of wasting my time here. [Laughs]

Fisher: Yeah right, it’s a duplication of effort. Sure. 

Karen: Exactly.

Fisher: And BillionGraves.com has come along as well.

Karen: Exactly. I’ve used that a few times too. 

Fisher: Yeah, you take that and say okay, I don’t need to do cemeteries anymore. But you must have also found some records that you probably had no idea even existed in your area as a result of this.

Karen: That’s one of the things I was hoping you’d ask me. I have a lot of unique things. I have over a hundred bibles from the area.

Fisher: Wow! 

Karen: We have lots of year books, and one of the neatest things I think we have on there is a barber in my little hometown. He was a barber for over forty years here and kept a diary each year and we only have about fifteen of them because the other ones, well, they were lost. I won’t tell you how because it’s sad. But the ones I have, I would put it up on the Montgomery County Roots Web listed, and it just was the neatest thing. We all would laugh about things that he had said and things that he talked about. And each day he would put how much money he made that day and he also had four or five side lines too that he talked about. Like he sold magazines and he sold stoves.   

Fisher: [Laughs] Does he talk about some of his customers?

Karen: Oh yeah, definitely, definitely.

Fisher: So, a lot of names, a lot of Montgomery County names show up in this?

Karen: Definitely, definitely. On Thursday March 6, 130 years ago, this is what he wrote. $4.65 made. I sent a dollar to the Globe Democrats. Tonight we had the grand master workman of the ALUW of the state to talk with us or to us in the lodge room tonight. I paid 80 cents for a sack of flour. We prefer the purest brand. 

Fisher: Wow, talk about specific.

Karen: Isn’t that a neat entry? [Laughs]

Fisher: Yeah, it is because it really gives you a little insight into their lives and how they lived back then. 

Karen: Of yeah. There is one every day for I think fifteen years that he wrote.

Fisher: Wow that is so much fun. What are some of the other unusual sources that you found as a result of the effort of yourself and the volunteers?

Karen: I have a lot of fun links like an acronym thing because you run across an obituary let’s say that belonged to the KOWE or whatever, and I have an acronym list that a friend gave me you know I thought that was really helpful.  

Fisher: Yeah, that is helpful.

Karen: Yes and I have a link to the Basketball Hall of Fame because Indiana you know, who’s big in the basketball. [Laughs]

Fisher: Sure. It just goes to show that basically every GenWeb site is unique to its locale. And so if you’re researching an area, it’s a great place to go.

Karen: It is indeed. And one of my fun ones is the family recipes. I began it with some recipes from our family and I’d explain where I got it and how the taste was and all that stuff. And I got a lot of people contribute to that too with their own family recipes. I don’t think there are very many who have recipes on them but it’s kind of fun.

Fisher: Well, out of the thousands, you never know. 

Karen: Exactly. [Laughs]

Fisher: All right. Karen Zach, thank you so much for your time. It’s been lot of fun and an education. I know for a lot of people to learn about GenWeb sites and how they can help you in your research.

Karen: Yes and they can indeed. And I hope you all get right on there and use them.

Fisher: And by the way, if you want to find A GenWeb site for a particular county they are easy to find. Just search the name of the county with the name of the state and add the word GenWeb. It will be the first thing to come up or close to it. And again, they’re not all the same so hopefully you’ll get one with some really useful information on it and good luck. Coming up next, it’s one of my favorite classic calls from a listener in Michigan, and an exciting Revolutionary War discovery she made in her own lines. Here Robbie’s story in five minutes on Extreme Genes, Family History Radio and ExtremeGenes.com.

Segment 3 Episode 34

Host: Scott Fisher with guest Robbie from Michigan

Fisher: Welcome back to Extreme Genes, Family History Radio and ExtremeGenes.com. Fisher here and we’re always asking you to call our toll free Extreme Genes Find Line 1-234-56-GENES, to share your stories. I think some people hesitate to call in because they think others who aren’t related won’t be interested in what they have to share. Well, last fall a listener from Michigan proved that’s just not the case. She’d been following the show from the beginning and picked up a few tips that helped her to find some information she had no idea even existed, concerning a close family member. She then looked into another line that she struggled with and found some fascinating information on a Revolutionary War soldier. Once again, here’s my conversation with Robbie from Michigan. Where are you in Michigan, Robbie? 

Robbie: I’m North Michigan, Detroit suburb. 

Fisher: Excellent. Welcome to the show, glad to have you. 

Robbie: Thank you. I saw your piece on digitized newspapers. I learned a lot from it and it led me to all kinds of things. I found things about my husband’s family, my family. I’ve been surprising all my relatives with newspaper articles about them.

Fisher: [Laughs] Isn’t that the greatest stuff? It’s a revelation, isn’t it? 

Robbie: It is! And it’s so exciting to find it and have it pop up on the screen. 

Fisher: Okay, I want to ask what services did you use to find this stuff because there are many of them, some are free. What did you have? 

Robbie: Chronicling America. 

Fisher: Right, and that’s free from the Library of Congress. 

Robbie: And I searched Illinois Digitized Newspapers, came up with all kinds of things from the University of Illinois.

Fisher: Wonderful.

Robbie: And I also have been on Newspapers.com

Fisher: Okay, great. And that’s a subscription site. 

Robbie: It is.

Fisher: And so just give us a story or two of what you found.

Robbie: Well, I found where my father in law was in a home coming court in high school [Laughs]

Fisher: [Laughs]

Robbie: He hadn’t told anyone about that. 

Fisher: Ah ha! Have you laid that on him yet? 

Robbie: Yes, yes he loved it. 

Fisher: [Laughs] 

Robbie: He said, he had forgotten about it. So yeah, lots of good things to do with the newspapers, but also I’ve been learning a lot from your site about finding my ancestors and I found a good one.

Fisher: Okay, fill us in.

Robbie: Can I tell you about him?

Fisher: Yes!

Robbie: Okay. His name is William Wedge Bar Underwood. 

Fisher: Boy, there’s a name. Okay. [Laughs]

Robbie: Yeah, well that’s just one of his names, he has several aliases. He goes by Wedge Bar, Wedge Bear, Wedge Gear, all kinds of things.

Fisher: [Laughs] 

Robbie: And we think it’s because he didn’t read or write, he signed his name with an X. 

Fisher: Right. 

Robbie: So whenever he told someone his name, they interpreted it. 

Fisher: Now what era are we talking about? When did he live and where?

Robbie: Revolutionary War.

Fisher: Revolutionary War period and what state? 

Robbie: Well he was born in Virginia. He lived in North Carolina and in Georgia. 

Fisher: Okay and you found him. And what is his relationship to you? 

Robbie: He is my five great grandfather. 

Fisher:  So he’s one of ooh... I want to say... 

Robbie: Seven generations back.

Fisher: Yeah seven generations back. So it’s like 164 something like that?  Maybe 128, I don’t know. I have to figure it out. 

Robbie: I’ll let you do that math.

Fisher: [Laughs] It’s a small piece but nonetheless this is awesome. So what did you learn about him?

Robbie: Oh it’s just the hunt has been just phenomenal. I always knew I had four great grandfather Jesse Underwood who was a Baptist preacher.

Fisher: Okay.

Robbie: And my grandma Maggie used to tell me stories about him. He moved from North Carolina with his wife to the bald mountain region of Southern Illinois, where my folks came from. And every year there were reunions celebration Jesse Underwood and how wonderful he is and he had this huge family of fourteen children. And nobody ever talked much about where Jesse came from. So this year I was going though some of my grandma Maggie’s things and decided I’d just poke around on the internet and see if I could find Jesse’s ancestors. And nobody ever talks about him much because he’s hard to find with all these aliases. 

Fisher: Right. 

Robbie: Someone in our family named Mary Howenstein wrote a book before she died called “Patriots Their Footsteps Erased” because she wanted people to keep looking for this man.

Fisher: Okay. [Laughs] He was a mystery.

Robbie: Yes, the big mystery. So, I started looking for him and really wasn’t too satisfied with what I found. A lot didn’t make sense. The dates didn’t add up, things just weren’t quite right. And I was looking through some forums, some genealogy forums and found a thread from 2005 where someone gave their first and last name and the city they lived in. So I looked them up in the white pages and gave them a call and sure enough I’m related. We had a great conversation and she said to me, “You need to look for William Wedge Bar on the Patriots of color database.” 

Fisher: Really?

Robbie: Well that was astounding to me. That thought had never occurred to me. So we hung up the phone, I went to the Patriots of Color database and there he was. 

Fisher: And he had been a Revolutionary soldier, an African American Revolutionary soldier. 

Robbie: Yes he was, and a very important one. He was in a lot of great periods of the war. “Important” great isn’t what you would call a battle, but he was under the command of Barron Stubern.

Fisher: Right.

Robbie: Colonel Posey, Major Finley. He was also at the siege of York Town where Lord Cornwell surrendered. 

Fisher: Yes.

Robbie: So this man witnessed great moments in history.

Fisher: Yes. The time basically the country, the tide of the war turned with that, unbelievable. And what was his rank? Was he a Private? Was he a non commissioned officer? What was his story?

Robbie: He was a Private. 

Fisher: Okay. 

Robbie: And after the war, he received a land grant that we can trace him back to this. He was given 200 acres in Virginia, for his war service.

Fisher: Wow! What a great story. And how many years have people been looking for him? 

Robbie: Well, Mary Howenstein has been looking for him for over twenty years. I can’t remember how long she’s been gone. But I think since people started being interested in the history of Jesse Underwood in my family, they’ve been looking for him. I hope there are other people out there who have been looking for him a long time and have some information. So, now that we can include African American families, those descendents of Jesse Underwood.

Fisher: Yes! 

Robbie: We might really find out some details and learn to understand him. What I’d really like to know Fisher...

Fisher: Yes.

Robbie: Is where William Wedge Bar Underwood came from. I’d like to know something about his parents.

Fisher: His background. And that’s always challenging back in that era for anybody to find. Just depends on what the records are for those areas. But in the south, always tough, a lot of court houses burnt during the Civil War and a lot of records lost. But Robbie, wow! What a breakthrough, what a find and how interesting. You’ve got to feel pretty good about yourself because so many people have tried for so long to find this guy.

Robbie: I do. I do. I just wish I’d looked earlier. I guess the timing wasn’t right. But I might not have found all these clues had I looked earlier.

Fisher: You know, it often seems like the timing does have to be right for the right person to come along, or the right database to suddenly be available, you know all these things. I think there’s a lot of stuff that took me years and years to find but if I had just waited till now it wouldn’t have taken any time at all. Although, I’m really glad for the time I spent doing those things. But I don’t think that rule is any different for now that things will come along down the line, that will just open doors that we never imagined.

Robbie: They do. And the hunt is exciting, especially when you get something big at the end of it. 

Fisher: Yeah no question. You know I should mention by the way, you talked about the newspapers earlier. We have listed some of these free sites for digitized newspapers, on our website ExtremeGenes.com. So people can check those out. And of course any time anybody has a suggestion for a free site that should be mentioned, just drop it to me at [email protected], and we’ll get it up there. So Robbie thanks so much for calling in on the Find Line and sharing this with us, that’s great news and we share your joy. 

Robbie: Thank you Fisher! 

Fisher: So there you go, if you found that interesting, and I know you did. You should know that others will find your story pretty fascinating too. So call us and share them at 1-234-56-GENES, toll free. And coming up, our Preservation Authority Tom Perry is back from TMCPlace.com. Tom’s got answers to your questions about digitizing home movies and color correction, and dealing with some issues concerning home video conversion. That’s next in three minutes on Extreme Genes, Family History Radio and ExtremeGenes.com

Segment 4 Episode 34

Host: Scott Fisher with guest Tom Perry

Fisher: Welcome back to Extreme Genes Family History Radio, ExtremeGenes.com. Fisher here, your Radio Roots Sleuth with Tom Perry, he is our Preservation Authority from TMCPlace.com. How are you, Tom?

Tom: Good, really good.

Fisher: Good to see you again. And we have another question, this one from Dublin, Indiana, from Keesey Michaels. She says, "Hi Tom, I saw on your site an area dealing with color correction for film transfer. My local people offer it, too. How do I know if I need it, and is it expensive?"

Tom: No, not expensive at all. And it’s very easy to understand if you need this. The best way to find out if you need it is, go to our website and click on "order 24/7 online now" or just go to Shop.TMCPlace.com. You'll see a pull down menu that will say film transfers, and then below that, you'll see one that says, you know watch a film transfer color correction. If you click on the color correction, it will actually show you a YouTube video with a split screen showing color correction and the before and after shot. Generally what happens to old film, especially if it wasn't developed properly is, it turn either red or blue. And if it turns red, basically the blue dye is gone out of it. If it turns blue, the red dye is gone out of it.

Fisher: What happened to cause that?

Tom: A lot of times in the old days, people tried to save money when they had their film transfers done and they didn't send it to Kodak, because they could save a little bit of money by going to Ma & Pa down the street. And Ma & Pa down the street were told by Kodak, "After you do so many feet of film, throw your chemicals away and start over again." But they would keep going and they say, "This film still looks good, there's nothing wrong. I don't have to do what Kodak says. They're trying to get more money from me." However, little did they know, twenty years down the road that that film would lose the color because it hadn't been fixed right, and so it usually turns red.

Fisher: Wow! And you're able to restore this?

Tom: Oh, absolutely. In fact, I've even bought, or my father, I was too young when we went to Disney Land, bought some film at the store that had a Disney can show on it. And we've got some of those that have even turned red and they were professionally done. So what we do is, when we do the color correction, we go in and add the blue dye back into it, so then the greens are green. The grasses look like real grass, the skies are blue, it’s just really amazing.

Fisher: But you're not dealing with real dye, you're actually doing it digitally, right?

Tom: Exactly! We're taking it and we're doing an overlay, we're doing it in layers in like in Final Cut Pro. And so, when we layer that on, it makes it look beautiful. And so, you can go to our website and actually see a split screen of the before and after. And it’s quite significant, the change it made.

Fisher: Yes, it’s very impressive. In fact, you did those for me, and I couldn't believe when it came back. It’s like, wow! Sky is blue, grass is green. My face looks like my face when I was six.

Tom: So it’s a good thing, yeah.

Fisher: Yeah. [Laughs]

Tom: Yeah, back when you were cute, right?

Fisher: Back when I was cute. [Laughs]

Tom: [Laughs] But it’s true. It’s amazing and it usually only runs about $60 or less, and sometimes.

Fisher: For how much, for how long?

Tom: For the whole job.

Fisher: Oh, for the whole job.

Tom: Yeah. Whether you bring in a fifty foot roll or you bring in 10,000 feet, it’s just a flat price on it. And if you don't know for sure, you can put in little notes where you can give us some notes of what you want. You can put, "Hey, if it needs color correction, go ahead and do it." And if you know it needs it, just check it off and don't deal with it. If you're not sure, just put, "If this needs color correction, go ahead and do it." And then when we're going through and cleaning and looping your film, we'll be able to see, oh, some of this has really gone red, oh, some of this has really gone blue. So then we'll go ahead and do the color correction if you asked for it. If you don't check it and you don't ask us to check for you, then we won't do it. But it’s only about fifty, sixty bucks, so it’s really a good deal.

Fisher: Well actually, what's the point of getting your films digitized if they're all going to be blue and red? You've got to do it.

Tom: Exactly. And I shake my head every day, because there's some people that just, they don't see the value of it. And like I've talked on episodes before, you go and spend $500 on a big LED big screen, give it to your kids or something, they'll love it. Five years later, they'll have no idea what you gave them for that Christmas season. You give them the film transfers and video tapes saved to DVD they'll have it for your grandkids, your great grandkids. And one thing that we offer now also is, we can actually put this film as a digital file of a hard drive, so you can go back and narrate it.

Fisher: Wow!

Tom: And say, "Hey, you know, this grandma. This is aunt Yun, she was a friend of ours. She used to come by all the time. She's wasn't really our aunt. This is who she is." And when we're all gone and buried, our great, great grandchildren will be able to hear our voice describing who these other people are in the scene, instead of just some people in the scene that they have no clue who they are.

Fisher: All right, great stuff. And coming up next, we have another question, this one dealing with somebody who's doing their own video conversion at home. You're going to want to hear what Tom has to say next on Extreme Genes Family History Radio, ExtremeGenes.com.

Segment 5 Episode 34

Host: Scott Fisher with guest Tom Perry

Fisher: And we're back, Extreme Genes Family History Radio, ExtremeGenes.com. With Tom Perry our Preservation Authority from TMCPlace.com, got another question here, Tom, from Steve Andris in Lincoln, Nebraska. He said, "Tom, doing video conversion at home, is it okay to take two, two hour tapes and put them on a four hour DVD or should they be separate?" I didn't even know there were four hour DVDs.

Tom: Okay, the interesting thing about DVDs are, they're 4.7 gigabytes. And depending on what kind of recorder you have, you can set them to record one hour, which is the best quality, two hour, four hours. We even have a machine that can record up to twelve hours on a standard DVD.

Fisher: So, you would lose quality I guess then the more you want to put on there.

Tom: Not only so much with the quality. The thing is, the disk is a fixed size, so the more stuff you put on there, the more cramped it’s going to be. So if you scratch your disk or get  a little pit in it, even though nine out of ten times we can resurface the disk and make them like new, there's so much stuff in there, there's so much more options for problems. So if you have two, two hour VHS tapes or video8 or whatever you're transferring to your DVD, keep them that way. Don't put to two hours together on to four hours, leave them as two. If you have one already four hours, your quality is diminished so much anyway. If you want to go ahead and do it on a four hour disk versus two, two hours, you can. If it’s something that's really, really priceless, I would always go with the best quality possible, you know, go on the one hour, the two hour, even if you have to split your tape into multiple tapes, your quality's already gone down, so it’s not going to make a big difference, but if something's really, really important, do that. And also make sure you use good disks. I would either go online, you can buy them from us or you can go on any website that sells Taiyo Yuden disks. Those are the best disks out there in my opinion. I have never ever had one come back.

Fisher: Spell those.

Tom: T A I Y O, Y U D E N, I believe. But its Taiyo Yuden, if you forget, go to my website, there's a page with downloads, and it has our pricing on duplicating, and it will actually have the name of the disk that we use, which is Taiyo Yuden. So you can buy them online, most places, the Big Box Stores don't sell them, because Taiyo Yuden won't sell them to places like that. It’s a professional disk, so you have to buy them online. A lot of places sell them online. We sell them online, also in our different stores, but make sure you use a good Taiyo Yuden disk. You're talking about pennies difference, like maybe 50 cents for a disk versus 30 cents for a good quality disk, so you want to get a good quality disk. We have lifetime warrantees we put on our Taiyo Yudens, and in all these years, I have never had a Taiyo Yuden come back. I've had problems with TDK, Imation. They make good quality stuff. However, I have never had a problem with a Taiyo Yuden disk so that's what I would use.

Fisher: That's quite an endorsement, Tom. You said something about repairing a disk, how do you repair a disk?

Tom: Okay, the first thing is, don't use toothpaste. Just because it says so on the internet, does not mean it’s true.

Fisher: Right. [Laughs]

Tom: You want to be really, really careful. I really suggest you do it. Go to someplace that does it professionally. A lot of places like GameStops will actually either do it for you or they will know somebody that does it that they can send you to. Sometimes even the local libraries will have a disk resurfacing machine and sometimes they'll let the public drop off their disks and use it. There'll be a charge. It’s usually not that expensive, but what it actually does, it’s like a piece of fine furniture it actually sands it down and then rebuffs it, so it takes out the grooves. I've had some stuff come it that had pretty deep marks in them, like a navigational disk, which are like $350, and we were able to resurface it. So if you have disks that you can't find someplace, just come into our store or go to Shop.TMCPlace.com, and box them up, ship them to us and we'll resurface them and send them back to you just like new.

Fisher: Thanks, Tom. Good to see you again.

Tom: Good to see you, too.

Fisher: And that wraps up our show for this week. Thanks to Karen Zach, coordinator for the Montgomery County and Fountain County, Indiana GenWeb sites, for explaining GenWebs and what you can find on them. Thanks also to Robbie from Michigan. Stories like hers are what keeps us going when the searching gets tough. Be sure to subscribe to us on iTunes, and be sure to sign up for our Extreme Genes newsletter on our website, ExtremeGenes.com. That's how we'll let you know when our new Extreme Genes free app will be ready, hopefully in the next three weeks or so. Next week, are you descended from royalty and why does it matter? We'll be talking to nationally renowned researcher, Gary Boyd Roberts about gateway ancestors. Those ancestors with proven lines back to royalty. Talk to you then. And remember, as far as everyone knows, we're a nice, normal family!

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