Episode 416 - Going For Dual Citizenship: The Benefits & Hidden Landmines / One Woman’s Journey To Find The Voice Of Her Late Father

podcast episode Apr 04, 2022

Host Scott Fisher opens the show with guest host David Allen Lambert, Chief Genealogist of the New England Historic Genealogical Society and AmericanAncestors.org. The guys begin the show talking about the recent release of the 1950 Census and how to use it in these days before the indexing is done. Then, David shares the origins of the UK’s passion for fish and chips. You might be surprised where the tradition came from. Next, a whaling ship, dating back almost 190 years, has been found. Catch the details. Work on Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris has resulted in a fascinating find. Hear what it is. Also, an ancient discovery in Israel is causing some talk… and perhaps a curse! David has details. And finally… it sounds like a joke… Why did the Vikings leave Greenland? Hear the conclusion after a recent study.

Fisher then visits with Sarah Guttman from sponsor Legacy Tree Genealogists. Susan helps people apply for dual citizenship in Italy and Ireland. She explains the advantages for qualified people, and the big disadvantage for another country. Susan talks about how to apply and what exactly makes you qualified.

Next, it’s a classic segment from 2015 as Fisher visits with Leann Walker Young, daughter of the late Chicago Cubs coach “Rube” Walker. Leann explains how she searched for years to find a recording of the voice of her Dad, who passed when she was just three years old. It’s a great story!

David then returns for two segments of Ask Us Anything as the guys talk about the Internet Archive and planning for family history road trips.

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


Host: Scott Fisher with guest David Allen Lambert

Segment 1 Episode 416

Fisher: And welcome America to America’s Family History Show Extreme Genes and ExtremeGenes.com. It is Fisher here, your Radio Roots Sleuth on the program where we shake your family tree and watch the nuts fall out. Well, it is great to have you along genies. We’ve got a couple of great genies on today. Sarah Gutmann is going to be here from our sponsors over at Legacy Tree Genealogists. She works on helping people get dual citizenship in Italy and Ireland, and you won’t believe the benefits of doing that, particularly in Italy and maybe some of the penalties of doing it in other countries. She will explain the whole thing coming up in about ten minutes. Then later in the show, one of my favorite segments from a past show, it’s Leann Walker Young. She is the daughter of a former coach of the Chicago cubs who died when she was just 3 years old. And she’s gone on a long search to find something with his voice on it, having never heard it or can’t remember it. You’re going to enjoy this interview coming up a little later on in the show. Hey, if you haven’t done it yet signup for our Weekly Genie Newsletter. Just go to ExtremeGenes.com or our Facebook page to do it. You get a blog from me each week, plus, links to past and present shows and links to stories you will thoroughly appreciate as a genealogist. And of course, at ExtremeGenes.com you can sign up for courses in basic genealogy and DNA research. Right now, it’s time to head out to Boston where my good friend David Allen Lambert, the Chief Genealogist of the New England Historic Genealogical Society and AmericanAncestors.com is standing by. Hello David. How are you?

David: I am looking at so much of the 1950 census. I think I’m going to put on an Elvis record after we’re done taping today.

Fisher: [Laughs] It’s kind of nice because Ancestry, full disclosure of course, one of the sponsors of this show, they have put out a great link on their homepage. So, because of the fact that all the indexing for the census which just came out on Friday hasn’t even begun, basically, if you have an address of one of your ancestors who is around in 1950, you can plug it in for free on the homepage of Ancestry and actually find the section, the map of where your people were and you can actually go through and just start looking for the street within those areas. So, it’s really helpful and it just means that you don’t have to wait for all the indexing to be done. It’s just going to take you a little longer to find it that’s all.

David: Yeah. It’s wonderful. I was able to actually use it for my own home address besides where my dad lived and my mom lived and my grandparents. So yeah, those maps are wonderful. I highly suggest using them instead of straining your eyes going through a large city, narrow it down.

Fisher: [Laughs] Absolutely. Well, what’s happening with our Family Histoire news this week, my friend?

David: Well, the story of fish and chips you’d think is quite British. In fact, there are over ten thousand fish and chips shops in the UK.

Fisher: Wow!

David: Compared to 1,500 McDonald restaurants. So, that says a lot for you right there.

Fisher: [Laughs] Yeah.

David: I haven’t had a happy fish and chips meal yet, but maybe there’s probably one out there.

Fisher: Yeah.

David: But the story behind it is not British at all.

Fisher: Really?

David: Actually, it goes back to the times when Jewish settlers were coming in, in the middle ages and because of the Sabbath you would prepare your fish in a batter so it would be preserved and still moist underneath. So yeah, it’s actually a Jewish meal brought to the UK and very popular as a meal that I have when I go there. [Laughs]

Fisher: That’s amazing. We’re talking hundreds of years here. I had no idea, interesting.

David: Till the middle ages at least.

Fisher: Yeah.

David: Well, in Massachusetts we sort after larger fish and chips without whaling vessels and actually, one of our lost whaling vessels was just found down in the gulf of Mississippi right where the river comes in and it is a boat that was made 190 years ago. They were using technology to try to map that area, and there’s a wreck from 1836 that nobody has seen since then. There’s a stove onboard which is sitting on the sea bottom which was used to cook up the whale blubber and turn it into oil.

Fisher: Wow!

David: So, it’s quite an interesting find and a connection not too far from where I live. Well, you know, Notre Dame in 2019, I think it broke my heart because I went later that year to RootsTech London and went I crossed to France I wanted to go inside Notre Dame, of course I had to wait. But they’re doing a lot of excavations. In fact, they actually found a human shaped sarcophagus underneath the foundation. This lead sarcophagus had buckled from the weight of the church but it’s still sealed. So, who knows who lies in that crypt? I think on statuary and whatnot, but this is just a great story and you can find it on Smithsonian Magazine. You know, sometimes you’re better left leaving things alone. Well, in Israel, they’re now looking at what is determined to be one of the oldest deciphered inscriptions from Israel. Now, this is a 3,000 year old curse.

Fisher: I wouldn’t be touching that at all when I see the word curse.

David: It appears ten times on it.

Fisher: Oh!

David: And the word God. And it’s like, I think that I would just set that down in a museum and walk away.

Fisher: Yeah I think so otherwise you wind up in a movie.

David: You know, that’s probably not something I would hope to find in my family artifacts.

Fisher: [Laughs]

David: Hey, have you wondered why the Vikings left Greenland?

Fisher: Is this a joke? Is this a setup?

David: Oh, yeah, it’s a setup.

Fisher: [Laughs]

David: Why do you think they left?

Fisher: To get to the other side of the ocean.

David: That’s probably one idea.

Fisher: [Laughs]

David: Most people in climatology and historians believe it was because it got too cold. Now, the University of Massachusetts, a little bit of local love again, the UMass Amherst they have done some research they’ve determined it actually had to do with drought.

Fisher: Really?

David: Lack of rain, yeah. The settlement that was there, it started in the tenth century, lasted until the middle ages but it wasn’t because the temperature got too cold. It was because of the drought that took place.

Fisher: Wow! Isn’t it amazing they can discover these things all these years later and associate it with a movement like that?

David: It’s very true. Well, I’m always glad there’s never a drought of good stories to share with our listeners.

Fisher: [Laughs] Right.

David: But I just want to remind them, if they’re not a member of American Ancestors, NEHGS welcomes you and you can save $20 on your membership if y use the coupon code EXTREME, anytime on AmericanAncestors.org.

Fisher: All right David. Well, thank you very much and of course we’re going to have you back at the backend of the show as we answer some listener questions on Ask Us Anything. And coming up next, I’m going to talk to somebody who works for our sponsors over at Legacy Tree Genealogists Sarah Gutmann. She’s going to talk about getting your dual citizenship in Italy and what you get for it. And it’s amazing what you can get and also, what else you might get applying for dual citizenship in another country. You’re going to find this fascinating, coming up when we return in three minutes on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show.

Segment 2 Episode 416

Host: Scott Fisher with guest Sarah Gutmann

Fisher: Hey, welcome back! It’s America’s Family History Show Extreme Genes and ExtremeGenes.com. Fisher here, happy to be talking to Sarah Gutmann. She is with Legacy Tree Genealogists, and she’s one of these people who actually helps folks find their dual citizenship, in this case, for Italy. And she’s over in Long Island, New York and Sarah welcome to Extreme Genes. It’s great to have you.

Sarah: Thanks Fisher. It’s great to be talking with you after listening to you for years, very excited.

Fisher: Well, thank you. You know, I’m looking at this and I’m thinking dual citizenship, why would people want to do it? First of all, it’s an expensive process and quite detailed in many cases depending on the country. What are the benefits of dual citizenship for Italy, which you handle for Legacy Tree?

Sarah: Well, there’s actually a lot of really great benefits for Italy and also for Ireland. A lot of people like to get their Irish citizenship. One is bragging rights, and that’s just going to a party and tell people that you’re an Italian citizen is always fun. The other more practical, if you like to travel a lot you can get yourself and EU passport so you don’t have to wait on those long lines and you can kind of zip through travel a lot faster than if you’re waiting to get your American passport stamped. And also, God forbid, if you ever need it you can get free medical healthcare. And if you have a younger child, or maybe if you are of college age, you can go to university for free for certain schools, consider like the state schools here in America. You can go to those state schools over in Italy for free.   

Fisher: Wow!

Sarah: So, it’s a great way to get a free education. Yeah.

Fisher:  Well, the question would be immediately though if it’s a free university in Italy, do they speak English over there, or do you have to learn to speak Italian to attend it? 

Sarah: That’s a great question. I think you would probably have to learn how to speak Italian I mean if you at least wanted to do well in your classes. [Laughs]

Fisher: Sure. [Laughs] Exactly.

Sarah: You could try to go over there speaking only English but I don’t know if that’s going to help you out much.

Fisher: And dual citizenship does have some downsides. Not necessarily with Italy but with other places, right?

Sarah: Yes. Italy, there’s very few. I’m yet to actually find any downsides. Some other countries you may definitely want to read the fine print before signing up. Just last week I had my sister-in-law calling me up because my nephew is studying abroad over in Israel. And with the last name Gutmann, she wanted to know if there was some Jewish ancestry. Maybe he could apply for dual Israeli citizenship. And I told her, “You know, just because his last name is Gutmann, we actually don’t have any Jewish heritage that I have found out.” And that was kind of the end of the conversation. But I later found out that for people who do get their dual Israeli citizenship you have to be conscripted into the military. 

Fisher:  Ooh.

Sarah: So, you may be very excited to become an Israeli citizen but all of a sudden you just got drafted over there. So, that is something that is very important to find out what the military regulation is.

Fisher: Yeah.

Sarah: And also if you’re all of a sudden going to be hit with a big tax bill. So, do your work with that. But with Italy you don’t have to do any of those things. It’s just a lot of perks.

Fisher: Right. Sounds like you really have to have good eyes for the font on that particular aspect in Israel. That’s incredible. Well, back to Italy then, what are some of the requirements then if you want to become a dual Italian citizen?

Sarah: So, the easiest way to go is though the paternal line if you can. I have my dual Italian citizenship and I got mine through my great grandfather, so it’s my dad’s who’s still alive, he’s 90 years old, father. And his dad came over from Italy. So, what the big caveat is you want your ancestor to have naturalized after that next person was born. So, for example, my great grandpa naturalized in 1931.

Fisher: Okay.

Sarah: My grandfather was born in 1929. So, he therefore is eligible and his descendants are eligible to become dual citizens. Of course, you definitely, before I go on saying, that you want to just check with an agency like ICI. I don’t want to get in trouble here with any legal things. But that opens the door to citizenship. Now, if my great grandfather had had children born after he was naturalized, so say maybe he had a kid in 1933, that person and their descendants would not be eligible for dual Italian citizenship.

Fisher: Ha!

Sarah: That is a big thing.

Fisher: So it’s based then on the immigrant. Is that the case? 

Sarah: It’s on the immigrant, and when the immigrant naturalized that’s the big case. So, you can get a whole line of family where the first half, and I’ve done this before, the first half of the family, the first three kids, all their descendants are eligible. But the other children of the immigrant because they were born after he naturalized, those descendants are not eligible for citizenship.

Fisher: Wow! So, can you then switch over and say well, let’s look at the maternal line?

Sarah: You can. The thing with the maternal line and this is a little bit challenging, based on Italian laws women cannot pass their citizenships status until after 1948. 

Fisher: Oh wow

Sarah: So, say for example, my grandma, my maternal grandmother, she is first generation American.

Fisher: Okay.

Sarah: So, my dad was born in 1957.

Fisher: Okay.

Sarah: So because my dad was born in 1957, he would have been able to use his mother to go back to Italy and get that Italian citizenship. Now, if my dad was born say in 1940, my grandmother would not have been able to pass her citizenship on to my father.

Fisher: Okay. 

Sarah: So, there are ways to get around this. It’s called a 1948 case, aptly named, and usually this is going to entail getting some type of representative to argue your case, and a lot of times they encourage that person to go to Italy and present the case in front of the commune. But it is much more in-depth and detailed and not as easy as just going for the straight paternal line that way.

Fisher: Wow! So it sounds really kind of complicated and if you’re just doing it for fun, it might not be worth all the effort, right? How expensive is it to actually go through the process?

Sarah: Well, it depends how many generations you have to go back. If you’re just going back from your parents, because what you’re going to need is for each generation you’re going to need the birth, marriage, and death record, depending if they died. If they’re still alive you don’t get their death record.

Fisher: Sure.

Sarah: And any divorce record. And you’re going to need for each generation the direct line, a certified copy of that, and if it is English, you’re going to have to get that translated into Italian, and get those documents to get as much as possible to line up.

Fisher: So, it’s kind of like joining the Mayflower Society or the Sons of the American Revolution in many ways.

Sarah: Yeah. [Laughs] Now I am a member of the DAR and it is less expensive to go with one of those linage societies because they’re not requiring all those certifications.

Fisher: Um hmm.

Sarah: So, it can get expensive. Your best hope is that you’re first generation American and you don’t have to do that many paper works to get that.

Fisher: Sure, right.

Sarah: But if you’re going back several generations it can get pretty expensive and time consuming. But people like myself, we love doing this. So, it’s fun for us but might be a little challenging for other people.

Fisher: Of course.

Sarah: But it’s totally worth it.

Fisher: Absolutely. 

Sarah: I think so.

Fisher:  Yeah, absolutely. So, I’m thinking now, Italy didn’t really become Italy till what like 1860 or something?

Sarah: That’s very good. Yep, 1860. So, I think of Italy as one of those ancient places that’s just been around forever. But Italy as we know it has only been around about 1860-1861. Because there were the different kingdoms and they unified to become Italy. So, you want also your immigrant ancestors to have been born after 1860.

Fisher: Yeah.

Sarah: And that’s usually because when people were immigrating to this country I think most people do fall. 

Fisher: Sure.

Sarah: I’m yet to find anybody that has been not accepted for that reason. So that is also something just to consider that you want to make sure that your family members was in Italy. And what is really great about doing Italian research is the Italian archives website is online and its free. It’s Antenati. And if you teach yourself a little bit of Italian, if you go on Google and kind of look up some of those key words like birth, marriage, and death, you might be able to look and see if you can kind of decipher some of these records yourself. Now the big thing and this is the hardest thing for most people, is figuring out what village their family came from.

Fisher: Oh, yeah.

Sarah: That’s the hardest part. Because one thing that we take for granted in this country is that you know, if you’re born in New York or California, there’s a pretty good shot that you’ll be able to find those records.

Fisher: Yeah.

Sarah: But in Italy, as with a lot of European countries, you have to know the exact village to go looking for those records.

Fisher: Sure.

Sarah: So that’s where a lot of my day comes in. I look at a lot of American records to try to figure out where people are coming from Italy.

Fisher: And this is obviously what any genealogist goes through just tracking their ancestors. Getting back to the home village for any place over there is often very difficult.  

Sarah: Yes.

Fisher: But fortunately we have a lot of records. Naturalization records will do it sometimes. Even on the tombstone it might mention where they’re from, or from an obituary or something like this, and certainly tracking down cousins. They might have documents that you might not know about.

Sarah: Right. Draft records, I find that to be a huge place that you find the immigrant town from.

Fisher: Yeah. I mean there’s just so many ways to do it but you’re right, it is a challenge. It’s just not something that’s out there automatically. So, what about other countries? Is this kind of common then to other countries in terms of how you go about the process, and is it the same thing based on the immigrant and when they naturalized?

Sarah: With Ireland it is. With Ireland, and my colleagues at Legacy Tree they can speak more to this, I just didn’t know this because my other side of my family is Irish and my mom is always calling me and she’s asking me, “Do you know if I can get Irish citizenship yet?” I don’t know why she keeps asking me this. [Laughs]

Fisher: [Laughs]

Sarah: Your grandparent has to have been the immigrant. So, that’s the line. You’re only able to go back about two generations with Ireland. And I have been told there is a little bit of an easier process maybe because you’re not venturing back so many generations as you could with Italy.

Fisher: Right.

Sarah: But that is similar, and I’m not quite sure of what is available on other EU countries, but they are out there and also you could get English dual citizenship too.

Fisher:  It’s a fascinating thing dual citizenship, and of course another great service from our sponsors over at Legacy Tree. So, Sarah, thank you so much. This has really been interesting stuff.

Sarah: Thank you. Yeah, it’s great talking to you.

Fisher: You too. And I appreciate all the information. I’m sure a lot of people’s heads are swimming right now thinking, “Hmm, what about my country? Could I do this? And what’s the benefit, and what’s the downside?” Be careful you don’t find yourself in an army all of a sudden, you know?

Sarah: Right. [Laughs]

Fisher: [Laughs] Thanks for talking to us.

Sarah: Thank you. Have a great day.

Fisher: And coming up next, the story of a woman’s long journey to find the voice of her late dad, when we return in five minutes on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show.

Segment 3 Episode 416

Host: Scott Fisher with guest Leann Walker Young

Fisher: And we are back, Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show and ExtremeGenes.com. It is Fisher here, talking with Leann Walker Young, from Charlotte, North Carolina; she is the daughter of Verlon “Rube” Walker, the former coach of the Chicago Cubs, who passed away in 1971 when Leann was only three years old. Just a few years ago, 2012, she decided “It’s time I got to know who my dad was.” And she began a search gathering stories as we heard in the previous segment but also looking to find the voice of her dad. And, Leann was it frustrating to you or were the stories fulfilling enough as you went along but you still enjoyed the journey?

Leann: I really did enjoy the journey. I tried to talk about it as putting a canoe in the river and just letting the current take me.  I wasn’t really morose about it, I didn’t try to manipulate it, I allowed it to come to me and that has taught me a lot in life, the lesson of just things move really much more smoothly when I get out of the way. All I did was just be willing and the journey built on itself. One person would give me, uh, “You need to call this person, here’s their phone number. They knew your dad.”

Fisher: Right.

Leann: And so I would do that. I made the commitment early on, I would follow any lead. If someone emails me and tells me to do a library research, I would go there. So I did all of that. I did the footwork and it became really exhilarating and it energized me once I got started and it’s very exciting. It really gets to the heart of the matter. You doing your personal journey and the mission of your soul and really finding out where you came from and the people that loved you and brought you into the world. It’s so important and empowering in a lot of ways.

Fisher: Yeah well I think so, and I think the fact is you get to know your father like you’ve never known him before and suddenly he is a figure in your life more than just a shadow.

Leann: Yes, and he had many layers. I wanted to know all of him. I didn’t want to know just what they wanted to tell me as someone who had died. I wanted to know it all. I thought, if he had a temper, I want to know it, if he cursed somebody out if he was mad, I wanted to know all of those things so I brought of all that to me and the last piece of the puzzle was the voice.

Fisher: Yes.

Leann: I kept looking for that. I was very hopeful all along. I really thought that I would eventually find something but I had no idea that I would find it in my own home town. I really had no idea.

Fisher: Isn’t that something. Well let’s talk about that a little bit. Now you started the search for the audio, obviously you were finding the stories as a result of that but the ultimate goal was to hear his voice and I would imagine still is.  That you’d like to find more of him speaking, and I can’t imagine that you’re going to have that opportunity at some point with the effort you’re putting out.  But you got coverage on ESPN and I’m just thinking, “This can’t be, how can a man as public as your father not have something out there for this woman to hear?”

Leann: It’s true and I’ve got a whole group of men, I think by nature are hunter gatherers.

Fisher: Yes!

Leann: So, where I don’t like to look on eBay, I have a whole gang, a gaggle, a team of men.

Fisher: [Laughs]

Leann: Who follow my blog and they search eBay and they’ll go to radio shows and all this stuff and collectors organizations and they will look for me.  I have eyes and ears out there so that’s miraculous and amazing and the Keith Olbermann thing was just a watershed moment for me because it did put my story out there and much more came to me as a result.  I do believe there’s still something else out there but the fact that it was the tapes that my mother had put away and forgotten about in her own garage and was recorded in my own home town when my father asked Bobby Richardson, the Yankee second baseman, to come and speak at a church.  My father’s faith was important to him and so was Bobby Richardson’s and still is and he wanted him to come and I guess do a testimony of his faith at the church. So that was recorded because of the Yankee that was coming to town.

Fisher: Sure.

Leann: So that was recorded and my mom found it on cassette. The pastor who is in his 80’s now gave it to my mother years and years ago, and we found it on cassette and she had it put on DVD for me or CD so that it would be more preserved.

Fisher: What a gift. I’ve heard it on YouTube you had it there. It’s got a lot of noise in it and a lot of buzz but your dad’s voice cuts through well even though it’s kind of soft. So I’ve kind of enhanced it a little bit here. So everybody can hear what you found, it’s only about a minute long.  Here’s your dad introducing Bobby Richardson at a church in Lenoir, North Carolina, back in 1969;

We’re very fortunate to have with us this morning Bobby Richardson, a great second baseman for the New York, Yankees for many years.

“I told Bobby that this was great Yankee territory so he can feel at home. And also I’d like to introduce his daughter Christie, sitting down here in our church place.

“Could you stand up, please?

“Bobby was a great baseball player and this is Yankee territory. I guess I could be here all day trying to tell all the great days he had on the baseball field. And most of you Yankee fans would already know about it, so, I will not try to attempt to tell all the accomplishments that he did on the field.

“But Bobby also had many great days off the field. Bobby was a great leader on and off the field. He was very active in youth groups, religious groups, and in my lifetime, I guess Bobby was the most respected player in baseball.”

Fisher: Wow! What does that make you feel like when you hear that?

Leann: Really, the first couple of times I heard it, I was completely blown away. I still get a little teary eyed when I hear it because I still want more, I want to hear him talk to me, that’s kind of where it goes, that’s where it goes in my mind.  I’m so grateful that I have that sound of his mountain accent, and he was made fun of so much for that accent, and being such a southern boy and simple man. It just really takes me cry to you know the heart of what I really want, which is him.

Fisher: I’ll bet, and you’ve probably played it a million times since you found it.

Leann: Yes I have.

Fisher: And I’m sure to some extent it does speak to you.

Leann: It does. I really am just mesmerized by it actually. I always thought his voice would be more gravelly and low. I guess because he was an athlete.

Fisher: [Laughs] Sure.

Leann: But the more I listen to it, it’s gentle and sweet and it matches who I’ve been told he was, and I’m glad I didn’t find the voice first off because I wouldn’t have gone on that beautiful, beautiful journey to search for it and the journey really was the treasure. It was what I needed to do to heal my soul.

Fisher: And then from this you went on to Chicago, and actually visited the hospital wing that is named after your dad. Now what was his illness?

Leann: He died of leukemia, and upon his death the Cubs donated money to Northwestern Hospital and they started a wing in the hospital called the ‘Verlon Rube Walker, Leukemia Center.’ And it’s now called “The Blood Center.’ The Rube Walker Blood Center, because they do more than just leukemia. They really focus on the blood diseases where they have these beautiful, incredible machines that can circulate the good, healthy platelets and all that stuff and separate it all out, and you can use your own stem cells to heal your body. It’s amazing work.

Fisher: Isn’t that great?

Leann: Yeah.

Fisher: And to think that forty some odd years after his passing, your dad’s name is on that wing and is being remembered as people go through that life saving treatment.

Leann: Yes. That simple boy that left high school, didn’t graduate high school because he wanted to go play major league baseball, has this legacy of this medical facility named after him, and he would probably laugh about that.  And he would be so blessed to know that people get healing under his name. It’s something that maybe his death went to a good cause, he would love that.

Fisher: Well it’s been an amazing journey for your Leann and I so appreciate you taking the time to come on the show and talk to us about it, and to see that you’ve had such great success and fulfillment in what you’ve been doing.

Leann: Yes. I’m honored you asked me and I loved it. This is my favorite subject to talk about. I love it. I encourage anyone to take this journey of their own. It’s a beautiful way to honor your loved ones that have passed and heal yourself.

Fisher: That’s a great way to put it, perfect. Leann Walker Young, from Charlotte, North Carolina, thank you so much for coming on!

Leann: Thank you!

Fisher: And coming up next, David Allen Lambert returns for Ask Us Anything on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show.

Segment 4 Episode 416

Host: Scott Fisher with guest David Allen Lambert

Fisher: All right, back to work here, its Extreme Genes, America's Family History Show and ExtremeGenes.com. Fisher here with David Allen Lambert over there from Boston and the New England Historic Genealogical Society and AmericanAncestors.org. And David, our first question today comes from Guy in Medford, Oregon and he says, "Guys, my wife says she heard you mention something about an online archive that has a lot of relevant old family history books. Where do I find this and what all is there?" I think he's got to be talking about the Internet Archive, right?

David: Yep, Archive.org. I use it all the time.

Fisher: Yes.

David: And it’s a wonderful site, not just for books! It has movies, it has old TV shows, it has data files, audio, I mean, with books alone, 34 million.

Fisher: Yeah. I mean, it’s kind of built after the ancient Greek library, the whole idea of trying to capture everything that was ever published. And it’s amazingly searchable. You can search it actually just by doing a Google search. You might actually stumble on it that way. But if you go to Archive.org and then plug in what you're looking for from there, you can actually choose to bring it up as an image of the book or it just comes up digitally. I find it easier myself to bring up the book image and then you can search within it for the keywords that you're looking for and it will drop down a little marker along each page and you can kind of highlight that and it will tell you what is there that matches your search term. And well, you can find all kinds of stuff there.

David: I use it all the time to actually collect books that I may want to donate. Like if I get a PDF off of the Internet Archive and the copy is nice and clear, well, I might donate to my library or a public library if it’s a book that I don't necessarily need to pick up all the time. Why not have it digitally? And it’s available for free.

Fisher: Yeah.

David: The Internet Archive has done a great service to people who can't get out, say, to a regular archive or a library. I always advise people if they're looking for a book that's out of copyright, just to plug in part of the title Archive.org into Google and it will do the work for you.

Fisher: Yeah, it really does.

David: And download those PDFs.

Fisher: And so many of these things go back to the 19th century. One thing though, a little warning on that though is, just because it was printed in the 19th century long ago, that doesn't mean it’s accurate as of today. There are so many books that are so wrong, because now with all the access to other records that we have, a lot of the things that were published way back then have been disproved. However, on the other hand, you're also dealing with records that were published in these books that were obtained through, you know, bible records of people who were still living at the time or children or grandchildren of folks that they were writing about. So while they didn't necessarily source where their information came from, they have information that you can then pursue and hopefully find more records to prove it. So, you know, you really don't know sometimes which way to go. The other thing, David I like about this is, you can go back and find all kinds of old internet stuff. They have basically documented everything. I found all kinds of things about my career for instance on the Internet Archive that aren't found in normal search terms.

David: Well, you know, it just goes to show you, if you did something in the past, someone's going to find it in the future.

Fisher: Yeah, that's right. Well, and that's the thing. I think a lot of people thought, once the newspaper has been thrown away for a week back in the old days, nobody would remember anything anymore. Who would have ever imagined that this was all to come that we could recapture all of that and get all those stories? So, it is a really incredible tool. It continues to grow every day. And once again, it’s Archive.org. Go there and see what you can find on it. Just play with it and just start looking for different things. You will be amazed. I think the thing I also like about it, Dave is, there are a lot of stories that comes out of the books that are there you don't find normally in the records.

David: Well, I'm going to tell you one thing that a lot of people don't realize. It’s actually in San Francisco, California in a building that has white columns.

Fisher: Really? I had no idea. Well, they've done great work, they continue to do it. And that is a great question Guy, that hopefully not only informs you, but a lot of other people as well. Good stuff. All right, we have another question coming up in just a few moments when we return in three minutes on Extreme Genes, America's Family History Show.

Segment 5 Episode 416

Host: Scott Fisher with guest David Allen Lambert

Fisher: All right, question number two on Ask Us Anything on Extreme Genes, America's Family History Show and ExtremeGenes.com. Fisher here, David Allen Lambert over there. Dave, this question comes from Lisa in Alexandria, Virginia and she writes, "Fish and Dave, I'm getting ready for a family history road trip in June!" Good call. "Got any suggestions for how to make the most out of our little journey?" I've got a lot of ideas. You want to start?

David: Oh, well, I mean obviously the first place that I go to when I'm on an ancestral trip is the cemetery.

Fisher: Yeah.

David: Because finding those gravestones even if you're finding them on BillionGraves or FindAGrave.com or any website, you want to be able to say that you had the chance to pay your respects and see the tomb. Maybe the photo wasn't as good as you thought or you might want to get another angle or maybe do a family selfie around the old tombstone, which I've seen. The other thing is to go to the locations where you ancestor lived. Maybe that house is still standing. You can make an appointment with the people who own it. Maybe they might show you around the outer or even inside or you can take that great family photo at the Wal-Mart parking lot where great, great grandpa's house used to stand.

Fisher: [Laughs] It’s hard to explain what that one is I guess when you're showing it to people. You know what's kind of fun to do though sometimes is, if you have an old picture of, say, your grandparent or your parent when they were really young way back in the day, if you can find where that picture was posed and recreate that picture today in the same spot and do side by sides with them, that's kind of fun as well. And you know, something kind of memorable, especially if you're taking kids along.

David: Well, you know, you can take that old photograph and hold it up into the distance and have somebody take a picture of it and you can kid of blend that photo into the background that's currently there now, which is kind of fun.

Fisher: Yep. And how about schools, right? I mean, if the schools your people went to are still there or their churches, that's another place you can go to. I mean, really with some small towns, you could spend most of the day there I would think.

David: That's very true. And you go to the local historical society and you lose yourself in the history or the community by looking at old photos and records, and the next thing you know, you're going to have to extend your stay at the local hotel, because you now have gone into the next day.

Fisher: [Laughs] Yeah, right.

David: So, plan your time out accordingly. One thing, Fish that I came across purely by accident. Now, you know on Google you can put in an address and see where it is and see a map?

Fisher: Yeah.

David: And then you can put in another address and get the directions. Well, I accidently put in tertiary address and I thought to myself, "Oh, wait a second!" So I put in, 5, 6, 7, 8 addresses onto Google Maps and I now have a mapping reverse order of when my family left from Northern New England, worked their way down, all the different years and I can print off that map. And if I do a little bit of creativity, I can put little bubbles with the years and the families that are there.

Fisher: Oh wow!

David: And that is free!

Fisher: Yeah, but it also means that you could take a road trip following that route, couldn't you?

David: You sure can. And it shows me where all the McDonalds are on the way where my ancestors would have visited, all the Dunkin’ Donuts shops, it’s great!

Fisher: [Laughs] Police protection, absolutely, yes! Yeah, so there's so many things you can do. But really, it’s nice that it’s coming up in a couple of months, but you don't want this to get away from you, Lisa. You need to start planning right now. And going back to what you were saying about the cemeteries, Dave, even if it is on FindAGrave or BillionGraves, sometimes they don't capture all the graves that are in that cemetery. And you can find folks that are buried right next to the ones that there are pictures already existing already from. So you could add those to it. You know, I'm planning on going to Europe coming up here very soon. And it’s nice to be travelling again, isn't it?

David: Oh it is! I just got back from Denver, Colorado where I lectured over the past weekend and it was lots of fun to see people. And instead of Zooming, I have a neat term. It’s called Rooming. I told them it was nice to be Rooming with all of them.

Fisher: Absolutely.

David: Not just Zooming.

Fisher: Good stuff. Well, thanks so much, David. Thanks so much to you, Lisa for the question. And if you have a question for Ask Us Anything, you can always email us at [email protected]. Well, that is our show for this week. Sure appreciate you joining us. If you missed any of it of course, catch the podcast, we're all over the place, AppleMedia, iTunes, iHeart Radio, ExtremeGenes.com, Spotify, TuneIn Radio, we're all over the place. Talk to you next week. And remember, as far as everyone know, we're a nice, normal family!


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