Episode 49 - Researching Your Revolutionary Soldier Ancestors

podcast episode Jul 07, 2014

Fisher ushers in July and the first anniversary of Extreme Genes!  Fisher shares something new he learned in the past week... how to tell if that child in the dress from the 19th and early 20th centuries is a boy or a girl!  And just why did boys wear dresses?  There was actually a very good reason for it.  He'll explain.

Guest Craig Scott, CEO of Heritage Books, then gives some incite on sources for investigating your Revolutionary War ancestors.  There are stories waiting to be found!
Then listener Suzanne Anderson talks about her research journey into her grandparents-in-law, their escape from Russia, and what she learned they left behind!
Tom Perry, our Preservation Authority from TMCPlace.com returns to give you some more ideas on that new camcorder... including one that you can use underwater! Some even now have built in WiFi!
That's all this week on Extreme Genes!

Transcript of Episode 49

Host: Scott Fisher

Segment 1 Episode 49

Fisher: All right, so why did boys in old photographs wear dresses? I found out why this past week. Hi, it’s Fisher your Radio Roots Sleuth and you have found America’s Family History Show Extreme Genes, where we shake your family tree and watch the nuts fall out. I’ll tell you about the boys in the dresses in a minute. This month is our first anniversary. All through July we are celebrating. I know I sound like a car dealer, right? Anyway, so many people have had a tremendous part in getting this show up and running, beginning with you, our listeners and I thank you so much. Tom Perry our Preservation Authority has been here since day one. Ryan Bennett who works behind the scenes doing incredible stuff, Rada Kett who brought some great ideas to the table, I mean literally. He’s a well known radio programmer and I took him to lunch and then he paid for the lunch. Skip Joeckel our syndication representative at Talk Shows USA, Fred Harland the first programmer to pick us up at syndication at WTKI and WEKI in Alabama, and there are many more who are likely offend by not mentioning them. I guess I’d better mention my wife Julie who actually believed we could syndicate a radio show on family history. Thanks also to all our sponsors. Please give them your support. Each one has amazing products that I totally believe in. They are most worthy of your patronage. Well, this week in celebration of Independence Day, we’re going to help you find out about your Revolutionary War ancestors. Craig Scott CEO of Heritage Books will be here in about seven minutes. He’s written a book called “Genealogy at a Glance: Revolutionary War Genealogy Research.” It’s amazing how much you can learn about your Patriots and their roles in helping us attain our independence and liberty. And we’ll have some very cool stories mixed in there too. Later in the show, listener Suzanne Anderson talks about her search for her husband’s grandparents who followed America’s Beacon and escaped the life they wouldn’t even talk about in Russia a few years before that country’s own so-called revolution. 

We love hearing your stories and how you found them. And of course my friend Tom Perry the Preservation Authority who just got married last week, will be in to talk about a new type of camcorder that will allow you to get footage in a place that couldn’t begot not all that long ago. All right, the boys in the dresses, particularly the long-haired ones, I had wondered about this myself. I’ve seen many 19th century and early 20th century photos with pictures of little boys in dresses, my wife’s grandfather and one of my dad’s cousins just in my family. The other day I was with our photo expert Ron Fox in the presence of another photograph history buff and we were talking Daguerreotypes when he showed us an amazing detailed picture of a little girl from the 1860s that was sitting on his desk. At least, I thought it was a little girl. And I asked him if he knew who she was and he said, “No, but it’s a he.” And I laughed and said, “How would you know that?” I mean the child’s hair was long, the dress was beautifully feminine, and he said, “The hair.” Well, I couldn’t figure out how that would reveal anything, and then he explained back in the day boys wore dresses until they were potty trained. It was too difficult to slip in and out of the pants of those times so they wore dresses. And so that they would be recognized as boys, their hair was parted on one side, the other side or both. The girls had their hair parted down the middle only. Amazing! And that’s why little boys wore dresses and how you can tell they’re boys or girls. I’ve posted a couple of photos of these 19th century long-haired boys in dresses on our website ExtremeGenes.com. And it is time again for this week’s histoire news from the pages of ExtremeGenes.com. Terrence Lavin writing in the New York Times has written a fascinating, and I mean fascinating piece about investigating his second great grandfather Patrick, a New York City policeman who in 1889 was indicted for murder. Lavin found the article on the situation while searching the New York City Archives. Love those digitized newspapers. Well, that led Terrence to dig deeper. Terrence learned that this wasn’t the first time his law enforcing ancestor had killed someone. The first occasion came in 1887 when Officer Lavin confronted a belligerent and drunk Irish immigrant named Thomas Moore. Friends convinced Lavin not to arrest Moore, that he was harmless but erratic. But a week later Lavin came upon a fight involving Moore, and told the man to go home. Well, an hour later Moore attacked Lavin and stabbed him in the chest. The officer drew his gun and shot Moore four times and attacked his head with his club. Moore died while Lavin survived this very serious chest wound. Then in 1889 in a complicated story involving officer pay-offs and liquor being illegally served on a  Sunday, Lavin who was out of uniform, was attacked by a German janitor at a bar that was illegally open. Lavin used his club to defend himself and struck the man Caspar Pfost numerous times until he died. It was ruled that Lavin was justified in the killing, self-defense. 

But, German-Americans were incensed at what had happened. Terrence Lavin had known very little of his great, great grandfather until his research revealed this story. Then, with further effort, he contacted a descendent of Pfost in Long Island. The two later met at the very spot where Lavin’s ancestor had killed Steven Pfost’s ancestor in New York City. Steven had never heard the story either. It’s an amazing article with lots more detail. Find the link at ExtremeGenes.com. The Sacramento Bee is carrying an awesome article on something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately, especially since my recent find of old family bible records and Daguerreotype photos, how to leave your treasured family items to the next generation, and when or what to do if you suddenly come into possession of your deceased relative’s possessions, treasures and otherwise. How do you handle what to keep and what to get rid of? There’s far too much advice from me to properly review here but it’s a topic we all need to consider sooner than later. Whether you’re about to go through the loss of a loved one, or anticipate the day you leave this world you’re going to want to read this story. Find the link at ExtremeGenes.com. And coming up next, Independence Day weekend may be making you want to learn more about your patriot ancestors. Craig Scott of Heritage Books joins us in three minutes to give you some ideas on what you can learn about those ancestors of yours in the three cornered hats on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show.

Segment 2 Episode 49

Host: Scott Fisher with guest Craig Scott

Fisher: And welcome back to Extreme Genes, Family History Radio and ExtremeGenes.com. It is Fisher here, your Radio Roots Sleuth. Happy 4th of July weekend! And on the line with us right now from Rocky Mount, North Carolina is Craig Scott. He is the CEO of Heritage Books and also the writer of “Genealogy at a Glance: Revolutionary War Genealogy Research.” And this is a great weekend to talk about it. Hi Craig, good to talk to you!

Craig: Good to talk to you!

Fisher: You've been obviously digging into this for a long time, because you have those two little initials after your name which tells us that you're really smart. And how would somebody go about starting their research into a Revolutionary war ancestor?

Craig: I think the first thing that you need to do is to talk to your parents if they're still around or any aunt that's in the DAR and any uncle that's in the FAR. Most folks have those kind of people hanging around, I know I did. Unfortunately the ancestor that she went into, my aunt went into wasn't one that I cared about.

Fisher: [Laughs]

Craig: [Laughs] A collateral one, not one that's close to me. But I always felt the family, and see what somebody has to say and then go and prove them right or prove them wrong. And then after that, there's a subscription service record on Fold3.

Fisher: Yes, Fold3 is great.

Craig: It is the most magnificent source for Revolutionary War materials. The pensions are there, the compiled notes of his service records are there. And I’d recommend you start looking for a pension and see if you can find a pension, because they're full of genealogical information and it’s more likely that you can connect to a person who has a pension, whose family knows, because obviously you should know the child of this Revolutionary War soldier.

Fisher: Right.

Craig: If you didn’t know the Revolutionary War soldier. And then from there, the pension will tell you what unit they belonged to, and then you can go after the compiled notes of his service records.

Fisher: And I'll tell you, the pension records are fabulous and can be incredible with some of the things in there, because there was always the issue all these years after the war where they had to prove that they had been in the Revolution. And since a lot of records were missing, they had to explain their service or explain their relationship within the family. I've see family bible records in there, found all kinds of great stories in there relating to their service, and I'm sure you have too, Craig.

Craig: Sure. In fact, the case of an ancestor, William Brock, a major in the South Carolina militia who had the pension, who had a bible record in the pension. And that bible record is actually a photostatic copy, the first photostatic copy, which means that that was not the original submitted with the pension. What happened is, long after the Civil War and before World War I, they began returning pieces of the pensions to people. So the original bible record went back to the family. I don't know where it went back to the family, but it went back to somebody.

Fisher: So you found a photocopy of it at some point.

Craig: Right.

Fisher: And so you knew it still existed out there. Well, the ones we found, now my wife had a guy named Caleb Witt. He was from Virginia. And he wound up at the battle of Yorktown. Since he was gone and it was his widow was applying for it, there were all kinds of stories from various witnesses who knew his connection to that particular aspect of his service that has really made for some colorful history for us.

Craig: Well, there are two things that had to be proved, the service had to be proved and the marriage had to be proved. And widows would get pensions, the Acts that made widows eligible were until 1855, assumption of when they married the soldier. So for example, the 1836 Act, she had to be married to the soldier before the exploration of his enlistment.

Fisher: Um hmm.

Craig: And as pension Acts continued, they moved that date to 1800. And then eventually they removed the marriage date.

Fisher: Hey, let me ask you about that, because.

Craig: Yeah, the widows outlasted the soldiers by, the last soldier died in about 1867.

Fisher: But the last widow went quite a bit longer.

Craig: I don't think and I'm not sure of this, but the 1920s.

Fisher: Really? So, back in the day, there were no vital records. I mean New York didn't start keeping track for instance of marriages until long after the Revolution.

Craig: It just depends on how you define vital records. I mean, there's still marriage licenses, there's still marriage bonds, there's still things that relate to things that we call vital records. I mean, there's still marriage records. They may not be state sanctioned or state required, aka vital records, but there's still ways to track down marriages.

Fisher: I understand that, but the question would be, in the case of a widow applying for a pension, wouldn't there be some concern by the government that she was fraudulently creating? I mean, basically the bible records were accepted as proof, were they not?

Craig: In addition to two people being present at the wedding.

Fisher: Ah! Okay.

Craig: The affidavits from people present at the wedding.

Fisher: Go it! Okay. So that was where the proof had to come from, so everybody had to swear to it.

Craig: Right.

Fisher: Now I had a Revolutionary ancestor named Samuel Pease who is out of Freehold, New Jersey. He was in the battle of Monmouth. And he died in 1814, and his widow lived until 1853. And she applied, and it was very interesting, Craig, because she used some lawyers to help her. And it was quite a battle to finally get the money, the back money that was owed to her. But these guys had all kinds of different stories and units and attributed various memories to her of what units he said he belonged to. And when I got into that, I found that Samuel Pease had somebody who lived nearby named Samuel Pearce, spelled very similarly. And it looked like the lawyers were actually trying to, basically increase the amount of money she got by combining the records of Samuel Pease with Samuel Pearce. Do we see this kind of thing a lot? 

Craig: I don’t think it happens a lot, but it happens. It does happen. Does it happen every single time? No. Is the government on the lookout for that kind of stuff? Yeah, they recognize the fraud exists. The proof has to be clear in regards to the affidavits, and if they have a question they might send a pension examiner out to interview the neighbors and that kind of thing. 

Fisher: Now, they actually had a statement from a neighbor who had fought with Samuel Pearce who I believe, he thought it was somebody he was giving the testimony for. And there were great stories from the Revolutionary War but I’m thinking that doesn’t really apply to my guy because when I got into what unit he was serving in, we found it was a very different person. Did the lawyers make more money from their clients if they were able to get more on their behalf?

Craig: It depends on the timeframe that you’re talking about when they’re actually doing it. In a lot of cases there were laws in place that established what the scene could be, and it couldn’t be an excess of that, so it just really depends what laws were in effect at the time.

Fisher: I was just trying to figure out what their motivation was to create this monstrous file of information that included more of Samuel Pearce than my Samuel Pease.

Craig: Probably wanted to get somebody off the roles. In a lot of places those widows are in fact being supported by the county. 

Fisher: Oh!

Craig: Because they have no visible means of support, and all of a sudden getting eight dollars a month could be useful. 

Fisher: Sure. And so you’re saying maybe the county wanted to push that along?

Craig: Right. You know there’s also the point that there isn’t just the pension that is full of all this information, one of the untapped sources is the payment vouchers and the last and final payments where every six months March and September is when it happens. Someone would present themselves to a bank that was a pension agency. Most of the pension agents were bankers and pension agencies were banks because they had vaults to protect the government’s money. So in March and September either the pensioner or the person with power of attorney and a copy of their pension certificate would show up at the pension agency and they’d be paid. So they would get a receipt and the money and then a payment voucher would be filled out and quarterly the pension agents would send these back to DC and they would end up in the pension ledgers and those ledgers are on Ancestry. Those are readily accessible, and each one of those tick marks for the quarter, one, two, three or four, identify when the individual came in and got their pension payment. If the pension payment occurred after the death of the pensioner then they’re also full of genealogical information because the heir is coming in to get the payment so the heirs are being specifically identified, whereas you may not find children identified in the pension. 

Fisher: Right, right, yes. 

Craig: In fact, I know of cases Pedrin Tripler of Franklin County, Kentucky originally of Culpepper County, Virginia has eight kids and only one child was identified in the pension by name Polly Clemet. But, in the final payments after he’s dead, all eight of the children are identified. And in the case of Lucy Palmer who predeceases Pedrin Tripler, all of her children are identified. So what you have is the eight children, who their spouses are, if they’re female, and then Lucy Palmer’s children because she’s predeceased. So it’s a gold mine compared to the pension itself. 

Fisher: And then of course all this can lead you back to the unit, and then researching the unit itself and where they served and where they fought can become a whole other line of research. 

Craig: It can. And one of the real problems is the confusion that goes on in the table of organizations of Washington’s army. It is very fluid and so what may be true one day is not true six months later in regards to units and that kind of things and who they belonged to, what brigade the belonged to, and regiments may start out as larger entities and then all of a sudden shrink down to very small entities. There are some unit histories but not very many. For example, we have a unit history on the first Virginia, a unit history on the third Virginia, I think the first New York, there just aren’t that many out there. You have to actually get into the muster roles and look at the headers of the muster roles and see where they say they are at that point in time. 

Fisher: Hmm.

Craig: Every two months. 

Fisher: He’s Craig Scott. He’s from Rocky Mount, North Carolina. He’s the Author of “Genealogy at a Glance: Revolutionary War genealogy Research” and boy, it’s very helpful Craig. Any other thoughts by the way, for people getting into this? 

Craig: Don’t stop too soon. 

Fisher: [Laughs] That’s good advice for anything, isn’t it?

Craig: It is, but it never fails. You may think you found it all, always remember that especially if it’s a militia man he can serve at more than one unit in the war. You have to look in multiple places not just full trees. You may have to look in State Archives, state historical societies, county historical societies, to fair out the information. It’s not all in one place. There’s always more than you think there is. 

Fisher: Well you know, that is great advice, and thank you so much for your time Craig, and we look forward to talking to you again soon.

Craig: My pleasure.

Fisher: And on the way next, of course the Revolution was just a part of America’s story. Many immigrants have carved a very unique place in our history. Listener Suzanne Anderson tracked down the story of her husband’s grandparents and wait till you hear what she discovered. It’s coming up next on Extreme Genes, Family History Radio and ExtremeGenes.com

Segment 3 Episode 49

Host: Scott Fisher with guest Suzanne Anderson

Fisher: And welcome back to Extreme Genes Family History Radio ExtremeGenes.com. It is Fisher here with my guest Suzanne Anderson from Fruit Heights, Utah. Hi Suzanne, how are you?

Suzanne: Oh I’m great, Fish!

Fisher: Great to have you on the show and I’m excited because as you know, we always like to have people on who have had amazing journeys of discovery. We like to hear how you did it, what you found, and the stories are always incredible. Now, what line were you working on?

Suzanne: Well, since I didn’t have a whole lot to do on my line I decided to pick my husband’s line which goes back to Germans that lived in Russia.

Fisher: Ooh boy, that’s tough stuff.

Suzanne: Very much so. I thought that it was going to be really easy and so I join the Germans from Russia Association and I bought three very large books, The Immigration from Germany into Russia that was written by Karl Stumpp, and I was convinced that I would find the information and I was looking for the surname Dörr or in America it is Doerr, or Raab.

Fisher: Now see that is complicated. That’s good for people to know there are variant spellings on the foreign names that we have to look for.

Suzanne: What I found was that when I got into the Immigration records, I found that the people who took down the information spelled the names exactly how they sounded.

Fisher: That’s a good lesson isn’t it?

Suzanne: Yes. Well, let me start with my husband’s grandfather Levin Dörr. And he would always say we would ask him questions, he would say, “What is in the past, stays in the past.”

Fisher: Ooh.

Suzanne: We are in America now and we are proud to be Americans. And we used to think that he just simply was being a little bit ornery and didn’t want to talk to us. But, through the years we have realized that the information was just too painful for him to talk about, because two bothers and three nephews were all that came to America. And on his grandmother’s side, his grandmother and her father came, and the rest of the families stayed there. And then the Bolsheviks came in and it was impossible to get them out. On his grandmother’s side, the Raab side, her mother, a brother and two small sisters starved to death before they could get them out.

Fisher: Ugh! And these are the stories that are so challenging to find. Now you got this from where? Where did you get that information?

Suzanne: A piecemeal from the family. His grandmother would talk a little bit more, and she had contact with a sister that married and was either sent to Siberia or they moved to Siberia. And then when her father died his death certificate said that the other members of the family were deceased. When the Bolsheviks came in, they took the men into the service. They destroyed the fields and homes and cemeteries and burned most of the records. So what records may be there, some of them we’re still searching for.

Fisher: But this is a good lesson and the idea if you want to get the background of what was happening in the area where your people were to put together their history without them telling you. 

Suzanne: Well, I had written that down too that one of the things that you need to understand is what was going on in the country and you can glean information from that. What are the hidden clues in that history and the dynamics of the German-Russian people? See, the Germans came into Russia at the time of Catherine the Great in the 1700s. She was German. She promised them land, no taxes, that men did not have to serve in the military. And it was later when things began to fall apart that they came in and began to demand and to destroy.

Fisher: That sounds kind of like what they did with the Huguenots back in the day.

Suzanne: Right, right. And so Lou’s grandmother would say,” I am not Russian. I am German” because they lived in very cloistered German communities along the Volga River. It was a totally Lutheran community. There were others that were Catholic or Mennonite but they didn’t do much mixing. So these things are really important to understand the history, what was going on and the closeness of the families.

Fisher: Yes, so even if you don’t get stories necessarily from grandpa and grandma, or whatever was passed down, you can kind of superimpose their lives into the setting.

Suzanne: Right. Now the one thing that when I finally got my act in gear and realized I was looking for something I wasn’t going to find, because I needed to come to this day and time. I spent hours looking for information in the Family History Library and finally after a day of going through immigration records, because I had no idea what port they came in to, or really even the year and I finally found them, and I literally stood up and cheered because it was such a find.

Fisher: [Laughs] Yes!

Suzanne: And those immigration records are such an important thing to give you all of these clues, you know, where they are going. And one of the things that we found was that his grandfather was going to a John Doerr. We thought it was his older brother. But years later we found when grandpa died he had a piece of paper in his wallet that called this John Doerr his half-brother. And then we found out later by talking to some people that when they said half-brother that was like we say a cousin. 

Fisher: Interesting.

Suzanne: And through that when we talked to someone in Cheboygan, Michigan we found out that her husband was in that half-brother category to our grandfather. And she gave us the maiden name of Lou’s grandfather’s mother which we did not have, Alberti.

Fisher: Wow, what a great find.

Suzanne: And then Lou got interested and he started making contact with some people, family names, in Michigan because they all went to Port Huron. And he started calling around and he ran down an older woman, in fact she was in her 90s, that comes to find out she knew Lou’s grandmother and grandfather in Russia.

Fisher: You’ve got to be kidding me. [Laughs] What a great find that is!

Suzanne: And so she gave us information plus she sent us a picture of this big, beautiful church where they all went to church.

Fisher: Did you stand up and cheer again? 

Suzanne: I did. We did.

Fisher: [Laughs]

Suzanne: Everything we find is just amazing. One of the problems too that we’ve had, is that grandpa came into the port on the coast, came into Baltimore, went to Cleveland and then we lost track of him because he wasn’t any place when they took the census records. And so we had a hard time tracing him to Port Huron. And then when we found him and found Lou’s grandmother was there, then I wrote to the Lutheran churches there, and finally found marriage records. 

Fisher: Boy, you really went to town on this didn’t you?

Suzanne: [Laughs]

Fisher: And now all these things though, I would imagine some of these records helped get you back into specific places in Russia, yes? 

Suzanne: Yes. Stumpp’s book clarified that they lived in a village that was called Kent, but it is spelled Kind, but it’s Kent.

Fisher: Right.

Suzanne: And Russians came in and renamed it so we were able to get the Russian name of the town also.

Fisher: Now, as things have changed over the years politically, have you been able to go back and go to this place?

Suzanne: No. We have not gone, but we know someone who did and there’s no town there. There’s nothing. 

Fisher: Ooh.

Suzanne: Because the Bolsheviks just came in and the church is a shell that was used to house the cattle and the horses and the cemetery, there are no markings and no records as to who’s buried there.

Fisher: Boy, that’s got to bring you some sadness. 

Suzanne: It really does. And I think the important thing Scott, is that what we do know is that they made huge sacrifices to come. And we wonder what would have happened to that part of the family if they had not made that sacrifice. And they literally said goodbye to their parents and their family, turned around and walked away and never saw the family again. And they were so proud that they were Americans.

Fisher: And there you go on the 4th of July weekend. Isn’t that a great story to end with?

Suzanne: It really is.

Fisher: Thank you so much Suzanne.

Suzanne: You’re certainly welcome Scott.

Fisher: And coming up next, Tom Perry from TMCPlace.com. He’s our Preservation Authority;[Laughs] Got an interesting email from a listener. We’ll share it with you, coming up in three minutes on Extreme Genes Family History Radio, America’s Family History Show.

Segment 4 Episode 49

Host: Scott Fisher with guest Tom Perry

Fisher: And welcome back to Extreme Genes, Family History Radio and ExtremeGenes.com, America's Family History Show. It is Fisher here, your Radio Roots Sleuth, with the newlywed, Tom Perry, from TMCPlace.com.

Tom: Does this mean I lose my fan club now?

Fisher: You're off the market, Tom. You're breaking hearts across the land.

Tom: That's right. [Laughs]

Fisher: Anyway. Well, congratulations!

Tom: Thank you!

Fisher: It was an exciting day. And today we have a question from St Louis, Missouri, from Linda Dartmouth, and she says, "Tom, love the thing about the tests on the camcorders being thrown out of a Ferrari at 100 miles an hour last week." She says, "Number one, I don't need a camcorder that can survive that. Number two, were you driving the Ferrari?"

Tom: [Laughs] Boy, I so wish!

Fisher: [Laughs]

Tom: That is my dream. I would love to have taken that around a test track.

Fisher: She wants to know if there's some other types of camcorder she should be aware of other than that.

Tom: Yeah, there's some great ones that you don't need to throw out of a Ferrari at 100 miles an hour.

Fisher: [Laughs]

Tom: The first one I'm going to tell you about, well, first off let me tell you, get a copy of the latest, it’s their August 2014 of Consumer Reports, and on page 43 they have four really good camcorders I'm going to tell you about that are really, really good. One they call is a best buy. These are great cameras. They are high definition. They're less expensive. You don't want to throw them out of a Ferrari or even your Fiesta.

Fisher: [Laughs]

Tom: At probably even ten miles an hour, but they're good cameras and they're good pricing. The first one is called a Sony HDR CX240. Its only $230 and it’s a best buy. And it has what they call a 27x optical zoom lens. Now what you need to understand, which a lot of people get confused between the zoom lens and the optical lens

Fisher: Right.

Tom: An optical lens is through optics. And so, if you're at 27%, which this says it’s going to bring anything that's 27x farther away from you right up and it’s going to look great. Now a zoom lens or a digital zoom is not very good, and to me, they're pretty much garbage unless you're watching an airplane crash, and you want to stay far away, but you want to be able to get it in so you can put it on the news and see you name as a byline.

Fisher: Right. So how does that work? What's the difference?

Tom: What it does is, it just takes the pixels and enlarges them, just like you can do yourself in Photoshop.

Fisher: Oh.

Tom: So I suggest if you have something like that, put it in Photoshop and blow it up. That's for something that you really want to get, but you don't care about the quality. It’s just so far away, like maybe a nesting eagle. So you have something, but it’s not good quality. An optical is what's really, really important. And that's what you need to pay attention to. And like I mentioned, this one has a 27x optical zoom lens, its only $230. If you want to go up to the next one, Sony has another HDR which is called a CX330, which is a hundred dollars more, so its $330, and it has a 30x optical lens, so it’s a little bit better, but the neat thing about this one, its WiFi.

Fisher: Ooh! Now this means you can then send this stuff after you shoot it, right?

Tom: Oh, exactly! So it’s great if you're like at a family reunion or at a wedding like I was, last week, and somebody is shooting with one of these WiFi camcorders. If you have your laptop there, they can instantly download it, no wires, no USB 3, no high definition fire wire, nothing, just totally over the waves. Another neat thing about this camera is the battery life. This one will go up to 180 minutes, and that 's something you want to check into.

Fisher: Wow!

Tom: Because a lot of people don't buy two batteries. They get out their Disneyland and they're all sitting there and their battery dies.

Fisher: Yeah. Three hours worth, that's incredible!

Tom: Oh, it is.

Fisher: These things are improving, aren't they?

Tom: Oh, it’s amazing! They're getting smaller, they last longer, they take less time to recharge and the price is coming down. It’s just like, you know, I wish the Ferrari would do that.

Fisher: [Laughs] All right, we're going to take a break. We're going to be back in five minutes, and when we return, what are we going to talk about, Tom?

Tom: One of the coolest cameras I've ever seen. You can actually take it snorkeling with you, no problems.

Fisher: Ooh, a lot of fun, coming up next on Extreme Genes, Family History Radio and ExtremeGenes.com.

Segment 5 Episode 49

Host: Scott Fisher with guest Tom Perry

Fisher: And we are back, Extreme Genes, Family History Radio ExtremeGenes.com. You know, I'm so happy now that you're a married man, Tom, that your wife, Sharon has actually allowed you to come and play.

Tom: Oh, I know. It’s just like, it’s so different. I didn't know would she let me out today.

Fisher: [Laughs] All right, we were talking about camcorders a few minutes ago and you mentioned something about a camcorder we can now take out if we were to go snorkeling!?

Tom: Absolutely! And then the little teaser that I'm going to tell you about something before that, about another camera that's amazing, now these are also in the 2014 August edition of Consumer Reports. There's a Panasonic HCV550 that's about $400 that has a 50x optical lens.

Fisher: Wow!

Tom: So if you go to a lot of national parks, you go to places and do bird watching eagles, this is a great camera, because optically they will bring them right into you and the footage will be amazing! Its high definition, it'll look great. Forget about any of the zoom capabilities. And this one also has WiFi and two other cool things about it, it has what's called "advanced level shot function."

Fisher: What does that mean?

Tom: That means it takes the horizon and straightens it out. So if you're leaning a little to your right or a little to your left, it'll straighten it out for you.

Fisher: So you have a shorter leg on one side than the other?

Tom: Let's not get into Ilene.

Fisher: Okay, right. [Laughs]

Tom: And another thing is has is a five access image stabilization. So if you're driving your motorcycle or riding a bicycle and you want it to be able to get a better image, this has a five access image stabilization that somehow goes out and says, "Okay, this should be here. This should be here. This should be here. This isn't here, I'm going to pull it back and make it there."

Fisher: Wow!

Tom: So it’s just amazing! And that's only like $400 for this high definition camera.

Fisher: Isn't that amazing! You remember what Beta players cost back in the '70s? They were like 12, $1500.

Tom: They were. When they first came out, they were that. My three chip camera that I told you about last week, I paid $1500 and it wasn't high definition.

Fisher: Look at this, it’s just unbelievable!

Tom: It’s just crazy! It’s crazy. And, what's cooler than a camcorder you can take snorkeling!

Fisher: Tell me about this.

Tom: This is incredible. It’s not water resistant, it is actually waterproof. And it’s a JVC GZR700. And the amazing thing is, it’s only $500.

Fisher: That's great. Now, how deep can you go with this thing?

Tom: You know, I don't know exactly how deep. In the Consumer Reports, they said they took it down to sixteen feet and it worked fine. Sixteen feet! When you're snorkeling, you usually don't go below sixteen feet anyway.

Fisher: No, no, that's right, if you go scuba diving at least twenty.

Tom: Right.

Fisher: And then thirty and more. So you wouldn't take it for this.

Tom: Exactly. You can get housings and things like this, but this is one you can take on a cruise with you or on your trip to California, and you're out shooting the family on the beach, you walk right into the surf with it.

Fisher: That is amazing. Now what is the name of this one?

Tom: This is called the JVC GZR70. And it has this, like I say, its waterproof for shooting underwater. And even though you think, "Well, I'm not going to go snorkeling." if you shoot a lot at the beach, you don't have to worry about the sand blowing into it, you don't have to worry about the ocean spray. And one thing, if you do take it to the ocean, I recommend when you do get home, get some distilled water that you pour on the camera to get the salt off of so it’s not going to, you know, mess up your lens by having the film on it. So it’s easy to take care of. And this has, are you ready, a 40x optical zoom lens!

Fisher: So we can do this underwater now. I mean, these are places we've never been able to take video cameras before.

Tom: Oh, absolutely! And it’s amazing! You can shoot the octopus, the starfish and push on it really, really tight. And it’s incredible to take that up and watch it on your high definition television of this huge star fish that you saw with your own eyes and maybe even handled.

Fisher: Now, does this come with WiFi?

Tom: Yes, that one also comes with WiFi.

Fisher: Wow! [Laughs]

Tom: So I guess if you had a good enough WiFi, you could actually set it up through the water. I've never tried using my iPhone underwater, so I don't know if WiFi works underwater or not.

Fisher: Oh, this is insane stuff! I love it! That is why you are the Preservation Authority. He's Tom Perry from TMCPlace.com. And of course if you have any questions for him, you can always [email protected]. Thanks for seeing us, Tom.

Tom: It’s great to be back.

Fisher: And thanks, Sharon, for loaning him to us. Also thanks to Craig Scott from Heritage Books, for coming on and sharing with us how to find your Revolutionary soldiers and track down their service records. Great stuff! If you didn't catch it, listen to the podcast later this week on iTunes and iHeart Radio. And remember, you can now download our free app for listening to the podcast on iPhones and Androids. Thanks for joining us. We'll be back next week for our first anniversary show! Have a great 4th of July weekend. And remember, as far as everyone knows, we're a nice, normal family!

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