Episode 80 - Pension Record That Should Be Made Into A Movie!

podcast episode Mar 30, 2015

Fisher opens this week's show with Family Histoire News and a fond farewell to King Richard III.  Buried only a few days ago, the King gave Extreme Genes more than its fair share of stories over the past three years.  No five hundred year old body could have done more.  Fisher then shares the story of a slave who escaped to freedom in a more than unique way 166 years ago this weekend.  Wait until you hear this one!  Then... think all Celts are alike?  Apparently not!  DNA is revealing some very interesting things about these early Brits.  And finally... a wooly mammoth may be in the works!  They call it de-extinction.  Fisher will tell you how they're doing it.  Could a Neanderthal be far behind?

HeritageConsulting.com's Stan Lindaas is back with the most amazing revolutionary soldier pension record you've ever heard of.  The soldier's story goes into great depth, with twists, turns, captures, escapes... you'll want to see this in movie form!  Stan will also tell you how to find these great records.
Then it's a two-fer!  Two ordinary people making extraordinary finds.  Idaho's Lynda Marquez and Alabama's Heath Jones will inspire you to keep hunting!

And Tom Perry from TMCPlace.com wraps it up with simple instructions on how to get your kids and grandkids to save and edit your old videos and home movies for you!

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

Transcript of Episode 80

Host: Scott Fisher

Segment 1 Episode 80

Fisher: Hello genies, and welcome back for another helping of Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show. I am Fisher, your Radio Roots Sleuth, on the program where we shake your family tree and watch the nuts fall out. I am fresh back from a week with my wife in Florida. I’m told, I am bronzed like a greed god. That’s just what they’re saying. We spent our time in Fort Pierce where they have a historic centre and the coolest part about this was the room where they displayed a history with many photos of all the historic families of the town, and I’m thinking, what a great way to get donations to support a local historic centre. And the displays were very interesting, even if you weren’t related. So, there’s an idea for somebody. Hey, as always I am stoked for this week’s show, we have many guests. First up in about eight minutes Stan Lindaas from HeritageConsulting.com. He’s got this amazing revolutionary war pension application, and if you’re not familiar with them, they’re pretty easy to search these days. But they often contain astonishingly detailed information about the solider, his personal life, and military career. Now the one he’s going to share with us though is unbelievable! It’s like movie material. You’ll want to hear it and find out from Stan how to search these great records. Then, following up with our visit with Hank Jones, author of “Psychic Roots” couple of weeks ago, we have an incredible story of serendipity. We’re talking crazy coincidence if that’s what you want to call it. We’ll talk to Lynda Marquez from her home in Idaho. Then, our buddy from Alabama based Task Force History, Heath Jones returns with a couple more family history finds by his team of shovel and metal detector wielding colleagues. These guys have way too much fun.

Hey, a couple of days ago I received a message on our Facebook page from a listener who is having a problem catching up with a past show. So I told her what I always tell people, download the free Extreme Genes podcast app and take us with you wherever you go. Just go to your iPhone or Android store and punch in “Extreme Genes” and it will take you right there. And she messaged me back and said she loved it! So, there you go. By the way, if you’re ever searching for us and you leave the “E” off the beginning of Extreme, you’ll get a horse breeding farm. Maybe I didn’t think this all the way through when through when we named this show. Oh and by the way, next week we’ll be talking with the CEO of FamilySearch.org, Dennis Brimhall. Since taking over Family Search, Dennis has put together some astonishing partnerships in the business and you’re going to want to hear where he sees things going as family history continues to take over the world and the number one past time anywhere. I think we’re ahead of gardening now. All right, it is time for your family histoire news from the pages of ExtremeGenes.com. When we started Extreme Genes in the summer of 2013, the one story that kept coming back was the analysis of the remains of England’s King Richard the III, who had been found, buried under a parking lot in 2012. Well, in 2014 more stories emerged. We learned about what he ate, what caused the curve in his back, how tall he really was, we saw a mock up of his face, and discovered precisely how he died, after having his helmet removed or knocked off.

The details those five hundred plus year old bones brought to us were astonishing. Even in 2015 we’ve had a few more tasty nuggets emerge. But alas, all good things must come to an end. This past weekend, Richard the III’s remains were carried through the streets of Lester, England near where he fell in battle. A proper funeral was celebrated in his honor and on Thursday he was laid to rest in the newly renovated Lester Cathedral. Having been under the parking lot for many of the past five hundred and thirty years, this is definitely an improvement for the king who will now serve as a local tourist attraction. We at Extreme Genes would also like to thank King Richard for the countless stories he’s provided us over the last three years, rest in peace your highness. This weekend we celebrate a unique anniversary. It was on this weekend in 1849 that Henry Box Brown earned his nickname. Born around 1816 Henry was a slave who arranged to have himself shipped in a wooden crate from a Virginia plantation to a group of Pennsylvania abolitionist. He became a noted speaker in the north east, for a short time speaking out about the ills of slavery. But fell into the disfavor of Fredrick Douglas and others, particularly for revealing the details of how he escaped. Douglas was hopeful others could have used the same method. Henry Box Brown left behind his enslaved wife and children, and then later fearing he might be returned to slavery, moved to England where he performed as a hypnotist. There he began a new family and it’s hard to imagine that any American would have had to ship him or herself anywhere to gain their freedom and liberty. Henry Box Brown died sometime after February of 1889.

There’s a new DNA study out that shows that the Celtic people of the United Kingdom are not a unique group. It shows that the Scottish Celts and Cornish Celts are actually closer genetically to the English than other Celtic groups. There are also regional identities for various Celtic groups throughout the UK. The study also concludes that the Anglo Saxons from some 1500 years ago mixed with the Britons of that time instead of completely wiping them out. It makes you wonder how our DNA test results might change with information like this. And finally, scientists are closing in on bringing back woolly mammoths! Yeah, there are some researchers at Harvard who have copied genes from frozen woolly mammoths and are working them into the gnome of an Asian elephant. They have something called a DNA editing tool, really? So far they spliced in genes for the beast’s ears and hair color, and length. They call the process de-extinction. As the first time these genes have been operational in some four thousand years. Talk about Extreme Genes! Now, my question is when is some mad scientist out there going to come along and bring back Neanderthals? And who would volunteer for that experiment? Does anything really surprise us anymore? And that is your family histoire news for this week. Find links to these stories and more on our website ExtremeGenes.com. And coming up in three minutes, our good friend Stan Lindaas of HeritageConsulting.com, if you haven’t searched for your ancestors using military pension records, he’ll share with you how to do it and he’ll share the most amazing pension record of an ordinary 18th century revolutionary you’ve ever heard. Wait till you hear what’s in this one! That’s next on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show.

Episode 80 Segment 2

Host: Scott Fisher with guest Stan Lindaas

Fisher: And welcome back to Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show. Fisher here your Radio Roots Sleuth with my guest Stan Lindaas, from HeritageConsulting.com. Stan, good to have you back.

Stan: Thanks Fish.

Fisher: And I’m excited about this because I think we all think about retirement now and again. And here is an opportunity to talk about Revolutionary War soldiers and their retirement.

Stan: My thoughts about retirement are far more frequent than now and then.

Fisher: Yeah. [Laughs]

Stan: But anyway, yeah we wanted to talk a little bit about military pensions.

Fisher: Yeah. These are great records too!

Stan: They can fill gaps that can be more like a black hole.

Fisher: Oh absolutely.

Stan: My wife worked on a case not too long ago and she was looking for a man in Eastern Tennessee.

Fisher: Uh oh. [Laughs]

Stan: Yeah, there are no records in the time period she was looking for. He dies in 1835, I believe it was. There are not a whole lot of records to be had. Her goal was to discover of course who’s the daddy and who’s the mama? This guy in the 1830 census was listed as being between 70 and 80 years old. There was just absolutely no way to figure out where he came from.

Fisher: That is a black hole for a lot of us, not only for Eastern Tennessee, but Virginia, parts of West Virginia, I mean there’s nothing.

Stan: Anywhere, USA, in the early 1800s.

Fisher: [Laughs] Especially in the south.

Stan: Yeah.

Fisher: Not so much in New England.

 Stan: So there was a reference to the fact that the man had served in the Revolutionary War. So we went after a revolutionary war pension. The act of Congress was in 1832, allowing those men who served in active duty to acquire pensions. So he just barely lived long enough to collect pensions. I’ve always thought that was interesting you know? That Congress waited until these guys were either in the grave or on their way to the grave.

Fisher: And yet with the war of 1812, that was quite different. They gave more and more and more throughout their lives, which is probably more political than anything.

Stan: And also they gave it in a timely enough manner that enough of them were able to obtain pensions.

Fisher: Right.

Stan: But this man, if you will excuse me I’m going to read just a tiny bit of the information that we garnered from this pension, it is just staggering, the kinds of information that you can find, and things that you would never even begin to hope that you would find. This could be a movie, without any question at all. The man’s name was Alexander Ballard, born about 1750. Well, the pension states that he was actually born in 1751, six miles north east of the city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Fisher: Bingo! Thank you.

Stan: Yeah. How many other places do you want to look? Well none thank you. His father was William Ballard who died when Alexander was just six years of age. He was bound out to one Isaiah Styce, near the mouth of the Delaware River in New Jersey. So we’re getting a real time like going here for this guy.

Fisher: Wow!

Stan: Isaiah Styce died when Alexander had reached the ripe old age of nineteen years of age. And May of 1776, now there’s a date your might remember, Alexander enlisted in the marine service for the State New Jersey at Cape May.

Fisher: [Laughs]

Stan: He first served under Captain Hand, the vessel being involved with the interception of supplies intended for the British troops in Delaware Bay in the Eastern Coast of New Jersey. Alexander again enlisted in September of 1777 for service on the Schooner Hawk commanded by Captain Stilwell. They sailed from Big Egg Harbor New Jersey, headed for Martinique, but were captured by a British ship and taken to New York.

Fisher: Ugh

Stan: There they were placed on a prison ship, in other words, a death trap and detained for three months. They were given insufficient food of poor quality. I kind of stumbled over that when I first read that in the pension. Do you want sufficient food of poor quality?

Fisher: [Laughs] You remember the TV show “Turn?”

Stan: Yeah.

Fisher: It shows these prison ships in New York harbor on the east river, and what they did to these people.

Stan: Yes.

Fisher: It was just brutal.

Stan: It was worse then what they’d do to their dogs and cats, the stray dogs and cats. I see many of the men died from severity of the treatment. They were then taken to Elizabeth Town point to a hospital. After two weeks of recovery, Alexander and others were sent to Philadelphia. In January of 1778 Alexander made application for employment to a Colonel Gurney, a merchant of the city with whom he was acquainted. Colonel Gurney employed Alexander in the merchant service. In 1781, Gurney fitted out a vessel called “The Morning Star” on which Alexander sailed as a privateer, commanded by Captain Simmons. 

Fisher: [Laughs]

Stan: Alexander told his pension application about sailing to Jamaica where they were spied by a British frigid in January of 1781.

Fisher: It’s all in one pension?

Stan: All in the pension. The frigid gave chase and over took them. They were taken again prisoners to Charleston South Carolina and put on board, guess what? Another prison ship!

Fisher: Oh no.

Stan: On the fourth day Alexander and fifteen other men escaped at midnight to the east end of Sullivan’s Island. They took shelter in an old forte and the next day twelve of them swam to another island closer to the mainland. The other four men, who could not swim, stayed behind and their fate was unknown to Alexander. Four of the twelve who has swam to the island. Attempted to swim then to the island and they were never heard of again. The remaining eight men including Alexander then saw two officers in a boat coming down between the island and the mainland, and having not eaten for several days, they were ready to give themselves up even if it was the British. The boat came within speaking distance and they were informed that the officers on this boat were in fact American officers.

Fisher: Sweet!

Stan: On parole in the city of Charleston. And they, those officers, dared not dock at the island but promised to send a boat with provisions to them and bring them to the mainland that evening. That did occur, and the men were taken to a road leading north east from Charleston, by which they travelled to Little York Virginia. From there they continued on to Philadelphia arriving there at the end of March 1781. They reported to Colonel Gurney. Alexander then, not having enough shipped out on the Rising Star.

Fisher: [Laughs] Oh man!

Stan: Under Captain Griffin. They sailed for the West Indies, touching down at Jamaica, Gwadaloop Cuba, and other West Indian islands and then along the Coast of South America. They returned north along the coast of North America to Boston. During the nine month voyage they as privateers took fifteen British vessels.

Fisher: Whoa!

Stan: Yeah, of different kinds.

Fisher: He deserves a pension.

Stan: Oh yeah.

Fisher: [Laughs]

Stan: I think the man should get maybe all of nine dollars a month instead of the requisite eight. So in the summer of 1782, Alexander was returned to Baltimore where he received his discharge after the close of the revolution. He entered the merchant service as a sailor, he then moved to Gloucester County in West Jersey for two years, then to Salem County for thirteen years. He then moved to Hawkins County Tennessee where he has lived for the last thirty four years. 

Fisher: Wow!

Stan: What more do you want!?

Fisher: That's... [Laughs]

Stan: Other than the birthday cake.

Fisher: Telling you what, the name of the father, where he was born?

Stan: Yeah! Yeah!

Fisher: And I'm sure you were able to develop some more material of that.

Stan: Oh heavens, yeah! Yeah, it led to opening the doors to all kinds of records going back several more generations, based on the information that we got about his place nativity and his father. Otherwise, he would have been lost in the woods of Tennessee, and that would have been it.

Fisher: And we should mention too, this is not an unusual thing.

Stan: No. No.

Fisher: I mean that one was exceptional.

Stan: Yes.

Fisher: But it’s not unusual.

Stan: Yeah.

Fisher: And certainly have seen it on my wife's side. She had a revolutionary soldier that talked about all the battles he was in, when he was named a sergeant, where he was released and what his term of service was, that he was now blind, that he was still trying to work a farm, and you know, all these details. This is not unusual. That one is just ridiculously exceptional.

Stan: Exactly!

Fisher: That's the gold standard. [Laughs]

Stan: Like I said, this could be a movie.

Fisher: Yes.

Stan: Without any trouble at all.

Fisher: Absolutely!

Stan: You give it to some producer, and he will embellish all of those facts and a few that aren't facts. It’s an amazing piece of history that you and I normally don't have the privilege of seeing.

Fisher: Exactly. So, for people who are not familiar with pension records, they're available for The Revolutionary War.

Stan: Revolutionary War, the Civil War.

Fisher: War of 1812.

Stan: 1812. And there are British also. So if you have British ancestry or Irish or Scottish, because many of those young men, the Irish and the Scottish, the only way they could see to get out of the squalor in which they lived, was to join the British army. And the British have great records as well. Many of the American records are available on Fold3.

Fisher: Right, great site.

Stan: It’s a great website. We have many of the films for the Revolutionary War pensions and the 1812 pensions at the family history library. You can also go to a national archive. You can go through Find My Past for the British records. You can spend all day.

Fisher: All day!? You could spend weeks!

Stan: Ah, yeah, without any trouble at all.

Fisher: No question.

Stan: This one was actually found on Fold3.

Fisher: Fold3.

Stan: The full file, Revolutionary War file.

Fisher: You know, and this is the beauty of it. We're at a time right now where five years ago, ten years ago you wouldn't find this kind of thing online, you'd have to go to a library, and you’d have to go through old microfilms.

Stan: Or write to an agent.

Fisher: Yes, and pay for that. So I mean, it’s just an absolute bargain what's out there right now, what's available. So, check it out, learn about pension records. They are great sources for developing stories. I mean, this man, you couldn't ask for anything further. [Laughs]

Stan: Yeah.

Fisher: You know, to find his life.

Stan: I've had dreams about this guy.

Fisher: He looked like Johnny Depp?

Stan: I'm afraid so, right?

Fisher: [Laughs] Hey, Stan, always great to have you on the show. Thanks for dropping by and sharing this incredible pension record from the Revolutionary War.

Stan: Thanks, Fish.

Fisher: He's Stan Lindaas from HeritageConsulting.com. And coming up next, we'll be talking to a couple of people who have had some amazing stories you're going to want to hear, one that might have belonged in Hank Jones's book about psychic roots. That's on the way in minutes on Extreme Genes, America's Family History Show.

 Segment 3 Episode 80

Host: Scott Fisher with guest Lynda Marquez and Heath Jones

Fisher: And welcome back to Extreme Genes, family history radio, America's Family History Show. I am Fisher, your Radio Roots Sleuth. And a couple of weeks ago we had Hank Jones on the show, he's the writer of a book called Psychic Roots, it's actually a series of books. And Psychic Roots is about unusual and strange coincidences that happen to people as they go about researching their ancestors. And I've had a few of those things happen, and now we've had a little rumbling of people saying, "Hey, I've got a story too!" And one of the stories that came to my attention is from this lady, Lynda Marquez. She's in Rexburg, Idaho. Hi Lynda, how are you?

Lynda: Hi. I am doing just fine.

Fisher: Welcome to the show. Glad to have you along. You were really close to your grandparents, like a lot of folks are. And you had a very special photograph, tell us about that.

Lynda: Okay, well, my mother had given me a photograph of my grandmother, her mother and father on their wedding day. It was gorgeous because it was in a beautiful frame and it had the bubble glass on it, it was very old. And the artist that edited the picture even painted in the color because back in the day, you know, they only had black and white photos. And I have this picture on my wall in my house. And at the time I was teaching 7th grade, and a teacher that I worked with, we went to a conference in Boise, and things got mixed up a little bit, we got there a day early, so we looked at each other and thought "Well, what are we going to do?"

Fisher: [Laughs] Don't you hate that?

Lynda: Yeah, we had a day where we could just get out and about and go check out Boise. The big city, compared to Rexburg.

Fisher: How far is Boise from Rexburg? I'm not real familiar with Idaho.

Lynda: It is about 4 and a half, 5 hour drive from Rexburg.

Fisher: Okay, so several hundred miles.

Lynda: Yes. And so we were there in Boise when we decide "Well, let's go and check out some antique stores." Because we both were into antiques, and so we headed down the street, and up in front of us there were two stores. We had looked at other little things and they were so expensive, and we thought "Okay, one more store. Let's just check out one more." There was an antique place on the left and on the right as we were in the car driving up towards them, and I said "Well, let's go to this one here on the right." And she said "Okay." So as we were parking the car and getting out, I was starting to tell her about this beautiful picture that I have of my grandparents and just going into detail. And as I was telling her this story, we would enter the little shop, and she was like "Oh, that is so neat." And I said "It is just a priceless piece of artwork that I just love." I happened to look down to my left and on the top of this table with some displays was the picture, my grandparents.

Fisher: You're kidding me? [Laughs]

Lynda: And I said to this teacher that I was with, I said "That's it." And she looked to me and said "Oh that is a beautiful picture." And she said "Does your picture look like that?" And I looked at her and I said "That is the picture."

Fisher: [Laughs]

Lynda: I said "That is my grandmother and my grandfather." And what makes it so odd is that I live in Rexburg, Idaho, we were in Boise for a teacher's conference, my grandmother and grandfather lived in Butte, Montana, had been deceased for 20 some odd years, and I was talking about this picture, and I walked into this shop and there it was.

Fisher: Unbelievable. [Laughs]

Lynda: And this teacher that I was with, she said "You're kidding me?" And I said "No. That's my grandmother and grandfather." It was a 5x7, it was a smaller print, and it wasn't painted or anything, it was just the original, and it was in mint condition. So I picked it up and I happened to notice that it had a little tag on it that said "NFS." I just could not even hardly think straight.

Fisher: Not for sale, though.

Lynda: Yes. So I took it to the lady at the cashier, and I showed it to her and I said "This is not for sale?" And she said "No, it's not." And I looked at her and I said "I have to tell you..." And I went through the whole thing about being in town, picking their shop to come into, and I said "This is my grandmother and my grandfather." And the lady behind the counter was like "You're kidding me?" And I said "No." And I said "I have to have this." I said "I cannot leave without this priceless picture." And the lady that owned the shop, they contacted her and she said no, I couldn't have it, even knowing that it was my grandparents. So I go back to the conference for a couple days, and as we were leaving town, a couple of the other teachers that I went with said "We're going back. We're going to go back and see what we can do."

Fisher: [Laughs]

Lynda: So they did. They were sweethearts. They took me back and I went in and I just talked to the lady behind the counter and I said "Is there any way that I could have this picture?" I said "I would be more than happy to buy it." And the lady, she said "It's yours. Take it." I was so thrilled. I was so thrilled. And what was neat was that when I brought it home I had called my mom and she lived up in Montana at that time and they were coming to visit me, and I said "I have something for you, mom." And when they got here, I said "I found it in an antique store in Boise when I was there for the conference." And I handed it to her and she just started to sob. It was just so wonderful to be able to have something that means so much. And more than anything, it's like it refreshes and renews the memories that you have of the people who have gone beyond.

Fisher: That's right.

Lynda: You know, it just reminds you that they're there.

Fisher: What a special experience, unbelievable.

Lynda: Yeah.

Fisher: Lynda, thank you so much for sharing that with us. I want to take care of you; I want to give you a subscription to MyHeritage.com. It's the number 1 technology in the industry. It's almost like having a professional genealogist working on your lines 24/7 for just $15 a month.

Lynda: Oh, how wonderful!

Fisher: Terrific. Well, we're glad to take care of you with that. And, Lynda, once again thanks for joining us on the show.

Lynda: I appreciate you calling me and it's just wonderful to be able to share the story.

Fisher: And we are not done with great stories yet. We have our good friend Heath Jones from Task Force History, from his home in Alabama. Heath, what's going on? What's your latest find?

Heath: Well, we've got one of our new members, you know, we expanded nationwide, and now we've expanded worldwide, and one of our newest members in New Zealand has located a dog tag from the World War II era.

Fisher: Wow!

Heath: And we're trying to get it back to the family.

Fisher: Well, how cool is that?

Heath: Andrews Stately, he was detecting an area that was used by U.S soldiers as well as British soldiers, and it was used for training and both R&R. You know they would get them off the front line and bring them back to New Zealand. And he found the dog tag in an area where they had R&R.

Fisher: And so have they been able to find the family yet, to give it back to the descendants?

Heath: Well, you know, it was really odd the way that it worked out. He posted the dog tag on our group where we have some of our finds and try to find the owners, and oddly enough, the person that owned the dog tag originally, his address is in Alabama.

Fisher: [Laughs]

Heath: And we noticed that. We said "How weird is that?" And that's where our group got started.

Fisher: Sure.

Heath: I contacted one of our members down in Sheffield, Alabama, down in the mobile area. And, I mean, within minutes he had this guy's descendants. But we were able to locate his daughters and talk to them about it.

Fisher: Well, how're they feeling about this? This has got to be blowing their mind.

Heath: Well, you know, initially with everybody it's sceptical to begin with, and when somebody calls them and says "Hey, we've found something of your dad's in New Zealand and we want to return it to you."

Fisher: [Laughs]

Heath: You know, they're like "Yeah, right."

Fisher: Yeah. Yeah.

Heath: So one of the daughters that we first contacted didn't believe us.

Fisher: [Laughs] I don't blame her.

Heath: We had to try to convince her. I guess she thought it was a scam. I mean... But, anyway, we finally convinced her of it. And so we're trying to get that returned to her now, and she didn't even know that her father had been in New Zealand. And they had all of his dog tags from his service days. So apparently this is something he lost and then got replaced, and he made it all the way through the way safely, and they thought they had all of his dog tags.

Fisher: Interesting. All right, what are some of your other finds you've made lately?

Heath: Well, other than Andrew Stately’s find of that dog tag, I mean, that's hard to top.

Fisher: Yeah. [Laughs]

Heath: But, you know, I found a 12 pound cannon ball that was actually used during the civil war here. I found it close to Atlanta, Georgia, and it was really cool find. It was still live.

Fisher: Whoa, whoa, whoa! Still live? That's 150 years old. How can that be?

Heath: Apparently it didn't go off, and it hit the mud. I found it in the edge of a creek, literally just a few inches down, and it still had the powder in it. I have a friend of mine that's an expert that was able to diffuse it for us. Unfortunately we're not able to find the family member that that belonged to.

Fisher: [Laughs] Yeah. I don't think you want to send that one home. Great to talk to you as always, Heath Jones with Task Force History in Alabama!

Heath: Great to be on, Scott.

Fisher: Whew! You talk about some great stories we have them this week, no doubt. And coming up next, Tom Perry, our Preservation Authority answers another listener question, on Extreme Genes, America's Family History Show.

Segment 4 Episode 80

Host: Scott Fisher with guest Tom Perry

Fisher: And welcome back to Extreme Genes, America's Family History Show. I am Fisher, the Radio Roots Sleuth. He is Tom Perry from TMCPlace.com. Hi, Tommy, how are you?

Tom: Super duper, thank you.

Fisher: All right, preservation time. And we've got a question from Kaysville, Utah, from Rose. And I guess she wants to use her nine and ten year old kids to edit some of her old videos, old home movies, maybe some audio. She's apparently got everything, and is a little confused about what you can edit and what you can't, because we've been talking about this a little bit lately. Let's get into that.

Tom: Okay, absolutely! Rose, that's a good question. We have a lot of people that are seniors, they have grandkids. These eight, nine year olds are doing video editing. Now, the biggest thing you have to do since you've got cassette tapes, you've got VHS, you've got video 8s, you've got film, you have all these different projects, right now they're all analogue. So the first step we need to do, kind of like we talked about a few weeks ago is, we need to get them into a digital format.

Fisher: Now, analogue is like the old TV was, right?

Tom: Exactly! Exactly! Analogue is like a wave form. It’s not like made up of zeros and ones.

Fisher: Okay.

Tom: And so, what you need to do, you need to get in this form, because once it’s into digital form, it opens up a whole bunch of different ways you can deal with it. Like computers are digital, that's why a lot of computers aren't good for transferring videos from like, say a VHS tape to a DVD, because even though they're fast computers, they're not made to translate stuff from analogue to digital. That's why you need to get specialized equipment like we have and a lot of people across the country have that specifically are made for transferring analogue to digital. So that's why a lot of times if you're transferring your own film and your own videos, you'll get jumps, you'll get lip sync problems, all kinds of things like that, because computers are not really made for that.

Fisher: Right. I've seen that where I've actually uploaded something to YouTube and the lip sync is off just a hair.

Tom: Exactly! Because a computer for doing audio cassettes and things like that is fine, because there's not a lot of, let's call it bandwidth, even though that's not really what it is, but most people understand that. It takes very little audio bandwidth, so to speak, to transfer to the computing power, but video is so complex. That's why like DVDs for videos are like, you know, four and a half gigabytes, where an audio CD is only 700MB.

Fisher: Wow!

Tom: There's so much difference there. So a computer turning from an analogue audio cassette to a CD isn't that big of a deal, but video, there's so many things going on. Like you mentioned the lip sync thing, it gets off. And there's nothing more distracting than thinking you're watching an old Asian karate movie that's been translated into English.

Fisher: [Laughs]

Tom: And it’s like, it’s so far off and it drives you nuts! Even though people don't consider themselves lip readers, all of us are lip readers to an extent. And so, you're kind of reading their lips subconsciously, but then you're hearing it different, coming out at different times. It just, it doesn't make sense.

Fisher: Its annoying, isn't it?

Tom: Oh, it is! It’s very annoying!

Fisher: I mean, that's the thing, it just takes away from the entire experience.

Tom: Exactly! It’s like watching your neighbor's slides and home movies that you're not interested in.

Fisher: Is it possible if somebody had something that was out of sync like that to get it into sync?

Tom: Oh yes! There's a lot of things you can do, like say, Adobe makes some good products such as Premiere and Sound Edit which we've talked about on previous shows where you can go in and do that. That's something that you really want to tackle probably on your own, because it’s not hard to do, but it’s very, very time consuming. And if you're paying a studio to edit for you anywhere from $50 to $200 an hour, it can get very expensive.

Fisher: Very pricey.

Tom: Oh, very much so! Very much so! That's something if you want to tackle it, take it on your own and, you know, do it in your spare time, because like I say, it’s not hard, it’s just very time consuming and it can get very pricey. So Rose, what we're going to do is, we're going to take all your stuff and transfer it to a digital format, and then we'll take the digital formats and teach you how you can have your grandkids go and edit it. And we'll do that in the next segment.

Fisher: All right, coming up in three minutes on Extreme Genes, America's Family History Show.

Segment 5 Episode 80

Host: Scott Fisher with guest Tom Perry

Fisher: All right, we're talking preservation on Extreme Genes, America's Family History Show. I am Fisher with Tom Perry from TMCPlace.com, he’s our Preservation Authority. And we're talking about Rose's email, about preserving her old home movies and videos. And she wants to make sure that her grandkids, their age is like nine and ten can do this work. And we've been getting into that a little bit, Tom. Continue, please.

Tom: Okay. So, in the first segment, we talked about taking all your formats and turning them into digital formats so they can be edited by your grandkids. Now you want to be really choosy about what format you put them onto. And it’s great that you know what your end goal is that your grandkids are going to edit it, so that helps you a lot. Of course you can go to CDs, DVDs, BluRays, hard drives, MP4s, so many different options. I wouldn't recommend CDs or DVDs or BluRays. I would recommend going to a hard disk drive. Now to back up a little bit, you can go those other formats like we talked about a few weeks ago and still edit, however, BluRays you can't edit from yet.

Fisher: Oh?

Tom: They don't have the technology right now that we can edit off a BluRay. So I would suggest you go to a hard drive. And there's two different kinds of hard drives. There's the standard hard drive which we just call an HDD. Anybody can go buy it. You can buy a one terabyte at Best Buy for less than $100 now, 2 terabytes about $150.

Fisher: Wow!

Tom: But then there's ones that are called solid state hard drives. The nice thing about solid state hard drives is, there’s no moving mechanism inside the drive, so the chances of something going wrong with it or just wearing out or very, very slim. They're more expensive than a hard drive, however, they'll last forever, and they are lightning fast. So if you put it on one of these SSD hard drives, solid state drive, and send it off to your grandkids, even in shipping, it’s not going to get jangled and something's going to go wrong with it. And then once they plug it into their Mac or their PC to edit, its lightning fast to edit.

Fisher: Now what about storage? Could they transfer using say, Dropbox or Google drive?

Tom: Real good. That's an option too. You can put stuff on Dropbox, which we recommend. I love Google drive and Dropbox. I use Dropbox all the time. They're great ways to transfer information. One of the disadvantages to them in this scenario is, you need a lot of bandwidth to download a lot of video. So basically what they're going to have to do is, start their download before they go to school and when they get home hopefully it’s done. And nobody else should be on the computer. If they have like fiber optics or something, it’s going to be a whole lot faster, but most people don't. They don't have the fiber optics, so it’s going to be a little bit slower. Now also she mentioned in her email about when they're editing it, if we use Dropbox like we've talked about in the show before, is dad still going to be able to do his internet, watching TV and things like this?

Fisher: That's a great question. [Laughs]

Tom: Oh it is, because people don't understand it. Once it’s downloaded onto your hard drive, you're not using any bandwidth anymore. So once it’s on your hard drive, it doesn't matter.

Fisher: But during the download.

Tom: Oh, during the download, it’s extremely slow. So if dad's trying to watch a Netflix the same time you're downloading off of Dropbox, he's not going to be happy. So you don't want to do that. And like I say, solid state hard drives are the best way to go. They're the best way to preserve stuff. Now Dropbox gives you so much information or so much storage for free, and then after that you have to pay. And it’s pretty inexpensive. I'm on the paid program, because we send videos to a lot of people. So buy an extra year. It might cost you twenty or thirty dollars. So spend a little bit of extra money and get some more storage. And then download all of your information to your hard drive. And another thing for Rose, if you have other family members, they're going to want this also even though solid state hard drives are more expensive. What I would suggest you do is put the solid state hard drive as your master, and then buy some regular hard drives and make copies from your solid state to send off to other people. And that way you're not in expenses to send everybody a solid state hard drive, but that's your master.

Fisher: Who knows more than you do, Tom! Thanks, great advice. And thanks, Rose for the email. And if you have a question for Tom, you can [email protected] or email me at [email protected].That wraps up our show for this week. Thanks once again to Stan Lindaas from HeritageConsulting.com for joining us today and talking about revolutionary pension records, and sharing one of the most incredible ones that you would have ever heard of. Also to Lynda Marquez in Idaho and to Heath Jones, our friend in Alabama, for a couple of great stories they contributed today and of course to Tom. Talk to you again next week. And remember, as far as everyone knows, we're a nice, normal family!





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